A Personal Manifesto of Sacred Sexuality (v1.0)



I cannot speak for anyone but myself.(This is part of what I mean when I talk about feminist witchcraft.) Your mileage may vary.

This manifesto is a work in progress.I have practiced this lifestyle for years, but I have never attempted to articulate these positions before. Revision will inevitably be needed, even just to fully account for the experiences I have already had. As I continue to live a strange and interesting life, I will acquire new perspectives that will transform the ideas of which this document is a reflection – perhaps radically.

Pleasure, in and of itself, is not shameful or even neutral: it is an inherent good.Does this mean that no harm can come from pursuing pleasure? Of course not. What it does mean is that abstinence from pleasure is, at best, morally neutral, and that the condemnation of pleasure is fundamentally immoral.

Healthy sexual relationships are founded on a model of enthusiastic consent (1). Not just “okay, whatever”, but “fuck yes, do me now”. “I like it when you touch me this way.” “No, put your hand there.” That said: I have a very liberal definition of sex. It is entirely possible that some people on my “List” might be surprised to find themselves there, as they do not consider what we did to be “sex”. That’s fine: it’s not my place to define other people’s experiences for them, but neither is it their place to define mine. We were there, good times were had. I have no interest in legalistic definitions of what counts and what doesn’t. This ambiguity makes the principle of enthusiastic consent even more critical: one does not simply agree to “sex”, and thereby agree to whatever happens thereafter. Communication, then, is also absolutely essential. What “counts” as sex is irrelevant if everyone involved is excited about what they’re doing. Being certain that everyone is not just “consenting” but “enthusiastic” requires communication: honest, explicit, and even graphic discussions of what you like, what you want, what you don’t want to do right now, and what you will never, ever do. Don’t like the sound of that? Piss off: go back to masturbating in the closet with the lights out. If you’re not mature or confident enough to talk about it, you’re not ready to do it.

Communication and enthusiastic consent—and, by extension, good sex—are founded on respect. It is impossible to respect either yourself or your partner “in the morning” if you did not respect both yourself and your partner when you began.


Sacred things are those things which have been touched by the divine. Those things which bring us closer to the divine. Those things which help us realize and understand and manifest the divine.

Which, of course, begs the question: “What is the Divine?”

As a witch and an animist, I believe that the divine is inherent and immanent in all things. The divine is that which exists between the warp and the woof of reality—the very space between the twisted fibers of the threads. Divinity manifests in mortals and in gods, in that which is animate and that which is other. But while the divine is omnipresent, it is not readily apparent. The toil of daily life hides it even from those few whose eyes are not veiled. Although the language I use to describe it is often different, in practical terms this looks a lot like pantheism.

Thus, we must seek the divine through the medium of the sacred: rites and spaces, rituals and tools. We practice ways of life which cultivate a recognition of the divine so that we are awake and watchingfor those moments when the veil parts and the divine is revealed.

This is religion.  This is worship.  This is meditation.  This is the Great Work.

You are the serpent that bites its tail.


Sex is that which arouses and and fulfills. Sex is the consummation of desire—by oneself or with another. Sex is mutual and consensual. It is more than “just” kissing, but doesn’t have to end in orgasm. Sex—done right—is adoration, even when it doesn’t look that way to people who aren’t involved.

If you ever have to ask, “was that sex?”, the answer is probably yes. Oral sex. Cyber sex. Anal sex. Fucking. Sucking. Licking. Touching. Teasing. PiV. Pegging. Tribadism. Silk feathers and rose petals. Leather corsets and vinyl pants.  Whips, and chains. In the road. On the roof. In the woods. Even in bed, just for the sake of variety.

With two or three or four or more.  By yourself.  With a stranger. With a friend, or even a spouse.

Making love. Sexual intercourse.

Whatever your style is. Whatever you want to call it.


Sacred sex begins with the recognition of the divine spark within oneself and within all others, and the recognition that while that spark may be easier to perceive in some individuals, each and every one of us share the same potential. We are all Gods.  We are all Goddesses.

Sacred sex proceeds with the recognition that the body is not just a vehicle, or even a vessel for or temple to the divine (though it is these things, too): it is, itself, part of the immanent and omnipresent divinity.  As such, it must be honored and maintained: by proper feeding and exercise, by cleansing and purification—yes, occasionally even by austerities—and by libations and festivities.  By pleasure.

