The Sixth REDE – The Great Rite


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

Initiation into the high priesthood in Moondaughter’s tradition always involved
performing the Great Rite in true. The necessity for this sexual act arose
naturally out of Moondaughter’s understanding of the power of love.

The Power of Love

Love, Moondaughter taught, is the power through which the Lord and Lady gave
birth to all things. Love is the source of human life and happiness. The power
of love is greater than that of the natural laws which govern the universe.

Sexual love, for Moondaughter, was the most potent and volatile form of love.
She believed that in sexual love a man and a woman unite not only physically,
but also spiritually and magically. By that magical act the lovers are
transformed, for better, or for worse.

The Misuse of Love

It is not difficult to observe in the physical world that the power to do good
is also the power to do harm; Moondaughter taught that the same was true of the
sacred power of sexual love. While she prized the sexual act as the holiest and
most powerful of rituals, she understood the misuse of that power to be
responsible for many of the dysfunctionalities of human society.
Today, even more than in Moondaughter’s time, we have become aware of the severe
psychological damage which can result from sexual abuse of children and from
rape. Moondaughter believed these were only the most visible ways that human
beings could take harm when the magical and spiritual energies exchanged during
sex were misused for purposes of exploitation and domination.

The Sacred Marriage

Moondaughter considered her coveners to be undertaking a course of both magical
and priestly training, and in that role she made demands of them which many
modern Pagans might find unacceptable. Married coveners were expected to be
strictly monogamous, and single coveners to be chaste. This requirement was not
merely an ethic, but a magical act, part of a spell of self-transformation to
prepare them to receive the third degree initiation.

In Moondaughter’s tradition, the initiation to third degree was identical with
the Sacred Marriage, a vital aspect of the Great Work.

When a couple was ready to receive the third degree, the Great Rite was first
administered in token to the woman by a male elder, and the woman then
immediately administered it — also in token — to her partner. At some later
time, the couple would perform the Rite in true to sexually complete the
initiation begun by the symbolic ritual.

There were rumors that in earlier times the true Rite had followed the pattern
of the token Rite, but this was never the practice in the United States.

Following the third degree initiation, the man and the women were considered to
be magical partners, a priest and priestess whose sexual union was an embodiment
of the Lord and the Lady.

All Acts Are Her Rituals

For Moondaughter, both the sexual ecstasy of the Great Rite and the sexual
abstinence that preceded it were magical acts for the transformation of the self
and the world. More than that, they were acts of worship, rituals of the Lord
and Lady.

Today it is common for the statement that “all acts of love and pleasure are my
rituals” to be regarded as an endorsement of casual sex. Moondaughter would have
seen such an attitude as the equivalent of a devout Catholic offering
consecrated hosts with salsa and dip as a party snack.

Moondaughter taught that every act of love and pleasure was indeed a ritual, and
cautioned her students to approach every such act with the reverence (as well as
the mirth) that such an incredibly sacred ritual deserves.

Tips for Surviving Monogamy

Tips for Surviving Monogamy

  • Pamela Madsen

In the top 10 reasons why individuals and couples come to me for intimacy and sexuality coaching is the reality that they have simply stopped having sex. Many think that what they need is “Sexual CPR.” They know it is not because they have stopped loving each other, or even think that they have stopped finding each other sexy. It’s just that they are not “turned on” or excited by each other anymore. The problem is time and togetherness can wear down erotic energy in long-term relationships.

If you are in a long term monogamous relationship, and you have stopped having sex, or sex is very infrequent, you may think you are broken or something is wrong with you or your relationship. It might be comforting to know that you are far from alone.

Sexual boredom and the lack of fire are often the reasons why some people reach outside of their long term relationship even though they are still happy with their partner on all other levels.

In a culture that is obsessed with sex, we ironically provide very little adult sex education. Outside of a myriad of “how to” sex books, there is very little in the way of authentic tools taught to us about how to make sex happen when it stops, and how to make it feel good again.

What we need to learn is that sex needs to become a pleasure that we decide to make happen as opposed to us waiting for the heat of desire to take us over. It can seem awfully boring, and certainly not a NY Times bestseller, to preach about how we need to create time and room for sex in our lives when our hormones are not raging for it. If you are waiting to be swept away by fiery passion in a long term relationship, it is possible you will be waiting a long time for your next sexual experience!

But putting conscious effort into what we think should come naturally can be very uncomfortable for many couples. Even couples who seek sexual coaching can have a lot of trouble doing their homework, because homework means consciously choosing to have a sexual experience. It can feel very awkward and uncomfortable to put sex on the calendar for Wednesday night!

But it is also very empowering to be able to consciously deal with sex as we do with everything else that is important in our lives. When we make room for sex, and put sex on the calendar we are making a very important statement to ourselves and to our partner. In making the commitment to mindful sex, we are also declaring to our partners that not only is sex worthy of our time and attention – but so are they.

Knowing that our partners still find us desirable and are willing to plan to show up for us is incredibly important. That kind of conscious love will not only help fuel our erotic engines again, but all of the other parts of our relationship as well.

The biggest resistance I get from couples around “calendar sex” is that scheduling sex is not “hot sex.” Somehow, if we feel like our love-making is not going to be red hot and smoking, then “Why bother?” The fact is that calender sex may not start as hot sex, but it can start as “warm sex”!

