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The Orgasmic Ordeal: Sexual Magic in Thelema

The Orgasmic Ordeal: Sexual Magic in Thelema

by Fra. In Sterquiliniis Invenitur

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” 

― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Sexual magic is a magical sexual practice performed in several orders of Western esotericism, especially in the O.T.O (Ordo Templi Orientis) and through Thelema. This practice involves several rituals, methods of operation, a cosmology and incorporates into it a wide range of religious and sacred concepts, including the manifestation of the will of the practitioner through ritualized orgasm. The Ordo Templi Orientis, or the Order of the Eastern Templars, is a fraternity dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, active in several countries of the world, which has seen an effervescence in America, more particularly in California. This fraternity incorporates the esoteric doctrine of Thelema put forward by a very famous occultist, Aleister Crowley. The central point of the Thelema follows a very precise axiom, “ Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, love is the law, love under will [1] which refers to a distinct spirituality of finding and following one’s true will and which inspires members to break the established status quo, especially of the 1900s, specifically in a sexual way “The Book of the Law solves the sexual problem completely. Each individual has an absolute right to satisfy their sexual instinct and is physiologically proper for him. The one injunction is to treat all such acts as sacraments. One should not eat the brutes, but in order to make one go to one’s will. The same applies to sex. We must use every faculty to further the object of our existence. “[2]

To understand how Thelema is essentially connected through sacred sexuality, we must understand that this esoteric doctrine is anchored in a system of sacred sexual symbols which is found in large numbers in the studies of the anthropology of the imaginary. These analysis are therefore quite relevant to dissect the practices and rituals of these Homo religiosus and their connection with the sacred and sexuality. In addition, Thelema allowed a great sexual emancipation in the 1900s in connection with the religious and the transgression of social norms, which is connected with the relationship between the sacred, religion and sexuality

This work will focus specifically on the notions and rituals of sexual magic in the practice of Thelema. I will first address the theme of Thelema. By this theme, I want to put forward the story of this esoteric doctrine proposed by Aleister Crowley. I will describe how these guidelines are sexually liberating and what impact this institution had for the very religious and controlling paradigm of the 1900s. Subsequently, the central sexual points of this esoteric doctrine, particularly the female archetypal aspect, the matrix: Babalon and the male archetypal aspect, the phallus: the great horned beast, Therion and Pan, also very briefly, the sources of these great schemes. I will approach this theme by analyzing the main models and archetypal sexual concepts of Thelema, how they relate to the matrix and the phallus. Moreover, how they open the door to sexual magic. What is sexual magic in Thelema? What is its relationship with the sacred and the religious? This third theme will be analyzing the religious and sacred principles of sexual magic, the relationship of sexual magic as the axial column of Thelema and how sacred sexual religiosity is practiced and ritualized. I will end with an analysis of two distinct rituals: Eroto-comatose lucidity that allows the practitioner to induce an altered state of consciousness following a specific orgasm to communicate with a non-human being (HGA, God or any divinity) as well as the Cake of Light that takes the form of an eucharistic ritual, where ritualists ingest a cake that is designed with either male / female sexual fluid or menstrual blood. Followed by an analysis of the importance of these liquids and their implications in the Eucharistic sexual ritual.

Thelema

Aleister Crowley was not new to the Western esoteric scene when he put into practice Thelemic esotericism. Indeed, Crowley was introduced to ceremonial magic in the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn. He became familiar with several esoteric concepts such as: Hermetism, Jewish Kabbalah, Freemasonry, Yoga, Tantrism, Taoism and many others. Thelema as an esoteric doctrine, have seen the day in the early 1900s. It was during a trip at Cairo, with his wife at the time Rose Edith Kelly, that Aleister Crowley was led to write the main corpus of Thelema, The Book of The Law, on the 8, 9 and 10 of April 1904 with the help of Rose Edith Kelly. The axial point of Thelema can be summed up in a very particular axiom, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, Love is the law, love under will.”[3] This law therefore, refers to inspiring the practitioner to be true to their True Will. Do what thou wilt does not mean to do what we want, this sentence is highly symbolic and esoteric. Crowley wants to describe that every individual must do what he should, in relation to his will. Besides, it is important to mention that Crowley was closely influenced by German thinkers on the subject of the will. Whether it was Nietzsche’s will to power or Schopenhauer’s concept of will, both influenced the philosophical and esoteric conception of the Thelemic will. He even saw in Nietzsche a manifestation of the Egyptian deity Thoth “Nietzsche was to me almost an avatar of Thoth, the god of wisdom …”[4]

