|Our Faith Has No Hell
A Cleansing Ritual with Melek Tawus
By Chas Bogan
“Our faith has no Hell, our god extinguished it with his tears.”
Credit for that line goes to my partner, Storm, who said it flippantly, in reaction to me peevishly having told him to ‘go to Hell.’
This was morning, and I’m grumpy in the morning, so any number of now forgotten annoyances may have provoked my wrath. What stuck with me was his retort, so that while I shaved and showered that notion of Melek Tawus having drowned Hell gradually percolated in my mind. [That was it… percolated… he had told me to fix my own cup of coffee… justification for damnation certainly.]
I know better now the myth than I remembered then. The Yezidi angel is said to have suffered for seven thousand years, his tears filling seven vessels, which he used to douse the infernal fires of Hell, thus liberating us from such suffering.
Fast-forward to later that morning. I am sitting, faced eastward; before me is the altar of he whom in Feri we sometimes call the Blue God, or by the name Dian-y-glas. Although he and Melek Tawus differ somewhat, on a deep level they are entwined, serving as separate manifestations of the same divine presence. Often I think of Feri’s peacock angel as being a younger, more sensual aspect of Melek Tawus. Both share a strong Luciferian association. So as I sit before this altar, intent on pursuing a pleasant late morning meditation meant to draw on the lively energy of my beloved Blue God, and as I close my eyes and drift into a trance, it is then that I become aware of the Hell that exists deep within me. I would come to understand it as my personal Hell, fueled by inexplicable emotions, and ultimately would realize the true power of Melek Tawus to quench in me fires such as he had vanquished in the realm of legend.
Having aligned myself prior to beginning this trance, the emotions that arose did not affect me too harshly. It was as though I was aware of the pain, the way one is able to see pain in the grimace of another, but did not sense it along my spine. Even so, I recognized that this pain was real, that it was emerging from me, and that I had to contend with it now, or else feel the full force of it later. I think it best not to procrastinate in dealing with what arises through meditation, least you later have a complete mental breakdown whilst waiting for the Starbucks barrista to serve you up your Venti Mocha. [Perhaps the source of my great pain was the fact that Storm never had fixed me my coffee.]
I’ve digressed. I sensed a great pain within me, but could not identify its nature or its source. This bothered me greatly, since I am accustomed to things arising in meditation, and following them to their source so that I can contend with them. The great work of knowing oneself is never complete, and it is an ongoing part of my practice to learn what issues are obscured with my psyche. These were more ephemeral emotions then I commonly encountered, and try as I might I could not reference their origins. I asked if any of the powers with whom I work might aid in my understanding; and there arose in me a revelation, that this distressful energy had long ago detached from whatever conditions or complexes had originated them. Part of this muck was made up of old fears, originally aroused during some situation long since resolved and forgotten, that like ghosts were not aware that life had moved on and so continued to haunt me, not with jangling chains, but with low moans such as I had never detected, but that doubtless had been the cause of many unexplained shivers or mere uncertainties.
While these feelings arose within me, their energy seemed to give off a tangible heat, and I realized that I needed to do something to contain this or else risk being consumed by it. I work well with the dynamic of resonance, and in the way that I’m attracted sexually to my own gender, I do well also in drawing energies to me that are similar to me. Knowing that, I gathered up this sense of foreboding anguish that typified much of what I was feeling, used my imagination to mold it all into a ball, and anchored it in a spot just above my perineum where I am accustomed to gathering energy. I have since dubbed this my ‘Hellsphere,’ because I think it sounds cool. Like attracting like, I felt similar energies being drawn into this sphere, filling it but according to my will not escaping it, so that soon this Hellsphere contained what felt like an inferno of rage and woe.
So far this was not the refreshing meditation I had set out to accomplish. No sexy Blue God to tickle my etheric body with his colorful plumes. Here I sat with a noxious Hell in the pit of my bowels. My body felt drained. I remember a strange sensation, sort of like my aura was twitching. I had the weight of a bowling ball at the bottom of my stomach, and I realized that I could endure it no longer. As I tried to reason what manner of transformation might be useful in this instance (something that would not only cleanse but also replenish me, salving the spots where these clots of negative energy had dislodged), I had a strong sense of Melek Tawus in the darkness of space above me.
With empathy for my plight, he wept, his tears plummeting down, plinking upon my skin, not physically, but nonetheless in a tangible manner that felt like little electrical shocks. I felt these tears being absorbed into my flesh, rejuvenating me as this energy found its way into the Hellsphere, where it began to dampen those proverbial flames. Before too long the fire had been quelled, and gone was the anxious sense that had infused by every nerve. Yet there remained this thing in the pit of me, lighter now, but in a slighter way still sickening.
But just as in the physical, the energy inside the sphere was not simply destroyed, but rather had transformed into smoke and ash. It was oily and marbled with veins of rancid green. What was I to do with this? I considered pressing my palms to the floor and sending it into the earth, but that seemed wrong, too much like polluting. I needed Melek Tawus’ continued aid, and realized that his presence had begun to descend from the heavens towards me.
This was the shape he had taken, that of an albino peacock. From the deep reaches of space he crawled downward, like a lizard down a wall, suggestive of a serpent in the way his body swayed. Against the black of space this vision of him was awe-inspiring, as beautiful as it was surreal. While he skittered down through space I observed that he was not so much white as he was radiantly pearlescent. He trailed stardust and spiced the skies with comets as he approached. His descent was slow, allowing me time to perceive the nature of my pain turned to smoke. The quality of this muck had sensations different than the flames from which they arose. There was apprehension, and something like shame maybe. As beautifully theatrical as his descent was, I was beginning to feel as though I might hurl. That’s the problem with peacocks (or deities who take on such characteristics), is that they get so caught up in strutting. My sickness increasing, I yelled in my head at him, ‘Please, can you just get your show-offy butt down here.’ There’s no way to hide your emotions from such entities so you usually do best just to say what you feel, in this case it worked fine. With a wild peacock shriek Melek Tawus shot downward like a falling star, and soon entered through the center top part of my skull.
