What’s in a word. Meaning is essential and context helps you use it correctly but sometimes reason comes in. Why is a word might be a better question in a small number of cases. While the English language is incredibly rich, strange words suddenly appearing in the cultural lexicon have reason. They were chosen and placed there. Cabal is one such case where almost overnight it was added to journalist and newscasters vocabularies.
Clive Barker, Fiction Driven by Authentic Kabbalist Occult Experiences
Clive Barker, occultic fantasy horror writer stands out amongst his genres storytellers in that he is defined by how real and believable his material is. Unlike a Stephen King or Deane Koontz where established horror devices like vampires are laced into exciting tales drenched in Americana, Barkers work is drenched in genuine Kabbalist mythology but also so original and bizarre it’s believable. Barker himself freely admits to being involved in real occultic ceremonies, kabbalah and mysticism in his younger years and with that in mind one strongly suspects that his writing uses these experiences as a framework. Barker is also quick to divide occultism, kabbalah and magick from illusion, two strong themes within his work. Illusion is the sleight of hand skills along with the smoke and mirrors of the entertainer. Magick as very real forces that can perform unspeakable evil where chosen.
Clive Barker, HIV and the Canabalising of oneself through Hedonism
A 2012 court case that was thrown out revealed a side of Barkers life that was drenched in ritual self abuse and sex magick. Although it was thrown out as baseless it does fall in line with the material he writes and shoot. An ex partner claimed that Barker infected him with HIV and only revealed himself to be HIV after he had tested positive. Barker allegedly contracted the disease through gay sadomasochist partying in his younger years. This sort of behaviour is hinted at briefly in his prologue of The Damnation Game. Needles, orgies and orgies all paint the picture of a life drenched in the sort of pain and pleasure area that portrays the cenobites bringing to anyone opening the lament configuration box.
To look at Clive Barker now, a man who has come through a number of serious illnesses and is alledged to be accompanied by shady bullish looking chaperones in public, its hardly unbelievably that he is indeed very ill. He appears to have aged massively over the course of the last few years. His teeth look yellow and rotting, some missing and he looks to have lesions on his skin, all things associated with full blown AIDS virus. Barker has cannibalised himself with his nihilistic occultic lifestyle and the life-force that remains him might well soon be spent. Will he find the peace he seemed to miss in life when death arrives? Going by the material he writes, does he want peace or hades?
Cabal, the unusual word from the unusual Clive Barker, Kabbalist
Cabal is the name bestowed upon Aaron Boon by Baphomet in Barkers movie, Nightbreed. It’s also the name of Barkers original novel. Before this term suddenly bounced into the worldwide lexicon in late 2017 to describe controversial government groups, Clive Barkers fantasy horror book and accompanying movie was the only time I myself had come across it. I have searched for other modern uses but have found nothing. While this isn’t entirely unordinary, that it was kabbalist Clive Barker, that it was this particular unusual word and at this time in history is an alignment that makes it more than just one of those things. Strange things happen all the time and synchronicity can be elaborate but there is something more within this particular thing. And “thing” can be the only way to describe the shapelessness of the undeniable reason.
Clive Barker Canon: Rebuilding the Ancient Pagan Gods with Blood
A consistent theme in the work of Barker has been a focus on the old gods of the earth, inparticular Baphomet. While many associate baphomet with Freemasonry esotericism and occult cryptic art and literature, he was originally a deity that the Knights Templar were caught worshipping in 1307. Beyond that he appeared in the now famous 1856 Eliphas Levi illustration with “Solvet” and “Coagula” on his forearms, the place where blood is generally drawn from humans. The latin translates as “Solve blood” although this is argued and disputed by occultists who would prefer that it was perhaps kept in the esoteric world of exclusive understanding. Barker cryptically delivers his own baphomet canon over the course of three movies. Rawhead Rex features an ancient pagan god awakened from a slumber beneath the earth, Hellraiser has a central plot that involves a being manifesting from the spirit world to the physical by way of blood that allows him to rebuild himself and finally Nightbreed where a vision of a half manifested Baphomet asks to be found and healed. The key points from Barker are that there are indeed ancient gods under our feet just as the Eliphas Levi art suggests with the “As Above, So Below” pose that’s now found its home in tarot and Masonic tracing board art. He suggests that by way of vampiric rebuilding of these demonic entities through blood and the life that exists within the substance they can again walk the earth and that Baphomet is already partially built so those of that persuasion should seek him.
From Kabbalah Came The Cabal
The source of the word cabal is from the Jewish Mystic interpretation of the scripture, Kabbalah. Wikipedia has the following explanation:
The term cabal derives from Kabbalah (a word that has numerous spelling variations), the Jewish mystical interpretation of the Hebrew scripture. In Hebrew it means “reception” or “tradition”, denoting the sod (secret) level of Jewish exegesis. In European culture (Christian Cabala, Hermetic Qabalah) it became associated with occult doctrine or a secret.From Wikipedia “Cabal” Page
So, what of all of this?
What can be drawn from this deoends on your wider understanding of the world and is perhaps best left not spelt incase of error. What can be said is that Clive Barker and the Cabal, it’s current usage isn’t random. It’s a thing while certainly not just one of those things.
4 thoughts on “Kabbalah, Cabal, the Occult Canon of Clive Barker and Rebuilding the Ancient pagan god Baphomet”
Going by the material he writes, does he want peace or hades?
I’m thinking hades, but I pray his family prays for his eternal salvation. Pretty sure demonstrating by his actions as well as writing, it’s hades. But there is always time for repentance and comversion while one breathes air. Excellent analysis of his body of work. I’ll stick with good ole Americana horror via vampires and zombies.
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I’d say you’re right, he gravitates towards hell on earth and the manifesting of demons. Thanks for taking the time, Karen. Appreciate you’re comments.
@Karen… keep living up to that name.