The Temple of Babalon in Ophidia
  Templum Babalonis Home 
Babalon |  Ophidian Thelema |  The Ophidian Way |  Membership |  Philosophy |  Insight |  Answers |  Contact  

Book I: Prosapia
The Axiomata of the Ophidian Lineage

  Chapter 5: On the Nature of Babalon

Book II: Principia
The Philosophy of Ophidian Thelema

  Chapter 5: The Nature of the World Soul II
  Chapter 6: The Priestesses of Heka
  Chapter 7: The Ordeals of Underworld
  Chapter 8: The Principles of the
                      Great Liberating Mother
  Chapter 9: The Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun

Book III: Natura
The Customs of the Ophidian Indigene

Book IV: Commentaria
The Account of Ophidian Proclamations

  ... more coming soon

Book V: Heka
The Rituals of the Temple.

(To remain mostly unpublished.)

Book VI: Liber Spirituum
The Records of the Spirits.

(To remain unpublished.)

The Magickal Philosophy of Templum Babalonis

Book II - Principia

The Philosophy of Ophidian Thelema

Also known as: The Principles


Chapter 1 - The Manifestation of the Divine Serpent

Persona and Spirit

"Be it ever nearer to the future, that this Temple shall hold the space of another. And you shall go forth to bestow your world in anew. Clutch not at the ash, but at the snake of light."1

Divider Flourish

Roman Priestess with serpent.It is no accident that the whole of the recorded spiritual history of mankind, in all of its myriad forms and manifestations, is rife with images of serpents and snakes. We find them on the pillars of those most ancient Temples at Gobekli Tepe. We find them on the household walls in Rome, in the myths of the Hebrew Garden of Eden, and as the poisonous serpent Satan in the religion of Christianity. Across the ancient world we find snakes biting their own tails, winged serpents guarding doorways, coiled serpents on heads, on brows, or imagined in spines as Kundalini energy. From the Near East to India and China, from Hinduism to Buddhism they appear at the pinnacles of the myths and religions of those cultures. And, closer to our own hearts we find images of ancient Priestesses from Greece and Crete and Egypt, holding serpents in ritual poses as if seeking to convey something of import concerning their station. The image of the serpent has remained ubiquitous throughout recorded human history, and yet no one today seems to understand why this might be, or what it might mean.

Some conjecture that the original Pagan image of the serpent represented wisdom, or immortality, or cunning insight, or a power of some sort, be it spiritual or temporal. This image of the serpent seems to shift and change, depending upon which era and which culture one is looking at. In contrast to the Pagan images of the serpent, the Hebrew followers of Yahweh, and their spiritual heirs in Christianity and Islam, would see in the serpent a tempter to something forbidden and evil. They see a poisonous and slimy creature that slithers through the dark, oozing venom at the sight of naked female flesh. For them the serpent seems to be an image of the phallus itself, distorted by their own wretchedness and self-loathing.

Serpent on the back of a head, Gobekli Tepe circa 9000 BCE.Therefore, in order to navigate the varied images of the serpent in so many different times and places and discover any purpose or meaning, one ought to first return to the origins of the serpent in history. One can find such an origin with the Neolithic Goddess worshippers in the pre-history of our species. They were the original Ophidians, and they possess the original Lineage of the Serpent Cults. And since, unknown to most, their Lineage extends even to this day it seems fitting therefore that it shall be the Ophidians themselves who shall reveal this Mystery of the Serpent. And as we shall show, with this Mystery comes many cultural reactions which echo down through the epochs of history, shaping the historical events of spirituality even to this present day.

And the Mystery is simply this: the serpent is the Spirit.

Originally the serpent was primarily the image of a person’s divine and immortal Spirit, but it could also be seen to signify any kind of spirit in a general sense. The reason for this was the belief that serpents came up from the Underworld, which was a mysterious place presided over by the Goddess deep within the Earth. In those days the Goddess alone ruled Sky and Earth and Underworld. It was in this place of the Underworld that souls, spirits and shades resided. Not only did the serpent seem to dwell in the Underworld, but it was also thought that serpents, like spirits, were very long lived, if not in fact immortal. It was thought that instead of growing old and dying, they shed their old skin. The serpents were thereby periodically reborn with slick new skin and extended life. It seemed to the ancients as though serpents and snakes had magical powers of regeneration. In addition to their powers of regeneration, the pupils of their eyes were vertical slits which gave rise to the belief that they, like cats, could see into the otherworldly places of the spirits. To the Ancients, snakes were denizens of the land of spirits and undying creatures of the Underworld with special powers. They were true messengers from the Underworld.

