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Young, Female, Thelemite | Babalon and Me, Part 1

There are so many areas of politics that do not allow the female body to be seen, let alone worshipped, or her spirit honoured without some sort of advisory warning (#FreeTheNipple anyone?). So imagine an even smaller world within pagan and occult circles where such matters are seen equally, so long as it adheres to the guidelines set by modern beauty politics; light objectification of the female body (only ever between skinny and fat, never the inbetweens or “skinny-fat” like myself), European beauty standards on all levels of looks and personality (Isis is favoured because she is a mother, but make sure to cut out any major traits that simulate her with Egypt and Africa, and stick with lightening her skin tone, and definitely no Sekhmet because she’s wild and clearly “black”). But like most modern spiritual paths and religions, honouring the female, and obviously honouring myself, is slowly becoming accepted and expected. People are slowly coming to understand the true notion of duality, in nature, ourselves and in spiritual beings (deities, elements, nature etc). With the way people are being influenced daily it will be a while before a large number of us actually put duality into practice. So Babalon then? Where does she fit into my life? And how open can I be about my love for her? Let me think.

Babalon is Our Lady. She is a spirit, a force, an energy etc. something limitless and outside of time. Think of her as the female version of “God”. His equal, his counterpart, himself as a woman, the calm at the base of a fire, and the fuel at the same time. She is everything. She is in everything. She is half of one. In my head she represents the inner animalism and desire of the psyche. Think of the Thoth tarot, Atu XI Lust, that is her. She rides on the back of the seven-headed beast from Revelations (you can totally be a Christian Thelemite, trust me it’s a lot easier than you think), holding her Cup (there are many connotations of what the cup symbolises, but we shall stick with the womb and creation). She is the culmination of all human behaviour, good and bad, and she is freedom personified. See why she’s so highly celebrated amongst Thelemites?

If you remind yourself of Liber AL vel Legis, with the popular verse “there is no god but man,” one could easily assimilate the notion that if God is around, inside and outside of us, then so are other beings like Babalon. Babalon is, to me anyway, the personification of our psyches’ regardless of gender. She captures the Zeitgeist of ritual, and that warm and electric feeling when you’re on your own honouring yourself. She is that sacred place centred on the body, the yoni, that fire that draws on the linga.

My early awakening around who god was, and how it was to be perceived often centred around the pagan notion of the goddess —hence why the gods were ever present, my brain was clearly trying to teach me a model to apply equally later on. For years I could never connect myself with the goddess properly (according to the popular guidelines of separating humans from gods), but I had always been lucky in honouring her in my own private way. To me understanding the goddess meant understanding that I was also a goddess, a concept at the time that seemed kind of comforting and yet so otherworldly. I did not like the idea of separating genders nor separating the gods from who I was. Whilst most pagans would dance around a flowery circle screaming and singing the name of various goddesses, I was practising kundalini yoga by myself, I was teaching myself how to be more of a woman, and I was also enjoying loving myself. I wasn’t part of the group and I knew deep down that for the rest of my life I was never going to be. I learned to love myself by understanding the goddess and god.

But to add another theory, whilst women have a cup (with which we must fill or exercise often), men also have half of that mentally. How can you honour the god by ignoring that side of yourself? Same as how can you honour the goddess if you ignore that side too? Remember, Nuit cannot function without Hadit, and vice versa. (Just a theory guys, at this stage in my two year Thelemic career I am bound to fuck up!) Maybe then, that’s the reason why I’m such a weird kind of woman, on a quest to find love. I know it sounds strange or super juvenile but I want a linga to join my yoni someday, but for now Babalon is reminding me that I already have that push and that confidence I need to open up and love myself, by myself or with a partner. Bearing in mind Babalon is not all about sex or sexual activity, but more about the desires and the knowledge, and the freedoms that you wish to know, from the inside.

