Translated by Smaragd, Polyhymnia, Silvaeon
There was a request for an article on sexuality to be published on the Star of Azazel website. The subject is challenging because there are countless ways to approach it, and each works under unique laws and is exceptionally intimate to the individual. Thus in the article at hand, it is necessary to specifically emphasise that the views are solely those of the writer.
A living and personal relationship is crucial to processing the theme at hand; the edges of the views of esoteric sexuality scarcely loom over each other. It is hard to find a greater contradiction in the practices of esoteric life than between the Western Right-Hand Path sexual morality 1 and 21st century emancipated sexual morality. Shortly: Whereas the latter sees the sexuality of a human as a question of aesthetics and identity, the former sees it as a downright defining factor in the relation between a human being and the universe as such: a magical and ethical encounter. The thought behind these Right-Hand Path instructions has been that the micro and macro cosmos practically merge through the erotic power that has been left latent and channeled to elsewhere so that the difference between a human being’s exotericism and esotericism is a choice between sexuality and the kundalini process. 2
This view, which might cause the people of today to blink their eyes in disbelief, has a strong basis in a certain kind of thinking spanning thousands of years, and we cannot sweep such presentations off the table just like that, as outdated according to our own preferences and intuitions. However, with better reasons, we may do so. Thus let us make time for dialogue for processing these deep and timely topics; for dialogue, even an inner dialogue, is often better than monologue to present things in a situation where the doors between the self and the other are being knocked on. I have left the discussion as a lengthy one on purpose, as the reader might need to come back to it several times to not become numb to the material. I found this longer peripatetic – strolling around – type of analysis more useful than a potentially problematic abridgement because of the subject at hand.
Q: What is the stance of the Star of Azazel’s philosophy on questions of sexuality and gender in the circle of esotericism?
A: Naturally the same, which it has concerning all other aspects of humane life. Setting one’s life according to the practical principles of the “Threefold Key”.
Q: Could you describe each of the three factors of this key in relation to the subject at hand?
A: Sure, as long as we remember that these three must always be connected to each other. One factor cannot be, should not be, lifted above others, but rather they must work taking each other into consideration. Keeping this in mind, I’ll try to sketch out each one. We can start with love, which is the most apparent aspect connecting to our topic. Love has exceedingly many forms, and part of these forms relate, in a likewise manner, to the diversity of sexuality. Both have, as we know, forms that can shine in their absence from the other: love can manifest in different ways than sexual, while sexuality as well can be tediously easily something entirely else than loving. Thus an upward path occultist strives away from forms of sexuality – ones about abuse or other downward directing empowerment of psychic needs rather than real sympathy and empathy – just like he strives away from an unloving stance approaching all life.
Q: This point is clear enough and abstract enough, although I was left thinking about what ”abuse” means and does not mean here.
A: I would hope this to be left for a question pondered personally. According to the situation, the answers could look quite different, and these miniatures of Venus cannot be painted with a paint roller.
Q: Also, the relation to truth feels simple enough. Is it so?
A: This is indeed an easy spot in an otherwise ambiguous subject. I mean easy for pointing out the idea, not necessarily always for following it. But the Threefold Key’s angle on honesty and truthfulness is that we cannot base our sexuality, like any other aspect of life, on falsehood.
Q: I think that a human voice in all of us says – if one is honest enough to oneself and one’s own feelings: “Surely, nobody could be absolutely honest to their partner, or partners?”
A: Couldn’t they? If not, then a state must be found where one can be as absolutely honest as possible. The little part that we left unexpressed for our own benefit – or the benefit of everyone, or the other, as we might say to ourselves – is the part of us that will stay on the profane 3 side. An advanced occultist can be honest without being inconsiderate, hurtful, or egomaniacal, and without withholding information that is important to the other.
Q: I think a stance like that would ask for such a great balance, foresight, idealism, and ability to compromise that it could only be possible for an exceptional individual after long years of practice.
A: That is right. Spiritual development is rarely easy.
Q: It looks like we have naturally, or by chance, come to the third factor of “upward striving”.
A: Surely, it is natural and not by chance, for truthfulness and striving belong together.
Q: This ethical basis seems understandable, although I don’t know to what degree people can follow it.
A: It can be followed as precisely as loosely or ardently as one wills; the Star of Azazel only wants to give a tool that is used by those who want to work under the sphere of such a school.
