An artificial man supposedly made by the alchemists, and
especially by Paracelsus. To manufacture one, Paracelsus stated
that the needed spagyric (a term probably coined by Paracelsus
implying an alchemical process using semen) substances
should be sealed in a glass vial and placed in horse dung to digest
for 40 days. At the end of this time something will begin
to live and move in the bottle. This is sometimes a man, said
Paracelsus, but a man who has no body and is transparent.
Nevertheless, he exists, and nothing remains but to bring
him up—which is not more difficult than making him. This
may be accomplished by feeding him daily (over a period of 40
weeks, and without extricating him from his dung hill) with the
arcanum of human blood. At the end of this time there should
be a living child, having every member as well proportioned as
any infant born of a woman. He will be much smaller than an
ordinary child, though, and his physical education will require
more care and attention.
Early in the twentieth century, magician Aleister Crowley
wrote a novel that deals with the production of a kind of homunculus
he terms a Moonchild, the name under which the
novel was eventually published. Crowley wrote of a magic rite
to induce a particular type of spirit to incarnate in an embryo,
which a woman would then carry until birth.
During the 1940s, Jack Parsons, head of the OTO (Ordo
Templi Orientis) lodge in Pasadena, California, carried out this
sexual ritual with Marjorie Cameron and a third person who
acted as a seer for the process. Crowley, angered by reports of
what Parsons had done, ordered an investigation of the lodge,
by which time the operation had been completed.
King, Francis. The Rites of Modern Occult Magic. New York
Macmillan, 1970.