Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician

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SUNY Press, 14.11.1996 - 607 Seiten
Paschal Beverly Randolph, an African American who carved his own eccentric path in the mid-nineteenth century from the slums of New York to the courts of Europe, performed as a spiritualist trance medium. Self-educated, he became one of the first Black American novelists and took a leading part in raising black soldiers for the Union army and educating Freedmen during the Civil War. His most enduring claim to fame is the crucial role he played in the transformation of spiritualism, a medium's passive reception of messages from the spirits of the dead, into occultism, the active search for personal spiritual realization and inner vision. From his solitary travels in England, France, Egypt and the Turkish Empire, he brought back occult beliefs and practices (the magic mirror, hashish use and sexual magic) that worked a revolution. The systems of magic he taught left their traces on Madame Blavatsky, her Theosophical Society, and many practicing occult organizations in Europe and America today. This is the first scholarly work on Randolph, and it includes the full text of his two most important manuscripts on sexual magic.

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