Home Forums Thelema Thelema What does “BABALON” have to do with “Thelema”?

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  • #113397

    ignant666
    Participant

    Reading through the generally rather vapid subreddit devoted to Thelema, i noticed a recent post (https://www.reddit.com/r/thelema/comments/bq5dlq/babalon_is_enochian/) making a point of which i had never been aware: “BABALON” is Enochian for “wicked”.

    This led me to think a bit about something i’ve been wondering for a while: what does “BABALON”, a figure never mentioned in AL and wholly derived from the New Testament, have to do with “Thelema”? Why do Thelemites seeking to balance the obvious phallocentrism (somewhat of an understatement really, more like phallic totalism) of Crowley’s Thelema end up with this “Mother Of Whoredom” figure, rather than the obvious alternative, Nuit, who after all has a whole chapter in AL?

    It is maybe understandable why this was so with the Bible- and adultery-obsessed AC, and of course a lot of his sexual, um, issues are enshrined in his OTO, and many of those that followed (see, eg, the Gnostic Mass). Why do latter-day Thelemites, born in a more sexually liberated era, and seldom raised so strictly on a Bible diet, follow suit? Is it simply mindless aping of The Demon Crowley, against his express instructions, at least as to A.’. A.’. work?

    A related question with a perhaps equally obvious answer: why is the unicursal hexagram so widely used as a symbol of Thelema, rather than the obvious alternative, “The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red” [AL I:60], which, it is strongly implied, is the symbol of “all … who are of us”?

    #113415

    dom
    Participant

    This led me to think a bit about something i’ve been wondering for a while: what does “BABALON”, a figure never mentioned in AL and wholly derived from the New Testament, have to do with “Thelema”?

    Did you consider the reference to wickedness and Scarlet Woman 3:43 – 3:45?

    Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known. I will slay me her child: I will alienate her heart: I will cast her out from men: as a shrinking and despised harlot shall she crawl through dusk wet streets, and die cold and an-hungered.
    But let her raise herself in pride! Let her follow me in my way! Let her work the work of wickedness! Let her kill her heart! Let her be loud and adulterous! Let her be covered with jewels, and rich garments, and let her be shameless before all men!
    Then will I lift her to pinnacles of power: then will I breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth. I will fill her with joy: with my force shall she see & strike at the worship of Nu: she shall achieve Hadit.

    and earlier 1:15;

    Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.
    For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  dom.
    #113419

    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    @ignant666 :

    This led me to think a bit about something i’ve been wondering for a while: what does “BABALON”, a figure never mentioned in AL and wholly derived from the New Testament, have to do with “Thelema”?
    Doesn’t A.C. write in one of his Comments (or somewhere else) that Babalon was the “secret name” by which he came (“at last”) to know Nuit? (see AL I:22). In that sense, they would then be referring to the same thing, which would then have a lot to do with “Thelema”.

    A related question with a perhaps equally obvious answer: why is the unicursal hexagram so widely used as a symbol of Thelema
    Could you please instance some of the occasions when it is used as a “symbol” (i.e., a representative stand-in) of (for) Thelema, as although “widely” used I can’t for the life of me think of one at the moment!? Or, in fact, any direct symbols figurative of the concept of Thelema…

    @dom :

    Did you consider the reference to wickedness and Scarlet Woman 3:43 – 3:45?
    Conversely to the above, Babalon (156) is not the same thing as the Scarlet Woman (667) unless one considers the latter to refer to a much lower (mortal) analogue. Also, there is a lot to be said for the fact that the Scarlet Woman (like the Beast) also refers to an “office” (as in position, not the place where people go to work).

    Norma N Joy Conquest

    #113426

    christibrany
    Participant

    @Jamie

    For what it’s worth, in my personal practice I ‘somehow’ came upon identifying Babalon with or as part of Nuit as well. It seems since there are so many references to the the holy ‘trinity’ of Nuit, Hadit and RHK per AL and in other places, as well as their mention during RESH, that it ‘fit’ to view babalon as a facet of Nuit. If nuit is infinite space, and the ‘ultimate’ feminine in Thelema, then Babalon would be a part of her. Just like perhaps Ra would be part of Hadit?

    #113431

    christibrany
    Participant

    I state the above in a purely correspondence-based or theme-based way. I am not saying they are the same, I am saying that one concept is greater so it seems could encompass a part of the Babalon concept..hard to explain?

    #113438

    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    I think I see what you’re getting at here, ig (even though your actual post seems to have [temporarily] dematerialised from sight).

    You’re thinking of a “symbol of Thelema” as something which, when people see it, puts them in mind of the whole A.C. ‘universe’ with all of its own distinctively diverse symbolism, unique characters and divinities, etc., which could collectively be summarised under the associative term “Thelema”. Other similar symbols in addition to the Unicursal Hexagram could be: the Mark of the Beast, the various constructions within Liber 231, the image of the woman girt with a sword on The Equinox masthead, etc… Whereas for my part I was taking “symbol of Thelema” far more literally, in the sense of an image/ (hiero)glyph of the theory & practice behind “Do What Thou Wilt”: being the discovery and carrying out of one’s true will. For which as I said, there doesn’t seem to actually be a symbol, with the possible exception of the numeric ’93’.

    Chris seems to recognize the correspondence between Nuit and Babalon as well, but given that (according to Crowley at least) Babalon is a ‘secret name’ of Nuit, would they not (even more so than Babalon being “a part” of her, i.e. Nuit) be actually undifferentiated & identical in that esoterical sense of sharing the same Name, i.e. identity? One is revealed however and the other is not. (no pun intended)

    Z Joy

    #113442

    ignant666
    Participant

    Attempting to re-post this vanished post, which originally appeared after christibrany’s post #113426, and then vanished when i tried to edit it:

    The Scarlet Woman isn’t Nuit- Nuit speaks of her in the third person. As Jamie says, Babalon isn’t the Scarlet Woman.

