© Fra Sebomai 2013
A Commentary on The Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, Verses 1-7
“This Rain is Comfort for the Wretched and Devout”
My love takes wing in the black rain,
Washing over me, Cleansing me
Of impure worship and impure flesh.
I watch her fly. I send my heart with her,
Clutched in her crimson talons,
Close to her belly, …and still it rains.
My love takes wing in the black snowfall,
The ashes of a ruined kingdom
Melting on my tongue and face,
My upturned face, scanning the sky,
Waiting for the piercing screech of my love
As she wheels free in the corpse sky.
My love takes wing in the blackest storm,
That rose from the dread shadows
Of my dread soul. Dead things grow there,
Where the light is dim and the wretched eyes
Of my mind never gaze, looking away
From something like fear, something like being
Alone under a corpse sky waiting for my love
To return from her flight or plummet lifeless
To an uncaring earth.
I won’t stop watching and waiting for her,
Even if it kills me.
She is one with the black rain
And, though she is gone now, never to return,
I stand my vigil in a shroud of silence,
For she perished in the black rain of love,
Love for me,
And the price of that love is…
We rain eternally.
The Song of Solomon 2:1-7 is many things to me. It is a prayer, a prayer I pray every morning when I awaken. It is magic, for it serves to invoke the Divine Feminine and prepares oneself for Holy Matrimony with her. It is also a guidebook, a look into the Mysteries of the Sacred Satanic Path of The Femininity of the Absolute. It is the counterbalance to the solar and masculine, traditionally Abrahamic, conception of God.
Within these verses, the soul is taught how to love, how to treat the Mystical Bride, which is not the Church after all, but Divinity herself. And, as opposed to centuries of Church dogma, the soul is the Groom, for when God is feminine, the soul is bewitched and seduced by her beauty just as Solomon was by the Queen of Sheba.
I will devote one section of this paper to each verse of this glorious prayer, a prayer to Godly Darkness and Womanhood, that I feel has been hidden among Old Testament homages to God’s Manhood and genocide at His behest, and New Testament Right Hand Path musings on morality as seen from the vantage point of the (male) Son of the (male) Most High. All love in our human lives flows from this Alpha and Omega love, and there is imbalance when that love is cut off from this source. Whether it be love for a person, an ideal, or an occupation or hobby, when love becomes Love and flows from the Union between Her and the Soul, harmony and joy are to be found. When love remains love, and is divorced from that Union, at best, it bears little, if any, fruit. At worst, it is a firm step planted on the Path of Descension.
Song 2: 1 – (Revised Standard Version): I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
I struggled with these opening lines. They are very famous lines, and their beauty is undeniable. But I wasn’t sure what to say about them in terms of Black Aspect spirituality. Obviously, the Bride is speaking. She compares herself to a rose of Sharon, which is thought not to be a rose at all but a crocus. She compares herself to a lily of the valleys, which has later connections in Catholic theology to the tears Mary wept for Christ, falling as flowers. But, again, modern Biblical scholarship feels she is not calling herself the very specific flower, the “lily of the valley,” but more generally a lily that is found in valleys.
Upon reflection, these opening lines started to open up to me. They are not just beautiful, they are an invocation of beauty. The key was in the fact that I was praying these lines every morning, and even though this line meant less to me personally than any of the other verses did, I felt that the remainder of the verses did not hold together as a prayer without this beginning.
Just as the most famous solar, masculine prayer of our time begins with the invocation, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven…” so this prayer begins with an invocation as well, using the Feminine Divine’s words to describe herself. By reading these lines aloud in a prayerful attitude, one is identifying oneself with her, with the Heavenly Bride, a technique used in the occult since time immemorial to loosen the ego’s false restrictions on what the self is, and to see the self as a reflection of something far greater. The flower imagery suggests the bride sees herself being so completely beautiful, that she becomes a symbol for the very existence of beauty itself: a flower. The specific flowers chosen are culturally conditioned, so that if this poem were being written now, it’s entirely possible she would see herself as a “red, red rose.”
It is no accident, either, that she calls herself as a lily of the valleys. Valley images are rife in the Song of Solomon, valleys being places of incredible fertility, and the Song as a whole painting a picture of Divine Love being almost unbearably fruitful and fertile. So, she sees herself as the combination of perfect fertility and perfect beauty. Invoking her in this imagery makes one unconsciously, perhaps, reflect on one’s own perfect beauty as a spiritual being. Her love for us is not based on our physical beauty, though if we are believers in Karma and the physical form as a manifestation of the spiritual, then it is easy to see that if she dearly loves our spirits, then she does, in her own way, love our forms as well. But being beautiful beings is something that rarely occurs to us, in our everyday lives. If it does, it is almost always a prideful sense of our own physical beauty. Rarely do we reflect that if we were nothing but disembodied spirits, we’d still be inconceivably beautiful. By invoking the Bride in this manner, we are reminded that the Divine sees us as being just as lovely as she is, permits us to see ourselves in her symbolism of beauty, even invites us to do so.
One more note on the imagery specific to this invocation. Flowers, by their nature, grow and, eventually, bloom. This is a subject I will return to in this commentary. For now, suffice it to say, that the Love found in the Arms of the Bride, is a Love that cannot help but grow and eventually bloom, bloom into something deeper and more profound than anything we’ve ever experienced before. If it does not, it is not Her Love, but merely affectation or delusion. The valleys, those places of great fertility, are everywhere in this world, invisible valleys that we travel through never realizing the great opportunities there are for fertile growth and new spiritual life all around us. Praying this invocation, makes us realize that she is everywhere, the valleys are the fertility of existence itself, and they are richly painted with her splashes of lily vibrancy. We, too, can grow wild and free in these valleys, provided we open ourselves up to her, to loving her and being loved by her. Then, as seen in the commentary on verse 3, we become apple trees, among the other trees growing in the valley, and we bear much fruit.
