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DBaffic Faiths « Dractices 




Sacti Puja of Jndian Gnosticiam 





Cuapter I.—The Origin of Phallicisin .........0.00...0......0.4. 1 
CuHapTEer II.—Deities connected with Phallic Worship......... 8 
CuaprTer ITI.— Emblems connected with Phallic Worship ..... 16 
CHAPTER: VV. Phallie Objects. 2 cneiciassiesavewi nce ices aaderveends 33 
CrapTer V.—-Wide Prevalence of Phallic Worship ............ 43 
CuaprER VI.—Phallic Worship in the Middle Ages ........... 60 
Cuapter VII.—Moral Aspects of Phallicism ................000.. 70 

Cuaprer VIII.—Sacta Puja, the Worship of the Female 

TO aay erate en gece iceee a ested Se ted fast 82 


The Origin of Phalhicism. 

Y way of definition of terms, very few words are needed in 
introducing our present treatise. = Phallic worship (the 
phase of nature worship to which our attention wil be directed) 
is the adoration of the human organs of generation, trom udAds 
(membruin virile). Originally it was SP A Chiniccer Tae from 
all associations of licentiousness and = indeceney, — viewed of 
course in the light of remoter times —it simply represented 
allegorically, the mysterious union of male and female as the 
source of the continuation of the existence of animated beings. 
In course of time, however, it was attended with so much that 
was detrimental to the morals of the people, especially in the 
degenerate days of Rome, that the governing authorities had to 
interfere and in turn modify and suppress it. 

Extraordinary as this worship, in its extensive and = varied 
forms and wide-spread prevalance in almost every nation on the 
face of the earth, may well be termed, there will be found when 
it comes to be carefully regarded and studied, very much in it 
that for want of better information and education is both reason- 
able and natural. Men have always to some extent been observers 
of the processes constantly going on under the control of the 
ordinary laws of nature, and it was not likely that they would 
fail to be impressed with the profound mysteries connected with 
the propagation of their own and other species. ‘Two causes,” 
says a writer on the subject, “must have forcibly struck the 
minds of men in early periods when observant of the operations 
of nature,—one the generative power, and the other the pro- 
ductive,—the active and passive causes. This double mode of 
production visible in nature, must have given rise to comparisons 
with the mode proceeding in the generation of animals, in which 
two causes concur, the one active and the other passive,—the 
one male, and the other female, the one as father, the other as 


mother. Nature to the early man was not brute matter. but a 
being invested with his own personality, and endowed with the 
same feelings and passions, and performing the same actions. 
Generation, begetting,—production, bringing forth, were thus his 
ideas of cause and effect. The earth was “looked upon «as the 
mould of nature, as the recipient of seeds, the nurse of wh»t was 
produced in its boson; the sky was the fecundating and fir 
tilising power. An analogy was sugvested in the union of th: 
male and female.” 

Of the extensive prevalence of this worship we have ample 
evidence. It occurs in Egypt with the deity Khem, in India 
with Siva, in Assyria with Vul, in Greece with Pan and Priapus, 
in the Scandinavian and Tuetonic nations with Fricco, in Spain 
with Hortanes. It has been found in different parts of the 
American continent, in Mexico, Peru, and Hayti; in both these 
latter places numerous phalli modelled in clay have been dis- 
covered; and in the islands of the Pacitic ocean, on festive 
occasions, a phallus highly ornamented, called by the nati es 
Tinas, is carried in procession. 

“ Among the simple and primitive races of men, the act of 
generation was considered as no more than one of the operation: 
of nature contributing to the reproduction of the species, as i7 
agriculture the sowing of the seed for the production of corn, au ! 
was consequently looked upon as a solemn duty consecrated ° ) 
the Deity; as Payne Knight remarks, ‘it was considered As» 
solemn sacrament in honour of the Creator. oe 

“The indecent ideas attached to the phallic symbol wer. 
though it seems a paradox to say so, the result of a more advance: 
civilisation verging towards its decline, as we have evidence at 
Rome and Pompeii.” 

Voltaire says, speaking of the worship of Priapus :—-‘‘Our 
ideas of prosperity lead us to suppose that a ceremony whict 
appears to us so infamous, could only be invented by licentious 
ness; but it is impossible to believe that deprayv ity of manner 
would ever have led among any people to the establishment «! 
religious ceremonies. It is “probable, on the contrary, that this 
custom was first introduced in times of simplicity, that the first 
thought was to honour the deity in the symbol of life which it 
has given us. Such a cerewony may have excited licentiosness 
among youths, and have appeared ridiculous to men of edutatior 
in more refined, more corrupt, and more enlightened times.” 


And Mr. Patterson, in the Astatec Researches, some ninety 
years ago, wrote: ‘It is probable that the idea of obscenity was 
not originally attached to these symbols: and it is likely that the 
inventors themselves might not have foreseen the disorders which 
this worship would occasion amongst mankind. — Profligacy 
eagerly embraces what flatters its propensities, and ignorance 
follows blindly, whenever example excites: it is therefore no 
wonder, that a general corruption of manners should ensue, in- 
creasing in proportion as the distance of time involved the original 
meaning of the symbol in darkness and oblivion. Obscene mirth 
became the principal feature of the popular superstition, and was, 
even In after times, extended to, and intermingled with, gloomy 
rites and bloody sacrifices.” 

The origin of Phallicism is involved in so much obscurity 
that nothing can be said thereon with any degree of certainty or 
clearness. The Phanicians traced its introduction to Adonis, 
the Egyptians to Osiris, the Phrygians to Attys, the Greeks to 
Dionysus. The Scanda-purdna and Visvasara-pracasa, or de- 
claration of what is most excellent in the world, supples us with 
the following legend, which seems to be nothing more or less than 
an illusion to the sun which in autumn loses its fructifying 
influence : 

“One day Maha-Deva, the great Hindu god, was rambling 
over the earth, naked, and with a large club in his hand, he 
chanced to pass near the post where several Munis were per- 
forming their devotions. Maha-Deva laughed at them, insulted 
them in the most provoking and indecent terms, and lest his 
expressions should not be forcible enough, he accompanied the 
whole with significant signs and gestures. The ottended Munis 
cursed him, and the linga or phi allus fell to the ground, Maha- 
Deva, in his state of mutilation, travelled over the world, 
bewailing his misfortune. Huis consort, too, hearing of this 
accident, gave herself up to grief, and ran after him in a state of 
distraction, repeating mournful songs. This is what the Greek 
nythologists called the wanderings of Damater and the lamenta- 
tions of Bacchus. 

“The world being thus deprived of its vivifying principles, 
generation and vegetation were at a stand ; vods and men were 
alarmed, but having discovered the cause of it, they all went in 
search of the sacred linga, and at last found it grown to an 
immense size, and endowed with life and motion. 


‘Having worshipped the sacred pledge, they cut it with 
their hatchets into one-and-thirty pieces, which, Polypus like, 
soon became perfect lingas. The Devatas left one-and-twenty of 
them upon earth, carried nine to heaven, and removed one into 
the inferior regions for the benefit of the inhabitants of the 
three worlds. One of these lingas was erected on the banks of 
the Camudvati, or Euphrates, under the name of Baleswara- 
linga, or the linga of Iswara, the infant, who seems to answer to 
the Jupiter Puer of the western mythologists. 

“To satisfy Devi, and restore all things to their former 
situation, Maha-Deva was born again in the character of Bales- 
wara, or Iswara, the infant. Baleswara, who fosters and_pre- 
serves all, though a child, was of uncominon strength ; he had a 
beautiful countenance; his manners were most engaging, and 
his only wish was to please everybody, in which he succeeded 
effectually ; but his subjects waited with impatience till he came 
to the age of maturity, that he might bless them with an heir to 
his virtues. DBaleswara, to please them, threw off his child-lke 
appearance and suddenly became a man, under the title of 
Lileswara, or Iswara, who gives pleasure and delight. He then 
began to reign over gods and men, with the strictest observance 
of justice and equity; his subjects were happy, and the women 
beheld with delight his noble and manly appearance. With the 
view of doing good to mankind he put himself at the head of a 
powerful army, and conquered many distant countries, destroying 
the wicked and all oppressors; he had the happiness of his sub- 
jects so much at heart, that he entirely neglected any other 
pursuit, His indifference for the female sex alarined his subjects; 
he endeavoured to please them, but his embraces were fruitless. 
This is termed Aschalana in Sanscrit, and the place where this. 
happened was in consequence denominated Aschalana-sthan. 
The Apsaras, or celestial nymphs, tried in vain the effect of their 
charms. At last Samirama came to Aschalana-sthan, and re- 
tiring into a solitary place in its vicinity, chanted her own 
metamorphoses and those of Lileswara, who happening to pass 
by, was so delighted with the sweetness of her voice, that he 
went to her and enquired who she was. She related to him how 
they went together into Utcoladesa in the characters of the 
Capoteswara and Capotesi, adding, ‘“‘ You appeared then as. 
Mocshewara, and I became Anaysa; you are now Lileswara and 
I am Samirama, but I shall be soon Lileswari.” Lileswara being 
under the influence of Maya, or worldly illusion, did not recollect 


any of these transactions ; but suspecting that the person he was 
speaking to might be a manifestation of Parvati, he thought it 
advisable to marry her; and having obtained her consent, he 
seized her hand, and led her to the “performance of the nuptial 
ceremony, to the universal satisfaction of his subjects. Gods and 
men met to solemnise this happy union, and the celestial nymphs 
and heavenly quiristers graced it with their presence. Thus 
Samirama and Lileswara ‘commenced their reign to the general 
satisfaction of mankind, who were happy under their virtuous 

“From that period the three worlds began to know and 
worship Lileswara, who, after he had conquered the universe 
returned into Cusha- duipa.  Lileswara, having married Sami- 
rama, lived constantly with her, and followed her wherever she 
chose to go; in whatever pursuits and pleasures she delighted in 
these alone he took pleasure ; thus they travelled over hills and 
through forests to distant countries; but at Jast returned to 
Cusha-duipa, and Samirama seeing a delightful grove near the 
Hradancita, (or deep water), with a small river of the same 
name, expressed a wish that he would fix the place of their resi- 
dence in this beautiful spot, there to spend their days in pleasure.” 

The Hindus insist that the black stone in the wall of the 
Caaba is no other than the linga or phallus of Maha-Deva; and 
that, when the Caabs was rebuilt by Mohammed (as they appear 
to have been), it was placed in the wall out of contempt; but 
the new converted pilgrims would not give up the worship of the 
black stone ; and sinistrous portents forced the ministers of the 
new religion to connive at it. Arabian authors also inform us 
that. stones were worshipped all over Arabia, particularly at 
Mecca; and Alshahrestani says that the temple of Mecca was 
dedicated to Zohal or Kyevun, who is the same with Saturn. 

The author of the Dabistan declares positively that the Hejar- 
al-aswad, or black stone, was the image of Kyevun. Though 
these accounts somewhat differ from those of the Puranas, yet 
they show that this black stone was the object of an idolatrous 
worship from the most remote times. * 

Faber says: ‘‘It is possible that the phallus received its name 
from the Palli, Pelasgi, or Palestinii—the Pelasgi being much 
addicted to phallic worship. Miphlezeph, the idol of Maacha, 
seems to be Ma-Phallasath, the great phallic goddess. I think 

* See Asiatic Researches, vol. iii. 


that she was rather Venus or Mylitta, than Priapus, as Selden 
supposes. Perhaps, however, we ought to derive Palli, Pelasgi, 
Palestini, neither from Peleg nor Felasge; but to deduce these 
several appellatims from phallus, rather than what I just 
observed, vice versa. It certainly is not improbable, that those 
nations were so called from the worship of the phallus, since the 
Hindoos assure us, that the Ionians or Yonijas received their 
name from the devotion to the mysteries of the Yoni.” 

Mr. Gerald Massey in his ‘“ Natural Genesis,” speaking of the 
origin of the phallic cult, says: ‘According to Theal, the African 
historian and collector of folk tales, the Kaffirs have no Sabbath, 
and keep none of the sacred seasons of periodic recurrence, com- 
monly celebrated by a festival. But from time immemorial, they 
have preserved the primitive custom of rejoicing at the first 
appearance of the menstrual period of the female. This they 
celebrate in what is their sole festival. At that time of a girl’s 
life, all the young women in her neighbourhood meet for rejoicing, 
at which they celebrate the festival of pubescence. These young 
women are then distributed among the men who are selected to 
lie with them, but who are prohibited from sexual intercourse ; 
and if the trespass be committed the men are fined—a primitive 
mode of paying a price which was afterwards continued in the 
compensation enforced at the time of inarriage. We still keep 
the birthday and celebrate the coming of age at a fixed period of 
life; but the festival of puberty is extant to show that the 
earliest birthday ever memorialized was not the day on which 
the child was born into the world, but the time of rebirth into 
womanhood and manhood. When applied to the male, this 
period of pubescence suggested the birthday of the boy who was 
at this time admitted as a young man into the totemc tribe ;— 
hence the typical ‘second birth’ celebrated in the mysteries 
when the first had also been acknowledged. 

“Tt is here we have to seek not only the genesis of time itself, 
but the origin of the so-called phallic cult, or worship of the 
generative powers, which did not commence as a religion, but 
with the sexual typology as a mode of expression, and of keeping 
time as well as other forms of law. At the age of puberty the 
boy was first counted as ‘one, an individual, or rather one of the 
totem ; he counted because he was reckoned. Until then the 
children were not reckoned, and did not count either as indivi- 
‘duals or members of the totem, consequently they were of no 
account. ekh (Eg.) is to count and reckon. The rekh (Eg.), 


or 2/k, as a people of a district or totem were those who were 
reckoned. To be reckoned and numbered was to be of rank, and 
this constituted the first honour for the male and the female, 
even from the time they were reckoned separately in the earliest 
two castes. Up to this period they were mere slaves, and at 
puberty they became men and women on whom the freedom of 
the totem was conferred. This rank and honour of being 
reckoned as one of the body corporate is shown by the Hottentot 
language, in which the word Goa, to count, also signifies honour 
and respect ; Goet is one ; Goab, the number, also means regard, 
respect, and honour, which originated in becoming one of the 
number at puberty, those who were of account. If the Hottentot 
is slighted, he will say indignantly, ‘I am not counted,’ 2.¢. he is 
treated as nobody.” 

“Three phases,” says Westropp, “in the representation of 
the phallus should be distinguished ; first, when it was the object 
of reverence and religious worship ; secondly, when it was used 
as a protecting power against evil influences of various kinds, 
and as a charm or amulet against envy and the evil eye, as at the 
postern gate at Alatri and at Pompeii, and as frequently occurs 
in amulets of porcelain found in Egypt, and of bronze in Italy ; 
thirdly, when it was the result of mere licentiousness and clissolute 
morals, Another cause also contributed to its reverence and 
frequent representation—the natural desire of women among all 
races, barbarous as well as civilized, to be the fruitful mother 
of children—especially as, amongst some people, women were 
esteemed according to the number of children they bore, and as, 
among the Mahommedans of the present day, it is sinful not to 
contribute to the population ; as a symbol, therefore, of proli- 
ficacy, and as the bestower of offspring, the phallus became an 
object of reverence and especial worship among women.” 

Deities connected with Phallic Worship. 

a HE Egyptians in their hymns to Osiris, invoked that god 

as the being who dwelt concealed in the embraces of the 
sun ; and several of the ancient Greek writers speak of the great 
luminary itself as the generator and nourisher of all things, the 
ruler of the world, the first of the deities, and the supreme Lord 
of all mutable or perishable beings. Not that they any more 
than the Egyptians, deified the sun considered merely as a mass 
of luminous or fervid matter; but as the centre or body, from 
which the pervading spirit, the original producer of order, fer- 
tility and organization, amidst the inert confusion of space and 
matter, still continue to emanate through the system, to preserve 
the mighty structure which it had formed. The primitive spirit 
is said to have made the sun to guard and govern all things, it 
being thought the instrumental cause through which the powers 
of reproduction, implanted in matter, continued to exist; for 
without a continued emanation from the active or male principle 
of generation, the passive or female principle which was derived 
from it, would of itself become exhausted. 

