Historical legacies within various cultures show us that making music and making love were both associated with Temple practices – spiritual disciplines if you like, usually centred around but not exclusively connected with Goddess worship.
There is ample evidence both iconographic and archaeological of the fact that women’s roles as Priestesses and Musicians in the Temples and places of worship were gradually erased within organised religious structures, in North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia Minor and Central Asia a process that is estimated to have taken about 1500 years. The prioritising of a sole supreme male creator, the visible erasure of Goddess and Goddess worship within many cultures meant that highly trained priestesses who were knowledge holders and musicians were disenfranchised and derobed. To be a woman and to be identified as a musician was and still is in some cultures stigmatised by the dim memory of another way of being, and is often upheld as proof of sexual availability and loose morals. It must be said though that this idea of licentiousness can also in some contexts apply to male musicians as well.
The Qadishtu for example – Priestesses of Ishtar were highly skilled and trained in many Arts, similarly for Chinese and Japanese Geisha. The role of the Priestess, or women’s lineages of Priestessing became subsumed and sidelined.
Former Priestesses became reduced to “dancing Girls” highly skilled musicians and dancers enslaved at various courts and the ownership of them a symbol of wealth and power, or courtesans – that men used for sexual enjoyment as opposed to Women of power using creative sexual energy in its many forms for divine worship.
If you feel called to reclaim your voice and your hidden legacy of being an empowered and musical priestess for the good of this planet and her inhabitants please feel free to join me every Thursday this Autumn in Seven Sisters where we will be making a weekly Sound Temple.
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