Was Prostitution Once a Sacred Practice? Looks Like It Was Once About Healing, Not Commerce

Written by on August 28, 2018 in Conscious Living, Relationships & Sex with 25 Comments

sensual goddess

By  Christina Antonyan | Confident Lover

“The light of the sacred prostitute penetrates to the heart of this darkness. . . . she is the consecrated priestess, in the temple, spiritually receptive to the feminine power flowing through her from the Goddess, and at the same time joyously aware of the beauty and passion in her human body.” – Marion Woodman

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.”

Related Article: 7 Interesting Facts About Sex Drive & How Men and Women Compare

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.

Sacred Prostitutes

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.

Related Article: Can Sex Be a Direct Path to More Personal Growth? You Betcha! Here’s How

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.


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  1. John Whatley John Whatley says:

    A Sailors Delight,……lol

  2. Kim Quiroz Kim Quiroz says:

    Actually, it was legal and men were expected too frequent! All Royalty did…and wives royal or not, …knew that was just a part of marriage! ( But Queen’s had other lover’s too!) In a discreet manner. ?

  3. Carol Holmes Carol Holmes says:

    Prostitution has always seemed like a victimless crime!

  4. In the Vijayanagar empire of India, Ganikas (sex workers) were a part of the society, paid tax to the government and were not ostracised. Even earlier in the time of Buddha (6th century BC), courtesans and sex workers were influential and wielded a lot of power. Amrapali, a prominent courtesan, was one of the prominent disciples of the Buddha.

  5. Sounds idealistic to me. Men wanted to satisfy their urges in the forgotten past just as much as they want to now. It was probably more acceptable in a lot of times in history than it is now. There are professional cuddlers and massage therapist that can help to heal those who have a need to have a healing touch, without sex being involved. Sex can be healing and sacred but not something you can schedule an appointment with a stranger to get.

  6. Jackie Grey Jackie Grey says:

    I know a few very sacred women then…hmmm.

  7. Elken Alei Elken Alei says:

    Last time i’v heard the description as daughter of god. Love all to serve but not that kind of meat selling in commercial market. They is others purpose to keep this ancient occupation to release stress in balance for laboring society . Some is willingly,financially,lost and seduced,marriage and lust…demand and supply,moral and survive,day and night,in pairs it work so do our batteries is in dc when repent converted from AC. Flip flop on off temptation. Live! Encounter and choice . Exist with purpose of demand. Eliminated all will be no negative in cell battery ,always a balance to be charge and discharge . This is the world . No the sun and the dark side of moon.

  8. It’s true. In biblical Hebrew a prostitute is called “קדשה “, which is almost the same word as “holy”. This is one of the 613 commandments God gave the Jews – not to have sacred prostitutes, male or female.

  9. Yeah but someone figured it out not long after.

  10. Mike Lousada. You probably know all this. Nonetheless, I think it noteworthy that the info has become more accessible.

  11. Erik Albert Erik Albert says:

    Absolutely. Healing, and initiation…until your belief systems took over. Organized religion today represents sexual frustration as such. Together with fear of death, and other ´moral and ethical´ absolute nonsense, it is an absolute mystery to me why you tolerate the business of indoctrination. Not erradicating root causes is what defines civilization today. Your utter weakness and absolute lack of passion for life is disturbing. You are being swallowed by your own dogmas.

  12. “Sexual healing?” or “Taboo” with a rea$on?

  13. Janet Sims Janet Sims says:

    Jersey Rico facinating look at the past.

  14. I like the part about “taking the war out if the man” – makes a lot of sense.

  15. FrederictDeutschendorf@hotmail.com' Francesco Galofaro says:

    Prosecutors say women from the temple offered services including sexual gratification to male visitors in exchange for money. Elise, who is representing herself, says it was part of the temple’s spiritual practices.

  16. Sacredmagdalene@gmail.com' Magdalene Lee says:

    Sacred prostitution is still very much alive. We are not accepted as holy among the masses, but within our own circles, we are honored and revered.

    Humanity is suffering from the separation between our spiritual and our erotic selves. Many men are in despair and they have no idea why. They search for answers that they cannot find regarding why they feel so disconnected, misunderstood, and alone. All they seek is a connection to the Sacred Feminine, a moment of divinity, acceptance, and love…

    Feel free to find me on Facebook if you’d like to learn more.

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