Imagine my surprise, after falling in love with Thelema when all of my “unconventional/clearly-not-part-of-the-circle-gang” practices were celebrated and allowed regardless of ethnicity and gender. Sure there’s Crowley and his annoying habit of being once being human (he’s a dead human now folks) with his likes and dislikes, his contradictory racism, and his secret love of painting black prostitutes when frequenting America (as far as I know only one painting remains out of the collection that he did), but there is more to Thelema than just the man who reminded us of this path. (Background information: Crowley didn’t quite invent Thelema, as it’s always been there for centuries, but he was responsible for ironing out the kinks and tying up loose ends). It’s such a lovely notion to think that even though I am “out-of-the-loop” within Thelemic circles, that some of my friends do remind me that I have Babalon inside too (you know who are, and I love you for that too). I have fallen for something that I see myself in, even if it’s under the surface.

Thelema has solidified my personal growth, whether it be through Liber AL vel Legis, Liber Oz or honouring Hadit and Nuit, or the other many things out there. Speaking with all kinds of women from the Thelemic world I have found two modes of thought: 1) Your gender doesn’t matter so much, Her inspiration lives within everyone and she reminds us of that drive to keep pursuing our dreams and desires, and 2) Even though you don’t fit current ideals, Balalon is there to be worshipped in all Her forms, regardless of her popular images. Honour her by honouring yourself. I know I definitely don’t fit Old Æon beauty ideals, let alone political ones, but within the Current flow I know I am Babalon, she is me, we are god, and so are you.

In nomine Babalon. As above, so below.

Sy

Babalon

Babalon – MisterChuck tagged me in this photo I was so pleased. I don’t feel left out within Thelema – not too much anyway.


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Inspired by John St. John | 1 Aug 2013

DAY ONE – THURSDAY 01/08/2013
Lughnadsadh and night of the Feast of the Stars

05:21 Morning Resh
Performed Resh at dawn, and realised I had another ten minutes before my alarm would go off. I sat on the bed in half lotus and performed a silent Mul mantra (check out Maya Fiennes video here). I finished on time feeling a lot more awake. I find performing either Resh or the dawn adoration and stretching really wakes me up to start the day. Everything seems calm and still. Time to get Resh for work and leave the house.

13:06 Midday Resh
Managed to perform the Resh in the staff toilets. Weird, I know, but with the job I have at the moment I don’t have the flexibility to just perform anywhere – patients need assistance all the time. No meditation or anything.

15:30 Finished Work and Training
Finished work for the day and felt damn hungry; in serious need for tofu, pasta and chilli. Grabbed a bag of jalapeños!

16:13 Kundalini Routine
I felt both tired and inspired to practice a yoga sequence, promising myself I would have a mug of chai and eventually have an early evening nap. Ended up practicing a normal warrior variation, then fire breath to open my body properly. Went to bed.

21:55 Failed the Evening Resh
I missed the Resh, but performed the normal adoration outside in the garden just to keep things in flow. I am quite tired, but I think it’s due to my work pattern. It really wipes me out at the best if times and I have to run around for fourteen-fifteen hours tomorrow. The next Resh is after one – set alarm.

23:07 Far too Tired
I performed the midnight adoration and climbed into bed. Need to save energy for work tomorrow; one horrible profession for sure.


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The Golden Dawn | Israel Regardie

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‘The Golden Dawn’

Published: 1937

6th Edition: 1989

Packed to the brim with a detailed insight into the workings and mystery that was the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There are so many valuable lessons in each short chapter, deep with symbolism and intrigue ranging from the various sacred alphabets and their symbolic meanings, colour scales, codes and blinds and the various rituals that are to be performed for each adept at each grade. This compendium details ceremonial magick at it’s been from the late Victorian era through the industrial right up to pre-WWII. Full of theories, instructions and notions this book will give you two things, insight into the life and thoughts of these magicians and hopefully inspiration to create your own magickal workings. Some say this book is a wonderful back bone edition that teaches you the very basics of Hermeticism theoretically and practically, but also a book that many found inaccessible. It’s up to you how you would use it. For me, I have had success with many practices and meditations I have put together myself using various tables of correspondence, and this book inspires me enough to delve deep into old mysteries, and even ancient ones too.

