SPRING (Southern Hemisphere) EQUINOXULIUQE SEPT. 2000

On the Spring Equinox 2000 I married my Anima (female within the male), whom I had been progressively womanifesting over the 9 moonths prior with the intake of estrogen (to become a hermaphrodite rather than to just change genders) combined with invocation, mantra, mudra and meditation.
As I had brought my inner female to the physical plane to some degree, it seemed apt to celebrate this by bringing the Alchymic Marriage beyond a metaphor for spiritual inner union into a physical wedding ceremony.

In addition to being a celebration of the culmination of my hermaphroditic reification Work, it was also a binding to remember what I had learnt from the experience of the entire process...

A CLICK HERE to download a Quicktime Extract from the HarleQuintet's video clip ARDHANARISHVARA-AN, which is comprised mostly of footage from My Alchymic Wedding.

The congregation began to congregate as dusk encroached, converging upon the large shed nestled in the rainforest of Mt Dandenong for the ceremony. As preparations of the space were still being completed, people gathered outside and down at the house, milling about in their refinery. The Invitations had recommended that 'Formal X Dress' was preferred, and most present had got creative with the concept, the idea being for each attendee to undergo some kind of reified alchemical marriage themselves by exteriorizing their anima/animus via cross-gender dressing.

Lovely white flowing and floral dresses abounded and the ladies looked very smart in their dinner jackets, bow ties and all. Those who had not cross-dressed were still suitably formally attired as would befit such an occasion. There was however something noticeably freakish about those gathered (ofwhich only a small portion are captured in these video stills). Though very formal and refined was the attire, most of the guests had an earthy, bestial nature which seemed to peer strangely through their civilized veneer. And the love of subcultural ornamentation of the modern mutant was not absent, rather incorporated in with the rather rennaisance refinery. Poshest bunch of punks and hippies and bohemians I ever saw; Quite a carnivalesque assembly.

An hour or so before dusk all were asked to gather at the entrance to the shed by Ra'en, the priest for the wedding ceremony. There he offered blessings to the Gods and the Loa (spirits), entreating Papa Legba to open the Gates to the spirit world for the ensuing Great Rite.
Once this was complete he entered, through the velvet veil twixt two pillars, one topped with head of lion (rubber), the other of eagle (real wedgetail head dried), followed in succession by the gathered guests.

The interior of the large shed had been transformed over the last few days by installation master Amordios GobblynSmith and myself; and what greeted the guests was a splendorous scene indeed. Huge green velvet stage curtains set the backdrop for the ceremonial space. At the base of the central pillar was an ornate altar, resplendent with talismans appropriate to the forthcoming rite: Magickal pantacle wooden African plate with mother-of-pearl 8-rayed chaostar inlay; crossed Double Wands of Qoph Nia (topped with female smoky quartz chrystal) and Resh Ain (male clear quartz tip), fledged with feathers of owl and peacock; stone puma figurine from Peru; Magick Mirror; longstemmed metal Chalice, golden exterior and silver interior, filled with the sacrament to be consumed at ceremony's culmination; my 5000-yr-old KiaQyl longstaff; Scales of Maat with Golden Thread coiled in one dish and Silver Cord coiled in the other, and behind it, rising from the fulcrum, my magickal Sword Zain; and of course many beautiful flowers. The central pillar itself, as axis mundi for the sacred space and pole for the loa to descend, was hung with the head of the Minotaur, a decorated cowskull with huge goat-horns, charged from our Labyrinth rituals. This had already actually been hung on the central pillar months earlier by Hiedi, decorating for Bel's party; ironic subconscious strata as the head had been buried at the Crossroads of our third Labyrinth rite (Eostre '99) and ritually charged as the head of Baphomet for the final night's performance, using the same 'Marassa United at the Crossroads' veve which we were about to use for the Wedding Rite.

Beneath the Head was hung my drawing of Hrumachis as the double-headed lion, hybridising Heru and SekhMaat, about to be invoked. The aisle led from the door to the pillar, framed by rows of wooden pews in classic western church-wedding style, with additional couches and cushions around the rear areas for less formally-inclined guests to lounge upon. There were about fifty guests present, a wonderful and varied congregation, all (well almost all) personally invited dear friends and sincerely curious.

