The Rite of the Five Essentials
A ritual practiced by Tantrics in India, the Rite of the Five Essentials was one of the most well-known ritual traditions. It was sometimes also known as the Tantric Eucharist or the Ritual of the Five M's.
The Five Essential Elements
As you can probably guess from its name, traditionally this ritual consisted of five main essential elements. Those were: meat, fish, wine, grains, and sexual union. These were symbolic of the essential ingredients of the higher universe, and also corresponded to the five elements of earth (water, fire, air, space, and earth).
Traditionally, ritual lovemaking events incorporated indulgences for all of the senses. Tantrics believed it was important to experience all of the sensual pleasures, because it was believed that spiritual liberation could only be achieved once all of the physical desires were satisfied.
The Ritual Proceeds
This ritual generally took place at night, almost always near an open fire, which was considered an essential element. Color was also important — generally, red played a major role because it was believed to stimulate the male sexual energies. The woman would be anointed with five essential oils.
After going through all the usual preparatory steps like burning incense and enjoying some music, they would proceed to the five-step part of the ritual. They would start by enjoying the wine. They then would consume the meat, followed by the fish. They then shared the grains. At this point, the couple would proceed to passionate lovemaking.
This ritual was considered most powerful and effective when each of the five elements was viewed as symbolizing a higher purpose or goal.