META exists at the crossroads of art and science and of culture and nature. Tracing the uncommon threads between common topics, META presents its readers with views into the abyss of visual information and with experiments in associative reading. META invites you to browse according to taste.
You may ask, â€œwhat?â€ An archive, a Wunderkammer, a magazine guided by methods of research, collection, preservation, reprint and the linking of topics at their META level.
You may then ask, â€œwhy?â€ To play with information in all its astatic glory. META refrains from attempts at categorization, taking a gamble on dynamic navigation! META eschews the linear in favor of surprise. Each visit starts with a random welcome and ends with an even more random exit.
TIMOTHY J. ATTANUCCI (1979) was born in Boston, Massachusetts and studies German literature at Princeton and the Humboldt University, Berlin. For META, he contributes his musings on the irony mark in No Irony.
DAVID BETH (1974) is a writer and esoteric explorer, and the sovereign Grand Master of the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua. Learn more about his Gnostic involvement in XI. ARS DE REXâ€”Sexual Magic, the Art of the King, where he is interviewed by Ailen Roc.
SUMMER BRENNER is an accomplished writer of poetry and fiction, based in Berkeley, California. Her writing has extended beyond the borders of print into performative and musical realms, and she is also involved with literacy and community projects targeted at youths. For META, she reads from her critically acclaimed novel and discusses her motivation for the project in Driving I-5.
OLAF BREUNING (1970) is a Swiss artist, living in New York and working in photography, video, sculpture, installation and drawing. For METAâ€™s mini interview series, he shares some of his favorite things in accompaniment to a selection of photographic works. See Mini Breuning.
Illustrations by William Buchina
WILLIAM BUCHINA (1978) is an illustrator with a penchant for portraits of political tyrants. In addition, he is a graphic designer and creator of illustrated guides to English grammar. Some of his work is viewable here. He currently lives and works in New York. See his work in The Body of the Event.
DAVE BUNNELL (1952) lives in the small gold-rush era town of Angels Camp, California. This professional spelunker and photographer worked on an Imax film about caves, somewhere beneath Mexico. META interviewed him for Far Beyond Stalactites and Stalagmites.
PETRA CORONATO is probably the only author in the world who didnâ€™t only read Alexanderplatz, but also swept it. She is the owner of tongue tongue Hong Kong, a company founded in 1993 with dependences in Berlin, Vienna and Zurich, which recycles fiction profitably and unpunished to this day. In 2006, she commenced the ongoing photography project The Poetry of Document.
Writer Jeffrey Croteau is the Manager of the Library and Archives at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library in Massachusetts. Read another of his articles on American Masonic groups, ''Brotherly Deception'' published in Cabinet Magazine here. For META he co-authors a discussion on ritual and fraternity for the article Daughters of Job.
MICHELE DANTINIâ€™s (1966) work is characterized by its handling of trans-cultural practices and their socio-environmental implications. A widely translated essayist and performative lecturer, he holds a position as Professor of Contemporary Art History at the UniversitÃ del Piemonte Orientale, Italy. See Chronicles of Deaths Foretold.
PAULINE DOUTRELUINGNE (1982) lived in Beijing for four years, where she co-organized the 2006 Borderline Moving Images Festival. She lives in Berlin and curates projects that bridge European and Asian art. For META, she interviewed Chen Wei in Archeology of the Future.
GEN DOY is Lecturer at De Montfort University. She is the author of Picturing The Self, Drapery and Black Visual Culture. For META, Doy discusses the sensual politics of photography in the works of Claude Cahun.
Ferrante Denise Palma
DENISE PALMA FERRANTE (1975) is a multi-disciplined artist living and working in Berlin. She is also a self-declared anti-religionist. See Timkat 2009.
ADAM FOXWELL is an American audio engineer who has worked internationally, consulting on acoustical room design, sound isolation and mechanical noise control. For META, he presents a study on noise exposure in On the Hunt for Silence in Dubai.
JACQUE FRESCO (1916) is an industrial designer and social engineer, author, lecturer, inventor and Futurist. Based in Venus, Florida, he is developing the practice of Socio-Cyber-Neering. Read the META interview Back to the Futureâ€”The Venus Project.
