Wiccan Sex-Magic – Inga Steddinger

wiccan sex-magic inga steddinger.jpgWiccan Sex-Magic – Inga Steddinger
Runa Raven – 1999

The image that pops in my head when I hear the word Wicca is of a middle-aged white woman with a nose ring and a well stocked spice-rack. It’s that flowery witch bullshit for Rennaisance fair geeks, right? Well, apparently there’s more too it.

In an introduction by Stephen E Flowers, it is made clear that the word Wiccan in the title of this book means “that of the sorcerer”, so the title really means “Sex Magic of the Sorcerer”. I assume this is pointed out early on so that people know that this work isn’t tying itself to the Mommy-with-a-moon-tattoo sect of witches that we all think of when we hear the word Wiccan.

Gerald Gardner, the father of Wicca, was friends with Aleister Crowley, and while Gardner’s Wiccan tradition did involve the use of sex in its practice, it seems that many Wiccans today shy away from the kinky stuff, at least publically. This book goes the other way and embraces it.

The main idea here is that sex magic is effective because when performed correctly it corresponds with the actions of the Gods of Norse Mythology as told in the Eddas. It’s all about power. There’s always a submissive and dominant, and this power imbalance and the flow of power it entails ensure that the rituals are highly charged. When the magician gives his girlfriend a passionate rimjob, he is worshipping her as the fearless Warrior Gröd worshipped the Goddess Holfurnbjorn. By becoming an avatar of the hero in this manner, he activates that hero’s powers. I’m being a bit silly here, but I’m confident that I’ve made the idea clear.

It wasn’t just the intro to this book that reminded me of Stephen E. Flowers; it’s also full of talk about bondage and birching. When I reviewed Carnal Alchemy, the book on Sado-Magical techniques that Flowers wrote with his wife, I noted that it had a  self-aggrandizing “We do S&M. We’re magicians. We’re so cool” vibe to it. Wiccan Sex Magic is similar. Then again, I suppose that most magicians are bound to bring their other interests into their practice, and if Inga Steddinger wants to incorporate her love of going to orgies and having her bum slapped into her magical practice, good for her.

This is a short review, but Steddinger’s book is only about 40 pages long. I have some cool stuff lined up for the next few weeks, so check in again soon.


A Manual of Sex Magick – Louis T. Culling

manual of sex magic louis t.jpgA Manual of Sex Magic – Louis T. Culling
Llewellyn – 1971

I usually know how much attention I’m going to give to reading a book by the 5 page mark. I enjoy occult books, but most of them are written horribly. The authors, lacking in anything worthwhile to say, disguise their own uncertainty, confusion and ignorance with long, winding sentences, esoteric references and an air of arrogance. Occultism, in this way, is very, very similar to academia.

Anyways, when I come across a book that I feel is going to be like this, I don’t bother committing to a thorough reading – I’ll read the whole thing, but I’ll do so on the bus to work, listening to music and not worrying if some of it goes over my head.

This was my planned approach after a few pages of Louis T. Culling’s A Manual of Sex Magick. It’s a poorly written guide to the different degrees of Sex Magic. Unfortunately, it’s quite vague about the details of a particularly curious magical working, and this vagueness, together with the lackluster manner of my reading up to that point, has left me suspecting that friends of the author of this book rubbed cum into their dog’s fur.

Allow me to explain.

There are three degrees of Sex Magick. The first is Alphaism. This basically means that if you decide to do some sex magic with your partner, you’re not allowed wank or ride anyone else.

The second degree is Dianism. This is holding in your gip. You’re allowed shag indefinitely as long as you don’t cum. If you’re interested in trying this, I have a tip for you that isn’t mentioned in the book. A friend gave me this advice when we were 15. He told me that you can last longer in bed if you just give a sharp little tug to your sack whenever you feel like cumming. This will hold off the orgasm without killing your boner. I haven’t tried it, but the confident wink my friend gave as he explained this assured me that he knew exactly what he was talking about.

When you’re riding away for hours without gipping, you think of the magical outcome you want to achieve. Do this for a few hours a day, a few days a week, and all your wishes will surely come true.

The final degree of Sex Magick is Quodosch. (Is this where J.K. Rowling got the name for quidditch?) This level is for when you need a little extra power for your spell. After a marathon sex session, you finally allow yourself to blow your load and then use your ejaculate an a magic elixir. If you’re sending a letter to ask somebody for something, seal the envelope with your sperm, and this will doubtlessly result in your request being granted.

