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The Power of Women

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The Power of Women


Ancient Chines proverb

Understand why her power was feared,
Her beauty could enslave
Her insightful brilliance could make a mockery…
Her fecund magic could cast spells of lost enchantment….
Her heart could claim his
render him captured,
on his knees in worship…
She had to be controlled,
Covered up
Put on a leash
He had no choice
It’s the only way his ego could survive
The only way his false sense of power could fool him into thinking that he was in charge,
But he lost his beauty
He lost his gift of sight
He lost his magic
He lost his heart
He lost his true love
And he lost his way.
His grief is restoring her now
His tears have opened his eyes
He recognizes that he cannot live without her as herself
He needs her in her power in order to be whole
within himself
He’s re-writing his vows
restoring her throne next to his
He’s sitting beside her in equality
Honoring her and honoring himself
The divine marriage is taking place….
© Caroline de Lisser

Daughters of Qetesh Newsletter Dec 2012

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D of Q Iseum Dec-newsletter

Every year I write a piece on how my Iseum has worked and its yearly achievements. Please click onto link above to get a e-copy.

Birth of the Sacred Daughters

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Mention the Sacred Whore to most people and you’ll get raised eyebrows or disgusted grimaces. Many of us believe that prostitution is all about money for street hookers, fame for Hollywood starlets or security for suburban housewives. Prophetic texts, rituals, and icons are called sacred, even particular mountains or rivers are considered sacred, but whores?

Sexually empowered women are called bitches, dykes, ball-busters, etc., by both sexes. Sexually independent women, once respected as sacred vessels of the Goddess, are degraded as evil temptresses, obstacles between man and a sexless heaven. One exception is the paradise of Islam, although it is a men-only club stocked full with virgin nymphs; Islamic women are said to be soul-less.

Jungian psychologist Nancy Qualls-Corbett describes the Holy Whore as “a woman, who, through ritual or psychological development, has come to know the spiritual side of her sexuality, her true Eroticism, and lives this out according to her individual circumstances.” By this definition, a Sacred Prostitute uses sex as a means to worship her Goddess and to enlightenment. Fundamentalist Christians believe that the door to the kingdom of heaven is opened to those re-born of fire and water. Occult traditions such as Tantra, and magickal orders which esteem the Holy Whore, persuade us to experience our divinity by immersing ourselves in the fires of sexual passion and the baptismal waters of sexual ritual. Sexuality becomes sacred when the Goddess residing in every woman is honoured.

The term “sacred whore” is not oxymoronic. If we explore the etymology of the words “whore” or “harlot,” we find that the split between “priestess” and “prostitute” is a relatively recent one. In her book When God Was A Woman, Merlin Stone informs us that the Hebrew word Zonah means both prostitute and prophetess. Barbara Walker, in her Dictionary of Woman’s Myths and Secrets, points out that the Hebrew word ‘hor’ means a cave, pit, or dark hole. The Spanish word for whore, ‘puta’, derives from the Latin term for a well, but the Latin term for grave, literally “a hole in the earth,” is ‘puticuli’, meaning womb of rebirth. These terms for whore were not derogatory.

The Latin term had its root in the Vedic, an early Sanskrit language, wherein the word puta is defined as pure and holy. The cave, the pit, the hole, and the bottomless black lake were metaphors for the Great Goddess, She who is unnameable, that darkness primordial from which all life (light) is born. She is the Everything and The Nothing — Hole-y, Holy, Wholly. The Sacred Whore at work was, in fact, the manifestation the Great Goddess.

Today these ideas are not completely lost. The Hebrew folk dance named the ‘hora’, a tradition at Jewish weddings, is named after the circle dances of the sacred harlots. Such holy harlots were often “Brides of God” similar to modern nuns, the “Brides of Christ.” The holy harlots were set apart to give birth to Sons of God. In other words, these women had the job of changing human-animal into human-god.

