This is the second 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 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 play Marjorie Cameron/Babalon. I am called Angela Murrow because I had to hide my identity.
After putting this post together, I understand what it was about Lucifer, the Gates, and the Whore of Babylon, as shown in the film Ninth Gate, that was so magnetic for me. As a Faery Seer working in Celtic Faery Tradition, I had deep encounters with the Irish Goddess Brighid in her Dark Moon aspect, for it mirrors the phase of the moon at my birth.
For eight years, I led bi-monthly Moon Circles at my house with a group of women friends. Once the Circle was cast we worked with our Animal Familiars and moved into the Otherworld in the manner of a Shamanic Journey. When one moves into the Underworld of Elfhame, encounters with the dark aspect of the Goddess are inevitable. Many people would like spiritual experiences to be bright and sunny and healing all the time. But that cannot be, for everything is cyclical, especially with the Great Goddesses of Nature. If one never experiences the darkness, one cannot spiritually mature. Shock and trauma are needed to shake the character loose of the karmic crud of the past. If the dark side is successfully avoided, the practitioner is not on a spiritual path, but is merely amusing him or herself in a fantasy land that they control.
My attraction to the Nine Gates was resonant with my descents into the Underworld of Faery. But, as was the case when I found out that the Spirits of the Land in London are totally different, more violent and shocking, than those in Seattle, I also found going through the Nine Gates of the Luciferian Path led to a very different form of the Goddess. Lucifer: the Morning Star, Venus, the Angel of Light ( how those images move through the body in their darkness illuminated by green fire!) left his exile in the green Underworld Faery Hill to return to red-gold earth of ancient Mesopotamia where he is the Underworld King. He is accompanied by Babalon, Goddess of Love and War, disparaged deity of the ancient Middle East filtered through the Magickal thought processes of Aleister Crowley.
Lesson: Do not take lightly the forces of Magic. Pay attention to details if you don’t want surprises. The price of liberation is constant vigilance. Everything is connected.
Lucifer, Faery, & Babalon
Although the experience was overpowering and mind bending, I do not regret my initiation into the Mysteries of Babalon. But the dark side of anything brings, with its endarkenment/ enlightenment, pain, loss, sorrow, even death. There are not many volunteers for that!
The Faery Realm is also “ruled” by the fallen Angel, Lucifer. This Tale of the Nine Gates gives us a glimpse of Luciferian Gnosis at its source. Faery Witchcraft is of the Green Ray of Nature and the Earth. Babalon is of the Red Ray of Blood and Passion. Red and Green are complimentary, or Flashing Colors, on the color wheel. Their juxtaposition charges them both. Their blending results in muddy gray.
The Biblical Source
The “great whore”, of the Biblical book of Revelation is featured in chapters 17 and 18. Many passages define symbolic meanings inherent in the text.
17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth (King James Version; the New International Version Bible uses “hills” instead of “mountains”).
17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
17:12 And the ten horns which thou saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
The Film: The Gates
One of my favorite things about the film Ninth Gate is flying through the nine gates to this gorgeous music. It has proven to be a Shamanic journey inducer — if you want to go to the Kingdom of Shadows. Click this and you will go straight to YouTube to watch it.
The Place: The Devil’s Tower, Puivert, France
This is the postcard of the castle Corso found in Baroness Kestler’s Book of the Nine Gates. It also shows up on the wall of Balkan’s library, just over his shoulder when he tells Corso how privedged he is. An ancient Cathar stronghold during the Albigensian Crusade, this fortress was called the Devil’s Tower in the film. Corso chases Balkan to this sinister place for the ‘tragic’ climax of the story. And as it burns he is initiated in a scared sexual rite, into the Mysteries of the Goddess as Babalon.
Isn’t it strange, a stronghold of the Gnostic Cather sect who were annihilated for heresy, should become the setting for Luciferian heresy in Roman Polanski’s film? But Polanski knew what he was doing, for the themes of pre-ordination, resonance, and return run through the film.
The Music: sung by Sumi Jo
This music by Kilar Wojciech has a tremendous trance inducing power. It evokes the mystery of the Underworld; the melody transports consciousness into another realm, dark and fiery, ancient and cosmic. When you listen you feel as if you had entered through a mysterious door into Magic.
As an aside, Kilar also wrote the soundtrack for Coppola’s Dracula. He is master of musically evoking the shadowy side of the soul.
The Goddess first appears to Corso as a young, nameless, blond woman whom he calls Green Eyes. The green eyes are a clue to her demonic origins, for green is the color of Faery, and is also the color Lucifer. In Celtic Tradition, the Holy Grail was said to be the emerald that fell from Lucifer’s diadem when he plunged to earth after losing the War in Heaven. Alchemists believed that this green emerald was the Philosophers Stone. Another link with Faery is the girl’s use of her own (angelic) blood to trace the Awen on Corso’s brow, signifying enlightenment.
Though I suppose there some who would see the blood on his forehead as a pitchfork…..
She carries a book like the High Priestess in the Tarot, who in older decks, is called The Papess. She waits on the other side of the Abyss and points to the heretics’ Castle of Fire and Light. Her mysteries are sexual but have little to do with procreation. Rather sexual energy, and union with an enlightened partner, is a vehicle that transforms consciousness and builds the Body of Light.
This is Her secret…
Now I know that the Light comes from Darkness.
The Light of the Underworld
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