He crawled down through me, slowly, until he moved into the Hellsphere, absorbing its toxins, and dissipating the sphere itself like a soap bubble against the kiss of a pin. By absorbing the smoke, he took on its colors, appearing beautiful still, the way an oily puddle in the asphalt appears in the moonlight. As he passed down, through my perineum, his tail feathers swept through me, tickling me erotically so that I felt fully cleansed.
I took in a deep breath, feeling pure and healed, and sensing still his tears glittering electrically across my flesh and deep within my marrow. I did not lose sight of him however, for his work was not yet finished. Of his own accord he was drawn into the core of the earth, into a domain that was composed not of my private Hell, but a Hell of humanity’s making. I had been merely a microcosm, but now I could join him in an even greater work, that of transforming the world’s hurt in part.
Of course this was not some messianic one-time deal whereby Hell was harrowed and forever extinguished. We continually make Hell out of the heart of our earth, sending it fresh pain in every instant. Melek Tawus had been here before, and knew what to do, for again he began to weep, and with but a few tears this inferno was subdued. As before, this left the soot, which he similarly took into himself, taking in as much as there was, which was monstrous. Now he stood in a sphere within the earth, appearing weak, like some gull washed up from a tanker spill. Even so, his true majesty was palpable.
He bent low his head, and with his tail beat thrice against the foundation. After the third beat, his head arose, and he had transformed the smoke into brilliant color. His tail fanned out, shining greens and golds and blues. Hell had been extinguished, its smoke transformed, and Earth fed by his royal hues. In a burst of colored light Melek Tawus, true to form, made a spectacle of his departure.
Sitting there, I sensed his energy flowing up through the skin of the earth, and breathed some of it into myself. Then, with my exhale, I sent the power of Melek Tawus into the sky, back out towards the heavens from which he had come.
That ended the working, and I pursued the smell of coffee that Storm had made for me.
This experience was good for me, and is one that I have returned to, on certain occasions, to cleanse myself in a deep manner, reaching those bits of psychic grime that otherwise evades my introspection. I also do it to contribute to the cleaning of the earth, and humanity’s hurt. Here is an overview that I think might aid those who would like to share in this work.
Whereas I mentioned having an altar to the Blue God in the East, one is not necessary, and you can face another direction if desired. Otherwise, consider collecting something that resonates with Melek Tawus, be it a peacock feather or other representation (the cover of Witch Eye #10, for example), and place it somewhere, preferably in the east.
Start by doing whatever stuff you do to ready yourself for a working. Myself, I would begin by grounding myself. I would do Kala, or other form of purification. I would light the Star Goddess candle, and mentally acknowledge the directional powers. I would imagine a sphere around me, and then settle down facing East.
Consider the myth of Melek Tawus. I find that this is usually the time when I become most insightful in my mental understanding of him. You may ponder his myth, for instance. Or, as some Feri theologians have suggested, you might meditate on Melek Tawus as a representation of our third and highest soul, the Deep Self (or however you might refer to it). Some use Melek Tawus to personify not only their Deep Self, but the soul of humanity as a whole. For some such a concept is a spiritual truth, for others it merely serves as myth, whereas for some it is just mind-boggling bullshit. Pondering such notions can be a good way to ease into working with him. You can skip this step altogether is you like, and merely call him to you mentally. But soon it comes time to step away from the mental realm and get to the energetic meat of the exercise.
Ask yourself, “What is fueling my personal Hell?” If what comes up is the image of your boss’ face, then you need to go deeper beyond that; but for now get past all your mundane peeves. You’re after something else here, not the tangible reasons for your known pain, you want to get at the mote of dirt far beneath the scar that smolders with the heat of infection. What you need to get at, you cannot see.
Imagine a sphere inside yourself, at the bottom of your belly. This is where you should gather your negative energy, contained safely within the sphere. If what you feel at first is tension in your heart, or anywhere, imagine it being pulled to that sphere. As it begins to fill, imagine it being set ablaze if it does not ignite on its own. Now the alchemy begins. Continue to draw all the negative energy that has awakened in you to this place. When you feel that the sphere is full we can move to the next step.
Call Melek Tawus. Once you have encountered him well enough to know his energy and resonate with him, you need do nothing more than think of him and he will come. However, if you are into ritual, then you may want to use an invocation.
Lord of beauty and of light
Lord of wisdom and of pride
He who drowned the fires of Hell
Come down to me
Poetry is not my forté, so you can probably come up with something better.
Feel his tears rain down from the sky. Try and sense the sympathy he has for you. Feel those tears extinguish the fire inside you.
Focus on Melek Tawus as he crawls down from the heavens. Feel him enter into your head and down into your stomach where he penetrates your Hellsphere. Know that he has absorbed the smog that you released. Feel him move through you, exiting into the foundation.
Follow Melek Tawus into the core of the earth, where Hell exists in the astral. Again his tears drown the flames, and his body absorbs the smoke. See him at last standing there, beating his tail against the ground, once, twice, and then a third time. Now he has transformed all the negative energy into color, and you see or sense this radiating from him into the planet.
Follow Melek Tawus as he arises through the earth, and feel him emerge into space, still radiating colored light out into the cosmos. You are done now, so take whatever steps you deem necessary to return yourself to mundane consciousness and honor the powers that leant energy to your circle.
Copyright Chas Bogan 2009
Originally Published in Witch Eye Volume 15