As for the H.O.G.D this book is great for the reader to understand their methods, and I believe a lot of the information within is still being performed and taught today by current orders. I found a lot of parallels with modern magick and witchcraft with the current authors being heavily inspired by this book and its methods. A rather chunky tome it can be a bit too bulky for your average handbag, but it is valuable. The front cover design is simple yet meaningful with the hexagram within the circle engulfed by fire and water (red and blue) – colour correspondences’ are detailed within.

There are lots of subjects that covered in each chapter, ranging from the spiritual and psychological study of tarot, Enochian magick, Qabalah, Hermeticism (obviously), Rosy Cross theory and ritual, Qabalistic Cross and the LBRP, altar set ups and much more.

I will score it a three out of five because of how amazing this collection is, but if you aren’t well versed in magick, high magick, Qabalah, Hermeticism or ceremonial magick this can put you off a little. A few folks I know have copies, but have yet to read them and one has told me he wants to cover the basics before tackling this tome. I love this book,  I have used it to create my own simple rituals, so secretly I’ll give it a personal 4.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

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Bedtime Shema | Invocation of Angels

I remember learning this around the tender age of 6. I also think it was one of the last prayers I learnt in Hebrew before I forgot it all. Like most children the wonders of the world captured my thoughts more than church or synagogue did, but I am slowly in need of my old Hebrew teachings as my journey continues.

A lot of weird things have been happening within the past few days, and thus just happened to be one. I have been dreaming of the Lesser Banishing Ritual if the Pentagram for a few days now, thanks to myself, a friend and a few new books I have. Normally I ask deity for an idea of what I should do next, and this is what has come to light; I need to move on up to the next step, and fast.

So, this Shema is one I was taught as a morning and bedtime devotion. This one is basically a protective invocation, in prayer to the protective angels up high to watch over you and guide you. Most Shema’s are spoken in a mantra with a repetitive manner or spoken a few times. It’s great to teach children hebrew slowly, as the words flow better from their tongues. It’s a beautiful language, and yes I am biased!

Last night however, during mid dream time LBRP, this particular Shema popped into thought… With a few others, but I shan’t go into those as I have yet to find them. I ignored the dream, like I do frequently, but proceeded to look up more on the LBRP. I ended up on YouTube, and slowly but surely I wondered from video to video and found one of the Shema’s I had dreamt about. I have no idea why I am getting these lessons, but I am excited and terrified at the same time! I may record a new morning devotion with this…hmm?

So, here is the Shema, just listen with your eyes closed and see if the words feel like they could roll from your mouth.

B’shem Adonai…

Follow me on Instagram @sycalaelen

Sy, x x


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Aleister Crowley Had One…

… And so does Alan Moore.

For a long time I have always had a presence around me that instructed me and helped me out. Whenever I needed a spiritual push, he was always there to point me in the right direction. It wasn’t until the other day, and last night that I contemplated who this presence was.

Most people are told that from the minute you are born (or fertilised, depending on your view) you assigned a guardian angel or spirit guide of some kind. You are not told how this guide comes to you, or helps you or even what its name is. For some reason we grow up feeling comfortable and safe in that knowledge. Some people have refuted the theory of a guardian angel and their story seems to fit, which is fine for them. These ‘rational’ thinkers will go quiet if you ask them about Mozart and his angel, just stating he was a genius—nope, his music was dictated to him by his angelic guide.

In the same way, Aleister Crowley was given word by his guide Aiwass. Alan Moore, the V for Vendetta and award winning DC Comics genius has a guide who inspires him. The concept of the guardian angel is a wide one, but let me just run along the lines of the the magician. According to many occult practitioners and a few I know, the HGA is a separate being, but one who is made up of the higher self. Your HGA is the guide who will carry you through life’s many lessons in order to reunite your spirit with the One True Being/God. If I add Aristotle’s view of love, “Love is composed of a soul inhabiting two bodies,” you can see why I agree with the occult view of your HGA being the separate higher self. Once you accept the touch of an angel in your life, he/she will take on many guises that help form your personality in order to teach and guide you well. That becomes a very intimate and personal connection, and in many cases it inspires love. Now, love can mean many things, but I am primarily focusing on love of creativity, of the self (the non-ego obsessed view), love of work and others.

