Collected Articles

Ida Craddock

The works included here were originally published between 1894 - 1902.

This online edition was created and published by Global Grey on the 11th April 2023.

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Table of Contents

The Wedding Night

Right Marital Living

Psychic Wedlock

Spiritual Joys

Heavenly Bridegrooms

Letter to her Mother on the Day of her Suicide

Letter to the Public on the Day of her Suicide

The Wedding Night

Oh, crowning time of lovers’ raptures veiled in mystic splendor, sanctified by priestly blessing and by the benediction of all who love the lovers! How shall we chant thy praise?

Of thy joys even the poets dare not sing, save in words that suggest but do not reveal. At thy threshold, the most daring of the realistic novelists is fain to pause, and, with farewells to the lovers who are entering thy portals, let fall the curtain of silence betwixt them and the outside world forevermore.

What art thou, oh, night of mystery and passion? Why shouldst thou be thus enshrouded in an impenetrable veil of secrecy? Are thy joys so pure, so dazzling, so ecstatic, that no outside mortal can look upon thy face and live?

Or art thou a Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, and, under thy covering of silver light, a fiend, a loathsome monster, a distorted and perverted semblance of what thou dost profess thyself to the world?

Whatsoever thou art, it were well, methinks, that the veil, for a moment, were lifted from thee, that the young and ignorant may see thee as thou art, and, seeing, be not misled by thy glamour to their own undoing, but keep the higher law when they shall have entered thy radiant doors.

When the last stanzas of the wedding march have died away, and the bride, in shimmering white, places her hand in that of the bridegroom and pledges herself to be his wife “until death do part,” a shiver of awe stirs the audience, as a field of wheat is stirred by a strong wind. An uncomfortable feeling pervades us all during these few moments, for it is felt to be a solemn occasion; and when the final words of the marriage service have been pronounced, every one feels relieved.

Yet there is a more solemn moment to follow. It comes when the last kisses of mother and girl-friends have been given, and the last grain of rice has been thrown upon the newly wedded pair, and the last hack driver and hotel or railway porter have been gotten rid of, and the key is turned in the bedroom door and the blinds drawn, and the young girl, who has never been alone in a locked room with a man in all her life, suddenly finds herself, as though in a dream, delivered over by her own innocent and pure affection into the power of a man, to be used at his will and pleasure. She, who has never bared more than her throat and shoulders and arms to the world, now finds that her whole body, especially those parts which she has all her life been taught it was immodest to fail to keep covered, are no longer to be her own private property; she must share their privacy with this man.

Fortunate indeed is the bride whose lover at such a moment is a gentleman in every fibre of his being.

For there is a wrong way and there is a right way to pass the wedding night.

In the majority of cases, no genital union at all should be attempted, or even suggested, upon that night. To the average young girl, virtuously brought up, the experience of sharing her bedroom with a man is sufficient of a shock to her previous maidenly habits, without adding to her nervousness by insisting upon the close intimacies of genital contact. And, incredible as it may sound to the average man, she is usually altogether without the sexual experience which every boy acquires in his dream-life. The average, typical girl does not have erotic dreams. In many cases, too, through the prudishness of parents--a prudishness which is positively criminal--she is not even told beforehand that genital union will be required of her. I once talked with a young married woman, the daughter of a physician, well educated, and moving in cultured society, who had been allowed to marry at the age of 20, in entire ignorance of this. She remarked to me: “I think the relation of husband and wife is something horrid. I knew, of course, before I married, that married people had children; but I supposed that God sent them babies, and that that was all there was about it. I was never told about the physical relation.” Her husband was so lacking in self-control as to make her pregnant on her wedding night.

And her experience is but one out of thousands.

In the ideal honeymoon, the bridegroom will not seek genital contact until the bride herself shows indications of desiring it. “But she might never want it?” My dear sir, you must be indeed lacking in manhood to be unable to arouse sex desire in a bride who loves you with even a halfway sort of affection.

“How can this be done?”

Well, I think that the very first thing for you to bear in mind is that, inasmuch as Nature has so arranged sex that the man is always ready (as a rule) for intercourse, whereas the woman is not, it is most unwise for the man to precipitate matters by exhibiting desire for genital contact when the woman is not yet aroused. You should remember that that organ of which you are, justly, so proud, is not possessed by a woman, and that she is utterly ignorant of its functions, practically, until she has experienced sexual contact; and that it is, to her who is not desirous of such contact, something of a monstrosity. Even when a woman has already had pleasurable experience of genital contact, she requires each time to be aroused amorously, before that organ, in its state of activity, can become attractive. For a man to exhibit, to even an experienced wife, his organ ready for action when she herself is not amorously aroused, is, as a rule, not sexually attractive to her; on the contrary, it is often sexually repulsive, and at times out and out disgusting to her. Every woman of experience knows that, when she is ready, she can cause the man to become sexually active fast enough.

If this be so with the wife who has had pleasurable experience in genital contact, how much more must the sight or touch of that apparent monstrosity in a man shock and terrify the inexperienced young bride!

Yet, if you are patient and loverlike and gentlemanly and considerate and do not seek to unduly precipitate matters, you will find that Nature will herself arrange the affair for you most delicately and beautifully. If you will first thoroughly satisfy the primal passion of the woman, which is affectional and maternal (for the typical woman mothers the man she loves), and if you will kiss and caress her in a gentle, delicate and reverent way, especially at the throat and bosom, you will find that, little by little (perhaps not the first night nor the second night, but eventually, as she grows accustomed to the strangeness of the intimacy), you will, by reflex action from the bosom to the genitals, successfully arouse within her a vague desire for the entwining of the lower limbs, with ever closer and closer contact, until you melt into one another’s embrace at the genitals in a perfectly natural and wholesome fashion; and you will then find her genitals so well lubricated with an emission from her glands of Bartholin, and, possibly, also from her vagina, that your gradual entrance can be effected not only without pain to her, but with a rapture so exquisite to her, that she will be more ready to invite your entrance upon a future occasion.

If the wedding day has been one of prolonged excitement, the most sensible thing that the bride and bridegroom can do upon retiring, is to go straight to sleep like two tired children. On waking in the morning, the first marital endearments may suitably take place, and will be found conducive to the exchange of sexual magnetism which will strengthen and refresh. Indeed, you should never, never allow genital contact to be attempted when either of you is physically weary or mentally fagged out.

If you are accustomed to the use of tobacco and alcoholic drinks, it is to be hoped that you will have sufficient self-control and consideration for you bride to abstain from them at least upon your wedding night. Not only are their odors, especially when stale, disgusting to any woman of delicate sensibilities, but the use of either or both will go far toward coarsening your emotional relations toward her on that occasion.

The effect of alcohol will be to lessen the co-ordination among your nervous ganglia, accentuate your prominent weaknesses (this, too, at the very moment when you wish to appear especially manly in her eyes!) and inhibit your powers of self-control.

The effect of tobacco always is to deteriorate the moral and emotional sensibilities through its capacity for blunting sensation.

Do you wish to be truly a man upon the wedding night? Then forego both tobacco and alcohol upon that occasion and for a long time previously.

Do not, upon any account, use the hand for the purpose of sexual excitation at the bride’s genitals. There is but one lawful finger of love with which to approach her genitals, and this is the male organ. Even where there is a hymen whose orifice requires to be gradually enlarged in order to effect a painless entrance, the male organ, and not the finger, should be employed, lest a masturbative response be set up in the bride at the outset, which would be most unfortunate.

Bear in mind that the more gentle, slow and lingering your entrance, the more passionate will be the response of the bride. Also, the more readily will you yourself attain to the sexual self-control inculcated in my Right Marital Living.

As to the clitoris, this should be simply saluted, at most, in passing, and afterwards ignored as far as possible; for the reason that it is a rudimentary male organ, and an orgasm aroused there evokes a rudimentary male magnetism in the woman, which appears to pervert the act of intercourse, with the result of sensualizing and coarsening the woman. Within the duller tract of the vagina, after a half-hour, or, still better, an hour of tender, gentle, self-restrained coition, the feminine, womanly, maternal sensibilities of the bride will be aroused, and the magnetism exchanged then will be healthful and satisfying to both parties. A woman’s orgasm is as important for her health as a man’s is for his. And the bridegroom who hastens through the act without giving the bride the necessary half-hour or hour to come to her own climax, is not only acting selfishly; he is also sowing the seeds of future ill-health and permanent invalidism in his wife.

A woman’s clitoris is sometimes hooded, which, of course, is an unnatural condition, and is apt to result in sexual coldness on her part, or, at best, in a stunted sex desire. Here a physician should be appealed to, as the clitoris can be freed from its hood by circumcision; and the earlier that this is done in a girl’s life the better for her health. Many a girl infant, it is now maintained by some physicians, is nervously deranged by the existence of such a hood, and would be restored to health by its circumcision.

Some woman have an abnormally long clitoris, which it is impossible not to engage during coition, and such women are usually sensual, and lacking in the ability to prolong the act. In extreme cases the excision of such a clitoris may be beneficial; but it would seem preferable to first employ the milder method of suggestive therapeutics, and for the wife to endeavor to turn her thoughts from the sensation induced at the clitoris to that induced within the vagina, which is the natural and wholesome sensation to be aroused in a woman.

Do not expend your seminal fluid at any time, unless you and the bride desire a child, and have reverently and deliberately prepared for its creation on that especial occasion. Your semen is not an excretion to be periodically gotten rid of; it is a precious secretion, to be returned to the system for its upbuilding in all that goes to emphasize your manhood. It is given to you by Nature for the purpose of begetting a child; it is not given to you for sensual gratification; and unless deliberate creation be provided for by both of you, it should never, never be expended. This however does not mean less pleasure, but more pleasure than by the ordinary method of sex union. As to the details of how such sexual self-control may be exercised during coition, and without harm to the nervous system, you can learn these from my pamphlet on Right Marital Living.

I would add that the habit of using a wife as a convenience for a man’s easing himself of a fluid which is looked on as an excretion, is chiefly responsible for the widespread idea that the sex relation is unclean, and for the growth of Comstockism, with its baneful efforts at suppression of all enlightening literature upon the details of coition as being “obscene, lewd, lascivious.” The sex relation is indeed unclean, when made use of by a man for the purpose of easing himself of a supposed excretion; and the details of such a union are truly “obscene, lewd, and lascivious.” No bridegroom of any delicacy of sentiment will want to thus befoul his wedding night or his honeymoon. But when the higher law is known and kept --- that of genital union in self-control and aspiration to the divine --- the sex relation at once becomes refined and spiritualized, and the morbid ideas about its being impure cease.

When you are performing your movements, do not indulge in the thought of how much you are enjoying them; rather dwell, in thought, upon how much pleasure you are giving to your bride, and study carefully every movement with reference to its pleasure-producing effect upon her.

Also, to the bride, I would say: Bear in mind that it is part of your wifely duty to perform pelvic movements during the embrace, riding your husband’s organ gently, and, at times, passionately, with various movements, up and down, sideways, and with a semi-rotary movement, resembling the movement of the thread of a screw upon a screw. These movements will add greatly to your own passion and your own pleasure, but they should not be dwelt in thought for this purpose. They should be performed for the express purpose of conferring pleasure upon your husband, and you should carefully study the results of various movements, gently and tenderly performed, upon him.

We human beings are so constituted that when we seek happiness for ourselves, it eludes our grasp. But when we seek to make other people happy, happiness comes and abides with us. If each will seek to give pleasure to his or her wedded partner, the bliss of each will be greatly intensified. Especially will this be so if God be included in this pleasure-giving partnership, along the lines which I have laid down in Right Marital Living.

The custom of brutal rupture of a woman’s hymen on the wedding night, and, too often, the consequent tearing of the walls of the vagina, with attendant pain and loss of blood, is wholly unnecessary. The bride elect should go to a physician some little while previous to the wedding and if there be a hymen of any toughness, have it snipped by a pair of surgical scissors. This will not be painful, and the hymen, which is a membrane attached to the walls of the orifice, will soon shrivel away, being now but a piece of dead skin. It would be advisable, however, for the woman to let her future husband know that she intends to do this, for the reason that there exists a popular superstition to the effect that the presence of the hymen is a proof of virginity. On the contrary, it is not a true test of virginity, for many women never had any hymen, and others have lost theirs when children, by romping. Also, prostitutes are on record as having had a hymen which deceived physicians into thinking them virgins. Nevertheless, because men still ignorantly hold to the popular superstition about the hymen, it is prudent for the bride elect to state her intention ahead of time. Some men with brutal instincts feel themselves defrauded of their rights if the bride’s hymen be not there, unbroken, for them to rupture. Of course, no intelligent, self-respecting woman would feel herself bound to accord a husband such a right, if she knew beforehand all the pain and suffering which the exercise of his supposed prerogative would involve. ( I know of one case where a bride was confined to bed for six weeks with abscesses in her vagina, because of her husband’s brutal manner of effecting entrance on the wedding night. ) And if the bridegroom-elect be the sort of a man who claims this as his conjugal right, perhaps it would be as well for the bride to find it out before she marries him.

But, of course, the natural instrument for effecting entrance is the bridegroom’s organ of penetration, and, if at all possible, it should be employed in preference to any other. Even where there is a fairly tough hymen, if the bridegroom will use gentleness, patience, and tender love making, and refrain from genital contact until the bride is thoroughly aroused, it will usually be found that she will, upon genital contact, instinctively bear down so quickly and effectively that the dreaded entrance will be all over within a moment. Allay the bleeding by the use of water as hot as can be borne, dipping therein a wad of clean absorbent cotton, squeezing it out, and placing the wad up between the lips of the bleeding orifice.

It should be the privilege of the woman, and not of the man, to choose between these two methods.

Another thing which often causes unnecessary suffering to the bride at first is the smallness of her orifice, as compared with the bridegroom’s organ, especially if the latter be unusually large. Like a glove which is a trifle small in the fingers, however, this disparity in size can be overcome by successive attempts at entrance, provided, also, that the parts be anointed with some simple ointment, such as petrolatum, cosmoline, or vaseline. Do not use an ointment containing unknown ingredients, as there may be a harmful drug among them. Nature will, indeed, furnish a natural lubricant in the woman’s own emission after awhile, but at first it is well to have the ointment at hand. Do not be in a hurry; be patient. In some cases, it may take months for the parts to become fitted to one another, but the result is worth the trouble.

Many and many a divorce dates its beginning to the ignorance or the lack of consideration shown by one party for the other in the nuptial chamber. And those who think to render marriage pure and holy by keeping our young people ignorant of the functions and proper management of their bodily organs, are the ones directly responsible for such divorces.

The following out of the above directions is of especial importance where the organs of the bride and bridegroom are so ill-matched as to make what is termed “a matrimonial misfit.” Sometimes the man’s organ, which in a state of activity should be about six inches in length, is much longer and proportionately large; and if the woman’s orifice and vagina chance to be unusually small, great suffering will result unless one party or the other has been cautioned and knows what to do. In a case where the organ had attained a phenomenal length, the man married a young woman of average proportions, and almost killed her upon the wedding night. Fortunately, the family physician, to whom the suffering bride referred her case, insisted that the husband should wear a pad, made as a ring, which prevented the entrance of the organ beyond a certain distance; and the couple are now living happily and have had several children. In other cases the man’s organ is small, like a little boy’s, so that entrance is an impossibility. Such a husband simply arouses and excites his wife, without being able to afford her the normal sexual satisfaction. Or, again, the organ, while of average length, may be slender, and the woman’s orifice and vagina unusually large, so that his organ does not completely fill it, and this also often fails to result in full satisfaction to the woman. In the latter case the male organ can sometimes be enlarged by electrical treatment. But I think that where the organs of either party depart very greatly from the average size, the party who is abnormal in size one way or the other is committing a great wrong upon the other party not to give due notification of his or her abnormality in advance. Such notification, if given to the family physician, could be acted upon by him and advice which in many cases would greatly lessen the annoyance of the matrimonial misfit, and preserve both parties from making a wreck of their lives.

It is possible that much could be done by suggestive therapeutics to gradually adapt the organs of such ill-matched couples to one another. Intelligent control of the subconsciousness, and, through it, of the sympathetic nervous system, at a time when the sexual organs of both parties are excited and engorged with blood, ought to be able to effect very marked changes in the tissues of these organs.

I here use the term “suggestive therapeutics,” because this is a term which does not jar upon the orthodox medical ear. But the method may also be called applied psychology, or mental science, or divine science, or yoga. The phraseology adopted by these several schools of thought varies: so, also, does some of the philosophy taught; but the scientific process is essentially the same in all.

To the average uninstructed man or woman, there is no apparent relation between the honeymoon and that philosophy which I prefer to call “yoga.” And yet, if yoga were properly understood and practiced in the marital embrace by every newly married couple, their sex life would be, from the start, so holy, so healthy, so happy, that they would never care to descend to the methods commonly practiced among married people today---methods which involve loss of sexual self-control, tigerish brutality, persistent rape of the wife’s person, and uncleanness.

The word “yoga” is a Sanskrit word which means “union.” It comes from the same root as our English word “yoke,” i. e., that which unites. It has been used for centuries by Hindu occultists and metaphysicians, to signify the philosophy which teaches mankind to enter into that state of oneness with the Divine which will secure them both spiritual bliss and power over their bodies and over material things. To what a wonderful extent this yogic power can be carried is only beginning to be dimly apprehended by us in America, here and there, among students of the “higher thought.” But the Orientals have known of it for centuries.

“Whosoever is born of God,” writes the Apostle John, in the third chapter of his first Epistle, “doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

Paul ( I. Thess. Iv.) admonishes: “This is the will of God, * * * that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the lust of concupiscence [ unlawful desire of carnal pleasure], even as the Gentiles which know not God: * * * For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” In Gen. Vi. We find that Noah is especially praised because he was “perfect in his generations: Noah walked with God” (evidently, during coition).

In my Right Marital Living I emphasize the importance of thought union with the Divine, Central Force of the universe as the third partner during the sexual embrace. This is physiologically of importance because, without such union, it is impossible to fully control one’s mentality, the orgasm, which always begins on the mental plane, and which is partly worked out on that plane; and if the orgasm be not fully controlled, it is dangerous to the man to attempt to supress the ejaculation of semen at this moment, as such suppression is apt to result in an enlarged prostate gland, or in damage to the nervous system in various ways.

But there is another reason for union with the Divine during the act; it is that one thereby enters into fuller harmony with the universe, giving and receiving sexual pleasure, in a way undreamt of without such union.

Moreover, it is a duty--a courtesy, if one may use such a term in this connection---which we owe to that wonderful, all-pervading Force in whom we live and move and have our being.

Take, for instance, the case of a child to whom you give a box of bonbons. If the child has been properly brought up, the first thing it will do, after thanking you for the gift, will be to open the box and share the goodies with its little brothers and sisters, and its father and mother: then it will come to you, the giver, and offer to share them with you, and insist, sweetly, that it will enjoy them ever so much more if you will eat just one or two also. This is the right thing, the courteous thing, the loving and altogether fitting thing for a child to do on such an occasion.

Now the Lord has given each one of us a box of delicious sexual bonbons, and, for my part, I think it is little enough that we can do, to offer to share one or two of these bonbons with the Giver. It would seem, at least, common courtesy on our part to do so.

“But,” you object, “the Ultimate Force which we call God is impersonal, and does not experience sexual desires or passions.”

Indeed! Then, may I inquire, my friend, whence you received your own sex desires? Do you suppose, for one moment, that there is any attribute of your being which is not an inherency of the First Cause?

Is there, indeed, anything in all the universe, even your own capacity for individual, personal liking for a given man or woman, which can be conceived of as not inherent in the First Cause?

Therefore the First Cause, the Ultimate Force, impersonal though it be, must be inherently capable of sexual feeling and of individual personal attraction to any given creature.

The Ultimate Force of the universe must, of necessity, be both masculine and feminine in its inherencies. As masculine essence, it should be thought of as entering through the man’s organ during the sexual embrace, giving pleasure and receiving pleasure from the wife. As feminine essence, it should be thought of as residing within the wife’s body (the temple of the Holy Spirit) at the vagina and uterus, riding the man’s organ, giving pleasure and receiving pleasure therefrom. Thus, the experience is shared with God in every possible way, and is sanctified and glorified.

Remember that Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our soul and mind and heart, and with all out strength.

No bridal couple who have once shared the joy of a controlled orgasm and sustained thrill with God will ever care to leave God out of the partnership in future.

The Oriental occultists claim that a prayer breathed at such a supreme moment of self controlled and rapturous union with Deity is sure to be granted. This is because such a process is a divinely ordained way of so displacing the psycho-physical threshold of sensibility as to enter into the most perfect communion with the Spirit of God which is known to us earthly beings. When the inward self realizes its oneness with the Ultimate Force of the universe, it will ask only for what it is right it should receive; and, as the Divine Scientists insist, all power is ours, when we rise in thought to oneness inwardly with the Divine Central Force.

Only that wedding night, only that honeymoon in which spiritual communion with the Ultimate Force of the universe forms part and parcel of the sexual act, is truly blest.

Right Marital Living

In the marital relation, there are two physiological functions--the love function and the parental function. These two functions are not always exercised conjointly. There are also two sets of organs for these two functions, respectively.

For the parental function, in the woman, the organs are the ovaries and the uterus (the womb); in the man, they are the testicles and the vesiculae seminales. The organs of the love function are those which contact--the erectile organ in man; the vulva (the external genitals) and the vagina in woman. The uterus, however, also seems to be with many women a love organ; for, during the final ecstasy, where the man’s organ in not sufficiently long to touch it, the uterus frequently descends into the vagina, as though seeking contact. It is probably that the uterus is intended by nature to always take part in the culmination of the act; but this, it will be observed, is merely as an organ of contact. When the uterus becomes a receptacle, it is then a parental organ.

The love function may and ought to be exercised periodically, in order that both husband and wife may have a healthy, well balanced physique and mentality.

The parental function may remain for years unexercised, without harm to either husband or wife.

It is popularly supposed that the love function should never be brought into play without at least an abortive attempt at exercising the parental function. That is, when the love organs of husband and wife have been brought into contact, it is supposed that the man’s creative semen ought to be ejaculated, even though a child begotten at that time would be brought into the world under the worst possible circumstances--circumstances which would result in its being born a pauper or an idiot, or predisposed to drunkenness or insanity or criminality. To this mistaken belief (namely, that an attempt at parenthood should always terminate sexual intercourse)--a belief rooted in the popular mind by centuries of wrong living--the well-being of the future generation is daily sacrificed.

Of course, preventives to conception are always wrong. And there never yet was a preventive invented which is certain. Moreover, they are all forbidden by law; and to sell a preventive, or to lend it, or to give it away, or to state where or how it can be procured, is to commit an offense which, if known to the authorities, renders the party liable to a heavy fine or imprisonment, or both. Most preventives are distinctly injurious to one or both parties at the time; many are said to injure the tissues of the woman later on. If used, they put no check upon passion; and they are, all of them, abominable and degrading. The condums, womb veils and pessaries, by interposing a foreign tissue between the genital organs of husband and wife during the act, render the relations masturbative for both parties. So do the various suppositories, which, by dissolving, cover the walls of the vagina with a coating of foreign substance. The syringe, by driving the spermatozoa nearer the mouth of the uterus, often helps along the very thing it is intended to prevent; and some physicians claim that, as it must be used while the tissues are still engorged, the shock is injurious to the woman. It likewise detracts from the delicacy of the conjugal act, for people of refinement. Withdrawal is an act of onanism; it is unhealthy and morally degrading. And men who habitually practice it are apt to carry the sign of their unclean habit marked on their faces and in their manner, for all knowing people to read. The popular fourteen day period (two weeks after the menses) is decidedly not a sure preventive, as a woman can become pregnant at any time in the month; and it is unnatural to have intercourse at the time in the month when the wife least desires it. Such coition tends to make her loathe the performance of her conjugal duty.

All these methods are degrading; they all coarsen what should be a pure and exquisite attraction; and at any moment they may fail to prevent conception, and will then, through the wife, stamp the child with unwholesome tendencies, mental perversions, or physical deformities.

Yet, to refrain from exercising the parental function (the ejaculation of creative semen) during coition, and to exercise only the love function (that is, the function of prolonged genital contact which mutually refreshes, stimulates and upbuilds the entire nervous system) is popularly supposed to be either unhealthy or impossible.

This is because, for many, many centuries, men have been perverting the natural functions of their sexual organism, until that which is really the best way has come to seem impossible to the many, and unwise to the few who have learned that it is not impossible. I refer to the suppression of the ejaculation of the semen upon all occasions, except at the time when the creation of a child has been prepared for by both husband and wife.

Let us remember that the seminal fluid is bestowed by Nature upon man for one purpose only--the creation of a child. It is quite true that Nature, in order to secure the propagation of the race, surrounds the act of creation with all sorts of allurements. If it were not so, people would seldom take the trouble to beget children. But the semen itself is given, not for mere sensual gratification, but for a creative purpose. To turn it aside from its natural purpose is to live wrongly as a husband. Also, to create children at random and by the wholesale, or in an environment unsuitable for either the mother or the child, is a degradation of the holy power of fatherhood.

If, then, the semen has been bestowed by Nature on man for the one purpose of creation, it is wrong to sow any seed in a woman after the child has begun to develop, for it is unnecessary, and is a waste of precious material. Now it is usually necessary to wait for over four months after the seed has been sown, in order to determine with certainty whether or not it has germinated. It is true that physicians do sometimes make fortunate guesses much earlier; but it is safer to wait until four or four and a half months shall have elapsed, by which time not only will the child have quickened, but also it will have become possible for a physician, by means of a stethoscope, to hear the child’s heart beat. The latter is held to be the one sure sign by which to determine the existence of pregnancy; and if the educated ear of the physician distinguishes the quick beating of the child’s heart then, separate from the slower beat of the mother’s heart, of course there will be no further need for seed-sowing at that time. To persist in sowing seed during the remaining months of pregnancy is a violation of natural law.

It is true that a woman is sometimes more amorous during pregnancy than at other times, owing to the swollen condition of the uterus, which induces excitement at the genitals, so that she craves sexual satisfaction. Just as when a woman, during pregnancy, craves a peach or other wholesome food, she should be allowed to have it, so if she craves sexual intercourse during pregnancy, she ought to be allowed to have it; but only in moderation, and with care not to press upon the uterus, either from without or from within, in such a way as to injure the growing child. Of course this should not be made an occasion for seed-sowing. Genital contact should take place only for the purpose of interchanging sexual magnetism.

During the nursing period, it is unwise to unduly excite the mother sexually, as it is apt to render the milk feverish, and this will injuriously affect the infant. And to render the mother pregnant while nursing, as is sometimes done, is cruel to her and to both children.

And, surely, a little child is entitled to the care of its mother during the first two years of its life, is it not? Now, everyone knows that the care of a mother for a young child is likely to be interfered with, if she is undergoing the nervous fluctuations of pregnancy.

This brings the time for a man’s abstaining from ejaculation of semen up to two years and nine months--say, in round numbers, three years. But he may have sexual intercourse with his wife during that time, if he will refrain from ejaculating the semen.

It is popularly, but mistakenly, supposed that the semen is an excretion which a man needs to get rid of periodically. But the reverse is the truth. “The male semen,” says Dr. W. Xavier Sudduth, a well-known nervous specialist of Chicago, “is an acknowledged tonic, ready prepared for absorption into the system.” Every expenditure of semen means a loss of nerve energy. Instead of its being thrown forth upon the slightest emotional provocation, it should be reabsorbed through the lymphatic vessels which are so abundant in the walls of the vesiculae seminales and the vas deferens, in order that it may circulate in the blood throughout the entire body, nourishing the vocal organs which make a man’s voice deep and masculine, nourishing the roots of the beard, building up brain and nerves, and intensifying his virility and manly bearing....

Some years ago, Dr. Brown-Sequard discovered that the voluntary suppression of the ejaculation of semen, just at the last moment, strengthens a man and conduces to long life. He wrongly inferred, however, that the strengthening effect of this suppression was due entirely to the semen, thus returned to the body; whereas it seems to be largely due to the mental act of self-control in accomplishing the suppression, which thus acts as a tonic for the nervous system.

An impression prevails among both physicians and the laity, that to exercise the organs of the love function without also at least an abortive attempt on the man’s part at exercising the parental function, will be prejudicial to his nervous system, and, consequently to his health. That is, that it is dangerous to suppress the ejaculation of semen during coition. This may be true, if the act of suppression be performed merely as a means for bodily, sensual enjoyment. It is not true, however, if the mentality (which, in its turn, as we all know, governs the nervous system) be kept in a state of serenity and exaltation, so that the inner spiritual forces may be brought into play.

It is a medical dictum that the nervous system regulates the bodily functions, and that those functions are perceptibly affected, for better or for worse, according as the nervous system itself is in good or in bad working order. Now, the nervous system is controlled by the inward self of the person--if he so desires.

Take the matter of blushing. A blush is caused by a mental state of embarrassment, of mortification, of exhilaration, or of passionate feeling. This mental state acts upon the nervous system; the nerves act upon the capillaries; the capillaries call the blood to the face and the face gets red. Children redden easily with very slight provocation; but, as they grow older and, with advancing years, more self-controlled, they tend less and less to crimson uncomfortably under trying circumstances. People sometimes explain this by saying that a grown person has become “less sensitive.” What has really happened is, that the grown person, little by little, has learned to resist any suggestion on the part of his mentality that there is something to get red in the face about. That is, he has found out how to control his mentality in this particular, and, through the mentality, his nervous system, and through the nervous system, the capillaries, so that he need no longer blush, when to do so would render him annoyingly conspicuous.

The self-control which people usually learn to exercise in the matter of blushing, may be extended to other bodily functions, in many surprising ways. But, in order to do this intelligently, one needs to understand how important it is to have one’s mentality well under control. It is important, because it is impossible for us to issue our commands directly to our bodies. All commands must be issued to the Mentality, and, through Mentality, be transmitted to the nervous system, which, in its turn, regulates the bodily functions. Thus, if we wish our hand to move, we may say, “Hand, move!” and we may keep on saying this to all eternity, but our hand will never move until we think, “I wish my hand to move!” That is, we practically say to our Mentality, “Mentality, I wish my hand to move!” Thereupon, Mentality transmits, with more or less accuracy (according as we have trained it well or ill), our command to the nervous system; the nerves act upon the muscles; the muscles contract and the hand moves.

If we wish the hand to perform a difficult piece of music on the piano, we must earnestly and resolutely give instructions to Mentality over and over again, until Mentality gets so well trained, that our slightest suggestion is sufficient to cause Mentality to attend to the muscular exercise of our hands with thoroughness and nicety, like a well drilled servant, leaving our inward and higher self meanwhile free to occupy itself with other thoughts, if we so desire.

What can be done (through Mentality) in enabling the hand to master a difficult piece of piano music, can be done similarly with other muscles of the body, especially with those which participate in the sexual embrace; but it must be by controlling Mentality.

The orgasm, according to Dr. Sudduth, “represents the height of nervous tension; it is a mental and physical act combined, which it is impossible to accomplish on a purely physical plane.”

Control Mentality, therefore, from the plane of the higher, inward self, and you can control the orgasm (the ecstasy, or final thrill) which is set going by Mentality.

How can this be done?

There are three steps in the process:

(1) Total suppression of the orgasm itself when it is still afar off.

(2) Going gradually nearer and nearer to the verge, and stopping at the last moment, without the orgasm, and consequently, without ejaculation of semen.

(3) Going right through the orgasm, with the controlled and sustained thrill, but without any ejaculation of the semen; unless it be desired to create a child at that especial time, when the semen may be ejaculated at will.

The first step (total suppression of the orgasm) is accomplished thus: Just before the last thrill which precedes ejaculation, all motion on the part of both husband and wife should be promptly desisted from, and, on the man’s part, the thoughts should be completely turned away from the bodily sensations, and fixed on something beyond and above the body.

If he believe in God, let him pray to God at that moment, not only consecrating his body to God and praying for strength, but also asking God to be the third partner.

If he be an Atheist and a Materialist, let him seek, in thought, to be in harmony at that moment with Nature, with the Ideal, the Beautiful, the True; with the Ultimate Force, the Unconscious Energy of the universe....

I speak from the standpoint of a teacher of over six years’ experience, when I insist to my pupils on the importance of aspiration to the highest during the marital embrace. Many a libertine stumbles upon this possibility of suppression of the orgasm, and, with it, the suppression of the ejaculation of semen, and practises it for awhile, only to find at last that he has wrought great harm to his nervous system, and has, possibly, also enlarged his prostate gland. But the libertine seeks mainly sensual gratification, and when he prolongs the act by suppression of the orgasm, it is with the thought of increased sensual, bodily pleasure distinctly in his mind. He would be the last person to think of praying to God at that moment, or seeking to enter into harmony with Nature, or trying to turn his thoughts, during sex union, resolutely toward the Ultimate Force or the Unconscious Energy of the universe. And so, being ignorant of the psychological law which works upon his body during sex union, he fails to establish healthy thought currents along his nerves. It is because the sexual orgasm is a mental, as well as a physical act, that it becomes so important at that time to have the mentality well under control of the inward, spiritual self--that inward self which all deeply religious people feel to be a part of God. I therefore most earnestly urge the masculine reader, when he takes his thoughts away from the bodily sensation just before the last thrill comes which precedes ejaculation, to fix them, not upon something on the bodily plane, but to lift his thoughts to that which he considers the very highest and grandest power in all the universe, call it by what name he will--First Cause, Unconscious Energy, Primordial Substance, Jehovah, Brahma, Allah, God, the Ultimate Force, the Divine.

This is not religious cant; it is not goody-goody talk; least of all is it idle sentiment. So far as my observations go, it appears to be a psychological fact, that only in aspiration to oneness with the impulsive power of the universe, whether phrased poetically as “Nature,” or theologically as “God,” or scientifically as “Ultimate Force,” may the sexual orgasm be suppressed and finally controlled without harm to the health in the long run.

The first step--total suppression of the orgasm while it is still afar off--is quite easy, although it may seem difficult to the man who has never tried it. But he will speedily find, if he does take his thoughts away from the bodily sensation and aspire to the highest just before the last thrill comes which precedes ejaculation, that the tendency to ejaculate will subside. The erection will not subside immediately; and presently the movements may recommence.

The second step--going gradually nearer and nearer to the verge, and encouraging the orgasm, while he still suppresses the ejaculation of semen, and yet stopping at the last moment without an orgasm--is much more difficult. But the experience of mastery of the first step will help greatly in this. And let it be always borne in mind that the second step is merely a half-way house on the road to the controlled orgasm and the sustained thrill. It should never be considered as an ultimate act, but merely as a step in the training for self-mastery. Just in proportion as he masters this second step, will he be enabled to experience the controlled orgasm and the sustained thrill in a satisfactory manner. The second step is to be conquered in the same way as was the first step.

In the third step he should pass through the orgasm without ejaculating the semen, but with the full enjoyment of the final thrill, and in union with God, or Nature, or the Ultimate Force. It is to be mastered in the same way as were the first and second steps.

“The intense pleasure of the orgasm,” says Albert Chavannes of Knoxville, Tennessee, a writer on psychological subjects, “is not, as it is usually supposed, due to the ejection of the semen. While they are coincident, it is quite possible for men to prevent, by the use of will-force, the emission of semen at the time of the orgasm.... The enjoyment of sexual intercourse is due to the generating of a current of sexual magnetism, created by a certain degree of affinity between the parties, and increased by friction. When this current has become sufficiently strong, and a certain amount of magnetism has accumulated around the sexual organs, an overflow--orgasm--takes place, which, in obedience to inherited tendencies, sends a magnetic current to the testicles and causes a discharge of the seminal fluid. It is Nature’s method to procure conception.

“Magnetation is the application of the power which man possesses of controlling this overflow, preventing it from taking its usual course and causing the usual discharge, and compelling it to take another direction. That direction is the dissemination of the magnetism through the system of both the man and the woman, the woman assimilating the magnetism of the man and the man that of the woman. Magnetation requires for its successful practice self-control, affinity and union of purpose, but under right conditions it permits the full enjoyment of the overflow without the weakening influence of the emission.... Magnetation is the art of regulating the course taken by the overflow of sexual magnetism. Uncontrolled, it goes to the testicles and causes an emission. Controlled, it diffuses itself through the organism.”

