The Collected Writings of Jack ParsonsThe Book of Babalon,
The Book of Antichrist,
and other writings
PART TWO: THE BOOK OF ANTICHRISTThe Black Pilgrimage
Now it came to pass even as BABALON told me, for after receving Her Book I fell away from Magick, and put away Her Book and all pertaining thereto. And I was stripped of my fortune (the sum of about $50,000) and my house, and all I Possessed.
Then for a period of two years I worked in the world, recouping my fortune somewhat. But that was also taken from me, and my reputation, and my good name in my worldly work, that was in science.
And on the 31st of October, 1948, BABALON called on me again, and I began the last work, that was the work of the wand. And I worked for 17 days, until BABALON called me in a dream, and instructed me on an astral working. Then I reconstructed the temple, and began the Black Pilgrimage, as She instructed.
And I went into the sunset with Her sign, and into the night past accursed and desolate places and cyclopean ruins, and so came at last to the City of Chorazin. And there a great tower of Black Basalt was raised, that was part of a castle whose further battlements reeled over the gulf of stars. And upon the tower was this sign.
And one heavily robed and veiled showed me the sign, and told me to look, and hehold, I saw flash below me four past lives wherein I had failed in my object. And I beheld the life of Simon Magus, preaching the Whore Helena as the Sophia, and I saw that my failure was in Hubris, the pride of the spirit. And I saw my life as Giles de Retz, wherein I attempted to raise Jehanne Darc to be Queen of the Witchcraft, and failed through her stupidity, and again my pride. And I saw myself in Francis Hepburne, Earl Bothwell, manipulating Gellis Duncan, that was an unworthy instrument. And again as Count Cagliostro, failing because I failed to comprehend the nature of women in my Seraphina. And I was shown myself as a boy of 13 in this life, invoking Satan and showing cowardice when He appeared. And I was asked: "Will you fail again?" and I replied "I will not fail." (For I had given all my blood to BABALON, and it was not I that spoke.)
And thereafter I was taken within and saluted the Prince of that place, and thereafter things were done to me of which I may not write, and they told me, "It is not certain that you will survive, but if you survive you will attain your true will, and manifest the Antichrist.
And thereafter I returned and swore the Oath of the Abyss, having only the choice between madness, suicide, and that oath. But the Oath in no wise ameliorated that terror, and I continued in the madness and horror of the abyss for a season. But of this no more. But having passed the ordeal of 40 days I took the oath of a Magister Templi, even the Oath of Antichrist before Frater 132, the Unknown God.
And thus was I Antichrist loosed in the world; and to this I am pledged, that the work of the Beast 666 shall be fulfilled, and the way for the coming of BABALON be made open and I shall not cease or rest until these things are accomplished. And to this end I have issued this my Manifesto.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
"I shall regard all phenomena as the particular dealing of God with my soul."
Oct. 2, 1914, Los Angeles, in, rising in midheaven, in favorable conjunc., at apehelion. I chose this constellation in order that you might have an innate sense of balance and ultimate justice, responsive and attractive nature, a bountiful environment and sense of royalty and largesse, strength, courage and power combined with cunning and intelligence. Saturn was bound in order that you might easily formulate a lower will which would have satisfied and overwhelmed you with its spectacular success.
Your father separated from your mother in order that you might grow up with a hatred of authority and a spirit of revolution necessary to my work. The Oedipus complex was needed to formulate the love of witchcraft which would lead you into magick, with the influence of your grandfather active to prevent too complete an identification with your mother.
Your isolation as a child developed the necessary background of literature and scholarship; and the unfortunate experiences with other children the requisite contempt for the crowd and for the group mores. You will note that these factors developed the needful hatred for christianity (without implanting a christian guilt sense) at an extremely early age.
Early adolescence continued the development of the necessary combinations. The awakening interest in chemistry and science prepared the counterbalance for the coming magical awakening, the means of obtaining prestige and livelihood in the formative period, and the scientific method necessary for my manifestation. The magical fiasco at the age of 16 was needful to keep you away from magick until you were sufficiently matured.
The loss of family fortune developed your sense of self reliance at a critical period, the contact with reality at this time was essential. Your early marriage with Helen served to break your family ties and effect a transference to her, away from a dangerous attachment to your mother. The experience at Halifax and Cal Tech served to strengthen your self reliance, scientific method and material powers. The influence of Tom Rose at this period, as that of Ed. Forman in adolescence, was essential in developing the male center.
