Babalon Diaries #15+9: Cup of Abominations!

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This is Part 15 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.

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I have been slowly approaching these scary parts of the Babalon Diaries.

4 December, 2005

It was  our director, Alison’s, birthday. Since she was having the blues, I decided to give her the present of a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. The Brits love all this Americana stuff  that is so easily forgotten about when you are back in the States.

By this time the rehearsal process had become extremely intense — at least for me. I was having trouble doing research because I was so unfamiliar with computers and I didn’t know these characters at all. I didn’t even know about google images at the time.

I do now…..

The set designer was woman I will call S. Since I was going to be the only actor onstage, Alison decided to project images, sigils, photos, etc on the back stage wall so the audience would have something to look at. S. had a great fund of them and was creating a slide show with a musical score to be played before the show. She had also provided a book about Jack Parsons called Strange Angel, by George Pendle that had some photos of the Babalon crew.  Slowly I began to learn about these fascinating characters, and was drawn more and more into that world of Thelema, Magick, and the Bohemian culture of California just before WWII.
I was also bringing Babalon through — sometimes feeling entirely changed as I practiced my lines and monologues at home, repeating over and over the words of Aleister Crowley and entering the consciousness of the Scarlet Woman.

Black hooded robes were being made for the the actors, and I was looking for red and black vintage to transform myself into 1940‘s Marjorie Cameron and Babalon. We now had sound effects and voice overs. Our sound effects man, G. frequently had trouble coming to rehearsal because he worked graveyard shift, and the process of trying to get him to sacrifice sleep to rehearse was often difficult. The responsibility seemed to fall on me for some reason. This wasn’t  good with what the Babalon current was doing. The actor who played Jack Parsons was often late as well. T this held us up considerably. On Alison’s birthday, he was very late having gotten lost in Sainsburys in Covent Garden, waylaid by the wine shop on his way to rehearsal.

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Hail to the Red Phonebox

After rehearsal, I brought out the Jack Daniel’s for Alison. We passed it around in Treadwells and then had to leave. I remember G. had to go and that he looked like Russian Prince out of a fairy tale.We finished celebrating Alison’s birthday on the sidewalk outside. Pharoan showed up with a bottle of red wine and we passed that around too.

Now it takes very little alcohol for me to get drunk. One glass of wine and I am smashed. On and empty stomach — even worse. Mixing whiskey and wine? Unthinkable, but in the moment it seemed OK.

I don’t know how we got to Charing Cross tube station. I am sure I meant to take the train to Camden Town and then go on up to Highgate where I was living at the time. But somehow, I was sitting on my rear end on the sidewalk in front McDonalds! A homeless guy was sitting beside me pointing a row of lighted Christmas trees in a shop window across the street and asking which one I was.

“I’m the blue one. Which one are you?”

“The red one,” I said.

“You can stay here with me tonight if you want to. Curl up in my blanket.”

I remember at one point throwing up in a corner — I am naturally very tidy — aware that I had entered a sphere I would never have imagined entering before.

Next thing I recall was the Wiz talking to me, trying to pull me up off the sidewalk. A cab was waiting. I don’t know why I was being so difficult, but was alert enough to remember the Wiz saying, “Three cabs refused to pick us up and I couldn’t get you up off the side walk. I’m not letting this one go.”

“Really?” I said. I couldn’t imagine such a thing. “What time is it?”

“3 AM. S. told me to stay with you and make sure you got home all right. You were saying Hail to the Red Phonebox and took off down the street.”

“I did?”

Long story short, the cab took us to my house. I luckily had enough money on me to pay it. The Wiz came in and I settled him on the floor of the lounge. I fell into bed with my boots on.

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5 December, 2005

In the morning I woke up fully dressed and upset that my top was wrinkled and would have to be dry cleaned. The Wiz had been so kind as to remove my boots. He had to leave early, and the Goths were stirring. I usually got in the shower before they did to give them time to get ready.

The Goths and I worked at Camden Lock Market. December was time for what the management called The Christmas Package which meant we had to work extra hours to keep our pitches over the holidays. As a Tarot Reader, I never made much money at Christmas, but could never afford to take three weeks off, so I eeeked out what I could in the freezing cold, barely moving from my table  and the heat of the electric fire I had going underneath it.

I had been suspended the week before (another first for me!)  for arguing with a cut-throat  jewelry trader who was manipulating and  trying to steal a chunk out of my pitch for himself. People with terrible attitudes, and  some downright sociopaths have been known to grace the Market with their presence, and I was often a target — probably because I was a woman and because what I did for a living wasn’t perceived as valuable by them — even though I had hundreds of clients who only came to the Market to see me.  I was pretty fed up with these a_____s  at that point and full of the ferocity of the Whore of Babalon: Goddess of Love and War!