Dr. BRUNO GLASER is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Soil Science and Soil Geography at the University of Bayreuth. For over several years he has been conducting Amazonian dark earth research from a soil science perspective including soil fertility, sustainability, and archaeology aspects. See Terra Preta .
MARA GOLDWYN (1976) calls herself an artist but does not show anywhere and would never actually introduce herself as such. She has an existential allergy to genres, categories and identity constructs. See Showing the Opposite Side of the Death Machine.
LINDA MAI GREEN (1987) is a photographer and curator based in Berlin. She also co-runs curatorial collectiveÂ Una Tittel.Â For META article A Bridge and Not a Goal, she interviewed artist Serena Porrati.
Artist CAI GUO-QIANG (1957) was born in Chinaâ€™s Fujian Province. While living in Japan between 1986 and 1995 he began to experiment with gunpowder as a medium, gaining international attention. He has gone on to exhibit world wide and to produce large scale pyrotechnic art works. See On Explosions.
Sculptor PATRICK HILL (1972) has exhibited widely in the US and internationally as an important representative of the contemporary Los Angeles art scene. David Kordansky Gallery provided META with images of Hillâ€™s work for Patrick Hillâ€”Sculpture, Associated.
ASDF Makes founder DAVID HORVITZ (1983) is a man of many ideas. One could say this American artistâ€™s medium is the Internet, though it may be more accurate to say that he works in interactive projects. See ASDFâ€”Read On.
RUA MINX is Donna Huanca (1980), an artist who deals with clothing as shelter, transportable homes for nomads and cultural and genetic traces. Her various projects have received a range of support, from the Dallas Museum of Art to StÃ¤delschule, Frankfurt; from the Incehon Womenâ€™s Biennale Korea to British Vogue. She launched METAâ€™s downloadable artist piece series with Mask Maker.
Artist PIETER HUGO (1976) has spent his whole life in Cape Town, South Africa, though travelled extensively pursuing his characteristic brand of documentary photography. A 2002-3 residency at the Beneton Group Communication Research Center, Fabrica, also led to work with Colors magazine. In 2006 he was awarded first prize in the World Press Photo competitionâ€™s Portraits section. Welcome to Nollywood explores a recent project carried out with the Nigerian film industry.
Idnert B. Zlatan
ZLATAN B. IDNERT is an audio engineer who has worked in the fields of modelling for outdoor noise propagation, building acoustics and ground borne vibrations. He has widely consulted on acoustical engineering projects. See On the Hunt for Silence in Dubai.
JAN KEMPENAERS (1968) is an artist and documentary photographer based in Antwerp. He creates mute images of semi urban-places. Regardless of geographical context, his photographs speak powerfully to the post industrial condition and of the technologized human subject. See Spomenik, the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia.
TAO LIN (1983) is an American poet, novelist and short story writer. He is the author of Shoplifting from American Apparel, Eeeee Eee Eeee, and Bed, as well as two poetry collections, you are a little bit happier than I am, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Linâ€™s second novel, Richard Yates, was published in September 2010.
See Tao Linâ€™s Crossword Puzzle.
TAMMY LU is a Canadian artist who makes drawings and artistsâ€™ books. She is the cover artist for the New Metaphysics philosophy series published by Open Humanities Press. See more of her work here. For META she did the drawings for METAphorism.
DAVID MAISELâ€™s (1961) photographs chronicle the complex relationships between natural systems and human intervention. His work is included in many permanent collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Maisel lives and works in the area of San Francisco. See Blooming Souls.
Alison Malone is a photographer and educator who uses both audio and visual documentation to explore subcultures that are overlooked and often misunderstood in American society. View additional work here. For META her photographic series of the same name inspired the article Daughters of Job.
SERGEY MAXIMISHIN (1964) photographed for the Soviet Military Force Group on Cuba from 1985 to 1987. A learned physicist, he worked in the scientific and technical expertise laboratory in the Hermitage Museum and has gone on to become an award winning press photographer.
See The Dostoevsky of Photography.
CONNIE MENDOZA (1971) is a media artist, working between Berlin and Barcelona. Fata Morgana and Other Optical Phenomena discusses her film, in which Mendoza travels back to her birthplace to trace the complex relationships of her childhood to Chilean history and space travel, thereby producing images that mediate the perception of time as a highly subjective matter.
