Bio of Jack W. Parsons (part of )
-= Beloved of Babalon =-
An introduction to J. W. Parsons
Part III of IV
"LIBER 49" contains instructions for the earthing of this Babalon
current in the form or an avatar, daughter or manifestation of
Babalon, who was to appear amongst us. It would seem that Parsons
was expecting a full-blown incarnation, and not simply the
inauguration of a force. The second verse of the text declares it to
be the fourth chapter of "THE BOOK OF THE LAW", and it is worth quoting
this in full:
"And this is my book, that is the fourth chapter of the Book of the
Law, He completing the Name, for I am out of NUIT by HORUS, the
incestuous sister of RA-HOOR-KHUIT."
In terms of content, level of inspiration, and style, "LIBER 49"
is nothing like "THE BOOK OF THE LAW"; and on this basis alone, the
claim can be looked at askance. We could expect, I think, that a
fourth chapter would evince some sort of continuity with the three
chapters received by Crowley, and this is not at all evident in
"LIBER 49". However, the key to the claim lies in the reference, in
the quoted passage, to "the Name". The name is Tetragrammaton, IHVH;
and the "He completing" is the He final. On this basis, Parsons
considered it axiomatic that Father-Mother-Son, IHV, was incomplete
without the Daughter, the He final; this he considered to be Babalon,
the natural complement of Vau, the Son, Horus. Consideration of this
is, I can appreciate, something of a hiccup to a stright narrative of
Parsons and the Babalon Working. However, it is so central to his
thinking that it really ought to be outlined now.
I can best give the flavour of this by quoting a couple of passages
from one of his essays that has yet to be published. he discusses the
break-up of patriarchy in the dawn of the twentieth century, and the
beginnings of a new age of Horus. The nature of this is seen as
disruptive, bringing confusionand terror. He instances two terrible
wars, the atomic bomb, and an increase in epicene and homosexual
tendencies. He continues as follows:
"But the great event of the aeon, which will bring with it the
possibility of redemption to the whole of the western world, has not
yet been made manifest. We, who contain the knowledge of this event
among Ourselves until the time is right, and who were in fact the
instruments of its gestation, give these present indications.
The Aeon of Horus is of the nature of a child. To perceive this, we
must conceve of the nature of a child without the veil of sentiment-
ality - beyond good and evil, perfectly gentle, perfectly ruthless,
containing all possibilities within the limits of heredity, and highly
susceptible to training and environment. But the nature of Horus is
also the nature of force - blind, terrible, unlimited force. That is
why the West stands in imminent danger of annihilation. that is why
the West also stands in the possibility of the most rapid and
tremendous evolution that the world has ever know. The balance must
be love and understanding, or else all else fails. Now We have said
enough for this place.
Then let the student read and meditate upon the ritual of Horus,
constructing the total nature of Horus out of the polyphony of the
component concepts. And, if he dare, let him invoke Horus and partake
of the power and energy that is his right under the New Aeon. And let
him also consider the love whereby Horus may be fulfilled and
dignified; and meditating on this, let him prevision and invoke that
which is to come."
I haven't come across any material written by Parsons prior to
the Babalon Working. However, the probability must be that ideas
similar to this - the need for a complement to Horus - were on his
mind befor 1946.
A few days after receiving "LIBER 49", Parsons put in hand the
ritual preparations as indicated in the text. Again in his own words:
"On March 1 and 2, 1946, I prepared the alter and equipment in
accordance with the instructions in "LIBER 49". The Scribe, Ron
Hubbard, had been away about a week, and knew nothing of my invocation
of BABALON, which I had kept entirely secret. On the night of March 2
he returned, and described a vision he had had that evening, of a
savage and beautiful woman riding naked on a great cat-like beast.
He was impressed with the urgent necessity of giving me some message
or communication. We prepared magically for this communication,
constructing a temple at the alter with the analysis of the key word.
He was robed in white, carrying a lamp; and I in black, hooded, with
the cup and dagger. At his suggestion we played Rachmaninov's
"Isle of the Dead" as backround music, and set an automatic recorder
to transcribe audible occurrences. At approximately 8pm he began to
dictate, I transcribed directly as I received."
Hubbard's vision sounds a bit too glib to me. It sounds rather like
he'd seen a copy of "THE BOOK OF THOTH" Atu XI, "LUST", showing the
Whore astride the Beast.There would have been at least one copy of
"THE BOOK OF THOTH" around Parsons' place, I would have thought.
Interestingly, in spite of Hubbard being referred to as "the Scribe",
it was Hubbard who was giving utterance to "astral communications",
and Parsons writing them down. As far as the Babalon Working is
concerned, Hubbard is the joker in the pack, the factor infinite and
unknown. His whole career, both before and after his involvement
with Parsons, shows him to have been a confidence man par excellence.
Events after the Babalon Working, when he effortlessly swindled
Parsons out of thousands of dollars, demonstrate that Parsons was as
readily taken in as anyone. It is surely legitimite for us to wonder,
therefore, to what extent Hubbard's undoubted talents for deceit -
both of himself and of others - coloured the whole Working. This is
not to invalidate it, or to declare it abortive, but to sound a
cautionary note. After all, Edward Kelly seems by some accounts to
have bees a person of dubious repute, to put it mildly; but this
does not automatically negate the worth of the Workings which he
conducted with John Dee. There is another interesting parallel between
Hubbard and Kelly, as we shall see later.
