C O N T E N T S
BIZARRE CULT OF THE LUCKY BABY
by Papa Nick
Photo of "Lucky Baby Party" by Frater X
"Dear Editors, I am curious as to who you people are. I bought Aeon for the articles on Tantra and health... and then I read the Lucky Baby Cult... I don't feel entirely comfortable with your point of view but your articles have certainly been food for thought."
from the Transmissions section of AEON III, Spring/Summer 1986, Seattle.
This paper is an expansion and revision of "The Mannitol Monographs",
an exegesis of the antient and storied Lucky Baby Cult, as rediscovered
and expounded by its modern-day prophet, the Rev. Nick Rimshot.
The Monographs, channeled in the early 1980s, were at first circulated
privately, then revealed to the public in such magazines as Aeon I,
Spring 1985, Seattle.
Some 27 years after being first written, the World Wide Web has opened a vista of new avenues for research and documentation, and has revealed that this hideous yet beautiful cult is far more widespread than previously imagined. The first generation of Lucky Babies, distributed in LEVEL magazine and as personal gifts by the Prophets of the Cult, are still working their magick in the the temple spaces of veteran Mages and Sages of the 93, 23 and 696 Currents.
Make no mistake about it: while on the surface this may seem to be a joke or a parody, it is far more than that. As they spread around the globe and are activated by the sincere belief of a growing number of adherents, Lucky Babies can topple Empires, shatter the shackles of belief in Old Aeon institutions, and speed the emergence of Homo Veritas by rending asunder the vile network of Control that binds us all to the materialistic machine culture. Without the Lucky Baby, we are all doomed to a fate worse than death: that of becoming POODLES!
Lucky Babies in popular culture
You've probably seen them. Tiny plastic babies, ranging in size
from about 3/4" to 1.25" tall. Some standing, some squatting,
crawling or sitting. Many with arms open as if welcoming a big
hug. Usually naked, some dressed in itty-bitty baby
clothes. Generally gender neutral with no discernible sexual
organs. Most frequently pink and Caucasian-looking, but in recent
years a growing number of dark-skinned babies have appeared on the
You are more likely to have seen them if you are a woman who has attended a baby shower, where they are often used as party favors or in games (they are sometimes frozen into ice cubes for party drinks). Or, if you live in a city with a large Hispanic population where Three Kings Day is celebrated, you might have been one of the "lucky" ones who discovered a tiny plastic baby doll lodged in your slice of King Cake, which when reported caused a wave of celebration to pass through the crowd. (If you were an "unlucky" one unaware of the tradition, you might have been wolfing down the cake and swallowed the baby by mistake, leading instead to looks of horror on the party-goers faces and a subsequent trip to the hospital, or at least a painful elimination a few hours later). If you have participated in Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, you too might have heard the exclamation "I got the baby!" from another reveler feasting on the colorful green-, gold- and purple-iced King Cakes.
The historic origin of the King Cake was far from fun and games, however. It was, in fact, the central ceremony in the choosing of the victim of a HUMAN SACRIFICE!
It was customary in some pagan religions in Western Europe to choose a sacred king to rule the tribe for a year's time. A BEAN (note that a large bean is about the same size as the modern plastic King Cake baby) was baked into a cake, and the "lucky" one who chose the piece with the bean was named King for the year, and was treated as such, with all the fine apparel, rich foods, sweet wines and wines that foam, wenches, power and wealth his subjects could bestow upon on him. The payback was that after the year-long revel the King was RITUALLY MURDERED, his blood spilt on the soil to renew the life-giving richness of earth and ensure a bountiful harvest.
Hey, for some poor peasant who would be doing well if he didn't starve or work himself to death by age 40, it probably didn't seem like such a bad deal.
The Golden Bough, chapter 24 "The Killing of the Divine King", has a wealth of background information on the reasons for this tradition and its practice in several pre-Christian cultures.
The marauding Papists swarmed over Europe spreading their monotheistic plague, putting an end to the carnality of native folk traditions, substituting instead their own one-size-fits-all Dying God as the only human sacrifice allowed. But being politically savvy, they co-opted pagan festivals that were too popular to suppress, and put a Christian slant to them. Thus today we have Three Kings Day, called the Feast of Epiphany by the Catholic Church, and in New Orleans, the King and Queen of Mardi Gras.
Today the Mardi Gras partier who "Got the Baby" has a much more limited responsibility (although not nearly as much of a reward, either). He or she is simply expected to bake the King's Cake for the next ceremony. He knows when he is crowned that his LUCK will run out eventually, he cannot be King forever. Think of the greatest King of the 20th Century -- ELVIS -- who ended his days nude, bloated and slumped on the Throne (in his bathroom), a most unroyal death.
