The Role Of Sex In The Origin Of The Universe According To Ancient Myths
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The Role Of Sex In The Origin Of The Universe According To Ancient Myths

Avatar of Diana Garrido

By: Diana Garrido

March 27, 2017

What's on The Role Of Sex In The Origin Of The Universe According To Ancient Myths
Avatar of Diana Garrido

By: Diana Garrido

March 27, 2017

There are two questions that have intrigued humanity for ages: Where do we come from and how were we created? Many religions and cultures have fashioned their own theories to understand our origins.
Although some religions believe sex is immoral and condemn people who practice it without reproductive intentions, ancient cultures, on the other hand, interpreted sex as a sacred act filled with mystical meanings. These cultures placed pleasure before reproduction. 

Sex and creation in ancient cultures michelangelo-w636-h600


There’s an Aztec creation myth that explains how the bat was created, also known as Quimichpapalotl.  While performing a ritual, the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl, allowed a drop of semen and blood to fall on a rock and from it the bat was born. This winged beast flew into the lair of the Goddess of Love, Fertility, and Beauty, known as Xochiquetzal, and bit her sexual organs while she was asleep. When she woke up, she washed the wound with sacred water, resulting in the creation of flowers and spring. 
The famous Codex Borbonicus, which was written by Aztec priests, has a complete section devoted to festivities that honored the Mother Goddess, Toci. These celebrations were known as Ochpaniztli and they consisted of eight naked dancers holding a phallus figure, while offering corn to the deities. The phallus was a fertility symbol that positioned sexual pleasure as a divine gift that was just as precious as breathing.

Sex and creation in ancient cultures Ochpaniztli-w636-h600


One of the legends surrounding the largest ancient mayan city, Uxmal,  describes an episode where penis-like raindrops began to fall on the land.  For this particular culture, masturbation was part of a sacred ritual that "invoked" fertility. It also involved a blood offering, which consisted of making a tiny cut on the penis and pouring this sacred liquid on the soil, creating an unbreakable bond between humanity and nature. 
Also, in the oldest surviving book from the Americas, the Dresden Codex appears Ixika, a young Mayan goddess known for her beauty and wife to an old god, she's represented masturbating before having sex with her husband.  This story is similar to the one represented in the wooden sculpture below, which depicts the stages of the sexual act.

Sex and creation in ancient cultures wood-w636-h600


In this ancient culture, deities were commonly represented as sexually promiscuous and lustful. In many myths we see them transforming themselves into animals to have sex with humans or vice-versa. For example, Dionysus, God of Wine, was always accompanied by fauns, half-human, half-goat creatures famous for their sexual energy.  During the Dionysiac festivities, the high priest or Phallophoroi would wear a penis ornament while the other priests would carry milk and torches. They would go on a procession carrying a basket filled with phallic-shaped fruit that represented the God. These festivities were carried out during March and December, and during the theatrical performances, sexual rituals would be carried out, which would allude to the sacred episodes of Dionysus' life

Another Greek deity known for his sexual exploits was Zeus, who did the impossible to satisfy his desires. For instance, he transformed into golden rain to possess Danae, who had been locked away by her father. In one myth he even took the shape of a bull to abduct Europe and in another he morphed into a swan to lie with Leda. His shapeshifting abilities knew no bounds, he even turned into a serpent to have sex with his own daughter. 

Sex and creation in ancient cultures greek-w636-h600


Aten, the Sun God, created his children –Tefnut, the goddess of moisture, and Shu, the god of air by masturbating. Afterwards, with his divine member, he created the rivers surrounding Egypt.

Sex and creation in ancient cultures egyptian-w636-h600

Central Europe

After battle, Germanic virgins would choose a hero to lay with him, but not before celebrating massive orgies as a form of celebration. However, with the emergence of Judaeo-Christian religions and their dominance over Europe, these rituals were forbidden and persecuted until they finally disappeared.

St. Augustine, the father of Catholic Church, affirmed that women's caresses and kisses prevented men from following God’s path of righteousness. As a result, any form of sexual insinuation was off the table. He considered sexual urges as animal impulses that were only valid for reproductive purposes. So, when sex was practiced for pleasure, it was conceived as a blasphemy.

Sex and creation in ancient cultures figurines-w636-h600

Sex has always been associated with pleasure and fertility, and both are good reasons to practice it without feeling shame. However, there are  still norms that consider it a taboo. These ancient civilizations conceived it as a magical and sacred act, proving that pleasure and divinity go hand in hand, a union that perpetuates life and order in the cosmos.


If you want to continue reading about ancient times check The Scientific Explanation Behind The Plagues That Hit Ancient Egypt or Why Did Ancient Civilizations Build Pyramids?

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards