Saturday, August 26, 2017

Vice on Sex With Demons

Vice has an article up talking about, of all subjects, sex with demons. Sex with spirits of whatever sort has a longer and more involved history than you might think at first, and apparently it wasn't considered that big a deal until the church got involved. No surprise there. In the article, author Diana Tourjee talks about an adolescent attempt to summon Satan for sex. It was little more than a simple prayer, but according to the Christianity in which she was raised, that was supposed to be all it took.

Growing up as a Christian child, I couldn't help but notice that my prayers to Jesus often went unanswered. I'd ask God for various things; when the Lord failed to deliver, I was told, "God works in mysterious ways," and chided that you can't use prayer like a credit card. Conversely, Satan seemed very transactional to me, and I was always told that he would tempt me and do anything to obtain my immortal soul through sins of the flesh. At the time, I was struggling with my sexuality and felt that I was probably going to Hell anyway, so I figured I might as well benefit from my depravity and get laid while I was still on the mortal plane.

After my invocation, tense minutes of expectation passed like centuries as I waited with a pounding heart. I trusted that Satan would send a demonic, muscular fireman demon to satisfy my sexual fantasies, or perhaps a blood red pentagram would appear under the covers and Lucifer himself would teleport to bed me. But nothing happened. Satan stood me up.

Back then, I genuinely believed in the Christian God, and my dark prayer weighed heavily on top of me. It seemed as if I was the first, worst person to attempt to summon demonic forces for sex. Today I know that I am not alone—people have sought sexual encounters with supernatural beings for centuries. In fact, some of the first known mentions of such wicked alliances can be found in Biblical scripture. One of the most compelling descriptions of demon sex comes in Genesis 6:4. The King James Version (KJV) states: "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

In the New International Version (NIV), "giants" is translated as "Nephilim," which are generally regarded as the hybrid offspring between angels and human beings. It's a controversial passage. Many Biblical readers perform argumentative gymnastics to avoid the possibility that Genesis 6:4 describes supernatural fucking, casting doubt on the notion that the scripture is referring to demon sex ("sons of god" just refers to superior humans, they insist). But still: It goes without saying that there wouldn't be so many people arguing about the interpretation of this passage if it didn't sound so much like demon sex.

There's a lot here in just this section, and the whole piece is pretty interesting. To start out with, there's the bizarro world inhabited by fundamentalist Christians, in which all you have to do is let one evil thought pass through your mind and suddenly Satan will appear to claim your soul - or maybe he'll send some demons to do the job for him. But as any magical practitioner knows, summoning spirits of any kind is nowhere near that simple.

Second, there's this idea that Satan wants your soul in the first place. The whole "God versus the Devil" cosmology didn't even emerge until Christianity was influenced by Manicheanism, which posited a universe in which the forces of darkness and light were equally matched and constantly did battle. Shaitan in the Old Testament, the original Satan, is a very different character - basically "God's prosecuting attorney."

Third, I posited in my anthology article The Descended Angel that the Nephilim story was actually an allusion to magical practitioners who had accomplished the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, though it wasn't called that until Abramelin was written in the late Middle Ages or early Renaissance. So something like that could be one origin of the Genesis story - though it's possible that the story has multiple origins.

Finally, summoning spirits for sex does show up in the grimoires. I at last am getting around to reading Jake Stratton-Kent's Geosophia, and in it he talks about a ritual in the Grimoirium Verum that is just such an operation. To be clear, though, it's more involved than just asking Satan to show up and get down to business. Maybe if Tourjee had read up on her grimoires, practiced for awhile, and then tried the full operation she would have gotten better results.

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