An Essay on Sex and Sex Magick: Liber Conjunctus / Liber Two
Sex begins and ends at Conception. For those loving people who have
chosen to so Conceive, the lustful Penetration, the willing Acceptance has
its finale when Sperma conjuncts Ovum. The Fruit of this Union transforms
the relationship that an individual has with hirself. This is not meant
to imply that Conception is the OBJECT of Sex. While this may be true
in a limited sense, it is also overly simplistic. Conception is no more
the Goal of Sex than Death is the Goal of Life. While both are
transformative events, and, given enough time and opportunity will
surely occur, it is a mistake to think that either is the only goal of
the activity so performed.
There are exceptions, however. Suicidal and procreative people do, in
fact, exist (we call them 'Breeders'), and it is their passion which drives
the social machine of our day. Martyrdom and Puritanism are often looked
at as the ideal. Such personally empowering mechanisms as egotism and
Sex Magick are anathemas to all but a few of the general population.
Yet the exceptions do not make the rule, and in no circumstance do those
whose Goal IS solely conception engage in what is described here as 'Sex'.
Theirs is a mechanical function, played out amidst repugnance at their
intimate comingling and the horrid perceptions of their forms. To
call this 'Sex' is like calling lying comatose in a hospital bed 'Life'.
It may be functionally true, but the experience is certainly not related.
When speaking of Sex, it is assumed to be FOUNDED on intimacy and,
between people, begins at the first glimpse, smell, sound or touch. Our
perceptual sphere comes into contact with a body, which, we tend to assume,
is not ours. We develop some relationship between ourselves and the other.
The experience of that relationship and the subjective results of it are
included in the broadest personal understanding of the term 'Sex'.
The Sexual Act takes place from the first encounter to the concluding
resolution. It is only the formal dance of conjugation which the unevolved
take as its entirety. Since we often identify with our form, it is no
surprise that those who have not learned to see beyond it take Sex for
less than it truly is.
There is Sex in everything from the crisp salute to the angry brawl; from
the gentle caress to the enraged gunshot; from the casual handshake to
mutual masturbation. From the impersonal exchange of goods to the ecstatic
orgasm, sex is made of human relations and the experience of these.
It is also the translation of boundaries - psychological and physical.
To the extent that we are unaware or unconcerned about our relations, so
also is Sex no longer meaningful to us. While we may be hip deep in the
throes of coitus, our insensitivity makes this Supremacy a necrophilic
exercise, whether or not our partner understands our Thanatic state.
Intent determines Sexual meaning, both to those with whom we engage and to
ourselves. When I am open, attracted and sincere, I have the most to give
and to receive. Indeed, the most potentially moving experience within
Sexuality derives from a willingness to interact honestly.
This, Will, is the connection between Sex and Magick and determines how
the latter Tool may be used to affect our Sexuality. Their
product, Love, is no different than Will in essence. It is only the form
or expression which distinguishes One from the Other.
Magick takes many forms, though its essence remains consistent. Crowley's
definition of it leaves little to be added. "The Science and Art of
causing Change to occur in conformity with Will" is vague enough to be
inclusive and specific enough to be meaningful, but how does it relate
The responses to this question are numerous. Opinions, perspectives, vary
tremendously and most of them contain some truth. The challenge is really
to find some way to meaningfully associate the two without over-
generalizing; to discover useful expressions that include their complexity
while limiting their signification. To do this it seems best to approach
the subject within the Realms of Sexuality and to examine how the Tool
of Magick may be used in context.
Alternatively one could examine the qualities of the Tool itself in order
to discover its potential, though this seems overzealous. One does not
go around hitting things with a hammer in order to learn Carpentry. One
holds one's tools in reserve, and, when the task of connecting two boards
with a nail appears necessary, one selects the appropriate Tool for the
Job. Over time the effective tools for each Task become known.
This is also the case for Magick, which involves the selected use of
intent. Enough has been written about Magick that we may undertake an
examination of the Sexual Realms in which it may be applied.
Sex Magick is an intimatic Tool. It must be practiced in
order to be mastered. The details of its form and function can be
studied and memorized. Yet if they are not applied they will never be
comprehended. It is comparable to learning ABOUT bowling without ever
trying it. Putting techniques into practice is really the object of
the study, and refraining from this is the height of Folly, given means
The Realm of Casual Interaction
We begin at casual interaction. Strangers, business acquaintances,
official contacts and professional services often qualify here.
