The simple form of the vessel as a Sacred Object representing the Feminine Divine can be found thoughout all cultures since the beginning of time. I started taking pottery classes in High School and then College. And started again last October at Creative Clay Things here in Chicago. I'm developing quite a passion for it and hope it's something I'm able to do for the rest of my life. Pottery is very grounding for me...it's very psysical and spiritual at the same time. To master form on the wheel you must rest on your center of gravity. I find myself going into a bit of a trance. Somehow it seems quite appropriate to empty myself, like one would do during meditation. I want to try to focus less on technique, and be an empty vessel for the Divine...letting my Higher Self work through my hands. I imagine the results to be simple at first, and I hope somehow my work will reflect my spiritual growth.
Now read this part carefully! As I mentioned in my writings about the Numerology for 2009, this year is an 11/2. The 11 card of the major Arcana in the Tarot is the Strength (Fortitude) card. The title "Strength" is a translation of the French title "La Force", which appears on the Tarot de Marseille cards (left) the imagery depicts a serene woman (representing the virtue Fortitude) passively subduing a lion. Another rendition of Strength is found in the Tarot of Carlo Dellarocca (right), Here the maiden breaks her serene pose and straddles the lion, looking both vigorous and determined, reminding us that great force is needed if you want to tame a lion. The meaning here is simple enough: Self discipline and mastery over our libido (our raw creative force). Following me so far?
I'd like to draw your attention to the Strength card in the Crowley Tarot. (This is my personal favorite deck, as the imagery is rich with powerful symbolism!) Crowley renamed the card "Lust". Here we have Babalon (not to be confused with the city of Babylon) also known as The Scarlet Woman, The Great Mother, or the Mother of Abominations—is a goddess found in the mystical system of Thelema, which was established in 1904 with Aleister Crowley's writing of The Book of the Law. 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 Crowley personally identified. She is often referred to as a sacred whore, and her primary symbol is the Chalice or Grail. As 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"
In her most abstract form, she represents the female sexual impulse and the liberated woman; although she can also be identified with Mother Earth, in her most fertile sense. Babalon is a Goddess of Ecstatic Liberation. Each Aeon is ruled by a different aspect of divinity, and these divinities have avatars or manifestations which interact with humanity on the Earthly Plane. The Great Goddess of this Aeon is enthroned in the image of the Egyptian Goddess Nuit, who is the cosmic embodiment of all of existence in its totality. She is often envisioned as a nude female figure bending across the sky, dark blue and full of stars. She is the Mother of All Things.
Babalon is a complex figure, although within Thelemic literature, she has three essential aspects: she is the Gateway to the City of the Pyramids, the Scarlet Woman, and the Great Mother. Within the mystical system of Thelema, after the adept has attained the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, he then might reach the next and last great milestone—the crossing of the Abyss, that great spiritual wilderness of nothingness and dissolution. Choronzon is the dweller there, and his job is to trap the traveler in his meaningless world of illusion. However, Babalon is just on the other side, beckoning. If the adept gives himself totally to her—the symbol of this act being the pouring of the adept’s blood into her grail—he becomes impregnated in her, then to be reborn as a Master of the Temple and a saint that dwells in the City of the Pyramids. It is Her power of Love, as Attraction and Desire, which leads Her aspirants to enlightenment through experiential and magical sensuality and awareness. She abhors restriction and inspires her followers to be courageous and unique, especially in the face of tyranny and dogmatism.
As far as the tales about the "Fall of the city Babylon" and it's association with the Great Goddess Babalon: it is just bullshit, repressed sexual Christian conditioning...an attempt to paint the Feminine Divine as a shameful whore, just as they do every female in the Bible, unless a subserviant wife or virgin. The descent of the Scarlet Woman into the underworld was originally not seen as a “fall from grace”, but as a heroic act. This story was was originally inscribed on clay tablets at around 1750 BCE. It is celebrated by the entry of Inanna to the underworld, where she enters seven gates and her worldly attire (her signs of dominion and power) are removed and then her life is reduced to nought. The famous story of the goddess' Inanna/Ishtar's descent into the underworld, provides us with a testimony to an early religion in which the goddess, woman, life and love was the center and the heart of religion. The same parable was told by the Egyptians...and many other Pre-Christian religions.
Babalons voluntarily decended into the underworld, to awaken the power of the Beast for the purposes of Initiation. So far as the ‘sinful’ nature of the Scarlet Woman is concerned, it is interesting to note that in Hebrew the word “sin” actually means “thorn” and “clay”. Thorny plants such as the acacia or rose symbolise the horns of the crescent moon. The moon itself, like the clay shaped by the hands of the divine potter, is a symbol of the body and the natural soul. Liber AL vel Legis describes the Scarlet Woman as being “a moon” (I: 16); as a moon, she is containment and receptivity, as well as the division into parts of cyclical, phasic existence.
This year heralds the return of the Great Goddess from the Underworld...it's the Revival of the Goddess! That's the significance of the numbers 11:11, the End is not near...the End is here! Humanity is at a spiritual crossroads, so pay attention! The End brings with it a New Beginning...the Golden Age is right around the corner! As the Manifestation of the Goddess in this Aeon, she has come to strike a balance between the male and female energies. She does not do this passively. She is Girt with a Sword and will be at the head of Her armies, women and men together, fighting for true equality of the Female, and all people, as autonomous individuals. This equality is not one where the woman imitates man, and tries to become like him, competing with him for dominance. Woman is not Man in veiled form, as Crowley greatly misunderstands it. Rather, Woman has her own unique place, much different from that of a man, but coequal in ability to fight, rule, desire, and accomplish. This is the way of Babalon.
"For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union." AL I:29
Stay Tuned: Many mysteries to be revealed!