XXVIII. The Sermon to the Prostitutes
As Aradia was speaking, a young woman in the crowd, a prostitute named Diana, pushed her way forward, wearing only a linen cloth about her body. The other women tried to hold her back; but she left the linen cloth in their hands and came to Aradia naked. Aradia drew Diana to her side, and kissed and caressed her. They looked at each other, each saw that the other was fair, and they loved one another.
Aradia said to Diana, “Today you shall be with me in paradise,” and she took her and initiated her. Aradia taught her who she was, that she was Sophia, by whom all had been made, the reflection of the Beloved Thought of the Unknowable Light.
Aradia said to her, “I have put a jewel on your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. I have clothed you also with embroidered work, and shod you with badgers’ skin, and I have girded you about with fine linen, and covered you with silk. I have decked you also with ornaments, and have put bracelets on your hands, and a chain on your neck.”
In the beginning Phanes and Sophia looked upon each other. Each saw that the other was fair, and they joined in love, became one flesh. Phanes and Sophia made humans as a symbol of the unity and love between them, as the actual seal and memento of their love, as an everlasting emblem of their marriage, and deputed their own powers to them.
Thus Diana and Aradia also sprang from the Gods and became one flesh, joined in love, as before; as it was above, so it was below. Their Paradise was formed by the sexual ecstasy of Aradia and Diana.
Always remind the chosen that the great love between Aradia and Diana brought the truth to women, for thus do humans celebrate the greatest of mysteries, that from love all comes to be, for the joining of thought and action in love is the greatest of the knowable mysteries.
The next day Aradia drew Diana to her side and said to the women and men gathered there, “Behold the Mother of All! In these days she is manifest even in a prostitute. I say to you, her many illnesses are healed, for she has loved much, but little is healed in her who loves little. In her is the ecstasy of the Goddess perfected. Those who exalt themselves shall be rewarded, and those who humble themselves shall do without; for Diana has sent me to rescue all who have sold their bodies to survive, whether in the marketplace or in a loveless bedroom, and to bring joy into their lives.
“Diana knows your nature is not evil. If you believe that you are now worthless, you are suffering from an illusion. What the nobles and their black priests have used to enslave you, Diana will use to redeem you, for sex is the highway to salvation.
“You living dead, be live again, the living Goddess dwells in you, and you in her.
“Diana has no pride whatsoever. She gives Herself to anyone who asks Her favors and takes whatever is offered as payment, whether it is little or all a person has. Therefore never look down on your sisters of the streets, for they will see the Queen before you, are already serving Her.
“Our Lady is the Queen of Death, and yet the Queen of Love: her right hand holds the pomegranate, and her left, the dove. In truth, Our Lady is Love. At every time, in every place, She loves, and Her ecstasy keeps the cosmos in existence. Were She to cease loving for even an instant, there would be nothing anywhere.
“Whenever you make love, She is the Lover, and the Beloved, and the Love itself. “Wherever there is Love, there is Our Lady. In everything She lives and loves and has Her being, and Her service is perfect freedom.
“Hear me: those who hate sex hate the Goddess.
“Hear me again: Those who hate the words of sex are dying of Christianity.
“Hear me yet again: Those who love sex, who love to make love, are those who love the Goddess; and it is they who shall live forever in the ecstasy of Her reign.”
Her student Salome asked her, “Aradia, if you have come to bring joy into this darkness, what must I do to be reborn?”
Aradia replied, “To be a Goddess, you must be a woman first. You must gain all knowledge, for the ignorant cease to exist. Having only one law for all types of human beings is cruelty and tyranny. Our Gods have revealed their will for us. They need our aid to make fertility for men and women and crops. Worship the Gods and obey their will, for it was made for your good, as your worship is good for the Gods, who love you. With love and worship in your hearts, raise power from your bodies to give power to the Gods.
“The naked human body is the work of the Gods. A naked man with a naked woman: they are the Gods. When they are clothed, then the Gods are hidden, and cannot bless the world. Therefore go naked in the world to bless the world. Let every man and every woman look on your naked body, for their desire is a hymn of praise to the Gods. Let all who are hungry enter and eat; let all who are needy come to our feast. Let all who please you embrace you, for everyone to whom you give yourself will thank the Gods for your gift, and your loving will give power to the Gods.”
“The Queen of Heaven has come near to you. A Daughter of the Voice is heard in the land, at liberty to enjoy and love and live with whomever she please.
“Come to me, you who are hungry, and I will fill you until you too are a fountain that overflows with ecstasy and power. For you will never know peace in your spirits until your true quest for ecstasy is fulfilled.
“Take thought for your life, what you shall eat; for your body, what you shall put on; for if you do not feed and clothe yourself, who will? Life is more than meat, body more than raiment; therefore always have dessert and wear perfume.”