For redefinition, I was thrown back to myself, to my inner knowing… Marilyn Sewell, Cries of the Spirit
The Authentic Voice Project: Week 6 (New Moon)
F is for Fornication
When I was six, I learned to pronounce it. At ten, I knew what it meant. And at eighteen it was burned into my chest.
In my last blog post I wrote that “Evil” is the most evil word I know. Well, “Fornication” can’t be too far behind. For me, the word weighed heavy throughout my teen years. It was the sin that was always on my mind because well, it was on my mind. Even thinking of it was supposedly a sin. That which is so natural to us as human-animals and is part of the regeneration of all life considered a sin! Unfortunately, condemning a sacred, spiritual, natural act as dirty really sullies its reputation overall, whether or not there’s a ring on its finger. Just look around at the way women and sex are denigrated in our society. And to convince young people that the natural needs of the body, with which they were born and over which they have no control, are filth tells them one thing: that they too are filth. Not so grand for the self-esteem.
“Fornication” is an ugly word, one of many words plundered and remolded as a weapon to keep us in line. Various Biblical sources tell us originates from the Latin word “fornicatio” which means arch or vault and is related to the Greek word “porneia,” to act the harlot (who stands under arches). Harlot: originally a description of a male vagabond, but since the 14th century, a prostitute or promiscuous woman (thefreedictionary.com). Ugly words, ugly accusations. For a completely natural, beautifully human need. Like eating…
A fornix, was an earth-oven – arched or vaulted – for baking bread which were named for the Fornax, Goddess of the Furnace or Ovens. The Ladies of the Bread were the priestesses, standing under the arches of these Goddess temples in ancient Rome. Festivals, which included sacred sex to ensure good baking throughout the year, were called fornacalia, meaning oven-feasts. Baking bread, furnace, hot sex… bun in the oven. Yup, that’s where it came from. The Romans used to say, “the oven is the mother.”* The mother “bakes” the babe and the oven bakes the bread that feeds the babe.
Sex and sexuality and/or sensuality is a way to “feed” yourself and the one you love with affection and care. To share something that is healthy and vital to our physical, emotional, and spiritual balance. As life-giving – and natural – as baking bread to fill our loved ones’ bellies and souls.
* Sources: Reinventing Eve by Kim Chernin and Bell’s New Pantheon