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Tigerwallah
June 5th, 2001, 10:41 PM
Sorry guys:(.

Would you like to have lived the life of a Vestal Virgin in ancient Rome? You couldn't have sexual contact with a man, but you would be treated as a divinity.

Here is some history for those unfamiliar...


Although their number never exceeded six at a given time, the Vestal Virgins of Rome have been a focus of fascination for dozens of centuries. Chosen by lot from a group of specially selected, physically impeccable girls with two living parents, a Vestal entered the Order between her sixth and tenth year and was sworn to thirty years of chastity and demending service.

A chief Vestal duty was tending the sacred fire in the round, peaked-roofed Temple of Vesta. The goddess Vesta was a Roman adaptation of the Greek goddess Hestia.

Vesta was once the goddess of the hearth and later became the goddess of the flame that symbolized the Roman state. Since the continuity and salvation of the state was believed to depend on the accurate performance and, above all, the purity of the Vestals, any fall from virginal grace bought the severe punishment of being buried alive. Happily, in the hundreds of years the College of Vestal Virgins existed, this sentence was seldom carried out.

In an era when religion was rich in pagentry, the awesome presence of the Vestals was required innumerous public ceremonies. They alone were allowed to throw ritual straw figurines called Argei, into the Tiber on May 15. In June, they gathered grain and fashioned salty cakes for the Vestalia, Vesta's festival. They guarded important state documents; and in national crises the advisory power of the Senior Vestal, the Virgo Vestalis Maxima, was undisputed. Yet the long years had pleasing moments too, in the form of privileged seats at the theatre and frequent dinner parties where the menu featured such delacacies as pates, boiled ostrich, doormice stuffed with nuts, and fricassee of roses in pastry shells.

"Home" meant rigid seclusion in the then sumptuous Atrium Vestae, the House of the Vestals, an 84-room palace in the ancient Forum Roman built around an elegant court with a gleaming double pool. To this day, remains of the statues of the Vestals can be seen in the Atrium. These statues were erected by grateful recipients of favors bestowed by these winsome women, who were revered all during their lifetimes as divinities.

reanna
June 6th, 2001, 12:11 AM
ROFLOLPIP:D:D:D:D

Nope!! Never!!! Not me!!! :):):):)

I couldn't imagine my life without that particular "fringe" benefit!!
This is going to be a very interesting poll though:D:D
Bet the guys will have stuff to say anyway:):):) Too funny

Tigerwallah
June 6th, 2001, 12:27 AM
I could totally give up men for thirty years for the 85 room palace with two swimming pools, gourmet food, adoration and if my only job was to officiate at ceromies and keep a fire lit - which was a responsibility shared by 5 other women. A dream come true.

I could just imagine it. Life spent worshipping the goddess and being treated like a queen. No one would catch me throwing it all away for a chance to romp with the cute pool boy.

Earth Walker
June 6th, 2001, 12:43 AM
Sex is a misdemeanor ---- de more I miss, de meaner I get. :bad: :p 8O

Lavender
June 6th, 2001, 02:18 AM
Just wondering...who has to clean this 84 room mansion? :eek:

Yvonne Belisle
June 6th, 2001, 03:56 AM
I would have been burried alive before turniing 20!:eek: Not my cup of tea!

Tigerwallah
June 6th, 2001, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by Wildchild
Just wondering...who has to clean this 84 room mansion? :eek:

I don't know, but it wasn't the Virgins.

Kaylara
June 7th, 2001, 04:08 PM
Nope, I am a very sexual being... I love it too much to give it up...
The goddess understands, trust me... My patron goddess is Pallas-Athena. ;)

Kaylara

Shy Hawk
June 8th, 2001, 11:34 AM
Kaylara, I'm curious, where did your signature quote come from. I am 100% positive I know it, but can't place it. Thanks.
Shy Hawk

Shy Hawk
June 8th, 2001, 11:36 AM
By the way, in answer to the poll. I think if I was determined to do it, I could....now, would I? I'm not sure, it does sound like a great honor, and hell, nuns do it.
BY the way, they were virgins, but as I understand it, they did have sexual contact, now and again. But, it was uh...different. Well, anyhow.
Shy Hawk

Emy
June 8th, 2001, 11:56 AM
I guess I could live the life of a Vestal virgin, but I don't think I would want to... 85 room mansion, pools and everything... but no thanks...
:)

reanna
June 10th, 2001, 03:37 AM
SHYHAWK
oh!Oh! OH!
I can answer that!!!!!

Kaylara's sig is from Batman!!! Jack Nicholson(one of my personal faves!!!) says it in the movie!

Greenthumb
June 10th, 2001, 08:57 AM
nope, nope, nope----I would not could not in a plane, on a train or in the rain--I can not can not SAM I AM....
I'd rather eat green eggs & ham.(eye brows moving up & down)

greenthumb

Shy Hawk
June 10th, 2001, 01:09 PM
Now I remember, I knew I had heard it before! Thanks!
Shy Hawk

random
June 10th, 2001, 06:19 PM
Since I am a virgin, you never know what I might choose.
it is possible I could do it. but then again...