The important point that interests us here is that specific part of the axiom “Love is the law, love under will “Crowley emphasizes the notion of Greek agape in the majority of his esoteric writings. For him, love through the sexual aspect, is a primordial importance of human societies, especially in the era of the 1900s. “Crowley also reflects the modern world of concern in the early twentieth century. As Michel Foucault has argued, the Victorian era has often been mistakenly characterized as a period of repressive repression and suppression of sexuality. In fact, it was anything but a time of repression, and it was an era of intense proliferation of discourse about sex, which was now categorized, classified and theorized as never before. With his central emphasis on sexual magic, Crowley epitomizes this modern fascination with sex as the innermost essence of the human self. “[5]  This era was characterized mainly by a domination of religious discourse by the Catholic institution. This discourse proposed by the three R’s (Rites, Rules, stoRies) allowed this institution to punish the libertine sexual aspect of the population. Crowley was aware of this paradigm and the ritualized sexual practices he unveiled was a powerful counter-argument to this discourse “The feeling that (sex) is shameful and the sense of sin cause concealment, which is ignoble, and internal conflict which creates distortion, neurosis, and ends in explosion. […] The Book of the Law solves the sexual problem completely. Each individual has an absolute right to satisfy their sexual instinct and is physiologically proper for him. The one injunction is to treat all such acts as sacraments. One should not eat the brutes, but in order to make one go to one’s will. The same applies to sex. We must use every faculty to further the one object of our existence”[6]  Therefore, Thelema was an actor of sexual emancipation through sexual rituals and a spirituality based on the full individual capacity to choose one’s destiny as stated by Dr. Pearson’s “Crowley’s Mission, taken straight from Nietzsche, was to” burst the limitations of the individual’s position in the world of personal freedom, replacing it with the higher morality and power of the Will. “[7]

Archetypes of the Matrix/Phallus

Thelemic cosmology originates mainly from Egypt, like most Western esoteric orders. For example, Nuit is the starry sky and it refers to the Egyptian deity Nut. Among all the divinities of Thelemic cosmology, two stand out by their symbolic and esoteric importance. Babalon, the sacred prostitute or the scarlet woman, and Therion, the biblical beast. Both lovers and sexual companions. Babalon refers to the sacred prostitute of the Bible, already we note the sacred sexual character of this divinity in relation to the doctrine of Thelema. She is also called Great Mother and associated with the earth and several other female divinity like Ishtar and Venus. She is therefore the main archetype of the feminity according to Crowley. Moreover, she is symbolized by the chalice and the handling of a sword. This sword is a phallic symbol to represent its active masculine strength, identical to Artemis with her arrows. She is also personified in Crowley’s concubines whom he calls Scarlet Woman. Therion, meanwhile, is associated with the Great Beast as a concept from the Bible. He is hairy and dark, symbolizing the bestial and primal masculine power. However, in Thoth Tarot, Babalon is depicted riding the beast on XI Lust “She rides astride the Beast; in which she holds the reins, representing the passion which unites them. In her right she holds aloft the cup, Holy Grail aflame with love and death. In this cup are the elements of the sacrament of the Aeon “[8] It represents not only the tamable aspect of the male primal principle by the feminine but also the capacity of female liberation through the sexual drive – Lust.

Pan is also extensively described in Crowley’s work. Revealing the archetypal symbol of the horned and phallic god. It is associated with what Crowley calls Night of Pan. The night of Pan is described as a state of alteration of consciousness where the adept realizes a complete annihilation of the self. He must then cross the abyss, Thelemic mythological place where the adept must cross to complete the conversation with his H.G.A (Holy Guardian Angel). The follower is then, plunged into the matrixial abyss where he undergoes a transformation to be reborn. Crowley specifies that the adept is transformed in the womb of Babalon by the impregnation of Pan. This imagery is absolutely electrifying to understand the symbolic process of the womb as a dark and humid place to return to the cave and birth.

The phallus is also resumed again and again in Thelemic mythology. The term is used both to describe the will of the individual but also the clitoris, the labia majora and the labia minora.

