If masturbation were “magical,” then incels would all be rich!
Come to think of it, they wouldn’t be incels anymore either.
So, why is so-called “masturbation on a sigil” a thing within the Occulture? Where does it come from? Does it really work? Is it just an excuse for people who can’t stop playing with themselves in the first place? And if it is, what can they do about it?
WARNING: This post is not safe for work (NSFW). It contains graphic descriptions of sexual acts masquerading as “occultism” and may not be for the weak of stomach. If you’re not up to this, you may want to turn back now.
DISCLAIMER: This post is going to focus on male masturbation, and is based on information I’ve learned in the confessional and in counseling sessions over the past 18 years. I lack the equipment or understanding to speak to the female experience, seeing that (a) I’m not a woman, and (b) women tended not to open up about this subject in the confessional (can’t say I blame them, either!).
What Is Masturbation Magic?
In a word, the idea of using masturbation in magical ritual is associated with Chaos Magick[sic], so much so that non-Chaotes reference this when ridiculing them.
The idea behind this is as obvious as might be expected: you begin with forming a telos or goal in your mind, create a sigil for it, then get down to business and smear your “fluid” all over the sigil when you’re done. This is a bit oversimplified, but it’s the basic formula by which you, young man, are told you can wrap your hand around your wiener and jerk your way off to getting your heart’s desires!
Nobody really knows who was the first magician to attempt fapping their way to manifestation. We know that in ancient Near Eastern mythology, some gods were said to bring worlds into being by masturbating to completion: in Sumeria the god Enki is said to have created the Tigris and Euphrates by pleasuring himself into their empty riverbeds, and in ancient Egypt the god Atum is said to have created the universe by pleasuring himself as well.
What’s reasonable, therefore, is to suppose the concept of masturbation as a magical act first came from one of these cultures, in imitation of their deities’ works of creation. We also know that in the Victorian era, Charles Leadbeater is alleged to have taught masturbation to several young boys involved with the Theosophical Society, whether as a magical technique, or as a way to make themselves more manly (transcripts of interviews, witness reports, and confessions at this link).
For the sake of brevity in this blog post, I’m going to focus on modern usage and technique, since these are well-documented (not to mention, I’m not familiar enough with ancient Sumerian or Egyptian religion to discuss the subject intelligently anyway).
The modern concept of masturbation as a magical technique seems to derive from Austin Osman Spare, in his rite of “The Earthenware Virgin.”
The Ritual of the Earthenware Virgin is first described in Kenneth Grant’s The Magical Revival, where he tells us:
Spare often supplemented the process by a sexual formula which endowed it with added efficacy. He derived most of his sex-magical formulae from a Delphic Pythoness who communed with him during sessions of automatic writing. This Delphic Oracle was probably the spirit of old Mrs. Paterson, guiding him from beyond.
One such formula enabled him to “give life to the autistic, by an earthenware virgin.” in view of the present-day predilection for auto-erotic aids to ecstasy, the resuscitation of the dildo and the widespread curiosity about the sorcery of sex, Spare’s formula of the Earthenware Virgin is of particular interest, though for Spare it had an exclusively magical aim.
Until he received this formula he had, as he put it, “copulated merely with the atmosphere, or rode whores, witches and bitches of all kinds, there being few virgins.”
In order to translate a specified desire from the level of subjective consciousness to the material or objective plane, the Pythoness instructed him to construct an urn in conformity with the dimensions of the erect penis. Sufficient space – but no more – was to be left at the end of the vessel in order to form a vacuum when the phallus was inserted. The cavity was to contain the sigillized wish, which was automatically consecrated at the moment of orgasm. The greatly enhanced pleasure induced by the suctional power of the vacuum increased the size of the penis and caused an unusually prolonged orgasm. At the critical moment, the desire was to be vividly visualized and held steadily in mind for as long as possible. When the mental image began to wane and disappear the urn was hermetically sealed and buried in a casket filled with earth, or in the ground itself.
