I often have people who want to be authors ask me for tips on creating a successful book. One of the things I like to say is that a key to success is often the title. I like crisp, short titles that clearly indicate what is in the book. The reason for this is that if someone is looking for a book on a particular subject, a title that clearly indicates what the book is about makes it easy for the reader.
One such title is Instant Magick by Christopher Penczak. There are several reasons this is a great title. First, the sad truth is that many people—often influenced by movies, novels, TV, or comic books—are looking for “magick pills” and easy answers. They want to just say a few words and have the magick happen. Christopher’s title seems to indicate that’s what’s in his book, and that’s one reason I predicted it was going to be very popular.
I have the good fortune of knowing Christopher, and I was honestly quite puzzled with the concept of the book—until I read it. I know that Christopher knows magick well enough to understand that magick isn’t something that works like that. And indeed, Instant Magick doesn’t present magick that way.
Instead, the concept presented in this book is that you need to develop your inner magickal abilities and energies. He gives exercises that will instruct and train you to accomplish this. Then, when you need to use your magickal energies, you can call on them at will and they will work for you. In fact, they work so well that it can seem like the magick happens instantaneously.
Part of the concept of this book is that it isn’t always possible to have available magickal tools such as candles, incenses, wands, daggers, altars, etc. The purest form of magick—tapping into your own energetic awareness to create change—is accessible simply through the power of your will. So this book will not only catch the attention of people who may not be looking for what Christopher reveals, but he shows them how to train and prepare so they can achieve such instant magick.
Another reason I like this book is that its theory—the use of personal energy as a basic component of magick—parallels what I present in Modern Sex Magick. The growth in popularity and understanding of sex magick follows the modern industrial age where the focus was on machinery and the physical plane. Therefore, many traditional books on sex magick have focused on the physical aspect, especially the natural byproducts of sexual activity.
But does that make sense? If what our bodies produce during sex was magickal, wouldn’t there be wildly unpredictable magickal events going on all the time? Since that isn’t occurring, it implies that either something is missing in the sex magick equation or sex magick doesn’t work.
Evidence indicates that indeed, sex magick works, so the real question is “what’s missing from the idea that sexual fluids, in and of themselves, are simply magickal?” The answer is that what is missing has been known to mystics and occultists for ages, it simply hasn’t been revealed. The secret is that for the sexual fluids to become magickal, they must be charged. The method of charging is two-fold. First, you must move energy so that it enters the fluids, and second, that energy must be focused to a specific end through the use of the will.
Now here is where Modern Sex Magick differs from most other books on the subject. It asks a simple question: “If we’re working with energy, why do we need to put it into a physical form instead of simply using the energy directly?” As you may know, when something changes from one state to another (say, from a gas like steam to a solid like ice) it loses energy. If we focus on the energy we should have even more power to use than if we wait for it to convert into another form.
But was there any historical evidence to support this position? I spent years searching literature and found several documents and books that supported a form of kabalistic sex magick that works with energy. It is this that is presented in Modern Sex Magick.
There are numerous advantages to this. First, it is more egalitarian. Sex magick is no longer about gender, it is about energy. This means anyone can do it. You can work by yourself. You can work with a spiritual, non-physical partner such as an angel or visualized deity. And, of course, you can work with other people. If you have ever wondered about the inner nature of sex magick—whether you have a partner or not—this book can really enhance your magickal abilities.
Curiously, by returning to its kabalistic sources, Western sex magick appears even closer than ever to Eastern Tantra. So I wondered if there was any evidence to a link. In the book The Jewish Mind by Rafael Patai (famous among Pagans for The Hebrew Goddess), the author points out that Tantra and the Kabalah have so many similarities that there certainly must have been communication between the two spiritual schools. This leads to a fascinating question, as Tantra preceded the Kabalah by thousands of years. Was at least some of the Kabalah derived from Indian Tantra?
Patai says he can’t prove that’s true, and neither can I. But the similarities are fascinating. One of the best books to explore and compare Tantra and Western sex magick is Dr. Jonn Mumford’s classic, Ecstasy Through Tantra. Its first edition (and it was published in an unusual, oblong format) had the title Sexual Occultism, but the latest version is greatly expanded. It even includes a chapter—“A Tantric Weekend”—by myself.
In his works on meditation and the kabalah, Aryeh Kaplan describes ancient Jewish mystics who would alter their consciousness by assuming a sitting position with their head below their knees, and holding this position for a long period of time. In the Indian practice of hatha yoga, this would be called a position, or asana. In Ecstasy Through Tantra, Dr. Mumford describes the power of a certain position where you lock your muscles while sitting. If these two are not related, they are certainly from parallel sources. People studying the Kabalah or Tantra (or both) owe it to themselves to learn about the power of this simple position, and you can read about it in Ecstasy Through Tantra.
The Mula Bandha
This simple technique will help women achieve ecstasy easier. In men it will help give greater control and prevent a premature finish. For all people it builds strength in the “core” (abdomen) and lower back.
Assume a comfortable, seated position. Traditionally this is cross-legged or in a half or full lotus position, but it can be done in a chair, too.
Exhale. At the end of the exhalation, contract the muscles of the pelvic floor, from the pubic bone to the tailbone. The muscles of the lower stomach should move toward the spine and you should feel as if the tailbone is pulling up and toward your navel.
You may contract the muscles into this “lock” anywhere from 15-100%.
Hold the breath out or in while in this lock and release the breath and the contractions when you need to. Alternatively, you may either contract and release with your regular breath or rapidly contract and release the muscles (this is known as “pumping”).
As you become more aware of these muscles, try to limit the ones that are contracted until you are only using those attached to the perineum.
Do not strain. Do not practice more than a minute or two at the beginning. Build up slowly to greater lengths and contractions.
Excerpt is from Ectasy through Tantra by Dr. Jonn Mumford