Lucifer Rising, the 1972 occult classic film by Kenneth Anger, places magick on a golden pedestal through highlighting the beauty of ritual with its completely visual narrative.
The short film is, in essence, a magical spell in itself. The surrealist imagery, thick with esoteric symbolism, is filmed at the ancient sacred Egyptian sites and Stonehenge, and is meant to be the ecstatic evocation of the new Age of Aquarius (in accordance with the teachings of Aleister Crowley, Anger's mentor) by the gods Isis and Osiris.
Watching the film is a mystical experience. Although the filming began in 1966, it is tastefully dated, and the atmosphere it creates feels timeless in nature. The filming technique creates a sort of hypnotic state for the viewer, pulling us into the participation of the ritual performed.
Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin, recorded the original score which was discarded and replaced by one composed by Bobby Beausoleil, one of the Manson family murderers. It was recorded while he was in prison, along with several prison bandmates. Both Page and Beausoleil also play parts in the film.
I highlight this classic masterpiece because of its positive portrayal of occult themes, which is so rare in film. Anger lures us into the mystery of ritual without inciting fear. Personally, I am drawn in and want to understand more. I want to be included in understanding the mystery of the images. I want to feel at home within it. I want to be the goddess summoning the Icelandic volcanoes with the raising of my staff
Despite its title, Lucifer Rising is more about ecstasy than Satanism. Anger himself says, “Lucifer is not the devil. He’s the god of light and color. Luciferous – I bring the light. To me Satan and Lucifer are totally different entities.”
You can watch Lucifer Rising below. Also attached is the first score composed by Page.