In Nomine Babalon
Babalon is a Thelemic Goddess, referred to as the Scarlet Woman, the Great Mother, and the Mother of Abominations. In Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck, she is depicted in the Trumps XI card titled, “Lust.” On this card, she rides astride a beast holding reigns in one hand and a chalice in another.
Similarly, in the Thoth inspired Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus Tarot by M.M. Meleen, the special edition Babalon/Lust card depicts her riding a beast with seven heads. She is adorned in a sheer, crimson robe. And, she too holds a chalice raised to the sky.
Babalon is described in her aspects as a natural force who embodies both the lust of the spirit, and the liberation of human Spirit. In sacred geometry, she is the Feminine Principal. Her equivalent is the Flower of Life. She is also an eternally fertile force equated to Mother Earth and Gaia. Equivalent deities in other cultures, especially Egyptian, include Isis and Ma’at, and Sumerian deity, Ishtar.
The Great Mother
Her role as Divine Feminine and as the Great Mother is receptive. Within the Gnostic Mass, the Thelemic Goddess is mentioned in the Gnostic Creed:
“And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON.”
In the animal kingdom her incarnation is the Queen Bee — the mother of all bees in a hive. At the height of the productive season a queen bee will mate and lay eggs continuously day and night. Without her, a colony will cease to continue surviving.
Bishops T. Apiryon and Helena of the Gnostic Catholic Church write:
“…as the Great Mother, represents MATTER, a word which is derived from the Latin word for Mother. She is the physical mother of each of us, the one who provided us with material flesh to clothe our naked spirits; …The Archetypal Mother, the Great Yoni, the Womb of all that lives through the flowing of Blood; She is the Great Sea, the Divine Blood itself which cloaks the World and which courses through our veins; and She is Mother Earth, the Womb of All Life that we know.”
The Great Whore
As represented on the Qabbalistic Tree of Life, her color is crimson on the sphere of Binah, to mean, “Understanding” or “Taking In.” Presumably, it is this aspect of being in a state of perpetually receiving, that she is also known as The Great Whore. According to Thelemepedia: “Babalon bears this title because she denies no one.”
With regard to this, the article goes on to quote Crowley’s 15th Aethyr of The Vision and the Voice “…for she hath yielded up herself to everything that liveth, and hath become a partaker in its mystery. And because she hath made her self the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all.”
In this context she is traditionally referred to as a woman of pure compassion. Crowley explained the sacramental wine which fills her cup is ‘compassion’, implying that giving ones self completely to service, is an act of sacrifice worthy of resurrection.
The Star of Babalon Sigil
The sigil of Babalon is a seven pointed star bearing a letter of her name in each corner of the septagram. Crowley dedicated the Waratah Blossom to her as a tribute in a poem. The poem designated the number 777 as the Number of a Woman in the name of Babalon, and her own personal number calculated by gematria is 156.
Her sigil most commonly identifies a practitioner of Thelema. However, it is also used by other occult practitioners for ceremonial magick and worship. You can read about occult symbols in the Tarot here.
She is most often celebrated using the phrase, “Hail Babalon!”
In formal writing, ritual and decree, and other proclamations, the Latin phrase is used; “In Nomine Babalon.” (In the name of Babalon.)
Were you aware of this Goddess and her meaning and influence? Is there an aspect or information about Babalon that you would like to see included here? Please let me know in the comments.