“This continued emanation, the Greeks personified into two 
distinct personages, the one representing celestial love, or attrac- 
tion, and the other, animal love or desire, to which the Egyptians 
added a third, by personifying separately the great fountain of 
attraction, from which both were derived. All the three were, 
however, but one, the distinctions arising merely out of the 
metaphysical subtlety of the theologists, and the extravagant 
allegories of the poets, which have a nearer resemblance to each 
other than is generally imagined. 

“This productive ethereal spirit being expanded through the 
whole universe, every part was in some degree impregnated with 
it, and therefore every part was, in some measure, the seat of the 
deity, whence local gods and goddesses were everywhere wor- 
shipped, and consequently multiplied without end. ‘Thousands 
of the immortal progeny of Jupiter,’ says Hesiod, ‘inhabit the 
fertile earth, as guardians to mortal men.’ An adequate know- 


ledge, either of the number or attribute of these, the Greeks 
never presumed to think attainable, but modestly contented 
themselves with revering and invoking them whenever they felt 
or wanted their assistance.” * 

Ceres and Bacchus (or Demeter and Dionysus or Jacthus), 
called in Egypt, Isis and Osiris, and in Syria, Venus and Adonis 
(Astarté and Adoni), were the deities in whose names and under 
whose protection persons were most comimonly instructed in the 
faith. Thus, Herodotus (II. ch. 42), “Such Egyptians as possess 
a temple of the Theban Jove, or live in the Thebaic canton, offer 
no sheep in sacrifice, but only goats; for the Egyptians do not 
all worship the same gods, excepting Isis and Osiris, the latter of 
whom they say is the Grecian Bacchus.” 

And Euripides (Buccha: 73), “Oh happy, blessed is he that 
witnesseth the initiation of the deities, for he venerateth the 
source of life ; not only does he divine the Orgies of Cybele, the 
Great Mother, but waving the thyrsus, and crowned with ivy, he 
is also a votary of Dionysus.” 

The word Bacchus or Tacchus is a title derived from the excla- 
mations uttered in the festivals of this god, whose other Latin 
name, Liber, is also a title signifying the same attribute as the 
Greek epithet, Lusios, or Luson. But whence the more common 
Greek name, Dionusos, is derived, or what it signifies, is not so 
easy to determine, or even to conjecture with any reasonable 
probability. The first part of it appears to be from Deus, Dios, 
or Dis, the ancient name of the supreme universal god; but 
whether the remainder is significant of the place from which this 
deity came into Greece, or of some attribute belonging to him, 
we cannot pretend to say, and the conjectures of etymologists, 
both ancient and modern, concerning it, are not worthy of notice. 
An ingenious writer in the Aszatie Researches derives the whole 
name from a sanscrit title of an oriental demi-god, and as 
Ausonius says it was Indian, this derivation appears more 
probable than most others of the kind. 

At Sicyon in the Peloponnesus, he was worshipped under 
another title, which we shall not venture to explain any further 
than that it implies his having the peculiar superintendence and 
direction of the characteristics of the female sex. (Clement, of 
Alexandria, declares that he was denominated Choiropsale by the 
Syconians, a low term expressing immodest practices with 

* Knight. Symb. Lan. Ane. Art. 


women). At Lampascus, too, on the Hellespont, he was vene- 
rated under a symbolical form adapted to a similar office, though 
with a title of a different signification, Priapus. 

According to Herodotus, the name Dionysus, or Bacchus, 
with the various obscene and extravagant rites that distinguished 
his worship, was communicated to the Grecks by Melampus, who 
appears to have flourished about four generations before the 
Trojan war, and who is said to have received his knowledge of 
the subject from Cadmus and the Phoenicians, who settled in 
Beotia. ‘He it was,” says Herodotus, “who introduced into 
Greece the name of Bacchus, the ceremonial of his worship, and 
the procession of the phallus. He did not, however, so completely 
apprehend the whole doctrine as to be able to communicate it 
entirely ; but various sages since his time have carried out his 
teaching to greater perfection. Still it is certain that Melampus 
introduced the phallus, and that the Greeks learnt from him the 
ceremonies which they now practise. I therfore maintain that 
Melampus, who was a wise man, and had acquired the art of 
divination, having become acquainted with the worship of 
Bacchus through knowledge derived from Egypt, introduced it 
into Greece, with a few slight changes, at the same time that he 
brought in various practices. For I can by no means allow that 
it is by mere coincidence that the Bacchic ceremonies in Greece 
are so nearly the same as the Egyptian—they would then have 
been more Greek in their character, and less recent in their 
origin. Much less can I admit that the Egyptians borrowed 
these customs, or any other, from the Greeks. My belief is that 
Melampus got his knowledge of them froin Cadmus the Tyrian, 
and the followers whom he brought from Pheenicia into the 
country which is now called Bwotia.” * 

General tradition has attributed the introduction of the mystic 
religion into Greece, to Orpheus, a Thracian; who, if he ever 
lived at all, lived probably about the sume time with Melampus, 
or a little earlier. The traditions concerning him are, however, 
extremely vague and uncertain, and the most learned and 
sagacious of the Greeks is said to have denied that such a person 
had ever existed ; but nevertheless, we learn from the very high 
authority of Strabo that the Greek music was all Thracian or 
Asiatic, and, from the unquestionable testimony of the Iliad, that 
the very ancient poet Thamyris was of that country, to which 
tradition has also attributed the other old sacerdotal bards, 
Muszus and Eumolpus. 

* Rawlinson’s Herodotus, If., ch. 49. 


As there is no mention, however, of any of the mystic deities, 
nor of any of the rites with which they were worshipped, in any 
of the genuine parts, either of the Iliad or Odyssey, nor any trace 
of the symbolical style in any of the works of art described in 
them, nor of allegory or enigma in the fables which adorn them, 
we may fairly presume that both the rites of initiation and the 
worship of Bacchus are of a later period, and were not generally 
known to the Greeks till after the composition of those poems. 
The Orphic Hymns, too, which appear to have been invocations 
or litanies used in the mysteries, are proved, both by the language 
and the matter, to be of a date long subsequent to the Homeric 
times, there being in all of them abbreviations and modes of 
speech not then known, and the form of worshipping or glorifying 
the deity by repeating adultatory titles, not being then in use, 
though afterwards common. 

In Egypt, nevertheless, and all over Asia, the mystic and 
symbolical worship appears to have been of immemorial antiquity. 
The women of the former country carried images of Osiris in 
their sacred processions, with a movable phallus of dispropor- 
tionate magnitude, the reason for which Herodotus does not 
think proper to relate, because it belonged to the mystic religion. 
Diodorus Siculus, however, who lived in a more communicative 
age, luforms us that it signified the generative attribute. In 
Book I., chap. 6, this author Says : They say the goat was 
accounted amongst the number of the Gods, for the sake of his 
genitals, as Priapus is honoured among the Grecians, for this 
creature is exceeding lustful, and therefore they say that member 
(the instrument of generation) is to be highly honoured as that 
from which all living creatures derive their original. They say 
that these privy parts are not only accounted sacred ainong the 
Egyptians, but among many others are religiously adored in the 
time of their solemn rites of religious worship, as those parts that 
are the canses of generation. And the priests who succeed in 
the office, descended to them from their fathers in Egypt, are 
first initiated into the service of this god. For this reason the 
Panes and Satyrs are greatly adored among them, and therefore 
they have images of them set up in their temples, with their 
privy parts erected like to the goat, which they say is the most 
lustful creature in the world. By this representation they would 
signify their gratitude to the gods, for the populousness of their 


Plutarch also says that the Egyptian statues of Osiris had 
the phallus to signify his procreative and prolific power, the 
extension of which through the three elements of air, earth and 
water, they expressed by another kind of statue, which was 
occasionally carried in procession, having a triple symbol of the 
same attribute. His words are: ‘They exhibit the statue in 
human semblance, holding the sexual part prominent as fecun- 
dating and nourishing. They display the emblem and carry it 
around, having the sexual parts threefold.” 

The Greeks usually represented the phallus alone, as a distinct 
symbol the meaning of which seems to have been among the last 
discoveries revealed to the initiated. It was the same in emble- 
matical writings, as the Orphic epithet, Pan-genetor, universal 
generator, in which sense it is stil] employed by the Hindus. It 
has also been observed among the idols of the native Americans 
and ancient Scandinavians; nor do we think the conjecture of 
an ingenious writer improbable who supposes that the Maypole 
was a symbol of the same meaning, and the first of May a great 
phallic festival both among the ancient Britons and Hindus, it 
being still celebrated with nearly the same rites. The Greeks 
changed, as usual, the personified attribute into a distinct deity 
called Priapus, whose universality was, however, acknowledged 
to the latest period of heathenism. * 

Isis, the peculiar goddess of maternity, is often figured in 
Roman sculpture, holding up in her hand a comical object, pouch- 
Shaped, exhibiting a triangular orifice. This object some have 
taken for the Persia plum; much more probably does it represent 
the female organ, the most natural and expressive symbol of that 
divinity’s peculiar function. In her mystic coffer were carried 
the distinctive marks of both sexes, the lingam and yon of the 
Hindoos. Their Isis, Parvati, who in this character takes the 
name of Deva “the goddess” pre-emineutly, bears in her hand 
for distinctive badge the yoni, or bhaga, often a precious stone 
carved into that shape. Similarly her consort, Siva, carries the 
lingam or phallus. For example, the Nizam’s diamond, the 
largest stone of its kind known certainly to exist, exhibits evident 
traces of the native lapidary’s clumsy endeavours to reduce the 
native crystal to the proper shape for the hand of the great 
goddess. Ugly omen to happen under a female reign, this 

* See Knight’s Ancient Art and Mythology. 


diamond was accidentally broken in two just before the outbreak 
of the Sepoy revolt. * 

‘‘Priapus,” says Smith’s mythological dictionary, ‘a son of 
Dionysus and Aphrodite. Aphrodite, it is said, had yielded to 
the embraces of Dionysus, but during his expedition to India, she 
became faithless to him, and lived with Adonis. On Dionysus’ 
return from India, she indeed went to meet him, but soon left 
him again, and went to Lampsacus on the Hellespont, to give 
birth to the child of the god. But Hera, dissatistied with her 
conduct, touched her, and, by her magic power, caused Aphrodite 
to give birth toa ehild of extreme ucliness, and with unusually 
large genitals. This child was Priapus. According to others, 
hawevck Priapus was a son of Dionysus and a Naiad or Chon, 
and gave lis name to the town of Priapus, while others again 
describe him as a son of Adonis, by Aphrodite, or as the son of a 
long-eared father, that is, of Pan or a Satyr. The earliest Greek 
poets, such as Homer, Hesiod, and others, do not mention this 
divinity, and Strabo expressly states, that it was only in later 
times that he was honoured with divine worship, and that he 
was worshipped more especially at Lampsacus on the Hellespont, 
whence he is sOmetimes called Hellespontiacus. We have every 
reason to believe that he was regarded as the promoter of fertility 
both of the vegetation and of all animals connected with an 
agricultural life, and in this capacity he was worshipped as the 
protector of flocks of sheep and goats, of bees, the vine, all garden 
produce, and even of fishing. Like other divinities presiding 
over agricultural pursuits, he was believed to be possessed of 
prophetic powers, and is sometimes mentioned in the plural. As 
Priapus had many attributes in common with other gods of 
fertility, the Orphics identified him with their mystic Dionysus, 
Hermes, Helios, ke. The Attic legends connect him with such 
sensual and licentious beings as Conisalus, Orthanes, and Tychon. 
In like manner he was confounded by the Italians with Mutunus, 
the personification of the fructifying power in nature The 
sacritices offered to him consisted of the first fruits of yardens, 
vineyards and fields, of milk, honey, cakes, rams, asses, and fishes. 
He was represented in carved images, mostly in the form of 
Hermee with very large genitals, carrying fruit in his garment, 
and either a sickle or cornucopia in his hand.” 

Diodorus says: “The Egyptians tell this story concerning 
Priapus ; they say that the Titanes in ancient times treacherously 

* King’s Gnostics. 


assassinated Osiris, and divided the members of his body into 
equal parts, and that every one privately carried away a part out 
of the palace, only his privy members they threw into the river, 
because none would meddle with them. But Isis, they say, after 
a diligent inquiry made concerning the murder of her husband, 
and having revenged his death upon the Titans, by conjoining 
his dismembered parts, reduced thein to a human shape, and 
delivered the body to the priests to be buried, and commanded 
that Osiris should be adored as a god, and appointed the shape of 
his privy member (which only was wanting and could not be 
found) to be set up as a sacred relict in the temple, and to be 
honoured likewise as a deity ; and these are the things which 
the ancient Egyptians feign concerning the original and divine 
worship of Priapus. This god is not only honoured in the 
festivals of Bacchus, but in all other sacred solemnities, where 
with sport and ridicule his image is presented to the view of all.” 

Pan, like other mystic deities, was wholly unknown to the 
first race of poets; there being no mention of him in either the 
Iliad, the Odyssey, or in the genuine poem of Hesiod; and the 
mythologists of later times baving made him a son of Mercury 
by Penelope, the wife of Ulysses; a fiction, perhaps, best 
accounted for by the conjecture of Herodotus, that the terrestrial 
genealogies of the mystic deities, Pan, Bacchus, and Hercules, 
are mere fables bearing date from the supposed time when they 
became objects of worship. Both in Greece and Egypt, Pan was 
coummonly represented under the symbolical form of the goat half 
humanised ; from which are derived his subordinate ministers or 
personified einanations, called Satyrs, Fawns, Tituri, Paniskoi ; 
who, as well as their parent, were wholly unknown to the ancient 

Pan is sometimes represented ready to execute his charac- 
teristic office, and sometimes exhibiting the result of it; in the 
former of which, all the muscles of his face and body appear 
strained and contracted; and in the latter, fallen and dilated ; 
while in both the phallus is of disproportionate magnitude, to 
signify that it represented the predominant attribute. In one 
instance he appears pouring water upon it, but more commonly 
standing near water, and accompanied by aquatic fowls ; in which 
character he is confounded with Priapus, to whom geese were 
particularly sacred. Swans, too, frequently occur as emblems of 
the waters upon coins; and sometimes with the head of Apollo 
on the reverse, when there may be some allusion to the ancient 


notion of their singing; a notion which seems to have arisen 
from the noises which they make in the high latitudes of the 
North, prior to their departure at the approach of winter. 

Though the Greek writers call the deity who was represented 
by the sacred goat at Mendes, ?an, he more correctly answers to 
Priapus, or the generative attribute cousidered abstractedly ; 
which was usually represented in Egypt as well as in Greece, by 
the phallus only. The deity was honoured with a place in most 
of their temples, as the Lingam is in those of the Hindus; and 
all the hereditary priests were initiated or consecrated to him, 
before they assumed the sacerdotal ottice: for he was considered 
as a sort of accessory attribute to all the other divine personifica- 
tions, the great end and purpose of whose existence was generation 
or production. A part of the. worship offered both to the goat 
Mendes, and the bull Apis, consisted in the woman tendering 
their persons to him, which it seems the former often accepted, 
though the taste of the latter was too correct. An attempt seems 
to have been made, in early times, to imtroduce similar acts of 
devotion into Italy ; for when the oracle of Juno was consulted 
upon the long-coutinued barrenness of the Roman matrons, its 
answer was ‘‘Iliadas matres caper birtus inito” (Let the rough 
goat approach the Trojan matrons), but those iystic retinements 
not being understood by that rude people, they could think of no 
other way of fulfilling the mandate, than sacrificing a goat, and 
applying the skin cut into thongs, to the bare backs of the ladies, 
which however had the desired effect : “Virque pater subito, 
nuptaque mater erat” (Speedily the man a father, the wife a 
mother was). 

At Mendes, female goats were also held sacred, as symbols of 
the passive generative attribute ; and on Grecian monuments of 
art, we often find caprine satyrs of that sex. The fable of 
Jupiter having been suckled by a goat, probably arose from some 
emblematical composition, the true explanation of which was only 
known to the initiated. Such was Juno Sospita of Lanuviun, 
near Rome, whose goat-skin dress signified the same as her title ; 
and who, on a votive car of very ancient Etruscan work found 
near Perugia, appears exactly in the form described by Cicero, as 
the associate of Hercules dressed in the lion’s skin, or the 
Destroyer. * 

* Knight’s Anctent Art. 

