The Scarlet Letter
Volume III, Number 1 | Sept. 1995
The Arch of Swords
by S. Oroboros

For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union. —AL I:29

Imagine the happy gladness of the foetis at one within eau d'mama:

UnionYummm. Oohwow. Swish. Twist. Throb-Throb. [Union is-is] Eeeeeh. Aaahhhh. Oooooh. Glorp. Kick. Throb Throb. [Soft, warm]. Yayyyy. Ummmmm. Laaaaah. Suck. Wiggle. Throb-Throb. [Joy]

It seems sad that these little somanauts should be so violently thrust from their 0-so-warm cocoon of merging into the too-bright world of screaming emergencies. It is by a cruel sword that we are slashed away from the rhythmic experience of in-the-flesh gnosis and enter this plane as strangers in a very strange land. “What, no maps of the terrain? No survival kit waiting at the other end of the tunnel? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? And who the hell am I?”

Astonishingly enough we somehow learn to navigate the ever changing straits of life and if we are lucky, we reach maturity with a minimum of psychic scars. Most of us are not so lucky. And so begins the task of peeling back the protective husks to uncover the seed of light within. This beacon of light that calls to us from deep within our bodies begs union: fervent, heart-felt, body-wrenching throb-throb in-the-flesh union. Yet back into the womb we cannot crawl. That leaves the problematic matter of union with others: family, friends, brothers, sisters, strangers, lovers. Yet the type of in-the-flesh union we yearn to return to is rarely achieved by any other intimate-ship than that of lovers. It is only as lovers that we come full circle to find ourselves again at the gate of that beloved garden that served as our first gnostic temple.

"Ah, rapture! Ah, sweet sexual nectar of love's delight! 0 ecstasy of the senses. 0 Love, 0 Love, let me but merge with thy fire that these tongues of flame might lick away the husks that separate I from I and I from thou." We find bliss in union with lovers through sex and speech and sight and sound and a thousand other tiny articulations that bring us closer to that light within ourselves by extension toward the LVX within the other. We slough off old skins and arise shiny and new. We submit ourselves to Love's initiation. We pass go beneath the Arch of Swords. Hieros gamos. We are one, we are none.

Once we have found utter union and annihilation with a lover, how do we keep pushing the envelope? True, some just keep riding the same ride over again with some slight variations. As ye will. But for others of us, we embrace additional lovers. One unit of unification is not enough. We have too much love to give, too much light to gather to our breasts, and quite frankly, too much libido. 0 my but we Thelemites are a lusty lot. Not satisfied with monogamous mystical marriage for long, we want more. More light. More life. More love. More liberty. More union and dissolution within the womb of our lover, our mother, our Nuit. So how do we will ourselves more further, farther, faster? We dare to embark on a precarious journey frought with more of the same: wild territory with no survival kit, no road map, and no kundalini anti-venom. So goes the Fool with her Will under one arm and her Love under the other and perhaps a few old spells or poems or semen-soaked hankies tucked into the threadbare knapsack on her shoulder. Chapel Perilous or bust!

We take on another lover or two or three or more. We find joy in our mystic loves as when those rare kalas of joy, liquid light tears, sweep down our cheeks as we laugh and cry at the sight of a spouse in ecstasy with another. Breathe. Push. Release. 'Whoosh. This roller coaster is like no other ride and we would never give it up. And yet there are those moments when a sudden swoop sends the heart into the throat with a painful thump. Pushing the envelope is hard work. Mercurial emotions do not often follow the dictates of the intellect. Hence at times the heart will seize up and the breath will catch in the throat when a favorite lover is intimate with another; and this despite the fact that intellectually this is exactly what we want. Jealousy is a primordial emotion which rarely manifests in a Thelemic way. We ponder puzzled, "I have achieved samadhi on not one but a number of occasions. I have been annihilated like Osiris and pieced back together by Isis. How can I be trifled by petty jealousy?" Not finding an immediate answer, watchtowers are erected and great lights sweep across the wild terrain on the lookout for the demon of jealousy that its presence might be understood and alchemized.

We find jealousy lurking in the long-forgotten catacombs of our bodies' first imprints. The babe taken from the womb into the too-bright world feels the pain of separation on a level much deeper than our cerebral awareness can conceive of. Again being weaned away from the sweet soma of mother's body and having to share Her with others hurts.

Ouch! The pain of separation leaves deep imprints indeed. To rise above our body's unwillingness to share the omnipresence of Her body with others requires higher level survival tools: eternal vigilance, self-discipline, and letting go of control. The realization that jealousy has deep roots into the body itself, not just the conscious mind, assists in the process of alchemizing this emotion into a more useful vibration. Using the body, we re-imprint. We breathe deeply, we massage the throat, we send the heart back to the chest where it belongs. Everything is as it should be. Alchemize the energy. Release. Sssssssss. Smooth out the tense emotional lumps in the body. Breathe. Relax. It is to remain a single-pointed star whose light shines the brighter when our lovers are joyous - not just with us but with others. Intimacy, after all, is the ability to relax with another; in states of deep mutual relaxation our Holy Guardian Angels are willing to come out and play together. Why should we fear our lovers' relaxation with others? This very fear creates tension, not relaxation, and the intimacy we so strive for may be compromised. Overcoming fear and tension is not easy. Maybe we should just give up and call jealousy part of our nature. No! As magickians, do we not seek transcendence, initiation and evolution? If we do not seek this growth, we are simply playing parlour games in crazy costumes. As magickians, we should not be satisfied with jealousy as an impasse that we cannot work our way around. As Lovers, we are wise to practice patience and compassion with our selves and our partners as we grow together toward fervent, heart-felt, body-wrenching, in-the-flesh gnostic union. Throb-throb.

This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all. —AL I:30

This is dedicated with joy and thanks to all of my Beasts and Babalons.

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