Let this be a lesson to the 21st Century Baby Cultist: LUCK CANNOT BE OWNED! Luck runs in CYCLES and no man or woman can spiral giggling down the Helter Skelter of Luck forever! At the end of the ride it's best to land on your feet and get out of the way of the next slider. You have to know when your time is up and it's time to yield to the next Lucky Bastard.
Rev. Rimshot (an earlier incarnation of Papa Nick) met the little buggers while strolling through the stalls at a small-town flea market some 27 years ago. On one table I spotted a cigar box full of small toys and charms, and looking up at me from the melange were a few tiny plastic babies. I asked the vendor what they were, and she told me "They're lucky babies". I didn't need further explanation. I knew I had to have them. I bought a pair and took them home, set them in a prominent place and meditated on their significance.
A few nights later, reclining on the couch and drifting off to sleep, I noticed a faint pinkish-blue halo pulsating around the little baby dolls. My consciousness seemed to be pulled towards them and I entered their trans-cosmic "Nursery". Words cannot describe what I experienced in the next few... minutes?... hours?... but I awoke with the full gnosis of the ageless and eternal Lucky Baby Cult. Over the next week I wrote down what has come to be known as "The Mannitol Monographs".
I. Our Lady of Luck
For what does man petition God? What does the Worshipper ask of
the Deity? What does the Deity grant the Worshipper? What
supernatural force is it that, when present in abundance in a person's
life, makes the human beast happy?
It is not Enlightenment, Nirvana or Satori. It is not Salvation. If it is to be summed up in one word, that Word is Luck.
LUCK. A force as immense as 'God' or 'Eternity', yet within the grasp of the small mind of a child. The dictionary definition of Luck is basically "good fortune", but the CAUSE of this good fortune is always a mystery and cannot be defined. It is capricious as Grace, as apparent as Miracle. And, it is the fountain from which the world-shattering power of the Lucky Baby Cult flows.
Consider of this: Most people are searching for something. All of us are unfulfilled in at least one area of life. All of our fumbling efforts, our vain attempts when we are at our most admirable and most laughable, indeed, most human, are desperate measures to court and woo the elusive Lady Luck. Luck precedes the attainment of all good things, whether it be food, water, love, sex, a decent parking space or financial security. Great effort cannot obtain what just a little Luck will grant us in all our affairs.
Good Luck is an obvious necessity for such things as growing food, finding undergrouind water, picking the right stock portfolio and getting laid. Clearly, all human endeavors require more than logical planning and the slavish following of traditional formulae. There is that little extra something that has to be there for true abundance. Great success is only gained by those who have a subtle yet powerful force working with them: the Luck Force.
Consider of Webster: he defines luck as "the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as in shaping circumstances, events and opportunities..." Luck is the Teh of Taoists, the True Will of Thelemites and the Slack of SubGenii. It is a force that precedes Man by aeons. "God" was very LUCKY that his grandiose scheme for the manifest Universe WORKS! He was surprised Himself, and gave His Lucky Baby a gift: a little Blue Ball, known to its current inhabitants as Earth (more on this later).
We should interject here, lest there be confusion, that Luck seldom comes unbidden. Nor can it be obtained by force. Only the tiniest bit of effort is needed, it is more a leaning into than a conquering by Will. You have to set the Positive Luck Flow into motion. With a suitable Luck Slant your inertia will carry you forward toward your goal like water streaming down a hill.
And Luck is a fleeting thing. She has the attention span of a Baby. She does not rest with one suitor for long. Luck is not a static state (Purusa), it is always in motion (Prakriti). Only advanced Baby Wranglers can manage to keep the Luck Force flowing through them for an appreciable length of time. One must go with the Luck Force at just the right time, and allow it to flow only as long as necessary, then release it so it can move on to its next destination. It is a DANCE! Disciples of the Baby Cult learn this knack with practice, knowing that She will return when the time is right. The ancient Chinese sages knew this, and called it the Tao, the Way of Nature. Modern Baby Cultists are, in fact, in a direct spiritual lineage from these ancient sages.
II. The Lucky Baby
The key to unlock the Mystery of Luck is but one Key: BABY. Note
that we do not refer to it as "the baby" or "a baby". We are
talking about the Cosmic Principle "Baby", that is, the archetype of
the newborn infant and all that entails in Mystical and Mundane realms.