The cleaner the thought and the more aspiring the impulse which prompts a man to seek the sex union which culminates in what I call the third step, the more satisfying to him physically, mentally and spiritually will this third step be. Those who seek only sensual pleasure therein are likely to be disappointed every time. But those who resolutely lift their thoughts to the spiritual plane at this time will experience thrills of physical rapture which they can experience in no other way....

I have spoken of the duty of the husband to practise self-control and aspiration to the highest throughout the act. It is also the duty of the wife. She, also, has her own three steps to master:

(1) Total suppression of her orgasm, when it is still afar off. This is to be mastered in the same way as the man was directed to master his first step.

(2) To go gradually nearer and nearer the verge of her orgasm, and, just as her vagina is about to take it spasmodic hold upon the male organ, to stop resolutely, and refuse to allow that hold to be taken. This will doubtless seem cruel at the time; but it must be remembered that it is merely a step in the training for self-mastery. It is to be accomplished in the same way as was the first step.

(3) To go right through the orgasm, allowing the vagina to close upon the male organ. Keep self-controlled, serene, tranquil, and aspire to the highest. Pray to God, if you believe in God and in prayer; if not, think steadily and quietly what a beautiful thing it is to be at that moment in harmony with Nature in her inmost workings, and rejoice that you and your husband are part of Nature, pulsating with her, and according to her law. Rejoice that Nature at that moment feels through you also, and through your husband. Feel love, love, love, not only for your husband, but for the whole universe at that moment.

Remember that sex union between husband and wife is, according to the Bible, a divinely appointed ordinance (“the twain shall be one flesh”). And people who consider it impure are likely to reap little satisfaction in this third step.

“The pure in heart shall see God.”

While the man’s ejaculation of semen should be totally suppressed, yet there should be, throughout the act, an oozing of fluid from the male organ, which is probably intended as a lubricant, to assist it in effecting entrance easily, and also to render it more sensitive.

There should also be an emission from the woman, which acts as a lubricant, and which, mingling with the male fluid referred to, appears to form with it a sort of electro-chemical fluid which enables sexual magnetism to be interchanged with more intensity to both parties. Without this emission from the woman, she is likely to experience comparatively little pleasure.

For a wife to submit to genital union with her husband when she does not desire it, is to degrade herself so that she has no call to draw her garments aside from the harlot in the street. Indeed, the wife who allows her body to be used as a convenience for her husband has degraded herself below even the harlot. For the harlot leases her body for ten minutes of for two hours of for a night, and she is free to refuse embraces which displease her; but the wife leases her body for a lifetime, and she mistakenly imagines that she dare not refuse any embrace of her husband’s, however repulsive to her finer sensibilities. And so, year by year, she coarsens and degrades the holy estate of matrimony, and paves the way for begetting children who shall be at least the children of a slave mother, if not also tainted with bestial propensities on the one hand, or, on the other hand, impressed during the nine months of pregnancy with an unnatural loathing for what was intended by Nature to be a pure and wholesome relation.

A great mistake is made by wives in consenting to genital union without previous lovemaking on the husband’s part. A man is always ready for sex union; a woman is not, although she may frequently be aroused by lovemaking. This is Nature’s indication that it is the woman, and not the man, who should indicate when union is desirable; and also that lovemaking should precede all attempts at coition....

It usually requires from twenty minutes to a half hour of affectionate caresses upon any given night, to arouse a woman to the point of desiring genital contact. If, at the end of a half hour of tender and reverent lovemaking, she shows no signs of desiring genital union, her feelings should be respected.

Comparatively few men realize that, while a man is a sexual animal, a woman is not, but is a maternal animal. The normal woman desires to mother the man she loves--to hold him in her arms, close to her bosom, and to caress him thus, without genital contact. She likes, also, to be held by him, and to exchange sexual magnetism with him on the affectional plane, without genital contact. For there appears to be a secondary sexual centre somewhere in the breast, near the heart, so that husband and wife may, in one another’s arms, without genital contact, interchange sexual magnetism which will refresh, soothe and uplift. Men usually imagine, when a woman evinces desire for affectionate caresses in her husband’s arms, that she is ready for contact at the genitals. Never was there a greater mistake. The woman cares, at that moment, only for the interchange of innocent affection. And for a husband to display unequivocal evidence of a desire for genital contact then does not attract her; it simply repels, and often disgusts her. It is, however, quite possible that, if her husband behaved with consideration and self-control, and it were the right time in the month, she might eventually manifest a passion that same night which would amply satisfy him. What she needs is to be gradually aroused by the right sort of treatment. Husbands, like spoiled children, too often miss the pleasure which might otherwise be theirs, by clamoring for it at the wrong time.

The man who thinks this prolonged courtship previous to the act of sex union wearisome, has never given it a trial. It is the approaches to the marital embrace, as well as the embrace itself, which constitute the charm of the relation between the sexes.

One of these approaches--an approach too little practised between husbands and wives--is the chastity of relation possible in a close embrace, in one another’s arms, night after night, with accompanying kisses and caresses, but with no genital contact....

In right marital living, the nude embrace comes to be respected more and more, and finally reverenced, as a pure and beautiful approach to the sacred moment when husband and wife shall melt into one another’s genital embrace, so that the twain shall be one flesh, and then, as of old, God will walk with the twain in the garden of bliss “in the cool of the day,” when the heat of ill-regulated passion is no more.

One thing which men do not always realize is, that the average woman comes to the marriage bed far more ignorant of what is expected of her sexually than does the average man. For, even if a man has never had sexual experience with women previous to his wedding night, yet he usually knows, from the dreams of his boyhood, pretty well what the sensations of sex contact are. Very few women, however, have amorous dreams previous to having sexual experience. And so, with the first sensation of genital contact, whether it shock them so that their parts become rigid and difficult to enter, or whether it come naturally and healthfully after prolonged lovemaking, so that thrills of sexual magnetism will be interchanged immediately on contact, it is in any event a startling experience to a woman. Now, women in civilized, Christian lands are universally inoculated with the idea that it is immodest to show any liking for a man, and, very often, they carry this mistaken teaching into the intimacies of marriage. Too often, indeed, women think they have done their conjugal duty, if they submit passively to the conjugal embrace; and in some cases, they clinch their hands as they force themselves to lie still, resolutely trying to resist any answering throb of passion during sex union. Poor, mistaken creatures! And then they wonder why the husband, after awhile, goes out to a harlot, who, at least, will pretend to the rapture which the wife thinks it immodest to show that she really feels!

A wife who behaves as Nature intended her to behave, will instinctively perform pelvic movements during sex union. If she does not fall into the way naturally, she should consider it a solemn duty which she owes to herself and to her husband, to try to perform them. If she will bear in mind that her love organs (the organs which contact) are given to her for the purpose, not merely of receiving pleasure, but also of conferring pleasure upon her husband’s love organ, she will be better able to study out the sort of pelvic movements which she should perform. And she will soon learn that these movements can be depended on to hasten her passion and to increase her lubricating emission, referred to above.

Let her also bear in mind that it is wrong for her to go through with these pelvic movements for sensual enjoyment alone. Every throb of passion must be brought under the control of the higher, inward self, and laid as an offering at the feet of Deity, or blended, in thought, with the Ultimate Force, if she would have the purest and sweetest satisfaction.

Nature has so made a woman that it takes her from half an hour to an hour after the entrance of the male organ, to come to her orgasm. This is Nature’s indication that the man ought to wait for the woman, and not to hasten through the act, as is too frequently the case. A man who gets through in from three to ten minutes after entrance, not only misses the most intense form of pleasure, but also fails to satisfy his wife properly. Her genitals being thus irritated, without being soothed by the discharge of her own sexual magnetism in exchange for his, a congested condition of the internal parts is frequently set up, which results at length in her having to be placed under a physician’s care. Many a case of lifelong and hopeless invalidism in a wife is traceable to the husband’s habit of hasty termination of the sexual act.

If a husband wishes to treat his wife considerately, let him not hasten, either the act itself or the approaches to the act. He should approach her gently, perhaps linger for awhile in contact with the outside only, enter slowly and with self-control, rest tranquilly after entrance, and let his first movements be gentile and slow. In all things, let him seek, not to get the most pleasure possible out of the relation for himself, but to give his wife the most pleasure. Let him study his own movements, in their possibilities of conferring pleasure, and remember that these should be in the nature of caresses of her love organs by his own love organ.

To approach the woman’s genitals with the finger for the purpose of excitation, is distinctly masturbative, and therefore wrong. The only lawful finger of love at her genitals is his sexual love organ.

Also, an orgasm which is induced mainly at the woman’s clitoris is unwise. The clitoris is a rudimentary male organ, with a similar power of erectility, though in a much lesser degree. To excite the woman at this organ chiefly, therefore, (as is sometimes mistakenly done by quite estimable men) renders it impossible for her to exchange with the man her natural feminine magnetism, and the act becomes more or less perverted, and destructive of her finer sensibilities. The clitoris should play a very secondary part indeed, and the orgasm should be induced within the vagina.

Every marital embrace should be the occasion for the exchange of intellectual ideas in conversation. Think and talk during the nude embrace, and also at intervals during the sexual embrace, of good books, pictures, statuary, music, sermons, plans for benefiting other people, noble deeds, spiritual aspirations. Do not speak of people against whom you cherish resentment, unless it be to throw out feelings of love toward them. Do not tell indelicate stories. Do not choose this time to worry over your household economies or business troubles. Shut out the world, with all its baseness, all its impurity, all its struggles for a livelihood, and let this be a time for the interchange of delicate, poetic sentiment, pure affection, playful, merry thought, and lofty religious sentiment. So strangely are human creatures constructed, that intellectual blending at this time is, by a psychological law, one of the most effective means of welding the natures of husband and wife into a beautiful and perfect oneness....

While the natural position is for the woman to lie upon her back, and allow the man to be on top, yet, where the man is very heavy, or for other reasons, it is sometimes better for the woman to mount the man. Again, there are various side positions, which different couples can find out for themselves, by experimentation.

As to how frequently genital union should take place, no hard and fast rule can be laid down. The one safe guide is the after result to the husband and wife, mentally and physically. If the union take place according to the method here set forth, and be not practised intemperately, there should be no sense of depression at the close, nor should there be any feeling of nervous irritation; but on the contrary, both husband and wife should feel soothed and tranquilized. And the next day, they should feel serene and more than usually clear-headed; they should feel as though they walked on air, and as though the world were full of brightness and joy.

When either husband or wife is physically weary, or mentally fagged out, all genital contact should be sedulously avoided. But the quiet embrace in one another’s arms at such a time, without genital union, will be usually found to strengthen and refresh, sometimes to such an extent, indeed, as to pave the way for genital contact a little later....

It is sometimes objected that it is unwise to spread among married people the knowledge which is set forth in the foregoing pages, as they would straightway cease to beget children, and so the human race would die out. This objection shows how little the differences in the mental attitude of men and of women toward the marriage relation are understood. The average woman longs, with all the intensity of her nature, to have a child or children by the man whom she loves, at some time in her life; but it is for her to choose the fitting time. A woman who is made pregnant against her will, naturally resents the outrage.

I claim for this method of Right Marital Living, that the quality of children born from people who have lived in this way will (other things being equal) be superior to that of children who are the result of accident or lust....

Another objection which is sometimes raised to the spread of this knowledge is, that if young unmarried people get to know of the possibility of controlling the fecundating power, seductions, promiscuity and illicit unions of all sorts will increase. In reply, I would say that I find that the average libertine is unwilling to try this method, as he considers it “too high for his purpose.” In fact, a man who practises this method and who teaches it to the woman (as he is apt to do, in order to increase his own pleasure) will not be a libertine; for the habit of aspiring to union with God (or with whatever else he recognizes as the Ultimate Force of the universe) during the sexual act, and of encouraging the woman to do so likewise, has the curious psychological effect of tending to make him too loyal to that one woman to want to break with her. For this method, while it always satisfies, never satiates a man; and it renders the relation a perpetual honeymoon. On the other hand, should the man neglect to aspire to the highest throughout the act, but keep in thought upon the sensual plane, the result is likely to prove harmful to his nervous system, through the working of the psychological law upon which I have spoken at length, several pages back. Also, the union will be far less satisfactory. There are, therefore, two inducements to any man who learns this method to rise above the merely sensual plane, and to aspire to the highest throughout the act: First, the increased satisfaction if he does, and, second, the dread of serious harm to his nervous system if he does not. And if he and his partner live this method, they will tend, with each successive union, to become more and more closely welded into a partnership which nothing could induce either of them to break. Thus the institution of marriage will be strengthened, not weakened, by the widespread knowledge of this method of Right Marital Living.

Psychic Wedlock

1. Introductory

Marital union takes place on three planes - body, mentality and spirit. In the perfect union, the amount of energy expended on any one plane is in exact equation with that expended on either of the others. But when the reverse occurs, the union is imperfect; and when the inequality is marked, the union has no claim to be called true wedlock.

Thus, when the energy expended upon bodily union is greatly in excess of that expended upon the mental and spiritual planes, it is called lust, and right-thinking people turn from it with a shudder.

When intellectual and artistic tastes are the chief basis of union between man and woman, we have a partnership in which mentality is in excess. Such unions are usually helpful and bettering, for the two are then intellectual and artistic comrades. But if, as is too often the case, the body be ignored or despised, it is not wedlock, but Platonic friendship which really unites the two.

Union upon the plane of spirit in excess of either body or mentality is perhaps very rare. Like mental union per se, it has its peculiar raptures; but no mood of spiritual ecstasy can be permanently helpful if it fail to translate its raptures into an expression of energy upon the mental and bodily planes.

It is to suggest the duties and the joys of union in an exact equation upon all three planes that this little essay on Psychic Wedlock has been written.

There is a great deal of misapprehension today, among intelligent and refined people, regarding the relation which should exist between husband and wife. Sex union upon the bodily plane is too often deprecated as a concession to a degrading appetite; those who thus deprecate it tacitly following in the footsteps of St. Paul, who advised marriage as an outlet for uncontrollable passion, saying, “It is better to marry than to burn.” The early Christian fathers almost universally chorused this idea, insisting that that perpetual virginity in man and woman is the state which those should seek who wish to live the ideal life. Marriage was looked upon as impure; and the idea crops up in the Church and among the laity for several centuries, and is bearing fruit today in our social and religious customs. Christianity, so far as the writer is aware, is the only religion in the whole world which fails to give some teaching to its young people concerning their sex capacities and duties, so as to prepare them for the sacredness of the marital union. From whom, let us ask, do the prospective fathers of the race acquire their knowledge of sex powers? Usually from prostitutes, from gross-minded schoolboys, or from depraved men of the world. From who do the prospective mothers of the race acquire their knowledge? Perhaps, at most, from French novels, or in the unhealthy atmosphere of girls’ boarding schools, or from married women scarcely less ignorant than themselves. But usually their knowledge is acquired from the aforesaid prospective fathers, upon the wedding night. Can we wonder that the offspring from such parents tend more and more, as successive generations are born, to differentiate into two widely opposing types - on the one hand, the ascetic and prude, who loathe the body as impure in all its sex relations, and on the other hand, the carnal-minded man or woman, whose thoughts about marital union relate chiefly to the body?

It is the prudish silence of the Christian churches and of those whom they influence, which we in Christian lands have largely to thank for the marital unhappiness in our midst.

In savage tribes today, however ignorant, and in the old days of Paganism at its best - before Paganism had sunk into refined sensuality - we find a very different state of affairs. We find the dignity and holiness of the sex relation upheld by symbol and rite, by mythic tales an sacred dances. We find the medicine-man instructing young men and maidens in the marital duties which they are about to assume - crudely, indeed, but with a mingled frankness and reverence for sex mysteries which we today should be a purer-minded people for imitating.

The ancient medicine-man has disappeared in civilized lands, having split up into three beings: the priest, the physician and the schoolteacher. But the old wisdom still survives in out-of-the-way places, and can be restored by the learned. And our wise men possess what the ancient Pagans and the modern savages did not and do not - a detailed knowledge of embryology, of many laws of sex physiology, and of certain aspects of psychology. Why should not the modern heirs of the old medicine-man - the priest, the physician and the schoolteacher - resume the position which is naturally theirs, of instructors of the young in that which all need to know who are likely to enter the marital relation?

The times are ripe for such a movement. People on all sides are eagerly seeking knowledge which shall lead them up, and not down, in sex matters. Will the churches, the medical fraternity and our academies of learning continue to neglect their duty?

Let us hope that all three will erelong awake to the vital necessity for some organized and systematic teaching to the people upon sex - teaching which shall treat frankly of those physiological matters which are expunged from our school-books; teaching which shall set forth in its true light the hygienic value of sex union for every normally constituted man and woman; which shall show the moral obliquity of those who, whether legally married or not, create children by accident, and not by intention; which shall insist upon the sacredness of the wife’s person; which shall uphold the duty of union in self-control and aspiration to the highest, and which shall not blush to frankly add that such self-control and aspiration will result in increased pleasure to both husband and wife. Last, but not least, let us have teaching which shows how the path to that ideal life which we all of us hope and mean to live lies through the senses to the Highest whom we variously term God, the Unknowable, the Ideal, Unconscious Energy, Law, Force, etc.

Meanwhile, however, since our natural teachers, the physician, the priest and the schoolteacher, remain silent on this vital question, we of the laity must do what we can to enlighten each other. And the present essay on Psychic Wedlock is an attempt to do this, in a small way. Such truth as I have discovered, I desire to share with my fellow-beings, hoping that they will add thereto, and pass our joint knowledge along to others.

It will be observed that this essay treats of three Degrees of initiation into psychic wedlock. These three Degrees seem to be found up with the inner mysteries of pagan religions everywhere; but the Second and Third Degrees in special appear to have been jealously hidden from the people, and to have been imparted only to those who had passed certain ordeals, and had thereby proved themselves worthy. These things were also bound up with Borderland occultism under certain aspects. In ancient times, the people had not the public school; they were more ignorant of the natural sciences than is the merest schoolboy of today; so that there was a good reason then for keeping advanced sex mysteries carefully hidden from the masses. Moreover, the science of psychology (which we may here use as a convenient term to include all effects of mind upon mind) was then in its infancy. What Dr. Carl du Prel terms “the displacement of the psycho-physical threshold of sensibility” through dreams, hypnotism, drugs, insanity, anger, strong emotion, etc., was in those days studied and understood only by the learned few, mainly the priests. The latter produced the “temple sleep” (nowadays known as the hypnotic sleep) in which the inner sensibilities of the hypnotized subject, exalted to an unusual degree, brought about remarkable results in prophecy, medical prescriptions, clairvoyance, telepathy, etc. Today, however, the science of hypnotism is exploited in medical and lay journals, so that any nonprofessional reader may inform himself of its wonders in detail; and the Society for Psychical Research has carefully collated hundreds of well-attested cases of thought-transference which indicate that the faculty of telepathy is a common property of humanity.

But even today, the realm of psychology contains vast unexplored tracts.

One of these as yet unexplored tracts is the psychic effect of mind upon mind during the marital union. People who would shrink from drugging themselves with liquor or opium, and who hold that yielding to so-called “spirit mediumship” is dangerous, will, nevertheless, recklessly abandon their self-control during the sex ecstasy. It is well established that a child conceived when the father is drunk will be mentally unbalanced, usually to the borders of idiocy. If intoxication - i.e., lack of self-control - at the moment of conception be produced by other means than by alcohol, is it likely that the resulting offspring will not be tainted thereby?

Now, the keepers of the ancient mysteries probably did not know what we in modern days know about physiology, embryology, and similar ologies. But they seem to have learned sufficient to realize the importance of never displacing the psycho-physiological threshold of sensibility during the sex union, except in a state of absolute self-control. And the acquirement of this self-control appears to have constituted the Second Degree in initiation. But because it puts the begetting or non-begetting of children entirely within the power of the parents, and because it intensifies the delight of wedlock, they probably feared that it would be a dangerous knowledge to place within reach of any but a worthy initiate. Hence it was and still is jealously guarded from the general public. But inasmuch as we of the nineteenth century live in an ear of almost universal education, it would seem as though the time had come when this Second Degree, and also the Third and Final Degree, may be more widely imparted.

The following are the three Degrees treated of in this essay:

1. Sex union forbidden, except for the distinct purpose of creating a child at that particular time.

2. Sex union enjoined in absolute self-control and aspiration to the highest.

3. Community with Deity as the third partner in the marital union.

To those who wish to train themselves in these three Degrees, I would say: Self-control is the keynote. And in order that self-control may be acquired with as few setbacks as possible, I strongly urge that all liquor, tea, coffee, tobacco, opium or other narcotics be dispensed with from the first moment of entrance upon the training until the final acquisition of initiateship in the Third Degree. These things, one and all, displace the psycho-physical threshold of sensibility, each after its own fashion; so, also, does the emotion evoked during the sex ecstasy; and it seems foolish to wantonly increase the ordeal through which one must pass in acquiring the marital self-control of the Second Degree.

Another point which is of the highest importance in the preliminary training of the would-be initiate is, that he or she shall learn to look upon the human form as divine with emotions which never degrade, but which always seek to idealize their object. Whatever the neophyte’s opinion as to the wisdom or unwisdom of the nude in art, he must acquire the habit of viewing the human form, wherever and however he lights upon it, with chaste emotions, and without agitation. Until he can do this, he is not worthy to enter upon even the First Degree.

He must also acquire the ability - if he does not already possess it - of hearing sex physiology discussed without undue agitation, and of discussing it himself upon a high plane. In short, he should strive to become master of his emotions, as a necessary preparation for entrance upon the First Degree.

But asceticism should never be an ultimate aim. It is useful only as furnishing a gateway to higher, purer, more refined and more spiritual, as well as more enduring, sense-pleasures.

If we would conquer a fractious horse, do we do so by felling him to the earth? By no means. We control him by the bridle, and by gentleness; or again, we apply whip or spur, being careful to hold a tight rein; and at last we can guide him at our will. To kill him or even to stun him is not to truly master him. And to crush the sex nature out of existence is not to truly master it, either. We can bring our sex powers under our control only by applying similar methods to those which we should adopt with a high-spirited, full-blooded horse. Sex desire is nothing to be ashamed of; it is something to rejoice in, provided it be governed as absolutely as we govern an impetuous horse, allowing it to do nothing but what our higher self wills it to do.

And oh, the joy, the joy of self-control! Only they who have thus conquered can understand!

2. The Individual & The Universe

To appreciate the highest aspect of psychical wedlock, and therefore of the inferior degrees which have the Third Degree as their goal, it is necessary to frame some philosophical conception of the relations existing between the individual and the universe. This conception should be one upon which Christian and non-Christian, Atheist and Theist, can agree.

To seek to measure the infinite by the finite is, of course, absurd; but to deduce from the finite some of the laws of the infinite - i.e., from the known, a partial knowledge of the laws of the unknown of which that known forms a part - is both logical and satisfying.

The following conception will, I think, be found to have at least the merit of simplicity:
Every act of the individual is an ex-pression (something pressed out) from the inner to the outer. The process consists of three stages. Let us say that a man

1. conceives the idea of pushing a ball out of his path;

2. he determines how the ball shall be pushed aside, with hand or foot, gently or powerfully, etc.;

3. at the command of his mentality, his body performs the act of moving the ball.

To produce the desired result, then, two factors concur:

1. The conception of moving the ball from his path.

2. A definite thinking out of the method, and a transmission of the order to the body.

If the second stage be gone through with clearly within the man’s mentality, the result in the third and final stage of the process will be an exact expression of his original conception, “I will push that ball out of my path.” But if his method of pushing the ball aside be not planned out properly, so that his mind fails to exercise full control of the bodily muscles, he will find the inertia of the ball successfully oppose him, and he may stub his toe, or let the ball drop on his pet corn before he accomplishes his intention.

Clear-headedness, therefore, is of the greatest possible importance. Our mentality must be kept clear and unclouded, if what we may term “the thinker” within us is to have its orders correctly transmitted to our bodily selves. We may view the mentality which intervenes between the thinker within and the body without as an atmosphere through which rays of light stream from the inward self to the outer body. When the atmosphere is clear and colorless, the rays reach the destination unaltered. When it is colored by prejudice or clouded by ignorance or dislike of anything or anybody, they likewise become colored, or they are distorted, refracted, or almost entirely swallowed up in the mist, so that the few glimmerings which reach our intellect (that side of mentality which blends with the body) can but mislead. Were our inward conceptions conveyed to our intellects through an atmosphere of absolutely unclouded, unprejudiced and loving mentality, our outward lives would be godlike, for the thinker within each of us is godlike, and in truth desires to realize only the highest ideal.

What if we imagine all humanity as laid side by side to match, so as to form one continuous body, one continuous mentality, one continuous inward self? We might represent this blending of humanity as taking place in a circle, thus:
In this imaginary representation of humanity, each human being is a sector of the circle, and at the apexes of the sectors, where each of us is the godlike thinker, the blending must of necessity be perfect, however imperfect the blending and sharply defined the sectors may be on the mental and bodily planes. At the center of this imaginary circle, where our godlike selves join those of our fellow-creatures, we are blended into one godlike spirit which is really the directing spirit of humanity - its Great “Thinker,” so to say.

If in this circle we include each living creature, whether plant or animal, we blend upon the “Thinker” plane with the egos or inward selves of all animate nature. And, what with the recent theories of “fatigue in metals,” “chemical affinities of atoms,” and “sex in minerals,” it would perhaps not be unwarranted to include inanimate nature in our representation of the circle and sectors. If the members of the mineral kingdom have no life (as we understand life), at all events they are the result of law, and appear to be the expression of that law, so that it would seem as though they also should be included as sectors in our circle.

This circle, it will be seen, images the universe, not as a kingdom, with the Deity as a king who distributes his favors with the partiality and favoritism of an Oriental monarch; but as a republic, in which each sector, however tiny, has a vote in the General Council which directs the entire universe. In Scripture, indeed, we are told that God not only made man in His own image, but also that he breathed his breath into man in order to make man a living soul. In Scripture we are also told that we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; and Jesus himself, in the Sermon on the Mount, exhorts us to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

So that, from a Christian as well as from a philosophical standpoint, we may consider ourselves as like unto God, and one with Him in spirit. Within ourselves, at the apexes of our sectors, each of us is Creator, for there we are one with Him; there also are we love, wisdom, power, and can create our outward lives as we will - provided that we keep our mentality clear and unclouded for the transmission of the godlike ideal of the spirit into the bodily life.

In the circle, not only is each sector the equal of every other sector before the law; but each of the three planes has its part to play in the perfect whole, and is therefore of equal importance with the other two. It is true that, in the carrying out of a conception, the order is:

1. The conception of the thinker, on what is the plane of the spirit, which is subjective to mentality, although objective to the inward thinker.

2. The molding of the thinker’s conception into definite shape in the workshop of mentality, during which process the evoluting conception is objective to mentality, but as yet only subjective to the outward bodily life.

3. The carrying out of that conception on the material plane of the body, at which time it is no longer merely a subjective thought, but an objective act in the world of matter.

This, as I have said, is the order. But we must not forget that great law:
“Reaction is equal to action, and opposite to it in direction.” If spirit, through mentality, acts upon body, so, likewise, does body, through mentality, react upon spirit. And, also, the impulse to vibration being set up on the bodily plane, it is transmitted through mentality to spirit, resulting in a reaction from the apex of the sector outward again to the bodily plane.

Let us apply this philosophy to the marital relation. Where the three planes of body, mentality and spirit are in fairly harmonious adjustment, as they are in all normally constituted people who seek to live aright, the bodily sex relation with another sector and the spiritual sexual relation with that sector interact upon one another through mentality, for the good of the two creatures and the happiness of the entire universe. For, remembering that each of us is part of the Great Thinker at the apex of our individual sector, it will be seen that vibrations set up in our bodily life, and transmitted through mentality to our apex of spirit, must affect the universe on all sides.

But only the initiate of the First and Second Degrees in marital union can appreciate and act upon the suggestive and far-reaching conception of the relation of the individual to the universe, and of the universe to the individual.

3. First Degree

Sex union forbidden,
except for the express purpose
of creating a child.

In married life of the usual type, children are brought into the world with a strange recklessness. The Bible command, “Be fruitful and multiply,” has been twisted into a sanction for immoderate sex union. So far as can be learned, men appear to be here the chief trespassers upon the privileges of the matrimonial state. But if men are the aggressors, their wives are too often accessories before the fact, in that they yield their bodies to marital excess without a murmur, inwardly assuring themselves that they by so doing they are obeying God’s behest to be dutiful wives.

I recall a charming woman, whose husband is intelligent, refined and thoroughly devoted to his wife. Both are devout Christians, both abhor drunkenness, and are living lives of purity and aspiration so far as an outsider can see. Yet this happily married wife, when discussing with me certain aspects of the marital relation, remarked, incidentally, ”For my part, on going to bed at night I am usually very thankful when my husband doesn’t want me, and I can go quietly to sleep.”

“When my husband doesn’t want me.” Why should he ever approach her, unless she wants him? It is not the man, but the woman, who must be the best judge of when union is desirable; and for her to yield to a husband’s solicitations when she does not desire union, is a fraud upon him, since he finds only a corpse or a hypocrite in the place of a sincerely loving and tender marital partner. Moreover, it encourages him to think that, no matter what his wife desires, she is quite willing to serve at any time as a convenience for his lust; so that she confirms him in his selfishness, and degrades herself from the position of priestess in a sacred mystery, to become a mere cuspidor.

A cultivated Philadelphia lady, who lost her money and took up the profession of nursing for her livelihood, tells the following:
She was attending a young wife in her first confinement. The patient had been greatly lacerated in delivery. On the second day after delivery, while the nurse was attending to the baby, the husband entered, and requested the nurse to leave the room. ”For God’s sake, nurse, don’t leave me!” exclaimed the sick woman. But a look from the husband caused the nurse to obey him, nevertheless. Shortly after, she heard her patient scream, ”Oh, he’ll murder me!” Whereupon the nurse rushed in and found the husband in the act of committing a rape upon his wife. The nurse seized his arm, and endeavored to pull him away; but he did not yield until he was ready, when he allowed himself, sullenly, to be led from the room, covered with blood. The wife meanwhile had fainted. When she recovered, she cried, ”Oh God, would that my baby girl and I would die! That man promised on our wedding-day to honor, love and protect me; but every night since then he has used my poor body!”

This is doubtless an extreme case; but the wife who allows her husband to approach her whenever he wishes, regardless of her own desires, is the first term in a downward series of which this unfortunate woman is, alas, not the last, as many a physician can testify.

In Pagan lands and among the Jews, there are five days out of every twenty-eight, when the woman is forbidden to the man; and those who violate this taboo period are looked on as lawbreakers. Lore and religion alike memorialize the abhorrence in which the violator of this taboo period is held, everywhere but in Christian lands. If the reader objects that no educated or refined man would fail to respect the five-day taboo period, let him inquire about this of some reputable physician with whom he is intimate, when he will learn how sadly numerous in our midst are the husbands who respect no physical condition and no night of the month. Modern researchers have shown the impressionability of the embryo child during gestation. Napoleon the Great owed his remarkable military genius to the fact that, prior to his birth, his mother accompanied her husband through a military campaign.

If the coming child be so impressionable during the nine months of gestation, it surely behooves every conscientious parent to see to it that no abandonment to passion shall occur during that period to stamp the embryo, even for one moment, with lack of self-control. And, on the other hand, it would seem as though every act of mutual considerateness and every tender caress between husband and wife at that time must bear its part in making their coming child self-controlled, sweet-tempered and affectionate.

But not only should the nine months of gestation be free from the abandonment of sex-passion. So, also, according to some authorities, should the nine months or thereabouts devoted to lactation. The child that is suckling is a drain upon its mother’s strength, and it is cruel, at least to the child, even should the mother desire it, to draw further upon her nervous energies at that time, and to probably render the milk feverish, by abandonment to sex passion. Among so inferior a people as the Zulus and Kaffirs, the wife’s person is held sacred by the husband, not only during gestation, but also during lactation. It is true that these people have more than one wife. That is their way of dealing with this question. But will it be pretended that a civilized, high-minded white man cannot get along during his wife’s pregnancy and lactation without indulgence, and that he must choose among polygamy, association with harlots, or violation of the person of a pregnant or nursing wife? If so, he should be prohibited by law from ever creating a child, since he cannot become a father without afterward committing a crime.

Some sex reformers hold that the creation of a child should not occur oftener than once in three years, inasmuch as a little child is entitled to the mother’s personal care during its infancy - a care which is interfered with when the mother is passing through the delicate condition of pregnancy.

At all events it cannot be denied that, were fewer children born in a family, those who are born would be better taken care of than they are at present. A poor man is not able to properly rear and educate a large family. Nor, indeed, can any but the very rich do this. So that, from a financial as well as from a hygienic standpoint, large families are undesirable, as being an undue tax upon their parents, and also as rendering it unlikely that proper care can be bestowed upon each individual child.

But if large families are undesirable, so, also, are the usual preventive checks undesirable, being abnormal, unhealthy, and immoral, whether by withdrawal or other methods. They are immoral, because they place no check upon passion, but allow it full range. They are unhealthy, because the psychic powers of both parties are depleted, without sufficient interchange of magnetism. And being a violation of the natural and healthy relation, they are abnormal.

The only lawful preventive to conception is self-control. The seed should never be sown where no harvest is prepared for or desired.

The wife is the one to decide when the harvest is to be desired. She should be queen of her own person, so absolutely as she was while still a maiden. She should never consent to sex union unless she desires it. Otherwise, she degrades her wifehood into prostitution, for she is then little, if any better than the courtesan who rents her body to a man forgo much money a night.

The coming child should be deliberately, reverently, and prudently planned for. To choose a time when there seems to be least likelihood of conception, is degrading the generative powers for purposes of sensuality. Moreover, the wife is less desirous of union at such times. Nature’s appointed love-season is, almost without exception, during the day or days immediately following the monthly taboo period. Those who allow this natural wedding-time to pass, and who unite two weeks later, at the ebb-tide of the woman’s passion, should not be surprised if she manifests only indifference or disgust, instead of tender affection.

Another thing:
It must be remembered that the seed should be sown with the honest intention of producing a harvest. When it has been sown, it behooves husband and wife to wait, it may be for weeks or even months, to learn beyond the possibility of a mistake, whether the seed has germinated or not. And of course, when pregnancy is assured, no further seed need be sown.

This is the teaching of the First Degree.

Not until the initiate shall have grasped the teaching in its fullness will he be worthy to enter upon the training for the Second Degree.

4. Second Degree

Sex union enjoined
in absolute self-control
and aspiration to the highest.


In sex union there are two functions concerned - love and parentage. Likewise, there are two sets of organs for the performance of these functions.

The organs of parentage are, in the woman, the ovaries and uterus; in the man, the testicles and vesiculae seminalae.

The organs of love are those which make contact during sex union; and through these, when the union is normal and on a high plane, an interchange of magnetism results which is helpful and strengthening to both parties.

To secure a thorough equipoise of the whole being, it is important that the love-function have healthy and normal exercise at frequent intervals. But the function of parentage should be very rarely exercised; and intervals of years may elapse, without detriment to the health and general well-being, provided that the love-function be exercised in moderation and upon a high plane meanwhile.

If the reader asks, incredulously, how, on the man’s part, the love-function may be healthfully exercised without the wasteful scattering of seed supposed to be a necessary climax to each marital union, I would refer him to a little book called Zugassent’s Discovery, written by Geo. B. Miller, and published by the Boston Arena Publishing Company. I would also refer him to the accounts of the Oneida Community, where for thirty years this possibility was demonstrated. Also to Karezza, by Alice C. Stockham, M.D.

If it be asked how the power of self-control is to be attained, I answer:
By degrees, as one would acquire proficiency in any athletic exercise or any art. One should resolutely decide at the outset that no seed shall be scattered, no matter what the impulse may be at the moment, and should sternly abide by his self-registered vow, to the best of his ability. It is quite likely that one or two failures may result at first; but as the power of self-control is developed, it becomes and more possible for a man to do here just what he wills. And no man who has once acquired this power will ever care to return to the old habit of abandonment to passion; for he will see that he was then a slave, whereas now he is a king. (Again, I would remind the reader that ascetic self-control is Nature’s appointment way to increased sense pleasures.)

