How should a sod live? How should a sod practice their religion? How should they treat others? How should they treat other sods?
The Sodalite manner of living is one which is perhaps older than the church itself. The high chapter — those of us who were first to adopt Sodeanism — and its high priests have long possessed writings on specific manners in which a sod should live. Many of these manners are archaic, and trace back to times when the Sodean vision was only a conception, before many were willing to plunge themselves into the earth and sky to find God uncorrupted.
I will not introduce these writings until the end of the article, as they are archaic and highly specific to one of many modes of Sodean living. The rest of this article will explain some general guidelines for other modalities. It describes only one path — that is the Dionysian one, but for more details on the full dialectical nature of Sodean practice, please go here.
In general, there is a well-accepted goal towards which every sod should aspire to — should they not choose a highly specialized path. Most sods, however, will need to achieve some manner of participation in common society, and cannot simply dedicate their lives to transcendent monasticism. So, to live this common and noble Sodean path, there are two options with which one must decide between (though there is no wrong in changing course, particularly with this “[societally] integrated” Sodeanism.
Before introducing these and others, I must first introduce the concept of the sodalitas — the atomic collective within which a sod can expect some mutual aid and companionship. Sodalitates are not intended to be massively large communal groups but instead small collectives of sods who are friends, first and foremost, and also have some considerable level of agreement on the worship and manners of worship towards God. An individual sodalitas may not recognize all of the sodean teachings, but they must at minimum follow the Doctrinae Sodalium Essentiales which have been outlined in this article. Without these bonds, a sodalitas is bound to fail in its construction. Remember that sodalitates are first and foremost friends and secondly partners in business.
The first, and most straightforward course is the sodalitas of the family. The family being the atomic collective unit of mankind, it is natural to stay within this small group as one transitions to their Sodean vocation of greatness. The church views the single-family sodalitas as a much less secure and prosperous vocation but the church also understands that this is sometimes the only option.
The Sodean family will entreat their members with love for God and all that is sublime, but will also support their family as if their family were their own body. The Roman model of family is very useful for this, as it may extend to broader branches of the family, and always serves to politically, spiritually, and give varying levels of financial support to the members of the family contingent on each member’s piety, dedication, and virtue. The Roman’s paterfamilias and his duties, would also be a good model for how the head of the household (whether matriarch or patriarch) should conduct business within the family. Should the family be wealthy enough to afford servants (unlikely in this age), they must be treated with the utmost respect as well as introduced to Sodean concepts, and indeed considered an integral part of the family, rather than an underclass which serves no purpose other than to generate luxury.
It must be said, however, that the familial sodalitas is not enriching for everybody, and requires a more intense form of worship and/or works for subliminal and theurgical experience and poetic life to occur. Some people may find themselves far more fulfilled in the following way:
The preferred generic form of the sodalitas is more particular and indeed more unusual in modernity. This sodalitas consists of multiple families or of younger members from multiple families who have not yet formed their own family. Should they be fortunate enough to achieve this, they are to live in fairly close proximity, optimally on land that is owned collectively by them. If they are still unable to collectivize physically, then they must do so in whatever habitations they currently reside in. However, no matter how far apart from eachother they may be at some given time, they are to act the same unto eachother as if they lived collectively. Whether remotely or proximally, they are to support eachother as if one another was Sodean family, and even be comfortable using familial honorifics with fellow members of the sodalitas (brother and sister, parental honorifics should only apply to actual elders — even commisioned high priests should not seek such vainglorious names from their fellow sods).
For this reason, this manner of sodalitas should always be started fairly small. The group must be small enough such that each member feels like they are able to trust the rest their sodalitas to in general have their best interests at heart. That is to say — the source should be from 5-6 families at most, and smaller yet if the initial families are already themselves large. Again, they should always be formed from like-minded people who know vaguely one-another’s character and indeed love one another as brothers and sisters.
One thing I must make clear here, however, is that no Sod is ever to be coerced by a sodalitas from cutting off relations with their biological family unless that relationship is plainly disastrous — in which case the onus is not on the sodalitas itself in any case. Any good sodalitas should encourage their members to keep healthy familial relations if possible — and indeed it is one vocation of the Sod to take care of their parents and siblings well, especially in times of need. However, the same principle should equally go to the rest of their sodalitas, even if support unto one’s birth family is always to come first.
A sodalitas is, regardless, always to be semi-communal or optimally distributist. Some amount of funds should be pooled to maintain the both the living and the place of living of the sodalis. Even in disparately formed sodalitates there is some obligation for any given member to offer support (if they can afford it) both material and spiritual to any other member of their sodalitas who is in need.
These are two quite concise descriptions of a healthy and holy sodalitas. However, Sodean monasticism sometimes involves isolation or individualized forms of worship, even if they are best carried out under the supervision of a Sodean monastic organization or sodalitas. There are generally two modes of this as well, the Apollonian and the Dionysian (a dichotomy described in depth here). These individualized modes can be easily extrapolated from that article.
Now, of these original writings of which I referenced earlier: They describe a manner of living which is commensurate with a sort of regulated, individualized, Dionysian sodalitas. I will present the writings in their original prose, but however will make certain transtheolinguations (an invented word describing the process of converting largely philosophical texts born out of the context of some other religious practice into language of another religious practice. I am not ashamed to invent words, this is the entire purpose of English.) as the old terminology around certain theological constructs was highly inadequate.
Just as the extreme of sustenance of life is not liberating, the extreme of [pure pleasure] is not inherently liberating either.— the Sipcysme
However, [Dionysianism] is still a specialized path, I believe, to achieve [poetic salvation]. However such a life must be structured in such a way that [these] 3 essentials are met.
Life must be sustained.
The [Church as an abstract body] must be upheld and defended
Effort must be made to attend to the needs of ones [soul].
In order that this is done correctly it is my belief that there are a number of rules that must be placed upon oneself to live this life:
One must always recognize the fleeting nature of [pleasure], and even in hedonism use it for release from [the material] rather than primitive desire.
One must never endanger ones own [or another’s] life in pursuit of pleasure. All [things] must be made that the health of the Body is maintained.
One must never deprive oneself or of the ability to provide oneself with food, water, and comfortable shelter. [note: Thus why forming groups — sodalitates is highly recommended for the Dionysian path]
Some more specific orders pertain to these rules which provide a safety net.
Beside one’s bed at any time of sleep one must keep a full glass of water filled before sleeping.
One must keep multiple blankets nearby one’s bed [and about their house]. This ensures maximal comfort and health.
One must maintain a stable and healthy weight and level of fortitude at all times.
One must spend an hour each day handling all matters of life, or longer. The idea is that one hour will allow one to fully realize all their responsibilities which must be cared for. [Note: in modern Sodean language — we would call this an “officium” or “office”]
A [Dionysian sod] must be a fervent protector of humanity and the [Sodean way]. Where a less specialized [priest/sod] may take less attention to the errors of the world in order to care for themselves, the [sod] must be observant, and even if no action is necessary, should record any disturbances they have observed. This keeps the [sod] in the mindset of [Sodean] life and duty.
This has hopefully given all interested parties a useful glance into what it means to be a sod. If you are looking for help forming a sodalis, please feel free to ask questions in the comments below or through twitter.