Brothress Chen

(Chen, Andrea )
Sublime Soror and Nubile Neu-Neutopian
Usenet Sex Goddess
Soror Chen speaketh forth on Kali, BABALON, the O.T.O.,
the Great Beast 666 and other rilly cool alien pstuff



Newsletter of Kali Lodge
Ordo Templi Orientis
April 1992 e.v. An IIIxxi Sol in Aries Volume VI, no. 8 .
Address all inquiries to:

c/o Kali Lodge
Ordo Templi Orientis
Post Office Box 15038
New Orleans, LA 70115

Contributors to this issue:

Soror Chen, Frater Turbator, Frater NChSh,
Frater Lugis Thor, Frater Numa 718, Nema,
C.R. Torrey, Margrat, Soror Nancy, Jet Satin

So, right after doing our Inter-Kontinental Kali Working, my husband gave me a copy of Angry Women, and then we saw Thelma and Louise. Now I'm sure that soon women are just going to go crazy from all the shit they take all the time, and they're going to start commiting random acts of violence and desperation. This, then, is the "Wimmen on the Edge" issue of the Bahlasti Papers, in which we will vent before we explode or blow something up...


"Magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them...."

What a beautiful and powerful image! So why have I been afraid to approach this article? Is it because my mother was such a terror? Or because Crowley's Babalons ended up abandoned dipsomaniacs, raving, mad, manic, lost? Or because I fear that Babalon will forever challenge and ultimately consume any shreds of security that I've managed to build into my life? Babalon has been a difficult archetype for me to understand. I was not raised by religious parents, so the images of Babalon in Revelations are not particularly shocking to me.


My Great-Grandmother, after whom I was named, was a Suffragette. My Mother was one of the strongest and smartest people I have ever known. She was large-limbed and athletic, fiery and fierce. But she was an unspeakably difficult person. Madness overwhelmed her psyche, terrifying us, her children. She was a Babalon locked in the cage of society. My Mother's life was war. She taught her girls how to be fierce, independent, and strong, but she also taught us how to allure and control men. She understood sexual politics, and feeling trapped by social programming, wanted a way to control from within a woman's role, secretly and manipulatively. In return, we were taught by our Father that strong women are a problem, are out of line, unfeminine and sick. Behave. Be nice. Don't be a raving bitch like your Mother.

Things aren't so terribly different now than when I was growing up. The Thompson Senate hearings showed our subtle, secret, and instant mistrust of women. Strong women who are equal and armed with truth and integrity are bad, dangerous, unladylike.

Crowley tried to establish a different role for women. Yet his basic lack of respect for, and understanding of women is betrayed by the bulk of his writing. His novels, in particular, preach his convenient and offensive view that a woman's "True Will" should be that of a help-meet to her man's work. He considered women to be an inferior subspecies of humanity. His Scarlet Women embodied Babalon by virtue of being fucked by "The Beast".


Leah Hirsig's diaries chronicle a tragic descent into madness. When Crowley changed bed partners, Leah was abandoned by her lover, her identity, and her purpose. She wisely longed to have a ritual in which the old Scarlet Woman would pass on the bloodline to the new Queen Bee, but she never recognised her own calling and right, nor ever got beyond the idea of there being only one title-bearing Babalon. I feel love and gratitude to Leah. But she was a martyr, and martyrs are a waste.

Is being Babalon any different than being someone's wife? A woman in a relationship is property, owned by the man. She's his girlfriend, his wife. Nema once asked if Babalon exists independently of The Beast...

A few years ago I met a woman who was Babalon to a famous magician's Beast. It was a very important meeting for me. She was beautiful-- looking like a crone with long hair and an intricate network of fine lines all over her face. At the time I was wondering if there were any female Magistrar Templis out there. Her paintings are stunning, magical, powerful. Her poetry staggering, inspired, and her catalog of experience rich, extreme, vivid. I asked her to find a scribe and pass on her bloodline, but she was uncomfortable with the idea. I had the impression of a woman who was locked into her own mythology-- her own exclusive hold on experience, grief , mystery.


She had grown bitter and mean through coveting her title. I felt she had no more trust or love for women than did society. She did not seem to feel that all women can embody Babalon. I asked her if she thought women could do a Babalon Working for themselves, as opposed to having Babalon invoked upon them. She did not answer. My meeting with this woman was devastating for me. So much potential. A woman's genius. A gift to the world that was not given. When you believe in your own myth, it explodes.

In the years that I have spent in the O.T.O., I have encountered two versions of the sexual role of Babalon as wanton harlot: One in which a woman devotes herself to one Beast and loves all men through him; and one in which a woman has sexual relations with as many men as are willing in order to fairly literally love "all". In this, as in all things, I believe it is only valid to follow your own bliss. Babalon's sexual license requires freedom from pedestrian moral judgement. It is not easy to get around negative self-image and not restrict behavior on one hand, or overcompensate with wildly self-destructive or compromising behavior on the other. But Babalon's beauty comes from knowing her self, and radiating that self, unfettered, to the world.

In the end, particular questions of Babalon's sexuality-- whether she should be promiscuous or monogamous, whether she should be on top or bottom, etc., etc.--are really missing the mark. These are intellectual questions that, for me, reduce us to the literal and robs meaning of dimension. I see "Babalon astride the Beast, holding the reins of compassion that unite them" in a different light. Perhaps it is because I feel women need to start invoking Babalon upon themselves through acts of devotion and ritual. We need to trust the image of the strong, powerful, glorious woman, and let her come through us. For me, artistic creation is a means of invocation. Artistic genius creates directly from the Divine without translation, description, or explanation. It requires an initial descent into Hell, but if you survive you get strong enough to hold those reins of passion and create-- genius!

I envision a world where all women are strong and beautiful. I look forward to a world which reflects the gifts of women's genius.

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