Emblems connected with Phallic Worship. 

T was the opinion of the ancients, that all the constituent 
parts of the great machine of the universe were mutually 
dependent upon each other ; and the luminaries of heaven, while 
they contributed to fecundate and organise terrestrial matter, 
were in their turn nourished and sustained by exhalations drawn 
from the humidity of the earth and its atmosphere. Hence the 
Egyptians placed the personifications of the sun and moon in 
boats (Plutarch: Isis and Osiris), while the Greeks, among 
whom the horse was a symbol of humidity, placed them in 
chariots, drawn sometimes by two, sometimes by three, and some- 
times by four of these animals; which is the reason of the 
number of Bige, Trigw, and Quadrigw, which we find upon 
coins: for they could not have had any reference to the public 
games, as has been supposed, a great part of them having been 
struck by states, which not being of Hellenic origin, had never 
the privilege of entering the lists on those occasions. The vehicle 
itself appears likewise to have been a symbol of the female 
generative power, or the means by which the emanations of the 
sun acted; whence the Delphians called Venus by the singular 
title of the Chariot (Plutarch); but the same meaning is more 
frequently expressed by the figure called a Victory accompanying 
it; and by the fish, or some other symbol of the waters, under it, 
In some instances, have been observed, composite symbols 
signifying both attributes in this situation; such as the lion 
destroying the bull, or the Scylla, which is a continuation of 
emblems of the same kind, as those which compose the Sphinx 
and Chimera, and has no resemblance to the monster described 
in the Odyssey. * 

Ancient writers describing the initiation of votaries into the 
celebrated mysteries of Greece state that just when the cere- 
monies were being brought to a close, the symbolic image of the 
fecundity of nature was then exhibited ; an image that expressed 
the means by which she renews herself in the class of organised 

* Knight. Sym. Lan. Anc. Art. 


bodies, and which, having been at first chosen by a simple and 
rude people, had continued in use after they were civilized and 
corrupted, because it had been originally consecrated to religious 
purposes. The Phallus was carried in great pomp ; in the cere- 
monies of the women, the Kteis was made use of; and in spite 
of the remonstrances of the fathers of the church, 1t would appear 
that this ceremony still continued to be respected. But it 
conveyed no impure idea to the imagination, for the initiated 
addressed this prayer to nature. 

“ Wail! holy and unwearied benefactress of the human race ! 
thou who, like a tender mother, lavishest on mortals thy precious 
gifts, and who stretchest forth thy hands to assist the unhappy, 
all hail! TI invoke thee, thou powerful deity; thee, whom the 
gods of heaven adore, and whom the gods of hell dread: thee, 
who hast impressed motion on the celestial spheres; who con- 
tinuest to nourish the fires of the sun; who governest the 
universe ; and whose empire extends even to Tartarus. Thou 
speakest and the stars make answer ; the gods rejoice, the seasons 
succeed each other, and the elements are obedient to thy voice. 
By thy order the winds rage, and clouds are collected ; plants 
germinate and issue from the bosom of the earth ; animals people 
the forests and the mountains; the serpent hides himself in 
obscure retreats; the inhabitants of air, the monsters of the 
ocean, the whole universe is subject to thy command. Who can 
worthily celebrate thy praises, O august divinity! Engrossed 
with thy majesty, I shall incessantly behold thee and contemplate 
thy divine perfections. May the sacred image never cease to 
dwell in the bottom of my heart.” 

The reverence paid to fish of different kinds by the Egyptians 
and some other ancient nations was very marked. Historians 
say that all the natives of the river were in some degree esteemed 
sacred. In many parts the people did not feed upon them. The 
priests in particular never tasted fish; and this on account of 
their imputed sanctity, for they were sometimes looked upon as 
sacred emblems: at other times worshipped as real deities. One 
species of fish was styled Oxurunchus; and there was a city of 
the name, built in honour of it, and a temple where this fish was 
publicly worshipped. Nor was the veneration confined to this 
place, but prevailed in many other parts of Egypt. A fish called 
Phagrus was worshipped at Syene: as the Meotis was at 
Elephantis. The Lepidotus had the like reverence paid to it: as 
had also the Eel; being each sacred to the god Nilus. This is 




ridiculed in a passage, which has been often quoted, from the 
ancient comedian Autiphanes: who mentions, that an eel by the 
Egyptians was reverenced equally with the gods. Another 
comedian says that they esteemed it as one of their supreme 

deities: and he at the same time exposes their folly with some 

humour. A Grecian is made to address himself to an Egyptian : 

and he accordingly says,—“ It is impossible for me to ride in the 

same troop with you: for our notions and manners are diametri- 

cally opposite. You pay adoration to an ox: I kill and sacrifice - 
it to the gods. You esteem an eel to bea very great divinity. 

IT only think it the best dish that comes upon the table. You 

worship a dog. J whip him handsomely; especially if J tind the 

cur purloining my dinner.” * 

Here it is proper to take notice, that there was a female deity 
called Athor in Egypt: but in Syria Atar-Cetus, or Atargatis ; 
and abbreviated, Dercetus and Derceti. This personage was 
supposed to have been of old preserved by means of a fish: and 
was represented one half under that form ; and the other half as 
& woman. She was esteemed to be the same as the Aphrodite 
of the Greeks and the Venus of the Romans, whose origin was 
from the sea. In consequence of this, wherever her worship 
prevailed, fish were esteemed sacred ; and the inhabitants would 
not feed upon them. This was the case at Edessa, called Hiera- 
polis, where Atargatis or Derceto was held in particular venera- 
tion. Xenophon in his march through these parts observed, in a 
river called Chalus, many large fishes, which appeared tame, and 
were never taken for food: the natives esteeming them as gods. 
Lucian tells us, that this worship was of great antiquity; and 
was introduced into these parts from Egypt. The same custom 
seems to have been kept up in Babylonia: but what was of more 
consequence to the Israelites, 1t prevailed within their own 
borders. Dagon of Asdod, or Azotus, was the same deity: 
and represented under a like figure as Atargatis. The same rites 
and abstinence were observed also at Ascalon. Diodorus Siculus 
speaks of this city, which he places in Syria, rather than Pales- 
tine ; at no great distance from which he says was a large lake, 
abounding with fishes. Near it was a noble temple of the god- 
dess Derceto, whom they represented with the face of a woman, 
but from thence downwards, under the figure of a fish. The 
history of Derceto in this place was, that she threw herself into this 

* Anaxandrides. 


lake, and was changed toa fish. On which account the inhabi- 
tants of Ascalon, and of some parts of Syria, abstained from fish : 
and held those of the lake as so many deities. However strange 
this idolatry muy appear, yet we see how very far it reached ; 
and with what a reverence it was attended. It was to be found 
not only in Syria, which was sufficiently near, but in the borders 
of Lebanon ; also at Ascalon, Ashdod, and Joppa; which cities 
were within the precincts of the tribes of Dan and Judah. * 

The Egyptians honoured the Nile with a religious reverence, 
and valued themselves much upon the excellence of their river. 
Nor was this blind regard confined to the Egyptians only, but 
obtained in many parts of the world. Herodotus says of the 
Persians, that of all things rivers were held in the highest venera- 
tion. They worshipped them, and offered to them sacritices : nor 
would they suffer anything to be thrown into them that could 
possibly pollute their waters. The like obtained among the 
Medes, Parthians, and the Sarmatians. We read in Homer of 
the sanctity in which rivers were held in Greece. Among these 
more especially were the Spercheius, Peneus, Achelous, and 
Alpheus. The last had altars, and sacrifices offered to him in 
common with Diana. The Phrygians made the like offerings to 
the Marsyas and Meander. 

But no nation carried their reverence to such an extravagant 
degree of idolatry as the Egyptians. They looked upon their 
river not only as consecrated to a deity: but if we may believe 
some authors, as their chief national god, and worshipped it 
accordingly. The people above Syene, styled the Nile Siris and 
Sirius, which was the name of Osiris, and the Sun: and upon 
solemn occasions made invocations to it as their chief guardian 
and protector. They supposed that it gave birth to all their 
deities, who were born upon its banks, and that it was particularly 
the father of Vulcan. Hence there were temples erected to his 
honour, and a city called after his name, Nilopolis; in which he 
was particularly worshipped: and there were festivals and rites, 
styled Neiloa Sacra, which were observed all over Egypt. As 
they received so much benefit from their river, they held water 
in general sacred, as Julius Firmicus has observed. 

These superstitions, and this veneration for the river pre- 
vailed, as we may presume, even in the time of Moses. This 
may be inferred from the like notions being found in the earliest 

* Bryant on the Plagues of Egypt. 


ages among the Syrians and Babylonians. The same prevailed 
in Greece. They were brought over to the last region by colonies 
from Egypt, and appear to have been of very early date. The 
ancient Grecians supposed many of their kings and heroes to have 
been the offspring of rivers: and the Sea, or Oceanus, was 
esteemed the father of their gods. This was borrowed from 
Egypt, for the natives of that country esteemed the Nile to be 
the ocean. * 

‘Loss of hair was degrading and humiliating, whether volun- 
tary or enforced, and shaving is the symbolic act of rendering 
non-virile, monkish, unsexual, whether applied to the pubes, 
beard, or crown, as it was in Egypt, and still is in the Cult of 
the Virgin Mother and her impubescent Bambino in Rome. 

This is recognised by Isaiah, who threatens Israel with a 
razor that will shave it at both ends, and ‘2¢ shall consume the 
beard’ (ch. vii. 20). 

As hair was the emblem of virility and reproduction, baldness 
was the natural antithesis ; and the loss of the hair was enforced 
as a later form of penalty, because it had been held so sacred as 
a voluntary offering. The hair being a symbol of reproducing 
potency, this will account for the lock of a person’s hair being 
considered the representative of the person’s self, when his life is 
sought to be taken, or blasted by magic, 7.e. enacting of the 
malignant desire in gesture-language according to primitive usage. 

itis believed that the hair and nails ought never to be cut on 
Sunday, the day of Khem-Horus,+ or on Friday, the day of the 

The Lion Paru in the Ritual is called the ‘ Lord of numerous 
transformations of skins,’ 2. ¢., repeatings of the hair; and time 
was, in England, when people would make a point of having 
their hair cut whilst the moon, the female reproducer, was in the 
sign of the Lion or the Ram, two chief types of male potency. 

When we know the symbolic value of nail from the origin, we 
can understand the reason why biting the nail by way of scorn 
should be considered an insult. The act was equal to plucking 
the beard or cutting the hair; it was aimed at the person’s 

* Bryant on the Egyptian Plagues. 

+ There is a like superstition lingering to the present day in England 
embodied in the following couplet :— 
‘‘ He that cutteth hair or horn 
Shall rue the day that he was born.” 


manhood, on the ground of nail being a representative of virility 
in gesture-language and the primitive typology. 

The nails as an equivalent for the hair, a type of ‘renewal 
coming of itself,” will account for a custom like this :—‘ The 
ancient Frenchmen had a ceremony that when they would marry, 
the bridegroom should pare his nails and send them to his new 
wife ; which done, they lived together afterwards as man and 
wife.’ The act had the same significance as when the pubes or 
locks of hair were offered to the divine Genitrix, or the foreskins 
were piled in the circle of the twelve stones at Gilgal. Each was 
dedicated to reproduction. 

Captain Cook describes the Maori as wearing the nails and 
teeth of their dead relatives. These were equivalent to the 
phallus worn by the widows, as a type of reproduction. 

It was an Egyptian custom to gild the nails, teeth, and 
membrum virile of the embalmed mummy. These were glorified 
in the gloom of the grave because, as types of production, they 
served in a second place as emblems of foundation, and visible 
basis of renewal and resurrection. 

It was a theory that the hair, beard, and nails of the Japanese 
Mikado were never cut. They had to be trimmed furtively 
while he was sleeping. This corresponds to the assumption that 
the king never dies. He was not reproducible. He was only 
transformed. He was the living one, like the Aukh; an 
image of the ever-being, a type of the immortal. 

The male emblem of virility, like the scalp, was a trophy to 
be cut off in battle. On the monuments there are heaps of these 
collected as evidence of conquest. In one instance the ‘spoils of 
the Rebu,’ consist of donkey-loads of phalluses (Karanatu) and 
several hands. Twelve thousand, five hundred and thirty-five 
members and hands were cut off from the dead after the battle 
of Khesef-Tamahu, and deposited as proofs of victory —an enacted 
report—before the Pharaoh Rameses. 

By the aid of the hieroglyphic values conferred on the image 
in life, we can read the signiticance of the emblem in death. By 
its excision the enemy were typically annihilated; the last 
tribute paid thus was the forfeiture of his personality in a 
spiritual sense ; for without the member, the deceased, according 
to Egyptian thought, could not be reconstructed. He would not 
rise again; resurrection, as in the case of Osiris, depended on 
repossessing the member. The type of individuality here was the 
emblem of existence hereafter. 


We have only to become acquainted with the doctrines of the 
mummy in the Ritual, and see the fearful anxiety of the deceased 
to get all his members intact and solid, to avoid dissolution ; see 
how he rejoices in the firmness of his phallus, the hardness of his 
heart, the soundness and indissolubility of his vertebra, to appre- 
hend what terrible meaning there was in the custom of dis- 
membering the body, swallowing the eyes, eating the heart, or 
pulverising the bones to drink them in water as an ocular 
demonstration of dissolution. The New Zealanders are said to 
think that a man who is eaten is thus destroyed soul and body. 

In the Atharva-Vada it is affirmed that when the dead passed 
through the sacrificial fire of heaven, Agni (fire) does not consume 
their generative organ ; whereas in the earlier thought of Kam 
it would have been held to do so, or to efface the type, which 
came to the same thing, symbolically, as the most physical plane 
of thought. 

Because the custom was typical, it permitted of modification 
and commutation in the interchange of types. Thus the ‘bloody 
Joreskin’ of the slain came to be adopted in place of the total 
emblem, as with the Abyssinians, described by Bruce, and the 
hundred Philistine foreskins demanded by Saul of David, and 
doubled as the dowry of Michal. The foreskin, or prepuce cover 
had precisely the same symbolical value as the sign of manhood, 
hence the excision at the age of puberty, for that was the earlier 
period, and the Jewish custom does not retain the primary 
significance, except in its being a commutated offering to the 
paternal deity.”* 

“Tt was stated in the Paris Moniteur, during the month of 
January, 1865, that in the province of Venice, Italy, excavations 
of a bone-cave were made, and bones of animals, chiefly post- 
tertiary, were found together with flint implements, a needle of 
bone, having both eye and point, and a plate of an argillaceous 
compound, on which was scratched a rude figure of the male 
organ of generation; and that these things were dug from 
beneath ten feet of stalagmite. That emblem was a type of 
resurrection, formed on the most natural grounds. According to 
the Gnosis, this rude figure had the same significance, denoting 
a place of burial for those who expected to rise again, and its 
image in the tomb can be read by the Egyptian ‘Litany of 
Ra’ (34). ‘Homage to thee, Ra! supreme power, the way of | 
light in the sarcophagus! Its form is that of the progenitor.’ 

* Massey’s Natural Genesis. 


The self-erecting member was the type of resurrection, as the 
image of Khem-Horus, the re-arising sun, and of Khepr-Ra, the 
re-erector of the dead. The widows of the aborigines of Australia 
are in the habit of wearing the dead husband’s phallus round 
their necks, and the significance of the custom is the same as in 
Egypt and the bone-caves. The emblem was sacred as the type 
of reproduction. The same type was worn as an ear-drop by 
the ladies of Latium, and is yet worn in Southern Italy. 

‘Images of pollution have been found at Hissarlik, exclaims 
tbe author of Juventus Mundi, and the voice of the primitive 
consciousness says the phallus typified the earliest ray of light 
that penetrated the darkness of the grave ; indeed this primitive 
type is found in a fourfold form in the Christian iconography of 
the Roman catacombs. 

The branch of palm has now taken its place in the imagery of 
heaven and the typology of the eternal. In the Book of Revela- 
tion those who stand before the throne are pourtrayed with 
palms in their hands. Horus is represented in the monuments 
as defending himself against his evil enemy, Sut, or Satan, with 
a palm-branch in his hand, The branch of palm was, and still is 
an emblem of renewal. But the branch of birch that was buried 
with the dead in the barrows had the same meaning. <A barrow 
at Kepwick was found to be lined with the bark and branches of 
the birch. That is the Bedmen of the British, which was also 
the maypole and the phallus. The Bedmen was typical of the 
resurrection equally with the palm. 

