The Satanic Sophia & Confrierie de la Fleche d’Or (Fraternity of the Golden Arrow)

Maria De Naglowska (Mariya Naglovskaya) (1883-1936) known as “La Sophiale de Montparnasee”, was a controversial figure known to call herself a “Satanic Woman”, The Russian mystic born in St. Petersburg was known for her work as an author and as a philosopher.
As a writer she was known for having translated sexual sorcerer and spiritualist Paschal B. Randolph’s Magia Sexualis (though it has been speculated that Naglowska inserted her own ideas into the text) and also translating a biography on Rasputin (there is speculation that she actually knew Rasputin) in addition to writing the central texts of her fraternal order. She was also known to be connected to the occultist , Julius Evolva. Her famous students included; Man Ray,Georges Bataille,William Seabrook, Michel Leiris, and the aforementioned Julius Evolva.
Naglowska gave conferences on her “doctrine of the Third Term of the Trinity” ( a doctrine that recognized and honored what she considers the only living God. Which is life. She then went on to found Confrierie de la fleche d’Or (Fraternity of the Golden Arrow) based on these conferences. Naglowska’s teachings on Satanism were not culled from traditional Christian mythology, thus making her an interesting yet not oft mentioned figure in Satanism or sexual sorcery. I first heard about her contributions to sinister sexual sorcery in Zeena and Nikolas Shreck’s Demons of the Flesh ; The Complete Guide to Left Handed Sex Magic. Naglowska viewed Satan not as this dark outside force, but as this force inside of us all. Satan was viewed as the opposite of life (god=life), both of these forces were considered vital for humanity. She even had her own retelling about the Garden of Eden myth. To Naglowska the holy spirit was represented by the feminine spirit which ushered in a new era ; reconciliation of darkness and light via sexual mysteries. She felt that the era of Christianity was coming to an end.
A public occult rite of the Satanic Sophia
She put on public displays showcasing the rites of the order, to which some spectators took as more carnal than spiritual. Men were initiated and women were chosen in la Fleche d’Or. La lumiere de sexe (The Light of Sex) and le mystere de la pendaison (The Hanging Mystery), two texts not translated into english, were required reading for initiation into La Fleche d’Or. A small newspaper named La Fleche, Organe d’Action Magique was the public voice of the group.

Members of Fleche d’Or utilized sexual rites to further reconcile darkness and light. La Sophiale herself even acted as a naked altar during one of the order’s rites in which a male initiate placed a chalice upon her genitals and makes an oath “I will strive by any means to illuminate myself, with the aid of a woman who knows how to love me with virgin love…I will research with companions the initiatory erotic act, which, by transforming the heat into light arouses Lucifer from the satanic shades of masculinity.”(virgin here means a woman utilizing her sexuality for enlightenment and not out of carnality, not a woman who has never had sex) Messe d’or (Mass of Gold) was considered the most important rite of all, though it was never performed. The ritual consisted of seven male officials were to make love to three priestesses in public during a beautiful ceremony.

A prerequisite for this rite was that one was free of personal and vain urges. On record there exists only a preliminary preparation rite for Mass of Gold. Another such rite , The Rite of the Compasses, A female or male stood upright, a naked Priestess lay at their feet forming a right angle as to look like an open pair of compasses. Onlookers take each others hands and form a magical chain, using group concentration they generated as much energy as possible. The Priestess then drew the energy reinforcing it between she and her standing partner. With focus, a fireball of energy was supposed to appear in her hands.

The most infamous ritual the order was known for was Le Mystere de la Pendaison (The Hanging Mystery), which basically amounted to ritualized erotic asphyxiation. When she had a vision of her impending death, Naglowska went into hiding and did not name a successor for la Fleche d’Or. She made the decision to not reprint her books, The Light of Sex and The Hanging Mystery . She told her followers that nothing would be able to be done to spread her teachings for two or three generations. Maria de Naglowska was a revolutionary and interesting figure due to her teachings on Satanism and sexual sorcery. Her occult order was not without its faults; the role of women could be seen as more passive than expected, given the group’s leader was a woman. Also the group criteria could be construe as racist; Only blondes were selected as Priestesses (“..because the Morning Star cannot come from mixed races, nor from the Southern races.”) Perhaps this as well as sexism could be the reason that Naglowska’s teachings and order are not more well known amongst today’s occultists.

Sources cited:

Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism
edited by Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Jeffrey John Kripal. pg 473

The Light of Sex: Initiation, Magic, and Sacrament
By Maria De Naglowska, pg ,3,6,8,10


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