Pagan Spanking


paganSpring has sprung and spanking is the air. But before the Catholics made it all about guilt and punishment, physical chastisement was seen as a sacred and magical act. In ancient Rome and Greece women would go to the temple to be spanked for fertility’s sake.

Another ritual involved switching the bare bottoms of slave girls or sometimes the virgin adult daughters of the house at certain landmarks on a farm to assure the fertility of the land. There are versions of this ritual from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean and they may have been practiced by Germanic peoples and Celts alike.

One version has it that a girl would be assigned at certain stone or fallen tree at the boundaries of the family or tribal land and wait until the elder or shaman arrived to whip them with a wand of birch, hazel or perhaps apple. A sizeable posse of onlookers would accompany the switch-wielder as the girl was expected to bare her own bottom and offer it for the lash.

In other versions girls would flee while young men pursued them, stripping and whipping them wherever they found them. The only rule was that the women were not to cross the boundary of the farm. One can imagine giggling or not so cheerful girls hiding in barns or under hedges, encountering other girls already hiding until a young man found them to haul them out.

This free-for-all is seen in the Eastern European Easter traditions and in England it has echoes in the beating the bounds rituals that were common until the second half of the 20th century.

Another tradition is the binding spell.

This involves young women gathering up switches from a birch, a hazel, a rowan and various other trees to make a bundle rather like a punitive birch rod. Then the shaman or witch would cast a spell that would be finalised by the ritual thrashing of the girl seeking the magic and who had gathered the rod.

The number of strokes and the severity of them would reflect the strength and durability of the spell. Love potions were especially popular and girls might offer their bottoms to be “thrashed silly” in order that the man of their dreams would be theirs.

Such were the pagan practices of the past. Given the revival of such things who knows we may see such things again.

14 Responses to “Pagan Spanking”

  1. 1 mariawhite1066

    You do realize that Easter is the most important Christian feast, and that those Eastern European nations where those Easter spanking traditions flourish are Catholic countries? Try not to let close-minded stereotyping lead you into religious bigotry.

    • 2 DJ

      There are two points here.

      Firstly – the point you are making is somewhat obscured by the hammer to crack a walnut application of ‘close-minded’ and ‘bigotry.’

      This is a very strong suggestion to hang on the throw away phrase of ‘before the Catholics made it all about guilt and punishment,’ – Christianity has promoted and championed CP and original sin and associated guilt as part of their creed. May be that is correct – maybe that is the truth – so to point this out is hardly bigotry. Unless you are saying that Christians do not advocate CP and original sin I have misrepresented them?

      I was just contrasting this with the earlier pagan attitude to chastisement and its association with magic and fertility as an alternative to the Judeo-Christian perspective we tend to have.

      I grant you that the use of this phrase is rather casual and might need expanding and therefore might be regarded as a lazy phrase taken out of context. No offence was intended.

      Secondly – Easter (Ostara or Estara) is a pagan festival with strong pagan origins and many of the described practices associated with it that carry on to this day – inside and out of Christian countries – have their roots in pre-Christian customs.

      The adoption of these by the Catholic and later Christian religions does not make this any less true any more than it negates the Christian spirituality of Easter.

      Early Christians borrowed the Easter celebrations and the Easter bunny (the hare) and eggs – and made the resurrection of the year and spring all about the symbolism of the Resurrection of Christ. A clever move when you are suppressing a rival religion.

      Incidentally, I wasn’t picking in the Catholics per se – its just that other denominations weren’t around when the pagans were being suppressed.

      I hope that clarifies things and no offence was intended.