Jazzmine
June 13th, 2001, 08:29 PM
Sorry, I would have been burried alive as well. Absolutely cannot live without it.:bigredgri :bigredgri :bigredgri

MammaStar
June 13th, 2001, 11:19 PM
Nope, couldn't do it. I like it too much to give up. :D :p ;) 8O

sylphanie
June 14th, 2001, 09:19 AM
I think I could deal with it for the 30 years, especially if I hadn't known any different. But as an observer, I wouldn't willingly put myself in that sort of situation. Not just because of the sex, either, but because of the lack of privacy, the lack of personal freedom.... Granted, Rome was by no means an egalitarian society but I still wouldn't want my entire life run entirely by the state.

Sylph

Dria El
June 18th, 2001, 12:32 PM
You all keep saying 'giving up'. The article says that they went into it between the ages of 6 and 10. A fair portion of it would have passed before you even thought about sex. Though, with shorter life spans back then, I assume you would probably have to give up any ideas of having children. Would I do it? Remembering what I was like as a kid... you betcha!

Sarata
June 21st, 2001, 07:26 PM
Hmmm, I'd be more inclined toward vestal virgin status later in Rome when women's rights were severely curtailed. If I were going to live life in a cage, it might as well be a well-appointed one. :-) But now? Heck no. Too much adventure out there to be that confined.
Kaylara, I remember hearing the Joker saying your quote to a young Bruce Wayne in the first Batman movie just after he murdered his parents, and just before he tried to murder him. Is that where you got it from?

raevyncigany
June 24th, 2001, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Greenthumb
nope, nope, nope----I would not could not in a plane, on a train or in the rain--I can not can not SAM I AM....
I'd rather eat green eggs & ham.(eye brows moving up & down)

greenthumb


ROFLMAO....good one, Greenthumb!!!


*giggle, gaffaw, etc*

Rae )0(

Armitage
June 26th, 2001, 01:39 PM
Never! 8O

Wyrdsister
June 26th, 2001, 08:58 PM
I answered "maybe", but I'm starting to think that I could. If (and this is a BIG if) I knew what I did now, but was plunked back in the middle of the Roman empire, I would soooo be able to do it! Also, if I'd entered the order between the ages of 6 and 10, I'm sure I could as I wouldn't have known about men. And hey, no one has said anything about sex with women, huh? ;) I'm sure if I'd never slept with a man and grew up with women, my sexual attraction may lay to the lesbian side of things.

Whew, wasn't that a lot of material in one paragraph! :) :D

Wyrdsister

Fawn
June 27th, 2001, 05:50 PM
Seeing as how I didn't make it to 16 years 30 is definitely out of the question!!! :crazy:

ladyrowan
July 4th, 2001, 06:08 PM
Yes, I definitely could - eventually - when i'm about 90!

Kaylara
July 5th, 2001, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by Sarata

Kaylara, I remember hearing the Joker saying your quote to a young Bruce Wayne in the first Batman movie just after he murdered his parents, and just before he tried to murder him. Is that where you got it from?
I believe you are correct... (It's been a while)

Kaylara

Xois
July 20th, 2001, 09:07 PM
Yes, I would do it.

A life of contemplation would be a wonderful thing, not to mention being in the company of other women would be great too

Xois

ELM
July 23rd, 2001, 12:50 PM
Not me. We're all divine anyway. Surely in other cultures giving birth and having lots of sex counted for divine rites and illustrated the power of the Goddess. That's more my thing, I would have been a Priestess performing sexual rites! Or maybe that's the same as ancient porn?

Whatever, so long as I had control over what I did with my body, when, how, and with whom, then that would suite me. The Goddess has that control! The Virgins didn't.

ELM
July 23rd, 2001, 12:55 PM
One more thing. The poll doesn't allow me to vote, as I don't think it would be heaven, It's not a question of if I could go without sex it's a question of having the right to decide, I don't think I would be buried alive, it's not a maybe, and its not an I don't know. It's just NO, simply. No because I don't agree with the 'theology' behind it, if you like.

rantnraven
July 23rd, 2001, 01:07 PM
Hmmmmm.

So many not willing to remain unscathed? :D :D :D

;) ;) ;)

RnR :D

Tigerwallah
July 25th, 2001, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by ELM
One more thing. The poll doesn't allow me to vote, as I don't think it would be heaven, It's not a question of if I could go without sex it's a question of having the right to decide, I don't think I would be buried alive, it's not a maybe, and its not an I don't know. It's just NO, simply. No because I don't agree with the 'theology' behind it, if you like.

Theology behind it? It wasn't imposed on all women of Rome. In fact, at this time in history, women had the same sexual freedom that we do now. The virgins were just a symbol of Rome. As long as they were pure and the fire was lit, Rome was pure and strong. It was symbolic of the state, not of the sexual freedom of women. These women were given the right to step down and marry or have sexual relationships. They just couldn't remain a Vestal and have sexual relations with a man. They had the freedom to live as they chose. If one was buried alive it was because she wanted her cake and to eat it too.

