It’s friday… which means Pagan stuff.
This week I’m going to be looking at the Great Rite- no, not like THAT.
First I’m going to get my mind firmly out of the gutter, and I suggest that you do the same 😉 (would you believe that I was once able to talk about this sensibly? This is what hanging out with teenage guys does to you…)
What I really want to talk about here are some of the issues surrounding the Great Rite and my issues with those issues, but I’m going to start by giving you a run down of the actual Great Rite.
For those of you who are new to Paganism and generally really confused about what I’ve just written, the Great Rite is basically a type of ritual sex.
There are two types of Great Rite, actual and implied.
Implied is used here to mean ‘symbolic’ and is the form of the Great Rite that you are most likely to come across. It’s usually done by dipping an athame (black handled ritual knife representing… you know what) into the chalice (a ritual goblet representing the womb- well, I’m pretty sure it’s the womb) this is commonly done at festivals such as Beltane.
The actual Great Rite is literal, actual sex between two consenting, over age… people. In some Wiccan traditions require the actual Great Rite to be performed for third degree initiations, but this is really, really rare- I don’t think I’ve come across a coven who requires this.
The actual Great Rite is all about energy raising and magick working, the idea being that you can channel the energy of (I presume) your orgasm into your magick- plus the fact that it’s a way to deeply connect to whoever you happen to be having it with.
Now, there are a lot of issues surrounding the Great Rite (theactual Great Rite that is) for obvious reasons- back when Wicca and Paganism were first coming into the public eye it made us seem like a load of kinky, sex obsessed weirdos.
One thing I like about the Pagan community is how free we can be about sex- it’s natural, it’s part of life, if we ignore things then we become ignorant about them, and ignorance leads to fear- and fear to hate… you get the picture.
But the Great Rite seems to be shunned- okay, I get the potential for abuse, I really do- but if we’re all sensible about it then I don’t think we have a problem.
Don’t lets shun the Great Rite because we’re scared of what other people think, I mean- don’t write it on a banner and parade it around, use some common sense- but we’re Pagan, we used to being different, to being the outcasts. I think it’s madness of us to ignore a part of our faith because we’re scared about what other people think.