I am plowing through Michel Pastoureau’s The Bear: The History of a Fallen King for an academic article that I am writing. I came across an interesting story of the pagan sanctuary at Brauron, which is close to Athens, Greek.
Apparently, at this sanctuary, young Greek girls under the age of ten dressed in yellow and white and performed the roles of priestesses of Artemis while a female bear was sacrificed.
Pastoureau suggests that this ritual of the Classical and Hellenistic periods of Greece was a toned down version of an earlier ritual that involved abuse and then sacrifice of children.
This scene made me think of two phenomenon: one cinematic and fictional and the other real life.
It is a common trope and horror films for a good looking woman to engage in indecent acts (and sometimes even be raped) before being horrifically murdered by some monster or serial killer.
It is weird how much this narrative mimics ancient pagan rituals of defilement and sacrifice.
What the bear sacrifice at Brauron also makes me think of his the hidden story behind the Weinstein scandal.
It has been repeatedly noted that Weinstein’s indecent acts were done as much for his pleasure as to degrade the American, culturally Christian girls whom he was attacking.
It also has been suggested that the scandals of heterosexual rape of adults are hiding the scandal of child abuse in Hollywood.
Is it possible that this abuse involved ritual murder as well to some postmodern incarnation of the demon that was worshiped by the Greeks as Artemis.