BABY is worshipped in all the world's religions. The first and truest depiction of most gods and prophets is as an infant. The story of baby Moses in the bullrushes is an early parable indicating what it means to be a "lucky baby". The infant Jesus was recognized by the Three Magi as the Son of God as he still lay in a manger. Baby Gautama was a fully realized being at birth, he simply forgot it while growing up, as do all of us, and had to expend great effort to get back to the Original State.
In Chapter 55 of the Tao Teh Ching, Lao Tzu expounds upon the perfect state of innocence and knowledge of the infant. Bankei, one of a handful of roshis whose teachings emphasized the Taoist origin of Zen, emphasized the return to the UNBORN Buddha-mind, preconceptual consciousness as experienced by the infant before adjusting to the world of duality. The process of Enlightenment is an unlearning of everything one has absorbed about the world in the years since emerging from the womb.
Although this is not widely known, tiny baby idols have been carried beneath the cloaks of Initiates from time immemorial to ward off evil spirits, because DEMONS ARE AFRAID OF BABIES! They just don't trust 'em. Babies don't take demons seriously, they laugh at them an pull their spiky tails, and this really pisses demons off. The only effective weapon against Evil is Pure Innocence.
Helpful hints on the use of the Lucky Baby in Mysticism and Magick will be found below in the "Pablums and Nodes of Use" section, but really all you need to do is obtain a Lucky Baby and include it in your Magickal Arsenal. During the Middle Ages some Jewish wizards created their own Lucky Babies by alchemical means -- this is the origin of the legend of the homunculus. But a store-bought baby is just fine. It will let you know how to use it to your advantage.
III. The Curse of the Poodle
elucidation of the motivation behind the eternal damnation of the
universally detested Poodle, including an early Baby Cult Creation
EDITOR'S NOTE: This section should not be construed as a condemnation of the popular breed of domesticated dog, nor as an invitation to animal cruelty. A wild poodle, if such a thing ever existed, would be just fine. It is only when they are given stupid haircuts, doused in perfume and spoiled rotten by degenerate human owners that they take on the taint of the Bad Poodle. Overly-groomed poodle pets represent MANKIND's VAIN ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE ON NATURE, which is an uniquely human disease that threatens to destroy the planet. Cruelty to any animal is against the basic tenets of the Baby Cult, since babies naturally love all animals.)
Even if the Primeval Poodle had not earned the scorn of Big Baby aeons
ago by destroying the First Universe, the Poodle is worthy of the hate
and loathing of any self-respecting Earth-dweller. The Poodle as
mutated by sick human minds is one of The Things That Should Not Exist!
Look at 'em. Just look at 'em. Is that an animal, or is it
some nightmarish imploded marshmallow? No mammal worthy of the
name smells like that, or would ever willingly allow its hair to be cut
that way. You call that a DOG? A pitbull is a dog. A
German Shepherd is a dog. A St. Bernard is a dog. POODLE IS
NOT A DOG! POODLE IS AN EMETIC! It looks like something
that would grow in a dead wino's navel.
Here follows the ancient legend upon which the Poodle Taboo of the Lucky Baby Cult is based:
"Before God and Man was Big Baby. Big Baby exist in void of black everythingness, but Baby grow bored and want a Toy. Baby not work for self, so invent "Dad" (a.k.a. God). "Dad" took pity on poor Baby and make him Toy, the UNIVERSE. (Actually, "Dad" won the Universe from the Devil in a Texas Hold'em Poker game, but this is a Deeper Mystery).
"Universe was Toy of many parts and Baby have lots of fun playing with its building blocks. New combinations of blocks made Big Baby gurgle and coo and sometimes poop in diaper. Baby use building blocks like atoms, neutrinos, molecules, elements, compounds and etheric paste to make galaxies, systems, stars, planets, animals, bugs and, finally, Man, who he put on one of his favorite planets, Earth (which Baby call "Blue Ball"). Baby put together new living toys all day long for many lightyears long.
"One day Baby fall asleep, and pee his diaper. One drop of pee fall out of diaper and land on "Dad's" cigar butt. From union of peedrop and cigarbutt grow a new, unplanned creature: THE POODLE! Since Baby asleep he not limit size of new creature, and Poodle grow to nearly size of Baby.
"Poodle bad thing and nervous, start to yap-yap, run around and tear up Universe. By time Baby wake up most of Universe was chewed up into soggy rag. Then Poodle attack Big Baby, and grab hold of diaper. Poodle rip diaper to shreds, and Baby naked. Baby pee on his own nose and it smell bad. Baby cry for first time ever and get real mad at Poodle.
