IS IT DIFFERENT THAN SEX-PRAYER?
by catherine yronwode
The illustration on this page is a modern American sex charm
from the pages of
the Lucky W Amulet Archive.
In August of 1996, an anonymous person posting as email@example.com wrote to the newsgroup alt.magick.tantra:
Tantra, [seems] to me ... more of a Hindu
spiritual journey in which control brings pleasure and spiritual
elevation, and Sex Magic ... seems to be more centered in sexual
fulfillment as a goal in itself. The former appears to appeal to the
need for spiritual nourishment and the latter to desire to have a
more fulfilling sex life.
My response was that while i agreed with that
tantra yoga up to a point, i felt the poster had missed a vital factor
i often read in posts from self-proclaimed practitioners of
sex magic (also spelled sex magick, with the Crowleyan "k").
Sex magicians, such as Austin
Osman Spare, openly advocate the use of the sex act -- or
the passions or arousal states it evokes -- as a point upon which
to focus their wills or magical desire for effects in the
non-sexual world. This is fine and well, but for some reason,
many of these same sex magick practitioners also seem to feel that
those who practice
tantra yoga, neo-tantra or karezza a similar interest in using the sex act as
a focal point for will. For instance, in 1995 there was some
discussion in usenet of whether
is simply a "spiritual" path and
thus not suitable to be listed among the "sex magick" and other magical disciplines
archived by tyagi
nagasiva (who maintains a valuable reference file on
accessing information on the occult via the net).
As i see it, though, the split between
"sacred sex" and "spiritual sex"
on the one hand and "magical sex" or "sex magic"
on the other hand does not lie on the line that divides tantra and karezza from sex
magic -- it lies on the line that divides certain forms of tantra from
other forms of tantra and all karezza.
For instance, in the 1870s Paschal Beverly
Randolph, an American author whom many
sex-magicians consider one of themselves, wrote (in his book
"Eulis!") of using the "nuptive moment" (orgasm) as the time
to make a "prayer" (and that is the word he used) for events
to occur as well as for healthy offspring to follow. He advocated
and the accomplishment of simultaneous orgasms as a way to realize these goals.
Likewise, Alice Bunker
Stockham, the proponent of karezza techniques (and
not a sex-magician) wrote of using the act of coition as a
time to pray for non-sexual goals in the outer world, such
Similarly, in traditional Hindu tantra yoga, the
yoni puja ceremony (performed either upon the
of a living woman or upon a stone statue of a woman's
genitals) is often accompanied by prayers for effects in the
real world -- magical (a-causal) effects such as a better
job, restored health, and so forth.
In short, i have come to believe that many practitioners of sex magick are ignorant
of the use of the will and the plrole played by sex magic in tantra yoga, neo-tantra, and karezza.
Which is not to say that ALL forms of tantra yoga are like that
-- merely that the distinction some sex magicians see
between sex magic and sex religion is based in ignorance on
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