In his book Modern Sex Magic, the late Donald Michael Kraig gives the following spicy take on Spare’s reasons for creating the Earthenware Virgin:
Spare, apparently following the belief systems of the spurious “Satanists” of the eighteenth century (who, in turn, had taken their ideas from earlier Christian beliefs), believed that female virgins were more valuable in magick than other women. Unfortunately for Spare, he discovered that virgins were hard to find, so he “copulated with the air.” That is, he masturbated – basically because he could find few women who would have sex with him.
In layman’s terms, Kraig’s telling us that Spare jerked off because he had problems getting laid.
It goes without saying that the Earthenware Virgin technique sounds very uncomfortable, and more recent descriptions tend not to mention the “urn.” One example would be Jason Louv’s An Introduction to Chaos Magick, the free E-book one can acquire when signing up for his mailing list. On pages 19 to 21 he tells the reader to create a sigil, then to:
Take the symbol and start playing with it and simplifying it down until you have something that clicks. … Take your sigil and put it somewhere safe for a day or two. Long enough that you forget what the original intent behind it was – out of sight, out of mind. Your unconscious will remember. … Now comes the fun part: Engineering the break in consciousness. The simplest way to do this is sexual overload, either alone or with a partner. Get into the orgasmic state by whatever means seem best. At the moment of orgasm, stare unflinchingly at your sigil, imprinting it deep into your mind.
Notice that Louv makes allowance for any type of sexual method whether masturbation, intercourse, or anything in between; the main thing is that this method seeks to release magical energy by way of sexual activity.
For one last example, we’ll conclude our tour by quoting from Damon Brand’s Adventures in Sex Magick, where he describes the masturbation technique he used to win a writing contest:
My magick was simple. I masturbated at least three times a day. At the beginning of each session I thought about the result I wanted, then I forgot about the result and simply wanked, enjoying whatever sexual fantasies came to mind. Then, during the final few seconds, as orgasm was approaching, I pictured myself winning the prize and chanted the word ‘success’ over and over until my orgasm faded.
I won the prize. Of course, I may have won it anyway, but I tested this process many times over the years and found it to work.
This concludes our tour of what masturbation magic is and the general techniques used in its practice. We can notice that everyone who talks about “masturbation-as-magic” spells “magic” with a “k” (you already know my opinion, right?), comes from the “Crowley Side” of modern occultism’s family tree, and, well, you’ve probably seen the average O.T.O. member.
How Does Masturbation Magic Work?
We’ve talked about techniques, let’s talk about how this is supposed to work.
Generally speaking, the orgasm is considered a powerful release of energy, and it can be observed that sexual activity (solo or partnered) can help a person relieve stress, relax, and sometimes even produce an altered state of consciousness.
The theory behind sex magic, therefore, is that the operator(s) can learn to direct and control the energy raised during sexual activity, and this harness it toward manifesting particular goals.
So now it’s time to ask ourselves the million-dollar question …
Does Masturbation Magic Actually Work?
Well, that’s the important question. If so many authors have been talking about masturbation as a magical technique for over a century, then it absolutely has to work, right?
Well the answer is … drum roll please …
! ! ! ! O H ! ! ! H E L L ! ! ! N O ! ! ! !
This being said, sexual magic with a partner can be made to work, and I understand more about that than I’m willing to discuss here or with any student past, present, or future (I’ll only say that criteria for partner selection and how much information you share with them are of paramount importance). However, solo masturbation as a magical technique leaves a lot to be desired, at least as taught and practiced within modern western occultism.
In one of the rare admissions found in the literature, Damon Brand explains this in a roundabout way in his Adventures in Sex Magick, when he gives the first of six observations about the masturbation operation:
The result was something that was within reach, but not certain. I wasn’t trying to win the Booker Prize of be a best-selling millionaire. It was a goal just outside my normal level of expectation.
