In ancient Greece, a temple slave in the service of a specific deity, often with the connotation of religious prostitution was called a hierodule.
Her prostitution would be excused because of the service she provided to the deity. The priestesses of Inanna or Ishtar were known to be hierodules.
Among some neopagans, a hierodule may be a priestess who has sexual intercourse in the role of whichever Goddess she serves in the divine union of a hieros gamos or sacred marriage.
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