The separation into priestess and prostitute, or sacred and profane polarities, occurred for western civilization when the early fathers of Christianity claimed power by abolishing goddess worship and other nature-based pagan religions. In actuality the bipartite woman, both whore and Madonna was a construct of the early Papal Councils around 600 AD. In the New Testament itself, there is nothing which proves that Magdalene was a repentant prostitute; other texts suggest that she was a spiritual teacher in her own right. (For more information about Mary Magdalene, check out Scandals, Intrigues and Christianity.)

Ishtar, the Great Whore of Babylon, was sometimes called the Goddess Har since she was the mother of the Harlots. These Harlots were not prostitutes as we know them, but priestesses, sorceresses, prophets, and healers. Sacred Whores were known sometimes as the Holy Virgins of Goddesses such as Ishtar, Asherah, or Aphrodite. The famous Vestal Virgins were thought to have practiced secret sex magical rites in honour of the Roman Goddess Vesta, the same as the Greek goddess Hestia — Goddess of the Hearth, or “centre of the world.”

“Virgin” did not mean possessing an intact hymen. A virgin was simply an unmarried woman, a woman who claimed ownership of herself. Think of Athena, the maiden goddess who jumped off a cliff rather than submit to wedlock. We see a similar story in the Hebraic tradition where Lilith, unwilling to subjugate herself to Adam in the male-dominant missionary position, exiled herself from paradise in exchange for her own sovereignty.

But Holy Whores weren’t man-haters. Their function was dispensing the grace of the God/Goddess through sexual worship by sharing their bodies with worthy initiates and with each other.

The European idea of going into a womb like space — cave, pit, hole, lake, or river — in order to attain a new life of spirit stems from the Neolithic period (approx. 15,000 BCE. – 5,000 BCE.). During this time the common belief system deemed the main God/Goddess female. Gods were primarily consorts for the Great Goddess or her sons, such as Horus and Jesus. Reunite the polarities, put the Virgin Mary back together with Mary Magdalene and you have a Holy Whore who is the mother of a man/god, or evolved man.

The Great Goddess was the All and her son represented the self-realized human, male or female. Women were thought to be able to access the power of the Goddess more easily because they could more easily identify with Her. In these early days, women were the mediators between the Goddess and the tribe. Later the masculine force became imbalanced by the male need to overcompensate and relegate women to a lower class. Such imbalance may have been caused in part by men’s fear of women’s magic — particularly the ability to give birth, the blood, and her intuitive gifts.

Before science explained away the mystery, women seemed magical, almost frightening. Women bled in sync with the phases of the moon. They bled in sync with each other and, to the awe of men, did not die. Women bore the babies and from their breasts flowed milk to sustain life. While the men went out to hunt, women explored, gathered food, and gained knowledge of medicinal herbs. They were the healers who produced magical cures for snake bites. Women were privy to divine wisdom. The Delphic oracles listened to pythons, while Eve took the sage advice of a serpent. Woman’s “innate” ability to tune into the Goddess was facilitated by her knowledge of herbs, including perhaps, psychoactive botanicals that produced visions.

When God was definitively female, women had the edge. It was thought necessary for a man to go through a woman in order to achieve contact with the Deity. Male devotees of the Great Goddess would offer gifts, undergo painful or humiliating preparatory rituals, wait years, fast, and give just about anything for the opportunity to be initiated by a Sacred Whore. In doing so, they attained the power of the Great Goddess, as well as the opportunity to contact what some modern mages or witches refer to as the True Will, Higher Self, or Holy Guardian Angel.

Priestesses devoted their lives and their bodies to the Goddess. Herodotus wrote that Babylonian brides were required by law to prostitute themselves at the temple for seven days prior to marriage in order to appease the Goddess, who disapproved of monogamy. Spending time as a holy whore blessed the maiden. The profession also became a refuge for women who wished to keep claim of themselves and their rights. In Hellenic Greece, courtesans maintained a social status legally and politically equal to men, while wives were reduced to servants.

The idea that a man needed a woman in order to attain apotheosis, or give birth to the potential God/Goddess hidden within himself, still lives between the lines of many patriarchal religious texts. Crowley had his Scarlet Woman; Simon the Mage had his Whore, and Jesus, Mary Magdalene. In fact, Magdalene means “she of the temple-tower.”