My questions was more of one of could you abstain and live your life as a symbol of the greatness and purity of your nation and in dedication to your god/goddess. This is not a woman's lib issue. Believe me, I am definately a feminist - a very staunch feminist and that angle is lost here.

Shy Hawk
July 25th, 2001, 11:40 PM
I suppose if I really wanted to, I could. It might be cool actually....oh but wait, you said no sex? Shite....I forgot about that part....







:eek: hehe

ELM
July 26th, 2001, 08:46 AM
yeah I see what you're saying Tigerwallah. But it's very much like being a nun. A nun also has a choice to step down etc, but it is her virginity that makes them a symbol of purity. I don't agree that virginity = purity. I don't hold that view myself. Why is it that one must be a virgin in order to be a symbol of greatness or purity or whatever? I'm more interested in the courtisans of India, they had a lot of power and were adored until the English equated their lifestyle with prostitution, which it wasn't at all. They were not ruled by any man and were a symbol of greatness because they had control, control over their own sexuality, in a way that the virgins didn't. Now the virgins were probably quite happy with their choice, and thats fine. All I'm saying is that it's not my idea of divine purity or greatess. To me it doesn't symbolise the Goddess or anything like that. It doesn't say anything to me about spirituality. And my vote would still e a simple no. Because I can quite easily go without sex, but I still wouldn't have wanted to be a Vestal Virgin.

Myst
July 30th, 2001, 05:33 AM
There's an interesting side to this when you read "The Forest House" by MZB and how therein the Priestesses of the land were expected to be chaste just because the Druids decided it was the only way the Romans (who were taking over) would stay away from them. Basically they decided if the Romans thought of the Priestesses as Vestal Virgins they wouldn't dare rape them again.

Oh, and would I do it? Heck no. I'd get way too bored way too fast in that darn mansion anyway, regardless of how many rooms it has.

Tigerwallah
July 31st, 2001, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by ELM
yeah I see what you're saying Tigerwallah. But it's very much like being a nun. A nun also has a choice to step down etc, but it is her virginity that makes them a symbol of purity. I don't agree that virginity = purity. I don't hold that view myself. Why is it that one must be a virgin in order to be a symbol of greatness or purity or whatever? I'm more interested in the courtisans of India, they had a lot of power and were adored until the English equated their lifestyle with prostitution, which it wasn't at all. They were not ruled by any man and were a symbol of greatness because they had control, control over their own sexuality, in a way that the virgins didn't. Now the virgins were probably quite happy with their choice, and thats fine. All I'm saying is that it's not my idea of divine purity or greatess. To me it doesn't symbolise the Goddess or anything like that. It doesn't say anything to me about spirituality. And my vote would still e a simple no. Because I can quite easily go without sex, but I still wouldn't have wanted to be a Vestal Virgin.


My interpritation on the symbolism was more that as long as the virgins remained untouched by man, Rome would remain untouched - not exactly the same thing. At this time, morality wasn't even a word and women where not looked down upon for their sexuality. In fact, if accounts of temple woman of the goddess are true, then many women were worshipped because of their sexual practices as part of their rites of the goddess.

Niamh
July 31st, 2001, 08:52 PM
I could do it. I'm not interpreting the question as me "giving it all up" right now in this lifetime. If I was born into a family of privlege and chosen to become a Vestal at the age of 6 and trained to be a Vestal and give myself to the Goddess, I could do it.

I think I would be living and extremely fulfilled life, it being the only life I know. Sure it might be difficult. Whose life isn't?

On an aside, I remember the first time I learned about Vestal Virgins. I was in the car with my Dad and the song "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum came on. I must have been 8 or so, and I asked about Vestal Virgins because they're mentioned in the lyrics. Dad knew all about them. It's so strange that it takes kids years to truly realize how brilliant their own parents are....

ladyrowan
August 4th, 2001, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Niamh
On an aside, I remember the first time I learned about Vestal Virgins. I was in the car with my Dad and the song "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum came on. I must have been 8 or so, and I asked about Vestal Virgins because they're mentioned in the lyrics. Dad knew all about them. It's so strange that it takes kids years to truly realize how brilliant their own parents are....

Permission to go slightly of topic please?

Niamh, do you think your Dad could explain the rest of the lyrics? 8O 8O

BB

Niamh
August 4th, 2001, 11:19 PM
Hmmmmm
Not unless he was using psychotropic substances.... do you really think Procol Harum could explain the lyrics now? That would be scary *shudder*

But like I said above, it would be amazing to have been a Vestal Virgin.

ladyrowan
August 18th, 2001, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by Niamh
Hmmmmm
Not unless he was using psychotropic substances.... do you really think Procol Harum could explain the lyrics now? That would be scary *shudder*


I really think they couldn't explain the lyrics when they wrote it 8O

Great song though!

BB

Danustouch
August 20th, 2001, 09:36 PM
Ha! NOT A CHANCE IN HADES....in the words of GWBUSH SR....

