A Brief History of Religious Sex

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A Brief History of Religious Sex Goddesses of Pagan myth resources: The religion of the Goddess, wherever it was practiced throughout history, has always been sex positive. The most famous of the ancient rituals is the Hieros Gamos, or Sacred marriage ritual. Records of this ceremony have been dated as far back as early Sumerian, about 5500 years ago. In this ritual the high priestess acting as avatar of The Goddess had sex with the ruler of the country to show the Goddess's acceptance him as ru
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  A Brief History of Religious SexGoddesses of Pagan myth resources:The religion of the Goddess, wherever it was practiced throughout history, has always been sex positive. Themost famous of the ancient rituals is the Hieros Gamos, or Sacred marriage ritual. Records of this ceremonyhave been dated as far back as early Sumerian, about 5500 years ago. In this ritual the high priestess acting asavatar of The Goddess had sex with the ruler of the country to show the Goddess's acceptance him as ruler and caretaker of her people. Here is part of the ceremony as translated from an ancient Sumerian poem.The High Priestess, acting for Inanna, is speaking to Dumuzi the new king.My vulva, the horn,The boat of Heaven,Is full of eagerness like the young moon.My untilled land lies fallow.As for me, Inanna,Who will plow my vulva?Who will plow my high field?Who will plow my wet ground?As for me, the young woman,Who will plow my vulva?Who will station the ox there?Who will plow my vulva?The symbolism is, I hope, obvious to you. If you've ever looked at an anatomical picture of the femalereproductive system, you may have noticed that the vagina is shaped like a horn, it curves upward andnarrows towards the back.On the male side, an old time plow (not the modern day tractor type) had a long, hard projection that pushedinto the ground.Dumuzi, the king replies:Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva,I, Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva Inanna accepts him saying:Then plow my vulva, man of my heartPlow my vulva.Then follows more details of the happeningsMy eager impetuous caresser of the navel,My caresser of the soft thighs;He is the one my womb loves best,My high priest is ready for the holy loins.My lord Dumuzi is ready for the holy loins.The plants and herbs in his field are ripe.O Dumuzi, Your fullness is my delight.The high priestess then directs things to be readiedInanna called for the bed.Let the bed that rejoices the heart be preparedLet the bed that sweetens the loins be preparedLet the bed of kingship be prepared!Let the bed of queenship be prepared!  Let the royal bed be prepared!This bed was set up in front of the entire congregation.The people watched the entire ritual including the sexual part.He shaped my loins with his fair hands,The shepherd Dumuzi filled my lap with cream and milk.He stroked my pubic hair.He watered my womb.He laid his hands on my holy vulva,He smoothed my black boat with cream,He quickened my narrow boat with milk.He caressed me on the bed.The King went with lifted head to the holy loins.He went with lifted head to the loins of InannaHe went to the queen with lifted head.He opened wide his arms to the holy priestess of heaven.We rejoiced together.He took his pleasure of me.He laid me down on the fragrant honey-bedMy sweet love, lying by my heart,Tongue-playing, one by one,My fair Dumuzi did so fifty times. Now, my sweet love is sated.At the climax of the ceremony (or should I say, climaxes, fifty times, wow!) the populous would cheer andshout their approval and appreciation. This ritual brought prosperity to the people and to the land, so theywere very happy to witness its successful completion.A lot has been written since women's liberation about the performance anxiety men feel in our modern times.Performing sex in front of other people was not the stressful thing in ancient days as it is now. Sex was oftendone in religious ceremonies in groups--Orgies. Nowadays the word orgy connotes something depraved and degenerate. That was not the srcinal meaningfor the word. The word orgy comes from the Greek word orgia meaning secret worship . Since mostsecret worship involved sexual rituals, and Christians were opposed to anything sexual the word orgy cameto have the debased meaning it has today, rather than the noble, spiritual meaning of the srcinal word.Many words that are used to describe extreme religious fervor are also used to describe great sex, such as passion, bliss, and ecstasy. There were many orgies throughout the year as celebrations in the religion of theGoddess. Many of these celebrations have been taken over by the Christians who removed their sexualnature. The best known is undoubtedly Christmas taken from the pagan festival of Saturnalia.Saturn, from whom we get the word for the day of the week, Saturday, was the Roman name for the Greek God, Cronus and the Babylonian God, Ninip. Sometimes called the Lord of Death, he was represented by thesun at its lowest aspect at the winter solstice. That's when the earth is cold, and most plants are dead, and itwas believed that