Apostolos Mitsios (1979) is a Greek psychologist, working as a systemic psychotherapist by day and as a freelance writer, preferably, by night. A former contributing editor at online design magazine yatzer.com, he is currently collaborating with the Projective Fairy Tale Test Society in Greece as well as various magazines all over the world. For META article, Death of a Performance, he interviewed artist Esther Ferrer about her intervention at the Cemetery of Art of Morille, Spain.
RACHAEL MORRISON (1981) is an artist, curator, and a librarian at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is the creator of an art work and a documentary film about the blind telephone hacker Joybubbles, as she describes in 718-362-9578.
TIMOTHY MORTON (1968) is a philosopher and ecologist, and a teaching professor at Rice University. He also is one of the leading figures in the philosophical movement of Speculative Realism. For META he penned some pithy aphorism on the paradigm shift in metaphysics. See METAphorism.
Architect WILLEM JAN NEUTELINGS (1959) has taught at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam and Harvard University. His firm, Neutelings Riedijk Architects, is located in Rotterdam. He wrote Spomenik, the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia on Jan Kempenaerâ€™s photo-documentation.
Nikolaj Nielsen is a Brussels-based journalist. For META, Nielsen considers the provocative film "Enjoy Poverty Please" by Dutch artist Renzo Martens in regards to the The Lucrative Business of Chaos and Aid. For more of Nielsen's writing, visit his website.
Andreas Ã–nnerfors (1971) is Associate Professor in the History of Sciences and Ideas based in Lund, Sweden. He has written extensively on organized fraternal sociability in Europe in the context of civil society, cryptology and conspiracy theories. In 2007 he re-enacted a female masonic ritual, contributed to the deciphering project of the copiale-manuscript and commented on the Oslo terrorist Breivik's imaginary world of knighthood in counter-jihadism. Watch a 2012 lecture on "Perceptions of Freemasonry from the 18th century to the Internet" here. For META he co-authors a discussion on ritual and fraternity for the article Daughters of Job.
Yoshua OkÃ³n was born in Mexico City in 1970 where he currently lives. In his often absurd and provocative art, OkÃ³n stages partially scripted scenes using non-actors whose own identities and histories make up the true, underlying story. See Octopus. OkÃ³n founded the artist-run space La PanaderÃa in 1994 and the artist-run space and school SOMA in 2009, both in Mexico City.
LISE PATT is the founder of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, a peripatetic visual think tank currently headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Over the years she has treated â€˜collaborationâ€™ as an artist medium, in the development of a non-profit organization that embraces â€˜collective camouflageâ€™ in their ongoing projects. See Inquiry into the Institute of Cultural Inquiry.
KONRAD PETROVSZKY (1977) is a historian specializing in the intellectual history of Southeastern Europe. He wrote a PhD thesis on early modern historiography in Ottoman Europe at the Free University, Berlin. He talks Romania and reenactment in The Body of the Event.
Italian artist SERENA PORRATI (1981) is now currently enrolled in the inaugural year of the MA in Art and Science Program at Central St. Martins in London. She lets META in on her Nietzsche in Turin archive for Linda Greenâ€™s article, A Bridge and Not a Goal.
SUSANNE QUEHENBERGER is a Cultural Studies student at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Her focus is climate change, specifically its potential to bring about societal restructuring and the role of art in this scenario. Since 2007, she has worked as an urban gardening activist. For META, she shares her thoughts on geoengineering in Artificial Skies.
Haitian-born, DC-raised MAX RAMEAU is a pan-African theorist, organizer and founder of the group, Take Back the Land. He has worked on issues ranging from economic development to ex-felons. He discusses the US housing crisis in Desperate Times, Desperate Measures.
MILO RAU (1977) is a journalist, essayist, historian, playwright, translator, teacher, film-maker, blogger, reenactor and director of IIPM (International Institute of Political Murder, or Institute for Theoretic and Artistic Reenactments). See The Body of the Event.
AILEN ROC studied various esoteric fields such as ceremonial Magick, Sexual Magick, Tantra, Astrology, Tarot, the Quaballah and different astral-levels along with Psychology. She is currently working on her own tarot deck and a book combining certain occult fields with elements of psychology. See XI. ARS DE REXâ€”Sexual Magic, the Art of the King.