The patriarchal entity is a tyrant who feeds on control, or “power over.” The Holy Whore is a manifestation of “power with, power shared, and power for all.” Think of the Strength card in Tarot: A woman holds the lion’s mouth open. In this image, woman has identified and taken control of her sexual and creative power, symbolized by the lion.

Despite his unsavoury reputation, Aleister Crowley was one of the first male occultists to embrace the goddess. Crowley switched the traditional order of Strength and Justice tarot cards and changed the name of the Strength card to Lust. Crowley wanted to give Lust (11) the same numerical value as the High Priestess (2), which some Tarot scholars interpret as the holiest card in the deck. Many other decks, including the popular feminist deck Mother Peace, have also incorporated this numerical change. In this Crowley acknowledged the power of the feminine Beauty/Beast.

The word lust is derived from the words lustre or light, and originally meant “religious joy.” Strength, Light, Lust, and Holiness were originally all one. Crowley’s Lust card depicts a rather zaftig and sexual woman — the much-maligned Whore of Babylon — riding a multi-headed lion from the Bible’s Book of Revelations. In the commingling of beast (indicating our animal nature) and Babylon (indicating the sexual force of the great tripartite goddess), a great power is realized.

In “Beauty and the Beast,” the character Beauty can be seen as the Sacred Whore. She has gone to live with the Beast to save the life of her father. The Beast woos Beauty, painfully and pitifully. Ashamed of his ugliness and his animalistic traits, he pines away, stepping towards death. When Beauty sees beyond his mask, she sacrifices her ego and goes to him. When she gives herself to him with a kiss, he is reborn as a gorgeous prince, symbolizing the bliss of the union of Spirit and Nature. This tale is saying that it is within our power to change the state of civilization by the power of our sex. This sentiment is echoed in Deena Metzger’s poem, “The Women Who Slept with Men to Take the War Out of Them.” The Goddess’ way is power with, not the patriarchal power over.

When fully self-realized, woman is the initiatrix into higher rites of passage. She is Mut, Great Mother of Death, and also Isis, whose love makes possible the higher birth of Horus from the inert Osiris. Astrologically speaking, this concept is reflected in the sign of Scorpio, which rules sex, death, and transformation or initiation. Sexual love can be a path to spiritual evolution. Some occultists believe that sex combined with ritual creates the most powerful magic.

Love/Sex is also linked with death. Renaissance poets called orgasm “the little death.” The Goddess is more than Mother and Whore; she is also the Crone, the Destroyer, and the Eater of Men. This threefold goddess is akin to Hindu Goddess Kali. Powerful Kali gives birth with one hand while squatting over her dead consort Shiva and devouring his entrails with the other. If we conquer our fear of the threefold Goddess’ powers and embrace the natural sacredness of sex and death, we can truly begin to understand the cycle of life.

Many believe that the world’s chance of survival is dependent on the reclamation of the female aspect of deity and its integration in the minds of the people “en masse.” We will evolve in the images of the God/Goddess that we created. The Sacred Prostitute represents energy, light, and expansive creative force. The repression of this positive force puts society in crisis. As poet/prophet William Blake writes, “Repressed energy breeds pestilence.” Our world becomes a place where violence has replaced creative sexual expression. Consider that violence is accepted as common TV fare, while the sight of a women breastfeeding her infant causes vehement outcries from the rightwing Christian minority.

Our society’s god-of-choice is miserable, grouchy, and usually on the verge of suicide. Just watch the TV evangelists praying for Armageddon. Their god only evinces the “restrictive” saturnine intellect and represents degeneration, a far fall from the original Father-Mother-Sister-Brother God/Goddess of Jewish paganism named YHVH. The punishing grey-beard whom Blake deemed “Nobodaddy,” has been severed from feminine wisdom. His children are stillborn, waiting in the ethers for the nourishing milk of their mother.

