Tag: inner traditions

Magia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph

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Magia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de NaglowskaMagia Sexualis, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de NaglowskaMagia Sexualis: Sexual Practices for Magical Power, by Paschal Beverly Randolph and Maria de Naglowska, translated by Donald Traxler
Inner Traditions, 9781594774188, 174 pp. (incl. notes, bibliography, and index), 2012

Paschal Beverly Randolph‘s Magia Sexualis has often been called the most influential book about sex magick ever written. It survives through Maria de Naglowska‘s French translation and adaptation in an edition of 1,007 copies published more than 50 years after Randolph’s death.

Pashal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875) was an African American doctor, and the occultist who introduced sex magick to North America. He began his studies with the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, and went on to author several books, founded the Brotherhood of Eulis, became a Rosicrucian, and was a rival of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The Brotherhood of Eluis was an initiating group, which sought to examine “occult data in the light of contemporary science.” Continue reading


The Sacred Rite of Magical Love, by Maria de Naglowska

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The Sacred Rite of Magical Love, by Maria de NaglowskaThe Sacred Rite of Magical Love, by Maria de NaglowskaThe Sacred Rite of Magical Love: A Ceremony of Word and Flesh, by Maria de Naglowska
Inner Traditions, 9781594774171, 122 pp. (incl. appendices, notes, bibliography, and index), 2012

Maria de Naglowska was a Russian-born writer, translator, and journalist living in Paris in the 1930s, and this is the third volume in the series of Naglowska’s books Donald Traxler has translated.

Unlike the first two books, The Light of Sex and Advanced Sex Magic, The Sacred Rite of Magical Love is an allegorical novella, possibly incorporating autobiographical elements. It was first published under a pseudonym, Xenia Norval, and serialized in her street newspaper La Fleche, organe d’action magique, from 1930-1931, and later rereleased as a supplement in the journal in 1932 under her real name. Continue reading


The Path to the Guru, by Scott Teitsworth

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The Path to the Guru, by Scott TeitsworthThe Path to the Guru, by Scott TeitsworthThe Path to the Guru: The Science of Self-Realisation According to the Bhagavad Gita, by Scott Teitsworth
Inner Traditions, 978-1-62055-321-3, 342 pp. (incl. prologue, introduction, epilogue, notes, bibliography, and index), 2014

In The Bhagavad Gita, guru Krishna employs a “secret dialectic” with his pupil Arjuna. “Teacher and taught begin as polar opposites in whom a kind of osmotic interchange takes place, each stimulating and edifying the other, until they become as one in realization.” The oppositional stance Teitsworth takes in The Path to the Guru seems intended to provoke the same kind of response in the reader.

It strikes me that this review is a commentary on a commentary on other commentaries about a story of a guru guiding a guru guiding a guru. I feel like the Hindu deity on the cover, waving a thousand arms in front of a mirror, my image refracting into reflection upon reflection — one of the more pleasant effects of reading Teitsworth’s dense and thought-provoking book. Continue reading


Greatest Hits: 9 popular reviews from 2014

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William Blake's Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard

We’ve had a fantastic year so far, and it’s all to you — our supporters and readers.

In the spirit of the holidays, I decided to put together a list of our seven most popular reviews from 2014. As you’ve no doubt noticed, while we focus on alternative spirituality and practical magick, we review books from a range of beliefs and practices, and this list is no different.

Click on the title link to take you to the full reviews. Maybe you’ll find your next gift idea, or something to spend that gift card on.

Happy holidays!


Avalon, by Heather Dale
Reviewed by Brendan Myers

Dale’s voice is gentle and inviting, yet deliberate and strong, like a warm fire in a comfortable home while a storm blows outside.

The High Magic of Talismans and Amulets, by Claude Lecouteux
Reviewed by Freeman Presson

The summary of the talismanic art is broad, drawing on more sources than just Agrippa and The Picatrix.

William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard
Reviewed by Gesigewigu’s

If you’re a William Blake fan, or even just curious about the subtle mystical sexual undercurrents in Christian Europe at the time, this is a great book for you. Continue reading


The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, by Patrick Lepetit

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The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, by Patrick LepetittThe Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, by Patrick Lepetitt
The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism: Origins, Magic, and Secret Societies, by Patrick Lepetitt
Inner Traditions, 9781620551752, 544 pp. (incl. bibliography and notes), 2014

The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism symbolizes a reuniting of art, science, and mysticism: the head, body, and heart, all working together.

As an artistic movement surrealism seeks to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality” as a revolutionary act. From the outset, the surrealists declared war on rationality, which had allowed for the atrocities of two world wars to take place, causing French novelist Albert Camus to proclaim that “surrealism’s essential enemy is rationalism.” Devoted anarchists, the surrealists felt that “so long as revolutionaries confine themselves to certain specific aspects of social life without attacking the spiritual structure of society directly,” then they were doomed to failure. This caused poet Tristan Tzara to claim that “the love of ghosts, witchcraft, occultism, magic, vice, dream, madness, passions, true or invented folklore, mythology (or even mystification), social or other kinds of utopias, real or imagined journeys, bric-a-brac, marvels, the adventures and mores of primitive peoples and generally everything that did not fit into the rigid frameworks in which beauty had been placed to identify itself with the mind.”

The surrealists were interested in occult and metaphysical currents from the very beginning — as seen with the Vodou-ispired works of Cuban painter Wifredo Lam, or the explicitly Pagan paintings of Leonora Carrington — although often not in so many words, as they “ventured onto the terrain of mediumship stripped of its spiritualist clutter.” In the process the surrealists would become a kind of secret society and take a similar role to that of the Freemasons or Rosicrucians in the Enlightenment, illuminating and updating the age old mysteries with emerging schools of thought like psychoanalysis, quantum physics, and relativity. Continue reading


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