ALAN SHAPIRO (1956) is a key contributor to the fields of idea philosophy, software engineering and social choreography. At 15, he began studying at MIT and has more recently published a book on Star Trek and given talks at the Transmediale and Ars Electronica festivals. In an interview with META, he explains why â€œBeing against work as it is constituted today is fundamental.â€ See A New Computer Science is Underway.
SITU STUDIO was founded in 2005 while its partners were studying architecture at The Cooper Union. Operating at the intersection of architecture and a variety of other disciplines, Situ Studioâ€™s work has been enriched by close collaborations with geologists, writers, engineers, biologists, activists and artists. See Out of Control.
GARY SMALL, M.D., is the Director of the UCLA Memory and Aging Research Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is the author of iBrain Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind. See This is Your Brain on Technology.
COSETTE THOMPSON is a French-American human rights consultant and freelance writer based in Arizona, USA, where she directed Amnesty International for many years. Her current interests focus on the contribution of artistic expression to the field of human rights and on the protection of threatened languages. See Sentenced to Read.
van Haarlem Dr. Michiel P.
DR. MICHIEL VAN HAARLEM (1964) is the Managing Director of the LOFAR Foundation in the Netherlands, a part of the ASTRON Institute. The astronomer discusses the next generation of telescopes in METAâ€™s Harmony of the Spheres.
Vanden Eynde Maarten
Belgian-born MAARTEN VANDEN EYNDE (1977) lives and works between Rotterdam, Brussels and Saint Mihiel. His projects span all art media, focussing on topics of ecology, archeology, biology and zoology. In 2006 he founded Enough Room for Space for â€œthe creation of physical, virtual and mental space for cultural initiatives by initiating and coordinating events and residence/research projects worldwide.â€ He enlightens META on plastic in Plastic Reef.
Swedish photographer ULRIKA WALMARK (1970) traveled across North America, Israel, Palestine, Iran, India and South Africa from 2003 to 2007, collecting portraits for her project The person behind the person. She now lives in Berlin.
Artist CHEN WEI (1980) works in Beijing and Hangzhou, incorporating influential objects and happenings from his past into the realities of modern China. He is represented by the Platform China Contemporary Art Institute in Beijing. See Archeology of the Future.
V.i.S.d.P. Rachel de Joode
Eberswalderstrasse 32, 10437 Berlin, Germany
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|This is Your Brain on Technology|
|Daughters of Job|
|Death of a Performance|
|Out of Control: Experiments in Participation|
|Terra Pretaâ€”Amazonian Earth|
|A New Computer Science is Underway|
|Claude Cahunâ€”A Sensual Politics of Photography|
|The Clothing of Nature|
|On the Hunt for Silence in Dubai|
|Far Beyond Stalactites and Stalagmites|
|The Body of the Event|
|Sentenced to Read|
|Spomenik, the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia|
|XI. ARS DE REXâ€”Sexual Magic, the Art of the King|
|Tao Linâ€™s Crossword Puzzle|
|The Art of Showing Art|
|Photography and the Invisible|
|Patrick Hillâ€”Sculpture, Associated|
|Showing the Opposite Side of the Death Machine|
|Desperate Times, Desperate Measures|
|A Bridge and Not a Goal|
|This is Your Brain on Technology|
|The Poetry of Document|
|Stories of Life and Love in Todayâ€™s Actual Arctic|
|Fata Morgana and Other Optical Phenomena|
|The Nine Lives of Kaufhaus Jonass|
|The Harmony of the Spheres|
|Back to the Futureâ€”The Venus Project|
|Inquiry into the Institute of Cultural Inquiry|
|The Lucrative Business of Chaos and Aid|
|Welcome to Nollywood|
|Chronicle of Deaths Foretold|
|The Dostoevsky of Photography|
|Archeology of the Future|
Magic is a skill, and just like any other skill, there are only few individuals who master it fully and successfully. This excursion into the world of sexual magic is directed at the Exoteric, the uninitiated reader. However, since this is an essentially esoteric article, I will use some terms from the field of Magick. While anyone experienced with magic is familiar with terms such as Beast, Priest, Priestess, Magician, Temple etc., an outsider might find them gruesome, ridiculous, or simply over-dramatic and, as a matter of fact, magic can generally be said to be interspersed with drama.