Q: Let’s embark forth to more interesting details, if I may say so. I don’t mean the foundation wouldn’t be interesting, but it is already familiar to most of us. My question is: Should I, as an aspirant, strive to set the same willpower as with the above mentioned striving for truthfulness and love, and also put my sexuality into a particular type of form or – as many earlier groups present as extremely desirable – to numb it completely for creating the possibility of sublimation?
A: No. In that direction lurks terrible problems.
Q: Please, explain!
A: Formal practices related to transmuting formal sexual energy – that is the energy working according to the inner energetical temperament in any one of us, libido, in its whole massive psychophysical context, – are always personal. That which is medicine to one is poison to another; that which makes one of us shine the brightest light covers the other in the heaviest darkness. These are matters requiring at least the intimacy and extreme detail as in an occult teacher–discipline relationship, where the persons’ individual approaches are taken into account. These days, when the whole guru institute is so extremely short of protection from sinister use of power, I would leave it out even from this most intimate form of guidance. Elsewhere such technical instructions will not befit at all.
Q: Is the world truly splintered so? Is everything relative?
A: Not at all. On the contrary, everything is as intensively impactful as before. But the last century, or even decades, of cultural changes, have been so intensive that the human being has changed tremendously. If it is difficult to imagine how cultural changes impact our inner secretions, we need only to ponder what significance a mere increase of light and energetic vitality have on us.
Q: I see we are closing into the deep end of paranormal studies.
A: Undoubtedly so. But I’m astonished if even biologists would deny such consequences on the species’ sociological and thus sexual behaviour. This matter can be left in the state of either-or. Let us take it as a belief, a personal sentiment, that the humane world of experience has also changed when it comes to what we have to call the unsatisfyingly simplifying term, ”the energetic plane”.
Q: Ok, let’s do that. Exactly where are you going with this?
A: The present increase of light and energetical density is a matter of diversifying the base of which is also physical, not only psychological, in a way in which we should bend into formal ideals. And still, at the same time as our time enables – or rather necessitates – the diversity of sexuality and diverse sexual identities, it, first of all, stays ethically in the mentioned universal basic principles. Secondly, the energetic effects of the applications remain just as impactful as ever.
Q: I don’t understand what you mean by the latter part. The “applications” are the individually assumed sexual practices and factors directly – and indirectly? – belonging to sexual identity, but what are the energetical impacts of them?
A: The powerful energies flowing in the bodywork on the physical plane tuned explicitly to our sensations on the nerve centers are first and foremost etheric, that is, of substantial-astral 4 quality. As you said, we are now in the deep end of paranormal studies. This pool is still the same old pool of magical phenomena of the human being’s vital body, where we have been splashing in both the East and in the West for millenniums; our peculiarities have strong traditions. The water of this human pool moves through several dams and can be mudded and purified, or only neutrally toned, in many different ways according to our use of this pool structure.
Q: We are talking about the physical-astral composition of man. Linga sharira and prâna, which transforms as it moves through the former, right?
A: Exactly so, whatever the names used in different esoteric schools.
Q: The sexual act – including the form or the lack of it – impacts the variations of this astral water, or embodied prâna, that is life force?
A: Absolutely, and often quite drastically. But we are now in a kind of cultural turning point. The same energies are affected by all we take into ourselves, all we brood within, and all we bring out of ourselves. Whereas sexuality was previously esoterically ritualized and regulated within a different world where energy flowed slower, it must now be entirely understood from another base. A human being is not contaminated by what comes to us, but what leaves us. In other words, energetical purification happens first and foremostly in deeds, not so much by what is left undone. In this sense, the pools have been changed concerning the old world.
Q: It sounds like one can do anything by your method.
A: That is by no means sensible, even if one could hold on to the Threefold Key – even just one of its corners. There are always more and less wise courses of action. And just like an aspirant who, let’s say, gives in to an industrious use of intoxicants can reason he is not harming anyone and stays truthful, a question can soon be asked whether he is genuinely striving for the best possible end result. But yes, “one can do anything” informs that he can see striving as meaningful, and the magical triad of ethics keeps him within the limits that are uplifting instead of behavioral patterns giving in to a descent.
Q: So you refuse to rank different kinds of sexual orientations and practices?
A: To the extent where they are not harming, yes. There exist many sexual needs that are secretly or openly connected to manipulative psychology, and the worst forms of thusly coloured forms of sexuality can lead to terrible woundings of other beings – without them necessarily even realizing it immediately.
Q: By worst forms, you are maybe referring to pedophilia?