In India, the philosophy of sex relations reached this high standard centuries ago; and today such power of self-control appears to be a well-nigh universal inheritance among the natives.

This is the first half of the teaching of the Second Degree - the ability to suppress at will the scattering of the seed.

Its effects are not only bodily, but psychic as well; and the husband who has acquired this power can frequently turn a passive, indifferent marital partner into a tender wife.

One reason why many women manifest indifference or disgust in the marital union is, that women are usually slower in coming to the climax than are men. Affection, tender considerateness, gentleness and delicacy on the man’s part, accompanied by the exercise of prolonged and absolutely self-controlled union, would transform many a merely tolerated husband into a welcome lover.

But the wife, also, has her part to play, and should look well to the management of her own sex powers. She must learn not to abandon herself to emotion, any more than she would willingly yield to a horse that is trying to run away with her. Let her act with her emotions as she would strive to act with such a horse - control with whip and bridle, and make herself absolute mistress of the creature. But let her also remember that to kill a horse is not to govern it.

When both parties shall have acquired this self-control, they will begin to understand somewhat of the beauty and joy of psychic wedlock.

An objection sometimes raised by men is that, on grounds of health, a bodily secretion needs to be gotten rid of at frequent intervals. That depends. In the case of tears, it is not so. We may go for months and years without suffering in health from not weeping; and yet, if occasion arise, the secretion is formed instantaneously in response to our need. Why should not other secretions which are evoked by occasional emotion be ranked in the same category as tears?

It will of course be understood that the above does not apply to any secretion in the nature of a mucous fluid which is intended by Nature merely for purposes of lubrication. The Second Degree prohibits only that which is ejaculated - i.e., the masculine creative seed.

A more reasonable objection, however, is that, after a secretion is formed, it cannot be returned to the system without detriment to health. But Dr. Brown-Sequard has asserted that repression at the last moment and restoring the seminal secretion to the system prolongs a man’s life and adds to his vigor. Dr. Brown-Sequard, however, seems to have made the mistake of supposing that it mattered not by what means either the secretion or the repression of that secretion was induced. Hence his theory about obtaining the “Elixir of Life” at such a moment from guinea-pigs, bulls and other male animals in which the secretion had been artificially induced - a theory which careful scientific experiment duly exploded. His crucial mistake lay in his not grasping the fact that the excitation should occur in a normal manner, that the repression should be voluntary, and not brought about by any means but self-control, and that the strengthening value of the secretion consists in its being returned to the system to which it belongs.

Again, I would remind the reader that the power evolved by the practice of the Second Degree is psychic, as well as physical.

Every ejaculation means a waste in psychic energy - a waste which may be counterbalanced in part by the exchange of magnetism in a tender marital union, but which can never wholly be made up.


I have said that the first half of the Second Degree consists in the ability to the ecstasy entirely, however prolonged the union. And this power should be acquired by the wife, as well as by the husband. The second half consists in going through the final ecstasy in absolute self-control, and with no ejaculation.

This is a step beyond the teaching of even the Oneida Community, and I cannot refer the reader to any books upon the subject. But there are today men who have acquired even this power.

In this stage, also, the woman should go through with a corresponding training in self-control. To use a figure of speech, one may compare the last half of the Second Degree to struggling through a mountain torrent. Again and again, as we strive to breast the dangerous stream, we are swept from our footing and nearly submerged; yet each time we manage to keep our head above water, and at last we emerge triumphantly on the other side, clamber up the steep bank, and go on our way, rejoicing in the consciousness of our strength.

The dangers attending the practice of this Second Degree by the unworthy initiate are serious. It may be made the means of sensual excesses which degrade the moral nature and break down the health. I am inclined to agree, it is true, with other writers on the subject, in maintaining that, to the selfish man and the libertine, the game is not worth the candle. Nevertheless, I should not be doing my duty by the general reader were I to fail to utter a word of warning, and to insist that only in moderation and aspiration to the highest may the Second Degree be safely practiced. Not only this. The Second Degree, without the Third and Final Degree, is not only imperfect, but is certain in time to become demoralizing, inasmuch as it deals chiefly with prolonged sense-pleasure upon the planes of body and mentality alone.

Let us, therefore, now turn to the consideration of the Third and Highest Degree, which is the one in which our spiritual natures find activity.

5. Third Degree

Communion with Deity
as the third partner
in marital union.


In the chapter on the Individual and the Universe, a philosophical conception was set forth which represented the Great Thinker at the heart of the universe as consisting of the sum of minds which exist throughout nature. Reaction being equal to action and opposite to it in direction, we showed that although our inward spirit sends impulses outward through mentality into our bodily life, yet it is logical to infer that vibrations set up on the bodily plane will react through mentality upon our spirit; and since that within us which thinks may be considered to be part of the Directing Spirit of the universe, our bodily life, by transmission through our mentality and this Central Thinker, probably acts upon the entire universe.

If this hypothesis be accepted as logical, it would seem to be the duty of each of us so to live that our bodily acts shall result in help and happiness to the rest of the universe. The old-fashioned books tell us that we have within us a safe guide, called Conscience. Modern philosophy, however, has demonstrated that Conscience needs to be enlightened in order to be thoroughly reliable. Of one thing, nevertheless, we may be reasonably certain. If we endeavor to the best of our ability, to keep our mentality free from prejudice, dislike and ignorance, so that the light from our higher, inward self shall stream through mentality uncolored and unrefracted, we shall be quite safe in following the guidance of that mysterious inner something which we term “Conscience.”

This, the Atheist would call living in harmony with law, inasmuch as it necessitates clear-headedness as its first requisite. The Theist would call it seeking to know the will of God.

Prayer is one way of clearing our mentality, so that the vibratory impulses may be correctly transmitted from That Which Thinks, outward through our mentality into our bodily life. Prayer is also a means of transmitting through our mentality, to the Great Thinker at the heart of the universe, the results of what we do on the bodily plane, for the betterment of the entire universe.

When, under the powerful influence of sex emotion, the psychological threshold of sensibility is displaced, an especially intimate communication is opened up, whether we wish it or not, between our bodily lives and the Great Thinker. If we aspire to act in union with that Great Thinker at such a moment, the vibrations set up within us by the sex emotion must result not only in our own betterment, but in joy and help to all the world.

This is the first half of the Third Degree - the duty of aspiration during the sex ecstasy to communion with the Great Thinker.


And the second half of this degree is the joy accruing both to the Great Thinker and to ourselves through such communion.

The Hindus have a belief which many people would term a superstition, to the effect that a god can enjoy material pleasures, but only when his worshipper offers him a share.

And so the devout Hindu offers his god a share of his food and drink and even of his debaucheries, believing that he may enjoy himself as he will, if only he gives the god a part. That is, of course, a degradation of what is really a beautiful and inspiring idea - the idea that God can and does enjoy the material world through our enjoyment.

The second of the Third Degree is entered upon when we realize that perhaps it is possible for us individually, after all, to give to the Great Thinker a pleasure which no one else can, and when out of sheer benevolence and good-will, and with no selfish desire to secure our own pleasure, we offer the Great Thinker a share in our delight, asking Him to become the third partner in the marital union. Pantheos, Personal God or Impersonal, Unknowable Force as may be that Great Thinker, nevertheless, if this offering be sincerely and reverently made, there will dawn upon the twain who are one flesh a realizing sense of the personal relation between themselves and the heart of the universe, which is obtainable in no other way. For the time being, they will know what it is to “love God” and to be loved by Him, and will be one with all the universe, in a rapture which is indescribable. And because at that moment the way lies clear and unclouded between their bodily lives and the Great Thinker, the initiates of the Third Degree will realize in all its fullness genuine psychic wedlock - i.e., sex union upon all three planes of body, mentality and spirit, in the exact equation which constitutes the ideal union of husband and wife.

I have tried to set forth with such clearness as seemed admissible in a work intended for the general public the fundamental principles of genuine psychic wedlock - the only sort of union, it seems to me, which men and women ought to seek in the sex relation. Having succeeded at times in living up to this philosophy myself, I speak of its possibilities as one who knows. And so I am sending out this little essay, hoping that others, both husbands and wives, with wider lives than mine, may be helped thereby to attain the ideal happiness of PSYCHIC WEDLOCK.

Spiritual Joys

An experience of sex union in which the controlled orgasm and sustained thrill by both husband and wife are passed through with the Central Force of the Universe, the Impulsive Power of Primordial Matter, as the third partner, is an experience never to be forgotten; an experience which, once had, will be longed for again.

“O to realize space!
The plenteousness of all, that there are no bounds,
To emerge and be of the sky, of the sun and moon and
Flying clouds, as one with them!”

So panted Walt Whitman. What he yearned for in those lines may at times be realized by the husband and wife who have learned how to enter into the self-controlled and ecstatic triune sex partnership with the Impulsive Power of Primordial Matter. I say ‘at times’, for, as I have already stated, no two such unions with the Infinite Force are exactly alike; and the sexual thrills of delight which permeate one’s entire being during such a union, physically, mentally and spiritually, how all at the moment, and again alternating with one another in successive vibrations of rapture, are never satiating.

It does not get to be an old story; there is a new delight at each union, and a wider apprehension of the pervasiveness of God’s presence. Sometimes, indeed, it is as though ‘space’ and ‘the plenteousness of all that there are no bounds’, for whose realization Walt Whitman so passionately longed, had begun to be understood. Again --- And now I must speak rather in the figurative terms of the mystic, for it is well-high impossible to express subjective experiences accurately in spoken language ---- it is as though the Great Power Of All There Is held one by a firm, tender hand, detained in a secret forms are seen, and where, for some organizations, fragments of soul-stirring melodies rise and fall upon the inner ear, and where, for some other organizations, rhythmical waves of poetic measure may pulsate to and fro until, in ever wider and wider area, fragments of these, also, sweep up through the subliminal consciousness to the very threshold of the intellectual consciousness itself, and part of a poem is thus projected from the Infinite Heart of the Universe into the heart of the individual. And again it may be as though one were privileged to see into Chaos as the formative period of the world began. Strange blendings of colors surge to and fro, without order or place; or purposeless vibrations of sound are heard; or vague shapes flit about one, now separate, now blending like storm clouds. Then suddenly, as the individual exerts his or her spiritual self-control, these indistinct and purposeless shapes and colors and sounds begin to crystallize into that which is definite; and the trained mystic gets a glimpse in a way not to be expressed in words, of how the Purposive Center of All Thought-Force in the universe originally worked a Cosmos out of Chaos. Or, again, the onrush of sex passion in this triune partnership appear to the inner senses as the rapids of Niagara, into which no untrained neophyte may dare to enter, for he will be swept onward to destruction. But the husband and wife who have known the bliss of the controlled orgasm and sustained thrill in partnership with the most high, tremble on the verge of these mystic rapids but for a moment, and then enter, to find themselves, as it were, at the very Heart of those forces which first sent the nebulous, unformed mass of our solar universe whirling into space. They are in Chaos, but a Chaos which is being evolved into a Cosmos. They struggle in the foaming rapids of sexual creative passion, they and God all one together; the impetuous current seems momentarily about to sweep them from their feet, and they breast the waves in a delicious, thrilling agony; yet all the while they know themselves to be so firmly God-centered that sway to and fro in the whirl of sex passion as they may, to be swept to destruction will not happen. Suddenly, as an especially high and impetuous wave of passion is met and surmounted with the most intensely voluptuous thrill yet experienced in this triune partnership, they feel firm ground beneath their feet; they embrace themselves for a final dash through the lesser rapids, and emerge on the farther land, triumphant, serene, mutually uplifted; they climb with steady and tranquilized nerves the heights of affection and spirituality; and on that high plateau they walk in the lovelight of the Divine, blended soul and body in a wedded union whose happiness can never be expressed in words.

Sometimes during such a triune partnership or at its close God is sensed as we were wont, when very, very small children to sense our mother --- a powerful, mysterious being of loftier stature than ourselves, in trailing robe, to whom we looked up with awe and to whom we clung as our protector; a being whose presence radiated a comforting soul’s warmth, whose voice vibrated firmly, yet was tender with love; and nevertheless a vaguely understood and somewhat feared personality after all.

The closer one gets to God in triune sex union, the more awful and glorious and majestic appears the Divine Impulsive Force of the Universe, and yet the more unspeakably tender.

At times it is as though one stood beside the Engineer who, with hand on throttle, guides the rushing, mighty train of Universal Nature, and one feels an inexpressible thrill of delight at being so close to the Heart Of All There Is.

And forever through and through these strange mystic experiences, be it remembered, bodily sexual desire and bodily sexual bliss rise and fall like the surging waves of the ocean.

Heavenly Bridegrooms

The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.
Genesis 6:2

Explanatory Note

In the course of my studies on the erotogenesis of religion I became interested in the life work and mental characteristics of one Ida C., a woman who committed suicide in her forty-fifth year. I first heard of her after her death, but it seemed to me that a psychologic study of her would yield rich materials as a contribution to the psychology of religion. Consequently, I bestirred myself to secure information, both biographical and auto-biographical. Among the materials gathered was her life long correspondence with friends, a number of published essays written by her, some scraps of manuscripts, and two completed but unpublished book manuscripts. This material will later constitute the subject of my analysis. Ida C-was for a number of years a college teacher and for a long time associated with various kinds of free-thinking heretics. She was never married. In due time she became the victim of erotic hallucinations to which she gave a “spiritual” interpretation. Later, when her conduct brought her to the verge of incarceration in a jail or in an asylum, she endeavored frankly to meet the issue of her own insanity. The resultant investigation to her mind seemed a complete vindication, not only of her sanity, but also, of the objective reality and spirituality of her erotic experiences. This vindication she reduced to writing. The manuscript is now in my possession. It seems to me under the circumstances of this case and the future studies which I am going to make, partly from other papers of the same author, that this is too valuable a document to be mutilated by editing. Furthermore, others should be given equal opportunity with myself in the interpretation of this material. The manuscript had been revised by its author and in a number of places it was quite impossible to decipher the pen-interlineations, or replace words destroyed by the tearing of the manuscript through frequent handling before it came into my possession. At such places a word may be occasionally omitted or a connection left defective, otherwise the following document is in the exact words of its author. This essay, I believe, was written before her thirty-fifth year, that is ten years before her suicide, and twenty-two years before the present publication. Her subsequent development will be brought out in my own study of her. Just before she wrote this she was a short time a voluntary inmate of an asylum and pronounced incurably insane. She left the country to escape legal commitment.



IT has been my high privilege to have some practical experience as the earthly wife of an angel from the unseen world. In the interests of psychical research, I have tried to explore this pathway of communication with the spiritual universe, and, so far as lay in my power, to make a sort of rough guide-book of the route. For not all wives of heavenly bridegrooms travel the same path at first. There are roads running into this one from every religion and folklore under the sun, since the pathway of marital relations on the Borderland was once, and still is, as I hope to show, one of the main thoroughfares connecting our world with the world beyond the grave. This thoroughfare, along part of which I hope to conduct the reader in imagination, is marked with signposts, many crumbling under the religious storms of centuries, others preserved as sacred trellises upon which to train a rank growth of flourishing superstition, and still others fresh with modern paint and gilding. Part of this thoroughfare runs straight through the Christian Church, or, to speak more accurately, the foundations of the Church are laid upon this very principle. For Jesus himself is said to be the child of a union between an earthly woman and a heavenly bridegroom who (however godlike, and whatever the details of the relation) certainly seems to have manifested to Mary on the occult plane. If it be objected that Mary’s Borderland spouse was not an angel, but God himself, and therefore Borderland laws could be laid aside in His case, I reply that modern philosophy holds apparent miracles to be no violation of natural laws, but to have happened in accordance with some law as yet unknown to us, for God never breaks His laws, and if He became a Borderland spouse to Mary, it must have been in accordance with Borderland laws. And we, as made in His likeness, are bound by the same natural laws as God. Moreover, as Mary and me are sharers in a common humanity, she and me are bound alike, sharers in the glorious possibilities of Borderland.

The abraded survivals of an ancient religious teaching of marital purity and self-control of so lofty a type that it has been obscured by the fogs in the lowlands of modern sensuality. Enlightened by my experiences as the wife of my unseen angel visitant, I wrote a defence (from a folklore standpoint) of the Danse du Ventre, which was published in the New York World. This 1 afterwards added to, and issued in a typewritten essay for private circulation. As the essay showed that I wrote from experience; as I was still ‘‘Miss” C.-, and as my social standing had hitherto been above suspicion; I deemed it only prudent to state to my readers that I had acquired my knowledge from a spirit husband. This I did on a little slip of paper pinned to the last page of the essay. The persecutions which in consequence of this straightforward effort to tell the truth simply and clearly—I suffered at the hands of those who deny the possibility of angelic communication, need not be dwelt on here. Suffice it to say that, while my non-occultist readers who did not know me personally, pooh-poohed the idea of a spirit husband, declared that I must surely speak from an illicit experience, my non-occultist friends, who knew my habits of life from day to day, could find no explanation for the essay but that I must have gone crazy; and two physicians made efforts to have me incarcerated as insane. One of the latter remarked, “Had that essay been written by a man, by a physician or by any other scientist (and the paragraph about the spirit husband omitted) it would have been alright; but coming from an unmarried woman, neither a physician or a scientist, and with that claim of a spirit husband, there is no explanation possible but (1) illicit experience, which is denied by all who know her, or (2) insanity.” That is to say, because I had, by means of knowledge gained through channels of which he was ignorant, given utterance to what would have passed unquestioned if coming from a scientist, therefore, I must be insane. To put it more tersely, a diamond of truth is to be considered genuine only when discovered by A or B; if the same diamond be discovered by X, Y, or Z, it is to be considered paste. My worst offense, however, in his eyes, seemed to be that, as a woman, I was out of my province in openly preaching marital reform, however high the ideals advocated; and, as my sense of duty did not conform with his conventional prejudices, he felt justified in seeking to incarcerate me until I should recant my heresy.

The factors in this case were:

1st. An unmarried woman of known reputation and integrity.

2nd. An essay written by that woman, dealing with the marital relation along lines not known to one married couple in a thousand.

3rd. A claim by the essayist, that she wrote from an experience gained as the wedded partner of a ghost.

To ignore any one of these factors in arriving at a theory to explain the other two, is to invalidate that theory.

Now, there is one creed to which all genuine Freethinkers are faithful. It is to seek the truth, wherever it leads, and whatever the traditional belief upon the subject under investigation. This being so, I feel that I may confidently appeal to Freethinkers to consider carefully the evidence herewith submitted as to marital relations on the Borderland.

Last, but not least, I appeal to Spiritualists, Theosophists and Occultists generally. Psychics and sex, Laurence Oliphant has shown, are so interwoven that you cannot take up one wholly separate from the other. Only an occultist—and somewhat experienced occultist, at that—knows anything of’ the perils which await the developing psychic on the Borderland. The Middle Ages are strewn with wrecked lives—mainly those of illiterate women, who, beginning by dabbling with magic in an empirical fashion, ended by confessing themselves as witches, devil-haunted in body as well as in mind, and pledged to sins against nature. Within the sheltered precincts of the most conservative of all Christian churches —the Roman Catholic— “Congressus cum daemonis.” And among the non-churchly practisers of modern occultism we too often find a tendency, on the one hand, not only to justifiable freedom, but also to unjustifiable looseness of life; or on the other hand, to a rigid asceticism and unnatural suppression of the sex instinct as impure. All these things point to the necessity for some teaching as to the fundamental principles of sex morality on the Borderland—all the more, as spirit bridegrooms and spirit brides are much more frequent than is generally supposed. Between the witch who held diabolic assignations as a devil’s mistress, and the psychic who has been trained to self-control and reverent wedlock with an angel, it must surely be admitted, there is a wide stretch of road. Nevertheless, both are on the same road, and the downward grade is very slippery. In so far as I have been able to explore this road, therefore I think it my duty to map out its perils and its safeguards, as help to my fellow occultists. For, no matter on what obscure by-path a psychic starts, he or she can never be sure of not coming upon this road unexpectedly, since it is, as I have said, one of the main thoroughfares of occultism.

To all three classes, then—to Occultists, Freethinkers and Christians—I respectfully offer this treatise for consideration in the hope that each may find in it something of interest, and, mayhap, of profit.

Heavenly Bridegroom

The celestial being, who, whether as God or angel, becomes the Heavenly Bridegroom of an earthly woman, is better known to the literature of the Christian Church than most people who are not theologians are aware. But he is not peculiar to Christianity. He has been known and recognized throughout the world in all ages. The woman to whom he comes, is as a rule, distinguished for her purity of life. Usually she is a virgin; but where already married and a mother, she must be recognized as chaste, or, at least, there must be no stigma of impurity upon her reputation. I am not at the present writing aware of a single exception to this.

Let us, however, first consider the Heavenly Bridegrooms of Christianity, from the popular orthodox standpoint.

There are two Heavenly Bridegrooms—the Holy Spirit and Christ. The first of these, the Holy Spirit, is, according to the New Testament, the Being through whose agency she whom the Catholic Church delights to honor as the Blessed Virgin became incarnate with Jesus. The second of these, Christ, is the Being honored alike by Catholics and by Protestants as the Bridegroom of the Church; by Catholics also as the mystic Spouse of the ecstatic and purified nun, as in the case of Saint Teresa; and by Protestants as the Bridegroom of the Soul, in that popular hymn beginning:

“Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly!”

I once attended a young women’s revival meeting at Ocean Grove, held under the auspices of an evangelist who was noted for his success in converting young girls. When the enthusiasm flagged, and his hearers were slow in responding to his appeals to “come to Christ” he started the above hymn, and the ardor of his fair congregation was at once kindled, girl after girl rising to publicly give herself to Christ. That which earnest pleading for their soul’s salvation had failed to accomplish, was brought about by this simple suggestion of the “Lover of the Soul.” In thus stimulating the untrained emotions of the maiden to aspire to the Divine through the symbolism of earthly affection, this revivalist not only showed keen insight into human nature, but he was also instinctively true to the teachings of the innermost truth of all religion, as I hope to show further on.

In the Bible an entire book—the Song of Solomon— is given up to expressing the raptures of the Heavenly Bridegroom and his Bride. At least, this is the interpretation which the Christian Church universally puts upon Canticles—the reciprocal joys of Christ, the Bridegroom, and His Bride, the Church. Various phases of the sensuous relations of husband and wife are there set forth, in figurative but unmistakable terms of passion—passion which the Christian world has, unfortunately, long since forgotten how to utilize as the most important means of growth toward the Divine.

But there are other Heavenly Bridegrooms besides Christ and the Holy Spirit referred to in the Bible. In the sixth chapter of Genesis may be found a curious text, which reads:

“The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.”

“The Septuagint originally rendered the words ‘Sons of God’ by ‘Angels of God’ and this rendering is found in Philo, de Gigantibus, Eusebius, Augustine and Ambrose. This view of Genesis VI. 1-4 was held by most of the early fathers.”

(See the Book of Enoch, translated from Professor Dillman’s Ethiopic Text, by R. H. Charles, Oxford, 1895.) In fact, in the Book of Enoch, these sons of God are spoken of all through as angels who wedded earthly women; and it is further stated that these angelic husbands broke the law, living in depravity with their earthly wives, and laying the foundation of evils which required the Deluge to sweep away. Critical scholarship usually holds these angels to be fallen. But St. Augustine protests against this very saying: “If I truly believe that God’s angels could never fall so at that time.”

Nevertheless we find in the Book of Enoch, XV: 4, the following:

“Whilst you were still spiritual, holy, in the enjoyment of eternal life, you have defiled yourselves with women, have begotten (children) with the blood of flesh, and have lusted after the blood of men, and produced flesh and blood, as those produce who are mortal and short-lived.”

Here we see that the angels, whatever their after depravity, were “still holy” when they united themselves as heavenly bridegrooms with earthly women.

However, from the above, and from other texts in Enoch, it would appear that the angels are blamed for having broken the laws of right living so far as to turn the relations existing between them and their earthly wives into the grossest sensuality. They, rather than the women, seem to be credited with the responsibility for evil-doing. But it is noticeable that Genesis is silent as to the character of these angelic bridegrooms, while it lays stress on the fact that the imaginations of men’s hearts were evil continually, as though this last were the real cause of the wickedness which required the purification of the Deluge.

Now, let us remember that the Book of Enoch, although referred to in Jude, is not canonical. It belongs to the Hebrew Apocalyptic literature, and was for sometime lost, save for a few fragments preserved in reference made by ecclesiastical writers. However valuable to scholars, it is uncanonical and thus cannot be accepted by Christians as the Word of God. Genesis, on the contrary, is accepted by Christians today as the Word of God; and therefore, the total omission of this sacred book to bring any charge against these angelic “sons of God,” while the depravity of man is dwelt upon at this period of the world’s history, is not a matter to be passed over lightly by a Christian.

According to the Christian Scripture, then, it was not the wickedness of the angels who wedded earthly women, but the evil imaginations of the human heart that brought about the punishment of the Deluge. And in this, Genesis is in strict accord with modern theosophy—the only philosophy, so far as I know, which professes to know the Alpha and Omega of occultism. Theosophy lays stress on the punishment which awaits the black sorcerer— the earthly being who uses magical powers for selfish or impure purposes. But Theosophy is not alone in this teaching. All occultism, by whatever name it is called, however imperfect in deductions, learns at least to beware of the occultist who breaks the moral law, or who, whether wilfully or carelessly, through prejudice or through crafty desire to advance his own selfish interests, closes his eyes to the truth. In other words, clear thinking and correct living are the only passport to trustworthiness in an occultist.

I have said that all occultism learns this lesson at last.

It is true that there are many psychical phenomena which at first sight do not seem to require any special exercise of morality on the part of the percipient. Such are the carefully attested phenomena of thought transference and wraith-seeing (especially of the astral form as “double” of people at the point of death or undergoing a sudden shock) which the Society for Psychical Research have collated from a multitude of sources, in the case of the double to the number of some three thousand. The percipients in these instances are probably average sort of folks, no better and no worse than their fellows. Yet they see or they hear by means of senses which are still unrecognized by most people, and which are therefore, termed occult; and what they perceived is afterwards proved to be an actual occurrence, often of something taking place miles away. But it is to be observed that the reliable cases collated by the Psychical Research Society are furnished by people who seem to be clearheaded enough, at least, to form definite mental conceptions. That the majority of these cases are perceptions of occurrences in this earthly life. Where the thing claimed as seen or heard by the percipients no longer belongs to this world, but to the world beyond the grave, as in the case of visions or voices of those now deceased, the phenomena, collated by the Society of Psychical Research seem not only to be but they also seldom furnish a veridical capricious (i. e., truth telling) communication.

In the case of Spiritualist mediums, professional or amateur, where the phenomena assume some show of regularity, and are claimed by the medium to come entirely from the world beyond the grave, or through its aid, one always has to be on one’s guard against the subtle interpolation among otherwise truthful matter of fantastic or misleading statements made apparently by the communicating spirits themselves. Occultists in all ages have invariably assumed such statements to be the work of “lying spirits.” But it is noticeable that the medium of correct life and clearness of intellectual conception is less troubled by such lying spirits than is the medium of halting intellect or morals. This of itself should indicate to the thoughtful student of occult phenomena that the medium, and not the spirits may be to blame when lying communications are made.

It is generally assumed that the false or fantastic remarks so subtly interpolated into communications which are otherwise truthful and uplifting are due to evil spirits getting temporary control of the medium. But this theory presupposes a state of society in the spirit-world far worse regulated than with us. It is often claimed, for instance, that throngs of spirits crowd about a powerful medium as a crowd of people on earth sometimes flock about a telegraph operator in times of excitement, each man selfishly striving to get his message sent off first. But, even in our imperfect civic life, is such an occurrence usual? By no means. Is it likely that in a new life with its added experience, such gross violations of law and order should be allowed to continue right along? By no means. Even if Heaven be not as Christians believe, the abode of God and the angels. Even supposing that it is merely, as most Spiritualists claim, an improved edition of this world; it is but logical to infer that law and order will obtain there as here, and even more so, because the tendency of human society is always in the direction of systematizing its work for mutual convenience of its members. The idea of a good spirit may at any moment be temporarily displaced by an evil one, and that the laws of that clearer thought-world beyond the grave are powerless to cope with this annoyance is absurd, and contrary to common sense. The fault of imperfect communication is just as likely to be ours as others. Let us see to it that the lines of telegraphic communication are laid in correctness of moral living, and clearness of intellectual conception, (on our side of the abyss of death) before we rashly assume the fault to be theirs. In other words, if they are in a world where new laws of matter obtain, as they must be, if they live at all after the death of the body— to communicate intelligently with us may not be so easy for them as we imagine. They may find themselves confronted at every turn by such difficulties. Therein will be found also a statement requiring an occult principle which seems not only to forbid spirits from communicating accurately with an immoral medium, but which seems to positively enjoin upon them the utterance of all the foolish, depraved and even criminal ideas that the medium is willing to receive, and places us mentally at a standpoint where all else is out of focus. Thus the slightest prejudices on any given subject under discussion between our celestial visitors and ourselves will render us liable to distorted conceptions of their ideas. Such is the law of our own thought-world here on the earthly plane; and we must remember that they have left our plane and entered into a far wider thought-world than ours. Hence the need for rigidly clear thinking on the part of every would be occultist. And, since, as has been well said: “All badness is madness,” we must not forget to also reckon a well ordered moral life as among the attributes of the really clear-headed man or woman. This correct living and clear thinking go hand in hand as vouchers for accuracy of mediumship between this world and the world beyond the grave. The philosophy which deals with the subjective consciousness, as an important factor in fantastic and misleading psychic phenomena from spirits, will be found set forth at length. Sufficient to say here that in all such cases, however varied the manifestations, whether of an abnormal sub-consciousness or of outside intelligences, failure to think clearly as to live in accordance with the moral requirements of self-control, duty, aspiration to the highest, unselfishness and genuine purity, will be found responsible for the disappointing psychic manifestations on the Borderland.

When, therefore, the Book of Enoch blames the angelic sons of God, rather than their earthly wives for the depravity of relations said to exist between them as spirits and mediums, we may well ask if this be not a matter on which the writer of the Book of Enoch has carelessly accepted current legends. May it not be that he, too, believed all depraved psychical manifestations to be due to “evil spirits” and that he was totally unaware of the occult law which brings these things to pass with a medium who, ignorantly but persistently, fails in clear thinking or correct living on the Borderland?

Once more let us note that the Book of Genesis, which is Canonical, lays stress on the fact that at this epoch the imaginations of men’s hearts were evil continually.

When the Christian Church appeared on the stage of history, it found several varying traditions current about those sons of God who, so many centuries before, had taken unto themselves wives from among the daughters of men.

One after the other the early Church Fathers wrestled with these traditions, and strove to fit them into the Christian theological system. Beginning with Paul, we find that he asserts in the 1st Chapter of 1st Corinthians, that a woman ought to be veiled, as a token of her inferiority and dependence upon man, and he adds:

“For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head because of the angels?”

Irenaeus, in his work Against Heresies, quoting this text makes it read,

“A woman ought to have a veil upon her head because of the angels.”

From Tertullian we learn what this means. He says in his work Against Marcion (V.18.):

“The apostle was quite aware that spiritual wickedness (Ephesians, VI, 12.) had been at work in heavenly places when angels were entrapped into sin by the daughters of men.”

In sundry places Tertullian waxes wroth over this supposed “entrapping” of angels by earthly women. In a treatise On the Veiling of Virgins—written for the purpose of compelling all unmarried women to be veiled as were the married, one reason being that they were “Brides of Christ”—he speaks his mind thus:

“So perilous a face, then, ought to be shaded, which has cast stumbling-stones even so far as heaven; that when standing in the presence of God, at whose bar it stands accused of the driving of the angels from their (native) confines, it may blush before the other angels as well; and may repress that former evil liberty of its head— (a liberty) now to be exhibited not even before human eyes.”

On Veiling of Virgins, VII.

The author of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is, if anything, more severe. He remarks:

“Hurtful are women, my children; because, since they have no power or strength over the man, they act subtly through outward guise now they may draw him to themselves; and whom they overcome by strength, him they overcome by craft ********. By means of their adornment, they deceive first their minds, and instil the poison by the glance of their eye, and then they take captive by their doings, for a woman cannot overcome a man by force ***** my children ****** command your wives and your daughters that they adorn not their heads and their faces; because every woman who acteth deceitfully in these things hath been reserved to everlasting punishment. For thus they allured the Watchers before the flood.”

Testament of Reuben, 5.

He adds that these angelic Watchers manifested as apparitions to the women at the times of their union with their earthly husbands; “and the women, having in their minds desire towards their apparitions, gave birth to giants, for the Watchers appeared to them as reaching even unto heaven.”

Here we see an attempt to account for the resulting progeny of “giants” by such simple and natural means as Jacob made use of when he desired to produce “ring-straked, speckled and spotted” goats (Genesis XXX). No mention is made of marital relations being established directly between earthly women and angels. Elsewhere the same writer (Testament of Naphthali, 3) he speaks of these same Watchers as having “changed the order of their nature, whom also the Lord cursed at the flood, and for their sakes made desolate the earth.”

This follows a reference to Sodom, the writer seeming to trace a similarity between the two causes of the two punishments. Justin Martyr, however, makes the offence of the sinning angels to consist rather in ambition for power over mankind. He says:

“God ***** committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them. But the angels transgressed this appointment, and were captivated by love of women, and begat children who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves, partly by magical writings, and partly by fears and the punishments they occasioned and partly by teaching them to offer sacrifices, and incense, and libations, of which things they stood in need after they were enslaved by their lustful passions; and among man they sowed murders, wars, adulteries, intemperate deeds, and all wickedness.”

These things, according to Justin, the poets (unaware that they were due to sinning angels) ignorantly ascribed to God (Jupiter), and to those who were called his brothers, Neptune and Pluto, and to the Olympian deities in general.

Lactantius lays the blame principally upon Satan. Speaking of the repeated efforts of the serpent (“who from his deeds received the name of devil, that is, accuser or informer”) to corrupt mankind, he adds:

“But when God saw this, He sent His angels to instruct the race of men, and to protect them from all evil. He gave these a command to abstain from earthly things, lest, being polluted by any wily accuser, while they tarried among men, allured these also to pleasures, so that they might defile themselves with women. Then, being condemned by the sentence of God, and cast forth on account of their sins, they lost both the name and the substance of angels. Thus, having become ministers of the devil, that they might have a solace of their ruin they betook themselves to the ruining of men, for whose protecting they had come.”

Lactantius Epitome of the Divine Institutes. Chap. XXVII.

Thus from angels the devil makes them to become his Satellites and attendants. But they who were born from these, because they were neither angels nor men, ^ but bearing a kind of mixed (middle) nature, were not admitted into hell as their fathers were not into heaven. Thus there came to be two kinds of demons, one of heaven, the other of the earth.

Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, Book II, 15.

(To Be Continued.)

Heavenly Bridegrooms (Continued From November, 1915)

The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.

Genesis 6:2.

IN one place Justin Martyr speaks of “evil demons” who “in times of old, assuming various forms, went in unto the daughters of men.” Elsewhere he also speaks of these demons manifested as apparitions and mis-led boys as well as women. He said that they “showed such fearful sights to men, that those who did not use their reason in judging of the action done were struck with terror ***** and not knowing that these were demons they called them girls.” Justin evidently looks upon the angelic bridegroom as demoniacal from the start. Clement of Alexandria says that the angels “renounced the beauty of God for a beauty which fades and so fell from heaven to earth.”

