My awareness of the Goddess came to me somewhere in my early 30’s and deciding to seek her out academically many years later has been an awakening, as are all major truths in our lives. To my surprise I discovered that much of the world for millennia lived in a world where their God was female and she was the Goddess – benevolent, fertile and above all sexual. Very sexual! Today we have a profound difficulty in associating the profession of the prostitute with anything vaguely associated with sacredness, but in ancient times these women were held in the highest esteem in the temples of the Great Mother Goddess. The sacred prostitute or temple priestess became the representation of the goddess in physical form and with their bodies entered into sacred sexual rituals with the men who came to worship.
My studies have shown me that long before Christianity (which has only been around 2,000 years) and as far back as stone age times (30,000 plus years), people experienced their surroundings, their heavens and earth and all forms of life in worship of the Great Primordial Mother Goddess. Their crops were grown in cycle with the changing seasons and phases of the moon and both the abundance of the harvest and the winter frosts were all experienced as aspects of her changing face.
As far back as the 4th millennium BCE the practice of sacred sexual intercourse within the temples of Innana and Ishtar in Mesopotamia were yearly rites performed between the King and the Goddess and were understood to reinvigorate the land and people with divine fertile energy. The priestess’ of the temple took the title of “Hierodule of Heaven” which meant ‘servant of the holy’ and it was a great honour to make love within the precinct of the goddess. It is not difficult then to understand that the practice of sacred prostitution became a religious act of worship where sexuality and spirituality became one and the same.
In Babylon there was a hierarchy of prostitutes from the high-ranking priestesses known by various names including Qadishtu, Hereta, Naditu or Entu, right down to the tavern or street whore called harimtu. The Goddess Ishtar did not differentiate in bestowing her blessings and honoured the sexual act howsoever it be performed. “Who will plough my vulva?” calls Inanna in the old hymns…”Who will water the holy lap?” The power of the divine feminine, embodied in the sexuality of all women both made the earth grow and was a power for transformation
So what do we know of Mary Magdalene? There is very little actual historic evidence to draw upon apart from the writings of the New Testament. They tell us that she was a prostitute from whom Jesus cast seven demons and that upon her healing she became a follower of Christ. She is the one who washes his feet and anoints him and who witnesses his death and resurrection. She becomes the woman mentioned most often in the New Testament.
It is known that the Temples of the Goddess existed throughout biblical times and some were still to be found up to the middle ages, amongst them, temples to the Goddess Isis. One well known image shows Mary holding the alabaster jar and wearing around her waist what is known as the ‘Girdle of Isis’ or the Isis knot which was worn by priestesses of Isis. Many authors speak of Mary (or Mari) coming to her first menses and being sent to Egypt and the Temple of Isis to become initiated into the ways of the sacred Priestess. Here, she becomes Qadishtu and is taught the practice of sacred sexuality where she becomes the living vessel for the Goddess to enter in the ancient rite known as ‘hieros gamos’ or ‘sacred marriage’. The Da Vinci Code speaks of this sacred rite where through ritual sex, both parties are able to experience God/dess.
Looking historically at womens’ status and freedoms at the time of Jesus and particularly Jewish women, we see that they were severely limited by Jewish law and customs. In general terms they were largely confined to their father’s or husband’s home to raise children and keep house. Considered to be inferior to men, women were under male authority, either their father before marriage, or their husband afterwards.
It is known that women traveled with Jesus, were seen in public and attended at meals without any attachment to a specific male or household. This behaviour was highly suspect for the period, especially for women of any social standing.
It helps to explain how women seen in public with Jesus and even talking to him could be viewed as promiscuous. Mary Magdalene has been cast in the role of prostitute for public association with Jesus and behaviour that was no doubt completely at odds with the social practices of the day. Luke 8:1 though, tells us that Mary and the other women were financially underwriting the early Jesus movement out of their personal resources. This helps paint a picture of a powerful, educated woman, a High Priestess who was forthright enough to stand against the social prejudices of the day and who also had independent financial means.
