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 The Great Rite

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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: The Great Rite   Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:26 pm

The Great Rite is one of the most potent forms of sex magick and perhaps like most sex magick, one of the most misunderstood rituals in the Pagan Tradidtion. It is perhaps also one of the oldest rituals that is still preformed today, though many Wiccans have parteken in a symbolic form of the ritual today

The Great Rite is probably the most famous or infamous of the pagan rituals. It is a ritual of sexual intercourse that pays homage to the polarity of male/female; god/goddess, priest/priestess. This polarity exists in all things in the universe expressing the physical, mental, spiritual and astral union between a man and woman as representatives of the God and Goddess.

To many the Great Rite is the Sacred Marriage which is the union of the God and Goddess into the Great Spirit. It's the crown of the spiritual trinity, whose base is the God and Goddess. This concept is nothing new and dates back to Neolithic periods. Ancient kings required sexual union with a priestess representing the Goddess, in order to rule.

The Great Rite is always performed within a Magik Circle between the High Priest and Priestess. It is sometimes also performed at seasonal festivals, and especially handfastings between newly married couple.

It is used in a third degree or level initiation into a coven (such as 3rd degree initiations in the Gardnerian and Alexandrine traditions). This represents the inner marriage of the soul and spirit, ego and self. It is a gateway to becoming a whole being. In these initiations, the Rite is performed between the initiant and the High Priest, or High Priestess. This is sometimes done "In token", which is symbolically using ritual tools, such as an athame inserted into a chalice, or it is performed "in true", as a sexual act.

When the rite is performed "in true" it is typically conducted by a couple who are already intimate partners or between coven members who are comfortable with the rite. An open portion of the rite is performed within the circle in front of the coven, and the intimate union is performed in private.


The symbolic verstion of the ritual, involves using an athame and a chalice to represent the Male and Female

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