Varieties of Magical Experience, 8





Magic and Sexuality



Erotic Magic in the Argenteum Astrum



Crowley's Writings on Erotic Magic



Erotic Magic Prior to the O.T.O.




Erotic Magic in the Argenteum Astrum


p. 158 Silver Star

"While the Golden Dawn was fragmenting around the turn of the century as a consequence of MacGregor's Mather's authoritarian leadership,

[p. 260, n. 8:1 "For details of Mather's increasingly dictatorial leadership of the Golden Dawn, see Francis King, Ritual Magic in England (London : Spearman, 1970); and George Mills Harper, Yeat's Golden Dawn (London : Macmillan, 1974)."]

{Though this be the official account, organizationally separate groups may have been deliberately created instead in order to evade surveillance (and possible harassment and persecution) by governments.}

Crowley took it upon himself to establish a new magical order and in 1907 formed the Argenteum Astrum (A.A.), or Silver Star. Two years later he commenced production of a semiannual periodical titled The Equinox as its official publishing arm."

p. 158 types of sexual activity

"Crowley identified three types of sexual activity -- autoerotic, heterosexual, and homosexual -- as a way of raising magical energy, and also

{Wrong typology! In the material universe, there is no source of magical energy, so that the sexual activity must be conducted in the supernatural dream-world, and is to be performed there either between aeternal deities (in their therio-anthropic guise), or else between the mortal in subtle body (either human guise or in animal guise) and a deity (in animal guise). Though it may commence homosexually (when between human and deity in the dream-world), it will in that case abruptly shift to continuate heterosexually when the deity involve exchange places with that deity's divine spouse in that dream. [written Oct 15 2014]}

he formulated the notion that sex magic rituals could be dedicated to achieving specific results like financial gain, attaining personal creative success, etc. ...

{Wrong motivation! In the material plane there is nothing of value, so that the results to be achieved must be located in the praeternatural dream-world, certainly excluding anything financial (there is no money in heaven) and any personal "creativity" (there is nothing to create in heaven; everything thinkable is already there). The only siddhi ('success') to be requaested is abandonment by all intelligent beings of the hideous delusion of materialism. [written Oct 15 2014]}

The magician would dedicate the sexual activity to the goal of the magical ritual and would hold the image of that goal in his mind at the peak of sexual climax : at that very moment the energy raised during the ritual would be directed to the goal by the magical will."

{Wrong purpose! Because the material world is devoid of meaning and of purpose, only the dream-world need be considered. In dreaming, orgasm can occur only at the will of the divine world, and can happen only (unexpectedly, without erotic context) when the mortal is to be shewn the almighty power of heaven to induce such as will impress a mortal with the crying need of all living beings to submit to the omnipotent will of heaven. [written Oct 15 2014]}

p. 159 evoking of the Aithyr-s

"Crowley went with Neuberg to Algeria ... exploring the Enochian ... magical evocation of the 30 so-called Aethyrs ... -- a group of metaphysical spirit entities that included Choronzon, the demon of Chaos. ... transcripts of these visionary evocations would later form the basis for one of his most significant books, The Vision and the Voice."

p. 160 assuming headship of the Ordo Templi Orientis

"in London in May 1912 ... Theodore Reuss ... identified himself as Brother Merlin, head of the German branch of the O.T.O. ... As they were speaking Crowley realized intuitively that sexual intercourse between priest and priestess must be a culminating event in the ritual of the O.T.O. The outcome was that Crowley would in due course become the head of a new magical order to be called the Mysteria Mystica Maxima, effectively an English subsidiary of the German O.T.O.

Sometime later -- in 1922, following Reuss's retirement -- Crowley replaced Reuss as the head of the O.T.O. itself, a position he held until his death in 1947." ( King 1973, p. 29)

King 1973 = Francis King : Secret Rituals of the O.T.O. London : Daniel.

p. 261, n. 8:8 assuming kingship

"Crowley later visited Berlin where he ... was also granted the grandiose title "King of Ireland, Iona and all the Britons within the Sanctuary of the Gnosis" and took Baphomet as his new magical name.

Later Crowley adapted the nin[e]th degree of the O.T.O. so that it identified the priest and priestess as Osiris and Isis".



Crowley's Writings on Erotic Magic


pp. 160-2 short texts of erotic magic

p. 160

"Crowley produced several short texts on sex magic ... .

p. 161

These texts include De Arte Magica (written 1914 and also translated and published in Reuss's German-language O.T.O. magazine, Oriflamme ...);

Liber Agape;

Energized Enthusiasm : A Note on Theurgy, and

the notorious ... Emblems and Modes of Use. ...