Song 2:2 – (Revised Standard Version): As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens.
In this passage, the Groom speaks, for the one and only time in the verses I shall be commenting on. The rest is all the voice of the Bride. But what he says, what our souls say about her, is so deep and profound and full of meaning and true, rich, real Love. In the opening passage, the Bride compares herself to a lily. She does so and when we pray that verse with her, we identify ourselves with the lily. Now, it is our soul’s turn to speak and the soul agrees immediately with the Bride’s assessment of herself. She is, indeed a lily, not just any lily, but a lily among brambles, the brambles that are, by implication, the maidens who are not the Groom’s Lover.
There are many ways to view the brambles and the maidens. First, I must point out, I am a firm believer in the necessity of material, formal reality as a companion to the spiritual. Any statements I make that seem to devalue the material must be seen in light of the fact that I am discussing primarily the material and formal as divorced from the spiritual, as seen as an end in itself. There is nothing inherently bad and much inherently good about the world and the life of matter. This poem overflows with celebrations of natural beauty and natural love because without these, we’d have no way to even begin to comprehend Divine Beauty and Divine Love. We must remember that the lily, though spoken of in poetically spiritual terms, is a material thing as well, and the material is not to be utterly scorned. The Bride is unashamed to compare herself to matter, she merely calls us to remember that it is the spiritual aspect married to matter that gives her her beauty and fruitfulness.
The brambles are material things, material beings, as seen separated from their spiritual center, as objects of love and devotion with only a formal end in mind and nothing higher, no spirituality wedded to it to make it fruitful. The nature of the brambles is that they do not bear fruit, at least not fruit that is nourishing for us. So the brambles are that outgrowth of misguided fertility, the fertility of love that never transcends, that never makes us bear fruit either.
The brambles, the thorns in the King James Version, also cause pain. We catch on them, get stuck in them, our “flesh” gets torn by them. If we wade into the thorns and brambles of the valley, even if we seek the lilies, we may get ensnared, trapped by the things of this world that do not call our souls to anything higher. These maidens may appear beautiful but speaking with them is idle chatter, loving them is mere fornication. If we are to get anything of value from them, we must meet our Bride, love her, and learn from that love how to appreciate the worldly things in our lives and use them to transform ourselves.
Brambles have their place in nature, all created things do, but the lily is an object of sheer beauty and is thus innately more desirable than the brambles. Ugliness is not a value judgment but merely a commentary on a thing’s utility. Something’s beauty is a sign of it being worthy as a vessel for a higher calling. We ignore beauty, true beauty, at our own peril. If the love of something feels empty, feels like a cul de sac, we can be assured that we are loving brambles and not a lily.
The maidens want to wed us, because our souls are also desirable, also beautiful. All things, as fra. Nefastos points out, have their own form of consciousness. The brambles of this world seek us out with a desire for union. They are represented by the maidens who lust after us, after our spirits, without the wisdom or heart of True Unifying Love. If we love the maidens, we cannot raise ourselves to anything higher. The Bride is a bridge to our higher selves. Her love for us and our love for her carries us above, helps us transcend, all that is base in ourselves. Letting that kind of devotion rest on the worldly animalistic desires of the maidens is both foolish and dangerous. The least harmful thing it can do is cause us not to grow. The most harmful thing it can do is actually reverse any growth we have made, bring us further away from the love that awakens us to our higher nature. As later verses show, the Path of Descension is paved with fruitless love.
The valley that the lily we desire grows in, the lily that grows among the brambles, can also be seen as our spine, and the centers of fertility the chakras. A useful image would be that a river or stream flows through the valley, nourishing the soil, and that this river actually flows upwards inside of us. We carry all fertility within us, in this channel or river, and the search for and finding of the lily awakens its true potential within us. In this manner, the lily, which we all seek for so diligently, is actually within us, inseparable, so innate to our beings that even though she is a Being, with all that implies, she is also a part of who we are, an inescapable part just waiting to be discovered within and made love to, to open all spiritual doors to us. The fact that we live bound to her forever, and that we spend all our lives searching for her, instinctively aware that our only hope for satisfaction is to find her amidst the thorns of material life, is a sign that we never have to use force to gain her love. Force and aggression will only cause her to either depart from us, hiding deeper inside, or else pervert our love so that is bears no good fruit, only more thorns. In this way, the Path of Descension opens up as we not only do not find her, our True Love, or bear true spiritual fruit, we actively add to the brambles and thorns in the world outside of ourselves. But, if we approach her with a spirit of gentleness and reverence, we discover that she is utterly seduced by the beauty of our souls and our eternal and passionate yearning for union with her.
The lily, the flower of surpassing loveliness that grows in the valley of ourselves, bursting with fertility, symbol of all beauty, is one more vital thing. It is, she IS, not just a symbol, but a bridge and the bond and seal between our material, mortal lives, and our spiritual, eternal selves. No one comes to The Father save through her. She is the royal, Kingly highway between matter and flesh and Spirit and Truth. She does not spurn the material, nor earthly beauty, for those are the signs of the Eternal and Spiritual. We are led from the contemplation of a physically existing lily in a physically existing valley to understanding the nature of her spiritual existence, her indwelling presence in all of us, making us never merely formal beings but always creatures with one foot in this world and one foot in another world of surpassing magnificence. We have sought for her throughout many lifetimes, always being spurred on by the realization that, in some sense, what Keats said is actual, that truth is beauty and beauty is truth. That is the key to understanding her and our relationship to her. For where we find either truth or beauty, we find her, and that is always somewhere inside of us, waiting for us to stagger out of the thorn bushes and behold her glory and her undying love for us.
