RITUAL OF LOVE (part two)
CHRISTIANITY AND RITUAL
by Sophia Breillat
The Healing Mother’s presence dwelt peacefully in
the hearts of Goddess-centred societies long before Christianity’s
belief in only one God came into being. Predating Christianity
by thousands of years, Goddess worship revered and valued
the natural healing powers of the feminine principle. The
power of this most loved protectress was devotedly invoked
in rituals embodying refined healing skills secretly passed
from mother to daughter for many generations.
Christianity deemed ritual offerings to the spontaneous
female spirits of earth and water as unclean. Labeled as
malign devils, these playful spirits were seen as evil creatures
wielding corrupt power. When Christianity forced the adoration
of the Goddess and her rituals into seclusion, those who
practised her sacred rites were named, or that which is
hidden. The shining glory of this bountiful Earth Mother,
so openly loved and revered since prehistoric times, was
suddenly seen as sinful and shameful.
With the onset of Christianity, all who openly paid homage
to the Goddess were punished as witches, tortured and burned
at the stake. Many of her beautiful naked images that adorned
pagan churches and temples were destroyed. Simple country
women who performed homely rituals of cooking, weaving,
herb gathering, singing, dancing, adorning tables and lighting
were accused of worshipping the devil.
Medieval midwives were also persecuted for their association
with pagan matriarchy and Goddess worship. Their substantial
knowledge of female sexuality, birth control, breastfeeding,
abortion and birthing rituals were threatening to Christian
male authorities. All pagan holy days and festivities that
escaped annihilation became Christianised. The repercussions
of this almighty effort to subdue the immortal power of
the pagan earth dwellers’ beloved Goddess wreak increasing
havoc upon this planet.
Many Christian practices originated in early tantric rituals,
including Christmas, which was taken from the Winter Solstice
festival of the pagans where Christmas Eve was named ‘The
Night of the Mother’.
The celebration of Easter was also originally an early
pagan ritual honouring the Goddess, Eostre. The original
pagan myths of the Holy Grail also became Christianised.
This mystic blood-filled vessel was an ancient womb symbol
connected to the rebirth of the Goddess.
Fearing the mysterious presence contained within the Goddess’s
holy woods and sacred groves, patriarchal priests destroyed
these treasured places. As Christian authorities increasingly
attempted to wipe out her feminine power, they declared
her sacred rituals of fertility and sexual love barbaric,
devilish and obscene. This brutal destruction of her natural
sensuality sowed the seed of unworthiness and self doubt
that now flourishes within the contemporary female psyche.
Ritualistic celebrations of Goddess worship were joyous
occasions of food, festivity, offerings, singing and dance,
symbolically awakening the blossoming abundance of nature’s
magnificence. Worship of sun, moon, stars and planets were
all an intrinsic part of the Goddess’s realm and rituals,
where older pagan women were honoured for their power, experience
and wisdom. The sacredness of woman’s profound ritualistic
journey into maturity is sadly ignored in our culture.
Western civilisation is founded upon the collective lie
and illusion that the Goddess is dead. Fuelled by a deep
fear of her profundity, it races towards its own destruction,
enveloped in a cloud of ignorance and denial. With an unhealthy
focus upon politics, space travel and weapons of mass destruction,
it employs drastic measures for escapingthe realm of the
For thousands of centuries farmers have ritualistically
called upon this Mother of Earth when planting their new
crops, and pagans have called upon her for everything they
required for living a healthy, joyful and fulfilling life.
Who calls upon her now? Who protects and honours her today?
Who sees who she truly is? Who invokes her benevolence,
her beauty, her bounty?
RITUALS OF PASSION
rituals of the Goddess were openly sexual, as spirituality,
nature, sexual love and religion all merged as the oneness
of life to the pagan people. Religion, as an immortal link
between the essential facets of humanity, nature and the
Mother Goddess, originally meant to rejoin or reunite.
Many of her fertility rituals involved couples making love
in freshly ploughed fields to encourage the fertility of
abundant crops. Her most secret adoration involved sacred
rites and mysteries where the yearning to return to the
Source was practised through sexual worship.
These rituals involved ecstatic singing and dancing, sexual
orgies, religious passion and fertility festivals. May was
the month of sexual freedom where the God’s phallus
was ritualistically planted in the earth’s womb.
Many of the original May Day rituals involved sexual games
and ritual love where couples entered the woods for passionate
lovemaking. The May Pole was originally the phallic symbol
of this religious festival that was also sacred to witches.
A divine marriage was also consecrated, creating the magic
of fertility for the earth through the sacred passion of
The way of the Goddess evokes a timelessness that is deeper
than the ocean, vaster than the skies, more mysterious than
the night. Profoundly merging with the hidden secrets of
the earth, it honours the wisdom of our pagan ancestors.
Tread softly upon her grass, use her resources wisely, feel
deep gratitude for her life-sustaining power and infinite
beauty, and you will know the simple humility of ritual.
Copyright ~ ©Sophia Breillat ~ not to be reproduced without
author’s permission ~ Sophia is a woman who lives,
writes and paints from the heart ~ she may be contacted
Roslyne Sophia Breillat
Within the womb of every woman glows the consciousness of Mother Earth. Wildheartwisdom is a web site for nurturing the truth of this powerful feminine spirit and offers support for the female psyche’s many cyclic transformations. Wildheartwisdom focuses upon the deeper joy and purpose of menstruation, lovemaking, pregnancy, childbirth, mothering, relationships, menopause and beyond. Find spiritual guidance for healing from eating disorders, sexual abuse, miscarriage and abortion. There are currently three galleries featuring Sophia’s art and a selection of her article excerpts. As wildheartwisdom evolves more art and articles will be added as well as an extensive resource section. Sophia’s beautiful art and illustrations are for sale and she is currently seeking a publisher for her two books.