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Old 10-16-2011, 12:03 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I will point out that the Bible is not a good source on the religious practices of other peoples.
Which other peoples? The Ammonites, the Sidonians, the Egyptians?

Current scholarship holds that the things railed against throughout the Old Testament are actually practices that the Israelites practiced before differentiating themselves from the previous Canaanite culture (and the railing against their previous practices was part of that process of differentiation).
I totally agree. There is so much evidence in the Bible for the presence of Asherim all over Judah and Israel (including one in the Jerusalem Temple), altars in the "high places and under every green tree," idols of silver and gold being worshiped, cakes being baked for the rituals for the Queen of Heaven, etc etc. The religious idea that Asherah was the consort of Yahweh was extremely common and officially supported at least until the reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah, during the Assyrian invasion. As far as I can determine, monotheism didn't really become official until after the exiles began to return from Babylon in the 5th century BCE.

Also, current research fails to support the notion of the qadesh as temple prostitutes. The data doesn't support any distinct role, yet does point away from the "sacred prostitute" idea. While there may have been rites that involved sexual content, there's nothing to support the idea of a temple caste existing just for sexual activity.
Ok, let's say they were also weaving veils for the statue of Asherah in the Temple then. Composing music, singing, playing musical instruments, painting and sculpting wall murals and idols, officiating at sacrifices.

We don't even need to talk about only "temple" prostitutes. Many of the Goddess's altars seem to have been outside on hilltops.

Heck, Solomon was depicted as a pagan... he kept over 100 women around for a sexual outlet (of course that number could be exaggerated).

There has been so much editing in the Bible before it reached its final form. We can only guess at what more details of women's religious practices were deemed too unimportant to keep recorded. (I found reading When God Was a Woman and The Hebrew Goddess to be very helpful.) In the current era, during the 13th century and on, Kabbalistic Jewish rabbis and pious laity prayed several times a day for the sexual union of Yahweh and his new lover, the Shekhinah.

For me, some of the best evidence for sexual activity being part of the Asherah/Yahweh rituals is in the Song of Solomon. "We go to my mother's house... our bed is green..." etc.

Rather disappointing for those of us Recons who loved the idea, yet the scholarship doesn't support the notion. (And, yes, I am a Canaanite Reconstructionist.)
What of the recommendation that the "dogs" be ousted from the Temple during one king's reign? (I think it was Josiah). Dogs being a slur word used for qudeshim.

What of the heiros gamos practice in the New Testament? Mary Magdalene anointing Jesus' head and "feet" (feet being the most common euphemism for genitals in the Hebrew Bible) in preparation for his (deleted sexual union), torture and death?

There is a legend that Mary "Virgin" was sent to live at the Temple when she was 12. Then she just happened to get pregnant by a spirit.
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 62) loving Pixie (poly, F, 40) since January 2009, living together since 2013
Seeing Kahlo (polyish, M, 45)
Master, (mono, M, 36), Pixie's Dom/bf for 3+ years
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