THE RITE OF XIOMBARG
A Warrior's Initiation
This is a rite of passage intended as a prelude to a jihad. However, this rite may be used as a formal proclamation for any work of Chaos. Participants must battle their way through 3 veils to prove, or muster, their strength and courage, commitment, and mastery of ego.
Although, in the Lesser Rite these are but symbolic gestures, the theatrical nature of this rite should add a sense of urgency and devotion, and to some extent, inspire the heroic. Xiombarg -- the Queen of Swords -- first appeared in the works of Michael Moorcock as a goddess/arch-demoness of Chaos.
The rite should be performed outside.
- 4 masks (1 for each of the 3 Guardians, one for Xiombarg)
- Materials to make sigils.
- Ritual swords/daggers for each participant
The masks may be simple or complex, but should reflect the attributes of Xiombarg (a powerful queen) and of the Guardians (Courage, Commitment, Humility)
For the purposes of the Lesser Rite, the participants may use 'shinai' -- bamboo practice swords, obtainable at a martial arts supply store.
Preferably a Vortex, but others would work.
0. The participants will draw lots to see who will portray Xiombarg. The winner dons her mask and moves some distance away. The remaining participants should choose, in some manner, who will be the 3 Guardians of the Veils. They don their respective masks and move between Xiombarg and the remaining participants. The Guardians should be in a straight line with Xiombarg, about 10 yards apart, in this order:
G3: Veil of Ego
G2: Veil of Commitment
G1: Veil of Strength and Courage
1. Everyone (Xiombarg and Guardians included) should be equipped with their swords or daggers. When everyone has assumed their positions, everyone begins the chant, which continues until the first prospective Knight announces his name (when it stops abruptly):
FACH VEXIB CHO FITAR CHO VEXIB, FACH (VEXIB CHO...etc.)
[we bind to the sword to bind we (ourselves)]
2. The first prospective Knight moves into position in front of the First Guardian (of the veil of Strength and Courage) and announces Hirself:
"I am called _________; I serve Chaos: Let me pass unto Xiombarg!"
The first Guardian replies:
"I cannot let you pass. You lack the Strength and Courage to travel the ways of Chaos. Turn back, weakling and coward: the only way to pass is defeat me." (A certain amount of improvisation is encouraged!)
In the Lesser Rite, a mock battle now ensues between the Guardian and the prospective Knight. The Guardian should "let" the other win, but only concede ("die") after a creative attempt!
In the Greater Rite, the combatants commence real combat. (A fight to the death is NOT required: with fencing (for example), a "fatal hit" causes the recipient to fall.)
In the Extreme Rite, the fight is to death or incapacitation.
3. When (and if) the Guardian falls, the chant begins again:
FACH VEXIB CHO FITAR CHO VEXIB FACH...
The chant continues until the prospective Knight announces Hirself before the Second Guardian (of Committment and Desire). The announcement is the same as above, and the Guardians reply should be along these lines:
"You cannot pass. You lack the Desire and Commitment to travel the ways of Chaos. The path is difficult, and there are better, easier things to accomplish. You do not have the time, turn back, dilettante, or I will slay you!"
As before, the battle ensues, with the same results.
4. As the Guardian falls, the chant resumes. The prospective Knight moves to the final Guardian. Again, as s/he announces hirself, the chanting abruptly stops. The Third Guardian's response goes along these lines:
"You have travelled far and have accomplished your goals. There is no need to travel further, for you are a great and mighty Knight. Turn back and rest, your quest is finished. To pass through me is certain death."
Once again, battle ensues, with the same results.
5. As the Guardian falls, the chant begins. The Knight moves before Xiombarg. Xiombarg calls out "CAJEGNE!!" (silence) and forces the Knight to hir knees:
XIOMBARG: Who are thee?
Knight: (announces hirself)
XIOMBARG: What is thy purpose?
Knight: To serve Chaos! (or something else appropriate)
XIOMBARG: Then thou shalt be my sword! (begins to laugh)
Everyone: (begin to laugh)
XIOMBARG: (whispers an improvised name into the Knight's ear, which the Knight MUST remember for hir sigil)** Now be off to do the Great Work of Chaos!!!
(Xiombarg pulls the Knight to hir feet and pushes them off into the world)
**This name should imply some quality or task. Something the aspiring Knight can work on during the next period of HIr (magickal) life. This must be 'hit upon' through inspiration, improvisation, and intuition...at the spur of the moment.
6. The chant begins again, and the whole process is repeated for the next prospective Knight. It will become necessary for participants to switch roles at some point. When this happens, a period of rest should be inserted before the next round. Xiombarg is preferably to be played by a woman.
When everyone who wishes to has completed the rite, they should make a sigil of the name Xiombarg gave them. The sigil should be charged and kept on the person either until the Greater Rite of Xiombarg is performed, or until their jihad, or other work, is over. In the latter case, the sigil can be used in whatever appropriate fashion the Knight sees fit.
The difference between the Lesser, the Greater and the Extreme rites is in the nature of the Veils, the mechanics of the battles, and the offering (blood) made unto Xiombarg. The atmosphere of both rites should be one of lust and insanity versus electric, cool calculation.
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