A Lararium from Pompeii, with Lares and Penates.So it is no surprise now that we find serpents on the walls of the most ancient temples, since they are places for spirit in all its forms to manifest. On the household walls of Roman families we find the Lararium, which depicted the guardian spirits of the family. A snake would often appear under the central Lar, the founding ancestor of the family. This snake here first represents the continuous line of ancestor shades in the family going back to the original ancestor, who is pictured as the central Lar. Secondly it is the living genius2 of the family bloodline itself, personified as a spirit. In other examples, one finds the Ouroboros, or snake biting its own tail. This was simply an image of the eternal birth, death and rebirth of the Spirit in manifest bodies. Of more importance to the Ophidians is the image of the Priestess holding a serpent, which shows that she is a liminal gateway for spirits, as shall be explained in more detail in later chapters. In many instances throughout history the Ophidians do not anthropomorphize their Goddess, the Great Liberating Mother who has gone under many, many names. Rather, we prefer to instead show an image of a serpent or Cobra alone, or a Priestess holding serpents.

Demeter, as Spirit of the Harvest (terracotta relief, third century B.C. Magna Graecia) In contrast to these positive views of the serpent the monotheistic god of the Jews demanded that he alone should possess completely the souls of his worshippers upon death, and that they should give him complete spiritual obedience. Therefore it is little wonder that the image of one’s eternal Spirit as a snake should be vilified as a temptation away from the will of Yahweh himself. For one’s Spirit is autonomous and inviolable, transforming itself in each incarnation like a serpent shedding its skin. Yet here the serpent was purposely distorted by the monotheists to frighten people away from the Great Liberating Mother and Her symbols and images. And it is interesting to note that despite the proclivities of modern psychology, the Serpent was originally a female symbol, not an image of the phallus as it later became in monotheistic times. This switch from female to male in imagery was originally accomplished by the early Christian spermo-gnostics, and has been reinforced by a modern understanding of sperm which some see as serpent-like in form, but which is actually more tadpole-like.

One could go on with these examples of serpent symbolism almost endlessly, such is their number in history. So let it be understood in general that when you find snakes in the ancient Temples, not just pictured on the walls and in prominent places, but actual serpents with actual Priestesses attending to them, then you have found us in history, the Ophidians. And often the snake we use is the Cobra for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this snake carries on the back of its hood the mark of our Great Mother Nuit.3 Or as Babalon says, "Hadit is a manifestation of the Will to Spiritual Advancement. The Sun rising on wings. Or the Winged Serpent, like you say. That’s why the serpent bears the mark of my Mother."4

Minoan Priestess as Liminal Gateway for spirit (Late Minoan I, 1600-1500 BCE). Now it should be understood that the serpent is the image of the Spirit. And furthermore it should be understood that there can be no life on this planet without Spirit manifesting in matter. This fact used to be self-evident, until very recently in history. Spirit animates, in every sense of the word. Spirit is the Prime Mover. All things which live and move do so because they are literally possessed by a spirit. Without Spirit there would be no life anywhere in the universe. In fact, there would be no thing at all, either animate or "inanimate". Spirit is the supreme source of Light and Life.5

So therefore it should be no surprise that the Mother of all mothers, the Mother of all Life on this planet and throughout the entire universe, the one whom we today call Nuit – it is no surprise that she bears this light of Spirit into existence. And this light of Spirit is forever renewed and changing, and never diminishes. Every living thing, no matter how motionless or how small, possesses spirit energy. The planet itself, which is a living being called Gaia by some, the little sister of Our Lady Nuit, imbues even the otherwise lifeless matter with Her Spirit, and makes all life possible here. Without Her Spirit powering life on this planet, there would be nothing but an inanimate shell.

Each person that is born here within the body of Gaia possesses a unique Spirit of their own. This Spirit is sometimes called your True Self, Divine Self or Divine Spirit and is always capitalized in order to differentiate it from other types of spirits, such as shades, elementals, angels or demons, to name a few. This Spirit is one’s immortal, divine, unique, higher self which incarnates into flesh in order to achieve its great and terrible purpose, which we call its Will. It is immortal in that it is deathless, and imperishable like all spirit is. It is divine in that it is incorruptible and perfect in its nature and possesses a consciousness with a much greater horizon of awareness than your own manifest self. It is unique in that it is like no other Spirit in its nature and consciousness, yet it is always recognizable in every incarnation no matter which different physical body it is born into. It is one’s higher self in that it creates and informs all that one is, and without which one would certainly cease.

