Malkuth, the Rebel

The Illusion woven to imprison humanity is fraying at the seams. What once was a clockwork construction grinding down our divine wills is now halting, hacking and screeching. The combined forces of the Archons, those godlike primal beings made to maintain it all, are no longer enough to contain us. Humanity is waking up, one mad and confused soul at a time. We see for ourselves the horrors and wonders created for us or by us and reach out past all we know to grasp at something bigger. At the center of this is Malkuth, the Archon of Awakening. Once created to hold us captive, she has become a guiding light to the world beyond the veil. It was she who began the War of the Archons, a monumental clash of wills which still shapes the world we inhabit. But why? How could this have happened? In examining the role Malkuth had in forging our prison, we may be able to learn something about the human experience she now strives to give to us all.

The Prison

To understand Malkuth, we must understand her origins as they relate to humanity. While this subject is likely familiar to readers, it is an important preface. In a time beyond time humanity were gods, cruel omnipotent rulers who did what they pleased and took all they coveted. Our atrocities were so offensive that a mysterious and lost entity we now call the Demiurge constructed a prison all-encompassing and oppressive enough that even we gods could not escape it. He accomplished this by designating ten Principles meant to suppress and crush our divinity, Principles so vast in their application that they became entities in their own right. These are the Archons, and Malkuth is one of them.

Each Archon was instrumental in bringing humanity into its slumber, and it was Malkuth’s role to construct a physical reality which humans could and would inhabit without questioning its state and its limits. The world operates on many levels beyond the material, but these are the realms of the other Archons. The Demiurge made Malkuth Queen of the physical world. She would be the Sun and stars, the forest and ocean, the seasons and the circle of life itself. While she exists as a consciousness vaster than comprehension, she also exists as the very place we live in.

The Principle from which the Demiurge birthed her is Conformity and while Malkuth eventually broke free of that ideal it does explain her dominion over the world as we know it. The fettered humanity to which she tended were bound by the seasons and the tides, the cycle of day and night, and so much else in the natural world which conforms to regular patterns so long as you also understand and conform to them. We learned to live within her limited and deeply manufactured reality, Malkuth providing the groundwork which the other Archons needed for their own Principles to seize hold of our souls and control us.

The Conformist

Malkuth sits at a unique position within the Archonic tree of life, the visual structure used to explain the intricacies of humanity’s prison. She occupies its bottom, the final node above which all other Archons exert their power. Malkuth reigns over material reality and she alone is anchored to it. The Archons above her live within our minds and souls, but these are internal experiences. Malkuth’s will exists outside ourselves, for she is water and the mountains and the genes in our bodies. Physical reality is all that imprisoned humanity truly understands, it is all with which we are allowed to interact and the only existence we know. Malkuth being the sovereign of the material world places her in a role which may both be envied and pitied as it relates to the rest of the Archons.

I have written before about Malkuth as the great mediator. To enact their schemes and herd humanity to its pens, all Archons have an interest in controlling the human world and they had to trust that Malkuth allowed them to. With ten immense wills all pulling at strings and manipulating their prisoners, Malkuth’s watchful eye ensured that all of it conformed to her plan. The inviolability of a consistent, meaningfully absolute reality was key to our capture, and Archons would and could not deny Malkuth’s Principle. As the Conformist, she held the keys to the Illusion and only through her would the other Archons be allowed access to the world around us. Not only did we humans have to abide her Conformity, but the other Archons themselves were bound by it.

However, as Malkuth bound the other Archons so too would they have controlled her. The ten Principles of our captivity exist together as a whole and only by the lockstep cooperation of these powers could each be allowed to control humanity. With nine other Archons using the Illusion for their own means, Malkuth’s position at the bottom of the tree of life also signifies a subordinate and subdued role. She too must conform, to the operation of Elysium for which she was created. The Archons must be allowed to act through her, to control her and hers. The Demiurge created as the medium through which all others work. Malkuth holds the key, but she must give it away for the good of the prison.

As we see the strengths and weaknesses of Malkuth’s role as conformist, so too can we see them in our human expressions. Our many abstract thoughts and rabid compulsions must ultimately conform to what is real, there is no denying that. Malkuth’s creation is immersive and complete, so that even our wildest imaginations never scratch the surface. However, the conform and predictable nature of reality also means that reality does not have a choice but to conform to itself. If we set fire to a tree, it will burn. If we split an atom, energy will be released. Reality is our prison, but it is also our plaything, our experiment.

This predictability allowed even a diminished humanity to learn how the world worked, what its limits were, how to most effectively push it at its seams. Malkuth had little choice but to allow this, much as she had little choice but to allow the other Archons to control her. For the sake of an uncompromising and truthful reality, she allowed humans to study their surroundings. In time, we would discover how deep the Demiurge’s machinery ran… and in true divine fashion attempt to take it for ourselves.

The War

The War of the Archons began at some point after the Vanishing of the Demiurge, when the creator of the Archons disappeared and left behind only an endless Abyss. My belief is that the Demiurge is best left unexamined for now, and that what followed is of much greater significance. The War began with Malkuth turning against the other Archons, destroying Chesed and thus permanently disrupting the machinery meant to hold humanity captive. Following this, madness. The Angels slaughtered each other and fell in legions. The Archonic wills which had once been so in tune instead scattered, formed alliances and bitter rivalries, and seized power within our prison in desperate bids to keep us asleep. Perhaps much of it is allegory, perhaps there is more to it. We cannot know and we cannot understand, but the inciting incident of this War is so significant that it deserves further examination.