The system I will describe is that of the Ordo Templi Orientis lodge. Other lodges may have slightly different systems. Generally, the scheme is:
Works of the VIII degree: consecration
Works of the IX degree +: inspiration
Works of the IX degree - : desecration
Works of the XI degree: materialization and revitalization.
But before we proceed to the practical part, I would like to warn readers that sexual magic should by no means be practice without the preliminary steps and fundaments. The first steps in the practice of sexual magic are the basic prerequisites for a serious and successful practice and must be followed strictly. These include:
â€“An intensive knowledge of oneâ€™s own body and its control. This can be obtained through different Yoga Asanas and exercises in bio-energy.
â€“Breathing exercises and techniques, preferably Pranayama.
â€“Acquiring control of thought and spirit, for which regular meditation and visualisation exercises are necessary.
â€“Learning to know oneâ€™s energy net and being able to influence and master its flow.
Additionally, control over the power elements is fundamental to the practice of any kind of magic:
â—¦ Fire (energy, spirit)
â—¦ Water (feelings, emotions, intuition)
â—¦ Wind (intellect, power of the mind and thought)
â—¦ Earth (manifestation, materialisation, action)
Containment of these elements is the â€œcarpeting in the templeâ€ so to say, while the temple itself represents anyone from the priest to the pupil. The carpet alone may be pretty and precious, but things become more interesting as we start to build the temple around it. In order for us to make this temple as splendid as possible, we first have to clear the ground of any debris. As a result of our upbringing, education, conditioning and socialization, as well as due to time and culture specific influences and values, we are strewn with debris which leads to our having a poorly conceived, if not completely distorted image of ourselves and our surroundings. Sexual magic, however, requires the transcendence of restraints which prevent us from understanding ourselves. Contemporary sexual magic draws largely on Aleister Crowleyâ€™s Book of Law and especially on the maxim â€œDo what thou will. Love is the law. Love under will.â€ Unfortunately however, love is often based on misconceptions. Because of his heteronomy and unclear self-image, the common man is unable to differentiate between true love and the emotional confusion often mistaken for love. The unreflecting individual does not truly love their partner but rather confounds projections, guilt, pity and natureâ€™s baffling trick of biochemical attraction, with love. True love can only exist between equal partners with autonomous personalities. The goal of the first stage of sexual magic is therefore to become a self-determined individual, a star who conceives themselves and their fellow men as unique stars and who forms and follows their own orbit.
The aforementioned steps aid us tremendously in freeing ourselves from accumulated debris; within a few months of yoga asanas, we learn to control our bodies. The daily practice of meditation and visualisation enables us to direct our thoughtsâ€”a significantly more strenuous task than controlling the body, simply because for us, thoughts are much more fleeting than material (anyone would find holding a stone for an hour to be an easy task, but when asked to hold a thought for one hour, the untrained man will most likely fail). The average person is incapable of holding a thought or visualizing one image for longer than one minute. Anyone unable to hold a thought for 2-5 minutesâ€”the average length of an orgasmâ€”puts themselves at risk by trying to skip the preliminary steps and engage directly in the practice of sexual magic.
In order to free ourselves from heteronymous conditioning, sexual magic deploys the technique of â€œreversal of signification.â€ I will explain this technique very briefly and simply: the pupil must comprise lists of the things most agreeable to them on the one hand, and the things most appalling to them, on the other (this can be anything from favorite snack to sexual preferences to phobias). The different entries are rated on a scale of positive 1 to 3 for the most agreeable and negative 1 to 3 for the most appalling.
Chocolate +2, kittens +1, round breasts +3 vs. cod liver oil -3, spiders -2, saggy breasts -1.
The pupil must now work on reversing these ratings to the point where a spider will suddenly appear to be appealing and a kittenâ€”grotesque.
The purpose of this practice is, of course, not to turn our values around but rather to think about the reason why round breasts, for example appear more, and saggy breasts less agreeable: is it fear of aging? Of death? Is it due to social conventions reinstated through visual media? This technique thus allows us to gain great insight into the trained and conditioned conformities that we take on from our environment. In effect, with the â€œreversal of significationâ€ technique, we aspire to readjust ourselves. But transformation alone is not enough. The real goal is transcendence. The energy taken up by our fears, aversions and complexes is extremely precious and must be unchained and put to better use.
