Strange suppers & spells diverse

Jack Parsons & the origins of The Witchcraft

The Babalon working commenced on 4th January 1946 and lasted until 4th March 1946. It represents the summit of Jack Parsons’ magical career and followed seven years of dedicated work in service to the Order. It is not the work of a dilettante as is often wrongly assumed.

Jack parsons by Marjorie Cameron

Jack parsons by Marjorie Cameron

The current caliph, William Breeze, writing in Songs for the Witch Woman (Fulgur 2014) relates how he told Cameron that Jack approached magick like he approached rocketry, ‘skipping preliminaries, bootstrapping himself, rewriting the rules to suit himself. Jack omitted most of the practices of yoga and concentration that help rein in the ego, that temper and restrain the exaltations of visionary imagination that so often occur with ceremonial and astral magick … It could have been otherwise.’ Breeze is right to an extent, though his description is more apt for Cameron’s pin wheeling through the dawning of the Age of Aquarius née Horus. It also speaks of the great loss that Jack represents to the OTO, and the kindness and friendship that Bill Breeze, Jane Wolfe, and many others extended to Cameron. Parsons is the image of what might have been, a future that detonated on the launch-pad.

Yet Parsons did succeed with rocketry by the very methods Breeze disavows, and the same accusations he levels at Jack could certainly be levelled at Crowley’s antics in the Golden Dawn, or in fact the entire leadership of the bootstrapped current OTO. Pioneers have to take risks, and engage in behaviours that upset the existing order, whether that is the Alpine Club or the Royal Society, the Vatican or the Sovereign Sanctuary. Such is the nature of both rebellion and genius; they cannot be constrained. With risk comes losses, and I too consider Jack to be a terrible loss.

If one is to merely replicate and never exceed, magick becomes Japanese golf, a game in which you can only praise the boss’s shots, and never win a hole. It is not appropriate to blame the student when the master (and his system) have consistently failed, driving away and alienating all the most promising acolytes. It is therefore impossible for an outsider not to question the suitability of the system itself, rather than arguing for its more stringent application. In every field students outstrip their masters, completing their tasks with greater ease and rapidity, their triumphs open up new vistas and destroy previously held truths. Such advances redefine the tradition which must then choose to evolve or perish.

For Jack, this evening, I will state that Babalon favours the bold. That circumstances demand action. That youth must not always wait for the elders to give them permission to act, because, to quote The Book of Babalon, ‘There is no other way, dear fool, it is the eleventh hour.’ If it was the eleventh hour for Jack, we are now at one minute to midnight. There is no time to be reasonable, and our goddess does not accept half measures. The difficulty is in walking the line between risk and recklessness, and Jack was not able to manage that; but it is so much better that he dared and lost than never played the game. Yet, in understanding Parsons as a rebel we must not lose sight of his own maxim, that freedom is a two edged sword, one edge being liberty and the other responsibility. That is also the legacy that can be read in his magical record, and that this essay is designed to hone, even if the sound of whetstone on blade may set some teeth on edge.

 

The Babalon Working

I: Seeking the elemental

The Babalon Working, depending on your perspective, either ushered in a new era or coincided with it, but it began with far more limited objectives. Jack initiated the Babalon Working seeking an elemental partner to replace Betty (Sara Northrup), whom he had relinquished hot into the arms of Captain L. Ron Hubbard. The free love aspects of OTO, are only between initiates, whereas Jack and the bohemians of 1003 Orange Grove, Pasadena were putting it into wider practice. He was pioneering the open relationship, being honest about erotic desire and removing the idea of possession. His polemical writing, the bulk of which was written around 1950, after the Babalon Working, and having left OTO, is eloquent on these matters and the allied tyranny of the family and state. Culture had begun to embody the practices that were once the preserve of secret societies, a process that has continued at an exponential rate. These Thelemic ideals were the catalyst that would destroy Agape Lodge, as Crowley himself acknowledged in his deposition of Wilfred Smith, whom he accused of running ‘that slimy abomination … a love cult,’ and replaced for Parsons in a palace coup.

It was a difficult time for cuckolded Jack, and he was clearly under a lot of stress as he attempted to free himself from jealousy and thus live up to his principles whilst working magically with Hubbard as his scryer.

In his notes Jack writes: ‘At this time I decided upon a Magical operation designed to obtain the assistance of an elemental mate. This is a well-known procedure in Magick (cf. ch. VIII in Magick in Theory and Practice), consisting of the invocation of a spirit or elemental into tangible existence by various magical techniques.’

