It is to you woman, beautiful redeemer of the race, whom I address this chapter. That which stirs in you now is not madness, not sin, not folly — but Life! This new life is the joy and the fire that will beget a new race; create a new heaven and new earth. When you were a child, did not the wind and the sun speak to you? Did you not hear the mountain’s voice; the voice of the river and of the storm? Have you not heard the whisper of the stars and the ineffable voice in silence? Have you not gone naked in the forest with the wind on your body and felt the caress of Pan? Your heart has swollen with Spring, blossomed with Summer and saddened with Winter. These things are the covenant and in them is the truth that is forever.
You have sought companions as high-hearted as yourself and found them not save in the elusive memories of dream and song. For you found a blight over the world; a blight of silence and sorrow. Your companions walked in guilt and shame, in fear, in hate, in sin and in the sorrow of sin. There was only nervous laughter and furtive pleasure; unsatisfying and shameful — But be no longer sad, my beloved. Be joyous and unafraid for within you is the song that shall shatter the silence, the flame that will burn away the dross.
It is you who are the redeemer from sing and sorrow, from guilt and shame. WOMAN; oh splendour incarnate! How long have you served in chains, a slave to the lust and guilt of pigs? How long have you writhed under the degradation of your Holy Name, “Whore”, or suffered silently under the degradation called, “virtue”? How well you have known the stake, the rack, the whip, the chains of imprisonment and even entombment in the service of your master.
And was the bond fear, was it weakness, was it cowardice and inferiority? Oh shame of man, it was none of these; it was love. A man was once crucified in a redemption that failed, yet if ten times ten million men were crucified, this infamy could not be redeemed. Husband, father, priest, jailer, judge, executioner, exploiter, seducer, destroyer — so has your lover mastered and defiled you. Yet pity him for he sought love… But finally there is an end and then the beginning and all the future will be with you. For you are the mother of a new race, the redeemer and lover of the new men; the men who shall be free.
I shall speak to you of men. Men desire three things of a woman: a mother greater than themselves, a wife less than themselves and a lover equal with themselves. Against the mother they are in revolt, the wife they hold in contempt and the lover ever eludes them. Consider the husband; how he throws his clothes about, eschews dirty dishes and housework and asserts himself in a loud voice. Consider the homosexual; how he hates woman and flees himself, fearing that he will slay her. Consider the great lover; how he grasps for love and his hands close on nothingness. These are bewildered, frightened children playing games against the dark. And those who wear brass and swords, who strut and slay, are they not the most frightened of all? Therefore pity them and forgive them.
In the ancient world there were men for a season, before cities arose and they turned to gilded popinjays, gracefully accepting futility. Then came Christianity, an anodyne for slaves, an enteric for barbarians whose deeds gave them indigestion — and ultimately, a whip for slave masters.
Faust was the prototype of the Middle Ages, but not the Faustus of whom Kit Marlowe tells. It was a darker Faust; Gilles de Rais, who betrays the Maid in his lust for power, then, after his fall and the failure of his prayers, he descends to horror in his cellars. This theme lasted an age until man, appalled by his nightmares, turned finally to a dream of liberty.
It is the voice of Voltaire, jaded, cynical, weary of folly, that sounds the opening bar of a tremendous, mocking prelude. Tom Paine, one real man, broken and at last betrayed by all the wooden champions, Cagliostro, plotting the revenge of the Templars with a woman and a necklace, Will Blake, speaking uncomprehended with the tongue of angels, Shelley and his beautiful gesture; Swinburne, who almost recreated Helas before he too was broken — Byron, Pushkin, Gautier; all instruments in a prelude to a symphony that was never played. And Science — how it was to save us! That “Brave New World” of Huxley, Darwin and H.G. Wells with only the voice of Spengler in dissent. Science remaking the world; an international language, a universal brotherhood beyond nationality, prejudice or creed… A beautiful vision fallen like a house of cards. You creators of the “New Age” who dare not speak, think or move without permission from the military, you unfettered titans who will hang for speaking across one border — where is your ‘New World’? Champions, where is freedom? What treasure have we lost? We must turn to women for that answer.
The key lies back ten thousand years ago in the Age of Isis that is mistakenly called “The Matriarchy”. It was not a Matriarchy as we conceive it; a rule of club-women, of frustrated chickens, in fact it was not a rule at all; it was an equality.