"Not gonna do it"..."Wouldn't be prudent, at this juncture".

Nope..not me! LOL. Just one question though....Do we know if they indulged in sexual activities with other women? Like Sappho???

Tigerwallah
August 20th, 2001, 11:39 PM
It's implied that the MAN part was the taboo part. Isn't that always the problem? ;) It's all pure and perfect until the guy shows up, and then he drops his socks all over the floor and leaves the toilet seat up. Before you know it, Rome goes to pot. 8O

Myst
August 20th, 2001, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by Tigerwallah
It's implied that the MAN part was the taboo part. Isn't that always the problem? ;) It's all pure and perfect until the guy shows up, and then he drops his socks all over the floor and leaves the toilet seat up. Before you know it, Rome goes to pot. 8O

Sorry, had to share my giggle at that ;)

Shy Hawk
August 20th, 2001, 11:58 PM
That's exactly what I was getting at like ages ago in this thread. lol.

Tigerwallah
August 21st, 2001, 12:04 AM
Sorry Skyhawk. We're a bit daft. :D

Shy Hawk
August 21st, 2001, 12:36 AM
oh no prob...i was just teasing

Danustouch
August 21st, 2001, 09:01 AM
LOL, tigerwallah..I agree! And...with that in mind, I must change my original post. Now...I'm not homosexual, personally, and haven't even indulged in bi sexuality, beyond occasional thought. Though I personally do not rule out it's ability to be something beautiful and wonderful, had I ever fallen in love with a woman. But..if sexual contact with other women WERE allowed for the vestal virgins, then perhaps i WOULD be able to do it. I believe that we are sexual beings, and that we are not supposed to deny our bodies cravings in that, forever. So, if women engaged in sexual pleasure with eachother there...then...perhaps I COULD bare with the "no males" theory.and just enjoy my surroundings. Especially if I had hitherto not known the pleasures of sex with men...my body wouldn't care..just as long as it's needs were being fulfilled, I suppose. If that makes any sense. LOL.

But..I suppose I'd have been a totally differen't being then..one without her deep desire to have children, etc. So..perhaps I COULD deal with the life of a vestal virgin. :)

KissMeImIrish!
August 23rd, 2001, 03:10 AM
Im a virgin so I dont know if I could endure no sex for 30 years. I hear its not all its cracked up to be( but then again its my grandma telling me this, you know grandmothers, hoping youll stay a virgin until your 80) BUT on the other hand, if youve never experienced this (Vestals started their "training" or whatever it is they do at age 9 or around that-if i remeber correctly) then it wouldnt be that big a deal. Im rambling again...sorry:crazy:

Illuminatus
September 10th, 2001, 03:18 PM
For all we know, I could have been a womyn in a past life. Perhaps even one of the Vestal Virgins this poll is about! Then I would have a unique insight into this topic.

Of course, I wasn't and I don't, but that's besides the point!

- Ill!

Danustouch
September 10th, 2001, 04:20 PM
and a special thanks goes out to the peanut gallery...Illuminatus!

Myst
September 13th, 2001, 10:59 PM
I was just reading that originally the vestal virgins did have sex for donations to the temples. Then, virgin meant belonging to no one, and the vestals dedicated themself to Vesta - so even though they had sex they thought of nothing but serving Vesta. Then when there were conflicts between Rome etc. it became popular to believe that these virgins were so special and that no man could touch them lest the gods unleash their wrath. Incidentally, if you've ever read the MZB books the same principles are shown when the Priestesses of Avalon are sworn to never have sex again, because the Druids imposed that on them after one of the villages got pillaged and the women were raped. It was also to draw a line of similarity between the people of Avalon and the Romans, that the Romans might then seek not to destroy them (since it's believed that the Romans let peaceful religions continue without problem, until the people of that religion started believing they could overcome rule of the Romans).

Just some brain candy.

Shalinor
September 26th, 2001, 04:10 PM
*ahem*

Assuming they mean male contact... sure! Female too? Errr... no ;)


Still, the term "vestigal virgin" does not generally mean no sex - it's of a different sort. It speaks more of a purity of mind, if I recall correctly. A number of Goddesses (Artemis? As my patron Goddess, you'd think I could dredge that bit up) were said to be Virgins, but not in the general physical sense, as many had children.

GoddessofWisdom
September 30th, 2001, 02:13 PM
That is why we have fingers and dirty minds :P

Da Witch
October 19th, 2001, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Illuminatus
For all we know, I could have been a womyn in a past life. Perhaps even one of the Vestal Virgins this poll is about! Then I would have a unique insight into this topic.

Of course, I wasn't and I don't, but that's besides the point!

- Ill!


LOL
You do have a point.

talamh
November 12th, 2001, 09:44 AM
i would rather have been a priestess of the Goddess Ishtar/Ashteroth/Astarte/Innana in the Mesopotamian/Sumarian/Babylonian cultures from about 5,000 to 3,000 BCE....

