I am a virgin. You look surprised, don’t be, I am unmarried, self possessed and childless. I am not chaste or abstinent, yet I’m a virgin This type of virginity has been the domain of goddesses and priestesses for over a thousand years.
Somewhere along the line the word virgin changed. I couldn’t nail down the year that this happened but some sources suggest that it came with the roman catholics. I traced the root latin which is virgo meaning a young woman or girl, a maiden, virgin or sexually intact woman.
The only other place I could find the phrase “sexually intact” was a dog breeding blog for example “A sexually intact chihuahua bitch”
If someone were to call me a sexually intact bitch I’d probably growl at them but then again, I’m not very well trained.
Before being a virgin meant a woman or girl hadn’t had sex, it meant that she was not married and content to be that way. The virgin goddess is a staple of many ancient pantheons. Their temples were tended by priestesses who remained like them childless and unmarried.
If you’ve taken a vow to be the guardian and the priestess of this temple and dedicate your life to that vocation then you’re expected to remain a virgin. It’s like being in the Night’s Watch. You can sneak off to Mole’s Town for the night but you can’t have a family because then you’ll be distracted from your task of guarding the wall, or in her case the temple.
So the womb is the lady part which is given over to the vocation of priesthood, not the vagina. The priestess has a spirit womb. In the ritual of drawing down the moon the priestess draws the energy of her silvery sister down from the darkened sky into that’s right, her womb.The two women, the corporal and the spiritual are connecting through their shared femininity.
Once aspected the Priestess would speak as the goddess, bringing the wisdom from the other world into our world, giving birth to the secrets of the moon.
Which goddess am I on about? Well there are a couple of good ones in the Greek pantheon, like Artemis.
Callimachus wrote that Artemis asked her father Zeus for ten wishes one of these was to remain a virgin forever. Now if virgin meant someone who hadn’t had sex it it sure as hell doesn’t sound like a wish that I could make BUT if it meant not being owned by a man I can definitely get on board.
While she chose not to have children herself Artemis was a goddess of midwifery, demonstrating that women can and should support each other in their differing life choices. She also had a lover, Orion. He was her hunting partner, wild enough to run with her, neither of them interested in settling down.
Athena Parthenos or Athena the virgin was described by Freud as “a woman who is unapproachable and repels all sexual desires” In fact Athena had many suitors, there’s a great painting of her scorning the advances of Hephaestus. He was the blacksmith and Athena really just came to pick up her weapon (not his). Being the goddess of wisdom she realized that wearing a vagina pin would keep horny blacksmiths and others at bay so she could focus on winning wars. Yes she wore the image of “the great mother’s genitals” to repel suitors, kind of reminds me of the pussy hat.
These legendary figures were created by someone, someone who wished to demonstrate that women can own themselves and that they do not need anyone else to validate their existence. These legends can still serve us.
As a woman who is not shy about sharing that I don’t intend to have children I hear a lot of bizarre retorts and warnings. Most of the time the women who say these things to me are not trying to be mean they are just genuinely terrified for me because they really believe that I am going to end up a depressed shell of a person, a woman who’s ultimate purpose has gone unfulfilled.
On my last trip to the obgyn I, naked from the waist down, feet in stirrups asked the doctor about tubal ligation and this began a back and forth that I was very unprepared for, She almost outright refused to even discuss it with me and when I wouldn’t drop it she began to tear up. “You don’t want to do that” she said, insisting that I would change my mind. This medical professional was so entrenched in the societal expectation that I have children, it broke her to witness my determined, outright refusal. That was such an awkward situation for me, having to defend my choice without any pants on and at the same time I felt bad for making her so upset.
We’ve been tricked ladies This fear doctrine has been used to influence our decisions about what to do with our lives and our bodies for too long. You don’t need to be married to be happy, and you don’t need to have children to be fulfilled. You can be a huntress or a warrior or any damn thing you want.
What is your calling? Your passion? Do that. If you want to be a mother then be a mother, but if you don’t want that or you’ re not sure then remember the badass virgins and remember that you’re one of them