In a solitary practice, sacred sex serves to unite the divinities of the self—the soul, the flesh, and the divine spark in each that unites the individual with the rest of creation—through the medium of pleasure. By honoring that spark, the inner flame of divinity is stoked and grows brighter.

With partners, sacred sex serves the same purposes and more. Recognizing the spark of divinity in another, devoting ourselves for the duration of the act(s) to stoking the divine flame(s) of our partner(s), we open ourselves to the experience of true unity. Unity with our partner(s) individually and with Creation as a whole. This does not mean pretending that you or your partner are a particular divinity—Apollon or Aphrodite—but recognizing yourself and your partners for the divinities you already are.

Sacred sex, at least for the duration of the act, breaks down the illusory barriers between self and other, between mortal and divine. Sacred sex teaches us that the mortal, material world is not, and cannot be, “profane”; that “profanity”, if it even exists, comes from degradingthe mortal world and its denizens.

Done right, all sex is sacred.

Done right, sacred sex does not leave the practitioner wasted or reduced. Spent, perhaps—as one feels at the end of any vigorous exercise, or powerful ritual—but revitalized, glowing, and more whole.

But this is all too theoretical. “O Satyr,” you ask me (probably more than half sarcastically), “how does one go about all this?” (Or perhaps you’re not being sarcastic. Perhaps we’re sitting at the bar or by the bonfire, and you’re hoping for a personal demonstration: please, make sure I can tell the difference.)

The path is yours to find, but I started with magical healing massage.  Massage is an excellent metaphor for sex, anyway: explicitly negotiated boundaries of skin and touch and oil and pleasure.  (Obviously this is much less true in a professional setting.)  I reached into the Earth for power, and poured my aura into the shoulders under my hands—transmuting pain through warmth of touch, kneading, and Light.  With sex it’s the same, except I use my whole body and it comes more naturally.  And, yes, if your partner is not giving equally, it can be just as exhausting as you imagine.  It’s worth it though.  I promise.


One of the interesting things about the taboos surrounding both sex and magic is how similarly they function. The subjects of sex and the occult are so toxic to large stretches of our society that even asking the most academic questions about them is seen as suspect. At the same time, there is an assumption that any soul who strays off the approved path will throw themselves whole-heartedly into the practice of either or both. We cannot provide sex education for our children: that might lead them to having sex (Ugh … folks? They’re gonna fuck anyway. Hormonal minds will find a way.) or figuring out that they’re queer. We cannot allow our children to play Dungeons and Dragons or read Harry Potter, lest they succumb to the inevitable temptation of the occult. (Sorry, y’all. Some folks can’t ever be trained not to see the fairies.)  Thus, discussions of sacred sex seem inevitably tied to discussions of sex magic: one leads to the other. It makes sense in a certain light. Both subjects are often deeply taboo. So, too, ritual sex.

Let us take a moment to define them, as I understand them at least, relative to one another.

Sacred sex, as described above, is the pursuit of the divine within oneself, one’s lovers, and the world as a whole, through the act of making love.

Ritual sex is the incorporation of sex into formal religious ritual. Historically, there is the well-known (and possibly mythical) hieros gamosof the kings of Sumer to the Goddess Ishtar through her priestesses. In the modern world, of course, we have the Wiccan Great Rite (which may or may not be as mythic as the first).

Sex magic is the use of sexual arousal and/or the act of sex as an engine for achieving magical effect. I am most familiar with this in terms of Chaos Magic and charging sigils, though I am aware of other systems such as that of Donald Michael Kraig and Donald Tyson, and am in the process of learning about them. I am led to understand that there are sexual elements to many other traditions, as well.

Beyond this, I can speak very little to these subjects. While I have had partners who were theoretically interested in ritual sex, it never quite happened, and I don’t know enough about sex magic to even ask someone to try it with me.


1—The link provided was the best 101 resource I could find.  Here are a couple more relevant links.

Mead-Making: the Process

People talk about the old Grimoires and books of magic having “blinds”–instructions left out, or added, to botch attempts by the uninitiated. This may or may not be true, but I have become convinced that many mead-making recipes DO include such blinds, and I think it’s fucking bullshit.  Below is my method.  If your recipe calls for something more complex, think twice.  If something looks stupid, it probably is.  If someone tells you that it’s too hard, or too expensive, or too messy to do yourself … they want into your wallet, or into your pants.  Maybe both.

