Here's the link to the radio show on sex magic, with special guest Tannin Schwartzein, the pink sphinx of Babalon. It's quite a good show, with both of us weighing in on the questions people asked in a previous post, but also discussing sacred sexuality in general.
She came to me tonight as I was being massaged and said, "I would have an audience with you tonight." I said I'd prefer if this audience occurred when I was alone, for since this was part of my emptiness work, that needed to be part of it. She smiled and said, "I'll get you some alone time in a bit." And she did deliver for Lupa was contacted and asked to help with something that needed to be taken care of tonight. "Will you be okay with that?"
"Certainly, go ahead."
After Lupa left, she came back and said, "So about that audience." I nodded, and went over to the guest bathroom and started up the bath water, mixing in oils as well. Once the bath was ready, I sank into the hot world, and she appeared before me, in all of her awful majesty...my lady Babalon. Her eyes were as red as blood, her hair the darkness of pitch, her skin ivory...and she looked through my soul and words poured forth from her perfect lips:
"Almost a year ago you entered into me, and through me descended into the abyss. You took on the rotting that was predicted to you, when you chose to stay here."
"You've come through this admirably. You've rotted and that was my gift to you, not a punishment, but a gift, for you fully needed to feel helpless, fully needed to feel the strength of your desires even onto addiction itself, to fully come to to the root of what has caused your pain and emptiness. You never would've come to this realization if you'd gone out there, and so you would have remained a beast...but now you have traveled through your abyss, through your own rot and dis-ease, and horror and fear, and come through it with a clear understanding of what has held you back."
"I agree. I felt a lot of regret and guilt over what happened, but as I went through this year and came to fully face what has haunted me so much of my life, as I rotted, I finally could find resolution to so much of the pain and emptiness that had previously driven me on. I finally came face to face with each of my core wounds and came away healed."
"This year was your abyss walk, but also the culmination of the previous four years of work. You chose to walk into the abyss through me, as all magicians must, for it is only in facing your desires and facing the shadow behind them that you can move to the next step of your journey. You are no longer a beast, a pashu. You are now a person, a human."
And then I said, "And if still I have the same desire after all of this. I've accepted I may never have that desire fulfilled and accepted that its best to enjoy what comes my way, but still I feel it, even after all of this. I feel it in a conscious way...recognize it as more than just an attempt to fill something up."
She smiled gently. "After all of this, I will tell you enjoy what comes your way and what you have, but I will also say that what you desire will come when the time is right, and in a way that doesn't involve you leaving the Earth you've come to call as your home, and also in a way that respects fully what is already there."
"I'm still one of yours aren't I?"
She smiled again, and said, "You never stopped being one of mine. But you are not a beast to be ridden either. Remember what you've said yourself, 'Both parties create the relationship and choose what it will be.' And what have you chosen with me?"
"For you and I, Milady," I said, "I choose to walk with you at my side, even as I am at yours, devoted to you and your mysteries, but also free to be me and continue on with the journey I've chosen."
"And that is how it should be with you. For you are your own star, and must shine that light on the path you walk. And you and I both know that you've chosen to walk a very particular path, to bring forth the unorthodox and unusual, and manifest as well that success which is yours to claim."
Then she kissed me on the lips, her energy melding with my own, and looked into my eyes with her red eyes and said," Tomorrow you'll move from Zero to One, from Something to Nothing, and mark it with the sign of Xah....Tomorrow you will start your re-birth, and claim your freedom from the abyss. Remember, I'm always at your side, never too far away...and you are one of mine, even as you are your very own self. Enjoy what's coming next...you've earned it."
Then she left, milady Babalon, just like that...and I climbed out of the bath...and readied myself for tomorrow, purified and ready for the rebirth.
I got into an interesting discussion today with an acquaintance I met about sex magic. I was telling her about my approach to sex magic, in terms of how I identify myself when it comes to the polarity issue. In hetero sex magic, the masculine principle is usually perceived of as the active energy, while the female principles is usually perceived of as the passive energy. But I've never really agreed with that model, and my work with Babalon has only made it more apparent to me that the trad model of sex magic, in ceremonial magic, doesn't really work for me. When it comes to sex magic, and even sex in general, I tend to be a re-active principle, which is to say that my energy doesn't get active until it has something to re-act to, and even then I prefer that my energy be directed by my partner.
