In Nomine Babalon: Sacred Whoredom in a Thelemic Context
Naked and trembling, pressed against my bare body, he whispered into my hair, "can I kiss you?"
Instead of answering with words, I turned my face up to him.
When our lips met, it felt as if some part of him opened up around me like
a cocoon. I allowed an answering part of me to wrap around him as well and our kiss was sealed off from the world as securely as if we were hidden away in a tent by a lonely desert oasis.
Though the average person might think that the shocking part of our encounter was the fact that hundreds of dollars had changed hands, the part that shocked the two of us that day was the intensity of our sexual, emotional and spiritual connection. Up until twenty minutes before that kiss we had never laid eyes on each other.
I am Magdalene Meretrix and I am a whore. I accept money in exchange for sexual intimacy. And I feel honored to be able to offer such a valuable service.
This session I'm describing was in many ways typical of my work but still it was totally unique. It represents the pinnacle of what I strive for with each encounter, the peak experience of my career thus far.
In many ways that session was disorienting to me -- I had been working so hard on my focus and magick for so many years and getting a trickle of energy back for my efforts. This client came walking through my door and added that mysterious missing ingredient and the trickle turned to a torrent that nearly drowned me.
The client, I'll call him Michael though that's not truly his name, specifically chose me because he had read my website and knew that I practice a form of meditation through my prostitution. Michael is a very spiritual man and a high degreed initiate in a magical order. When he decided to visit a prostitute, he already knew that he was looking for more than just a roll in the hay.
I am a Thelemite and my whoring is as much an expression of my spiritual reality as it is a way to earn a living. The founder of modern Thelema, Aleister Crowley, wrote in Chapter 35 of "The Book of Lies":
What do I love? There is no form, no being, to
which I do not give myself wholly up. Take me,
The commentary for this passage reads:
In the last two paragraphs, there is a justification
of a practice which might be called sacred
In the common practice of meditation the idea is to
reject all impressions, but here is an opposite
practice, very much more difficult, in which all
At the same time that this notion seemed true and right to me, for quite some time I was stuck on my own knee-jerk reaction to the popular assumption that being a prostitute means accepting any sort of treatment, even abuse, and being forced to accept such treatment because "whores will sleep with anyone who gives them money."
I and my colleagues have to deal with this assumption regularly and it becomes difficult to bite back the anger when the same idiotic line comes along over and over. No matter how many times we cry out, no matter how many people we try to set straight on the matter, still an army of ignorance awaits us, flying the Banner of the Mindlessly Oppressed Prostitute.
So when I read Crowley saying that, in the case of the Sacred Prostitute,
"all are accepted," I had some difficulty. I turn people away regularly. If they're rude, if they're abusive, if they are seeking a service I don't offer, if they don't have enough money, I send them on their way as kindly as they allow me to.
Ironically enough, it was my session with Michael that helped me come to a new level of understanding. It was the session I would never have rejected that led me to a greater understanding of acceptance.
I have had sessions that lasted an eternal hour, sessions where I struggled
to stay focused on the moment because I felt out of place. The session with Michael was the complete opposite. Staying right there, awake, conscious, in the moment was so simple it required no effort. Each minute spent with Michael was like a step along a mysterious journey, one where neither of us were the guide yet both were teacher and student. Michael humbled me even as he elevated me.
During my time with Michael, I came to a deeper understanding of the Thelemic definition of "love." When a Thelemite speaks of love in a spiritual sense, they're not speaking of that wonderful warm gushy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach. Thelemic love -- agape -- is not a feeling so much as it is a state of being. In his introduction to Liber AL vel Legis, Crowley defines spiritual love as, "the uniting with one or another part of 'Nuit.'" Nuit is "Space -- that is, the total of possibilities of every kind ... Every event is a uniting of some one monad with one of the experiences possible to it."
Each of us is an individual and we each have individual experiences, but to the extent that we can unite with Nuit -- experience all forms of connections -- individual experience becomes universal. As fallible humans, this expansion of our consciousness to include all consciousness is imperfect at best. But the continuing struggle towards that all-encompassing love is what makes us more than human -- this work is the Great Work.
And now I see -- that acceptance of all does not mean allowing others to
harm one or having sex with someone who only has four dollars to offer. Acceptance of all means that the misshapen man in a wheelchair gets the same level of love, acceptance and effort to find his pleasure spots as the perfectly formed and tanned ski instructor.
Acceptance of all means that the man who needs to cry will find warm arms
around him and a quiet acceptance of the sorrow he is experiencing along with an attempt to understand it.
Acceptance of all means that the man who only has four dollars to offer
may still be sent away but not sent off feeling unworthy or inadequate
because his lack of money is not a lack of humanity.
Acceptance of all means that those who are sent away will be sent off with compassion and understanding, even if that compassion comes through a firm arm to keep them from harming others.
Without acceptance, there will always be separation. It is only when the Sacred Whore learns to accept that which is Other that the union of opposites and the joy of dissolution can commence.
That late Summer kiss and the amazing passions that passed between Michael and me opened my eyes to a world of joy and satisfaction that reaches far beyond the ecstacy of orgasm, touching the very roots of all that is.
In her essay called "Kiss the Sky, A Tantric Text On Channeling Babalon," Linda Falorio says:
Kiss another human being. In so doing, you will
for that moment of the kiss, merge your
interior essences and learn something of the being
of the other. Be warned that the other in turn
will have taken away a part of you as well.
After spending the day with Michael, I know that Falorio is right. Just one kiss can turn your world upside down. Just one kiss can remind you of the meaning of Great Work. Just one kiss can open you to a universe of knowing. Just one kiss can teach you exactly what it was you needed to know.
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