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Author Topic: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice  (Read 3799 times)

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Jamni90

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Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« on: July 26, 2014, 12:14:08 PM »

Just wondering if you have information on them. Maybe its not something new modern do it, due to respect and all that. I find pagans and wiccan to be a very peaceful direction. But just wondering if there are some sexual rituals that exists within some practices, either before or today.

Thanks for all the help btw.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 12:25:46 PM »

Just be careful how you step with this one Jam, we have young ones on this site.
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Jamni90

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 01:08:50 PM »

Just be careful how you step with this one Jam, we have young ones on this site.
Ah whoops, my bad .
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Peridot

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 01:55:08 PM »

I hope I am being careful with how I am stepping with my response. This is purely from an academic perspective (art history and a study of belief systems).

There are ancient icons (Venus of Willendorf is a famous one) and traditions (like Roman Lupercalia) that have to do with fertility. These historical artifacts and celebrations have to do with the population and the harvest. Many of these symbols have associations with both. A little digging and reading can uncover a wealth of symbolism and information on the topic.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 02:21:00 PM »

This type of discussion is okay Peri, I'm just being wary about discussing the "intimacies" of the topic. Wicca is a fertility based religion after all.  :)
 
Thanks for understanding Jam  :) 
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 02:57:36 PM »

In Traditional Wiccan Covens, there is a ceremony called "the Great Rite". This is probably the kind of info your thinking of Jam. The practise of this is a coven held secret and those who are of, or who have been of a coven are oathbound to reveal to none outside their coven any details. I believe we know enough to know it is not a hysterical orgy, but it is a rite that is performed between the presiding High Priest and High Priestess, and it is done in private. The HP and HPS are usually a couple to begin with.
 
Note to those in the know: If I have any of this wrong please feel free to correct me.
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Peridot

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 03:11:18 PM »

Too true, Drac. I just wanted to be abundantly cautious because of the sensitivity of the topic, especially within modern contexts. I am not a prude, but many modern people are uncomfortable with frank discussions of nudity and sexuality. I was trying to be courteous, though perhaps I was being too hesitant.  ::)

General disclaimer: sex should always be safe, sane, fully informed, consensual, and legal. I am not advocating or pressuring anybody to do anything. Onto modern occurrences of nudity and fertility traditions that I know of!

I had a friend in college who attended a Beltaine festival where she and many others were nude. She described the memory fondly and it was a very powerful and positive experience for her (I'm still a little jealous).

'Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft' is a very popular book on Wicca and the craft. I have spoken to an elder who highly recommend this book to me as a beginner. There is a ritual in the book involving nudity, being blindfolded and tied. This could become a situation some people would take advantage of, or it could be very rewarding for other individuals. There are critics of Buckland who see him as condescending and sexist. I'm not knocking on Buckland, he does have many fans and provides a lot of information, just advising caution.

I know more about the art history aspect, but if I started talking, I wouldn't stop for quite a while.  ;D
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2014, 03:26:02 PM »

The Great Rite is rarely practiced in actuality these days, though it certainly was until several decades ago.  It is a symbolic ceremony between the presiding HP/S and HP, and the coven participates in a ritual not unlike communion. It is one of the most sacred aspects of Wicca/Neowicca and has been adapted by many Craft traditions, and it's treated with utmost respect.

There's plenty of merrymaking and bawdy humor among Wiccans (we ARE pagans!!!) but the Great Rite is an act of reverence.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 10:08:02 AM by Ashe Isadora »
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2014, 04:05:57 PM »

Appreciate the clarification Ashe, I know the finer points of the ceremony is a coven secret.
 
Peri, it's not about being prudish, no worries there. It's because we can have people on here as young as 13 years old so we have to be very careful, especially where parents may be concerned.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 05:26:54 PM »

Too true, Drac. I just wanted to be abundantly cautious because of the sensitivity of the topic, especially within modern contexts. I am not a prude, but many modern people are uncomfortable with frank discussions of nudity and sexuality. I was trying to be courteous, though perhaps I was being too hesitant.  ::)

General disclaimer: sex should always be safe, sane, fully informed, consensual, and legal. I am not advocating or pressuring anybody to do anything. Onto modern occurrences of nudity and fertility traditions that I know of!

