A Book Report on Paschal Beverly Randolph: A 19th-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician
Last year I acquired this biography on Paschal Beverly Randolph, 19th-century Black American trance medium, occultist, writer, and sex magician born October 8th, 1825. (Sun in Libra, Moon in Leo, and a Venus Jupiter conjunction in Virgo—fascinating given his work on the occult and sex magic!)
I’ve been making my way through this tome and am about finished with it! It's dense and detailed, making it a slow read, but it's so interesting full of incredible accounts of Randolph’s life. So, I felt compelled to do this book report in honor of Black History, and as a push to finish the book.
John Patrick Deveney, an academic occultist, wrote in depth about Randolph’s spiritual and magical methodologies and philosophy in a scholarly yet accessible way. This biography (no, history book!) at 600 pages also offers mini-biographies of other spiritualists of his time, which shows the extent of the circles that Randolph participated in. Beyond scholarly, this is a historical and fascinating account of a mage whose work is considered to be the forerunner of modern occultism, along with Madame H. P. Blavatsky and Aleister Crowley, whose works & societies were in part influenced by Randolph.
Included within these pages are two of Randolph's major works on sexual magic: The Ansairetic Mystery and The Mysteries of Eulis.
Randolph’s magical and occult works involved using magic mirrors, hashish, and sexual magic to help develop the muscle of mediumship; and combined with his travels around the world and connections to occultists of his time makes his biography so compelling to read.
Randolph wrote extensively about his travels, as well as his spiritual sensitivities and shared his experiences and magical practices in pamphlets, spiritualist newspapers, memoirs, and handbooks, openly teaching others how they could access the spirit realm themselves through various magical tools and techniques. >>>