Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Magia SexualisSex, Magic, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Hugh Urban

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247765

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247765.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 June 2020



Sex Magic, Modernity, and the Search for Liberation

(p.1) Introduction
Magia Sexualis

Hugh B. Urban

University of California Press

This introductory chapter explains the theme of this book, which is about the rise of sexual magic in America and Europe since the mid-nineteenth century. The book traces the transmission of magia sexualis from the United States to Europe as it was passed on through such authors as Paschal Beverly Randolph, Theodor Reuss, and Aleister Crowley. It examines the impact of Indian traditions like Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, which by the early twentieth century had come to be increasingly fused with Western sexual magic, and analyzes the profound transformation of sexual magic from a terrifying medieval nightmare of heresy and social subversion into a modern ideal of personal empowerment and social liberation. The book argues that the literature on sexual magic has, from its origins, been plagued by a deep tension and ambivalence: The tension between liberation and exploitation.

Keywords:   sexual magic, America, Europe, magia sexualis, Paschal Beverly Randolph, Theodor Reuss, Aleister Crowley, Hindu Tantra, Buddhist Tantra, personal empowerment

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.