A: For example, pedophilia, or zoophilia, or to whatever form of sexuality where we are harshly abusing the other party under our power; rape is an extreme and comprehensible example. Even in conditions where the abuse is reciprocated, there are factors that easily wound; but as long as this factor is understood, it is possible to also use these sorts of methods.
Q: Please, if it is possible, could you present this with a bit more clarity? These things are quite hard to comprehend.
A: Detailed presentations have a greater chance of going astray, as we cannot address specific individuals’ specific challenges when discussing things on the general levels. But I’ll try. Let’s take from the countless possible examples the one of roleplay of sexual domination. A human being can have a need to be sexually dominated, and the partner may have the need to sexually dominate. In such a sexual manifestation, where seeming maltreatment is roleplayed lovingly, it still has its challenges. But understanding the thing and the striving to process the challenges can be enough: there is no need to judge the sadomasochistic form of sexuality as non-spiritual because it processes complex psychic needs. The presence of conscious acknowledging, love and upward striving is essential; we cannot escape from this.
Q: Cannot a human being find peace even in his own bedroom from striving to rise psychologically upwards and forward? Cannot a cigar be just a cigar, sex just sex, without any additional layers?
A: Ah! This, of course, depends on who we are asking. In this context, my own answer to all those questions is “no.” But this approach, as we stated right at the beginning, is only for those who want to choose it.
Q: But isn’t there a danger that sexuality itself becomes a contrived performance tied to a moral?
A: There is indeed. This potential stumbling block must first be acknowledged to be processed. Our present time often yearns for absolutes. For a contemporary human, a thing is either exactly something – a scientific fact – or if something is found that need not be in a certain way, it can then be whatever. This tense polarity, where absolutes seek to relax in equally absolute boundlessness, is characteristic of contemporary profane experience. On the other hand, in an occultist’s life, everything affects everything: that which is below is always like that which is above, to accomplish the miracle of one being. It does not mean life should be made a neurotic game. The deepening insight into the oneness of life, which not only demands but supports, helps the aspirant walking such a Path undergo it properly and in-depth. The magical building of the world happens all the time in two directions: from us to elsewhere, and from elsewhere to us.
Q: These are easily far, distant and cold things for practice. Sexuality is, fundamentally, quite the hot stuff.
A: It is, and it must be, or something is already wrong, in other words, changed or changing to power games – between people or within one human being. But still, he who is genuinely interested in these questions from the occult point of view is already to some degree interested in pondering the bounds and centers of things and not only taking easy answers. If easy answers are demanded, we always have the rule of thumb in the most simple golden rule: “Do what you will, as long as it will not hurt others.” To which, for an esotericist, a clarification must be added: “Not indirectly nor in astral worlds.”
Q: The matter is not equally simple for an advanced or aspiring occultist as for other people?
A: Usually not. It can be if matters happen to be in a certain way because of “personal karma”. It is perhaps more usual that it is revealed to be so only seemingly, and “as long as you won’t hurt others” might have been considered complete too soon. Our actions have different degrees of depth and not so obvious consequences, which I partly referred to by the added notion for esotericists. Looking at the past’s cultural structures, even from the surface, we see the massive problems there have been in sexual norms even though people believed everything was working quite splendidly. It is naive to imagine this was only the past, and now we see past our cultural blind spots. We do not if we won’t strive to see on a very personal level.
Q: How should a human being relate to this challenge in the search if the method of the philosophy of the Star of Azazel is to be used?
A: In the contemporary, quite secluded conception of man, the realization of this limitlessness can be a very frightening step, and partly for this very reason, we, as contemporary human beings, often long for limitless sexual freedom for ourselves. And in principle, that is already granted to most Westerners. But it is often already too much to insist any deed of ours to have very subtle consequences. Whether they move in the right direction is defined first and foremost by intention. The method of my sexuality – or asexuality – will come to carry certain kinds of energetic impacts with accuracy, and it would be very naive to claim to an occultist, as the profane can freely think, that different forms of sexual life would not have any kind of impact to anything. They do. For the Right-Hand Path occultists, the ideal in the old world was a brotherly – sexless – relationship, even with one’s own partner. Coitus, when it happened, was definitely vaginal and aimed for procreation, for sodomy would have already destroyed cities, and no one had probably even heard of cunnilingus or coitus a mamilla… at least after the pre-occult years of youth, everyone had good reasons to forget. The world has changed alot, and now we must once again say that the human tree is known by its fruits and not by the cracks the seeds have fallen into. Energetic impacts are differing, and they have their own subtle esoteric world, but as long as the striving is truly upward, loving and truthful, it is good and develops us – and our loved partner – in the right direction. In case sexuality in itself still feels too challenging and unnecessary, an occultist can follow the loving work of purification of the inner centers, which is possible by slowly withdrawing the erotic energy from the outer, which I have written on at the end of Cybele’s Chariot.
