Saturday, March 5, 2016

Pagan Portals - Sacred Sex and Magic (book review)

Pagan Portals – Sacred Sex and Magic
by Web PATH Center

This book was quite different than I thought it was going to be. I went into it expecting more of a focus on using sex as a part of one's magical practice. Instead I found the approach to be much broader, really delving into how I relate to my own sexuality and the ecstatic energy that dwells within me.

The book itself starts out with an introduction of the Web PATH Center, and the authors who collaborated on this book. The introduction section continues with a bit on why the book written and what their view on magic and sacred sex is. I think this gives a good context for the book and the perspective from which it was written.

One of the first things talked about might be new to a lot of people, and that is the idea of sacred sex in a visionary context. I really appreciate that this book talks about this, and that sex isn't limited to a procreative act between two bodies, but is really expanded to include many aspects of sexuality that are often overlooked. I think that there is still a bit of a stigma around visualized sex, especially when those visualizations lie outside our physical relationships. Whether we are engaging in sexual encounters with divine beings, with genders that are not our normal preference or even as ourselves but another gender, the authors encourage us to approach these experiences with an open mind instead of shame.

Another main focus of the book is on healing. Not only the use of sacred sex to raise energy which can then be used towards healing ourselves or others, but the use of sacred sex itself as a therapy to help heal our inner wounds and previous experiences. Our modern culture has so much sexual repression and abuse in it and very little true healing for people who need it. It was very refreshing to read a book that not only explains things you can do but really encourages you to work through any troubles you might be having in a slow and personal way. No two people have the same sexual history, and so no one therapy will work for all people. Learning to be brave, examine where you might be hurt and then focusing on bringing healing to that space is a tool that will benefit many people.

This book also approaches sex as a physical, emotional and spiritual thing. I really like this type of multifaceted outlook. I think the deepest healing and understanding comes when we look at ourselves as whole beings and not just as a body or a mind.

There are quite a lot of exercises scattered throughout the book. Many of them focus directly on self-inquiry and healing through sacred sex. But some also explore more traditional energy work and meditation techniques. I personally found some of the connections to be a bit stretched for me. My own experience with some of these energy techniques is powerful, but I wouldn't classify them as sexual. Especially things like grounding, which I have never found to be a sexual or orgasmic experience. While this outlook on these exercises might work wonderfully for some people, I found it hard to connect with them in this way.

I think that was the main thing I struggled with while reading this book. It relates almost every activity back to sex and sexual energy and pleasure. While I think many things can be connected, and it is definitely possible to call sexual energy into almost anything, I had a hard time with what I felt was an implication that all these things are sexual at their most base nature. I don't find the core of my magical practice rooted in sex, and so it was a hard concept for me to connect to.

All in all, I did really enjoy this book. There are quite a few exercises that I tagged to go back and work with. I think that it is a fascinating look at how sexuality can be expressed through a wide range of activities, and that it offers many tools for working through our own sexual identity. I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in doing work on sacred sexuality or for anyone who is struggling with aspects of their sexuality and wanting to work through blocks they might have.

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