Later in the book, he gives the same advice about magical practice in general. About this operation in particular, what’s interesting to me is the frequency:
I also found that masturbating at least three times a day worked best for me, but this was never out of a sense of obligation. I have a high sex drive, so whenever I felt the least bit aroused I’d pleasure myself. If you don’t have a high sex drive, don’t force yourself. But if you can get in the mood at least once a day that is a good way to go.
This could imply playing with oneself three times a day, for I don’t know how many days, just to get a result that’s within reach or just outside the edge of reach but not certain. In essence, Mr. Brand is telling us that this is not a powerful form of magic.
And that’s perfectly okay. Not all forms of magic have to be equally powerful, and some methods will work better for some individuals than for others. That’s just the nature of the beast and can be observed without appealing to the Psychological Model. What matters to me, though, are other testimonials I’ve read.
In a few groups I admin, there’s a man who was active in the Gallery of Magick or “GOM” praxis for years (GOM is the practice Mr. Brand writes about).
Respect for magical energies and Spirits, I think is Paramount-especially if a spirit is insulted by an over-enthusiastic petitioner-especially one, whom has read all manner of Chaos-Magical publications. I’ve heard too many stories of folks getting “all bent out shape” physically, over a “masturbation” sigil working going Very Wrong and Everything else following, ending very wrong!
This was in response to a comment where I explained to someone there is, in fact, an objectively right and wrong way to do magic (though with flexibility from individual to individual), and intentionally made up some over-the-top examples of practices one would not undertake to get certain spirits’ cooperation.
Another gentleman on my friends list once likewise referred to his use of porn during his younger years, telling any and all within eye-shot that if masturbation worked as powerfully as advertised, then he’d be the “Sorceror Supreme!”
In fact, the old-school magician’s thinking on the subject can be summarized in a comment after I announced this blog post was in-progress on Facebook:
Actually, again, it’s quite the opposite. Restraining from masturbation while doing or preparing for magical work strengthens it. For a variety of reasons. One, it’s purity, two, there’s the whole storing of energy, and a few other reasons. Even while it’s a fun release, it shouldn’t be abused.
For those interested, this is how far along I was in writing this blog post, when I announced it on Facebook. Not that it matters now that you’re reading the whole thing.
So Why Do People Swear By It?
Of course, this brings us to yet another question: If masturbation magic doesn’t work, why do so many people promote or swear by it?
It May Work for Some People.
The answer here is a little simpler. For some people it may actually work, or at least work well enough for them to believe in it. These people could have incredibly high amounts of sexual energy, or a low bar for what constitutes successful magical results, or maybe an entity is making the results happen in order to encourage them to continue masturbating.
On the entity connection, I would encourage the reader to check out the comment thread from one of John Michael Greer’s “Magic Monday” blog posts last December. The discussion starts with the very first comment, where a gentleman describes his affliction with porn, compulsive masturbation, and an entity feeding off the energy of his orgasms. Without suggesting any bad ideas, I suggest considering that a non-benevolent entity will attempt to get what it wants out of you, while seeking to do or give the bare minimum in return. If an entity realizes it cannot “feed” without having to offer favors, then it will either give those favors in exchange for the energy, or look for an easier target elsewhere.
Another reason some people swear by it, is a phenomenon psychologists call accidental or adventitious reinforcement. According to the American Psychological Association’s website, accidental reinforcement is defined as:
the accidental occurrence of a reinforcer after an act, which may inadvertently strengthen the likelihood of occurrence of that act. Superstitious behavior is often a result of accidental reinforcement. For example, a golfer might lean as a putt nears the hole. Such leaning has been followed in the past by the ball going in the hole (the reinforcer), so even though leaning has no causal effect on whether the ball goes in, the accidental contingent relationship between leaning and the ball being holed leads to reinforcement of leaning. Also called adventitious reinforcement.
In other words: a would-be magician jerks off in hopes of finding a new job, and the next day receives an E-mail containing a job offer. Instead of analyzing all cause and effect factors, the magician instead thinks “masturbation is powerful,” proceeds to do it every time they want something to manifest, and continue to believe in its efficacy regardless of whether results manifest in future endeavors. If you think this makes for bad magical practice, you’re right, and it’s a pitfall we should beware of regardless of our preferred magical method or system.
