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Magia SexualisSex, Magic, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism$
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Hugh Urban

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247765

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247765.001.0001

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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: 29 May 2020

The Recurring Nightmare, the Elusive Secret

The Recurring Nightmare, the Elusive Secret

Historical and Imaginary Roots of Sex Magic in the Western Tradition

(p.21) 1 The Recurring Nightmare, the Elusive Secret
Magia Sexualis

Hugh B. Urban

University of California Press

This chapter provides a brief overview of the background of sexual magic in the West, both in its imaginary forms and in its more concrete historical roots. It explains that since at least the time of the Gnostic heresies, there has been a recurring fear throughout Western history which links illicit sexuality with black magic and social subversion. The chapter discusses the more credible historical roots of modern sexual magic in ancient Greek love magic, the sexual symbolism of the Jewish Kabbalah and Renaissance magic, and the erotic mysticism of Emanuel Swedenborg, and also analyzes the relevant works of P. B. Randolph, Theodor Reuss, and Aleister Crowley.

Keywords:   sexual magic, illicit sexuality, black magic, social subversion, Greek love magic, sexual symbolism, Jewish Kabbalah, Renaissance magic, erotic mysticism, Emanuel Swedenborg

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