Or to put it a different way, instead of being the beast which carries Babalon, I am the beast ridden by Babalon...My energy responds to her and she directs it. And I'm comfortable with that as a sex magician.
But it didn't really, fully click until today that this was the case, because so much of what I've read has always insisted on the male principle being the active energy. And I wonder how many other male magicians, who practice sex magic, might respond if they realized that the masculine principle doesn't always need to be active, and sometimes just may not be at all.
I wrote this poem on Thursday, in my live journal. I'm reposting it here, because it depicts part of the conclusion to the elemental Love work. The connection is what we want silver strands that glisten by the star light, whispering promises from the vibrations of the space/time wind The core opens to reveal the secret heart of the universe a path lit up by red lines of force the flames of the fox fire beckoning, and luring on those eager hunters of desire
Hourglass eyes witness the illusion of time, The spiderweb, wet with dew, promises a non linear story Truth, truth, truth...
Whirling fan over the light, a very tired person looks up spreads his arms, and journeys into the iridescent glow of promise. I see all possibilities in the quantum sea everything could, is, was, will do, but will any of it become?
I am also Empty...Reach in and pull the last out Everything is stripped away...she took me on she gave me surfeit her hand gentle on my cheek, while the other rips everything out.
Your illusions are gone, now what?
Now what indeed. It's month 12...The end of the year long elemental love work...The end of my working with Babalon, the sacred whore, the scarlet woman, she who takes on all, but demands the sacrifice of your illusions. Babalon has thoroughly fucked me this last year. At times she had been a gentle lover, at other times a demanding bitch. One hand has caressed me as a lover, while the other has ripped my heart out. And through it all, her scarlet eyes have looked into mine, holding me steady, urging me on, demanding the best from me.
I wouldn't recommend the element of love to just anyone. I think this year's work has been by far the most intense and demanding of all my magical workings. You have to be ready to sacrifice it all on the altar of love to experience the truths you will inevitably find about yourself, and if you get anything back, count yourself blessed, and recognize you also earned it.
This last month has been one of nostalgia, regret, and healing. I remember a year ago, I remember how desperate I was, how much I knew I needed to change, my patterns of love had grown very toxic indeed. I was a toxic bloom, everything on the surface, ready to be popped. I remember meeting a priestess of Babalon, and a relationship that didn't work out and being told, "This elemental love work has left bruises on my heart, your wife's heart, and your heart. Will it be worth it?" I remember bad communication on my part, an unwillingness to really be open or intimate and my journey throughout this year to learn how to do that, how to really open up, how to be vulnerable, how to be honest despite the fear. Honesty with others, but most importantly honesty with myself about my desires, my fears, and what has motivated so many of my choices.
I remember other situations, other people, all the lies I told to myself, ripped away. And I remember a couple nights with Lupa, where I really opened up, where I told her things I had not told her or anyone else. I remember being honest with her in a way I have never been with anyone, and despite my fears, despite the ingrained responses and reactions that said to just hold it all in, to protect myself by never saying a thing...I spoke...I told her, I laid myself out and let her see the real me. And she accepted me...she showed me LOVE, even as Babalon has Shown me LOVE.
A couple weeks ago, I felt the weight of these regrets...My mind wandered through the past year, through the lessons earned, the people touched, the bruises left, especially the bruise in myself. And I felt Babalon stir beside me. She gave me a gentle look and parted the folds of my flesh, to the heart underneath, and instead of seizing it in her hand as she often has, she gently touched it, touched the bruise of my regrets, and she said,
"It's time to let this go. You've learned what you needed to from this. Let it go, so you can move on and let other people into your life and into your love when you're ready. You've learned the lessons I needed to teach you and I will always be here to remind you of them, and also support you as you continue your journey."
And she took those regrets away...the physical pain I felt in the hollow of my chest left me.