Athenagoras asserts that the angels “fell into impure love of virgins.” But Tertullian calls attention to the fact that sacred Scripture terms these angels husbands; and he argues at length very ably to show that we are bound to infer from Scripture that the earthly wives of these angelic husbands were virgins, pure and undefiled, at the time of their marriage. From which it is evident that these marriages were acceptable to virtuous women, and therefore, we may infer, not an infringement of the civil law of the time or the sex which is proverbially conservative would never have contributed so largely to these unions from among its best members. Nor could they have been unions which transgressed the laws of nature, or the resulting offspring would not have been so well developed physically (as giants) nor mentally (as “mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”)

Clement of Alexandria, in his Miscellanies (Stromaba,) appears to blame the sinning angels in addition because they “told to the women the secrets which had come to their knowledge; while the rest of the angels concealed them, or, rather, kept them against the coming of the Lord.” These “secrets,” we learn from several of the Christian Fathers, were the arts of metallurgy, dyeing, the properties of herbs, astronomy and astrology, etc. Reasoning from this assumption that certain sciences and industrial arts were imparted to mankind from sinful angels, we need not wonder that Tertullian pertinently asks:

“But, if the self-same angels who disclosed both the material substance of this kind and their charms—of gold, I mean, and lustrous stones—and taught men how to work them, and by and by instructed them, among their other [instructions] in [the virtue of] eye-lid powder and the dyeing of fleeces, have been condemned by God, as Enoch tells us, how shall we please God while we joy in the things of those [angels] who, on these accounts, have provoked the anger and vengeance of God?”

Tertul. on Female Dress. II. 10.

This thought seems to have been to him a matter of serious moment, for he enlarges upon it, as follows when speaking of the dress and ornamentation of women:

“For they, withal, who instituted them and assigned, under condemnation, to the penalty of death—those angels to wit, who rushed from heaven on the daughters of men; so that this ignominy also attached to women. For when to an age much more ignorant [than ours] they had disclosed certain well-concealed material substances, and several not well-revealed scientific arts—if it is true that they had laid bare the operations of metallurgy, and had divulged the natural properties of herbs, and had promulgated the powers of enchantment, and had traced out every curious art, even to the interpretation of the stars—they conferred properly and as it were peculiarly upon women that instrumental mean of womanly ostentation, the radiances of jewels wherewith necklaces are variegated, and the circlets of gold wherewith the arms were compressed, and the medicaments of archil with which wools are colored, and that black powder itself wherewith the eyelids and eyelashes are made prominent. What is the quality of these things may be declared meantime, even at this point, from the quality and condition of their teachers; in that sinners could never have either shown or supplied anything conducive to integrity, unlawful lovers anything conducive to chastity, renegade spirits anything to the fear of God. If [these things] are to be called teachings, ill masters must of necessity have taught ill; if as wages of lust, there is nothing base of which the wages are honorable. But why was it of so much importance to show these things as well as to confer them? Was it that women without material causes of splendor, and without ingenious contrivances of grace, could not please men, who, while still unadorned and uncouth, and—so to say—crude and rude, had moved [the mind of] angels? Or was it that the (angelic) lovers would appear sordid and—through gratuitous use—contumelious, if they had conferred no [compensating] gift on the women who had been enticed into connubial connection with them? But these questions admit of no calculation. Women who possessed angels [as husbands] could desire nothing more; they had, forsooth, made a grand match. Assuredly they who of course, did sometimes think whence they had fallen, and, after the heated impulses of their lusts, looked up toward heaven, thus requitted that very excellence of women, natural beauty, as [having proved] a cause of evil, in order that their good fortune might profit them nothing but that, being turned from simplicity and sincerity they together with [the angels] themselves, might become offensive to God. Sure they were that all ostentation and ambition, and love of pleasing by carnal means, was displeasing to God.”

Tertullian on Female Dress, Chap. II.

Cyprian, when blaming virgins for wearing jewels, necklaces and wool stuffs colored with costly dyes (On the Dress of Virgins, 14.) likewise remarks:

“.....All which things sinning and apostate angels put forth by their arts, when, lowered to the contagions of earth, they forsook their heavenly vigor.”

When we remember that early Christianity sets its face like a flint against all delights of the senses and that this extreme reaction of the spiritual against the sensuous has largely shaped our social customs of today, we begin to see how important and far-reaching were these opinions of the Church Fathers that feminine adornment had been taught by angels who had sinned in wedding earthly women, and that it was therefore a sinful thing in that it has emanated from a depraved source. Some of the theories built upon this assumption are quite curious. Here are a few:

“That which He Himself has not produced is not pleasing to God, unless He was unable to order sheep to be born with purple and sky-blue fleeces: If He was able, then plainly He was unwilling, what God willed not, of course, ought not to be fashioned.”

Tertullian on Female Dress, I. 8.

“For it was God, no doubt, who showed the way to dye wools with the juices of herbs and the humous of conchs: It had escaped Him, when He was bidding the universe come into being, to issue a command for (the production of) purple and scarlet sheep.”

Tertul. on Female Dress, II. 10.

Why should she walk out adorned? Why with dressed hair, as if she either had or sought for a husband? Rather let her dread to please if she is a virgin ********* It is not right that a virgin should have her hair braided for the appearance of her beauty.

Cyprian on the Dress of Virgins, 5.

“You are bound to please your husbands only. But you will please them in proportion as you take no care to please others. Be ye without carefulness, blessed [sisters]; no wife is “ugly to her own husband.” She “pleased” him enough when she was selected [by him as his wife]; whether commended by form or by character. Let none of you think that if she abstain from the care of her person [compo-sitione sui]; she will incur the hatred and aversion of husbands. Every husband is the exactor of chastity; but beauty a believing [husband] does not require, because we are not captivated by the same graces which the Gentiles think to be graces.”

Tertul, on Female Dress, Book II, Chap. IV.

“Do ye 0 matrons flee from the adorning of vanity such attire is fitting for women who haunt the brothels. ****** To a wife approved of her husband, let it suffice that she is so not by her dress, but by her good disposition. The instructions of Commodianus in favor of Christian Discipline against the Gods of the Heathens, 59.”

Let us remember that these and similar teachings by the early Christian Fathers have laid the foundation of our present marriage customs. The theory that a woman sins in adorning herself to please a husband (whether present or prospective), and this theory is still indescribably popular among devout Christians.

Commodianus ascribes the teaching of “arts, * * * * * and the dyeing of wool, and everything which is done,” not to the angels but to the giant progeny. And he adds:

“To them, when they died, man erected images. But the Almighty, because they were of an evil seed, did not approve that, when dead, they should be brought back from death. Whence wandering they now subvert many bodies, and it is such as these especially that ye this day worship and pray to as gods.”

The Instructions of Commodianus in favor of Christian Discipline, against the Gods of the Heathen.

The author of the Clementine Homilies records a tradition concerning these gigantic “wanderers” on the borders of Ghostland which seems to him that they were not unable to beget children: After speaking of the Deluge he says:

“Since, therefore, the souls of the deceased giants were greater than human souls, inasmuch as they also excelled their bodies, they, as being a new race, were called also by a new name. And to those who survived in the world a law was prescribed to God through an angel, how they should live. For being bastards in race, of the fire of angels and the blood of woman, and therefore liable to desire a certain race of their own, they were anticipated by a certain righteous law.”

Clementine Homilies, VIII, 18.

Inasmuch as the Deluge had already destroyed every one on the earth except Noah and his family, we see that the author cannot mean by those who survived in the world any giants still in the flesh. Moreover, the decree which followed and which prescribed that they are to have power over only those human beings who break the moral law and practice magic would indicate these “giants” had then entered upon what Theosophists would call astral, and from the paragraph quoted above, it is evidently taken for granted that these astral giants would propagate their kind. This is an important point—the testimony of a Christian Father of a tradition that human beings (not created angels) who had once inhabited bodies, could beget children on the plane of the astral unless prevented by the direct prohibition of Heaven. If it be objected that the author refers to giants still in earthly form when he speaks to “those who survived in the world” I am sure that the statement follows a remark about the Deluge and that in that case the surviving giants must have been Noah and his family. This view, however, is absurd, when we consider that the decree forbade the giants to assume power over any but the human race. If Noah and his family were the surviving giants, where would be the sense in promulgating such a decree to them? This same author gives an account of the doings of the angelic fathers of these giants which reminds one strongly of the spirit séances of the late Rev. Stainton Moses, when under conditions which precluded all fraud or illusion, tiny pearls and other precious stones suddenly materialized before the sitters. Here is the tradition recorded by the Christian Fathers:

“For of the spirits who inhabit the heaven, the angels who dwell in the lowest region, being grieved at the ingratitude of man to God, asked that they might come into the life of man, that, really becoming man, by more intercourse they might convict those who had acted ungratefully towards Him, and might subject every one to adequate punishment. Then, therefore, their petition was granted, they metamorphosed themselves into every nature; for, being of a more god-like substance, they are able easily to assume any form. So they became precious stones, and goodly pearl, and the most beauteous purple, and choice gold, and all matter that is held in most esteem. And they fell into the hands of some, and into the bosoms of others, and suffered themselves to be stolen by them. They also changed themselves into beasts and reptiles and fishes and birds, and into whatsoever they pleased. These things, also the poets among yourselves, by reason of fearlessness, sing, as they befell, attributing to one the many and diverse doings of all.”

Clementine Homilies, VIII, 12.

(Then, “having assumed these forms, they convicted as covetous those who stole them, and changed themselves into the nature of man, in order that, living holily, and showing the possibility of so living they might subject the ungrateful to punishment.” However, “having become in all respects men, they also became subject to masculine infirmities and fell.”)

Does it not seem as though we had here a survival of Animism—a state of mind frequent among savages, children and animals in which an inanimate object which moves without visible cause or manifests in any peculiar way is thought to be alive. A horse is often terrified by a piece of paper blown in front of him, evidently he takes it for a live creature. Savages speak of the sun and moon as living individuals because of their apparently voluntary journeys through the sky; [among] the Kukis of Southern Asia ***** if a man was killed by a fall from a tree, his relatives would take their revenge by cutting the tree down, scattering it in chips. A modem King of Cochin, China, when one of his ships sailed badly, used to put it in the pillory as he would any other criminal. (Bastian, Oestl.., Asein, Vol. 1, p. 51.) In classical times, the stories of Xerxes flogging the Hellespont and Cyrus draining the Gyndes occur as cases in point, but one of the regular Athenian legal proceedings is a yet more striking relic. A court of justice was held at the Prytaneum, to try any inanimate object, such as an axle, a piece of wood or stone, which had caused the death of anyone without proved human agency, and this wood or stone, if condemned, was with solemn form cast beyond the border. The spirit of this remarkable procedure reappears in the old English law (repealed in the present reign), whereby, not only a beast that kills a man, but a cart-wheel that runs over him, as a tree that falls on him, kills him, is dead and is given to God, * * * * forfeited and sold for the poor *****. The pathetic custom of “telling the bees” when the master or mistress of a house dies, is not unknown in our own country. In Berlin, Germany, the idea is more fully worked out; and not only is the sad message given to every bee-hive in the garden and every beast in the stall, but every sack of com must be touched and everything in the house shaken, that they may know the master is gone. And we all know that even an intelligent nineteenth century man is not above administering an angry kick to a chair against which he has bruised himself.

Now the author of the Clementine Homilies seems to have similarly lighted on an instance of Animism in connection with gold, pears, precious stones, etc. In prehistoric times this tradition, rational and intelligible, may suppose that these precious articles had moved or otherwise behaved as though endowed with life in the ancient times to which the tradition relates. Could it be that they suddenly appeared to those prehistoric gazers, coming from no one knew where, and moved about by unseen hands, as tables are lifted, bells rung, banjos played or flowers materialized at a modem spiritual séance, evidently reported to have come by occult means, supposed to be heavenly. The people who witnessed the phenomena were probably not accustomed to clear headed and intelligent investigation of such phenomena, see at once it was an Animistic explanation such as is given in the Clementine Homilies. As to the frightened horse, and to the ignorant savage, inanimate things seem to be alive, so may the precious objects which materialized at those prehistoric séances have seemed to the beholders to be living creatures, in as much as they sped through the air without .visible support. If alive, they surely (so would argue the witnesses) must be angelic beings since they were said to come from heaven and the attendant phenomena of the séance no doubt would increase the awe with which these “angels” were received and treasured. An “angel” is simply a vehicle for a message in the original signification. Let us glance in passing at the accounts of materializing through the psychic power. In this sense a pearl materialized through the psychic power of so reliable a modem medium as the Rev. Stainton Moses, plainly by occult means might be called an “angel”—i. e., the means by which the message from the unseen reached the sitters. In after times when the word angel had come to be specialized as a personal envoy from Heaven, the old tradition about the pearls and precious stones which had evidently come as “angels” (vehicles for a heaven-sent message) whenever told would probably be adopted to the specialized meaning and it would be said as above, that personal beings transformed into these inanimate things. First, as to the manifestations through the Rev. Stainton Moses lately declared in his journal occurs the following entry:

Tuesday, September 9th, 1873.

“Same conditions. Plentiful scent as before. Sixteen little pearls were put on the table, six having been previously given during the day. Mrs. Speer and I were writing at the same table, and a pearl was put on my letter as I was writing. After that I saw a spirit standing by Mrs. Speer, and was told that it was Mentor, who had put a pearl on Mrs. Speer’s desk. After that four others came. They seemed to drop on the table, just as I have seen them with Mrs. A-h. We have in all twenty-one now. They are small seed pearls, each perforated.”

A week later, there is this entry:

“When we broke up we found a- little heap of pearls was put before each. One hundred and thirty-nine little pearls have been brought to us, one hundred and ten in the last two days.”

(This, it appears from another witness, occurred in daylight.)

Dr. Speer (referred to by Miss X. in Borderland as “a highly intelligent and by no means credulous witness”) gives a striking instance of the materialization of a precious object:

December 31st, 1872.

“A very successful séance. A blue enamel cross was brought, no one knew whence, placed before my wife, who was told to wear it.”

Mrs. Speer testifies as follows:

Ventnor, November 29th, 1893.

“I wish to state that the most convincing evidences of spirit-power always took place when hands were held.

“Other manifestations occurred, often in light, such as raps, raising of table, scent, .musical sounds, and showers of pearls *****. Two cameos were carved in light while we were dining.”

Before leaving this part of the subject, it may be well to quote the following by Miss X. in Borderland (Miss X., I would add is by no means a spiritualist, but is distinctly opposed to the Spiritistic hypothesis):

“Mr. Stainton Moses has for many years been one of the most important witnesses for Spiritualism. The fact that, like Professor Crookes and Alfred Russell Wallace, he was a gentleman, a scholar, and a man of recognized position and character, was, to say the least, a good letter of introduction ***** It may be said, once for all that it is unnecessary to insist on the absolute sincerity of Mr. Stainton Moses. It is a point which has never been so much as raised. His life has been of a kind not to be called in question—obscure without mystery, dignified without pedantry, lived in the sight of just that class of the public which demands the strictest respectability of conduct, the most unequivocal correspondence between life and profession. As a clergyman he was beloved by his parishioners, as a schoolmaster he was respected by his boys, as a personal friend he commanded the confidence and esteem of all his intimates.”

May it not be that the phenomena recorded by the author of the Clementine Homilies are essentially the same in kind as those referred to above in the case of the Rev. Stainton Moses?

St. Augustine, considering the possibility of occult sex relations between earthly women and beings from the unseen world, remarks:

“The Scriptures plainly aver that the angels have appeared both in visible and palpable figures. And seeing it is so general a report, and so many aver it either from their own experience or from others, that are of indubitable honesty and credit, that the sylvans and fauns, commonly called incubi, have often injured women, and that certain devils from the Gauls call “Duses,” do continually practice this *****, and tempt others to it, which is affirmed by such persons, and with such confidence, that it were impudence to deny it. I dare not venture to determine anything here; whether the devils being embodied in air (for the air being violently moved is to be felt) can suffer this lust, or move it so as the women with whom they commix, may feel it; yet do I firmly believe that God’s angels could never fall so at that time.”

St. Augustine’s City of God, XV., 23.

Notice the perplexity of St. Augustine as a logician. He cannot deny that occult sex relations exist on the Borderland, the testimony to this is too wide spread and of too reliable a character. But, (we can imagine him saying) how reconcile these phenomena with the belief that the inhabitants of the world beyond the grave are immaterial, vapory, mist-like beings?

How can such a hazy, ethereal creature as a ghost produce objective sensations of touch upon an earthly being? And if possible—as he ingeniously supposes, by such means as air becomes perceptible to us when violently put in motion— how reconcile such phenomena with the belief that sex is impure, and that it does not exist in the world beyond the grave? How could God’s angels ever fall so? It were impossible.

But St. Augustine evidently starts from two hypotheses —the unsubstantiability of ghosts and the impurity (footnote, as will be seen by a perusal of the quotation in full,) and, therefore, non-existence of sex, neither of which two hypotheses has ever been definitely proven. As a logician therefore, he is at fault, and I have already shown the danger of starting from mistaken premises when dealing with occult phenomena. The two hypotheses, however, were not peculiar to St. Augustine. They were, and are, the- common property of the majority of mankind. But it does not follow that they are correct: and the psychic who rashly assumes their truth to start with (through prejudice or because other people think so) may expect to be deluded, and to come upon all sorts of fantastic, and possibly, diabolical manifestations. Such is the occult law. Start with a false premise or with a premise which you have not investigated with scrupulous care, and you are certain to get phenomena of either a misleading or a depraved character.

But all the Christian Fathers did not accept the possibility of bridegrooms from the unseen world. There were then, as now, Materialist minds which disbelieved in ghosts. Alexander, Bishop of Lycopolis, endeavored to explain away angelic bridegrooms as myths, thus:

“When the Jewish history relates that angels came down to hold intercourse with the daughters of men * * * * this saying signifies that the nutritive powers of the soul descended from heaven to earth.”

On the Tenants of the Manicheans, XXV.

Hence the “injuring” of women by incubi—to which St. Augustine refers, an injuring either wholly subjective and illusory, or, if objectively real, was brought about in part by the woman’s ignorance of the occult requirements for correct living and clear-headedness on the Borderland, in part by her failure to thus live and think on the earthly plane.

It would be interesting to know his authority for this. Rationalistic theories cannot rest as do folklore traditions, upon a mere say-so; they must be supported either by testimony or by argument. Otherwise, we are obliged to dismiss them as the whimsical fancies of a solitary individual.

Origen says he will “persuade those who were capable of understanding the meaning of the prophet, that even before us there was one who referred this narrative to the doctrine regarding souls, which became possessed with a desire for the corporeal life of men” and thus in metaphorical language he said was termed “daughters of men.” But Origen does not give his authority, nor advance any argument in support of this explanation.

Julius Africanus suggests another Rationalistic explanation, but is candid enough to give it as his own notion. He says:

“When men multiplied on the earth, the angels of heaven came together with the daughters of men. In some copies I find ‘the sons of God.’ What is meant by the Spirit, in my opinion, is that the descendants of Seth are called the sons of God on account of the righteous men and patriarchs who have sprung from him, even down to the Saviour Himself; but that the descendants of Cain are named the seed of men, as having nothing divine in them, on account of the wickedness of their race and the inequality of their nature, being a mixed people, and having stirred the indignation of God.”

This ingenious theory has been eagerly grasped at by succeeding Christian writers who disbelieve in~ the substantiality of ghosts. So able a commentator in modem times, however, as Delitzsch (On Genesis) decides against this view, and quotes various authorities which I give elsewhere. He also quotes Keil as demonstrating that two of the Hebrew words in the text in Genesis show that “the contraction of actual and lasting marriages” is meant.

Julius Africanus, indeed, seems to have had doubts as to whether the current tradition about angelic bridegrooms might not be true after all, for he adds directly upon the heels of the above theory:

“But if it is thought that these refer to angels, we must take them to be those who deal with magic and jugglery, who taught the women the motions of the stars and the knowledge of things celestial, by whose power they conceived the giants as their children, by whom wickedness came to its heights on the earth, until God decreed that the whole race of the living should perish in their impiety by the Deluge.”

Extant Fragments of the Five Books of the Chronography of Julius Africanus, in Georgius Syncellus, Chron. p. 19, al 15, ed. Paris, 11 Venet.

Nevertheless, Rationalists and Materialists are in the minority among the Fathers of the Church as regards this subject. The majority accepted the accounts in Genesis and Enoch at their face value.

To briefly sum up the majority’s views of the early church on this matter:

1. Angels of a superior order did come into the earthly life—whether (a) because God sent them, or (b) because they were moved with indignation at the ingratitude of men toward God and came voluntarily in order to reconcile God and man, or (c) because they were enticed by women on the earth, the traditions do not agree.

2. Having come into this earthly life, they became either the lovers or the husbands of women, whether beguiled thereto in part by the Devil, or wholly by the women or, partially or wholly by their own desires, the traditions again do not agree. One tradition, as we have seen, hints at the sin of Sodom; and an interference oil the astral plane with the rights of earthly husbands; others hint at illicit amours; but Tertullian demonstrates unanswerably from sacred Scripture that the angels were the wedded husbands of the daughters of men, and that these daughters were virginal at the time of wedding their angelic lovers.

This was not, however, all their sin. One tradition, as we have seen, makes a vague allusion to the sin of Sodom in connection with the intercourse of angels with women.

3. That an angelic woman should seek in honorable marriage, especially an earthly woman, it would appear, was reckoned a sin. When asked why, we find that the Church Fathers, one and all, treated marriage as a mere expedient. Tertullian said that the reason why ‘marrying’ is good, is that ‘burning’ is worse. Minncius Felix (Octavius XXXI) remarks that “with some even the modest intercourse of the sexes causes a blush.” Methodius has an entire book devoted to an argument offered by ten virgins against wedlock and in behalf of perpetual virginity. Origen says: “God has allowed us to marry, because all are not fit for the higher, that is, the perfectly pure life. Cyprian says that, “Chastity maintains the first rank in virgins, the second in those who are continent, the third in the case of wedlock.” He also says:

“What else is virginity than the glorious preparation for the future life? Virginity is of neither sex. Virginity is the continuance of infancy. Virginity is the triumph over pleasures. Virginity has not children; but what is more, it has contempt for offspring; it has not fruitfulness, but neither has it bereavement; blessed that it is free from the pain of bringing forth, more blessed still that it is free from the calamity of the death of children. What else is virginity than the freedom of liberty? It has no husband or master. Virginity is freed from all affections; it has not given up to marriage, nor to the world, nor to children.”

Cyprian, Of the Discipline of Chastity, 7.

Justin Martyr exults that “many, both men and women of the age of sixty and seventy years, who have been disciples of Christ from their youth, continue in immaculate virginity.”

In a spurious fragment credited to “Hippolytus, the Syrian Expositor of the Forum,” the writer refers to an ancient Hebrew MS., which tells of Noah being commanded by God to stake off each male animal in the ark from the corresponding female. The other and principal object of marriage which runs through all nature from protoplasmic cells up to man—of mutual exchange of strength and mutual happiness, seems to have been totally ignored by the early Christian Fathers. Lactantius held that it is impossible the two sexes could have been instructed except for the sake of generation. Justin Martyr says frankly:

“Neither marry at first, for no other object than to rear children, or else abstaining from marriage, continue to live in a state of continence.”

Apology I, 37.

He notes with approval a Christian youth who begged Felix, the governor of Alexandria, for permission to be made a eunuch by a physician, in order to attest his continence to the world. (Felix, however, had the good sense to refuse.) To such an extent was this unnatural loathing for wedlock carried, that Constantine found it judicious to remove the old-time penalties against celibacy, because of the many Christians who continued celibates from motives of religion.

Since marriage on natural grounds was thus depreciated by the early Church as impure when occurring between earthly men and women, we need not wonder that she viewed with horror the very thought of wedlock with an angel in as much as angels were supposed to be above earthly weaknesses. Having thus started from a false premise, i. e., that marital passion cannot be pure in God’s sight, there was no other deduction to be made regarding these love-matches between angels and women but that they were sinful.

4. But, according to the Christian Fathers, the angels committed other sins, in addition to seeking a woman in honorable marriage. They actually endeavored to beautify the world into which they had come, and to make men wiser and happier by teaching them various arts and sciences. One might have thought this a cause for gratitude; but the Church Fathers, having started from a false premise, were logically bound to deduce the theory which Tertullian did— that as these spirit husbands were fallen angels, what they taught could not possibly be conducive either to integrity, chastity, or the fear of God. Therefore, dress and adornment and the industrial arts of dyeing and metallurgy were sinful, and consequently, displeasing to the Almighty. Very different is the view taken by a more modem writer, Sir Thomas Browne, the author of the Religio Medici who, advocating the doctrine of this celestial guardianship over marriage on earth, observes: “I do think that many mysteries ascribed to our own inventions, have been the courteous revelation of spirits; for these noble essences in heaven bear a friendly regard unto their fellow natures on earth.”

Apparitions, pp. 3-4. R cv. Bourchier Wrey Savile, London, 1880.

5. Ambition plays a prominent part in the traditions, it will be noticed. It is said that these angels were ambitious for earthly power and exacted libations and sacrifices; and also that they were the beings whom the heathen ignorantly supposed to be gods.

But if the reader will recall what I have said about the misleadings in spirit manifestations when the psychic starts from a false premise, he will understand how possible it is that we have to deal here with subjective illusions, and not objective realities; and that the lower estimate in which these angelic visitors came to be held was due entirely to the failure of psychics to keep the laws of correct moral living or common sense and his weaknesses and vanities and superstitions will be played upon ad libitum. As for the giant offspring said to have resulted from these unions—offspring which in the male line became evil-doers, and finally demons on the astral plane—if the reader will consider that necessity to which I have referred for correct living and clear thinking on both sides of the abyss of death, if the bridge of communication is to hold, he will see that if these “giants” continued to influence the world from the astral plane they could not be evil demons, but must be beneficent helpers of mankind. But there is, I think, grave doubt as to whether such offspring ever resulted from these unions between angels and earthly women, as the reader will see when I come to speak of the occult laws governing such unions. Nevertheless, there is something to be said on both sides, and we should do well to reserve our judgment until all the evidence is before us.

We have seen that Commodianus says that these giants are the gods to whom the heathen ignorantly prayed. Justin Martyr, mindful of certain similarities between the stories told of those same heathen gods and the Scriptural account of Jesus, advances the theory that the demons had some imperfect perception of the coming Messiah, gleaned from the Old Testament prophecies, and that they tried to forestall Christianity by ascribing Christ’s possible attributes in advance to the gods.

To be Continued.

Heavenly Bridegrooms (Continued From February 1916)

“The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.”

Genesis 6:2.

“The demons, then, hearing these prophetic words [Genesis 49: 10, 11,] asserted that Bacchus was born the son of Jupiter; they ascribed to him also the invention of the vine, and in the celebration of his mysteries led an ass in procession, and taught that Bacchus was tom in pieces and taken up into heaven.” Justin Martyr’s Apology, I. 71.

Justin also draws a comparison between some of these gods and Christ, to show that Christianity claims no more for its god than did the heathen for those whom they called “Sons of Jove.” He says:

“When we affirm that the Word, which is the first-begotten of God, was born without carnal knowledge, even Jesus Christ our Master, and that he was crucified, and rose again and ascended into heaven, we advance no new thing different from what is maintained respecting those whom ye call sons of Jupiter. For ye well know how many sons your approved writers attribute to Jupiter; Mercury, the word of interpretation and teacher of: all men;. Esculapius, who was a physician, and yet struck with lightning and taken up into heaven; Bacchus, who was tom in pieces; Hercules, who burned himself upon the pile to escape his torments; Castor and Pollux, the sons of Leda; Perseus the son of Danae; and Bellerophon, born of human race, and carried away upon the horse Pegasus ****** Neither is it necessary that I should relate to you, who already know well, of what kind were the actions of each of those who were called the sons of Jupiter; I need only say, that the writings in which they are recorded, tend only to corrupt and pervert the minds of those who learn them; for all take a pride in being the imitators of the gods ****** But if we say that he [Jesus] was begotten of God, in a manner far different from ordinary generation, being the Word of God, as we have before said, let this be considered a correspondence with your own tenets, when ye call Mercury the word who bears messages from God. And if any one objects to us that He was crucified; this too is a point of correspondence with those whom ye call the sons of Jupiter, and yet allow to have suffered ****** Again, if we affirm that he was born of a virgin; let this be considered a point in which he agrees with what you (fabulously) ascribe to Perseus. And whereas we say that he made those whole, who were lame, palsied and blind from their birth, and raised the dead; in this too we ascribe to him actions similar to those which are said to have been performed by Esculapius. Justin Martyr’s Apology I, 28, 29, 30.

We thus see that the heathen gods and heroes whose father was Jupiter, the Christian Messiah whose father was the holy spirit and the traditional “giants” whose fathers were angels, were, in the eyes of at least one Church Father but different aspects of the same underlying principle—the possibility of marital union between dwellers in the unseen world and dwellers upon the earth, for the purpose of begetting children. Today, however, we look upon the story of virgin born Perseus as fabulous.[1] But the ancient heathen opponents of Justin seem to have accorded a scant respect to the story of the virgin-born Jesus as we do to the story of virgin-born Perseus. Now to laugh to scorn the birth of Perseus from the occult union of God with one virgin, and then to accept without question the birth of Jesus from the occult union of God with another virgin, is somewhat inconsistent. On strictly logical grounds, if one story be false, so may the other be false; if one be true, so may the other be true. But Perseus is only one of many virgin-born heroes or gods. We find these children of a visible earthly mother and an invisible, celestial mysterious father, the world over, in all ages.

There was Buddha, the child of Maya and a celestial being god who, in the form of a white elephant, entered her side, or according to De Gingnes (See Higgins Anacalypsis I, 157) his mother conceived by a ray of light without defilement.

The Hindu Chrishna was born of a chaste matron, who, though a wife and a mother, is always spoken of as the Virgin Devaki. Chrishna, by the way, has many attributes in common with Kama, the East Indian god of love, corresponding to the Latin Cupid. He is represented as black—a symbolism to which I will return later on.

The Egyptian God Ra was born from the side of his mother, “but was not engendered.”

The Mayas of Yucatan had a virgin-born god, named Zama.

Among the Algonquin Indians we find the tradition of a great teacher, by name Michabou, who was born of a celestial Manitou and an earthly mother.

“Upon the altars of the Chinese temples were placed behind a screen, an image of Shin-moo, or the ‘Holy Mother,’ sitting with a child in her arms, in an alcove, with rays of glory around her head, and tapers constantly burning before her.” Rev. Joseph B. Gross, Heathen Religion, 60, quoted in Bible Myths, p. 327.

In ancient Mexico,

“The Virgin Chimalman, also called Sochiquetzal or Suchiquecai, was the mother of Quecalcoatle, [evidently the same as Quetalcoatl, who was crucified as a Saviour for the Mexicans, as Jesus was for the Christian world.] In one representation he is shown hanging by the neck holding a cross in his hands. His complexion is quite black. Sochiquetzal means the lifting tip of roses. [This is really our Sukey, and the Greek ****, Psyche, which means the soul, and which was appropriately applied to the bride of the spirit-lover, Cupid.] Eve is called Ysnextli, and it is said she sinned by plucking roses. But in another place these roses are called Fruta del Arbor, [arbol?] ******

“The Mexican Eve is called Suchiquecal. A messenger from heaven announced to her that she should bear a son, who should bruise the serpent’s head. He presents her with a rose. This was the commencement of an Age, Which was called the Age of Roses.

[Is this the age when angels became the husbands of pure-minded women—an age fitly symboled by the rose, the flower of perfect love? Note, also, the resemblance between this tradition and the Christian tradition, concerning the angel’s offering Mary a lily-branch at the Annunciation. Evidently, these are two different aspects of the same symbolism.)

Higgins, continuing, says:

“All this history the Monkish writer is perfectly certain is the invention of the Devil,” and Justin Martyr strove to account for the analogy between the story of Christ and the story of Bacchus by supposing that demons had imitated the Christian Scriptures in advance, so totally unaware was he that both stories had the same esoteric meaning to the initiate. “Torquemada’s Indian history was mutilated at Madrid before it was published. Suchiquecal is called the Queen of Heaven. She conceived a son, without connection with man, who is the God of Air * * * *

“The Mohammedans have a tradition that Christ was conceived by the smelling of a rose.” Anacalypsis II. 32, 33.

In the Finnish epic of the Kalevala there is a heroine by the name of Mariatta (from Marja, “berry”) who becomes pregnant through unwittingly eating a berry—the berry here playing a similar part to the rose referred to above in the Mohammedan tradition. She goes from one to another person, vainly seeking a place in which to bring forth her child. At last she is referred by one household to the stable of “the flaming horse of Hisi;” and she then appeals to the horse of Hisi in the following words:

“Breathe, O sympathizing fire-horse,
Breathe on me, the virgin-mother!
Let thy heated breath give moisture,
Let thy pleasant warmth surround me,
Like the vapor of the morning;
Let this pure and helpless maiden
Find a refuge in thy manger!”

Observe that, although the mother of an illegitimate child, she, like all the mothers of such children when their father is divine or mysterious, is “pure,” the “virgin-mother,” etc.

These virgin-mothers are not copies of the Christian Mary Most, if not all of them, were known long before the days of Christianity.

The mother of the Siamese ‘Somona Cadom’ was impregnated by sun-beams, another form of Danae’s golden shower. She was called Maha Maria or Maya Maria, i. e., “the Great Mary.” And this brings out some curious coincidences in name among virgin-mothers. Thus:

Marietta of the Kalevala has already been referred to above.

The mother of Hermes or Mercury was Myrrha or Maia.

Maya, the mother of Buddha, is identical in name with the Hindu goddess Maya, who is represented as walking upon the waters, with her peplum teeming with animals, to show her fecundity. Maya is also a well-known Hindu term for “illusion.”

The month of May (so nearly like the name of Maia) was sacred to some of the virgin-goddesses of ancient times, as it is now to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The Christian Virgin Mary was also called Myrrha; and she is still called Santa Maria in Southern Europe and in Mexico. The title bestowed on her of “Star of the Sea”—a title given to the Egyptian Virgin-mother, Isis, perhaps two thousand years earlier—shows how close a resemblance tradition and folklore have traced between both of these virgin-mothers and the ancient genitrix of the waters. Also, the Latin “mare” and the French “mer” for “the sea,” and the French “mere” for “mother” bear a striking resemblance to the name Mary in sound. And Venus was born from the foam of sea presiding divinity of love between the sexes. She is credited with having been “indulgent Venus” to a mortal man—Anchises, to whom she bore the hero of Virgil’s Aeneid, a Borderland espousal, this though here it is the wife and not the husband who comes from the invisible world.

The Apocryphal Gospels speak of the Virgin Mary’s being brought up as an orphan, in the temple, and they refer to her as an obedient and pure-minded maiden, accustomed to holding daily converse with angels. That she should have been called by the same root-name as these ancient virgin-mothers, is, therefore, the less remarkable, if we consider the possibility of her having been trained in the temple by the priests as an initiate in the sacred mysteries, and of her having passed the various ordeals so successfully as to entitle her to be called by the name sacred to the type of womanhood accounted worthy to sustain marital relations on the Borderland.

In some cases it would appear that ambitious princes or other designing politicians of ancient days did not scruple to avail themselves of the current belief in the possibility of divine paternity, when it would serve their purpose. It was an open secret among the Greeks that Alexander the Great had not hesitated to do this, on the occasion of his march into Egypt and Suria. When the oracle at the temple of Jupiter Ammon (doubtless for a bribe) declared Alexander to be the son of Jupiter, saying that this god, in the form of a serpent, had manifested to Alexander’s mother.

The serpent is, in ancient sex worship, a well-known symbol of the phallus, and therefore, of the creative fatherhood. It appears in several stories of divinely begotten children.

Scipio Africanus was another politician who availed himself of the popular belief in these matters, it would seem. “There is no doubt,” remarks Higgins in his Anacalypsis, I, 212, 213, “that he aimed at the sovereignty of Rome, but the people were too sharp-sighted for him.” A. Gelline says, ‘The wife of Publius Scipio was barren for so many years as to create a despair of issue, until one night, when her husband was absent, she discovered a large serpent in his place, and was informed by soothsayers that she would bear a child. In a few days she perceived signs of conception, and after ten months gave birth to the conqueror of Carthage.”[2]

The Emperor Augustus was said to have been the result of a mysterious connection of his mother with a serpent in the temple of Apollo.

Ovid in his Fasti records a story that Servius Tullius was a mysterious shape, claiming to be a vulcan, which appeared to the mother, Ocrisia, among the ashes of the altar, when she was assisting her mistress (Ocrisia was a captive) in the sacred rite of pouring a libation of wine upon the altar.