I’ve been meaning to write this up anyway, to streamline the recipes I post.  It has been made critical by an unfortunate accident in a good friend’s first attempt at mead-brewing.  I don’t know where she got it, honestly I don’t want to: I’d have to flame the shit out of their comments section, and maybe even put in a bad word for them with Him Who Watches Over My Homebrew.

I’ll update this with pictures the next time I start a batch.  In the meantime: knowing is half the battle.*

Satyr Magos’ Process For Turning Honey, Water, Yeast, and Misclanea Into Damn Fine Mead

My process is mind-bogglingly simple.  In fact, most of the time I skip half these steps.  This process has thus far worked for every recipe I’ve tried in my almost three years of homebrewing.

1. (Optional) Start with my honey, and mix it 1:2 with water in a big pot on the stove.  Don’t boil it, just get it hot enough that a light foam begins to rise to the surface.  That foam is wax and other impurities–skim it off.  In addition to purifying the honey, this step offers an opportunity get the most out of ingredients that will benefit from the heat+water combination (herbs &c.).  Put a lid on your pot and let it cool to the point where it’s safe to either either suck-start your siphon or pick up the pot with your hands.  Move on to step 2 while you wait.

2.  Pour your yeast into a container of orange juice (whatever quantity is appropriate for the recipie you are using).  Let this sit to the side while you work.  By the time you’re ready to add this to the mix, it should be happy and frothy.

3.  Pour your honey+water mixture into your carboy in whatever way is most convenient.  (If you skipped step 1, start by putting about 2x your volume of honey in the carboy first.  Use warm water, and mix the honey in as you add it.)  I like to use my racking hose and/or a funnel.

4.  Add your initial flavoring elements (any that did not get added in step 1.)–that is, all the ingredients other than the water, honey, and yeast.  Mix this up well.  For a one gallon batch, I cap the bottle and shake it vigorously.  For a five gallon batch, I grab the bottle by the top and rock it in circles along the circumference of the base (this is less complicated than it sounds: wobble it in a circular fashion).

5.  (Optional)  Add enough water to bring the carboy up to 2/3 full.  Mix well.

6.  Add the yeast.  Mix welll.

7.  Add enough water to almost fill the carboy, but leave an inch or two of space at the top for the must to get frothy.  You can top it off the rest of the way when the initial fermentation (the frothing) is finished.  Mix well.

8.  Apply air-lock.  Leave in warm (60-80 deg. F, depending on your yeast) dark place.

9.  (Optional, but gets better results) Mix daily for the first week.  Rack at 1-3 weeks, at 6 weeks, at 13 weeks, and as needed thereafter.  Add flavoring elements as needed, as whim takes you, or as recipe directs.

10.  (Optional for 1-gallon batches) Bottle any time after 6 months (3 months for fast-brewing Small Mead recipes), or as recipe directs.

12.  Toast Dionysus.

13.  Drink Copiously.

* Why, yes, I am a child of the 1980s.  Why do you ask?

Lunar Journey II

Because, to my mind, 4am 8 March is actually more Wednesday night than Thursday morning, I performed my Esbat rites on Wednesday.  Initially, I didn’t feel as “on” as I did Monday night, but the journeywork turned out to be more productive, if less dramatic.

I made another Lunar incense blend: calamus, eucalyptus, jasmine flower, myrrh, and willow.  I actually liked my first blend better, but this is why we experiment, right?  After charging the incense and a bottle of lunar water, I mixed my flying potion (1), donned my visionary mask, and descended to the underworld through the Void.

Approaching the world tree, I asked to be returned to the Realm of Yesod and the Moon to further explore it.  Taking me DOWN this time instead of UP, the tree deposited me back on the island with the nine-pillar temple.  I began my work by leaving offerings of light for the two figures in the temple, and the entity which had “roped” me Monday night.

There was a land-bridge off to one side which I had neglected to investigate last time, so I started there.  Strangely, it didn’t go anywhere: although I tried to follow the coast I found past the land-bridge, I kept finding myself back on the shore of the island.  Frustrated, but undiscouraged, I dived into the lake instead.