But that morning, I was so ill, I could barley stand. You know the feeling, like your stomach had fallen out and gotten left behind somewhere. I had taken my shower and was cringing on the couch.

Me: Yup! I have to go to work. I’ll feel better after my coffee…

Goth #1: You’re not going to work.

Me: I have to! If I don’t show up  for the start of the Christmas package, I’ll lose my pitch for three weeks.

Goth #2: Nope. You’re not going to work. You’re too sick.

Goth #1: You’re not going to work like that.

Me: Well what will I do?

Goth #1: We’ll tell them you’re sick and you can’t come in. Look at you. You can barely stand up.

Me: Well, OK.

I did feel so horrible. I really didn’t want to go work.

Thank God I stayed home!

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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.

Babalon: Part One

Babalon: Part Two

Please leave comments. For updates of the Babalon Diaries, subscribe to my RSS Feed or my email list. There is more to come…

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Babalon Dairies: # 14: Snakes and Ladders

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This is Part 14 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 Diaries # 14

Those of you who have brought Deities through yourselves will understand  what I mean when I say: at this point all Hell  broke loose.

A Deity as powerful as Babalon, coming through a frame as sensitive as mine, was a bit too hot handle. Marjorie Cameron was a Taurus at least. Grounded! We Aquarians? Not known for it.

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I have heard so many reports of magic going haywire. Even among the pros, relationships can be ruined as the scales tip wildly and reality crumbles. Some magicians don’t recover completely. I wonder about one of our number, because he was totally out to lunch most of the time, surrounded  with all his demons and other friends…

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>I was feeling pretty rocky, sometimes sliding into a kind of hectic edginess and emotional reactivity >that was not like me at all. It was good for the role of Cameron, but I grew to fear the terrible flames <of kundalini that were coursing through my system filling me with desires I knew would lead to >serious trouble for little old me if I acted on them. I suppose there had be an outlet for trouble. It >came via a couple of my regular Tarot clients from Camden Market.

>There was this family issue.

>The Turkish one I’ll call A.  She was someone I thought was a friend, that I could trust her, at least on the grounds that I helped her so much, finding her places to stay, helping her get jobs, introducing her to people who I thought would be good for her to know. I even did readings for her during my free time to save her having to travel to Camden Town. I suppose she resented it when I didn’t want to give her discounts when she called me on my own time. Rather I charged her extra as any right thinking professional would do who needs down time after working in the public all day. I will never understand the thinking that you should get to wear somebody out and get special favors for it!??

Why didn’t I know she was a scheming, two-faced, treacherous, lying cow? Because of the fatal flaw of many of us in the helping professions — empathy!

I made the mistake of recommending her for a job at a pub owned by my other client,  who I’ll call C.

C’s father was a very wealthy, middle aged man and (HOW did I miss this?) A. was a true Gold Digger. Determined at all costs to land a wealthy, middle aged Englishman and marry him, she made her play for C’s father taking advantage of his usual drunken state and desire for much younger women.. C’s father was not divorced from her mother, so it was unlikely he would marry A. so she could stay in England legally. But that did not deter her any more than gratitude would prevent her slandering her friends when she found out C’s father did not approve of “the occult”.

Long story short, C. and A. began to coming to me every day complaining about each other and campaigning against each other. I was trying to stay balanced myself, and trying to understand where each of them was coming from, but when C. proved to me, in undeniable terms, that A. was slandering me behind my back, and telling lies about me, and telling C. that I was dangerous and  just after her money, I went ballistic and confronted A. ! Neither me nor Babalon was having any of that!

This of course made things worse. A. was so addicted to getting Tarot Readings, and so insistent on having them when she wanted them, that I began to let her trade with me for Turkish coffee readings because I knew she didn’t have any money — even when I no longer wanted any readings and knew she didn’t need them. She was just like a machine once she began a behavior, she would not stop. I put up with it because I felt sorry for her…the road to Hell was duly paved.

So A. set her cap for C.’s dad. C. grew to hate A.

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Silly me had a great idea: Let’s solve this problem.

I was hanging out with all of these magicians so I asked one of them if he knew how to bust up a destructive relationship that was hurting so many people and causing no end of grief for me?
He said it was his “specialty”.
“How much would you charge?”
“300 pounds.”
“Maybe I have a job for you…”

So I introduced this Magus to C. and decided to let them work it out.

We sat in the Devonshire Arms, now the Hobgoblin, in Camden Town. At that time The Dev was very cool Goth pub with these wonderful dark, deathly Tarot designs painted on the woodwork. (I hope they are still there. It would be a shame for them to disappear.)