The average serious occultist is not lazy. In fact, a serious occultist cannot be lazy by definition. However, the average wannabe occultist is anything but serious, and not exactly willing to do the work required for basic magical training. Likewise, masturbation’s not difficult, or special, or requiring of any serious work. Even more so if that person has a compulsive habit already, in which case they can appeal to occultism as a justification for not trying to beat the compulsion. In this case it has nothing to do with actual magic, but rather with the perception of oneself having magical power.
Finally, we come to an elephant in the room: occultists are no more or less dogmatic than any other thought-movement, ideology, or religion. In fact, occultists have the potential to be even more dogmatic, because the entire discipline emphasizes direct encounter with how things really work “behind the veil” of what’s perceptible by physical observation and taught by revealed religion. What the individual practitioner defends dogmatically may differ from any other individual practitioner, but to some extent we’ve all had “experiences” or “seen” what’s on the other side of that veil, and those experiences and perceptions become the hills we swear to die on.
This is not an insistence that all occultists are dogmatic, because the reality is some people’s brains are more wired to that position than others. Rather, this is a reminder that dogmatism can and does exist within occultism just like it exists everywhere else. And some of this dogmatism can include sexual practices.
Is It Sinful?
If you came to this section thinking I’m going to give you permission, I’m not going to do that.
If you came here thinking I’m going to be a puritanical prick and condemn everything you don’t like, well I’m not going to do that either.
What I am going to do, is lay out the facts and tell you to make up your own damn mind.
Different religions have different views on masturbation and sinfulness. That said, when most western people ask whether masturbation is sinful, they’re actually asking one of two questions: 1. Does the Church think it is sinful, and or 2. Does God think it is sinful?
When we ask about whether the Church views masturbation as sinful, we can only reply that the Church takes an unambiguous stance on the subject: yes, touching yourself is sinful. So is any ejaculation that happens outside a vagina or even inside a vagina if any “artificial” precaution whatsoever is put there to prevent even the off-chance of creating a child. Oh, and the body connected to that vagina had better be wearing a wedding ring that you gave her!
You don’t have to like my tone, but know that I did it on purpose. Because both the words and the jackass attitude expressed in the above paragraph are true.
A clear statement to this effect, by way of example, comes from Pope Innocent XI, in his 1679 condemnation of theologian Juan Caramuel’s proposition that:
Voluptuousness [a euphemism for masturbation] is not prohibited by the law of nature. Therefore, if God had not forbidden it, it would be good, and sometimes obligatory under pain of mortal sin.
Likewise another statement to this effect comes from a dubium submitted to the Holy Office of the Inquisition in 1929:
[It is asked] Whether masturbation procured directly is permitted to obtain sperm, by which a contagious disease blenorragia (gonorrhea) may be detected and, insofar as it can be done, cured.
Reply: In the negative.
Let’s get to the bottom of this!
In Catholic moral theology, masturbation is commonly called pollutio (“pollution”) or mollities (“softness” or “weakness”), and in Slater’s Manual of Moral Theology for English-Speaking Countries it is defined as:
Pollution is the voluntary pouring-out of semen outside of sexual partnership [Latin concubitus], whence it is also called the ‘solitary sin’ [Latin peccatum solitarium].
It is said to be voluntary whether in itself or in its cause, that it may be distinguished from the involuntary, which can arise from various causes naturally, and especially from discharging an overflow during sleep.
I would point out that the above is an example of a peculiarity in older English-language theology textbooks: the majority of the book may be in English, but the discussion of sexual behaviors (especially the ones thought “offensive” to common sensibilities) always occurred in Latin.
