Tuesday, June 12, 2012
(article) The Empress' Bouquet: An Analysis of the Floral Symbolism in ATU III - R. Joseph Capet
The following are notes from the article The Empress' Bouquet and it's examination into the relation between Mary and The Whore of Babylon.
Click here to read the full article.
[In the Egyptian system] we have a set of five figures, arranged in a series of complementary opposing pairs, bringing together in dialectical relationship: activity and passivity (Horus and Harpocrates), transcendence and immanence (Osiris and Horus/Harpocrates), and creation and destruction (Isis and Nephthys).
[In the system of India] it is found that the fivefold pattern once again holds true: activity and passivity (Vishnu and Shiva), transcendence and immanence (Brahma and Vishnu/Shiva), and creation and destruction (Shakti/Kali). What is more, it holds true in roughly the same pattern of relationships, creation and destruction again being dual aspects of a goddess who is the consort both of a deity representing transcendence and of a deity representing immanence (who are, in some sense, aspects of each other), with the immanent deity being twinned as an active and a passive god.
[In the European system], the difficulty is to locate, within the Christian context, a destructive aspect of Mary which would be cognate to Kali and Nephthys. Crowley's insight is to recognize that Mary appears not once, but twice in the Book of Revelation—once in her creative aspect as the Virgin Mary (represented in Revelation in the figure of the Woman of Revelation), and once in her destructive aspect as the Whore of Babylon.
Thus we see the Whore not simply as a goddess of destruction, but as a goddess who, by virtue of her participation in a pair, is a goddess of creative destruction, like Kali.
Once again, we have a functioning pentad: activity and passivity (the Son and the Holy Spirit), transcendence and immanence (the Father and the Son/Holy Spirit), and creation and destruction (the Virgin Mary/the Whore of Babylon).
It stands established, then, that the following system of correspondences is possible and that Crowley appears to be leaving us an abundance of clues, starting with the 'lotus of Isis', that encourage us to establish such a system: Osiris/Brahma/the Father, Horus/Vishnu/the Son, Harpocrates/Shiva/the Holy Spirit, Isis/Shakti/Mary, and Nephthys/Kali/the Whore of Babylon.
The marriage of the Virgin and the Whore vindicated Crowley's belief that “No two ideas have any real meaning until they are harmonized in a third, and the operation is only perfect when these ideas are contradictory.” As he writes, “Balance against each thought its exact opposite. For the Marriage of these is the Annihilation of Illusion.” The emblematic flower of the goddess who had first borne the title 'the Queen of Heaven' is the perfect symbol to accomplish this, uniting by the middle way of Egypt the archetypes of Europe and India, the Mother and the Son, the Virgin and the Whore.
Some additional notes on the system of India:
Crowley wrote, “Paradoxical as it may sound the Tantrics are in reality the most advanced of the Hindus.” He regarded them as a “primitive stage of the White tradition [of Magick]” of which the purest exemplar was his own Thelema. Interestingly, he also equated the fundamental propositions of Tantra with certain Isiac rites of the Egyptians, whose religion he regarded as “The only religion which corresponds to this School [the White] at all...” He writes:
"In other words, he [the Tantric adept] implicitly denies the fundamental proposition that existence is sorrow, and he formulates the essential postulate of the White School of Magick, that means exist by which the universal sorrow (apparent indeed to all ordinary observation) may be unmasked, even as at the initiatory rite of Isis in the ancient days of Kehm. There, a neophyte presenting his mouth, under compulsion, to the pouting buttocks of the Goat of Mendez, found himself caressed by the chaste lips of a virginal priestess of that Goddess at the base of whose shrine is written that No man has lifted her veil."