” Mighty and erect is this Will of mine, this Pyramid
     of fire whose summit is lost in Heaven. Upon it
     have I burned the corpse of my desires.
Mighty and erect is this Phallus of my Will. (…)”[9]

This poetic verse defines the will as an active masculine force. Moreover this chapter is entirely devoted to poetic allegories on the phallus, the title The Gun-Barrel is evocative.

Sex Magic

Sexual magic is not a new concept, it takes source in time immemorial. Moreover, as Schubart points out, every act of sexual union is a re-mythification of mythical times through genesis ecstasy. This is what we find in the sources of Thelemic sexual magic. Indeed, Crowley studied the precepts of ritualized sexuality among several religious institutions: Taoism, Tantric Hinduism, and Tantric Buddhism. As a result, Crowley’s introduction of sexual magic makes it possible to bridge two distinct religious traditions, as Hugh Urban puts it: “Crowley’s sexual magic is itself a complex melding of both eastern and western traditions. In fact, Crowley would become one of the most important figures in the transmission of Tantra to the West – though with significant transformations. “[10]

Sexual magic can be defined as a catalyst for the manifestation of the will of the individual. Crowley believed that through orgasm, this crucial point where homogeneous time stops, and by the induced alteration of consciousness, the individual has access to the cosmic force of the universe, which he can then model according to his will “Because sexual attraction is the most fundamental force in nature, the experience of orgasm is the critical moment in human consciousness and the key to magical power. As the moment when new life is infused from the spiritual realm into the material, it is the crucial moment when the soul is opened up to the spiritual energies of the. As such, the experience of sexual climax has the potential to lead the soul or upward or downward, to higher states of spiritual transcendence or to lower states of corruption “[11]

Consequently, through sexual rituals, the individual can manifest this will in a multitude of magical acts. For example: to charge a talisman of a specific intention by applying the female or male sexual fluid, to invoke a deity by the ultimate focus during orgasm (this exemple recalls a causal connection with the sexual ritual of fertilization by the king at Sumer) and even to manifest any material or spiritual desire “Crowley found in these explicit acts of transgression the key to a tremendous source of power. Through these occult manipulations of impure substances, such as semen, blood, and excrement, it is claimed to be unleashed in a magical way that could fulfill any spiritual or material desire”[12] This interpretation of the sexual act as the axial point of the Thelema allowed the adepts to practice this genesic ecstasy through rituals. We will now dissect two specific rituals.

Eroto-comatose Lucidity

Eroto (from the Greek Érōtos = eroticism) -Comatose. Lucidity by sexual desire in a state of unconscious sleep. This Thelemic ritual aims to bring the individual into an alteration of consciousness while inducing sexual stimulations and even sometimes consume psychoactive substances, to ultimately communicate with God, a deity or their H.G.A (Holy Guardian Angel). The ritual can be performed with a partner or alone. Crowley specifies that the act is highly sacred if it is practiced with a person of the same sex. It is important to note that Crowley participated in several sexual rituals with same-sex companions.

At the beginning of the ritual, the individual must be brought to sexual stimulation, slow and intense. They must be completely submerged with orgasmic genesic sensations. The goal is to exhaust the individual to help them transit in a state of trance. They can also consume psychedelic substances to induce this state of altered consciousness. “On the appointed day he is attended by one or more chosen and experienced attendants whose duty is (a) to exhaust him sexually by every known means (b) to rouse him sexually by every known means. Every device and artifice of the courtesan is to be employed, and every stimulant known to the physician. Nor should the attendants reck of danger, but hunt down ruthlessly their appointed prey.”[13] The individual now in an orgasmic trance must be awaken. The goal here is not to fully awaken the individual but to lead them into a state between dream and lucidity, between conscious and unconscious. By this transitory state, suspended in time, the individual is embraced by a hierophany that allows him to communicate with the sacred. The ritual can end in two ways. One is the individual falling asleep in a deep sleep and the second by the orgasm. If the ritualist is a man and ends the ritual with orgasm, semen, as an elixir, should be consumed by him, possibly in a Cake of Light.