This last Monday, I was talking with Wes Unruh about language, magic, semiotics, and we got around to talking about Babalon and male magicians. He said that he didn't think a male magician came into his full power until he'd had an encounter with Babalon. He told me of his own experiences and mentioned that for about a year after his working with Babalon ended he had focused on the element of emptiness and on rebuilding himself...and I found great comfort in this, because it's another confirmation I made the right choices, and I'm on the right path.
I was asked earlier this year, if this elemental love work would be worth the bruises, and the pain. And my answer is yes. It is worth all the pain caused, all the pain felt. It is worth the pain I caused as well as the pain I felt. It's not that I wanted to cause that pain. It's not that I felt a secret delight. No...That pain is part of the process of life, of how you learn. I made mistakes, I came face to face with the reality of the effects of those mistakes. The regret I felt for the pain I caused was something that's haunted me for this last half year. And yet, that pain, for me, for them has the potential for growth. It's what we choose to make it...and so Babalon showed me I could let go, move on, heal...
Last year, I said to Lupa, I said to others, "All of the relationships I'm in now will be changed if I do this working." And everything changed for those relationships. Every single relationship I was involved in on a romantic level is now gone, accept the relationship with my wife, which has ended up stronger than ever before because we worked through our problems with each other and came to a deeper, more intimate relationship than any I've ever had, except for one. It's taken a lot of work and honesty on our parts, but here we stand together, stronger than ever...
And that one relationship which is deeper and more intimate...that's the relationship I have with myself. This year has forced me to know myself as I never did before, and this next year will take me even further, but I'm ready for that plunge. Babalon has shown me not just the truth of LOVE, but also that of Strength. The strength to forgive, the strength to let go, the strength to love, and the strength to learn. She showed me my strength, even as she took away all the delusions I'd told myself.
Babalon told me it would get harder before it got easier, and she was right. It got really hard somedays to wake up and face the reality of my motivations, my desires, my love or lack thereof. In April, when I walked around, desperately unhappy, desperate to fill something in me and instead walked home and told Lupa about my emptiness, about how empty I sometimes feel, that's when I started to really learn from this year's elemental working...that's when I came face to face with the underlying motivation for so much of my unhealthy behaviors. That's when I realized just how much my feeling of emptiness had so often motivated my choices to try and find something to fill it, instead of choosing to feel it. And now that I know that feeling...now I'm ready to accept it, to move into it and everything it has to teach me.
On Friday, I had some of my hair cut. Babalon spoke to me in a moment of shared love and lust, in a moment of ritual, a finishing touch. That night, Lupa massaged me, talked with me, reconnected with me about our love, about what we find so important and she cut my hair, part of my payment to Babalon. Below is a poem I wrote about Friday:
"You've still got to pay up the last bit for this year of companionship I gave you" She told me.
Her long black hair framed her face, cascading down her frame, hiding her body, leaving only the oval of her face her red eyes staring into mine a doorway into the abyss an invitation into Emptiness
As we fucked with wild abandon her hands touched my long hair and she said,
"Perhaps some of this... Cut some of it for me and also for the next element Cut it as an offering when you pass through the gateway within me and within you The gateway to the heart of the universe"
As we came to crescendo, She and I, My goddess of desire, her beast to ride, I felt myself swallowed into her. She whispered,
"Conjunctio, The joining of forces Your principle joined to mine, In combination we create the alchemical wedding Your sacrifice opens the gate that your seed might be consumed and you reborn in my dark womb of Emptiness Your potential realized in the joining of everything and nothing."
Later my body massaged with hands of gentle love and care, my hair brushed out, the scissors snap some is taken away "Taking a little, so a lot can grow back, so you can realize your potential" Caressed, loved, forgiven, your hands know my body I fall into the light of the quantum sea out of reality, into everything
Everything I am falling back to potential, In her hands I lay, in her womb I will be sacrificed The gateway is open, Conjunctio achieved Emptiness beckons It's a promise of potential I'll take.
"Your last price is paid, Your coin is accepted the gate is open, fly free my love fly free
When you come back reborn anew, you will really know me and my name.
And I whisper,
"Babalon, Great goddess, Sacred whore, scarlet woman, take me, take me, take my sacrifice and show me the door to conjunctio, show me the door to emptiness zero and one, everything and none, where potential awaits to sculpt, to show, to provide the pathway to the heart of the universe to the silver webs of time, and the purple halls of space"
And she rips away from me the last shred of illusion Her hand caresses my cheek one last time, her tears touch my face, She kisses my lips one last time, to steal my last breath Great Babalon has destroyed me.
And now... I'm free to arise. Elemental Emptiness show me the way, through the door
I am here, I am there I am everywhere, everywhen, all things and none, a whisper on the wind, the caress of a hand on your chin all realities within my eyes, I am reborn into emptiness... I am reborn to realize my potential.
Today, Saturday, I finished the Love working. I went upstairs, with the painting of the seal of Babalon, The beast dagger, the candle with her visage gracing it. I lit the sacred candle in my temple. I dedicated two posters of the mythos of Babalon as told by Oryelle Defenestate-Bascule to Her. I burned a bit of my cut off hair in the flame of the candle. I cut her seal into my flesh, her name into my skin with the tip of the dagger, tracing so delicately upon my skin the imprint of this goddess...
I sang her praise, I thanked her for her gifts, and then I asked her to take me through the portal to emptiness. I fucked her one last time, giving her my seed and then I was taken in hand by the entity who represents emptiness...But that story will not be told until Tuesday, when the dedication ritual is finished.
Farewell Babalon, sacred Goddess and sacred whore, my lover and destroyer.
The lyric below is from the song Here's to You by Lisbeth Scott. I removed a couple words, that aren't relevant to me, to this year's working...but the lyrics of this song, the song itself is a fitting end to the love working and the beginning of the work on the element of Emptiness:
Here's to you... Rest forever and ever... The last and final moment is yours. Agony's your triumph.
Here's to you, Rest forever here in our hearts. The last and final moment is yours. Agony's your triumph.
This weekend is the one year anniversary of when Babalon indicated to me that I would be spending a year working with her and the element of love. This last month has been one of memories and regets, and I suppose that's fitting in some ways, because it's also been about me coming to terms with how much this year long working has changed me and is changing me. And increasingly this last month I've also been coming face to face with the feeling of emptiness and hunger that has sometimes motivated my actions. Sitting with that feeling of emptiness and hunger has not been easy, but I recognize that it is something that has motivated my search for love. I think one of the deepest moments I had was when I was hiking with Lupa. She'd gone up the mountain trail a bit further and I was sitting and I began meditating about love and it's place in my life and I think I finally, really realized just how much I had treated love as a kind of cure all...a means of filling up that emptiness in my life, as if I could somehow find someone who would make it all better. I had, I realized, focused so much on filling that feeling of emptiness that any interaction in a romantic sense was ultimately based on that desire as opposed to being mindfully present with anyone. That's a hard realization to have because it calls into doubt any relationship I've had with a person. And yet by acknowledging that emptiness and just how much it's motivated my search for love, it's also helped me see who I am, as well as the cause for a lot of my behaviors. Later when I talked with Lupa I admitted to her just how much my desire to find particular characteristics in a person was motivated by trying to fill that emptiness...the realization that my relationship with her had been based on that and how hard it had been for me to accept that no relationship I could find would really address that feeling of emptiness. The responsibility for dealing with that emptiness ultimately falls on me...it only took me this long to realize that.
Throughout all of this I've felt Babalon's presence in a subtle way, though the other day it manifested a bit more directly when I ended up sitting beside someone involved in an organization focused on Babalon. I found it amusing, and also relevant...it's her showing me that she's here, that she's continuing to help me through this process. She took me on, and only required that I strip away all my illusions about myself. I have one more month with this year long element of love...Seems strange to think that this will be done in just a month.
I have two more months left to the elemental love working. It kind of amazes me that in such a short, but also long time, my yearlong working with babalon and the element of love will be receding into the background to make way for the next element to be worked with. This month has been interesting in Three different ways.