I had a friend in college who attended a Beltaine festival where she and many others were nude. She described the memory fondly and it was a very powerful and positive experience for her (I'm still a little jealous).

'Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft' is a very popular book on Wicca and the craft. I have spoken to an elder who highly recommend this book to me as a beginner. The There are critics of Buckland who see him as condescending and sexist. I'm not knocking on Buckland, he does have many fans and provides a lot of information, just advising caution.

I know more about the art history aspect, but if I started talking, I wouldn't stop for quite a while.  ;D
The ritual he describes involves some esoteric symbolism and is not sexual in nature. The individual is an informed, consenting coven member.  I have not heard of anyone being taken advantage of in a legitimate, lineaged Wiccan coven. Any Wiccan I know would make such a person very, very sorry they desecrated the gods and their religion in that way.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 05:38:43 PM by Ashe Isadora »
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Alchymist

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 06:51:54 PM »

" Let Her  worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals."

From "The Charge of the Goddess", at http://www.sacredtexts.com/bos/bos058.htm
 
I understand that this is more or less the original version of the Charge, by Doreen Valiente, but most traditions I'm aware of have similar wording. The key word here, of course, is LOVE. The Great Rite (non-symbolic) is still part of many traditions but is always performed by a couple who love each other; any form of coercion is not part of Wicca, Witchcraft or any other legitimate tradition, I would say.

Blessed Be everyone,

Alchymist.
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Peridot

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2014, 08:19:24 PM »

Thank you Ashe and Alchymist. I never intended to imply that abuse of any form was a legitimate part of Wicca, witchcraft, or other related traditions. If I did, it was unintentional, and I am so sorry. I was merely recalling the description of the ritual in question, and Buckland's own caution of preventing abuse from people in positions of power. Again, sorry for any offense.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2014, 08:33:44 PM »

I don't see any offense there, and personally I didn't take it that way.  People have LOTS of questions about Wicca, there's a whole lot of confusion and misinformation floating around, and I''m glad you asked for clarification.  I can't say there's never been misbehavior or a bad apple in Wicca, I can just say that it isn't rampant and untrustworthy people tend to be exposed very quickly in the community - and shunned.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 06:48:59 AM by Ashe Isadora »
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Alchymist

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2014, 12:36:30 AM »

I wasn't offended either Peridot! -but as Ashe says, there's a lot of misinformation out there. Yes, unfortunately, there are people around who call themselves Wiccan or Witchcraft High Priest/esses who abuse their positions, but they tend not to last long when word gets out - unlike a certain other widespread religion I could mention, which simply shuffles a misbehaving priest off to a new parish, though thankfully this practise is nowadays being increasingly exposed for the hypocrisy it surely is.

Sexual magic is a perfectly valid and effective magical technique and can have surprising results, but that persistent undercurrent of Puritanism in the North American psyche gives it a veneer of being  "a bit wicked", which might be alluring or repelling depending on the temperament of whoever's asking. Also, Good Ol' Uncle Aleister Crowley - yes, "The Great Beast 666" himself - is known to have indulged in sexual magic frequently - one might say obsessively - and describes it (guardedly and in symbolic terms) in many of his books. Indeed the higher grades of Crowley's O.T.O. speak of little else. It's also rumoured that many of his partners weren't there entirely of their own free will, which has added to the hysteria that sometimes accompanies discussion of it.

I won't go into details here - there are plenty of books on the subject nowadays -  but if you can get past the hysteria it can be one of the strongest sources of tremendous magical energy available to us mortals.

But - we must stress - always and only with a loving and willing partner.

Blessed Be,

Alchymist.
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Peridot

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Re: Is sex rituals something some pagan practice
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2014, 01:04:58 AM »

To paraphrase a late Victorian writer "as long as {it} is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular." (Oscar Wilde) I agree that there is often a fine line.

I have never read anything of Crowley's, and I am only vaguely familiar with his history! That's fascinating!
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