Songs of Recalling
Sinister Chant is one of the oldest survivng aspects of the Dark Tradition. The ‘Agios Lucifer’ (qv. Naos) is known to originate c. 18th century, and the two ‘Nythra’ chants (Black Book III) are possibly from an earlier period. The ‘Diabolus’ came into use after the 13th century.
It is maintained by some that the correct use of these Chants, in conjunction with a quartz crystal, is one of the most potent – and dangerous – techniques for increasing the Cosmic Tides. One notable example of such a technique in a ritualized setting is a version of the Ceremony of Recalling, combined with the Chthonic Form of the Nine Angles Rite, where the Sacrificial Ending is replaced by a continuation, in a particularl way, of the Chant contained in that Rite. This version can replace the Opfer Tradition during the 17 year cycle, but requires immense preparation and perfect performance during the Rite proper.
The teaching of these Chants has always been on an oral basis, from Master/Mistress to Initiate. Some of these chants were written down, and the form of this early notation (mostly ‘Gregorian’) served primarily as a reminder of the Chant, rather than as way of teaching new Initiates.
However, the original notation is an expression of the nature of the Chant itself, and is thus an important aspect in the overall learning of the Art. This is to say that transcribing the Chants into modern ‘blob’ notation (as discussed in another MS), whilst an interesting exercise in itself, should not replace learning the (far easier) system of the early notation. Transcribing a Chant into modern notation produces something other than the original Chant – an interesting form, but not one that can communicate to the Cantor (or audience), the entire ethos of Esoteric Chant. This is not however to discount such a musickal fusion, since it has its own place and purpose (qv. “Homesteads”).
An Initiate must immerse themselves in all aspects of the Art, mastering vibration, resonance, breath control and projection. Only after practicing for a minimum of one year, both ‘informally’ and in a magickal setting, will a chant start to live and interact with the Causal. It is not enough just to sing the notes, a Cantor must become familiar with what is signified by the Chant, since ultimately, through the combination of Chant, Crystal and Cantor, a unity is created that is a Nexion. This is because a Chant symbolizes, or rather is, a particular Force, and the performance of the chant is an Invokation.
The majority of Sinister Chants came into being as an expression of the male and female voice conjoined. However, if, as has been mentioned in another MS, it is decided to use the musickal form of an existing, conventional, Chant but replace the text with one of a suitably Sinister content, it must be borne in mind that almost all examples of ‘Gregorian Chant’ were devised solely because of, and for, the male voice. It did not occur to the monastic orders that a separate body or ‘office’ should be created for the women of the convents, because the important difference between the male and female voice was not acknowledged. Women were expected to sing something which could not for them, produce the ‘divine fire’ necessary for their worship. However , a glimpse of what is possible can be discerned in the unique compositions (symphoniae harmoniae celestium revelationum’) of the 12th century Abbess Hildegard von Bingen. Through the work of this individual the startling, different, nature of the female voice is apparent.
Perhaps now a corpus of work can be created for a future Beatarum Regimine Feminarum…
-Order of Nine Angles-