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C. made an excellent impression on Mr Magus. He told her she was a born sorceress and he would be happy to help her out. They made whatever agreement they made. I thought, “Good. C will be happy, and I can get some peace.” Famous last words. The Babalon current was moving through me, and taking over my whole life — Babalon:  Goddess of Love and War! (How I laugh in retrospect!)

Weeks went by and nothing changed with Daddy Warbucks and A. C. and I began to wonder if any magic had indeed been done. Despite lack of results, the  Magus came to collect his fee. I got the whole sordid story second hand.

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The day after paying the Devil’s ransom, C. came to see me in the market. She was in hysterics.

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She had gone to the Dev, to meet the Magus and pay him the 300 pounds.  The Magus showed up with the Wiz. They  expected, along with the 300 pounds, for  C. to buy them drinks. She being young and unsure did this for them , buying round after round until they all were drunk. They left the Dev and went to another pub across the canal where the Magus read Tarot cards for some girl, and scared her half to death.

“Arlene, that poor girl was crying he scared her so much, and they kept talking about Sex Magic and the Eleventh Degree. They wanted me to do something with both of them. Down by the canal!”

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If any of you don’t know the evil reputation of the canal that runs through Camden Town, well I have news for you! At least once a year a body is found floating in it, and in the two years before this incident, boys were fishing suitcases out of the water — ugh! I can’t even write about what was inside!  And body parts — one of the big news stories that year was the boy who was killed in a Black Magic ritual  whose remains were fished out of the canal.
The drug addicts fixed themselves up under the bridge. The Camden Ripper was at large. It was a pretty yucky place.

“You didn’t do it did you?”

“NO! But they said they were going to perform the Eleventh Degree down by the canal. With each other!”

“Oh, they are just playing with you.”

“No they’re not! And they took all my money and expected me to buy their drinks and then (Magus) terrified that poor girl….told her she had demons all around her, and was under the influence of sorcery…

My head began to throb in earnest at that point. To the Magus demonae would have been desirable. It goes to show you difficult it can be to get out of your own frame of reference!

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I figured I would try to find out what this Eleventh Degree was because I knew nothing about it. I was never into Crowley, remember. That night at rehearsal, The Two Bros would neither speak to me nor look me in the eye. Magus was straining to be jolly. I knew he was worried about what happened and that C. had told me all about it.  I stayed neutral. We were there to rehearse, after all.  When I did not act strangely, the Two Magicians seemed to interpret that to be that I didn’t know anything, so they relaxed. Still there was tension.

After the rather tumultuous rehearsal,  I grabbed G. and asked him to explain.  “What is the Eleventh Degree?”

G. seemed a bit edgy. “Why do you want to know?”

“Because Magi One and Two scared C. half to death saying they were doing the Eleventh Degree down by the canal.”

I shouldn’t have felt upset, but I was.  I suppose the whole atmosphere lent itself to that. G didn’t say much of anything after that, but I had a horrible awareness that Babalon wanted him. He was 25 years old and I was his mother’s age. But did Babalon care?

This was the big secret that those other Magic Boys didn’t know. They don’t do the choosing when it comes to Babalon. Neither does the Priestess — which is what I was at that point — Babalon is the one who decides who to bestow her favors upon. This was a very complicated thing…..

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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.

Babalon: Part One

Babalon: Part Two

Please leave comments. For updates of the Babalon Diaries, subscribe to my RSS Feed or my email list. There is more to come…

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Babalon Diaries: No !! Casting

Babalon Diaries # !! Casting

Our Lady Babalon

Our Lady Babalon

This is Part 11 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 Diaries No.!!

Babalon by Paul A. Green
Voices and Characters

Jack: John Whitesides Parsons – educate Californian, Frater 210 of the OTO

Ed: Ed Forman – technician at CIT – Californian, Life long friend of Jack

Crowley: Aleister Crowley, Baphomet, Frater Perdrabo 666, Master Therion,The Great Beast, Supreme Caliph of the Order of Oriental Templars etc etc. In this last phase of his life, Crowley suffered form severe asthma. A 1930’s recording of his inimitable voice survives.

Freida: Lady Freida Harris – artist, wife of Sir Percy Harris, Bart.  Crowley’s loyal pupil and patron. In her 60’s Patrician English

Smith: Wilfred T. Smith. In his 50’s. suave Anglo- American. Frater 132. Crowley’s original OTO representative in California

Helen: Helen Northrup Parsons, Jack’s first wife. Californian

Betty: Sara Elizabeth Northrup, Helen’s sister. Later Jack’s mistress

Ron: Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, author, explorer, religious teacher. Mid-West
Founder of Scientology

Cameron: Marjorie Cameron Parsons, aka Candida or Candy, artist and vessel of Babalon

Police Officer/ FBI Officer/ Radio Announcer/

and Young Crowley

Alison Rockbrand

Director, Alison Rockbrand as Babalon in a prior incarnation

Casting

It’s about time for another installment of the Babalon Diaries. That Mercury Retrograde in September was a real blooper. I was so scattered I forgot to blog. Imagine!