Violence against women increases as men who feel powerless resort to rape. Millions of women deny themselves orgasmic pleasure because they are taught “good girls don’t” by a society that worships a bachelor god. The new Yahweh is irritable and quick to call fun a sin. Many men are stuck playing tough guy roles, and many women learn that submission and passivity are their tickets to survival. Two hundred years ago, the poet Percy Shelley, a maverick feminist and political activist, asked, “Can man be free if woman be a slave?”

Anyone who has indulged in BDSM will tell you that both dominant and submissive roles contain joys, but to play only one and never the other brings monotony, sadness, or dangerous obsession. Without the embodiment of the Sacred Whore in every woman, society twists itself dysfunctional.

Of course, women can’t flock to temples and set up camp as Holy Whores in this day and age without being arrested. But a change in the way women see themselves, and in the way men see women, would be a start. Every woman can invoke the Holy Whore into her life with pleasure. The Sacred Prostitute is a woman who has reclaimed her Self and reconnected with her will. Most importantly, she is a woman who has reclaimed the sacredness of her body.

First and foremost: Pay attention to what advertisers and the media, promoters of degenerate cultural realities, are telling us. Both women and men must learn to ignore the messages that women are “sick” with post-menstrual syndrome (PMS/PMT or menstrual cramps two weeks out of every month, that our vaginas smell bad, that we must wax pubis, douche, or use deodorized tampons if we are to be “clean.” It’s hard to invoke the Goddess within if we believe our bodies are so flawed.

We need to honour the menstrual cycle. We need to change the language associated with it, call it moon time or bleeding time, instead of the vulgar “on the rag.” Don’t blame your partner’s moodiness on PMS; have sex instead — wonderful messy sex. Fertilize your plants with menstrual blood, an ancient magical fertilizer. Question the programming that automatically labels sexual women “sluts.”

Yahweh’s obviously not happy alone on the mountain. Our reclaiming of the sacred prostitute’s spirit, humour, and sheer joy in the flesh could help this pitiful modern God remember his Goddess’s bountiful breasts and make some holy fun & games. When the Goddess residing in every woman is honoured, the paradox of sacred sexuality can again manifest in our world. The Goddess is as her people act: As above, so below.

The woman has been playing the role of “temptress” sapping the life force of man for too long… The sensual qualities of women have been labelled “evil” and many women out of shame have pushed their “unnatural” sexual urges into the unconscious. Western societies especially have weakened women with literature such as Ulysses and the Sirens, Samson and Delilah, John the Baptist and Salome, and the rationalization of the burning of witches during the Inquisition in Europe and later in Salem, Massachusetts. So they say because the “witches” had the power (gained with intercourse with Satan) to incite desire and weaken men. The real reason for witch burning was the desire of men to gain control of women’s property and fear of women’s knowledge and healing powers. I have heard those sexist stories so many times I was ready to rage on demand each time I heard them. Fortunately, the Sacred Whores became a great emotive release for me because I have found in them an important vehicle to reconnect with my sensuality. The sacred Prostitutes are Great Goddesses who have remained too long in my shadow that caused damaged to my psyche and those of others. The Sacred Prostitutes enable me to assume the quality of a powerful goddess myself, independent and free. Their primeval eroticism connects me to my instinctual drives and primeval nature.

I am a woman created equal to man. I am wise and sensual therefore no man should overpower me. The Great Spirit, The All is the ideal of balance of the female and the male energies, wilderness and logic, Ying and Yang, black and white etc. Neither is more important than the other and only together they can make a whole! Women in this day and age have to reclaim their male energy, the “Kundalini” that curled serpent that rests at the seat of the spine in the lowest chakra. When Kundalini is awakened through spiritual, mental and physical practice of the blissful communion with The All it is possible to tap into it and use it. Our ancestress the indigenous mothers of this planet exuded this energy natural to females. Sculptures and paintings that can be traced back to the golden days in the Motherland abound in sensual and voluptuous women. The Kundalini energy has not been acknowledged by the conqueror that took over and corrupted the indigenous way of life and incorporated a chauvinist, caste and ego system that never existed. This is why the world is all screwed up. In order for us to be raised out of our mummified state we need to call on our Holy Whores ancestress for guidance. Men as well can use the Holy Prostitutes Goddesses, who symbolizes ecstasy and freedom to experience, much more openness in their sexual expression with their women as well as much more humbleness and gratefulness for their fertility. As the balance of the Universe is restored, so health, peace and love on every level.