This gets confusing when the author mentions using this kind of magic on a dog. This book contains a story about a pair of Magicians who turn their dog into a psychic, but the details of the procedure are quite unclear. The author never outright says that the magicians came on the dog, but I can’t see how else it would work. Maybe the wizard gipped his load into a bowl of dogfood and then let his pooch chow down on his fine chicken alfredo. Either way it’s a bit gross. Leave that poor hound alone!

After reading the bit about the dog, I tried looking back over the parts that I had skimmed in the hopes that I’d understand things better, but it didn’t help.

A Manual of Sex Magic is a fairly rubbish book. The author spends most of it either talking nonsense or boasting about this sexual prowess. It gets a bit embarrassing. Also, Culling reveres Aleister Crowley, and even claims to have been penpals with the Great Beast. This makes his “straights only” policy on Sex Magick a bit weird. We all know that some of Aleister’s best work was very gay.

After a slow start to the year, I’m getting back to my reading and writing routine. I have a few more posts lined up for the near future, so check back soon.

The Hallowed Genie – Basil Crouch

The Hallowed Genie – Basil E. Crouch
Finbarr International – Publishing date unknown

It seems that the standard of books being reviewed on here recently has declined in a pretty serious way. It’s sad to think of the few people who are dumb enough to buy this kind of rubbish, but it’s more depressing still to think that more than a couple actually put this crap out.

First off, this author’s name is Basil Crouch. That sounds far too similar to Basil Brush for me to be able to read this book without imagining the text being narrated by a snooty English fox. This was doubtlessly the reason for the author’s adoption of the slightly more mysterious pen name ‘Basil La Croix’ for some of his other works. 

basil brush

Anyways, ol’ Basil was either a moron or a swindler. The spells/rituals in here are so stupid that I hope he only put them to paper to relieve idiot Occultists of their expendable income. It’s either that or he was a mentally deficient teenager.

Build a little monster out of clay and then put him in a circle of candles. Tell him 10 times that you need some money, read him some Bible verses, and in no time at all, you’ll be a millionaire. The key to this ritual is the word ‘need’. Telling a Genie that you want something is useless; you have to tell them that you need it.

Basil blames wants for a great deal of the world’s ills. He claims to have medical evidence to show that women who experience an unsatiated desire during pregnancy are likely to give birth to a mutant.

medical curiositiesThe above “medical curiosity” was actually a woman named Rosa Plemons. She suffered from muscular atrophy. She was supposedly kidnapped when she was 19 and put in a freak show. Her tale is more tragic than curious, and I don’t know why she was included in here. I don’t know anything about the bendy lad at the bottom.

Basil makes his ridiculous claim about wants and needs halfway through the book, but it’s only on the last page that he includes images of the resulting ‘medical curiosities’. This is just one of several examples of how disorganized this text is. Certain paragraphs explain that the next section of the book will discuss a certain issue, but that issue won’t actually be mentioned until pages later. Also, it seems as if Basil decided to pad out his text with a few lengthy Biblical Psalms in order to reach his desired page count.

the book of knowhowMe on the bus to work in the morning.

When I started this blog, I read just about any occult-related material I could get my hands on. I quickly realised that most of it is airy-fairy, white-people-with-dreadlocks nonsense. I then focused my attention on black magic and Satanism. I haven’t read or reviewed much that doesn’t at least touch on the darker side of Occultism, so I must have been expecting something of that ilk when I decided to read this. Unfortunately, this book has no badness in it. There’s nothing interesting about it other than the author’s sheer incompetence. This is pathetic.

Note: Since writing this review, I came across a thread about Basil Crouch online. Apparently he was a well respected magician, and there’s curious tales about people destroying his books because they were too “tempting and Dark”. I have managed to track down pdf copies of a few more of his texts, and even though the Hallowed Genie is absolutely awful, I have grown curious and will doubtlessly read and review his other works at some stage. Stay tuned.

Carnal Alchemy – Sado-Magical Techniques for Pleasure, Pain and Self-Transformation

Carnal Alchemy – Sado-Magical Techniques for Pleasure, Pain and Self – Transformation
Stephen E. Flowers and Crystal Dawn Flowers
Inner Traditions – 2013 (First Published 2011, I think)

I’m interested in sadomasochism and Occultism in roughly the same way. I don’t practice either, but I find them both rather intriguing. On seeing the title of this book, I knew I’d have to read it.

