Sacred Sexuality Essay

1732 words - 7 pages

Sacred Sexuality

Historically, sex and spirituality have been two things that have not been received well in the same sentence. While some ancient religions did include sexuality in their own rites, others sought to control sexuality, either by suppressing it or by severely limiting its expression.
Most of the dominant religions in the world today are preaching the suppression of the sexual urge or the channeling of that urge into socially acceptable forms. For example, Roman Catholics used to be very sexually explicit and open people. After a man who, in his youth, was sexually explicit converted to Catholicism and pledged selibacy for himself; he became a priest by the name of St Augustus. St. Augustus arose the birth of moral laws in Christianity when the first law he brought into public light was that there would be no fornication unless it was for strictly procreational reasons. In any case, this moral law led to making adultary illegal, just as it is by today's standards.
Though many people today do not necessarily follow "moral laws" or, even their own religion's belief about sex, there is still a connection between sex and spirituality. There are ancient practices such as tantra, tao sexology, and (namely) Kama sutra, which tends to be the most practiced and well known of the three in western culture.
Which ancient traditions chose to include sexuality as a spiritual act? Some sects of early Christianity incorporated sexual rites into their religious practices; all of these sects were persecuted into extinction by the Roman Catholic Church once it was able to successfully inundate its political standing on Roma as the sole religious institution of Europe.
The Sumerians performed the Sacred Marriage, a union between a priestess of their goddess, Inanna, with a priest-king, as a means of obtaining the favor of this goddess for their cities. Greece referred to this type of ritual sex as the Hieros Gamos; and as evidence has shown, it was also practiced by the Egyptians in the cult of Isis up until the Roman era. Hints from various ancient sources indicate that a Hieros Gamos may have been part of the Eleusinian mysteries. "Because the mysteries were secret, little is known of them. Presumably fasting and ritual purification in the sea took place before the large procession from Athens to Eleusis. The rites, which fundamentally celebrated the abduction and return of Persephone, symbolized the annual cycle of death and rebirth in nature as well as the immortality of the soul"(CEE, 1).
In India, the Tantric tradition, overseen by the god Shiva and his partner Kali/Parvati, continued for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years before being incorporated into Buddhism. But, what is Tantra? "Tantra is a spiritual science, which means it is also mystical, in its interconnectedness, the holistic wisdom link between ourselves and the universe we inhabit"(Douglas, 3). Participants of Tantra...

Find Another Essay On Sacred Sexuality

Egalitarianism in The Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

1234 words - 5 pages Within Walt Whitman’s works he expresses his egalitarianism or belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, social, or economic life in his epic book called the leaves of grass. His strong point of view in the poem I Sing the Body Electric is expressed through sexuality, body attributes, political views. In the poem of I sing the body electric Walt Whitman expresses many qualities upon the body. It is as if he almost prizes

Reflections on Body, Love, Marriage and Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Islam

1010 words - 5 pages Ancient Greek and Islamic traditions form the backbone of secular reasoning and scientific inquiry in Western Civilization, yet perceptions of sexuality and the human body derived from these cultures are rarely discussed in context with their intellectual contributions to the Modern world. Although the ancient Greeks, or rather citizens of the Athenian city-state, (circa 500 b.c.e.) behaved differently from Muslims, they espoused values that

Sexuality in Roman Society

1809 words - 8 pages The idea of sexuality as constructed by Ancient Romans is wholly complex as was most of Roman society. An interesting way to look at Roman sexuality is through the lens of Roman society. Ancient Roman sexuality was not uniform throughout society and different societal classes created different types of sexualities. Three authors examine sexuality from three different social realms, the realm of the prostitute, the realm of Roman patricians in

Homosexuality: Is It A Choice? (Pro)

1033 words - 5 pages . Many studies have shown that possible hormone differences may affect sexuality. Despite being a valid argument, the studies that were taken were actually contradictory because they never measured the hormone levels of anyone. They just used proxies for hormonal influences without direct proof that these were the true balances or imbalances. Much earlier studies showed a difference in the brain between heterosexual & homosexuals, but this is most

Black Female Sexuality in Music - First year writing - Freshman essay

2458 words - 10 pages Lauren Barnaby Black Female Sexuality in Music The black female body has been stereotypically sexualized for years and has had major effects on young black women’s sexual decision making. Black women have been viewed as sexual objects since as far back as slavery. We constantly expend a lot of energy fighting off sexualities that are imposed upon us time and time again. It’s exhausting having to constantly let it be known that black women can be

