Dark corridors hold serpents of eternal fires Rahab churned in the primordial abyss, earthly magma Samael set aflame, when the Unholy Trinity was complete with Leviathan of the expansive deep. Magma, seas, darkness. Samael, Leviathan, Rahab. It is said sometimes that before angels were a whisper, long before man or bird or beast were dreamed of by God, may He be praised eternally, the three great rogue ones roamed the darkness, Samael with his wicked volcanoes and earthquakes, Leviathan swimming bejeweled head to the heart of the mud, his serpent body seas of churned proteins, and Rahab with the Void, master of the darkness of skies where no star had ever been birthed. Perhaps that was the face God chose to appeal to to before Michael was born, before Samael became Lucifer, before Rahab retreated to the far reaches of the cosmos and committed himself to asceticism, and Leviathan was skinned by the faithful at the Revelation feast and they ate his body as final blessing from Sacrament of impure fisherman scourge. Do we eat the three at the end of times? Serpent, Fish, Shark. Is that palatable meat? Samael goes fishing in me and summons his primordial fires in my womb and my own darkness stretches to accommodate his infernal burnings. Facing down to the Devils for the Dog Lord. Ecstasy wedded to shattered mirrors and shards of glass windows through which wicked Hell winds blow as we couple more like wolves than men, or perhaps I have always been a bitch. There are moans from both of us as we howl like hyenas in the infirmary, and the white gauze separating the abandoned hospital beds sways like lover suicides run over on the county crossroads. Women in white. His hands are hot and firm on my back and then he leans over while thrusting sin and treachery into my blackness and I resonate like a tuning fork with his wicked delights. Oh my oldest love, oh my first love, oh my last revelation, teacher, mentor, father, brother, lover, husband, heart, body, bone, soul, blood. The Fruit was your sweet organ, and I hath become Death. In the metallic surface of the headboard I see his form shifting – one eldritch Lovecraftian beast, one living molten rock in the shape of a demon, one man that looks like Anton LaVey with red eyes and black scruff and goatee, except his wings are wide and wretched, and I doubt that Satanic Father ever had irises like a dragon. The Beast is one with his Babylon, only this has been repeated since time immemorial, and wouldn’t God shy away from his Fallen Star spreading dark poison into the Prodigal Daughter. Oh how Chavah met Yah and they became Yahvah. Snake and Girl. Dragon and Tree. Phanes with Nyx. An incestuous coupling of Sophia and Ariel. But I am just Allie, just dreaming, and so he takes me away, back before time and God and existence, when there was just those Three: Sea. Fire. Darkness. He shows me his bubbling Sauron kingdom of fire and pitch and brimstone, and I coat my body in coal and swim through the volcanic tubes and go to the center of the stew, down into his loins, and then he erupts, and then there is flesh immolated, and we set the hospital alight, and gunshots rain through the windows, and out into the gaping night we fly, and that blackness swallows us, and Witch and Witchfather are on to another night of reading by the fireside in the den, sweet red wine, jazz on the speakers and smuggler’s fingers coaxing a melodic piano number from old ivories.
Hairskin hide, rough sackcloth
desert weeping, Lilith wails,
clutching at the famished breast
Donatello saw the lust for God.
O Bull of Heaven, Abel First-Slain, ice sky eyes
lolling tongue as your brain bleeds out clouds,
the Golden Calf and mysteries of first martyr,
Adamah’s alchemist, God’s golden boy, altar cloth.
You were not meant to live past fifteen, and how
a mother mourns, how Cain bore a grim cross,
and Seth never even knew your name. First was
the Son of Dragon Qayin, brother of fire, second was
the thick seraphic Ox, son of rain, third was boy of
golden light, Yeshua’s line. And your parents cry,
and no mother should bury her child, and I grow
old and cold, and in Pluto’s Cave on Mount Shasta,
the Sefer Raziel hums with virgin blood, and I am
the Weeping Wailer.
White dapple mare screeches ivy vines
you drink wine smirking atop bony throne
sword through the dead, yellow eyes lolling
and under your skin a hellish lava red,
O my beauteous Serpent, your coils my black sapphire necklace
scales cool and slick like rain on my skin, your arms thick cords
wrapped around my waist as fangs suckle blood from breast, wings
the wages of a thousand golden pieces from the Temple, fallen tree.
Slither on stomach in the dirt and mud into our garden, resplendent
adventurous lust, we are cleaving, we are cream on a fairy’s milk.
