Temple of Set Reading List: Category 13
Sex in Religion and Magic
Reprinted from: "The Crystal Tablet of Set" (c) Temple of Set 1989 CE Weirdbase file version
by TS permission by Michael A. Aquino, Ipsissimus VI* Temple of Set
Sex and magic have never been very far apart. This is both because sorcerers and sorceresses tend to be rather hedonistic individuals, and because the sexual drives can be used for purposes of ritual magic. Historically Black Magical societies have been accused of being obsessed with sex; a Black Magician (like Wicked Wanda, shown above) might well retort that his/hers is the rational approach and that the critic is suffering from a bad case of Judaic/Christian repressed/sex neurosis. A problem with sex-magic has been that many practitioners, suffering from the aforementioned neurosis, have plunged into sex in the most animalistic way possible - as an indulgence for its own sake.
This, for example, was the presumption of the Church of Satan. Aleister Crowley, however, mixed his sex-magical practices with aesthetic mysticism - a fact almost totally lost on his latter-day disciples, who more often than not either ignore the sexual component in his Workings or become obsessed with it. The Temple of Set proposes an integral, non-compulsive, comfortable, and relaxed inter- relationship between sex, aesthetics, and love - the neglect of any one of which will inhibit the efficacy of whatever magical Working is involved. 13A. "Eros and Evil" by R.E.L. Masters. NY: Julian Press, 1962 [later paperback edition published]. (TS-3)
MA: "The definitive reference work on the subject. Basically oriented towards a classical Christian concept of Daemonology, but encyclopaedic in its coverage nevertheless." 13B. "The Sacred Fire" by B.Z. Goldberg. NY: University Books, 1958. (TS-3)
MA: "A history of sex in religion, valuable primarily as an in-depth supplement to #13A - the main differences being that Goldberg seems a little less obsessed with the subject, and that there is an interesting section dealing with the concept of revolt (sexual and otherwise) against repressive religious environments." 13C. "Sexuality, Magic, and Perversion" by Francis King. Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1971. (TS-3)
MA: "You have to hand it to King for picking a catchy title! Yet this is a rather thorough survey of the influence of sex in a number of contemporary cults, religions, and magical societies around the world - the Wiccan 'great rite', the auto/hetero/homosexual magic of the O.T.O. VIII*/IX*/XI*, etc. A good update to #13A and #13B.
The data dealing with the Church of Satan are so fragmentary and misleading, however, that the author's care in researching other environments must be doubted as well. Use more as a starting point for further research than as a definitive source." 13D. "The Compleat Witch" by Anton Szandor LaVey. NY: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1970. (CS-1) (TS-3) [Note: This book has been republished in paperback under the name "The Satanic Witch" in 1989 CE.]
MA: "Although the more earthy passages in this book put off many readers who were expecting 'more of the "Satanic Bible"', LaVey often maintained that it was the best of his three books because it contained the most Lesser Magic. [It could just as well be included in category 23.] Tucked away amidst the pages are some very incisive comments concerning human traits and motivations and how both may be recognized and manipulated in day-to-day contexts.
By no means 'just a sex book', though a background in Church of Satan history is necessary to understand the author's point of perspective. Chapter 8 of #6N reviews #13D in detail." 13E. "Odoratus Sexualis" by Iwan Block. North Hollywood: Brandon House, 1967. (CS-3) AL: "The use of odors in magic." 13F. "Magica Sexualis" by Emile Laurent and Paul Nagour. North Hollywood: Brandon House, 1966. (CS-3) AL: "Contains some little-known lore."