REVIEW of U.S. TV show Penny Dreadful cites Demons of the Flesh in reference to a character who appears to be based on Maria de Naglowska, the French magician who led The Brotherhood of the Golden Arrow, known by her followers as "the Sophia of Montparnasse" :
"Evelyn Poole might be based on Maria de Naglowska. Born in Russia, de Naglowska headed to France to lead The Brotherhood of the Golden Arrow, which worshiped the devil with sex magic. Naglowska had followers too, "adequately trained woman" who called her "the Sophia of Montparnasse." According to the book Demons of the Flesh by Zeena and Nikolas Schreck, De Naglowska’s “female acolytes were also known as Sophiales, presented as the vanguard of a ‘new matriarchy’… As in the traditional Vama Marga (the belief that that the awakening of kundalini is possible through sex), the female is the deified priestess in the Naglowska cult. She sexually communicates a potentially dangerous esoteric power to the male, a power that cannot be confronted and sustained by anything less than a heroic disposition.”
Vedic left-hand path Tantrikas place great emphasis on the vaginal
secretions of the female, ingesting them as the pure distillation of feminine
energy in rites venerating the shakti's vulva. This fluid, called amrita, or "elixir
of immortality" is sometimes believed to be vitalized with magical properties
transformative of human consciousness, an agent quickening the process of
Kundalini, the awakening of the Feminine Daemonic in the male. The female
amrita consumed in left-hand path sexual rites is considered most powerful in
shakti at the time of menstruation, a fact which has sometimes been compared
to the elusive "ruby elixir" referred to in Western alchemical texts as a
medicine for the soul. Erotic statuary in India's celebrated Khajuraho Temple
depicts scenes of ritual cunnilingus that indicate a strong left-hand path
influence. In the Chinese sex-magical tradition, the orgasmic flow of the
female partner's Bartholin's gland fluid was also thought to be a substance rich
with yin, the feminine life-force potable in a physical libation granting
In both the Taoist and Tantric traditions, great emphasis is placed on
the necessity of absorbing the sexual secretion only from consorts
demonstrating obvious physical health and vitality. Illness is said to nullify or
even poison the effects of the amrita upon the adept.
Even within the sometimes austere constrictions of the Islamic world,
home to an ancient magical heritage, decidedly left-hand path sex-magical
traditions continue to be practiced by Muslim magicians. Often these involve
the use of sexual secretions and menstrual blood as sorcerous agents, as in the
societally disreputable but fairly common utilization of sihr sufli, which has
sometimes been described as a form of Arabic black magic. Such rites require
that the sorcerer performs a prolonged act of copulation with a female – as is
often the case in the Tantric Vama Marga, the sorcerer's consort must not be
married to him. It is also considered preferable if the woman is menstruating, a
condition every bit as much of a taboo within Islam as it is in Hindu culture.
At the completion of the act, the mingled semen, feminine secretions, and
blood are carefully permeated into an absorbent piece of fabric. The erotically
charged fabric is then ritually burnt, whilst the sorcerer calls upon one of the
djinn – the demons of Arabic sorcery – to act in his stead in the daemonic
realm. This rite, which draws on the veiled, repressed power of the Feminine
Daemonic surging beneath the outwardly male-oriented surface of Arab life,
is of course considered a defilement by orthodox Islam. As with all left-hand
path procedures, it is the taboo-breaking nature of the activity that endows
this kind of sexual sorcery with its force.
The Aghori's preferred initiatrix in sexual congress is a menstruating
woman of the "untouchable" lower caste, whose menstrual blood mingled
with his own semen is sometimes consumed at the conclusion of the rite.
This Aghori practice has a secular analogue in a modern Western "sect"
dedicated to taboo-transgression; a well-known rite of initiation for the Hell's
Angels motorcycle club decrees that the Angel must "earn his wings" by
performing cunnilingus on a menstruating woman.
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