1. I recently had an opportunity to choose to be honest about a situation...and I chose honesty. I have to admit, making that choice is when it comes to personal matters is not very easy for me. I've sometimes lied or concealed things to my later detriment, because there's that distinct voice within which says, better to keep this from someone then let them find out and see the real you. The real detriment of lying isn't even the broken trust of the other person, though that is definitely detrimental. It is the punishment one puts him/herself under every time the truth could come up...because make no mistake a liar does punish him/herself because no matter how well hidden a truth one person always knows it and that's the liar.
For me, honesty in love has been one of the hardest lessons to learn. I can easily point to my past and say that it was because of my past, what I learned early on, which was that lying sometimes ensured I didn't get caught, didn't get grounded, didn't get told I was a disappointment, and most importantly I didn't get hurt if I lied good enough. If I lied and no one else knew, they might even accept me...no it's not rational, and it may not make much sense, but it is a reaction that is writ deep within me, and so naturally is something that has come up time and again throughout these ten months, in various different forms and flavors. Coming to grips with the lie of lying, and really seeing how much the truth can set a person free is in someways the central theme of this year's lesson for me. And of course Babalon has been very insistent I learn this lesson, which completely makes sense, because she is a goddess of desire, and desire is only truely known when you can be true with yourself and others.
So earlier this month, an opportunity came up to be honest about some things and I decided to take it. It wasn't easy. There were a couple moments where I felt like it took everything I had to say a simple sentence. Yet the feeling afterwards, of relief, of release, of no longer keeping something in secret, of being able to really open was so empowering, so strong, so different from keeping something to myself. I felt liberated...and in one respect I felt as well that my word as a magician was strengthened. I believe both William G. Gray and Franz Bardon wrote something to the effect that the magician's power is only as strong as his word. The truth does set you free, from your fear, from your worry...but it takes a lot of work. I wish I could say that being honest is an easy thing for me...in most areas of my life it is...but love is deep...there's deep wounds and letting them heal takes work, takes trust...I'm learning that trust, learning how to trust myself so I can trust others. Trust and love start from within. Before you can have trust or love with someone else you really have to trust yourself and love yourself. For me, the sign that I'm changing is that while I still struggle with myself sometimes to tell someone else how I feel or about something I did that I know wasn't good to do, 9 out 10 times I succeed in telling that someone...and that one time it doesn't occur right away, it does happen, if a bit later down the line. It's an accomplishment for me to be at this point of honesty with myself. And yes sometimes I still lie...but it's less and less.
2. In a conversation with a friend I was told I'm trying too hard...specially trying too hard to be his friend, which accounted for his tenseness around me. I really appreciated his honesty with me and ended up agreeing that was the case, so I relaxed and that friendship is getting better. But in thinking about his comment, I can say it's been true in other situations as well. I've caught myself a few times this month trying too hard when it came to other matters. So I'm learning to relax more...try less, do easy...it's interesting and it's given me a better look at some of the ol' thought stream in my head, and what it is I tell myself sometimes. Not sure where this will go beyond just trying less, and relaxing more in my relationships with others and myself.
3. finally read this in a book. Sex and love are two different needs. You might think this would be obvious, but I don't know...so much focus in this culture on true love and what constitutes true love, including all the sex that is supposed to happen all the time. I'm not saying sex can't be something important to a relationship you have with someone, but sex and love aren't the same need. Sex can be an expression of love, but it can also be an expression of hate or lust, even sorrow (in one case I heard of). And sex is its own need, something which we need, but love is also its own need and again something we need. It's funny, but as I've done this love working and really faced what love seems to be for me, I've seen the difference in these needs more clearly. Yes I like both love and sex and want both in my life, but they are different. Sex doesn't always bring love with it and yes I've known this for a while, but reading that sex and love are different needs...it kinda hit me with a clue by four that helped me get this understanding in a different way that all my prior experiences never really showed me.
I won't say love is more valuable than sex or vise versa, but feeling that need for love is a different than needing sex and in retrospect sex definitely fills or hits a different area of the psyche than love...love is much more subtle, less obvious...it does something, but it also takes a lot more work than sex might.