Q: The text is hard to come by. Could you summarize the presentation?
A: A summary is inevitably rather blunt in such a delicate matter, but I’ll try. Upward erotic abstinence as a chosen practice is begun by sanctifying thoughts. When such consecration of the eroticism to the beautiful serving spirituality progresses, the subtlety of “the light” – Luciferian astral light, that is, libido – turns little by little more delicate and less clouded. How exactly is an individual matter; but the psychophysical alchemy of the body is thus able to create strong dynamism, from which the heaviest bodily plane disappears in stages, but still holds its intensity as radiantly serving. Such a gradual change of the kâma to buddhi, redeeming lust with love, also affects bodily energies in an invigorating manner. Earlier Right-Hand Path occultism has emphasised sexual sublimation exceptionally, as already stated, and often presented it even as a sine qua non for occult progress.
Q: Is it so crucial?
A: Not in these times. As I mentioned above, the process has tremendous dangers, and only part of them will become directly visible. Larger parts will lead to bodily or psychopathological disabilities, as we can see, for example, from the extreme vulnerability of religious forms requiring mandatory celibacy for causing and receiving damage. The pedophilia scandals of the Catholic Church and some Protestant revivalism are only the tip of the iceberg in such a problematisation of the psyche and bodily energies.
Q: Earlier writers have erred?
A: That is too strong an expression. The times have been different, and other kinds of emphases have been made. Is the above presentation of sublimation by love, after all, easier to see as a neutral process without forcing things in one direction or another?
Q: The presentation is still quite challenging.
A: It is challenging to explain, understand, and to actualize. More often than steering one’s energies upwards, a human being either shuts down one’s libido or turns its energies aside as astrally influencing intensity, which easily follows different sorts of neuroses, hysteria, and even psychosis. Personally, I’d usually rather recommend increasing the loving ideal within uncontrived – or something that can be practiced into such – physical sexuality. But everyone is hopefully able to listen to oneself the best, and choose their own choices and practices from that base, and according to the above presented central principles.
Q: Choices and practices that are, perhaps, particularly of ethical quality?
A: That are absolutely mainly of ethical quality, and also taking into account the bodily balance.
Q: Isn’t this somewhat tame teaching when it comes to the occult progress?
A: If the student feels so, he has not yet even tried to truly put his powers into occult practice. The pubescent thoughts that only strong emotions generate strong achievements and the strive for harmony befit for the lukewarm masses are not met in a single human being truly approaching initiation. The powers that move through a human being are so exceedingly strong that balance is an absolute requirement for even some kind of control over them. If anything is for sure in the magical strive, it is that it will never be boring, or something has been understood quite wrongly.
Q: Where might the problem then be?
A: Probably in that the student has not learnt to strive. When one strives to truly walk the Path and do the Work, the strive in itself – the challenges with which the human being has to wrestle daily, faced – intensifies his energies, including the erotic energy. 5 In the present times, which are exceedingly saturated by energy, there is seldom a need for any other process for rousing the fire, that is, focused astral light; only for its allocation and purification. We are already living in the world of the fire.
Q: You presented that sexuality with other aspects of life should be set under the “Threefold Key” in the process suggested by the Star of Azazel, which enables and obligates to find oneself the most practical and uplifting way to experience the erotic life. But this does not actually take a position on things, the occult bearing of which we cannot know as profane.
A: What sort of things do you specifically refer to?
Q: What sorts of bearings different kinds of physical, sexual relations have on occult life. You presented your view of the impact of various forms of sexual encounters being potentially positive if the intention is connecting and loving, but your presentation’s emphasis seems strongly on traditional, heterosexual monogamy.