They kept the observances of the cycles of the moon in the great temples and once a year a priestess enacted the sacred marriage with the King, without which he was considered not to be worthy of ruling.

The priestesses were also skilled in all the healing arts which included music and drumming as well as herb lore, medicine and counselling skills. One of the forms of healing was sexuality. In the early books of the Old Testement in the Bible when you read about the "whores of the temple", you are reading a very prejudiced account of the sacred sexual priestesses of Innana.

No, i would not want to be a Vestal Virgin of Rome serving under the control of a patriarchal society that did not value women and which had subverted the Goddesses to be lesser then then Gods, born of the Gods, and subservient to the Gods as women were subserviant to men.

i would chose to be a sacred sexaul priestess of Astarte and bring the living healing, love and mercy of the Goddess into the world through my worship and service. bb talamh

Danustouch
November 13th, 2001, 12:36 AM
a society which ..."In Your Opinion" what? Please keep in mind, talamh, that there are members of this board who are members of the Roman and Greek Pantheons. So..please try to be respectful to their beliefs. I am sure you did not mean your post as it sounded, though. This was just a gentle reminder.

talamh
November 13th, 2001, 08:17 AM
Apologies if what i said sounded disrespectful... and if anyone wants to honour the Greek and Roman pantheons then that's just fine with me....

But is it offensive to state historical and mythological fact? bb talamh

Danustouch
November 13th, 2001, 10:09 AM
It's not offensive to state a historical fact. But..it might be good to state "a society, which In my opinion"...etc. Just a small wording issue, can change the "flavor" of a post :)

talamh
November 13th, 2001, 10:40 AM
Danustouche - You're right.. thanks. bb talamh

Haedis
December 16th, 2001, 01:54 PM
LMAO! I threw a fit after two months without sex. 30 years is incomprehensible!! I would never make it. Imagine laying in a luxurious bed being fed grapes by a half naked muscular servant...i would assuredly not let such an opportunity go to waste! :devil:

Myst
December 16th, 2001, 02:01 PM
The Goddesses are not subservient to the Gods, nor were the women. Regardless of what one historian or anyone else thinks they weren't - the belief that they could have been or were is really the responsibility of the believer.

Mnemosyne
February 26th, 2002, 07:59 PM
I don't think that I could have been a Vestal Virgin. Gosh, I could just see myself being buried alive. I would be a bad Vestal Virgin, since my eyes would be glancing at men. I heard that Nero eventually let the Vestal Virgins to have more fun though.

msilvercat
February 27th, 2002, 11:38 PM
What did the Romans have to say about the Vestal Virgins enjoying one another's company? Was it strictly a prohibition against contact with men, or all sexual contact. The answer makes a difference in how I would respond to the offer.

Mnemosyne
March 5th, 2002, 08:36 PM
msilver, I don't think that there is anything written if the Vestal Virgins could "enjoy" one another's company. I highly doubt that they could, since these women were to serve Vesta, a chaste goddess. Also, I haven't read much Roman work that states that Roman women enjoyed one another. For that reason, I believe that the Vestal Virgins mainly served Vesta and went to the games, had banquets etc.

shnen
March 6th, 2002, 12:01 PM
I think too much is placed on virginity especailly a womans... britney spears is a virgin, this woman is a virgin, that woman is a virgin, blah, blah, blah....

you mean you're NOT a vigin... OMG! how dare you!
there, that's my rant for the day...

whatever... I'd definitely be buried alive... I would have been before I left highschool!!! *lol*

Earthcup
March 8th, 2002, 11:02 PM
hmmmm... I dunno....

I solo and lesbian sex wasn't offlimits I could and would probably enjoy it.

No sex period would not work for me, if my parents put me there I'd run away at the first chance!

I'm not sure but wasn't the virgin thing also so that any offspring wouldn't claim the temples and their wealth for inheritance? Or was that just Christian nuns?

Earthcup
March 8th, 2002, 11:05 PM
oh yeah and the whole obsession with virgins annoys me greatly as well!

Britney's whole virgin/slut routine got old fast. I prefer Cyndi Lauper when it comes to artists who give us more info than we wanted about their sex life...

*off to find SheBop!*

Azure
March 10th, 2002, 01:24 PM
Soooo happy not to be a virgin. I think thirty years without any kind of sex would be absolute torture!

I'm not sure I understand the virginity craze at all, except that those who promote it seem more sex obsessed than those who treat sex as a pretty natural thing. Around here it's big among conservative Christians, but it appears to me to be yet another method of controlling women and keeping young women willing to marry and reproduce early.

I know a few women my age who have elected to remain virgins or become born again virgins because of their professed conservative Christian beliefs. They seem pretty miserable - and their relationships suffer, because they are always agonizing over it. I'm sure it's easier if you aren't dating any one. But it seems silly to me to place so much emphasis on the importance of virginity and so little on the importance of other virtues that actually do add something to a relationship when you get into one.

Dancin Girl
March 11th, 2002, 02:27 PM
Hmmmmmmmm if it were clarified as to whether solo or lesbian contact were allowable, I could probably deal with it... but if it was a case of absolutely no sexual activity what so ever... I would have run as fast as I could!!