Pythagoras, who lived more than five hundred years before Christ, was said to be the offspring of Apollo. He was born on a journey, his father (or rather, his mother’s earthly husband) having traveled up to Sidon on business. Pythais, the mother, had been beloved by a ghostly personage who claimed to be the god Apollo Afterwards this same apparition showed itself to the husband, informing him of the parentage of the coming child, and bidding him to have no connection with his wife until after its birth.

A similar event is said to have transpired in the case of Plato, Apollo his father also. His mother was Perictione, a virgin, who was betrothed to one Ariston at the time. In this case, also, Apollo appeared to inform the earthly lover of the child’s paternity. Higgins, relating this tradition, adds:

“On this ground, the really very learned Origen defends the immaculate conception [Higgins evidently refers not to the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Mary’s stainlessness by that term signified, but to the conception of Jesus] assigning, also, in confirmation of the fact, the example of Vultures (Vautours) who propagate without the male.” (!!)

The Vulture was an accompaniment of Hathas, the Egyptian Venus; and it would therefore seem as though Origen had unwittingly stumbled on a bit of folklore. Graves, in his Sixteen Crucified Saviours, remarks (I know not on what authority, but give his remark rather for its suggestiveness than as a vouched for historical fact):

“Many are the cases noted in history of young maidens claiming a paternity for their male offspring by a God. In Greece it became so common that the reigning Kong issued an edict, decreeing the death of all young virgins who should offer such an insult to deity as to lay to him the charge of begetting their children.”

“The vestal virgin Rhea Sylvin, who bore Romulus and Remus to the god Mars, is well known. It is a curious coincidence that the name Rhea, which was one of the names of the Mother of all the gods, is applied by one writer to the Virgin Mary who likewise became the ‘Mother of God’.”

The Mongolian conqueror, Genghis Khan, and his two twin brothers were said to be the result of an occult union of the earthly mother with a mysterious intelligence.

“His mother having been left a widow, lived a retired life; but some time after the death of her husband, * * * * she was suspected to be pregnant. The deceased husband’s relations forced her to appear before the chief judge of the tribe, for this crime. She boldly defended herself, by declaring that no man had known her; but that one day, lying negligently on her bed, a light appeared in her room, the brightness of which blinded her, and that it penetrated three times into her body, and that if she brought not three sons into the world, she would submit to the most cruel torments. The three sons were born, and the princess was esteemed a saint. The Moguls believe Genghis Khan to be the product of this miracle, that God might punish mankind for the injustice they had committed.” Anacalypsis II. 353.

Of the conqueror, Tamerlane, who claimed direct descent from Genghis Khan on the mother side, it is related that he was the result of a connection of his mother with the God of day.

Dean Milman says, in his History of Christianity (Bible Myths, p. 119.)

“Fo-hi of China—according to tradition—was born of a virgin, and the first Jesuit missionaries who went to China were appalled at finding, in the mythology of that country, a counterpart of the story of the Virgin of Judea.”

But, had those same Jesuit missionaries apprehended the idea which lies back of both stories—the substantiality of the unseen world beyond the grave and the possibility of marital relations on the borderland of that world and this, they would not have been thus “appalled.” Mother of Confucius, says one tradition, when walking in a solitary place, was impregnated by the vivifying influence of the heavens.

The Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tse, born 604 B. C., the founder of the Religion of the Supreme Reason, was said to have been born of a virgin of a black complexion—a forerunner this, by hundreds of years, of the Black Madonnas in the Italian Churches.

Do those black Madonnas typify, mystically, the darkness of the unknown world beyond the grave whence the Heavenly Spouse emerges?

The Earls of Cleave were said to descend from a union between the heiress of Cleave and a being from the upper air, “who came to Cleave in a miraculous ship, drawn by a swan, and after begetting divers children, ‘went away at Noon-day, in the sight of a World of People, in his Airy Ship.’ “

The famous Robert le Diable, according to one tradition, was the child of an incubus.

The enchanter Merlin “son of an incubus and of a holy woman, became the center and the master of all nature,” says Peyrat ****** (The Magic of the Middle Ages, Rydberg, 204,) the number of those adventurers during the Middle Ages who asserted themselves or others to be the bastards of devils and human beings. But if they had led a blameless life, evincing a firm belief in the dogmas of the Church, the danger of such a pedigree was not greater than the honor. The son of a fallen angel did not need to bend his head before a man of noble birth.

“But,” it will be objected, “these stories are myths of ancient, or at most, mediaeval times. You don’t find virgin-born children nowadays.”


In the establishment of Schweinfurth, that individual in Rockford, Illinois, who today claims to be the Christ, a woman a few years since bore a child, and steadfastly declared her belief that it was immaculately conceived. Trial it is said, before a jury of the women of Schweinfurth’s establishment did not succeed in shaking the faith of these women in the possibility of such a thing.

In the Truthseeker of New York occurs this paragraph:

“Mrs. Helen Fields, of Wichita, Kansas, has given birth to a child whose father she avers is the Holy Ghost.”

Moncure D. Conway, in his Demonology and Devil-Lore, I. 231, says:

“When in Chicago in 1875, I read in one of the morning papers a very particular account of how a white dove flew into the chamber window of a young unmarried woman in a neighboring village, she having brought forth a child, and solemnly declaring that she had never lost her virginity.”

It is, of course, easy to dismiss all these stories, ancient, mediaeval and modem, with contempt, as so many falsehoods, or, at best, self-delusions. I have already said that, despite the immense number of traditions and miraculous births, I doubt if such ever occur upon the borderland of the two worlds, owing to certain occult principles to which I shall briefly refer further on. Nevertheless this mass of folklore belief is too overwhelming in quantity and too widely diffused to be dismissed lightly. Back of it all there must be some objective realities and some fire for all this smoke. And we must not forget that there is one miraculous birth which is accepted throughout Christendom—the birth of Jesus from a Divine Father and an earthly Virgin-Mother. Nevertheless by the cultured heathen opponents of Justin, the story of the divine paternity of Jesus seems to have been regarded with a scorn similar to that with which we regard the above tales today, and that Church Father showed his wisdom when he placed heathen and Christian stories upon the same logical basis.

Am I not right in saying that to impugn the possibility of marital relations between earthly women and heavenly bridegrooms is to strike at the very foundations of Christianity?

In folklore customs and fairy tales, fantastic though these may be, we find numerous indications of the world-wide belief in bridegrooms and brides from the unseen world of spiritual beings, or, as they were termed in the middle ages, incubi and suc-cubae. (Latin, incubo, ”to lie upon;” succubo, ”to lie under.”

We may set out with that description among the islanders of the Antilles, where they are the ghosts of the dead, vanishing when clutched; in New Zealand, where ancestral deities ‘form attachments with females, and pay them repeated visits;’ while in the Samoan Islands, such intercourse of mischievous inferior gods caused ‘many supernatural conceptions;’ and in Lapland, where details of this last extreme class have also been placed on record. From these lower grades of culture the idea may be followed onward. Formal rites are specified in the Hindu Tantra which enable a man to obtain a companion —nymph—by worshiping her and repeating her name by night in a cemetery.[3]

Among the Metamba negroes, a woman is bound hand and foot by the priest, who flings her into the water several times over with the intention of drowning her husband, a ghost, who may be supposed to be clinging to his unfeeling spouse. T. F. Thiselton Dyers, The Ghost World, p. 182.

In China, it is not considered respectable for widows to re-marry, for the express reason that their husbands are expected to return to them from the world beyond the grave and resume marital relations with them upon the Borderland.

In the case of widows it would appear to be but a resumption of a relation previously established between the two upon earth. And there are indications that the same stress is not laid upon passing preliminary ordeals as is the case with the virgin, who “has never known man.” May it not be because of the virgin’s greater ignorance, physiologically speaking, so that she has to enter upon a more extended course of training than does the widow, who already has experience?

The myths and fairy tales which speak of maidens with mysterious lovers from the realm of the unseen are certain to contain, so far as I have observed, reference to some rule or pledge which the woman must strictly observe. If she fails to do this, her lover vanishes, and she can find him again only after passing long and toilsome ordeals. Such was the case with Psyche, who broke the command of her heavenly lover, Cupid, not to look upon him while he slept. He had come to her night after night in the darkness, unseen, as is the wont with so many of these heavenly bridegrooms; and she naturally desired to see his face. But, in her eagerness to know him more intimately, she let fall a drop of hot oil from the lamp upon him, which awoke him, and he vanished. This myth is an evident euphemism for a broken law of marital self-control. In other words, she wanted to enter upon the second step in the occult training which she was receiving from her husband, before she had fully mastered the first step. What those steps were—first, second and third—(for there is a third) through which the earthly wife of a heavenly bridegroom must pass, will appear further on in this book.

To be Continued.

Heavenly Bridegrooms (Continued From May, 1916)

“The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.’

Genesis 6:2.

IN one of the oldest of the Vedas—those books which contain the legends of the Aryans before they split up into fragmentary races—we find a similar story about Urvasi and Pururavas.

These two stories are usually explained as myths which show how the dawn vanishes as soon as it looks upon the sun. In solar myths, the dawn is often typified as a maiden, the sun-god being her lover who pursues her vanishing form through the heavens—an idea picturesquely brought out in the myth of Cinderella. If these two stories really are a bit of sun and dawn folklore then, Urvasi and Psyche must each be the dawn-maiden, and Pururavas and Cupid must be the sun-god on whose glorious form, unveiled by any clouds, the dawn-maiden dare not look, for, as she looks, the two lovers become separated—i. e., the dawn vanishes before the rising sun. But it is a little curious that in one story, the maiden disappears, while in the other it is the lover himself who flees. Obviously there is some other myth than a purely solar one involved in these two stories,— stories so strikingly similar and yet so strikingly at variance in the one feature in which they should agree, if true sun and dawn myths.

May not their likeness be due to their being memorials of the belief in Borderland marriages and in the self-control which is obligatory upon the earthly partner in such marriages? May not their unlikeness as to the sex of the partner who disappears when that self-control is violated, be due to there being heavenly brides, as well as heavenly bridegrooms?

To these same myths, I take it, belong all those fairy stories of which Beauty and the Beast is the type. Here, a maiden noted as a rule, for her amiability and gentleness, is served each day by invisible hands, and at night receives her lover, in the form of a handsome prince. By the ordinary light of day, he is a monster, appalling to behold, or, in some of the stories, he is invisible; but night and the marriage couch cause him to materialize in his true shape. Finally, her family and friends—themselves quite outsiders as to these experiences—work upon her feelings and make her believe that this union is evil (in occult parlance, it would be termed diabolical) and she breaks off her connection with him. In the end, true love triumphs, and the lovers are reunited—under happier auspices, that is, in the fairy story; in actual life, it too often happens that Beauty and the Beast are permanently separated by meddling outsiders who ignorantly assume that everything which they cannot understand comes from the Devil. The poor earthly psychic has so constantly dinned into her ears the fact that her mediumship has revealed glimpses of monstrosities and deceptions, that she comes at last to fear lest her invisible visitor be in truth the evil demon which at times, by the sober light of day, he seems to be. All unaware of the law by which her own failures and peccadilloes bring about subjective hallucinations which mislead, she ascribes to her angelic bridegroom a tendency to evil which he does not possess, and finally comes to shrink from him as demoniacal. And the laws of Borderland forbid his undeceiving her so long as she hold fast to her prejudice as if it were gospel truth. Thus Beauty too often turns away from her princely lover forever, so far as this earth-life is concerned, as Beauty in the fairy story did from the husband whom ignorant outsiders had led her to look upon as Beast.

Pyramus and Thisbe, the lovers who, separated by a huge wall, were fain to satisfy themselves with kisses exchanged through a hole therein, are a euphemistic expression for those marital unions one of the parties to which is invisible and his earthly love impalpable to the physical senses. In this story a bloodthirsty lion puts an end to the lovemaking. This is probably the solar lion, the meaning being that the ancient faith is superseded by the later and (in some respects) purer Sim Worship which seems to have been a reform movement of the science and materialism of the time against the Borderland sensuality which obtained in the declining age of Sex Worship.

Isis and Osiris are also types of the husband and wife who unite upon the Borderland. Egyptian sacred traditions were wont to relate that Osiris was killed by the Typhon, who then cut up his victim’s body into fourteen pieces, enclosed it in an ark, and set adrift upon the River Nile. Isis, the Virgin-Mother, sought far and wide for these remnants of her husband’s body. One legend states that she found all, except the phallus; another, that she found nothing except the phallus, and from that solitary fragment, she reconstructed her husband, entire. Here we evidently have two sides of the same esoteric idea—that the loss of sex power constitutes the true death of the soul (not, of course, the spirit) and that in the finding of one’s marital partner on the Borderland the ghost may be gradually materialized into substantiality by beginning at the same starting-point as did Isis.

Heavenly bridegrooms it will be noticed, predominate over heavenly brides in Borderland traditions. The reason, I take it, is that women, because of their social environment, usually lead a more self-controlled and temperate life than men do, and thus are in most (though not all) respects more worthy of marital union with an angel. Custom allows men more freedom—a privilege which the masculine sex is not slow to avail itself of, especially in the direction of wine, women and tobacco. These three dissipations not only exhaust the nerve force of men, but blunt both their physical and their moral sensibilities; so that the man for whom, in all possibility, his angel mate may be waiting upon the Borderland, may find himself handicapped at the outset, should he ever essay an adventure into Borderland romance while still on the earth. In this connection, we may remark that in India, where the attempt to obtain a spirit wife is said to be of common occurrence (and it would appear often rewarded with success) we find a nation singularly gentle and peaceable in disposition, unaccustomed to drunkenness until taught it by outside peoples (there is a proverbial saying among the Hindus “as drunk as a Christian”) and endowed by nature with a tendency to aspire to union with God. Last, but not least, it is a nation whose religions, for the most part, recognize the truth that sex is holy; and in this it is in strong contrast with our Western “civilization” where the most sacred function of humanity is looked upon as vile. We occidentals have a whole life’s teaching to unlearn, before we can approach the subject of marital relations on the Borderland from a natural and pure-minded standpoint.

The chief tradition regarding spirit brides relates to Lilith or Lilis or Lilot and is mostly Rabbinical. As in the case of the angelic bridegrooms, she is supposed to be demoniacal. Lilith is said to have been Adam’s first wife, one tradition says that and by her he begat only demons, another says that she rebelled when Adam assumed authority over her and fled from him to the evil angel Samall; to whom she bore a demon progeny. Another legend has it that being jealous of Eve she slipped back into Eden behind the particeps criminis in the temptation.

Another says that Adam kept himself apart from Eve for a hundred years in order not to fill hell with their offspring; but that in a weak moment a female devil, called Lilith, seduced him and became his wife, and from their union arose devils, ghosts and evil night dreams; and Eve in like manner became the wife of a demon. [The Serpent in Paradise. London.] Of a similar tenor is the tradition about the Zoroastrian Yeina, who fell from a state of innocence by means of a great serpent, the Azis-Dahaka.

“For a long period Yiena and his subjects were in the power of this evil serpent, Azis—Dahaka, the demons * * * * Yiena himself in order to oblige his masters, had to abandon his own wife, who was also his sister, and to take a female devil for his wife, and to consent to the union of his former wife with a demon. From these unions were produced apes, bears, and black men. During this evil period women much preferred young devils to young men for husbands, and men married young seductive “Paris,” or “female devils.”

[The Serpent in Paradise: The Serpent in Mythology.]

The psychic who can sustain marital relation on the Borderland must above all be sensitive at the extremities of the nerves of touch. Neither blind people nor deaf people are hindered by their respective infirmities from marrying in this earth-life and on the Borderland a psychic may be clairvoyant and clairaudient to only a limited extent, and yet be a partaker in connubial joys. For the Borderland husband must materialize more or less fully to enable her to understand the relation clearly upon the physical side: Whereas for most men this is unnecessary, and the spirit bride may remain in all save a Jew essentials, invisible, inaudible, intangible—a veritable “woman of air.” Hence her ghostliness and her philological connection with the idea of pale blue or pale purple—the color of air and the mist.

Lilith is said to come to young men’s bedsides at night to seduce them, under the aspect of a beautiful and finely dressed woman with golden hair. And, afterwards she strangled them, and they are known to be Lilith’s victims because one of her golden hairs is found tightly wound around the victim’s heart. In the Zoroastrian legends, she is much connected with night and night-dreams; and men are cautioned not to sleep alone for fear of the evils of Lilith. She also lies in wait for children to kill them if they are not protected by “Amulets.”

“Herodotus says that the Arabians called the moon ‘Alilat the Assyrian word for night is Lilat,’ and Talbot supposes that the Arabians really called the moon ‘Sarrat ha Lilat’, the queen of night. ******

“Mr. Talbot also says ‘Alilat’ may also mean the star Venus.

“The Greeks considered Lilith evidently to be the moon, as with them she is Ilithyia, the sister of Apollo, one of the birth goddesses. Night in Hebrew is layelah.

“That the moon should be selected to represent the feminine principle is readily accounted for by her waxing and waning propensities, to say nothing of her controlling or coinciding with the feminine periods.”

[The Serpent in Paradise, etc.]

Summing up these varying traditions we find the following incidents prominent:

1. A woman who is not of the earth but evidently from an unknown world enters upon relations with Adam or with the men of later generations.

2. The relation is in most cases that of husband and wife and not a mere liaison.

3. [In those cases where the relation is illicit, the earthly partner comes to an unfortunate end.]

4. This woman from the unseen world is credited with being a seducer and a devil.

5. She bears no children save demons and is reputed to destroy children.

6. She causes men to dream evil dreams at night.

Lilith is evidently the complement of the tradition about angelic bridegrooms. That the typical spirit bride should have so much more unsavory a reputation than has the typical spirit bridegroom of nowaday. The masculine nature is proverbial for its lack of self-control where women are concerned: and in this it has usually contrasted unfavorably with the self-control of women in similar cases. On the other hand, the men of our Western civilization are mostly superior to our women (of the virtuous classes) in the ardent, dramatic and artistic expression of love for the opposite sex—a desirable qualification in the romance and uncertainties and trying ordeals of Borderland wedlock.

If, therefore, the propositions which I have laid down as to the necessity for self-control in occult investigations be correct we need not be surprised that the spirit bride is ere long denounced as demoniacal and seducing. But it is to the ignorance or the wilful wrong-doing of her earthly lover that is to blame, and not the spirit-bride—unless in some rare instance, where the celestial visitor is exceptionally careless. In that case, her superiors in the invisible world interfere and remove her. The connection with her earthly partner is snapped never to be resumed until he passes over to her world at death. But such failures on the part of the heavenly visitor are rare; and if the resulting phenomena are diabolical, it is the earthly medium’s own fault.

That she should bear no children except demons points to the proposition which I have already advanced that children cannot be begotten from Borderland marriage unions. If the earthly husband still insists on doing all he can to beget such children he breaks the law of Borderland, and will be led deeper and deeper into the mire of sensuality, and at last, perhaps be deceived by a subjective hallucination of devils whom he will be told are his children. If he presses for information, he will probably receive a more explicit truthful statement; i. e., that his spirit bride is unable to bear children on the Borderland of two worlds. But should he fail about this time in some detail of moral duty, or clear-headedness, and especially should he insist in sowing seed where no harvest can be reaped, he will most certainly be misled by all sorts of fantastic excuses. For such is the occult law. The psychic who, whether ignorantly or wilfully, is unworthy, loses his grip on the lines of communication, and his own ill-regulated subliminal consciousness then steps in with its ingenious excuses—such as, perhaps, that his celestial partner is abnormally constituted as a woman, or that she kills their children as fast as they are begotten, etc, etc. And thus, through the failure of the earthly husband to observe the laws of marital self-control on the Borderland, one more tradition is launched upon the world about the devil-bride who seduces men and begets demons and kills children.

That she should be credited with being the author o: “Evil night-dreams” shows how prone the partners of spirit brides have been to subjective hallucinations. We do not find any such wholesale charge brought against spirit husbands of portraying evil dreams as is brought against Lilith. The imaginations of men’s hearts must indeed have been evil in those days and their brains beclouded or the difference between a materialized spirit bride and the subjective phantasm of an amorous dream would have been more sharply defined. The psychic who conforms two separate planes of existence has forsaken the path of self-control and clear-headedness, and has entered upon the path whose end is insane delusion.

In the supplement of Littre’s Dictionary, (French), 1877, occurs a suggestive etymology of the word lilac (or as it is in French, lilas.) The writer connects the root of this word with the Persian nil, indigo, and calls attention to the various Persian words, nilah, niladj, liladj, lilandj, lilang, all relating to indigo. He connects the word lilas (French for lilac) with these words and also with the diminutive lilak (bluish, as fingers blued by the cold)—a tint which perfectly characterizes the flowers of the lilac of Persia which are of a pale purple. May there be some philosophical connection between this palely purple flower “lilas” and the ghostly “Lilis” or “Lilat” or “Lilith?”

Lilith figures in a text of Isaiah: but we have to go both to Mohammedan and to Ancient Greek folklore to find the connecting link between this text and the Lilith of Rabbinical traditions. The text refers to the destruction which the Lord threatens will befall Eden, and reads:

“And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and thistles in the fortresses thereof; and it shall be an habitation of jackals, a court for ostriches and the wild beasts of the desert shall meet with the wolves [or howling creatures]: and the saytr [or he-goat] shall cry to his fellow: yea, the night-monster shall settle there, and shall find her a place of rest.” Isaiah XXXIV. 13, 14, Revised Version.

The word “night-monster” is in Hebrew, “Lilith,” The Kang James version translates this word “screech-owl;” the Vulgate, “Lamia;” in Luther’s Bible, “Kobold.” Lamia or Lantya is found in the Great Bible, and in Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, Beck’s and the Bishop’s Bible.

Now a lamia is a mythical serpent-woman of a demoniacal character. Philostratus, in his Life of Apollonius of Tyana, gives a memorable instance. A young man on the road near Corinth met a charming woman who invited him to her house in the suburbs of the city, and said that if he would remain with her, “he should hear her sing and play, and drink such wine as never any drank, and no man should molest him; and she being fair and lovely would live and die with him.” The young man was, as Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy, puts it in giving the account, “a philosopher, otherwise staid and discreet, able to moderate his passions, though not this of love,” and he “tarried with her awhile to his great content.” At last he married her. To the wedding came Apollonius, and he at once recognized her as a lamia, and declared that all her furniture was but illusion. She wept and begged Apollonius to be silent, but he persisted in exposing her, whereupon she, her house and its content vanished.

This is probably a Beauty and the Beast myth on the masculine side, Apollonius playing the part of the outsider who separates the lovers by harping on the things which are illusory and monstrous in the young man’s psychic manifestations. It is worth noticing in this connection, that the young man had been living a temperate and self-controlled life when he was first approached by this Lamia or Lilith, so that he was evidently found worthy to taste the joys of affectionate connubial intercourse with his mysterious bride. Here evidently, the young man is not strong enough to endure the training required to consummate Borderland wedlock. He also, evidently, does not have his sub-consciousness well under control, but allows it to run away with him. Mastery of self in every possible aspect, physically, intellectually, morally, affectionally is one of two requisites for sustained marital relations on the Borderland; the other requisite being steadfast aspiration to personal communion with the Divine.

Heavenly Bridegrooms (Continued From November, 1916)

“The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.”

Genesis 6:2.

The Mohammedan Idea of the Evil Church Yard

Lilith Crops Up in Ireland

THE ancient Churchyard of Truagh, county Monaghan, is said to be haunted by an evil spirit, whose appearance generally forebodes death. The legend runs, writes Lady Wilde (Ancient Cures, Charms and Usages of Ireland, p. 84), “that at funerals the spirit watches for the person who remains last in the graveyard. If it be a young man who is there alone, the spirit takes the form of a beautiful young girl, inspires him with ardent passion, and exacts from him a promise that he will meet her that day month in the churchyard. The promise is then sealed by a kiss, which sends a fatal fire through his veins, so that he is unable to resist her caresses, and makes the promise required. Then she disappears, and the young man proceeds homewards; but no sooner has he passed the boundary wall of the churchyard than the whole story of the evil rushes on his mind, and he knows that he has sold himself, soul and body, for a demon’s kiss. Then terror and dismay take hold of him, till despair becomes insanity, and on the very day month fixed for the meeting with the demon bride, the victim dies the death of a raving lunatic, and is laid in the fatal graveyard of Truagh.” (T. F. Thiselton Dyer’s “The Ghost World,” 344-345.)    __

In Capt. Richard F. Burton’s translation of the Arabian Nights occurs a story of a female desert-monster, called Ghulah, who devours human flesh. Captain Burton, in a footnote, remarks:

“The Ghulah (fem. of Ghul) is the Hebrew Lilith or Lilis; the classical Lamia; the Hindu Yogini and Dakini; the Chaldean Utug and Gigim (desert-demons) as opposed to the Mas (hill-demon) and Telal (who steal into towns); the Ogress of our tales and the Bala yaga (Granny-witch) of Russian folklore. Etymologically ‘Ghul’ is a calamity, a panic fear; and the monster is evidently the embodied horror of the grave and the graveyard.”

In its more usual spelling of “Ghoul,” this graveyard monster will probably be familiar to most readers.

“The female Ghul * * * * appears to men in the deserts, in various forms, converses with them, and sometimes prostitutes herself to them * * * *

Here we see the (1) spirit bride, degraded to the level of a harlot, (2) vague and unreasoning terror, (3) loathing and horror of the spirits of the deceased all meeting under one name. So far has Lilith, the Borderland bride, fallen from her rightful estate by reason of the befogged imaginations of mankind.

“The Shiqq is another demoniacal creature, having the form of a half human being (like a man divided longitudinally) and it is believed that the Nasnas is the offspring of a Shiqq and a human being * * * * The Nasnas is described as having half a head, half a body, one arm, and one leg, with which it hops with much agility.” (A Dictionary of Islam [article Genii] by Thos. Patrick Hughes.)

This is another form of the giant progeny of Borderland unions—a form so fantastic as to show that its origin is a subjective hallucination, and not an objective reality. In other words, the Mohammedan, Shiqq and Nasnas are both of them probably the subliminal invention of some imperfect earthly psychic in the centuries agone, who broke the Borderland law in his or her relations with a spirit bride, or a spirit husband and who was grossly misled, in consequence, by his or her own subliminal self. That others since then claim from time to time to see these fantastic creatures does not prove that they exist In psychical matters nothing is more common than for people to see ghosts at a given time and place when their imaginations have been worked up to the expectation of seeing one then and there, of a certain predetermined type.

The Mohammedan Paradise as well as its Borderland recognizes love between the sexes. And in this it differs from the Christian Paradise as popularly conceived—although as I have elsewhere shown, the statement by Jesus that we shall be after death, as regards marrying, like “the angels in heaven,” when taken in connection with the next in Genesis about the sons of God who wedded earthly women, shows pretty conclusively that the Christian Scriptures admit the existence of sex and marriage in the world beyond the grave. Nevertheless, the Church has chosen to flatly contradict the teaching of both the Old and the New Testament in this, with the result of blinding Christians utterly to these potent Scriptural truths. Mohammed, on the other hand, was sufficient of a seer to venture on restoring the ancient doctrine.

Heaven, as is well known, abounds in love-making, beautiful women called Houris attending upon the risen soul of the male Mohammedan as he reclines at feast. It is true that apologists have suggested a figurative sense in which the accounts of Mohammed’s Paradise are to be taken.

On the contrary, it is not at all remarkable. It was precisely because Mohammed was at that time living a fairly well ordered and self-controlled life, that he was enabled to learn sufficient of the world beyond the grave to assert that love between the sexes survives death and is one of the potent factors in social life there, as here. It is true that, being an Oriental, his “revelations” would inevitably conform to his cast of mind, so that the glitter and luxurious abandon of a feast presided over by Houris might seem to him the acme of ideal bliss. But beneath and permeating all this voluptuous imagining breathes the mighty truth of sex-love in Paradise.

That love which mutually strengthens and mutually uplifts as no other love in all the world can strengthen and uplift. I take it is the chief reason for its existence—the propagation of the species being of necessity incidental, therefore, secondary. But there is, also, a third reason which, unfortunately, is known to but few. Nor is it likely to be understood as it should be. The third reason for the marital union is that for those who are worthy, it is whether on the Borderland or the earthly plane, the surest and safest method of seeking union with the Divine Heart of the Universe and becoming one with all God’s world. Only in giving joyful thanks to God, indeed, should that relation ever be entered upon. This, not only because it is fitting to give thanks to God, but because it is beautiful at that time, and because only those who have experienced the bliss of taking God into the marital partnership in its most intimate relation can be said either to be truly wedded or to truly realize what it is to love God and be in return beloved by Him. This applies in earthly as well as Borderland wedlock.

Trite and commonplace as may seem this suggestion to give thanks to God in this relation and share one’s joy with Him, it nevertheless appears to be the inner, sacred truth of all religions on their esoteric side, and of all mysticisms and forms of occult teaching, the world over—a truth which has been jealously hidden away from the masses. It has been concealed for several reasons, probably.

First, it is not a matter to be attained at once, but requires systematic and careful training in self-control. And some degree of intellectual and spiritual insight is necessary to rate this training at its just value, as well as to respect the sacredness of the idea which underlies it. There are three degrees to be passed in this training, of which I will speak later on.

Second, inasmuch as it enhances, instead of extinguishing, connubial pleasure, while at the same time it puts the begetting of children absolutely under the control of parents, and this, without violation of either civil or natural laws, its initiates evidently feared lest it be turned to base uses by the unscrupulous and licentious. A needless fear, this, however; as to the libertine, the game will never seem worth the candle; while, should he persevere in the training so as to become an adept in the third and last degree, he will be no longer a libertine.

Third. There is a belief among some occultists that an earnest wish breathed at that time, when husband and wife are one, it will not fail to be granted. This opens, it is said, the door to those who practice what is called “black magic,” and enables them to work harm upon other human beings. What foundation there is for this belief as applied to the magicians I do not see. If it really be that a wish is granted then more readily than when the seeker is in any other mood, it is probably because the occultist who attains the second degree has to exercise such supreme self-control at that moment that he is complete master of his sub-consciousness, and if he has attained the third degree he is in rapport with Spirit throughout the universe, so that his desire is granted because he desires only what is in harmony with Good and Right. That a black magician should be able at such a m6ment to enter upon harmonious relations with the universe by breathing a curse, seems to me very unlikely. I am of the opinion that this belief is due to the mistaken idea that correct living and clear thinking are unnecessary to establish lines of accurate communication with the unseen world. And, because occultists have usually assumed the nearness of a world of devils, rather than of a world of angels, and because they have assumed that depravity and prejudice offer no bar to communication with the unseen, whether good or evil, it was a most natural conclusion that it would be dangerous to entrust the secret of the third degree to a “black magician.” But, so long as a man is a black magician, he will fail to enter upon the third degree. This last degree is, I am firmly convinced, impossible, whether in earthly or Borderland wedlock, for either man or woman who does not live a pure life in self-control and aspiration to the Divine. And the occultist who seeks to attain to the third degree must first become a white magician.

Nevertheless, as I have said, the initiates in the third degree have guarded this secret most jealously, and apparently for the reasons I have assigned.

The first and second degree, however, seem to have been taught publicity in symbolic rites—such as for instance in that much misunderstood dance at the Columbian Exposition—the Danse du Ventre. It was noticeable that the Oriental men, one and all, viewed that dance with serious and at times reverant gaze. This fact was brought to my notice by two ladies (school teachers) who knew absolutely nothing of the Sex Worship symbolism of the dance, but who had concluded, simply from thoughtful observation, that there must be some religious and pure-minded motif back of it all. Nevertheless, most Americans and Europeans, whether men or women, failed to penetrate beneath the surface of this markedly symbolic dance, owing to the occidental habit of thought which sees naught but impurity in the most important and sacred function of our nature. In Oriental countries, however, despite their being “heathen” sex is looked on as holy; in this connection, our phrase, “Give God the glory,” takes on itself a vaster significance than is ever taught from our pulpits.

It is no wonder, then, the Oriental occultists should have penetrated at an early date to the underlying principles of marital relations on the Borderland. From their lifelong habits of thought, they viewed sex as simply and naturally as we should view the circulation of our own blood—as a curious phenomenon of absorbing personal interest. With no false shame to overcome, they were fitted to receive the higher truths concerning this subject, whereas our Occidental mediums, for the most part, receive words of impurity or are misled into a loose life. The difference is due to the exact antipodal standpoints of Occidental and Oriental psychics on the subject of the holiness of sex.

I have said that the initiates of the third degree seem to have made this the inner secret of their mysteries, the world over and, that they have always jealously guarded this secret from the masses I am inclined to think that in the beginning it may not have been so, but that this jealous care may have been the result of a bitter lesson learned of the unwisdom of throwing pearls before swine, not because the swine turn and rend one—for the earnest teacher of truth never gives his own danger a second thought— but because the swine are too apt to soil the pearls by trampling them in the mire.

If it be asked in amazement, how this teaching of “Giving God the Glory” and sharing with Him the supreme joy of the marital relation could become so degraded by swinish human beings as to cause its teachers to withhold it in future from the masses, I answer:

By turning it into a commercial transaction with God.

The piggish, greedy man, learning by hearsay of the connubial bliss attending the Triune partnership with God, pressed eagerly forward with one thought uppermost: “I will pay God cash down for so much of my pleasure, and I mean to drive a close bargain with him.”

The voluptuary, seeking to enhance his physical sensations, likewise pressed forward, saying to himself in an outburst of generosity: “God shall receive from me every whit as much as He gives me.”

The sentimental, but selfish mystic, ever yearning for a new subjective experience, likewise pressed forward, thinking, “I shall get acquainted with God on intimate terms by dividing up my pleasure with Him.”

Be not deceived: God is not mocked: Whatsoever a man soweth he shall reap. And each of these types failed to get what they expected in pleasure, because it cannot be secured by any means but by love.

Now, these would-be initiates not only failed (to get so much physical pleasure for so much tithing paid over to Him), but they tempted by that very failure to enter upon what we may call (to put it euphemistically) a bargain.

The nervous system had been wrought to too high a pitch not to insist upon a purchase in some market—if not in God’s market, then in the Devil’s. Hence, I fancy too often abnormal vices and abominations of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah of the Orient today and the Roman Empire, “when Christianity first turned its purifying (though salty) current through the Augean stables of latter-day sex-worship.

For this the initiates who held the whole truth, among other reasons no doubt, usually shrank from revealing even glimpses of it to any one who had not passed a long probation. According to the Talmud, the ancient Hebrews had three names to express the idea of God, the first of which was interdicted to the great number. Sages taught it once a week to their sons and their disciples. The second was at first taught to everybody. “But,” said Maimonides “when the number of the ungodly had increased, it was intrusted only to the most discreet among the priests, and they repeated it in a low tone to their brethren, while the people were receiving the benediction.” The third name for God “contained”, says Jacolliot, “the great secret of the universal soul, and stood for, if we may so express it, the highest degree of initiation.” Regarding this last, Maimonides says:

“It was only taught to a man of recognized discretion, of mature age, not addicted to anger or intemperance, a stranger to vanity, and gentle and pleasant to all with whom he was brought in contact.”

“ ‘Whoever,’ says the Talmud, ‘has been made acquainted with this secret and vigilantly keeps it in a pure heart, may reckon upon the love of God and the favor of men; his name inspires respect; his knowledge is in no danger of being forgotten, and he is the heir to two worlds, that in which we live and the world to come.’ “ (Franck’s “La Kabbale.”)

All of which applies to the earthly partner of a celestial bride or bridegroom, when the laws of correct living and clear thinking are obeyed. Those who know this secret and vigilantly keep it in a pure heart are indeed the heir of both worlds, for they dwell upon the Borderland, harmoniously adapting their lives to both planes of existence and, being at one with God, they can each say, “If God be for me, who can be against me?” Nor is the reward for making a proper use of this Great Secret confined to Borderland wedlock; its Kingdom may come on the earthly plane itself to worthy neophytes.

