Sacred Prostitutes – The History of the Ho-Down

Once upon a sexy time, they weren’t called hookers, they were considered: priestesses or sacred prostitutes. Once upon a sexy time, they didn’t have to stand on some dodgy street corner waiting for someone to stop their car for a ‘quickie’ while also having to avoid the scrutinizing eye of local authorities. These sacred prostitutes practiced in temples where those who visited them would engage in the act of sexual healing and that act was considered prayer. Once upon a sexy time, they weren’t looked down upon, they were revered for their embodiment of love, sexuality and they held high spiritual authority.

Jesus Christ with Mary Magdalene
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – DECEMBER 17, 2014: The Mary Magdalen wash the feet of Jesus scene by Josef Kastner the older from 20. cent. in Erloserkirche church.

Her sexual prowess was said to heal, restore and rejuvenate

Imagine that the ‘sacred’ is living inside of you. You can access it through sexual acts that’ll lead to transcendental experiences of bliss and self realization. Now you’re practicing ‘sacred sex,’ in the same way that others have worldwide for centuries. Fun fact: The people of ancient times would pilgrim the Temple of Aphrodite, goddess of Beauty and Love and by experiencing the sensuality of one of its priestesses, they’d worship the goddess and were blessed by her.

Throughout multiple cultures the practice of sex was used as a sacred means to achieve: Generation (procreation), Regeneration (Health Creation) and Spiritualization (immortality). The reproductive aspect of sex is obvious but often just allocated to the wife. The sacred prostitutes offered sex that fulfilled the regenerative function of health and vitality as well as spiritualized sex, helping the soul advance to its highest state.

A typical practice that took place in temples of ancient Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece was the act of, ‘Taking the War out of Man.’ Fun fact: After returning from war, soldiers were invited to the Temple where the Priestess would bathe, soothe and heal their physical, emotional and spiritual wounds. She was thought to absorb his conflict and rid the effect of war from his system.

With her sensuality and sexuality, she loved the soldier back to wholeness

Inanna or Queen of Heaven pre-dated Aphrodite and her liberal attitude toward sex was uniquely energized. She was known as the Queen of Heaven, The Queen of the land and its fertility and The Goddess of war and sexual love. Inanna was known as Ishtar to the Babylonians. She can be seen in figurines and terracotta models of female nudes all over the ancient East representing the holy power of sexuality.

Her most quoted hymn sang of her liberal idea of sexuality like a prehistoric Beyonce ‘Independent women,’ track:

As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?

Sumerian and Babylonian records reveal that the Qadishtu performed holy sexual rites in Inanna’s name. Qadishtu translates to sacred women and they served in the temples of Inanna/Ishtar. They often came from wealthy families. They owned property and even engaged in other business activities. Fun fact: Often a life of a ‘sacred woman,’ was more advantageous and desirable than that of a wife.

The sacred prostitute is sexy and cross cultural

The sacred prostitute was a holy vessel for the female Goddess divine. Worship was made in holy sexual rituals performed in her name. Thus the priestess was an angelic road, a holy instrument by which a mortal could express his hunger to experience heaven on earth.

There was a turning point in the sacred prostitute’s evolution. These sacred women also became renowned for performing songs and dances that reflected the Goddess. In this way, the sacred prostitute evolved into a performing artist and they were held in high regard in many courts of nobility.

In India, the temple of devadasis is home to women who are considered mortal embodiments of God. After being married to the main deity of the temple Visnu, they’re thought to be the earthly embodiment of God’s divine escort. Fun fact: During a daily midday dance, the devadais’s female life force or her sexual fluid was thought to be released assuring prosperity, fertility and well-being of the land.

She’s not just a seductive woman, she’s a mobile goddess

In Japan, Geishas were at first called, yūjo or play women. Inside of a shogunate or pleasure quarter, these play women specialized in the art of sexual enjoyment in a culture where men were not constrained to be faithful to their wives. These play women entertained their guests through erotic dances and skits called Kabuku meaning, to be wild and outrageous.

In ancient Italy, there were two different types of Courtesans known as the: cortigiana onesta or the honest courtesan and the cortigiana di lume, a lower class of courtesan. In a time of age where a married women’s purpose was to continue the bloodline through maternity, the courtesan could become well-educated, worldly and hold careers as performers or artists. Fun fact: Courtesans had more fun.

Tragically, the time of biblical patriarchs saw these sacred women as immoral. Priests called these women ‘whores of Babylon,’ and insisted that priests were the only intermediaries between men and ‘God.’ Shame and guilt were associated with sexual expression and it oppressed the people. Thankfully, the dark ages of sexual expression have come to pass. Awakening again in western consciousness, is the return of the goddess divine and sacred sex.

Today, the expression of sexuality is revitalized and revolutionized

Once upon a time, the people believed that sensuality and sexuality were therapeutic and necessary to create a healthy balance. Sacred women gave their bodies as temples where bodily pleasure was prayer and they were worshiped and celebrated. In modern times, an escort is a priestess whose body is a temple where sex can lead to enlightenment. With the touch of an angelic escort, sexuality is experienced as a pathway to the divine. Fun fact: Welcome back to once upon a sexy time!

Gabriella Zene
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