DRAFT LAST REVISED: JAN 21, 2017

THE PURPOSE of this website is to research and explore the ancient rites of the Hieros Gamos as a fundamental part of many ecstatic mystical experiences from the ancient world to our modern day. For millennia Hieros Gamos (also called the sacred marriage) were sexual rites that Mesopotamian adherents ritualized to harness the energy shared between mortals and entities. The reason this religion condoned and participated in these exchanges was because they believed the entities were gods that facilitated the opening of trade routes and support for their vast farmland. Technology, science and mysticism were synergistic and compatible. After 3,000 years of overuse though, the fertile soil dried up, the trade routes changed and the great Babylonia faded into desert sands. Even as money and power moved westward and a nonsexual spirituality emerged, somehow the Hieros Gamos survived. Greed, cultural fear, prudery from both materialists and the new monogamous religions created taboos that made the productive discussions of such exchanges difficult if not impossible. Even with all the power leveled against both sex and entities, the Hieros Gamos that always systemized and capitalized on the interaction with these so called "gods" might be hidden now, but it's still here because such interactions won't stop. I don't know if a physical passion is present between every mystic and their daemon, but passion certainly is the driving force for many. As I followed ecstatic mysticism, it led me to the Jewish Kabbalah and the Hieros Gamos. I had to ask how an ancient Mesopotamian rite found its way into the culture and society of a monotheistic paradigm? and can it still serve me as a mystic even if I'm not Jewish or Catholic for that matter? 

The following excerpt from St. Terese ‘s wiki page and her encounters with the sacred Other, perfectly mirrors my own interactions with Ayelward. An excerpt from her Wiki page says: 

Around 1556, various friends suggested that her newfound knowledge was diabolical, not divine. She began to inflict various tortures and mortifications of the flesh upon herself. But her confessor, the Jesuit Saint Francis Borgia, reassured her of the divine inspiration of her thoughts. On St. Peters Day in 1559, Teresa became firmly convinced that Jesus Christ presented himself to her in bodily form, though invisible. These visions lasted almost uninterrupted for more than two years. In another vision, a seraph drove the fiery point of a golden lance repeatedly through her heart, causing an ineffable spiritual-bodily pain.

I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it...

"The kernel of Teresa's mystical thought throughout all her writings is the ascent of the soul in four stages (The Autobiography Chs. 10-22):

 
The first, Devotion of Heart, is mental prayer of devout concentration or contemplation. It is the withdrawal of the soul from without and especially the devout observance of the passion of Christ and penitence (Autobiography 11.20).
 
The second, Devotion of Peace, is where human will is surrendered to God. This is by virtue of a charismatic, supernatural state given by God, while the other faculties, such as memory, reason, and imagination, are not yet secure from worldly distraction. While a partial distraction is due to outer performances such as repetition of prayers and writing down spiritual things, yet the prevailing state is one of quietude (Autobiography 14.1).
 
The third, Devotion of Union, is absorption in God. It is not only a supernatural but an essentially ecstatic state. Here there is also an absorption of the reason in God, and only the memory and imagination are left to ramble. This state is characterized by a blissful peace, a sweet slumber of at least the higher soul faculties, or a conscious rapture in the love of God.
 
The fourth, Devotion of Ecstasy, is where the consciousness of being in the body disappears. Sense activity ceases; memory and imagination are also absorbed in God or intoxicated. Body and spirit are in the throes of a sweet, happy pain, alternating between a fearful fiery glow, a complete impotence and unconsciousness, and a spell of strangulation, sometimes by such an ecstatic flight that the body is literally lifted into space. This after half an hour is followed by a reactionary relaxation of a few hours in a swoon-like weakness, attended by a negation of all the faculties in the union with God. The subject awakens from this in tears; it is the climax of mystical experience, producing a trance. Indeed, she was said to have been observed levitating during Mass on more than one occasion.
 
Teresa is one of the foremost writers on mental prayer, and her position among writers on mystical theology is unique. In all her writings on this subject she deals with her personal experiences. Her deep insight and analytical gifts helped her to explain them clearly. Her definition was used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Contemplative prayer [oración mental] in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us." She used a metaphor of mystic prayer as watering a garden throughout her writings. I want to water your garden. I want to give you my water."

As far as I can tell, the Hieros Gamos as an ecstatic mystical process works if the mind, body and spirit are sacred, synergic, integrated and transformative. Lets find methods to make that happen.

 AMANDA TORREY


  

 

 ECSTASY OF ST. TERESE


 ECSTASY OF SAINT TERESA

DAVID TORREY
 


 DAVID TORREY

        
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