Bantu Kelani.

Rings of Qetesh

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In Egyptian mythology Qetesh (also: Qadesh, Kadesh, Qaudeshet, ) was a Goddess of sex (rather than fertility), who is thought to originally be a Semitic god, from Chaldean mythology. She was adopted into the Egyptian pantheon as early as the new Kingdom. Once adopted by the Egyptians she was named Knt (pronounced Kenet). Her lover was Resheph, a married god from Chaldean myth, and she also took Min as a lover (though some believe he was her son). He was the God of fertility and Sexual prowess, so seemed an obvious choice as a lover.

She was always depicted as a naked woman riding on the back of a lion, with the crescent moon (representing the night) as a headdress. She was also shown holding snakes (representing the penis) in her right hand and Lotus flowers (representing the vulva), in her left. Among her many natures she was worshiped as a Nature Goddess, a Goddess of Sexual Ecstasy and sacred Pleasure. She was also the deity of Law, happiness, dance, and music and most importantly the Protector of Women. This last nature made her a popular with women who were being treated badly.




Snake Poison Ring

The strong appeal of Qetesh lead to there being a secret society formed in her honor. In order to keep the Society of The Rings secret the Macedonian bodyguards of the Egyptian Praetorian Guard, loyal to the Society, would provide the Hand Maidens with reed pens, ink and parchment. The Hand Maidens of the Priestesses’ of Qetesh would make the request, seal the parchment and return it a member of the Society. He in turn would place the parchment in a false part of the ring, and make his way.

Copy of Cleopatras Ring

Members of the Ring of Qetesh facilitated unique and exquisite gifts of lore to express their love and adoration to the most attractive Priestesses. The Society developed into a ‘quiet’ form of diplomacy between the court Princes, nobles and Kingdoms. They are noted as saying “We walk in the dark places no one else will enter”.

In the Reign of Cleopatra VII the Secret Society was a ‘powerbase’ protecting the regent of Egypt against plots to take her throne. Cleopatra knew that there were whispers and intrigue and attempted plots against her and her court. The women of the rings of Qetesh were ordered to sleep with the dissenters and find out their secrets. Cleopatra was reported to say “What better way to block an attempted conspiracy than from the whispers associated with scented pillows”

Thea Bara as Cleopatra

After the death of Cleopatra and the fall of the Egyptian Empire, the Keepers of The Rings of Qetesh sponsored a group of the strongest and bravest noblemen and named them ‘Men of Romance’. The group then left Egypt and spread out to the new Empires of Greece and Rome. The Men of Romance dedicated their lives to protecting Kings and Queens, Poets and Painters throughout history. Two of the famous men they protected were Alexandra the Great and the Painter Michelangelo. Most interestingly it had also been rumored that Robin Hood and His Merry Men were members of The Men of Romance, protecting King Richard’s land of England.

Qetesh Calls for Her Love

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“Oh, for a candle I could light, to draw you closer

Oh, for a poppet made like you

With your own lovely body, sewn again with cloth

With your dark all-seeing eyes

With your c**k standing proud, and balls sweetly rounded,

Remade in wax or clay.

Oh, for a herb to place upon my tongue

To bring your tongue to mine…..

Oh, for a potion I could drink

Or slip to you, unseen,

At some state dinner party laid on for you.

Oh, for your nail parings….

Oh, for your hair….

Stirred in a brew, or

Baked in a honey cake….

I would make a stew, a soup, or witches broth

To bring your lovely thighs to mine.

I would search the world for rare meats, and sweet treats

To lure you here to me..

I would enter your blood and warm your veins

I would enter your eyes like laser beams

Then enter your palms like the Holy Spirit causing stigmata

To a sex-starved saint.

Oh, my love

I would spell you ‘evoL’ if mere anagrams

Would bring you near to me.

Hear me!

