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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Hieros Gamos
'The Union of the Gods Renews the World'

Paganistan was born from an act of love.

Beltane 1976. For the first time, on May Eve the Minnesota Church of the Wicca (MCoW) selects, by lot, a woman and a man who, while the rest dance and sing to raise the power, retire to the May bower to enact the Great Marriage of the Gods.

It was the making of our community.

We've enacted the rite ever since. This year marks the 43th annual May Marriage, the local community's oldest ongoing tradition. It's a record that any New Pagan community could envy.

The tradition is currently carried by the Wiccan Church of Minnesota, MCoW's daughter organization, but has worked its way out into the community at large. “The Union of the Gods renews the world,” wrote local priestess Hillary Pell (herself a May Queen emerita) in 1998.

Last year, winter lingered late. A freak mid-April blizzard paralyzed growth and, two weeks later, there was still nary a sign of Spring to be seen.

In the dusk of May Eve, we kindled the Beltane Fire. Our newest member led her partner off to the May bower. As they made love, we sang and danced the sacred dances.

Now, whether or not it had anything to do with what we—or they—did that night, I don't claim to know. (I rather doubt it.) But this much I can tell you.

By the next day, there was green everywhere. Overnight, the buds had broken. Between the setting and the rising of the “ithyphallic adolescent Sun” (to quote Feraferia's Fred Adams), Spring—in amazing chloroplast explosion—had sprung.

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The Gospel According to Lawrence

 “The Goddess is great.”

(Jesus of Nazareth)

 

So, here's the story. After crawling, barely alive, out of the tomb (they took him down from the cross too soon), Jesus is thoroughly sick of his previous life and ministry. Physically alive but dead within, he wanders off into the world as a wounded itinerant healer.

So begins the “20th” century's most unlikely pagan novel, D. H. Lawrence's 1928 The Escaped Cock, a.k.a. The Man Who Died.

Well, but there's more. In his travels, he chances upon a Priestess of Isis. He stays with her in her temple, in its sacred seaside grove, and in time she heals him of the world-hating philosophy and physical impotence from which he has suffered heretofore.

“I am risen!” he proclaims when, courtesy of the priestess' ministrations, he achieves his first post-crucifixion erection.

In Escaped Cock, the gospel morphs into—and is healed of dysfunction by—the story of Isis and Osiris. Jesus, become Osiris Risen, sires tomorrow's Horus, and once again wanders off into the wide world of experience.

“Tomorrow is another day!” he proclaims (along with Scarlett O'Hara) as he sails off alone into the sunset.

Oh, Lawrence. So jejeune: if only we would all just shed our sexual inhibitions, the world would be healed and everything would be just peachy. Ah, if only things were so simple.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "Those who go looking for Jesus down the dark well of history will never see anything but their own reflections looking back at th
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once came across a story on the internet about Jesus moving to Japan after the crucifixion getting married and fathering three d

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