De Arte Magica was intended as a document for IXo O.T.O. candidates. After reminding [in the 12th chapter] ... that

"the Phallus is the physiological basis of the Oversoul" ... --

{Where the "Oversoul" be taken as a collectivity of spirit-guides, the genitalia may be the chief means of mortal humans' providing entertainment (by displaying sexual activities) to those spirit-guides; as well as for the deities-couples providing entertainment (by their demonstrating their own sexual activies) to mortal humans.}

Crowley goes on to describe sex magic methods drawn from both the {Yhudi Qabbalah} and the Hindu {specifically, Kaula} spiritual tradition. ...

p. 162

Liber Agape

{named for the erotic meaning of /perform the agape/ infra, p.172}

is also known as The Book of the Unveiling of the Sangraal and was intended as [King 1973, p. 207] "a secret instruction of the nin[e]th degree" in the O.T.O."

pp. 162, 261 "Baphomet"

p. 162

"Liber Agape begins with a prayer, a salutation to Baphomet, and a statement inferring {implying, not "inferring"} that the nin[e]th degree of the O.T.O. will reveal occult secrets hitherto associated with the Knights of the Temple (Knights Templar) and the "Brethren of the Rose Crosse." The rite itself is described as a "High Mass to be celebrated

in the Temple of the Holy Ghost."

{i.e., in one's own divinely-owned body (1st Epistole to the Korinthioi 6:19}

Crowley employs alchemical imagery in his text".

p. 261, n. 8:14

"Baphomet was Crowley's magical name after he assumed leadership of the British branch of the O.T.O. in 1912. It is also the name of a demonic deity represented graphically by Eliphas Le'vi as a goat-headed god with wings,


{praesumably in allusion to Odes of S^lomoh 8:14}

and an illuminated torch between his horns."

1st Epistole to the Korinthioi 6:19

Odes of S^lomoh

pp. 162-3 the 69 position for mutual oral-genital stimulation

p. 162

"the reference to "make the Holy Hexagram" is an instruction that the man and woman should interlock ...

in a mutual oral sex position ... .

{sometimes incestuously (So. mother-son, W. son-daughter, No. daughter-father), according to the Latin instructions (Osiris 2003, verses 3-6)}

Crowley provides a clue in the aptly numbered Chapter 69 of The Book of Lies where he refers to the Holy Hexagram and

the "Double Gift of Tongues."

{implying in this circumstance a mutual tasting of each others' genital secretions}

According to Frater Osiris, ... the participants should utter the magical exclamation


{Latin /ara/ 'altar' + /rite/ 'according to rite, with due rite'}

three times at the moment of orgasm. The instruction "... drink of the Sacrament and ... communicate the same" is an instruction that the "sacrament" -- the ... fluids arising from sexual intercourse -- should be consumed by both participants, each providing

p. 163

this elixir to the other."

{Another mystical meaning for /communicate/, however, could be "communion of the saints" in the sense of communicating by this means with ghosts of the celebrated dead, and through them with immortal divinities.}

Osiris 2003 = Frater Osiris : "Analysis of Liber XXXVI, The Star Sapphire".

p. 163 "artistic intent"?

"Energized Enthusiasm : A Note on Theurgy (Liber DCCCLX) -- a work dedicated to

"IAO, the Supreme One of the Gnostics, the true God" --

{/IAO/ would appear to be a Hellenistic transcription of /YAHH/ (as distinguished from /Ieoue, / = /Yhowah/), likely cognate with Aztec /YACa-tecuhtli/.}

is one of Crowley's most interesting writings on sex magic ... . Crowley begins by introducing ... that divine consciousness is "reflected and refracted" in works of Genius ... . Later Crowley claims ... a connection between ... sexual state and

"the condition of ... artistic creation" and

{There can no be no value in any "artistic creation" in the material universe, and in the immaterial divine universe all artistic possibilities are already praesent, not requiring alleged "creation".}

that what he calls "energized enthusiasm" is

"the lever that moves God."

{The world-moving lever of Archimedes may be reflected in god Hua, whose name may be 'Lever' in Maori.}

In other words, there is a technique of ecstasy, heightened by sexuality,

{Any "technique of ecstasy" is, of course, heightened more by music than by sexuality alone, as is well-known by practitioners of shamanry etc.}

which is directly related to artistic creativity and Genius, and

{Genius (i.e., ingenuity) is surely more involved in metaphysics than in any mortals' feeble "artistry".}

this is a technique that subjects God to the artistic intent and human will.

