Friday, 31 October 2008
We are pleased to announce a new title for Scarlet Imprint, Devoted.
A powerful new essay collection from some of the most striking modern practitioners of magick and witchcraft. A truly enthralling book.
Devoted will be available for subscriber pre-order late November.
This title will be released for the Winter Solstice.
First details are being sent to our subscribers this weekend.
Our best to you all, this Samhain.
In Nomine Babalon
Scarlet Imprint x
Saturday, 25 October 2008
A new reader review of David Beth's Voudon Gnosis:
Seized by the Eyes
Kenneth Grant has described the main purpose of his books as to prepare people for encounters with unfamiliar state of consciousness. In Voudon Gnosis, David Beth describes the principles in the works of Michael Bertiaux as leading to true Gnostic Luciferean transformation. Both Grant and Bertiaux have devised highly original systems of magic which draw on the creativity of the adherent. This is not a simple structured system of rote learning, rather they both offer guides or pointers into deep and complex magical universes which the adherent must learn to develop him or herself. In Bertiaux’s system, adherents use ‘La Prise des Yeaux’, a form of occult active imagination, to explore their magical universe, often documenting it through personal art works.
Bertiaux’s writings do not outline a linear system of magic or esoteric spirituality. Rather they delve into a complex but intriguing web of magical openings which could be analogised by the system of points chaud where magical entities are impregnated in the physical body of the adherent and then activated as required to meet certain purposes. His system is catholic by nature and purpose, and much richer by reason of this. By, as David Beth describes, using a range of spiritual and esoteric systems, it opens up a broad magical universe, which then allows for the absorption of the diverse range of energies.
Bertiaux’s magnum opus, the Voudon Gnostic Workbook, is a dense, complex and voluminous compilation of papers on the magical system he has worked on and helped develop over the last number of decades. Finally back in print in an affordable paperback edition, it a dense and bulging tome of truly occult methodology and philosophy. It is a foreboding text with a seemingly multitude of ports of entry.
David Beth has chosen some of the key elements of the system and provided a lucid exegesis in a slim and attractive volume published by Scarlet Imprint. Expanding on an article originally published in the Howlings anthology, the text has been expanded on and structured in an even more user-friendly manner. There are also some extra diagrams, which help facilitate a clearer comprehension of the complex areas covered.
Armed with the insight gained through reading Voudon Gnosis, the Voudon Gnostic Workbook becomes a much less foreboding document, and the true potential and scope of its magical system becomes much more clear. While there have be other primers of sorts for other magical systems, in particular thelemic magick, I have yet to read a text which is comparable in the effect it has had in introducing the possibilities and scope of a magical system or philosophy. While this is of course a function of staggering scope of Bertiaux’s system, credit must also be due to the author, David Beth, in unveiling some of the content of this ophidian chthonic current.
In addition to an explanation of some of concepts of voudon gnosis, there are also some very useful appendices. Of particular interest in an essay on an initiated interpretation of love, AMOR, which explores the conception of esoteric love, a subject I found fascinating. There are further instructional material on the use of fetishes and time travelling, expanding on materials touched upon in the main text.
Voudon gnosis has been produced in a limited edition and will no doubt soon sell out. It must surely classify as one of the most intriguing and practical occult texts published in recent years and should be classified as essential reading for anyone with more than a passing interest in esoteric methodology.-David Heney
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
I just wanted to say a big thank you to all involved at Scarlet Imprint and the work you guys do! I recently purchased a copy of ‘Voudon Gnosis’ by David Beth and was highly impressed with the service you provided and the speed as to which you replied to my emails.
After discussing the Voudon Gnostic Workbook and related topics with David Beth I already had high hopes for ‘Voudon Gnosis’ I have to say I was not disappointed! This book offers a clear and concise insight into some of the basics of the Voudon current. It is broken down into easy, understandable chapters.
It was nice to see some of this information visually backed up with diagrams. Beth also took the time to mention related currents and authors, which is useful for both reference and further studies. Appendix I: Nganga was of particular interest to me, also giving an idea as to the sorts of questions raised by other students.
The book itself is a work of art, both attractive and of high quality (many thanks to Scarlet Imprint.) The contents of the pages are expertly written and as far as I’m concerned invaluable. The artwork and photography are pleasing. I urge anyone with similar interests to read it, as I have done three times. I eagerly await further essays and publications by David Beth.
- Tripstone Fox
Despite problems with our printers, we hope to have Voudon Gnosis back in stock within a few weeks.