"Baby crawl towards Poodle and bite him with his two teeth. Baby bite tail first and leave nothing but ball on the end. Baby keep biting; Poodle's neck, legs, body until Poodle look real silly, with puffball head and closecut curly hair, and ball on end of tail. Baby make magick and shrink Poodle to little thing, smaller than Mister Pig. Blue Ball was one of few things left after Poodle destroy Universe, and Baby send Poodle to Earth, curse it to be slave of Man forever.
"First Universe ruined by Poodle so Baby throw out and have "Dad" create Second Universe. Blue Ball only thing kept from First Universe.
"Poodle meant to suffer at the hands of Man, but Poodle sly creature. Poodle wimper and whine, and weak members of the Race of Man took pity. Poodle Pogroms and seasonal rites of Poodlecide were common, but rich humans protected Poodles. This continue through the ages up until the present day, when most humans have forgotten why Poodle was put here, and even poor humans take in and coddle the Destroyer of the First Universe. Snotty Poodles think they got it made and making ready to take over Blue Ball. Baby Cult must stop them before they chew Second Universe into snotrag and attack Big Baby again.
"Growing strength of Poodle make Baby sad. Most of natural disasters, terror, death, wars, violence and mysterious illness result of Big Baby trying to get those damned Poodles. But Baby's aim not so good and Man get hit more often than Poodle.
"If Man come to senses and destroy all Poodles, he win back his special friendship with Big Baby. This is special task of Lucky Baby Cult."
So goes the legend, and personal experience has proved it true to every Baby Cultist. Anti-Poodlism is one of the basic tenets of the Baby Cult. Beware, brother, many a Baby Cultist has fallen prey to the lure of the Bad Poodle.
Don't you be one of them!
POODLE MUST GO! LONG LIVE BABY!! BABY SPANK BAD POODLE!!!
Frank Zappa, perhaps the greatest avant garde composer of the 20th Century, was a high initiate of the Lucky Baby Cult and used pop music to warn humanity of the threat of the Bad Poodle. Who can forget the haunting refrain of the songs "Dirty Love", which refers to the original attack by Poodle on Big Baby, and contains the secret of the perverted Sex Magick rite of the Poodle Cult: http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Frank-Zappa/Dirty-Love.html. The same refrain "THE POODLE BY-EE-ITES, THE POODLE CHEWS IT" ends the song "Stink Foot". And Zappa provides a distorted version of the creation of the Poodle on his rare track "The Poodle Lecture", the lyrics for which are here: http://www.lyricsdir.com/frank-zappa-the-poodle-lecture-lyrics.html
LUCKY BABY PABLUMS & NODES OF USE
PABLUM I: The Bean. (In modern parlance this would be "The
Baby". In ancient times, before the mass production of tiny
infant talismans began, wizards and witches used a BEAN to represent
the primal power of Big Baby. The Bean represents the latent
desire of the Magician, which lies dormant until awakened by the
activities of the other PABLUMs upon the First Matter.)
PABLUM II: The Dung-heap. (The Earth, in which the Bean is buried, and from which it draws sustenance in the darkness.)
PABLUM III: The Cloud: (A combination of water/rain and wind/air, which further nourishes the shoot as it develops from the seed and reaches out of the earth.)
PABLUM IV: The Bonfire. (Represents the Solar element of light and its life-giving heat.)
PABLUM V: The Bean-stalk. (The fully-flowered Will of the Magician, the realized result of latent desire.)
Such are the PABLUMs. Any Magician worth hir sea-salt will be able to develop hir own ceremonial interpretation of this formula using the hints the PABLUMs provide.
It will be noted that the PABLUMs bear some similarity to elements of the old English fairy tale "Jack and the Bean-Stalk"; in fact, this is a modern version of an oral tradition which has been passed down through many generations. (Three 19th Century versions of the tale can be found here: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0328jack.html). The PABLUMs also represent the steps of a Mystical technique very similar to Tibetan Tantric meditations based on visualization of the origination, growth and ultimate dissolution/absorption of the Yidam or indwelling deity.
NODES OF USE: In the modern Lucky Baby Cult, the LUCKY BABY is the universal talisman of the Luck Force. Lucky Babies come in a variety of colors and sometimes can be clearly identified as male or female. Some babies are better suited for attracting Luck in a particular area of life, but don't assume that color or gender are a sure sign of this suitability. The only sure test is your own INTUITION: it would be a mistake to prejudge the inner nature of a particular Lucky Baby based on cultural prejudices. Listen to the Baby, and it will reveal its inner nature to you.
