The Secret Doctrine of Being Beautiful

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

from In a Chariot Drawn by Lions, Asphodel P. Long

In other places we are told about the 'temple harlots'. These have a long and honourable history, reflected in the Hebrew word which is translated into English as prostitute, harlot, sodomite, and even dog. the words qadeshot and qadeshem derive from the word qodosh, which means holy. They were in fact the 'holy ones', women and men, who served in the temple.
Their name is linked with that of the Goddess Qodsha or Kadesh, the Holy One who gave her name to a city of which she is likely to have been the titular goddess. She is depicted in the British museum. Naked, she stands with a lion or panther, she carries a lotus blossom and a mirror, and is attended by two snakes. Other representations of her show her with serpents and with stars. She is described as 'mistress of all the gods'.
The temple service appears to have lasted from the early third-millennium BCE until the return of the Jews from exile in around 500 BCE or perhaps longer. It seems to be connected originally with the ceremony of the sacred marriage. This was the heart of the seasonal ritual in ancient Mesopotamia, among many other places. p. 132
This ritual marriage (hieros gamos), in which the king represents the people of the earth and the priestess the goddess, was a magical means of helping the land and the people flourish, and it also provided the king with his royal authority to rule. ...the hieros gamos seems to have also meant that the goddess in the person of the priestess was sharing her divinity and the king respresenting the people was accepting it in trust to fulfill their needs. There was participation on the part of humans in the holy, and the divine in the world itself.


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