This is not intended to be a debate on whether or not prostitution should be legal or judge whether it’s morally right or wrong.
Instead this article focuses on learning why at one time, prostitution was considered sacred and to explore the role of a sacred prostitute.
After reading Dr. Stubbs’ work Women of the Light: The New Sacred Prostitute among many other books and watching a movie called “The sessions” I was intrigued to know why prostitution was once considered sacred.
Prostitution has often been described as “the world’s oldest profession transpiring throughout history in all societies. But early forms of prostitution were referred to as “sacred prostitution.”
Why Was It Sacred?
During Mesopotamia, Sumeria, Greece and Egypt, there were no brothels.
Instead there were Temples occupied by Sacred Prostitutes also known as Priestesses. To understand the sacredness of the sexual act, it must be seen in the context of a society that lived in close harmony with nature.
The practice of sacred sexual intercourse within the temples of Innana and Ishtar were important and common rituals in Mesopotamia and were understood to strengthen the land with divine fertile energy.
Nancy Qualls-Corbet explains that “Desire and sexual response experienced as a regenerative power, were recognized as a gift or a blessing from the divine.
Both a man’s and woman’s sexual nature together with their religious attitude were inseparable.”
From this perspective it’s not difficult to understand why the practice of sacred prostitution became a religious act of worship where sexuality and spirituality are one and the same.
The temples of the goddess provided for the sacred prostitute far more than is known in this millennium.
India has historically embraced a rich tradition of religion and divine sexuality. Hinduism has embraced a naturalistic and erotic attitude towards the behavior of its gods and goddesses.
The sacred prostitutes were known as deva, service of immortals in Hindu temples.
Who was the Sacred Prostitute?
She was the original sexual healer.
She was a glowing Priestess, who embodied power, wisdom, purity, and willingness to love with her entire body and soul. These women embodied love, preserved their sexuality, and held the highest spiritual authority.
They empowered men to reconnect with themselves and spiritual forces through pleasure and prayer.
The Sacred Prostitute was not shamed, viewed as a victim, or “forced into prostitution.” She willingly acted from an empowered place of service.
A common practice that took place was called “Taking the War out of a Man.” Upon returning from war, men were invited to pass through the Temple doors.
The Priestess would bathe, soothe and knead their physical, emotional and spiritual wounds.
She would expand her magnetic field to absorb all of his wounded energy, literally drawing the effects of war from his body, mind and soul.
Through the power of her energy, and purity of her femininity, she would gently and tenderly love him back to wholeness.
In Ancient times, the sacred prostitute or temple priestess was associated with the religions of the Great Mother Goddess.
She became a representation of the goddess in physical form and entered into sacred sexual rituals with the men who came to worship.
The Priestess’ of the temple took the title “Hierodule of Heaven” which meant the servant of the holy and it was a great honor to make love within the precincts of these women.
The End Of Sacred Prostitution
This topic is way to extensive to be covered in this article as there are many theories suggesting many reasons for the shift in values resulting from a combination of causes.
But there came a time when the goddess was no longer worshiped and the physical and spiritual aspects of the feminine were declared evil.
The Sacred Prostitute was never about women selling their bodies to please and serve men to their detriment.
It is rather the idea and revelation of looking beyond these kinds of self-destructive behaviors.
The prostitute is a metaphor for the kind of healing that happens when we give ourselves over to love and to the possibility of allowing joy to happen throughout our bodies and in our lives.
We rise above old boundaries and from there we grow. First, we must learn to love and please ourselves, then we can learn to love and please others. That is the true sacredness.