The beetle type of Kephr, the transformer, was also buried 
with the British dead as with the Egyptian, likewise also beads, 
as with the Africans and Egyptian mummies. As these were 
imperishable it should be noticed that a kind of bead which is 
made in Africa has been found buried in Britain. Beads denote 
reproduction, and were worn by the genitrix Isis when enceinte, 
as the beads and berries are worn by the pregnant women in 
Africa to-day. Beads in the tombs typified re-birth, whether in 
Africa, America, Australia, or Britain.’”’* 

The most celebrated of all the sacred animals worshipped by 
the Egyptians was Mnevis or Apis, the bull, the Epaphus of the 
Greeks, whose image is found to an enormous extent marked 
upon the coins and religious monuments of various nations. 
Strength was what it was desired to express, and the bull being 

* Massey’s Natural Genesis. 


the most powerful anima] known in climates too cold for the 
propagation of the elephant, was the creature adopted. It was 
under this form that the mystic Bacchus, or generative power 
was represented, not only upon the coins, but in the temples of 
the Greeks. It was sometimes nothing but a bull; at others, a 
bull with a human face ; and at others entirely human with the 
exception of the horns and ears ; in some instances also the head 
was adorned with a beard. 

According to Plutarch and Herodotus, the Mnevis of the 
Egyptians was held by some to be the mystic father of Apis; and 
as the one has the disk upon the head, and was kept in the city 
of the sun, while the other is distinguished by the crescent, it is 
probable that the one was the emblem of the divine power acting 
through the sun; and the other, of it acting through the moon, 
or (what was the same) through the sun by night. Apis, how- 
ever, held the highest rank, he being exalted by the superstition 
of that superstitious people into something more than a mere 
symbol, and supposed to be a sort of incarnation of the deity in 
a particular animal, revealed to them at his birth by certain 
external marks, which announced his having been miraculously 
conceived by means of a ray from heaven. Hence, when found, 
he was received by the whole nation with every possible testimony, 
of joy and gratulation, and treated in a manner worthy of the 
exalted character bestowed on him; which was that of the terres- 
trial image or representative of Osiris, in whose statues the 
remains of the animal symbol may be traced. 

Their neighbours the Arabs appear to have worshipped their 
god under the same image, though their religion was more simple 
and pure than that of any heathen nation of antiquity, except 
the Persians, and perhaps the Scythians. They acknowledge only 
the male and female, or active and passive powers of creation, 
the former of whom they called Urotalt, a name which evidently 
alludes to Urus. Herodotus calls him Bacchus, as he does the 
female deity, Celestial Venus, by which he means no more than 
than they were personifications of the attributes which the Greeks 
worshipped under those titles. 

In most Greek and Roman statues of the bull, whether in the 
character of Mnevis or Apis, of both of which many are extant of 
a small size in bronze, there is a hole upon the top of the head 
between the horns where the disk or crescent, probably of some 
other material, was fixed: for as the mystical or symbolical was 
engrafted upon the old elementary worship, there 1s always a link 


of connection remaining between them. The Bacchus of the 
Greeks, as well as the Osiris of the Egyptians, comprehended the 
whole creative or generative power, and is therefore represented 
in a great variety of forms, and under a great variety of symbols, 
signifying his subordinate attributes. * 

Priapus was celebrated by the Greek poets, under the title of 

Eros, Love or Attraction, the first principle of animation, the 
father of gods and men, and the regulator and disposer of all 
things. He is said to pervade the universe with the motion of 
his wings, bringing pure light: and thence to be called the 
splendid, the self. illumined, the ruling Priapus—light being con- 
sidered in this primitive philosophy as the great nutritive 
principle of all things. Wines are attributed ‘to him as the 
emblems of spontaneous motion; and he is said to have sprung 
from the ege of night, because the egg was the ancient symbol of 
organic matter in its inert state, or, as Plutarch calls it, the 
material of generation, containing the seeds and germs of life and 
motion without being actually possessed of either. It was there- 
fore carried in procession at the celebration of the Mysteries ; for 
which reason Plutarch declines entering into a more particular 
disquisition concerning its nature, the Platonic interlocutor in 
the Dialogue observing, that, though «w small question, 1t com- 
prehended a very great one, concerning the generation of the 
world itself, leiowi (ter those wm leuncerstagd. the Orphic and 
sacred language, the egg being consecrated, in the Bacchic 
mysteries, as the i lage of that. which generated and contained 
all things in itself. “His words are: —* They suspected that I 
held the Orphic and Pythagorean dogmas, aud refused to eat the 
egg (as some do the heart and brain) because it 1s sacred ; 
imagining it to be the first principle of generated existence.* * . 
Soon after Alexander proposed the problem concerning the egg 
and the bird, which was the first. My friend Sylla saying that 
with this little question, as with an engine, was invoked the great 
and weighty one concerning the genesis of the world, declaring 
his dislike of such problems. #48 7 speak to those who under- 
stand the sacred legend of Orpheus, which shows not only that 
the egg is before the bird, but makes it before all things. The 
other matter we will not speak about, being as Herodotus Says, 
of a mystic character. * * * Therefore in the Orgies of Dionysus 
it is usual to consecrate an egg as representing that which 
generates and contains all things in itself.” 

* See Knight’s Symbolical Languaye of Ancient Art. 


Venus-Urania, the Mother-Goddess. The characteristic attri- 
bute of the passive generative power was expressed in symbolical 
writing, by different enigmatical representatives of the most 
distinctive characteristic of the female sex ; such as the shell, or 
concha veneris, the fig-leaf, barley corn, or the letter delta; all which 
occur very frequently upon coins and other ancient monuments 
in this sense. The same attribute, personified as the goddess of 
love or desire, is usually represented under the voluptuous form 
of a beautiful woman, frequently distinguished by one of these 
symbols, and called Venus, Kypris, or Aphrodité, names of rather 
uncertain etymology. She is said to be the daughter of Jupiter 
and Dioné; that is, of the male and female personifications of 
the all-pervading spirit of the universe; Dioné being, as before 
explained, the female Dis or Zeus, and therefore associated with 
him in the most ancient oracular temple of Greece at Dodona. 

Mr. R. P. Knight in his ‘“Symbolical Language of Ancient 
Art” quotes the following authorities relating to the foregoing. 

Clement of Alexandria: Zwhortations. ‘The Kteis guna- 
keios (woman’s comb), which is, to speak with a euphemism, and 
in mystic language, the female sexual parts.” 

Plutarch : Jsis and Osiris. “They make a figure of a fig- 
leaf both for the king and soutnern climate, which fig-leaf is 
interpreted to mean the generating and fecundating of the 
universe, for it seems to have some resemblance to the sexual 
parts of a man.” 

Eustathius: on Homer. ‘The barley-corn, denoting the 
vulva among the writers upon the Bacchic Komuses.” 

Suidas: ‘ Delta, the fourth letter ; it also signities the vulva.” 

The Genetullides or Genaidai, were the original and appro- 
priate ministers and companions of Venus, who was, however, 
afterwards attended by the Graces, the proper and original atten- 
dants of Juno; but as both these goddesses, were occasionally 
united and represented in one image, the personifications of their 
respective subordinate attributes might naturally be changed. 
Other attributes were on other occasions added, whence the 
symbolical statue of Venus at Paphos had a beard, and other 
appearances of virility, which seeins to have been the most 
ancient mode of representing the celestial as distinguished from 
the popular goddess of that name; the one being a personification 
of a general procreative power, and the other only of animal 
desire or concupiscence. The refinement of Grecian art, however, 
when advanced to maturity, contrived more elegant modes of 


distinguishing them; and in a celebrated work of Phidias, we 
find the former represented with her foot upon a tortoise, and in 
a no less celebrated one of Scopas, the latter sitting upon a goat. 
The tortoise, being an androgynous animal, was aptly chosen as 
a symbol of the double power, and the goat was equally appro- 
priate to what was meant to be expressed in the other. 

The same attribute was on other occasions signified by the 
dove or pigeon, by the sparrow, and perhaps by the polypus, 
which often appears upon coins with the head of the goddess, and 
which was accounted an aphrodisiac, though it is likewise of the 
androgynous class. The fig was a still more common symbol, the 
stutues of Priapus being made of the tree, and the fruit being 
carried with the phallus in the ancient processions in honour of 
Bacchus, and still continuing among the common people of Italy 
to be an emblem of what it anciently meant: whence we often 
see portraits of persons of that country painted with it in one 
hand, to signify their orthodox devotion to the fair sex. Hence, 
also, arose the Italian expression, far la fica, which was done by 
putting the thumb between the middle and fore fingers, as it 
appears In many Priapic ornaments now extant; or putting the 
finger or the thumb into the corner of the mouth, and drawing it 
down, of which there is a representation in a small Priapic figure 
of exquisite sculpture engraved, among the antiquities of Her- 

The myrtle was a symbol both of Venus and Neptune, the 
male and female personifications of the productive powers of the 
waters, which appears to have been occasionally employed in the 
same sense as the fig and fig-leaf, but upon what account it is not 
easy to guess. Grains of barley may have been adopted from the 
stimulating and intoxicating quality of the liquor extracted from 
them, or, more probably, from a fancied resemblance to the 
object, which is much heightened in the representations of them 
upon some coins where they are employed as accessory symbols 
in the same manner as tig-leaves are upon others. Barley was 
also thrown upon the altar, with salt, the symbol of the pre- 
serving power, at the beginning of every sacrifice, and thence 
denominated oulochutar. The thighs of the victim, too, were 
sacrificed in preference to every other part, on account of the 
generative attribute, of which they were supposed to be the seat, 
whence, probably, arose the fable of Bacchus being nourished 
and matured in the thigh of Jupiter.* 

* Symbolical lancuage of Ancient Art. 


Humidity in general, and particularly the Nile, was called by 
the Egyptians the outflowing of Osiris ; (Plutarch) who was with 
them the God of the Waters, in the same sense as Bacchus was 
among the Greeks; whence all rivers, when personified, were 
represented under the form of the bull; or at least with some of 
the characteristic features of that animal. Plutarch says :—‘ The 
more learned in arcane matters among the priests, not only term 
the Nile Osiris, and the sea Typhon, but they also regard Osiris 
to signify every principle and potency of moisture, venerating it 
as the cause of generation and the substance of the semen. But 
by Typhon they mean everything dried, fire-like, and withered, 
as being opposed to .moisture.” And again :—-“‘ The Greeks 
consider Dionysus not alone as the patron of wine, but also of 
the entire moist or generative principle in nature.” 

In the religion of the Hindus this article of ancient faith, like 
most others, is still retained ; as it appears from the title, Daugh- 
ter of the Sun, given to the sacred river Yamuna or Jumna. The 
God of Destruction is also mounted on a white bull, the sacred 
symbol of the opposite attribute, to show the union and co-opera- 
tion of both. The same meaning is more distinctly represented 
in an ancient Greek fragment of bronze, by a lion trampling upon 
the head of a bull, while a double phallus appears behind them, 
and shows the result. The title Satnp Koopov, upon the com- 
posite Priapic figure, published hy La Chausse, is well known ; 
and it is probable that the ithy-phallic ceremonies, which the 
gross flattery of the degenerate Greeks sometimes employed to 
honour the Macedonian princes, had the same meaning as this 
title of Saviour, which was frequently conferred upon, or assumed 
by them. It was also occasionally applied to most of the deities 
who had double attributes, or were personifications of both powers ; 
as to Hercules, Bacchus, Diana, &e. 

The head of Proserpina, appears in numberless instances, 
surrounded by dolphins; and upon the very ancient medals of 
Side in Pamphylia, the pomegranate, the fruit peculiarly con- 
secrated to her, is borne upon the back of one. By prevailing 
upon her to eat of it, Pluto is said to have procured her stay 
during half the year in the infernal regions; and a part of the 
Greek ceremony of marriage consists, in many places, in the 
bride treading upon a pomegranate. The flower of it is occa- 
sionally employed as an ornament upon the diadem of both 
Hercules and Bacchus, and likewise forms the device of the 
Rhodian medals; on some of which may be seen distinctly 


represented an ear of barley springing from one side of it, and 
the bulb of the lotus, or Mymphea nelumbo, from the other. It 
therefore holds the place of the male, or active generative attri- 
bute; and accordingly we find it on a bronze fragment, published 
by Caylus, as the result of the union of the bull and the lion, 
exactly as the more distinct symbol of the phallus is in a similar 
fragment above cited. The pomegranate, therefore, in the hand 
of Proserpina or Juno, signifies the same as the circle and cross 
in the hand of Isis; which is the reason why Pausanias declines 
giving any explanation of it, lest it should lead him to divulge 
any of the inystic secrets of his religion. 

Inman in his Vocabulary (Ancient Faiths) Article Rimmon, 
says :—“ A pomegranate.” The shape of this fruit resembles 
that of the gravid uterus in the female, and the abundance of 
seed which it contains makes it a fitting emblem of the prolific 
womb of the celestial mother. Its use was adopted largely in 
various forins of worship. It was united with bells, in the 
adornment of the robes of the Jewish high priest. It was intro- 
duced as an ornament into Solomon’s temple, where it was united 
with lilies, and probably with the lotus. In one part of Syria, 
it was deified, and a temple errected in its honour.” 

“The arcane meaning of the pomegranate is evidently sexual. 
The goddess Nana ate of one, and became pregnant. Women 
celebrating the Thesmorphic, abstained from the fruit rigidly. 
The Greek name of this fruit, rhova, is a pun for Rhea, the 
Mother-Goddess. In the phallic symbolism, generation is a part 
of the mystery of death, and therefore its symbol, the pome- 
granate, belongs very appropriately to the Queen of the Under- 
world, who is after all but Isis, Rhea, and Cybelé.” 

Likewise Pausanias: (Corinth. xvii., 4). “The agalma of 
Hera is sitting upon a throne, and is of gold and ivory, the work 
of Polycleitus; her crown has inwrought upon it the Graces and 
the Hours; in one hand she holds a pomegranate, and in the 
other, a sceptre; concerning the pomegranate, I will not speak, 
for it is a matter pertaining to the arcane learning of the 

Hippocrates says: ‘ All living creatures, not only the animals, 
but likewise man, originate from the two principles, differing in 
potency, but agreeing in purpose: I mean fire and water. Fire 
is able to give life to all things, but water can nourish them.” 
“The soul moveth itself in man, being the commixture of fire and 
water, necessary to the human body.” 


The elements—so called, years ago—were supposed to be 
those in which the active and passive productive powers of the 
universe respectively existed ; since nothing appeared to be pro- 
duced without them; and whenever they were joined there was 
production of some sort, either vegetable or animal. Hence they 
were employed as the primary symbols of these powers on num- 
berless occasions. Among the Romans, a part of the ceremony 
of marriage consisted in the bride’s touching them as a form of 
consecration to the duties of that state of life upon which she 
was entering. 

‘‘Why do they direct the bride to touch fire and water?” 
asks Plutarch, “Is it not because, as among the elements and 
principles, the one is male and the other is female: the one 
constitutes the principle of motion, and the other the potency 
existing in matter !” 

The Roman sentence of banishment, was an interdiction from 
fire and water, which implied an exclusion from any participation 
in those elements, to which all organised and animated beings 
owed their existence. 

According to Plutarch, Numa consecrated the perpetual 
fire, as the first of all things, and the soul of matter, which, 
without it, is motionless and dead. Fires of the same kind 
were, for the same reasons, preserved in most of the principal 
temples both Greek and Barbarian; there being scarcely a 
country in the world, where some traces of the adoration paid to 
it are not to be found. The Prytania of the Greek cities, in 
which the Supreme Councils were usually held, and the public 
treasures kept, were so called from the sacred fires always pre- 
served in them. Even common fires were reputed holy by them ; 
and therefore carefully preserved from all contagion of impiety. 
After the battle of Platzea, they extinguished all that remained 
in the countries which had been occupied by the Persians, and 
rekindled them, according to the direction of the Oracle, with 
consecrated fire from the altar at Delphi. <A similar prejudice 
still prevails, or did till lately, among the native Irish, who anually 
extinguish their fires, and rekindle them from a sacred bonfire. 
Perpetual lamps are kept burning in the inmost recesses of all 
the great pagodas in India; the Hindus holding fire to be the 
essence of all active power in nature. At Sais in Egypt, there 
was an annual religious festival called the Burning of Lamps ; 
and lamps were frequently employed as symbols upon coins by 
the Greeks, who also kept them burning in tombs, and sometimes 


swore by them, as by known emblems of the deity. The torch 
held erect, as it was by the statue of Bacchus at Eleusis, and as 
it is by other figures of him still extant, means life ; while being 
reversed, as it frequently is upon sepulchral urns and other 
monuments of the kind, invariably signifies death or extinction. 

