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Young, Female, Thelemite | Babalon and Me, Part 2

Babalon - Scarlet Woman

Babalon – Scarlet Woman

 

What does Babalon represent? How do I sing her praises, as it were, and what makes her stand out in my understanding of Thelema? From my own notes and ideas on this glorious Being I have come to a personal understanding of who she is. Whilst Thelema is a new path for me, and seeing how other women and men within this community have bonded together, I wanted to document my struggles with understanding my own femininity and skin, at least for this year anyway. For now I thought I would share the second part of my theory, which briefly outlines how I’ve come to know Her by knowing myself on a physical and mental (emotionally subjective) level.

One thing that does get me, which may come across as just a general moan, but when one reads about Babalon without reading the texts and digesting the information, people assume she represents just sex. I mean look at the image for this post, and then type in her name into Google or something and you’ll see sexual images of a naked lady, or members of the current red-headed brigade. All beautiful, all artistically powerful and thought provoking, but on a literal scale, it’s just naked women. I like to assume I have the eyes of a culture fan, someone who appreciates and understands art, so I don’t see anything pornographic in her. I see erotica on a small level, but I see what it she represents – liberation. The unfortunate issue with the lack of understanding symbology often means that people who are interested in Thelema, or new to it assume all female Thelemites’ are whores, which is totally untrue. Plus, on a personal note the word “whore” is getting old, and I genuinely do not care if I meet someone who loves a lot of sex, I love a lot of books. One fella commented on a photo asking if he were to become a Thelemite, would it mean he’d have women eagerly lining up to have coitus with him. My personal answer would be no (sorry pal, most of us ladies enjoy sex as we are liberated through Babalon, but our spidey-senses go crazy when a sleaze approaches *mic drop*). There is so much more to Her than her cup, and so much more to Thelema than just sex. I have yet to discover the other aspect of her personality as the Scarlet Woman (physical vessel as if were).

Babalon, with her most common understanding is the personification of the “liberated woman.” She represents that inner fire we are told to quell and control from a young age. Many, if not all popular religions don’t like the idea of change, or anything that could cause individualism. Those are seen as blasphemy and fearful. If a woman wants to write, let her write. If she wants more than one lover, let her. If a person, or woman, wants to delve into a deep passion that causes them happiness without harming another, let them. Why should they be stopped? These are the sort of questions and ideas I have written down on various pages when I rant about spending a few minutes with her. I know I have a passion for certain things in life, and I intend on running toward them, and at the same time I am coming into myself as I grow and that’s important.

When folks read and study texts concerning the other titles she is given such as “whore”, it causes a slight confusion. Why would you want to awaken that side of your mind if being open and liberated is frowned upon in today’s society? The names and words used to describe would make most people shudder with shock, and if given the chance to read something like Liber Samekh it would surely leave a horrid and bitter taste in the mouth – if you do read that book try not to go for the literal written words, try and ask yourself things like, “What do certain words actually mean?”. From my personal musings on this subject I have come to realise that politics and the philosophy of controlling female empowerment and behaviour was and still is a predominant ideology. Girls are taught from a young age how to live and behave, and anyone outside that is instantly labelled a “rebel”, “strange” or “whore” for preferring to listen to themselves instead. We are taught that the natural and uncontrollable elements of nature should be kept behind the curtains. I aim to continue listen to my intuition, that gut feeling, those almost inaudible whispers from my HGA, as well as being the curious individual I am. It shouldn’t have to take Babalon to show you that the most crude elements of societal expectations and magick to see how ridiculous it all truly is. Ra-Hoor help us if someone discovers they actually enjoy something as natural and frowned upon as masturbation. We are taught to dislike the natural elements of our body, and Babalon represents how we should stop contradicting ourselves, after all we are human. We are humans living a natural and spiritual experience. I acknowledge this, and like to share it with her.

As I’ve whined on both blogs a few times, I’m a very late bloomer, and I currently love and hate it. Whilst most people were having sex, flirting their way around a parking lot or having deep conversations over popular media trends my head was in books, writing or studying film, literature and magick. Whilst most pagan and occult folks were neck deep in drumming songs for meditation or performing sex magick with lovers, I was deepening my understanding of tarot and my position in the Universe. I will happily and openly admit I fear social situations and most people in general, so you can imagine the latter half of the last 26 years were spent in therapy and my house (thank god for the internet). It wasn’t until I started studying sex magick and Thelema two years back that I really had to stop and really listen to my body. I had to make the decision to start getting to know it better, on my own, before trusting anyone else. For those in the know, I have also managed to combine the whole “survivor mentality” to understanding my own liberation too, and it’s been quite rewarding. Trying to connect myself with the goddess was going to be a hard task, but I was determined to be with her.

Since then I haven’t done a great deal. Every now and then I’ll write up commentaries that relate to the first two texts I’d really studied in my early days, Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni and Of Our Babalon, and of the The Beast whereon She Rideth. I’ve written the odd commentary on particular verses for my journal, and I like to keep my knowledge going when studying the Thoth Tarot. It’s important to me to keep studying the history of her existence, but also to read about how she was represented as the Scarlet Woman for ritual. When I’m not studying I like to assimilate my femininity with hers. I dedicate time with my yoni to her, and her other forms (Sekhmet and Nuit – just general female facets of the Universe) by drawing talismans or sigils in the air, or on my body, or visualising them when I’m in the heat of the moment, and finish by thanking myself. Like I mentioned in the previous post, She is in me, I in her, and so these precious moments remind me of her power on a smaller scale, and that makes me a whore of the Universe too.

I’ve only ever planned my ideal rituals, with her imagery as part of their makeup, but I have yet to meet someone who’ll love me the way I love myself. Until that day arrives I will continue to liberate myself mentally, physically and sexually. I won’t learn to feel the fire of freedom until I do. As for learning how to actually have sex, that’s for the other blog.

Sy


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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.