Ecstatic Ritual was one of the first books written by a woman in the Western sex magic tradition. It collects information about using energy in sexuality and combines this with a ritual outline that any individual or couple of any gender can use to create a practice of sacred sexuality.
I’d been a practicing sex magician for more than a decade when I decided to write this book. I’d read everything I could find, cobbling together a contemporary practice from books a decade or a hundred years old. The rituals were all written by men for the benefit of men. I thought it was high time for a book written by a woman which treated the partners as equals! I also wanted to bring together the scattered pieces of practice I’d found.
The day I got the book contract was one of the happiest of my life. My partner Alex and I opened the package together. My heart beat so fast! I was finally going to be a published writer!
Prism Press offered me an advance on the book. I was doing temporary clerical work – this was in the time period when I was organizing Pagan festivals and paying less attention to my career. I left the assignment where I’d been working at the time. My coworkers baked me a cake in the shape of a book and wished me luck.
I spent an entire month writing the book draft. During that month I also arranged for the drawings. I had friends over to pose for the images and took photographs of them, then Rhea Loader used the photos as the basis for the drawings which give the book its visual charm.
The book was published in 1990, the year I also became First Officer of Covenant of the Goddess. I toured the country to promote the book and combined the trips with visits to C.O.G. members and groups. A C.O.G. member signed up as my agent to book appearances, the biggest at the Gay and Lesbian Services Center in New York City. Speaking in New York felt like a rite of passage – I had arrived as a writer and a speaker.
Eventually Prism Press went out of business and the copyright reverted to me. When I met Taylor Ellwood through a mutual friend it turned out that he was a fan of the book. He was also the editor of the Megalithica imprint of Immanion Press. When he offered to reprint the book I jumped at the chance.
The Prism Press book had featured a cover that didn’t relate to the book well. This time I had a chance to pick my own artist. My best friend and adopted sister Kallista agreed to re-create one of her beautiful images of Nuit and Geb for the book. Its red and blue colors reflect the play of energies I tried to capture in the book.
I am deeply grateful to Taylor for his ongoing support and for keeping the book alive. It’s my first book and I’m attached to it! The rituals continue to form the core of my personal spiritual practice.