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posted 14 April 2002

drink deep or touch not...

At the well the light of the false dawn is at its most magical. The earlier melodic chorus has quieted and now the birds are waiting for the first flash of true sunlight. It's peaceful, chill but not uncomfortably so. The maiden and the knight place their robes on the flagstones behind them, then stand hand in hand, also waiting, naked, to greet the sun. A single petal falls to the well's surface, a tiny point of white in the darkness.

If you're still reading after several exercises that didn't directly aim at orgasm, you'll be glad to know that it's finally time to venture forth. The image of drinking the water is apt - we've looked at the well often enough - now it's time to take some refreshment, and perhaps healing, from the waters. By now you should have a good idea of what works for each of you, as well as a fledgling set of imagery. It's time to link that imagery with everything else. This time, orgasm is definitely an objective. You may later find that it's not an imperative for you, but it's good to know that you can make it work before drawing that conclusion.

Why start with masturbation - either mutual, or taking it in turns as you see fit? Why not full intercourse? Others may disagree but I and others have found this exercise useful. There are advantages and disadvantages. Learning to hold the imagery takes practice - a lot of practice. You should find it easier at the start if you have significant control over your state of arousal. Unless you have significant experience of this type of thing (in which case you probably don't need this page anyway) you'll probably find this easier during masturbation, with or without help from your partner. It also follows on naturally from the adoration exercises and it will help to continue the process of talking to each other.

Soon, soon. The sky brightens and the couple turn briefly to smile at each other. There is a bright flash, almost green. On cue, the birds begin to sing anew. Maiden and knight face the sun and in words that were ancient when they were first committed to writing, give thanks.

The downside is the geometry. There are several classical sex positions that are described over and over again in sex magic texts. With some notable exceptions, these positions are ones that, with practice, are comfortable to maintain for extended periods. Positions for mutual masturbation that are really comfortable for long periods are few and far between and it will take some experimentation to find ones that work for you. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, though, since you'll probably want to repeat the exercise, perhaps several times.

Although the logistics may prove slightly more complex, you may find it convenient to actually perform this exercise at dawn. It's extremely pleasant to drift off to sleep surrounded by the scent of incense and as the candle burns itself out, but what you should be doing at the end of the exercise is writing up, which may prove easier when you're relatively fresh in the morning.

You need to build the symbolism up in the usual way, but it's possible to do most of the preparation in advance. Under normal circumstances you'll want to skip the wine, but using chilled fruit juice or making up a thermos of boiling water to make green tea to start the ritual is easy enough. The water is become wine: happy are those invited to the feast. If the imagery (and timing) works for you, start a little before dawn, lighting the candle. The candlelight will form a focus at the beginning, blurring into the natural daylight as you progress.

The maiden pauses and bends to scoop a handful of water from the well, offering it to the knight, who drinks (although most of the water falls through her hands, making a gurgle like laughter as it splashes back into the well. The knight returns the gesture. Unhurriedly, they embrace, savouring every sensation. Then, as the sun rises and the air warms, they lie together on the robes, wrapped in birdsong,

You could set up the flowers, floating candle and incense ready to go the night before and put some soft fruit in a cool bag as gifts to each other. With the music ready to go, wake naturally, start the music, light the incense, embrace and share the drink. Feed each other the fruit and take a few seconds to look at the flowers, trying to really see them.

Now, start the relaxation exercises. If you've just woken, without having to disturb yourselves too much, you should already be fairly relaxed, so you should be able to move on to breathing the light. When you're both ready, perhaps start to discuss the morning at the well, starting to caress each other as the imagery takes shape. Drawing on your experiences from "Adoring the Graal" and "Adoring the Rod", begin to move on to the next stage and discuss what you really want and need, what interferes with building the imagery and what does not.

The couple's spleasure merges with the whole world. The sound of the rippling water is a counterpoint to the maiden's gentle laughter. A lone robin, the real owner of the well, perches amongst the ribbons in the thorn tree, and looks on, approvingly. The gentle sounds of the world coming awake parallel the mounting pleasure.

Once you've mastered the difficult aspect of finding positions that work, are comfortable and relaxing whilst remaining intensely erotic, it's time to attack the next hurdle, that of maintaining the imagery during orgasm. It's easy to say, much harder to actually do, but it's one of the basic ideas behind western school sex magic. For straight magic one would elucidate one's purpose as precisely as possible and maintain that focus as far as possible through orgasm. In the early stages of this sequence of exercises, simply learning to maintain the imagery you've built between you is a good enough target. Thanksgiving, worship or consciousness-altering magic will then come of their own accord, with sufficient practice.

With practice and a little forethought, the imagery you're building will help both partners to collaborate to ensure that each holds the appropriate imagery and reaches orgasm when they wish. You may find it convenient for one partner to give pleasure and to maintain a soft commentary about the images. Alternatively you may find this so intensely annoying that it simply doesn't work for you. It's an agreement you have to reach for yourselves: all anyone can do is to suggest ideas for you to try.

The need to hold the imagery in mind, however, is a good reason for not starting out with full intercourse. Communication with your partner, your own arousal and impending orgasm is enough to think about without having to worry too much about how your arousal is affecting your partner and any side effects that may have.

Maiden and knight gradually surrender to the bliss of the moment. Sensations of sight and sound, touch and taste enfold them and gently draw them together, focusing in upon themselves and on the well. A gentle breeze rustles in the trees: does the breeze move, or the leaves? Does the urgent cry come simply from a passing bird? The journey is short: the journey is long.

Hopefully, you now have a shared basis for moving onwards. If it isn't working for you after a few tries, then there are three options. You can carry on to the exercises involving full sex, hoping that the imagery and discipline will catch up. You can set the whole thing aside for a while until you feel the urge to continue. Or, you can go back to the adoration exercises and see whether you can build up a more complete basis for the work before coming back to drink from the well.

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