Cat Goddess
March 17th, 2002, 05:20 PM
HEAVEN !!!!!!!!!!!

phoenixsong
March 23rd, 2002, 02:47 PM
That Vesta's worshippers had to be virgin doesn't seem to make sense to me. I mean, she was a goddess of fire, and I can't imagine that element associated with chastity.

Earthcup
March 27th, 2002, 05:40 PM
In Greek legend she was one of three virgin goddesses, Artemis, Athena and Hestia. I don't think it had anything to do with the element of fire, it was just a part of her personality.

Mnemosyne
March 28th, 2002, 09:04 PM
I completely agree with Earthcup. Just because she was associated with fire doesn't mean that she could not be associated with virginity. In my opinion, she was associated with purity, because she was the goddess of the hearth, something in the home. In Greek/Roman cultures, women were suppose to stay in the home; the home kept the women chaste. The Greeks and Romans thought that women who were seen a lot in public would have disrespectable reputations. Until I read otherwise, I think that the Vestal Virgins were to remain devoted to Vesta and not engage in any sexual activities even with themselves.

Earthcup
March 28th, 2002, 10:33 PM
I doubt they were allowed solo or lesbian sex as well, whether they did or not is a question not likely to be answered. I doubt that if any were caught in those types of sexual acts they would have been buried alive, chatised privately perhaps. The main thing was that they not children, right?

A lot of people having been using a new/old definition for virgin lately. Being independent as opposed to never having sexual intercourse. Do you guys think that's accurate or just symbolic for modern women?

True, Artemis is also Goddess of Childbirth but it's stated pretty specifically that neither she nor her maidens ever had sex.

A lot of feminist writers, like Budapest, want to give her female lovers and some writers have suggested she had a sexual relationship with her brother, Apollo.

I've never found any basis for this but I'm not a Greek myth expert either.

Although I did just open a can of mythological whoopa$$ on my smart aleck brother :D

Anyway, what do you guys think?

Jazzmine
April 7th, 2002, 09:17 AM
I believe the only definition for virgin should be the original. Never had sex. I used to tease people that I was a born again virgin if it was a long time between sexual activities.:D But in any case, the only definition for me is the original. That is just my opinion though.

Mnemosyne
April 7th, 2002, 01:18 PM
Good point, Jazzmine. Perhaps the Romans believed that the definition of virginity meant no sexual activity.... period. But then again, if you read the love poetry of Catullus and Ovid, you could find out that those Romans sure were wild folks. Nevertheless, I am quite sure from my readings about the Vestal Virgins that they refrained from sexual activities of all kinds.

StarryDancer
April 16th, 2002, 04:52 PM
Shy Hawk -- I could have sworn that was from Monty Python's "The Quest for the Holy Grail"...

Autumn
June 2nd, 2002, 01:22 AM
The sex I could live without....but I know I couldn't put off childbearing till I was 37. In those days a pregnancy at that age could too easily be a death sentance....too many were for younger women!

I LOVE my kidlets!!!

StarryDancer
June 17th, 2002, 03:21 PM
:boing: :boing: :boing: :boing: :boing: :boing: :boing: :boing: :boing: :boing:

Alaiyo
July 8th, 2002, 01:14 PM
I could see doing it if I were to spend the latter 30 years of my life in service to Vesta, not unlike some Japanese women who became Buddhist nuns in the elder years once their children were grown in the centuries before the Meiji Period (1868-1912, a period of Westernization).

Children are in my picture and unfortunately in order to fulfill the requirement, I assume that the Vestal would have to remain childless as well since Vesta was a virgin goddess as opposed to being a 'mother' goddess like Venus or Juno.

Otherwise, I could do it. While I like sex, it's not a huge focal point in my life. I'd also want to add "community service" chores to the job. Tending the fires and doing seasonal ceremonies would get boring after a while. Sure I could pursue reading, art and music (I'm not sure that the original Vestals did--at least the reading bit since classical eduction for females was frowned upon in Roman society), but I'd want to be useful.

Also, I think that "no sex" is a relative term. Usually when women are required to be virgins, engaging in heterosexual sex is generally the yardstick for whether a person is a virgin or not. In those days unless you were caught redhanded with a man, the only other unmistakable sign that you "did the deed" was to get pregnant. Meanwhile, I wouldn't be surprised that there was some genuine lesbian activity that took place amongst those who were true lesbians and bisexuals or those who welcomed the intimacy no matter what gender it came from for the moment.

Alaiyo
July 8th, 2002, 01:18 PM
Thanks for that poll and the history behind this "order," I really thought on this and except for some of the age and activity requirements I wish something like this existed in modern life. Why should Christian and Buddhist nuns get all the fun?

Alaiyo
July 8th, 2002, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by talamh anEiac
i would rather have been a priestess of the Goddess Ishtar/Ashteroth/Astarte/Innana in the Mesopotamian/Sumarian/Babylonian cultures from about 5,000 to 3,000 BCE....