The main idea in here, as far as I can tell, is that S&M can be used for magical purposes. That seems very peculiar until you understand the kinds of magical purposes that the authors are talking about. Don’t expect to able to levitate after a good caning. That’s not the kind of magic we’re dealing with.

old orgyParty time!

The book is titled “Carnal Alchemy”. Alchemy is the science/art/ practice of changing one thing to another, the obvious example being lead into gold. The authors of this book claim that Sadomasochist magicians can transmute themselves/each other from total losers into successful individuals through the practice of sadoshamanism. I’m very sceptical when it comes to promises of magical powers, but I can accept this idea.

For an S&M freak, the pain/torture/humiliation is part of or at least powerfully linked to the sex act. I don’t go for that stuff myself, but who doesn’t feel like a success after a good shag? If somebody who gets off on pain is in a safe, loving, sexually active relationship with a person with complimentary interests, this could certainly have beneficial effects on their self esteem and general success. Is this magic? Sure.

My only issue with this idea is that it’s a bit self aggrandizing. Any sexual fetish is potentially empowering in this way. If a person likes something (safe) and they get it, they will be happier. There’s no need to write a book about it. This whole book has a bit of a “We do S&M. We’re magicians. We’re so cool’ feel to it. The authors do seem to suggest that any sexual act has magical potential, but that the ritualistic nature of S&M makes it particularly effective. I don’t know guys. I think you just wanted to write a book about the things you like.

The rest of the book describes the depraved proclivities of several famous occult practitioners, including Aleister Crowley, Anton LaVey and my ol’ buddy Willie Seabrook. There’s also a short section describing basic S&M techniques and a bit about the order of the Triskellion, Sadomagical group run by the authors.

seabrook maskWillie Seabrook and his babe.

The Order of the Triskellion takes its name from the Story of O, a classic of erotic literature. I remember reading that book at work years ago. I had a shitty office job, and I would download PDF books and read them instead of working. It makes me very happy to think that the dickhead owner of that company unwittingly paid me to read kinky erotica.

Anyways, this book is fine. I read it out of curiosity, and reflecting on it now, I didn’t really learn very much. At the same time, if you do enjoy dressing up as Hermione and having your bum spanked, this is doubtlessly the book for you.

Sexuality, Magic and Perversion – Francis King

This post was originally intended for Saint Valentine’s day, but I made some startling discoveries whilst writing it and had to postpone its publication until things were sorted out.

sex magic and perversion francis kingSexuality, Magic and Perversion – Francis King
Citadel Press – 1974 (Originally published 1971)

I hadn’t read anything by King when I bought this book based on its title alone (I’ve since reviewed his Secret Rituals of the O.T.O.), and I was expecting something rather trashy when I made the purchase. This book, however, isn’t very trashy at all. It’s a relatively sensible overview of how sex has been used in magical practice throughout history. It’s pretty good.

I didn’t follow some of the stuff on tantricism at the beginning, but the chapters on the more modern occultists were very interesting. I’ve seen Charles Leadbeater’s name come up in loads of books that discuss Theosophy, but I didn’t know he was a dirty, boy-touching bastard until I read this one. The stuff on Crowley was entertaining too. Apparently ol’ Aleister liked getting bummed as crowds of his friends watched.
aleister crowley bugger

Sexuality, Magic and Perversion was insightful, well researched and it made me want to read more books. The writing was neither overly academic nor flagrant nonsense. I’m looking forward to reading more of Francis King’s work in the future.

Yes, this post is considerably shorter than my regular output, but don’t be dismayed. I’ve held back on the really interesting discovery that I made whilst reading this book. Said discovery is so exciting that I’m giving it its own separate post. (I’ll post it tomorrow!) If you’re at all interested in Sexuality, Magic and Perversion (the book) and/or sexuality, magic, perversion and the activities these concepts entail, I guarantee, you’ll want to read what’s coming up next.