A: It’s because the form of sexuality you mentioned is the one I have experience of and accumulated personal understanding. Moreover, it is a relatively easy archetypal base structure, which can be mutatis mutandis adjusted according to the context when the polarities have become more complex and converted. In the context of occultism and the spiritual, we often come to the phenomena where the personal preference is universalized. Archetyping as such isn’t negative, for archetypes do not close each other out, but universalization in the sense that one ideal is made to be valid for all at the expense of others is negative. When examining confining typifications, we are to recognize that on the one hand, we have the teachers of the right hand, who might have damaged their womb in a childhood riding accident or their spine as toddlers, while on the left we have the teachers – or whatever they are to call themselves – by whom sexuality is taken into a profane use, often to fulfill their own unprocessed needs. Often the nature of these needs is not even erotic, and an authority on occultism might be expressing only clumsy egoism with the seeming virility. We probably know enough occultism idealizing macho hypersexuality, which in reality comes to superficial pseudo occultism, without giving further representations. Every occultist, every human being interested in their soul in any way, should understand that both of these extremes – negativity towards sexuality or the kind of seeming positivity, which covers the idealization of childish irresponsibility, are equally inadequate approaches. There’s, of course, always exceptions: genuinely asexual or genuinely polyamorous people, to whom the bipolarity of eroticism that makes one whole appears in a different form. The romantico-erotical mystery has more depth than blunt presentations; the profound strength of Venus is in her subtlety and demand for multidimensional engrossment.
Q: So after all, we have come to the conclusion that truly nothing certain can be said – after the first ethical obligations – in advocacy or opposition, whatever the sexual orientation might be?
A: That is where we started, and that is where we must stop when it comes to discussing things in general. But the journey of contemplating these things is never in vain. Conceptualizing, pondering, and the individual experience forms deepening spirals instead of tiresomely repeating the vicious cycle. Each one of us already has enough of our own vicious cycles for us to start repeating the often entirely different sorts of challenges of our esoteric authorities. For every human being has an erotic side, however sublimated – or pseudo-sublimated. It is an eternal and absolute archetype, a Great Goddess. As well as a Great God.
Q: Elsewhere, you have repeatedly connected eroticism to the figure of the goddess as Magna Mater, or the Great Mother. Isn’t this an unnecessarily Oedipal approach?
A: Although the approach is old and much less relevant for the present culture than in early cultures – where the mystery of “fertility” and the arduous omnipotency of the Earth Mother was absolutely present in all life – this level does not leave the inner archetypal world of people. The figures of “the Father” and “the Mother”, i.e., the God and the Goddess, inevitably hover above us – even above our sexualities and asexualities. These are things that demand every occultist going through their own process, personal devotional observations. A Clumsy ’for or against’ attitude is seldom enough and is especially bad in sexual contexts.
Q: Usually, the archetypes are also seen as cultural types of people, the boundaries of which one is to stay within. Isn’t it easily flattening to speak of the archetypes together with practical eroticism?
A: Truly, it can be so in many situations, but the problem is then in the situation, a wrong presentation or wrong interpretation, not in the doctrine of archetypes as such. The doctrine is lenient and does not present human beings as separatively structured by an archetype, but each individual’s connection to all archetypes. Our inner archetypes do not stop impacting erotically, even if we were to contrive our sexual ideal to be shopping cart eroticism, where nothing has an essence, only form, which is twisted into different positions like a Rubik’s Cube or an objectified partner. Between the “archetypal experience” and the “anything goes” experience should be found a balance, the golden mean from the good attributes of both. To unite a broad reflection, by the aid of archetypes, to as neutral listening of one’s own soul as possible, including its sexual needs.
Q: The mutual reflection and balancing of these two admittedly fit the ideal of balance set in the constitution of your society. Is that all?
A: Of course not. But the essential basis is there. To put it short, for an occultist, the contemplation of possibilities and requirements of sexuality should by no means stay at either of its traditionally presented poles, that are on the one hand the conservative ideal of abstinence, and on the other, the false ethics of need and the exercise of power, as borrowed from Rabelais’ satire.
Q: I must say that although I am aligned differently towards some of the views you presented, our discussion has allowed me to have clarity on these different standpoints.
A: It is often the best possible outcome. Syntheses are seldom sudden and final, rather they are to become gradually out of many open encounters.
- From the countless examples, cf. for instance Max Heindel’s Cosmo Conception. Besides, everyone who has studied Western esotericism and/or religious base, or has been exposed to these themes indirectly, knows the negativity towards sexuality visible in the basis of Western spirituality. ↩
- It has been interpreted that either a human being uses the sacred energy for sexuality or manages to bring it to spiritual and magical development. ↩
- Or in the worse case: on the side of the downward path. ↩
- White astral. ↩
- This striving and loving wrestle eroticized in the energetic level is behind many of my presentations touching upon the wrestle between Jacob and Metatron, or Michael and Lucifer, or “the knight and the dragon”. ↩