La Petit Mort … Magic and Sex

by Jake Block


La petite mort, the little death, is a metaphoric euphemism for orgasm.  The phrase entered into English usage in around 1572 C.E., not specifically as a sexual reference, but in describing a “fainting fit,” or a “nervous spasm.”  In the time since then, it has been used primarily (although not exclusively) as a sexual term to describe post orgasmic experiences that include a weakening of consciousness, weakness and erotic exhaustion.

“Life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change.”
— Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)

The power of orgasm, both male and female, has been know for centuries.  Sometimes it has been considered part of a mystical experience, a way of honoring “the gods” as a sacrifice of one’s vital bodily fluids in the male model, and the “holy vessel” for intimate, erotic coupling in the female model.  Hindu Tantric sexual practices formulated over 5000 years ago still are in practice today, with formal and informal devotees around the world.

The western world has treated sex and orgasm in the rather pedestrian model of cause and effect, goal oriented, biological imperative, and in cold reality, it is.  The typical male/female sexual dynamic is that the male pursues the female, seduces her, engages in sex for the average of three to five minutes, at the end of which the male ejaculates.  The female might come to orgasm, but it’s not really necessary.

OK.  That might work well for a teenagers (dating myself) in the back seat of a 1957 Chevy at the local drive in on Saturday night, but bears as much in common with a magical experience as a shotgun shack in the boondocks compares to a Tuscan villa.  In the magical sense, orgasm is not the goal, but an event along a timeline that builds and extends to a greater and more intense conclusion that is both satisfying and exhausting in a way teens at the drive in could never comprehend.

Sex has been a component of magical operations for centuries, both as a veneration of the gods to insure fertility of females for the continuance of the species, but also the viability of crops to sustain the community, as in Dionysian and Bacchanalian orgiastic fertility rites.  These primitive processes eventually evolved into organized and standardized magical rituals that incorporated sex and orgasm as vectors of power to achieve a desired outcome.

Some of these initiatory groups, such as the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) and Fraternatas Saturni linked participation in the sexually oriented rituals to those of a predetermined ranking within their organizations.  While the OTO was well known for the inclusion of sexuality into their magical practices, the Fraternitas Saturni’s erotic rituals were limited in scope.  For example, this described ritual was limited to those who had reached the 18°.

“The Five – M Rite
(As presented in the book FIRE AND ICE by S. Edred Flowers (p. 109 – 112 [1990])

This rite is performed by male and female magicians who are bound together by a high level of erotic desire.  The pair spend some time in sexual abstinence and in meditation before beginning the rite.
1) Preparation.  The temple room is hun with black satin decorated with inverse silver pentagrams.  The lodge apron worn during the ritual is black with a gold or red pentagram (reversed).  If each of the participants holds the 18°, they wear the respective rings of the degree,
2) Entry.  The pair enter the temple room and step within a circle, in the middle of which is a low stool.  The male magician (magus) sits on the stool, while the female (medium) crouches between his out-spread legs.
3) Charging.  A parchment upon which are inscribed the sigils of the psychogone which is to be invoked is laid on the floor between the “magus” and “medium.”  This parchment is odically loaded by means of magnetic passes and rhythmic breathing techniques.  This remains on the floor between the legs of the male.
4) Working.  The female partner stands and lowers herself onto the erect penis of the male.  They complete the act of ritual coitus with the male ejaculating into the vagina or the medium before her climax.  After orgasm of the female, she stands and allows the sperm and the collected, magically charged sexual fluids to fall upon the parchment.  This parchment then becomes the focus for the development of a psychogonic entity — the purpose of and will of which is directed by the magicians.

These four steps actually constitute only the later part of the complete “Five-M Rite.”  Before partaking of this fifth “M” — Sanskrit maithuna (eros) — the magicians will have already partaken of  the other four M’s”:  mansa (meat), matsya (fiish), mudra (grain), and madya (wine or mead), in a ritual meal.

The aim of this operation is similar to that of several others practiced by the FS:  to create living entities that will do the bidding of a magician.  This is something quite different from calling upon spirits, angels, or daemons to work for the magician, in that the psycyogone is considered to have been created out of the magician’s own energies (or out of the combined male and female essences).

Another similar practice to create and astral entity or psychogone is called “Astral Procreation.”  The ritual may be summarized as follows:

1) A make magician and a female medium enter a magical circle, closed by a pentagram and armed in the four cardinal points with four other inverse pentagrams.  She lies face up on a bed or sofa.  She is nude with her head toward the south.
2) The magician draws another inner magical circle around the medium and puts her into a deep, magnetic trance.  (the original FS documents suggest that drugs — an incense made of hashish, for example — might be helpful!)  It is also noted that the room temperature should be very high.
3)  The magician sits (in the lotus asana) to the right of the medium.  He draws a small magical circle in front of himself and sprinkles seven drops of wine or other alcoholic spirit into the middle of the circle.  By means of visualization, breathing and mantric techniques (using the u-vowel), the magician should evoke the image of the psychogone in the small circle.  In the circle before him he then places a piece of parchment upon which are inscribed the sigils of the entity to be created.
4) With the left hand the magician strokes the medium’s solar plexus (surya chakra), her heart region (anahata chakra), her sexual area (svadusthana chakra), and finally and most importantly, her spleen region (chandara chakra).  As he does this he draws out odic force from each of these centers an directs it through his body from his left hand to his right hand, whic he is holding over the parchment in the small magical circle in front of him.  This force is projected in a continuous stream into the parchment.  This whole cycle is carried out from seven to nine times.  This can be accompanied by singing of mantras corresponding to the entity to be created.
5) The medium is then awakened from her magnetic trance, and rises from her lying position.  The magician sits on the edge of the bed or sofa with the circle and parchment between his legs.  He pulls the medium toward him and onto his erect penis.  They complete ritual coitus.  The charged sexual fluids that flow from the vagina after the act are mixed with the alcoholic spirit and used to soak the parchment.  Also, three drops of the magician’s blood, drawn from his Saturn (middle) finger, are added to the parchment.
6) The parchment is then dried over a brazier and the ceremony is closed.

A pendulum is used to determine the presence of relative strength of the psychogone inhabiting the parchment.  On Mondays and Fridays, both “parents” of the entity may direct more odic force to the entity — feeding it and making it stronger.  This increasing strength can be monitored with the pendulum.

The time during the full or waxing Moon are favorable for producing friendly and beneficial psychogones, while during the time of the new or waning Moon dangerous and malevolent entities can be engendered.  Also, with regard to the character of these entities, it is noted that although it is largely a matter of the magician’s will to design, the basic character is also affected by the personality of the parents.”

In another example of sexual magic, coming to us from Aleister Crowley can be found in The Book of The Law (Liber AL vel Legis ) by Crowley in 1914 C.E.

Class B
(The 15th Chapter of Liber CDXIV)
Of Eroto-comatose Lucidity (Liber CDXIV) De Arte Magica (Liber 414).  Written c. 1914

The Candidate is made ready for the Ordeal by general athletic training, and by feasting. On the appointed day he is attended by one or more chosen and experienced attendants whose duty is (a) to exhaust him sexually by every known means (b) to rouse him sexually by every known means. Every device and artifice of the courtesan is to be employed, and every stimulant known to the physician. Nor should the attendants reck of danger, but hunt down ruthlessly their appointed prey.

The attendants will watch with assiduity for signs of waking; and the moment these occur, all stimulation must cease instantly, and the Candidate be allowed to fall again into sleep; but no sooner has this happened than the former practice is resumed. This alteration is to continue indefinitely until the Candidate is in a state which is neither sleep nor waking, and in which his Spirit, set free by perfect exhaustion of the body, and yet prevented from entering the City of Sleep, communes with the Most High and the Most Holy Lord God of its being, maker of heaven and earth.

The Ordeal terminates by failure—the occurance of sleep invincible— or by success, in which ultimate waking is followed by a final performance of the sexual act. The Initiate may then be allowed to sleep, or the practice may be renewed and persisted in until death ends all. The most favourable death is that occurring during the orgasm, and is called Mors Justi.

As it is written: Let me die the death of the Righteous, and let my last end be like his!”

Two very different examples of sexuality and magic, but indicative of human individuality and the ability to use the mind and body as tools for the projection of will in a Greater Magical ritualization.  Of course, these rituals can be used as is, or modified to reflect the sensibilities of those who would participate in them, reflecting those values and workings of their particular magical system.


The Orders of The Sect of the Horned God

The Order of Pan
The Order of Cernunnos
The Order of Prometheus
The Order of Dionysis
The Order of Shiva