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The Tremor of the Sacred Harlot

Some considerations on the role of Woman and Sexual Magic

The energy of the sacred tremor that passes through the vulgar person enslaves him
Whereas this same energy librates the person who is on the path
- Yoga Spandakarika

All things sexual made sacred by intention or items such as candles and smell are often understood as being sufficient to make the act of sex sacred. By creating an atmosphere experienced to be sacred and call this tantra seem to be often the receipt of sexual magic in the modern western world. There are in particular two attitudes commonly disclosed amongst magicians and “wanna-be magicians’ that would suggest to be produced by distorted views upon sexuality and what makes it sacred. One of these is the idea of woman as merely a receptor for the male power, as a sacred whore, whose magical value is measured by the level of sexual appetite. The other misconception seems to be in regard what makes sex sacred. It is hardly enough to light a candle, a stick of incense and go for it.

It is in particular the attitude towards women that will be attended to as there apparently are gross misunderstandings to be found in terms of woman and her receptive and occult nature, thus giving room for a notion of male dominance given its active or solar nature being superior to the female role when one is considering terms like harlot and whore which often is associated with the idea of Babalon or the Scarlet Woman or simply Cup. The word it self, harlot or whore seem to have come from the Persian and elder Germanic khoraz or feminine khoron. This word signifies “one who desire”. In old English and also Old Norse the word transformed into hore, that in the Middle Ages probably contained much more of its lustful qualities than in modern days Scandinavia where the term is without exception used in degenerative ways as a fornicator, adulteress or a prostitute. The words for a lustful woman and someone who sells their body probably melted together at some point. The word khoraz is found in the Latin carus meaning, “dear” and old Persian kama meaning “desire”, which is also found in Sanskrit denoting the Hindu God of Sexual desire and Love. The word khoron is apparently very different from what we today understand by the term whore in the sense of a prostitute. Prostitute seem to have been developed from the Latin putidus (which is found in modern Spanish and Portuguese as puta) meaning “stinking”. It is also related to porne (as in pornography), which carries the meaning of the sexualized body used as a object of trade which is evident in pornes relation to pernemi, “to sell”. Prostitution in its degenerative use was originally a reference to the purchase of female slaves for use in prostitution as is made evident considering that the word prostituta literally means “placed in front” as a reference to public display.

One interesting detail to not – but alas, not to be followed in this essay, is the corruption of puta into lupa, meaning a “she-wolf”. It is interesting to take notice of this corruption as it is found in the Latin festival and also its Sanskrit relative purncalli which means “one who runs after men”, from the Avestan jahika that simply means “woman” – but of an evil disposition. Especially in the later development of the word into ku-nairi that resulted in the label whore from the 13th Century. The use of the word whore in a demeaning way probably also colored modern mans interpretation of the seventeenth chapter in the Revelation of John in the first six verses where the great Harlot, Babylon is riding of a dragon drunk on all her fornication. This became a central mystery and one of the most mischievous misunderstandings in the philosophy of Aleister Crowley in his reference to The Scarlet Woman or Babalon.

Important to note is that Babalon, contrary to Babylon adds up to 156 which is also the number for Zion, the Holy Mountain, suggesting that there are deeper mysteries at play in the form Babalon. Babalon, being feminine, passive and receptive is associated with the mystery of the Cup or the Grail (as has become evident in films like “Revelation” and books like the “Da Vinci Code” where the womb-cup of the bloodline of the Saviour is attributed to the Grail mystery). As the aforementioned etymological points demonstrate, there is a great difference between “the one of desire” and the woman that has been sold into prostitution as a slave. The main axis of difference is related to aspiration and freedom. In Crowleys chapter entitled “The Cup” in his magnum opus Magick he says: “it is also the cup in the hand of OUR LADY BABALON and the cup of the Sacrament. This Cup is full of bitterness, and of blood, and of intoxication. The understanding of the Magus is his link with the invisible, on the passive side”. Passive in this sense is not a negative reference, but a reference to the female nature as the cosmic contraction associated with the Sephira Binah which Crowley subtly refer to by its name “Understanding”. This sephirah is in a harmonious relationship with the merciful sephirah Chockmah or Knowledge – the sephirah ascribed to the Magus per se. On the Etz Chaim, popularized into the “Tree of Life” in western occultism these two sephira are the stations veiled beyond the worlds of manifestation and formation into a spiritual density of a trembling and blissful nature in front of the throne of the Lord. Babalon is the keeper of the cup of bitterness and blood – she is not the cup it self, she holds the bitter dregs, the poison that are cast off by aspiration. The references in the Book of Revelation referring to her adulterous behavior is more likely a reference to her freedom and will, her sublime desire to chose to interact with whomever is of the right desire, with whomever is worthy and fit, as the sixth verse says: “I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs”. Holiness in it self is not what she is seeking – but union, the profane will perish under her kiss if they are not prepared to sacrifice what they believe to be true and give all of their being to Her.