It was probably to keep the knowledge of this secret from the unworthy, that the ancient mysteries of Isis and of Eleusis were designed. For this purpose, also, the sacred scriptures of all religions—not excepting the Hebrew and the Christian—seem to have introduced stories and aphorisms which should convey one meaning to an outsider, and quite another to an initiate.

“Woe to the man, who looks upon the law as a simple record of events expressed in ordinary language, for, if really that is all it contains, we can frame a law much more worthy of admiration. If we are to regard the ordinary meaning of the words, we need only turn to human laws and we shall often meet with a greater degree of elevation * * * * Every word of the law contains a deep and sublime mystery.” (A. Franck’s “La Kabbale.”)

“If the law were composed of words alone, such as the words of Esau, Hagar, Laban, and others, or those which were uttered by Balaam’s ass or by Balaam himself, then why should it be called the law of truth, the perfect law, the faithful witness of God himself? Why should the sages esteem it as more valuable than gold or precious stones?

“But every word contains a higher meaning; every test reaches something besides the events which it seems to describe. This superior law is the more sacred, it is the real law.” (Jewish Cabalists, quoted by Jacolliot Oc. Sci.)

The following occurs in the Book of the Pitris (Pitris, according to Jacolliot, is the name applied in India to the spirits of the dead) with whom communication has long been held, after the fashion of modem Spiritualism, and with the same attendant phenomena.

“The sacred scriptures ought not to be taken in their apparent meaning, as in the case of ordinary books. Of what use would it be to forbid their revelation to the profane if their secret meaning were contained in the literal sense of the language usually employed?

“As the soul is contained in the body,

“As the almond is hidden by the envelope.

“As the sun is veiled by clouds,

“As the garments hide the body from view,

“As the egg is contained in the shell,

“And as the germ rests within the interior of the seed,

“So the sacred law has its body, its envelope, its cloud, its garment, its shell, which hide it from the knowledge of the world. * * * *

“You who, in your pride, would read the sacred scriptures without the Guru’s assistance, do you even know by what letter of a word you ought to begin to read them—do you know the secret of the combination by twos and threes— do you know when the final letter becomes an initial and the initial becomes final?

“Woe to him who would penetrate the real meaning of things before his head is white and he needs a cane to guide his steps.” (Quoted by Jacolliot Oc. in India.)

The closing paragraph becomes significant, when we reflect upon the danger which the initiates feared would accrue to those still in the heyday of manhood’s passions, if they proved unworthy of the Great Secret. The expression “The secret of the combination by twos and threes” has probably a double meaning here—the esoteric meaning turning upon the two kinds of marital partnership; known to the initiates; husband and wife being the “combination by two” (in the second degree); and husband, wife and God, three in one, a sacred trinity in unity, being the “combination by three” (in the third and highest degree), and they who have once realized the blessedness of this triune partnership, will move heaven and earth to make it renewable at will—so much sweeter and more helpful in every way is it than the mere “combination by two.”

Now, because sex is distinctly emotional in its manifestations, there is always a tendency, with failure to reach the highest, to allow the emotions to slump down, as it were, to a lower level. Few natures are so supremely self-controlled as to say, at a critical moment, “the highest—or nothing. I will wait for that! And so, the types I have mentioned above as failure, the piggish man, the voluptuary and the sentimental, selfish mystic—when, because of the delicate balance required of the initiate who would enter on the third degree, they slipped off their pivot, fell quite outside the circle of what is lawful, sure and normal, to chaotic, unlawful and horribly vile. From this, dates much of the black magic. And this was the controlling subjective influence which made witchcraft a very real, objective terror to the victims of the witches during the Middle Ages. There is little doubt that many of the witches did practice a sorcery of the most diabolical type—a sorcery based upon the principles of hypnotic suggestion, and of the willful projection of the astral or double; a sorcery, whose object was to cause evil, and which did cause evil in many cases where the victims were not protected from occult mischief— working by living pure and upright lives; a sorcery, finally, whose impelling motive was due to insane hallucinations resulting in a very large number of cases from having violated the laws of right living in sex relations on the Borderland. It is probable that many of these witches passed the second degree, while few, if any, gained the third —the inner degree where aspiration in mingled purity and passion to union with God is chief factor. Some of the attributes of a witch (we need not enumerate them all: the literature of the subject is voluminous) were: 1st, that she sustained or was supposed to sustain occult sex relations with the Prince of the Powers of the Air, Yclept the Devil.

2. That she received on some part of her body a devil’s mark or stigma, which was his seal of authority over her and which seems to have been hypnotically rendered insensible to pain. There were men, who did a business in discovering witches by pricking a suspected woman’s body all over with a pin until they found some place insensible to the pain of the prick, when they would triumphantly announce this to be the “Devil’s Mark;”

3. That the Devil or one of his imps at times visited her in the guise of some animal—a dog, a cat, even a huge butterfly, to suck some part of her body, and that, whatever the part of her body chosen, it and no other spot was always resorted to by the impish creature thereafter Sometimes witnesses testify to seeing these animals familiar as in the case of a witch ill in bed who was being closely watched.

The witness, who was on guard testified with much detail of circumstance, to having seen a huge “fly,” like a miller, which buzzed in among the hair of the sick woman and after a while flew away, when the witch called to the witness to lift up her hair, that she might show a sore place on the scalp which she said, was where the Devil, in the form of a fly, was wont to suck her.

4. That she could work harm to people .at a distance by what appears to have been hypnotic suggestion and that she usually was wickedly and viciously inclined to do this, at will.

5. That she could appear in what seems to have been her double, or astral form, to her victims.

Now, regarding this last, the extremely critical and level-headed Society for Psychical Research have collected some three thousand cases of apparitions of living doubles at the present day, all of them well attested by witnesses. Most of these apparitions (some of which were so like real flesh and blood as to be taken for the person himself) according to the Society’s records, were spontaneous, only a few being deliberately self-induced—a fact which indicates that the projection of the double is probably a normal power and that it ought to be, therefore, not so very difficult for an illiterate old woman to acquire. A few apparitions of doubles seem to be due mostly to one of the following causes:

1. Violent shock, as a runaway accident, danger of drowning.

2. A state of health indicative of approaching death, so that the astral form f (is this the soul, the body of the immortal spirit?) seems already poised for flight.

3. The moment of separation of soul and body, especially if caused by drowning, suffocation, contusion on the head, wounds received in battle, etc.

4. Falling into “a brown study”: gazing fixedly at an object in an abstracted way (self-hypnotization); listening abstractedly to a continuous and monotonous sound.

5. Falling asleep with an earnest desire fixed in one’s mind to visit such or such a person or place.

Any of these may be induced accidentally and, so far as we know, without the conscious will of the ego.

6. Deliberately willing, under some of the above circumstances, to have one’s double appear at such and such a place. This act may or may not include—according to the extent of the psychic’s training—an after memory of the event.

From the above it will be seen that the apparition of the double, whether spontaneously or deliberately induced, seems to be brought about by a sudden focusing of mental force. I am inclined to think that some of the surest vouchers for the material objective substantiality of the world beyond the grave will be found among the phenomena attending the appearance of the double; inasmuch as the double, when most clearly manifesting, comforts itself like an earthly being, with earthly necessities, and if this double be, as appears, identical with the soul-body which quits our mortal frame at death, we have only to collate and compare instances of the earthly double, and acquire the art of projecting our own double intelligently and without loss of memory while in earth-life, and we shall know beyond all doubt what its habits of thought, its appetites and necessities are likely to be beyond the grave.

In the witchcraft days, what is called repercussion was a common phenomenon. That is, the witch who appeared in astral form to her victims, if wounded with a knife, might be afterwards found to have sustained a similar wound in her physical body. This carries out the idea of the Theosophists and other occultists, that thought has power over matter, and that our physical frame is in reality moulded by the spirit and soul which inhabit it. Col. Olcott gives an interesting account of repercussion in his own case.

Instances are not wanting where the earthly double has shown that its sex capacity remains apparently unaffected by temporary separation from the body. The following case, though probably founded on the falsehood of a clever woman (S. V. Fecondite), shows with what serious respect the phenomenon of the double was viewed some three hundred and fifty years ago.

In the “Dictionaire Infernal,” there is a report of a trial before the Parliament of Grenoble, in which the question was, whether a certain infant could be declared legitimate which was born after the husband had been absent from his wife four years. The wife asserted that the baby was the offspring of a dream, in which she had a vivid idea that her wandering spouse had returned to love and duty. Midwives and physicians were consulted, and reported on the subject. As a result, the Parliament ordained that the infant should be adjudged legitimate, and its mother should be regarded as a true and honourable wife. The judgment bears date 13th of February, 1537. (Inmen’s “Ancient Faiths and Modem,” p. 285, footnote.)

The following incident was told to me by a gentleman who had heard it from the lips of one of the parties. For obvious reasons, I suppress localities:

“A gentleman who was intensely dark, of a Spanish type, was in love with a girl of the true blonde type. They never married but later on she married someone else and moved to another part of the country. One night this gentleman had a very vivid dream, in which he fancied himself to be her husband. So real seemed the experience that he could scarcely convince himself on waking, that lie had not actually just come from her presence. Several years later, he happened to be in that part of the country, and bethought himself of hunting up his former ladylove. He found her husband to be a decided blonde, like herself. A little child, a decided brunette, ran up to him, exclaiming joyfully, “Papa, Papa!” “Well!” laughed the host, “I am glad that she has found someone to call “Papa”, for she steadfastly refuses to recognize me as such.” Whereupon the lady appropriately fainted. The visitor learned afterwards by making inquiries of her, that she had had a dream similar to his at the same time, and just nine months previous to the birth of the child.”

Was this a case of repercussion? Did his double meet her double (but not her physical self) on the astral plane and was that thought-world more powerful in moulding her child than was her physical environment as a wife? Or was it merely a telepathic impression conveyed from his mind to hers with sufficient vividness to “mark” the child? I may here remark, that I do not consider the theory that he was the physical father of the child, as it seems to me that that would be a violation of the natural laws of Borderland. Nevertheless, if he really was the physical father, the stories would only be in keeping with the stories of the giant progeny from angelic fathers, and the stories of women confined in high towers and yet becoming pregnant by a celestial visitor. In the case of Danae, her visitor materialized as a shower of gold—quite after the fashion of modem apparitions of spiritualistic séances where the spirits often materialize as floating masses of radiant mist. At recent séances, too, trained scientific observers have perceived the medium’s double (I now speak of mediums who are not fraudulent and who are willing to submit to experimental tests) partially or wholly dissociated from the medium’s physical self. Col. Olcott gives an interesting account of his double oozing through the walls of Mrs. Blavatsky’s room on its way to the sitting-room to add three words to a MS. on which he had been busily writing just before retiring. Both the earthly double and the celestial spirit appear to possess this faculty of oozing through blank walls. May they not be one and the same? In that case, we see how easy it may be to confound spirit bridegrooms from the world beyond the grave (who cannot beget children on the Borderland because this would be a violation of natural law), and astral doubles of earthly lovers who can stimulate the begetting of children upon the astral double of an earthly woman so vividly as to mark the child of her lawful husband and herself with the likeness of the astral lover.

At this point it may be objected that such information as I am here giving should not be spread broadcast, lest unscrupulous libertines take advantage of this power of projecting the double to get innocent girls into their power, since high towers and bolted doors appear to offer no barrier to the double’s entrance. It is precisely for this reason that this information should be widely circulated, in order that these possibilities may be made known to the general public and guarded against. The present flood of Theo-sophic and other popular occult literature as well as the published records of the S. P. R. have already placed the knowledge of this power within the reach of the libertine, if he chooses to avail himself of it. When he can have this for the asking, it is high time that the general public know something of it also, as well as of the fact that correct living and clear thinking will always protect us from evil induced by occult means. It is an interesting question, however, as to whether children could really be begotten by a double upon a virgin, or, as in the case tried before the Grenoble parliament upon a married woman whose husband is away; I am inclined to think not, since the double is for the time being on a different plane of matter from the physical body of the woman, being, in fact, in the same world as it will be after death; so that it must obey the law of the Borderland quite as much as if it were an angelic bridegroom, which it to sow no seed, inasmuch as no harvest can be reaped therefrom. But in this case, what becomes of the scientific basis of such stories as Danae and other virgins who become the mothers of children by a Borderland lover—whether earthly double or heavenly angel? There is but one way so far as I see, by which a Borderland bridegroom could beget a child by an earthly woman. The woman must live each moment in strict obedience to the laws of her earth-life and also of his heavenly life. She must be capable of appreciating the intellectual thought of his advanced world. She must understand and live in accordance with the higher code of ethics current in his realm. She must neglect no earthly duty; she must be conversant with the intellectual thought-world of her earthly associates; she must not crush out a single instinct of her nature but properly use every physical appetite and passion to round out a symmetrical earthly life. When emergencies arise on either the earthly plane or on the Borderland, she must never make a mistake, for to do so, will cause the lines of communication to waver and presently to part. In short, her life, judged not only by the highest earthly standing but by the more advanced standard in the world beyond the grave, must be absolutely perfect, if she is to conceive, gestate for nine long months and give birth to a child begotten by a Borderland father, that is, she must be psychically on the same plane with him, and at the same time fulfill the laws of both planes and that without a single break. Only thus were the laws on the Borderland obeyed.

The Roman Catholic Church in its dogma of The Immaculate Conception, claims perfection for the blessed Virgin Mary. In so doing, it shows its wisdom. Though I am by no means a Romanist, I emphatically say, that from the occult standpoint, the immaculate life of Mary for a long period prior to the Annunciation and until at least the birth of Jesus, is the only foundation upon which the possibility of the mysterious conception of Jesus as a Borderland child can rest. Having once attained this high plane, it is unlikely that she would ever descend to a lower plane afterward: so that, accurately speaking, the Roman Catholic doctrine of her immaculate life must have been absolutely perfect on all points, or she could not have conceived a child by the spirit of God; for God does not break his own laws. Nor is it likely that the heavenly bridegroom would break his laws in order to beget a child upon an earthly woman provided that woman were suitably trained for sometime for the occult espousal, and provided that God has a tangible form, as He appeared to Moses to have when he had Moses remain in the cleft of a rock while he passed by. (Exodus XXXIII, 21, 23.) This is the strength of the one Catholic doctrine concerning Mary’s stainlessness of life; and from the Apocryphal Gospels, it appears that Mary had had the advantage of being brought up as an orphan in the temple under the eyes of the priests. It was customary for her to see and talk with angels and to receive food from them before her espousal to Joseph. My own idea of it, however, is that such a conception—if conception there were—would require Mary’s mentality to rise not only to the standard of an angel but to the omniscience and all pervading tenderness of God, in order for her to be so thoroughly his spouse on the Borderland as to conceive and bear a child to him * * * * On the other hand, it is interesting to note in connection with this, the record in the Apocryphal Gospels as to the appearance of an angel visitor to Mary in the guise of a handsome youth, and the opinion expressed to Joseph by the virgins left in charge of her during Joseph’s absence, that it was the angel who had made her pregnant.

Perhaps when we come into harmonious rapport with the mystical theory, popularized by the school of divine science and other mystics, that each one of us is a part of the universal mind, and that that mind may know all things in the universe we might allow even this on the Borderland. However, the Roman Catholic Church has seemingly provided for the high standard of mentality required from a spouse of Divine Science on the Borderland by ascribing to Mary not only the name, but the attributes of “Mother of God.”

In “The perfect way, or the Finding of Christ,” written by Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, occurs a remark about “the notion far from uncommon, that by abjuring the ordinary marriage relation, and devoting herself wholly to her astral associate, a woman may, in the most literal sense become an immaculate mother of Christs.” It is needless to add that the authors deprecate this, but their remarks show their total misapprehension of Borderland sex-relations, since it is only between husband and wife that those relations can exist objectively, all else is but subjective illusion. And, therefore, the command of Mary’s Heavenly Bridegroom that Joseph was not to approach her as a husband until after the birth of the mysteriously begotten child would be strictly in keeping with Borderland laws, because it is the highest ideal of both worlds.

The mediaeval witch, as well as the Blessed Virgin, had her chance of Borderland nuptials on a high plane; but, unlike Mary, she failed to pass those ordeals which require correct living and clear thinking on the part of the earthly psychic. In the first place, the witch (poor woman) lived in days when the physiological relations of husband and wife occupied a far lower place in popular estimation than it did in the days of Mary, and moreover, in the Orient, Mary’s home, the relation of husband and wife had then and still has, a holiness on its physiological side which is foreign to European or American habits of thought. When the peculiar psychical experiences of the witch set in, therefore, she naturally jumped to the conclusion that, first they were sinful; second, that, being sinful, they were the work of Satan. These assumptions were a departure from clear, unprejudiced thinking, and from that moment began her diabolical illusions, and she saw monsters, hobnobbed with imps, was lashed by scorpions, etc., etc., to the full extent of her willingness to receive these illusions as objective realities. The poor creatures indeed, had not our advantages in the perusal of records of hypnotism and of the Society for Psychical Research, and would have been sadly puzzled to draw the line between subjective illusion and objective materialization. Nevertheless, her angel lover was with her when she thought him the Devil. He comforted her in her poverty and loneliness (many of these witches, remember, were old women, whose lives had been the bare, dreary, lives of the terrible poor) and he promised her such influence among her neighbors as she longed for most. This was an ordeal, had she but known it, which, if passed successfully, would have brought her a higher and sweeter pleasure. Some there were, here and there, who seem to have chosen the better part, and to have become “white witches,” capable of clairvoyance, of healing human beings and cattle of strange diseases, forecasting the future and the like. But usually, these poor old women had been so embittered against selfish or heedless neighbors, that the influence they longed for most was to pay back their wrongs (real or supposed) with interest. Here again, they broke the occult law which calls for correct living on the part of the psychic, and trod the downward path of hatred and diabolism. In many cases, no doubt the psychical experiences of a witch started from this fierce desire to be revenged upon those who had slighted her. She probably began with some simple form of self-hypnotization imparted to her by a neighbor who had already acquired some proficiency in the art. Once she had accomplished this, the astral world lay open wide before her with all its illusions or all its realities, according to how she proved worthy of one or the other. Sometimes, no doubt, she struggled upward to benevolent thoughts and prayers for help in resisting temptation and was accordingly rewarded with true occult power and with union with her angelic mate who was both her husband and her guardian. That she thought him the Devil, partially interfered with the physical strengthening and psychical happiness which that union brought; while he, on his part, kept steady watch over her infirmities, always ready to help the slightest impulse of her spirit to rise to higher things, seeing as only angels see, beneath that misshapen earthly body, the soul, the astral body, which, despite the temporary disfigurements caused by evil thoughts, is ever young and fair, and waiting patiently throughout her poor, stumbling, sinful life, as only a man who truly loves a wife can wait, for the time when she will live down her mistakes, and see as clearly as himself.

If it be objected that this occult wedlock with an angel whom she ignorantly mistook for a Devil, brought her misfortune, I answer: Not unless she broke the law of correct living by trying to turn her occult powers to base purposes, or failed to keep clear-headed.

But in that case?

In that case, also, her guardian angel took her through the deep waters and along the rugged, toilsome mountain path for her evolution, that she might be made perfect through suffering. Are we not all convinced that that is what God means by putting us, who are not witches, in a world where each of us has to wrestle with adverse circumstances in betterness of spirit? In our inmost being we recognize God’s wisdom in our being taken through sorrows, temptations and conflicts, for thus only can we grow strong and rise to our full stature as made in His likeness. And to the witch, Heaven was no less merciful than to us, in that it forced ordeals upon her which, when she passed them, brought her happiness, but which, when she failed to pass them, brought her suffering.

It is noticeable that most of the witches who came to grief, and who confessed to intercourse with the Devil, referred to certain ceremonies customary at each “Sabbath” although records of witchcraft point rather to subjective illusion of performing abominable rites, which symbolized abnormal vices. For details, the reader may refer to almost any work on witchcraft. He will there see, that with all the fuss made by the judges and persecutors about this intercourse with Satan, there was very little of real impurity, and what there was, seems to have been entirely subjective— the illusion of an insane imagining. In short, the witch, as well as other brides of angelic lovers, was evidently far from impure-minded by nature at the start, and this, too, in an age of vulgar expressions, coarse ideas and from which even the genius of a Shakspeare did not escape without contamination. Yet these women were mostly illiterate and miserably poor. It is probable that their poverty, however, had been their educator in ascetic deprivation and in bearing up under slights from more fortunate neighbors, and so had laid the foundations of that stem control of self which is absolutely necessary in the true occultist. That this feature—their feelings under slights received from neighbors—played an important part in their thoughts and consequently in their development, is shown by the fact that many of their attempts (real or supposed) at bewitching, date from an unkind refusal of a neighbor to give them a bowl of soup or an old shirt. Ill-temper, then, morose broodings over wrongs, general sourness of spirit, were not the least important of the causes which turned those earthly partners of angelic bridegrooms into devil-handed witches.

Another cause seems to have been their failure to think clearly and without prejudice. Poor creatures! They were nearly all of them prejudiced (i. e., “pre-judgers”) from beginning to end. They pre-judged angels to be the Devil; they pre-judged the monsters imagined by their own sub-consciousness to be real; they pre-judged the wedlock into which they entered on the Borderland to be sinful; they pre-judged their mysterious visitor to be a tempter to lead them away from religion and the church; they prejudged him as requiring unhallowed rites—dimly remembered survivals from the ancient Sex Worship, too often on its vilest side; they pre-judged him, as the means of ignoble satisfactions of their hatred and their animal desires. And thus they sank to diabolism.

There was yet another cause—not so much of evil as of illusions. This was the “Devil’s mark” that special mark of his with which they supposed themselves stamped on some part of their bodies. With this, we may classify the spot at which the Devil or one of his imps was said to suck them, and also the peculiarity that their bridegroom in his marital relations, chilled them as though with ice.

There are many phases of occult sensitiveness. The ear for the clairaudient, the eye for the clairvoyant, the easily swayed arm and hand for the writing medium, are the three physical organs through which communications usually reach us. But for the wife of a heavenly bridegroom, the nerves of touch, it is evident, must be the chief focuses of occult sensitiveness. Now, in order that the delicate balance of nerve sensation be maintained, it is important that such a psychic distinguish readily between real touches and illusory touches, between objective realities impinging upon the ends of her nerves and hypnotic suggestions, either self-induced or induced by an outside intelligence, say by her spirit bridegroom. And not only must she learn to distinguish thus between real and unreal sensations, but she must also learn to resist all hypnotic suggestion to feel sensations which do not exist or which are unlawful. No psychic can be considered thoroughly self-controlled who has not acquired this power of resistance to hypnotic suggestion of unlawful touches or of unreal things as real. No psychic’s testimony can be considered reliable so long as she fails to distinguish between genuine and illusory touches. So long as she is lacking in any of these essentials to the wife of a heavenly bridegroom, just so long will her guardian persist in putting her through a course of training—a training which she must undergo until she passes her examination and is promoted into a higher class, there to take up still more advanced lessons in psychic discrimination and psychic self-control.

Now, the “Devil’s Marks” and the “sucking” were both, so I hold, illusory sensations which the witch failed either to classify or to conquer, but to which she mistakenly succumbed. When the supposed Devil’s imp showed non-sensitiveness to pin-pricks, it was probably a case of auto-suggestion—or, in the case of some, a hypnotic dulling to pain caused (oftentimes in mercy) by the angel guardian.

Of the same illusory character is that phenomenon which has so puzzled all the writers on witchcraft—the icy chilliness of the sperm. This experience is entirely subjective; because it is forbidden by Borderland laws; to evoke a nervous energy for no definite result and as a harvest in offspring on the Borderland cannot be produced, it is breaking Borderland laws to sow the seed. The very fact that the Devil, who is supposed to be a deity of fire, cold in the Borderland marital union, ought to have shown his earthly partner that it was an illusion. And the psychic who expects or thinks to enact a forbidden experience on the Borderland, has only her own ignorance to thank for the illusion.

Incubi and Succubae, evil spirits who were supposed to force themselves as lovers upon both men and women, played an important part in witchcraft days. Deformed children were supposed to have sprung of such a union. Luther believed implicitly in this. Virtuous women seemed to be especially subject to the attacks of incubi, and this was looked on as attesting the cunning of Satan, who thus aimed at those noted for purity of life. It rarely, if ever, seems to have occurred to people in those days that a virtuous woman, reasonably clear-headed, is a being who is under especial angelic protection, and that when such a woman was persistently singled out by a spirit for lover-like attentions, it must have been owing to the favor of Heaven, and not to the malignity of devils. That these attentions became a great annoyance at last was only because the woman either broke the moral law in some way, or because prejudiced against every such being as an emissary of Satan. In time by the workings of the laws of Borderland, she who through natural curiosity and romantic sentiment at first hearkened to the angel lover, and afterward through the failure to live aright or think clearly felt bound to reject him as a devil became subject to hallucinations and also in some cases, to annoying physical manifestations. Some picturesque stories have been told of such women to whom the spirit lover has appeared in the guise of a handsome youth vainly wooing his earthly love night after night. The stories usually wind up with an account of fearful persecutions at the hands of the rejected lover, who thus by his malignity reveals himself as the Devil. But the cases of a spirit lover who has once been received (whether as husband or only communicating spirit), it would seem as though his hypnotic suggestions often outweighed those of the priest. Sometimes the priest is appealed to but not always successfully. The Roman Catholic Church has a regular rite to exorcise demons and is probably successful with the psychic through hypnotic suggestion. But in the case of a spirit lover who has once been received (whether as husband or by communicating spirit) it would seem as though his hypnotic suggestion often outweighed that of the priest to still exorcise the fiend in cases of demoniacal possession. But I am inclined to think that the very lingering of these subjective experiences indicates that her psychic hallucinations were often not only due to hypnotic suggestions by her spirit lover, but were also the result recorded in her subliminal consequences of a veridical phenomena which she at first encourages, whether through harmless curiosity, or through the romantic and tender sentiment of a pure heart, or through the grosser impulses arising from a luxuriant and untrained imagination, matters not. When her season of ordeals set in and she was obliged to distinguish between the illusory and the real, in order to maintain communication with her interesting visitor, she either grew alarmed at the phenomena of the ordeals or else rashly assumed the whole thing to be diabolical. From this time on, it were indeed strange if she should fail to see subjectively what she expected—i. e., the Devil. All in vain now was it for her to exclaim in terror or indignation, “I will have nothing to do with you!” Her angelic lover had indeed ceased to communicate; but her subconsciousness had not ceased to vibrate along the lines of psychical illusion; and unless she possessed great self-control and had her subconscious nature well in hand, time and time only, could work a cure unless, indeed, she should implicitly submit her inner self to the priest or to some other earthly human being as her hypnotizer, in which case, it was a change from the hypnotic control of a clear-seeing angel, to that of a more or less blind fallible earthly man, who may or may not take undue advantage of the power placed in his hands over her mainsprings of action. When one (1) considers that every woman who enters a convent is pledged to a mystic union with a heavenly bridegroom, denominated Christ; (2) that the union more often than the public is aware, becomes so objectively real that the confessor feels obliged to term it “Congresus cum daemonis”; (3) that ignorance on the men’s part of Borderland laws will render her experience fantastic or diabolical; (4) that her deliverance from these experiences may be secured by a change in the hypnotizer, from an unseen angel to a visible earthly priest: We see what a power resides with confessors to mould the minds of the nuns to carry out his hypnotic suggestions for the glory of the church. For the person who has been hypnotized by spirits, and who has not acquired the power of resisting hypnotic suggestion, will more readily yield to an earthly hypnotizer. That the angelic lover should force himself upon her as an incubus against her will is contrary to Borderland laws; for in the world beyond the Borderland (the world beyond the grave), it is reckoned a sin for a woman to have aught to do with husband or lover save for love’s sake; and hence the idea that women may be forced into a marital union on the Borderland is totally incorrect inasmuch as the highest standards of social and ethical duty in both worlds must be lived up to by the two who meet upon the borders of the two worlds. Rationalists have tried to explain the spirit bride and spirit bridegroom as a nightmare arising from a plethoric condition of the body. An explanation which has force only when the spirit is an incubus and not a succubus and when the earthly psychic (man or woman) is asleep or dozing. But the clearest and most convincing manifestations of the objectivity of the heavenly bridegroom always come when the psychic is most clearheaded. It seems, indeed, that it is not even in a trance but only when the psychic is wide awake that the marital union takes place objectively. And this I think will be found to be the case with the witches. When their union with the supposed Devil was based on the faithful tender love of one woman for one man, and its reciprocity, in accordance with high moral standards, then was the union objective and natural. The gross rites of the Witches’ Sabbaths with their abnormalities and absurdities, were evidently the illusion of an insane imagination in great part —although it is also doubtless true that as Professor Wilder says, there is little reason to doubt that these “witches’ sabbaths” were formerly celebrated, and that they were, in some modified form, a continuation of the outlawed worship of the Roman Empire.

Heavenly Bridegrooms

The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.

Genesis 6:2.

[From Alienist & Neurologist, August, 1917.]

Early in the 17th century, a light dawned upon the horizon of these illusions and diableries. That light was the manifesto of a secret society of mystics called the Rosicrucians or followers of the Rosie Cross. In 1603 the sect became known; in 1623 it placarded Paris with mysterious announcements; but it professed to have existed long before. Who its members were, whether the society really existed, or whether the whole affair was a joke on the mystics, are questions which to-day remain still unsettled. But, whether a reality or a myth, the Rosicrucians were a factor in the literature and mysticism of their time: and a secret society of the same name still exists. They dealt a powerful blow at the superstition which assumed the spirit bridegroom and the spirit bride to be diabolical.

“They discarded forever all the old tales of sorcery and witchcraft and communion with the devil. They said there were no such horrid, unnatural and disgusting beings as the incubi and succubi and the innumerable grotesque imps that men had believed in for so many ages. Man was not surrounded with enemies like these, but with myriads of beautiful and beneficent beings, etc., all anxious to do him services. The sylphs of the air, the undines of the water, the gnomes of the Earth, and the salamanders of the fire were men’s friends, and desired nothing so much as that men should purge themselves of all uncleanness, and thus be enabled to see and converse with them. They possessed great power, and were unrestrained by the barriers of space or the obstructions of matter. But man was in one respect their superior. He had an immortal soul, and they had not. They might, however, become sharers in man’s immortality if they could inspire one of that race with the passion of love towards them. Hence it was the constant endeavor of the female spirits to captivate the admiration of men, and of the male gnomes, sylphs, salamanders and undines to be beloved by a woman. The object of this passion, in returning their love, imparted a portion of that celestial fire, the soul; and from that time forth the beloved became equals to the lover, and both when their allotted course was run, entered together into the mansions of felicity. These spirits, they said, watched constantly over mankind by night and day. Dreams, omens, and presentiments were all their work, and the means by which they gave warning of the approach of danger. But though so well inclined to befriend man for their own sake, the want of a soul rendered them at times capricious and revengeful; they took offence at slight causes, and heaped injuries instead of benefits on the heads of those who extinguished the light of reason that was in them by gluttony, debauchery, and other appetites of the body.” (Mackay’s Popular Delusions, Mysteries of the Rosie Cross, by A. Reader, Orange Street, Red Lion Square, London, 1891.)

There is a book called Sub Mundanes, which in a vein of delicate humor deals with this belief of the Rosicrucians. It purports to be written by an acquaintance of one Count de Gabulis. It was published by the Abbot de Villars (nephew of Montfaucon), in 1670. Sub Mundanes refers to stories told of the Gothic Kings being born from a bear and a princess of Pegusians being born from a dog and a woman; of a Portuguese woman, who was exposed on a deserted island having children by a large monkey. The author goes on to say that the sylphs of the Rosicrucians seeing that they are taken for Demons when they appear, in order to diminish aversion, take the form of these animals, and accommodate themselves thus to the whimsical weakness of women, who would be horrified at the sight of a handsome sylph, but less so at a dog or monkey.

Sub Mundanes tells a story of a hard-hearted Spanish beauty who repulsed a Castillian gentleman so effectually that he left her and set off to travel to forget her. A sylph fell in love with her, took the shape of her absent lover, wooed her persistently and won her. A son was born; and when she was again pregnant, the earthly lover returned to Seville, quite cured of his passion, and hastened to call on her saying he should now displease her no longer, as he had ceased to love her. Result: a scene, tears, reproaches on the part of the young woman—parents come in and the whole matter is brought to light. The writer continues:

“And what part played the Airy-Lover (interrupted I) all this while? I see well enough (answered the Count) that you are displeased that he should forsake his mistress, leaving her to the Rigour of the Parents and to the Fury of the Inquisitors. But he had reason to complain of her: She was not devout enough; for when these gentlemen immortalize themselves they work seriously, and live very holily; that they loose not the Right which they came to acquire of Sovereign good: So they would have the person to whom they are allied, live with exemplary innocence.”

Sub Mundanes also tells of a young Lord of Bavaria who was not to be comforted for the death of his wife: Whereupon sylph took her shape. The same story as told elsewhere, however, stated that it was his own wife who returned from beyond the grave. They lived together many years, and had children. But he “swore, and spoke lewd uncivil words.” She reproved him vainly, and at last “she vanished one day from him, and left him nothing but her Clothes, and the Repentance of his not having followed her Holy Counsels.” Monsieur Bayle informs us that the “Count de Gavalis” was published at Paris by the celebrated Abbott de Villars (nephew of De Montfaucon) in the year 1670.

These two stories show what stress is laid by the spirit lover upon the necessity for the earthly psychic to keep the moral law.

Another story, unreal and fantastic as is the catastrophe, shows that bigamy is not condoned on the Borderland, and that no man can serve two mistresses without punishment, when one of the earthly partners of one of these nymphs is his Borderland spouse. It appears that he “was so dishonest a Man as to fall in Love with a Woman; But as he Dined with his new Mistress and certain of Us Friends, there was seen in the Air the Loveliest Creature of the World; which was the invisible Lover, that had a mind to let herself be seen by the Friends of her unfaithful Gallant; that they might Judge how little reason he could have to prefer a Woman before her. After which the enraged nymph struck him dead immediately.” (Sub Mundanes.)

But popular prejudice regarding the reality of witchcraft died hard. The Rosicrucians were charged with doing as did the witches—projecting their astral forms for selfish and lawless purposes. It was believed by the populace, and by many others whose education should have taught them better, that * * * gentle maidens, who went to bed alone, often awoke in the night and found men * * * of shape more beautiful than the Grecian Apollo, who immediately became invisible when an alarm was raised. (Mackay’s En. Pop. Delusion.)

But this seems rather unlikely, when we carefully consider the following pronouciamento with which they placarded Paris. “We, the deputies of the principal College of the brethren of the Rose-cross have taken our abode, visible and invisible, in this city by the grace of the Most High towards whom are turned the hearts of the just. We shew and teach without books or signs, and speak all sorts of languages in the countries where we dwell, to draw mankind, our fellows, from error and from death.”

“Moreover, the Rosicrucians maintained most positively that the very first vow they took was one of chastity, and that any; of them violating that oath would be deprived at once of all the advantages he possessed, and be subject to hunger, thirst, sorrow, disease and death like other men. Witchcraft and sorcery they also most warmly repudiated.” (Mysteries of the Rosie Cross, by A. Reader.)

And the editor of Sub Mundanes, in a footnote, refers to—the Rosicrucian marriage with the elementary or Spirit-life, esteemed a duty by the sages and cultivated with fasting, watching, prayer and contemplation and acquiring thereby that condition of spiritual repose, only in which inspired visions occurred.

Why did these mystics call themselves Rosicrucian? Some writers have attempted to derive the name from two words meaning “dew” and “cross”: but the usual interpretation is “followers of the Rosy Cross”—a cross with a rose being used as the society’s symbol. Some derive the word from the name, Christian Rosenkranz, the reputed founder of the society: but in view of the fact that it is uncertain that he ever lived, and that the stories told about the opening of his tomb 120 years after his death, have a decidedly mythical flavor, one may be pardoned for considering this personage a myth, invented as a convenient explanation to outsiders to throw them off the track of the real meaning of the society’s name.

