What is or was a “Sacred Prostitute?” In today’s culture, people have either never heard this phase, or think it is a myth. Fortuna smiles. There are many historical records & accounts of these “mysterious” women. They were priestesses (or ones in training) who served the Goddess of Love by engaging in the sexual act as a gift to Her. Men would come to these Sacred Women to give their worship and veneration to the Goddess of Love. The men, weary and tired, would enter a world of beauty, where the air was sweet with perfume and music lifted their hearts.
Men were honored to be allowed to enter the temple and grateful to have an interaction with a Priestess well trained in the art and act of love making. In the Goddess’ rite, man and woman were in sexual union, as an act of devotion to Her. Have you heard the phase, “Putting a woman up on a pedestal?” I believe this phase comes from man’s loving devotion and adoration of Womanhood. Even before the sexual pleasures to come, both the Priestess and the man would say a prayer of love and thanksgiving to the Goddess of Love. Sexual love and ritual were one.
Look around at the world today. Are there any Priestesses serving the Goddess of Love, as a “Sacred Prostitute?” What happened?
Ritual was taken away from the sexual act. After the Pagan faiths and beliefs fell to the Christian way, sex suddenly became a word not used in public. No more Goddess of Love. Man and woman became split apart. The roles of men and women changed harshly. Man’s way was to make laws banning prostitution. Political and military power were of central importance after the Goddess’ fall. Women no longer had the religious authority or could not establish customs, as in the past. So what happened to prostitution? It went underground. Women were now either virtuous and pure, or unclean whores. Have you ever seen in a Western movie in which a father will take his young son to the whore house for his first time? This is a throwback to a distorted past.
Read this book if you wish to see the world in which Love reigned through the Goddess of Love. See where men and women came together in a love ritual in which both were equals. Sacred Prostitutes were Priestesses who embodied the Goddess in the flesh. Man joined in the ritual, and the Goddess was praised in the act of love. What happened to the Sacred Prostitute? Ritual was taken away from the union of Love, and the Goddess was knocked off her pedestal.
Final opinion: I thought Qualls-Corbett presented the history and mythology of the Sacred Prostitute well. This is a great resource for research on this topic, reinforcing the facts and myths I had read before. I like the style in which she wrote this book, as it is pleasant to read and I could grasp the meaning behind the mythology and history.
Also recommended: Aphrodite’s Daughters by Jalaja Bohheim and Thais of Athens by Ivan ye Fremon.
[Donna Swindells is a Strega Priestess by blood and traditions. She has studied Celtic, Greek and Roman, and Egyptian spiritualities for six years. She teaches an Egyptian class, "Iseum of Hathor, Lady of the West," which she founded. She studied under deTraci Regula and traveled to Egypt for two weeks on a writer's retreat. Due to a profound encounter with the Goddess Hathor at Dendera, she joined the Fellowship of Isis. She studied and became an Adept. She is now studying to be a Priestess of Hathor in the FOI. She is a beginner beekeeper and is studying in the College of the Melissae, to become a Bee Priestess.]