The root of the word “ritual” comes from “ritu,” which translates to “red.” Those females taking part in the ceremony were known as Grail Maidens or Grail Goddesses. The females were always born of a tree bloodline. Humans and human hybrids were excluded from the giving of sacred blood. The menstrual fluids of these women was seen as the lunar essence of goddess and known as “elixir.” This elixir was only ingested by males. The males chosen for the ceremony were always either of high-rank in the Dragon class and/or blood-born members of the tree.
Historically, the ritual took place between a grail maiden and her intended. Sharing of the sacred elixir with a non-intended was quite rare and required permissions to be gained from the female’s house (if vampyre), father and also her intended, if already known.
I personally took part in the Starfire ritual in 1991, when I was 17 years old.
One of the key responsibilities of the females of the tree is to safeguard the bloodlines. A means of doing this is quite similar to the expectations of a witch queen, it requires that the female remain rather naive in a worldly sense. She must live a fairly wholesome existence regardless of what she sees or witnesses around her. This state of being is not one of closing off from life, but rather a holding of sacred boundaries.
What does this have to do with vampires?
As Lawrence Gardner mentions in his book, Genesis of the Grail Kings:
In mystic circles, the menstrual flow-er (she who flows) has long been the designated flower, and is represented as a lily or a lotus. Indeed, the definition ‘flower is the very root of the modern word flower. In ancient Sumer, the key females of the royal succession were all venerated as lilies, having such names as Lily, Luluwa, Lilith, Lilutu and Lillette.