In Nomine Babalon
Scarlet Imprint x
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
The official record of the Voudon Gnosis launch party is a little stream-of-consciousness, as the recollections of magical states so often are. The bare statistics are for the record:
The Book: Voudon Gnosis.
The Author: David Beth.
The Publisher: Scarlet Imprint / Peter Grey.
The Editor: Scarlet Imprint: Alkistis Dimech.
The Launch Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop.
The Drink: Rum & Coke, courtesy of Scarlet Imprint.
The Party: 80 of the most extraordinary magical people alive today who could make their way to Covent Garden.
So that's the raw data. Then to the ineffable. What a night it was.
Arrivals from Italy, from Central Europe, hugs and kisses in four languages, bags and cases piled everywhere in the corners of Treadwell's. The generosity of the publishers with Rum & Cokes in highball glasses. A senior Thelemite waving pom-poms over the author. Smoking of cigar in a ceremonial fashion. A voudoniste bookdealer lying on the Treadwell's kitchen floor in paralytic bliss. An occultist waltzing with a magical artist in the quiet upstairs of the shopfloor. The Bulgarian sitar-player laughing with friends. The raven-tressed New York fashion model smiling shyly. Excited murmerings about upcoming Kenneth Grant lectures. London's regal Isis priestess holding court at the bar. A Hecate priestess whispering into her ear the secrets of dark goddesses. The quiet ghost-hunter nodding gently. The editor in her stunning stilettos and gracious intelligence. Spare enthusiasts flirting amongst each other. The tarot master and the flame-haired shamaness laughing to banish mundanity with the legendary Stella Damiana.
And eventually, eventually... a bedraggled and happy departure before midnight from the little golden-lit shop into the night, to the after-hours clubs. Once again, the oak-panelled confines of PJ's piano bar in Wellington Street received the rum-sodden magicians for more drinks and their occult bonhomie.
This is one to remember. Thanks for being the most remarkable people.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
We hope to see you at Treadwell's Bookshop this evening for the launch of David Beth's Voudon Gnosis.
If you are not there it should look something like this:
Please insert your own cigar.
It promises to be a giddy Ghuedhe of a night.
In Nomine Babalon
Scarlet Imprint x
Monday, 6 October 2008
We have had several requests to publically post the text of the speeches made by Alkistis Dimech and Peter Grey on BABALON at the International Thelemic Symposium.
Some of the material builds upon The Red Goddess though we have more BABALON related work to publish in due course through Scarlet Imprint.
It was particularly heartening to find members of other traditions, in particular Witchcraft, being enthused by the idea of working with BABALON.
We are also delighted to say that we will be publishing essays by Jake Stratton-Kent who spoke on Goetia and the Grimorium Verum, and Charlotte Rodgers who spoke on Blood Magic, in the very near future.
Also great to have David Beth speaking on Voudon Gnosis to close the day.
We were pleased to meet more of our readers, and participate in an event with such vibrancy, vitality and promise of a new occult revival.
Here are the texts in full:
BABALON - Peter Grey
It is dark in the Ephesus cell.
Helena ties the band across her forehead.
Greek letters in the single light of a lamp.
Before she had lashed in black and draped in chains across Asia.
Stood as the moon on the roof of the brothel in Tyre.
Now dressed in cardinal red and proud purple of this bishopric she is the voices of the thunder perfect mind.
The world soul Sophia, a pythoness curled around the bread of the last supper.
I am ready for them Simon.
The voice of split tongue wisdom flickering lightning like.
The pleroma strobe lit with hissing.
This is the Goddess come to earth.
Bernice the Jewish Empress stirs in her villa on the seven heads of hills,
mouth heavy with the communion wine she shares with the conquerors.
A she-wolf giving suck to the divine twins of Jerusalem and Rome.
There is no henbane or haoma in the blood of this dead god.
But power, influence, greed.
In the Temple of Aphrodite the whores dress for war with carmine lips.
A dusk sashay to lure the converts of Jesus the hunchback Christ.
The split fig cunt song of do-what-thou-wilt-with-me.
Do you have that single coin for my lap?
Yet it is John who evokes Her.
John of Patmos.
John stranded on his miserable rock, still unable to escape the low throb in his balls.
John whose words are the bitter sponge they offered to the lips of the Saviour.
John steeped in the hatred of the Patriarchs who saw their god fail them, again and again.
The Temple smashed, the Ark lost, the lions fed.
Prochoros bends his head as John dictates and writes down the words which will poison the world.
‘And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
And upon her forehead was written MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT. THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: And when I saw her, I wondered, with great admiration’
John’s text is accepted as the final word.
The temples of Aphrodite are stripped as clean as Hypatia’s bones,
clam shell scraped by the jabbering monastics.
