Before I get started on this topic, let me state what I feel is truly the biggest difference between traditional forms of Wicca and the more modern flavors of today, its the absence of the fertility aspects of the religion. Wicca is a fertility religion and not some hippy-trippy nature religion and if you don't know the difference between the two then you will in no wise understand what I will try to explain as we go on. Yes, fertility as in sex. Our wiccan sabbats revolve around the fertility aspects of the Goddess and her consort, the God. In perfect love and perfect trust, traditional wiccans worshipped in skyclad covens and performed whats called the Great Rite, and no it wasn't usually of the symbolic kind folks.
The Great Rite, in essence, is creation. It is performed usually by the priest and priestess in imitation of the gods at certain circles and Sabbats. It is not actually sex magick, although I guess it can be made into an act of magick, its true intent is fertility. No I'm not referring to getting the priestess pregnant, not the kind of fertility I'm talking about, ha ha, although a priestess wishing to conceive could use the Rite in a magickal act i suppose.
The traditional Great Rite is a beautifully spoken rite as well. I'm referring to Gardners original wording of course. It is a lot to remember if you chose to use it word for word but its story is true and while it does contain some masonic usage, it also includes knowledge of sex workings from many cultures throughout many many centuries.
As for solitary practice, its rather impossible to enact this rite. There is always the symbolic rite and it works as well, intent and projection is always the key. Once again, sex magick would not be a problem but the Great Rite is something different.
The traditional Great Rite is normally performed in private but sometimes the rest of the coven remains present, that depends on the individual covens and their own comfort level. We don't have this problem because its just the two of us. It does seem ideal if the two enacting the rite are in a committed relationship of some kind, even at the coven level and not married or living together, etc.
In a future blog, I will discuss sex magick as best I can, but hopefully anyone who's read this can see that the Great Rite is not so much an act of magick but a reenactment of the wiccan way, an act of love in a circle with the wish for continued fertility in all our lives, and with this I wish you all the brightest blessings...