So that's month ten for me...each month is really amazing...I've learned so much in each month, in each moment of vulnerability that working with this element has provided.
A while back I posted a few posts about deity and service The first one is here.
The second one is here.
The third one is here.
As I woke this morning I thought back to a situation where I could have potentially dedicated myself to a deity. I'm glad I didn't, because the truth is I'd make a horrible dedicant to a deity. I'm very casual about my relationships with any deity. I put the occasional offering out, but when it comes down to it, for me any relationship I have with a deity is ultimately not about service to the deity or its various fellow worshippers or the tasks it wants me to do. For me it's about the bargain. It's what can I do for you that will get you to do something for me. Or it's about forging a relationship of mutual benefit and friendship.
The role of priest or priestess isn't a role that fits me. While I can respect that people are called to that role, I couldn't ever see myself serving a deity in that way. Likewise I find the concept of being a god-slave unworkable for myself. I recognize that it might fulfill the needs someone else has to be in that role, but for me, it could never work and there's a fairly simple reason for that.
I'm blasphemous. I'd always question and challenge the god. When I was a Christian, long ago, I was always dissatisfied with the idea that I had to submit to some nebulous force that had all the answers and was willing to let people suffer in order to prove themselves to it. The comic Preacher, to me, represents the most accurate depiction of the Christian god, a cruel tyrant who seeks to force others to love him because he is fundamentally unable to deal with his own sense of fear and loneliness...so he creates a permanent co-dependent relationship with humanity, in order to get them to love him, while also tormenting them. I could never understand why a god would want unquestioning obedience and so if I couldn't give that to the Christian god, why would I give it to another god?
The posts I wrote above reflect that as well as my own beliefs about the gods. I agree with the Buddhist conception of deities, which is that they are ultimately enslaved and attached to their own power and consequently can't operate outside of what they represent. They becomes filters and doorways to access deep concepts, but in doing that they are also can't evolve or become anything else...unless of course they have interaction with human beings. By being served by humans they get access to experiences they might not otherwise have. For example, Invoke a god and what you do is provide a gatway to yourself, access to your energy and experiences. Of course you get access to that deity's energy as well and that can be useful for some people, but there's always a price. I've seen that price paid and the effect it's had on the people paying it, and I'm not sure the price is worth any power received.
I prefer bargaining to service, because service is ultimately submission. There is no guarantee you will get anything for your service, but with a bargain there are set conditions. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm a friend to a deity or demon...some people have argued that they prefer to create relationships with such beings that are friendly, but there's a question they don't ask, which is whether or not the deity/demon even comprehends the concept of friendship, or if it does, have they considered that the deity/demon might have an entirely different concept of friendship than what you have? They might think of you as a cat or a dog for instance.
So I go with bargaining. If I want something and I find I can't accomplish it through my own resources I find a being who can accomplish it, and we talk. What does it want in return for accomplishing something specific for me? In Purson's case, he wants a dedication to him in my next book on space/tiem magic and his sigil on the cover of my solo occult books. Fair enough, I can do that. I'm happy to give him credit where credit is due.
In the last nine months I've been working with Babalon. In fact, the situation I was reflecting on today was a possible dedication to her. Working with her has been challenging. She definitely demands a lot when you work with her. Last October when she made it very apparent that I would be working with her for a year in my element of love balancing work, she told me it would get harder before it got easier and it did get harder before it got easier. Even now as this working is descending into the final three months there are definite challenges she has for me. I wouldn't have it any other way. She told me she'd be my guide for the year long love working, that she'd help me get balanced about love. And she is. At one point I did dedicate myself to her, but in a moment of clarity I realized I hadn't dedicated myself to her, for her sake or my own, but someone else's, and she agreed that such a dedication wasn't something that she wanted. She is still with me for the next three months, perhaps even beyond, guiding me in my journey about love...and her price for it is not service to her or tasks to be done, but rather simply to know that I will continue doing the work for the course of this year and beyond to keep myself balanced in love and to really understand how to manifest love for myself and to others. I can live with that...and it occurs to me that a deity with that understanding of me is a deity I can respect because that deity isn't necessarily out to have my service, but does want some kind of understanding to exist.
