Sacred Flesh

"But this dark is deep: now I warm you with my blood, listen to this flesh. It is far truer than poems." -- Marina Tsvetaya


Perfect Love and Perfect Heart

The Great Rite

In its "actual" form, the Great Rite is a sexual ritual, involving intercourse between the man and woman concerned. In its symbolic or token form, it may be called a ritual of gender, of male-female polarity but not involving intercourse.

To avoid misunderstandings, I must emphasize that to the Witch, sex is holy-- an unashamed and beautiful polarity-force which is intrinsic to the nature of the universe. It is to be treated with reverence, but without prudery. The Craft makes no apology for using intercourse between an appropriate man and woman (i.e.: the High Priestess and High Priest of a coven), in private, as a profound ritual sacrament, bringing in all the levels-- physical, astral, mental, and spiritual.

In the ritual, the body of the Priestess is regarded as the Altar of the Goddess whom she represents, and for whom she is the channel. Her womb is revered as the "fount of life without which we would not be" and no apology is needed for this ancient and holy symbolism either. The question, of course, would be "who are the appropriate man and woman" to enact the "actual" Great Rite instead of the symbolic one? It should only be a man and a woman for whom intercourse is already a normal and loving part of their relationship; in other words, husband and wife, or established lovers. And it should always be enacted in private.

Wicca is unashamed, but not promiscuous or voyeuristic. The "symbolic" Great Rite shouldn't be viewed as makeshift of ineffectual. It can be a powerful and moving rite, when sincerely worked by two harmonious friends who are not lovers. It, too, invokes all the levels, but in a way which a mature Brother and Sister of the Craft are well able to handle. In Witchcraft, sex is a sacrament, an outward sign of inward grace. That grace is the deep connection and recognition of the wholeness of another person. In its essence, it is not limited to the physical act-- it is an exchange of energy, of subtle nourishment, between people. Through connection with another, we connect with the all.

If you choose to include a symbolic Great Rite in your ritual you may use the water chalice as the symbol of the woman and the athame as the symbol of the man; the man holds the athame and dips it into the chalice- symbolic of intercourse. Do all appropriate consecration, banishing and evocation rituals to sanctify the area, dispel all negative energies and conserve all energies manifest in the ceremony.

Draw the sacred circle and setup your four directional gates. Incorporate all elements to boost the lunar/sexual energy. Set up your altar to soak in full moon beams, light the candles and incense or bonfire (if outside) and give praise to the Deity you will be drawing down energy from and also give awe and reverence to all parties involved in the ritual. Have your sigil(s) in plain view for easy reference.

Be in a position where the Full Moon beams are striking all involved parties. All parties should match breathing patterns and begin to enter into an altered state of consciousness. Sensuously undress each other, nice and slow and gentle, until all parties are skyclad. Rub your hands quickly together, creating an energy field and pass your hands over the other parties bodies. Anoint with more sensuous oils and perfumes, especially the Chakra areas. (For the sake of clarity and simplicity, a man and woman will be used for illustration purposes.)

In the center of the cast circle, the woman stretches out her arms while the man faces her and each begin slowly chanting mantras in unison to the Deity of Choice in order to continue to build up the sexual and lunar energy.

The couples then proceed with the Five-fold blessing... The man faces the woman and says... "Blessed Be your feet that have led you to me." (He kneels and sensuously kisses her feet.) "Blessed Be your knees that kneel at the sacred altar." (He sensuously kisses her knees.) "Blessed Be your womb that gives life." (He sensuously kisses her pubic area.) "Blessed be your breasts that symbolize our perfect love and beauty." (He sensuously kisses her right and left breast.) "Blessed be your lips that speak sacred words." (He sensuously kisses her.) The woman faces the man and says... " Blessed Be your feet that have led you to me." She kneels and sensuously kisses his feet.) "Blessed Be your knees that kneel at the sacred altar." (She sensuously kisses his knees.) "Blessed Be your manhood that gives life." (She sensuously kisses his phallus.) "Blessed be your breasts that symbolize our perfect love and strength." (She sensuously kisses his right and left nipples.) "Blessed be your lips that speak sacred words." (She sensuously kisses him and the lovers embrace.)

While tightly embracing, focus on the sigils and the mounting lunar/sexual energy Feel yourself soaking in the moonbeams. Visualize your partner becoming the Moon, with vast energy being released from all of his/her chakras. The man anoints the woman's breasts and womb with scented oil with his right forefinger and says... "I invoke the power of (the Deity) on this woman. I adore this woman forever and a day." Gathering more scented oil, he lathers her from head to toe. The woman anoints the man's chest and penis with scented oil with her left forefinger and says... "I invoke the power of (the Deity) on this man. I adore this man forever and a day." Gathering more scented oil, she lathers him from head to toe.

The couple then embrace and begin to make love, merging as deeply as they can with the Deity and each other while building the energy within and without. Stay focused and match each others breathing. Before the point of simultaneous climax, both focus on the Sigil and chant "We are one" over and over again through the climax, all the while sending the lunar/sexual energy toward the Sigil.

After all the energy has been released, say in unison..."So mote it be" or "Love is the law, love under will. "During the period of afterglow, moon bathe and allow any visions, images, impressions or sensations to flow with you. At this moment of time you can ask the Deity a question. Be sensitive to the answer. Toast the Deity with wine, thanking the Deity for his/her presence, for the desired achieved goal and for the answer. Then toast one another, saying, "Merry Meet and Merry Part, Perfect Love and Perfect Heart."

Close the circle and gather your belongings. This is beautiful if done in love and reverence and my husband looks forward to the Full Moon. it has strengthened our relationship. (It may be adapted for same sex lovers and partners with one taking a more feminine role.)