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Gnosticism, Transformation, and the Role of the Feminine in the Gnostic Mass of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.)

By Ellen P. Randolph

Abstract

The Gnostic Mass of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.) suggests a heterosexual gender binary in which the female Priestess seated on the altar as the sexual and fertile image of the divine feminine is directed by the male Priest’s activity, desire and speech. The apparent contradiction between the empowered individual and the polarized gender role was examined by comparing the ritual symbolism of the feminine with the interpretations of four Priestesses and three Priests (three pairs plus one). Findings suggest that the Priestess’ role in the Gnostic Mass is associated with channeling, receptivity, womb, cup, and fertility, while the Priest’s role is associated with enthusiasm, activity, phallus, lance, and virility. Despite this strong gender duality, the Priestesses asserted that their role was personally and spiritually empowering, and they maintained heterosexual and polarized gendered roles are necessary in a transformative ritual which ultimately reveals the godlike unified individual

Topics: Gnostic, priestess, feminine, gender, sexuality, performance, ritual, Eucharist, O.T.O., magick, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, History of Religions of Western Origin, Liturgy and Worship, New Religious Movements, Religion, Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion, Social and Cultural Anthropology
Publisher: FIU Digital Commons
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.fiu.edu:etd-2796

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