Tag: sexuality

William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Martha Keith Schuchard

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William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Martha Keith Schuchard
Inner Traditions, 9781594772115, 415 pp., 2008

This is the first paperback issue in this country of a book originally published in 2006 in the U.K. It had its origin in scholarly research but has been diminished in size and complexity, although not in quality, to produce a book more likely to appeal to a non-academic audience.

There is a large amount of background data provided on the subject of 18th and 19th century esoterica. This is important to provide a solid base for the understanding of Blake and his works.

As I have commented in previous Continue reading


Review: Ecstatic Ritual, by Brandy Williams

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Ecstatic Ritual: Practical Sex Magic, by Brandy Williams
Immanion Press, 978-1-905713-25-7, 145 pp., 2008

This is a revision (perhaps enhancement is a better word) of a book issued in its original form twenty years ago. During the intervening decades there have been many changes. Some of these changes have had a major impact on the world of sex magick (the AIDS epidemic is one example) while others are less obvious (more works by female writers). Nonetheless, they have all contributed to changes. Ms. Williams did an excellent job the first time around, and has made only minor changes to this second edition. Unfortunately, there are numerous dropped words in the text which should have been caught during the revision process, but which slipped through.

Ms. Williams has produced a very usable “101” book on a topic which is slowly gaining acceptance within the magickal community. For far too long the topic of sex magick (or, in my opinion, more properly, sexual magick) has been hidden away from the average magick worker, restricted to “higher initiates” and often relegated to the Left-Hand path or dark magick Continue reading


Radical Ecstasy, by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy

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Radical Ecstasy: SM Journeys to Transcendence, by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy
Greenery Press, 189015962X, 215 pp., 2004

Though this is the first work I have read by either author, Radical Ecstasy is the sixth book Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy have written together. Early in it becomes clear that each have something different to offer, and without the other the book wouldn’t be nearly as strong. Dossie, who usually subs, tends to view things from a more spiritual and Pagan perspective, whereas Janet, who usually tops, approaches the same material from a more secular or agnostic angle. Both are delightfully frank and forthright in expressing their beliefs and experiences. Continue reading


Polarity in sex magick

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Bridge, railway, image by H KoppdelaneyOne issue that occurs with both Western and Eastern sex magick is the polarization of the sexes. This kind of thinking about the sexes can be found in nineteenth century occultism (and even further back), “One calls the forces positive and negative, and one rediscovers them in good and bad, emission and reception, life and death, idea and action, man and woman (positive and negative magnetic poles) in the material plane and, conversely the woman (active pole) and man (negative pole) in the mental plane.” Continue reading


Review: Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt, Ruth Schumann Antelme & Stephane Rossini

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Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt: The Erotic Secrets of the Forbidden Papyri, Ruth Schumann Antelme & Stephane Rossini
Inner Traditions, 0892818638, 1999, 32 pages includes Appendices, Notes, Glossary, Bibliography, and Index

In all honesty, I had not planned to review this book until I was challenged by a reader of my reviews to tackle it. Egyptology is not one of my strong suits, and I’m not particularly interested in reading about sexuality, which made this book a challenge for me.

The author, Ruth Schumann Antelme, is an Egyptologist, a former professor at the Ecole de Louvre, and an emeritus researcher of the CNRS in France (National Center for Scientific Research), and the illustrator, Stephane Rossini, has illustrated other books on the subject of Egyptology. Some of the illustrations have been “restored”, based on other samples.

Some of the images contained within this volume (there are over 150 black-and-white illustrations and 20 color plates) are the ones familiar to the reader on the subject of Egyptian religion. The majority of them, however, are definitely not of the G-rated variety. For those who are used to thinking of the life of Egypt in the sanitized form we learned about in school, there are shocks in store.

As should be obvious to anyone who stops to think about it, a region such as Egypt (which is obviously dependent upon a fertility religion because of the climate) must have included images of fertility and procreation among its religious artwork.

The notes refer to some extremely specialized publication which will be unfamiliar to most readers (as they are to me). This, however, only serves to expand the field of exploration for those interested in continuing their education on this topic.

Where uncertainty exists in regard to the meaning of a given drawing, carving, or other illustration, the author is not hesitant about admitting that uncertainty. Where uncertainty exists about the actual content or form of a given illustration, she points it out.

The appendices include an extremely simplified chronology of ancient Egypt from the Early Dynastic Period (circa 300 B.C.) to the Byzantine domination (circa 400 A.D.); a list of the deities mentioned in the current work; Egyptian place names; some hieroglyphic examples; and a glossary.

I am glad that this book was suggested to me. I wouldn’t have ordered it on my own, but it was a pleasure to read. I probably won’t be reading a lot more on the subject, but that is simply because of my many more pressing interests (although if I take some time off from reviewing, I may change my mind).


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