Monday, May 9, 2011

The 5-fold fuckup. There. I said it.

I was just pondering the Five Fold Kiss. Here's the text:

"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names."

Breasts formed in beauty? Are you fucking kidding me? o0o0o0o Bo0o0o0o0o0obies ::dro0o0ol:: Hmph. A man wrote this. There is no way a woman wrote this, and if it was, she was not a Mother. The Path of Motherhood is an initiatory path that not all can or choose to walk. That's fine. It's certainly not for everyone.

Why am I all ranty about this? Breasts are more than ornaments of beauty. Breasts nurture life. Without breasts, YOU wouldn't exist, despite what nestle and the other formula companies and victoria's secret try to tell you. You weren't nursed? So what, my statement still applies: There was a point in history where there was no formula, no bottles. Your ancestors drank from the breasts of their mothers. If a mother couldn't produce enough milk, another woman in the family or community would step in and nurse the baby and she would be treated as a "godmother" to the child.

I think it should be something more along these lines:

Blessed be thy breasts, which nourish life.

Instead of the male version which reads "formed in strength" (which is also ridiculously sexist- let me tell you it takes more strength to nurse a baby than you'd know unless you've done it), it could read something about comfort. Men can comfort nurse. There are tribes out there who still practice this, but I'm sure any male readers I have just freaked out. A man's chest should be a comforting place- ever see one of those pics of a shirtless man holding a baby and just swoon? Yeah, a man's breast can be comforting.

So this is my rant for the evening. Enlighten me, please: How is this not sexist on so many levels? If anyone would like to add to the discussion, especially any Wiccans who actually practice this, please do reply. I might be a curmudgeon at times, but I'm always open to discussion and learning something new. Are you? ;)


  1. Excellent post. I couldn't agree more. My favorite place to rest my head is on my husband's chest - and his on mine. It's not about the breasts, it's about the heart.

  2. Our Coven uses the Five-Fold Kiss when intending to draw a Deity's influence into a person. The kisses are used to focus Etheric energy into those regions to better connect the person to the Deity. I encourage my members to not stick to text, but develop their own with the intention of Deity connection. I actually did not learn the words of the Five-Fold Kiss to say, "Formed in beauty" or "Formed in Strength." I learned it as "Blessed be thy breasts that encase the powerful heart within," which is used on either a woman or man. I think it is a useful ritual tool, but like all ritual tools, if it not examined and is instead treated dogmatically, it could become archaic and in this case, understandably received as sexist.

  3. Thanks for replying, Courtney. I really like "Blessed be thy breasts that encase the powerful heart within." Words are definitely tools. I don't want rusty language anymore than a rusty cauldron!

    There's been such a great thread on the facebook post, would be nice if I could transfer it here!

  4. Yes! Yes! Yes! Even being a male, and raised in the land of Mexican macho "charros," I found this annoying and dumb when I first encountered it. The few times we actually used the Fivefold Kiss, I don't really remember well, but I seem to remember at least once we used "formed in strength and beauty" which is still unsatisfying in so many levels, but later I changed it to "source of abundance" or something of the sort.

    In my current branch of witchery, we do have something much like a Fivefold Kiss, and at the part corresponding to the breasts (called Kiss of the Harvest) we say "feed my darkness with the fruits of the cauldron" -it must be all about nurturing, to hell with beauty!

  5. Luis I admire your passion! It makes me want to write up a banner and go protest somewhere! Who can we protest?!?!

    I had another thought on this topic: If this is a tool used to draw Deity into a person, then I find it interesting that it's drawn from the feet up. Are we drawing UP and if so, are we drawing up a cthonic Deity? Also, aside from the mouth, no other part of the head is involved, certainly the mind is never mentioned. Another reason why I'm not cool with the 5FK.

  6. Hi darling! Just stumbled across your stuff. It was actually written by Doreen Valiente. Hope you're well! Janet Farrar.

  7. Thanks for the clarification. I would love to hear more about your work in Italy. I'm blogging tonight about the difference between Italian Witches and Italian-American Witches. They're as different as Italians and Italian-Americans. I really enjoyed the workshop and look forward to seeing you again. Cheers!