Will in the average person is, more often than not, corrupted by social conditioning. Our conditioned reflexes lead us to merely react to a situations like a Pavlovâ€™s dog, rather than put our critical thinking to use. We are commonly unable to differentiate between our own wishes, compulsive aversions, hopes, urges, misguided motivations and true will. But will is the key instrument in both sexual as well as ceremonial magic. He, who doesnâ€™t recognize his true will, would not know his path. He, who doesnâ€™t know his path, would stumble blindly in the dark. The degree of darkness reflects oneâ€™s relations to their subconscious and to their higher selves. It is with the techniques of sexual magic that we would learn to recognize our true will. Furthermore, because sexual magic is based on the belief that our greatest power is to be found in sexual energy, its goal is to explore and learn to redirect this potential.
In the practice of Kundalini yoga, for example, sexual energy is symbolized through a snake which lies curled up in our pelvis. There are concrete exercises which focus on revealing this â€œsnake,â€ rousing and controlling it. The first results of such exercises can be frightening or simply surprising since, as I mentioned before, the temple must first be freed of debris. In the process, one sometimes confronts hideous images, unpleasant emotions and even physical side effects which are brought about, varying from anxiety to any hallucinations (a phenomenon known as the â€œinflation of the subconsciousâ€ in psychology).
Therefore, the tasks mentioned earlier for gaining control over body and mind are vital to safeguarding oneâ€™s physical and mental well being, and must be followed for several months before we can continue to the practical side of sexual magic. Iâ€™ve experienced the fatal consequences of unfunded work with magic, and could witness them on other pupils or even priests and priestesses. In such cases, magic is believed to protect itself from being acted out by the curious and untrained masses.
Without a basis, the power of Kundalini has not been woken and the flow of energy is simply too weak to be used for any other goal than that achieved by engaging in normal sexual activity. The only difference may be the fantasies used. However, it is precisely these fantasies that can pose a danger, since loading fantasies with energy brings one in contact with certain energetic levelsâ€”the so called astral levelsâ€”which shouldnâ€™t be available to the average man.
On this matter, I see an interesting connection to the widespread popular practice of S&M: while utilizing certain elements of sexual magic, people practicing S&M are often unaware of the implications. Each fantasy or image we direct energy toâ€”i.e. load with emotions and thoughtsâ€”creates something or, to use sexual magic terminology, gives birth to something. When paired with emotions, thoughts and sometimes even actions, the imagination can give birth to beings. (When we concentrate on a certain person while masturbating, for example, we actually engage in an act of sexual magic. When done on a regular basis, energies come about which, when undirected, might gain their own existence and can manifest themselves in intensified over-energizing or extreme exhaustion. In addition, we often experience mental fixations in relation to the person or phantasm we think of when masturbating. I have discovered that most people find it perfectly normal to concentrate on a certain person when masturbating).
While birth in itself is a wonderful thing, it also entails enormous responsibility and requires ever greater efforts because, after all, the child wants to live, grow and be entertained. While I would like to steer away from the Dramatic, anyone who has engaged in rituals of sexual magic without sufficient preliminary practice and who has experimented with S&M could attest that fantasies become â€œgreedierâ€ and can easily get out of control.
Another risk related to the uneducated practice of sexual magic is manifested in the caricatures and misunderstandings of gender roles. It is definitely true that the male part embodies the active, formative principle and that the female part embodies the passive, receiving and submissive principle - please be reminded that magic uses symbolic and dramatic language, as I mentioned earlier! Nonetheless, any attentive pupil will have understood that a person, whether biologically male or female, is made up of both elements of gender. The male (yang) and female (yin) elements may exist in different combinations within different individuals, but there is absolutely no such thing as a completely male or completely female makeup.