One thing I learned hanging around the Thelemites involved with Babalon, is that many Magicians are not psychic in the least. This came as a surprise to me because I am not sure I would have been a Witch if I was not a Faery Seer, and I would not have been a Faery Seer if I wasn’t psychic. So, I wondered what drew these people to magic? Was it anything more than an intellectual, or academic interest? I think not because they were practicing magic to get results in alignment with their True Will.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law, Love under Will” 666

That is all well and good, but if you can’t “see” the effects of your magic, how do you monitor it? How do you gauge what is happening in the Unseen? How do you know what the spirits you are summoning are doing?

It is a very dangerous activity as those of who can “see” can attest. Even Crowley, and John Dee long before him,  employed clairvoyants to capture the visions and channel the spirits. Without a Seer, Magick is a case of the blind leading the blind down a dark alley in a storm.

These Magicians are all Londoners, city dwellers. My magical personality is totally tied up with nature, and nature is where the original psychic openings happened for me, and it was in nature that portals opened out into the Otherworld. When I asked about this, I was told that in cities, people are into Lodge Magic. That is why the Ceremonial Magical traditions like the  Golden Dawn, and Thelema, are based in Free Masonry — it is all Temple Magic done indoors with elaborate altars and trappings like the Catholic Church was before Vatican II.  This type of magic may not require psychic abilities because the rituals themselves hold the appeal, and the power that is promised is gained through study and the practice of Magic for certain results. Ceremonial Magic has much more formal rituals, very stately and beautiful ones that do indeed create atmospheres of great potency that can induce trance states and visions. In contrast, Witchcraft, and Faery Seership especially, are more spontaneous and don’t really need anything more than clairvoyance to participate in their  Mysteries.

Downloading A Goddess

So, there were difficulties.

It is too easy for me to mediate deities. I did it as a dancer, and as an actress when doing Shakespearean roles. I shift into other consciousness streams when I do readings and healing work for clients. I learned very early on, in the late 1970’s, to blank my mind with meditation so that “messages” could come through from the spirit worlds and I could know it was not my imagination, or fantasy. I was taught the importance of “slaying the ego” in order to become a vessel for the gods.

So, very shortly after I began working with my Babalon script, I was moving into Babalon’s current, and it would not be long before She would be coming through.

Trouble is, that on my side of issue, I am still me. I have simply allowed Babalon to take space in my consciousness and being, and to express Herself through me. But I do I do not have multiple personality disorder. On the contrary, I am highly aware that I am still me. I just now have emotions and forces moving through me that are not quite mine — but they are also, in the sense that these emotions and forces belong to all of us, not alien.

It seems in retrospect that some of my cast members did not understand this.

The Wiz came to rehearsal smelling of roses and working the eye contact with me/ She.
I,  of course was not able to separate myself from Babalon and wondered why he was attempting such an obvious seduction, as if I wouldn’t know what he was up to.
This would all play out in a rather unfortunate and somewhat silly way later on.

Babalon is a Love Goddess, and also a Goddess of Destruction, very much like Lillith.
She is red roses and blood, sex and transformation through the power of sexuality. Try to live in the world with this volatile cocktail of forces moving through you and you can easily court disaster, especially when She has Her own agenda.

BABALON

A Speculative Fiction for Radio
concerning the life and death of Jack Parsons (1914-52)

This conceptual synopsis and complete script of BABALON is copyright© Paul Andrew Green 1998/2005, who asserts all rights of authorship and intellectual paternity under the 1988 Copyright Act. It may not be reproduced , developed, adapted, performed, or broadcast in any form or medium or format whatsoever without the express written permission of the author or his agent. A staged version was performed by Travesty Theatre at the Gielgud Studio Theatre, RADA, London WC1 on 16 December 2005.

The live recording is now on-line at Radio QBSaul VOICES Angela Morrow Marjorie Cameron George Sieg Jack Parsons

Anthony Lewis Ed Forman/AleisterCrowley/Harbourmaster/FBI Agent Elizabeth Daily Lady Frieda Harris/Helen Parsons/Mrs. Crowley David De Blank Wilfred Smith/Warden/ Thomas Crowley/Announcer Marysia Kay Betty Northrup

Joe Murray L. Ron Hubbard/Police Officer VISUALS Sara Mulryan SOUND Georgi Georgiev/Paul Green DIRECTOR Alison Rockbrand

See how they try to hide…

Treadwells Bookshop

Treadwells Bookshop

How We Met Each Other

I went to a read through at Treadwells and Alison wanted to cast me. At that point, my American accent and acting experience made me a desirable choice to play Cameron/Babalon. I didn’t want to do, especially after the incident when, script in pocket, I went to the corner shop in Highgate where I lived, and bought a few items that totaled up to 6.66. Crowely’s Magical personality as the Great Beast was, of course, 666!

