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The yoga of sex: Tantra, orientalism, and sex magic in the Ordo Templi Orientis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Tantra's complex journey to the West in the nineteenth century through one of the most important esoteric groups of this era, the Ordo Templi Orientis(O.T.O). Founded by Theodor Reuss in the early twentieth century, the O.T.O. was not only one of the earliest European groups to take a serious interest in Tantra; more importantly, it was also one of the first to meld the Indian traditions of yoga and Tantra with Western methods of sexual magic. The chapter shows that the O.T.O. would take these sexual techniques in a very different direction than any Indian Tantrika would have imagined. The O.T.O. itself gave birth to a number of offshoots and rival movements, such as the Fraternitas Saturni, the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua, the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the Typhonian current and the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua, a breakaway branch formed in 1921 which focused on sex magic and Voodoo.

Keywords: Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica; Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua; Indian Tantrika; Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O); sex magic; Tantra; Theodor Reuss



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