We Have To Know Where We’ve Been
In the new “Father” based religious practices, men, were the son’s of God, made in his image, to rule over all the living things on the earth. The concept of possession rather than partnership shaped man’s relationship with women and sexuality. Wives and daughters became chattel to be utilized and exploited for personal or financial benefit. In this time period a new word entered the Egyptian language, a word that meant both “wife” and “slave.”
Sex ceased being a sacred rite and was gradually taken out of the temple and separated from religion. Subjugated women were often forced in to secular prostitution to serve their conquerors. Stories of the Amazons, women who resisted the new order come down to us as the myths. The defeat of the Amazons is a recurrent theme in Greek literature and artwork from around 500 B.C.E.
The Gnostic gospels of early Christianity tell of a more benevolent, egalitarian view of the feminine. In these gospels Mary Magdalene, is acknowledged as an apostle, and by some interpretations, consort, of Jesus. Gnostic Christians recognized the right of both sexes to participate and lead worship. In early ceremonies, menstrual blood is once again a sacrament, and Tantric practices expressed Divine love. Gnostic Priestesses were honored with the sacred name of Magdalene.
Peaceful coexistence with the new religion and the Devine Feminine was not to last long. As the early Christian sects became absorbed into more hierarchal forms of worship, the feminine aspect of the Christian mysteries was expunged. By 400 A.D.E., under uncompromising male leadership, Christianity had metamorphosed into THE CHURCH. Powerful Councils used their influence to defame all practices relating to sacred cycles. The doctrine of cyclic reincarnation, the observation or celebration of lunar cycles and ceremonies concerning woman’s personal menstrual cycle were all outlawed as heresies.
Excerpted with permission:
Goddess of Wonder, Goddess of Light, by Leslie C. Botha and H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik, 2004 Pleiades Publishing, ISBN 0-9716968-1-0