So in preparing for my presentation at Treadwell’s Bookshop to mark the 101st anniversary of Jack’s birth, I checked. That procedure is not in chapter 8 of Magick in Theory and Practice at all, the full title of which is ‘Of Equilibrium, and of the General and Particular Method of Preparation of the Furniture of the Templee and the Instruments of the Art.’ He will likely have consulted the chapter, particularly as it is one of the chapters that references the Ankh, (the Crux Ansata), which is central to the evolving ritual symbolism of The Witchcraft, as preserved one of his surviving essay fragments, ‘The Cup, the Sword, and the Crux Ansata. ’ However, it can in no way be read as an instruction on how to summon an elemental.

A mystery is concealed here. Jack will have been extremely familiar with Magick in Theory and Practice, as the foundation text of his ritual practice, yet what Jack describes is not in Magick in Theory and Practice at all. That makes the reference either a mistake, or a blind. So what is the well-known procedure Jack is actually referring to? The answer is that it is not ‘well-known,’ at all, but is to be found in the secret documents of the VIII° degree of OTO, ‘The Knight of the Rose and the Cross,’ in the commentary entitled, ‘Of the Secret Marriages of Gods and Men.’ These documents were in Jack’s possession, as no doubt were all the sex magical papers that Agape Lodge had received from Crowley. He is familiar with the IX° materials too, as I will go on to demonstrate. If Jack had these, we can surmise that he would have also briefed his working partner L. Ron Hubbard on their contents. It must be remembered that Jack wrote enthusiastically to Crowley about Hubbard being ‘a natural Thelemite’; and that Crowley himself had given the IX° to people who he recognised as knowing the secret of the grade. Again, Jack would have been following Crowley’s example in bringing others into his confidence.

When Hubbard was later pressed on the Babalon Working he described it as a Naval Intelligence operation that broke up a black magic cell. Was this another example of Hubbard confabulating? The account of his life in Russell Miller’s Bare-Faced Messiah (Michael Joseph, 1987) would support such a conclusion. But given the recent revelations about Crowley’s work in the intelligence service, long regarded as an attempt to cover-up his pro-German propaganda, I am minded to reconsider Hubbard too. Cameron did claim to have discovered Hubbard going through a dumpster at the back of 1003 looking for papers that Jack had thrown out; perhaps this is the smoking gun? It is certainly suspicious behaviour. Jack was under increasing government scrutiny due to his security clearance conflicting with membership of OTO and his fraternising with known Communists. Perhaps Hubbard was indeed Naval Intelligence and tasked with gaining access to the secret documents of OTO or an insider perspective on the sci-fi scene, or the activities of the communist party, or all of the above. However, if Hubbard was an intelligence operative, it is most likely that they wanted him to furnish them with details of Jack’s political life rather than the ritual specifics of a German sex club. Yet Hubbard did take OTO secrets with him, though it is not clear to what extent he employed them. It is apparent that he copied the example of an idealised, hierarchical grade system (albeit dressed in naval drag) wherein he replaced the Masonic mystery plays with space opera and the ‘science’ of Thelema with the ‘science’ of Dianetics. The impact of the example of OTO on the formation of Scientology is often obscured by adherents of both systems who each see the other as damaging to their reputation. As Scientology declines we should expect further revelations about Hubbard and Parsons to emerge. Scientology is very much the dark institutional shadow of OTO.

Before I continue, it is important to acknowledge that the OTO secrets have been openly shared and exchanged informally throughout the history of the Order. They have been published repeatedly, though the editions have been successfully legally challenged on copyright grounds. Inevitably the ‘secrets’ have been distributed on the internet; so widely that they can no longer be considered to be ‘secret’ at all. It would be rare to find a Minerval who has not read Emblems and Modes, De Arte Magica or Liber Agape prior to their induction into the Order. In the information age, the only way for a group to remain secret is not to declare its existence publically or to keep any electronic records. I am in favour of such discretion, and the development of new protocols in the face of the surveillance state. What I cannot countenance is the maintenance of a charade. One does not defend, or garrison, a looted preceptory. Secrets have a way of getting free. In fact, their revelation, is something explicitly demanded of Jack in The Book of Babalon, specifically in relation to OTO.

In quoting from an VIII° document for the purpose of this essay, I am acting within terms of fair use. Furthermore, there are no ritual forms divulged, nor passwords or grade signs. The alternative would be for me to paraphrase the text, with the risk of distorting it, or to leave readers to search for the information online and in doing so come across the entire trove of ‘secret documents’ within moments.