So far, though, we get the Church considers masturbation sinful when voluntary and intentional, but not sinful when involuntary. We also learn that it is perfectly sinless to touch your genitalia for the sake of cleaning yourself, medical treatment, or using the bathroom (even if arousal follows, since that’s not the intended purpose). The book then spends the next few pages talking about different types of orgasm without a partner, and gives a statement that even though women cannot produce semen, the same rules apply to them as to men:
Although women may not administer (original: administrent) semen but the egg must be fertilized in the conjugal work, they are likewise as capable as the male sex of the complete pleasure by themselves. Then as with men the sins of “unchaste incomplete touch” and “pollution” are distinguished by type, so among women the consummated solitary sin is distinguished from the non-consummated solitary sin by type.
If you’re paying attention, I’ll bring up another problem with these textbooks when it comes to sexuality: they use so many euphemisms that it’s difficult to tell exactly what the author is talking about sometimes!
We turn now to Davis’ Summary of Moral and Pastoral Theology, where Davis writes in English, and devotes less than a sentence to the entire subject, grouped among other “Consummated Sexual Acts Which Exclude Natural Generation:”
These sins are voluntary pollution, that is, complete sexual activity apart from natural intercourse; it is a grave misuse of a natural function …
So what is the problem here? Why is it such a “grave misuse” or a “pollution?”
To answer that, we have to turn to St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Contra Gentiles, who tells us why:
The answer is that by such inordinate applications as those mentioned the good of man is not greatly injured: but the inordinate emission of the semen is repugnant to the good of nature, which is the conservation of the species. Hence, after the sin of murder, whereby a human nature already in actual existence is destroyed, this sort of sin seems to hold the second place, whereby the generation of human nature is precluded. The above assertions are confirmed by divine authority.
(III.122. Emphasis mine.)
That’s correct. St. Thomas argues that it’s a sin akin second only after murder to ejaculate outside your wife’s vagina with no chance for creating a child. In other words, masturbation, birth control, oral/anal, etc. constitute a homicide of semen.
Anybody else thinking of that Monty Python song right now? Because that’s pretty much what we just read!
So how much further back can we trace this? We can get a clue from a Victorian-era euphemism used for masturbation, the “Sin of Onan,” which traces itself to the Biblical Onan, son of Juda. The relevant text is Genesis 38:8-10, where Juda tells Onan to marry his late brother’s wife, Thamar, and produce offspring in his brother’s name:
 Juda, therefore said to Onan his son: Go in to thy brother’s wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother.  He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name.  And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.
Basically, the interpretation goes that God killed Onan for “spilling his seed on the ground,” and therefore any sexual act that either takes place outside a vagina or attempts to prevent reproduction – masturbation, birth control, oral, anal, and so forth – is a mortal sin against God and Nature.
Well, THAVMA readers, we’ve just discovered the danger of proof-texting. Or as one of my Protestant minister friends once told me: “A text without a context is a pretext!”
So let’s look at the context. Did God reportedly kill Onan because he “spilled his seed on the ground,” or because of some other thing? The context would indicate that Onan’s “detestable thing” is more likely disobedience of Juda’s command to create offspring in his older brother’s name. We can also reasonably guess that what happened was coitus interruptus rather than masturbation, since (a) no amount of masturbation would prevent Thamar from conceiving is Onan still ejaculated inside her, and (b) Onan could’ve “spilled his seed on the ground” over and over again without Thamar in the picture and we’d never even have heard of him. In my eyes this makes the traditional interpretation of the passage not only suspect, but also untenable.
Yet it gets better. Only a few verses later, Thamar goes out to meet Juda, who, because of her covered face, confuses her for a prostitute. She knew who he was but decided to “transact business” with him, and gets pregnant as a result. Finally, in verse 24b, Juda is informed that “Thamar, thy daughter in law hath played the harlot, and she appeareth to have a big belly.”
Juda orders her to be executed, but when she proves that he was the “customer,” Juda admits in verse 26 that “She is juster than I,” calls off the execution, twins were born, and Thamar is later revealed to be an ancestor of David (Ruth 4:22), who in turn was the ancestor to Jesus.
