Sex Magic, Tantra & Tarot: The Way of the Secret Lover, by Christopher S. Hyatt and Lon Milo DuQuette
New Falcon Publications, 1561840440, 191 pp. (incl. appendices), 1991, 1996, 2004
Sex Magic, Tantra & Tarot isn’t an introductory book on sex magick, nor is it about sex magick in general. Rather this work focuses on the aspects of sex magick relating more specifically to the theory and practice leading to one specific ritual, with an additional one thrown in for good measure. The principle purpose of this work leading towards the Ultimate Divination, a ritual using tarot to invoke one’s Holy Guardian Angel with ultimate purpose.
Through tarot, kabbalah, and Tantric practice leading towards attaining conversation with one’s HGA, or as it is termed in this work, one’s “Secret Lover,” one can “feel the embrace of our Secret Lover in the ecstasy of orgasm and in moments of rapture when the beauty of music or dance or visual art or nature overcome us.”1 Further, learning the will to surrender, as Hyatt and DuQuette note, “[m]ost people feel unable to surrender or be in the presence of someone who is surrendering because of the pain it brings to the surface. They feel the pounding force of life pushing through their skin and they are horrified of losing what sense of autonomy they do have.”2 One method for overcoming this barrier is through tarot: “One way that we in the West can understand our ability (or inability) to achieve this type of surrender is by utilizing the archetypical images of our own psyche. The images of the Tarot have, for centuries, allowed the diligent seeker an opportunity to ‘eaves drop’ on the pictorial language of the subconscious mind.”3
Elemental, astrological, planetary, kabbalistic, associations for the tarot are detailed, along with their meanings. The major arcana are accompanied by illustrations designed by Lon Milo DuQuette and penned by David P. Wilson, with inspiration clearly drawn from Aleister Crowley‘s Book of Thoth, and consequently the Golden Dawn associations.
A very brief mythological faux traditional history of the origin of the tarot is offered, and a frank appraisal of sex magick in how it is viewed, and how it is practiced, and often quite funny.
There is a commonly-held belief that those who practice sex-magic are indulging themselves in wild orgiastic rites at every opportunity. This is rarely the case. After all, if you need to go through lots of occult rigmarole just to get laid, then you’re a bit sad, aren’t you? Then again, the occult subculture is full of SAD people, desperate to finally get laid and attempting to turn to sex-magic as a last resort.4
However, while the authors demonstrate a more or less healthy attitude towards homosexuality, their focus is primarily from a male perspective. Indeed, most of the text seems focused on the male’s role. Lesbianism gets but a brief mention and deemed “ok” because it’s a “turn on.” (Sigh.) As the authors are both men, it’s not surprising that a male bias exists, but it is still disappointing to see.
It’s not a sex magick how-to book, nor strictly a book on Tantra, and it’s not a book on tarot specifically. So what is it? Best I can figure, it’s an old fashioned grimoire with insight into the particular psychological and ritual trappings required to work a specific rite with a specific goal in mind. It’s a shame the title seems ill-matched to its contents.