Dark Desires - Wyrd Sexuality
by Frater Y-Rrab the Backward
(Published at Beltane 1996)
Do people's attitudes to sex have any impact on the way they think? Can sex and the occult be a problem sometimes? Do people who are "into" magick need to think about what sort of people are attracted to the occult and what is it that is interesting them? What should we make of the fact that Chaos Magickians make the best lovers?
In the past the minds of the masses were locked into a "work ethic" and at the same time people's attitude to sex was one of it being forbidden, dirty even. Wives were conditioned to "just let him do it you and he'll be off you in a few minutes". Any thought that they might enjoy sex, take an active role, or god forbid, have an orgasm, were crushed out of them from before they were wed. The, so called, man on the street did not even think (or if he did he kept it repressed very deeply) about other forms of sexuality than a man fucking on top of a woman, and only after they were married in a church. At this time the occult and an active interest in it was the province of a very few, mostly rich, people of leisure.
Eventually with the invention of the contraceptive pill and the pop explosion of the early sixties ideas about sexual freedom spread that lead to the days of flower power and the Summer of Love with its Arcadian dream of guiltless recreational sex, and thanks to penicillin, the pill and pop music (the three 'P's of freedom) sex was no longer just to make babies; it was for fun! If you were in, you DID.
By the end of the 60's it was not only OK to shag, it was also becoming fashionable to be into the occult in some form. People like Alex Sanders and his branch of wicca did a lot to bring witchcraft from out of the hands of the small number of remaining Covens and thrust it, Prometheus like, into the hands of a generation of young people who were brave enough to think for themselves, had a liberated attitude to sex and were hungry for new thrills. His self-publicity may not have gone down well with the old guard, and all those photos of young women with their kit off did a lot to mix the occult and sex. But without him it is possible that today there would not be a thing called "wicca".
Also at this time the works of Aleister Crowley were being republished in affordable forms, perplexing and worrying, his works made Ritual Magick a real option for those who did not fancy swanning about in the nude. Mr C's writing drove even more energy into the system. Magick and Witchcraft were everywhere! When the music and film industries got onto the bandwagon and almost every new record had a pentagram or occult sigil on the cover, with films portraying occult rituals an explosive mixture indeed was created, leading to the last golden age of magick in the UK, the early seventies.
Born from this maelstrom of magick and sex was the dark pre-punk subculture of sinister and powerful workers of magick. Gone was most of the flower power and white light - these guys meant business. At this time it was not just at the movies that the Devil Rode Out. There came about a renaissance of groups like the OTO and the formulation of small cabbals of those who were prepared to push the gate open a little, through which would soon rush the inspirational forces of freedom that gave rise to Chaos Magick and the IOT. Pan was not dead but dreaming, and was now awakening to a strange new aeon of magick and sexual freedoms undreamed of by the likes of Mr A Crowley!
Insidiously there was a worm growing in paradise. By this time the popular image of the occult had been given a deep gloss of sexual indulgence. This hint of power and untrammelled sex began to attract towards it people whose prime motivation was not one of worshipping the Great Old Ones, or to climb the ladder of lights, but to give them access to the kind of sex they craved. This was the start of the fall, it is sad but true; these days anyone approaching the occult has to be very careful of just who they trust and a young woman or a pretty boy needs to "trust no one" because the occult scene is full of people with "problem" sexualities and who have strange sexual desires only too happy to take advantage of the initial enthusiasm to learn in order to trap them into a sexual involvement.
Every Sunday comes the common tabloid story of the occult being populated by perverts whose rituals are only a cover for sexual indulgence, some of which under UK Law are very much on the illegal side. The fact is though, it's not an untrue statement. Back in the late 80's when the satanic abuse panic swept out of the heads of people like Audrey Harper and the Reachout Trust the media did not have to work very hard to "expose" the occult - they only had to attend a moot or open ritual or two to meet plenty of iffy sorts. An involvement with Magick for any length of time will bring you into contact with people who, on first meeting, seem OK but later you get an uncomfortable vibe off them. Have you met the man who is a bit of a sad pussy hunter? The would-be child abuser? The disturbed woman who fucks any who asks? The couple who hint at you joining them in bed? With so many strange types about one can not help but wonder if they were always thus or if their practice of magick warped them.
As magicians (of whatever path) how do we view Wyrd sex? In Chaos Magick where "Everything is Permitted" you do meet folks who are into strange stuff, but for the most part they are open and honest about it with no hidden agendas. Tantra would be the obvious path with a focus on sex, but here, too, real adepts of the Way do not abuse their position, though with the advent of HIV the practice of many Left Hand Tantric rituals is problematical. In wicca the Great Rite should involve full intercourse but seldom does - wiccans are a bit slow sometimes in throwing off their Christian ideas of sin. Pagans tend to treat sex as a sacred thing, not something to abuse and hurt others with. Though some Goddess worshippers can take things a bit far in their reverence of the feminine, it is not unknown for male Goddess devotees to want to become women and have their bits chopped off.
A real involvement in magick can lead to sex magick, by yourself or with others, and the liberating effect of exposure to a true magickal current does tend to result in a person being more open minded when it comes to sex, ready to experiment, more tolerant of gays etc. But magick does not make you a perv! The flip side of this is that people whose sexual practices cause trouble for others are not true magicians, no matter how much they kid themselves (their life is often a mess in other areas too). If they were in any way adept they would be able to decondition themselves of the need to abuse sex, or would have no ego problems in seeking help.
But so what eh? What of it that the coven down the road is a cover for group sex, or that the blond who you see at open seasonal rituals is a easy lay and a man hunter? Well, I think it can be a real problem for those not watchful of who they get mixed up with. It's too easy on a hot Beltane night not to worry about the psychiatric state of the woman who is removing her knickers for you. People with problem sexualities can attach themselves onto groups and cause a great deal of trouble for the organisers, one Pagan moot in Leeds had to restrict itself to women only just to keep one man from turning up each week. I have met people who join working groups under the pretext of an interest in working real magick, but their true motivation was to spot individuals whom they can ensnare into multi-partner sex. People can get hurt and long standing relationships can be broken up because one person got into deep water and could find no easy way out - not to mention the effect they have on how the public view the rest of us magickal folks.
Last thing. According to my Erisian dictionary a pervert is ... "someone who does things you do not do" Fnord.