“All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals…”
-The Charge of the Goddess
Few discussions of occult interest receive such scandalous attention as does the topic of sex magick. This is undoubtedly due to our society’s lack of both understanding and respect for sexuality, and the body as a whole; a society which seeks to regulate the use of our bodies and legislate sexual expression. By viewing sexuality as either sin or obsession, we shield our eyes and betray our fear to look into the depths of the transformative well of power that it holds for us. We fail to see that it too is sacred.
When we open ourselves to the erotic energy of the universe, we participate in it’s cosmic dance and become living poetry. With every sway of our hips a world is born; with every long drawn breath, the death of a star. Creation and destruction spiral through us to infinity, building with a swelling desire, calling to us the Old Gods that they may celebrate through our embraces, and in this way we are truly priests of the old ways.
I define sex magick as the practice of channeling energy generated from sexual expression into a desired goal through the use of symbolism and focused intent. Often this entails the ritualization of sexual activity through the use of applied breathing techniques designed to relax the body and mind. This can be followed by the invocation of deities into the bodies of the participants or working area. Finally the erotic energy is directed into a desired result by means of visualization. This is usually but not always, at the point of climax.
The level of focused awareness necessary to channel sexual energy effectively is not easily achieved without the use of a psychic model; a symbolic map. Without the use of such a system it is far too easy to become distracted and as a result cause the working to fail. In most of the Wiccan traditions of witchcraft there is a strong emphasis on sexual polarity as a model for magickal/ritual working. Simply stated, this is the belief that magickal energy is generated most strongly by a male and female working partnership, a concept that was popularized by the Gardnerian tradition and has been passed down in some form to the vast majority of witchcraft traditions being practiced today. Even in traditions where this polarity is seen to be internalized (i.e. the idea that we each contain an inner male and female which strive for balance regardless of our physical gender) we find that, ultimately, the model we have adopted is still a heterosexual one: that of polarized or complimentary forces being identified as male and female, thereby enshrining this model as the template for all real relationships whether they be romantic, magickal, or otherwise. For Queers this can be a dangerous practice.
The identification of universal forces with sexual imagery is a powerful practice and not one that I would discourage quickly. Sexuality is a wonderful and sacred gift. It is also a fantastic force able to reach in and touch us at our core, deepening our spirit, healing our souls, and grounding this experience in the body. It is this last statement that I find to be especially important. When we experience something on a gut or body level we have in one sense mastered it, that is to say we have been able to open ourselves and allow it to move fully though us giving us a greater understanding, not as a mental construct, but as a tangible fact.
Recognizing the power and importance of sexual energy, modern witchcraft has given us a model that effectively utilizes this current of power and makes it available to the majority of practitioners through identification with their natural inclination towards a sexual union with the opposite sex. It is a powerful model, and one that Queers can adopt at times (it is, after all, the type of energetic relationship that brought each of us, gay or straight, into being).
But when we as Queers start believing that it is the only model, then we have fallen into the trap of accepting the roles that others have deemed appropriate for us, and this is a practice that promises to tear away from us the very power that our Queer identities hold: that of being the spiritual Other, the fanciful two-spirit who exists outside the confines of established social order and tradition. We are truly the Fae, walking between the worlds, being neither here nor there and yet everywhere, changing our shape and identities at will, making myth, making magick, making love. We are sacred.
I am not proposing that we abandon the idea of a magickal polarity altogether. It is a very effective and real power that can and should be utilized both in magick and in personal growth. What I am suggesting is that we, Queer practitioners of the Craft, begin to define our own models for magickal working, polar or otherwise. When we have the courage and determination to look deep within our own souls and relationships, we can then begin to piece together what a Queer model might look like. Below I give some examples of alternatives to the heterosexist model.
I have provided a very basic ritual structure which can be used as a container for the symbolic drama. Feel free to elaborate on it as is necessary.
Begin by performing meditative breathing. For more information on this please refer to my meditations page, and familiarize yourself with a consistent practice.