I hadn’t made up my mind. Though I was attracted to the project, I was scared. I didn’t want a Goddess of Destruction coming through. Suddenly, one day when I was home, it felt like an earthquake ripped through the flat. Emotionally, I became unstable, almost crazy with anxiety. I couldn’t sleep that night and somehow got on the phone with GG, (we had just become friends) and he was very kind and supportive, but I must have been  nightmare to deal with because I was basically freaking out.

A few days later, I was approached again by Pharaon about being in the play. I agreed to do it, ignoring my sense of foreboding…

A group of quite wonderful actors were assembled. But it was impossible to cast Crowley! It was weird. Here we were in the middle of London working out of an occult book shop, and we couldn’t find a middle aged to old, bald headed magician to play Aleister Crowely! The original plan was that, since the play had been written by Paul Green as a radio play, that only Crowley and Frieda Harris would be on the stage, along with a Cameron/Babalon, while the rest of the cast would be in hooded robes speaking from a gallery that runs along the top of the stage at the John Geilgud Theatre. Since Cameron/ Babalon didn’t come on until Act 2, this left the stage bare for half the play.

Cameron as Babalon

Cameron as Babalon

Weeks went by, still no Crowley. I asked my young shaven headed Goth friend to it — he would have been great because he was flamboyant, and funny as Hell, as was Crowley, but even he refused. Nor could we find an old lady to play Freida Harris.

Alison had no choice but to cast a couple of twenty somethings who were good for the roles but visually totally wrong for the parts, and keep them offstage. Anthony   Lewis,   who did the voice of Crowley  during the rehearsals was an amazing Crowley. He found recordings of Crowley’s voice, and really nailed it. He also gave the character of the Great Beast tremendous wit and charm.

The Darkness Thickens

We initially assembled upstairs in Treadwells, in the middle of the bookshop, because another theatre group, Foolish People, were rehearsing down in the “crypt”…I remember looking out the windows at the streets and the restaurants thinking how dark it was. It was now October and night fell early all of a sudden.

I remember how ghostly it was that year. One day, my room mates, P.& K. who were Goths, had gone to Highgate Cemetery. They had met at the Whitby Vampire Festival 10 years before and were inseparable from that moment on. They were really into horror films and vampires and death and all that good Goth stuff.   That night, I had a dream that some shadowy figures crept silently onto the flat and went into their bedroom. They had attracted ghosts into the house. Things were moving in a very murky direction.

The days grew darker. GG was the sound effects man. He was having trouble making it to rehearsals and the Babalon part of me was getting upset. I am not sure if I would have been unhappy about it on my own, or if the magic that was being done behind the scenes was too strong for me to take. Pharaon, who was playing Jack Parsons,  also had trouble getting to rehearsals on time, and the Wiz was frequently ill with asthma — Crowley’s malady at the end of his life. As a former professional actress and dancer, I was appalled that actors would be late for rehearsals, but I also sensed that there was stuff going on among the Thelemites that I, as an outsider, was not privy to. Things would get very much weirder before I found out.

And of course, if you want to listen to podcasts of our December 16, 2005 performance of Babalon, the links are just below.

Babalon: Part One

Babalon: Part Two

Please leave comments. For updates of the Babalon Diaries, subscribe to my RSS Feed or my email list. There is more to come…

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Babalon Diaries # 7: Foxy Red

This is the seventh in 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…(as if one has choice…)

Directed by occultist, Alison Rockbrand, Babalon was performed on December 5, 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

ANNOUNCER: BABALON

CAMERON/BABALON: (SFX: whispered, reverb) I am the naked brilliance of the
voluptuous night-sky….Come to me..
Priestess/ Nuit