      • 3 mariawhite1066

        Interesting though it may be, this is probably not the place to discuss theology, so I will try to be brief. I am not a Catholic, so I did not take personal offense to your remarks, and probably i worded my disagreement too harshly, for which I apologize. This is an age of militant atheism, a sect whose proponents go out of their way to insult the most dearly held beliefs of others, and I confess to being overly sensitive to anything that apparently smacks of their bigotry. I am basically a tolerant person, and I expect the same courtesy from others.
        I am, rather, an Eastern Orthodox Christian, a form of Christianity at least as ancient as the Roman church, but far less known in the west. The Roman church was heavily influenced by the Roman emphasis on the law, and consequently tends to view the role of the priest as the judge of the guilt or innocence of the penitent. By contrast, the far less judgmental Eastern Orthodox view is that sin, including “original sin”, is not so much a legal infraction which must be punished, as a sickness of the soul which must be cured; the role of the priest is not a judge, but a doctor.
        The incorporation of some earlier pagan customs into popular Easter celebrations was, as you mentioned, an effort to make the adoption of Christianity less jarring, but also a recognition of the partial truth of some of these beliefs, and of their role as prefigurement of the fuller truth of Christianity. Thus, for example, at the end of each Easter liturgy, the priest gives each attendant a red egg, symbolic of the gift of new life emerging from the blood of Jesus. Some trappings of pagan tradition endure, but the more fundamental observation is of Christ’s resurrection, commemorated as always by the Divine Liturgy.

        • 4 DJ

          I am not up to speed on Orthodox Christianity but you make my point exactly. I don’t think we disagree. Although I do think this militant atheism puzzling and a contradiction in terms. But I also think it is a largely US issue – maybe a backlash to the extreme religion that seems to have taken hold there.

          My article was intended as a light seasonal piece on pagan beliefs about chastisement of the bottom. 🙂

          As soon as the Baptists advocate spanking in Church rituals I’ll consider popping in on a Sunday. 😉 But seriously – I wasn’t trying to start a theocratic debate here. Sitting on the London side of the pond I tend – like many Brits – to be a bit chilled about religion.

          But I suspect that our little conversation has confused some readers of this blog who are not so well informed as you. Maybe what the world needs is more RE 😉

          Thanks for taking the time to clarify. 🙂

  2. 5 George

    Centuries go by, young women always need the same…

  3. 6 George

    This is a week late but an old friend used to say “Hooray, hooray it is the first of May, outdoor screwing starts today”.

    • 7 nikolaikaa

      Ha! When I was a kid, my grandmother enforced what I took to be an old, traditional rule that regardless of the weather we could not go bare footed or without a shirt outside until the first of May. That rule may be a more kid and Baptist friendly version of your friends saying?

      • 8 DJ

        ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’ is an English proverb.

        As a kid I thought it meant don’t hit people until the summer…

        But I suspect it has the same meaning as yours. Although given the topic discussed… WTF 😉

  4. 9 scarlet

    I always learn something here…

    • 10 DJ

      You had better because teacher has a cane and a paddle and there will be a test later. 😉

  5. 11 Svetlana

    The binding spell tradition has lots of dramatic potential. Realistically, a revival would come from the tradition’s appeal as a romantic gesture; the ritual thrashings would usually be little more than symbolic. Now imagine two girls favouring the same “dream man” running into each other while gathering their switches and deciding to ask for a proper thrashing to show their determination rather than because an actual belief in the spell. If you don’t want to pick a “winner” and like surprising twists, you can have them end up so entranced by the other’s bravery and sense of romance that they magically … 🙂

  6. 12 Mark

    Why is this so timeless?

    One single main nerve, the pudendal nerve, enervates a woman’s clitorus, vaginal lips, the outer third of the vagina, the perineum, and the outer ring of muscles of the anus and surrounding tissue. It also controls the function of the clitorus, vagina, pelvic floor, and anus. The root nerve runs through the buttock muscles, the exact path varying from woman to woman. The exact grouping of connections varies from woman to woman too, which many spankers have noticed. It is an especially sensitive nerve, with some unique nerve endings of exquisite sensitivity.

    Smack her butt the right way on her, for how her nerves run, and you directly stimulate the clitorus and vagina nerve sensation to the brain, and the whole pelvic control structure.

    The after effects on those muscles can linger, keeping those nerves “happy” for awhile, in the same way as they stay lit up for awhile after sex.

    Its all one. That’s why this works. People figured out what works. We are not imagining it, it is real.

  7. 13 DJ

    Thanks Svetlana and Mark

    We have two sides of the same truth.

    But I can’t help going with S’s version. 😉

  8. 14 george

    imho spanking isn’t (only) pagan or (only) Christian, but simply human. needed everywhere, anytime…

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