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Pagan Sexuality and Sexual Freedom

Author: Brenda Loew

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Pagans like me who believe in, talk about and practice sexual freedom are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As individuals, and as Americans, we pagans have the freedom to choose the manner in which we express our personal eroticism and sexuality. For example, some sexually free individual pagans believe in a tolerant alternative worldview that promotes the use of free will with no sexual manipulation or sexual exploitation of any kind. Sexual freedom, as opposed to sexual slavery (no free choice; no free will; coercion), means mutually respectful, consensual acts of intimate adult sensuality and sexuality, between or amongst trusted, equal partner(s). In the purest pagan tradition, a sexually free individual leads a lifestyle that "...harms none, it is permissible."

Old pagan traditions demystify, celebrate and revere sensuality and sexuality as sacred, divine and natural whereas younger, patriarchal religions condemn paganism's freedom to celebrate eroticism and sexuality as "irresponsible", "promiscuous", "licentious", "evil" or "satanic". During the witchcraft hysteria that gripped Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, for example, Boston minister Cotton Mather wrote: "...the Kingdom of Anti-Christ came to be Exposed. Thus, the Judgements of God on the Roman Empire, first unto the Downfall of Paganism......Witchcraft will not be fully understood, until the day when there shall not be one Witch in the World." The inflammatory rhetoric of puritanical theofascists from the pre-Constitutional era like Harvard-educated Cotton Mather is personified today, for example, in fanatical Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson and others of his unenlightened ilk who are pro-censorship and opposed to pornography, sex education, birth control, abortion and sexual privacy rights.

Old nature-based pagan traditions are sensitive to the sacred meaning of human eroticism and sexuality. They recognize and acknowledge these primordial biological forces -- symbolically, spiritually, and physically. Ancient pagan faiths honor and celebrate the eroto-sexual dimensions of human expression not only as divine but also as essential and pleasurable. In the Old Celtic Tradition, May is recognized as the month of Sexual Freedom. Saxons cast magickal love spells on poppet dolls. Wiccans worship the natural cycles of female sexuality. In general, old pagan traditions balance female and male aspects of eroto-sexual expression in nature, in art, in rituals, in festivals and much more.

Historically -- long before Christianity, Judaism and Islam were established -- innumerable pagan love goddesses, sex goddesses, fertility goddesses, and partner & affection goddesses were revered as deities of sexual love, fertility & procreation. They represented the myriad of divine spiritual and physical aspects of female love, sexuality and pleasure. They included: Great Goddess / Earth Mother-Maiden-Wise Woman (Crone); Artemis / Diana, Venus / Aphrodite / Freya, Shakti/Kali/Durga/Bhairavi; Ishtar, Hathor, Banzai Tennyo and many others too numerous to list here.

Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. revisionists pretend these innumerable erotic, sexual and fertility goddesses never existed. Patriarchal Hebrews demonized Adam's first wife Lilith because she refused to be sexually submissive to him. The patriarchal Koran teaches: "Allah will not tolerate idolatry....the pagans pray to females." In Ireland, Onward Christian soldiers disfigured, damaged and buried figures of the ancient Celtic Sheila-na-gig goddess. Unlike the Virgin Mary, Sheila-na-gig was a naked goddess characterized by her wide-open, gaping vagina. However, "nu-gig", an ancient Mesopotamian word, meant "pure", "spotless".

Like ancient pagans, contemporary pagans believe the unclothed human body is very natural. Pagans accept ritual and social nudity. For example, the Aphrodite Ritual may be performed "skyclad". Pagans also find pleasure in the ritual use of sensual music and dance, love spells and chants, erotic massage oils, magick herbal love candles, aromatic flowers and the burning of incense for romance. Sexual magick can also be worked using tarot decks, runes, crystal balls, astrology, numerology, palmistry, Ouija Boards, etc.

Rituals, customs, spells, and symbolism aside, contemporary pagans are usually very private about their personal sexual expression. That pagans are licentious, orgiastic or otherwise sexually irresponsible is simply anti-pagan propaganda. The fact is that because paganism affirms the body as a sacred temple, pagans advise safe sex and responsibility.

Because we are sexually free, pagan individuals lack the guilt and shame so characteristic of a patriarchy that loathes the spirituality of eroticism and the temporal pleasures of the body and flesh. Those of us who celebrate -- as well as practice -- the ideals inherent in the ancient pagan eroto-sexual worldview are unaffected in our private, personal lives by mainstream society's prevailing sex-negative conventions, practices and/or attitudes.

Today's pagans believe that genuine, authentic alternative sexual arrangements are a purely personal matter; that these private relationships depend solely on the individual consciences of the people involved. Sexually free pagans accept gays and lesbians, bisexuals, alternative partnerships, polyfidelity, and so on. Pagans rejoice in sexual freedom as self-affirming, self-empowering and physically and spiritually energizing.

Whether you are a pagan who practices Shakti's kundalini tantra, Kali's Yoni tantra, ritual or sacred prostitution, choosing sexual freedom as your spiritual and lifestyle worldview is both civil and wise because sexual freedom.

"Harms none. It is permissible."

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