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The recent raids on the Goddess temples in the USA are a sad reminder of how badly our society is damaged by centuries of orthodox monotheism that has denigrated human sexual expression and sexual joy as both sinful and dangerous. Orthodox monotheism has done this through dogmas that denigrate human sexuality as a distraction from its contemplation of the world of the dead rather than the world of the living. Once; sex was an expression of human joy, of the pleasure we take in our humanity for its own sake, a benediction given without expectation or censor.
Sacred prostitution sprang from this concept of sex as a civilising benediction. When the words “A prostitute I am, compassionate am I” were inscribed on the temple walls of Innana and Ishtar they were a declaration of sex as a blessing given from a prostitute in honour of the goddess to anyone who sought her company. The prostitute was an instrument of the Goddess. The Goddess as the compassionate whore tamed the wild nature of man and invited civilisation, romance, poetry, music, pleasure in all its forms into the world. Sex was perceived as a benediction that healed the sickness of the body and of the mind and was given to all with out question or demand.
It is this understanding of sex as a positive expression of the Goddess that we have lost. Today the prostitute instead of being acknowledged as a vehicle of joy has within a monotheist society become a symbol of lost virtue, a dangerous distraction into sin in a world where sex is sinful, dirty, destructive, secretive and furtive.
Our modern revulsion of the prostitute reflects our own self loathing of our need for sexual pleasure for its own sake and any understanding of sex as a healing and positive influence within society.
The men and women who now face prosecution were brave to challenge our modern misunderstanding of sex and of the positive role of the prostitute in dispensing sexual healing in its broadest sense. Orthodox monotheism has corrupted our understanding of sex as a positive expression of the divine and of the importance of sex in maintaining a healthy and balanced body and mind. The compassionate whore is an important reflection of the Goddess of compassion who reaches out to bring the sacred intimacy of human sexual interaction to those within society who may not easily access sexual relations or suffer because of sexual inadequacies or who; perhaps, fear sex or have no understanding of the importance of “good” sex to maintain a healthy body and mind that then reflects positively not only upon the individual but within society as a whole and within personal relationships. Teaching sex as a blessing rather than something to be feared and teaching humanity to understand the sexual needs of their human body as something positive and teaching that sex can be a path to spiritual enlightenment and to discovering the divine was once a duty of the sacred whore within the ancient temples. From my understanding re-establishing this teaching was an important aspect of the worship at these modern temples. Embracing sex as positive and not as something dirty or sinful was and is to the Goddess simply a reflection of her love for humanity.
We have forgotten that access to sexual expression was once understood as important in maintaining a complete and healthy “whole” person. When western society was forced to embrace the repressive dogmas of orthodox monotheism, sex outside of carefully prescribed so called norms; was, and still is perceived as dangerous. The result of this repression has been centuries of punitive legislation that has degraded sex into something criminal. In criminalising human sexuality society has also degraded our shared humanity. The arrests at the temple reflect another example of this brutal repression of human sexuality. Once again the prostitute is the scapegoat, presented as dangerous to a society still governed by patriarchal notions of good women and men and of course of sex that conforms to “their” carefully prescribed so called normality.
The arrests have also sadly revealed many leaders within modern paganism as either lacking in knowledge of important aspects of the Goddess or more probably unwilling to acknowledge aspects of the Goddess that do not fit easily within their sellable version of the goddess to an audience corrupted by centuries of orthodox monotheism.
There is no doubt that it would be a brave pagan leader who would stand side by side with those arrested at the temples for prostitution. The prostitute is so degraded within modern society that they fear that monotheists will find yet another stick with which to beat followers of the Goddess and to label them as sexual deviants. There is nothing new in this of course; it is what they have done for centuries and what they will always do. This however is not a good enough reason to shy away from avoiding explaining prostitution as a positive refection of the goddess of compassion and to explain sacred prostitution in the name of the goddess as a benediction and not something to be feared. It should not be just sex workers like myself who defend an aspect of the Goddess that some so called pagans feel uncomfortable with. This is religious persecution and it should be understood as such within the pagan community. Pagans who deny the goddess as prostitute and yet talk of sacred sex and sacred healing while denying the sensuous, unadulterated and very explicit and overt sexuality of the goddess is like denying the Goddess as destroyer and bringer of death. The Goddess is not a fluffy Barbie doll. The Goddess has many faces and to deny even one aspect of the Goddess because it does not sell easily tells us so much about those so called pagans. Those pagans who deny the link between prostitution and goddess worship and who try and dress sacred sexuality to appeal to the sensibilities of a corrupted audience are no better than those masked policemen who held guns to the head of the women and men within this temple. They are gaolers of the Goddess and not her priests and priestesses.
It is important that everyone does what ever they can in what ever way they can to defend the arrested practitioners at these temples and to stand up bravely in defence of the goddess and her prostitutes both male and female.
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