They kept the observances of the cycles of the moon in the great temples and once a year a priestess enacted the sacred marriage with the King, without which he was considered not to be worthy of ruling.

The priestesses were also skilled in all the healing arts which included music and drumming as well as herb lore, medicine and counselling skills. One of the forms of healing was sexuality. In the early books of the Old Testement in the Bible when you read about the "whores of the temple", you are reading a very prejudiced account of the sacred sexual priestesses of Innana.

No, i would not want to be a Vestal Virgin of Rome serving under the control of a patriarchal society that did not value women and which had subverted the Goddesses to be lesser then then Gods, born of the Gods, and subservient to the Gods as women were subserviant to men.

i would chose to be a sacred sexaul priestess of Astarte and bring the living healing, love and mercy of the Goddess into the world through my worship and service. bb talamh



Maybe...it could work for me.

Alaiyo
August 2nd, 2002, 10:26 PM
I think we should our own order.

Calixto
September 10th, 2002, 05:54 PM
If I may butt into the conversation right quick.

<i>i would rather have been a priestess of the Goddess Ishtar/Ashteroth/Astarte/Innana in the Mesopotamian/Sumarian/Babylonian cultures from about 5,000 to 3,000 BCE....

They kept the observances of the cycles of the moon in the great temples and once a year a priestess enacted the sacred marriage with the King, without which he was considered not to be worthy of ruling.</i>

Largely true. Not too sure about this Lunar cycle bit, though temple priesthoods did play a strong role in that.

<i>The priestesses were also skilled in all the healing arts which included music and drumming as well as herb lore, medicine and counselling skills. One of the forms of healing was sexuality. In the early books of the Old Testement in the Bible when you read about the "whores of the temple", you are reading a very prejudiced account of the sacred sexual priestesses of Innana.</i>

True. However, they did accept payment for sex, and quite a few were slaves. These priestesses served Aphrodite as well, incidently. Before you go off on the Greeks and Romans...you must realize these priestesses existed in both societies.

<i>No, i would not want to be a Vestal Virgin of Rome serving under the control of a patriarchal society that did not value women and which had subverted the Goddesses to be lesser then then Gods, born of the Gods, and subservient to the Gods as women were subserviant to men.</i>

Ahem. Mesopotamian society was <i>very</i> patriarchal as well. The Olympian Goddesses aren't as subservient as you present them either...nor the Goddesses of Mesopotamia necessarily as free, apart from Innana/Ishtar, and that's because she's the mistress of Anu. As a worshipper of the Olympians, I must point out that the pantheon is divided equally between male and female deities, and while Zeus is the titular head, the women get their way usually.

It wasn't a matriarchal paradise there between the two rivers. If you read Sumerian and Babylonian law you'd see that they were very similar to Hebrew law in many respects...as well as the calendars.

<i>i would chose to be a sacred sexaul priestess of Astarte and bring the living healing, love and mercy of the Goddess into the world through my worship and service. bb talamh</i>

That is one option. There are obviously those who wouldn't mind a chaste lifestyle.
The wonders of these ancient societies was that you could choose one or the other. There were those who chose to be Vestals, and others who chose to be Hierodoules.

Cal

Jazzmine
September 10th, 2002, 06:51 PM
That was very informative. Thank you for the lesson. Where did you learn all this? It sounds like good reading.

Calixto
September 11th, 2002, 03:48 PM
On what in particular?

I could give some suggestions depending on which topic I brought up that you want to read more on. :)

Jazzmine
September 11th, 2002, 08:20 PM
The Olympian Goddesses and the Innana. I would like to read about those. I have strong feelings towards Zeus, but am usually only able to find childish books on the subject.

Mnemosyne
September 11th, 2002, 08:43 PM
Children's books are so informative, Jazzmine. They give a decent overview of the Olympian gods. I don't know of any good children's books on Mesopotamia though. If you want to read about Inanna, I recommend Poems of Heaven and Hell from Mesopotamia. Also, you can always learn more about the deities in the Gods and Goddesses Forum here.

Calixto
September 12th, 2002, 10:39 AM
Heh,

Zeus may dally with the ladies, but His Wife gives Him heck for it. ;)

There is a passage in (I think Bk V) of the Iliad, where the Ladies get together to pull one over on Zeus. Aphrodite, Hera, and others get involved...so they could have their way with the Trojan War.

Athena is Zeus' favorite and gets what she wants often...For instance, the return of her favorite Odysseus to Ithaka.

Athena, Artemis and Hestia are totally independent of men, and are subservient to no one but Fate and Zeus.

The Fates themselves are Goddesses and their decrees can't be changed even by Zeus. Zeus rules with Dike at his side, and he is respectful of Themis. :)

This is all in the Iliad, The Odyssey, and parts of the Theogony.

As for Mesopotamia, you can read the Epic of Gilgamesh. The section where Enkidu is tamed features a Hierodoule (Sacred Prostitute) strongly. Gilgamesh gets wooed by Innana/Ishtar as well.