Song 2:3 – (Revised Standard Version): As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight, I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
The Bride speaks again, and in this passage, her love, her Holy and Virginal and Erotic Bridal Love is in the shadow of the soul, hidden but always enjoying the soul’s fruits. The works and gifts of the soul are always a delight to the Bridal Divine living within us. In the soul’s shade, she is always covered, always ultimately hidden but inseparable from us, without distinction, she and we are truly One Flesh, a flesh that is different in substance from the brambles and the non-fruit bearing trees of the wood. This is spiritualized flesh, not earthly flesh, divinized by the acceptance of God’s gift of His Bridal Power.
The young men, “sons” in the King James version, are the trees that do not bear fruit like the apple tree. We can see them as all other “men,” for, in truth, a specific aspect of the Bride is wedded to each of us, and to that Aspect we are bound to, all other trees are bare, all other “men” are without charm, we are the only soul-tree that bears the fruit she hungers for.
The young men or sons are also the paths we may take that are fruitless, for the great and deep, dark wood is filled with trees and paths, and many of those trees bear no fruit, many of those paths lead nowhere or around and around in aimless circles. Those trees that do not bear fruit, it must be remembered, are still alive, still filled with vital energy. In the unity of creation and Divinity, there is no separation from life, no place that is truly dead. Life, in the bosom of Godhood, is ultimately omnipresent and completely unstoppable. But we are failing to delight in our Bride, or nourish her or ourselves, when we follow paths that start out with sloth or greed or any of the other “deadly sins,” when not utilized properly and in a balanced manner.
All trees receive their nourishment from their roots in the soil. This is where she sits, at the base of who we are, feeding us with her presence and her love. We exist and live and grow entirely because of, within, and bound to her resting in our shade. It is not only our spiritual fruit feeding her, it is her feeding us before we have even grown enough to bear fruit. It is her fertile love for us that allows us to grow in the first place and eventually feed her with the spiritual work that she craves from us.
The fruit being sweet to her taste is the sign and seal of her undying love born of unity for us. Since we are the only tree in existence that feeds this particular aspect of the Feminine Divine the fruit she needs from us, she can no more stop delighting in us than we can stop providing her comfort and shade. It is the ultimate symbiotic relationship. She as a whole does not need us individually. Her existence is utter oneness with Godhood and all creation. On the other hand, our individuality is wholly dependent upon that oneness. Nevertheless, the specific individual aspect of her that has chosen us to be her resting place requires the specific individual fruit that only we can provide. For those who suffer from persistent bouts of depression and despair, this can be very comforting; far more comforting than the Abrahamic lies of a God who loves us personally but gains nothing whatsoever from our existence and could just as easily do without us. She loves us and doesn’t just make use of us like an Abrahamic God. She loves us and has chosen to need us, us as individuals. God is not personal, as fra. Nefastos has stated eloquently in Fosforos. God’s absolute unity defies comprehension by the unenlightened mind and cancels out the very notion of a personal deity. But there is this caveat: in His Being as both the faraway masculine divinity and the Feminine Bridal Divine, he cannot help but share His unity with us, for it would not be unity if there were any exceptions. His unity is multi-faceted, a gem with more sides than can possibly be grasped. And in the facet of his womanly, loving Self, he comes down to us and doesn’t possess us, doesn’t use us as tools, but shares one side of His divinity with us as our Sacred Wife, whose love, once discovered and internalized by us, makes us partners in His Divinity in a very real way. She is the final goal of the Right Hand, union with God, and the final goal of the Left Hand, realization and claiming of one’s OWN Divinity. She weds not only us, but all possible paths, making Marriage with her the vision of the underlying Unity of All.
As with the valley, there is chakra imagery here. The tree, as the valley, is also the spine. The fruits of the tree are very definitely the chakras. When opening and riding the energy of the chakras, we start at the base, where the Bride lingers and hides, waits for us, feeds us and waits for us to feed her in return. Uniting with her gives her the strength and us the openness for her to rise, from the soil and roots up the trunk and into the highest branches and leaves. The fruit grows even sweeter to her taste the higher she goes, drawing her ever further upwards. When she reaches the top of the tree of our souls, she and we behold the entire woodlands as a vast unity, underneath a sky of such uninmaginable beauty, not even the poet could put it into words, was only able to drop the most oblique hints to this Mystery in his words. Once our third eye is opened, and we behold this vision thusly, we drink in the vision of the forest and the sky through our crown chakra and are changed forever. She herself is beyond actual change in the way mortal beings are open to and required to change and evolve. But we change and, most importantly, our relationship to her changes. With the vision of the unified forest and the Holy Sky above within us and having become one with our nature, we never go back to what we once were. This indelible and inexpressible mark left on us by the sky vision becomes all the proof or evidence we need of the core truth of our path and the blessedness of our romance with the Bride. It is the elusive “proof of God” that all theologians seek, but they make the mistake that it can be perceived with logic and the mind. God is not an object that can be grasped by rationality. God, He and She, all of the Absolute, is experience and essential reality and must be lived and perceived directly, bypassing the normal human conduits of the fleshly brain and the emotional heart.