the sun was approaching death. Today that's around December 21, but because of calendar changes, it was srcinally December 25th. Saturnalia celebrated the sun overcoming the power of winter,with hope of spring when life would be renewed. In Roman times, Bacchus, the god of wine, became the lordof these festivals. During the Bacchanalian festivals the everyday rules were turned topsy turvy. The masterswaited on the servants. All sexual prohibitions were lifted. It was a time of true good will towards all men.Even dresses were exchanged with men dressing as women. Erotic dances were performed with a large erect phallus being carried around in the dancing processionals.The custom of exchanging clothes during Saturnalia and Bacchanalia was an activity frowned upon by theJews and Christians as it is prohibited by the Bible, Deuteronomy 22;5 The woman shall not wear that  which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for all that do so areabomination unto the Lord thy god So much for Biblical transvestites.However, the god Hermes in order to become a god of magic went into the temple of his consort Aphroditewhere he wore a woman's robes and artificial breasts. In the temple he learned all the secrets of the GoddessAphrodite which were exclusively taught to her female priestesses. The priests of the very masculine Greek hunk, Hercules, always wore female dress, probably in memory of Hercules service in female dress to theQueen Omphale. Zeus had sent Hercules to be a slave to the Queen for having killed a young man, Eurytus,after his father had insulted Hercules.One of the most famous prophets and seers of ancient time, Teiresias, was a man who was changed into awoman and served in the temples as a priestess for seven years to gain the feminine powers of insight anddivination. During this time as a woman he gave birth to a daughter before being turned back into a man. Itwas Teiresias who gave us the scale of one to ten. Myth has it that Zeus and Hera once argued who had themost pleasure in sex. Zeus said it was the woman, while Hera asserted it was the man. They agreed thatTeiresias should judge who was right. He did not hesitate to tell the God and Goddess, Measured on thescale of pleasure, in the act of sex man has one measure to woman's nine. Hera became incensed by this,stating that judges, like referees in sporting events are all blind, and made Teiresias blind.Anciently men's transvestism had its roots in the desire to attain female magic and powers and was commonamong the Pagan priests up to the time of St. Augustine who denounced the custom, saying that men whowore women's garments could never attain salvation, even if they were otherwise good Christians. So thegood Catholics simply made the women's gowns into Priests robes. They looked the same, had the samefunction, but a robe by any other name, does not a transvestite make. Another favorite converted Pagan holiday is Valentines Day taken from the Lupricalia. The festivals of Lupricalia were noted for their wild, sensual dances in which sausages played a very important part. Soimportant in fact that both dancing and sausages were outlawed by the Christian Emperors of the 4th and 5thcentury.And, of course, May Day used to have great sexual frolics around that giant phallic symbol, the May pole.The May pole represented the Gods phallus in Mother Earth. People decorated it and danced around it. Kidsstill do today, even though they have no idea of its srcinal meaning. The Christian church opposed Mayfestivals. A 16th century English Puritan writer Philip Stubes, railed against May pole dancing. He said, What clipping, what culling, what kissing and bussing, what smooching and slobbering one of another, whatfilthy groping and unclean handling is not practiced in the dances. Stubes estimated, though how he got hisstatistics is unknown, probably from peeping through bushes, that not one girl in three retained her virginityafter taking part in May pole rituals. After dancing around the Maypole celebrants would retire to the openfields where they would have sex with anyone and everyone in the plowed fields in order to insure thefertility of the land and prosperous yield of crops. May was a month of sexual freedom throughout ruralEurope up to the 16th century. Marriage bonds were suspended for the month of May, commenced again inJune - hence, June weddings.All of these ancient rituals, these orgia, involved group sex and nudity. The hang ups and inhibitions thatmost people have about having sex in groups or in front of other people are largely the result of Biblicalattitudes. Sex, was something to be done only in private behind locked doors, and only for procreation. Thoserestrictive ideas come to us from the Bible, in which nudity is condemned as soon as Adam and Eve ate theapple (or technically, the Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil).Also in Genesis we read the story of Noah getting drunk and lying around naked in his tent. His son Ham, thefather of Canaan, came in and saw him and went out and told his two brothers about it. They came in and,walking backwards, covered him. When Noah woke up he knew what Ham had done and he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren So the father curses his son and hisdescendants--who are according to some biblical interpretations, especially those of Whitehead and manyMormon, and some nineteenth century christian writers, the blacks--to be servants to his white brothers just because Ham saw him naked. A little extreme, I'd say. And it doesn't matter that some interpret thisdifferently, as one of the justifications for American slavery of blacks was this interpretation of the Bible.   