As everyone got comfortable, Ra'en stood before the central altar. The congregation fell silent and as Priest he opened the circle, calling with words and mudras the elemental energies and corresponding Egyptian dieties for each direction. These were based upon Nema's sixfold aeonic evocations as I had requested, adapted by Ra'en so he felt comfortable with them. A soft whirring noise accompanied each invocation, audio samples of the four elemental wheels from our Labyrinths, activated by Amordios behind the stage curtains, each sound echoing in tone its elemental attribution.

Meanwhile in one of the Change Room areas, behind the curtains, one of the Bridesmaids was helping dress me as the Groom. Traditionally the bridesmaids dress the bride and the groomsmen the groom, but as my bridesmaids were male (crossdressed) and groomsmen female we decided it would be more practical (in terms of knowledge of dressing) to swap the roles (again).

For the Groom there wasn't much to it anyway: black pants and longsleeved shirt woven of tattooed shadows and rayon, black leather waistcoat, bowtie and oldstyle tall black top hat, with bright macaw feather (representing Kukulcan) stuck in its band. Lastly I pulled on the first of the serpent gloves Ra'en had made me as a wedding present: black suede entwined with tanned scaley skin of red-belly black snake, reaching from left elbow (long gloves are traditional wedding attire) to wrist with hand bare to expose fresh (executed by Aaron 3 days prior) white-ink hand tattoo of the scaley head of Ob, the male primal serpent of the voodoo pantheon. The snakeskin was consecrated, plus whatever Ra'en did with the gloves when he stitched them in the last few days leading up to the wedding <>, and my arm began to tingle as the glove settled into place, forming the body of my left serpent-hand.

On Ra'ens evocation of Horus I entered from the direction He had been called, attired as the groom. Chanting in male tones, 'Heru, Shu, Horus, Hru, Har, Heru...' I carried the energies of Horus across the room, with masculine energy and movement, forming one hhalf of the Marassa (sacred twins) veve with white flour (representing the whiteness of Obatala and Semen) flung across the floor as I walked the two diagonal paths of the pattern.

I exited into the other makeshift Changeroom on the other side of the shed, and Ra'en continued his opening, creating the Crossroads veve, with pillar central, by sprinkling golden cornmeal, entreating Legba as Lord of the Crossroads.

When he called Maat I emerged in a beautiful white bridal dress, my other glove (golden snakeskin) now on framing Od serpent head tattooed on right hand, and my eyelids daubed with irridescence for the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset.The second snakeglove and wedding dress with its exquisite lace and lightly-bouncing frame helped bring out my femininity, and I moved with grace as I sprinkled red (the blood and fire of Odudua) flower petals to form the second half of the Marassa veve, weaving through the Crossroads to intersect the white half.

As I did so I chanted, 'Maat, Ma, Maati, Tefnut, Mayet, Mouth, Maut, Morte, Maat...', getting into the more fiery aspects of Goddess towards the end of my dance, then exiting back into the first Changeroom.

Ra'en ended the evocations with Harpocrat central, then after a pause of Silence began his opening speech, clarifying to the congration why they were gathered there today:

RA'EN: -'We are gathered here today to celebrate the union of Orryelle Defenestrate and Orryelle Bascule. Anyone who has any problems or objections to this holy union, please go away...' (when you have a room full of jokers and protagonists, you don't need to give them an opening...)
'In the beginning of time two serpents, Odudua, the night, and Obatala, the light, came together to create this universe, this great song. We are their children, the children of their children. This marriage at the equinox equilux is the first marriage, a handfasting of darkness and brightness, dream and waking, here and now.
'Over the last nine moons, Orryelle has been summoning forth his anima to share their body as a wo/manifest androgyne. By ritual, by chant, by will and word and whim, Orryelle Defenestrate and Orryelle Bascule, Od and Ob, Odudua and Obatala have come to share Orryelle. This moment, this sacred marriage of woman and man is the culmination of Orryelle's alchemic dance. The Red Lion and the White Eagle approach Each Other...'