This profound deepening of our romance with the Bride involves a fourfold division that, as with all things, is ultimately one. First, she delights in herself. This is the oft-repeated notion of God being Love itself by nature. And, since God predates our individual existences, she, the Divine Woman, has loved herself since eternity began. Then, she delights in us, in our seemingly separate, independent selves. She has always been delighting in us, since long before we had any inkling of her existence. This delighting in us is the first move she makes towards us and a perpetual invitation to love her in return. The next stage is us accepting that invitation, some of us sooner than others. But it is my belief and my path to think that we all discover her some day and respond. Her invitation is incessant and impossible to ignore for eternity. And so, we all come to delighting in her just as she delights in herself and in us. And, at last, our love has grown and our fruit has multiplied and is plentiful enough and nutritious enough, that we see the love she has for us in her eyes, we see ourselves reflected there, and after many eons of self-hate and self-loathing and seeking to lose ourselves in the thorny pleasures of material life because we fear the confrontation with our own souls, all that is no more and we learn to delight in ourselves. This delight is far more than just self-esteem. It is no psychological trick. It is uniting with the very heart of the Divine Being, which is love, and we come to celebrate ourselves as an aspect of that love that is essential, deserving of existence, and perfected in its own way. This process of loving; her loving herself, then loving us, then us loving her, then us loving ourselves, is the key in four steps to absolute, unconditional love that is beyond divisions and beyond duality and separateness. It is the goal to the Path of Ascension. It is union with her and that becomes union with all of creation. We are most individually free and individually ourselves when we really live the Divine Love for us within ourselves.
Song 2:4 – (Revised Standard Version, English Standard Version, King James Version):” He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”
The first thing I want to mention is this: I primarily used the RSV translation for this paper. But I referenced the ESV and the KJV, and I find it very interesting and meaningful that each of those three translations used the exact same words for this passage. If those precise words survived hundreds of years between them and completely different teams and schools of translation but we, as humans, still could not find any better words to use for this verse than these, it makes these precise words seem, to me, extremely powerful and important. I feel that these words are probably more accurately translated than any other words in the verses I am commenting on, for there is no deviation, none of the translating teams could think of a “better” way to phrase this line than the words presented here. This matters to me, personally, even more, because this is the precise line that decided for me, while I was praying the entirety of the Song, which passage I’d be commenting on. I knew from deep, sincere, heartfelt prayer of the entire Song that this verse was one of the defining sentences in all spiritual literature ever written for me personally. So, I hope to do extra justice to this passage in my commentary on it, for I feel it is something of a motto for me to live by, a mystery for me to ponder ever and always in my heart of hearts.
At the banqueting house, people gather and it is a celebratory environment and atmosphere, much feasting and shouting and fun to be had, possibly even music. This entire poem is suffused with all the senses, including and particularly taste. In some ways, taste is a superior metaphor for the spiritual than any of the other senses, because it implies ingesting and internalizing and becoming one with the spiritual gifts. At the same time, it is the most materialistic sense, for taste is the mechanism that the body uses to ensure that we eat enough to sustain our physical forms. Taste is a symbol of the inextricable union between the spiritual and the formal/material. Food is a gift of both varieties, in this poem. It is the life of pure sensory stimulation purified and raised to the absolute heights of spirituality.
The second half of this verse is the portion of the verses I am commenting on that spoke the absolute most to me directly. “His banner over me was love.” There is so much symbolism to this, that I almost do not know where to begin. By placing a banner over her, we are claiming her as our own. That is not possessiveness, or “grasping her by the hair.” She desires it because she chose us to be the ones who claim this specific aspect of her as our Bride. Without claiming her, we do not state our love for her. As long as the claiming is gentle and loving, it must be done for the relationship to achieve its true potential. By claiming her tenderly, we make her dreams come true and she tastes our fruits, which then, instead of being consumed, actually multiply. Feeding her, whom we claim, feeds us in return.
But the banner is not merely how we claim her. It becomes not just a symbol but the entirety of the path we are on from this point forward. Whenever banners are mentioned in the remainder of The Song, they are referring to war banners. War and defensive measures against enemies is a common theme metaphor in this poem. We cannot escape the elements of war if we are to understand this text; these elements must be confronted and understood and, finally, embraced and lived.
What is this war? Are we at war in the spiritual life and in the Divine Marriage? The answer is an emphatic “Yes!” This does NOT contradict the pleas in Fosforos to reject aggression. As also stated in Fosforos and alluded to in The Catechism of Lucifer, there is nothing wrong with channeling our aggressive instincts into a positive direction. We merely reject it as an unthinking way of life, without reflection, or bringing it out in unwise situations, where it will do more harm than good, either to ourselves or others or both.
But we must make war, as Ecclesiastes, another of our guiding texts, indicates; there IS a time for war. So, we claim the Bride and raise our brightly colored war banner over her, making her our Jerusalem, that we are pledged to defend as the very dwelling place of God. The raising of the banner, the way it “snaps in the breeze,” is enough to slay or drive into retreat most of our foes, for it is under the banner, where she is claimed and recognized as the Holy Land itself, that she is most powerful, where she shines forth a dark light that is impossible for our worldly enemies to vanquish, resist, or make a firm stand against. Raising the banner is our way of declaring our allegiance and loyalty; our love is raised from any kind of sensual love for the legitimately erotic and delightful aspects of our Bride, and made into a Nation of God’s Chosen People. This love stands proud and defiant against the armies of the formal world, for if our Bride is for us, who can be against us? And the formal world actively desires our allegiance and hates to see us give it to something higher than it.