Most Baby Cultists keep at least one Lucky Baby on their person at all times, often tucking them safely away in warm, dark, dry locations in their clothing. The devotees of the Marsupial Sect tuck their babies in surgically prepared skin-flaps on their stomachs. Persons naturally endowed with a large navel can use this as their Baby Cave. Many cultists will not get behind the wheels of a motorized vehicle unless the Auto-Baby is in place. Most cultists have some sort of Shrine in their homes, often nothing more than a waterproof Vessel containing their Lucky Baby collection (or congregation) and some of the simple Magickal Implements of the cult, stored in the sacred Baby Bag.
A number of the Magickal Implements used in the cult are noisemakers of some sort, used to awaken the dormant Luck Potential in Lucky Babies. The Rattle, Whistle and Jack-In-The-Box are the most common Stimulators. The Vessel in which Lucky Babies are kept MUST be watertight. KEEP DRY is the cardinal rule in the proper care and maintenance of the Lucky Baby. As is easily demonstrated, there is nothing crankier than a "wet baby". The Luck Force is polarized to the opposite direction when the Baby gets wet. BE FOREWARNED! There are blood-curdling stories in the Baby Cult Archives concerning unknowing cultists who accidentally "got the Baby wet" without realizing it, and met shuddersome, grisly deaths at the paws and claws of unholy and unseen Grown-Up Entities.
Wet Babies that are subsequently dried and reconsecrated can in most cases renew their Good Luck Potential, but this doesn't always work (there is no test but experience) and can sometimes REVERSE at a future time, so your best bet is to ritually destroy ALL wet babies. But be neat about this -- hacking a Wet Baby into splinters will not improve your status with the Luck Gods.
Furthermore, there are commercially-available items that may be appropriate for many rites. Playtex (a division of the Mennen Co.) manufactures a whole line of BABY MAGIC (R) lotions, washes, baths, shampoos, oils, wipes, powders and potions that are available from any neighborhood pharmacy (no need to travel to the big city to a Botanica to find ritual items for Lucky Baby Magic!) Baby Magic (R) Powder, for example, can be used to draw a magical circle, and will at the very least keep out ants ( http://www.wackyuses.com/babymagic.html)
"Baby Magic" is a registered trademark of the Mennen Co.
LUCKY BABY BANISHING: Traditionally, magickal ceremonies begin with a banishing, to clear the atmosphere and balance the working space. Here is a banishing Baby Cultists may use before consecration or activation of a new Lucky Baby, or before using the Lucky Baby Oracle for divination:
1) Stand in the center of the working space, compose yourself with rhythmic breathing, facing East. Then step forward, lift hands to your chest then push out, as if pushing away an unwanted visitor, stamping a foot on the floor, and forcibly say "POO!". (This pushing action is an instinctual reflex for infants and toddlers who are irritated by an intrusion into their space). Repeat this at the South, West and North cardinal points, then return to the center.
2) Open your arms wide as if inviting a big hug, step to the East and say with excitement "Da-Da"!, then fold in your arms to wrap around your chest, completing the hugging action. Walk to the South and, saying "Pa-Pa!", repeat the hugging motion. Repeat at the West saying "Ma-Ma" and to the North saying "Ga-Ga"! Return to the center and feel warm and protected, (wrapping yourself in a blanket (Blankee) is optional), stick a thumb in your mouth and suck, and visualize the walls of an astral crib around your working space, with the sides reaching up to infinity. This part of the ceremony establishes the Guardians of the Baby at the cardinal points: Daddy, Grandpa, Mother and Grandma.
A WARNING: There is a perverted subgroup of the Lucky Baby Cult, the reviled "Swaddlers" sect, which simply goes TOO FAR in emulating the Baby Mythos. Be wary of any Baby Cult ceremony that utilizes such paraphernalia as DIAPERS or PLAYPENS, or engages in SPANKING or SUCKLING! The Swaddlers are even known to perform a sort of bestial sex magick with the ignoble Poodle (this is described in the Frank Zappa song "Dirty Love", see above). Engaging in actual infantile behavior is NOT what the Lucky Baby Cult is all about. If you find yourself involved in such a ceremony, RUN, DO NOT CRAWL, to the nearest exit.
So, is all this Lucky Baby stuff just silly? Yes; just as silly
as any belief system looks to the eyes of an outsider. But does
it work? Yes, it works at least as well as any other belief
system, tapping as it does into the primal power of new life.
All beliefs and systems are true within the confines of that belief or system. The REAL truth, the true Nature of Reality, is beyond all conception. Choose your symbols as ye will, all of them conceal and reveal the Ultimate Reality, because the Macrocosm is contained in the Microcosm. But for this reporter, the Universe looks like the Smile on the face of a Big Baby, expanding forever into the Void.