The VIII° is the procedure that Jack used in the first phase of the Babalon Working. This is certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, as the degree teaches the use of the Enochian tablets to procure an elemental, and the use of blood or sperm as the materia magica. Jack follows this procedure precisely; he was not doing other than he had been taught. Jack used blood rather than sperm as the materialising medium, which suggests that Hubbard was present at these sessions. Though Jack acknowledged his bisexual orientation, we have no record that he ever acted upon it.

Crowley’s notes on higher grades are speculative, a series of suggestions that are to be considered alongside the formal rite of initiation. The reaction to them is more often disappointment than illumination, but there is much to glean here if they are studied with diligence. In the section that is important for Jack, ‘Of Lesser Marriages,’ there is more detail than usual, suggesting that Crowley put his sexualised version of the Golden Dawn Enochian method into practice. He suggests working with no more than four elemental spirits in this manner, the implication of which should be apparent to practising magicians. Jack is only ever seeking one elemental. Nor does he disregard Crowley’s advice and call the more powerful three gods of the table, or the ‘king serpent’ or the Six Seniors. He is notably circumspect in his actions.

Cameron had previously visited 1003, when she and Jack had locked eyes, but not talked. It is not clear if she was the ‘target’ of his conjurations, but Jack is looking for an embodied manifestation of the elemental; something that Crowley does not appear to countenance, his elementals being confined to the spirit. Physical women are consistently warned against by Crowley as demons in disguise that seek to lure the student from the path, accusations that can be conveniently levelled against Cameron.

Hyatt and Duquette come close to revealing the VIII° in their book Enochian Sex Magick (New Falcon 2005), which is more of a workmanlike run-through of Liber Chanokh than anything else. In discussing the elemental they add the caution that jealousy may literally be ‘a green eyed monster’; whether intentional or not, this cuts Cameron into their text. The elemental is to be treated, as per Crowley, with ‘loving dominance’ as you help it on the path to becoming ensouled. Needless to say, I have major disagreements with this anthropocentric view of the nature of existence, not to mention the implied gender relations. Hyatt and Duquette do not use either blood or sperm as the spirit offering or as sacrament, but provide a version of eroto-comatose lucidity as a preliminary for scrying work. Once, this too would have been considered a secret not to be communicated outside of the sanctuary of the Order.

However, what is even more crucial to the genesis of Jack’s witchcraft is that the VIII° grade papers – which demonstrably provide the method for Jack’s actions – contain an open statement from Crowley that equates the witchcraft sabbat with the mysteries of the VIII°; a fact that has not been previously remarked upon: it has been hidden in plain sight.

I had initially assumed that the witchcraft impetus came from Cameron herself, who was nicknamed ‘the witch.’ Her biography, however, tells a different story. Cameron consistently rejects magic, witchcraft and her role as avatar of Babalon, until after the death of Jack, when she embraces it in her disorder and profound grief. She cannot have influenced the channelled text, Liber 49 or The Book of Babalon, or the Babalon Working by consciously presenting herself as a witch.

Crowley has not been properly considered as a source for the witchcraft of Parsons thus far, though his direct influence on Gardnerian Wicca has been acknowledged. I have, in previous works, quoted his letters in which he muses on a pagan witchcraft, but here perhaps is the kernel of the idea that Parsons so dramatically explodes. The critical section in his commentary on the VIII° is entitled ‘De Sabbato Adeptorum.’ I reproduce it here:

De Sabbato Adeptorum (Of the Sabbath of the Adepts)

Amen. In the black hours of earth, when the Christian superstition with fell blight withered most malignantly the people of Europe, when our own Holy Order was dispersed and the sanctity of its preceptories lay violate, there were (those?) yet found, certain to hold Truth in their hearts, and, loving Light, to bear the Lamp of Virtue beneath the Cloak of Secrecy. And these at certain seasons went at night by ways open or hidden to heaths and mountains, and there dancing together, and with strange suppers and spells diverse, did call forth Him, whom the enemy called ignorantly Satan, and was in truth the Great God Pan, or Bacchus, or even that Baphomet whom the Templars worshipped secretly, and yet worship (as in the VIth degree all Illustrious Knights of the holy order of Kadosch, all Dame Companions of the Holy Grail are taught to do), or BABALON the Beautiful, or even Zeus Apollo of the Greeks.

And each when first inducted to the revel was made partner of that Incarnate One by the Consummation of the Rite of Marriage.

Consider this.