Now, the cross is an old, old religious symbol of the union of man and woman the world over, and dates from an unknown antiquity. The rose is a well known symbol of love under its most ardent form. We have already seen that the Mexican Virgin, Sochiquetzal, was presented by a heavenly messenger with a rose when the annunciation was made that she should bear a mysteriously begotten son; that her name means the “lifting up of roses”: and that this event marks the commencement of an epoch called “the age of Roses.” We have seen that the Mexican Eve sinned by plucking roses—which elsewhere are called, apparently, “the fruit of the tree.” We have seen that quite on the other side of the world, among the Mohammedans, is found a tradition that Christ was conceived by the smelling of a rose, and there is an Eastern legend that the burning brush in which the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses —a bush which burned without being consumed, was a rose bush. May not these roses be symbolically one and the same with the rose upon the Rosicrucian cross? If so, remembering the Rosicrucian teachings, about the duty of chastity, the joy of nuptials with a being from the unseen world, and the obligation to enter upon that heavenly marriage with “fasting, watching, prayer, and contemplation” —we may well believe that they had learned the inner mystery of aspiring through passion to communion with God and of placing the rose of Divine Love upon the cross of marriage union in Borderland wedlock.

Although a book entitled “In the Pronaos of the temple of Wisdom,” by Franz Hartmann, occurs a list of Rosicrucian symbols followed by the significant remark: “He who can see the meaning of all these allegories has his eyes open.”

Many of these symbols are evidently phallic, and yield easily to the interpretation that they are symbols in the training of the occultist in the three degrees to which I have already referred.

But, despite the good work done by the Rosicrucians in lifting Borderland wedlock to a higher plane in the estimation of the public, it was not all plain sailing yet. The Church—that conservator alike of the useful and the useless things of the past—clung to the old belief of witchcraft days: When one of her mystics—either nun or priest— became thus espoused, the Church seems to have a middle course between the old and the new. Usually she termed such experiences “Congressus cum daemonius” and bent her powers to exorcising the evil one. But occasionally, as in the case of St. Teresa, the nun was a clear-headed woman of known integrity and purity. “Congressus cum daemonius” was out of the question where such a woman was one of the parties to the union in these instances. By what one can only call an inspiration from on high, the Church promptly decided that the congressus was diabolical, but heaven sent. And, since the nun was the professed “bride of Christ” what more natural than that her experience should be viewed as a mystical union with this Divine Bridegroom? In this, the Church acted according to her light, and I think it must be admitted she did fairly well, considering the ignorance and prejudice of the times.

Latin scholars will notice that the laws of Latin syntax require a word to be supplied in translating this phrase— a general term, such as the word “something,” or “that which belongs to.” As this grammatical construction was used by a very learned Catholic priest when discussing the matter with me, I cannot suppose it to be a slip of the tongue, as I should have supposed, had the speaker been less of a scholar. This construction, however, instead of obscuring really sets forth the matter with clearer resemblance to the psychic’s useful physiological experience, as will be seen by comparing it with the legends I have referred to regarding the finding of the body of Osiris by Isis. Only by comparing this Latin expression with the legends and their application, will the phrase be properly understood.

It is noteworthy, however, that in St. Teresa’s case, her confessor after having her write out a detailed account of her experience, ordered her to burn a great part of it. Was it because the objectivity of her experiences did not harmonize very well with the mystical idea of “espousal to Christ”?  

Where the earthly partner in these unions was a woman, and a nun at that, pledged to unfaltering obedience to her official superiors, it was probably an easy matter for her confessor to lump all her experiences—veridical as well as illusory—under one heading, that of subjective. A virgin is usually by reason of her environment as a woman, so ignorant of the physiology of marriage that it is difficult for her as a psychic to distinguish what is real from what is unreal until she has been a Borderland wife for sometime. But for the priest to whom the blessed experience of Borderland wedlock came in all its fullness, a different course of treatment must have been necessary, since being a man, with the opportunities of knowledge open to a man, and to a priestly confessor of sinful men and women, he could not be hoodwinked by his superior into taking for subjective illusions these experiences which were distinctly objective. The records of witchcraft contain accounts of priests who were burned at the stake for a union of this sort extending over forty or fifty years, with a spirit assumed to be the Devil in the form of a woman.

Pope Gregory is known as Hildebrand, that pope who strove so persistently to purge the priesthood of simony and unchastity and to emancipate the Church from interference by the temporal power. But what is done with priest nowadays who enter upon Borderland wedlock, is not, so far as I can learn, revealed to the general public. From a French physician, however, I learn of a custom among the Continental priests concerning their sleeping arrangements which suggest that more allowance is made nowadays than formerly for those who Heaven has thus singled out, and that the Church bows to the will of Heaven in this matter, and lays no blame upon the priest.

Theophile Gautier has written a novelette called Clarimonde, which recounts the love of a beautiful vampire for a priest. She comes to him each night and they mount a horse and gallop away to her palace, when he returns at daybreak for his priesthood duties. The author represents the priest as struggling between his duties as a priest and what he considers the allurements of sin: and in consonance with the idea, that punishment is visited upon the sinner. Gautier reveals her as a vampire sucking the blood of her lover while he sleeps.

It would seem as though the author, especially for a priest of God, were catering to the popular superstition that it is sinful to enjoy sensuous love. But if any one in the world is entitled to the joys of true Borderland wedlock, it is surely a priest who has kept his vows of asceticism, and who is really pure-minded. If any one in the world needs it, it is surely the priest who is supposed to stand midway as a bridge-builder, between earthly sinners and celestial beings of the unseen world beyond the grave, since it is pretty generally acknowledged that well ordered sex life is necessary to the development of a symmetrical character. For what mean the words “holy” and “holiness”? They mean “whole-ly,” “wholeness.” The man and woman who expects to be indeed “holy,” must be “whole,” i. e., symmetrical. In old Testament times, Jehovah forbade any priest who was a eunuch to minister before Him, thus recognizing the importance of sex in the perfect man. The Rev. Arthur Devine, Passionist, in a book entitled: ”Convent Life, or the Duties of Sisters Dedicated in Religion to the Service of God”—a book which the title page shows is “intended chiefly for superiors and confessors,” takes up the subject of nuns who are subject to visions and supernatural revelations. Considering the question as to whether such experiences are true visions or the results of deception and error, he mentions as one test the consideration of “Whether it [the revelation] contains anything false, because in this case it cannot proceed from the spirit of truth: Therefore, it is necessary to consider whether it is conformable to Scripture, to faith and morals, to theology and to the doctrine and traditions of the church. * * *

“Are they [these communications] accompanied by the cross and by mortification, and do they tend to the manifestation of the faith and the utility of the Church? From which it will be seen that a heavenly bridegroom who is not a good Catholic has every prospect of being classed as demoniacal, if he happens to have the same religious belief as herself [she being heretical]. This is a case where religious prejudice furnishes the standard by which to test the communication, and it will be remembered that to start with, for, upon any subject when dealing with occult phenomena is certain to bring about occurrences of a fantastic misleading or diabolical character.

The spiritus percutiens, ”rapping spirit” (?) conjured away by old Catholic formulae at the benediction of churches, was brought forward by some of M. de Gas-parin’s critics. As his tables did not rap, he had nothing to do with the spiritus percutiens who proves, however, that, the church was acquainted with raps, and explained them by the spiritualistic hypothesis.

A learned priest has kindly looked for the alleged spiritus percutiens in dedicatory and other ecclesiastical formulae. He only finds it in benedictions of bridal chambers, and thinks it refers to the slaying spirit in the Book of Tobit. Andrew Lange, Cock Lane and Common Sense, pp. 316-317.

The “slaying spirit” in the Book of Tobit, it will be remembered, was a so-called evil spirit who was in love with Sara and who objected to her marrying, and who slew seven successively earthly aspirants to her hand, on their bridal night. He is always referred to as an instance of the incubus. But let us not forget that so-called incubi are angels, and are never evil; since in order to hold communication with the beloved earthly person they as well as the psychic are obliged to live correctly and think clearly. And what is evil on the Borderland is all subjective and never objective. And the number seven too in regards to the husbands of a virgin who already has a spouse has a suspiciously mythical, folklorish look.

That the Roman Catholic Church should take account of such a spirit in the benedictions of bridal chambers shows that it has had good reason to suspect the visits of incubi to the virgins of its laity, as well as to the virgins of its nunneries. Indeed, Tylor in his Primitive Culture tells us that the frequency of incubi and succubae “is set forth in the Bull of Pope Innocent VIII. in 1484, as an accepted accusation against “many persons of both sexes, forgetful of their own salvation, and falling away from the Catholic faith.”

The following, which I take from Sub Mundanes, refers to one of the most noted instances in convent life of an incubus who was objectively as well as subjectively the spouse of a nun. “A little Gnome got into the affections of the Famous Magdalen of the Cross, Abbess of a Monastery at Cordova in Spain; she made him Happy, when she was but twelve years old; and they continued their Amours Libres for the space of thirty years; until an ignorant Director persuaded Magdalen that her lover was a Fiend; and forced her to demand absolution of Pope Paul the Third. Yet it is impossible that this could be a Demon; for all Europe knew, and Cassidorus Reniris has made known to all Posterity, the great miracles which daily were wrought in Favor of this Holy Woman; which certainly had never come to pass, if her Amours Libres with the Gnome had fallen so Diabolick, as the Venerable Director imagined.”

Another account, however, informs us that the abbess was accused by her nuns of magic—”a very convenient accusation in those days when a superior was at all troublesome”—and that she very cleverly anticipated them by going to the Pope to confess all and throw herself on his mercy. Inasmuch as he granted her absolution, one cannot help wondering if he did not read between the lines of this confession the occult truth and recognize her as a lawful Borderland spouse. Most of the accounts state that Magdalen’s lover was the Devil, who appeared to her as a black man. Here we come upon the same root idea, doubtless, as that behind the black Madonnas, the black Krishna and the black Quetzalcoot of Mexico, a symbolism due perhaps in part to the darkness of the unknown world whence they emerge, and in part to their folklore and occult aspect as deities of night-time and Borderland nuptials. “I am black, but comely,” says one of the lovers in that mystical and passionate Song of Solomon.

I have already referred to the Song of Solomon as being interpreted by Christian comment and said to be a poetical statement of the rapturous union between Christ and his Bride, the Church. A side light is thrown upon the interpretation by a note in Kitto’s illustrated Bible, which quotes Lane (Modern Egyptians) as saying that the odes sung by Mohammedans at religious festivals were of a similar nature with the Song of Solomon, generally alluding to the Prophet as the object of love and praise. In the small collection of poems sung at Zikirs it appears is one ending with these lines:

“The phantom of thy form visited me in my slumber;
I said: ‘O phantom of slumber! who sent thee?’
He said: ‘He sent me whom thou Knowest:
He whose love occupies thee.’
The beloved of my heart visited me in the darkness of night.
I stood to show him honor, until he sat down,
I said, ‘O thou my petition and all my desire!
Hast thou come at midnight, and not feared the watchman?’
He said to me, ‘I feared: but, however, love
Had taken from me my soul and my breath.’ “

“Finding that songs of this description are exceedingly numerous, and almost the only poems sung at Zikirs; that they are composed for that purpose and intended only to have a spiritual sense (though certainly not understood in that sense by the generality of the vulgar): I cannot entertain any doubt as to the design of Solomon’s Song.”

This religious mysticism finds a modern echo in a little publication recently issued by the Adi Brahma Samaj of Calcutta, as the first step in a new propaganda. It is entitled ”The Religion of Love.” In its pages occur these words:

“Though these terms, Father, Mother, Friend, Husband of the soul, all allegorical, they very aptly express our sweet relationship with God, and we have every right to use them. Among these allegorical designations the Husband of the Soul is the best.”

Zanchius wrote an “Excellent Traite du Mariage Spiritual Entre Jesus Christ et son E’glise,” in which he drew a close parallel between earthly wedlock and the spiritual and divine marriage of Christ with the Church Universal. Among other things he laid stress on that Scriptural saying of earthly husband and wife, that the twain shall become one flesh; and he said that, according to Scripture, it was neither God the Father nor God the Spirit who is Sponsor of his Church, but the Son, who was made of like nature with ourselves—like in all things to us, but without sin. He added:

“His soul does not pervade all space, because it went out of his body when he died and consequently was not in all places, since going out of the body, it did not remain therein, afterwards being returned to the body [and] never was and never will be (any more than the body) in all places. * * *

“In this spiritual marriage, all the person of each faithful one—that is to say, the body and the soul—is conjoined with all the person of Jesus Christ, and is made one flesh and one person with him.”

As to the method by which this combined fleshly and spiritual union of the Christian with Christ can take place Zanchius seemed to think that the Eucharist in which one partakes of the body and blood of Christ, is the sole appointed means.

Now the Eucharist, or the use of bread and wine in a sacred rite, was an old Pagan custom bound up with the idea of entering into blood brotherhood of which Jesus made use to emphasize his own brotherhood with his disciples. The ceremony of the Eucharist was found in Peru and when Jesuits first landed. In fact, it is a very, very ancient rite existing in widely separated countries. The Christian writer, Arnobius rebukes in cutting terms the Pagan mock modesty which blushed at the mere mention of “bread and wine”—a matter which indicates some folklore connection between the Eucharist and sex: and if so, then between the Eucharist and the ancient mysteries of Phallicism. Inasmuch as by far the greater part of all that was pure and holy in Phallicism is bound up with Borderland wedlock, it is possible that the Eucharist may have esoterically a wider significance than either Arbnobius or Zanchius was aware.

Modern believers in the union with Christ have taken a less mystical and more practical view of it, than did Zanchius. Mrs. M. Baxter of the well known institution for Divine Healing, Bethlehem, London, issued a little pamphlet on that text of 1st Corinthians VI. 13., “The body * * * for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” In it, she says:

“One of the most successful devices of Satan has been his attempt to divorce our bodies from our souls in their relation to God. ‘Your soul is the Lord’s of course, but your body is your own. You must serve the Lord with your soul, but enjoy yourself with your body.’ Such is his counsel to those whose tendency is gross and carnal, such as easily become drunkards, fornicators, or prostitutes, and form the large class of fallen men and fallen women in our midst. To another class he comes and says, ‘You are religious; but it is your soul with which you can serve God; all you can do with your body is to punish it, and destroy it by slow degrees’ Many look upon this as religious heroism; but it is as much a lie to the truth of God, as is the grosser misuse of the body for lust or appetite. God comes with his glorious claim. ‘The body is for the Lord and the Lord for the body.’ “ (Mrs. M. Baxter.)

Under the Divine Touch, a pamphlet written by Chester E. Pond, of Philadelphia, contains the following recorded experiences, which, mystical as they may be considered from one standpoint, are singularly suggestive of the earlier experiences of the psychic who has entered on Borderland wedlock, but who has not yet learned to distinguish between subjective and objective touches—that is, between a touch which is material, tangible, real, and one that is only an hypnotic suggestion made by the Borderland spouse.

“For the last eleven months my whole being has been open more or less to the joys, delights and peculiar sensations of heaven. Recently the Lord has been giving me his choicest foretastes of heavenly blessedness just before I arise in the morning. During these eleven months I have been daily and almost hourly conscious of His positive and holy touch in some part of my natural body. But during these recent morning experiences His touch has been more sweet and more powerful than usual. These heavenly experiences when viewed from a human standpoint seem remarkable. But when viewed from a heavenly standpoint they seem perfectly natural. They have come to me very gradually. In every way they have been orderly and helpful. They seem just what might be expected to come to any devout Christian. For the Lord is no respecter of persons. In considering these experiences it should be borne in mind that Jehovah Jesus is in every way infinite, that He never makes two things just alike in the natural world, and that He never acts twice alike in the spiritual world. Hence, as might be expected, He touches my ‘natural body’ through my ‘spiritual body’ in an infinite variety of ways, and with infinite sweetness. But for convenience I will classify, and say that He touches me, first directly or immediately; secondly, He touches me through the medium or ministration of angels; and, thirdly, through the medium of His Written Word. * * *

“To my distinct consciousness the spirit of the Lord is that living divine, or divine substance which constantly proceeds from His divine person, somewhat in the same way and manner that rays of light and heat are continually proceeding from our natural sun. It is written that ‘God is love’ and that ‘God is light’ or truth. From this we learn that love and truth constitute the divine essence. And in the ordinary use of language heat corresponds to love and light to truth. We call a loving person warm-hearted and an educated person enlighted. Jesus Himself taught spiritual truths by natural symbols. * * *

“The Lord, in His mercy, tempers the inflowing of His spirit to our different states of receptivity. * * * If He had poured His divine love and truth into my soul and body one year ago, with the same degree of heat and power that He does now, I believe I should have been consumed.

“My experiences are endless in variety. At times, when love seems to predominate over truth, the divine proceeding that streams forth upon me appears to my spiritual vision like the golden beams of an autumn sunset, but when truth predominates over love, they appear like streams of white light reflected from burnished silver.

“At times I am consciously alone with the Lord. At other times I am consciously in the presence of angels. Since these touches of the Lord are infinite in variety, I can never tell one minute what will occur the next. As I now sit writing I am so literally full that every particle of flesh in my body feels as if it were alive and moving. This extreme fullness in the day time does not occur every day. It will probably not continue more than eight or ten hours. While I am busy it is not excessively delightful. But if I were to lean back in my chair, or to go and lie down, I should soon be completely deluged with floods of heavenly glory, and be ‘lost in wonder, love and praise’ The movings of the spirit are usually undulatory. When I am still, and sometimes when at work, they come like waves of liquid sweetness, and roll over me and through me in every conceivable direction, and with all conceivable variety.

“Occasionally at night the Lord touches me all over alike for a few seconds. At such times I seem to be literally resting in and on the Divine. Sometimes He touches only a few fibres in some very small muscle, and through these He fills and thrills my whole being with unutterable divine glory. At times His holy touch is very delicate, tender and meltingly sweet. At other times He touches me with a power that moves the very foundations of my being, and that seems almost startling. Sometimes He moves very slowly, at other times so rapidly that it seems as if the next wave of glory would loosen my ‘spiritual body’ from its present moorings in the ‘natural body’ A few mornings ago while lying in bed under a divine influx that filled me with divine love and sweetness to the very utmost extent of my present capacity. I could but exclaim, ‘O Jesus, my dear heavenly Father! Thou alone art infinitely wise and infinitely holy! In Thy presence I am nothing, I am nothing! Before Thee I know nothing, I know nothing! These sweet touches of Thy spirit, these indescribable sensations, these angelic delights, these ineffable thrills of divine glory I cannot understand! I can now understand them no better than if I were a new born infant lying at Thy feet! Such knowledge is too Wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it! Dear heavenly Father, I can no more understand how each divine touch can fill me with such holy sweetness and with such transports of joy, than I can understand how Thou canst create a world! O Thou eternal Word, by whom the worlds were framed! I can no more comprehend Thy present movings within my own little body, than I could have comprehended the ancient movings of Thy spirit upon the face of the great deep if I had been present when Thou didst say, ‘Let there be light, and there was light’. * * *

“Through the loving touch and conscious presence of an angel, be it a man or a woman, the Lord can fill me with celestial delights and sensations that are similar and almost equal to those produced by the direct inflowing of His own holy spirit. The difference between the two is easily discernible, but not easily described. Both are immeasurably superior to any soul or bodily delight we ever experience in the ordinary planes of Christian life. As near as I can describe it the difference between the two is this: When waves of glory are produced by the direct touch of the Divine Spirit they seem to have, as it were, a golden tinge, a delicate crest of holy sweetness, which does not accompany those produced through the touch of an angel. * * *

“The angels are so thoroughly honest, so perfectly free from all false modesty and pretended humility, and are so free from all formality and human ceremonies, that the presence of an angel is always elevating and refreshing. * * *

“The Lord touches me consciously now through the medium of His Written Word. * * *

“When I read the Scriptures my whole ‘spiritual body’ can feel the touch and power of the Living Divine that flows through its words and sentences, just as plainly and unmistakably as my natural body can feel the touch and force of the wind. And at time;; the ‘Spirit of Truth’ flows all through me, and all over me, so forcibly that I feel as if I were literally ‘in the Truth.’ At these times the Eternal Word shines through the Written Word with such illuminating power that various human theories and speculations are scattered to the four winds. And under such illumination ‘it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.’ * * * I can learn more in one hour under such practical tuition, than I ever have learned in a whole year at Yale Theological Seminary. In religion theories have their uses, but the school of experience is the only school that can be relied upon for instruction in the mysteries and deep things of God. It often seems to me as if the Christian world, ministers included, were looking more to their creeds, and to one another, for their theology, than to the Word and the Spirit. * * *

“Before any one can become personally acquainted with the Lord, and with the true meaning of His written Word, he must necessarily forsake every known sin and he must know what it means to live up to every known requirement and privilege of the Gospel. He must also ask for and receive a tender conscience, an enlightened reason, and a sanctified common sense. Then he will no longer be afraid to use his own reason and his own good sense. I have recently received from the Lord as I believe the following unsectarian motto:

“‘Love everybody, learn of everybody, and follow nobody but the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“To obtain and retain constant Divine guidance and tuition I find that my higher nature must bear complete and easy sway over my lower nature; that the ‘old man’ must be wholly put off and the new man wholly ‘put on’; that the affections and thoughts of my ‘upward man* must have easy and complete control over every appetite, passion, and desire of my ‘outward man’; and that I must keep myself so full of the Lord, that I can live ‘ a heavenly life upon earth’ in all places and under all conceivable circumstances, just as easily and naturally as I can breathe the sweet air of heaven. * * *

“This loving and indescribable union with God, is no longer a mere matter of faith with me, but it is a’ matter of actual knowledge and sweet experience. * * *

“While enjoying these heavenly experiences the Lord has given me better health than during any eleven months for the last twenty years. And he has dealt more tenderly with me than any human mother ever dealt with a helpless infant. * * *

“I sincerely hope that the love and goodness of the Lord, so bountifully manfested in giving me such large foretastes of heaven while yet in the body, will prove helpful and encouraging to every honest-hearted reader. But since the ways of the Lord are infinite in variety let no one look for an experience precisely like mine. I have prayed for years that the Lord would make me just as pure, just as holy and just as useful as lay within the scope of human and Divine possibilities. He is now taking His own way to answer my prayers.” (Under the Divine Touch, by Chester E. Pond, 1432 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Pa. First published in the Mount Joy Herald, Mt. Joy, Pa., under dates of April 8th and 15th, 1882.)

In the following experience, it will be seen that this so-called Divine touch, reveal itself as that of a Borderland bridegroom. It is taken from a letter written by a lady, a devout and pure-minded Christian, as will be noticed. Her experiences occurred at a well known summer resort in the United States where a cottage for divine healing had been established. But as the letter was shown to me by a third party, I do not feel at liberty to mention the town, lest some clue be given to the writer’s personality. Indeed, it was only upon this condition that the person who showed me this letter allowed me to make use of it herewith:

“Dear Sister:

“Since learning from Miss - that you know the experience which is mine, I have thought I should write you.

“At first, as the newly married Bride, I shrank from exposing the secrets of my Love. They were sacred between my Beloved and myself. Now, it has shown me that this wondrous truth, as well as all other truth, must be acknowledged, and that a most glorious part of my high calling is to co-operate with Him in calling his Bride unto Himself. * * *    *

“For myself, I had not time to question; the truth was sprung upon me unexpectedly, and I just went under. The fears and questionings came afterwards; but blessed be my God! He did not let me parley long with the foe, but Himself strengthened me to shake off his power, and, coming fully under the shelter of His love, press on—until He has fully established me, and I impelled by His mighty Spirit within me, reach eagerly forward to the glorious unfoldings of His love and power that lie beyond. * * *

“Suffice it to say, I am in great and abundant fullness and blessing, alike in my physical and in my spiritual nature, and that His own abounding life flows in power through my whole being. * * *

“I would have * * * fully understand that this is the fulfillment of the marriage relation between Christ and the body—that as he has been recognized in the soul as Lord over it, and also over the other parts and organs of the body, so now must He be recognized and accepted in the organs of generation as Lord over them; and His life must be allowed to come in, where, through fear of evil, the emotions of life have heretofore been suppressed. Satan is bound to beset the soul with fears, it may be the most terrible, and to whisper, perhaps, dreadful things. The only way is to remember the faithfulness of Him who has led us these many years—never betraying our confidence. Standing upon the written word, and casting ourselves in complete abandonment upon Him, let Him have His way in every part. The life abundant must flow into every part of His purchased possession, ere we are fully redeemed.

“Inasmuch as we withhold from Him one part or organ, we are robbing God of just this much. God has given us no idle words in his written Word; EVERY PROMISE is to be realized by us, as we follow on, and enter into the experience portrayed in each particular position of the word. * * *

“‘The Body, the Temple of God. I These. IV. 3, 4; I. Cor. III. 16-19;’

“‘The Living Sacrifice. Rom. VI, II, 12, 13; VIII. 10-13; Rom. XII. I;’

“‘The Bride and Husband’ Isaiah XXVI. 9; LIV. 5; Cant. III. I.; Eph. V. 29-32; 22, 23?; 2 Cor. XI. 2; I Cor. XII. 21-23; Col. I. 25-27; Ezek. XXVI. 25; Hos. II. 14-16; John XVII. 23; Hos. XIX. 20; Hos. VI. 3; Rev. XIX. 7-9; Rev. ch. XXL; Ezek. ch. XIII., to end.

“The Song of Solomon was not to be a dead letter but meant by the Holy Ghost to be experience of the Bride of Christ. I find now in wondrous reality in His written Word. The meaning, hitherto unknown, of different passages, stands out clear and distinct—and Living Word within me, throbbing and thrilling and permeating my whole being with His glorious Presence, bears witness of the written truth. * * *

“One day, I read in the Word, being led to it, the assurance of the angel concerning Mary. Perhaps that day —or very soon after—the Spirit brought to me, as I was preparing dinner,—’Fear not, that which is conceived within thee is of the Holy Spirit.’ Such a rapid and powerful witness to the word went^ through and through me, beginning at the organs of generation, going all through, that I was in great weakness, physically. The tempter had been busy about this time, casting fear upon me lest the flesh were in the matter. Thus the Spirit gave him answer—with the revelation came the thought, ‘I am with child!’—but so sure was the witness, that instead of being greatly alarmed —praise the Blessed One, a great joy swelled up within me at the thought of such a possibility.

“A glorious victory, afterwards. He showed me that it meant that this precious truth of the marriage relation between us was, ‘that which was in me was of the Holy Ghost’ Praise the Lord! He has made me willing to do— to bear—to suffer anything for Him. He is making me fearless and filling me with His own desire for the spread of all His truth—though I feel more especially the desire to win souls for Him. I am assured that this, His most glorious and satisfying revelation of Himself must be acknowledged as He shall call upon us to do so, or we shall come into darkness indeed, and distress. Shall the chosen and honored wife shame to confess her husband when He would woo others, through her, to the same high place?

“When we enter into this union, He is, as never before, the Life within us, and how shall we seek to suppress the Life that has entered in to displace our own old selflife, and to manifest Himself in and through us, in whatever way He wills. He must be permitted to speak through us—and as I constantly pray, to love, through me. Oh! with us there must be no question but one, viz: ‘What wilt Thou, my Beloved?’—and ready response, opening up to meet His blessed will. ‘As Thou wilt’—’no longer I, but Christ’ No more my will, in the slightest particular, but the honorable will of my Beloved.

“Reading Madam Guyon in ‘Spiritual Progress’ Part II., on ‘Union with God’ I find the experience into which I have entered. * * *

“We have, in these last days, by the * * * been realizing, as we did in the earlier days, the Presence and power of Him whom we love. God comes upon us as we meet together from 6 to 7 o’clock in the morning, to wait in silence before Him—at the table, before and after meals; as we partake of the food He gives. We meet Him in our rooms, and bow down before Him. As I go about my work, ofttimes, His Presence so fills me—or I hear the sweet wooing of His Voice, until I am constrained to step aside, where I may—to be alone with my Love, and fall at His feet in adoring worship. * * *

“One asks, how is this Baptism obtained? In the same way exactly that all other of His gifts are—if we are in the condition to receive them, that is, by faith. He says, ‘Thy Maker is thy husband’ and ‘in that day thou shalt call me—Ishi.’ * * *

“I would say, whatever you do, do not question, lest distress and perplexity come in; but immediately go to Jesus, accepting Him as Ishi—with the words I have given —’be it unto me as Thou wilt’ He will do the teaching afterwards. Then again, lest one should make of it too scriptural a truth, separating it entirely from the physical, it should be plainly understood that the union is as the sexual intercourse of husband to wife.

“If we expect this when the sensation comes, we will not be alarmed, but willingly and freely give those parts to our Divine Husband as the Bride would naturally do.

“I have written very plainly, because, first, I know it is the way He would have me write; and secondly, because I would seek to save from distress and fear, that would harass, if the whole truth is not understood, viz: If one looks for one kind of manifestation (spiritual), and finds physical and animal.

“Let me hear from you both, when the Lord leads.

“Lovingly in Him. ******”

[For convenience of future reference let us call the authoress of this letter Mrs. R. S. T.—Theodore Schroeder.]

The same friend who showed me the above letter, also showed me letters from a gentleman who is the editor of a religious newspaper, giving a similar experience, upon several occasions in his life but with more circumstance of detail. Nevertheless, he regarded it as entirely a union with Christ, the Bridegroom of the Soul, and spoke of it reverently.

Madam de Guyon has left us memoirs of her rapturous union with the Divine Bridegroom of the Soul, and verses concerning His love and watchful tenderness which are rare specimens of pure and delicate sentiment. Yet, so little was Borderland wedlock understood by the learned of those days, that Bossuet made a coarse joke about her marriage with the Child Jesus; and another French bishop, says Arthur Little, wrote what might almost be called an episcopal lampoon. One couplet will be enough:

“Par l’epoux quelque foi une jeune mystique
Entend un autre epoux que celni du Cantique.”

(A young woman who is mystical understands another spouse than that of Canticles). From which it would seem as though the Roman Catholic Church admitted that there might be objective realities in Borderland wedlock (so far at least, as appears on the surface) eschew objective phenomena on the Borderland and tries to keep her mystics entirely in the realm of subjectivity—a realm where illusions arise through the ease with which it is confounded with objective planes and where a well-trained mind is needed to distinguish between that which is suggested or thought hypnotically and that which actually occurs. And yet, it is for a Divine Bridegroom on the Borderland that the Church has long trained her nuns in the life of ascetics. For in various forms of austere self-denial, asceticism as well as total suppression of the sex-nature is an absolute preliminary, step to Borderland nuptials, though only for a time. The question arises however, who is this Divine Spouse of the purified and ascetic nun? Is it Christ? Or is it an angelic lover? The church says Christ when the union is uplifting and insists that the relation is entirely mystical and not at all objective. I think from the testimonies in which I have adduced from church writings an angelic bridegroom is not impossible. And it is quite conceivable that, where a nun believes that Christ is the only Borderland Spouse, her prejudice may result in her lover’s appearing to her as Christ, just as the mediaeval witch who believed that her Borderland spouse could only be the Devil was pretty sure to see him with horns and hoofs and to be whisked away (subjectively) to a Witch’s Sabbath of diablerie.

Madam de Guyon, indeed, admits that “the vision is never of God himself nor scarcely ever of Jesus Christ, as those who have it picture it to themselves: it is an Angel of light, who, according to the power which is given to him by God for this purpose, causes the soul to see his representation, which it takes for himself.” (That is, the vision is subjective, probably an hypnotic suggestion induced by the angel.)

The following stories of saintly Catholic women who became espoused to a Borderland bridegroom, show that they were untrained in distinguishing subjective from objective phenomena. No wonder then, if they should mistake an angel for Christ himself.

St. Mary Magdalene, born of the illustrous house of the Pazzi at Florence * * * burned with so great a heat of divine love, that she would at times exclaim “O love! I can bear thee no longer!” and she used to be forced to cool her bosom with a copious sprinkling of water * * * By Christ she was wedded with a ring, and crowned with a crown of thorns; whilst by the blessed Virgin she was covered with a most white veil, and by St. Augustine she had twice written upon her heart: ‘The word was made flesh.’ Being rapt out of her senses while embroidering, she used, though the windows were closed up and her eyes veiled, yet to proceed with her work and finish it most accurately. * * * She was cannonized by Clement IX in 1669. (Breviary—Nuns and Nunneries, 37-38.)

“The first flower of sanctity from America was the Virgin Rose, born of Christian parents at Lima, who even from the cradle shone with the presages of future holiness; for the face of the infant being wonderfully transfigured into the image of a rose, gave occasion to her being called by this name; to which afterwards the Virgin Mother of God added the surname, ordering her to be thenceforth called the Rose of Mary. At the age of five she made a vow of perpetual virginity. * * *

“Having wondrously familiar intercourse, by continual apparitions with her guardian angel of St. Catherine of Sienna, and the Virgin Mother of God, she merited to hear these words from Christ—’Rose of my heart, be thou my spouse’ At last being carried to the Paradise of this her spouse and glittering with many miracles, both before and since her departure, Pope Clement X. enrolled her with solemity in the Catalogue for Holy Virgins.” [From Breviary?]

The following are extracts from the Bull of her canonization:

“At this time she was favoured with the following revelation: There appeared to her in her sleep an extraordinary person, beautiful above all the sons of men, habited like a sculptor on a festival-day and he seemed to court her as a lover. Before Rose would consent to his proposal she set him a task namely, to carve a piece of marble; and she bade him return again shortly, when the sculpture should be finished. At the return of her spouse, the virgin blushed when she perceived the task she had assigned him was accomplished in a manner beyond his strength; and he opened to her his workshop, where were a number of elect virgins, working like men at carving and polishing marble. She discovered that they were his espoused, by the style and beauty of their nuptial dresses; they were moistening the stones, and preparing them for cutting by their tears, which dripped upon them. Rose perceived that she was to be dressed like one of them, and prepared to be advanced to a like espousal. * * * The mystery was disclosed to her thus: On Palm Sunday, when Rose was absorbed in meditation, in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, her lover thus addressed her: ‘Rose of my heart, be my love’ The virgin trembled at the sweet voice of her Divine Spouse and at the instant she heard the voice of the Mother of God, wishing her joy, and saying, ‘Rose, it is no mean honour which this my Son proposes to you * * ** After this revelation, Rose began to torture herself more than ever. * * * When her Spouse did not appear to her at the accustomed hour, she used to admit an angel (who was always visibly present with her as her guardian) to her confidence, as his footboy or valet (ut pararium aut vereda reum).”

Various miracles were said to have been wrought through St. Rose of Lima: such as, for instance, the materialization of bread and also of honey in her father’s house in time of scarcity; also in answer to prayer the payment of a debt of her father’s by a stranger who appeared at the house, bringing the money wrapped up in a cloth.

“These are the assistances which her Divine Spouse promised to the parents of Rose, that he would give her as a dowry, when he wooed her in the character of a heavenly sculptor.” (Ibid.)

In this last, we seem to be getting back to these angelic bridegrooms spoken of in ante—Nicene Christian literature, who materialized gold and other precious articles for beloved earthly spouses.

But, it may be asked, are these unions with a heavenly spouse mere marital unions with angels, and does God (or Christ, as His human manifestation) play the part in them? By no means. God is a party to Borderland wedlock in its highest aspect, whether that wedlock be an objective marriage union as in earthly wedlock or subjective and mystical blending with a divine invisible intelligence. Mme. de Guyon was right in saying that her love toward God and God’s love toward her was the blissful feature in Borderland experience. There are lower aspects of Borderland wedlock than that which includes union with God; which are subject more or less to illusions, fantastic or diabolical. Only when the earthly partner aspires to the Divine Soul of all things, does the supreme bliss of union with the angelic mate transpire. At such times one is fain to apply such a conception as that of Mrs. Gillen, a London teacher of Divine Healing, which is:

“The Universe consists of three factors—a Thinker, outward Expression of His thought, and the realm of Mentality which lies between that Thinker and His Expression, and which is the means by which the Uncreated shapes what it thinks into Expression in physical, material forms. If we conceive this Great Thinker (God) as the central nucleus of a great circle”[4] which embraces the Universe, his Expression of thoughts, motives, feelings, will be on the rim of the large circle, and the sphere of Mentality, where those thoughts are being moulded into shape previous to Expression, will be the zone lying between the nucleus, or Central Thinker and the outer rim of His all-embracing circle. Each living creature, as part of this great circle is a sector of the circle — thus: [drawing omitted]. Such a sector, consists as does the entire circle, likewise, of three factors,—(1) that which thinks; (2) mentality, where thoughts are shaped; (3) the body, the material life, where spirit finds expression as outward form. Nos. 2 and 3— mentality and the bodily form—are but the instruments of the spirit, the thinker within us. The thinker within us is part of the Great Thinker at the centre of the circle of the Universe. So that, according to Mrs. Gillen, it is incorrect to say “I have a spirit.” We should say “I am spirit”: i. e., ”I am part of God.” When the zone of our mentality is kept unclouded between our material, bodily form and that within us (up at the point of the sector [drawing omitted]) which thinks, we are, as will be seen, in unbroken communication with the Great Thinker, God, who is Himself all in all: for our thinking self is part of Him. The application of this conception from Mrs. Gillen’s point of view, is that when that zone of mentality is unclouded by dislike or other antitheses of love, then disease and other mundane annoyances no longer exist for us; since, being part of God, and being one with Him at the heart of the Universe, we have His power to create outward circumstances.