This, I can only guess, is the origin of the old proverb “It’s better to spill your seed in the belly of a whore than on the ground,” which is nowhere to be found in the Bible.
FINALLY we come to the question of whether God thinks it’s sinful.
The problem here is that while the Church says it’s sinful, and small-t tradition concurs, we have no record of what God thinks about it one way or the other. There is no text that mentions masturbation specifically whether permissively or prohibitively, there is no specific mention in public revelation, and in fact every source we have is based on the presumption that the sexual act and the reproduction of children are irreparably linked.
In fact, this association is so much linked that the Latin word for marriage (matrimonium) literally means “motherhood.” This comes from the pre-Christian Roman belief that marriage exists primarily for the begetting of children, a belief that Christianity adopted and then expanded by seeking to subordinate all sexual activity to this end. However, this ventures into a discussion of Sacramental theology, and is thus a subject for another time.
The closest we can come to tagging masturbation is sinful is the fact almost nobody masturbates without fantasizing about someone with whom they’d like to have sexual activity. This brings us right smack into something Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28:
 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery.  But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.
This logically applies to women as well as to men, and it doesn’t matter which gender you find attractive. I was once told this is because the other person is not your property, though nobody seems to be assuming anyone is. A stronger argument could be made for the possibility of committing rape on the astral, but the reality is you’re a lot more likely to end up inadvertently creating a thought-form that looks like the other person, than of astrally copulating with the other person this way. It sounds more in line with Catholic teaching to interpret this as a reminder to keep our thoughts on God and our sanctification, without letting thoughts of adultery and/or fornication distract us from that goal.
With all this said, I leave it to your own mind to examine the facts presented and determine for yourself whether the act of masturbation is sinful. Your own conclusions will differ depending on whether your position on morality is rigorist or laxist, or anything on the continuum between those two extremes.
For me, my own belief is that it’s nobody’s business but yours, your partner’s, and your deity’s. I got sick of telling people what to think years ago, and have no interest in pontificating about rules I can’t enforce anyway.
Should I Do It?
Whether or not you consider masturbation a sin, we do well do heed the old adage “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
This is certainly one of those cases where that adage applies. It’s also one of those cases where an ecclesiastical moral precept may make no sense on the exoteric level, but on the esoteric the implications are all too clear.
In the first place, we have to consider the relationship between masturbation and energy, a concept that I need to define more clearly than I have in the past.
In the past, I’ve described energy as synonymous with God’s grace, following the Orthodox depiction of grace as energy. This may sound great in the context of “lightworking” and “angel magic” and such, but now we’re discussing a subject where the average person might find that association downright icky.
The best way to explain this is that Catholicism subscribes to an extreme interpretation of the spirit model, which leads her to reject the concept of “energy” as taught in most Occult and Newage circles. Yet Catholicism also believe man is helpless of his own accord, and therefore in need of God’s assistance to do anything whatsoever.
In my blog post Why I Believe the “Left-Hand” Path Doesn’t Exist, I explained an obscure and commonly-held-but-not-official Catholic teaching that’s almost never talked about outside of seminary curricula: the God assists the free acts of every created being, including sin.
The above image comes from Luwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, where he devotes two pages to discussing the Concursus Divinus, or the mode of God’s co-operation with His creation’s actions. At the bottom of the same page, Ott explains:
God co-operates in the physical act of sin also (actio peccati, entitas peccati);
since the activation of the sensual and spiritual powers of the creature, is a being, and therefore something good. The moral deficiency (i.e. the, sin as such), which is associated with the physical act, derives from the free will ofthe creature who, therefore, alone is guilty. God, in consequence of His infinite perfection, cannot be the cause of a moral defect. (Cf. S. th. I 49, 2; de malo 3, 2.)