In many ways this is the practical, formal aspect of Sexuality.
Magick applied at this level becomes an agent of politics; a means
of securing some desired end, a direct Current, linking intent with
activity. When one functions as a cause of change in the realm of objects
and social systems there is a high degree of visibility which accompanies
The one who handles the ball most often in a game (i.e. the pitcher) is
more likely to be the focus of notoriety. The delivery person whom one
sees on a daily basis establishes the tangible relationship between the
company and the you, the Customer.
Thus, Magick in the Realm of Casual Interaction is more often lauded by
the social group which serves as its witness. This has its difficulties
in that the role itself often becomes highlighted, set in stark contrast
to the context in which it takes place. Those who accept such a position
take the risk of identifying themselves AS the role; of losing themselves
in the character of the Cause, rather than remaining as the instrument of
Cause Itself. This may lead to disempowerment and disillusion, which has
the unfortunate repercussion of both disappointing the Customer and the
added distinction of being dismissed from the Job (in terms of service).
What IS Magick within this Realm? As we shall see, Magick is both an
inner and outer skill set. With regard to objects and social systems,
Magick is the ability to communicate effectively and in a timely fashion
what one desires. It is also the ability to respond to fluctuating
environments, while acting as Authority.
Some important elements of Magick here include listening carefully,
knowing how and when to express oneself (some call this 'tact'),
understanding the nature of social systems, and being physically fit.
The most important element of Sex Magick, however, is not the rite or
vehicle that one uses to achieve the Goal, but awareness - of oneself
and others. This cannot be overstated, and applies to all Realms of
Sexuality. Awareness is really the intersection of the two. It is
the substratum from which both Sex and Magick derive value.
In social systems one uses one's awareness not only to determine the
nature of the system and the best means of interacting with it,
but also to distinguish the best approach toward each individual with
whom one has dealings.
Regarding the objects and facilitation of service, awareness of oneself
is the key. Both of body and character, self-awareness allows one to
foresee obstacles which would forestall the ignorant. If nothing else,
awareness shows up one's limitations and provides a signal that aid is
necessary in order to achieve success.
The Realm of Personal Relationships
We proceed to the Realm of Personal Relationships. Common interests and
mutual respect bring people together over an extended time period. Whether
this be in the workplace, at home, or in the Lodge, the Realm of Personal
Relationships encompasses those contacts which have duration and some depth,
be it mild or extended.
At this level, Magick becomes a Tool for resolving conflict and discovering
inspired cooperation. Those who first attempt this practice face the
same difficulty as those in the World of Social Systems, in the Casual Interact
ion Realm. One faces the danger of confusing people's ideas about
one's role (i.e. Mother, Worker, Friend, etc.) with oneself.
This relates to how roles have become associated with classes of people.
Women have traditionally cared for home and children, and it is often
assumed that women ARE Caretakers, 'Housewives'. Immigrants moved into
lower-paid positions in the economies of their new home, and it
is often assumed that such people ARE Servants and Cleaners,
'Blue Collar Workers', and 'Field Hands'.
Among family and friends this occurs more subtlely. One hosts a series
of parties and it is assumed that one IS a Social-Hub, a Caterer, a
Hostess. One listens to the complaints of others and it becomes assumed
that one IS a Sounding Board.
This is a natural process of association which serves Society well, yet
carries with it a number of pitfalls for the unwary individual. Besides
identifying with the role oneself, one may be encouraged to over-extend
oneself unhealthily. To others one BECOMES the role of The Source,
rather than a person, with limited resources with which to serve. While
the person lasts it may be a very painful path.
A dynamic of expectation may arise in which failure to perform the prescribed
role may result in social pressure and, in extremity, ostracization.
Personal Relationships are a Dark Sword of Sharpness, moving in such
subtlety as to barely be noticed. They have the capacity to both fulfill our
desires and keep us seeking fulfillment through our relationships.
Magick is both the ability to perform one's roles without assuming that
they are a lasting element of one's Inner Character, and the ability to
shift roles - to move from one role to another in both time and environment.
Examples: During the day, the working woman may play the Dynamic Corporate
Executive, who is strong, assertive and demanding, while at night she is
comforting, supportive and accepting of her children as she shifts to the
role of the Attentive Mother. The ability to shift roles in regular or
irregular periods of time is Magick.