From my own point of view, this conception has a bearing on the third and highest degree in the mysteries of Borderland wedlock. But before enlarging this, it may be well to begin with the preliminary training necessary to render one the Borderland wife or husband of an angel, and to set forth the three degrees in order with such detail as may be allowable in a work like this, which is intended for the general public. The readers hope to profit by these instructions for personal development, inasmuch if one can persuade one’s earthly partner to try, with one’s self, to live the life which is obligatory for Borderland wedlock, it brings the Kingdom of heaven into earthly relations.

The preliminary training necessary may be summed up by the admonition: Live a correct moral life, according to our own highest standard (a standard, by the way, which should never be fixed, but always moving onward to still greater excellence) and to strive to think clearly and to form accurate conceptions of ideas, to express conceptions of ideas, to express conceptions with exactness, and to follow Truth, wherever she leads, and whatever your previous convictions upon any given subject. Especially you must have high and clean thoughts about sex that you can think about, read about it, talk about all the details without agitation, without grossness of thought, and with as impersonal a state of mind as if you were discussing the circulation of the blood. And you must learn to recognize the educational value of sex attraction in the evolution of humanity from savagery into civilization. Chiefest of all, learn that sex is holy before God and the angels. During this preliminary training, all sex union must be refrained from absolutely. The nervous energy which has hitherto been evoked for expenditure in this direction must no longer be expended, but, by continual self-mastery, be returned to the system for its upbuilding. Gradually, as the neophyte who has habituated himself to a pure-minded and idealistic conception of sex becomes accustomed to thus maintaining selfpoise, no matter what the temptation, there will spring up in him a joy in his own power which will amply repay him for all his struggles.

This process may take months, or it may take years. The Hindus have a saying that he who seeks a Borderland spouse must have known no women for seven years. But whether the process be long or .short whether the partner be sought by Borderland or on the earthly plane it must be perfected before the first degree can be entered upon. For those who would like to have at hand some text-book to help in passing this preliminary training, I would recommend a little pamphlet entitled, “Practical Methods to Insure Success,” published by the Estoric Publishing Co., Applegate, Placer Co., California. It will be sent free on receipt of postage. It is written from such a standpoint that it can be placed in the hands of young people, and it is suggestive rather than exhaustive of the subject under consideration. But it has nothing to do with Borderland wedlock, and, so far as I can tell, it seems to make this training—which I call preliminary—almost the ultimatum. It also advocates incidentally one or two ideas, such as astrology, and the necessity for occasional fasting, the truth of which it seems to me, remain to be proven. But, apart from these things, it is so admirably written that it will furnish a safe ground-work for any neophyte to build up his ideal sex life upon, and therefore I earnestly recommend its perusal. The first degree, should not be entered upon, as I have said, until the neophyte is proficient in this preliminary training.

The first degree embodies the teaching of what is known as Alpha-ism. Its principle is: “No sex union except for the distinct purpose of begetting a child.” The bearings of this principle will be discussed in my forthcoming treatise on “Psychic Wedlock.” Suffice it to say here that the staunch adherence to this principle has uplifted and brightened the lives of many husbands and wives who had begun to find the marriage state a hell on earth. But it is a mistake to consider this the most advanced teaching regarding the marital relation. It is beautiful, helpful, and necessary to acquire for those who would live the life of the truly wedded: but it is only the first of the three steps which lead husband and wife up to the ideal relation. In The Christian Life, a journal edited and published by Rev. J. D. Caldwell, Chicago, the teaching of Alpha-ism will be found set forth clearly and reverently.

Following this should come another pamphlet called ”Diana “ written by Prof. Parkhurst, the astronomer, and published by the Burnz Publishing Company, New York2 price 25 cents. This pamphlet is unfortunately, marred by being printed in the reform spelling, but one forgets after a page or two. It is a psycho-physiological essay, intended for husbands and wives; written from a high standpoint, and in refined language. Diana will furnish the initiate with a bridge between the first and second degrees; and it is one of the most important and helpful contributions to the sex question that have ever been published.

It is evident that this first degree is likely to prove a stumbling-block to those who degrade this beautiful principle of Alpha-ism (a principle embodied in the Scriptural command, “Be fruitful and multiply”) into an excuse for sowing more seed than is needed to produce the harvest. The man or women who whether on Borderland or in earthly wedlock, thus persistently distorts the above Scriptural command into a permission for something very different from what was intended will never get beyond the first degree of the marriage relation. To create children is not only a high and holy joy to every right-thinking husband and wife, it is a solemn duty imposed upon them by the laws of their own being. And the psychic who shirks this duty in Borderland wedlock, although maintaining marital relations by the angelic spouse, will be misled by all sorts of fantastic or diabolical illusions. Conversely whoever wedded on the Borderland to an angel, holds fast the thought of the duty of the married to create (under suitable conditions), will ere long be shown the truth—i. e., that between two people dwelling on entirely different planes of matter, while the marital relation is possible, lawful and beautiful, to beget a child is impossible until the earthly partner shall have crossed to the world beyond the grave.

The principle of Alpha-ism must be mastered by those who aspire to the second degree, whether on the Borderland or the Earthly plane. The second and the third degrees have this principle for their corner stone. In none of the three degrees is it allowable to sow the seed except for the distinct purpose of begetting a child who has been reverently and prudently planned for at just at that time. Nor is it ever allowable to waste the seed by throwing it away (and with it the psychic energy). The second degree launches the initiate upon the perilous water of sense-gratification. If his previous training has enabled him to build a staunch craft for the voyage, well and good; otherwise he may be swamped at the first wave, or, if he rides its crest, and the crests of succeeding waves he may rashly venture too near the fatal rapids and be engulfed. It is possible that was the error into which Josephus says the “giants” fell when they trusted in their own strength. The second degree was practiced in the Oneida Community, for thirty years, and was obligatory upon all its male members. The result was highly satisfactory despite the society’s unsavory practice of community of women. They do not seem, however, to have seen the necessity for a similar training of female members. The author of that popular novel, “The Strike of a Sex,” has been preparing a book called “Zugassent’s Theory,” which is intended to deal with this method from a popular standpoint. I have not seen the work (which I believe is now going through the press); but from what I know of the author’s reputation and his efforts hitherto in the cause of social purity, I feel that the book is likely to be judiciously worded and to be an aid in mastering the second degree. I doubt however, if it deals with the training of the feminine partner. But the principles underlying the training of the man may be studied out from such a work and applied by the woman. The author is George N. Miller, 59 Murray St., N. Y. The second degree is the most difficult of the three degrees to acquire physiologically speaking, inasmuch as it exacts supreme self-control at a crucial moment. Those who have never attempted this degree, when told of it, are apt to either declare it impossible, or to scorn it as undesirable. But those who have once mastered this degree would no more forego the power which is now theirs, than a freed prisoner would voluntarily return to his dungeon. This way lies the path of liberty and life, and joy, and they who have once trodden it in the perfect fullness, of magnetic union with a dearly loved spouse will never care to stumble along the old paths. The Oneida Community despite its social mistake of promiscuity, has made the human race its everlasting debtor, in that it has left a thirty years scientific experiment on record detailing the methods and attesting the value of this second degree.

But let it never be forgotten that this second degree must be built upon the first degree Alpha-ism. To make use of it as a means to increased sensuality is to degrade it, and to do so effectually bars the initiate from entrance upon that third and highest degree where all joys physical, mental, emotional and spiritual reach an intensity beside which the joys of the first and second degree pale as a candle-flame in the radiance of sunlight. Moreover, if this degree be thus degraded by the initiate, it is almost certain to bring nervous diseases of a very distressing character in its train.

On the third, and highest degree, no book has yet been written, so far as I know. The teaching seems to have been handed down orally or else by pictured symbolism or mystic rite, understood only by the initiates of this degree. I am now compiling notes for my work on “Psychic Wedlock” which I hope will take up the projected three degrees in more detail than is possible in this treatise. For the present, I can only lay down a few general principles,—and these principles which cannot be fully grasped by any except those who have mastered the first and second degrees.

The Hindus have the theory that God can enjoy food, drink and in fact all sense-pleasures but only through the offering of an earthly devotee. Therefore, the devout Hindu offers God a share in all his gratifications of appetite—thus living out, indeed, the Christian Apostle’s admonition of “whether we eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.” Too often, it is true, this doctrine is perverted into an excuse for sensual excesses, the debauchee soothing his conscience by an offering to the god whom he worships. Thus has this sacred inner mystery become degraded by the unworthy. But even the tried and staunch initiate of the first and second degree, unless he holds grace as he enters upon this third degree, unless he holds fast to the teaching: “Aspire to the highest.” Only in reverent and earnest aspiration to the Divine, to the Source of all things, to the Eternal Energy of the Universe, may this third degree be entered upon, either in Borderland or earthly wedlock. The more intense the emotion, the more absolute the necessity for aspiring with all one’s faculties to union with the Divine. Every element of selfish desire must be eliminated; one must aspire at that time because it is right and beautiful to bring one’s holiest and tenderest and most ecstatic emotions into the presence of the Great Thinker, in order that they may there be purged of all dross and be a worthy expression of our own best self. That is the first half of this highest degree. The second half is entered upon when spontaneously—not from selfish desire—it dawns upon us that to offer God a share of our pleasure at the moment may give him pleasure. When single-heartedly, and in all sincerity and benevolent feeling toward God we invite him to become the third partner in the marital union, then, indeed, do we understand what it is to love and to be loved. We enter thus into a personal relation with God in which, Impersonal Force though He be, we realize vividly that we are one with Him, and with Him one with all the universe. For that in us which thinks— the apex of our particular sector if the circle of the universe is, on the one hand, in unclouded relation with our physical self on the outer rim, and on the other hand, it is merged into the Great Thinker, the Great Nucleus who is at the centre of all creation. From that moment, we are able to say to this Pantheos, Great Thinker, to this All-Pervading Energy, “My friend!” (And inasmuch as God is love in the fullest possible sense of that expression, the connubial bliss of Borderland lovers is increased tenfold.) From that moment, we know what it is to truly love God. This divine trinity in unity must be the final goal of Borderland wedlock, if such wedlock is to be permanent.

It is in this sense, I am inclined to think, that Mme. de Guyon, St. Teresa, and other mystical Spouses of Christ received the Divine Bridegroom. Subjectively mingled 1 with this rapturous union with Deity no doubt, were the experiences of union with the angelic husband, of whose very existence as such, they were unaware, confounding him with the Impersonal Deity who was the third element in their union. Then, too, we must remember that these women intelligent as they were, were untrained in the nice distinctions of subjective and objective hallucinatory, veridical, automatic, telepathic, subconscious, etc., evolved by the modern Society for Psychical Research, and other recent investigators of the occult. Moreover, there are psychical experiences in Borderland wedlock which are subjective while they seem to the untrained occults to be objective. Of such a nature (apparently) was the experience of a Philadelphia lady, a Spiritualist, who told me of her spirit husband. She was a widow, and this spirit was a deceased lover from whom she had been separated in youth by a misunderstanding. He returned from the world beyond the grave to explain matters, and to reclaim his lost love, and finally proposed that she should consider herself to be his wife from that time on, assuring her that it was so recorded in his land. Thereafter, on several occasions, she experienced (when she was by no means prepared) a series of galvanic shocks extending upwards through her body. These were doubtless hypnotic suggestions to prepare and train her for experiences of a more objective character. The manifestations, however, were interfered with by the return of a chronic complaint of the liver with which she had suffered at intervals for years.

If it be asked how a misty, vaporous being, such as a ghost is popularly supposed to be, can sustain an objective marital union on the Borderland, I reply that the ghost is not mist-like in reality, but only appears so because he is in a new world of matter, with a more extended scale of vibrations per second for the various forces of sound, heat, light, and electricity than obtain upon our earthly plane. Beyond the last faint violet ray of the spectrum, science has demonstrated that there are rays of color to which we are blind, but which so lowly a creature as the ant can perceive. Dogs can trace a scent of which we have no perception. Many people are so color-blind as to be unable to distinguish a red from a green light—a fact brought out some years since very markedly in an examination for railway service in England. An astigmatic person is almost, if not quite blind, to a fine line running in some one direction. Recent experiments by Galton have shown that cats and birds are sensitive to a whistle which is inaudible to the human ear. If our inferiors in the animal Kingdom reveal such marked superiority—to ourselves in sensitiveness to vibrations is it unlikely that our former equal and our superior, the deceased human being who has passed out of earth life into a wider realm, shall also acquire sensitiveness to a wider range of vibrations? The ghost probably senses all things on our plane,, plus a great many more things on his own. Our sensations are included in his, but his extend far on each side of our own. Therefore we cannot perceive his form or hear his voice in all his material relations, because he is in-a world where forms, colors, sounds which we are physically incapable of perceiving—except in the exalted condition of the clairvoyant or clairaudient— are part and parcel of his daily life. When we see him, we see only through the narrow range of our own limited scale of vibrations: so that we see him but in part, and therefore mistily, or hear his voice but faintly, or perhaps not at all, as it may cover a range of vibrations per second quite one side or the other of our own scale of sound vibrations. For this reason, he is often obliged to speak to the psychic by the interior voice—an hypnotic rendition, apparently, of his voice through the medium of her sub-consciousness. For this reason, because his voice is not audible, as a rule, to her physical ears, the psychic must learn to discriminate accurately between this interior voice and the voiced imaginings of her own sub-consciousness, which will utter themselves quite as audibly as does the interior voice if the psychic has not acquired the faculty of holding her subconsciousness well under control. With experience, however, the discrimination comes in time to be made inerringly, as St. Teresa has stated.

Through the interior voice, a Borderland mystic may be wooed and won as a wife if she be clear-headed and keep the moral law with scrupulous care. She does not need to be clairaudient to hear her lover’s voice interiorly. Nor does she need to be clairvoyant, if she be willing to go it blind, so to say. She is then in the condition, however, of a person who is totally blind; and who is almost totally deaf. Since she needs to be on the alert quite as much as if she were dependent on an ear-trumpet, in order to make no mistake in catching the remarks made by the interior voice. Nevertheless, even people who are blind and people who are deaf may fall in love with some one on this earthly plane and marry despite the defective means of communicating ideas. Fortunately there are other means of transmitting ideas than by the interior voice or by the eye or the ear. In this connection the following article by Paul Tyner, on “The sixth sense and how to develop it,” in The Arena for June, 1894, offers a suggestive thought.

I have said that I regard psychometry as the key to the development, on rational lines, of the sixth sense. Psychometry itself seems to be a development on the psychic side of that physical sense, which is at once the finest, the most subtle, the most comprehensive, and the most neglected of all the five senses—the sense of touch. While distributed over the whole surface of the body, through the nervous system, this sense is more delicate and sensitive in some parts than in others. The marvellous possibilities of its development in the hands, are shown in the cases of expert silk buyers and of coin handlers. The first are enabled merely by touch, to distinguish instantly the* weight and fineness of a score of different pieces of cloth hardly distinguishable to the eye. Girls employed in the mints, while counting gold and silver coins at an astonishingly rapid speed, detect at once the minutest difference of overweight or underweight in the coin passing through their hands. The remarkable sensitiveness developed by the blind in the tips of the fingers, under such scientific cultivation as that provided in the Perkins Institute, of which Laura Bridgman in the past and Helen Keller in the present are such conspicuous examples, is familiar to most readers.

It may not be so generally known that recent post-mortem examinations of the bodies of the blind reveal the fact that in the nerves at the ends of the fingers, well defined cells of gray matter had formed, identical in substance and in cell formation with the gray matter of the brain. What does this show? If brain and nerves are practically identical, is it not plain that, instead of being confined to the cavity of the skull, there is not any part of the surface of the body that can be touched by a pin’s point without pricking the brain? It shows, moreover, I think, that, given all the sensations generally received through the other physical organs of sense may be received through the touch at the tips of the fingers. It proves that a man can think not alone in his head, but all over his body, and especially in the great nerve centres like the solar plexus, and the nerve ends, on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. The coming man will assuredly perceive and think in every part, from his head down to his feet. Need I suggest the importance of remembering, in this connection, how much in our modern life is conveyed by the hand clasp, or the deep delight that comes to lovers in caressing touches, when impelled to pat the hands or cheek of the beloved one, or to stroke her hair? It is through the emotional life that our sensitiveness is led from the physical to the psychic plane of sensation. (The Arena, Boston, June 1894.)

It is through the nerves of touch that Borderland wedlock becomes objective. The lover may remain forever invisible, as in the fairy stories, materializing only at night, and then only to the touch of those nerves most capable of sensing his tangibility. But, ghost though he be, it was the testimony of Reginald Scot in his “Discourse of Witchcraft” that the Witch “hath more pleasure that way, they say, than with anie mortall man.” The angelic bridegroom, as well as this earthly partner, must live a correct moral life and think clearly; and this means that he must exercise a tenderness, a considerate regard for his wife’s comfort and happiness, and also a marital self control of which too many earthly men are ignorant. No wonder then, that, on the plane of sentiment, she should prefer this ghostly spouse to “anie mortall man.” And on the plane of physiological relations, I think I have already shown that the husband who is an initiate in the third degree, who has trained his wife therein, can assure her of connubial bliss which is perpetual. The Borderland bridegroom has this advantage, too, over the earthly bridegroom; being able to read his partners thoughts, he can adapt himself to her most delicate fluctuations of sentiment at a moment’s warning, and so never fail to be truly her companion.

“If one could prolong the happiness of love into marriage,” wrote Rousseau, “we should have Paradise on earth.”

In my own case, Paradise—the Kingdom of Heaven has come into my earth life, and it has come through my heavenly bridegroom.

Letter to her Mother on the Day of her Suicide

New York, Oct. 16, 1902

Dear, Dear Mother:

I know you will grieve over me for having taken my life.... My dear, dear mother, oh, how sorry I am to hurt you, as I now this act will do. But, oh, mother, I cannot, I will not consent to go to the asylum, as you are evidently planning to have me go. I know that this means a perpetual imprisonment all my long life, unless I either recant my religious beliefs or else hypocritically pretend to do so. I cannot bring myself to consent to any of these three alternatives. I maintain my right to die as I have lived, a free woman, not cowed into silence by any other human being. If, on the other hand, the prison to which Judge Thomas evidently proposes to send me were to be my destined lot (you know very well that he wishes and means to lock me up for a long, long term, which is practically my death warrant), my work is ended so far as this world is concerned. My books have been given a start, approved by physicians and other reputable citizens, but the world is not yet ready for all the beautiful teachings which I have to give it. Other people will take up my work, however, some day--will take it up where I laid it down, and will start from where I left off and do better work than they could have done but for me. Some day you’ll be proud of me. You will understand that what I have done has been done because you and my father prepared me for just such a propaganda to humanity. You may ask why I did not give it up and come home to live with you, resuming my name of “Miss Craddock,” and taking up other work. But, dear mother, I could be of no possible help to you, with the shadow of reproach which bigots and impure-minded people have put on me. I should be only a hindrance to your respectability. Moreover, my individuality has some rights. I cannot recant my beliefs and throw aside a principle for which I have toiled and struggled for nine years, even at the behest of a mother that is dear to me.

Do not grieve, dear, dear mother; the world beyond the grave, believe me, is far more real and substantial than is this world in which we to-day live. This earth life which the Hindoos have for centuries termed “Maya,” that is illusion. My people assure me that theirs is the real, the objective, the material world. Ours is the lopsided, the incomplete world. You and I shall meet in that beautiful world over there and shall know each other as individuals just as clearly as we do here, only more so. I do not know whether it will be possible for me to return to you; but if I can, I will do so. Only remember that you must try to keep the five rules for clear thinking and correct living which my people have given me. If I do come back, of this I feel sure. As you may have forgotten these, I am going to give them here again: 

1. Do your daily earthly duty undeterred by calls to mediumship from any source. 
2. Be self-controlled and strive to be amiable and loving every day. 
3. Wait and watch for the highest. 
4. Avoid selfish seeking of self-ease. 
5. Abide in purity, not merely moral purity, but physical cleanliness; and still more, intellectual clearness--that is freedom from prejudice; think clearly.

Love all people, even those who have wronged you, if you would receive clear communications from over the border. It is possible that I may come as I have said. I do not know. But in any event, it cannot be long before you will join me over here, and I shall be on hand to welcome you, dear, dear mother, when you do come.

Oh, if only you could have brought yourself to have let me live at home to carry on my propaganda under your modifying advice, then this need never have been, and I could have lived for many years to carry on a moderate, far less crudely radical propaganda than I have done. I have had nobody to stand by me and to help me; I have had to carve out my own road without any predecessors to guide me.

You will find $40 in my trunk. I have written to Mr. Chamberlain to-night to tell you just where I have placed it. I do not know who may read this letter before you get it, and so have taken this precaution.

Will you mind expressing the various books I addressed here to-night? As you know, I have been unable to get out to-day to send them off as I hoped to do. For there is an Adams Express Company on this street, several doors this side of Fifth avenue.

Dear, dear mother, please remember that I love you, and that I shall always love you. Even if you get fantastic communications from the border land, remember that the real Ida is not going there.

The real Ida, your own daughter, loves you and waits for you to come soon over to join her in the beautiful blessed world beyond the grave, where Anthony Comstocks and corrupt judges and impure-minded people are not known. We shall be very happy together some day, you and I, dear mother; there will be a blessed reality for us both at last. I love you, dear mother; never forget that. And love cannot die; it is no dream, it is a reality. We shall be the individuals over there that we are here, only with enlarged capacities. Goodbye, dear mother, if only for a little while. I love you always. I shall never forget you, that would be impossible; nor could you ever forget me. Do not think the next world an unsubstantial dream; it is material, as much so as this; more so than this. We shall meet there, dear mother. Your affectionate daughter,

Ida C. Craddock

Letter to the Public on the Day of her Suicide

Room 5, No. 134 West 23D St., New York, Oct. 16, 1902.

To the Public:

I am taking my life, because a judge, at the instigation of Anthony Comstock, has decreed me guilty of a crime which I did not commit--the circulation of obscene literature--and has announced his intention of consigning me to prison for a long term.

The book has been favorably reviewed by medical magazines of standing, and has been approved by physicians of reputation. The Rev. Dr. Rainsford of this city, in two letters to me, partially approved this book so far as to say that if all young people were to read it, a great deal of misery, suffering, and disappointment could be avoided, and that to have arrested me on account of it, as Mr. Comstock has done, was ridiculous. This little book, “The Wedding Night,” and its companion pamphlet, “Right Marital Living,” have been circulated with approval among Social Purity women, members of the W.C.T.U., clergymen and reputable physicians; various physicians have ordered these books from me for their patients, or have sent their patients to me to procure them or to receive even fuller instruction orally; respectable married women have purchased them from me for their daughters, husbands for their wives, wives for husbands, young women for their betrothed lovers. On all sides, these little pamphlets have evoked from their readers commendation for their purity, their spiritual uplifting, their sound common sense in treating of healthful and happy relations between husbands and wives.

In contrast with this mass of testimony to their purity and usefulness, a paid informer, who is making his living out of entering complaints against immoral books and pictures, has lodged complaint against one of my books as “obscene, lewd, lascivious,” and proposes to indict the other book later on, so as to inflict legal penalties on me a second time. This man, Anthony Comstock, who is unctuous with hypocrisy, pretends that I am placing these books in the hands of minors, even little girls and boys, with a view to the debauchment of their morals. He has not, however, produced any young person thus far who has been injured through their perusal; nor has any parent or guardian come forward who claims even the likelihood of any young persons being injured by either of these books; nor has he even vouchsafed the addresses of any of the people from whom he states he has received complaints. In addition, he has deliberately lied about the matter. He stated to Judge Thomas of the United States Circuit Court (secretly, not while in court), that I had even handed one of these books to the little daughter of the janitress of the building in which I have my office. It so happens that there is no janitress in this building, nor is there any little girl connected with same. I took a paper around among the tenants to this effect, which they signed, and which I sent to the judge by my lawyer; also a paper to the same effect, which my landlord stood prepared to attest before a notary, if need be. But even this made no impression upon Judge Thomas; he still is firmly convinced (so he says) that Anthony Comstock is a strictly truthful man.

On Friday last, October 10, I underwent what was supposed to be a fair and impartial trial by jury; but which was really a most unfair trial, before a thoroughly partisan judge, at the close of which he abolished my right of trial by jury on the main question at issue, namely the alleged obscenity of “The Wedding Night” book. My counsel was not permitted to present in evidence circulars which showed that as far back as 1898 and 1899, I was accustomed to state in print that any applicants for oral instruction upon marriage who were under 21 would have to produce written consent from a parent or a guardian. My evidence was almost wholly choked off; neither my counsel nor myself was permitted to endeavor to justify the book by argument. The most the judge would do was to permit me to read from various paragraphs in the book, without comment, if these could explain the indicted paragraphs. Even with this tiny bit of a chance, I made such good use of my opportunity before the jury, that Judge Thomas, who was evidently prejudiced in advance against both myself and my book, saw that he dared not now risk the case to the jury, or he might not manage to convict me after all. And so he announced that he himself intended to pass upon the character of the book. He stated that there is in existence a decision of the United States Supreme Court which gives him this right.

He said he would not let the question go to the jury; he considered the book “obscene, lewd, lascivious, dirty.” He added that he would submit to the jury only the question of fact. Did the defendant mail the book? (The charge was “mailing an obscene book.”) He said, “Gentlemen of the Jury, the question for you to pass upon is, Did the defendant mail the book? You know that she admits having mailed the book. Please render your verdict. I do not suppose you will care to leave your seats.” And the poor little cowed jury could do nothing but to meekly obey the behest of this unrighteous judge, and to pass in their ballots, “Guilty of mailing the book.” Which, of course, was no crime at all.

I fully expected that the public press of New York city would duly chronicle this most remarkable invasion of the rights of the people by such an abolishing of the trial by jury; but so far as I could learn, the press remained totally silent.

It is evident that the political pull of the party which fathers Anthony Comstock is too powerful for any newspaper in New York to dare to raise a protest when, at the instigation of this ex officio informer, an innocent woman, engaged in a laudable work of sex reform, indorsed by reputable citizens, is arrested on false information and denied her right of trial by jury.

Since Friday last, people of influence and respectability have written to the judge on my behalf and have been to see him; but he announces his inflexible intention of sending me to prison, and, he is careful to malignantly add, “for a long, long term.” I am a “very dangerous woman,” he adds: Mr. Comstock has told him most shocking things about me--not in court, however, this paid informer being far too cute to dare to face his victim openly with any such lies.

At my age (I was forty-five this last August) confinement under the rigors of prison life would be equivalent to my death-warrant. The judge must surely know this; and since he is evidently determined to not only totally suppress my work, but to place me where only death can release me, I consider myself justified in choosing for myself, as did Socrates, the manner of my death. I prefer to die comfortably and peacefully, on my own little bed in my own room, instead of on a prison cot.

I am making this statement to the public because I wish to call attention to some of the salient features of Constockism, in the hope that the public may be led to put down this growing menace to the liberties of the people.

As I said not long since in the Boston Traveler, if the reading of impure books and the gazing upon impure pictures does debauch and corrupt and pervert the mind (and we know that it does), when we reflect that Anthony Comstock has himself read perhaps more obscene books, and has gazed upon perhaps more lewd pictures than has any other one man in the United States, what are we to think of the probable state of Mr. Comstock’s imagination today upon sexual matters?

The man is a sex pervert; he is what physicians term a Sadist--namely a person in whom the impulses of cruelty arise concurrently with the stirring of sex emotion. The Sadist finds keen delight in inflicting either physical cruelty or mental humiliation upon the source of that emotion. Also he may find pleasure in gloating over the possibilities to others. I believe that Mr. Comstock takes pleasure in lugging in on all occasions a word picture (especially to a large audience) of the shocking possibilities of the corruption of the morals of innocent youth.

This man serves two masters; he is employed and paid by the Society of the Suppression of Vice, but he secures from the United States Government an appointment as postal inspector without pay; so that he is able, if he wishes, to use his official position for the furtherance of the private ends of his society and, presumably of himself. Ex officio informers, with their attendant spies and decoys, have been throughout history notoriously a means of exploiting the government for private and corrupt purposes.

For over nine years I have been fighting, singlehanded and alone, against Comstockism. Time and time again I have been pushed to the wall, my books have been seized and burned, and I myself have been publicly stigmatized in the press by Comstock and Comstockians as a purveyor of indecent literature. Yet this very literature has been all the while quietly circulating with approval among men and women of the utmost respectability and purity of life, and I have received numerous letters attesting its worth.

Not only this, Comstockism can be used, as was the medieval Inquisition at times, to gratify private malice, as the complainant does not need to appear in court. This was done to me in Philadelphia because, while holding a petty position as amanuensis in the Bureau of highways, I declined right along to pay political assessments to the Quay party. For months they tracked me night and day wherever I went, vainly hoping to learn something detrimental to my character, and at last they arranged to have me indicted for mailing immoral literature, as they could find no other means of successfully damaging my reputation.

John Wanamaker once stated in a political speech that the Quay party were relentless in hounding those who refused to pay political assessments. They would follow up such a person even when he went into the service of other employers, and leave no stone unturned to ruin him in after years. This may or not be so in my own case; I do not know. But I do know that when I went to Washington a secret complaint was lodged with the police My accuser never faced me openly in court. I pleaded my own case before the police judge, saved one book (“Right Marital Living”) and won many encomiums from those present in court because of the uplifting character of my plea; nevertheless I was driven from the city.

Each time that I have been arrested, I have escaped by a compromise; but I resolved, when I came to New York, that if again attacked by Comstockism, I would stand my ground and fight to the death. Perhaps it may be that in my death more than in my life, the American people may be shocked into investigating the dreadful state of affairs which permits that unctuous sexual hypocrite, Anthony Comstock, to wax fat and arrogant, and to trample upon the liberties of the people, invading, in my own case, both my right to freedom of religion and to freedom of the press. There is only one lawful excuse for the community’s interfering with any one’s religion or publication in America; and that is, the invasion by means of that religion or those publications, of other people’s rights to life, liberty, or their pursuit of happiness. No proof of such injury wrought has been produced in my case; the testimony for the government against me rests entirely upon the mere say-so of this paid informer.

Every one of the paragraphs indicted in “The Wedding Night” is the outcome of talks which I have had with distinguished physicians and also with men and women among my pupils. I have looked into the hearts of hundreds of men and women during the nine years in which I have been engaged in sex reform work, and my soul burns within me when I see how husbands and wives are suffering, and how nearly all of the suffering could be done away with, if only Anthony Comstock were not hoodwinking the public into believing that sexual information in printed books must be kept away from them, so as to protect the morals of innocent youth. Surely, Mr. Comstock’s idea of the nature of the marriage relation must be singularly impure, when he ventures to pretend that it should not be known of as to its details by young people who are sufficiently mature to be seeking for enlightenment!

In the courts, however, in obscene literature cases, a precedent has been established by which the defendant is forbidden to produce witnesses in behalf of the accused book, so that I was legally prohibited from summoning physicians to testify on behalf of the book.

Owing to this and to other legal precedents which hamper the defendant in obscene literature cases as is done in no other criminal cases anywhere; owing also the dense ignorance and prejudice which prevail in regard to the scientific open discussion of sexual matters; and, most of all, owing to Mr. Comstock’s persistent lies and to his adroitness in depicting the shocking possibilities of corrupting the morals of innocent youth by permitting young people to peruse any enlightening literature upon the details of normal, healthy, pure marital relations--matters have now reached the point where it is only necessary to accuse a person of mailing so-called “obscene” literature in order to convict him. As no witnesses are allowed to testify as to the effect of the book upon themselves or their young daughters or young sons, or, if physicians, upon their patients, neither judge nor jury are in a position to learn the actual facts in the case. And now, in my own case the other day, the legal precedent has been established by the action of Judge Thomas, in the United States Circuit Court, of not only excluding witnesses in behalf of the indicted book, but even forbidding either the defendant or her counsel to attempt to explain the reasons for printing the indicted paragraphs or in any way seeking to justify, in an argument, the publication of the book and then finally, by a legal subterfuge, abolishing the defendant’s right of trial by jury; the latter being a proceeding which has always been recognized by true patriots as a serious menace to the liberties of the people.

In addition, in my own case, there is the matter of persecution for my religious views. Although this question did not directly arise before Judge Thomas, yet, from the paragraph which I read from my book, and which I was permitted to read only without explanation, it must have been evident that the book contained a religious propaganda, and that, indeed, the religious teaching was the foremost matter, the physical teachings being only subservient thereto.

But in my trial under the New York state law last March, before three judges the religious question did very decidedly arise. In that court, Judge McKean so far forgot his oath of office (to administer justice impartially) as to hotly denounce my book as “blasphemous” (presumably because I am teaching the duty and the joy of communion with God in the marriage relation so as to render it sacramental). Of course this was illegal on his part. No judge has any right to denounce a prisoner because he differs with that prisoner in his religious belief.

I earnestly hope that the American public will awaken to a sense of the danger which threatens it from Comstockism, and that it will demand that Mr. Comstock shall no longer be permitted to suppress works on sexology. The American people have a right to seek and to obtain knowledge upon right living in the marriage relation, either orally or in print, without molestation by this paid informer, Anthony Comstock, or by anybody else.

Dear fellow-citizens of America, for nine long years I have faced social ostracism, poverty, and the dangers of persecution by Anthony Comstock for your sakes. I had a beautiful gospel of right living in the marriage relation, which I wanted you to share with me. For your sakes, I have struggled along in the face of great odds; for your sakes I have come at last to the place where I must lay down my life for you, either in prison or out of prison. Will you not do something for me now?

Well, this is what I want the American public to do for me. Only one of my books, that on “The Wedding Night,” is at present under legal ban. “Right Marital Living,” which is by far the more important book of the two, and which contains the gist of my teachings, has not yet been indicted. Mr. Comstock, however, told me, when arresting me, that he expected to get both books indicted. If sufficient of a popular demand be made for this book, and especially if the demand voice itself in the public press, he will not dare to attack the book in the courts. Will you do this one thing for me, those of you who have public influence? Remember, it is for you and for your children that I have fought this nine-years’ fight. And although I am going to a brighter and a happier land, nevertheless, I shall still look down upon you all here, and long and long and long that you may know something of the radiantly happy and holy life which is possible for every married couple who will practice these teachings. Even in Paradise I cannot be as happy as I might, unless you share with me this beautiful knowledge.

I beg of you, for your own sakes, and for the future happiness of the young people who are dear to you, to protect my little book, “Right Marital Living.”

I have still other teachings to follow this, upon the marriage relation, later on. I have written a book of between 450 and 500 pages upon “Marriage” in which my teachings are set forth more fully. This book, in manuscript form, is at present stored in a safe place, in friendly hands. It will not be given to the public until such time as the public shows itself ready for it, and prepared to protect this fuller and franker book from prosecution. Meanwhile, however, “Right Marital Living” remains unindicted; it sets forth a gospel of marriage which is being preached by no other teacher in America. Its teachings will make your married lives healthier, happier, holier. Will you publicly voice your demand for this little book, “Right Marital Living,” and protect it from Anthony Comstock?

Ida C. Craddock