Friday, July 21, 2006

Pagan Misconception #4

Misconception #4 – All Pagan rituals are full of sex rites and orgies.

Many Pagans I know state that they have a healthy attitude towards sex and do not think of it as shameful. While Pagans do not consider sex as a sinful act, I would not say that it is always included or common to include sex within a ritual situation, either, as people would be inclined to believe. This attitude towards sex by itself does not perpetuate the myth.

So where did this misconception come from? The Pagan/Wicca page on states that this misconception came from performing rituals skyclad, or nude. While that might be possible, there is definitely more to it than that. A person's nakedness does not (always) equal sex.

I think it is a combination of things that have happened in the past (with the rise of Christianity) and in the present (with how modern Pagans present themselves regarding attitudes towards sex). With the rise of Christianity, there was an attempt to curb pagan (i.e. – those that live in the country) practices, especially at some of the major festivals. One of these festivals in particular, which is now included in the Wiccan religion as the holiday Beltane, had some traditions that the Church frowned upon and tried to stop.

This myth could also come from performing The Great Rite. The Great Rite can be performed symbolically or actually. The Great Rite was recently portrayed in the movie, The DaVinci Code, which produced much discussion on the internet about a month ago. While this rite often seems to be one that is included into the traditions of individual Covens, not everyone in Paganism has a positive view of it as stated by this article. I think that the author, Adrienne, has made some good points regarding this ritual.

While searching for information regarding sex and ritual, I found this article entitled A Brief History of Religious Sex. While not extremely in-depth on the subject, the article still gives a basic outline of the history.

Ooo, I can just imagine what kind of keyword searches are going to pop up now!

*Also, I would like to let you know that these misconceptions are not in any particular order. It is just the order that they happened to be written about.

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