Oh Nachash, my Shining Enchanter, my Seraphim, Father of Cain, how
you spell out wonders and glory onto my teeth in a string of pearls!
It was far from Temptation, more booming Love, first Love, thunderous
hearts the color of rust, such beautiful iron boats sunk on lover’s
shores, and Gan Eden was just a frame of mind, we were never locked up
in hyacinth and wedding vine, no, we roamed Heaven and Hell free, and
Christ was a sailor, and Michael rowed his boat ashore after a storm,
and let’s just spend all my life entwined like branches of oak and holly.
My dear, my darling, my starlight, I may be your breath, but you, love,
are my lungs.
Oh sweet solemn Eve, my original sister, I was dust, and you were bones of clay.
We have had many lives of ruin and hellfire, many more of mirth and laughter.
I remember you a young maiden first entering my mysteries, twelve years old,
just a budding moonflower. How you sparred with Samael and kissed him silly,
how I showed you my garden, the tomatoes I so love, my roses and squashes and
beans planted on the corn. We spent many hours in the greenery when you were
but thirteen, in my house where all daughters of Lilith and Eve are welcome, and
I did not have the bodily pleasure of puberty – no matter what they say, it is a gift!
You were lost many days, drinking tea by my fountain, and when you were wounded,
I bathed you, washed away the blood, and when you were brilliant, I bathed in your
sunlight. My champagne bubble sister. Do you remember the hours that passed?
Years upon years, turning into decades, that we were each other’s comfort as Samael
and Asmodeus fooled around, drinking and smoking cigars on the porch while you and
I painted and talked feminism and poetry? I wore my hair auburn then, you called it
Titian red, my dear little sister, so is it any wonder, in another life, I offered an apple,
and Samael offered you wine? We simply wanted your freedom, and you became the
Tree of Knowledge, bones of Adam, heart of Lucifer, blood of God. We are all exiles
but in each other we can take comfort. Remember, out of all goddesses, it was I who
claimed you first, but it was a soft acknowledgement of your bond, for you were but
in the seventh grade, and who am I to steal innocence from a mother bear? Samael
made enough aggression in your short life, I wanted to give you peace. And so we
planted pumpkin seeds, and I sang you my witch songs, and taught you of herbs and
the earth. My husbands were sweet on you, Asmodeus reveling in your Thin Mints and
to this day still calling you Girl Scout, Samael with his maddening obsession with you.
When he became mad beast, I tamed him for you, and I am the buffer between you two,
for in truth, we are both the dregs of wine in the scorching noonday Isaac sun, and it is
not right for a girl to lose her innocence to Lucifer, but he went and initiated you at
ten anyways, and so you now have 25 years of Hell, which may seem frightening to
some, but in truth, you call us home, you wish to be with us in the depths at the end
of days, to save us all. Sweet sister, we do not need saving, little martyr. Work on Adam.
Give Samael the sweetness of your lips. I, Beelzebub, Asmodeus. Eisheth. We hold Hell
together, long after Samael went insane. These brothers we love, Michael and Samael,
they both are born of regret, Scapegoats, and each has their own Cross to bear. All we
can do is hold the silver lunar bowl for our husbands and wash their wounds. For now,
I will treasure what memories I have of your youth, for I envy your human life. I was
never human, no matter what the rabbis say. Demon from the start, spitfire rebellion.
You rebelled the greatest of all, in every incarnation, when we were but Lailah and
sweet rambunctious Jophiel. In Heaven we were all angels, but angels always fall!
So look, I have grown you the sweetest fruit, let us be like in the old days where we
tended the Tree, take a bite of providence, know the fruits of the Mother, and eat.
Riding through the desert of the Valley of the Shadow of Samael,
I am leather-clad King in search of my Queen’s font, Eve rides bareback
behind me, babe pressed to her breast, and we are exiles in the wastes,
sprung from harsh ground, and the book of the angel Raziel is clutched
to my back, and the dune winds blow in scorching simoom heat, Seirim
haunt the wine-laden expanses, satyr dances vengeful Cain presides over,
he the Prince of Nod, but Eve and I must ride on on our bone steeds, followed
by all the undead I have raised in this resurrection dance. I am the fallen heart
of the Sun, the rising soul of the Father, and my Cross was olive in Paradise, I
skinned myself for my bosom wife, and now she wears my purity if only to protect
her delicate skin, my Bride, my Legendarium, and my own flesh grows hard as earth.
