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revised 24 Jan 2002

...beag is beag

This is a set of pages about what is normally referred to as sex magic, so if the concept of magic, sex or any combination of the two is likely to offend you, you might as well stop reading now. This isn't a pornography site with juicy pictures either. What follows is a series of exercises building towards a full-blown ritual built around the motif of a sacred well. The material is one possible "how to", based on discussions of the material on the Great Rite and the Sacred Marriage. I've given these pages a contrasting colour scheme and title typeface from the main ffetcher pages, so you can tell when a link takes you away from the exercise material.

I'm writing from the point of view of one half of a heterosexual couple. That's because it's my personal experience, but the underlying techniques are transferable to other situations, including solo working. It's also perfectly possible to work solo and then work platonically with a partner. In fact, since in all these circumstances you'll have to put a little more effort in, you'll probably get better results than you ever anticipated. Someone working alone, for example, doesn't have the added complexity of developing a shared visualisation.

If you've read this far, you already know whether you should be practising safer sex or not. If you should and you're not, no amount of advice on not mixing oil lubricants with latex is going to stop you. I don't approve, but there's no point in lecturing.

I'll get to the actual sex magic bit in a moment - like sex itself, waiting a while often enhances things. In any case, although this is about sex magic, neither the magic bit nor the physical sex bit is actually the most important.

When Westerners hear the term sex magic, most of them think of Tantra, as instinctively as they think of the Lone Ranger when they hear the William Tell Overture. This is a shame because there's a good deal more to Tantra than the sex magic bit. A few Westerners have volume two of the sex-instruction video or have seen Eastern carvings such as those at Khajuraho. They may think of the Kama Sutra. But, there are Western schools of sex magic as well.

Like it or not, sex magic or spiritual sex in the West are much older than Christianity. Many early religions regarded sex as sacred. Many early texts describe techniques for sex magic. Opinions differ as to whether there's actually a difference between spiritual sex and sex magic and, if there is, as to where it lies. I'll adhere to one of the more common viewpoints, that there is a difference, and that it lies in the intention.

I think of spiritual sex as a technique which recognises the divine aspects of sex - it "worships" them in the sense of declaring sex and its divinity to be of worth. Sex magic, for me, is a technique for using the sex act, or the moment of orgasm, as a focus for willing or praying for goals in the world or in one's own life. Both schools occur in Eastern tradition, including Tantra, just as they do in the West.

What follows is an attempt to build a specific set of imagery which can be used for either technique. My imagery is based around elements drawn from the Graal (grail) legends and from related sources such as the Mabinogion. Both are peppered with references to sex and the power of sex, making this material an ideal place to start in building something of this type. A knight takes a vow to consume only bread and water until his quest is complete. He wanders and eventually encounters a maiden who lives by a well. Had he come demanding, or with violence, he would have received nothing. Since, instead, he asks nothing of her, she can grant him whatever he wishes. This mythical, gentle world where everything has at least two meanings, draws me onwards. If, however, you prefer some other set of symbols, use them: we are dealing here with the most important sex organ: the brain. Reality is infinitely mutable.

Why Graal rather than Grail? Am I being precious? Perhaps a little, but the term Grail conjures up visions of Lancelot and the enchanted procession. Sangraal or Sang Real have connotations nowadays of holy blood-lines. My Graal is an earlier one, related to magical cauldrons which never empty. In an early piece of verse attached to Perceval, maidens at wells have chalices which can grant visiting knights their heart's desire in return for homage. I'll try not to mention Tantra too much after this, but just to make the point, the word Yoni might be considered by Westerners as a euphemism for the vagina: in fact it's a pretty fair translation, but in Eastern texts it also means "Sacred Space".

Twee wording is out of fashion these days. Why beat around the bush and use another word at all? Well, when I'm describing a vagina, I'm perfectly capable of using the word. Or penis, or clitoris. But in the old texts, many of the words have more than one meaning at the same time. The Graal is a vagina - but it's also a sacred space, a symbol of a goddess and many other things.

In Chretien's "Perceval", the hero leaves the court in disgust after a maiden is insulted as a result of showing kindness to him. Later he sends back word that on his return he will "cook the maid such a meal that she will feel satisfied". In that splendidly ambiguous spirit, let's approach the well and see what's there for us.

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