Let me explain from my view. Aleister Crowley’s love was magick, Alan Moore’s love is life, writing and his magick. Mine, from what I gather so far is life, writing, literal love (worst lesson I am learning right now) and magick. For a long time I have performed magick and honour rituals to the deities I work with, and sometimes just to say hi and thank you. I have successfully been working with mantra properly for almost 3 years as a form of meditation when a spell could have been done. I have found that my guide and many a deity have used my mantra practice as a portal into my mind, once I am in trance or asleep. There are times when I don’t work with a particular deity, but I will state my Will openly knowing my guide will act upon it if need be. I ask myself, who are you shouting these affirmations to? Who do you scream at when you are under pressure? It’s obviously not just yourself is it? Your higher self maybe?

The way in which your HGA will guide you depends on who you are and what it is that you are going through at that moment. I you are someone, like me, who stands on the outside world looking in, then your guide will come to you as a boost of confidence or they will open you up to the influence of deities (if you are pagan or spiritual) who will help with strength, confidence and sympathy. For me, Anpu is one of the main deities I work with on a personal level, but I have only ever worked directly with him a few times. My HGA has sent me the energies from Anpu during other rituals, knowing I don’t need the entire presence of deity, just a little oomph.

I am planning on a little ritual or meditation to let my angel know I am happy with them, happy with what they are doing and I am on a journey to reunite our souls. You don’t need to go out looking for literal, physical love—find yourself first, and then if life permits, the physical love of another will come. The best relationship you have is with yourself, but as a witch, I am in a loving relationship with my HGA too.

Your HGA knows you. Inside and out–literally.

I will leave you with a quote from ‘The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage’ translated by S. L. Mcgregor Mathers:

“If thou shalt perfectly observe these rules, all the following Symbols and an infinitude of others will be granted unto thee by thy Holy Guardian Angel; thou thus living for the Honour and Glory of the True and only God, for thine own good, and that of thy neighbour. Let the Fear of God be ever before the eyes and the heart of him who shall possess this Divine Wisdom and Sacred Magic.”

Sy, x

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The Leaves Came Falling

I’ve looking up my old notes on experiences I’ve been meaning to share with you folks for a while. Experiences with the Divine in its many aspects, which also stands as my reasoning behind believing in more than one deity who makes up the OTG. More of my understanding of deity falls under the ‘Pagan’ ‘Wicca Lesson’ ‘Witchcraft’ tags. Here is another experience, one I had the subtlety to share with Apollo. I have written up dreams I’ve had in which Cernunnos and Cerridwen have both visited me in my very early days on here too, in case you are interested. More shall come, including the spiritual interviews I have been conducting. Enjoy!

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When I was around the tender age of 17, I went to Spain to see friends and family who are made up of mainly Catholic Christians. Nothing ever escaped them, but they weren’t overly keen on the idea of being devout, considering I was very much a hardcore practitioner of magick back then; although these days, not so much on the practical aspect due to laziness and how the weather affects my perception. If it isn’t super hot I can’t stretch or do highly ritualistic magic. If it isn’t super cold, I can’t focus my deepest energies into the workings I do around autumn and winter. However, back in Barcelona it just happened to be a very hot summer’s day in the middle of august. My uncle had informed us that he was going to take us to the beach for a few days just to soak up some sun, relax and visit the galleries that had information on Catalan history and art.

A few days before we left, I ran up to the room I was staying in to start a bed time devotion but realised one of my notebooks was missing. It was full of my thoughts, concepts and excerpts from various magickal books I had been studying from for some time. As you can imagine, I was freaking out in silence as I didn’t want anyone to know what I was getting so worked up about and more importantly, what I was getting myself into. I tipped out my bags more than once, checking the nooks and crannies and found nothing. I even checked the bin by the window, the balcony, the laundry basket and under my bed and still found nothing. My heart was racing; the anxiety was building as my ever increasing worry was torturing me. I couldn’t remember where I had put it for the life of me, and I vowed never to leave Spain until I found it.

