Tag Archives: ida craddock

Lunar and Sex Worship

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Lunar and Sex Worship [Amazon, Abebooks, Weiser Antiquarian, Publisher, Local Library] by Ida Craddock, edited and introduction by Vere Chappell.

Craddock Chappell Lunar and Sex Worship

Lunar and Sex Worship is an initial, long-posthumous publication of two chapters of a projected larger work on comparative religion by the American sex-reformer and mystic Ida Craddock. As it is, these two chapters make a hefty book. Barely 50% of the verbiage is Craddock’s own, since she quotes at length from her preferred sources, who include Thomas Inman, J.G.R. Forlong, and most prominently Gerald Massey (who is probably the least credible of the lot, alas). For those familiar with the earlier works on which Craddock depends, there may not be much new here, other than her particular feminist perspective on the material. The book does stand as a pretty accurate and accessible digest of 19th-century solar-phallic theory of religion, however. 

Surprisingly, Craddock has interesting contributions to make on the topic of “aeonics,” or the historical succession of global magical formulae. She uses a novel strategy in an attempt to pinpoint what Thelemites will understand as the transition between the Aeons of Isis and Osiris (19-21). She also discusses the messianic moment corresponding to the advent of the Aeon of Horus (264).

Editor Vere Chappell has been a relentless 21st-century researcher and champion of Craddock, and his introduction contextualizes Lunar and Sex Worship well enough for contemporary readers. I am grateful that he also furnished the book with an index: considering the wide range of topics that it covers, with no subheadings within its two enormously long chapters, the index is a crucial feature–even if it fails to have an entry for “ass” (Craddock’s passage on lunar onolatry may be found on 94-95)!

The best part of the book is the closing pages, where she decries the sexual repression of modern Christianity, and calls for a return of phallic religious sensibility. She holds out hope that the “storehouse of symbolism” in Catholic Christianity may yet contribute to a restored worship of the generative power, enhanced by scientific knowledge and an ethic of universal brotherhood (252).

Manifest Thy Glory

Manifest Thy Glory: Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference was recently released, and may be of interest. This book includes the text of presentations by many Hermetic Library fellows, including Sabazius, T Polyphilus, Colin Campbell, and Beth Kimbell, and touches many topics related to the subject matter of the library.

National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference NOTOCON Manifest Thy Glory

Manifest Thy Glory offers a selection of papers from the eighth biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference (NOTOCON) of the United States Grand Lodge of O.T.O., held in the Valley of Detroit, Michigan, in 2011 EV. The papers cover diverse topics including the Holy Guardian Angel, talismans in magick, spatial orientation in ritual, and other magical methods; occult history and biography, including the Stèle of Revealing and Ida Craddock; promulgation of Thelema through publishing and podcasts; textual analysis from Catullus to ‘Liber Trigrammaton;’ a touching reminiscence from the incomparable Lon Milo DuQuette; and even space, the final frontier. Other highlights include a street guide to Thelemic historical sites in Detroit, and the address given by U.S. National Grand Master Sabazius. They represent some of best modern practical and scholarly work on Ordo Templi Orientis, Thelema, and the magick of Aleister Crowley.

The first NOTOCON conference took place in 1997 EV in Akron, Ohio, and has since been held on alternate years in different cities around the United States. Manifest Thy Glory is the third collection of papers from the national conference to be made available, following the inaugural volume Beauty & Strength for the 2007 EV conference.

Ordo Templi Orientis is an international fraternal order of men and women devoted to the pursuit of individual liberty, the study of magick, and the promulgation of the Law of Thelema. Founded in the early twentieth century, it has been shaped by such leading lights as Carl Kellner, Theodor Reuss, Aleister Crowley, Karl Germer and Grady Louis McMurtry.” [via]

Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic

Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock by Vere Chappell, with an foreword by Mary K Greer, the 2010 softcover edition from Weiser Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Vere Chappell and Ida Craddock's Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic from Weiser Books

“Sex, Magick, Aleister Crowley, Orgasms, Erotic Dances, Angelic Beings, Revolutionary Activism, Liberation, Persecution, Defiance, and Suicide. Persecuted by Anthony Comstock and his Society for the Suppression of Vice, this turn-of-the-century heroine was also a spiritualist who learned many secrets of high magick through her claimed wedlock to an angelic being. Born in Philadelphia in 1857, Ida Craddock became involved in occultism around the age of thirty. She attended classes at the Theosophical Society and began studying a tremendous amount of materials on various occult subjects. She taught correspondence courses to women and newly married couples to educate them on the sacred nature of sex, maintaining that her explicit knowledge came from her nightly experiences with an angel named Soph. In 1902, she was arrested under New York’s anti-obscenity laws and committed suicide to avoid life in an asylum. Now for the first time, scholar Vere Chappell has compiled the most extensive collection of Craddock’s work including original essays, diary excerpts, and suicide letters—one to her mother and one to the public.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

T Polyphilus posts a banishing for the young

T Polyphilus has posted over on his blog an “incantation” which is “the latest in a brief series of rituals specially suited to magicians who have not yet reached the age of reason. It is adapted from a well-known English bedtime prayer.” This should be recognizable to many in its essence, but take a gander because the optional last couplet is inspired by Ida Craddock.