What we have here, therefore, is a paradigm in which man is considered utterly powerless and thus needs divine assistance to “live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Yet the very fact of that divinity giving us free will, means we cannot sin without receiving the same type of enabling that we’d need to perform an act of virtue. The logical conclusion becomes that as God assists us to carry out our prayers, so too does He assist us to carry out our sins.
Furthermore, in the Western theological tradition, God’s grace is often characterized as “assistance” rather than “energy,” though the two concepts are at root the same. This brings us to reconcile that God’s grace can be just as easily identified with Chi, or Prana, or Mana, as it is with God personally helping each and every one of us go about our lives (because perichoresis, hence the energy being present throughout all creation!). Hence I feel confident speaking of “grace” and “energy” as one and the same, even if the subject matter is revolting (and I have to admit to no small discomfort here, too).
And oh yeah, Congratulations! Because you just learned that the Mysteries of Grace contain a sub-set of darker mysteries. This blog might explore some of those mysteries later in the year.
Back to the topic: should you do it? I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. And if you’re the type with an uncontrollable sex drive and no romantic prospects in sight, I wouldn’t suggest doing it more than once a week.
Here’s why. That energy exists and can be built up within us, this is something that can’t be denied. Rather, it’s empirically demonstrable by walking into a room filled with happy people, then a room filled with sad people, then a room filled with people who don’t like you, then a room filled with horny people, you get the picture. You can also pay attention to mind and body after three weeks of stead meditation and spiritual exercises, as opposed to three weeks of doing nothing at all. In each of those situations one feels a “charge” of some kind, which is energy conditioned by the situation at hand.
This goes to the point of people being able to sense energy build-ups with specific parts of their bodies. Some people feel it in their heads, others in their chest, some feel a “tingle” around them, some feel energy building up in their genitals, and others may perceive it in any number of ways or any combination of senses. What we can’t deny is that there’s something there.
Now, the fact there’s something there means we may want to build it up as part of our spiritual practice, and masturbation is a one-way ticket to emptying out one’s energy reserves. While in sexual intercourse both partners can share energy mutually or one partner can just “feed” off the other, masturbation contains no such vehicle for exchange because there’s no one present with whom to make the exchange. Hence the energy just gets dumped out onto the towel, or into the sock, or on the navel, or into thin air.
Yes, the energy discharged can be reclaimed, but it will be mixed with whatever’s in one’s surroundings (which may or may not be a good, depending on circumstances), and there’s no guarantee of being able to recover the same quantity that was lost.
Lastly, I bring our attention back to the conversation on John Michael Greer’s blog that we mentioned previously. That conversation has an interesting history, having been noticed by Rod Dreher of The American Conservative, to which JMG wrote another blog post responding to Dreher and pointing out similarities and differences with the latter’s claims. I strongly recommend reading all three of these links in their entirety, including the comments, because they’re important to the subject at hand (no pun intended!).
For the most part, I agree with what Greer has to say here. The fact is that entities feed on energy too, and not all entities are as benevolent as we like to imagine them. In fact some will just go for the first “easy mark” they can find and feed off their vulnerabilities just because they can. This is not a common phenomenon – certainly nowhere near as common as some groups of Christians claim it is – but there’s still no good reason to put yourself out there like an all-you-can-eat buffet to any entity who might happen to pass by!
A final concern is the fact magic is an exercise in self-control, not in giving into one’s compulsions. If you have a compulsion, then that translates as a lack of self-control. In fact self-control is so important that we see this advocated by no less than the Marquis de Sade in his 120 Days of Sodom:
Never ought fuck be allowed to dictate or affect one’s principles; ‘tis for one’s principles to regulate one’s manner of shedding it. And whether one is stiff, or whether one is not, one’s philosophy, acting independently of passions, should always remain the same.
Lack of self-control leads to degeneracy, degeneracy leads to the loss of energy, loss of energy leads to loss of willpower, loss of willpower leads to becoming useless to help yourself and others. This statement may be technically inaccurate, but it’s generally true.
What If I Can’t Control It?
We’ve covered a lot of ground here. But what if you have a compulsive masturbation problem and can’t seem to get it under control?