Though water was thought to be the principle of the passive, 
as fire was of the active power; yet both being esteemed unpro- 
ductive when separate, both were occasionally considered as 
united in each. Hence Vesta, whose symbol was tire, was held 
to be equally with Ceres a personification of the Earth, or rather 
of the genial heat which pervades it, to which its productive 
powers were supposed to be owing.* 

At Mendes a living goat was kept as the image of the 
generative power, to whom the women presented themselves.* * * 
Herodotus saw this act openly performed, and called it a prodigy. 
But the Egyptians had no such horror of it; for it was to them 
a representation of the incarnation of the Deity, and the com- 
munication of his creative spirit to man. It was one of the 
sacraments of that ancient church, and was, without doubt, 
beheld with that pious awe and reverence with which devout 
persons always contemplate the mysteries of their faith, whatever 
they happen to be, for, as the learned and orthodox Bishop 
Warburton says, from the nature of any action morality cannot 
arise, nor from its effects; therefore, for aught we can tell, this 
ceremony, however shocking it may appear to modern manners 
and opinions, might have been intrinsically meritorious at the 
time of its celebration, and afforded a truly edifying spectacle to 
the saints of ancient Egypt. Indeed, the Greeks do not seem to 
have felt nuch horror or disgust at the imitative representation 
of it, whatever the historian might have thought proper to 
express at the real celebration. Several specimens of their 
sculpture in this way have escaped the fury of the reformers, and 
remained for the instruction of later times. One of those found 
among the ruins of Herculaneum, and kept concealed in the 
Royal Museum of Portici, is well known ; another exists in the 
collection of Mr. Townley. It may be remarked, that in these 
monuments the goat is passive instead of active; and that the 
human symbol is represented as incarnate with the divine, instead 
of.the divine with the human: but this is in fact no difference ; 
for the Creator being of both sexes, is represented indifferently 

* Knight. Symb. Lang. Anc. Art. 


of either. In the other symbol of the bull, the sex is equally 
varied ; the Greek medals having sometimes a bull, and some- 
times a cow, which Strabo tells us was employed as the symbol of 
Venus, the passive generative power, at Momemphis, in Egypt. 
Both the bul] and the cow are also worshipped at present by the 
Hindoos, as symbols of the male and female, or generative and 
nutritive powers of the Deity. The cow is in almost all their 
pagodas ; but the bull is revered with superior solemnity and 

In the gallery at Florence is a colossal image of the organ of 
generation, mounted on the back parts of a lion, and hung round 
with various annals. By this is represented the co-operation of 
the creative and destroying powers, which are both blended and 
united in one figure, because both are derived from one cause. 
The animals hung round show likewise that both act to the same 
purpose, that of replenishing the earth, and peopling it with still 
rising generations of sensitive beings. The Chimera of Homer, of 
which the commentators have given so many whimsical interpre- 
tations, was a syinbol of the same kind, which the poet probably 
having seen in Asia, and not knowing its meaning (which was 
only revealed to the initiated) supposed to be a monster that had 
once infested the country. He describes it as composed of the 
forms of the goat, the lion, and the serpent, and breathing fire 
from its mouth. These are the symbols of the creator, the 
destroyer, and the preserver, united and animated by fire, the 
divine essence of all ¢hree. On a gem, published in the Memoirs 
of the Academy of Cortona, this union of the destroying and 
preserving attributes is represented by the united forms of the 
lion and serpent crowned with rays, the emblems of the cause 
from which both proceed. This composition forms the Chnoubis 
of the Evyptians. 

Phalltc Objects. 

NHE subjects dealt with in our volume on “ Archaic Cup 
and Ring Marks” have in the minds of many competent 
autiquarians an important connection with the topics now under 
discussion. Some of those markings—particularly those occuring 
in certain parts of India, though it must be admitted that their 
almost exact counterparts wre found elsewhere as well—appear 
to have a inmost striking resemblance to some of the monuments 
and objects which are undoubtedly connected with the ancient 
worship of the phallus. Speaking of the possible significance 
of some of the markings, Mr. H. Rivett-Carnac says in his 
* Archeological Notes on Ancient Sculpturings :”—“It will 
hardly be contested that some of them bear a striking resemblance 
to the Mahddeo and yoni marks on the Chandeshwar shrines. 
The centre mark would appear to do duty for the lings, the circle 
for the yoni—-and the ‘gutter’ is the depression to be found 
on most stone yonis, by means of which the votive libations 
are drained off from the syinbols.” (The allusion here is chiefly 
to those sculpturings which consist of a central cup, with a ring 
outside circular at one part, but running off in a kind of channel 
at another—pear shaped in fact.) ‘‘And here it may be noticed,” 
continues Mr. Carnac, “that in Mahddeo worship the offering of 
flowers and the pouring of a libation, generally of Ganges water, 
over the symbols is, so far as I have seen, very general. Those 
who have visited Benares will remember the little spoons 
resembling somewhat our Apostles’ spoons, some of them beau- 
tifully chased with a figure or cobra at the upper end of the 
handle, used by pilgrims and worshippers at that city in sprinkling 
the holy water over the Mahadeos there. In Kamam little 
niches are to be noticed in Mahadeo temples with stone receptacles 
for holy water, not unlike what are seen in churches abroad. 
And the temple at Baijndth boasts of a large well-carved figure 
holding a bow], which the priest informed me, held Ganges water, 
and from which pilgrims sprinkle the Mahddeo placed close by. 
“Then again, in connection with the monolith Mahddoes found 
at Chandeshwar, Pandukoli and Lodh, it may be worth noticing 



that circles, and what I will call the ‘conventional symbols’ of 
the Mahddeo are yoni, and found on exactly similar monoliths in 

‘In India these monoliths are found in the centre and in 
proximity to shrines bearing these markings. Sometimes a circle 
is found cut on them, and again the shape of the place of worship 
at Pandukoli, with its double circle ‘of stones in the centre, of the 
inner of which are the Mahddeos, is as nearly as possible exactly 
that of these conventional markings. 

“T am aware that the view of these markings having reference 
to lingam worship is not now advanced for the first time. The 
subject is alluded to at page 93 of Sir J. Simpson’s work (on 
Rock Markings), but only to be summarily dismissed with the 
following brief remark :—‘Two archeological friends of mine, 
dignitaries in the Episcopal Church, have separately formed the 
idea that the iapidary cups and circles are emblems of old female 
lingam worship, a supposition which appears to me to be totally 
without any anatomical or other foundation, and one altogether 
opposed by all we know of the specific class of symbols used 
in that worship, either in ancient or modern times.’ ” 

‘‘T am sanguine, however,” continues Mr. Carnac, ‘that if 
Sir J. Simpson had seen the sketches of what I have called the 
‘conventional symbols’ on the shrines at Chandeshwar, and had 
been able to compare them with some of the types figured in his 
work, he might have been inclined to modify.the opinion above 
extracted. The treatment of these symbols is purely conven- 
tional ; they bear no anatomical resemblance to anything ; they 
are unlike many of the large, well-known and acknowledged re- 
presentations of the Mahadeo and yoni. Still, they nevertheless 
represent the same idea. And here it may be noticed that the 
same argument of anatomical non-resemblance might be advanced 
in regard to the well-known representations, common throughout 
India, of the meaning of which to the initiated there is no doubt 
at all. To the uninitiated, however, the shapes convey nothing, 
and I have known causes of Europeans who have been many years 
in the country, who were quite unsuspicious of what ‘that jew’s- 
harp idol,’ as they called it, was intended to represent. As the 
old priest at Chandeshwar said, ‘Those who can afford it, put up 
a big Mahddeo ; those who can’t, put up these slabs,’ 

“In the view that these markings are nothing but a conven- 
tional rendering of the Mahddeo and yoni, I am further confirmed 


by what has recently been brought to my remembrance of the 
manner in which an Amin, or native surveyor, will indicate a 
Mahddeo temple on his plotting. I remember that the sign used 
to mark the position of such temples by the Amins in the Field 
Survey of the Chandéd Revenue Settlement, in which district I 
was Settlement Officer, and where this form of worship is very 
common, almost exactly resembled the rock-sculpturings in Ka- 
mam. They are not unlike the form of the vestal lamp. Indeed, 
on the summit of a hill near Raénikhet, on the top of a pile of 
stones which did duty for a Mahadeo shrine, I found a small slab, 
bearing an almost exact resemblance to the well-known forin of 
the classic lamp. In the hole into which oil is poured, a small 
upright Mahadeo is placed.” 

Some years ago, Mr. J. H. Rivett-Carnac, of the Bengal Civil 
Service, in communicating his views respecting the cup and ring 
markings in the rocks of India, expressed himself rather strongly 
to the effect that the concentric circles and certain curious mark- 
ings of what some have called the “ jew’s-harp type,” so common 
in Europe, are traces of phallic worship, carried there by tribes 
whose hosts descended into India, pushed forward into the re- 
motest corners of Europe, and, as their traces now seem to 
suggest, found their way on to the American continent also. 

‘Whether these markings really ever were intended to repre- 
sent the phallus and the yoni, must always remain a mater of 
opinion, but,” says Mr. R. Carnac, ‘J have no reason to be dis- 
satisfied with the reception with which this, to many somewhat 
unpleasant, theory has been met in some of the antiquarian 
societies of Europe. 

‘*No one who compares the stone yonis of Benares with the 
rock markings of Northumberland and Argyleshire will deny that 
there is an extraordinary resemblance between the conventional 
symbol of Siva worship of to-day and the ancient markings on 
the rocks, menhirs, and cromlechs of Northumberland, of Scot- 
land, of Ireland, of Brittany, of Scandinavia, and other parts of 

‘‘ A further examination of the forms of the cromlechs and 
tumuli and menhirs will suggest that the tumuli themselves were 
intended to indicate the symbols of the Mahddeo and yoni, con- 
ceived in no obscene sense, but as representing regeneration, the 
new life, ‘life out of death, life everlasting,’ which those buried 
in the tumuli, facing towards the sun in its meridian, were ex- 


pected to enjoy in the hereafter. Professor Stephens, the well- 
known Scandinavian antiquary, speaks of these symbols as 
follows :—‘There can be no doubt that it is to India we are to 
look for the solution of many of our difficult archeological 

‘But especially interesting is your paper on the Ancient Rock 
Sculpturings. I believe that you are quite right in your views, 
Nay, I go further. I think that the northern bulb-stones are 
explained by the same combination. I therefore send you by this 
post a copy of the part for 1874 of the Swedish Archeological 
Journal, containing Baron Herculius’ excellent dissertation on 
these objects... . . You can examine the many excellent wood- 
cuts. I look upon these things as late conventionalised abridg- 
ments of the linga and yoni, life out of death, life everlasting, — 
thus a fitting ornament for the graves of the departed. 

‘In the same way, the hitherto not understood small stones 
with one or two or three or four, ctc., distinct cups cut in them 
(vulgarly called chipping-stones, which they never were or could 
be), I regard as the same thing for domestic worship, house altars, 
the family Penates.’” 

Mr. Carnac remarks that many who indignantly repudiate the 
idea of the prevalence of phallic worship among our remote 
ancestors, hold that these symbols represent the snake or the sun. 
But admitting this, may not the snake, after all, have been but a 
symbol of the phallus? And the sun, the invigorating power of 
nature, has ever, I believe, been considered to represent the same 
idea, not necessarily obscene, but the great mystery of nature, 
the life transmitted from generation to generation, or as Professor 
Stephen puts it, ‘hfe out of death, life everlasting.” The same 
idea, in fact, which, apart from any obscene conception, causes 
the rude Mahadeo and yoni to be worshipped daily by hundreds 
of thousands of Hindus. 

Mr. Carnac afterwards came across the following by Tod in 
the Asiatic Researches :—‘‘ The Suroi were in fact the Sauras, 
inhabiting the peninsula of Saurashtra, the Saurastrene and 
Syrastrene already quoted from the Periplus, and the kingdom 
immediately adjoining that of Tessarioustus, to the eastward. 
That the Svpoc of Saurashtra and the Syrians of Asia Minor had 
the same origin appears from the worship of Surya, or the Sun. 
I have little doubt we have more than one ‘city of the sun’ in 
this tract ; indeed, the only temples of the sun I have met with 


in India are in Saurashtra. The temple raised to Bal, in Tadmor 
in the Desert, by Solomon, where he worshipped ‘ Bal and Ash- 
toreth, the strange gods of the Sidonians,’ was the Bal-nat’h, or 
Great God of the Hindus, the Vivifier, the Sun: and the Pillar 
erected to him, ‘in every grove, and on every high hill;’ the 
Lingam or Phallus, the emblem of Bal; Bal-nath, Bal-cesari, or 
as Bal-Iswara, the Osiris of the Egyptians ; and as Nand-Iswara, 
their Serapis, or Lord of the Sacred Bull; Nanda, or Apis, ‘ the 
Calf of Egypt,’ which the chosen people bowed to ‘when their 
hearts were turned away from the Lord.” 

After the supreme Triad, which occupied the adytum of the 
temple at Hierapolis, came the personification of their various 
attributes and emanations, which are called after the names of 
the corresponding Grecian deities, and among which was an 
ancient statue of Apollo clothed and bearded, contrary to the 
usual mode of representing him. Lucian, De Dea Syria, says, 
‘There is a statue of Apollo, not as was usual to make such, for 
all others represent Apollo young and in the attitude of running, 
but they have given him in this statue a beard. In another par- 
ticular they have made an innovation in their Apollo: they have 
covered him with garments.” 

In the vestibule were two phalli of enormous magnitude, upon 
one of which a person resided during seven days twice in each 
year to communicate with the gods, and pray for the prosperity 
of Syria; and in the court were kept the sacred or symbolical 
animals, such as bulls, horses, lions, bears, eagles, etc. Lucian 
remarks upon this as follows :~-‘‘ The two great phalli standing 
in the porch with the inscription on them: These phalli I, 
Bacchus, dedicated to my stepmother, Juno! The Greeks erect 
phalli to Bacchus, which are little men made out of wood, bene 
nasatos, and these are called neurospasta [moving by artificial 
muscles]. There is also on the right hand of the temple a little 
brazen man, whose symbol is enormously disproportionate. There 
is also in the temple the figure of a founale, who is dressed in 
man’s clothes. The priests are self-mutilated men, and they wear 
women’s garments. The temple itself stands upon a hill, in the 
middle of a city (Hierapolis, the holy city, near Aleppo), and it 
is surrounded by a double wall. The porch of the temple fronteth 
the north, and it is two hundred yards in circumference ; within 
it are the two phalli before mentioned, each about a hundred and 
fifty yards high. To the top of one of these phallic pillars a man 


ascends twice during the year, and he there remains seven days 
at atime. The vulgar imagine that he converseth with the gods 
above and prayeth for the prosperity of all Syria, which prayers 
the gods hear, near at hand. He never sleeps during the seven 

"Tn the year 1845, Dr. Troost, of the University of Nashville, 
brought under the notice of the American Ethnological Society a 
number of ancient Indian remains in the shape of certain idols 
which had been discovered at various times in Tennessee. One 
was found when some new ground was ploughed, 7.¢, ground 
which had never before been under cultivation, and was for the 
first time reclaimed from its primitive forest state. This idol was 
yet in its sanctuary, namely, in a large shell, the interior whorls 
and columella were all removed so that nothing but the external 
shell remained, which was opened in the front sufficiently to per- 
mit the image to enter. 