The Workings arising from "LIBER 49" continued for several nights,
and they contained instructions for futher rituals. These rituals
were intended to facilitate the earthing of Babalon. Some of the
communications received in the course of these Workings are of a
fierce, intense beauty, as a few excerpts will illustrate:
"She is flame of life, power of darkness, she destroys with a glance,
she may take thy soul. She feeds upon the death of men.
The first ritual. Tomorrow the second ritual. Concentrate all force
and being in Our Lady BABALON. Light a single flame on Her alter,
saying: Flame is Our Lady, flame is Her hair, I am flame.
Display thyself to Our Lady; dedicate thy organs to Her, dedicate
thy heart to Her, dedicate thy mind to Her, dedicate thy soul to Her,
for She shall absorb thee, and thou shalt become living flame before
She incarnates. For it shall be through you alone, and no-one else
can help in this endeavour."
The rituals used included, for the most part, passages adapted from
Crowley's works. For instance, there is material drawn from "THE
GOTHIC MASS", "THE VISION AND THE VOICE, and "TANNHAUSER". this is not
plagiarism on the part of Parsons. The rituals had to be drawn up
quickly, and these passages were to hand. Parsons had a beautiful and
lucid writing style of his own, and would have been more than capable,
in different circumstances, of devising his own inovations.
Some of the communications received in the course of the Babalon
Working have very forceful sexual expression, bordering on the
rapacious. Consider, for instance, this passage:
"In verse seven verses of seven lines, seven magick words. Stand
and chant seven times. Envision thyself as a cloaked radiance
desirable to the Goddess, beloved. Envision Her approaching thee.
Embrace Her, cover Her with kisses. think upon the lewd lascivious
things thou couldst do. All is good to BABALON. All.
Then rest, meditating on this:
Thou as a man and as a god hast strewn upon the earth and in the
heavens many loves. These recall; concentrate, concentrate each
woman thou hast raped. Remember her, think upon her, move her into
BABALON. This verse shall be used in worship when She appears.
Then meditate upon thy desire, think upon Her, and, touching naught,
chant these verses. Recall each lascivious moment, each lustful day,
all set then into the astral body, touching naught.
Preserve the material basis... The lust is Hers, the passion yours.
Consider thou the Beast raping.
Leaving thy casual loves - all belongs to BABALON, thy lust is
BABALON's. She is with thee three days. The sign is Hers, secret,
and no man knows its correspondences. Guard."
We should be wary of seeking to draw too close an anology between
differing systems, and particularly between deities from those
systems. Bearing this in mind, however, an analogue does does suggest
itself between Kali and Babalon; perhaps Babalon is more sexually
loaded. In any case, all are aspects of the One Goddess, and Babalon
is a particular aspect of Nuit. Verse 22 of the first chapter of
"THE BOOK OF THE LAW" says "Now, therefore, I am known to you by
my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I shall give him when
at least he knoweth me...". This secret name was the correct spelling
of Babalon, which was given to Crowley whilst he was scrying the 12th
Aethyr; until then, he had been using the Biblical form - "Babylon".
By Gematria, Babalon enumerates as 156; and in a note to his account
of the 12 Aethyr Crowley tells us that "the formula of 156 is constant
copulation or samadhi on everything". It is the blind, sexual passion
that carries all before it - dionysian. There is a close connection
between Babalon and Pan. In a note to the account of the 2nd Aethyr,
"From this it would appear BABALON (who is speaking through one of
her ministers) is the feminine (or androgyne) equivalent and not
merely the complement of Pan. This is shewn in many of her images."
This is echoed elsewhere by Parsons, who wrote:
"But I say thet thet perfect image in the heart of man is patterned
by the awful lust in space-time that shapes all women, the insatiable
and eternal lust of Pan that is BABALON."
After the Babalon Working had been concluded, all that Parsons
could do was wait. He had been told that the Operation had succeeded,
that conception had occurred, and that in due course the avatar or
Daughter of Babalon would come to him, bearing a secret sign that
Parsons alone would recognise, and which would prove her authenticity.
Hubbard, though, had rather more mundaneconsiderations on his mind,
and several weeks later he and Betty absconded with a vast amount
of Parsons' money. This amounted to many thousands of dollars as an
investigation in Allied Enterprises, a fund set up by Parsons, Betty
and Hubbard, and into which Parsons was pursuaded to sink most of his
savings. Parsons eventually managed to track them down, and recovered
a fraction of his money after taking legal action. Parsons had no
further contact with either Hubbard or Betty after this.
He was, though, beset with other problems. Preoccupied with the
Babalon Working as he had been, he neglected his duties towards
Agape Lodge and its members. This was perhaps the final straw for
many of his peers. I get the impression that many of them considered
him something of a prima donna, were tired of his waywardness, and
saw an opportunity to cut him down to size. The various members of
the Lodge never seemed to have much compassion in telling tales on
each other to Crowley, and he received reports from several different
sources on this latest escapade of Jack Parsons. From these reports,
Crowley concluded that Parsonos' flaws had finally overcome his
promise, and that Parsons was a gullible fool beyond redemption. He
was, furthermore, infuriated by Parsons' intimations that, in the
interests of secrecy, he could not provide a full account of what
had transpired during the Babalon Working. Parsons was suspended
from his position as head of the Lodge, and departed soon after.
* This concludes "PARSONS.III", part III of IV.