If working alone allow yourself to relax fully before moving on to the next step. If working in a group try synchronizing your breathing with your partner(s) while maintaining constant eye contact if possible. More than 2 people might experiment with moving energy in a circle through their bodies with the breath. This should be done for at least a few minutes. This forms an energetic bond between the participants and generates a current of power that will be used to make magick.
When the link has been established, an invocation can be used to focus specific energies into the body. This can be something simple, like describing the energy/deity in detail until an energetic sense of it is achieved. Or this can be elaborate, such as performing a special dance, singing a song, or the recitation of poetry, perhaps written especially for the working. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Take your time to familiarize yourself with these models, both in meditation and in research. Only when you are able to maintain a sense of these specific powers will you find the use of them effective in magick. After you have identified with a particular energy you can allow it to move through you in your sexual expression. The key is to focus you awareness on the magickal intent while at the same time raising energy sexually. This is where a conscious breathing technique proves most useful, causing the participant to constantly be aware of the Now, preventing awareness from flowing off in the heat of passion. Fixing the attention in this way provides the opportunity for power to emerge.
The following models are lacking any specific visualizations in order to allow for spontaneity. With some imagination these can be adopted for solo or group workings.
Polarity as the turning of the seasons. This could be mythically expressed in the concept of the Oak King and the Holly King representing the light and dark halves of the year, together becoming the cycle of eternity. Feel the complimentary forces moving through you, making a powerful current as erotic energy is raised. Notice if you can change the quality of that energy.
Polarity as dynamic trinity. expressed as the triple expression of divinity. Brother, Father, Lover or perhaps as the Father, the Son, and the Lover. With a little imagination this could also be related to the Feri tradition concept of the Three Souls. Try directing the energy into and out of your bodies through the breath or through touch.
Polarity as the elements. This could allow for more than 3 people in a polyamorous relationship. This works best for a four or five person setting, however this could be extended to eight (or even nine) people by recognizing the cross-quarters in the directional wheel (i.e. north-east; the earth of air, south-west; the fire of water, etc.) Whereas it is possible to assign the role of Spirit or Ether to a person, I feel it might prove more beneficial to allow that role to emerge as the dynamic interaction of all other roles present; spirit emerging from the other elements in perfect harmony.
Polarity as Rhythm and Melody. An example could be bass drums and flutes, each representing different powers, but coming together to provide the whole picture, in this case represented as a musical one.
With the energies flowing through you, see what qualities emerge during love making. Even if we perform these exercises in our solitude we can tap into the power that our bodies produce in the form of pleasure. If used consciously we can heal ourselves and those around us. By living in a grounded sexual current we are more likely to live in harmony with our bodies, and by extension, the natural world.
When the current reaches it’s highest point (usually at sexual climax) the desired goal is visualized as “absorbing” the energy, being charged by it. An object or picture may be used as a point of focus, as well as a simple chant or poem, to help ensure that the symbolic power is firmly implanted in the minds/fields of the participants. Afterwards a time of silent meditation may follow, providing the body a chance to wind down and regain it’s balance and allowing the energy to completely flow into the universe. A simple grounding exercise may be performed if desired.
Besides polarity, there are other models that we may adopt in order to understand our unique power. One alternative might be that of Resonance, the idea of power calling to itself. In a Queer relationship we can see this as two (or more) souls of like gender/power singing together creating a harmony. Imagine a duet and the special quality of singing voices merging together. Another alternative might be the identification with the concept of Ecstasy. Participants, allowing erotic energy to build, would encourage themselves to focus on the sensations of the body and draw inspiration from it, allowing themselves to express freely whatever arises, be it singing, dancing, or loving. Whatever model is used at any given time, it is our spiritual birthright to adopt new ways of being, of loving. When used in a conscious and responsible way, sexuality proves to be one of our greatest sources of power. Love safely.
©1999-2001 Storm Faerywolf