I managed to write up a quick incantation which is below (do not judge! I was 17 and still very stupid as far as syntax went!):

“Morning star awoke at the beginning of the day, Apollo the light bringer dawns in my heart. Forever the doves fly in the sunshine, and prepare the day for night. Hades throws his essence in the air welcoming the Lady as she arrives fair. Night falls upon me and I become one with a star. Look after me and mine dear Gods unless I do not yet see clear. [Then I stated the things I’d like in prayer form, and in this case it was to find my journal] Blessed Be.”

I closed the circle, stood up and put my items away. When the room was fairly clean and most of the incense had blown out into the breeze I rolled into bed and drifted off with tears on my cheek. I was devastated I had lost my journal, which was full of notes, silly rhymes, badly written poems and small spells with terrible grammar. At this point Apollo was already in my life. He came to me when I was in Spain before actually, swimming out in the sea and just made me feel like I could trust in him above me and what felt like Poseidon beneath. There wasn’t much I could do.

The next day, exactly 1 night before our beach day I met the family for breakfast and we sat and woke each other up with talk of my uncle’s horrible nasal impressions and the heat. When breakfast was over I went out to the lovely olive tree which stood by the front door to tie a little ribbon on it. That day, the tree for some reason looked more beautiful than it used to. Bright, busy and bursting with the lives of the insects living on the trunk and I remember smiling. On the ground just beneath it was a small broken branch so I picked it up and decided to keep it. I put the branch on my little desk in the room and finished packing my bags for the trip. That rest of that day I don’t think I even thought about my journal that much. Even when I went to bed that night I didn’t do a devotion or a prayer, I just had a shower and went to bed feeling better.

We went to the beach for a few days and I swam in the sea when I could asking the water spirits and even attempted to call on Poseidon to look after me, but I don’t think he came. However I did let go and totally relax and let the water take me where it wanted. I would look about and watch the rough waters heading toward me, but when they came close it was as if they would calm and pass by me. When I looked at the beach, I could see I was quite far out but I wasn’t scared at all, I was safe. The way the sun was heating my skin felt spiritual. The water would stroke it and remind me of the Gods touch on my heart and on my soul, it was definitely magickal. I remember closing my eyes for a few minutes and muttering a little incantation I made up on the spot asking for Apollo to guide me to where he would like me to be in life, and inviting him to visit me whenever he felt I needed a lesson to learn. These were still early days for my relationship with Apollo and Cernunnos was just leaving my life. After my little swim, after quite a few hours my cousins and I swam back to shore, dried to drown each other a few times and checked out the popular hair styles that the men on the beach wore. I didn’t cast any magick after that day as I was too swept up in having fun.

The last night we spent in the hotel I had a very vivid dream. Over and over I kept seeing the olive tree. I remember, and also by reading the crappy notes I quickly jotted in my journal that I’m just referring to, the area I was in was bathed in orange light. I kept seeing a hand pointing to the tree and the leaves were falling off. Then the dream changed to something entirely different, focusing on feet walking on a dusty road in the dark. It felt like it last a few minutes and to this day I still don’t understand the second part of the dream, but the first part made me focus on the olive tree. When we got back I ran up to my room, grabbed the already dried and pristine branch and headed out to the garden. I felt I had to take the branch back to the tree as it wasn’t mine to take, or at least that was what I felt. I noticed more leaves on the ground around the tree, except one area at the base of the tree. The ground there looked a little different. It wasn’t the lovely yellow soil that worshipped and fed the tree; it was black and leathery. When I bent down to see what it was I jumped for joy. It was my journal! It was sitting in the shade, under the tree where I left it. I remember writing in it about Apollo and must have left it when I was called in for dinner before we were supposed to go out when the siesta was finished. Thank the Gods it didn’t rain! And thank Apollo for guiding me.

I picked up a few of the leaves, washed them and put them in the bath with me. At the end of the night I was preparing the floor by the doors that lead out onto the balcony to do a small secretive devotion when my uncle’s wife knocked and came in. I jumped up as quick as I could to greet her when he gave me some candles she found in the kitchen, and said to me in broken English “Candles for your witchcraft. It is okay, my mother was a magic person also.” She sat with me for a while and told me about her mother, who lives in the south, about her memories of seeing magick as a child. When I asked her how she knew I was into magick, she said she was in the garden below the balcony the other night and saw what I was doing. Since then she was trying to find a quiet moment to come and chat. After she left, I did a better devotion following a method I had written in my journal and used my new candles, thanking Apollo for showing me the way.

