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  #21  
Old 02-26-2011, 05:57 PM
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I think a good literary treatment of what sacred sexuality & temple prostitution might look like in a sex-positive culture is to be found in Jaqueline Carey's Terre D'Ange -books. Her Kushiel series is in parts basically BDSM erotica for the literary-minded, so for those of us who like our ice-cream vanilla with no sauce, her new Moirin series is equally delightful and a lot lighter in content.
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  #22  
Old 02-26-2011, 06:04 PM
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Sort of along the same vein...

Years ago, I started to read The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler but never finished it because the person I borrowed it from wanted it back (she was moving or something). But it was good and real popular among my circle of women (Wiccan) friends. I might pick it up again.

Here is the review/summary on Amazon:
The Moon Under Her Feet

"This feminist retelling of the conception, birth, life and death of Christ as narrated by Mary Magdalene may cause some uproar in Christian circles. Yeshua (Christ) is born to Almah Mari (the Virgin Mary) after her union in Sacred Marriage at the Temple in Jerusalem with an unblemished man who kills himself as a sacrifice for his people. Later Mari Anath becomes Magdalene, or High Priestess of the Goddess, and assumes co-rule with Jehovah, succeeding Almah Mari. Mari Anath follows Yeshua in the years of his ministry, despite objections from some adherents who call her harlot because they oppose the double worship of the Goddess and Jehovah and the equality of sexes that relationship implies. But days before the crucifixion, when Yeshua sacrifices himself, he and the Magdalene are united in Sacred Marriage in the Temple before the people. Mari Anath gives birth to Yeshua's daughter Anna after she and Judas (who is The Christos's twin brother and betrays him at his behest in order to fulfill the prophesy) flee to Gaul to make a new life. First novelist Kinstler, a professor of philosophy, mines the literature of myth to make this lyrically written interpretation plausible. She provides notes and a bibliography to buttress much of her tale. "
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-26-2011 at 06:09 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-26-2011, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post

We once went to Aphrodite's Temple (Sacred Sexuality) introduction...

here is a link http://www.ravenslairleather.com/Main.html
That looks extremely interesting. From their website:

Quote:
The temple is a sacred space which is about worship. In ancient times, people would come to the temple not only to worship the goddess, but to also be worshiped. I invite you to rekindle this old tradition by worshiping one another as sexual human beings and allowing others to worship you. Recognize the god/goddess aspect within each person. We are not just physical bodies. The body is a sacred temple which houses our spirit...

Sex is a process of raising erotic energy either alone, or with others, bringing about pleasure and ecstasy for all participants. The energy raised is a form of power that can bring balance, transcendence, attunement, and healing. Sex is only partly about genitals and bodies. Much of sex happens in the mind and spirit...

We are constantly receiving stimulation...

We live in a touch deprived society. Yet touch has many benefits. Touch is a sense that is different from our other senses in that it is not localized. Our whole bodies are wired for receiving stimulations of touch. Touch is necessary for life. If infants do not receive human touch, they will die. Something very powerful is transmitted when we touch one another. For adults, it is necessary for physical and emotional health. Erotic touch is even more powerful. Think about how it feels when a lover provides an erotic caress. Our bodies respond and become charged with energy.
While I find that the best energy is raised with a person you care deeply about, energy can also be found in erotic interplay with respectful "strangers" or friends you are not in a deeply committed day-to-day relationship with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
I think a good literary treatment of what sacred sexuality & temple prostitution might look like in a sex-positive culture is to be found in Jaqueline Carey's Terre D'Ange -books. Her Kushiel series is in parts basically BDSM erotica for the literary-minded...
Sounds intriguing!


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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
The Moon Under Her Feet...

"This feminist retelling of the conception, birth, life and death of Christ as narrated by Mary Magdalene may cause some uproar in Christian circles. Yeshua (Christ) is born to Almah Mari (the Virgin Mary) after her union in Sacred Marriage at the Temple in Jerusalem with an unblemished man who kills himself as a sacrifice for his people. Later Mari Anath becomes Magdalene, or High Priestess of the Goddess, and assumes co-rule with Jehovah, succeeding Almah Mari. Mari Anath follows Yeshua in the years of his ministry, despite objections from some adherents who call her harlot because they oppose the double worship of the Goddess and Jehovah and the equality of sexes that relationship implies. But days before the crucifixion, when Yeshua sacrifices himself, he and the Magdalene are united in Sacred Marriage in the Temple before the people. Mari Anath gives birth to Yeshua's daughter Anna after she and Judas (who is The Christos's twin brother and betrays him at his behest in order to fulfill the prophesy) flee to Gaul to make a new life. First novelist Kinstler, a professor of philosophy, mines the literature of myth to make this lyrically written interpretation plausible. She provides notes and a bibliography to buttress much of her tale. "
Some early Christian writings did not make the final cut and become part of the official canon of the Bible as we know it today. There are gnostic gospels, acts and revelations from the 4th century to be found which uphold the interpretation apparently expanded upon in this book.

