Thursday, July 18, 2013
Our Contributions to the Modern Qadishti Movement by kelevhqadesh 27 minutes ago I'd like to note that my wife, who has remained largely silent through the years, was just as actively involved as me. She deserves a lot more credit that she is given. She is my Priestess and has been at my side every step of the way. Panthea deserves to be recognized as the Mother of this movement. She is my Muse. What exactly has been the role of TVE (Temple of Venus Erycina) in the current incarnation of the priesthood? We ask because we have been asked - the issue has been raised - and we want to offer our fleshed out answer. We, my wife and I, organized and helped to host the Hearthfire Festival in Menifee County, Kentucky in 2001. Among our guests were the late Isaac Bonewits, founder of the ADF, and Charles Arnold, author of _Ritual Body Art_ and Temple Dog of the New Temple of Astarte. Charles facilitated the Outer Court Ritual of the NTA with my wife acting in the capacity of High Priestess. It was this ritual that inspired our Sacred Touch suite of three rites. I had been inspired by Charles work and also that of Francesca Gentille of the Temple of Ishtar and felt that the time was right to create a new direction, but around what exactly. I was, to be perfectly honest, troubled by the prices I had seen associated with Neo-Tantra classes and wanted to make sacred sexuality something that was available to anyone in respect of each person's birthright as a human being. I also wanted to de-emphasize the works of various temples and focus on a generic priesthood of sacred sexuality, i.e., the focus would be on priestesses and priests rather than specific temples. I began looking around ancient sources for such a priesthood and happened across a few references to the qadishti in the writings of Georges Feuerstein (and later Jean Botero). Until that time, the word, qadishtu and its male counterpart, qadesh, had no particular relevance among or resonance with the various temple-based practitioners. We were aided in our efforts by Oberon Zell Ravenheart, the founder of the Church of All Worlds, who gifted us with an archive of material he and others of CAW had long before gathered about the possibility of reviving just such a priesthood. I then penned the first draft of a code of ethics, "The Qadishti Code of Accountability" and opened it to the community for modification and adoption. The code became a real expression of the spiritual power of the community. I subsequently received and put to paper "The Message," another foundational text (see files). Therefore, in May of 2003, I founded the original Qadishtu Yahoo group. It grew to a membership of over three hundred which is no mean feat given that it was all done by word of mouth advertising. There were thousands of posts, many files, and countless resources there, but someone's personal envy led them to make unfounded remarks about the group and it was deleted in 2005. Fortunately, I had another group - then entitled BabalonRising (not to be confused with the festival that was created later - that also focused on sacred sexuality. I merely waited a few days, changed the name, and began the long and arduous task of rebuilding the membership. We began reaching out and presenting - hosting three Qadishti seminars in 2003 through 2005, appearing at GlobalCon at the University of Cincinnati in 2005, two Aeon fests, and also organizing and hosting two Qadishti Fests. We shared a slightly modified version of Charles Arnold's Outer Court ritual at the festival in 2005 and the three suite Sacred Touch in 2006. We also helped establish the first sanctuary for qadishti related activities in the New World and the first in the world for several thousand years, the Sanctuary of Venus Erycina at Our Haven. The next generation Qadishti Fest will be a bit more pioneering - bringing together elements of the qadishti priesthood with the Dionysian, including connections among sacred sexuality, poly and BDSM.