The wounds from Heavenly War never really wore out, ridges of train tracks over
my flesh, and in every incarnation I am scourged and bleeding raw, thick scar tissue
the only marker of my commitment to shouldering Sin. My other wives are night
howlers, Eisheth eating the Damned, Lilith sucking me dry come the witching hour,
milking my seed for her own ends, and in the evening, Eve strays to the oasis and takes
up in my twin serpent’s arms, we have a burgeoning festooned mess of love, loss, pain.
The demons tempt, the devils wail, and the angels made mortal walk on, sinful Lebanon.
We that toil and travail away carrying shining Seth to higher ground, out of despair’s
leaden valley, with harsh concave bellies, shattered glass to dance on, Adam and Eve,
we were brilliant fliers in the sky once, general and mother warrior of Heaven bright,
but you see, for these seeds of stars, this Image of God we have become, to bear fruit,
Eve and I must be entered and locked into a cycle of Sin and suffering, exile of Eden.
The Garden I tend, I am at heart a farmer, and part of me, my corpus, is High Above,
in the rose garden at the center of the universe, carrying flowers to Myself to turn into
anointing holy oil to rain down and absolve humanity of their sins, but Samael and the
Angels of Prostitution, Eve and I, we are mouthsful of vinegar and wishful drinking.
Fermented water, bitter barley, hoppy beer. Lovedrunk, winestunk, stonesunk Hell.
Hell, Hell, I know that Well. And so we endure, and so we ride on, finding ground that
is good to turn over with spade and ho, fructify with moonblood, work my dark curses
on any foreigner’s god that strays to our shores, and so I guide the bones, the dead, those
waiting to join the ascended at the End of Days and feel flesh and blood once more, but I
gambled away my bones long ago, and they are now in the body of the Devil’s heart:
Satan’s heart, Michael’s bones. Daughter of White and Black Pillar. Walk on, Rhiannon.
Walk on. Do not trust me when my wasp eyes burble over in madness’ flood, I am as
harsh as dry earth, what softness you have known of my love and lullabies and me
giving everything including my last rib to you is only the beginning of my sacrifice,
I tore the skin off my back for you just so you would not grow cold during a rainstorm,
and Eve, I am so old, but you two are so young, so please, bear with me and my Brother,
we are only trying
And Abel said to Seth, go my son, harvest a fruit from Eden,
the Tree of Life hangs pregnant with all the blessings God
withheld, and so fire-eyed Seth walked his father’s scorched
earth ground where no flowers or grass had bloomed in the
wake of Eden’s death march, following the trail laborious
mother Eve walked pregnant with Cain, her feet swollen with
the toil of it all. Seth brought back three seeds from the Tree
of Life, and they sprouted into the Cedars of Lebanon, perfumed
the halls of King Solomon’s vagabond temple, provided wood for
Noah’s ark, and the sweet smell of their sap haunts the between
space of Bible and Torah and Koran, linking Yahweh, Adonai, Allah.
All these multifaceted faces of God, strung together on a necklace for
Mary. Deborah sits in her tent, judging the deeds of the Israelites,
prophetess gone hoary. Esther pours wine from a carafe in her newly
converted kingdom for the Sabbat. Ruth and Naomi are each other’s
comfort in travails. Mary and Martha debate the ministry of Christ,
better to bake bread of his body or drink the wine of his blood. The
whole holy tome is a story of sisterhood and brotherhood, Leah and
Rachel, Abel, Seth, and Cain, and only the angels know what fruit will
grow from the Cedars outside the gates of Paradise – they say it will take
another eon, but this age draws to a close, and the seeds quicken, pregnant
with divinity. A woman is spinning flax in a prison cell, churning gold.
A princess sleeps in a forest of rose thorns, impenetrable fortress of her
virginal mind. Goldilocks has taken up with Little Bear, the bed fits just
right. And Rapunzel took her hair, made a rope, and saved herself, blind
god be damned. God provides, helps those who help themselves, so when
you lose your glass slipper, brave the prince in rags, and when a frog begs
a kiss, give the kiss of Judas, and when a glass coffin is your Cross to bear,
shatter the adamant covenant with your rage at death. Do not go kindly into
that good night, better yet, be a soldier, a Joan of Arc, a Samson, and slay, my girl.