V. Later Youth
The house on Terrace Drive, Music, Lynn, Curtis, and Gloria, and the increasing restlessness were, of course, all preparations for the meeting with A.'. A.'. and O.T.O. The alternate repulsion and attraction you felt the first year after meeting Fra. 132 were caused by a subconscious resistance against the ordeals ahead. Had you had these experiences before, without such resistance, you would have become hopelessly unbalanced. Betty served to effect a transference from Helen at a critical period. Had this not occurred your repressed homosexual component could have caused a serious disorder.
Your passion for Betty also gave you the magical force needed at the time, and the act of adultery tinged with incest, served as your magical confirmation in the Law of Thelema.
At this time the O.T.O. was an excellent training school for adepts, but hardly an appropriate Order for the manifestation of Thelema. Therefore, in spite of your motto you were not able to formulate your Will. The experience with the O.T.O. and Aerijet were needed to dispel your romanticism, self-deception, and reliance on others. Betty was one link in the process designed to tear you away from the now unneeded Oedipus complex, the overvaluation of women and romantic love. Since this was unconscious, the next step was to bring it into consciousness, and there to destroy it.
VI. Early Maturity
The final experience with Hubbard and Betty, and the O.T.O. was necessary to overcome your false and infantile reliance on others, although this was only partially accomplished at the time. The invocation of Babalon served to exteriorize the Oedipus complex; at the same time, because of the forces involved it produced extraordinary magical effects. However, this operation is accomplished and closed -- you should have nothing more to do with it -- nor even think of it, until Her manifestation is revealed, and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt. Even then, you must be circumspect -- although I hope to take complete charge before then.
Candy appeared in answer to your call, in order to wean you from wet nursing. She has demonstrated the nature of woman to you in such unequivocal terms that you should have no further room for illusion on the subject.
The suspension and inquisition was my opportunity -- one of the final links in the chain. At this time you were enabled to prepare your thesis, formulate your Will, and take the Oath of the Abyss, thus making it possible (although only partially) to manifest. The exit of Candy prepares for the final stage of your initial preparation.
The numerous rituals you have performed have resulted in a well developed body of light. The ordeals have purged most of the emotional and mental garbage -- your only real dangers are, and have ever been, sentimentality, weakness, and procrastination.
It is interesting to note that the first weapon you formulated was the Lamp of the Spirit, in the invocation to Pan (although the Sword was prefigured). Next the Sword in the Horus ritual, as was appropriate to your intellectual development at that time.
Then the Cup out of the wine of your emotional life -- the disk out of material failure. The Sword remains to be manifested.
You will note that it has been impossible to truly formulate your Will with any of these weapons -- naturally -- that is only possible with the wand. On the other hand, if you had done so previously, you would have been unbalanced by the lack of initiated preparation. It is a right and natural procedure; the True Will cannot be truly formulated until you are initiate in all the other planes, and it is well to make no pretense of doing so. Until that point all you can know of the true will is the aspiration to the next step -- towards further experience. That is the glory of the Law of Thelema-- DO!
The physical and emotional stresses you feel at present are a result of the pull of the Abyss -- your present poetry is indicative. Naturally you find no power in any spell, no comfort in any ritual, no hope in any action. You are cut off by your own oath. Nor can I or any other aid you at this time. There is only manhood, only will, only the vector of your own tendencies, developed through the aeons of the past. I do not say how long the state will last, or what the outcome may be.
However, I can formulate some rules which may serve to guide you.
A. Works of the Wand -- of the Will alone avail in this state. No other weapon should be used, no other ritual save the hymn to the Unnamed One in the Anthem of the Mass.
B. You should be meticulous in all observations pertaining to the Will, even the most petty. Fulfill all obligations and promises, undertake nothing which you cannot fulfill, be prompt in the discharge of each responsibility.
C. Be neat in your personal and domestic habits, indicate your self-respect to yourself.
D. Do not become unduly involved with any person, and practice all your hard-earned wisdom in your relations with women.
E. Set up your personal affairs in business order. Keep your accounts current and your papers neatly filed.
F. Finish your poetry for publication. Finish the synthesis of the Tarot and start work on the preparation of the lessons of class instruction from your book.
G. Pay no attention to any phenomena whatsoever, and continue in a sober and responsible way of life under all circumstances.
Not magical! For you nothing is more magical. Only thus can the curse of Saturn be overcome. I see you hate this way. But it is an ultimate time -- it is you that have taken the oath. The choice is me or Choronzon.
I await you in the City of the Pyramids.