Cake of Light

This ritual takes essence in the concept of the Eucharist. This concept is indicative of the essence of the ritual because the ritualists consume the body of Christ, the sacred body. However, in the context of Thelema, the sacred body is the body’s sexual fluids. First of all, what is the Cake of Light? The Cake of Light is a cake, often baked in the shape of a cookie, containing several key ingredients: Abramelin oil (ceremonial magic oil taking source in an ancient grimoire called The Book of Abramelin), honey and body fluids in particular : semen, vaginal lubrication and menstrual blood. Crowley uses an esoteric and metaphorical term in The Book of The Law to define these types of fluids “The best blood is of the moon, monthly: then the fresh blood of a child, or dropping from the host of heaven: then of enemies; then of the priest or of the worshippers: last of some beast, no matter what.”[14] In the last excerpt as well as in the entirety of the author’s work, he makes use of the formulation of blood.  Blood of the moon refers to the menstrual blood that he places at the top of the Eucharistic hierarchy. The fresh blood of a child refers to semen and or dropping from the host of heaven to the glans through which the semen is ejaculated. I will not go into detail on the symbolic and metaphorical totality of this prose but I would like to specify the use of the word child. “The Naths imply that the semen and menstrual blood are forms of Siva and Sakti, and Crowley holds a similar view. They all also attach great importance to the symbol of the child, and from a certain perspective, this “child” is identical to the human sperm. In the case of the Naths, this is implied through the correspondence between the semen, Siva, and Gorakhnath.”[15]  The author of this last quotation demonstrates the link between the symbol of semen and the child in the Nath Shaivite tradition.

Moreover, Crowley specifies the link between the sanctity of these fluids in relation to the consumption of the cake in a Eucharistic context. “The Magician becomes filled with God, fed upon God, intoxicated with God. Little by little his body will become purified by the internallustration of God; day by day his mortal frame, shedding its earthly elements, will become in very truth the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Day by day the matter is replaced by Spirit, the human by the divine; ultimately the change will be complete: God manifest in flesh will be his name.”[16]

The consumption of body sexual fluids in a Eucharistic cake of light not only symbolizes the sacredness of these fluids, but it also embodies a conception of the will. Indeed, when the ritualist manifests his will during orgasm, he infuses it into his sexual secretion. From then on, the sperm is impregnated with this will and by the consumption of this fluid, the ritualist participates in an integral manifestation of the will decided during the orgasm.

In retrospect, the esoteric doctrine of the Thelema, especially through its conception of ritualized sexual magic, allows us to better understand how the homo religiosus actualizes its cosmovision in relation to the sacred, religion and sexuality. Moreover, it allows us to analyze these themes from a precise perspective as to the metaphysical and symbolic conception of the main concepts of sexuality. From the outset, we have seen that Thelema is embedded in an essentially controlled paradigm of a Catholic discourse in the West and at the same time, allowed the members of this esoteric doctrine to sexually emancipate themselves from such a discourse. Subsequently, the context of the main cosmological actors of the Thelema allowed us to reveal the key concepts and archetypes of the feminine and the masculine. In particular, by the analysis of Babalon as the matrixial figure, Therion as the archetype of masculine primal bestiality and Pan as the phallic axial archetype. The analysis of these concepts then overlapped in a continuity by the definition of what is the nature of sexual magic in Thelema. We have found that sexual magic takes place in much older traditions and that it allows to manifest the will of the ritualist by the actualization of orgasm and an alteration of consciousness. Finally, we analyzed two distinct rituals: Eroto-comatose lucidity and the Eucharistic ritual of the Cake of Light. This analysis made it possible to bridge all the themes put forward as well as linking the concept of the sacred, the religious and sexuality. In light of this text, as well as the time and the limit imposed on the realization of this text, it seems obvious to me that we have not exhausted the subject. It would have been equally relevant to question the importance of alterations of consciousness as a catalyst for sexual rituals.

Sources

Urban, Hugh B. 2004. “The Beast with Two Backs: Aleister Crowley, Sex Magic and the Exhaustion of Modernity.” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, vol. 7, no. 3, p. 7–25

Pearson, J. 2005. “Inappropriate Sexuality? Sex Magic, S/M and Wicca (or ‘Whipping Harry Potter’s Arse!’). ” Theology & Sexuality, vol. 11, issue. 2, p. 31–42. 