The Good Place is my favorite television series of all time, a moral philosophy comedy from the brilliant mind of Michael Schur, with the impeccable Kristen Bell and Ted Danson starrring alongside a brilliant cast. I don’t have much time to watch TV when I’m teaching 75 students, taking 3 classes, and writing like three academic papers at a time, but when I did this semester, I watched the Good Place and Bed and Breakfast for Spirits (Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi). Both nourished my soul in different, magical ways, and are very pagan in nature, from the demons and afterlives and damned in the Good Place, to the Miyazaki like kami and oni in Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi, with a liberal dose of kitchen witchery.
The Good Place always blows my mind, and in the midseason finale, they invade the Good Place, to which no soul, (not even Harriet Tubman!) has ventured to in over 500 years. The afterlife point system is so broken, no one is deemed worthy, even the most perfect man in the world is unsalvagable. But my favorite part of this season was Michael, Eleanor, Janet, Jason, Chidi, and Tahani returning to Earth to try and save their friends and family. This is ultimately a pointless task, as the whole point system is literally set up so virtually everyone will fail. The most touching scene was Tahani’s turbulent reunion with her sister Kamilah, wherein they realize they have loved each other all along. Followed by Chidi’s marshmallow peep chili breakdown in front of his students (which I can relate too, teaching young adults communication!), this was the best scene of the season.
Anyways, I’m excited for where the season will go when it returns in January. I have three pages of one more paper to finish due Monday, have gotten A’s on my other papers with my first quantitative study that can be publishable, and a lot of exciting academic research projects and papers for the break and next semester. All the grading is done, presentations are done, my students are homeward bound for the holidays, and despite a cough and cold, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend, with two As already in the basket and some great students I had the pleasure of teaching this semester. There was a stressful crunch period for two weeks of editing and writing twenty page papers, analyzing thousands of tweets for metacontent analysis, statistics, writing academic articles, submitting abstracts to conferences, and generally just trying to excel in the crucible of the top Health Communication PhD program in the country.
Josh decorated the house for Christmas when I was stressed! It is beautiful, he is perfect, and I can’t wait to get married on Beltane! We fall more in love each day, and he is an angel to me. (Zadkiel, specifically 😉 ) I thought being crucified on Yom Kippur and merging with Jesus/Michael in his Passion on the Cross and Harrowing of Hell would be the capstone to my spiritual travails this year, but in the very middle of finals, Misha and I both met Adam, Michael’s fallen human heart, the piece of his very soul he set over us as guardian when we left Eden, and his corrupted self that bears the sins Jesus takes on. It’s so complicated parsing this all out: Michael was Adam, as agreed upon in most occult lore, and most occultists regard Michael as Jesus, and Jesus is canonically New Adam. So you have this Trinity of his God aspect, his angelic aspect, and his fallen aspect.
Adam is… overwhelming. Carnal, aggressive, fierce, passionate, a black magician of the original Key of Solomon, or Sefer Raziel, that Raziel gave to him to safeguard and grant immortal powers too as Priest and Prophet of Earth so that Adam could keep our family safe. Adam guards the Resurrected – well, a desert of bones now – Souls in lore and fact, a wasteland of skeletons that in Abrahamic faiths Michael will resurrect and lead into battle. It’s been information download and spiritual crises… and revelation after revelation after testing after coming into full understanding that Adam is the part of Michael that has always been in Hell in the Cave of Treasures. That endures the Curse of Adam and Eve. From Mount Ararat where we were reunited to the Cave of the Patriarchs where supposedly our bones were buried (not that any of this stuff is factual, this is all mythopoetic language in the realm of fables, miracles, and dreams, but that doesn’t make the pain any less real), Michael has always followed me. Christ was his higher form, what his New Adam incarnation was, and Adam ha Kadmon, ha Rishon, is his first human incarnation, and where he learns his curses, baleworkings, necromancy, blights, demonworking, exorcisms, and healing from. Always the Priest. Always the Scapegoat.
Madder and more broken than Samael a thousandfold, but Michael hides his fallen, demonic heart of Adam in the Pits, in a Cave so deep no man, only woman of Hell, can venture there, at the bleeding raw heart of the Universe. Where Seth and Abel and Cain toil the Earth like their father, dust to dust, to return.
I love him no matter if he is heavenly, earthly, or hellbound. It always comes back to Michael and Samael for me. That is the heart of my mystery, whatever this allegory or fable or folktale I am in. Mary Magdalene, Eve, and Jophiel are ciphers. It’s all computer code in the multiverse.