Priestess/ Nuit

In the end, I had no choice.
Here’s a little back story:
The skinny, blond Hungarian pole dancer who had been my flatmate in Highgate got her thong too far up her _____ and decided she and I were “not friends”. I could never figure this out as I liked her well enough. I had been warned about “Hungarian women living abroad” , but she being a pushy little thing, and life at Oak Lodge on the Heath having sunk into a morass of stormy Kiwi DJ NOISE!!!! made moving imperative. I was also outlining this Vampire novel (mentioned in part 666)  and thought hearing the  Hugarian language every day would be good research. Besides, living next to Highgate Cemetery was irrisistable. Of course my Vampire/ heroine would begin her adventures in Highgate! Thus was I seduced into giving in to Salamadra’s demands.
Lease up, she moved out. I wanted to stay put, so in a moment of desperation, I talked Kallistratus and Pippi into moving in. I am so glad I did….
I met them when they were working in Camden Lock Market. Journeying to London from far Grantham, in search of decadance, they sold their own line of clothing in an attempt to survive.  Hung on  outdoor railings, these glamorous togs blew in the wind  like black smudges in the English gloom. Business was not that great, so they started working in Fairy Goth Mother, a Goth shop specializing in beautiful corsets and fetish gear.
Fairy Goth Mother, London

Fairy Goth Mother, London

They were great friends. Kallistratus had a way with the ladies. “Hello, lovely lady,” was his special greeting.Though he is tall, dark and handsome, I didn’t fancy Kallistratus, though we loved each other dearly. Pippi liked me– perhaps because I was the only woman on earth who didn’t fancy her husband.
Once they moved in with me, my Gothic Romance flat was transformed into proper a Goth lair. Bats hung from the ceiling, a collection of Living Dead Dolls and Tortured Souls gazed out from the shelves, a picture of Bram Stoker hung over the kitchen table.  When the picture fell off the wall, breaking the glass, we all three crossed ourselves and groaned…
Posey, Living Dead Doll

Posey, Living Dead Doll

Kundalini Rising

I had a full blown Kundalini Awakening in 1986. This was after clearing my energy fields through 18 months of  almost constant meditation. Dramatic, archetypal, hallucinatory images rose and subsided within me for weeks. ( Without LSD, mind you.) My  third eye blossomed open, intensifying my psychic abilities, and making me a clear channel for healing energies. Kundalini launched my career as a healer.

Kundalini has another side to it, though. A sexual side. I had become Shakti.

I was attending a talk on Chaos Magic at Treadwells. There was a pleasant looking young man there that I will call G.G. ( he is commonly known as the sitar playing Bulgarian)  The next time I was at Treadwells, he came into the shop. When he saw me, he made a beeline for me and gazed into my eyes. G.G. looks a bit like a cross between a Russian Prince in a fairy tale, and a deer. Pretty cute, but I was dazzled by his eyes! They were pale fiery green!

After that, we kept running into each other. One night G.G., and a friend of his followed me home wanting to go to Highgate Cemetery. It was 2 or 3 AM, but what fun! We wanted to go into the cemetery but it was locked. Walking around on the road below the tall wrought iron railings, we found a black kitten, sitting peacefully on a grave, peering out through the bars. Not far along there was a gap in the fence. We broke in and hiked up to Waterlow Park . On this clear autumn night, the moon was full, the trees rustled and dropped their leaves. We lay on the dewy grass looking up at the stars.

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery

On our way out of the park, a a red fox crossed our path. G.G. knelt down and beckoned it over. Next thing we knew, the fox was sniffing his fingers and letting G.G. pet him.                  
“Who are you? Saint Francis if Assisi, or something?” I said.
G.G. was to have more encounters with red foxes. Note the color — RED!

I Am Called.

A week or so after I got the Babalon script, I was sitting across a table in a Turkish Restaurant having dinner with G.G. At the same time I saw that his eyes were brown? The kundalini raced up my spine, opened my heart, and spouted out of my crown chakra like a geyser. I was alarmed about this. I am old enough to be G.G.’s mother. Kundalini rising like this can make you fall in love…
And why had I seen those Luciferian green eyes looking out of G.G.’s dark brown ones?  Was it my own doing? Or Babalon’s? What was going on?
I still hadn’t decided whether to do the role of Cameron/Babalon. I still did not want to commit. I wanted to write my novel Dark Night, Lily Bright. But at home, the next evening, I felt as if Ophiel had returned. As a huge vortex of energy swirled around me, knocking me over with its force,  my feeble Will was overcome. I freaked out! This was too intense for me, guys!  Magick that is too strong can make me unstable! Don’t work so hard!
I  woke up at 3AM, totally confused, and spent an hour text messaging G.G.
“What is going on? What do you know about it? Why am I compelled to call you?”
I can’t believe he put up with me. He was so supportive! (He worked nights in the Underground, so I wasn’t keeping him up.)
Now I get the picture, but I’m not telling til I’m ready.
Next thing I knew I was at rehearsal for Babalon. I am pretty sure Magick was involved in my decision to agree to be the vessel for Cameron and the Ancient Goddess of Love and War. But I am not sure if it was Magick done by Alison and Pharaon — or Babalon!
by Air Adam

Scarlet Woman, by Air Adam

To listen to the Radio Show, Babalon, click here:

Babalon: Part One

Babalon: Part Two

Please leave comments. For updates of the Babalon Diaries, subscribe to my RSS Feed or my email list. There is more to come…

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Babalon Diaries: The Audition

Babalon Diary 666

This is the sixth in 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…(as if one has choice…)

Directed by occultist, Alison Rockbrand, Babalon was performed on December 5, 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.