Urban, Hugh. 2008. “The yoga of sex: Tantra, orientalism, and sex magic in the Ordo Templi Orientis”, Hidden Intercourse, p. 401-444

Djurdjevic G. 2014. “The Great Beast as a Tantric Hero: The Role of Yoga and Tantra in Aleister Crowley’s Magick.”  India and the Occult. Palgrave Studies in New Religions and Alternative Spiritualities. p. 35-59

Urban, Hugh B. 2004. “”Magia Sexualis”: Sex, Secrecy, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. ” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 72, no. 3, p. 695–731

Urban, Hugh B. 2003. “Unleashing the Beast: Aleister Crowley, Tantra and Sex Magic in late Victorian England.” Esoterica: The Journal of Esoteric Studies 5, p. 138-192

Djurdjevic, Gordan. 2010. “Solve et Coagula: Attitudes Toward the Ambrosial Aspects of Human Seed in Certain Yogic Traditions and in the Sexual Magick of Aleister Crowley.” Aries, vol. 10, Issue. 1, p. 85-106

Crowley Aleister. 1904. The Book of the Law. (s.l.) : Weiser Books, p.128

Crowley, Aleister 1970. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, p. 984

Crowley Aleister. 1987. De Arte Magica. (s.l.) : Holmes Pub Grou Llc, (s.p.)

Crowley Aleister, 1981. The Book of Thoth. New York, S. Weiser. p.260

Crowley Aleister, 1995. The Book of Lies. York Beach, Me, S. Weiser. p.196

Crowley Aleister, 1995. Magick : Liber Aba : Book Four : Parts I-IV, p.269

Crowley Aleister, 1981. The Book of Thoth. New York, S. Weiser. p.260

Crowley Aleister, 1995. The Book of Lies. York Beach, Me, S. Weiser. p.196

Crowley Aleister, 1995. Magick : Liber Aba : Book Four : Parts I-IV, p.269


Footnotes

[1] Crowley Aleister. 1904. The Book of the Law. (s.l.) : Weiser Books, p.13

[2] Crowley, Aleister 1970. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, p.539

[3] Crowley Aleister. 1904. The Book of the Law. (s.l.) : Weiser Books, p.13

[4] Crowley, Aleister 1970. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, p. 472

[5] Urban, Hugh B. 2004. “The Beast with Two Backs: Aleister Crowley, Sex Magic and the Exhaustion of Modernity.” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, vol. 7, no. 3, p.8

[6] Crowley, Aleister 1970. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, p.539

[7] Pearson, J. 2005. “Inappropriate Sexuality? Sex Magic, S/M and Wicca (or ‘Whipping Harry Potter’s Arse!’). ” Theology & Sexuality, vol. 11, issue. 2, p.34

[8] Crowley Aleister, 1981. The Book of Thoth. New York, S. Weiser. p.94

[9] Crowley Aleister, 1995. The Book of Lies. York Beach, Me, S. Weiser. p.40

[10] Urban, Hugh B. 2004. “”Magia Sexualis”: Sex, Secrecy, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. ” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 72, no. 3, p.710

[11] Ibid p.703

[12] Urban, Hugh B. 2004. “”Magia Sexualis”: Sex, Secrecy, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. ” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 72, no. 3, p.712

[13] Crowley Aleister. 1987. De Arte Magica. (s.l.) : Holmes Pub Grou Llc, (s.p.) ch. XIV

[14] Crowley Aleister. 1904. The Book of the Law. (s.l.) : Weiser Books, III :24

[15] Djurdjevic, Gordan. 2010. “Solve et Coagula: Attitudes Toward the Ambrosial Aspects of Human Seed in Certain Yogic Traditions and in the Sexual Magick of Aleister Crowley.” Aries, vol. 10, Issue. 1, p. 99

[16] Crowley Aleister, 1995. Magick : Liber Aba : Book Four : Parts I-IV, p.269

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8 thoughts on “The Orgasmic Ordeal: Sexual Magic in Thelema

  1. “It was during a night, with his wife at the time Rose Edith, in the king’s chamber of the great pyramid of Giza, that Aleister Crowley wrote the main corpus of Thelema, The Book of The Law.”

    It was during three days, April 8th, 9th and 10th, known as the “Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law” in the Book of the Law itself, during the hour between noon and 1 PM, in his hotel room, that he wrote the main corpus of Thelema.

    See for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_the_Law#Writing if the existing Thelemic sources are not enough.

  2. 93, Citation 8 needs corrected. The quote from the Book of Thoth is “holds the reigns”, not “holds the kidneys”.

    1. Citation 8 says “She rides astride the Beast; in which she holds the reins, representing the passion which unites them. In her right she holds aloft the cup, Holy Grail aflame with love and death. In this cup are the elements of the sacrament of the Aeon “[8]
      It never said “kidneys” in the text.