Swimming down, I encountered a dolphin.  I asked it if it was there to guide me.  “No,” it said.  I asked it why it was there, but it didn’t answer.  It did, however, follow me as I continued swimming down.

“This is an awfully small body of water for you,” I noted.

“Well, yeah,” it acknowledged.

“Where do you come from?”

“Out there.”

I asked it to show me, so it led me—almost faster than I could follow—out to another, deeper region of water.  Down and down it led me, vanishing as I found myself on the bottom of an ocean floor.

Being the bottom of the ocean, there wasn’t any light, and it took me a few moments to adjust my astral vision until I could see.  (For some reason just conjuring a light didn’t seem like a good idea.)  When I could see, I found myself surrounded by massive, alien creatures, all trudging toward the direction from which I had come.  I couldn’t see them clearly—mostly just massive legs and bodies, dimly seen through the dust they raised—but they were legion, and each hundreds of times more massive than I.  I swam in the direction from which they had come, and none deigned to acknowledge me.  Eventually I came to a place where I was alone.

After swimming in random directions and encountering a lot more nothing, I drew a circle in the sand of the sea bottom and sat down cross-legged, waiting.  soon I began rising, and eventually broke the surface.

I cannot remember—could not, in fact, even immediately upon returning to my body—how I transitioned from floating over this massive, primordial ocean to standing once more in front of the nine-pillar temple.  This time when I ascended the stairs, the figures had moved.  They moved again in front of me, and acknowledged my presence.  We communicated briefly, and I received a positive response when I asked if I could return for instruction.  The woman reached out and touched me, and I was filled with a vibrant, cool energy.

I returned to the world tree, and through it to the waking world.  The journey was done.

I think I will do one more lunar journey before moving on to Hod/Mercury.

1 The usual, lately: absinthe and sacramental mead at a 1:3 ratio.  It’s a little stronger and a little easier to slam than properly louched absinthe, if not quite as exquisite.

A Devil on One Shoulder and a Genius on the Other

Although some of my whining might have given the wrong impression, the fact is that my ongoing research and experiments in the Western Ceremonial tradition have been an absolute blast.  I’ve already learned so much, and I know that I’ve barely scratched the surface.  Fuck: the year I’ve set myself to this subject will not be enough time to do more that scratch the surface thoroughly, and probably not even that.

Before Sthenno pointed me to Rufus Opus’ blog about six months ago, I had never even heard of the Natal Genius or Evil Daimon.  With the help of Frater Acher’s spreadsheet, I was able to calculating mine without slogging through the abominable and obnoxious translations of Agrippa that I have so far been able to put my hands on (they may or may not be accurate, but they’re mind-crushingly dull to read, and I already have to put up with enough bad academic writing in class).  But, at least in part because I have not been able to make my way through Agrippa, I’m not entirely certain what to do with them.

RO has spoken of binding the Evil Daimon, though later that was discussed as being more a matter of last resort (can’t find that post back to cite, sorry).  Punching “having calculated my ‘natal genius’, what do i do with it?” into Google got me more RO, linking the Natal Genius to the HGA.

Now that I’ve finally stumbled across a method of conjuration that I think I can work with, the question of “what do I do with my natal spirits” becomes a great deal less academic.  I can’t think of a better place to  take my experiments with spirit conjuration (thus far limited to the Stele of Jeu) next.  Can you?

The major thing holding me back at this very moment is that, in the absence of any actual knowledge of the subject, I find myself imagining my natal spirits as a cartoon angel and demon, sitting on my shoulders.  I imagine the one extolling me to activism, devotion, and random acts of goodness that I can’t name off the top of my head; I imagine the other encouraging me to seduce, to take vengeance, and to throw down and party like I never have before.  Neither one will let me sleep.  Sleep is for the weak.

Lunar Journeys I

In light of my my recent conclusions regarding my study of ceremonial and planetary magics, it occurred to me that with the Full Moon so close (the dark and lonely hours of Wednesday night, or the dismal pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning, depending on how you experience 4am EST), this week’s Day and Hour of the Moon would be a particularly auspicious for some of Lunar Work.