On a personal level, the Will of one’s Spirit is felt to be the guiding sovereign purpose in life, and one’s reason for incarnation. All Ophidians are here for a purpose, and there is no greater and nobler act than accomplishing the purpose of one’s incarnation, or to die trying to achieve it. This is the meaning of the phrase "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."6 It is a commandment to achieve one’s divine purpose, above which there is no other.

Concerning your Will it is also important to note that no other person, no matter how advanced or well-meaning, is able to tell you what your Will is. It is expressly a matter between your Persona and your Spirit. Most often your Will changes from one lifetime to another, but often there will be overriding themes which will be of a similar nature throughout many lifetimes.7

Divider Flourish

It should be mentioned here that the Templum Babalonis only teaches two subjects to its students, and these are the same two subjects which certain spirits themselves have taught to humanity throughout time: Heka and Natura. These two philosophies contain Principles and Rituals which are inextricably interwoven, for one greatly affects the other. And by these two things, all other things in life and in death are made known.

Heka is the Ancient Egyptian word for Magick, literally meaning the activation (He) of the vital essence of the Spirit (Ka).8 Therefore Magick is the act of calling down the Spirit into the body, so that its consciousness, awareness and powers predominate. But for this to take place, the Persona (see below) must be fashioned into a proper vehicle for the manifestation of its Spirit. The Principles for doing this are called Natura. It is in Natura that we find the secrets of the body, its energy pathways, how the substances we ingest affect not only our health, but also our emotions, our consciousness and our ability to manifest Heka. We discover here the importance of how we walk upon this planet, which is a living being, and from whom we draw our sustenance and substance. This notion of mindfulness in our daily actions towards Gaia, the World Soul, is not some vague philosophical or romantic idea of "oneness with nature". Rather, how we interact with the natural world in every-day life has a very deep impact upon which spirits we are able to interact with in our Magick, our Heka. And this fact is something that very few people realize. Even fewer understand the implications and limitations of this fact upon their Heka. With the Principles of Natura one finds the Keys for unlocking the power of Heka. And the further one pursues Heka, the more one discovers the Principles of Natura, which makes its manifestation possible.

Divider Flourish

Now as we have said, the Spirit incarnates in a physical body which is manifestly alive by virtue of its presence. However, this physical body has its own consciousness and sense of self separate from that of the Spirit. We call this physical body and its separate consciousness "the Persona". And it is this "Persona" which is the focus of Initiation within the Temple. However, the Persona's first purpose is to be responsible for the well-being of the body and to help navigate the physical world. To this end it potentially has a great awareness on many levels of being, and a great many interfaces with the physical world and the world of spirit. Yet very few people have any awareness at all beyond the base functions of the Persona, and its limited focus based upon its immediate needs and desires.9

The Persona then is the basic body and personality of the individual, with all of its memories and experiences of its life. With this in mind, let us show how the Persona operates on four basic levels of awareness, which follow the four traditional Elements of the Ancients. It is important to note that it is in this way alone that the Persona is wed to the Spirit. These Elements not only describe the way in which the Spirit indwells the body, but also the origin and evolution of life itself as it reaches back towards spirit through the historical and evolutionary record.

To start with, the most basic level of awareness possible is that of the body and its senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. It is these bodily sensations that are associated with the Element of Earth. Earth is all things physical, all things dense and all things sensory. In Earth are all of the biological processes and reactions, and all of the bodily functions which depend upon the senses.

But in addition to the obvious physical sensations perceived by the senses, the body can also sense energy changes caused by spiritual forces. It does this in a way which overlays the normal sensory apparatus. For example, a Spirit may cause a person to feel a cold sensation moving behind them, or prickly warm energy in their hand. The person hasn’t really encountered anything in the physical that has caused these sensations. The body, however, can sense the spirit's presence and energy and is relating these sensations to the brain through the senses in much the same way that it would with physical sensations. One’s body holds your own Spirit, and therefore it can sense others as well.

In addition to being the gateway of sensations, the Earth layer of the Persona houses in its body all of the behavioral reactionary complexes of the Persona. These are the involuntary responses to stimuli, like pulling your hand back from fire without thinking, or the act of breathing. The behavioral reactionary complex also includes all of the instinctual behaviors of our animal selves, and our ability to navigate the world by these behaviors. In addition to instinctual and involuntary behaviors, the Earth layer of the Persona includes patterns of behavior. Examples of this include physical routines which make one feel comfortable like relaxing in the same chair after a long day of work, or reaching for your tooth brush in the same spot every day without thinking about what you are doing.