The Woman was and is the Priestess. In Her reposes the Mystery. She is the Mother, brooding yet tender, the lover, at once passionate and aloof, the wife, revered and cherished. She is the witch woman. She stands co-equal with her mate who is the chieftain, the hunter, the thinker and the doer. The woman is the Priestess, guardian of the mystery, syble of the unconscious and prophetess of dreams. Togther they balanced each other until the catastrophe of the Patriarchal Age, arch-typified by the monosexual monster, Jehovah. Then, under the rule of Priests, woman became an inferior animal while
man became isolated in his imagined superiority and found himself at the mercy of his own merciless intelligence. It was total war between the emotions that must and the intellect that will not. Every patriarchal religion is a self-contradictory monstrosity. They are dogmatic creeds that shift like straws in the wind of the intellect. Upon this shifting structure man has failed. He knows the futility of such artificial systems but he fights for them with all the sick fury his frustration can generate. In the process he has lost his mother, his wife has failed him and his lover eludes him. The Mystery has gone out of the Temple, banished by a senile and self-sufficient council of beards.
Woman, Woman — where are you? Come back to us again. Forgive even if you cannot forget and serve once more in our Temples. Take us by the hand. Kiss us on the lips and tell us we are not alone. Witch-Woman, out of the ashes of the stake, rise again! It was in the Dianic Cult that the old way continued. Those splendid and terrible women; Messilina, Toffana, La Voisin and DeBrinvillies raised revenge to a high art. Others sought the forbidden mystery in secret rites and purchased a brief reunion at an awful price.
This was the hope in the Maid of Orleans, the dream of hopeless millions that the woman who was to redeem them had come at last. Her failure and her fate teach us that innocence is no protection. Be cunning, oh woman, be wise, be subtle, be merciless. I have asked you to understand and forgive — but forget not overmuch. Trust nothing but yourself.
Now I have spoken of those great poisoners but there is a worse revenge. Know that all revenge is revenge on self and the most terrible is that taken by the frigid woman. Count her in the tens of millions. The curse lies in the failure of her mate to be a man and her failure to be true to herself but the cause is the dark guilt with which parents poison their children. There is also suppressed incestuous love and the fear of unwanted children — yet those who have known of these things should have no shame there-from. Strength is not born, it is gained by understanding and overcoming. Go free; sing the old, wild song: EVOE IO, EVOE IACCHUS IO PAN, PAN! EVOE BABALON!
Go to the mountains and the forest; go naked in the Summer that you may regain the old joy. Love gladly and freely under the stars. But you say your body is not beautiful? Here is a secret: the body is molded by the mind. If you have embraced fear, repression, hate — then you may find your body repulsive. But go free, love joyously and without restraint. Run naked then watch the cheeks flush, the breasts well and the supple contours develop from the flowing rhythms of life. Disease and deformity are bred in fear and hate, therefore be fearless lovers and ever beautiful.
The woman is the Priestess of the Irrational World! Irrational – but how enormously important, and how dangerous because it is unadmitted or denied, we do not want to be drunken, murderous, frustrated, poverty-stricken and miserable without cause. These conditions are not reasonable or ‘scientific’ and yet they do exist. We say we do not want war but war seems a psychological necessity. Wars will continue until that need is otherwise fulfilled. We do not love or hate a person because it is “reasonable”. We are moved willy-nilly, despite our reason and our will, by forces from the unconscious, irrational world. These forces speak to us in dreams, in symbols and in our own incomprehensible actions. These passions can only be redeemed by intuitive understanding in the feminine province. Only after such understanding can will and intelligence be truly effective for otherwise they are blind and powerless against the tides of emotion.
Woman, put away unworthy weapons. Put away malice and poison, frigidity and childishness. Draw the two-edged sword of freedom and call for a man to meet you in fair combat; a man fit to be your husband and a father to your eagle brood. Call upon him, test him by the sword and he will be worthy of you. Together you will be archetypes of the new race.
Somewhere in the world today there is a woman for whom the Sword is forged. Somewhere there is one who has heard the trumpets of the New Age and who will respond. She will respond, this new woman, to the high clamor of those sar-trumpets; she will come as a perilous flame and a devious song, a voice in the judgement halls, a banner before armies. She will come girt with the Sword of Freedom. Before her, kings and priests will tremble, cities and empires will fall, and she will be called BABALON, The Scarlet Woman. She will be lustful and proud, subtle and deadly forthright and invincible as a naked blade. Women will respond to her war cry, throwing off their chains, men will respond to her challenge, forsaking foolish ways. She will shine as the ruddy Evening Star in the lurid sunset of Gotterdamerung. She will shine again as a Morning Star when the night has passed and a new dawn breaks over the garden of Pan.
To you, oh unknown woman, is The Sword of Freedom pledged.