The implications of the passage are that partaking in a witch cult practicing a sabbatic form of sexual witchcraft is the equivalent to holding an VIII° in OTO. It is the working of the same mystery. Note carefully that I do not refer here any particular group that styles itself ‘sabbatic,’ as the sabbat is open to all who have mastered the art of flight (and those who are taken). Witchcraft has never been the province of one group, but is formed out of the actions and experiences of many individuals. Neither do I wish to imply that I pretend to any OTO grade, my record is my work.

Thus, even in Crowley’s Knight Templar myth of OTO, the witchcraft of Babalon is in existence, parallel and equivalent to the mysteries of the Order. In The Book of Babalon the goddess confides that eleven is her number; perhaps she is indicating a parity with the structure of OTO? Or more likely, Jack is unconsciously echoing Liber Al Vel Legis 1:60, ‘My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us…’ and the numeration of the tarot trump ‘Lust’ which bears the image of Babalon astride the beast. When Jack resigns from OTO he uses the VIII° myth in his ‘Introduction to the Witchcraft’:

In the weary centuries, where love was denied and trampled, truth hunted and hounded, and beauty twisted and distorted, we kept the old ways alive. On mountains and secret heaths, in lonely and desolate places we gathered the covens of the witchcraft. We held the Agape, the love feasts. We danced, and lived, and loved in the old, wild ways of freedom and joy. We communicated the secret knowledge of the source of life. We communicated and we guarded.

Let us return to the fateful order of events in the Babalon Working. After fifteen days of intensive practice, using the fire sub-angle of the Enochian air tablet, which produced spirit activity and psychokinetic phenomena, Marjorie Cameron duly appeared: ‘an air of fire type with bronze red hair, fiery and subtle, determined and obstinate, sincere and perverse, with extraordinary personality, talent, and intelligence.’

 

The Babalon Working

II: The invocation of BABALON

The work entered a new phase. Jack plunged into an erotic tryst with Cameron; there are no records detailing it, beyond this one line: ‘During the period of 19th January to 27th February I invoked the Goddess BABALON with the aid of my magical partner, as was proper to one of my grade.’

What must be understood is that Cameron is not party to this. Though Jack was trying to impress upon her the ideas of magick in his pillow talk, he did not take her entirely into his confidence. If there are ethical issues here, Crowley in De Arte Magica, an IX° document, dismisses them, stating that it is better that the other party is ignorant of the procedure, but is to be ‘hot and healthy.’

The erotic focus of the work has passed the first veil. Having secured his elemental, he uses her to invoke the goddess through mental focus at the point of orgasm. We are at the final instructions of the VIII°, again laid out by Crowley, quite specifically, under the heading ‘De Opere Adepti’ (‘The Work of the Adepts’). Cameron is kept in the dark as to the intent of the operation because Jack does not want to contaminate the experimentum, but rather requires the proofs to be hermetic, untainted and self-sustaining. The onus is on Cameron herself, who must manifest the signs without being prompted. In retrospect, she was disastrously unguided, particularly as the work unfolded, when her exclusion from full status as a participant hindered the working, and her magical development. She needed more input than Jack gave her, who was again following the guidance set down by Crowley. He erred whilst seeking to set her free.

 

The Babalon Working

III: The Book of Babalon

Cameron returned to New York and Jack went into the Mojave desert, alone. Here Babalon dictated a 77 line text to him, part prophecy, part grimoire, part instruction to Cameron. The Book of Babalon prophecies the manifestation of the goddess in human form, the gathering of a Witch Cult, and contingent upon a curse, the Black Pilgrimage: 1:61

Yea, my adept, the Black Pilgrimage. Thou shalt be accursed, and this is the nature of the curse. Thou shalt publish the secret matter of the adepts thou knowest, witholding no word of it, in an appendix to this my Book. So they shall cry fool, liar, sot, traducer, betrayer. Thou art not glad thou meddled with magick?

The Book of the Law has been published according to the instructions within the text, the original typescript, the colour of the letters, the kind of paper stock etc., but to publish The Book of Babalon in accord with its text is rendered impossible for OTO by the stipulation of a revelatory appendix. Jack – and by implication, Babalon, if we credit the text as a genuine transmission – cannot be contained within the Order. The fundamental teaching of Babalon is that all blood must be poured into her Cup, and not a drop kept back. The ‘sacrifice’ of these secrets is commensurate with such a demand. Therefore OTO cannot contain such an incursion of Babalon without destroying itself. The conundrum has been resolved by painting Jack as a cautionary tale of divergence from the proper method, and by disputing the truth of his text and experiences. Cameron becomes a Mary Queen of Scots figure as she, by blood, has a claim to the throne and must be kept in careful exile.

