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Observations placeholder

Eleusinian Mysteries - Thesmophoria - 05



Type of Spiritual Experience


Step Two – the Confinement continued

During the time of confinement and some time afterwards it is made clear that there must be no orgasm and  no sexual activity that could lose the person the energy building up for Unity.  There is the reference above, but perhaps the most graphic reference is Demeter’s  refusal to have sex.

In the following you need to know that a plough was symbolic of  a pelvic girdle and thus the plough going over the furrow was the male hips ploughing the female vagina – the furrow.  The white barley is sperm.  So no ejaculative sex.

The need for this is emphasized quite a lot in the story, presumably because it is one of the hardest steps to take as well as one of the most important.  Saying no and resisting sexual activity – particularly if you are married - is very hard, but the myth says specifically that it has to be done

A description of the experience

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

Vexed in her dear heart, she sat near the wayside by the Maiden Well, from which the women of the place were used to draw water, in a shady place over which grew an olive shrub. And she was like an ancient woman who is cut off from childbearing and the gifts of garland-loving Aphrodite, like the nurses of king’s children who deal justice, or like the house-keepers in their echoing halls.

But golden-haired Demeter sat there apart from all the blessed gods and stayed, wasting with yearning for her deep-bosomed daughter.

Then she caused a most dreadful and cruel year for mankind over the all-nourishing earth: the ground would not make the seed sprout, for rich-crowned Demeter kept it hid. In the fields the oxen drew many a curved plough in vain, and much white barley was cast upon the land without avail.


Demeter’s heart was not moved. Then again the father sent forth all the blessed and eternal gods besides: and they came, one after the other, and kept calling her and offering many very beautiful gifts and whatever right she might be pleased to choose among the deathless gods. Yet no one was able to persuade her mind and will, so wrath was she in her heart; but she stubbornly rejected all their words: for she vowed that she would never set foot on fragrant Olympus nor let fruit spring out of the ground, until she beheld with her eyes her own fair-faced daughter.

The source of the experience

Eleusinian Mysteries

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Dietary moderation
Sexual stimulation



Notice that the shape of the plough and the commonly recognised symbol for the heart are the same