  3. 93, Frater, thanks for your well-researched article. It could be improved, though, by a discussion of the role of the female orgasm–here euphemistically called lust–in the magickal ritual, often sadly overlooked when the phallus is in hand. The eroto-comatose state of orgasm energy you describe for the male ritualist above is created by the female ritualists’ orgasm energy. The women here are not just courtesans, mothers, or assistants, they are essential co-equal partners in the act without whom the act could not proceed much less bear fruit. The male is not passive in her hands. Rather, she arouses and is aroused and he raises, directs, and intensifies her orgasmic state. He must control his arousal, erection, and emission to prolong her pleasure and magnify the working.

    In other words, the success that is your proof depends on the Thelemic ritualist’s skill in creating an orgasmic state–not a single orgasm–in his “female” partner, through all means available, but especially (according to Crowley) through prolonged penetrative sexual intercourse. It is not about male orgasm or ejaculation. Or not much. The reins are in her hands because “in his woman, called the Scarlet Woman is all power (orgasm) given.”

    (Note here: one can achieve this orgasmic state through whatever means the ritualists prefer and consent to. Obviously, one does not have to penetrate or be penetrated if it is not one’s will. Dion Fortune’s system, for instance, offers a more sublimated process geared to middle-class British women mid-20th century. But I believe that Crowley’s sexual practice, one that he encouraged in his male students, was that of creating full-body, prolonged orgasmic states in his women ritual partners. This, by the way, is one big reason why Crowley was such a popular sexual partner, why he got laid so much. Men take note!)

    Magic ritual in Thelema (and other systems) is often based on running energy through a binary polarity physically expressed as biological dimorphism (and not as heterosexuality). In ritual, Crowley assumed different gender and sexual orientations that allowed his “female” partners to become “male” in heterosexual, especially bdsm, workings and himself (or his “male” partners) likewise to assume a gender fluidity typically denied men in heteronormative Christian cultures.

    As the “female” partner, Crowley could then experience the constant state of full-body orgasm necessary to produce strong magickal current and effect. Achieving and maintaining this state requires an extreme shift of perspective and intense concentration, two abilities that sacralize same-sex or queer workings. But same-sex or queer workings are sacred because all sexual expression can be sacred. Crowley’s insistence on the sacrality of same-sex workings must be understood in the context of his day when homosexuality was a crime that was prosecuted (remember, Oscar Wilde is his contemporary). Crowley did not privilege men or male homosexuality over women or female sexuality.

    Crowley was a queer man who performed sex magick with people of all sexes as a magickal ritual of self-transformation in addition to the specific intentions of a given magickal act. Crowley was not a straight or bisexual man who occasionally had sex with men. A complicated case, for example, is Victor Neuberg’s role as Crowley’s ritual partner, which cannot be reduced to homo- or bisexuality for either of them.

    I agree with those who argue that magick is inherently queer and that heteronormativity is counter-Thelemic. Crowley very appropriately models this rejection of heteronormativity in his relationships with men and with women and in himself.

    Crowley’s awareness of and focus on the “female” orgasmic state (which men can also achieve, as you show above) as the necessary matrix for successful magickal working is one aspect of heteronormative rejection and is unique in the early twentieth century. We can appreciate how radical this rejection is today, when Thelemic men rape and otherwise sexually abuse women thinking it’s their Thelemic legacy and Will and when the numbers of women reporting full sexual pleasure during heterosexual sex are appallingly low.

    1. “Crowley was not a straight or bisexual man who occasionally had sex with men”

      This is bs, Crowley was bisexual. You are trying to claim him as queer, which he didn’t identify as, certainly not in the way that people in 2019 call themselves gender queer. Queer in his time was a euphemism for gay.

      “which cannot be reduced to homo- or bisexuality for either of them.”

      More revisionist BS. Crowley was bisexual, they both were. That is what it’s called when a person has sex with people of both sexes. A straight person has sex with straight people, a gay person has sex with gay people.

      Crowley was not/did not identify as transgender. You are trying to rewrite history here.

      Your comment reeks of the whole Queer-theory, transgender ideology that the words bisexual and gay are not categories which explain a person’s sexual orientation or attraction to biological sex, but that they refer instead to a person’s attraction to a gender identity. The whole idea is offensive to gay and bi people.

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