The nature of the working that Jack initially embarked upon has, in its course, fundamentally changed. The incarnation is no longer of an Elemental, but of BABALON herself. Yet, as I have shown, it follows the logical progression of his grade obligations. Jack has unwittingly opened a Pandora’s box: spirit communication inevitably threatens hierarchies in allowing access to the source itself. All revealed religions face the same threat of heterodoxy.

The Book of Babalon is the purported fourth chapter of The Book of the Law. Jack’s logic is that his received text is the ‘daughter’ who balances the destructive forces of Horus, and that the combined texts thus comprise a quaternity, as in the formula yhvh. His scripture has not been admitted to the canon. Nor can it be without destroying OTO.

Crowley has not made himself ‘the seal on the prophets’ but his revelation of the Aeon of Horus was not intended to be modified during his lifetime, and ideally not for 2000 years. Charles Stansfield Jones (Frater Achad) had also discovered this, to his cost, when he proposed the dawning of the Aeon of Maat, and like Jack, was no longer considered his ‘son’ and heir.

Jack Parsons exposes a perennial problem of revealed religions, which can be succinctly stated: do as I say, and not do as I do. In ascending the same mountain, by the same methods, he is denied the summit. It is not difficult to psychologise Jack’s need to produce an equivalent to Liber Al to win acceptance from his ‘father,’ or to understand the inevitable rebuke from the old lion. Crowley had shown him the form that his proof would inevitably have to take, and the steps that would lead to it.

The text made Jack a heretic, though that was the opposite of his intent. Heresy is always the unforeseeable crime of the devout, and not the apostate. All available evidence indicates that Jack thought he was diligently pursuing the work of his guru; and furthering it in the trajectory of his own holy book, which attempts to resolve the mismatch of Christian eschatology and Egyptian revelation present in Liber Al.

One essential problem is that Babalon is an incongruous figure in the archetypal schema of Liber Al. She is fundamentally different to Nuit, and, for that matter, Isis. She is the alien bride who brings an oriental dowry to an Egyptian feast.

Nor is there a human avatar of Babalon of a stature equivalent to Crowley’s To Mega Therion, the Great Beast 666. He is half of an eschatological equation, whilst his Scarlet Women were treated as temporary holders of an office, subject to his diktat. Their status in his eyes cannot be retrospectively raised by sympathetic biographical studies of their influence upon his work.

The place of Babalon in Thelema is profoundly conflicted, and to describe her as a ‘Thelemic goddess’ is to elide her history. Crowley is never described as a ‘Thelemic Great Beast’ as if he can meaningfully stand apart from the beast of Revelation and its Christian eschatology. It is equally impossible to talk of a ‘Thelemic’ Babalon, distinct from her Christian persona as the Great Whore with her retinue of allusions, symbols and stories. The difference in orthography, Babalon rather than Babylon, is lifted from Dee and Kelley’s Enochian workings, who were in no doubt as to her place in the scheme of things. It categorically does not designate a goddess specific to Crowleyanity.

Can we ultimately find the origin The Book of Babalon and Parsons’ witchcraft in the influence of Crowley and the VIII°? To answer this requires that we understand the nature of a channelled text, and process that births it. Though Jack was heavily indebted to Crowley, and steeped in his writings, he was equally influenced by pulp science fiction. The most recognisable of these texts was Jack Williamson’s Darker than you think. Behind this lurk more distant fairytale stories of witchcraft from his childhood. These provided the raw material as much as Liber Al did.

With any channelled text, the language is the form that is filled with force up to the capacity that the scribe can bear. The intelligence that manipulates these sources, or is generated from their intersection, is a third mind, that characteristically demonstrates hidden knowledge in the form of predictions, ciphers, riddles and what we might designate as ‘novelty.’ A text such as this displays an intelligence that is at, and intermittently spills over, the limit of the conscious capacity of the scribe. We should not expect such a text to be consistent, either in veracity or voltage. Such is the troubling nature of spirit communication. Perhaps the defining test is whether such a text has utility? And if so, does it necessarily follow that it has enduring value or warrants universal application?