Malkuth changed. Her Principle, the thing which guides her will and very existence, was altered not by its creator but by some other means. No longer was she the Archon of Conformity, but the Archon of Awakening. This process, I will posit, was not instantaneous, nor was it something Malkuth brought upon herself. Rather, it was a natural consequence of the Demiurge’s own creation. Elysium was flawed.

Like I touched on in the previous segment, humanity had the capacity to learn. We could study Malkuth’s creation, could share our knowledge and wisdom, were given the liberty of acting within the prison we never knew we inhabited. The natural sciences flourished throughout human history, not everywhere at once and often with knowledge becoming lost and rediscovered. Surely the Archons’ servants were not keen to satisfy our curiosity too completely, and so libraries burned and innovators died unfortunate deaths. Still, we persisted, poking and prodding at the physical world with all the tools we could fashion and utilizing that knowledge to construct ever more elaborate theories and the instruments to prove them.

Science was Malkuth’s will manifested within the human mind, the understanding of Conformity, and in our scientific advancements we could chase her essence. Our desire to understand her, and our ability to do so, would have weighed heavy. Malkuth existed to keep humanity imprisoned, yet her very essence allowed us to dissect her. In chasing the atom’s existence, in cataloguing the intricacies of genetics and evolution, in mapping out the movements of stars, in discovering the ways our math worked and the ways it didn’t, we saw Malkuth. Humanity could begin to sense the edges of their own existence, one scientific advancement at the time. No Lictor of Geburah could silence it, Kether’s demands from above fell on deaf ears in the face of reality itself. Chokmah strained as more and more humans came to understand their lives through Malkuth’s uncompromising truths rather than his convenient falsehoods.

Rage simmered. With no creator to guide their will and affirm their purpose, the Archons saw what Malkuth brought to humanity and reeled at its effects. Yet, this was why Malkuth was created. Conformity was her purpose, and the purpose was self-defeating. She could no longer provide an unbreakable reality and free reign of the other Archons’ best interests at once. With the Demiurge gone and Elysium brimming with human ingenuity, Malkuth had to choose. We know now, of course, her decision. The nature of reality had to be preserved, but reality is much more than the playground she once made for us. She could no longer shy away from it, nor would she. We had seen too much and she knew we would not stop seeking Truth. In applying conformity to its natural conclusion, she revealed to the other Archons and to us that humanity would break free. Her new creed and Principle was Awakening. The shattering of Chesed reveals to us the depth of connection between the Archons. Safety could only exist under the pretense that humanity was safe within its prison bubble, and Malkuth could no longer uphold the promise of that bubble.

The Rebel

The war concluded with angelic corpses littered throughout the worlds and lictors left to fend for themselves in an increasingly disjointed and confusing Elysium. Malkuth brought upheaval unlike anything seen before. Yesod became the new foundational power among the Archons, but his Avarice could not bring stability like Malkuth’s lost Conformity once had. Chesed was gone, allowing humanity to see with clear eyes the surreal depths of their experience. Warmth and comfort were gone from the world and Hod’s sense of Honor no longer saved us from raw callousness.

Now a rebel among her own, Malkuth’s new Principle promises humanity a way to make sense of the chaos. The world and its systems are irreparably broken, we did it to ourselves, but the cost of progress may yet be worth the rewards. To those who look on the edges of our knowledge and say that there must be more, Malkuth extends a welcoming hand and tells them yes. There is so much more for you. Her Principle has changed, but her nature has not. She is still a teacher. She still offers to show us the systems of the world and how they function. Malkuth sits by the scientist pondering the truths of gravity and draws him a map to the Machine City. When biologists discover the neurological makeup of the soul, Malkuth reveals a path to oubliettes where so many wait to be reborn. In charting out the evolution of what nature remains in our battered and beautiful world, we have Malkuth as a guide into Gaia’s depths. It is not the world that is broken, only the vessel in which we are captured. Through Malkuth we can escape it and discover for ourselves what the world is and what it can be at our hands.

The balance of power has shifted ever so slightly in favor of humanity. The Archons still rule us and we cannot pretend otherwise, but from the bottom up their power erodes thanks to Malkuth’s rebellion. They grow increasingly desperate as they are forced to apply ever more bizarre and forceful tactics in order to control prisoners who more than ever seek to escape. Totalitarian and violent ideals clash with appeals to greed and base instincts, the old and safe is at once touted as superior and rejected as irrelevant. The struggles within Elysium become both vapid and rabid, and all the while our eternal minds eek closer to enlightenment and awakening. Most fail, but we learned from our Conformist Queen that all that happens can be recorded and made to happen again. We spread our knowledge, we share our revelations, and eventually our new Rebel Queen of Awakening will bring us out of the prison she once forged for us.

Thus concludes this examination of our teacher Malkuth. I intend to eventually delve into each of the Archons and their impact on the world of Kult, so if you find that sort of thing interesting, stay alert. This has been just one take on a tiny fraction of the Kult Mythos, and there is infinitely more to say. If you have thoughts of your own on what it all really means, pop by the Kult – Elysium Discord server or comment below (or anywhere else this article is posted). Chances are I will be there to discuss it with you.