Human sexuality is, quite apart from Christian repressions, a highly questionable phenomena, and belongs, at least potentially, among the extreme rather than ordinary experiences of humanity. Tamed as it may be, sexuality remains one of the demonic forces in human consciousness –pushing us at intervals close to taboo and dangerous desires, which range from the impulse to commit sudden arbitrary violence upon another person to the voluptuous yearning for extinction of one’s consciousness, for death itself. Even on the level of simple physical sensation and mood, making love surely resembles having an epileptic fit at least as much, if not more, than it does eating a meal or conversing with someone. Everyone has felt (at least in fantasy) the erotic glamor of physical cruelty and erotic lure in things that are vile and repulsive. These phenomena form a part of the genuine spectrum of sexuality, and if they are not to be written off as mere neurotic aberrations, the picture looks different from the one promoted by enlightened public opinion, and less simple.

One could plausibly argue that it is for quite sound reasons that the while capacity for sexual ecstasy is inaccessible to most people – given that sexuality is something, like nuclear energy, which may prove amenable to domestication through scruple, but then again may not. That few people regularly, or perhaps ever, experience their sexual capacities at this unsettling pitch doesn’t mean that the extreme is not authentic, or that the possibility of it doesn’t haunt them anyway. (Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to themselves for blowing their minds. Yet among the multitude of the pious, the number who have ventured very far into that state of consciousness must be fairly small, too) There is, demonstrably, something incorrectly designed and potentially disorientating in the human sexual capacity – at least in the capacities of man-in-civilization. Man, the sick animal, bears within him an appetite which can drive him mad. Such is the understanding of sexuality – as something beyond good and evil, beyond love, beyond sanity; as a resource for ordeal and for breaking through the limits of consciousness – that informs the French literary canon I’ve been discussing.

The Story of O, with its project for completely transcending personality, entirely presumes this dark and complex vision of sexuality so far removed from the hopeful view sponsored American Freudianism and liberal culture. The woman who is given no other name than O progresses simultaneously towards her own extinction as a human being and her fulfilment as a sexual being. It’s hard to imagine how anyone would ascertain whether there exists truly, empirically, anything in “nature” or human consciousness that supports such a split. But it seems understandable that the possibility has always haunted man, as accustomed as he is to decrying such a split. . .

Perhaps the deepest spiritual resonance of the career of pornography in its “modern” Western phase under consideration here is this vast frustration of human passion and seriousness since the old religious imagination, with its secure monopoly on the total imagination, began in the late eighteenth century to crumble. The ludicrousness and lack of skill of most pornographic writing, films, and painting is obvious to everyone who has ever been exposed to them. What is less often remarked about the typical products of the pornographic imagination is their pathos. Most pornography – the books discussed here cannot be excepted – points to something more general than even sexual damage. I mean the traumatic failure of modern capitalist society to provide authentic outlets for the perennial human flair for high-temperature visionary obsessions, to satisfy the appetite for exalted self-transcending modes of concentration and seriousness…The need of human beings to transcend “the personal” is no less profound than to be a person, an individual. But this society serves that need poorly. It provides mainly demonic vocabularies in which to situate that need and from which to initiate action and construct rites of behaviour. One is offered a choice among vocabularies of thought and action which are not merely self-transcending but self-destructive. .

Susan Sontag
The Pornographic Imagination

They want to whisk the lust from my lips, beat the alcohol

from my stomach, teach me how to not desire other women

how to rebuild gardens of shame in my body. Instead, I dug

my nails into this broken culture, ran to the closest sparkler,

then lit it with a hungry tongue. I carved my own scripture

onto this stomach.

Nothing has ever felt holier.

Noor Hindi

Self Portrait

July 9, 2020

I did not want my body
Spackled in the world’s
Black beads and broke
Diamonds. What the world

Wanted, I did not. Of the things
It wanted. The body of Sunday
Morning, the warm wine and
The blood. The dripping fox

Furs dragged through the black New
York snow–the parked car, the pearls,
To the first pew–the funders,
The trustees, the bloat, the red weight of

The world. Their faces. I wanted not
That. I wanted Saint Francis, the love of
His animals. The wolf, broken and bleeding–
That was me.