Being Gay and Staying Christian

1816 words - 7 pages discomfort isn’t noticeable to others; desperately hoping that the person behind the mask they wear remains undiscovered. For these believers the mask they wear is essential for them to remain a part of a faith community. This scenario is played out in the everyday lives of gay individuals that feel as though they are forced to choose between who they are and what they believe. While some wear a mask and deny their sexuality, others walk away from their

Sex in Raunch Culture

1604 words - 7 pages found it more efficient to identify with men than to try and elevate the entire female sex to their level” (95). In the book, Levy highlights how sexual liberation affects younger generations. As a whole, recent generations have become introduced to sex and sexuality at an earlier age than past generations. It begins to desensitize our society and make sex seem like a normal thing rather than being something valued or sacred. One point Levy


1007 words - 4 pages its original or “true” form. The form of Hindu Tantra popularly practiced in America is said by Hindu Tantra traditionalists, “to represent a mutilated and extremely narrow-minded, sensationalist approach encompassing only a misguided thinking about sacred sexuality, with little reference to its true practice.” Traditional Tantrists say their practice involves much more than that. It requires self-analysis and the conquest of

Nature Themes in Hurston’s Novels, Their Eyes Were Watching God and Seraph on the Suwanee

523 words - 2 pages -lost innocence) and Janie’s own inability to have children, regardless of any sexual awakening she may experience. The scene is also rife with mentions of the pollinating bees, a symbol of fertility. Janie remarks of the bees’ diligence pollinating the flowers, “So this was a marriage!” It is also through the “golden dust of the pollen” of the “kissing bees” that Johnny Taylor is transformed in her eyes. In Janie’s revelation about her sexuality

Spirituality And Sexuality In “Song Of Myself”

601 words - 2 pages also defines spirituality in a new light: human instead of purely divine. Whitman demonstrates that humans can be just as sacred in their natural state as any religion or church.The first line of the poem sets the tone for the rest of the poem because it is construed as an extremely egotistical line: "I celebrate myself, and sing myself," (l.1). When the reader first looks at this line, he can immediately ascertain that the rest of the poem will

Victorian New Woman Agree or Disagree

482 words - 2 pages and challenge patriarchal norms through taking control of their own bodies and reproduction. This will be done by looking at Menie Muriel Dowie’s novel Gallia (1895). During the Victorian era, women sexuality was only seen as a natural part of life in the sanction of marriage. Even under this, their sexuality did not belong to them, it was seen to be a sacred virtue that men could invade on once married. They were seen, in a way, to be

Similar Essays

The Sacred And Profane In American Beauty

2127 words - 9 pages sexual beauty is the source of her sacred-status, and is evidenced by her assertions that she is using her beauty and sexual desirability to advance herself in society. By the societal ideal, she should be using her sexuality for power, and so the perception that she is makes her sacred. The fact that she is actually a virgin is similar to the fact that Buddy is in a failing marriage, the perception by society is what solidifies the image as

Nauah Sexuality Essay

1720 words - 7 pages demonstrated a fluidity in their gender and sexuality, the Gods would also partake in sexual relationships with men and male priests. These relationships where viewed as sacred, so divine, that images illustrating these actions were often depicted on pottery. Therefore, one can concluded that because the Nahua cosmic mythology containing many gender ambiguities and cross gender activity, Nahua culture is able comprehended relationships through

The Purpose Of Sexuality In African Carvings

1849 words - 7 pages that there is a deep connection between sex, worship, and African traditional beliefs. In essence, sexuality in African carvings is used more for the purpose of deification rather than to demonstrate human eroticism. Sex was considered sacred among most African traditional communities, and to talk about sex let alone incorporate sex in carvings was considered a taboo (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 79). It was only when such carvings were intended

Why Marriages Fail Essay

802 words - 3 pages ways, in the areas of sexuality and conflict, that the Americans and Dagaras are similar and different.The Dagara's view of sexuality is different from ours. We view sexuality in marriage as having two purposes. One is to have children, the other is for pleasure. This is not in Roiphe's article, but it is something we all understand and accept. The Dagaras view sexuality only in connection with their religion. Some states that "There is a