There are women in the Biblical canon variously called Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, or who go unnamed, who anoint Jesus' feet, head or his whole body. One woman even wipes the anointing oil in with her hair, an obviously erotic act. The fact that a lowly woman in Judaean culture anointed a leader is obviously pagan and entirely heretical to the patriarchal "Jewish" thoughts of that era and culture.

The heiros gamos (sacred marriage) themes in gnostic Greek culture included the female Lover anointing the sexual organ of her male Lover in preparation for intercourse. In the Bible we see Mary anointing Jesus" "feet." In the Old Testament, the word "feet" was sometimes employed as a euphemism for the penis (while "thigh" was used to mean testicles).

Since the Jesus character was a typical dying and rising god (similar to many others going back in recorded history to at least 3500 BCE and Osiris), his "sacrifice" was one of the crops, cut down in their prime to be food (actual or spiritual) for the community. In the sacred marriage tradition, the King was married to the Queen (who survives, Mother Nature being constant), the marriage consummated, followed by the King's death.
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  #24  
Old 02-26-2011, 10:23 PM
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.... Even amongst poly people here, I see relationships based mostly or only on sex all too often as being made out to be dirty and somehow lesser than, a full on, all or nothing totally committed relationship.
mmm. Sore topic for me. You see, for me, sex and feeling/heart are all intertwined. I'm a bi guy who has a lot more experience with men than with women, and who has also sought to bring another man (or woman) into my life -- with abysmal results--largely because so many gay/bi/queer men don't want to or cannot have what I want to share. (Women are another story--to much to say just now. But I'm not closed to the idea!) In my experience, too many men want to have "hot" sex with strangers and then hope never to see them again. That might be "fun" when you're in your teens or twenties, but I'm a grown up little boy now. I want to play lightly and love like it matters. It doesn't have to be setting up housekeeping. It just has to involve heart. Whether with a man or a woman.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:31 PM
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It really sounds like my kind of book. I love "alternative" history. That is: history that is not written from the (white) male POV.
As a tall, white male American, I want to say that I'm in agreement with you in spirit yet opposed to your way of languaging this such that white males are The Problem. I'm SO not into the mainstream American/Global/Corporate/Warring... culture of domination. That is, the "Dominator Culture". My orientation is more like that of a Native American than of the oppressor import from Europe -- but this isn't to point fingers at Europeans!! ... So on and so forth....
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:34 PM
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River, please don't take responsibility for the patriarchy, which has a history going back to the beginnings of sedentary agricultural culture. I didn't mean my words to be an attack on any one man in any century. It's nothing personal!
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  #27  
Old 02-27-2011, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Since the Jesus character was a typical dying and rising god (similar to many others going back in recorded history to at least 3500 BCE and Osiris), his "sacrifice" was one of the crops, cut down in their prime to be food (actual or spiritual) for the community. In the sacred marriage tradition, the King was married to the Queen (who survives, Mother Nature being constant), the marriage consummated, followed by the King's death.
The very first Christ character was actually a Christa, who journeyed to the Underworld to retrieve a lost lover and was nailed into a wall. She was the Ishtar/Astarte/Ashera/Isis Goddess-figure revered in the whole ancient Levant.

Magdlyn, 'Love as Thou Wilt' in L.R.'s signature is a direct quote from Carey's books and the 'constitution' of the fictional Terre d'Ange.
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  #28  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
The very first Christ character was actually a Christa, who journeyed to the Underworld to retrieve a lost lover and was nailed into a wall. She was the Ishtar/Astarte/Ashera/Isis Goddess-figure revered in the whole ancient Levant.
Yes, I know that Babylonian Ishtar myth too, and it's similar to the Greek myth of Persephone's descent into Hades, down there for 3 months during winter. Not quite the same thing as the dying and rising grain god. But thanks for mentioning that. I'm not sure that myth is older than the Osiris myth, which goes back to 3500 BCE at the latest determined date. ...I'm sure earlier hunter/gatherer cultures had their own myths based on the wheel of the seasons.

The Egyptian myth shows Osiris and Isis and Set as siblings. Set tricks Osiris into a scheme, eventually cuts him up in several pieces and scatters his body parts in a marsh. With the help of Hathor, the female 4th sibling, Isis reclaims Osiris' body parts, reassembles them. The only missing piece is his penis, which she forms out of clay or gold. Then she takes the form of a bird, hovers over his penis and conceives Horus. Horus becomes the God of the Overworld, battles Set and wins. Osiris becomes the God of the Underworld and judges the dead.

I just love how these older religions frankly incorporated female dieties, and sex, into creation and fertility myths. Christianity tries to take sex out of the equation, fetishizing celibacy based on the writings of St Paul. But then, you get sex perverted, leading to the horrific abuse of children by Catholic priests, in a huge secretly sanctioned ring of child slavery. This has only come to full public knowledge in the last decade, but of course it was an established practice going back for centuries.

Quote:
Magdlyn, 'Love as Thou Wilt' in L.R.'s signature is a direct quote from Carey's books and the 'constitution' of the fictional Terre d'Ange.
I need to get to the library for those books and Sex at Dawn!
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  #29  
Old 10-15-2011, 07:38 PM
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I will point out that the Bible is not a good source on the religious practices of other peoples. 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).

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.

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.)
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:03 PM
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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?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
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