Veiling is a practice among various peoples; it is one of the earliest mystical traditions. Over recent years a new movement of “veiling” within the eclectic world of modern witchcraft and paganism has drawn numerous adherents. This implementation, quite interestingly, has also begun to catch on with some practitioners of Devotional Satanism. In some traditions of Theistic Satanism, veiling has been applied for some time now.
What is veiling?
Veiling is the covering of the hair to deepen one’s spirituality. We can take this even further to say that it is the covering of one’s head, for, in some instances, the entire head is shrouded. For many contemporary witches, even those who are Satanists, both male, and female, veils aren’t only a ritual tool that is part of the ritual dress but is also worn in everyday life, away from the altar. Veiling most likely began for practical reasons, dating back to 2000 years or so ago. Nomad tribes adopted the practice for protection against the sun and dust. Moving forward, as communities developed, women kept the veil as a symbol of hearth and home. Veils became like portable temples, perched on the head. This offered freedom of movement and showed status, while simultaneously protecting the wearer’s identity. Followers of the classical Greek and Roman cults of Dionysus and Vesta would wear veils to shield their third eye, in order to maintain spiritual purity.
Oppression and Freedom:
As the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) made inroads, only prostitutes went bareheaded. Veils became a symbol of oppression. Eventually, many discarded the veil as a gesture of freedom. Then came along the Middle Ages, where the veil along with the wimple ( a high collar covering the neck and ears ) was worn again for practical reasons.
Historically the need to veil waxes and wanes, depending on practicality, and fashion, as society supposedly evolves. The gist of the message veiling conveys is assurance that one’s behavior doesn’t bring dishonor to either the community or ideally, oneself. A humble and modest life and a sense of community are created by taking up the veil. As per the sentiments of most wearers, veils offer a mysterious connection to something greater than the individual.
Brides and Nuns:
It was Saint Paul that equated veils with sanctity, protection, and an emblem, of marriage. Hence, the practice of veiling was maintained by brides as they began married life. Catholic nuns also maintained this practice, as they were considered married unto God ( in present-day, some devotional Satanists that veil consider themselves to be married in this same way, but to Satan).
In some cultures, veils were and are worn to protect the crown chakra and to ward off evil. Within some tribal spiritual African traditions, a cloth headwrap (a descendant of the veil) is sometimes worn to symbolize a crown. This serves as a reminder that all who wear it, are royalty or equal to royalty. In some traditions, this cloth is unwrapped while dancing during ceremony. This symbolizes leaving the mundane world to be able to venture into the world of spirit. In some cases to allow a spirit to possess the body for ritual purposes. Veils appear in Northern mystery circles, sometimes taken up by those who have pledged to follow Odin or Loki (to some Theistic Satanists, both of these deities are considered to be masks of Satan). Usually Nordic veils are red, the hue that stains the runes. Red in this sense, symbolizes life’s blood, good luck, good fortune, and high magick.
Modern Witches and Satanists Who Veil:
More and more witches and devotional/spiritual Satanists are incorporating veiling into their practice. Satanists veil for several reasons; to stay focused in prayer, as a way to shift from the mundane conscious to a spiritual mindset, to symbolize entering into Satan’s kingdom, or as mentioned, as a status of having married oneself to Satan. Individual Satanists each have their reasons and interpretations of why they choose to veil.
As we know, the history of the veil comes with controversy and veiling hasn’t always been something voluntary. Those who chose to veil outside from the privacy of the altar space, sometimes, more often than not, experience negative reactions from others. Especially for the Satanic Witch or Warlock who chooses to take up the veil publicly, while wearing Satanic symbols; be wise in your decision to do so. Be discreet and mindful of where and when you out your veil and how you chose to wear it publicly. If this is the first you hear of veiling as being part of a Satanic practice, I recommend to try it out for at least a month. Take note how it makes you feel, how it does or doesn’t enhance your spiritual experience. It won’t hurt to try, the Devil loves to see you play (:
*(insert from my forthcoming book)
*Cover photo of me by photographer Laurence McHanes.
Copyright Kindra Ravenmoon