The whore not holy.
Simon Magus falls from the window on the orders of Paul, has his broken legged body sawn in half. The beloved assistant is not there to unite the severed parts with their guts of lolling silk scarves.
Helena is gone from the oracular Ephesus cell, fled to the walnut tree of Benevento and obscurity. Left and lost to witchcraft.
No-one pursues Babalon like the Magdalene.
Chasing the wrong chalice of mystical Christianity,
not supping from the true wound of menstrual blood.
We lost our Love Goddess to the substitutes in a switched card trick.
Instead we have the Blessed Virgin Mary a cliterodectomy sewn up with the black beard hair ofYahweh.
Never fucked but full of suffering, eyes averted lest the Savior raises a hard-on while he dies on the cross.
Bound into every Bible, John’s words.
Delivered into every hospital, John’s words.
Guilt slipped in the hotel room drawer, John’s words.
An enemy for every prisoner, John’s words.
Repression for the schoolroom, John’s words.
Hatred for Babylon, John’s words.
This is our history of THOU SHALT NOT.
These are the words that will echo out again as the world edges degree by degree into one final Apocalypse.
Are you ready for the Revelation?
The striptease of your vain grades and titles, the loss of order, sense, Will.
The burning black blood of Ereshkigal is making the world a battlefield, a bridal bed.
Our scorched Eden sees BABALON risen on the incense of petroleum and roses and filled with furious Love.
John, we turn your words against you.
Our curse comes out as the last Love song.
The four snaking swastika rivers knotted and dammed in Babylon.
What was Sumeria is looted by American troops.
The Empire never ended.
Caesar’s men now rule a wasteland of depleted uranium and ship home Arkansas boys with shrapnel for legs.
A chalice of abominations , this fertile crescent now waxed pubis bare.
The women go black -veiled not for Tammuz, but Mohammed.
It is here where the first roses bloomed.
It is here that we evoke Her again.
Our fingers scrabble in the broken bricks for the sacred texts until the evening star rises.
Inanna our lady of the great wild bridled lion.
Inanna of honeysuckle sweetness.
Inanna Goddess of Love and War.
Inanna, the Kingmaker come upon us.
Easter is the chamber at the top of the seven-step ziggurat.
Babel wreathed in lightning.
Where language is lost in the thighs of the Priestess become Goddess.
Where divine woman and divine man celebrate their Equinox.
In the bedchamber Venus rings steel sword blue, the morning star of dawn, the gate of the Sun.
But Babylon is fallen, an abode of serpents and unclean things.
The Jews bring Her back with them from captivity and have Her beaten by Jeremiah on the anvil of nationalism.
The wisdom of Solomon will not be repeated,
There will be no whoring after Goddess on the temple mount.
With every hammer strike the name changes,
Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtaroth, BABALON.
Her face is smoked shulamite dark with the burning cedars cut down from the high places.
She is blamed for the beauty of the daughters of Jerusalem,
thrown as Jezebel to the dogs,
castigated as Salome,
mistaken for the Magdalene,
muddled with the lesser lilith.
Smouldering red with iniquities and the denial of Love,
She knows Her Strength.
She is not destroyed by your history John, but brought with it.
A bloody pomegranate seed pressed in the pages which once tasted recovers the lost dream.
Augmented by the whispers of mandrake, poppy, hemlock, belladonna, hashish, wine.
The rising stench of sex and sweat and sperm and blood and always ever roses.
BABALON is conjured in a monastery nightmare of succubi and dis-embodied cocks.
An inquisitors fantasy tortured from the lips of the lost.
Torn with pincers, boot crushed and hoisted in strappado to the heavens.
This is how Witchcraft learned how to fly.
The wisdom of the Whore is the control of Her body and life.
Irregular attempts are made to break the tyranny of marriage,
To abort the bastard children of mother church.
The Queen of the Sabbat reveals a thin slit of red petticoat beneath the damnable black.
Yet the church shackles woman to misery.
Drags her down from the high places
where she is forced to buy freedom by being fucked in the alleyways.
Sacred sex profaned into possession, for an hour, or a lifetime of slavery.
A litany of rape, murder, abuse.
John Dee, bent in prayer does not hear this.
Kneeling with Kelley he seeks the language of Angels, and receives a revelation liveried green as garlic blades, white as lilies, red as blood and black as bilberry juice.
Unfolding from the showstone, an Empire of Angels that divides the globe for the red headed Harlot on the Lion throne.
Madimi moves through the library stacks.
My Mother will make her house here.
Jesus is not god, no prayer should be made unto Jesus, none shall judge you.
