Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virile. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched.

Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth

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A misinterpretation so desperately defended, some groups ended up with “conception per aurem”, the idea that Mary became pregnant through her ears simply by hearing the word of god. Because not one person involved could conceive of how terrifying that idea is. Or conceive at all. Which is why they preferred the idea that a woman could be made pregnant without any activity on her part at all, no choice, no pleasure, no defence, nothing at all but literally being told to be pregnant and obeying. 

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