Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

The Great Rite

This article was written by Raven Grimassi on January 04, 2008
posted under Great Rite

THE GREAT RITE is a term for a sexual union, either actual or symbolic, that is usually part of the third-degree initiation ceremony in many Wiccan/Witchcraft Traditions. The Great Rite is the wedding of the masculine and feminine, the God and Goddess. It is considered a sacred act wherein the gender polarity of the initiate is joined with its opposite, thereby making the initiate whole. The Great Rite is a private ceremony between the initiate and the initiator, and one that must be totally consentual in all regards.

In ancient times this was called the Hieros Gamos, the Divine marriage. In ancient Greece the sacred marriage was celebrated to mark the marriage of Zeus and Hera, and later many Mystery sects incorporated the rite of marrying deity. The goal of the formal ritual was to make an intimate act become impersonal, thus removing the mundane personality and allowing the divine to possess and fill the void. Typically the participants were unknown to each other, and would most likely never meet again.

In modern Wicca/Witchcraft this is not the manner of initiation. The Great Rite is intended to be a spiritual joining and passing the divine nature of the Goddess and God within the human participants. Rarely, if ever, will initiations be performed where the initiator has not come to know the initiate and vice versa. Mutual trust and love are cornerstones in Wicca/Witchcraft. In some Wiccan/Witchraft Traditions the Great Rite is performed symbolically by lowering a sacred blade into an awaiting chalice. In other Traditions the Great Rite is a physical sexual union.

To feel good, you have to jump into a vibration of the positive. You have to choose to be abundant in joy. You have to focus on your true reality of dazzling freedom. You have to make a choice to sparkle and let go of your fears. The only things that stop you from fealing amazing one hundred percent of the time are fear and lack. These are part... read this article
Investigating Haunted Bridges
Bodies of the Gods
Yoga Self Care for Parents and Caregivers of Autistic Children
Your Tarot, Your Way
12 Ways to Make Your Bath More Magical

Most recent posts:
Evolving Tarot
One of the main reasons people turn to tarot is because they want answers, clarity, and guidance. Driven by that need, we want to desperately...

7 Ways to Stress Less
This past Sunday, I ran across a Buzzfeed post with 7 ways to help you stress less during the coming week. As a Type-A person who battles...

Letting the Past Speak
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Rich Newman, author of The Ghost Hunter's Field Guide, Ghost Hunting for Beginners, Devil in the Delta,...




Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac
Holidays & Lore, Spells, Rituals & Meditations

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar
84th Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $18.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN