One of the disappointments many people have—especially after watching shows like Buffy and Charmed or seeing numerous horror films—is that simply saying some words out of a book doesn't work magick. I remember one movie where some kids inaccurately mumbled words from a book and the ground opened and demons came forth! If magick really did work that way, every book on magick would be locked away and there would still be magick going on everywhere. Any books on magick you could find would sell for tens of thousands of dollars. And yet some books seem to imply that just saying a few arcane words is all it takes to do magick. Obviously, something must be missing.
Actually, there are two things missing. The first is a change of consciousness. Pagans will frequently focus on the Goddess when doing even simple rituals, or they may concentrate on the unique properties of an herb or mineral. Ceremonial magicians usually do some sort of ritual such as a banishing before doing any practical or spiritual magick. For many people, just thinking about the ritual or spell they are doing puts them into a magickal mindset that will allow the non-physical aspects of magick to be established.
In most cases, however, just an altered state of consciousness isn't enough for magick to work. You need something else—energy.
The Magick of Energy
Many books on magick discuss the need to generate and direct energy. The meaning of "energy" is often left undefined, and one of the things non-magickal people often ask me is, "what do you mean by energy?" I mean the same thing that any physicist means: energy is the ability to do work. There are two broad categories of energy, potential (stored) energy and kinetic (active) energy. For magick to work, every ritual or spell needs an influx of magickal energy. Without the change in consciousness and influx of energy, magick is unsuccessful and is nothing more than recitation of words and waving of wands.
As well as discussing the need to generate and direct energy, numerous books on magick talk about ways to raise the energy. You can spin in a circle until you get dizzy, dance, do deep breathing, or perform visualizations. Some even mention that you can raise energy with sex. Few authors get into the technicalities of raising and directing energy using any of these means.
When I use the term "sex," I am including far more than physically intimate acts. When you first look into the eyes of another person and feel "like your heart has skipped a beat," that's sex. The flirting that goes on between people is sex, even if it doesn't lead to physical passion. Sex is not just about physical activity. It is the exchange of energy between two entities. Sex magick uses this energy to obtain desires.
Sex energy can be raised by just thinking about another person or entity. It can be raised by watching or thinking about others or yourself having sex. In other words, the energy of sexuality isn't just from the body; it's created and directed by the mind. Sex energy is powerful, too. Right now, like an enormous battery, the sex energy is stored within you just waiting to be used. Sex magick allows you to increase the power of your inner battery and safely direct the energy, like the massive charge of a Tesla coil, in order to achieve your magickal goals.
Charging Your Magick
Obviously, I can't describe a full ritual that uses sex here. But remember, sex magick is not just about the physical act of sex. Here is a simple experiment you can try that will show you what using sex magick is like.
Our Eastern compatriots have shown that by using breathwork and visualization of energy, we can increase and direct the energy in ways that are very similar to physical sexual activity. The energy is the same; the way it is generated is simply different.
The next time you are going to do some magick, try adding this technique:
I think that if you add this small technique to your rituals and spells, you'll find that your magick will work faster and with greater power and success than ever before.
You've probably heard that "sex sells." But the sad truth is only sex that titillates and teases sells. Books with greater truths about sexuality and spirituality may only appeal to those who are willing to look past the licentious uses of sex and who are ready to challenge their own preconceptions. Few people really discuss sexuality openly and honestly, and many who will discuss it simply don't have the knowledge to present information accurately or the objectivity to present the facts fairly. Llewellyn has several books available with honest and powerful information on how to raise or generate this energy, enhance it and direct it toward your magickal goals.
I couldn't talk about this without mentioning my own Modern Magick. Although it covers far more subjects and gives a broad introduction to magick, it also has a lesson dedicated to traditional sexual magick, revealing far more about the mechanics of sex magick than you'll find in some other books. I would recommend this to beginners and intermediates in magick who want to know more.
Next is a wonderful book by Frater U∴D∴ called Secrets of Western Sex Magic. In it you'll learn how sex magic is a tremendously potent way to direct consciously controlled sexual energy in order to obtain material and personal goals. Filled with exercises and techniques any adult can use, this book is a must if you are at all interested in sex magic.
I also recommend Ecstasy Through Tantra by Dr. Mumford. This is a greatly expanded version of his earlier (and now rare, expensive, and out-of-print) book, Sexual Occultism. For those with some knowledge or interest in Tantra, this is the only book I know of that truly bridges the Eastern and Western traditions of spiritualized sexuality, including Western sex magick.
And finally, there is Modern Sex Magick by me. In it you'll find the traditions of Kabalistic sex magick and how they can help you achieve your magickal desires. The focus in this book is on the flow of the energy and can be used by yourself or with partner(s). It begins with the history of sex magick and explains the theorems of magick and sex magick. Then you learn explicit techniques you can use, including the forbidden sex magicks of the Outsider.