When somebody’s come to me about this whether in confessional or in counseling, there’s an approach I’ve worked out that’s worked for about 99% of the time.
The first thing you do is look at how often you’re playing with yourself and why. Is it once a day? Once every few days? Several times a day?
Are you masturbating because you’re bored? Is porn involved or is it not part of your process? What kinds of people or things do you fantasize about? Are there “toys” or other object involved?
Also pay attention to your body’s sexual-arousal state before you start fapping. Generally, there will be two states: one starts masturbating because of a physical urge, but just as likely they can start because of a mental habit. Determine whether the majority of your incidents start from the urge or from a habit, and realize that even the strongest physical urge can pass if you wait a few minutes, and the mental habit of “I’m doing it because I’m accustomed” can always be told “No.”
The main point thus far is to identify the features and support structure involved in, and perpetuating your compulsion toward masturbation, which then gives you an opportunity to undermine that support structure by rooting it out plank by plank.
Another thing to look at is who your friends are and what kind of things you do with them. I’m not telling anybody to abandon their friends, but the point here is to look at what kind of influences are going on in your life and adjusting activities accordingly.
One can also use their psychological tendencies to help or hinder in this. For example, how do you feel about masturbating in front of a Crucifix or an image of Our Lady? Well, hang one on the wall of your bedroom with the eyes staring directly at your bed (or wherever else you usually “do the deed”). Catholic guilt can be a good thing if used intelligently.
There’s also the question of association. As in, what kind of thoughts or experiences do we associate with certain acts or habits? One good example of this can be found in the anonymous Mormon Guide to Ending Masturbation that’s been on the internet since the 90s:
In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eating several of them as you do the act.
Lastly, don’t expect to be able to stop cold-turkey. Some people can (and I applaud them), but most people will eventually succumb sooner or later. In the beginning it might be better to dedicate yourself to trying to space it out to once every three days, then five days, then a week, and so on. This carries with it the risk of relapsing, since after the first time you might feel the “urge” or “habit” creeping up on you again the next morning.
In all of this, you’ll also want to look into the NoFap community and read over as much of their website as you can. The resources there have helped a lot of people, and may help you as well.
Likewise, keep an eye out for any entities who may be hanging around you or attempting to “harvest” the energy you put out when ejaculating. If an entity is present, then use this to strengthen your commitment to getting the habit under control, because there’s no damn way you should be letting any entity get something from you for free, especially one who doesn’t have your best interests in mind!
Keep track of your progress by getting a small calendar or spreadsheet, and put an “x” on days when you couldn’t control yourself or had a relapse. Ideally, this forces your conscious mind to pay attention to what your body is doing, with the goal being that each “x” on the calendar will become further and further apart, if not gone entirely.
These suggestions might look random and haphazard, but that’s because they’re methods that best systematize on a person-by-person basis. You’ll have to choose what you can do and figure out what works best for you, but the good news is that there are a lot of resources out there that can help. You’re not alone, and there are entire communities out there who want to help you regain your self-control.
My God! This Post Has Gone On for Too Long Already!
Funny story: I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for two years, but couldn’t figure out how to say it, or if my audience could handle the level of graphic detail required to do the subject justice. I tend to forget that religious occultists aren’t necessarily as squeamish as their brethren and sistren sitting in the pews.
If I were still doing my old job, I’d be expected to tell you this is sinful and you’re all going to hell. But the truth is I got sick of being that guy several years ago and could care less what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom.
What you do in private is none of my business unless you’re asking me to join you!
That said, I hope we’ve been able to cover some serious ground today, having covered the history of masturbation’s use in the repertoire of modern western occultism, why it’s not the brightest idea, the moral theology behind the subject, and what you can do if you have a problem with it.
Because quite frankly, even if fapping over sigils isn’t the worst option out there, it certainly can’t be too far from the bottom. So next week, why don’t we move away this Thelemite-derived horseshit and get back to talking about real magic instead?