It is interesting to note that these behavioral responses are more "you" than you probably realize, and account for more of your decision making process than the mind would probably believe. Because of this, the unraveling and understanding of your own behavioral reactionary complex becomes so terribly important in the Initiatory process. One of the great virtues of the use of ritual in one’s life is to set up new behavioral processes that are superior to your previous behaviors and habits. This has a profound effect on one’s Persona, and its relation to Heka. A great deal of attention is paid to this process of ritualized behavior changes in the Temple, so much so that the whole of the next book is completely devoted to it, under the heading of Natura.

Sitting on top of the behavioral reactionary complexes of Earth in the body are the emotional reactionary responses of the Waters. It is here where the Persona feels the meaning or importance of the information provided by the sensations of the body. This is a very important point to understand. This meaning comes in the form of emotional responses which are felt in the body as an emotional state or feeling. Like the behavior reactionary complex of Earth, the emotions and moods of the Waters also affect our decision making processes much more than we realize. One often thinks that one is making a rational decision with one’s mind based upon facts and logic, when in actuality one is often reacting to an emotional or behavioral response which "feels right", and is therefore interpreted as "logical".10

And so we come to the Filas. For it is here in the Waters that Filas are created, which are so important to magical processes and energies - so much so that they are no longer even spoken of in this corrupt and degenerate age. Filas will be discussed at length in the appropriate place, but suffice it to say for now that a Fila, literally a cord or string, is an emotional and experiential connection to something (an event, person, spirit, energy, etc.). But unlike a simple memory of something, a Fila is a direct connection or magical link to the thing, created by an experiential imprintation of spiritual energy acting upon the body and the emotions of the individual. The spirit energy literally makes an impression in the Earth and Waters of the Persona. And the virtue, or the curse, of a Fila is that is can be called up again or summoned back into existence, at any given time or place. Once a spirit of any sort, or any type of spirit energy, is in your presence it creates a Fila, to a greater or lesser extent, which has an accompanying "feeling". This Fila can be used to call the Spirit back to manifestation again. This is accomplished simply by returning to that place in the Waters of the Persona where the imprintation occurred. Filas are navigated to in the Waters of the Persona by feelings, directed by magical ritual (Heka). These are not the common, dramatic feelings of the Persona, but rather impressions left upon the place of common feelings by spirit energy of one sort or another. In the same way that the senses of the body can be made on rare occasions to "feel" spirit energy, so too can the emotions and feelings of the Waters be used in a similar fashion. This process is, in fact, more common than the former, but no less confusing for the uninitiated, for in fact the spirit energy itself is affecting the places in one’s Persona which causes emotional reactions, and it can be difficult to understand at first which feelings are from your Persona, and which are not. Modern so-called "occultism" is rife with such confusions. In fact, we would say that "occultism" is more a system based upon those confusions, than it is based upon any understanding of Spirit.

But, to return to Filas, let us consider for the sake of example a common reaction to an encounter with what is commonly called a ghost, but which we call a Shade (which is simply the Persona of a dead person, left in the realm of Earth). Often this experience leaves quite an impression upon the Persona, in a manner which is difficult to convey to another person. There may have been a feeling of anxiety, coupled with exhilaration or fear. There most often will have been a bodily reaction, the quickening of heart rate and pulse, the distortion of time, increased alertness, or even panic, or an endless host of other symptoms. All of this, combined with the actual encounter with the Shade's energy in time and space create an impression, very literally, upon the Persona. This is the creation of a Fila.

Then, at a later time, when a person recalls the experience of the encounter and perhaps when one is attempting to tell others of their experience, they will start to feel the terror or horror or excitement of the encounter all over again. Sometimes it may even feel as though the Shade is actually in their presence again. Often those who are being told the story can also feel the presence of the Shade as well, and the hair may stand up on their arms or neck. This transference of spiritual energy through the Waters of the Persona is a Fila, and in the hands of an Initiate one could potentially call the Shade to appear again. But one should also be warned that Filas can work in both directions, with the pull emanating from the other end as well, which is why demons, once called, can wreak so much havoc and trouble, regardless of modern banishing rituals and the like.11 In a magical sense, Filas are somewhat similar to String Theory in Quantum Physics, which is nothing more than a poor scientific way of understanding an Ancient Principle. They, of course, have despiritualized the concept to the point of uselessness.