A good resource for that is www.sacred-texts.com they have a good section on Mesopotamian religion, while they have most of the stories of the Olympians in their Classical Pagan section.

Historically speaking, there are history books on Mesopotamia for children and youths. I know, I used to read them. :)

Cal

Calixto
September 12th, 2002, 10:42 AM
Sacred Texts may also have part of the Code of Hammurabi.

A quick review of that code, and the older ones of Ur-Nammu and Lilipt-Ishtar would quickly dispel any questions of Mesopotamia being anything but Patriarchal. :/

There are signs that the Sumerians were less patriarchal than their successors, but the Semitic peoples who dominated and ruled Mesopotamia were all patriarchal, as were the Semites in Canaan. Perhaps less so than the Jews or Moslems, but not much.

The place where women had the most freedom in the ancient world was Egypt, the Celtic and Germanic Tribes. Even there though, there was patriarchy, though a less strong form. In Egypt women were formally equal, though women pharaohs were relatively rare. :/

Cal

Mnemosyne
September 12th, 2002, 08:35 PM
You mentioned all my favorite texts, Calixto. Hesiods' works Theogony and Works and Days are fabulous to read. But my all time favorites are the works of Homer. Am I the only one who can read parts of it over and over again? I know this work is Roman and not Greek, but I also recommend Ovid's Metamorphoses. love it, love it, love it.

Well back to topic, for those of you who want to read more about the Vestal Virgins, Suetonius writes briefly about them. Since Suetonius is not the most credible historian, do not take his writings 100% seriously.

Altheia
September 16th, 2002, 06:38 PM
I do believe that I could do without sexual contact for thirty years...I don't believe that I could wait until I am almost forty before having children...I just don't think it would be possible for me. I don't know...it's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place...hmmm....anyways, I voted, yes that I could.(it wouldn't be heaven, but yes, I could do it)

cherrywind
September 16th, 2002, 06:52 PM
Honestly, I can see me willingly going into it at 6 or 10 (if it WAS willingly of course, I somehow thing the parents mostly made the decision), surviving for about 10-15 years, and then being buried alive.

Alaiyo
September 18th, 2002, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by Altheia
I do believe that I could do without sexual contact for thirty years...I don't believe that I could wait until I am almost forty before having children...I just don't think it would be possible for me. I don't know...it's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place...hmmm....anyways, I voted, yes that I could.(it wouldn't be heaven, but yes, I could do it)

What if there was an option such as for those in ancient Japan--Nara and Heian Periods (700-1194AD/CE) where middle aged or elderly women became Buddhist nuns long after their childbearing years? It would be kinda like beoming a born again virgin.

Alaiyo
September 18th, 2002, 12:29 PM
Thanks for your information and resources on this period, Cal. It's nice to have something to go to rather than reruns of Xena and Hercules (just kidding).:D

Blueowl
February 16th, 2003, 09:21 PM
I voted I don't know...but ya know what...I have had great sex in my life and have been known to be quite divine at times....so i would have to say no.....;)

Altheia
February 18th, 2003, 01:08 PM
Never...I couldn't do it...give up my husband's love and affection? Nope, nope, nope...not this woman...nuh uh!!!!

IsisErin
February 25th, 2003, 04:25 PM
No way, no how, never. I'm still an adolescent - give me a break! What else are hormones for?!

But having said that, if I went into it at the age of six I wouldn't know any different. And I could cope with having lots of pretty women around me too.

Loba
February 25th, 2003, 09:11 PM
I voted maybe.

I don't believe would be hard for me not to have sex. At all. What would be hard (and made me vote like i did) was the chance of not make love with the person i most love. With whom i feel complete. That would complicate it all.

Loba

AstraSkye
February 28th, 2003, 07:51 PM
Before I vote I'd like to know if I'd be allowed to masturbate! :nyah:

alrendria
February 28th, 2003, 09:51 PM
I could never go thrity years without sex. :devil: I would proably go crazy. :bug: I also could not be secluded from the world for that long. It would be cool to be divine. :cutie: However, after a few years it would proably get old and I would want to know what is more in the world. Also, know after my thirty years were up I would be doing a lot of something...something.. 8O But, more power to those that could :thumbsup: ...because I know I could never last that long.

Starpixie
February 28th, 2003, 10:46 PM
I like sex entirely to much. Of course it may be something I could go without. :)

7hunters
April 28th, 2003, 01:53 AM
I voted no, couldn't do it...

I would get bored just tending a fire, day after day after day. I wont even disclose my favorite pastime for getting rid of boredom but it would defineately rule me out.

cydira
May 6th, 2003, 01:21 AM
Within the context of the time period, I would be able to do it. It would be the life that I knew and grew up in.

Coming from my current lifetime and the time period we live in, I'd say that it would still be possible, if I entered at the period that was stated. If one were to suggest that I do so at this point in my life, they'd better have more to convince me with then being viewed as a goddess because I already have some one that does. And so long as at least one person looks at you as divine, you are. :D