In fact, my experience with babalon shows me that experiences with deities are subjective and end up occurring at exactly the level that is needed for a person. While one person may very well need to be a god-slave to a god, another person may just need a guide for a year. And yes it does boil down to need. I think a very important question any person needs to ask about serving a deity is: What need within myself does this service fulfill? There is always a need being fulfilled. Certainly working with babalon is fulfilling some deep needs within myself...needs that are becoming balanced. Could I have fulfilled those needs without working with her? Perhaps, but I believe it would've taken a very long time, whereas working with Babalon brought the situation into detailed focus. And so perhaps those people that seem to pay a price in my eyes, aren't really paying that price. They serve the deity in the way they do, and yet they get a need fulfilled, a need which they may or may not be conscious of, but yet if that need went unfulfilled...I think it comes down to an essential issue of identity, which is how much a person's needs define the interactions and experiences a person has, and who/what those experiences occur with.
I watch Lupa and her growing relationship with the spirits. We are definitely going on some different spiritual paths. Yet I also see that her spirit work is definitely fulfilling needs within her. It's helping her refine her path, serve other people, etc., but it's also meeting some needs within her. She seems more balanced to me as a result of doing the spirit work she's doing.
As for service...I think my own service is not to a particular deity or whatever concept it represents. My service ultimately goes to the communities I am part of, the people I interact with, the choice to help someone find his/her potential and realize it. That is my service...not to any one being or belief, but rather to the realization that we are all connected and so if we can help each other grow and realize the effect we have on this planet, on the other life forms on this planet, and on each other, we can choose to make that effect be beneficial instead of detrimental.
I was asked recently why I was doing the year of love work, the year long dedication to the element of love. What did I hope to get out of it, what was I aiming for and why Babalon as opposed to Aphrodite or another love type goddess? I don't really have any set expectation about what I'll get out of this year long work. I can only refer to what I already have gotten, but in that lies the answer also lies why Babalon...Babalon isn't just about lust or desire, though she's commonly depicted as such. She's about strength...some might say strength of will, but if anything she embodies the sacrifice of the will, the sacrifice of the directive force and the submission to the experience. She is about the strength of love, the strength to love and forgive yourself, as well as the strength to face your desires and the consequences of them. Babalon has challenged all of my preconceptions about my own strength and stripped me of them. She has left me at times weak, huddled, scared and yet each time has also challenged me to stand up, to find my own sense of strength, my own ability to discipline myself, to set boundaries for myself, to also recognize my weaknesses. Over a half year in and I am still learning so many lessons from her about love and strength and about my own weaknesses in those areas.
And yet I don't find myself feeling harsh about that. I am forgiving and yet also consciously deciding to embrace my strength by working on not continuing in these patterns of weakness. I no longer have the excuse of "I didn't know" (If I ever had it). Babalon has stripped such excuses from me and her challenge every time is..."And now what will you do with it?
Babalon is really about love in terms of acceptance, total acceptance of yourself...And yeah sex and desire can factor into that pretty heavily, because those are good mediums to explore the acceptance or lack thereof of when it comes to love, but desire and sex aren't the only aspects to Babalon...there's wealth as I mentioned in a previous post and there's also honesty, because Babalon is all about honesty. when you sip from her cup, you taste the truth about yourself, and her. When you lie down to sip from her gate, with her liquids pouring forth, you are tasting the essence of sex and desire and love, but also the truth of yourself and all the lies you've told yourself and others.
I don't know where I'll be a little under half a year from now when this working wraps up in an overt manner. All I really know is that who I used to be even a little over half a year ago has changed so much because of the lady in red. I've sipped her cup, while I've looked into her eyes and been drawn into the abyss, losing so much of what I knew. She looks at me with those eyes, and grips my hands and she says, "You are one of mine, but you are also yours...find your strength. When she kisses me, I am filled with desire and longing, and yet also with knowledge...so this is what desire can do...this is how terrible desire can be, this is how desire can destroy...Do I really have the strength to face my desires, to hold them, to really embrace them and accept them and handle the consequences? That is so much the theme of love in my life. That is Babalon speaking.