Pharaon was the constant companion of a gentleman who will henceforth  be referred to as the Wizard, or the Wiz if I get lazy.  When I first saw the Wizard, and he saw me, we were attending a talk by Gareth Knight at Treadwells.  Gareth Knight is one of the great Western Mystery magicians of Britain, author of many books on Arthurian material and the Goddess. This was the second time I heard him speak, the first being shortly after I arrived in London in 1998 when I went to Wales for a Holy Grail Conference starring most of my favorite teachers and authors. Gareth Knight is a shy, quiet man, so to have seen him speak twice is a privilege.

Anyway, Pharaon and the Wiz were sitting together, as always. The Wiz was looking at me, and I had the strange sensation of energy bouncing back, or reflecting back as in a mirror.  I didn’t like this feeling. Perhaps he had psychic protection up, but I sensed the vibe had a manipulative undercurrent that was being blocked by me. It is still a mystery…He put me on red alert anyway.

After I gave the Grimoire to Kallistratus, we all met up at the famous Goth Pub, the Devonshire Arms, (now the Hobgoblin)  in Camden Town.  (This pub used to scare me before I found my Dark Side. It is full of Vampires. The owner, Robin, painted all these Tarot images along the walls that are very cool. He shows the most amazing old films and has the best music I heard in London where James Blunt had taken over the airwaves as an alternative to constant HipHop. I have outlined a Vampire novel that begins in the Devonshire Arms if I ever get to it…)

Devonshire Arms

Devonshire Arms

My friend/ Tarot client, Katy, came along as well. Pharaon took a fancy to Katy and decided she was a natural Sorceress. Kallistratus, expecting the author of such a powerful little book to look like Anton LeVay,  decide Pharaon looked like a milkman.  I mention these people because they all have their parts to play in my near demise…

Vampire meeting at the Dev

Vampire meeting at the Dev

Cutting to the chase!

I had arranged a meeting newteen Pharaon  and Kallistratus at the Dev because he was looking for  actors to audition for a play called ‘Babalon’ to be directed by Alison Rockbrand. I thought Kallistratus might make a good Aleister Crowley. If  not,  the Goth scene in  general, would be a good place to find someone to play Crowley — the most difficult role to cast. Pharaon came with a few fliers calling for auditions. As he was putting one up on the wall, he mentioned that they needed someone with an American accent to play Marjorie Cameron. I told him I had a lot of theater experience, but I was uneasy about getting involved.

“Magic has a very disruptive effect on me. I am writing a novel. I don’t need any horrible upheaval just now.”

“Well, just come read for it. It will be fun. Jack Parsons is my favorite magician of all time.”

“I bought a Grimoire from a milkman…I can’t believe I bought a Grimoire from a milkman…” moans Kallistratus to himself.

“I don’t know…”

“Please, just come an read for it so we can get a sense of it. You can say ‘no’ later.”

“OK.” I didn’t want to admit I had no idea who Marjorie Cameron was, though I had heard of Jack Parsons in passing as someone who was a follower of Crowley and done Black Magic with L.Ron Hubbard.

Alison Rockbrand as Babalon

Alison Rockbrand as Babalon

Later that week:

That evening at Treadwells, I was sitting in a circle with other hopefuls clutching a script handed to me by Alison. This was the second time I had met her. This time she was dressed in office clothing having come straight from work, looking very professional and capable.  As we read the through the script, I played Marjorie Cameron, called Cameron, with my usual sense of irony, for laughs.

I did not want to to be in this play! At that point the kind of Magick these folks were into scared me. But I am fearless and a fool sometimes, so I let Alison talk me into taking the script home and at least giving it a good once over.

Script

This was the first page of the script I got. It has a little information about these characters.

SYNOPSIS -CONCEPT & BACKGROUND

Jack Parsons (1914-1952) pioneered the rocket-fuel technology that culminated in NASA’s Apollo missions and Space Shuttle flights. He was also the Californian head of the Order of Oriental Templars, an esoteric group founded by the occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)
who was his mentor and inspiration.

By 1946 Crowley, prophet of the turbulent Aeon of Horus, was slowly dying in an English seaside boarding house. With the assistance of the writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) and the artist Marjorie Cameron (1922-1995), Parsons performed the notorious “Babalon Working”, a magical experiment allegedly intended to invoke a new entity who would re-focus the energies of the Aeon.