We raise the banner over her in the banqueting house because we are calling the sons and daughters of Jerusalem to witness for us, openly. We want our enemies to behold it clearly, and our allies rally around it. The following point is extremely important. Though our enemies always come from either the formal world or from wrong applications of the spiritual, the vast majority of the formal world is NOT against us. As stated here and in many valuable spiritual texts, the formal world is not in itself bad, or malignant. Because of unity and because of the power of the spiritual life, much of the formal, material world is magnetically attracted to such a deep and magical display of the spiritual life as the raising of the banner. And this is how we create our own “army,” not through active recruitment or converts. We are not seeking our brave warriors outside of ourselves in that formal world or among other humans who must discover at their own pace that they and their aspect of their Bride are their own Jerusalem and must raise their own armies. We draw our armies from the natural spirits and from ourselves. We are a nation within, no one with him or herself and the Bride is alone. And the raised banner becomes the central pole of the cosmos, in a very real sense, for it is the emblem of where God and man are indelibly united., for we have openly rejected all false brides, and given our allegiance to her and her alone.
Song 2:5 – (Revised Standard Version): Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am sick with love.
Our Bride’s love is so intense, it brings her a kind of illness, a spiritual affliction. She is weak and faint and trembling with the power and force of her love for us. Unless we learn to feed her the fruits of our spiritual efforts, love itself is killing her. Of course, she cannot actually DIE, she is both the Femininity of God and the archetypal virgin Lucifer, living within us. But she can lie dormant, distant, cold to our touch, and this is what will happen if we do not have fruit to offer her or, we do, but we withhold it from her, do not let her bite deep from our works and let the juices flow into her and sustain her. If her love is not returned, if we come to know her, and her infinite patience that she displayed in waiting for us for many, many eons of human time, and even then, when we are with her in truth, we neglect her, do not tend to our gardens and grow our fruits or, we have grown a lush garden and we attempt to hoard the fruits for ourselves, she will feel as if she is perishing, our relationship with her will grow stale and corpse-like
As many of us have probably experienced ourselves, even when a powerful and real love is returned, and we are floating on the clouds of joy that this calls into the skies of our minds and hearts, we can still be so utterly crushed under the weight of that love, the power it wields effortlessly over us, that we can feel paralyzed, weak, shaky. This happens most often when there are no constructive channels to pour that love into. And this is a key point. Channeling that love will make more fruit grow and thus there will be more fruit to feed her. Hoarding that feeling of love, those fruits of love, leads to a kind of spiritual sickness that can bring ruin upon the Lovers and their Marriage.
On a much more positive note, though also very frightening to many people, is the notion of being sick with love, both the Bride and ourselves, experiencing that sickness as a kind of Divine Madness, spoken of quite often in Christian and Sufi mystical texts. This Divine Madness screams out for complete Communion with the Beloved. We desire to consume and be consumed. If we desire only to consume, it is the desire to possess her, which is the wrong application of the Holy Madness and leads to ruining the perfect love. She cannot be possessed, as God’s womanly self, as Lucifer in His mode as the Virgin of Heaven, she is far too much for any mortal to truly possess. Trying to will cause us to overflow our banks, not in the sense of forming a great ocean of Unity with our bride, but in the sense of bursting out in an uncontrollable flood, that causes death and devastation, and in this flood we will be utterly lost. Likewise, the desire to be consumed, for her to possess us with no balance, is giving our Will away, our Essential Selfhood, that which, as practitioners of the Left Hand Path, we are called to divinize, to raise from selfish egotism into something greater, but never, ever to annihilate it so utterly, that there is nothing greater to rise to and we become completely identified with one single aspect of the Divine that has eclipsed us entirely. This is a wrong form of self-sacrifice, that leads to death and the Hell of Stagnation, and not any kind of mutual growth. Both Bride and Groom must be consumed, both must passionately take from the other and just as passionately give to the other. In this way, they vanish into a oneness that is greater than either alone, and not just the overshadowing of one by the other.
One of the most recognizable forms that this kind of love, in an unbalanced and misused manner, takes is that of the Holy Communion of the Christian churches, particularly the ancient tradition and theology behind the Roman Catholic version. There are many great secrets hidden in this Sacrament, and the exoteric church either ignores or abuses and misinforms the people, about all of them. One of these secrets is, of course, what I am discussing right now, the desire for consumption, either to consume to Beloved or to be Consumed. In modern practice, and for many hundreds of years prior, the Body and Blood of Christ has been an horrific perversion of this drive. We are told to consume Him for only by doing so, can he completely eclipse us, make our “unworthy” and “lowly” selves disappear into His Goodness, which is theologically considered the only possible goodness. This is also the desire to possess Him, but twisted, so that there is not only no danger of us overpowering Him and making Him vanish, which is a very real danger with our true Bride, but there is the perversion of consuming Him in order for the beings we are, the beings seen and preached as so essentially flawed, we cannot get to Paradise with any trace of that individuality remaining, so that though we are told to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, it is actually Him doing the consuming of our minds and hearts and souls from within, like some kind of Godly Parasite. This renders the gesture of mutual passionate love entirely empty and meaningless, for His consumption of us means we have nothing left to give to ourselves or our love or to the world, that is not actually Him in possession of us. In a human relationship, this would be called profoundly sick and damaged thinking, but it is preached to us as the ideal of the religious life. Also, except in some of the mystics, the element of the erotic is removed entirely. Without the spiritually erotic, the all-important fertility aspect of consuming and being consumed by the Divine is killed brutally. Without elevated, truly sacred eroticism, no spiritual fruits will grow and our Love will not be fed. With no apologies to Catholic tradition, the Divine that cannot feast on our own spiritual fruits, is malnourished and the sickness of love will overcome it. The Divine in its absoluteness does not need to be fed, but the Divine that has descended to the human level, as Christ is told to have done by these very same priests, must have food. Without any contribution from us to that nourishment, the sickness of love becomes a kind of spiritual anorexia nervosa, that feeds on the body of the Lover and rapes and devours it, which is the complete opposite of the Holy Fool who gladly kisses lepers for he clearly sees that they too are God.
