Universal Brotherhood of Eden

Preposterous name.  Sexist, misogynistic, and completely un-universal if there is such a term. Blake half understood it when he wrote of the Four Zoa’s:

Four Mighty Ones are in every Man: a perfect Unity

Cannot exist but from the Universal Brotherhood of Eden,

The Universal Man, to Whom be glory evermore. Amen.

What are the Natures of those Living Creatures the Heavenly Father only

Knoweth: no Individual knoweth, nor can know in all Eternity

I suspect Elijah sees himself as Albion, the Universal Man who stands astride his own Eden as depicted as a landed English estate (blame Stephen for the imagery.  For our first Christmas together he gave me the complete works of William Blake. My father preferred Dante).  He even has the tweeds.  Mind, as pretty as our corner of Northumberland is and despite the abundance of apple trees, I’m not sure it is quite an Eden.  There are those that would argue. Stephen likes to argue, particularly about Brotherhood doctrine and history.  I understood very quickly why he and my father had been such fast friends; their main difference being that my father would have taken the time as a scholar to explain things patiently to me.  Stephen just gives me a Dewey Decimal number and sends me to the library.

Gabe the Babe

We have no reason for connection, Gabriel and I, other than by association: he is an angel, I am Family and therefore we should be dangerous to one another.

We are dangerous to one another.  We may not admit it, but then ours is not a relationship that flourishes in conversation.  It’s more primal than that, instinct takes us both over when we come into physical contact with one another.

I don’t need photographs of Gabriel.  I don’t need to go far beneath my surface to suffer his image.  What destroys me is the level of want he encourages in me: want and a desperate need for kinship.  He returns it: the heat that generates from his need ignites us both to recklessness whenever we fall into each other’s orbit. Which is why I restrict him so much: like heroin, Gabriel induced lassitude is both addictive and unhealthy.


I became anathema, but you could not destitute me, for you had led me to a place from which you could no longer bury your guilt.  I had to force your child to admit his part in my downfall; he saved me for no purpose, no reason other than to assuage his own guilt when he let those he purports to love die.

At least we never lied to one another, you and I. I called you false prophet and you called me anathema. But I’ve never been sacred, never been religious and I’m uncertain how you can apply the term to me other than as some obscure rule in your patriarchy.

Angel of Death, Evelyn De Morgan

Angel of Death

I challenge your orthodoxy; a girl with the power of the angels. Not the Host as you know them, though they court me like delighted fireflies, drawn in by my so called radiance. The real angels; to whom this brotherhood claims lineage. For some reason it bred truer in me than it has done for eons and you despise me for it.

You call me betrayer, Elijah, yet who called me false before my very birth? Who determined that a bereaved eleven year old child should be separated from her peers for fear she contaminated them? That a woman coming of age should be cast out for the perceived sin of temptation? Look deep inside your core and answer me that, All-Father.

And if you’d treat me with a modicum of human kindness, would the outcome have been so very different?


Apotheosis. The raising of the ordinary to become the divine. Or, as some would say within the United Brotherhood of Eden, Elijah’s exalted state of being as the mortal immortal amongst us.

One having no equal.  But he did. And he does. He just doesn’t want to open his eyes to the fact as yet.

He’s not the first but you do wonder if this is where it will all lead:


Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin

Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin

Still, men and their egos.  Haven’t they realised that this is where it always ends.



SORROW, on wing through the world for ever,
Here and there for awhile would borrow
Rest, if rest might haply deliver

One thought lies close in her heart gnawn through
With pain, a weed in a dried-up river,
A rust-red share in an empty furrow.

Hearts that strain at her chain would sever
The link where yesterday frets to-morrow:
All things pass in the world, but never

Charles Algernon Swinburne