Nomine Babalon: Sacred Whoredom in a Thelemic Context[credits]
Naked and trembling, pressed
against my bare body, he whispered into my hair, "can I kiss you?"
Instead of answering with words,
I turned my face up to him.
When our lips met, it felt
as if some part of him opened up around me like a cocoon. I allowed an answering part of me to wrap around him as well and
our kiss was sealed off from the world as securely as if we were hidden away in a tent by a lonely desert oasis.
Though the average person might
think that the shocking part of our encounter was the fact that hundreds of dollars had changed hands, the part that shocked
the two of us that day was the intensity of our sexual, emotional and spiritual connection. Up until twenty minutes before
that kiss we had never laid eyes on each other.
I am Magdalene Meretrix and
I am a whore. I accept money in exchange for sexual intimacy. And I feel honored to be able to offer such a valuable service.
This session I'm describing
was in many ways typical of my work but still it was totally unique. It represents the pinnacle of what I strive for with
each encounter, the peak experience of my career thus far.
In many ways that session was
disorienting to me -- I had been working so hard on my focus and magick for so many years and getting a trickle of energy
back for my efforts. This client came walking through my door and added that mysterious missing ingredient and the trickle
turned to a torrent that nearly drowned me.
The client, I'll call him Michael
though that's not truly his name, specifically chose me because he had read my website and knew that I practice a form of
meditation through my prostitution. Michael is a very spiritual man and a high degreed initiate in a magical order. When he
decided to visit a prostitute, he already knew that he was looking for more than just a roll in the hay.
I am a Thelemite and my whoring
is as much an expression of my spiritual reality as it is a way to earn a living. The founder of modern Thelema, Aleister
Crowley, wrote in Chapter 35 of "The Book of Lies":
What do I love? There is no form, no being, to which I do not give myself wholly up. Take me, who will!"
The commentary for this passage
In the last two paragraphs, there is a justification of a practice which might be called sacred prostitution.
In the common practice of
meditation the idea is to reject all impressions, but here is an opposite practice, very much more difficult, in which all
At the same time that this notion seemed true and right to me, for quite some time I was stuck on my own knee-jerk
reaction to the popular assumption that being a prostitute means accepting any sort of treatment, even abuse, and being forced
to accept such treatment because "whores will sleep with anyone who gives them money."
I and my colleagues have to
deal with this assumption regularly and it becomes difficult to bite back the anger when the same idiotic line comes along
over and over. No matter how many times we cry out, no matter how many people we try to set straight on the matter, still
an army of ignorance awaits us, flying the Banner of the Mindlessly Oppressed Prostitute.
So when I read Crowley saying that, in the case of the Sacred Prostitute, "all are accepted," I had some difficulty. I turn
people away regularly. If they're rude, if they're abusive, if they are seeking a service I don't offer, if they don't have
enough money, I send them on their way as kindly as they allow me to.
Ironically enough, it was my
session with Michael that helped me come to a new level of understanding. It was the session I would never have rejected that
led me to a greater understanding of acceptance.
I have had sessions that lasted
an eternal hour, sessions where I struggled to stay focused on the moment because I felt out of place. The session with Michael
was the complete opposite. Staying right there, awake, conscious, in the moment was so simple it required no effort. Each
minute spent with Michael was like a step along a mysterious journey, one where neither of us were the guide yet both were
teacher and student. Michael humbled me even as he elevated me.
During my time with Michael,
I came to a deeper understanding of the Thelemic definition of "love." When a Thelemite speaks of love in a spiritual sense,
they're not speaking of that wonderful warm gushy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach. Thelemic love -- agape -- is
not a feeling so much as it is a state of being. In his introduction to Liber AL vel Legis, Crowley defines spiritual love as, "the uniting
with one or another part of 'Nuit.'" Nuit is "Space -- that is, the total of possibilities of every kind ... Every event is
a uniting of some one monad with one of the experiences possible to it."
Each of us is an individual
and we each have individual experiences, but to the extent that we can unite with Nuit -- experience all forms of connections
-- individual experience becomes universal. As fallible humans, this expansion of our consciousness to include all consciousness
is imperfect at best. But the continuing struggle towards that all-encompassing love is what makes us more than human -- this
work is the Great Work.
And now I see -- that acceptance
of all does not mean allowing others to harm one or having sex with someone who only has four dollars to offer. Acceptance
of all means that the misshapen man in a wheelchair gets the same level of love, acceptance and effort to find his pleasure
spots as the perfectly formed and tanned ski instructor.
Acceptance of all means that
the man who needs to cry will find warm arms around him and a quiet acceptance of the sorrow he is experiencing along with
an attempt to understand it.
Acceptance of all means that
the man who only has four dollars to offer may still be sent away but not sent off feeling unworthy or inadequate because
his lack of money is not a lack of humanity.
Acceptance of all means that
those who are sent away will be sent off with compassion and understanding, even if that compassion comes through a firm arm
to keep them from harming others.
Without acceptance, there will
always be separation. It is only when the Sacred Whore learns to accept that which is Other that the union of opposites and
the joy of dissolution can commence.
That late Summer kiss and the
amazing passions that passed between Michael and me opened my eyes to a world of joy and satisfaction that reaches far beyond
the ecstacy of orgasm, touching the very roots of all that is.
In her essay called "Kiss the
Sky, A Tantric Text On Channeling Babalon," Linda Falorio says:
Kiss another human being. In so doing, you will for that moment of the kiss, merge your interior essences and learn
something of the being of the other. Be warned that the other in turn will have taken away a part of you as well.
After spending the day with Michael, I know that Falorio is right.
Just one kiss can turn your world upside down. Just one kiss can remind you of the meaning of Great Work. Just one kiss can
open you to a universe of knowing. Just one kiss can teach you exactly what it was you needed to know.
by Magdalene Meretrix
Copyright © 1999 by Magdalene Meretrix, http://www.realm-of-shade.com/meretrix/beds/
"Magdalene Meretrix is a retired prostitute
and ceremonial magician. She considers her sex work of more than a decade and a half to have been a sacred counseling service
and hopes to continue spreading knowledge and joy through her writing."