The active, male party must unchain the â€œbeastâ€ within during the sexual act. The female party must find the so called â€œscarlet womanâ€ within, become one and merge with her. Again, these roles have very little to do with biological gender; it is not without reason that homosexuality plays an important role in the practice of sexual magic. Whether two men, two women, or a man and a woman engage in sexual magic, it is pivotal that one partner takes on the active, penetrating and giving role while the other is passive, submissive, receiving and reflecting. The roles may vary according to the ritualistic act or even within the course of one act. For example, in the case of fellatio the man must remain passive and give himself up completely without applying any form of self-stimulation or influencing the act with any movements. In the act of cunnilingus, the woman must give herself up completely without trying to control the flow of the act. In the sexual intercourse itself, however, the roles can be changed depending on preference and goal of the act. One of the main goals of sexual magic is to expand and intensify the orgasm with the help of visualizations and concentration on specific aims. The more advanced one is, the more intensive the orgasm would be. The untrained person might think or imagine different things even right before the moment of climax, resulting in the enormous amounts of energy released in the moment of sexual climax being dissolved into ether instead of being directed at a certain goal. Bearing all this in mind, we can now proceed to some practical aspects of sexual magic. The system described here is that of the Ordo Templi Orientis lodge: Sexual magic has three degrees of practice: the VIII, the IX and the XI degrees. The VIII degree is divided into exercises that can be carried out alone (VIII0- and VIII.0+) or in pairs (VIII2+ and VIII2-). Similarly, the IX degree also has two levels. Alongside with these main subcategories, other levels exist which vary according to skills and tendencies of the people practicing them.
VIII.Â° Masturbatory and Oral Operations:
VIII. 0- Priestess alone:
For rituals of consecration, benediction of talismans, materializations of new partners. Not for consecration of new ideas or projects, for which XIÂ° is used. Using battle masks for witchcraft and for the creation of illusions (oceanic witchcraft).
VIII. 0+ Priest alone:
For rituals of consecration. Using masks for Lycanthropy (transformation into animals) and calling on atavism.
VIII. 2+ Performed by the priestess on the priest:
Using the tongue to create trance and visions. Using the hand to create ecstasy and receive the oracles.
VIII. 2- Performed by the priest on the priestess:
Using the mouth for her magical nutrition and renewal of sexual vitality. Using the hand to symbolize her body as an instrument of sexual splendor and great attraction.
IX.Â° Operations of the Sun-Ra and Khephera:
IX. 0+ Priest und Priestess supernal:
Natural unification for works of creation, intuition and inspiration.
IX. 0- Priestess and Priest infernal:
Unnatural unification for works of Zombie-ism, comatose and death-like experiences, dream manipulation and darkness (painful states).
XI.Â° Operations of the mouth:
Priest und Priestess:
During the moonâ€™s crescent or lunar eclipse for works of materialization and vitalization of dreams, images and visions. It is believed that by repetition, visions can materialize.
Again, the scheme is generally:
Works of the VIIIÂ°: consecration
Works of the IXÂ°+: inspiration
Works of the IXÂ°-: profanity
Works of the XIÂ°: materialization and revitalization
The last word is dedicated to the notion of will. It goes without saying that as long as the physical and mental well-being of the sexual partner is safeguarded, then â€œto each his own.â€ Here, I would like to return to Crowleyâ€™s maxim â€œDo what thou will. Love is the law. Love under will.â€ â€œDo what thou willâ€ is by no means to be understood as â€œdo whatever you fancy or feel like,â€ as was the case with Charles Manson and his family. Will in itself is life-sustaining and love-oriented. However, not all of us have been given or experienced sufficient amounts of love. Furthermore, most of us didnâ€™t grow up in an environment which encourages pursuing or even getting to know our true will; in this sense, we are all invalids or handicapped. The purpose and goal of sexual magic is the healing of our handicap. It is both the instrument as well as the way towards wholesomeness.
Interview with David Beth, esoteric philosopher, follower of Michael Bertiauxâ€™s Voudon Gnosis and practitioner of sexual magic.
Ailen Roc: There are many misconceptions regarding the term sexual magic. How would you explain the idea behind it?
David Beth: Well, we could maybe say that sexual magic would be the harnessing of oneâ€™s own sexuality and sexual energies with intentionality. Sexual magic allows us to activate energies and forces and reach states of consciousness in which we are able to become magically creative and facilitate change within and without.
What are the origins of sexual magic? How is it connected to Tantra?