As stated above, the kind of consuming I am speaking of, the kind of Divine Madness I am speaking of, leads to the rivers of ourselves becoming so bountiful and strong, that those rivers burst through their banks, not to flood and destroy, but to become a vast, spiritual ocean that spreads throughout all of creation, carrying the conjoined consciousnesses and love of the Bride and Groom to all corners of the cosmos, making a kind of omniscience and omnipotence for them both. Every atom in all the universe is permeated by this ocean of purified and sanctified lust that the couple has for each other, making all that exists part of that fertile valley, bursting with lilies and apple trees, and thus does the love of one Holy Pair make possible the growth of other Divine Marriages,, inseminating the universe with true Love, and out of that fertility, many others who may not even know the individual mortal who has found his Bride, may come to find their own Bride within, for that is the gift of unbound, truly religious fertility. It causes growth beyond the visible boundaries of its own garden.
In this way, the Little Ego we all have, the Little Ego that indulges in pride and despair, the Little Ego that denies the doctrine of unity and says we are islands unto ourselves, this is annihilated and we are truly born again, born not into the nonexistence of ourselves but into greater selves, motivated by the Large Ego, the Ego that does realize the true nature of its own individuality but sees that in the perspective of Ultimate Unity with all of Godhood.
Song 2:6 – (Revised Standard Version): O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me.
In the love of the Divine Virgin Bride, there is no Right Hand Path/Left Hand Path unbalanced dichotomy. True balance of the two paths is achieved. Most of us start on the road by taking one or the other path, and she can be reached by either, neither is a “better way,” or at least not in a way that it is up to us to decide for others. But once we have truly attained to loving her and wedding her, there is a perfect union between the two paths that is absolutely essential for any further growth for the Groom. This powerful verse teaches us all we need to know about the two approaches to her, as well as the shortcomings of traveling either path to the exclusion of the other, and the result of finding and living the union, the Divine Marriage so to speak, of the Right Hand and Left Hand Paths.
On the Left Hand Path, we have sought her, very possibly though, of course, not necessarily and absolutely, with a primacy of mind and thought. We coldly reason our way towards her. Hence, the left hand in the verse is under her head. Also, again relating to the passage in the essay on the Black Aspect, many of us have also traveled that path and attempted to grasp her by the hair and not by the hand. This act of ignorance or aggression is thinking, not feeling, that the Bride must be taken by force. It is a mistake of the lonely, isolated path to think all goodness must be violently grasped, even raped, and that they do not willingly and lovingly offer of themselves sacrificially. The Left Hand Path practitioner who allows him or herself to be blinded by the pride of truly believing oneself to be an island alone in the sea of Creation, has overwhelming difficulty in believing this kind of love can ever be offered freely. Perhaps it looks too much like Messianic thinking to be trusted. This practitioner feels intense love, he or she is not a disbeliever in love, but they may mistakenly channel all love into the powers of the mind, diverting it completely from the buddhic love in the heart. This is why so many sincere Left Hand Path individuals scoff at and mock the idea of a loving God in Right Hand traditions. Love that is freely given, especially in a self-sacrificing manner, is not love at all but weakness.
In reality, the love she offers to us is so powerful and so real, that it burns away the Small Ego that thinks like this, that sees itself as its own Alpha and Omega, and awakens in us the Large Ego, free of false pride and the deviant belief that since, ultimately, to make any progress on the spiritual path, we all must rely upon ourselves, that this means we are all there is to the spiritual path. These people know there is a world outside themselves, they are not usually lost in solipsism, but sadly, to them, this world is either cold and dead or actively hostile, thus what we want, they think, must be taken and what we do not want must be ignored or possibly even destroyed.
When we are “born again” into the Large Ego, the Higher Ego, it raises and purifies the intellect and joins it, in an eternal and miniature Divine Marriage, to the blissful, buddhic love. From this marriage, entirely within ourselves, the ability to both behold the vision and comprehend the meaning of unity is at last attained.
The right hand embraces her, because the right hand seeks loving union with her. The Right Hand Path, even among the very intellectually gifted such as a St. Thomas Aquinas, is often a means of turning a person into a decapitated heart, all outward flowing love, no reason or intellect, and no true love left over for the vehicle of the heart, one’s own self.
The follower of the Right Hand Path realizes the pitfalls of the Little Ego in a profound way, and thus their writings are invaluable to those of us who wish to unite the two paths, for even if we disagree with their overall theology, the Little Ego is a death trap laying in wait for all travelers on the Left Hand Path. However, even the Little Ego can do good, there is nothing “bad” in creation in an ultimate sense, as fra. Nefastos points out in his writings. And how many followers of the Right Hand Path treat the Little Ego robs it of any good it can do, such as teaching us how to function as a powerful individual.