Dr. Troost says :—“ The utensils which I have found were all 
made of different kinds of stone, most of which may be found 
amongst the primitive rocks of North Carolina or Missouri States, 
and some even in Tennessee ; one, however, namely, an obsidian, 
must have been brought from South America. We know that 
this volcanic substance is found in several parts of the Andes, 
particularly in Quito, Popayan, at the volcanoes of Paracé and 
Sotora, the mountains Las Nobayas, and Mexico. 

‘These facts seem to place it beyond doubt that they came 
from southern regions. I have already observed that they were 
idolaters, and probably worshipped the phallus, as did some an- 
cient nations—Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Greeks. JI had the 
good fortune to obtain, during my rambles, several images which, 
no doubt, must have served for religious purposes ; they have all, 
at least such as were not too much mutilated, some similarity in 
their position,—they are all in a kneeling position and sitting 
on their heels, all without clothing. Some of them have their 
hands around their abdomen ; others have their hands on their 
knees. Two of these images, a male and a female, are the largest 
I have seen, being sixteen inches high; they were found in Smith 
county, and are made of a kind of sandstone, and are of a rude 
sculpture. The male seems to be a rude imitation of an ancient 
Priapus ; he is more or less injured by the plough by which he 
was brought up, and which has broken a large membrum genera- 
tions virile wm erectione - the marks of the ploughshare are yet 


visible, passing from that part over the face, breaking part of the 
chin and nose. The person who ploughed it up mentioned that 
it possessed this member, but he considered it too indecent to be 
preserved. It is not the only instance where this pars genitalis 
has been found. Doctor Ramsey, who has a fine collection of 
these antiquities, has two simulacra of this member: the one is 
carved out of stone similar to that of my images, and is of a rude 
construction, but he has one which is made of a kind of amphi- 
bolic rock, and perfectly resembling the natural object. The 
latter, if I remember right, is about twelve inches in length, the 
other four inches longer. The one made of amphibolic rock must 
bave taken a long while to make, it being a very hard and 
tough rock on which steel can make no impression ; it must have 
been ground down with a substance of the hardness of emery, 
nevertheless it is perfectly smooth, having the fat or greasy lustre 
characterising these rocks. Jt is not probable that they would 
have spent so long a time on an object inerely to satisfy some 
voluptuous propensities or whims; they must have served some 
more serious purposes, and it is very probable that they held them 
in the same veneration as the Greeks, who consecrated the organ 
of generation in their mysteries. The phallus and steis were ex- 
posed in the sanctuaries of Eleusis. The Egyptians had conse- 
erated the phallus in the mysteries of Osiris and Isis; and, if I 
am not mistaken, Father Kircher mentions, on the authority of 
Cortes, that this worship was established in America. 

‘TI have another image made of stone similar to that of the 
two above mentioned, but it is only nine inches high: 16 much 
resembles the first. It was found in the Scquat-chy valley. 

“A fifth, which was found in Sumner county, differs much in 
figure and in the materials of which it is made from the above 
mentioned images. It is made of clay mixed with pounded shells, 
and, judging from its red colour, it must have undergone a certain 
amount of heating ; it is entirely hollow, and has a hole on the 
back of the head through which the finger was introduced to 
mould the clay in its present form. It is a female. 

“The image in its sanctuary, mentioned above, is made of the 
same materials as the preceding, which it resembles except in its 
features. It was found in the Sequat-chy valley by ploughing, 
It was in its chapel as observed above.” 

During his investigation, Professor Joseph Jones obtained 
from the tumuli and valleys of Tennessee several interesting 


idols, both of stone and of clay mixed with pounded shells. It 
may be stated that images of this archaic type have been found 
also in Kentucky, Virginia, South and North Carolina, Louisiana, 
Alabama, and Florida. The worship of the Priapus probably 
obtained among some of the southern Indian nations. In the 
collection of Dr. Troost were many carefully-carved representa- 
tions in stone of the male organ of generation. They were found 
principally within the present limits of the State of Tennessee. 
But two objects of this sort appear to have been noted among 
the relics of the Georgia tribes, and they were about twelve inches. 
long, made of slate. In some parts of Alabama, and in Missis- 
sippl, similar objects have been exhumed from grave mounds.* 
‘Phallic emblems abounded at Heliopolis, in Syria. Not 
having any knowledge of their existence at Heliopolis, in Egypt, 
I took means to ascertain it from a brother physician who had 
recently visited the country. The following is his reply to my 
query :—‘I am very sorry that I am not enough of an antiquarian 
to give you much information on the subject you are interested 
in. I was in Egypt last winter (1865-6), and there certainly are 
numerous figures of gods and kings on the walls of the temple at 
Thebes, depicted with the penis erect. The great temple at Kar- 
nek is, in particular, full of such figures, and the temple of Dan- 
clesa likewise, though that is of a much later date, and built 
merely in imitation of the old Egyptian art. I remember the 
scene of a king (Rameses II.) returning in triumph with captives, 
many of whom are undergoing the operation of castration, and 
in the corner of the scene are numerous heaps of the coinplete 
genitals which have been cut off, many hundreds in all, I should 
think. This is on the walls of Medinet Haboo, at Thebes.’ 
‘‘This letter,” says Dr. Inman, “is very interesting, for it 
shows (1) how largely the idea of virility was interwoven with 
religion ; (2) how completely English Egyptologists have sup- 
pressed a portion of the facts in the histories which they have 
given to the world ; (3) because it tells us of the antiquity of the 
practice which still obtains among the negroes of Northern 
Africa, of mutilating entirely every male captive and slain enemy 
(compare 2 Kings xx. 18, and Isa. xxxix. 7, also 1 Sam. xviii. 
25-27). In Assyria and Palestine conquerors counted the heads 
of the slain, which were piled in heaps before them. The learned 

* Jones. Antiquities of Southern Indrans. 


Egyptians were content with a less bulky emblem. A man when 
beheaded is useless ; if only emasculated he is of value as a slave. 
The Asiatic gratified a temporary revenge; the African had an 
enduring triumph.” 

M. Rivett-Carnac says :—‘‘ No one who has been in this 
country (India), and who has noticed the monolith Mahddeos of 
the Western Ghats of the Himalayas and other parts of India, 
can fail to be struck with the resemblance that the menhirs of 
Carnac in Brittany and its neighbourhood bear to the Siva em- 
blems of India. I visited these remarkable remains when at home 
last year, and was quite taken aback by their resemblance to well- 
known Indian types. The monoliths of Scotland, covered with 
what I believe to be Mahaddeo symbols, are of the same class. 
Added to this, in the recesses of the Pyrenees, the people whose 
language suggests their descent from the tribes who erected the 
tumuli and menhirs, not only in this neighbourhood but also in 
other parts of Europe, still preserve traditions connected with 
these monoliths, and have actually retained some traces of what I 
call Siva worship.” 

MM. Edouard Piette and Julien Sacaze prepared a paper 
some twelve years ago, which was read at the Society of Anti- 
quaries of France in which they shewed that they had actually 
discovered the remains of phallic worship still existing among the 
people of the Pyrenees, the existence of which, in Scandinavia, 
in days gone by, had already been brought to the notice of the 
Society by Dr. Rajendralala Mitra. These archeologists have 
established the fact that to this day the menhir is still reverenced 
in the Pyrenees as the phallus. 

Captain Richard J. Burton, late Commissioner to Dahome, 
says, in his “ Notes connected with the Dahoman :”—‘“ Amongst 
all barbarians whose primal want is progeny, we observe a greater 
or less development of the phallic worship. In Dahome it is un- 
comfortably prominent ; every street from: Whydah to the capital 
is adorned with the symbol, and the old ones are not removed. 
The Dahoman Priapus is a clay figure of any size between a 
giant and the pigmy, crouched upon the ground as if contem- 
plating its own attributes. The head is sometimes a wooden 
block rudely carved, more often dried mud, and the eyes and teeth 
are supplied by cowries. A huge penis, rudely carved as the 
Japanese articles which I have lately been permitted to inspect, 
projects horizontally from the middle. I could have carried off a 


donkey’s load had I been aware of the rapidly rising value of 
phallic specimens amongst the collectors of Europe. The Tree of 
Life is anointed with palm oil, which drips into a pot or a shard 
placed below it, and the would-be mother of children prays that 
the great god Legba will make her fertile. Female Legbas are 
rare—about one to a dozen males. They are, if possible, more 
hideous and gorilla-like than those of the other sex ; their breasts 
resemble the halves of German sausages, and the external labia, 
which are adored by being anointed with oil, are painfully de- 
veloped. There is another phallic god, named ‘ Bo,’ the guardian 
of warriors and the protector of markets.” 

Wide Prevalence of Phallic Worship. 

HE Rev. J. Roberts, in a paper read before the Royal 
Asiatic Society in 1832, said :—‘“ That the gods adored by 
the Israelites, taken from the Assyrian and other nations, are 
still served by the Hindus (though generally under other names) 
I cannot doubt, and the object of the following observation is to 
identify some of the leading deities. Jt has been well observed :— 
‘Whoever were the first planters of India, it could not have been 
planted till long after Persia and Elam had been sufficiently 
cultivated, and a considerable number of ages after Assyria and 
the countries adjoining Ararat had been planted. This is so 
apparent, both from Scripture and the nature of things, that it 
will not admit of a dispute.’ Is it not reasonable to suppose that 
Noah and his family would remain for many years at no very 
great distance from the spot where they first settled? Who 
built the splendid cities of Babel and Nineveh? did not Ashur, 
and probably the other sons of Noah? Who were the first to 
study astrology as a guide to find out the good or evil supposed 
to be produced by the heavenly bodies? Who were the first 
to propitiate them in reference to their salutary or malignant 
influences on the destinies of men? Does not the mind 
immediately revert to the builders and oceupiers of Babylon ; 
to their dispersion over the earth; and the consequent carrying 
away of their superstitions, though then veiled in different 
languages? If then, ‘India was peopled after Persia and Elam, 
and many years after Assyria,’ from whom did she receive her 
leading deities and theological institutes? Is it not natural to 
suppose from one of the above? And from whom so likely as 
the Assyrians ? 

“The Jews worshipped the Assyrian deity Succoth-Benoth, 
under the name of Ashtoreth or Astarte; and it is said that 
this god or goddess was both masculine and feminine. The 
Siva of India is both male and female; his right side being 
of the former and his left of the latter sex ; and his wife assumed 
both appearances as circumstances might require. 


‘The Babylonians called Succoth-Benoth, Mylitta, signifying 
mother. The wife of Siva, and she only as far as I know, is 
called Mata or Mother. 

* Amongst the Assyrians, the daughters or women once in 
their lives had to make a sacrifice of virtue to that goddess 
Succoth-Benoth. And Lempriere says of her:—‘‘A surname 
of Venus among the Assyrians, in whose temples all the women 
were obliged to prostitute themselves to strangers. The wife 
of Siva, amongst many other names, is called Vali or Bali, under 
which appellation she assumed the form of a girl of twelve years 
of age. And in Madura, Balane, and other places, beautiful 
virgins used to go to the temple once in their lives to offer 
themselves in honour of the goddess. The story was that a god 
had converse with them. In al] the temples of Siva and his 
consort (where it could be afforded) women were kept to dance 
and sing before the idols. 

“Amongst the Assyrians and others, the votaries of the 
above-named goddess worshipped sometimes in the dress of men, 
and at other times in that of women. The dancing girls of 
many of the temples on the continent of India, at the feast called 
Manampu, do the same thing. When the god and goddess go 
out to hunt, they are equipped and mounted as men; and at the 
conclusion of the great feast of Siva they assume the dress of 
Pandadrams, and thus go forth from house to house to ask alms. 

‘The Babylonian or Assyrian goddess was drawn or supported 
by lions. The wife of Siva, under the name of Bhadra-Kali, has 
the same animal appropriated to her use. 

‘“‘Succoth-Benoth, the same with the Syrian goddess, the same 
as Astarte of the Phenicians and the Decerts of Ascalon. The 
worship paid to this goddess came originally from Assyria and 
Babylonia. Astarte is always joined with Baal; and is called a 
god in Scripture, having no particular word for expressing a 
goddess. Lucian thinks Astarte to be the moon. 

“The wife of Siva, under the name of Sacti, placed a 
representation of the cresent moon on the head of her husband 
under the following circumstances. When once engaged in 
armorous sports he by accident broke her arm-ring, which she 
immediately tied on his dishevelled lock of hair as the crescent 
moon. He, however, having laughed at her, she turned away 
her face and changed the crescent into full moon. The crescent 
is common to both, and is assumed as circumstances may require. 


‘‘Shach, or Saca, another god or goddess, partly the same 
with Mylitta, the Syrian goddess. 

‘The wife of Siva is also knuwn under the name of Satti; 
but in Sanscrit, Sakti. 

“The festival of Saca was held for five days every year; 
during which time servants commanded their masters, and wore 
a kind of royal garment called Zogani. * 

“The festival of the wife of Siva continued nine days, or 
rather nights, and was called Nava Rattiri, 2.¢., nine nights: 
three of these, however, were for Sarasvati, and the other six for 
Sakti. On this occasion, those who had not been accustomed to 
eat flesh, or drink intoxicating liquors, did so freely. All 
restraints were now thrown off, and scenes of the most sickening 
kind wound up the ceremonies. No young female of respectable 
character dared shew herself in public. Servants assumed the 
airs and practices of their masters; school-boys dressed in gay 
apparel, went from house to house to dance and sing songs 
in honour of Sakti: gambling, fighting of cocks and of rams, 
with other rude and ludicrous performances, filled up this 
indecent festival. 

‘“‘Salaimbo, a goddess ; the same as Astarte ; eternally roaming 
up and down a mountain. It is rather striking that the wife of 
Siva is also known by the name of Silambu, and that this name 
also signifies a mountain. Another of her names is Parvati, 
meaning she who was born on a mountain. She is also called 
daughter of the mountain ; and sometimes the mountain nymph, 
who captivated Siva from a course of ascetic austerities. 

‘The Babylonians and Assyrians worshipped what by the 
Greeks and Romans was termed phallus or Priapus. The priaps 
were three hundred fathoms, or three hundred cubits high; and 
by whom the priaps were executed there is much dispute. 

“The Egyptians most probably meant the sun and moon. 
Some suppose Osiris to signify the efficient cause of things; and 
Isis, matter. Osiris was represented in a human form, in a 
posture not very decent, signifying his generative and nutritive 
faculty. This living image was the bull. The image of Isis, 
usually in the form of a woman with a cow’s horns on her head. 

‘‘Calmet regards Astarte, or Astaroth, as the Isis of Egypt. 
The word is often plural, Astaroth. Sometimes aserah, the 
grove; aseroth, or aserim, woods; groves were her temples: in 

* Universal History. 


groves consecrated to her, such lasciviousness was committed as 
rendered her worship infamous. She was also called the queen 
of heaven, and sometimes her worship is described by that of the 
host of heaven. She is almost always joined with Baal, and is 
called gods. 

‘“‘Temples of the moon generally accompanied those of the 
sun; and while bloody sacrifices, or human victims were offered 
to Baal, bread, Jiquors and perfumes were presented to Astarte ; 
tables were prepared for her on the flat terrace roofs of houses, 
near gates, in porches, and at cross-ways, on the first day of every 
month, which the Greeks called Hecate’s supper. 

“St. Jerome, in several places, translates the name Astarte 
by Priapus, as if to denote the licentiousness cominitted in her 
groves. The eastern people in many places worshipped the moon 
as a god: represented its figure with a beard, and in armour. 
The statue in the temple of Heliopolis, in Syria, was that of a 
woman, clothed like a man, says Pliny. Solomon, seduced by his 
foreign wives, introduced the worship of Astarte into Israel, but 
Jezebel, daughter of the king of Tyre, and wife of Ahab, princi- 
pally established her worship. 

“St. Austin assures us that the Africans maintained Astarte 
to be Juno. Herodian says the Carthaginians call the heavenly 
goddess the moon, Astroarche. The Phoenicians asserted con- 
fidently, says Cicero, that their Astarte was the Syrian Venus, 
born at Tyre, and wife to Adonis; very different from the Venus 
of Cyprus. Lucian, who wrote particularly concerning the god- 
dess of Syria (Astarte), says expressly that she is the moon, and 
no other, and it is indubitable that this luminary was worshipped 
under different names in the Hast. 

