Embracing Life & Death
A ritual of rehumanization
Inara de Luna
Temple of the Red Lotus
He entered the Temple and was welcomed by a silent, beautiful and graceful priestess who directed him to deposit his personal belongings in a niche set aside for that purpose. She helped him undress and wrapped a robe around his shoulders. After sitting him on a couch, she then knelt before him and lovingly washed his feet with warm, scented water. He relaxed under her ministrations and allowed his mental processes to shift to a more meditative state. He inhaled the incense wafting through the room and felt himself begin to let go of the tension that had become a constant part of his life for the last week or so.
The priestess dried his feet with a soft towel and then held out her hand to help him stand. She indicated he should follow her, and she led him up the stairs to the altar room. She left him kneeling before the altar, with instructions to make his offering to the Goddess and to meditate on why he was here.
Unwrapping the bundle that he’d brought with him, he picked up and gently held the two specialty tea balls he had bought especially for this occasion. Cupping them in his hand, he raised them in front of his face and proffered them to the statue of Aphrodite, praying that she help him heal and thanking her for the forces of Eros and Love in his life. He placed the tea balls in the offering dish at Aphrodite’s feet and bowed his head in silent contemplation.
He wasn’t sure how long he would have to wait for the Goddess to appear in the form of the Priestess, and he wasn’t sure what he was expected to do. He knew that she was going to perform a re-humanization ritual of some sort with him, to cleanse him of the experience of the hunt he’d just returned from, but he had no idea what form this ritual would take. As he sat before the altar, he struggled to achieve a state of acceptance and wrestled with his feelings of impatience. He was unused to inactivity and uncertainty. In the field, even though he never knew what sorts of animals he would encounter, he always knew what was expected and he knew how to handle himself. There was always an element of danger and risk, but he maintained a large measure of control. Here he felt he had very little and had to trust in the process.
Finally, there was a movement behind the curtain that led to the inner sanctum. Someone was emerging, someone clothed all in black robes, completely concealing all features and body type. She entered the altar room and stood before him, with bowed head and slightly outstretched arms. As the figure inhaled deeply, her head and arms both raised and he could feel the Goddess descending into the body of her Priestess. And then she spoke:
“I am the Dark Face of the Goddess. I am She who rules over Death and Transformation.”
He bowed his head in supplication and acknowledgment. She continued:
“You have just emerged from your own place of Darkness. Will you offer me your story?”
He looked up at her and nodded. “Yes, Lady, I will.”
She nodded and brought her hands together in front of her body, palms up forming a cup, as if She would physically hold the story he shared. He began:
“I don’t normally hunt or have any desire to hunt, but my brother asked me if I would join him on this adventure with our father. It seemed like a great opportunity for a bonding experience with my brother and father and so I agreed. It wasn’t until later that I found out just what kind of hunt this would be……
As he finished his story, She closed her hands and bowed her head. Then she brought the palms of her hands to her chest and pressed them into her heart, as if absorbing the story into her being. “Thank you for sharing your story. I will cherish it.” She was silent for another couple moments and then began speaking again.
“Death is a natural part of life. Destruction is a necessary step on the cycle. Some people feel tainted by death. But death is sacred. As sacred as life. The balance must be maintained.
“By seeing death, you stand witness to that divine transformation. By inflicting death, you become my sacred instrument. You wear my face and perform one of my sacred duties.
“You have been transformed. I honor you as you must honor yourself for this sacred role you have played.
“But now, life calls to you once again. And you must value that life and embrace it with all the vigor and enthusiasm it demands.
“As the wheel turns, the cycle progresses, and I become, once again, the Maiden.” She removed her black garments and revealed the lithe body of a young woman. “Through me, you are healed and renewed.” She kneeled before him and spread her legs, framing her yoni with her hands.
“Come, embrace me! And partake of the joyous gifts of life and love that I offer you!”
She then led him to the sacred bower and lovingly sponge-bathed his entire body with warm rose-scented water. Once cleansed, she covered his body with warm kisses, her lips soft and inviting on his sensitive flesh. His lingam stirred and she took him in her mouth until he was fully erect. Then she took his hand and helped him to sit up, while she laid back and arranged her legs to either side of him. “Partake,” she whispered with a smile. He lowered his head to her yoni and began gently licking her lower lips, lapping at her moisture. He worshipped her until she cried out in bliss, then he raised himself up and entered her with a long thrust.
Enveloped by her body, he felt himself energized. His soul merged with his mind and his body, and as a more integrated being than he was when he entered the Temple, he repeatedly joined his flesh with hers. As their bodies rocked together, their energy fields merged and became one, and they became a perfectly balanced, unified whole.
He continued thrusting, while she lifted her hips to meet his thrusts. In his mind’s eye, visions of life, death and rebirth played out, over and over, in rapid sucession. He lowered his head to catch her mouth with his own, and let their tongues mimic the dance their lower bodies were enacting. The energy built and swirled around them until finally, he felt her begin to pulse around him. Her inner flesh spasmed and milked him until he couldn’t contain it any longer, and with a shout, he orgasmed. The boundaries of their skin ceased to exist for that moment; he couldn’t tell where he ended and she began; and his vision was filled with stars. All thought stopped and even physical sensation ceased for a terrifying moment. Had he just died? But then, the sound of her satisfied moans and slowing breathing filled his ears, he could feel his lingam still spasming, and her hands felt like silk on his back. The scent of their pleasure wafted up to his nose in a wave and he knew, without a doubt, that while a piece of him had died, it had been a transformation, and he was yet very much alive.
As the orgasm subsided, and he floated down to the bed, to rest with her head pillowed on his shoulder, he fancied he could hear every individual cricket outside, he could detect the beating wings of each bird, he could almost feel the beating hearts of all the people in the houses around him. He was filled with a sense of awe and an overwhelming feeling of compassion for all the creatures he could detect. And with that, he gave thanks to the God and Goddess for this gift of love, pleasure, ecstasy and connection.