Mary being cast in the role of repentant prostitute for so long, speaks of the Church’s attempts to denigrate the powerful sexual attributes that can be seen in the goddesses religions of old. But like the goddesses of old, women and men related to the sexually erotic feminine archetype being represented by the Magdalene and despite the attempts of the Christian fathers to repress and manipulate her image, she remained loved and revered.
It is only recently that a reinterpretation of various texts reveals that Mary Magdalene was indeed the partner and most favoured companion of Jesus. These recently discovered writings from the Nag Hammadi library deliver up to us texts which reveal insights into the role of women and Mary Magdalene herself, at the very emergence of Christianity. The Gospel of Philip speaks of Mary Magdalene “as the most favoured companion of Jesus who loved her more than the other disciples and would kiss her often on the mouth”. 
Other Nag Hammadi texts paint a story and image of Mary Magdalene as one who had an innate understanding of the teachings being given, and who had an intimate relationship not only with the man, but with the wisdom that was being spoken and that it was a joining of two equals with the Magdalene representing the divine feminine element as did Jesus the masculine.
While there is no actual historical evidence of a sexual relationship between Christ and the Magdalene as portrayed in the movie the Da Vinci Code, nor Mary bearing children and creating the supposed royal bloodline, there is now historical evidence that this was a powerful woman, an educated woman, one equal in spiritual understanding and training to partner with Jesus. Only a High Priestess or Qadishtu of the temple of the Goddess, trained in the ancient ways, a divine emissary in her own right would be able to enter into the ancient rites of Hieros Gamos, the sacred marriage of masculine and feminine, of deity with the goddess. Was this person Mary Magdalene, Priestess of the Goddess? I know what my heart says.
 Marvelly, P. Women of Wisdom (p9)
 Cunningham, E. Sacred Prostitution: The Whore and the Holy One
 From “The Courtship of Innana and Dumuzi” translated by Samuel Noah Kramer
 Meyer, M. The Gospels of Mary Magdalene (p49)
Alyson Dunlop said:
Reblogged this on Alyson Dunlop, Writer.
To me I think this is why both sex and women are looked down up so much by modern organized religion. Two of the most sacred energies on our planet, Sex and the divine feminine are regarded for the most part as dirty and sinful. This was a wonderful post.
Erna Gilbertson said:
Dear One – Please don’t make claims, just because YOU have not come across the material yet. referring to the Actual Partnership/relationship between Mary and Jesus, and possible offspring, like S’rah (who live in southern France)
Erna Gilbertson said:
. . . and if a prostitute is one who receives money for sexual favours, do we really want to place Mary Magdalene in this category?
Goddess of Sacred Sex said:
Erna, the term sacred prostitute was one given to the priestesses of the temple system by patriarchal academics as they researched the ‘sex cult of the goddess’ as they deemed it because they could not perceive of women holding such high positions within a religious context. As the article points out, this is such a mis-interpretation of the energies these holy women mediated in the name of the goddess. If you had read the article, it points out that these women were known as Qadishtu, Heirodule etc and were far from prostitutes. But the term has stuck, down through the ages and they are commonly known as sacred prostitutes. They were not prostitutes in the sense that we know it today at all.
Goddess of Sacred Sex said:
Erna, this was an academic article researched for my masters thesis and there is no evidence out there to confirm the relationship you speak of. That we both know there may have been one, has no validation. If you have any evidence of that relationship, then by all means please share it around. I know from my own channelling of the Magdalene and other esoteric works that there was just one such relationship, but that information does not stand the scrutiny of academia, and so it remains in the world of spirit.
a bit off topic but relative, Nano particles did not exist in academia until the 1970’s But mystics for all over the world, commonly referred to as crazy people, have been understood this for thousands of years in the world of spirit as you put it. But if we were to go only by academia this would mean that they didn’t exist until 1970’s jejeje
Which makes no sense in academia or in the spirit world 😉
To Goddess of Sacred Sex:-
There exists plenty of research into the Magdalene outside of the religious texts you speak of. Evidence of S’rah or Tamar as the child is often called, especially if you investigate the South of France as Erna suggests.