We still talk now, and it was through her that I started reading up on Santería, Spanish folk magick and how to be Catholic, but with the latter I just grit my teeth and smile when she informs me of the Bible and its doctrine. This was just one small way in which Apollo has touched me. In a major way, when I look at my old journal entries I realise water and sunlight play a huge role with my connection with him. I often call on him when I’m in the shower… don’t ask. Like father, like son. He always fills me with inspiration and helps me whenever I need him.

What are your experiences with Apollo?

Sy x


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In Moments of Weakness, Egyptian Deities Give Me Strength

The following spell can be found on plate 32 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead:

 “My hair is Nun; my face is Re; my eyes are Hathor; my ears are Wepwawet; my nose is She who presides over her lotus-leaf; my lips are Anubis; my molars are Selket; my incisors are Isis the goddess; my arms are the Ram, the Lord of Mendes; my breast is Neith, Lady of Sais; my back is Seth; my phallus is Osiris; my muscles are the lords of Kheraha; my chest is He who is greatly majestic; my belly and my spine are Sekhmet; my buttocks are the Eye of Horus; my thighs and my calves are Nut; my feet are Ptah; my fingers are Orion, my toes are living Uraei; there is no member of mine devoid of a god; and Thoth is the protection of all my flesh.” -From the Book of the Dead, Plate 32 – trans by RO Faulkner

The other night, I was having one of those moments when I lay back and just wonder about my life so far. I thought about why I was single, and why the men I’d like dislike me so much. What is it about my intelligence that is so off? Why am I drawn to comic books, magick & mysticism, Shakespeare, E. E. Cummings or Aleister Crowley? Why am I so alone in those topical subjects? What I have done wrong to be in this place, without a degree, decent job, a place of my own and in a relationship? Worst of all, I find I ask myself and the Universe what is wrong with my exterior. Why am I not attractive enough to be taken seriously? Those are the constant questions of a person who struggle’s coming to terms with their being. In times like this, I have to relax and repeat to myself that I am cool, nerdy and wise; so why do I suddenly become so crippled with these indignations?

I am a keen believer in fate and I am open to the path that the Gods are taking me down, and so far they have shown me to paths I would never change for anything. I have a deep faith in all things from the Gods. The path you have isn’t one where you just stand by and just things happen, you have to ask questions, you have to be aware of other ways in figuring out a situation. From that point, in some small way, I feel we have free will. When we break outside the barrier of fate, you fall into the hands of destiny. It is destiny that provokes a lust for life, learning and experiences. It is destiny that you define for yourself with or without the help of supreme beings or enlightened power. In other words, I’m not one who will stand by whilst the world rushes past me and shrug with “It is fate.” I will change that fate and run with the world.

I have spoken briefly before how I like to align myself in the way of the Gods. I like to make it known to them I am fully open at certain times, especially during meditation, mantra, ritual, yoga and other forms of connecting to higher energies, for them to instruct me in the correct ways. I am careful with these rituals as I make sure to cast a circle and protect myself energetically so other entities can’t interfere. Spirits are bloody annoying though… They are so bad with timing its shocking! – Another time. Once the Gods have bestowed what knowledge they want me to know, I use that lesson as a way of keeping tabs on my development. One of the most intense rituals I have written recently took about an hour or so to perform after the circle and quarters were called. It involved me asking the Gods to remove pain from my heart which ever means necessary. That is vague… but I must keep silent. For the past few days I have been feeling rough. Feeling really bad about my life at the moment, the shape of my body but directed at my face more than anything. Phoenix sent me the quote as we both have the same Book of the Dead by RO Faulkner and he basically fulfilled part of the ritual I had performed. I asked for a message, and there he was. Part une complete!

Today I looked in the mirror and read the spell with my black and white candles, dabbed my head with sacred oil and followed through with Egyptian gestures. I want to feel better knowing the Gods are with me. All I needed to do was remind myself that everything has a reason, but I need to make it work with the help of the Gods.

What do you all do in moments of weakness?

Sy x