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The Heiros Gamos


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#1 Sheperdess

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 09:46 AM

Wikipedia say Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, ἱερογαμία "holy marriage") is a sexual ritual that plays out a marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities.

Some thought for this with practical use in magic please.

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#2 monsnoleedra

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 10:49 AM

To be honest within a magical usage I think the only place one is likely to encounter a full blown Hieros Gamos or Hierogamy situation would be in a traditional Wiccan Coven, probably British Traditional Wicca (BTW). In such a situation the condition of usage I think would probably most likely occur during the Great Rite and would happen when the High Priest and High Priestess are husband and wife and allow themselves to be "Possessed" by the Spirit of the Lord and Lady as fully identified by the coven.

It sort of validated the Coven as being legitimate to the particular pantheon. It also gave legitimate divine power to the High Priest & High Priestess in the name of the respective God and Goddess to join with the divine figure and "Marry" as them and become one with them. To consummate their positions in the coven and where they draw their power and inspiration from.

I say BTW mainly due to the fact most "Wiccan" coven's today are not traditional nor lineage'd / hived from a traditional coven. That and the Great Rite which is where such a ritual would normally take place is more symbolic today with the hierogamy being simulated with the athame and chalice as the symbolic marriage / penetration ritual. There is no true exchange of emotional attachment, physical attachment, bodily fluid (fertility / fecundity) attachment which also means no giving and receiving of energy and life force.

Now the reason I say a Traditional coven is there are a number of covens or self proclaimed "Witchcraft" groups who incorporate sex into their practices but I do not truly think they adhere to the balance and concepts that were there as inner court knowledge for Wicca. Far to many of them seem more like the event is a great party than the actual complex and dedicated function it served.

Though I do think that more often than not people think Heirogamy and what they are actually looking at is human to divine or even the idea of Spirit Spouses.

One marries the god or goddess and lays with them symbolically at the great rite. Yet there in is potentially part of the debate, and tied into the idea of hand fasting for it only last for as long as one desires, there is no long term ending. So realistically when dawn breaks the handfast breaks with it. That or a year later the hand-fast breaks if that is the manner of the coven's relationship and the person choices not to participate in the ceremony / ritual again. It's a popular term today but it sort of owes it's origin to temporary marriage or announcement to be. Sort of a trial run and a real marriage ritual / ceremony would be done to make it legitimate or formal later.

If not a trial run then the person gets some sort of sense of they are married to the patron god / goddess. Though half will falsely run around using the term matron goddess which is incorrect. There is no such thing as a matron goddess. That just means married woman or widow not one who inspires or provides for.

Regarding Spirit Spouses we've pretty well talked about that in a few other threads.

Edited by monsnoleedra, 29 October 2017 - 10:59 AM.

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#3 violetstar

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 02:55 PM

Its a very profound mysticism with different ideas within various cultures.As there is no absolute definition I guess we can interpret it in our own way.

I found this which kind of sums it up for me.Its well out of the range of Wicca and utilises Kabbalistic lore:

The Song of Songs became very important for the Kabbalists, specifically following the Book of the Zohar, which saw the Song of Songs as a prime example of the hieros gamos. It is in the Zoharic Kabbalah that God is represented by a system of ten spheres, each symbolizing a different aspect of God, who is perceived as both male and female. The Shekina was identified with Malkhut, which was identified with the woman in the Song of Songs. Her beloved was identified with Yesod, which represents God’s foundation and the phallus or male essence.

Within the Jewish religion, Malkhut and Yesod are El, the fatherly creator god, and his consort, Asherah. He was identified with the bull and She with the mother goddessThe hieros gamos should therefore be more appropriately labelled the reunion of twin souls, while incarnate in the body, through sexual activity, involving the active participation of the male and female aspect of God: “What God has put together, let no man separate.”

The man will become one with El, while the female melts with Asherah, the “Queen of Heaven”. During these encounters, the sexual activity exceeds – and is different from – a normal orgasm; it is normally more intense, prolonged and multiple, whereby the orgasm itself is more energetic, rather than physical. However, the presence of this divine energy should not be seen as a form of possession; normally, the human sexual energy is equally present, and the sexual experience is a balance and interplay between both energies.

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#4 monsnoleedra

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 03:30 PM

That one falls inline with tantric thoughts. But it's not specifically about the divine or such in that capacity but the ultimate masculine and feminine I suppose and bringing that together. Darn don't recall what it's called exactly though I suppose it resembles a double lotus where you sit facing each other, legs wrapped about the waist and behind your partner. Hands nearly touching, palm forward, palm to palm but you explore the energy surface without touching or breaking the energy lines but sort of smoothing the ridges initially. Eventually there will be a sexual experience but it is the culmination of the union not the immediate functionality or purpose of the union.

