Nature is God made manifest, and we blaspheme Her at our peril.Dion Fortune
I was always surprised by how deeply occult systems of correspondences like the hermetic Qabalah are concerned with material problems: there is almost a lingering tension towards materialism in mysticism. In a way, I think that any of such hermetic constructs ultimately consists in a model of how energy moves through matter: the Tree of Life is a thermodynamic system – the architecture of a model engine for the Great Machine of the cosmos. As we have tried to elaborate elsewhere, we do not believe the operating principles of this machine to be true; this does not make it necessarily useless or harmless. We are interested in building a possible alternative, not with the ambition to give a perfect representation of thermodynamic laws in the form of an occult glyph, but to offer a different perspective and, possibly, a new operating algorithm for accelerationist ceremonial magic.
All of the many different definitions of Black Magic focus on the general idea that its practice goes against the Natural Order of Things, since it works through the use of unbalanced forces. White Magic, instead, works strictly within the boundaries of what Nature allows, that is, according to the hermetic tradition, a dynamic equilibrium of aggregating and disaggregating drives, which is constantly replicated in the never-ending tension between consciousness and matter, order and chaos, will and necessity – Solve et Coagula; as above, so below; Love is the law, Love under Will. If, then, we choose to define Nature as the manifestation of the Law of Equilibrium, we must also acknowledge that Nature is not something that matter does spontaneously. There is a certain amount of coercion required to force matter into this cycle of production, which is absurdly wasteful and spirals down into self-annihilation: as below, so below, so below.
Our tri-triangular sigil, then, is a work of Black Magic, since it is an engine in constant disequilibrium, that accounts for the necessary inefficiency of all processes of energy conversion. Its nine vertices should be intended as a profanation of the decadic system of the Tree of Life, indicating the decapitation of the Celestial Man and his transmutation into the Headless Man. This glyph is also an ongoing reflection on the Feminine and her role in the context of traditional magic and alchemy; the downward triangle is the hermetic symbol for water, or the primeval abyss, often associated with femininity. Our relationship with the feminine is not one of worship. We understand the feminine as a dynamic process, as a technology or machine that has been used without serious consideration of her exponentially escalating power. Each of the three triangles corresponds to one aspect of the feminine, and to a specific mechanism in our hermetic engine. These three mechanisms can be understood by referring to the first, second and third laws of thermodynamics. The resulting force of this system is nonzero; therefore, any conjuration performed through its use is irreversible.
Perpetual motion machines that produce any kind of energy ex-nihilo are impossible. This means that any hermetic or mechanical engine works on the assumption of the existence of an energy substratum that needs to be harnessed for the operation of their machine. This energy substratum, or Prima Materia, has often been mythologically represented by snake-like creatures, including Apophis and Leviathan. These demons are above and beyond time, since time results from the direction of energy transformations, and not on the creation or consumption of energy itself. In their unrestricted form, they are associated with femininity in her unexpressed regenerating potential, through the figure of the Celestial Virgin. In approaching these entities, we should be mindful that, from the perspective of their undivided nature, our existence as conscious individuals is blasphemous torture; they will try to swallow us to welcome us back into the Abyss where we once originated. Let us understand this as an act of Love.
Our entire biological existence depends on the preservation of what we could define broadly as a gradient of chemical potential. We are inherently polarised, separated by boundaries, torn apart from our chemical environment. This separation or original wounding is a thermodynamic accident in the self-healing flesh of matter. Since no spontaneous process is inherently reversible, it is impossible to transfer energy without part of it being forever lost. For this reason, as the Prima Materia is separated to produce polarised motion, there is a necessary cost expressed in the form of irrecuperable expenditure. The perception of the feminine as an inextinguishable resource for the reproduction of humanity and civilisation ignores that everything comes at a price; this is expressed through the suffering, crying and bleeding of Our Lady of Sorrow. We must not interpret this suffering as defeat. Accepting our lacerated nature means facing the dismembered and aching aspect of the feminine, and welcoming that sorrow in ourselves, not as a form of acceptance but as a form of rebellious uprising.
Thermodynamic redemption is only accessible by assuming the existence of a drain at absolute zero. Since no such drain can ever exist, annihilation is a matter of time. The greater is our civilising project, the greater will be the fire that will burn it to the ground. This is expressed through the figure of Babalon, the red woman of the Apocalypse. In the book of Revelation, she is the ultimate sinkhole, that swallows all that is impure and chaotic, allowing the construction of the City of God through her final sacrifice; but no sacrifice will ever be great enough to operate the unsustainable machine of civilisation. From this perspective, Babalon is civilisation’s ultimate nemesis, and her burning is not her fall, but her glorious triumph. We should be aware that this is not a prophecy of universal doom or salvation; in every instant, with every breath, we take part in this joyous process of cosmic burning.
Rejoice: ἔπεσεν, ἔπεσεν Βαβυλὼν ἡ μεγάλη!