BABALON again from the long dark ages.
BABALON as Kelley, Dee, Jane and Joan exchange places between the sheets.
BABALON in the solve et coagule.
BABALON in the sex sphinx secret of alchemical interchange.
The retort shatters on the stand.
The four fall apart forever.
Kelley plunges from the tower, to his death.
Babel again, and Simon Magus,
a final transformation in the red mercury mess of his shattered shanks.
We pay our debts to BABALON in blood, not gold, and Her cup runneth over.
Who will heed the speech of the Daughter of Fortitude?
Her cross-crystal, golden girdle and naked breasts.
Make your houses clean, for I come unto you again.
Dee’s papers tumble from the secret chest and pass into the Golden Dawn.
Miscoloured, mispronounced, and mystified.
Only Crowley pursues Her into the Aethyr,
Spells Her like Dee, as wickedness.
Storms heaven on pearlescent cocaine wings and sexual excess,
Eats grass like an ox,
Wills, Knows, Dares, and tells.
Yet the Beast remains without a Bridal,
The cat, the snake, the camel, the monster..
Where is the Woman in this menagerie?
Incomplete, Alys kisses the back of his hand preparing for a Love he never surrenders to.
Where is She?
Lady Frieda Harris draws Her for us distilled from the Master’s last breaths.
An explosion of red and gold.
Parsons adores Her with pressed black powder charges.
Chanting Enochian, mescaline, amphetamine.
Here is the spirit of the Law, flowing as nectar.
Flowering with the Pasadena roses,
Spreading Her petals on the backdrop of the city of Angels.
Gone West to the new world Dee promised Her.
With huckster Hubbard, Jack strains for Love on this Battlefield Earth.
Despite the elemental mistakes he wins his vision.
Flame is our lady, flame is Her hair.
I am living Flame.
Cameron, miscast, fails to shoulder her role.
Parsons goes after the Witchcraft as a smashed flask of red mercury, as a storm of dust blown across the Mojave desert, as a crater on the darkside of the Moon.
The A-Bomb cracks the Akashic.
The fallout drifts down like sakura.
Babalon unveiled is starmarked by it.
The two thousand year Reich of Horus draws short.
Grant sees the teratomas, but there is little Love in his Craft.
Magick bickers and splits as we tilt past the tipping point.
Our Goddess is not Nuit blue emptiness, but brimful Belsen furnace red.
She tells us:
It is the woman who initiates.
It is Love which transforms.
It is blood which transmits.
Exchange your cakes with kalas cooked to cinders.
For kisses from Her living lips.
Let go of false learning.
Forsake the cult of the severed head.
For BABALON sings in your blood.
The world is drunken and vexed, running on fumes.
A price on everything, a value on nothing.
It is here BABALON, that we evoke thee.
Everything becoming red.
Enochian angels pouring warlike from the watchtowers ,
and the 24 elders of days wondering where their God has gone.
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Whore.
Here is the vision of a universe composed of burning roses,
Of everything fucking everything.
Be drunken as the reeling stars.
Adore the whore on hands and knees.
Open your beds and your hearts
Fuck and find Love.
Dakinis eviscerate the fallen Saints for their bridal wear.
The armies mass for battle and She is here.
Babalon is here to bridle, bind, blossom and burn.
Her time is NOW.
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Whore -Alkistis Dimech
But who is this whore?
Babalon, the patroness of sex workers is not just the Goddess of call girls, rent boys the dispossessed and despised.
I want to move on from this initial image of the whore as we have a tendency to get caught in Her fishnets and lipstick and go no deeper into the mystery.
We are all of Babalon. We are all Babalon.
BABALON has been archetyped, stereotyped and hyped - and still remains an enigma to us.
She does not fit neatly into Thelema. For all the voices, Hers is absent from the Book of the Law.
BABALON is entirely other than Nuit.
BABALON is our sex, our body, our world.
She vibrates with raw sexual energy.
This is what makes Her whore.
Mortgages cannot be guaranteed on this kind of Love.
This is a Love which destroys in order to create.
She has claimed whoredom as the domain of the free. Those in the know.
To maintain the status quo, our society has driven sacred respect for sex onto streetcorners, into dungeons, brothels, and kink.
BABALON controls and diverts this sexual and creative energy toward enlightenment.
Society perverts this energy to enslave us.
Even now, in England women are forced into arranged marriages,
Female circumcision is practised.
Rape and domestic violence are common.
America preaches abstinence programmes to prevent AIDS.
Abortion rights are continually under threat.
Islam places its women in slavery.