Meanwhile I had gone down to the back of the shed via a tunnel of curtains and Willow Wren -the Best Man- was helping me don my final combined attire (inc. undergarments as to be revealed...) as fast as we were able. Nevertheless when Ra'en ended his speech and Kestral, the Maid of Honour, began to play and sing a rendition of, 'Here comes the Gride... uh... Broom?....' I failed to appear quite on cue.

After several verses and even a keychange however I eventually emerged, resplendent in elegant white Bridal Dress, black leather waistcoat, bowtie, lacy white veil which obscured my face, topped with black leather hat.
The Red Carpet was rolled out (the alchymical Hieros Gamos is known as the Royal Marriage after all!), over one arm of the Crossroads veve, and I began to walk slowly down the aisle.

As We (the Royal We, not yet officially I) walked down the aisle, We were showered with flowers and petals. The shed was actually on a property surrounded with flower gardens, so their had been no shortage of flowers and confetti petals to be gathered for the celebration.

I felt very strange, the costume being bulky and awkward (not to mention the mutant undergarments) yet somehow also graceful in form and flow. Every movement was very slow. I couldn't see much through the veil but a dim pastiche of lights and colours. Dusk was falling and the ambient golden lighting and altar candles flickered in the blur. I was beginning to feel positively possessed, buzzing as I ambled through this warping dreamscape. I remembered what Ra'en had said during preparations that as we were working with the voodoo pantheon and calling the loa, if I crossdressed in black and white Guede, gynander of Sex and Death, would also come...

The bridesmaids (left - Barrington, Evan (Dinesh nonattendent having been mysteriously stricken with a fresh fever a few days before)) and groomsmen (right - Zya, Bex, Hiedi,) lined up on either side of the altar as I arrived before it.

I knelt down before the altar as Ra'en asked all gathered to now rise and form a circle. The pews were pushed back as everyone formed a great circle around me.

Once everyone was comfortable Ra'en requested we all chant the chakra tones, and after some deep breathing I closed my eyes and began the base tone. Well over half of those present had chanted the tones with me at different times in different combinations of congregation, so most knew them and this was a powerful moment. It also felt like the transition from the outer satyrical aspects of the rite into the deeper levels of the rite (which of course retained their humorous angle also given the circumstances!), the square and linear format of the orthodox christian wedding we had parodied now having been abandoned for the circular congregation of the traditional pagan handfasting about to be performed.

The chanting resonated through the shed, uniting everyone harmonically and intensifying the focus for the rite. Kneeling in the centre of the circle, bathed with waves of sound, I felt like the dot in the centre of the sun symbol. And outside the lunar crescent of the curtains and webwomb completed the sigil of the Order ov ChAos, the Sun and the Moon United in the Alchymic Marriage, overlaid on the veve of the Marassa United at the Crossroads.

Slowly I rose and began my invocations. I raised my right hand and called into it the firesnake Od. My hand tingled and began to tremble then writhe as I felt the ophidian energies surge through my body, sending my serpent arm into undulating motion.
I began to chant, calling forth different aspects of feminine energy with mantra and motion: 'Od, Odudua, Babalon, Shakti, Nacack'nan, Od, Aud, Odudua, Tefnut, Maat, Wedo...' MMy arm writhed and waved with the currents, tattooed jaws on thumb and forefinger opening and closing in rhythm.

As the waves of energy subsided I lowered my right arm and raised my left, beginning invocations of male powers. (Yes I know its traditionally the other way around but I am a lefthanded 'Contrary'). 'Ob, Obatala, Pan, Shiva-An, Ahacan, Ob, Aub, Obatala, Shu, Heru, Damballah...' I chanted as my left hand took the current and danced wwith it. As the congregation were encircling me I kept spinning around to present the dances on different angles, and this added to my gnosis and disorientation - a wash of blurred lights and colours, facilitating a deeper possession by the energies in hand...