So, as the hour of the Moon approached, I rebuilt my Yesod altar and ground a lunar incense of calamus, eucalyptus, and myrrh (the only Lunar herbs I happened to have around the house).  Since Gustav Holst didn’t deign to write a suite for Luna or Sol, I turned to my usual Michael Harner drumming for music to guide my trance.  When my circle was cast, I administered my flying potion(1) and donned my visionary mask.

I dropped into full trance almost immediately, appearing in the Garden of Malkuth.  For a rarity, I found the Otherworld cast in night— it’s almost always daylight in my spiritual journeys—with a full and glowing moon overhead.  I called to the moon, and rose up to meet it.  Passing through the silver disk in the sky like a portal, I found myself first flying through a vibrant purple haze, which parted to reveal the rolling mists I have always heard the astral plane described as.  I set myself to find the Palace of the Moon (in retrospect, this was ridiculously vague), and flew through the mists.  After a while I found myself not flying, but swimming through the mist, and then through night-dark waters.  I swam up to the shore of a small island, cast in shadows under another full moon and clear night sky.  A temple rose in the middle of the island, open to the air and consisting of little more than nine great free-standing columns, but I walked around the island before ascending.  The beach was sandy, the rise covered in greenery and large rocks and bits of fallen masonry.

When I ascended to the temple, I found two figures there: a beautiful naked man, laying still but tumescent on a slab, and a woman in pale robes standing over him.  Neither moved at all, even when I approached.  Like most of the other figures I have encountered when travelling UP rather than DOWN, there was a hollow, static quality about them.

So I descended the stairs and set my sights on the moon above.  Strangely, I had difficulty flying.  I had to conjure a wind to lean into, like I did when I first learned to fly in my dreams almost ten years ago.  Finally airborne, I flew upward into the moon.   This time, rather than flying through a portal, it was like a window or a door: passing through I found a new void, full of points of light linked by lines of power, but when I turned around I could see the temple and the two figures far below me, as if I were looking out of one space and into another.

When when my back was turned, I suddenly felt something tugging me, as if by a cord.  I turned to look, and a vast spirit was pulling me “upwards”.  In retrospect it was foolhardy, but my instinct was to trust this entity (spirit? god?)—I thought it might be the god who called to me from the sky on the the night of my Dedication(2).  I don’t know if it could read my mind, or if it was just amused at the world in general, but it pulled me up to itself through a “hole” between spaces much like the one I had just passed through, then flung me further “upward” into a vast and empty void.

The second void was very much like the one from which I had just been thrown, only it felt much larger.  The star-like points of light were more distant and the threads between them were gossamer-fine.  No sooner did I think to myself “Whoa!  I wonder if this is where the Masters of Outer Darkness(3) live?”, then I saw a shimmer in the distance, and soon a lion-headed serpent appeared.  I was nervous, but “sat” cross-legged and waited for the creature to make a move.  It approached, as did more of its kind, and began circling me… at which point I really wasn’t sure what I ought to do if they did prove hostile, and the same entity which had thrown me out into that deeper void in the first place pulled me back “down” in the same manner.

Back in the lesser void, I could feel a disturbance of some sort back in the waking world.  Having accomplished what I’d intended—locating the Palace of the Moon and exploring the Realm of Yesod/Luna—I returned to my body.

1 A lungful of (100% legal) blue sage this evening, instead of my usual absinthe.  I was suffering from the delusion that I might do more homework after my trip.

2 Which, pawing through my archives for a link, I still haven’t written about.  Fuck me running.

3 Ever read Michael Harner?  p. 7 of the Harper paperback 3rd Ed.

Further Explorations in Planetary Magicks: a Prelude

Though I only posted about it yesterday, I actually finished out my Abramelin Oil last Wednesday.  After doing so, I finally sat back down to re-evaluate the High Witchcraft system I had been working with when I started it.  The experience was kind of interesting: Penczak’s system looks even more like a watered-down version of the Golden Dawn than it did when I first realized how little of the Western Ceremonial Tradition the GD actually represented; past Yesod (where Penczak introduces the Circulation of the Body of Light and Abramelin Oil), the exercises become increasingly useless outside the GD framework; and, of course, Penczak mentions the existence of the Goetia but cautions against actually using it, and never delves into spirit evocation—a practice which, from where I sit at least, seems fundamental to the Western Ceremonial Tradition as a whole.  Finally, the book culminates with the Bornless Ritual: the Crowley/GD version of the Stele of Jeu rite I have already begun performing with some success.