Warm sex can be very nourishing and pleasurable and can reward you in a manner that hot sex can’t. Try thinking about showing up for sex as anticipating and savoring a warm, nourishing, slow-cooked, pleasurable meal. And everybody knows that a pot has to warm up before it can boil.

Sex Educator and Sexological Body Worker, Caffyn Jesse offers these tools for conscious and warm sex:

“Why not experiment with expressing a range of emotions sexually: anger, frolic, naughtiness, mindlessness? We can play doctor, play dominatrix, have sex in a car, have a wild affair with our spouse.

When couples choose to explore the path of pleasure, learning and conscious sexuality, an astonishing richness becomes possible. We can share profound bonding, ecstatic awareness, and infinite variety within a single relationship.”

Mark Semple, an Intimacy, Love and Business Coach suggests “Being gentle with ourselves is essential in this pursuit. Allowing ourselves a timeout from the demands of daily life and family. Ensuring we are our top priority and care for ourselves the way we care for everyone else. Exploring our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies to reconnect with our essence and align with that which does get out passion burning and our juices flowing.”

Allow yourselves to explore pleasure again, and challenge each other to move past your sexual limitations. Do you feel a little fear sharing a long held fantasy with your partner? Try sharing it and see what happens! Have you ever experimented with your partner with one-way touch and sensual massage? Bring out the oil! Give yourself the room to explore all of the various ways you can allow pleasure into your life.

You can welcome sex back into your relationship. You don’t have to wait until you solve all of the problems that occur in a long term relationship. Don’t be stalemated by old conflicts, grudges, and who did the dishes last. You might be surprised to discover that when you welcome sex back into your relationship in a conscious and warm way – all of those old issues may start to feel less important after all.

The Big OM: Your Brain on Sex & Meditation

The Big OM: Your Brain on Sex & Meditation

  • Pamela Madsen

I was lost in my mantra. It didn’t matter that I was sitting in a room surrounded by almost 300 other meditating souls. I was lost in trance. I had no physical body. I had let go of thinking. I was floating in a place that I have only found when I was lost deeply in my own sexual pleasure – riding the waves of simply being. How could that be? I was meditating in a crowded room?

I love it when I come across scientific papers that prove to me that the experiences that I’m having are real and not some figment of my own overactive imagination. I’m just back from studying meditation with Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Davidji at the Chopra Center in San Diego. Their workshops are a soul-opening opportunity. I loved the “Journey into Healing” workshop.

But I have a confession to make: I had sex on the brain the entire time, because in each meditation I was having my own personal epiphany about my brain’s relationship to sex and meditation. The trance states that I was accessing during meditation often felt like the same trance states I could experience with ecstatic sexual experiences. I keep wondering why we weren’t talking about this. And I didn’t want to bring it up. As it was, I kept being identified as the “Sex Expert.”

I worried that my Chopra friends would think I was just caught up in my own professional biases. But, I knew what I was feeling, and I started to research it as soon as I got home. I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to ramp up the use of meditation as a tool in sexual healing. Many sex educators were already doing this as a part of the slow sex or organic orgasm movement. Meditation is the perfect entry point to many profound sexual experiences. Successful meditation and successful sex all start with the same three key entry points:

1. Get comfortable.
2. Slow down.
3. Connect to the breath.

When we are able to approach sex just like we approach meditation (without rushing to go somewhere fast) we are able to touch deeply ecstatic or erotic states where we have “alterations in bodily perception” and a “diminution of self awareness,” as mentioned in a Scientific American article called “The Neurobiology of Bliss – Sacred and Profane.” These shared experiences are found both in subjects deep in meditation and in people having sexual experiences.

As I got more practiced at meditation, I was able to feel my ego dissolve along with my own general sense of self-awareness. As I floated into “the gap,” the place that Deepak Chopra says is the place without words, I also noticed that I lost track of where my body was in place and time. Oh yeah, I have been in these places before and it was not in the lotus position!

According to studies, when you meditate, the left side of your brain becomes activated and when you engage in sexual activity, the right side of your brain runs the show. Both of these brain responses helps you to stop the constant thinking or talking in your brain. And herein lies the key—when you are able to stop the chatter, and float into what can be called “falling into the gap”, “states of higher consciousness,” “erotic trance states” or even what is known as “sub space”, your brain helps you by allowing you to lose physical and mental boundaries. That is where we can find enlightenment or dare I say it – bliss.

According to the article in Scientific American:

“Until eight years ago, neuroscience had little scientific basis from which to comment on bliss, sexual or otherwise. Despite our public fascination with things sexual, as researcher, Gemma O’Brien put it, ‘orgasm is not impersonal and third person enough for the sciences.’ Neuroscience was hobbled by the avoidance of such squashy topics, even if it meant setting aside important parts of human experience. However, a clearer portrait of pleasure is now emerging. Bliss, both sacred and profane, shares the diminution of self-awareness, alterations in bodily perception and decreased sense of pain.”

So what do you think? Are you ready to get your mantra on and connect to bliss states?

I do it twice a day now. After all, Dr Chopra recommends that. And I always listen to the good doctor!