Then I danced the two currents together, uniting them by interweaving my two charged serpent arms in a Uniting Caduceus dance.
Echoing the Ida and Pingala nadis in my spine, my serpentine arms crossed three times over my body, each time I chanted a new aspect of God and Goddess uniting: 'OdOb, OduduaObatala, PanBabalon, ShivaShakti, AhacanNack'nan, OdOb, AudAub, ObatalaOdudua, ShuTefnut, MaatHeru, DamballahWedo...'

Ra'en stood before me and asked the questions:

'Do you, Orryelle Bascule, OB, Obatala, take Od to be your unlawfully wedded wife?'

'I do'

'Do you, Orryelle Defenestrate, OD, Odudua, take Ob to be your unlawfully wedded husband?'

to which I/She (serpent mouth opening) replied, 'O Du... Dua.'
{chuckles from the congregation}

'I swear this on this Tree of Life which is my body...' ; Arms crossing at waist then at heart: '...Cross my Heart...' (Tiphereth); '...and Hope to Die...' Crossing at throat (Daath, where the Ego dies) '...Die to Hope Anew' and the serpent heads faced each other on either side of my head (Chokmah and Binah), the energy flowing up and fountaining from my Crown (Kether) as winged illumination.

Ra'en held aloft the set of scales from the altar.

The Best Man came forth and took the golden thread from the right dish, handing it to my right hand as she pronounced, 'The golden thread of the sun.' The Maid of Honour stepped forth and took the silken silver cord from the left dish, pronouncing, 'The silver cord of the moon.'

I took it in my left hand and, whirling my wrists first gently then faster, danced the cords together in DNA-strand caduceus-like loops.

I handed them to Ra'en, who then announced,

'The bride may now kiss the groom'.

Since I had received the white Ob tattoo on my left hand three days before the wedding I had been deliberately building tension between it and my Od tattoo, holding the sensitive area between the thumb and forefinger, the inner mouths of the snakes, of each hand close to each other but not allowing them to actually touch, feeling the energetic charge between my hands. (Animation below)...

Now I slowly brought them together, and the effect was ecstatic, what with the energetic charge in each hand from the invocational dances and mantras. It felt so good when these serpents kissed that their bodies (my arms) went into undulating spasms, writhing as my hands clasped tighter and I spun around. This intensified until one of the congregation quipped, 'There are children watching!' and I allowed the energy to subside, the entwined serpents now held forth for binding...

With the golden thread of the sun and the silver cord of the moon Ra'en bound my left hand to my right hand, Ob to Od, Orryelle Bascule to Orryelle Defenestrate. 'I now pronounce you woman and husband.'

The handfasting was complete. I -for now I am I- was still for a while, feeling very at peace.
'...Til Death do us part,' and Ra'en took athame and cut the cords, as I said, '...For We are United for Art's Sake, For the Chance of Division...' (line from Liber Pennae-Ultim-Atum).

Then I stood in an Ankh mudra, arms spread, and loudly intoned the Power Mantra of Sekhem, 'Sa Sekhem SaHu,' for a while, feeling the energy of the union within me surge up.

'Har! Hru! Hrumachis, Harmachu'-each mantra I had performed daily for many moonths with my ritual intake of eostrogen I now performed publicly, an ecstatic announcement of the culmination of my alchemical journey to reify my anima and externally unite Her with my male self, and a celebration of the Birth of the Holy Horned Childe of that Union:

'Ardhanarishvara-An, Ardhanarishvara-An, Arhanarishvara-An,' (Shiva and Shakti united in one body) I chanted while slowly raising my veil.

'Io Baphomet!!' I cried and threw off top hat, veil and train, standing revealed as the Horned Childe of the PanDaemonAeon, the currents of Horus and Maat, of Pan and of Babalon, United in the Here and Now, as Baphomet, horned hermaphrodite. The tanned face of the black goat I had found at Wilpena Pound on the May 5th Grand Septenary alignment covered my face, pinned on with my nosebone in through its right nostril, through my septum piercing, and out its right nostril. The horns of Mandrake the goat, an old familiar of mine who burned down a house I had been evicted from before dying of pnuemonia in a rainstorm, held this face to his furry black coat, which ran down my back.

