Beltane: The Great Rite
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Beltane is the Wiccan ritual of the Great Rite. At this Wiccan festival, we join with the Goddess and the God in Their generative Dance of Life.
The Divine Creative Force manifests in every being. And one of its most powerful manifestations is sexual union.
"Union" is not a euphemism, nor an empty phrase. The sexual act, properly attended, helps us transcend the personal boundaries that keep "I" separate from "you" ... and from "Divine."
We leave these false distinctions behind during sexual ecstacy, and experience a more fundamental reality ... Unity. Expanded Consciousness.
Whether you experience this as Bliss, overpowering Love, or dazzling Light, the destination is ONE.
The Height of Passion
This is the point on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year when sexual energy is at its peak. The last, and ultimate, festival of spring, Beltane's Great Rite signals the climax of the intermingling God and Goddess. This culminates in the full rebirth of the Earth in summer's abundant blessings.
Some Wiccan traditions hold that Eostara is the celebration of the union between the two energetic forces, yin and yang, Goddess and God.
Other Wiccan traditions see this as Beltane's Great Rite.
This is only a contradiction if you think of the Deities as more human than elemental forces.
The way I perceive it is that Eostara is a time of gentle coming-together, tender love-making between the two polarities. And Beltane is when that passion reaches the peak in fiery urgency and wild abandon... the moment when the union of God and Goddess erupts and opens the Veil Between The Worlds, as all orgasm does.
When the Goddesses and Gods create and experience this "breakthrough," it opens the Gate for the whole Earth.
This is the Gate through which life comes into the world.
To me, this perspective explains why Beltane is held to be the Wiccan Sabbat when the Veil Between The Worlds is very thin, surpassed in that regard only by Samhain -- the other, more final, opening of the Gate.
It is in celebration of this that Wiccans celebrate Beltane with the Great Rite -- the intimate union of the Divine Within you with the Divine Within another. (Or, optionally, both polarities within yourself.)
As we all have the God and the Goddess within us, during the Great Rite we "step aside" and let the Divine Within us enact -- through us -- the age-old, most mysterious, infinitely potent Rite of Life.
At this time, we become the God/dess, and we open the Gate into the Creational Void, and even beyond.
The sacred sexuality of the Great Rite is to most ordinary sexual coupling as the ecstatic poetry of Rumi or Hafiz is to gutter curses.
They may use the same equipment, in more or less the same manner, but the aims and the results are entirely different.
Of course, this is what sexuality is meant to be... the ultimate manifestation of the sexual potential.
As Wiccans, we aim for every sexual connection to be such a celebrate of joy, union of the Divine, and opening to the spiritual realm as the Wiccan festival of the Great Rite.
As spiritual devotees, we aim for every interaction with another being to be as intimate, as conscious of Divinity, and as caring.
This is truly the power of Beltane -- the time of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year when it is easiest to release yourself into the Divine Union, and gather the experience and the power to do this throughout the year. ... An opportunity to elevate awareness of yourself, other beings, and the magick that is created when the two come together.
That's why the Great Rite is celebrated in sacred space, within the safe and empowered container of Ritual.
And that's why we leave it there afterward.
What happens between the worlds, stays between the worlds -- where it remains true and pure, an offering of every part of ourselves to the Divine.
With Bright Blessings,
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