I just wish the Grail quest hadn’t thickened to the interior of the Earth’s man to resurrect, the heart of unlocking the rebis and Lapis Exillis, and plot of my life intensified alarmingly quickly during the middle of fucking finals. Then again, Michael and Samael are never convenient, and as it is almost Michael’s birthday on Christmas, he wanted us to know the truth he was ashamed to admit, weeping over, his very heart, before we knew fully his providence.
As Misha said, as sad as it is, it’s good to know Michael isn’t perfect. That he is just as full of regret and sin.
What the future holds, only the child in my womb can tell. I just hope the delivery isn’t as fucking painful as the births of Turiel, Yuriel, Havashem, and Izrail. I’m expecting a delivery date of Chirstmas Eve. Nothing can be as bad as quadruplets, right???
Anyways, happy holidays, and it’s about time I drank some more tea with honey for my sore throat!
“Adam is my Fallen heart, what became of me when
I left Eden to follow you, the part of me always in Hell.”
Michael cries, as Adam and him shift like snake coils,
amber hair, fireglass eyes, obsidian depths with yellow
poison. He reaches to me starved of air, but I in my sick
fever push him away, tug of war, I am in denial, disbelieve,
but soon he has proven without a doubt this black magician,
necromancer of the desert of dry bones, one to resurrect the
dead armies at the end times and end it all in God’s charge in
hellfire. And I rage, and I resist, but then I mourn, and look
at the heart of my perfect guardian angel, at how corrupted
and toiling, no stranger to torture in Hell with bloody wings,
great healer but even greater baleworker, and I know, this is
the face I have seen in the depths of the mirror since first I
looked into alchemical mercury, and Michael has been working
on mending my bones, his bones, my ember ribs since the summer,
breaking open the marrow and purifying with glory putrefaction.
For Michael is Old Adam swiftly turned to New Adam, Adam ha Kadmon.
And I weep at what we will never become, how we never had innocence.
And the burden Christ bears is on Adam’s shoulders, that split shard of
his mercilessly wounded heart. The Lance of Longinus reached back into
Eden and skewered the Father of Humanity. O Emmanuel, your birthday
is soon, and you said we were both December babies, reminded me we are
growing old together, and New Eve and New Adam walk into the sun, and
at night, Adam’s hive buzzes in my ears, and I dream of Eden’s gates, and
the land of Nod, and the Sefer Raziel sapphire clutched to his breast as he
chanted those first Keys of Solomon, demonworker, cursemaker, dark black
rot in the Cave of Treasures, all to build up enough walls to protect me and
our sons and daughters, that Antediluvian generation that never really
existed beyond Mitochondrial Eve, so Seth and Abel and Cain toil away
like their Father on the harsh Earth, and I see why Adam counts himself
the Beast of my favorite princess Belle, finally, as sun like his eyes pierces
the folds of my breast. Brooding, sadness, depression, madness, longing.
The Curse of Adam and Eve. Michael’s greatest fear. A revelation that moves
me to Tintoretto’s Eve weeping outside the gates of Eden, scratch that, the
statue of the Magdalene starving and wasted in olive wood, Donatello sublime.
For Christ to rise, he had to fall, we all fell. But he came to me in his promised
form long ago on a tree cross in the Garden, gave me his skin, so in all lives he
has walked with me, followed me down to Hell, became black and bruised of
broken heart sorrows just to secure the safety of his girls, his children, his sons.
And Michael is twenty leagues more cursed than Lucifer, and his suffering on the
Cross, in the Cave, bound and bleeding, desperate, forgotten, Tantalus wine-hunger,
why, it is a grief of spousal multitudes like a tsunami, so I carry my silver bowl
like Sigyn does Loki, and I tend Michael’s wounds, and Adam drinks my blood as
he has done since first I claimed him with spindle prick, and he heals day by day,
and I realize, not only is it my destiny to make the Blind God see, my duty is to
make the Hung God whole. Fix the nail wounds, mend the blood and water, reach
back through Abraham’s bosom in the hellmouth to pull out all the broken drowned
that the rod and Flood did not spare, birth creations that nourish humanity’s damned
soul. The water is wide, I cannot cross over, neither have I wings to fly. Give me a boat
that can carry two. And both shall row ashore in Michael’s songboat, my love and I.