“The manner of representing Astarte on medals is not always 
the sane. Sometimes she is in a Jong habit, at other times in a 
short habit ; sometimes holding a long stick, with a cross on its 
top; sometimes she has a crown of rays; sometimes she is 
crowned with battlements, or by a victory. 

“Tn regard to the indecent object,” wrote Mr. Roberts, 
“alluded to as being worshipped by the Assyrians, it is well 
known that the Hindus do the same thing. The dingam (priapus) 
in the Hindu temple of Sedambarem is supposed to have sprung 
from the earth of itself, and its foundation is believed to be in 
the lower world. 

‘‘Buckingham says, in his Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. IL, 
page 406, of some antiquities he saw taken from the ruins of 


Babylon :—‘ The larger antiques comprehended a figure in brass, 
embracing a large lingham between its knees, precisely in the 
style of the Hindu representation of that emblem.’ He mentions 
also in another place, ‘the Indian figure of a man, with a painted 
bonnet and beard, embracing the lingham.’ 

‘Tn regard to Osiris, it is more than probable that he in his 
posture, generative and nutritive faculties, was the same as the 
Siva of the Hindus. The bull was sacred to the fot ner, and also 
to the latter. Isis being represented with cow’s horns, finds a 
parallel in Siva or his wife, with the crescent moon fixed on her 

“ Whether we look at the corresponding traits of character in 
Moloch and Kali; in Baal-Peor and the Chiun of Anos; at the 
mutual assumption of either sex by Siva and his partner ; at the 
term mother being applied to the latter, and also to the Succoth. 
Benoth of the Assyrian, Phoenician, and other nations ; at the 
cow’s horn (so called) of Assyria, and the crescent of India; at 
the young virgins who inade a sacrifice of chastity to the Succoth- 
Benoth of antiquity, and to the consort of the oriental Siva ; at 
the use made of the regular female votaries of both systems ; at 
their mutual assumption, on certain occasions, of the male attire; 
at the lion, as belonging to the goddess of Assyria, and also to 
her of India; to the festival of Shach or Saca, and that of Satti 
or Sakti, in regard to the lascivious way in which it was con- 
ducted, and the peculiar garments worn on that occasion ; at the 
term Salainbo being the name of the one goddess, and also of the 
other ; at its true meaning in reference to a mountain where they 
mutually dwelt; at the Baal-Peor of Assyria, the Osiris of Egypt, 
the Phallus of the Greeks, the Priapus of the Romans, and the 
Lingam of the Hindus (worshipped now in the temples of the 
Kast), we see some of the most striking coincidences, which never 
could have been the result of anything but the identity of their 

“The Chaldees believed in a celestial virgin, who had purity 
of body, loveliness of person, and tenderness of affection, and 
who was one to whom the erring sinner could appeal with more 
chance of success than to a stern father. She was pourtrayed as 
a mother with a child in her arms, and every attribute ascribed 
to her showed that she was supposed to be as fond as any earthly 
female ever was. Her full womb was thought to be teeming with 
blessings, and everything which could remind a votary of a lovely 
woman was adopted into her worship. 


“The worship of the woman by man naturally led to develop- 
ments which our comparatively sensitive natures shun, as being 
opposed to all religious feeling. But amongst a people whose 
language was without the gloss of mo:jlern politeness—whose 
priests both spoke and wrote without the least disguise, and 
whose God, through His prophets and law-givers, promised abun- 
dance of offspring and increase in flocks and herds as one of the 
greatest blessings he had to bestow—we can readily believe that 
what we call ‘obscenities’ might be regarded as sacred homage 
or divine emblems. , 

“Tn India, at the present time, both the thoughts and conver- 
sation of the lords of the soil turn, unpleasantly to us, upon the 
power possessed by each to propagate his race, and European 
doctors are more frequently consulted for the increase or restora- 
tion of this power than for any other cause. 

“Not only does the man think thus, but the female has her 
thoughts directed to the same channel, and there has been a 
special hell invented by Hindoo priests for childless females, It is 
curious to see at India’s antipodes a similar idea started amongst 
the offshoots of a Christian community, but so it is, and Mormon 
women join themselves in nuinbers to the man from the belief 
that without union with him they cannot attain to celestial glory. 

“The Bible student will remember the plaintive entreaty of 
Rachel, ‘Give me children, or else I die’ (Gen. xxx. 1); the 
earnest prayer of Hannah, and the spiteful persecution of Penin- 
nah (1 Sam. 1); and he will recall the longing for offspring which 
induced Abraham to consort himself with a black (Egyptian) 
slave girl, and how complaisant his wife was in delegating for a 
time her rights (Gen. 14). 

“In Deuteronomy xxvill., we find ‘the fruit of the body’ 
promised as one of the special blessings for obedience to the law, 
and in Psalm exxvii. 3, we are distinctly told that ‘children are 
an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward.’ 

“Tf abundance of offspring was promised as a blessing, it is 
clear to the physiologist that the pledge implies abundance of 
vigour in the inan as well as in the woman, With a husband in- 
competent, no wife could be fruitful. The condition, therefore, 
of the necessary organs was intimately associated with the divine 
blessing or curse, and the impotent man then would as naturally 
go to the priest to be cured of his infirmity as we of to-day go to 
the physician. We have evidence that masses have been said, 
saints invoked, and offerings presented, for curing the debility we 


refer to, in a church in Christianised Italy during the last hun- 
dred years, and in France so late as the sixteenth century,— 
evident relics of more ancient times.” * 

In further elucidation of the above as set forth by R. P. 
Knight in his “Worship of Priapus,” Dr. Inman says :—‘* When- 
ever a votary applied to the oracle for help to enable him to per- 
form his duties as a prospective father, or to remove that frigidity 
which he had been taught to believe was a proof of Divine dis- 
pleasure, or an evidence of his being bewitched by a malignant 
demon, it is natural to believe that the priest would act partly as 
a man of sense, though chiefly as a minister of God. He would 
go through, or enjoin attendance on, certain religious ceremonies— 
would sell a charmed image, or use some holy oil, invented and 
blessed by a god or saint, as was done at Isernia—or he would do 
something else. 

‘We can readily see, then, how some sacred rites might be in- 
tentionally provocative of sexual ideas; how desirable it might 
have been for hierarchs to compose love philtres or satyrion, and 
to understand the influence over the sexual powers possessed by 
various kinds of aliment ; and we can also understand how cer- 
- tain gods would be invented whose images should act as amulets, 
and who, like special Roman saints, would take charge of this 
particular part of the body. 

-“ Even after ‘the Reformation,’ France introduced Saint 
Foutin into the Christian calendar, to whom offerings were made 
by the faithful who found themselves unable to procure the 
blessing of fertility ;—they are thus described :— 

‘*<Temoin Saint Foutin de Varailles, en Provence, auquel 
sont dedides les parties honteuses de l’un et de l’autre sexe, 
formées en cire ; le plancher de la chapelle en est fort garni, et 
quand le vent les fait entrebattre, cela débauche un peu les 
devotions & ’honneur de ce saint.” (La Confession de Sancy, vol. 
v., Journal de Henri III., by Pierre de )’Etoile, ed. Duchat, pp. 
383, 391). 

‘This and other saints were worshipped for similar purposes, 
as St. Guerlichon, or Greluchon, and St. Entropius, at Orange, 
Porigny, Vendre, Auxerre, Puy en Velay, in the convent in, 
Girouet, and at Bourg Dieu; St. Gilles in Brittany; St. René 
in Anjou ; St. Regnaud in Burgundy; St. Arnaud and St. Guig- | 

*R. P. Knight on Priapus cited by Inman. - 


nolé, near Brest and in Berri. The worship of many of these 
was in full practice in the last century.” (Two Essays on the 
Worship of Priapus; London, 1865: privately printed.) 

“Tf,” says Dr. Inman, “with all the vaunted enlightenment of 
Christian Europe, there are several canonised mortals whose 
‘special care, in the heaven to which they have been promoted by 
men on earth, is to help unfortunates who require their aid ‘ pour 
les parties honteuses,’ we cannot wonder that sexual saints should 
be found amongst the heathen races of Asia; nor can we refuse 
credence to the idea that the act of propagation was sometimes 
the end of certain forms of worship, which were specially adapted 
to bring about that act. 

‘ As a physician, I know how much intense misery is felt by 
those men who, from any cause, are unable to do their part in 
multiplying their race. I can readily understand that a cure of 
impuissance would raise to the highest pitch, in the mind of an 
enquiring devotee, his estimate of the saint who wrought it, and 
I do not see why masses should not be said to St. Greluchon, for 
raising the courage of the living, as much as to St. Denis (or 
Dionysius), for the consolation of the dead. At any rate, the 
Chaldees used some of their gods, or divinities, for comparatively 
a holy worship, and for a cult as peculiar as that paid to the 
modern Priapus, St. Foutin.” 

The Universal History tells us that ‘“‘ At Hierapolis, or the 
Holy City, or Magog, as the Syrians themselves are said to have 
called it, in the province of Cyrrhestica, stood the temple of the 
great Syrian goddess. Jt is impossible to say whom they meant by 
this Syrian goddess, but we find a story in Justin, which we sup- 
pose to be borrowed from Nicolas of Damascus, that a king from 
whom Damascus derived its name had a queen called Arathis, 
whose sepulchre was religiously frequented by the Syrians, who 
esteemed her as their principal deity, and this queen, according 
to our author’s account, was older than Abraham, whom he 
reckons among the kings of Damascus. 

“The temple was upon an eminence in the midst of the city, 
surrounded by a double enclosure or two walls, the one old, the 
other new. At the north side it had a court, or porch, before it 
of about five or six hundred feet in circumference, where stood the 
prispe of three hundred fathoms, or three hundred cubits high ; 

or we find both these measures, but both exceedingly too large, 
to our apprehension. These obscene images, or rather columns, 


were but slender, as we shall shew hereafter, but by whom, or to 
whom, they were erected was the subject of much fable. The 
front of the temple itself stood last, and before it was a tower 
raised upon a terrace about twelve feet high, which was no sooner 
mounted than the temple appeared. It was built after the 
manner of the Ionian temples; the porch of it was adorned with 
golden doors, nay, the whole temple glittered with gold, and par- 
ticularly the roof; the air about it was enchanting, nothing 
inferior to the sweetest of Arabia, and so strongly perfumed the 
garments of all that visited it that they were scented for a con- 
siderable time.” 

A censiderable number of festivals were observed by the 
people of this place, and many singular customs indulged in. Of 
priests there were several sorts, each assigned to particular tasks. 
Some killed the sacrifices, some bore the drink offerings, some 
carried fire, and some waited at the altar, and of these above 
three hundred, in white habits and with caps or bonnets on their 
heads, attended the sacrifices. And besides them, there were 
other consecrated orders: as minstrels, skilful in the touch of 
several instruments; Galli, or eunuch priests, and mad and 
frantic women. The office of high priest was annual; he wore 
purple, and a golden mitre. There were other sorts of holy 
persons of various nations who held the Syrian goddess in venera- 
tion, whose business it was to instruct their countrymen, who 
from time to time resorted thither in pilgrimage, in the rules and 
customs of the holy city. They were called masters or instructors. 

Tt is remarkable of their eunuch priests that they were emas- 
culated by the voluntary operation of their own hands. How 
this unnatural custom came to prevail is accounted for by the 
following story. Stratonice, who built this temple, having been 
admonished by the goddess to undertake the work, took no heed to 
her purpose till she forcibly brought her to obedience by a violent 
procedure against her, and the king, her husband, consented to let 
her go and take in hand the building, but committed the care of 
her to a beautiful youth named Combabus. This Combabus, no 
way fond of his commission, but dreading the consequences of being 
so much alone with the beauteous queen, destroyed his sex, and left 
the ruins of it, carefully embalmed and sealed up, with the king. 
He departed with the queen Stratonice, was after some time 
solicited by her, ariti convinced her of his inability. But, never- 
theless, it came to pass, either through malice or envy, that 


Combabus was clearly convicted of adultery, infidelity, and im- 
piety to the goddess. As he was being led to execution he called 
out for the treasure he had left with the king, which being pro- 
duced, his intended punishment was converted into the most 
tender embraces in the arms of his prince. The king now raised 
him to the highest degree of riches and honour, and lhe was famed 
for the wisest and happiest man living. Combabus desired leave 
to finish the temple, which being granted, he passed the remainder 
of his life there. And there stood his statue in brass, the work 
of Hermolaus the Rhodian. And because it was reported that 
some of his dearest companions resolved to undergo his calamity 
for his sake, or that Juno inspired several with a rage of un- 
manning themselves, that he might not be single in his misfor- 
tune, many mad zealots, either in honour of Combabus or to 
please Juno, performed the hated operation on theinselves every 
year in the temple. Furthermore, these Galli, or devoted 
eunuchs, took on them the habit and offices of women, because 
Combabus had been fallen in love with by a strange woman, who 
knew not the violence he had done to his sex, which to prevent 
for the future, he put on the outward appearance of a woman. 

Of all the holy-days of this people the Great Burning, as it 
may be called, was the principal. Upon this occasion there came 
people froin all parts to assist at the great sacrifice, and all the 
other religious duties of the season. This festival was of some 
days’ continuance, and at particular times, while it lasted, the 
whole multitude was drawn into the temple, while the priests 
stood without, some of them mangling their bodies, some thump- 
ing violently against each other, while others beat upon tabrets 
or drums, and sounded musical instruments, and sang and 
prophesied. And now it was that, amidst all this uproar, the 
frenzy of castrating themselves seized on many in the temple, 
who, crying out with a loud voice and drawing their swords, per- 
formed the operation and devoted themselves to the goddess. 

The religious customs, and laws, and traditions of this place 
were as extraordinary as any to be found in any part of the 
world. Twice a year a man went up to the top of one of the 
priaps, and there remained seven days, He got up in this 
manner :——He surrounded the priap and himself with a chain, 
and ascended by the help of that and certain pegs or pins, which 
stuck out of the sides of the priap for that purpose, lifting the 
chain up after him at every step he mounted. It has been said that 


those who had seen men climb up the palm-trees in Egypt and 
Arabia might readily understand him, from which it has been 
gathered that these phalli or priaps, so monstrously high, were so 
slender that a man might grasp them. In whatever way we 
reckon the heights as given by different authorities, they would 
be about the height of the monument erected to commemorate 
the Fire of London at the foot of London Bridge. ‘“ How so 
slender a body could be reared to such a height,” remarks an old 
writer, ‘‘ we leave to those who are better skilled in such matters 
than ourselves.” 

When the man had got up, he let down a chain, wherewith he 
drew up all such things as he required and therewith made a seat 
or kind of nest for himself. It was given out that during the 
seven days he had a more intimate acquaintance with the great 
goddess, and also that this was done in memory of Deucalion’s 
flood, when the men climbed up the mountains and trees to save 
themselves from perishing. During the seven days it is reported 
that the man never slept, and that if at any time he happened to 
doze, a sacred scorpion went up and awakened him; it is said 
that the fear of falling kept him awake. 

More than half-a-century ago, a writer on Freemasonry in 
discussing the question of the cause of the original dispersion 
of primitive nations, promulgated a number of ideas respecting 
towers and pyramids which had a very close connection with the 
subject now under our consideration. He asked what was really 
intended, mystically figured and represented under the colossal 
and other monuments and sacred edifices of antiquity, specially 
designating as the head and type of all succeeding edifices of like 
character the Tower of Chaldea and the Great Pyramids of 
Egypt. The first of these was erected not long after the founda- 
tion of the Chaldean monarchy by Nimrod, the son of Cush, 
2221 n.c. The second were erected probably not long after the 
foundation of the Egyptian monarchy by Misraim, the son of © 
Ham, 2188 3.c., Babylon and Memphis being among the first 
cities built after the Flood. And when the totally different 
forms of these immense national edifices are considered, the 
enquiring mind can scarcely fail to seek for the causes which 
decided their ancient architects to employ so gigantic a mass 
of materials, in one or the other of these definite forms, above 
that of every other which might have been selected, and “It will 
scarcely be denied,” said the writer in question, ‘‘that the forms 


respectively of these stupendous monuments (which were only 
the original archetypes of innumerable others which have been 
subsequently constructed) must unavoidably be considered as 
having been adopted as the carrying out of some paramount idea 
or intention on the part of their primeval founders. 

