In Nomine Babalon: 24K Blood Illuminations
Mixed Media
Folk Art
Menstrual Art

In Nomine Babalon: 24K Menstrual Illuminations

Ongoing Series,  2019

‘In Nomine Babalon’ is an ongoing series of devotional paintings for the goddess Babalon, in the style of traditional Arabic calligraphy and Islamic Illumination or tehzip using the artist's menstrual blood, 24K gold along with other precious natural pigments as mentioned in book 17 of Revelations. 

As “Mother of Whores”, she is often referred as the inverse of the Virgin Mary (RAA). Babalon is a goddess figure worshipped first by the Sumerians as Inanna and later as Ishtar in the Babylonian, Assyrian and Akkadian empires. She appeared much later in history in the sexually charged prophetic visions of John of Patmos, as explicitly described in Book 17 of his apocalyptic Book of Revelations. Babalon then appears centuries later to Elizabethan era court occultists and astrologers Dee and Kelly in what is documented to have been a set of (also sexually) disturbing direct communications. She was most recently resurfaced by Aleister Crowley, as a key deity and feminine figure most often tied to his religious philosophy and order of Thelema. The goddess tends to show up in the world at times of critical historic crises linked to the placid and repressed states of the pan-gendered feminine at large.

Islamic illumination has always been a highly revered art form, one the artist grew up surrounded by and studying amidst training in Arabic calligraphy as a child. Every step of the preparation and process is one of a tedious nature requiring persistent patience and remembrance of the divine nature of the text at hand. Practices of dhikr (repetitive utterances of Divine remembrance) and special breathwork is usually practiced to center oneself while engaging in the excruciatingly repetitive yet detail-oriented tasks involved. Being in a state of impeccable purity is another important requirement while engaging in this art form. Contrary to Islamic beliefs, the artist holds the menstrual cycle and blood rites of the feminine in very high regard, nothing short of miraculous, and far from filthy. Engaging in the creative process of this series continues to aid the artist in deep healing along the personal and ancestral lines of fragmentation, defilement and shame associated with experiences of navigating the world from a woman’s body with choice and agency.

All materials were prepared as traditionally as any Quranic manuscript or holy text has been. Paper was prepared by multiple washes of tea (and tobacco) stain, then sized with egg whites, before tediously hand-burnishing with a consecrated agate stone. Gold was prepared and washed by hand using genuine 24K gold  leaf, gum arabic and honey. For elements of color, a selection of mediums were used including ink, gouache and watercolor, incorporated with appropriate natural precious pigments such as ground emerald, ruby, pearl. The artist’s menstrual blood was ritualistically collected every month specifically for each piece, tying each painting as a relic in time to both the natural rhythm and activities of both the moon and artist’s.

Babalon is a central figure in the artist’s spiritual, creative and material work. She is currently engaged in a few translation projects of historical texts about her into Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. For further information on Babalon, please check this curated list instead of Wikipedia, which has proven to be a highly unreliable source on this topic.

Individual works continue below.  Additional process videos can be seen on the artist’s Instagram Story Highlights.  ︎

Babalon and the VII Beasts Upon Which She Rideth, 2019

23 x 23 cm
Menstrual blood, 24K shell gold, walnut ink, india ink, gouache, ground emerald natural pigment on stained, hand-burnished and sized Arches paper

Featuring traditional Ottoman-era  tehzip  illumination renditions of seven phallices (Oh how the Ottomans loved their phallices). 

The artist went to great lengths studying the male figure for this piece, using everything from former lovers, to gifted “d--k pics”, to surgical journals and a variety of  other pornographic means
of research.

Mother of Whores and Abominations of the World, 2019.

13 x 12 cm
Menstrual blood, semen, 24K shell gold, walnut ink, india ink, gouache, watercolor on stained, hand-burnished and sized Arches paper

Written in Kufic (early Iraq) style script from a Coptic Arabic copy of the Book of Revelations 17:1-2:

Mystery, Babalon. Mother of the Whores and Abominations [of the world]. Revelations 17

Mystery of Mystery, 2019.

8 x 11 cm
Menstrual blood, 24K shell gold, walnut ink, india ink, gouache on stained, hand-burnished and sized Arches paper. Mounted on leather.

Geometric meditations on Her holy of holies.

“No-man may come nigh unto Her.”

Next ︎