I hear few complaints about ID cards, a country bristling with cctv cameras, the slavery of a nine to six day propped up on designer coffee and paid for by the starvation wages of the developing world.
Perhaps this is the isolation of I-pod and an always on mobile phone, shivering our reality into sound-bite snippets of gossip.
In the modern retelling of the Tower of Babel myth we are reduced to the paucity of text message speak and emoticons. AC 93s LOL
Do you spend more time online than in meditation?
Is Babalon a photoshop collage rather than embedded in your living flesh?
To Work with Babalon is to have these superficial veils rent.
The eye of the screen is replaced by the passionate presence of the beloved.
Control of people through their sexuality goes hand in hand with exploitation of the world,
and BABALON is the world, is matter.
We are still deluded by the Christian lie that everything is God given for us to use and abuse, and the planet is ravaged.
Our resources are war spoiled, plundered by the greed of industrialisation,
Peoples, languages, flora and fauna are being lost.
But if Amazon one-click ordering still works we have that next book to look forward to. Tomorrow always comes.
We are left with the same bland products and told that consumption is freedom.
Biodiversity is undergoing a genocide to support a society, drunk on oil.
Babalon delights in multiplicity, but this is a diminishing.
John Dee felt that the book of nature was corrupting in his fingers.
That there was an acceleration towards a reckoning, a revelation, the second coming of Christ.
This is what the angels told him, make your houses clean.
The signs were written in the skies, a grand conjunction, a comet, a new star.
And here we are 418 years later. The warnings unheeded.
The signs we have now are more than warnings.
As we map the human genome the world is disappearing under water, fire, famine.
The elements are out of control.
Can you be sure how long we have left?
We have been criticised for suggesting these are apocalyptic times.
Some seem to think that by clicking our heels three times and saying the word of the Aeon of Horus everything will conform to the Thelemic paradigm.
Neither Aleister nor Aiwass predicted global environmental collapse, so perhaps we can ignore these facts:
1 in 4 mammals is threatened with extinction
1 in 8 birds
1 in 3 amphibians
Three quarters of the world’s fish stocks are at risk.
The extinction rate is from 100 to 1000 times higher than at any time in our fossil records.
Our oceans are dying.
Our forests are clear cut.
Our air is poisoned.
Even if we see this as a natural cycle, the planet simply cannot support the burgeoning populations of the developing world and the inflated supersized lifestyles of the developed.
Natural catastrophes, disease and resistance to drugs, artfully constructed wars to support stuttering economies. The world stage has never been so slick, with images, with oil, with blood.
The cup is filling, in torn arterial torrents.
My concern as a Thelemite is we are still reading from Crowley’s dated scripts.
The mass and rituals degenerating into panto with costume and cake.
We must pursue and encourage new work, new voices.
We must allow ourselves to hear new revelations, the voices speaking to us now.
Stop reading from scripts and stray into heresy.
The world is drastically different from when Thelema arose, and we have right-royally fucked up the royal road. There is more to learn by straying, doing what thou wilt requires killing the Buddha, Lao Tzu , Edward Kelley and of course Sir Aleister Crowley. Once you’ve mastered the master, become a god. She is waiting for you.
Dee’s green woman has told us, ‘Nature is preparing for a world without humans’.
BABALON is here at our moment of crisis.
Not another fuck fantasy imploring us towards the divine feminine and the rehabilitation of our divided selves. For Love’s sake She has come to fuck us up,
to shift our awareness,
to transform us radically in an earth from which we have wrenched our own roots and landfilled to oblivion.
We have to Work with BABALON.
But it is not for the magician to lie back and be straddled because his dexterity is mental rather than physical.
To meet Babalon on the battlefield or in the bedroom you need conditioning.
It is not enough for the Priestess to slip on a red dress and then put it back in the wardrobe at the rituals end.
How can one even face Her without having worked and sweated and pushed into one’s limits,
let alone expect a kiss from those sweet lips?
She is ever present—now beyond our boundaries, our confines, our thoughts.
She can be held, She is real.
When we exceed ourselves we know that.
And feel Her.
Only when you let yourself fall, going beyond mental, emotional, and physical limits.
Draw your circle with your hips, find Her in ecstacy.
It is not simply an anecdote that Crowley was a mountaineer.
The energy body arises from the physical.
Spirit and matter intertwined.
We are in the world, and in our bodies. Adding and subtracting is not the way to work it out.
Put down your Abracadabacus, IT is in the body.
The missing piece in this burning ground, this Eden, is Love.
I suggest you prepare yourselves.
If you want more, we would gently point you to www.scarletimprint.com and Peter Grey's The Red Goddess.