Also, to these Right Hand practitioners, the Large Ego, what we wish to be born again into, is not seen as a part of ourselves, but as a losing of oneself entirely in God. To these people, union is the complete eradication of all individuation, as if being separate individuals at all, in any way, is either a catastrophic mistake created by a cruel Demiurge, or a complete illusion, born of Maya and ignorance, that must somehow be transcended and any trace of selfhood thrown on the scrapheap of existence. In truth, being born into the Large Ego is the ultimate perfection of the Small Ego and individuated existence. They fail to see that, even in a world where unity is the final truth, individual aspects, facets, of unity, exist for a reason. We are not a unity with no distinct desires, goals, thoughts, feelings, or personality. The ultimate secret and beauty of union is that all these parts and pieces that give us different perspectives on the world, not only can but MUST exist. Without them, there is nothing left in us to love the unity at the core of it all. There’s just a blank greyness that envelopes all and does truly leave it cold and dead, as the above mentioned Left Hand Path practitioners fear it is.
The embrace of the right hand also calls to mind my commentary on the last verse, that if the erotic and procreative aspects of union are ignored, the purposes of the Divine Marriage itself are thwarted. The Church’s almost rabid insistence on only procreative sexuality among married couples, and no sexuality at all among anyone else, is a catastrophic example of this exoteric and plain wrong understanding of the deep spirituality contained here. It is not two tiny drops in the ocean that must bear fruit for love to be real and pure, but the two rivers that join and swell and become the ocean. These are what must bear fruit, both spiritual and, in their own way, material. All spiritual fruit is eventually going to take some kind of material form, whether it be showing love to a stranger or the more occult, magical art of making our will manifest itself in the outer world. The Virgin Mary took the news of her spiritual pregnancy and held it inside herself in contemplation, but without any effort at all on her part to cause change in the outside world, the child was born, emerged from within her womb, to change the external world.
The Bride and Groom are virgins, not because some church demands sexual morality as interpreted by them themselves, but because there is not only no marriage, but no spiritual fornication and mating with anyone or anything even possible until they have met each other. And, in each other, the virginity is eternal, even after consummating the marriage, for the bride is always and essentially purity itself, while the soul wedding her was pure before their union and, upon being born again into the Large Ego that weds head and heart, achieves an even greater and entirely indestructible purity.
Alone, neither the Right Hand nor the Left Hand Path can wed the Bride. The Left must cradle, never grasp, her head, and the right must embrace, not to chastely hold her and lose itself in her, but to lovingly ravish and be ravished by her. The key is real passion. The Left Hand has passion for her gifts but not for her Being herself, while the Right Hand fears all passion as impure and signifying corruption and loss of the presence of God. To embrace her is to lose the Small Ego in sexually Divine Ecstasy and to awaken the Large Ego, where the balanced individual WILL find what they are looking for: power, joy, love given and received, and true, individuated selfhood, that is truly inseparable from union with her.
Song 2:7 – (Revised Standard Version): I adjure you, o daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the hind of the field, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.
(King James Version): I charge you, o ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, that your stir not up, no awaken my love, till he please.
I could also quote the English Standard Version I have been using for minor comparison here, but it will suffice to say that the portion of the verse that begins with “that you stir not up…” is almost identical to the Revised Standard Version, save for the words “stir not” being reversed in the ESV. I quote the King James version here for a reason. For once, I am not just going to ignore what I consider the least of the translations I have been using but actively castigate it. With our many advances in modern Biblical scholarship, many educated people have come to realize what a biased and distorted translation the King James is. It can be beautiful, some of the greatest poetry ever composed in English, many feel. But that’s exactly the problem. So often, what is written in the King James Version is not translated but composed, composed by the translators who had agendas to advance, ideas to propagate, and a charge from on high to create a Bible that would serve certain political and ideological purposes. I, personally, find the other translations I have used, particularly the Revised Standard Version, to be equally, if not even more, beautiful, as well as more spiritually deep and accurate to at least the spirit if not the actual letter of the original.
The King James Version translation of this verse is something that would lead one astray from the entire thrust of this particular commentary and, I believe, though I am unfamiliar with the original Biblical tongues, that the other two highly respected English translations I have used, though possibly also biased and almost certainly distorted, are much, much more accurate with this verse, avoiding a grave error of associating the “sleeper” with the Groom and not with Love Itself. I also feel that they are more beautiful here, poetically, and not just spiritually.
The gazelles and hinds (or does) of the field, the fruitful field centered in the valley, the animal life and beauty of this valley, are the thoughts and feelings within ourselves as well as all the beautiful living beings populating this world. They are called upon to be sworn on and bear witness to the pledge that the Bride demands of the daughters of Jerusalem.
Now, about these daughters of Jerusalem, I feel there is a fair bit of liberty taken with gender in this poem, different aspects of spirituality being called masculine or feminine at different times in the text, dependent on the point the poet is trying to make. The Bride or the Groom can be seen as and interpreted as the Divine, depending on whose writing one is reading and what point the commentator is trying to make. For the purposes of the Black Aspect, as well as for my own personal understanding of the text and my own spiritual path, I have referred always to the Bride being the Divine. Others can, and have, done the opposite, with wildly varying degrees of success, largely dependent upon how dogmatic their commentaries were in spirit. No major organized church will ever teach truly the esoteric view of this poem for, as I’ve hopefully demonstrated to some small degree in my writing, the hidden truths of this poem are inherently opposed to any exoteric application of organized religion.