But in truth seldom see where it's effective or useful in magical workings. Spiritual or enlightenment that's different but magical not really.

As an aside though do wonder if this ties into the idea where we see a distinction between spirituality / religion and Magic. Something it's easy to see utilized in one capacity or setting but do not see them in the other.

Edited by monsnoleedra, 29 October 2017 - 03:39 PM.

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#5 violetstar

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 06:18 PM

Another immediate thought is that Hieros gamos has been linked to the Sacred Prostitutes of the Temples.However,this is a bone of contention among scholars with as much evidence against the actual use of sexual intercourse in Temple rituals of ancient times as there is to support the idea,

​As far as sacred prostitution goes,the whole thing seems geared to promoting crop fertility and in some cases to aid victory in battle.I see these as intrinsically magical acts rather than enlightenment undertakings.The evidence here is far stronger in favour of the activity especially in Mesopotamian regions.

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#6 monsnoleedra

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 06:27 PM

There's some debate about sacred prostitution at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus which really runs contrary to the image of her as the eternal virgin goddess. Yet it would make some sense, especially in the Anatolia region where Kybele / Cybele is tied to the ruler of the land. It's almost like the Arthurian cycle imagery of the King and the Land are one where the health and virility of the King are tied to the Health and fertility / fecundity of the land are joined.
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#7 Imperial Arts

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 06:30 PM

View PostSheperdess, on 29 October 2017 - 09:46 AM, said:

Wikipedia say Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, ἱερογαμία "holy marriage") is a sexual ritual that plays out a marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities.

Some thought for this with practical use in magic please.

If it weren't for naked pictures of Maxine Sanders being distributed worldwide for the last 40 years, it's likely there would be less than half the number of people interested in practicing witchcraft today. I might say the same for LaVey's redhead altar or any of Crowley's women: sex and sexual excitement put occultism on the map. "Join our cult, you might get laid!" But most of the time, a group that involves sex as a central part of its teachings and rituals is one baby step away from serious legal trouble and endless drama.


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#8 Sheperdess

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 06:58 PM

View PostImperial Arts, on 29 October 2017 - 06:30 PM, said:

If it weren't for naked pictures of Maxine Sanders being distributed worldwide for the last 40 years, it's likely there would be less than half the number of people interested in practicing witchcraft today. I might say the same for LaVey's redhead altar or any of Crowley's women: sex and sexual excitement put occultism on the map. "Join our cult, you might get laid!" But most of the time, a group that involves sex as a central part of its teachings and rituals is one baby step away from serious legal trouble and endless drama.
Yes Wicca.But sexual ritual far older and not understood by outsiders.It sacred of all methods we use but for the Wicca maybe just for the sex fun.

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#9 violetstar

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 07:30 PM

@Monsoleedra

The Divine King-I found this on Wiki: It's much more likely that these unions never occurred but were embellishments to the image of the king; hymns which praise Middle Eastern kings for coupling with the goddess Ishtar often speak of him as running 320 kilometres, offering sacrifices, feasting with the sun-god Utu, and receiving a royal crown from An, all in a single day. :)

Edited by violetstar, 29 October 2017 - 07:31 PM.

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#10 monsnoleedra

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 07:47 PM

View Postvioletstar, on 29 October 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

@Monsoleedra

The Divine King-I found this on Wiki: It's much more likely that these unions never occurred but were embellishments to the image of the king; hymns which praise Middle Eastern kings for coupling with the goddess Ishtar often speak of him as running 320 kilometres, offering sacrifices, feasting with the sun-god Utu, and receiving a royal crown from An, all in a single day. :)

Well you know those kings had to be quick those royal harems with upwards of a thousand wives that had to be serviced meant the King had to be fast. he he he

Seriously though I think a lot of it though also ties into the tying the king to the divinity of the land and royal selection thing. The king is virile because GOD or the gods & goddesses choose him there by making the land fertile and the herds show the fecundity through births. Yet once the king looses the blessing of the gods or goddesses then his virility is lost which means he looses his right to rule. Thus the land falters in it's fertility and fecundity and suffers and the King is no longer the chosen representative of the divine. Because he is the chosen one he is able to do all those things that a common man would never be able to do thus reaffirming his divine selection. If not selection then his divine heritage or lineage.

Still got to satisfy that large harem less they go astray .. he he he
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