Perhaps if our schools did tell us about the history of sex in ancient cultures , we would've have cut class so often. As our species has become more civilized, sex has become more and more of a mystery. In looking at the history of sex in ancient cultures , we see that our ancestors also regarded sex as a mystery - but a mystery in the original sense of the word.
The Great Rite
Contrary to what you may have been taught, our ancestors knew all too well where babies came from. It was this generative power from sex that gave it its mystery. As the sexual act was an all-consuming, it was felt that this energy generated could be used to create more than just babies. It also could be used to generate magic spells for the good of a family or for an entire country.
The term "the Great Rite" pops up now and again in the history of sex in ancient cultures . It is unknown just how ancient this rite is. It was known to be preformed in Egyptian times and in pre-Roman Europe . In this ritual sex, the male becomes the fertilizing force and the woman the land itself. By ritual intercourse in the fields or in a temple, the fields of a country were fertile for the next year.
The Great Rite was also a way of showing a King's sovereignty in a rather explicit way. The Queen was considered the human embodiment of the Earthy or the country. If a King could get the Queen pregnant, this sympathetic magic would ensure that the land would become fertile and the nation would be prosperous. The history of sex in ancient cultures had a lot of practical purposes rather than just gratifying physical desires.
The history of sex in ancient cultures also included the roles sex could play in the life of the lower classes, which didn't have the whole responsibility of the country's fertility hanging on their every move. In the Middle East , sacred prostitutes worked as priestesses in temples to Goddesses of Love and War. One of their sacred duties was to take soldiers fresh from battle and get them through the culture shock of coming back home to live a normal life.
Sacred prostitution lasted through the Greek civilization and through Rome . Sex was considered a release of your personal and magical store of energy. This was why having virgins attend some other sacred duties like tending a sacred flame was essential. Virgins still had all of their power inside of them and could be pre enough to perform very sacred functions.
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