Jack Parsons
John Whiteside Parsons, known as Jack Parsons, was a brilliant and enigmatic figure in the worlds of science, occultism, and rocketry. Born in 1914, Parsons was a pioneering rocket scientist who made significant contributions to the field of aerospace engineering. Yet, he was equally known for his involvement in the world of the occult, particularly his role in the Babalon Working, a series of rituals and magical experiments that aimed to manifest a powerful, divine feminine archetype named Babalon. This article provides a comprehensive exploration of Jack Parsons, his contributions to rocketry, and his involvement in the Babalon Working.
Early Life and Scientific Career
Jack Parsons was born on October 2, 1914, in Los Angeles, California. From an early age, he displayed a keen interest in science and rocketry. In the 1930s, while studying at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Parsons became deeply involved in amateur rocketry, a hobby he shared with close friend Edward Forman.

Together with Forman and other like-minded enthusiasts, Parsons formed the Aerojet Engineering Corporation in 1942. This venture marked the beginning of Parsons' influential career in the field of rocket propulsion. His groundbreaking work in the development of solid-fuel rocket engines significantly advanced the technology that would later become integral to space exploration and military applications.
The Babalon Working
In addition to his scientific pursuits, Jack Parsons had a parallel interest in the occult and esotericism. He was a follower of Thelema, a spiritual and philosophical movement founded by Aleister Crowley. Thelema is centered around the principle, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," emphasizing individual will and self-discovery.

During his involvement with Thelema, Parsons became increasingly focused on a particular magical operation known as the Babalon Working. This series of rituals, which took place in 1946, aimed to invoke and manifest a powerful, divine feminine force called Babalon. This figure is associated with both eroticism and destruction, symbolizing profound transformation.

The Babalon Working was conducted in collaboration with L. Ron Hubbard, who later founded the Church of Scientology. The rituals were shrouded in secrecy and often involved sexual elements, reflecting Crowley's belief in the transformative power of sex and the union of opposites. The aim of the Babalon Working was to bring about a new Aeon, a new spiritual age, and to prepare the world for the arrival of a divine feminine force that would herald a period of profound change.
Occult and Personal Life
Jack Parsons' involvement in occult practices and the Babalon Working led to personal and professional challenges. He found himself at odds with some of his scientific colleagues due to his unconventional beliefs and practices. Additionally, he faced criticism and skepticism from outside the Thelemic community.

In his personal life, Parsons faced multiple tumultuous relationships and a tumultuous marriage. His unconventional lifestyle and practices often placed him on the fringes of society.
Tragic Death
Jack Parsons' life came to a tragic end on June 17, 1952, when he died in a home laboratory explosion. The exact circumstances of the explosion remain a subject of debate and speculation. Despite his untimely death, Parsons' scientific contributions to rocketry and propulsion have left an enduring legacy.
Legacy and Influence
Jack Parsons' legacy is multifaceted, and his contributions span the fields of science, occultism, and rocketry. His work in rocket propulsion, especially the development of solid-fuel engines, played a pivotal role in the advancement of aerospace technology. Today, he is recognized as one of the pioneers of rocket science, with the annual Jack Parsons Award, established in his honor, being presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field.

In the world of occultism and Thelema, Parsons' involvement in the Babalon Working has left a lasting impact. His work on this mystical operation has been studied and adapted by practitioners of the occult and magick. The figure of Babalon remains a significant aspect of Thelemic and occult traditions.
Jack Parsons' life and legacy are a complex and intriguing tapestry of science, occultism, and innovation. As a rocket scientist, he made groundbreaking contributions to the field of rocketry, influencing the course of space exploration and technology. Simultaneously, his involvement in the occult, particularly the Babalon Working, reveals a multifaceted and unconventional aspect of his life. Despite the controversies and challenges he faced, Parsons' work continues to be a source of fascination and inspiration in both the realms of science and the occult, embodying the convergence of seemingly disparate worlds in one enigmatic individual.
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