The aspiring fast-food employee may have played the servile, obedient
Checker for years. Suddenly he finds that it is his turn to play the
forceful Supervisor, inspiring conformity to company standards. The
ability to shift positions of psychic character, based on social roles,
cultural and geographic environments, is also Magick.
What does this have to do with 'Sex Magick'? Well, remember that every
nuance of a personal relationship is loaded with significance. One is
generally unaware of most aspects of communication. Both the scope of
Sexuality and the symbols of which Magick makes use involve a vast
continuum of collective communications. This continuum may be compared
to Jung's 'collective unconscious', within which one may find Adeptship
In that Sex is much more than penetration, so is Sex Magick much more than
a bodily-oriented rite. It extends, both symbolically and experientially,
to include all of our social exchanges, this ranging from the powerfully
practical to the sublimely symbolic.
Some important elements of Magick in the Realm of Personal Relationships
include being carefully observant (in order to perceive subtle
communication cues), knowing how another's position feels and relates
to one's own, understanding the nature of personality, and being
Again, the most important element is awareness. The dance between people -
whether strangers or lovers - is most enjoyably entertained by those who
know themselves and are willing to know others.
When speaking of role-shifting, awareness allows one to know the value
of roles, when one is changing roles, and where oneself ends and the
role begins. It also helps to more precisely define the roles themselves,
aiding immeasurably in conflict resolution.
The Realm of Intimacy
The third Realm of Sexuality includes, yet is not solely composed of, what
is commonly associated with the term 'sex'. It is the Realm of Intimacy,
and it in many ways overlaps the previous Realms, depending upon one's
attitudes and lifestyle.
Intimacy occurs in many dimensions at variable times and durations.
One's life may have no relationships of this sort or it may be filled
with them (both paths, perhaps leading to what is sometimes called the
'Great Rite'). For some, a period of time is required in order to grow
into intimacy. For others, shared time is less a factor than is opportunity
Whether we call them 'Lovers', 'Friends', 'Family' or simply 'Kin',
the experience of Intimacy is the Goal of the Sexual experience toward
which awareness propels us.
Magick is the means of enlarging the Realm of Intimacy to include the
other two Realms. It is the Tool by which we may become intimate with
any and all we meet. It is the Unitive Cause of the release of boundaries.
This can be a fearful practice at first. Imagine living in one place all
your life and then releasing your hold on it, setting off for
uncharted lands. Anything is possible when Intimacy is embraced,
including getting hurt or lost.
Vulnerability is the key to Intimacy, yet one needn't expose oneself
unduly to become vulnerable. The process can be a very slow and careful one
for those with much concern or fear.
The danger here is a release of boundaries before one is ready for the
experience. One may feel overly exposed and risk great pain. One may
begin to confuse another's boundaries with one's own and therefore lose
sight of one's identity.
Magick in the Realm of Intimacy amounts to an ability to open oneself to
Love. It is the manipulation of personal boundaries so as to no longer
be conceived by them. This may take the form of adopted structure (e.g.
role-playing). It may simply be the practice of 'letting go'; of acting
without assumed roles. In either case the Goal is the same - freedom from
constraints (those learned and/or imposed).
Important elements of such Magick include being honest, knowing when to
yield and approach, understanding the differences between social and
personal reality, and being intellectually flexible.
Awareness functions in Intimacy as a means of avoiding the confusion which
often results from shared boundaries. Knowing where one stops and another
begins is very important when individual problems or persistent patterns
arise. Isolating such factors can lead to a greater understanding of
those with whom one engages and a more balanced perspective about oneself.
The Realm of Identity
There is one more Realm of Sexuality included here. It is
not often considered Sexual, excepting the occasional Alchemic or Tantric
reference, though it is certainly Sexual in nature. This Realm is called
We tend to think of ourselves as a unified, coherent whole, when in fact
we are often no more than a jumble of sensations, emotions and thoughts,
vying for the attention of an anxious and confused Observer.
The social and personal roles, the shifting, impenetrable or nonexistent
boundaries between ourselves and others, sets up an environment in which
Identity is impossible to coalesce. Some rigidly adhere to a self-concept,
while hope of coming to any sort of Self-knowledge is constantly shattered
for some by an inability to maintain distinction between oneself and all
else. At the extremes, the former devolve into stagnation, while the
latter are reduced, though constant exposure, to fragments and shadows.