The Peculiar Tale of Jack Parsons

I’ve read several autobiographies, but there are very few people that I find interesting enough to want to read somebody else’s account of their life. In fact, prior to my reading for this post, the only biography I had ever read was Henry M. Pachter’s Paracelcus: Magic into Science, and I only ever read that because I had nothing else at the time. While Paracelsus played an important role in distilling science from magic, the individual that I’ve been researching recently traveled in a very different direction on the same path. Jack Parsons, a man who played a key role in putting men on the moon, was a black magician in his free time, applying the scientific method to his magical rituals.

jack parsons

I first heard of Jack Parsons in Sorcerer of the Apocalypse: An Introduction to John Whiteside Parsons in the first Apocalypse Culture book. (Incidentally, Adam Parfrey, the editor of that book and publisher of Sex and Rockets, died recently. RIP.) After that, I encountered Parson’s name in a bunch of places, notably in Disinformation’s Book of Lies and the ramblings of Robert Anton Wilson (who wrote the introduction for Sex and Rockets). In truth, I had been planning to read these two biographies for ages, but the upcoming CBS series based on Parson’s life convinced me to finish them quickly so that I can be a cool guy when it comes out.

I’ve read so many biographical accounts of Parsons recently that I don’t want to create another one. Suffice to say that he was heavily involved in/with rocket science, science fiction, Aleister Crowley, black magic, sex magic and the founder of Scientology. A crater on the dark side of the Moon is named after him, and he died in a mysterious explosion that may have been a murder, an accident, a suicide, or a demonic summoning gone wrong. Jack Parson’s was a pretty cool guy.

sex and rocketsSex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons – John Carter
2004 – Feral House

strange angel pendle parsonsStrange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons – George Pendle
2005 – Orion

I read Sex and Rockets first because it was written first. I enjoyed reading it, but it gets a bit bogged down with Thelemic mumbo-jumbo. Honestly, who cares about that rubbish? This book reads like a list of facts about Jack Parsons that were put in chronological order.  This being the second biography that I had ever read, the author’s approach seemed reasonable to me when I was reading it, but this approach makes this book less enjoyable than Strange Angel. Even though it’s mostly the same information being presented in both books, Strange Angel feels more like a novel. It begins with the climax and then goes back in time, and there’s more focus on the atmosphere and storytelling. It does not surprise me that the new TV show is based on this one. I’m glad that I read both, but I would definitely recommend Strange Angel to anyone who only has the time and/or interest to read one.

parsons black boxI wonder what’s inside!

The one notable piece of information in Sex and Rockets that’s not included in Strange Angel is the suggestion that Jack Parsons had sex with with his mother and his dog. There was a black box, covered in magical symbols, found in the apartment Jack died in. Carter notes that, “The odd box was found to contain home movies of Parsons and mother having sex, not only with each other, but also with Ruth’s “big dog.” According to reports from Pasadena police, passed down to their friend Harold Chambers, we now have circumstantial evidence that John Parsons indeed fulfilled his goal to “exteriorize [his] Oedipus complex.”
Parsons was a creep. He got off on incest (he had a long affair with his first wife’s little sister), and he seemed to like being cuckolded. Riding his ma and his dog is a bit much though. I’d have difficulty liking a person who’d do that. It’s hard to find any more evidence on this though, so I’m going to assume he didn’t.

The most important magical project of Jack’s life was the Babalon working. This involved him and L. Rob Hubbard, founder of Scientology and all-round piece of shit, going into the desert and jerking each other off with the aim of summoning the Whore of Babalon (a deliberate misspelling of Babylon) to bring about the apocalypse. After finishing the lengthy ritual in 1946, Jack believed that he and Hubbard had achieved their aim. Pendle notes that “He [Parsons] believed that Babalon, in the manner of the Immaculate Conception, was due to be born to a woman somewhere on earth in nine months time.” If Jack was right, this means that the Whore of Babalon would have been born in 1947. Think of the most powerful women in the world and then guess which one was born in 1947. That’s right, good ol’ Hillary!

Obviously, I don’t believe that Hillary Clinton is the Whore of Babylon, but it turns out that I’m not the only one to have noticed the coincidence. There’s already several loopy videos and blogposts claiming that she is the Moonchild of Jack Parsons.

Strange AngelAn Irish actor is playing Parsons too. I’ll definitely be watching.

Parsons was friends with some of the most important science fiction writers of the early 20th century, and he both inspired and was inspired by several of the characters in their works. Sci-fi is slightly outside of this blog’s jurisdiction, but I think I’ll make an exception and do a second post on Parsons about these works. Stay tuned.

