Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock

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9781578634767: Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock
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Sex, Magick, Aleister Crowley, Orgasms, Erotic Dances, Angelic Beings, Revolutionary Activism, Liberation, Persecution, Defiance, and Suicide. Persecuted by Anthony Comstock and his Society for the Suppression of Vice, this turn-of-the-century heroine was also a spiritualist who learned many secrets of high magick through her claimed wedlock to an angelic being. Born in Philadelphia in 1857, Ida Craddock became involved in occultism around the age of thirty. She attended classes at the Theosophical Society and began studying a tremendous amount of materials on various occult subjects. She taught correspondence courses to women and newly married couples to educate them on the sacred nature of sex, maintaining that her explicit knowledge came from her nightly experiences with an angel named Soph. In 1902, she was arrested under New York's anti-obscenity laws and committed suicide to avoid life in an asylum. Now for the first time, scholar Vere Chappell has compiled the most extensive collection of Craddock's work including original essays, diary excerpts, and suicide letters--one to her mother and one to the public.

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About the Author:

Vere Chappell is a writer, photographer, and researcher specializing in spirituality and sexuality. He has a bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science, a Master of Business Administration, and a doctoral degree in Human Sexuality. He has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including research trips to Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Thailand, and Nepal. He has lectured extensively on sexuality and the occult, and written numerous papers and articles on the subject. Author website: www.erotology.net

Review:

"Ida Craddock is an unsung heroine of women's liberation and alternative spirituality who literally sacrificed herself in the long battle with the forces of social repression that resulted in the freedom of choice in sexual matters that we take for granted today. Sexologist and occult scholar Vere Chappell brings Craddock to life in this incisive yet sympathetic biography. He also lets her speak for herself by including her seminal work, Heavenly Bridegrooms." -Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior O.T.O.

"Ida Craddock was a turn-of-the-century spiritualist who married, and had sex with, an angelic being. She even wrote an essay about it entitled Heavenly Bridegrooms. (Aleister Crowley said that no occult library was complete without it.) Centuries ahead of her time, she championed the divine purpose of sex. As a result she was persecuted by moral tyrant Anthony Comstock and a puritanical, misogynistic society. Eventually she was arrested and sentenced to a long prison term. She committed suicide instead, and left behind both a private letter to her mother and a letter meant for the public. Both of those letters and Heavenly Bridegroom are incorporated into this exciting and timely biography. Thanks to lawyer Theodore Schroeder, Craddock's writings were preserved for a century. Many of them were the basis for later occult treatises. Now Vere Chappell has updated them and made them accessible to modern readers. The result is a monumental, not-to-be-missed contribution to the histories of occultism, sexuality (and tantric practices), and women's rights. -Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer

"Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic is an excellent book about fascinating topics! A great addition to any respectable sex library." -Annie Sprinkle Ph.D., Sex Worker turned author and Ecosexual Sexecologist

"Finally, we have a book that does justice to Ida Craddock's important but often-overlooked role in the histories of feminism, sex therapy, and sacred sexuality. I can think of no better person than Vere Chappell to introduce this remarkable woman to a new generation. Chappell artfully weaves together a selection of Ida Craddocks' key writings with an insightful biography that takes readers along on her fascinating journey from stenographer to advocate, provocateur, and martyr of freedom. Highly recommended." -Richard Kaczynski PhD, author of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley and The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley

"While many of her ideas would be laughable by the standards of sexologists today, they were visionary in the late 1800's. Simply by being willing to discuss sexuality at all and espousing its enjoyment as a right for women as well as men, Ida Craddock was a pioneer and deserves to be known. Vere Chappell's Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock informs us thoroughly on the life and work of this remarkable woman." -Isadora Alman MFT, Ask Isadora columnist and author of Bluebirds of Impossible Paradises: a Sexual Odyssey of the 70's

"She has put down statements in plain English which are positively staggering. This book is of incalculable value to every student of occult matters. No Magick library is complete without it." -Aleister Crowley's praise for Craddock's 1894 book Heavenly Bridegrooms

"Within the first few pages of this brilliant book, Dr. Chappell resurrects the heroic Ida Craddock from the depths of obscurity to the vanguard of modern consciousness. Her courageous struggle against ignorance, superstition, and tyranny is seared into the reader's awareness as we observe her persecution by those who vilified her truths as blasphemy. This book also provides the first publication of a number of skillfully-annotated copies of Craddock's all-but-unknown writings. Her revolutionary teachings will be of great value to an audience prepared by the century of social progress Ida Craddock fought so earnestly to create. Aleister Crowley, another sexual outlaw, called her writings on erotic mysticism, "of incalculable value to every student of occult matters"." -James Wasserman, editor of Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary and author of An Illustrated History of Solomon's Temple

"Sexual Outlaw and Erotic Mystic is an important book about a remarkable woman: Ida Craddock. Sex educator and sexual mystic, Spiritualist, teacher, rabble-rouser, free-thinker, and unfortunate suicide, her life's work advanced both spiritual exploration and social liberation. As a contemporary magic worker, I feel that we are greatly in her debt, and are fortunate to have this record of the life and writings of this little known--yet highly influential--person. Bravo, Vere Chappell." -T. Thorn Coyle, author of Kissing the Limitless and founder of Morningstar Mystery School

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