{Is this particular "God" intended to be one's own spirit-guide? Not even one's own spirit-guide can be (nor ought to be) much "subjected" to a mortal's fallacious "intent" and/or folly-deluded personal "will".}

In Energized Enthusiasm Crowley writes quite specifically that

through "the sacramental and ceremonial use of the sexual act, the divine consciousness may be attained."

{The "divine consciousness" is already adequately praesent in dreaming (and even in hypnogogia and in hypnopompia) if appositely tempered with appropriate metaphysics and communal oneiric action. Inclusion of some communal erotic activity (whilest dreaming!) may be helpful for developing the divine consciousness therein, howbeit. }

pp. 163-4 Rose-Croix praeliminary to the "Great Rite"

p. 163

"a High Mass conducted in a private chapel. The altar ... displays the symbols of the Rose and Cross ... . ... The chapel is consecrated, the litany begins, and the High Priest takes from the altar a flask that resembles a phallus ... . The High Priestess then kneels and presents a boat-shaped {oillamp-shaped in the Kaula/tantrik version} cup of gold (... a "female" symbol, especially in the sexual sense {shaped like unto a vulva}). ...

p. 164

The High Priestess discards her robe, stands naked before the congregation, and begins to sing :

"Io Paian! Io Paian!" ...

{/Ioi/ is name [cognate with Skt. /Iwa/ 'Cloud 9'] of a goddess (mother of Epaphos); while /Paian/ is name [cognate with Skt. /Kavya/ (Us`anas)] of god of poe:sy/medicine.}

The celebrants, meanwhile, stretch forth their arms in the shape of a cross.

{This is the Cathar worship-posture.}

Presumably the "Great Rite" is about to be performed by the High Priest and High Priestess -- Crowley does not provide us with

the details of what happens next."

{Most likely, this would be intended as performance of the "Holy Hexagram" posture (p. 162 supra).}

p. 165 ahamkara (egotism) is to be eliminated by means of erotic magic

"Crowley's ... "Emblems and Modes of Use," ... was intended as a "secret" text for the nin[e]th degree of the O.T.O. ... According to Crowley, the sex magic operation has to be sufficiently intense that it creates

a state ... where "the Ego-consciousness itself is abolished".

[p. 262, n. 8:28 "This is remarkably similar to Austin Spare's notion of the "Void moment," which is described in Chapter 7."]

{S`unyata ('Voidness') is regarded in Vajra-yana literature as the erotic nature of the female sexual coi:tal partner's wisdom (prajn~a), which, in order to eliminate the atman ('self'; approximately aequivalent to ahamkara) of each partner, is united with the male's erotic nature as Karun.a ('Compassion') of the upaya ('means' of attainment of bodhi).}

p. 165 after ejaculation of semen into a woman's vagina : the semen is to be sucked out by the man who ejaculated it thereinto (quoted from MEZLA, vol. 1 (1985), no. 111)

"The Lion

{So-called because in mating-season the male lion will swive a lionness every hour.}

{This procedure (sucking just-now-ejaculated semen out of a woman's vagina) is likewise recommended in the Kala-cakra Tantra.}

must collect it -- the best method is by suction ["i.e., sucking it out of his partner's vagina"] ... ."

{If the male be required to suck his own semen out of the woman's vagina, then surely the woman is to be required to lick her own menstrual blood off the man's penis!}

p. 166 sigil

"Crowley makes a veiled reference to masturbating on demonic sigils by using the magical utterance as a metaphor for ejaculation :

[quoted from Liber A>ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici (Liber CCCLXX), first published in THE EQUINOX 1, no. 6 :] Let him ... fix his basilisk eye upon

{The fatal gaze of the basilisk endemic (according to Plinius) to Kurene (named for a goddess "wrestling with a powerful lion", GM 82.a) may figuratively indicate a female who is able to force herself erotically on a male; and/or that male's response.}

the sigil of the demon.

{Usually, a sigil (Latin /SiGiLLum/) is an impression made by stamping on red sealing-wax. 'To seal' is a significance similar to the implication of 'shut up' adduced for Strong's 5459 /SGuLLah/, literally 'jewel' (cf. the cameos carven as seal-stamps).}

Then let him sway the force of him to and fro like a satyr in silence, until the Word burst from ... him".

