Article: The Formula of the Cup of Babalon
Of the Thoth tarot trump, The Chariot, Aleister Crowley writes: “The central and most important feature of the card is its centre–The Holy Grail.”1 So important is this Cup that Crowley’s Charioteer is charged with only one task: “His only function is to bear the Holy Grail.”2 We know from Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice and other works that the Holy Grail is synonymous with the Cup of Babalon. However, the formula of the Cup of Babalon, that which describes its function and purpose, is never clearly defined. To understand the importance of the Grail/Cup, we must investigate the formula.
Before we proceed, it is important to understand the nature of Babalon. Babalon is the Lady of the City of Pyramids, the destination of the adept crossing the Abyss. She is the Thelemic personification of Binah, the Great Mother. The Cup of Babalon symbolizes her womb, the Universal Womb spoken of in the Gnostic Mass “wherein all men are begotten, and in which they shall rest.”3
The formula of the Cup of Babalon is revealed in the first six verses of “Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni Sub Figura CLVI”, one of the Holy Books of Thelema:
1. This is the secret of the Holy Graal, that is the sacred vessel of our Lady the Scarlet Woman, Babalon the Mother of Abominations, the bride of Chaos, that rideth upon our Lord the Beast.
2. Thou shalt drain out thy blood that is thy life into the golden cup of her fornication.
3. Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life. Thou shalt keep not back one drop.
4. Then shall thy brain be dumb, and thy heart beat no more, and all thy life shall go from thee; and thou shalt be cast out upon the midden, and the birds of the air shall feed upon thy flesh, and thou bones shall whiten in the sun.
5. Then shall the winds gather themselves together, and bear thee up as it were a little heap of dust in a sheet that hath four corners, and they shall give it unto the guardians of the abyss.1
6. And because there is no life therein, the guardians of the abyss shall bid the angels of the winds pass by. And the angels shall lay thy dust in the City of Pyramids, and the name thereof shall be no more. […]
1 Crowley, Aleister. The Book of Thoth, pages 85-86.2
3 The Gnostic Mass (Liber ABA, page 573).
4 Liber Cheth is found in Liber ABA, pages 651-652.
Osiris, F. (2001). The Formula of the Cup of Babalon. hermetic.com. Retrieved 6 July 2010 from http://hermetic.com/osiris/cupofbabalon.htm
- Cf. Hubbard’s “it is a purpose of Dianetics to pass man across the abyss of irrational, solely reactive thought and enter him upon a new stage of constructive progression to the ultimate goal.”
Hubbard, L. R. (1951). Dianetics: The Original Thesis. Los Angeles, Church of Scientology of California, Publications Organization, United States. ↩
- Cf. the goal Miscavige gives for Scientologists: “to be the living embodiment of LRH technology.” Ref. The Golden Age of Tech (1996). (Brochure, Item # 3579.) CSI. ↩