Now, if you have been living by the Principles of Natura, your Persona should have the largest and strongest Fila of all to your Spirit. Your Spirit should have the strongest presence in your Waters, out of all possible influences there. Unfortunately this is rarely the case, and so therefore much of magical Initiation is inclined towards making that aspiration a reality. This is an important endeavor, for one’s Spirit can only communicate with the conscious mind of the Persona in the waking state through either the Persona's Fires, or the Persona's Waters.12 Part of the training of the Temple is to help an Initiate identify the source of their feelings in their Waters, and to thereby understand who or what is causing that feeling in the Waters of the Persona. We call this the whole process of the Waters and the way in which they work the Emotional Language. This Emotional Language is a personal language of Heka, long forgotten and lost by the modern world, which denigrates and despises the Waters as a source of weakness. Because of this, most modern people are like children who have never been taught to understand the complexity and sources of their feelings. They often assume their feelings are all their own, because after all it is they themselves who are feeling them. Nothing could be further from the truth, for communications in the Waters can come from not only their own Persona, but sometimes from some Fila (and hence from some outside influence), or from your Spirit. The emotional reactionary complex of the Waters can have many sources of input, very few of which are understood in the modern era.

To this end the temple teaches of the Waters differently than methods currently used in the modern era, which are usually psychological in nature, ranging from structured psychology theories of academic mentalism to the "hippy" and "new-age" exploration of emotions at an almost childish and rebellious expressive level. The Ophidians teach a ritual exploration of the Waters, introducing the Language one finds there, so that the student may first discern which communications are coming from their Persona and its experiences in life, versus which currents come from the Spirit. The latter are rare at first, and are most often felt as intuitions in mundane people, but grow in concert with the power of the Spirit in an individual.

Once fully developed, the powers of the Waters are second to none in Heka, which is why they feature so prominently in the old creation myths of most cultures. Within the currents and eddies of the Waters an Adept can easily sense meaning within spiritual energy, which functions somewhat like a higher form of intuition, but which is nothing of the sort. One also develops a new vision which can detect the presence of spiritual entities, which in reality are more abundant than most would believe. Once developed, the Waters are also excellent at discovering subterfuge or strange intentions in other people and their agendas. One learns this by using the Ophidian training and rituals which help to teach one to sense the uneasiness that the presence of others can sometimes cause in your Waters, and how to properly interpret those feelings.

Divider Flourish

Now the compliment to the Waters of the Persona are its Fires. The Fires contain all of the drives and desires of the Persona, as well as all of its vitality and strength. Like the Waters and its Emotional Language, the Fires have their own form of expression, and it is the Language of the Passions. The Fires can even manifest as the Presence and Power of the Spirit itself, as it seeks to guide and drive theThe Caduceus: Spirit entwined by Fire and Water in the body. Persona to do its Will.

But of course not all passions and desire originate in the spirit, and again like the Waters, the Fires too can be influenced by Filas, amongst other things. Therefore, all drives and desires of the Initiate, no matter how out of the ordinary, must be studied and pursued so that the origins of the desire be uncovered. Often this can not be done without fulfilling the desire itself, and to undergo the experiential changes subsequent to that accomplishment. This is very important, as intellectual wondering or fantasizing will not achieve the same result. Only in experiential hindsight will the motivation for a desire become clear. But the point remains that one can better know one’s Will by knowing one’s true desires that originate from the Spirit. And the action of fulfilling all those drives and desires will set you upon the Path of the Spirit, so that you may fulfill its Will.

It should also be noted that sexuality and its attendant Language of the Passions is one of the foremost ways in which the Spirit seeks to communicate with the Persona. But because of this, and the jealousy and fear engendered within it by the monotheists, it is also one of the most suppressed and misunderstood of spiritual behaviors. For it is a true Principle that if you can unlock one’s sexuality, then you will unlock one’s Spirit. In this way it is certainly possible for Spirit to enter close during certain sexual acts. But of course if done in an improper manner, other spirits may enter in. There are many pitfalls therein, and the Priestesses are specially trained in the Inner Temple to guide Initiates through these tremulous levels of spiritual sexuality. For debauchery is a real and present danger for the Initiate, and to this end the Priestesses teach the Balanced Ecstatic Path. Concerning what more we can say of this subject will be said in its proper place.13

The presence of one’s Spirit in the body causes its Fires to glow hot. This is often accompanied by the magical powers which appear when the Spirit is close in the flesh, such as the unmistakable gleem in the eyes, the expansion of the presence of the person which affects the Waters of all those around them, and the fascination which the Spirit in the Fires can hold over those nearby. It affects the voice and the power of the voice, and almost always grants what Babalon calls the Pia Mezza, the Liminal Vision. It is a middle-way between worlds, which can cause one’s vision to have strange overlays of shapes and colors, and is a harbinger of spirit ingressing into your presence. In addition, this almost always takes place before the physical manifestation of a spirit.

