Modern Paganism is a religious movement that exists outside of the mainstream popular religions. It is not based on liturgy or doctrine and often involves the worship of the natural world, both a God and Goddess, pantheons, and/or witchcraft. Some examples of modern Pagans are Wiccans, Druids, Shamans, Sacred Ecologists, Odinists and Heathens, to name a few. Each has their own belief system and methods of worship. And, yeah, sometimes it involves sex.
One common way many Pagans worship is through ceremonial rituals. These rituals often include meditation, music, chanting, prayer, dancing, pouring of libations, and the sharing of food and drinks. When most people hear the term “pagan ritual,” their mind becomes flooded with questions and strange visualizations. What exactly goes on during one of those rituals? One common assumption is that there is a whole lot of sex taking place. Well, pagan sex rituals are, in fact, a reality, but they aren’t exactly what most people may be envisioning. Here is the truth behind Pagan sex rituals.
Sex Isn’t Very Common In Modern Pagan Rituals
Despite what many people may think, Pagans usually don’t have sex in their rituals. While many groups perform rituals “skyclad” (naked), it is done as a symbol of trust and connection, rather than for sexual purposes. However, “ritual sex” does, on occasion, take place, and is often referred to as “sex magick.” It is used as a magical tool to symbolize the union of the God and Goddess, to raise energy and create magical power. Sometimes ritual sex is only performed symbolically using specific tools and wording. Other times it is, in fact, actual sex.
The Great Rite
“The Great Rite” is one of the most commonly performed sex acts in Pagan and Wiccan rituals. The Great Rite focuses on masculine and feminine energies in relation to the God and Goddess. It is usually only used when a coven or spiritual group is in need of some very powerful energy, since sex is seen as one of the most powerful energy forces. It’s not just done for fun and games, no matter how fun it is. It is the means to an end, not the final goal. The energy is drawn from the connection between the male and the female during the act and used toward willing a specific outcome.
Sex Magick Is Usually Between An Existing Couple
While many people may envision sex rituals to be a hot and sweaty orgy, the truth is it is usually between one couple that is already in a sexual relationship with one another. While this is not a requirement, it is usually the case. They also often perform the act in private; during a ritual, they will leave the room to do so. Of course, there are always exceptions to this, as there are many Pagans who have no problem performing sex magick in front of the rest of the group.
Tantric Sex Versus Sex Magick
Tantric sex is an ancient Hindu practice that means “the weaving and expansion of energy.” Both tantric sex and sex magick use intimacy and mind and body connection to expand consciousness and join together masculine and feminine energy. The main difference is that tantric sex’s purpose is to connect the two lovers, whereas sex magick’s purpose is to use that connection to fuel another magickal purpose.
The Thought Held At Orgasm Is Magickally Important
While it may seem really difficult to hold any clear thought during an orgasm, doing so is a major part of reaching your magickal goal during a sex ritual. Since there is always intent for sex magick, it is important to hold on to that intent at the strongest release of energy – the orgasm. If you forget to do so, the energy raised won’t be as focused. This doesn’t mean the orgasm shouldn’t be enjoyed; it should just be enjoyed with a purpose.
Talismans Are Often Used In Sex Rituals
A Talisman is an object which is believed to contain certain magickal energies, usually used to draw certain things to its owner, like luck, love, or money. They can be given as gifts, purchased, or made by the person who owns it. They are “charged” with the force it is intended to represent. Sex magick is often used to charge a talisman. This could be done simply through the energy raised during the act, or by smearing sexual juices onto the talisman.
Eucharist In Sex Magick
The fluids produced in sex rituals are referred to as the “eucharist.” Just like in Christianity, the eucharist in a sexual ritual is considered consecrated. It is believed to contain powerful magickal energy and can be used in several ways. As previously mentioned, they may be used to anoint a talisman, or an actual person. They can be ingested in their natural form so that the power is absorbed into the body, or even put into wine or spread on food. FYI—menstrual blood can be put into this category as well.
Sadomasochism Can Be Incorporated In Sex Rituals
Sadomasochism (S&M) is when a person derives pleasure from either inflicting or receiving mental or physical pain. Despite what many may think, the basis for S&M is trust and an exchange of power. If the sex ritual practitioners enjoy this type of play, it could be very powerful to use during a sex ritual. The “top,” or “dominant,” is in control of the energy exchanged during the ritual. The “bottom,” or “submissive,” may use the technique to enhance their ability to enter a meditative or astral state, allowing the magick to work more potently.
Sex Rituals Can Help Achieve Personal Liberation
Many Pagans believe that sex in a spiritual context can help achieve personal liberation. Common societal emotions often associated with sex, like guilt and shame, are no longer relevant. In order to properly perform sex magick, one must reach a state of spiritual, emotional and physical freedom. When entering that “sacred space,” the practitioners are able to experience the primal form of sexual energy, allowing for deep self-exploration and mystical achievements.
Eroto-Comatose Lucidity is an extreme form of sex magick created by the English occultist Aleister Crowley, who was well known for his use of sex in ritual. The purpose of this technique is to help a specific magickal practitioner reach a deep state of trance in order to complete intense divination or receive a prophecy. The state is reached through the help of several others, who bring the main magician to a constant state of arousal (without orgasm) until he or she becomes completely exhausted. The main magician then falls into a deep meditative sleep, is again aroused, then allowed to fall back into the trance-sleep. The act of magick takes place while they are in that trance state.
Masturbation As A Form Of Sex Ritual
Masturbation can also be effective to produce the same results as ritual sex between two partners. While the energy raised is a bit different, there still is a potent energy being produced. This is generally done when a practitioner is performing a ritual on their own.
Teachers Do Not Have Ritual Sex With Students
The same rule that applies in the classroom applies within Pagan circles: teachers should not have sex with their students. In order for ritual sex to be effective, the two people performing the act should be within the same level of magical power and knowledge. Some groups have a degree system, so a First Degree would not perform the act with a Third Degree. Generally speaking, sex is never used in any form of initiation into a group. However, there are some controversial Wiccan traditions that use sex in the Third Degree elevation.
In Paganism, Sex Is An Act Of Joy
Many religions view sex simply as an act of procreation, or for something for two married people only to enjoy. Paganism, on the other hand, views sex as an act of joy. It may not be a common act in ritual, but sex is looked at as a natural desire and a gift, and should be enjoyed as such. A commonly heard line among Pagans and Wiccans is taken from a poem called “The Charge of the Goddess,” and states “all acts of pleasure are my rituals,” and sex definitely falls into that category. As long as no one is getting hurt or violated, most Pagans view all consenting sex, whether between heterosexuals, homosexuals, multiple sexes, etc., as equally acceptable.
Ancient Pagans Worshipped Gods Through Sex
Many ancient Pagans practiced sex magick in the worship of certain gods and goddesses. The Canaanites of Ancient Israel honored the fertility Goddess Asherah through ritual sex, in hopes that she would have sex with the god, Baal, leading to fertility for their people. Babylonians urged all of their women to have sex with a stranger once in their life at the temple of Aphrodite. The Hittites practiced sacred prostitution in the worship of a mated pair of gods. These ancient practices make modern day sex rituals seem pretty tame.