One generally misunderstood aspect of the interaction between the seen and unseen worlds is that of sexual congress. In general this can be either overtly physical or purely mental in nature, and in line with or against the person’s will. It can range from a simple touch or soft caress to full blown penetration and even violent sexual assault. Such extreme cases are rare among the magickal community by virtue of their more developed faculty for psychic self defence, though it can and does happen. There are even many magickal methods available to instigate such affairs, be it through the creation of tulpas for sexual gratification or appealing to godforms such as Lilith to send one of her numerous children for a one night stand.
As such, almost anyone with an interest in the occult will have heard of the incubi and succubi. This dual gendered creature was born out the need for the medieval Catholic Church to construct a suitable pseudo-demonic scapegoat to explain the numerous outbreaks of sexual hysteria that spread like undulating waves among its painfully pious followers. Finding power in the repression of their natural urges, the incubi and succubi would slink through the residential cells of convents, monasteries and the parish priest’s private residence after hours, bringing holy men and women back down to earth with a pleasurable squelch.
Soon mythology linked the dark goddess Lilith to these lascivious entities via tentative connections to her potential offspring, the Lilin. This association further empowered those who believed that both the orgasm and ejaculation were evil, and masturbation doubly so. Most magickians tend to grasp pretty early on just how empowering the storage and release of sexual energy can be towards a given goal. Masturbatory gnosis, kundalini tantra, indeed many disciplines have grown from this realisation. Even modern witchcraft has a sexual aspect to it, though mostly relating to honouring the flesh of the individual practitioner as opposed to indulging in the wanton orgies once attributed to their folkloric ancestors.
To repress that flow of life force while turning the attention of an entire population towards the image of a given godform will instead feed that idea, and may well partly explain the long reach of the monotheistic deities who hold sway over society even now. Yet any religion which views sexuality without ministerial sanction as a sin is destined to pay for such repression. Whether it was a purely psychological reaction to the denial of intimacy, or guilt and desire swirling together on the astral plain and birthing their natural antithesis, or even the result of such restraint attracting actual parasitic entities from somewhere else in time and space is of course up for debate.
Digging a little deeper into the myths and legends of the world it is easy to see just how ingrained in the human consciousness such traffic with the unseen has become. There is a definite psycho-sexual aspect to the earliest reports of vampirism among the inhabitants of Eastern Europe for example. These victims suffered a prolonged series of nocturnal attacks involving the feeling of being crushed, and in some cases actively sexually assaulted, by a heavy yet mostly incorporeal creature whose sole purpose seemed to be the theft of their life-force. This was not always drained through the blood as later reports would have us believe, nor was a deceased family member always witnessed at the scene of the crime either.
The authorities of the day were generally unaware of the existence of diseases such as tuberculosis, virulent contagions that would spread through small rural communities like the Devil himself. They tended to fall back upon the idea that persons recently buried, usually of the laxest religious morals whilst alive, were responsible for the attacks. This sociologically acceptable argument served to bolster the grip of the church over its subjects while adding to the penitent torment of the vampire’s victims. How many innocent corpses were disinterred, beheaded and burnt to ashes at the behest of the local priest when the real cause lay elsewhere we will never know. Such vagaries are nowhere near as important as the actual experiences of the afflicted.
All we can be said for certain is that something was definitely happening to the people involved. Indeed, many would pass away shortly after their ersatz diagnosis but before the relevant culprit could be found, medical or otherwise. This, of course, would hamper any reasoned analysis of the phenomena. The viewpoint championed by the modern skeptical movement, involving rabies induced frenzy and sleep paralysis instigated hallucination fails to explain the overtly sexualized nature of the vampiric entity itself. These nocturnal visitors have always boasted an anomalistic magnetism all of their own, even in the days before antebellum mansions and southern charm when they tended to look more like dishevelled corpses than either Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt.
In fact mankind has a long history of being plagued with the double-edged affections of otherworldly beings. The earliest Greek legends tell of the wanton, and in some cases incestuous, sexual habits of their proudly pre-Pagan gods and goddesses. Bored with limitless power and enduring immortality, they would frequently engage in intercourse with mortal men and women, siring many renowned heroes as well as a few notable monsters as well. The punishments dealt out with cruel precision by jealous deities on those unfortunate few who were unable to resist the embrace of their celestial husbands or wives is legendary, adding a cautionary backbone to tales of sexual deviance often bordering on outright bestiality and supernatural rape.
Hera’s hatred of Heracles stems from one such encounter between Zeus and the hero’s mother Alcmene, as does her enmity and eventual cursing of Lamia, the queen of Libya. Driven mad by the murder of her own children at the hands of the goddess’s servants, Lamia would go on to become a monstrous night demon in her own right, rivalling even Lilith in her lust to decimate the nurseries of the world. Intriguingly, she was also known for disguising herself as a beautiful maiden and having sex with sleeping men, subsisting upon the semen collected in such a way even though the queen of the gods had left her barren and therefore unable to conceive. The correlations with Lilith are obvious, and one has to wonder which stream of folklore birthed the other.
Even Greek gods who lacked Zeus’s personal charm and all encompassing power had little problem finding a way into the hearts of mortals. Pan, the god of shepherds and masculine companion to the overtly feminine nymphs had orgiastic, if fully consensual intercourse with the Maenad’s. These were the mortal female followers of Dionysus, the god of wine and madness, and rare beauties to be sure. Pan even numbered the moon goddess Selene among his many mortal and ethereal conquests, despite boasting the kind of goatish and generally unattractive appearance that would have put most wild men to shame. Worshipped for his unceasing sexual appetite, as well as skill with the pipes that now bare his name, he is also somewhat jokingly credited with teaching shepherds the art of masturbation after learning it from his father, Hermes.
From Pan we move to the goat headed devil of the Sabbath celebrations. If the admittedly unreliable testimonies of those poor unfortunate souls implicated during the height of the witch hunting craze in early modern Europe are to be believed, this entity actively engaged in intercourse with those assembled. His member is conversely described as flaming hot or cold as ice, and always unpleasant due to its great size and unyielding rigidity. While it is all to easy to dismiss such stories as the collective sexual fantasies of the inquisitors themselves there is a correlation between this form of supposedly diabolic worship and that found in the the most primitive of tribal societies. Here the shaman or takes on the aspect of the deity to be invoked and lies with a selected woman from the group in an effort to promote a bountiful harvest, and perhaps this points to the existence of an underlying thread of truth now sadly obscured.
Such are but a few examples of the many and varied instances of mortal intercourse with non-physical entities that run seemingly ignored through the rich body of worldwide folklore. It is safe to say that most, if not all mythological dynasty’s have such human branches somewhere in their otherwise divine family tree. Moving away from the gods we find many monsters just as willing to share their affections with people on the material plane, if not more so. In the Islamic world much discussion has been had on the possibility of relationships between mortals and jinn, the original precursor to the much more benign westernised genie and one of Allah’s earliest creations. Such a union is not only generally accepted but marriage between the two species is allowed in certain cases, if not directly sanctioned under the main body of Shari’ah law.
As already stated, tribal societies seem to attract such commerce between spirits and mortals, and the African belief in the wereleopard is one such example. Far from being slaughter crazed siblings to the western werewolf, these anthropomorphic hybrids were instead thought to be minor deities that had taken physical form to seduce young men and women of the tribe. The offspring of such encounters would be capable of changing shape between that of a human and a leopard, though not always at will, and are assumed to be marked for greatness. Bizarrely enough, Merlin, Plato and Martin Luther were popularly considered to have been sired by non-physical entities in such a way. In their case the culprit was seen as a regular, run of the mill incubus and not a deity in animal form, however.
Sex can be a deeply transformative experience, even if the object of your desire is anything but physical. Science, especially the brutalist and materialistic regime that is modern psychology post Freud, will always prefer to conclude that said incidents are ultimately all in the mind, and that they can be controlled with the right cocktail of psychoactive drugs. But this viewpoint is untenable when faced with the huge amount of personal testimony available on the subject, both modern and historical. Even the staunchest Atheist would be hard pressed to explain away such a mountain of human experience as simple delusion, though they will of course try their best to do so.
Ultimately, the closed minds of the modern scientific establishment are proving just as damaging to the workings of society in the current era as those of the medieval Church which erroneously sought to either erase or hijack the sexual instinct so long ago. Humans are animals like any other, albeit ones gifted with the spark of imagination. The desire for both pleasure and procreation are deeply ingrained in the subconscious of every living person, no matter how piously enraptured with the Abrahamic gods, and as such sexual liberation should be the first port of call for any aspiring magickian. If that involves working with non-corporeal entities on an intimate level, then so be it, as long as it can be approached safely.