Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian and Sex Magician (Series in Western Esoteric Traditions)
Foreword by Franklin RosemontThis is the fascinating story of Paschal Beverly Randolph, anAfrican American who carved his own eccentric path in themid-nineteenth century from the slums of New York's Five Points tothe courts of Europe, where he performed as a spiritualist trancemedium. Although self-educated, he became one of the first BlackAmerican novelists and took a leading part in raising Blacksoldiers for the Union army and in educating Freedmen in Louisianaduring the Civil War. His enduring claim to fame, however, is thecrucial role he played in the transformation of spiritualism, amedium's passive reception of messages from the spirits of thedead, into occultism, the active search for personal spiritualrealization and inner vision.From his experiences in his solitary travels in England, France,Egypt and the Turkish Empire in the 1850s and 1860s, he broughtback to America a system of occult beliefs and practices (the magicmirror, hashish use and sexual magic) that worked a revolution. Thesystems of magic he taught left their traces on many subsequentoccultists, including Madame Blavatsky and her TheosophicalSociety, and are still practiced today by several occultorganizations in Europe and American that carry on his work. Thisis the fist scholarly work on Randolph and includes the full textof his two most important manuscript works on sexual magic.