The more experienced magicians and ceremonialists who read this blog are laughing right now: “Of course I’m going to be disappointed by Christopher Penczak’s overview of High Magick: he makes his living writing 100-level fluffy-bunny bullshit by the ton.”  To which I can only reply, yes, but the tech in the last three books was solid once you ran it through the fluffy bullshit filter.  And I had to start somewhere, or I wouldn’t have even known what questions to ask to get me as far as I have. 

And, despite all my bitching, there are still aspects to the book which will remain useful to me: the altar constructions and the visionary journeys to the sephiroth/planitary realms.

As you all can tell from the tag—or, as you would be able to tell, if I had finished to re-tagging all my posts when I moved from blogger—I like building and rebuilding my altar.  I find myself wishing that I’d thought to photojournal my altar pace from my earliest practice.  I’ve had some good ones over the years.  And maintaining a separate, second altar for individual magical operations and experiments has made it much easier to keep my primary, increasingly devotional, altar from getting too cluttered.

The visionary journeys fit my style.  I am, after all, a shamanic witch—these ceremonial studies are doing wonders for my toolkit, and have introduced me to all sorts of fascinating areas of study and badass awesome people, but they’ll never be my primary focus.  And I’ll be much more comfortable conjuring spirits after I’ve gone and visited their places of power.  And following the Sephiroth up the Qabalistic/GD Tree of Life gives me an order of operations.

I have already completed (in terms of this project) my study of Malkuth/Earth.  As of last night I have begun my journeywork related to Yesod/the Moon.  If that goes as smoothly as it has begun, in the next week or two I’ll move on to Hod/Mercury.  And so on.

In the mean time, I will continue to escalate my practical magic practice.  Currently on the drawing board are that appeal to justice I mentioned, improving my Mercurial talisman that’s been helping me with my Greek, a Lunar talisman to help me maintain a regular sleep schedule and remember my dreams, and a Saturn talisman to help me manage my time better.

And somewhere along the line, I’m going to get over my strange idea that it’s somehow cheating, win the Favor of Kings and learn to fight dirty.

Abramelin Oil

Back in November, when I was still on track with my work through Penczak’s Temple of High Witchcraft, I started a batch of Abramelin Oil.  I finally got around to distilling it.  As described previously, I used Aaron Leitch’s technique, and about 3.5 oz total dry materia.


Mixed with 1.6 oz olive oil (a hair short of the 2:1 ratio the recipe called for, but I’d rather it a little strong over a little weak), it’s still a pretty amazing shade of red.  Below was my net result, which turned out pretty awesome:


I’ve thrown the Dead Head back in the cabinet to try to extract whatever’s left, and will add that in a month or two once I’m content I’ve gotten out all the essential oil that I can.

In the mean time this will make a pretty awesome offering and dedication oil.

A Short Rant On Theft and Sharing

Every producer of intellectual property has some concern that their work will be stolen.  This morning, I was confronted with a reminder that many people on the internet have no respect whatsoever for the work people like me (and, I think, most if not all of my readers) do:

The Theft; The Fallout.

In the resulting conversations on a friend’s facebook account, I’ve seen a couple people talk about pulling everything they’ve ever written from the interwebs, and mourn for the “good old days” when the Craft was private and “the Grimoires were sacred and secret in the right way”.  I do, in fact, remember those days: the days when all I had access to was whatever 100-level bullshit I could find at the library or the local bookstore, with no access to community and no way of vetting sources before shelling out what little money I had.  When I thought I was going batshit crazy because none of the books I’ve ever read dared to get into the visceral experience of magic, or cop to how terrifying it is to be in the presence of a god for the first time … even one who likes you.

Having my work–which, here, amounts to a bit of artwork, a little research, and a lot of very personal stories–is something that concerns me.  But not so much that I’m going to quit.  I need the community this forum gives me access to, and I know that somewhere out there is some neophite like I was who needs someone else’s account of madness to ground them out and help give them context for the experiences that don’t ever seem to get put into print.

So, to all the fuckers: yes, I put my work out here to be seen.  Not to be stolen.

If anyone wants to use my work in their own, they’ve only to ask.  But please: fucking ask.