Large dark eagle wings, rat-chewed and repaired with hawk wings for the Horus aspect, sprouted from this skin around my shoulderblades, and trailing below was a long tawny dreadlock like the tail of a lion.
The kids continued to pelt me with flowers as they had done throughout the ceremony.

Ra'en passed me the chalice from the center of the dish on the altar, which I held aloft, announcing to the congregation that, 'This Chalice contains the Vinum Sabbati, the Honey and Milk of Pan, and red wine to represent the Blood of the Saints; thus the Blood and Honey of Sekhmet too is blended herein. Sa Sekhem Sahu. Talam Malat, Talam Malatan, Talam Lamat. Solve et Coagula.'

It is a Jewish Marriage custom for new wine glasses, never having touched other lips before, to be unwrapped at the wedding ceremony and drank from by the bride and groom, then crushed underfoot by the groom, who thus symbolically claims the bride as his property and binds them both to eternal fidelity. As I was hardly about to vow fidelity to only myself (not even for a year and a day!) my version was a bit different:

First I poured a trickle of the sacrament into the mouths of my handserpents Od and Ob, then as the Childe of their union I sipped of the thick sweet pungent liquid, then held it forth.

'This chalice is metal and cannot be crushed underfoot. Therefore instead I offer it forth to all gathered here today to partake as thou wilt. Take your will and fill of love...'

And the chalice was passed around the congregation, sipped from by almost all present, while Kestral played his beautiful 'Cup of Babalon' song. I joined him on the chorus, 'I drain my blood, I drain my blood into the Cup of Babalon,' whirling around in circles with my wedding dress billowing, 'Ev'ry last drop now, Ev'ry last drop...'

Ecstatic, I offered my thanks, 'To All who attended both physically and astrally, To the lovely Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, to Ra'en for priesting the ceremony, to Amordios Gobblynsmith {grinning in picture below} for the wondrous installation work, and to my parents, even though they didn't give me a dowry.'

To this I'd like to add what I forgot on the night: My gracious Thanks To Catherine, Sally and Bruce, for the use of their wonderful space for the ceremony, To Bruce for the food and Tower of Babel Cake, To Aaron for executing the Ob tattoo, To Lee for the chai, To Michael and Mark and for the lighting and video (fromwhich the colour stills herein are from), To Marky for the black and white photographs, To Peter Guest the Astral Guest of Honour who sent me all those yummy golden eostrogen pills in the mail from Spain, To the 11-Star Collegiate of the Horus-Maat Lodge for continued support and Inspiration, to the Gods and Goddesses and the Loa invoked and evoked and transvoked, and especially to Yhi who introduced me to the idea of hermaphroditic reification via estrogen intake.

Ra'en performed banishings as the congregation began to disperse. DJ Flux (a bridesmaid) put on some tunes and people milled around in their refinery.

Feeling totally elated and off my head, I was bombarded with hugs, congratulations and even a few wonderful gifts.

Of primary significance was the ceramic Egg from Zya and her child Lilgimel (left), who left at the egghouse the old ceramic egg which I charged with Harpocratic potential and sundered with the Sword of Zain when I hatched from the egghouse and flew overseas. The new egg has chinese symbols for prosperity over a cracked glaze which makes it look like reassembled shards. And its a bit smaller (eggs within eggs within...).

Ariane whom I had not seen since returning to the country gave me a card with an irridescent peacock on it, unaware of my current obsession with the androgynous peacock angel Melek Taus whose song I would perform later that night.

People danced, chatted over chai and samosas, inside and at the fires now blazing out the front, until gathered again an hour or so later for the Tower of Babel Wedding Cake Ceremony and Reception (click Here for photos and account, inc. Consummation rites) with further musical and theatrical performances.

Blessed Bee!

Words and Images (c)2002 Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule

Background Music is an extract of the 'Ardhanarishvara-An' track from THE CHORONZON MACHINE CD by The HarleQuintet. Lyrics and Music (c)02 Orryelle.

An EDITED VIDEO of My Alchymic Wedding Ceremony, Reception and Performances is Available. Please Email for Ordering Information.

RECEPTION (inc. Performances)