The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin The Mage: the 100th post on Nocturnal Revelries

the book of sacred magic of abramelin the mageThe Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage – Abraham of Würzburg (Translated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers)
Dover – 1975

Wow, 100 posts! I don’t think I realized how much work I was going to put into reviewing dumb books when I started. This blog now contains more words than most of the books that have appeared on it. To celebrate this momentous achievement, I’m going to briefly review the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, a curious grimoire of angelic magic. I first heard of it in the BBC documentary about Aleister Crowley’s house by Loch Ness, and I remember soon thereafter watching a video of Robert Anton Wilson discussing how he had attempted to perform part of the Abramelin ritual while tripping on acid, but it wasn’t until I heard the name of the text being mentioned in Ghoulies, one of the finest motion pictures ever made, that I knew that I needed a copy for my library. This book of spells purports to have been written in 1458, but the oldest surviving copies date from 1608. Many grimoires claim to be far older than they really are as that makes them seem more mysterious, but if this text was written in 1608, you’d imagine that the author would have set it back more than 150 years. Regardless of its authenticity, this is a rather interesting read.

I don’t want to spend too much time going into the plot details as there are plenty of summaries of this book to be found online, but the idea here is that in 1458, an old man named Abraham wanted to give his younger son, Lamech, a present. He had already let his eldest son in on his knowledge of Kaballah, so he decided to initiate Lamech into the secrets of Sacred Magic instead. He himself had come across these secrets from a hermit named Abramelin. We never find out much about Abramelin, but his magical secrets had supposedly made their way to him from the lads in the Old Testament.

There are three books within this book. The first of which gives Abraham’s account of how he came by this magic, and the second book gives the instructions for a 6 or 18 month ritual that one must go through in order to use the spells that make up Book 3. The lengthy ritual puts the magician into contact with his guardian angel. (I use the masculine pronoun purposefully here; women aren’t really supposed to practice this magic.) The guardian angel then grants the magician the power to control demons. This makes for a weird form of whitened-black magic. The practitioner is commanding legions of evil spirits to do his bidding, but he is doing so under the guidance of a good spirit. The standard how-to-turn-invisible/tell-the-future/get-money spells are all here, but it is presumed that the magus will only utilize these abilities for the good of all humanity.  Abraham strongly advises that this system of magic never be used for evil purposes, but he nevertheless includes instructions on how to cast spells upon Men, to bewitch beasts, to cast spells upon the liver, heart, head and other parts of the body, to demolish buildings, to ruin possessions, to excite emnity in general, to excite quarrels and fights, and to cause a general war.

Each spell comes in the form of a magical square. These look a bit like wordsearches, and each one must be used in a certain way. You generally have to make a copy of the square, rub it on your bum or keep it in your hat for a few days and then plant it close to the thing you want to bewitch.

spell square abramelin
The Spell Square to “make work done in inaccessible places”

It’s pretty hard to imagine anyone being in the position to give up 6 months of their life to perform the ritual as described in Book 2. The ritual must also be performed in a very specific type of building, so unless you’re a millionaire, you’re probably not going to have the opportunity to get this done. Aleister Crowley tried in 1901, but he didn’t get to finish it. The fact that he didn’t finish the ritual meant that the demons he evoked were never banished and were left free to haunt the house where he had evoked them. (Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page bought the house in 1970, but it has since burned down.) The book is fairly clear that its instructions must be followed very carefully, and I doubt many people have had both the determination and the means to actually go through with it. A few of those who have claimed to complete the ritual have published the diaries that they kept throughout. I would imagine these accounts are very boring indeed.

The Mathers version of the Book of Abramelin, the text that I read, was translated from an incomplete, already translated version of the original text. The manuscript that Mathers translated is of a later date than the copies that have since been discovered, and it only contained 3 books while the earlier German versions contain 4. The missing book is about the Kaballah though, so I’m actually pretty relieved that I didn’t have to waste my time reading it. The other big differences between the texts are that Mathers got some of the ingredients for one of the potions wrong, his version of the ritual is 6 rather than 18 months long, and his versions of the magic squares are missing some letters.

Unlike many grimoires, the Book of Abramelin is actually a fairly entertaining read. The narrative of the first book reads like a novella, and the unique bad-angels-working-for-good-angels-working-for-the-magician-working-for-God concept makes the magical instruction fairly interesting too. George Dehn and Steven Guth put out a translation of one of the older manuscripts, but unless you were seriously considering performing the ritual herein described, I wouldn’t bother shelling out the extra money. The Mathers translation may not the most authentic version of this book of spells, but it still includes all of the bits I’d be interested in. That being said, if I ever come across a cheap copy of the newer translation, I’d probably take a look.

If you want a far more in depth look at Abramelin’s magic, check out this blog.