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Guidelines for Shrines
The Need for Guidelines
The Shrine system is an ambitious world-wide project that potentially spans many different cultures, mores, sects and sentiments. The Shrines need structure and support to help navigate the potential pitfalls and problems of ideology and cultural clashes in their local areas of establishment. The Shrines and their participants need to be kept free and safe to pursue their devotion to Babalon as they Will, without interference. In addition, the Shrines need to be protected from those of a predatory nature may see opportunity for their ill-natured desires. To this end, thematic elements of the Shrines and their Rites need to be established, in order to present some sort of generalized and agreed-upon structure in which this devotion to Babalon takes place. So, in short, the Guidelines help to keep the Shrine and their participants safe, and to preserve the thematic structure and purpose of the Shrines for the future. The need for changes to the guidelines will surely arise over time, and it is one of the jobs of the Council of Shrines to suggest and vote on such changes as the need arises.
Who can establish a Shrine
Anyone of free and full age can establish a Shrine. One needs to be of good report, and apply for a Shrine by completing a simple application form. One then studies the preparatory material and prepares their Shrine for certification. Once certified, the Shrine is added to the list of Shrines, and contact information is then advertised for your Shrine.
If one wishes, one may create and maintain a Shrine that is for private, individual use. This project may then be anonymous and secret, and the participant may express the wish that their Shrine be kept private and off of any public lists. The Shrine will be noted as existing, but no contact information will be given.
Requirements for the Shrine
At the very least, a Shrine must contain an altar to Babalon in the West. It is recommended that an altar to Ra Hoor Khuit, Babalon’s Brother and a Guardian of Her Rites, be placed in the East. A Shrine must perform at least one monthly Rite to Babalon, chosen from those listed in Mystery Babalon. All other rituals, performances, ceremonies and functions are at the discretion of the Shrine-Holder. Many examples are given in Mystery Babalon, or you may use your own.
Status of your Shrine
The following list explains the different status declarations for a Shrine. Official Shrine, Public. The Shrine is certified by the Shrine Council, in good standing, and performs public rites at least once a month. It will be advertised with contact information (city and email) available to the public.
Code of Conduct
There shall be no usage of the Shrine or its name in the selling or bartering of wares or services of any sort. All Rites must be performed free of charge. Donations may be accepted, but must never be asked for. It is acceptable for the Shrine-holder to sell their wares and services as they will on their own time, and under other names, and then donate their proceeds to the Shrine if they so choose.
The Shrine and its participants shall not be used to sell, traffic or partake in illicit or dangerous substances in the Shrine or during Shrine activities.
The Shrine and its participants shall not break any laws within their jurisdiction in the Shrine or during Shrine activities.
The Shrine and its participants shall not involve minors in the Shrine, or during Shrine activities in which sexual acts are being enacted, either in actuality or in symbolic fashion.
The Shrine and its participants shall not coerce, force, or manipulate any individuals into sexual acts of any sort. All such activity must be consensual by participants who are in a rationally aware state so as to make an informed choice by their own Will.
The Shrine and its participants shall not proselytize for other religions or organizations, engage in politics or other such activity during Shrine activities. There shall be no monotheistic icons or symbols used during Shrine activities (i.e. no Christian crosses, no images of Mary as Babalon, no Christian Saints, no major Jewish or Islamic symbols).
The Shrine and its participants shall not engage in discrimination based upon gender, sexual orientation or race.
The Shrine and its participants shall have a good time and spread the energy of Babalon far and wide.
How to certify your Shrine
The Shrine Council must receive a completed application. If you like, you may also include pictures of your Shrine and an itinerary of your planned activities for the Shrine - but this is not required. The Council will then review your application and approve or deny it. If approved, the Shrine-holder must submit monthly reports (preferred) or quarterly reports (at the least) on the activities of the Shrine in order to stay in good standing.
Council of Shrines
The Shrine Council is a body of Shrine-Holders who offer voluntary service in this office of leadership. The Shrine Council is responsible for solving any problems that arise within the Shrine System, oversight of the Shrine System, resource pooling, advice, and suggestions for changes to the Guidelines.
Extra-curricular uses of the Shrine space
The physical space for the Shrine may be utilized for other related uses. This can include art, dance, and music projects—this is a wonderful way to facilitate and contribute to the creative and underground scenes in your area. Don’t have an underground scene? Create one! Host local artists, bands, tribal and belly dance troops. Celebrate Babalon and all of Her creative forces by holding a small opening Rite before each activity there. Close the evening with a closing Rite, and then celebrate with a feast. Use your creativity and imagination. Welcome other local Heathen or Pagan groups to utilize the space and invite them to partake of a public Rite as well, if you so desire. Have teaching groups for your pagan and Thelemic interest, which can be opened with a Devotional Rite when the group meets. The possibilities are endless. Different Rites may be practiced within this space, so long as at least once per month the Shrine holds it’s required Rites to Babalon of its own choosing.
Legal responsibilities of the Shrine.
Each Shrine is responsible to acquire any not-for-profit paperwork in order to legally accept tax-deductible donations. Each Shrine is responsible to file any and all legal paperwork. This only has to be done if the Shrine wishes to have any governmental, legal religious status or be involved in receiving tax-deductible donations. Otherwise, no filing is necessary as no other income can be earned by a Shrine (except for benefits, see below). Templum Babalonis is already a 503c registered religious organization, setting the precedence and right for tax free religious exemptions for Thelemic and Babalon based “religious organizations”. So you may follow suite more easily.
Each Shrine is responsible to ensure that its functions and participants are acting in a way that is within the laws of the area that the Shrine is located.
Each Shrine is responsible for the safety and well-being of all who participate at their Shrine. It is recommended that if a Shrine holds public Rites, that they have Guardians (body guards) who can enforce proper code amongst the participants, according to the rules established by the Shrine-Holder for the event.
Benefits of the Shrine
Once many Shrines have been established, we would like to begin a Shrines of Babalon Anthology. This Anthology will collect together the writings, art, images and inspirations of the Shrines and their members. All proceeds from the Shrines of Babalon Anthology will be returned equally amongst the contributing Shrines as a way to raise funds to help with the Shrines and their activities. A YouTube channel will also be created for those who wish to submit videos of performances and functions at their Shrines.
A Preferred Business and Resources Page for Shrine-Holders and Shrine members will be available to list your products and services available to all Shrines and members of Shrines around the world. Discounts to Shrine-Holders is recommended. All Shrine-Holders are encouraged to do business with each other, when possible and expedient.
A support network for Shrine-Holders, including message groups and the like, will be established to allow for quick communication amongst Shrine-Holders. It will be a place to brainstorm, ask questions, and get ideas for your Shrine.
Guidelines Version 1.0 5/27/2016