Now, as I said above, there is much gender-bending going on in the poem and in commentaries upon the poem. As well as the Divine being able to be referred to as either male or female, the soul itself, in both the poem and any commentaries, can and is referred to as both male and female. The Groom, in this commentary, is invariably male, regardless of whether a male or female is reading it, because I am discussing the femininity of God and, because, with no negativity meant to homosexuality whatsoever, for the sexual procreativity of the soul mentioned here, it makes a great deal more sense for me to refer to the soul as a male, while I am speaking of the Divine as feminine. But here, in this verse, the Divine calls upon the souls of the world, God’s chosen people who are, in fact, ALL people, everyone who has ever or will ever, in this life or another, seek divine love, and she calls them the “daughters of Jerusalem.” We are the daughters here, and not the sons of Jerusalem, because in this passage, even the Groom is a daughter. We are all the unwed daughters in Solomon’s Jerusalem, even Solomon himself. Why? This does not reflect my opinion at all on the position of women in society, but to the culturally conditioned eyes of the poet, the daughters of Jerusalem were at home, awaiting marriage, not out supporting their families or making war. In this context, daughters, much like all of us spiritually, exist to be wed. The men go to war, make a household self-sufficient for their families, and hope to marry off their daughters in promising matches. We daughters hope for this marriage and to take care of the children that result from a fruitful union.
Jerusalem is both father and mother, much as the divine is in reality, and we, our souls, are both sons and daughters, grooms and brides, for in the world of true Divine Romance, there are no clear and absolutely defined roles, especially gender roles. It is a real and true completely complementary partnership. No man, no woman, no soul, no God, whether Absolute Divinity or an emanated archetype, such as Virgin Serpent Lucifer, is exclusively masculine or feminine. Both energies are within for, if they were not, we would be unbalanced without hope of balance, single without hope of being wed.
Now, the final line of this verse, “Stir not up nor awaken love until it please,” does this not contradict what I’ve said before about love and the Bride always pleasing to come to us? Isn’t my commentary entirely based on her willingness to be with us now and forever? Of course, this is true, since even in our deepest ignorance, we are never and can never be separate from her for an instant. But I have hinted throughout at the dangers of impurity, or attempting to “love” her in an unbalanced way. Just as in material, human life, love can be mere obsession, or simply immature and unrealistic. At best, it can wound us and the one we love badly. At its worst, false love can leave us in utter spiritual ruins. Fra. Nefastos teaches purification before attempting to use occult powers due to the extreme dangers involved. Fra. Obnoxion, in a personal message to me, once wrote that someone close to him described devotion, which this poem and this commentary are all about, as the only necessary magic. As the above paraphrases should make it obvious, this path is the most essential and, thus, in some ways, the most dangerous occult practice if not followed wisely. It is possible to damage or even lose the Small Ego, without awakening the Large Ego, losing oneself in a way more unbalanced than any normal Right Hand Practitioner would, or, on the other side, to awaken power out of control, beyond what any on the Left Hand Path could manage or even desire. I hope you who read this will contemplate deeply this one warning about the incorrect application of love and the Path of Devotion: The Path of Descension is rarely paved with conscious, deliberate evil. I feel and have some personal experience with this and would say that, most often, the Path of Descension is the result of misguided, unbalanced, misused, and badly understood or poorly grounded love. It is love that perverts the nature of love to flow outwards and, like a consuming fire with nowhere safe to spread and burn, it turns inwards and sets everything it comes into contact with ablaze until all that is left are ashes.
Lastly, this final verse works as a closing of the prayer begun with the invocation of verse 1. There is no dispersal or banishing of the energies invoked, just a warning, for if it is time and love does please to be awoken, we will never wish to banish it and, once we have attained the Large Ego, seen the vision of the unity of the forest beneath the Divine Sky, we will never be able to banish it for it will have altered our fundamental spiritual structure forever, even beyond this life we lead now. The Holy Union of the Virgin Bride (be she God or Lucifer or any other archetype that resonates with us,) and the Holy Groom, in eternal Blessed Matrimony is living in perpetual Paradise and is the key to making a Heaven of all things, including finding oneself in the bowels of Hell.
May the blessings of Lucifer-Christos be on this writing and on all who read it, that they may gain some small spiritual benefit from it or, at the very least, be inspired to seek for themselves the truths that will resonate with their own souls, in the beautiful Song of Solomon, from which I took so much inspiration. This work has, at least, already blessed one being; myself. For in writing it, I feel I have learned much and grown much and if that is all it ever accomplishes, I shall be grateful for having had the opportunity to write it.
Amen. Amen. Ameth.
“The Virgins Become One Flesh”
My secret chamber is the entire history
Of my solitude and my aching for beauty;
A secret chamber named Virgin, named Lucifer,
Lucifer as the gaze within my eyes
And the Spirit within my spirit.
You who scour the desert and devour the wilderness
In longing for a God to notice you and
Gather you beneath His Wings,
You have departed your secret chambers,
You have traded in your own Light for an idol’s darkness.
And my devotion is serpentine,
I worship the Woman for eating of the Tree
And making it possible for me to eat of the freedom,
To eat of the sanctity that masquerades as evil,
That appears as a night without stars to the blind.
My bride awaits me in my secret chamber,
A name is no use to her, and she reclines
In sacred nudity beneath my war banner, my love
for her, that snaps in an unfelt breeze,
And is both vow and memorial…
My bride and I consummate our love
And give birth to sweet fruit,
Bring each other to full term.