I've been spending some thinking about my relationship to Babalon, both in relationship to the Elemental Love working I'm doing and also in where she fits or doesn't fit in the overall scheme of my life. And then this weekend I finished reading Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and I realized where Babalon fits into my life, and I had a better appreciation of the lessons she's teaching me in this year's working. In Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill discusses the necessity of mastering sexual energy in order to direct your creativity and imagination to manifest your goals of wealth. He incorporates a number of "occult" principles into his writing, which as an aside, I'm surprised more magicians haven't realized. In anycase, I began to think about Babalon and desire and the Strength card. It's true that Babalon is the sacred whore and the great mother, but it occurs to me that's much more than that. She represents desire, but in the Strength card, she also represents the ability to find inner strength to harness those desires. She holds a cup up, but is it really a cup of abominations? Or is it a cup of wealth, a realization of success in managing the internal desires to manifest the desired result?
One of my own recent realizations has been that I have to be strong for myself. This means I have to choose to master my desires in order to manifest the reality I desire to live in. While giving into my desires can lead to pleasure in the short, in the long term mastering my desires can lead me to achieving my goals. Upon some meditation and reflection, I decided that Babalon is my wealth deity. She can and has inspired me to master my desires so that I can manifest my goals. I put the bottle of red wine and the Strength Candle on the wealth shrine altar. I placed the sacred blade of desire on the altar as well.
Wealth is really about mastering yourself enough to know what you want and how to use all of your resources to achieve it. It's about finding the necessary strength to focus yourself on what really matters to you as well as tempering yourself so that while you acknowledge and enjoy your desires, you also use them to propel you to greater heights. Babalon embodies this concept by riding and directing the beast of desire, while holding up the cup of wealth to show the results of mastering the beast. She also embodies success, in and of herself, because she shows that success does involve being prepared to make sacrifices right up to and including your ego, in order to be transformed in your understanding of what you are giving to her and receiving from her. The success that comes from that is an internal success in terms of knowing and mastering your desires and external success in channeling the resultant discipline into what you want to accomplish.
Following Napoleon Hill's advice, I've decided to create a council I'd meet in a meditative state. Naturally Babalon is one of people on the council, as is Napoleon Hill, my wife Lupa, and other people/entities that are useful for the wealth work I'm currently working on in my life.
A week and a half ago I got interviewed by Leisa Refalo for tarot connections. She and I happen to live in the same city, so she was game for doing the interview in person. Because the majority of my work with Tarot is practical magic oriented as opposed to divination, she was curious as to how I could demonstrate some of my work. I won't ruin it for my readers, because we discuss what I did in the interview she and I had. However what really interested me was that before we did the interview, she gave Lupa and I a white candle with the Strength card displayed, saying she had a feeling we needed it. The Strength card is also the Lust card, depending on the deck and portrays Babalon riding the Sacred Beast. I found this relevent because I'm working with Babalon for the course of a year in my elemental balancing work and because I had also dedicated myself to her.
In the course of the interview I did my magical working with the cards and the final card I picked as an outcome for the working I was doing was the Transmutation card, or transformation. This card was important because it signaled a transformation of my relationship with certain aspects of my life. I'm not going to go into detail about those transformations, as they are of a highly personal nature.
Tonight when I go home, I will be buying several bottles of red wine. One will be for a friend, but one will be for the lady in red. I will light the flame of the blessed candle. I will take my blade, with the hilt of the beast and pass it above the flame, as I call her. I will paint a picture and use the smoke of the candle to purify and bless the picture. I will take the bottle of red wine and pour some into a cup, with a bit of blood and cum to go in as well to flavor it with my essence. I will commune and re-dedicate myself to her.
Her hand is on my shoulder. We will keep walking and talking with each other, just as we had before, but in a different vein. There's so much she can teach me and she is still my guide for this year's elemental love working, but also for beyond. We are transformed, now we continue the journey of refinement.