Nudity is frowned on by the Judaeo-Christian god, but Greek Gods are usually depicted as nude inmagnificently detailed statues. The god of the Bible is always portrayed with plenty of flowing robes on.What does he have to be ashamed of? Did they cut too much off when he was circumcised?In Pagan rituals, men and women had sex with their friends and neighbors. The Bible forbids such activitiesin no uncertain terms, Leviticus 20:10, And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife even he that committeth adultery with hisneighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Even today some states stillcling to archaic Judaeo- Christian religious laws making adultery a crime.In ancient times a priestess could be married or unmarried. She performed sexual purification rituals with allworthy men regardless of her marital status. In some cultures all women were required to serve in the temple.Herodotus, the father of history, writing about the Babylonians states, Babylonian custom compels every woman of the land once in her life to sit in the temple of love and haveintercourse with some stranger. The men pass and make their choice. It matters not what be the sum of money; the woman will never refuse, for that were a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. After their intercourse she has made herself holy in the sight of the Goddess and goes away to her home. That is unlessshe decided to continue as a full time priestess. The man was not paying for sex, but rather making anoffering to the Goddess for allowing him to participate in the sacred ritual.One hundred and fifty years later, Quintus Curtius, the historian who accompanied Alexander the Great onhis conquests, reported: There is none other more corrupt than this people, or none other more learned in the art of pleasure andvoluptuaries. Fathers and mothers suffered their daughters to prostitute themselves to their guests for silver and husbands were not less indulgent with respect to their wives. The Babylonians plunged into drunkennessand all the disorders which follow it. The women appeared at the banquets with modesty at first, but theyended by abandoning their robes, then the rest of their garments one after another, disrobing themselves little by little of modesty until they were entirely naked. And these were not public women who abandonedthemselves so; they were the most respectable matrons and their daughters. In some cultures, as in Egypt, the upper class women were priestesses. Almost all of the Egyptian queenswere High Priestesses of the Goddess, up until Cleopatra. She was the 369th in a line of which I am 537thHigh Priestess. Egyptologists who know how sexual the high priestesses were, just cannot believe that aqueen would have sex with anyone other than her husband-- like the good Jewish Queens of the Bible. Theyseem to think that Cleopatra, who had sex with 100 Roman noblemen in one night was unusual. The fact is,all priestesses, queens or otherwise had sex with thousands of men.In ancient cultures with matriarch religions, sex was considered something ennobling and uplifting. Sexcould take you closer to the Gods rather than alienate you from god.An example of this come from one of the oldest stories in existence, the Gilgamesh Epic. Some place theEpic by tradition around 5,000 years before the current era. The story tells of many heroic adventures of Gilgamesh who is part human and part god. One particular story tells that the gods placed a wild man,Enkidu, in the wilderness area and required Gilgamesh to capture and tame him. Gilgamesh is told of thiswild man by a shepherd who has seen him. Rather than run out with spears, arrows and nets, Gilgameshsends a priestess of the Goddess to the watering place of the wild man. She takes off her clothes, exposingher charms. The wild man, finding her much more appealing than his animal friends, has sex with her for 6days and 7 nights and is won from his wild life. He is calmly led by the priestess back to the city, tocivilization.This story dramatizes the ennobling, civilizing benefits of sex. Sex is portrayed as a force for good. Contrastthat with the Biblical version of the first sex activities. Adam and Eve were living in Paradise without sex.They disobeyed their god's order not to eat fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is only after they eat of the fruit of knowledge that they become aware of their genitals and sex. As a result they are casteout of paradise, out of the presence of their god, into a cold, cruel, uncultivated world--where sex is evil.In the Goddess religion sex brings one to civilization and the goddess, in the Judaeo-Christian religion sexdrives one into the wilderness away from their god.
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