Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Alter Ego

I thought I would write about Shamhat today.  She's kind of like my alter ego.  In Sumerian mythology, Shamhat is a temple priestess/sacred prostitute. In the epic of Gilgamesh, Shamhat is sent into the forest to seduce the wild man Enkido and thereby tame him. (In the beautifully illustrated picture book series Gilgamesh, the King, Shamhat tames Enkido with "her song" - a wonderful metaphor, don't you think?).  I chose the online name Shamhat many years ago because, somehow, I feel a connection to her.  If souls really do reincarnate, I'm sure I was a sacred prostitute, courtesan, geisha, or something like that at one point.  This never seems odd when I think about it, but seeing it here in writing it sounds really weird!  I willingly idealize such a life.  These women weren't free to do what they wanted, but many had much more freedom than the proper women in their societies. I imagine them as being free to explore their sexual/spiritual natures. I know I gloss over the harshness of their lives, but I can't resist their call.  I have always been drawn to the idea of sexual healing, and I even find myself sometimes envying today's highly sophisticated, elite female companion - who is self-employed, picks and chooses her millionaire clientele to travel with, and offers genuine sexual healing.  I can't decide if Shamhat is part of my Shadow or my spiritual path, or both...

Shamhat and Enkidu:

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