Cynthia Cruz

Slaughter all

July 9, 2020

There is no ethnic group on the face of this earth that has not been slaughtered; viz Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Britons, and thousands of other tribes worldwide. When, after a conflict, the best balanced leaders who have a stake in the future of all persons, are bypassed, and instead power is seized by the angriest and most grudge-holding, whose greatest stake is in the past…without new consciousness, and without strong reconciling actions…thus erupts a horrible recycling of living out the least of what is human in this world.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Letter To The Prince on the Anniversary of Kristallnacht

[T]he emphasis on sexuality as the root of all evil served to subordinate all women. The ancient Roman world was rife with flesh-hating spiritualities — Stoicism, Manichaeism, Neoplatonism — and they influenced Christian thinking just as it was gelling into “doctrine.” Thus the need to disempower the figure of Mary Magdalene, so that her succeeding sisters in the church would not compete with men for power, meshed with the impulse to discredit women generally. This was most efficiently done by reducing them to their sexuality, even as sexuality itself was reduced to the realm of temptation, the source of human unworthiness. All of this — from the sexualizing of Mary Magdalene, to the emphatic veneration of the virginity of Mary, the mother of Jesus, to the embrace of celibacy as a clerical ideal, to the marginalizing of female devotion, to the recasting of piety as self-denial, particularly through penitential cults — came to a kind of defining climax at the end of the sixth century. It was then that all the philosophical, theological and ecclesiastical impulses curved back to Scripture, seeking an ultimate imprimatur for what by then was a firm cultural prejudice. It was then that the rails along which the church — and the Western imagination — would run were set.

James Carroll
Who Was Mary Magdalene?

Look up…

June 28, 2020

Magick & Manifestation

June 22, 2020

Witchcraft and psychic ability are not just merely practices or crafts. They are a state of being and an orientation.

Mat Auryn
Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation

The Great Goddess

June 16, 2020

Ancient Europe had no gods. The Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, and omnipotent; and the concept of fatherhood had not been introduced into religious thought. She took lovers but for pleasure, not to provide her children with a father. Men feared, adored and obeyed the matriarch. . . . Once the relevance of coition to child-bearing had been officially admitted . . . man’s religious status gradually improved. . . The tribal Nymph, or Queen, chose an annual lover from her entourage of young men, for sacrifice at mid-winter when the year ended; making him a symbol of fertility rather than the object of her erotic pleasure. His sprinkled blood served to fructify trees, crops, and flocks, and his flesh was, it seems, eaten raw by the Queen’s fellow-nymphs priestesses wearing the masks of bitches, mares, or sows.

Robert Graves
The Greek Myths vol. one

The Eleusinian Mysteries

June 13, 2020

The Eleusinian Mysteries became the principal religious ritual of ancient Greece, begun circa 1600 BCE. Originally a secret cult devoted to Demeter, the rites honoured the annual cycle of death and rebirth of grain in the fields. The resurrection of seeds buried in the ground inspired the faith that similar resurrection might await the human body laid to rest in the earth. The religious rituals of the Eleusinian Mysteries lasted two thousand years, became the official state religion, and spread to Rome. They laid the groundwork for Christianity’s belief in resurrection and were ultimately overthrown by the Roman emperor in the fourth century CE.

The canonical source of Demeter’s story, the ‘Homeric Hymn to Demeter,’ dates from about a thousand years into the practice of these rituals. It is called Homeric because it employs the same meter as The Iliad and The Odyssey – dactylic hexameter, the rhythm of ‘Picture yourself in a boat on the river / With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.’

The foundation of the Mysteries is Demeter’s power over the fertility of the land. When her daughter Persephone is stolen by Hades to be his lover in the underworld, the mother’s grief is so acute that she refuses to let the fields produce grain. People are in danger of starving, but Demeter resists, saying there will be no crops until she sees her daughter return. When Persephone does come back, after many trials among mortals and much dealing making among the gods, Demeter’s sudden transformation of bare ground into a ‘vast sheet of ruddy grain’ marks the miracle of fruition returning after a fallow time and sparks the fertility cult of the mysteries. This metamorphosis occurs in mythic time, so it is safe to say that it continues in the present moment for the mind embracing its truth.

Alison Hawthorne Deming
Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit

why I never prayed

June 7, 2020

The first time we made love I realized why I never prayed. One human can only say Oh God! so many times.

Megan Falley
The Atheist