Regardless of whether we see ourselves as a 'Consciousness', 'Spirit',
'Soul', 'Lifeforce' or 'Body', the 'I' is a psychological Mystery which
defies the best analysis of psychologists and mystics the world round.
Wherein enter Magick? Magick, at the level of Identity, involves the
translation OF or absorption IN the boundaries between ourselves and
others. It essentially consists of becoming able to realize the Unity,
the Identity of All. In this sense the Realm of Sexual Identity may
overlap the previous Realms just as the Realm of Sexual Intimacy overlaps
that of Social Structure and Objects. Taken to its greatest extent,
Intimacy LEADS to Identity.
Magick at the level of Identity is a very powerful and therefore dangerous
undertaking. One is likely to find the failure rate far higher here than
in the other Realms. Using the example of quitting our familiar
surroundings, imagine that one begins to be unable to distinguish
the 'familiar' from the 'unknown', 'home' from 'abroad'. If venturing
away from Home is frightening, just imagine what sort of fear results from
having your Home vanish before your eyes!
Of course it is only the THREAT of this that is troubling. The actual
analogy is better expressed as the House dissolving and the Universe
becoming our Home. This is a difficult thing to contemplate. Ask a
snail or turtle to desert its mobile home and see how fast it ducks to
Elements important for Magick in the Realm of Identity include being
passionate, knowing oneself completely, understanding that the difference
between success and failure is one we choose in openness and ignorance,
and, being intuitively skilled.
As always, but especially here, Awareness is crucial. It is used not only
to isolate and absorb fragments of oneself, but also to distinguish between
real and illusory dangers in the pursuit of self-transformation.
Example: I feel much fear about speaking in front of large groups of
people. I can use this awareness to determine that there is no physical
danger in acting this way (at least not immediate!). My fear is a reaction
to feeling exposed. Now perhaps my awareness will eventually reveal a time
and place for me to directly challeng my paralyzing fear. As long as
I am convinced that fear will be the only real threat, then I can use
speaking before large groups as a Magical Act of Identity (a very powerful,
The Great Work
What IS self-translation and how does it relate to 'Sex-Magick'? This is
really the most difficult question of all. The event is seen in so many
ways and from such diverse perspectives that no answer can be complete. It
is given many names, however, in attempts to convey the gravity and
character of the experience. 'Enlightenment', 'awakening', 'realization',
'perfection', and 'liberation' are just a few.
It is associated with the mystical processes of all religions and therefore
with the goals and ideals set forth by these. It is perhaps best described
here as 'integrity', and involves the orientation, the coalescence of the
individual personality into a self-transcendant state of perfect
Many claim that it is as much Cosmological as Psychological, as much Social
as Personal. Yet this is difficult to comprehend. It is as if all the
positives and negatives within some Universal Formula suddenly found their
places and dissolved the entirety.
It is as much associated with some divinity as it is with humanity, some
asserting that it is the intersection or fusion of these two. In
occult circles it is often called the Great Work, and this phrase carries
The integration of the Self may be compared directly to the uniting of two
or more individuals, physically or psychologically. To the extent that a
community forms a social whole without fragmentary left-overs, so may
this comparison become an Identity. Such an integration begins within
one of more individuals and grows, crystalline-like, extending
throughout the fabric of society.
It is obvious, then, why such an endeavor is considered 'Sex Magick'.
The individual, swimming upstream against the forces of social relations
at once penetrates and accepts a re-orientation which has such lasting
effects as to radiate beyond themself. At once a new 'Order' is
Conceived and the entirety is consumed by a desire to manifest the Child
The fact that an individual becomes a catalyst for such an event makes
it Magical, and it is exceedingly difficult to know which actions, rightly
performed, will lead to such a Supreme Goal.
Indeed, it is said that the Goal is either reached in every moment or it is
never reached at all. Perhaps this relates to one meaning of Creation:
The continuous copulation of God and Goddess,
which are each and every pair of opposing forces
The Great Work, Conception, would appear to be the Universal Process
Itself, catalyzed by the passionate advance and retreat of the skilled
Mage and fructified by the response of Cosmic Beauty, the First Cause.
Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will.
Completed 9204.18 (Passover) Fourth and final draft. (We hope!)