Ida Craddock


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Ida Craddock

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joulukuu 14, 2010, 8:45am

2010 seems to have been steam engine time for books by or about Ida Craddock. I've picked up Lunar and Sex Worship and I've wishlisted Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic as well as the biography Heaven's Bride. Has anyone read any of these yet, and/or formed opinions about their relative merits?

(For info on Craddock and why she's important to Thelema, see --a site maintained by Vere Chappell, who edited Lunar and Sex Worship and Sexual Outlaw.)

joulukuu 14, 2010, 10:38am

Well, I trudged through most of Lunar and Sex Worship, and am reading Sexual Outlaw now. To be honest, I find reading Craddock rather tiresome; her scholarship is amateurish and her conclusions not always convincing. And she's a bit of a prude. The biographical information is fascinating, though, as she was certainly a remarkable woman. So Heaven's Bride -- the book I didn't get -- may be the most interesting of the three.

joulukuu 14, 2010, 1:13pm

Considering what became of her, I'd hesitate to call her a "prude"--any reticence seems to have been justified. Or is it that you find her moralizing a little over the top?

joulukuu 17, 2010, 10:43am

Her sexual morality is very conservative. Sexual intercourse is only legitimate, for example, between a married man and woman. (If your spouse is a spirit, your marriage can be recorded in the spirit world.) Even then, she recommends abstinence for the married couple -- for months or even years -- till you have achieved a degree of moral purity and have overcome any squeamishness about the subject of sex. Then, intercourse is only permissible for the purpose of having a child, till both of the coupld have learned how to suppress orgasms. And so forth. Her system is all about inhibition and control.

joulukuu 17, 2010, 10:55am

Yeah, I'm aware of the whole ascetic streak there, having read some of her papers like "Psychic Wedlock." I haven't read "Heavenly Bridegrooms," which so favorably impressed Crowley, and I'm still curious enough to read Lunar and Sex Worship. The fact that her scholarship is flimsy doesn't deter me, because her work was influential regardless of its original merits.

I think it's interesting that the book which probably did the most to popularize Craddock's system among occultists (although without acknowledging her) is now itself out of print: Louis Culling's Sex Magick.

joulukuu 18, 2010, 1:46pm

I certainly didn't mean to deter you from reading her. Just offering an opinion. I've got plenty of those, and they're free of charge. :-) I'll be interested to hear yours, once you're done with HB and L&SW.