I don’t think I’ve ever seen “Sex Magick” listed as a sexual kink. The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines kink as “relating to, having, or appealing to unconventional tastes especially in sex”. While the goal of Sex Magick is not orgasm for sexual pleasure, it is most definitely unconventional and, therefore, qualifies as a kink.
There has been a huge resurgence of interest in the occult over the past few years. First, let’s clear up a misconception of the word “occult”. Hollywood has used the term to evoke images of evil, darkness and the Devil. “Occult” comes from the Latin word “occultus” which, simply, means “hidden” or “concealed”. Occult knowledge is knowledge that is not readily visible. Sex Magick, and Magick in general, is occult knowledge. A search on Amazon yields 15 books on the first page alone. There is most definitely an interest in sex magick today.
We will first look at the more recent history of magick as the backdrop for the emergence of modern sex magick. Then we will explore the mechanics of performing sex magick. The infamous Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947) defined Magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will”. Occult author Dion Fortune (1890 – 1946) is credited with a slight edit to the definition, “Magic is the art of causing changes to take place in consciousness in accordance with will.” Sex Magick is is the practice of harnessing the energy of the sexual act (foreplay, oral, anal, or vaginal penetration) to orgasm in order to use that energy for manifestation. It is a means to an end.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was founded in London in 1887 by three Freemasons. The Golden Dawn was a secret society based on a hierarchical and initiatory structure in which women were admitted on an equal basis with men (quite ahead of their time). They were devoted to the study of the occult with the esoteric philosophy of Hermetic Qabalah as it’s foundation. Areas of study included, but were not limited to astrology, Tarot, Geomancy, scrying, astral travel and alchemy. By the mid-1890’s the Golden Dawn was well-established with over 100 members including William Butler Yeats, Bram Stoker, A.E. White (author of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, actress Florence Farr and Aleister Crowley.
Eventually, Crowley was denied initiation into the higher grades and went on to found the religion of Thelema, which has active groups and adherents today. He was quite notorious as he experimented with drugs, was bisexual and a prolific author. It was Crowley who added the “k” to the end of magic to distinguish it from stage conjurers, much like David Copperfield and Criss Angel of today’s magic. While sex magick can certainly be seen in ancient writings, it was Crowley who brought it into the modern day.
The Golden Dawn is arguably the most influential organization of today’s occultism. Gerald Gardner (1884-1964) was strongly influenced by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Crowley’s teachings. He founded Wicca, which has an incredibly large following today. Gardner included aspects of sex magick in Wicca.
In our next installment, we will look at the theorems of magick, the theorems of sex magick and the practice and techniques of sex magick.