The ritual of sacred marriage was the focal point of worship of many cults of the ancient world and continued to be performed down to the end of antiquity, while some of its elements managed to overcome even the strict ideological barrier of the monotheistic religions of Christianity and Islam— and to survive to our day in the form of popular drama. Sacred Marriage can on occasion present itself in the cult of male deities, as in the case of festivities honouring Dionysos in Attica. However, as a rule,it is integral to the cult of the Great Goddess of Nature, who, although appearing under various names and in many circumstances, remains the Lady of Life and Death to her worshippers. The Great Goddess has many faces, many epithets, many images. However, she is essentially Aphrodite and Persephone in one, the be-all and end-all of creation, the endless power situated at the center of the cosmic spere bringing the universe together. In her hands love meets death and death becomes the starting point of new life.