I believe the origins of sexual magic to be ancient. From the earliest forms of fertility cults to the sacred prostitutes/priestesses of Babylon and Sumer, we find many traces of ritualized sexuality. People in all times and cultures have understood the latent transformative powers in the energies of eros and have tried to utilize them accordingly. Unfortunately, with the rise of the orthodox Abrahamic religions and their dominance in our cultures, sexuality and eros as methods of divine intoxication and paths to higher states of consciousness have been suppressed. This way we have managed to profanisize eros in our world and cut us off from a vital tool of personal and universal transformation. Both Sex and eros have become a commodity and despite a seemingly liberated and oversexed society they still are tightly connected to a false morality and fear of the body as we can see by the way we obsessively treat the body as an object rather than truly connecting with it.
Is sexual magic an important component of Voudon ?
Classical voudon has many aspects which we could classify as physical, ecstatic and even erotic but is not outright sexual magic. However, there are voudon cults which very much work with sexual magic like the groups that I am associated with, the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua and La Couleuvre Noire. Here, the transformative and elemental power of sexuality is acknowledged and the â€œfuelâ€ of our work is sacred sexuality in [its] various forms. We have a very elaborate corpus of teachings about sexual magic, much larger and more complex than other well known western esoteric groups like the Ordo Templi Orientis or the Fraternitas Saturni. Also, the use of eros and sexuality in a magical context is not limited to physical sexuality but may be an internal process â€œonlyâ€. Like certain tantric groups in the East, we base our work on a complex understanding of the alchemical body with the energies and substances generated by sacred sexuality and eros as its power source.
As a group with roots in Voudon we also interact and engage with spirits/loas. Unlike exoteric Voudon groups we do not support animal sacrifice and have for a long time understood clearly the superior power of sexual magical energies as an offering and connecting agent to the spirits of our Voudon continuum. (For anyone interested in more information on this particular topic and an inside look into Voudon Gnosis I would suggest my book â€œVoudon Gnosisâ€ published by Scarlet Imprint and available from the publisher.)
How are gender specific roles represented in sexual magic?
There is not universal answer to this questionâ€”different tradition and different groups treat this very differently. I only want to speak from my own point of view. I believe that while men and women share many of the same abilities there are differencesâ€”in the physical but also esoteric body/persona. And magical work and also sexual magic needs to address this. Women for example are able to produce other magically charged substances through physical processes than men. All substances are of course interesting for the magical operator. Also the different polarities, active for man, passive for female are important in magical work. There are teachings which teach the return to an androgynous primordial state which the magician needs to achieve in order to realize higher consciousness. The way to achieve this is to work with female and male energies and to absorb those qualities into his (esoteric body) which he is lacking (usually female qualities in male and vice versa). We also recognize the esoteric qualities of lore such as the grail stories to relate to us certain initiated ideas of love, male and female and their appropriate magical offices.
Do you see a connection between S&M and sexual magic?
Not directly, I believe S&M has always existed but recently it has become much more public and open in the wake of sexual liberation and also as part of a thrill seeking modern world. Society is experiencing a spiritual emptiness and void and many people seek to fill this by a materialist indulgence and superficial thrill seeking. I do believe however that BDSM can be useful in providing tools of magical exploration, especially also in the sexual magical real. After all, carefully administered pain for example has been employed by some occultists in all ages to create changed states of awareness. The same is true for the use of deprivation of senses.
What are the goals of sexual magic?
Goals of sexual magic are amongst other things the creation and use of very powerful energies which help us to create the change within and without that we as magicians want to facilitate. Sexual magic also helps us to re-connect with our deep primordial self and allows us to become complete again, to reconnect with our bodies and through our bodies. It helps to unlock our true potential in a spiritual and magical way and thus for us to reclaim our true divine position in life and universe.
How many people do you think practice sexual magic, and how many of them actually achieve these goals?
I think that real sexual magic as an initiatory science is only being worked by very few people. Sexuality may have a short-lived transformative effect on many people who have experienced a mind-blowing orgasm or are deeply in love, but people who are able to consciously to raise, control use the sexual energies in our bodies and the universe in its form of cosmic libido are few indeed.
Even most self-proclaimed magicians are mostly amateurs without a truly initiatory knowledge and understanding of the very complex matters that comprise sexual magic, sexual alchemy and the laws of Kosmic Eros. It takes years of continuous dedicated studies in theory and practice in order to be able to unleash these awesome forces that are at our immediate disposal.
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