    Or is she? Babalon, the Thelemic construct, very clearly is the Christian figure of evil Babylon, the Scarlet Woman of Revelations:

    17 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
    2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
    3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
    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:
    5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.
    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.

    So: once again, Babalon can’t be Nuit, probably is the Scarlet Woman, isn’t mentioned directly in AL, and is wholly rooted in the quoted chapter of the New Testament. Crowley was raised by a Plymouth Brethren, Revelations-obsessed mother; most of us weren’t. Why is this Christian image so popular among Thelemites?

    The passage david cites in AL III: 43-5 is one of the most problematic for anyone who wants to argue that AC is not the author of AL– it so clearly panders to his sexual desires, and seeks to give his masochistic desire to be abased and cuckolded by his wife the force of a divine decree.

    It is also one of the clearest answers to the question i posed a while back about why few women post here- few women are likely to be interested in a religion/philosophy/method that reduces them to the status of animated fucktoys compelled by deities to act out men’s sexual fantasies, as in this passage.

    JB: As to the prevalence of the unicursal hexagram as a symbol of Thelema, while i realize this is far from probative, here are two examples from the current front page of the reddit Thelema group:

    Got a couple new tattoos. from thelema


    [one of the “Top Posts Of he Month” as i post this]

    Have any other secret Thelemites here had an experience of accidentally letting something slip, only to discover you’re talking to another Thelemite? from thelema


    [First comment in toto: “I was talking to a new acquaintance and I mentioned in passing that I was studying the writings of Aleister Crowley. He just said “dude” and lifted the leg of his pants to reveal a unicursal hexagram tattoo.”]

    #113444

    ignant666
    Participant

    With apologies for double posting, but i am replying to Jamie’s post replying to mine, that now appears before mine due to Choronzonic Forces: Bingo, yes, that is what i meant- a symbol of affiliation equivalent to the cross for Xians, the star of David for Jews, or the pentagram for Wiccans.

    #113447

    Tiger
    Participant

    The Beast
    Spoken of in the Apocalypse

    Move along now
    nothing to see here

    next
    A depiction of the Virgin Mary impregnated
    by a stalwart deity
    juxtaposed to her husband

    #113449

    belmurru
    Participant

    A good starting point for the etiology of the Thelemic Babalon is the 12th Aethyr of The Vision and the Voice (Dec. 4-5, 1909), with commentary (preferably the latest edition). Crowley didn’t write the name as “Babalon” until the end of 10th Aethyr (December 6). In the 12th Aethyr it is Babylon from the Apocalypse, and all the biblical allusions are made clear.

    BABALON (spelled as such in Enochian characters) occurs in the Sixth Enochian Call; of course the GD, and AC, pronounced it “babalonu”. In his 1904 edition of the Goetia, in the Enochian conjuration he composed, he writes it out as such in “Ye Generall Curse” and “Ye Greter Curse” (4 times). The word spelled in Enochian BABALOND, pronounced GD-style as “babalonuda”, means “harlot”, and occurs near the end of the Call of the 30 Aethyrs. In AC’s version in Equinox I,8, p. 126 it is spelled “babalanuda”.

    #113488

    dom
    Participant

    Let her be loud and adulterous!

    Ignant this was aimed at servile (post) Victorian woman. It doesn’t mean literally to become a cuckold but to stand up for themselves (girt with a sword before me) and loosen up as it were…. in their case,…literally. Well, that’s what happened in the ensuing 20th century (in the West at least).

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  dom.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  dom.
    #113493

    mal
    Participant

    A related question with a perhaps equally obvious answer: why is the unicursal hexagram so widely used as a symbol of Thelema, rather than the obvious alternative, “The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red” [AL I:60], which, it is strongly implied, is the symbol of “all … who are of us”?

    Maybe the inclusion of the unicursal hexagram card in the Thoth tarot contributed to its adoption? What’s the obvious answer and alternative?
    The quoted AL I:60 is a good choice. A specific phrase written down by Ouarda the Seer, I believe.
    How about Waratah-Blossoms?
    Commentary from Liber CCCXXXIII regarding Waratah-Blossoms: There is only one symbol, but this symbol has many names: of those names BABALON is the holiest. It is the name referred to in Liber Legis, 1, 22.

    Waratah would be regarding Laylah in some manner. Scarlet Woman/Babalon/Queen of Heaven related anyhow.
    The back cover of the The Book of Perfection has a five pointed star with a red circle in the middle.

    #113494

    ignant666
    Participant

    mal: The obvious alternative symbol is in the passage i (and you!) quoted.

    As to the obvious reason for the unpopularity of Nuit as a female deity among Thelemites, and greater popularity of the Scarlet Hoor (as pronounced by my great-grandmother) Babalon, see

    #113495

    mal
    Participant

    I’d not heard of this Nuit unpopularity among Thelemites. Is this related to something in regards to a men’s club acting boyishly as the video suggests?

    An ungrateful tragedy after the world just got a shameless look at one of her mysteries.

    Thems the BREAKS.

    #113500

    Tiger
    Participant

    The Beast
    was just putting
    the word out .
    You don’t need to pay the church;
    you don’t even need to listen to them .
    Find truth for yourselves
    and yes you don’t even need to pay them for a license.

    And Revelation was set in motion .

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