Tuesday, January 11, 2011
My Key to Hell
Sin is met by Satan at the gates of Hell in Book II of Paradise Lost. She holds the key to Hell's gate and opens the gate so that Satan (her father) can pass through on his way up to heaven. Sin has no mother but was born out of Satan himself at his rebellious assembly in heaven, both an allegorical representation of his sin against God and a parody of God's creation of the Son. Sin is 'woman to the waist' (II.650) and has a fish's tail, but she shifts shape and is constantly re-forming and breeding, giving birth to dog-like young. She has no control over these changes but is held captive by cruel pregnancies in a body in perpetual labour, cursed by her own fertility. Satan raped his daughter in heaven, and she gave birth to Death.
Babalon voluntarily decended into the underworld, to awaken the power of the Beast for the purposes of Initiation. So far as the ‘sinful’ nature of the Scarlet Woman is concerned, it is interesting to note that in Hebrew the word “sin” actually means “thorn” and “clay”. Thorny plants such as the acacia or rose symbolise the horns of the crescent moon. The moon itself, like the clay shaped by the hands of the divine potter, is a symbol of the body and the natural soul. Liber AL vel Legis describes the Scarlet Woman as being “a moon” (I: 16); as a moon, she is containment and receptivity, as well as the division into parts of cyclical, phasic existence.