Friday, June 14, 2024

Babalon (Thelema)

January 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Glossary


Babalon is referred to as the Scarlet Woman, the Great Mother, and the Mother of Abominations. Her godform is that of a sacred whore, and her primary symbol is the Chalice or Graal. Her consort is Chaos, the “Father of Life” and the male form of the Creative Principle. Babalon is often described as being girt with a sword and riding the Beast, with whom Aleister Crowley personally identified. As Aleister Crowley wrote, “She rides astride the Beast; in her left hand she holds the reins, representing the passion which unites them. In her right she holds aloft the cup, the Holy Grail aflame with love and death. In this cup are mingled the elements of the sacrament of the Aeon” (Book of Thoth). In a more general sense, Babalon represents the liberated woman and the full expression of the sexual impulse.


To find the spelling B-A-B-A-L-O-N
We must come forward from antiquity
To the Elizabethan age
The English magicians John Dee and Edward Kelly
Were in Poland in Fifteen Eighty-four
Being taught a new language by angels
In that language (later called Enochian)
The word for “those who are wicked” is BABALON
The word for “harlot” is BABALOND
With a D on the end
The angels say that the Earth is “the bed of a harlot”
Pi i tianta babalond

Three years later in Bohemia
That harlot appeared to the magicians,
Bare-breasted and golden-girdled, saying,

I am the Daughter of Fortitude
And ravished every hour from my youth
For behold, I am Understanding 1
And Science dwelleth in me;
And the heavens oppress me,
They covet and desire me with infinite appetite…
I am deflowered, and yet a virgin
I sanctify, and am not sanctified…
I am a harlot for such as ravish me,
And a virgin for such as know me not

And it was by means of these angels
And the magic they disclosed to Dee and Kelly
That Aleister Crowley accomplished
His visions of the Thirty Aethyrs
Recorded in The Vision and the Voice
In the Aethyr of LOE he has a vision of BABALON
And in the frightful abyss of the Aethyr of ZAX
He learns the spelling of her name as a spell
To restrict the mighty devil Choronzon
And in the nearly-utmost Aethyr of ARN
BABALON gives herself in marriage
To the Master of the Temple
To the adept who has given up
All that he has and all that he is
To take his seat in the silence and darkness
Of the City of the Pyramids
Where is Understanding

In a later Holy Book the adept V.V.V.V.V.
Expanded on the vision of LOE
He used the images from John’s Revelation
Just like John drew from Jeremiah, writing

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 on our Lord the Beast.
Thou shalt drain out thy blood that is thy life
Into the golden cup of her fornication
Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life
Thou shalt keep not back one drop.

Thus The Book of the Vault of Abiegnus.
Babalon’s cup holds the blood of the saints
So give your blood to the cup
In order to become a saint
And this Babalon is greater
Than any political or military empire
She is Understanding
She is the mystical Mother
And she is the Bride of Chaos
Universal womb to the universal phallus
The seven-lettered name of BABALON
And the four-lettered name of CHAOS
Make the magick eleven: ABRAHADABRA!

And later, in Crowley’s commentaries on The Book of the Law
He goes so far as to indicate
That BABALON is the “secret name” of Nuit
That he was given when he attained to Understanding

Source: Grant, K. (1977). Nightside of Eden. London: Skoob.

Babalon (Heb.): The title of the Scarlet Woman or consecrated priestess used in the rites of Draconian magick. Her number is 156, which is the number of shrines in the City of Pyramids (q.v.). Babalon means, literally, the Gateway of the Sun, or solar-phallic power. But Babalon is not only the medium of the solar force, she is the inspirer of its energy. At the height of her Rite she becomes oracular and endowed with magical siddhis (powers).


  1. Cf. Scientology’s ARC triangle of Understanding; Theta

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