An Erotic Ritual for Summer Solstice

A Solstice Offering and Dedication of a Summer Altar

(Unlike most of the content on this blog, you will find explicit sexual content incorporated into the ritual described below. If you're under 18, or if this is likely to offend you, please close this page now.)

You may find this erotic ritual meaningful whether you perform it alone or in a circle of sacred brothers. You may choose to make a long-distance covenant with absent brothers to perform it holding one another in your hearts. Like any experimental ritual, you should feel free to make adjustments so that it speaks more deeply to your heart, mind, and soul, and to discard anything of it that fails to serve you.

 Mentioned below are the following materials:

 a. Colored thread (embroidery floss is a good choice)
b. Stones or bricks to build an altar
c. Objects of personal emotional and spiritual significance
d. A flat seashell
e. Earth, finely sifted
f. Mead, or else honey
g. Fresh water from a pure source, if possible a natural spring
h. Optional additional ingredients for a ritual paste (See Note 1)
i. A carefully chosen stick. (See Note 2)
j. For each participant, a pyx (small, waterproof ceremonial box) (See Note 3)
k. Candles, and if possible at least one ceramic lamp (See Note 4)
l. Incense

Allow yourself time to sink deeply into this ritual: begin preparations several days before the Summer Solstice. You may want to consult a source in order to be astronomically precise about when the Solstice occurs in a given year; or else take 21 June as an approximation.
 As you look forward toward the Solstice, aspire to unite yourself to the great rhythms of earth and heaven. Perhaps you’ll focus on healing the earth from the damage done by a culture that attempts to achieve mastery over nature. You might choose to meditate on the cycle of birth, death, and regeneration, a mystery we spend our whole lives exploring more deeply. Or to dwell on your unity with brothers beloved to you personally, and with all men as brothers gifted with desire and the capacity for erotic joy. Set the intention that calls to you most profoundly.

To remind yourself periodically of your intention, you could tie a colored thread around your non-dominant wrist.

Choose a spot outdoors that calls to you. If possible, pick a secluded place where you can be naked without unwelcome discovery, but this isn’t essential. An out-of the way corner of your garden, or a park, a vacant lot or even a fire escape will do. Build an altar of stone or brick. Purify it by pouring clean water over the stones and then setting a fire at its base. (The fire can be very small and purely symbolic, and in any case remember to be safe when working with open flame.) Set on the altar objects that represent important influences and aspirations in your life.

Sustain the sacredness of this altar in the days leading up to Solstice: honor it when you pass it–at least twice daily, morning and evening–with hands pressed palm to palm as you bow.

One or two days before the Solstice, and no later than the afternoon of Solstice itself, assemble the materials for an anointing paste. Prepare a space for unhurried, intentional self-pleasuring, and lay out shell, earth, mead or honey, fresh water, stirring stick, and any optional substances you want to include. Light a candle and connect with your heart and your breath. Cultivate your erotic energy slowly and intentionally, whether working alone or in a circle of brothers present in the flesh. It’s helpful to sustain your practice for some time and to focus on your breath and the spread of energy throughout your body, ‘edging’ to enhance the quality of your experience.

Near the moment of your orgasm, you may choose to speak an invocation of your own choice expressing your intention. You could also use the following: ‘O gladsome light that bursts forth to shine over us all–lead us to light and life.” Ejaculate into the seashell. If any of your semen misses the mark, treat it with reverence: you might choose to wipe it up with a clean cloth that you will then treat as sacred. (See Note 5.) If you can’t ejaculate, spit into the shell instead.

Prepare a ritual anointing paste. Begin by reciting, ‘I bind unto myself today the flowing fire of Creation, Milky Way spread before our feet.” Use initially just small amounts of the additional ingredients. Add a sprinkling of earth and recite, ‘I bind unto myself today great Gaia from whom we are born.’ Add mead or honey and recite, ‘I bind unto myself today Sweetness gathered by Your servants the bees, stewards of the air.” Add water and recite, ‘I bind unto myself today the sustaining rivers and the sea.’ Stir the ingredients together to form a smooth, thick paste that will adhere well to skin, and adjust the proportions as needed. (See Note 6.)

Set the paste-filled shell aside in a safe place until evening. (See Note 7.)

Half an hour before sunset, prepare the altar by setting out at least five candles or clay lamps.

At sunset, bring the paste-filled shell to the altar. If your altar is in a space where you can disrobe without shame or risk, do so, but this isn’t essential. With the fourth finger of your dominant hand, place a dot of the paste (a tilak) on your sixth chakra–the ‘third eye’ in the middle of your forehead. (Men sharing the ritual may perform this service for one another.) You may also wish to anoint other centers of energy in your body with the paste. Smear strokes of the paste on the altar stones to either side of its center.

Light the candles and clay lamp on and/or around the altar. Light incense on the altar. Repeat the invocation you spoke just before your ejaculation into the shell. The consecration of the summer altar is now complete. It is a manifestation of the creating, healing, and sustaining energy of the cosmos in which our erotic desire as queer men participates.

Fill the pyx with the remaining paste. Leave the residue in the shell and set it on the altar. If the altar is exposed to the sky, allow the rain to wash away what’s left over the coming days and weeks. Set the pyx on the altar (see Note 8); or else send it to a beloved absent brother as a gift from your heart.

The night of the Solstice, keep vigil by going periodically to witness the candle flames as they continue to burn on this shortest night of the year; or you may choose to remain continuously in watch before the altar.

From now until the Autumn Equinox, tend the altar daily, making a morning and evening act of reverence before it.

At Equinox, reconstitute the dried paste in the pyx and anoint yourself again. Deconsecrate the altar by removing your personal objects from the altar, washing away any residue of the paste still visible on the stones, and breaking the clay lamp.



1. Optional substances might include ash made from some item of paper or cloth that has personal significance, salt, or powdered green tea (matcha). If you are preparing ash, burn the paper or cloth in a flameproof bowl and crush the ash to a fine, even consistency. Someone in deep mourning for a lost beloved might choose to include a small amount of that person or animal’s cremated ash, finely ground and sifted, in this ritual.

2. Driftwood, if you have access, is beautiful and like the shell carries the associations of the sea with it.

3. Small ointment boxes of carved soapstone are available in many Indian import shops. Sometimes you can find them in the abstracted shape of a Shiva lingam–round with a domed top–representing the infinite Phallus of God’s masculine aspect.
 4. You can also find simple unglazed clay lamps in Indian import shops, consisting of a small open bowl to hold clarified butter or oil with a homemade wick of twine or light rope.

5. If you’re sharing the ritual with other men, brothers may choose to hold the shell and gather up any spills for one another in mutual love, respect, and reverence.

6. The sugar in the mead or honey is important for the durability and viscosity of the paste; too much water and it will slough off too easily, especially if you intend to leave the paste on your skin for some hours or days. Prepare the paste in whatever amount the circumstances of your ritual require.

7. Cover the paste-filled shell with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, or else check the consistency immediately before use and add water as necessary. If you prefer, the paste can be prepared immediately before the final dedication of the altar at sunset, but preparing it ahead allows for a slower, deeper experience.

8. To assure the paste’s longevity, uncover the pyx and stir the contents daily until completely dry, then pulverize the paste and return it to the pyx as a powder that can later be reconstituted. Otherwise it’s likely to grow mold while damp.

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