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.”
Maria de Naglowska pretty much invented autoerotic asphyxiation with the liturgy, the Trial of Hanging,“in which male adepts were sexually stimulated, then voluntarily hanged until they passed out in a state of controlled semi-asphyxia,” according to Demons of the Flesh. “When the male sex magician hovered in psychic limbo, in a state de Naglowska described as ‘above all delights,’ one of her personally initiated female adherents would position herself on his asphyxia-induced erection. The ligature around his throat would then be released, and as he came back to consciousness, he would experience what de Naglowska describes in her The Light Of Sex: Ritual Of Satanic Initiation as ‘the explosive penetration of the resplendent woman at the sublime moment of holy coitus.” "
For biographical/historical info and archival material, please see the Zeena Schreck Wikipedia page
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