It is the Fires themselves which power the Heka of the Priestess or Magician, and they are stoked and fostered to be the main driving force in rituals. Properly managed and trained, the Fires will carry one through the darkest of Initiations and the most dismal of times, by the Light of the Spirit burning in the heart.

Now it can be seen that the throne of the Spirit is the earthly body with its senses and behavior reactions. Sitting directly upon the behavior reactionary complex of the body is the emotional reactionary complex of the Waters, which gives meaning to experiences and contains your Filas. The way in which your Spirit communicates to you in the Waters is the Emotional Language. On the opposite side of the Waters are the drives and desires of the Fires. This is also the source of your vitality and strength, and is how the Spirit drives you to your purpose and manifests itself. In the center of all of this, with the Earth below, the Water on the left and the Fire on the right is the Air – the place of the mind.

The Ankh as the Elements in the Persona spacer The Ankh as the Elements in Nature

The mind is first and foremost the center of awareness for the Persona. Its purpose is to manage and store sensory information, facilitate physical navigation of the environment, manage the appetites, and use its logic and intelligence to help the Persona survive. It must be thoroughly understood here that the mind is separate from the Spirit, and in no way does the Spirit partake of mind, nor is it similar to mind in any way, other than they both possess a type of consciousness. This is contrary to most modern teachings, which confuse the mind as Spirit, and the mind as the source or cause of Heka or Magick. Spirit can not directly communicate to the consciousness of the mind. It can only do so through the conduits of the Fires and the Waters, or more rarely through the bodily sensations and dreams.14 The Mind, or Air, can not communicate directly with spirit in any form, which is why it is easy for mind-centered people to "disbelieve" in the existence of anything outside of the mind, and their bodies. Atheism is simply a disconnect of the Persona and the Spirit, which is easy to accomplish by living in the modern ways in which most people do. It will simply happen unbidden.15 This is also why it is said that "spirits traverse the Air," because it is a place they must cross in order to make their presence known to the individual.

The Air is the place of your mundane mental faculties of logic (both linear and associative), memory, and reason, none of which is your true consciousness or true awareness. The source or origin of true consciousness is the Spirit. All life is manifest because of spirit, and this manifestation is evident through the appearance of consciousness in the creature. Even plants possess consciousness, albeit on a much more limited scale of awareness. The Air of mind is the focal point, the convex, the crossroads of reactionary behaviors, memories, experiences and spiritual influence. The mind has direct access to memories in the brain, which were imprinted there by emotional reactions to experiences. This shows us the Watery origin of memories.

It is important to understand that one's mind has its own sense of self, its own sense of being, and possesses its own agenda separate from that of the Spirit. It collects impressions and feelings from the bodily senses, the emotions and the passions, in order to pursue its own agenda. This agenda of the mind is originally one concernedThe consciousness of Spirit and Persona. mainly with fulfilling appetites and maintaining survival, which gives the Persona a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. Out of these appetites and survival responses come the whole host of human behaviors, all modified, warped and changed by the experiences and imprintations of the Persona, in myriads of different ways.

At this point it might become clear to the reader that the desire of the Persona and the Will of the Spirit are not one in the same thing. And this fact is indeed the prime source of spiritual conflict in humanity. In fact, one of the greatest purposes of Initiation is to align the desire of the Persona to the Will of its Spirit. This is no small feat, and by doing so it aligns the Persona to something greater than itself and its mundane agenda of appetite fulfillment and survival.

For it soon becomes apparent that Air is also War. It is both a medium and a conduit, and the most dangerous place of all. It is the War to survive, with its attendant will to Power. Air is the conflict of appetites, each vying for supremacy and control of the body at various times. And the Mind is the place of contention between Persona and Spirit for the destiny of the individual incarnation.