{Perhaps the term /satyr/ may allude (via satyr Silenos, whose ass improprely warned naiad Lotis of her impending being sexually violated by priapos) to (Strong's 8163) s`a<iri^m as aequivalents of the Gnostic male archones who failed to violate goddess Pistis-Sophia; while those archones vainly ejaculated their semen in the attempt.}

{The association of basilisk with Kurene is also indicated in that while (in the experience of Alexandros ho Megalos, and of hagios Georgios) the basilisk is vulnerable to gazing at itself in a mirror (BD&OMB) -- i.e., a looking-glass --, yet the nymph Kurene abideth amid spun glass (V:G 4:317 sq -- "HC").}

BD&OMB = Joe Nigg : The Book of Dragons & Other Mythical Beasts. (Barron's Educational Ser, 2001.

V:G = Vergilius : Georgica.

"HC" = "heroine Cyrene".



Erotic Magic Prior to the O.T.O.


p. 167 Pascal Beverly Randolph

"Born in New York in 1825, Paschal

Beverley Randolph was the son of ... a ... Virginian ... William Randolph, and a slave woman named Flora Beverly

{Use (in the compound "Beverly-Randolph") of mother's surname (Beverly) first (before father's surname) may be Portuguese.}

who was of mixed East Indian, European, and Madagascar descent. ... when Randolph was five, his mother died during an epidemic ... . ... Classified as a "free man of color," he ... studied spiritualism and Franz Anton Mesmer's theory of "animal magnetism," a precursor of modern hypnosis. During the late 1840s he traveled widely ..., visiting England, Scotland, Ireland, France, ... Egypt, Turkey, and Palestine. ... During his travels he met the French {Qabbalist} ... Eliphas Le'vy ... . He also met the notable Rosicrucian occultists Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie and Edward Bulwar-Lytton and the eccentric ... Rosicrucian historian Hargrave Jennings, who was interested in ancient phallic worship. After returning to the United States, Randolph founded the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis in 1858, the oldest Rosicrucian organization in North America -- currently headquartered in Beverly Hall, Quakertown, Pennsylvania. ... He then traveled on to Syria where he was inducted as a Hierarch of the [>]Ans[.]aireh before returning to the United States in 1863."

p. 168 Eulis

"Randolph ... in 1870 ... established ... in Boston ... the Brotherhood of

Eulis" ... .

{'well-smoothed', an allusion to massage}

Three years later Randolph published one of his best-known and most controversial books, Eulis! The History of Love ... -- which derives ... from ... the ... Nus[.]airi {i.e., >Ans.aireh} sect in Syria ... . Randolph maintained that

"the pellucid aroma of divinity"

{Residual, according to the Lurianic Qabbalah (deriving from an older Gnostic source), from the perfume in the cosmogonic "Breaking of the Vessels".}

suffuses the sex act ... become a metaphysical and sacred ritual".

{"The eighth consciousness contains seeds, karmic potentials ... and become actual dharmas as they are "perfumed" by the karmic activity of the first seven consciousnesses."

"In the heavens there are many kinds of ... perfume ... not of this world."

"Forest-ruling Spirit Pervasive Glow and Perfume gained a passage into liberation of universally displaying in the ten directions the state of vast, great practices cultivated in the past."

Bhais.ajya-guru "will always emit the perfume of ox-head chandana--a very sweet incense." [This "ox-head" may refer to the Jaina version of the asterism-figure for naks.atra Abhijit ("RJ", Fig. 19 with p. viii), aequivalent to (A&ACS, Fig. 19, p. 155) Chinese hsiu Niu ('ox').]}

"RJ" = Willibald Kirfel : "Die Religion der Jaina's". In :- Hans Haas (ed.) : Bilderatlas zur Religionsgeschichte, No. 12. Leipzig, 1928.

A&ACS = Hugh Moran & David H. Kelley : The Alphabet and the Ancient Calendar Signs. 2nd edn. Palo Alto (CA), 1969.

p. 170 mysteries in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor {/luxury/ = /lechery/}

"The early curriculum of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor also included selections from the writings of ... Hargrave Jennings as well as [of] Pascal Beverly Randolph. During the 1880s and 1890s Davidson and Burgoyne adapted Randolph's The Mysteries of Eros and Eulis!, placing more emphasis on practical sex magic".

p. 172 among the Phibionites, men encourage their own wives to commit adultery

[quoted from E:P 26:17, as translated in Eliade 1976, p. 110] "The man, leaving his wife, says to his own wife : "Stand up and make love with the brother" ("Perform the agape with the brother"). Then ... they have intercourse in the passion of fornication".

E:P = Epiphanios : Panarion.

Eliade 1976 = Mircea Eliade : Occultism, Witchcraft and Cultural Fashions. Univ of Chicago Pr.


Lynne Hume & Nevill Drury : The Varieties of Magical Experience : Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic. Praeger (an imprint of ABC-CLIO), Santa Barbara (CA), 2013.