The Babalon Working transformed the lives of the main participants -notably Parsons himself, who suffered a series of personal and career crises, ending with his death in a mysterious explosion -another episode which has been the focus of much speculation.

I’ve done extensive research into the source materials -which are often obscure or contradictory, particularly for the period 1947-52. So BABALON is not a definitive “drama-biog” of Parsons’ life. It is rather a dramatic exploration of the Parsons myth, in all its mysterious paradoxes. The story time covers the years 1938-52.

VOICES & CHARACTERSJACK : John Whiteside Parsons -educated Californian. Frater 210 of the OTO.

ED: Ed Forman – technician at CIT -Californian. Life-long friend of Jack.

CROWLEY: Aleister Crowley, Baphomet, Frater Perdurabo 666, Master Therion, the Great Beast, Supreme Caliph of the Order of Oriental Templars etc etc. In this last phase of his life, Crowley suffered from severe asthma. A 1920s recording of his inimitable voice survives.

FRIEDA: Lady Frieda Harris -artist, wife of Sir Percy Harris, Bart. Crowley’s loyal pupil and patron. In her sixties. Patrician English.. .

SMITH: Wilfred T. Smith. In his fifties. suave Anglo-American. Frater 132. Crowley’s original OTO representative in California.

HELEN: Helen Northrup Parsons, Jack’s first wife. Californian

BETTY: Sara Elizabeth Northrup, Helen’s sister. Later Jack’s mistress.

RON: Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, author, explorer and religious teacher. Mid-West

CAMERON : Marjorie Cameron Parsons, aka Candida or Candy, artist and vessel of BABALON.

POLICE OFFICER/FBI OFFICER/RADIO ANNOUNCER

and YOUNG CROWLEY

666: Number of the Beast

In those years I was living in Highgate in a wonderful flat ten minutes walk from Highgate Cemetery and about two minutes from the Highgate Tube Station (a very important consideration when renting a flat in London.)

I went home on the tube and read the script, full of inner conflict. The script was really good. So good in fact that I felt I would miss out if I didn’t participate. But I had determined NOT to engage in other peoples’ magic. It just wasn’t safe. I rolled the script up and put it in my bag.

I had to pick up a few things at the corner shop. Squeezing in between the loaded shelves in the tiny store owned by very nice  brothers from Sri Lanka, I picked up a few bits and headed for the checkout. Imagine my surprise — NO! Total shock at the amount of my purchases. Up on the face of the old fashioned cash register, big white and shiny, were the numbers 666!

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley

***

Foolish People

Foolish People

BABALON – A Fable of Rocketry, Sex and High Magick Mystery Theatre of the Aether and 93 Fm present Travesty Theatre’s production of BABALON – A Fable of Rocketry, Sex and High Magick  on FRIDAY DECEMBER 16 at 8.00
in the Gielgud Studio Theatre  at RADA, Malet Street, London WC1
£7.00

On Friday December 16th at 8.00 in the Gielgud Studio Theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art , Mystery Theatre of the Aether presents Travesty Theatre’s production of Babalon.

***************************************************************************************************************

Paul Green’s play, originally written for radio, explores the enigmatic life and mysterious death of Jack Parsons (1914-52),  pioneering American rocket scientist,  disciple of the magus Aleister Crowley, and passionate devotee of Lady Babalon,  the Scarlet Woman of the New Aeon.   Alison Rockbrand’s highly stylised production  reinforces the resonance of the text with soundscape and visual projections to create  unique moments of ritual theatre. There are also elements of dark farce and tragedy as Parsons’ apocalyptic vision is subverted by hostile forces.

Paul Green’s plays include: The Dream Laboratory, The Aleph (CBC Radio Canada); Ritual of the Stifling Air (BBC Radio 3); Powerplay, (Capital Radio); The Mouthpiece (Resonance FM); Terminal Poet (New Theatre Works)

Alison Rockbrand founded Travesty Theatre  and  the  Dead Dolls Cabaret in Montreal.  Her productions include the collective creation Mumbo Jumbo: King Leopold’s Opus  and a rendition of Macbeth including stylised dance gestures based upon the Kathakali  dance tradition in India.  In February 2006 she is directing Stuart Draper’s Departure Lounge in the Prompt Corner at the South London Theatre Company.

Tickets for Babalon can now be reserved via  the RADA Box Office on 020 7908 4800.

Posted by John Harrigan on December 02, 2005 at 09:39 PM in Magick, Occult, Theatre

To listen to the Radio Show, Babalon, click here:

Babalon: Part One

Babalon: Part Two

Subscribe to my email for updates of the Babalon Diaries. The plot thickens….


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