17:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
Today is the fortieth day on the road to Pentecost. This is known as the Day of Ascension, because the Book of Acts records that on this day Jesus, after having been with the disciples for forty days left them and ascended into heaven and was hidden from their sight. The number forty is the number of earthly completion. It has taken Christ forty days to complete his work on cleansing the astral and etheric bodies of the influences that had attached themselves to us since ancient times, and wanted to change our destiny as spiritual beings. Forty is four decades of the rosary. These are the elemental decades of fire, earth, air and water which Revelation calls the four living beings. We now enter the final decade, the decade of light.
Christ is the light of the world. He is the true light that enters into us each time we come into incarnation. Light emanates from the higher spiritual worlds. The hierarchy of spiritual beings which stand above us are beings of light. Christ leaves the disciples to work in the higher spiritual worlds where he prepares the new consciousness for us. From this point on, there are no more “woes”, as Revelation puts it. Instead there is an increasing unveiling of the new reality, the heavenly city, the new Christ consciousness.
Our passage today begins with the old consciousness, the consciousness of Babylon. It has taken the soul captive. The force which holds the soul in captivity is described in sexual terms. English has really no single word to translate the Greek word porneia. It is the origin of our word, “pornography”, and really means the misuse of sexual energies. Sexual energy is a complex matter. It originates as the energy of life in the base or gonads centre. As we have already seen, the base centre is comprised of four energy points. These energy points represent the urge to reproduce, the desire for pleasure, the connection with tribal consciousness and the identification with the physical body and because of this the power of money.
The sexual energy rises into the etheric centre. Sex creates powerful vortexes within this centre that can remain as traumatic memories passed on from life to life. The sexual energy then rises into the astral. Sex here manifests as uncontrollable desire and passion.
Revelation depicts our sexual energy as the woman seated upon the scarlet beast. The beast as we have already seen represents the ancient energies which have permeated our spiritual centres. The woman is the soul corrupted by these energies.
It is easy to see the corruption of the soul everywhere in the world. As I write these words, a war in Ukraine has erupted, driven by one man’s desire for possession and ownership. The basis of this behaviour is distorted sexuality. In the United States yet another massacre of young children and their teachers has occurred. Freud was not wrong when he identified guns, missiles and spears as symbols of masculine sexual energy. It is always young men who pick up a gun and kill. It is always old men who make war. It is women who have to grieve and mourn the loss of innocent lives.
We cannot “solve” these problems, but we can shed light on them. We can shed light on the motives and massacres of dictators. We can shed light on the corrupted thinking and morality of politicians who refuse to pass legislation to control the continuing outbreaks of gun violence. Light not only illuminates, it heals. It brings understanding and compassion. It resolves the ancient inner pain that still exists within our memories.
The woman of Babylon is the soul captured and imprisoned by the masculine energy. Now with the feminine energy entering into the world we can experience a renewal of the innocence and purity of the soul. We have entered into the last decade, the decade of light.
In Blake’s vision of the “great prostitute”, we see the woman seated on the beast, holding a chalice. Out of the chalice spiritual forces flow into the souls of humanity. Blake shows the results of these forces at the bottom of the painting: war, conquest, desire, attachment and conflict.
If we want Christ to flow through us, then we need to focus on Christ and make ourselves invincible to all other spiritual energies. Start your day with the invocation below. Repeat it to yourself at different times of the day.
Only Christ into me, only Christ out of me.
Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me.
Christ below me, Christ above me.
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.
Christ all round me, Christ within me,
Christ to seek, and Christ to win me,
And I invoke the forces of the Christ,
Knowing his power and his might.
You have no idea what spiritual forces flow through you. You don’t understand it and it is difficult to explain. As I have said before, from day to day you are always different. Today you are not what you were yesterday, and tomorrow you will be different again. What makes you different? What are the spiritual forces that do this? There are so many of them.
Rev Mario Schoenmaker, The Book of Revelation, 1984 Lecture Series