The sources for Crowley’s Book of the Law are also discernible; notably Anna Kingsford’s Clothed with the Sun and The Perfect Way, Helena Petrova Blavatsky’s Voice in the Silence, and the sonorous violence of the King James Bible that saturated his youth and was subsequently slashed through by Swinburne and Shelley. The erotic component was equal parts Rose Kelly and Aiwass, now known to be an Egyptian youth as much as a disincarnate entity. The advantage that Crowley had over Parsons was his culture and training, and the text he produced exceeds (in parts) all his other writings and has a peculiarly ‘alien’ quality. Parsons does not have the resources to match it, but nonetheless, his Book of Babalon still commands attention.

A channelled work can have personal significance, be relevant to a limited group and time, or have planetary/aeonic repercussions. My personal opinion is that The Book of Babalon fits into the first category and Liber Al into the first and second. Neither text fulfilled their stated potential. Both can be used as a method of reading historical events as magical history. They provided a pattern for a small group of adherents to read their personal story in the text and thus live mythically.

I argue that Crowley’s evocation of the sabbatic vision of witchcraft triggered a mythic resurgence in Jack’s psyche, a magical event whose direction neither could control. The convergence of this with the chaotic forces of the age played out in the body of the witch Cameron. The same energies brought about the wider witchcraft revival, particularly in England. Magicians seek spirits in the aire, and they too seek us out.

Both of these books demonstrate the need to agree protocols for the recognition of a channelled text. Proofs are required; as with any spirit work. But very often a channelled text is effectively a truncated poetic process: beginning as an unrefined mass of material containing inclusions and dross, and requiring concerted effort to reveal its form. With hindsight, we see that most channelled communication we receive are works in process.

The mark of a successful working group is surely that it has perfected methods of establishing such communication, and understands how to integrate the results. The warning signs are when no critical process or testing is involved. A dead group is one that does not generate any significant new material at all.

We cannot credit Crowley for Jack’s witchcraft, just as it would be wrong to assume he was the only influence on Gerald Gardner’s Wicca. So I turn again to Cameron herself, a striking, intelligent and artistically gifted Scots-Irish whose erotic appeal to Jack was as witch, as other. Her brief cinematic appearances are testament to her charisma. He perceived that she was a natural witch, hence his witchcraft is the nascent formulation of a program to enable her, and by extension all the children of Babalon, to realise their indwelling power.

 

The Babalon Working

IV: The Birth of Babalon

Jack returned from the desert and invoked Babalon in a further set of rituals drawn from her book and the channelled instructions of his scryer L. Ron Hubbard. There are intimations throughout this magical record of death by fire. He produces the poem, The Birth of Babalon, as an invocation. The sequence ends with Hubbard exhausted, and Jack confident that Babalon will be incarnated within nine months’ time.

The Babalon working has led Jack into a magical wilderness, losing his possessions and status in the world in fulfilment of the curse. Arguably, he gets his death in the bargain. Such are the stakes in the games of magic and love. I will not fixate on Jack’s martyrdom on 17th June 1952, or the events in the years leading up to it, nor the difficult path Cameron walked, but will conclude this essay by indicating a way forward.

In the cold winter of 1947, Cameron set out for Paris, alone. She was to enrol at art school there, and then take a side trip to England to put Jack’s case to Crowley. Crowley was unaware of her mission. It is significant that Jack sent Cameron to Crowley, in lieu of The Book of Babalon, and once again, it seems, without clear instructions. He recognised that the primary result of his magical work was the living woman, an avatar of the goddess; the text was secondary. He sent his Father the Daughter to ‘redeem’ and recognise as the Scarlet Woman. If Crowley accepted Cameron, it would be a tacit acceptance of The Book of Babalon. She was the ambassador, literally the seal of Babalon, and sent in order that the sign be recognised. Crowley would enact the yhvh formula and Jack would thence be placed in the line of succession for the throne of the eld father. But Cameron failed to make the rendezvous; Crowley died on 1st December 1947 at Netherwood, Hastings without bearing witness.

So here is the real possibility, the dangerous dream. If Cameron was accepted, and had Jack lived, they would have dissolved OTO and employed its core principles and secret teachings to form a witch cult that accepted Love as the Law. As Crowley intimated, all the sex magical secrets of OTO are present in the sabbat. The movement would have come of age with the counterculture of the sixties in a politicised, sexually charged and liberating burst of energy. Alongside Wicca, would have been a witchcraft, based on the formulae of the high sabbat as laid out in the VIII°, a witchcraft openly invoking Babalon and secretly working her rites.

Do not mistake this for nostalgia, the work that Jack began continues: Babalon is here. As Scarlet Imprint, Alkistis and I have spent eight years publishing, speaking and writing on a recension of witchcraft sprung from the same source. That much is public and visible.