The idea that woman is solely the vessel for the possession of the male, the beast so to say, is merely an illusion and is for sure to go astray and profane one self – and “perish with the hounds of hell”. Crowley says toward the end of his discussion on the Cup that: “For human love is an excitement, and not a stilling, of the mind; and as it is bound to the individual, only leads to greater trouble in the end”. For as he concludes: “For each of our ideas must be made to give up the Self to the Beloved, so that we may eventually give up the Self to the Beloved in our turn”. Crowley is simply speaking about the destruction of individuality! The many pretenders of the Ars Magia Sexualis today often run into profanity by using vulgar understandings of holy ideas, by being unable to differentiate mere pleasure from the divine work of the Cup and the Wand, due to confusion constituted by the fact that the flesh can be used for such diverse ends..

Union with the godhood in the sense of leaving the illusion of dualism in favor of Oneness is the goal for any true mystical discipline, the tools of the body, its flesh and juices and a direct use of the serpent power than runs through the thousand upon thousand of nadis (nerves) are merely one avenue of attainment and perhaps one of the most dangerous ones. No other magical art present the wanderer with such grave dangers of misunderstandings and mere profanizations as the Ars Magia Sexualis.

In a world of male dominance, the phallic point of view easily gets adopted and believed in. The world seen from the point of the solar beast will surely lead to a fixation where one search out any “cup” that can serve as an object of desire. The cultural background of modern man further makes it difficult to understand the religious and ritual context around the sacrality of sexual acts, they be on a disciplines type as Yoga or as an offering to the deities. In this field we find the idea of the sacred whore, found as far back in history of man as be performed amongst the Sumerians and Babylonians In both cases this act was sacred unto Militta (Venus), some says that they had to have sex with strangers in this temple as an act of courtesy, probably there was more to this than mere courtesy. This practise was also found on both sides of the mediterrenian and was acts of sacred sex usually in honour of some deity associated with Venus.

Another ritually endowned woman is the suvasini or Fragrant Woman (due to her versility in many of the Venusian arts) related to the mystery of the five Ms, the Tantrik Great Rite. The suvasini was well trained in the Ars Magia Sexualis, but the training was motivated by the idea of union with the divine, not charity in favor of pleasing lusting men. Certainly there are many other barriers and blockages (kleshas) the act of sex can help breaking down in a society keen on inspiring neurosis and guilt, but this is something different all together. The suvasini was seen as the embodiment of shakti (the principle of cosmic contraction) and the consort as Shiva (the principle of cosmic expansion). The union of these forces would lead to bliss and one would taste the divine amrita flowing like mighty rivers from the golden fountain of divinity. The gates to bliss was made possible only through the power women naturally possess, which is why Shakti is an object of adoration and not carnal lusting. The Ars Magia Sexualis is an art cultivated in order to please Lady Venus in whatever mask she might chose, in whatever garden she might find rest. Another testimony of sacred sexuality is books like Kama Sutra or “The Treatise of Love”. This book rest upon a foundation of yogic discipline, like all sutras do, but in addition it is also a manual explaining how to please each other in the depths of sensualism and sexuality. A posture of Lusting bodies in various postures solely motivated by enhancing pleasure for the purpose of mere excitement is both troublesome and profane. A greater scope must be extracted and integrated into the sexual act in order to make it sacred. The first step towards to the unfolding of this mystery is by sincere adoration of the portal to the vast domains of the lustful gardens where the realization of equality and the annihilation of individual desire aimed towards the object must be facilitated. The female body and being is the power that creates the key. This key will unlock the doors between dimensions and thus She is the gate towards God. She holds the cup that gives either slavery or freedom.

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