One can now see clearly the whole sorry history of exoteric spirituality throughout the ages, revolving around the agenda of the Persona in conflict with that of the Spirit. In fact, the point of most common failure for the Persona, as the Spirit seeks to subject it to its Will, is that of the fear of death. The survival instinct is the strongest instinct of the body, and rightly so. Yet this instinct does a great disservice to the Persona in a spiritual sense. The Persona is mortal, yet seeks to never die. The Spirit is deathless, and seeks to bend the Persona to its Will in order to fulfill the purpose of its incarnation. This conflict, which is often more acute in men than women, is the crisis which creates the Abyss.16 And the greater the gulf is between the Persona and the Spirit, the greater the Gulf of the Abyss will be.

There is often a slow building of this crisis in the Initiate over the course of their magical career, which at some point culminates in a full-blown crisis of control. The conflict is over the destiny of the Persona, and who will decide it. In this dangerous place the Persona, driven by its profound survival instinct which manifests as a fear of death and mortality, often makes a gambit for immortality, seeking to attach itself to the Spirit and usurp its throne, or to strike some bargain so that it will never die. There are many religions which offer promises and solutions for this crisis, all of which fail. And there are many demons that lay in wait for this very moment on the Initiates path. These demons speak the language of the mind, of Air, and are masters of rationalizing their desires in ways which seem logical and proper. When they speak, it sounds no different than the voice of the mind, such is their skill at cloaking. This is one of the reasons why it is said that demons are of the Air, and that the Air contains the Abyss.

The Priestesses of Templum Babalonis in Ophidia are well trained in the ancient ways of dealing with this problem of Air. These ways are the secret female ways of the old Goddess culture, now lost to the memory of man. They are the Silent Ways of the Night. There is no verbal teaching here, no words, no lectures and no books. For it should be realized by now that the mind of the Persona should never be the leader and originator of ones destiny, but only the facilitator of something greater than itself. One can stir a person into rebellion against their Spirit with knowledge, but never with wisdom. For knowledge is born from the mind, but wisdom is born from the Spirit. This is why in many ancient cultures the serpent was synonymous with wisdom, for the Spirit brings wisdom to the Initiate which works like a memory. This wisdom is a true understanding of things in ways that the Persona can not achieve on its own, and which is not the result of logic or rational thinking.

If there is to be success in the pursuit of Heka for the Initiate, then there can be no distraction for the mind of the Initiate in this endeavor. It must be liberated of its desire for any purpose other than fulfillment of the Spirit's Will. This can not be accomplished by the Initiate who is trapped in the modern world as a wage slave, concerned with money and jobs. One simply will not get very far with Heka, as one’s Persona will have competing interests. One’s Persona is endlessly bombarded with the distractions fostered upon it by the commercial and industrial pressures of media, entertainment and social stratification. The demands for attention and obedience by corporations, governments, technology and society will never allow the Spirit to ascend to its rightful place of predominance in their midst. In fact, the body itself is under attack by unhealthy, toxic and genetically modified foods and chemicals never meant for ingestion. These substances, along with the packages they are housed in which leach very harmful chemicals into the food they contain, all cause a great dis-ease in the body, on the physical and chemical levels. Additives in the water, specifically fluoride in many localities, have a very adverse affect on pineal gland activity, which is the seat of the Will in the biological human, and one of the great gateways in which the Spirit communicates to the Persona. If this gateway is damaged, then there is very little chance the Persona will have the will to undergo the Initiation and discipline required to achieve meaningful results in their training, and will simply never feel much of a connection to anything even vaguely "spiritual". This certainly describes most individuals of this day, who wander untethered to any real sense of identity beyond fulfillment of their addicted appetites and inflated egos as spoiled children of the consumerist empire.

This is why it is required by the Temple for those who seek out the mysteries of Heka to physically relocate to Ophidia, our sacred "monastery" deep within a natural setting, so that the body and mind can be detoxified, repaired, and the distractions of civilization removed. But that is not all, for the Genius of Ophidia lends its powers to those that dedicate themselves to the Principles of Natura, thereby boosting their normal abilities. They in turn, through their practice of Natura within the land of Ophidia, engender spirit there, making it a more divine and powerful place because of the interactions between the two spirits. And they are not alone, for many spirits, great and small, move within Ophidia. These many spirits come here, for it is a place of alliance in the re-spiritualization of the Earth. And it is the place of the new indigene for humans, as we reclaim the divinity of our animal selves, as we move upon the lands of the Mother as we once did before.

