Babalon is different than most other goddesses in that She is exclusively a representation of the active divine feminine principle.
As the Jungian analyst Nancy Qualls-Corbett notes in her book, The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine, there is both a static and an active part of the divine feminine. The static archetype is the maternal aspect: in Qualls-Corbett’s words, the “unchanging and stable factor that fosters feelings of security, protection, and acceptance.”
That is to say, the Mother archetype never changes. She’s The Empress in the tarot: you’ll always be her baby. She’ll always love, accept, and defend you. The Mother’s role is to endlessly incubate and birth, nurture and protect. To live entirely for her children.
The other side of the divine feminine archetype is the active or transformative aspect. Qualls-Corbett elaborates by quoting from another prominent Jungian analyst, Ann Belford Ulanov:
“This active side of the feminine… invokes primeval forces that take us out of the limitations and conventions of social norms and the reasonable life…. Ecstasy may range from a momentary being taken out of oneself to a profound enlargement of personality.”
This is the side of the divine feminine that Babalon, a.k.a. the Sacred Whore archetype, a.k.a. the tarot’s Lust, belongs to.
What does the active, transformational side of the divine feminine feel like?
- New Relationship Energy (NRE), the excitement we experience at the beginning of a new romantic relationship.
- Blissful, deep, gratifying sexual connection with oneself or another
- Creative energy, coupled with motivation to bring one’s vision to life
- A renewed sense of potential and possibility, and the willingness to explore those to see where they lead
- A willingness to take an active role in things that the maternal divine feminine is not usually concerned with, such as external relationships, worldly activities, and personal gratification.
In other words, worshipping the Holy Whore Babalon changes us, because we are attuning with the transformational side of the feminine, the Sacred Whore archetype. When I speak of the personal transformation I help my clients achieve, it is in the spirit of this feminine lifeforce energy, this whole-unto-herself goddess of love and war we call Babalon.
The Sacred Whore uses her own magnetic, creative potential and sacral energy intentionally, to help others awaken to that same energy and potential inherent in themselves. As such, she is much more firmly in control of her own body and magick than a strictly maternal feminine archetype that is passively impregnated and forms, births, and nurtures progeny.
And unlike the Mother, the Whore is a participant in the worldly marketplace, selling access to their time, energy, mind, and body, which are valuable because these assets have been specifically calibrated to help their clients transform in some way, via direct experience of sacred sacral energy.
So when someone hurls the word whore at another person as a misogynist epithet, what are they really criticizing?
- They are criticizing that person’s personal power and self-determination, especially as it relates to their work, their money, and their sex life.
- They are criticizing the person for being in touch with their magnetic, creative potential.
- They are criticizing that person for playing an active, rather than passive, role.
- They are criticizing that person’s willingness to share all of themselves—even the personal, intimate aspects—with others.
- And they are accusing that person of debasing themselves, vis-à-vis a very specific masculine, monotheistic worldview that emphasizes woman’s place as
- in the home,
- raising children, and
- providing sexual access to one person,
- purely for the means to reproduce.
As a self-possessed, female-identifying entrepreneur who does not share that masculine, monotheistic worldview, I don’t see those first four as negative things, and I wholeheartedly reject the last. I would wager that most of my peers would feel likewise.
At the same time, I recognize (and celebrate) that my very presence in the marketplace is a challenge to millennia of the so-called ‘status quo.’ I also understand that any time I portray myself as a sexual being with a will of her own, I invoke the Whore archetype, especially if I’m willing to inhabit my sexuality at the same time as I’m selling absolutely anything at all. And yet, I am inspired by my own potential, my own creative power, and my own gifts and talents that I share with the world.
Does that make me a whore?
Well, aren’t we all selling our time, energy, mind, and/or body—to someone, be they employer, client, or customer—for our livelihoods?
Whores. Aren’t we all?
And if so, why not stand in that power—own it, use it, and celebrate our independence, our self-determination, and our potential?
Why not completely remove the negative, shaming power of that word as an epithet, and instead channel our active feminine archetype deliberately, to help bring about an age of independent, empowered, self-possessed people that are creating a thriving world for all of us to live in?
In my mind’s eye, I see a world in which all people recognize the divine spark within all others, and in which we all contribute our unique talents, unrestrained, with the knowledge that everyone’s contributions are absolutely vital to the whole. In my mind’s eye, I so clearly see a world in which the Sacred Whore leads the way to the self-actualization of humanity as a whole, and it’s an earth-shaking vision.
May Mystery, Babalon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations, bless us all with Her love, lust, and transformative magick, that we may know and experience our own divine sparks, for the good of all humanity.
In Nomine Babalon!