Today is December 16, 2009. Three years ago on this night, we performed Babalon at the John Geilgud Theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
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This is me at dress rehearsal in my Babalon costume. See that stressed out scared look in my eyes? At one point, I wondered if I would even have a costume. The corset is from the now vanished Fairy Goth Mother at Camden Lock Market and was obtained under great secrecy. The skirt is a big piece of fabric held together with pins.
This is Part 16 to a series of posts about my adventures during 2005, leading up to the performance of Paul Green’s play Babalon. The story is full of cloak and dagger, initiatory strangeness, chaos, and hysteria. It shows what can happen on the Magical path if one is not careful…
Directed by occultist, Alison Rockbrand, Babalon was performed on December 16, 2005, at the John Gielgud Theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to a sold out audience of London’s finest occultists and magicians. If you want to listen to it, click Radio QBSaul: Archives: Babalon. I played Marjorie Cameron/Babalon. I am called Angela Murrow because I had to hide my identity.
Babalon: Demon or Angel?
As the events I am about to recount unfolded, I wondered if playing Marjorie Cameron/ Babalon was a blessing or a curse. I don’t think Cameron led a very happy life, for all of its drama and intrigue, and she was the avatar of Babalon. All I could think about form here on out was that The New Aeon was about “force and fire.” And the Babalon Working was performed by a rocket scientist who blew himself up. The explosions had only just begun.
When I left you in the last entry, I was sick with a hangover, having been falling down drunk the night before.
It was around 1pm, or 13:00 in Greenwich Mean Time, when I received a phone call from my flatmate, W., I was starting to feel a little bit better at that point, but that feeling was quickly destroyed by what my flatmate had to say.
“Get out as fast as you can. The Home Office was down here looking for you. Someone told the agent me an B. knew you, and they came in to ask us about you. We didn’t tell them anything except that you weren’t in. He might go to the flat.”
When I hung up the phone, I was shaking like a leaf and dizzy with fright. My passport had expired just recently and I had been too busy to replace it. My mind went instantly to that horrible two-faced A. I was convinced she had ratted me out. Now I think differently, but then I could think of no other reason why I would have the Home Office coming after me in the market. I also realized that my drunken adventure of the night before had been my salvation, otherwise I would have been at work to be hauled down to immigration and probably put behind bars. The idea of being in cage was worse than anything I could imagine!
I didn’t know what to do. The phone rang again. I was afraid to answer it, but picked it up in case it was W. again. It was a client of mine who had a habit of calling me at the worst possible times, but this was fortuitous for once.
“Turn yourself in,” she said. “Its like taxes — its better to just deal with them.”
“I can’t,” I said. “My passport is no good. No way am I going to turn myself in.”
We wrangled for a while and then she agreed I should run for it. She was very kind and gave me the phone number of her ex-husband who was an immigration lawyer who would be sympathetic to my plight. I was lucky to catch him in. After trying to convince me I should get married in a hurry — and he knew just the person — he finally told me: “Pack your bags and go to a friend’s house. I will see what I can do to help you, but first — get out of there. Otherwise you’ll be deported.”
Deported meant several weeks in a jail cell and then being sent home with nothing but the clothes on your back and nowhere to go.
I was nervous wreck! I was laughing to myself in one way though. All through this time, I had been working on a novel called Dark Night, Lily Bright. It was a fantasy based on British Magical traditions. My protagonist in the book, was in a situation that had to be really suspenseful and scary and I was unsure if I could write it. I actually wished I knew what it was like to be scared out of my mind so I could write the scene convincingly. And here I was! A live wire of terror!
“I didn’t mean this!” I said to the Universe. Be careful what you wish for is not just a cliche.
I called a good friend. Luckily, she was home and when I asked her if I could stay at her’s for a few days, she was up for it. By 3pm — 15:00 — I was out of the house.
When I got to my friend’s house — who I will call L, I called W. to tell him where I was and gave him her phone number. (I was the freak without a mobile phone back then, ever since I had mine stolen in the market.)
A few hours later, I got a call from W.
“When did you get out?”
“Well we just home at 6 o’clock, and there was a business card under the door. They came for a visit, by the look of it. Good thing you weren’t here.”
“I guess so,” I said. That was a close call.
“Look, don’t call the phone here. I have to find out what to do. Just don’t come back to the flat. I think he’s parked outside.I’ll call you when I know something.”
“I’m so sorry, you guys,” I said. I really was. I never meant to drop them in it. They went as much hell as I did through this.
So, was Babalon my nemesis as I had feared? Did she disrupt my life, creating cataclysmic events because of the volatility of her spirit? That was I thought at the time. Now, I thank the Gods that I was given that role of Babalon, that she made me so sick I couldn’t go to work, because the Home Office catching me was bound to happen.
I was also glad that my first flatmate had turned out to be unreliable and moved out leaving me holding the bag. I am also so glad I had W. and B. move in because they were so strong and so loyal to me that I would have been lost without them. The first flatmate would have been totally useless and probably a treacherous cow as well.
I have come to believe that Babalon was my Guardian Angel.
After this, the story gets really weird, so please, do come back for more!
Read what our TM Insiders had to say about Babalon – A Fable of Rocketry, Sex and High Magick!
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And of course, if you want to listen to podcasts of our December 16, 2005 performance of Babalon, the links are just below.
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