The gospel of Philip does not however say “on the lips” as the text is too damaged to make out. While I agree with the conclusion, to quote it as an exact quote, when it is in fact only an assumption does damage to an arguments credibility.
It is my suggestion that you have another look into Magdalene. The 2 rules I follow when researching is to read wide no matter how bizarre canonical “evidence as largely hoccum. Technically
The word interpreted as prostitute has since been found to mean outsider and in no way can be evidence for any form of Hieros Games.
While it pleases me no end to see the Magdalene looked into further, inaccuracies in translation doesn’t help your hypothesis
Reblogged this on Anunnaki Files and commented:
This is an interesting article and goes well with an article I previously wrote:
Nandor Tanczos said:
Thanks you for this writing. It is good to see research that restores Maryam to her rightful place as most favoured of the disciples and the most advanced in understanding.
However I would be interested in the basis for saying she studied in Egypt in the temple of Isis – you say “many authors” but given the scarcity of information I wonder who they are? It seems to me unlikely that the temple of Isis would accept a Jewish woman and initiate her as high priestess. It reminds me of the mythology around Yesus, which seems to consider the notion of a Jewish enlightened one unthinkable so requiring other cultural teachings (Indian, Egyptian). Both Maryam and Yesus seems to me to fit well within the spiritual traditions of their own people.
Finally, I consider the claim of prostitution a slur on Maryam, as on other enlightened women of antiquity. I understand you are saying that they have been misunderstood and deliberately slandered by comparing them to prostitutes (as we think of them). So I don’t understand why you choose to continue that misrepresentation. Why use the twisted terminology of those misogynist church fathers in your headline?
Please don’t take my questions the wrong way. My intent is not to attack but to explore and better understand.
john colyer said:
In certain Pagan priesthoods,Gods and Goddesses are worshiped and honoured,by the male and female priests and priestesses,In many cases by a sexual union,therefore prostitution does not come into the equation as we know of it to day
hmmm the comments and answers are confusing. the article clearly says these women are sexual and prostitutes, but that in this role they are sacred, revered, powerful, and honorable? I have no problem accepting this. if we accept that female sexuality is not wrong or dirty or sinful, what’s wrong with saying, as the original article certainly seems to read, that she was a high priestess of this order?… CLARITY is lacking here.
Madeline Thompson said:
Wonderful Entry..love the pictures and the lines from the hymms.. Blessings to you dear sister. The woman’s body is a scared vessel… and as she comes to know and honor herself as divine. She is a connection to the source that can enhance renewal.
through the physical form. May we all sisters and brothers align with this connection as the human race begins to awaken from within to be holly again.
Reblogged this on She Who Is.
Louisa Rose said:
Reblogged this on Indigo Rose.
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Cherie Ann Day said:
Reblogged this on Make Love for Peace and commented:
The time is now to bring back these ancient truths and free the people from the current greed of ownership and slavery. Blessed be!
The Phoenix said:
Reblogged this on The Building of a Goddess and commented:
My baptismal saint was Mary Magdalene. As I grew and found my freedom and calling to the Goddess, though I outgrew my Judeo-Christian faith, I remained enamoured with Mary Magdalene and her Power. Recently a sister of mine referred to my life as an exercise in Sacred Prostitution ; I connected to the Divine though sex and by buying into the lies of misogyny and suppressing myself to fit societal norms, I have caused my own spiritual stagnation and disconnect.
After some soul searching I decided to start researching “Sacred Prostitution” and what should appear in my first page results but this lovely and well researched article.
She was Yeshua’s twin flame! A priestess of very high standing, the one who understood his teachings the best. The apostles did not want to follow her after his ascension, and her teachings removed from the Bible. Reading the O Manuscript by Lars Muhl…there are many books on this divine relationship.
M T said:
The Sex Evolution said:
While it’s a good idea to honor female sexual healers, let’s not make the mistake of romanticizing the past. There is no mention in the history of male sex healers for women or “sacred male prostitutes/priests.” We should not be reaching back to a gender segregated past, but reaching forward to a healthy, equal sexuality that does not see the world in a sexual binary of “masculine and feminine.” Sacred male sexual priests could help women recover from sexual trauma by creating a safe place for sexual expression that honors the female’s bodily integrity, pleasure and lust, for example. But they did not exist, because the past did not honor women in this way. Further, the terms “sacred feminine” and “sacred masculine” are obsolete, as they describe characteristics of humanity common to both sexes. The use of “sacred feminine” to describe “healing” “nurturing” and “creativity” is actually insulting to males, because it assumes that those qualities are biologically female. They aren’t. They are biologically human. If you want a world with more historically “feminine” qualities, then stop using the word “feminine” to describe them.
Ali tyrrell said:
The idea that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute comes from the account given in Luke 7:36-50Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) of a woman who anointed the feet of Jesus with her tears and ointment. She is described as ‘a woman of the city who was a sinner’, so this woman may have been a prostitute. Jesus told her to ‘Go in peace’. For some reason, people have thought that this woman was Mary Magdalene, although there is nothing in the Bible to suggest that.
The only mention of Mary Magdalene in any of the gospels before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is in Luke 8:2Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), where she is described as one ‘from whom seven demons had gone out’. With a number of other women she travelled around the country with Jesus and his Apostles.
It is unlikely that Luke would have described these two women in such completely different ways if they were, in fact, the same woman.
Ali tyrrell said:
I appreciate your article on sacred sexuality yet your information and portrayal of Mary Magdelene is incorrect, and I don’t feel las a woman you should be perpetuating the myth around her and even more so using it to prove points that stand by themselves.
Johnathan Amber said:
It is highly unlikely that Mary Magdalene was a sacred prostitute. A Jewish woman, in first century Palestine, a priestess of the goddess? That is highly unlikely. She would have been stoned. This is not only not in the so-called canonical Gospels, it is not in any of the Gnostic materials that I have read, including the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. What is left is the psuedo-history that people have coblled together from the “Akashic Records.” This is nonsense.
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Margo Allen said:
Can anyone think of who wears the “girdle of Isis” in modern times?
I’ll tell you- Catholic priests and monks.
If studied in depth, you may find how dysfunctional that religion really is. And creepy.
A Standard for Truth said:
A couple of thoughts. There actually IS historical evidence that Mary had children with Christ and was his wife. (It is contained in records kept by the knights Templar and others. Ancestral Secrets of Knighthood is a good source)
One other thing I MUST clarify: The NT never ever, NEVER, ever even remotely says anything about Mary Magdalene being a prostitute, ever. Period. That is a rumor made up by later Catholic leaders to hide the fact that she was Christ’s wife (one of them anyway). The seven devils were not from prostitution. She was a virtuous woman, and clearly close to Christ.
The union of man and woman (through Christ) does bring about God/dess-hood. That’s the propagation of species. The creation of life. God is YHWH and Eve is HWH. Father and mother of all living.
Also, as far as the newness of Christianity, the concept of virtue did not “start” with Christianity. In fact, Christ and His Apostles were not starting a “New Religion” but were continuing with the religion they already had, which came down from the beginning. A religion that taught that man and wife are one in God, and conjoined through marriage. Yes, ancient civilizations (no destroyed btw) worshipped prostitution, but records show that religions before them honored the sacredness of chastity before marriage for men and women. The great Preistesses of old were not “prostitutes” but honored mothers / High Priestesses upon whom are glory forever and forever.
Yes women are strong and powerful, yes there is a Mother Goddess as there is a Father God. Yes, they create through sacred (marriage-bound) sexual relations. But prostitution and unbridled lustful sexuality are not honorable, and only bring war, division, pain, and suffering to all. They are not fulfilling.
M T said:
Ava SilverMoon said:
Reblogged this on silvermoonblog.