Come to me!

Love me!

Plea to Qetesh – From a Wounded Soul

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Plea From a Wounded Soul

Qetesh knows that abuse comes in many forms. Not just physical but emotional as well. Emotional abuse can lead to addiction, rage and a severely damaged sense of self and an inability to truly bond with others.

Emotional Abuse can be active – vicious Bullying:

“You will never be as good as my family”

Or Deliberate Humiliation:

” I’m ashamed to have you as a wife.”

And it can be Passive: The equivalent of child neglect Withholding Love.

We must renounce the lie that emotional abuse can prepare us for a hard life in a hard world. I’ve met some people who were prepared for life that way — I met them while they were Doing Life! When your self concept has been shredded; when you have been deeply injured and made to feel that the injuries were your own fault; when you look for approval to those who cannot or will not provide it, you play the role assigned to you by your abusers.


For those emotionally abused healing comes down to forgiving yourself, knowing you deserve to be respected, you deserve to be loved…….

Emotional abuse can be as painful as physical assault and with the rare exception, the pain lasts longer. The vulnerable imitate instead of learning the qualities we all need as an adult; Empathy, Nurturing, and protectiveness, they learn the viciousness of a pecking order. As victims of abuse they are often dismissed simply because the wounds are not visible. Emotional abuse scars the heart and wounds the soul. There is no real difference between physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

All that distinguishes one from the other is the abusers choice of weapon. When it gets too much they implode with self-destructive conduct.

Beloved Qetesh hear my plea

“You carry the cure in your heart. Please listen to our Wounded Souls, Please help us find that cure.”

Qudistu – Women of Special Status

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Qudistu – Women of Special Status

In Arcadian, the language spoken by Semitic inhabitants of Mesopotamia the name Qudistu/Qassatu/Qasdatu refers to a woman of special status. These woman lived on the street and the street was a place where residents not in ‘organised’ households met up. In the legal system of the time Qudistu were classed as women who did not live by societies standards, and therefore their sexuality was ‘un-regulated’. Household women were either married with a husband or celibate, living at home with their parents and their sexuality was regulated by family or husband. being tied in this way they lived under the patriarchal system of the times, unable to own property and accountable to a male figure. The advantage for Qudistu was they were able to own their own property outright and also take on any employment they chose. They were the liberated women of their time.

being liberated and not under a mans control the lives they lived were always surrounded by mystery and gossip. They were considered to be Witches and Sorceresses – bad women, who good decent (controlled women) only met up with at certain times, notably childbirth. Qudistu could work as Midwives, suckle babies who’s mothers had no milk, and adopt the children of women who died in childbirth.

In the 3rd Millenium Sumerian became the most important language in the area for communicating between people and in trade. The Sumerian woman’s name for Qudistu was ‘Nu-gig’. This name also refers to the Goddesses Inanna, Aruni, Ninmah, Nanja, and Ninisina. They used these terms to describe ‘Sacred Prostitutes’, and ‘Hierodule’ – the ‘Religion of Sacred Prostitution’. The street walker had by the change of language, also changed her status to a higher rank, one to be adored rather than ostracised. They existed in the Biblical worlds of Babylon, Israel and Judah until the 7th & 6th Century BC, still considered to be beneath married and celibate women, controlled women. As in Mesopatonia, they also gathered on the streets and congregated in Bars considered to be ‘brothels’, where decent women would never attend. In these establishments trade in business and property took place alongside the sacred worship.

They were the Sacred Slave to the Goddess Qetesh-under her many names and forms.

The Holy One’s

Sacred Interdicted Womb.

Sacred Hymn to Daughters of Qetesh

” For the thousands of young maidens to establish fertility

To regulate the womb

To cut the umbilical cord

To determine the fates To support the door of the Nu-giger

To let the foetus come to successful completion

A child of man protected in the loins

Let to cry aloud

To seek the womb on earth

To turn around the head

To perform the Nu-gigship

Then act quickly to sing proper praise

When she has made manifest the great mes

And my lady has spoken the hymn of praise

Ninisina – fittingly praise yourself!!