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.