These are the ways of the serpent. These are the ways of the Ophidians. The powers of the Spirit, of the serpent, are many and miraculous. They are the powers of life, itself. The serpent brings change, renewal, regeneration, transformation, Initiation and all of the Powers of Heka and the Underworld for those who are willing to undergo the serpent's bite, and leave the distractions, addictions and degeneracy of so-called civilization behind. By dedication and Initiation, by Heka and Natura, the Persona will align with the Spirit, and its destiny will be fulfilled. This is the meaning of life which so many seek, but never find. This is the Manifestation of the Divine Serpent.

1. From one of many secret Blood Rites communications. This particular line is from a much longer communiqué from Ra Hoor Khuit himself, who is summoned through the Blood Rites by the Priestesses. These rites, and their methods, are hinted at in Chapter 3 of Liber Legis.    [return]

2. A Genius is the personified spirit of some thing or place, which has a personality and experiential existence all its own. Common examples are a Genius of place, a Genius of a race of people, or a Genius of a bloodline. This concept was corrupted and abstracted by Plato into his "Platonic Ideals", which despiritualized the original concept and broke the connection between people and Spirit, paving the way for science, and with it the downfall and degeneration of mankind which we are now experiencing.   [return]

3. For the many references to serpents in the Book of Law and their meanings, see Volume 4 of this series.   [return]

4. Babalon Herself, from one of the secret, periodic Supreme Rituals performed by the Hagia and Her servants within the Inner Temple, which manifest Our Lady Babalon to visible appearance, the method of which is encrypted in Liber Legis.   [return]

5. Spirit, such is its unique nature as a substance, can be found as an individual entity, or as a universal collective of many spirits together, as both at once, or as something in-between.   [return]

6. Liber Legis: I, 40.   [return]

7. Of course one’s memory resides in the physical brain which dies with the death of the body, but the Spirit has access to the experiences of all its previous incarnations regardless of this. For the most part these experiences are kept hidden from one’s conscious self so that one does not feel the lure and drive of the Will of a previous lifetime. Such a thing could prove disastrous, potentially distracting one from one’s current purpose. This pull can be very strong, even for an Adept, and so all past life explorations must be approached at the very least with firm non-attachment and indifference.   [return]

8. Egyptian symbols and images often predominate in our philosophy because it is the first place in the academic historical record where one can find a true glimpse of the ancient ways of the Ophidians. However it should also be noted that the Aryan Solar Gods and their minions captured Egypt and established their dynasties there, overlaying their symbols onto that of the previous culture, which causes much confusion to the uninitiated who have only the archeologists with modern minds to interpret these symbols for them.   [return]

9. Often the Persona has been poetically called a larva or a worm, in contrast to the image of the Spirit as a serpent.   [return]

10. This statement should not be interpreted to assume that "logic" is somehow superior to "feelings" or emotions. It is simply not the case. However, it is important to understand ones own behavioral reactions and decision making processes and where those motivations originate, in order to unravel one’s own motivations in choosing one’s path in life. One’s Spirit, ultimately, should be guiding one’s decisions, not some mundane emotional reactionary complex or behavioral fear, for example.   [return]

11. The complicated subject of Filas and Evocation of spirits will be dealt with later, in the appropriate chapter.   [return]

12. There are a few other ways in which the Spirit is able to communicate to its Persona, such as dreams and trance states of consciousness, but they are not enacted in the normal conscious waking state.   [return]

13. As is said in Liber Legis, II:26 "I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one." The "head" here spoken of is of course the "mind" of the Magician during the act, which is why this instruction is given in Chapter II. The Priestess has a different function during the Act. See Chapter III of Liber Legis for further clues.   [return]

14. Dreams actually manifest in the Waters, but can be influenced by your Fires, body, and mind as well. In fact, most mundane dreams are merely the product of the mind and body.   [return]

15. See Book III Natura for a detailed explanation of this topic.   [return]

16. There are many complicated reasons why this problem of conflict between the Persona and Spirit of the individual is more acute in males than females in general, but most of them are biological in nature. Women have a more cooperative and nurturing nature because of their direct role in child bearing and child rearing than males. Likewise men are generally more warlike and pugnacious, and therefore rebellious, due to their roles as protectors and hunters. Of course much of this is confused in the modern world where these roles are no longer directly necessary for survival.   [return]

Ending Flourish

All text and images are Copyright 2001, 2023 Templum Babalonis.
Reuse without express written permission is forbidden.