“There is cause to believe,” this gentleman thinks, “that in 
the erection of the Chaldean tower, the principles of true 
Masonry were at first abided by, but subsequently, the corruption 
of human nature urging men to overthrow a spiritual worship 
which absolutely required purity and holiness, they sought to 
establish a system which virtually inculcated the worship of the 
creature more than the Creator, and furnished a pretext for the 
practice of unrestrained licentiousness as part and parcel of 
religious rites. Such was the ancient worship of the Lingam— 
a worship which we read of as recognised and established 
throughout all antiquity.” ‘Such,” he says, “‘was the object 
really worshipped under its colossal representative in the 
Chaldean Tower, of whose notorious existence traditions even 
in the most remote nations, almost universally exist, and of 
whose actual signification many weighty proofs have been collected 
by the late Mr. O’Brien, to which I might certainly add others 
equally numerous and irrefragable.” 

The worship of the Lingam, then, of which the pillar tower 
was a gigantic figure, involved and signified the worship of the 
male principle of the universe; this worship, though afterwards 
perverted, originally intended the worship of the true and only 
God, in accordance with which assertion we find that one inter- 
pretation of the word Jehovah undoubtedly signifies the Universal 
Male. In India, where undeniable proofs have been found of 
the existence at one period of true Masonry, this signification is 
found to ‘be involved in the names of the principal deities. Thus, 
according to Sir W. Jones, Bhagavat signifies the first male, and 
Naravan, or moving on the waters. The Spirit of God is often 
likewise denominated the primeval male. The deity described 
in the fourth Veda as Mahapurusha also signifies the Great 
Male. Accordingly, we find that temples in honour of this Uni- 
versal Male Power took definite form, and were always erected, in 
the figure of its representative, the Lingam; that is to say, in the 
form of a tower or column. Almost innumerable examples of 
such-like edifices abound in ancient countries, where this worship 
was either primitive or introduced at later periods, and fully 
illustrate these facts, 


Wilford remarks that the phallus was publicly worshipped by 
the name of Baleswara Linga on the banks of the Euphrates. 
The cubic room in the cave of Elephanta likewise contains the 
Lingam, as does also the pagoda of stone at Miherbaliporam, or 
City of the Great Baal. Sir W. Jones observes, ‘Columns were 
erected, perhaps as gnomons, others probably to represent the 
phallus of Iswara.” Enough has here been cited, without doubt, 
to dispose both the learned and the unlearned to consider that 
the true signification of the pillar and tower was in reality such 
as has here been stated. 

In many parts of the Bible we find the pillar to have been 
nndoubtedly a sacred emblem; as in Isaiah xix. 19, “In that 
day shall there be an altar to Jehovah, in the midst of the land 
of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof, to Jehovah, and 
it shall be for a sign, and a witness to the Lord.” And this was 
the especial form in which God Himself is described as appearing, 
when He dwelt in the pillar that went before His chosen people, 
as recorded by Moses. 

When, however, pillars were set up to receive the profane 
rites of idolatrous worship, we find them noticed in Scripture 
as an abomination, in like manner as their great Babylonian 
archetype; which, being obnoxious to the wrath of God, as such, 
was destroyed by fire from heaven, as its blasted and vitrified 
ruins still remain incontrovertibly to attest. To this peculiar 
idolatry Scripture refers in the following passages: Deut. xii. 3, 
Ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars,” &c.; 
Leuit. xxvi. 1, “Ye shall make ye no idols, nor graven image, 
neither rear ye up a standing image” (Heb. pillar); 1 Kings xiv. 
23, ‘For they also built them high places and images (Heb. 
standing images), on every high hill”; Ezek. xvi. 17, 24, 25, 
“Thou madest to thyself images of men (Heb. of a male), and 
didst commit,” &c. Also Jer. xi 13, “ According to the number 
of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful 
thing,” &c. The same is also alluded to in the striking history 
‘recorded in Judges vi. 32, ‘‘ Therefore he called the idol Jerubbaal 
(or Jerubbesheth, Heb.), 2.¢, let the shameful thing plead.” 
And a final warning was given to the Israelites by Moses as 
recorded in Deut. iv. 15, 16, ‘Take ye therefore good heed unto 
yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that 
Jehovah spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire: 
lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the 
similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.” 


As the tower was sacred to the male power of the universe, 
80 likewise was the pyramid, triangle, or cone adopted by the 
votaries of an opposite worship as the real and consecrated 
emblem and representation of that procreative female energy in 
which (considering it as the true and vital conceptive power of 
nature), according to them, resided absolutely and solely, the 
underived principle of life ; which female power they chose alone 
to deify, and, like their opponents, consecrated their unhallowed 
worship by the most profane and licentious rites. 

Thus, the great pyramids were at Memphis the colossal monu- 
ments of a separate worship, with all its concomitant mysteries, 
and, like the Tower of Babel, in both symbolical edifices the 
threefold objects of astronomy, astrology, and religion were indis- 
solubly involved and united. 

Baron Humboldt observes, in his Researches (in total ignor- 
ance, however, of this theory), ‘‘TIn every part of the globe, on 
the ridge of the Cordilleras as well as in the Isle of Samothrace, 
‘in the Aigean Sea, fragments of primitive languages are preserved 
in religious rites.” 

Let us, in accordance with this observation, examine . the 
ancient Sanscrit word YU, or YONI, which we shall recognise 
in the religious vocabulary of every nation where pyramidal 
edifices prove them to have been addicted to the schismatic wor- 
ship of the Pish-de-Danaan sect. In the third volume of the 
Asiatic Researches Wilford says:—‘ Yavana is a regular par- 
ticipial form of the root yu, to mix. so that yavana, like misra, 
might have signified no more than a mingled people: but since 
yoni, or the female nature, is also derived from the same root, 
many Pandits insist that the Yavanas were so named from their 
obstinate assertion of a superior influence in the female over the 
linga, or male nature, in producing a perfect offspring.” Sir 
William Jones expressly states that the meaning of yoni, or 
bhaga, is undoubtedly the female womb, and in his plate of the 
Hindu lunar mansions (in the article on the antiquity of the 
Indian Zodiac) this constellation of the yoni is figured as three 
stars, inclosed by the Hindu draughtsman in a representation of 
that object ; which in his figure is “made to resemble an inverted 
_ pyramid, or truncated cone. Venus Genetrix is sometimes re- 
‘presented in the form of a conical marble, “for the reason of: 
which figure,” says Tacitus, “we are left in the dark,” “ but,” 
adds Sir William Jones, ‘the reason appears too clearly. in the 


temples and paintings of Hindustan, where it never seems to 
have entered the heads of the legislators or people that anything 
natural could be offensively indecent.” Wilford mentions that, 
according to Theodoret, Arnobius, and Clemens Alexandria, the 
YONI of the Hindus was the sole object of veneration in the 
mysteries of Eleusis. 

For proofs of the high antiquity of this worship in China, 

the discerning mind need only consult the following passage from 
Lord Macartney’s Travels, vol. 1., Hager, Monument of Yu: 
“In both Americas, it is a matter of inquiry what was the in- 
tention of the natives when they raised so many artificial pyra- 
midal hills, several of which appear to have served neither as 
tombs, nor watch towers, nor the base of a temple: a custom 
established in Eastern Asia may throw some light on this 
important question. About 2,000 years before our era, sacrifices 
were offered in China to the Supreme Being, on four great moun- 
tains, called Four Yo. The sovereigns} finding it incovenient to 
g0 thither in person, caused eminences representing these moun- 
tains to be created by the hands of inen, near their habitations.” 
Thus we find that the pyrimidal hills on which sacrifice was 
offered were designated by the very name of the object typified, 
thus affording an invaluable clue to our present inquiries. (See 
also Asiatic Researches, vol. 111.) And the names of many of 
their most considerable cities and provinces still bear witness to 
religious or sacred etymology of their titles, and Yo-tcheon, Ya- 
ogan, in the province of Yunan, Yuengang, d&c.,. are assuredly 
derived from a primitively religious meaning, as the four sacred 
Yo (or natural pyramids) themselves, alluded to by Lord Ma- 
- The whole country of Mexico abounded in pyramids, and 
Humboldt declares the basis of the Greek Cholula to have been 
twice as broad as that of the Egyptian Cheops, though its height 
is little more than that of Mycerinus. He states, also, that in 
the American languages 137 roots have been recognised in the 
languages of Asia and Europe, and in perfect accordance with 
this theory of their religious ideas we find a Mexican province 
named Yucatan ; the Mexican Isis (Ish Ish, or female nature) ; 
the wife of the sun is called Yu-becaygua-ya; and a chapel 
called Yo-pico was built over the cavern that contained the skins 
of the human sacrifices. 

“1t is extremely remarkable,” says Humboldt, “that we 
discover among the Mexican hieroglyphics absolutely nothing 


which announces the symbol of the Generative Force, or the 
Lingam. M. Zoega has observed that the emblem of the phallus 
is likewise never found in Egyptian works of great antiquity. 
M. Larytes observes expressly that in India some sectarians have 
held this emblem in horror, “ might we not suppose,” adds he, 
“that there exists some exiled sect in the north-west of Asia 
who reject the worship of the Lingam, and of which one finds 
some traces amongst the American races ?” 

Thus did these great writers, intuitively as it were, discern 
the existence of a separate object of worship in those countries 
which they allude to, although, as they never advert to the real 
nature of it, we may conclude their inferences to have been only 
obscurely conjectural. 

The fact is that wherever this peculiar worship has ever 
flourished, traces are left behind, and relics remain which have 
always been found to have puzzled the learned antiquarian no 
less than the unlettered conjecturer. 

‘In a tumulus on Salisbury Plain,” says Sir R. Hoare in his 
Tumuli Wiltunenses, “‘ we found a cone of jet, likewise an amber 
cone. In another, we found an earthen cup of singular pattern, 
a cone of gold, &c. 

That the mitre of Osiris, which, in fact, represented a trun- 
cated cone, had relation to this mysterious type, we imagine few 
will be inclined to controvert, and probably these remarks will 
receive corroboration froin a close inspection of the extraordinary 
groups in the caves of Ellora (which are engraved in the sixth 
volume of the Asiatic Researches), where the mitre, placed on 
the head of Indra as well as on the head of Indranee, no less 
than the peculiar situation of the human skull and cross-bones, 
placed conspicuously on this last female personage, and occupying 
the natural position of the yoni itself, sufficiently evince what 
were the notions of those ancient architects concerning religious 
mysteries, and of the particular agency by which death, in the 
first instance, ‘‘ passed upon all men.” 

A writer has said:—‘“In commenting on this particular 
branch of idolatry under discussion, we cannot but remark that 
there appears just reason to believe that this was the peculiar 
abomination into which the ten tribes of Israel lapsed, at their 
separation from Judah under Jeroboam ; of which opinion strong 
presumptive proof is offered, inasmuch as, from the account given 

' by Herodotus (and cited by Josephus) of the invasion of the 


Egyptian Shishak, under Rehoboam, it appears that, having con- 
quered Jerusalem, and defiled the public buildings by carving in 
them the distinctive symbols of his own peculiar and national 
creed, that is to say (according to the saine author), by defacing 
them with representations of that very symbol, the mysterious 
yoni, he returned to his own country without in any way moles- 
ting Samaria, the residence of the ten tribes, who, it needs not 
any great measure of sagacity to perceive, had doubtless embraced 
his religious views,” * 

* See Freemason’s Quarterly Review for 1840. 

Phallic Worship in the Middle Ages. 

\HE author of the treatise on the ‘‘ Worship of the Generative 
Powers during the Middle Ages,” in continuation of Payne 
Knight’s book, says :—“ Richard Payne Knight has written with 
great learning on the origin and history of the worship of Priapus 
among the ancients. This worship, which was but a part of that 
of the generative powers, appears to have been the most ancient 
of the superstitions of the human race, has prevailed more or 
less among all known peoples before the introduction of Chris- 
tianity, and singularly enough, so deeply it seems to have been 
implanted in human nature that even the promulgation of the 
Gospel did not abolish it, for it continued to exist, accepted and 
often encouraged by the medieval clergy. The occasion of Payne 
Knight’s work was the discovery that this worship continued to 
prevail in his time in a very remarkable form, at Isernia, in the 
kingdom of Naples. The town of Isernia was destroyed, with a 
great portion of its inhabitants, in the terrible earthquake which 
so fearfully devastated the kingdom of Naples on the 26th of 
July, 1805, nineteen years after the appearance of the book 
alluded to. Perhaps with it perished the last trace of the wor- 
ship of Priapus in this particular form, but Payne Knight was 
not acquainted with the fact that this superstition, in a variety 
of forms, prevailed throughout Southern and Western Europe 
largely during the Middle Ages, and that in some parts it is 
hardly extinct at the present day. 

‘The medieval worship of the generative powers, represented 
by the generative organs, was derived from two distinct sources. 
In the first place, Rome invariably carried into the provinces she 
-had conquered her own institutions and forms of worship, and 
established them permanently. In exploring the antiquities of 
these provinces, we are astonished at the abundant monuments 
of the worship of Priapus, in all the shapes and with all the 
attributes and accompaniments, with which we are already so 
well acquainted in Rome and Italy. Among the remains of. 
Roman civilization in Gaul, we find statues or statuettes of 
Priapus, altars dedicated to him, the gardens and fields entrusted 


to his care, and the phallus, or male member, figured in a variety 
of shapes as a protecting power against evil influences of various 
kinds. With this idea the well-known figure was sculptured on 
the walls of public buildings, placed in conspicuous places in the 
interior of the house, worn as an ornament by women, and sus- 
pended as an amulet to the necks of children. Erotic scenes of 
the most extravagant description covered vessels of metal, 
earthenware, and glass, intended, no doubt, for festivals and 
usages more or less connected with the worship of the principle 
of fecundity.” 

At Aix, in Provence, there was found, on or near the site of 
the ancient baths, to which it had no doubt some relation, an 
enormous phallus, encircled with garlands, sculptured in white 
marble. At Le Chatelet, in Champagne, on the site of a Roman 
town, a colossal phallus was found. Similar objects in bronze, 
and of smaller dimensions, are so common, that explorations are 
seldom carried on upon a Roman site in which they are not 
found, and examples of such objects abound in the museums, 
public or private, of Roman antiquities. 

At Nismes, in the south of France (formerly Nemansus), 
phallic worship appears to have prevailed to an unusual extent, 
and the walls of many of its buildings are adorned with sculptures 
of a most remarkable character, many of which can scarcely be 
regarded as other than fanciful caricatures. Some of them are 
thus described. One is the figure of a double phallus. It is 
sculptured on the lintel of one of the vomitories, or issues, of the 
second range of seats of the Roman amphitheatre, near the 
entrance gate which looks to the south. The double and the 
triple phallus are very common among the small Roman bronzes, 
which appear to have served as amulets, and for other similar 
purposes. In the latter, one phallus usually serves as the body, 
and is furnished with legs, generally those of the goat; a second 
occupies the usual place of this organ ; and a third appears in 
that of a tail. Ona pilaster of the amphitheatre of Nismes, we 
see a triple phallus of this description with goat’s legs and feet. 
A. bell is suspended to the smaller phallus in front ; and the larger 
organ which forms the body is furnished with wings. The picture 
is completed by the introduction of three birds, two of which are 
pecking at the unveiled head of the principal phallus, while the 
third is holding down the tail with its foot. | 

On the top of another pilaster of the amphitheatre at Nismes, 
to the right of the principal western entrance, was a bas-relief, 


also representing a triple phallus, with legs of a goat, and winged, 
but with a further accompaniment. A female, dressed in the 
Roman stola, stands upon the phallus forming the tail, and holds 
both it and the one forming the body with a bridle. This bas- 
relief was taken down in 1829, and is now preserved in the 
museum of Nismes. 

A still more remarkable monument of this class was found in 
the course of excavations made at Nismes in 1825. It represents 
a bird, apparently intended for a vulture, with spread wings 
and phallic tail, sitting on four eggs, each of which is designed, 
no doubt, to represent the female organ. The local antiquaries 
give to this, as to the other similar objects, an emblematical 
signification ; but it may be more rightly regarded, perhaps, as a 
playful conception of the imagination. <A similar design, with 
some modifications, occurs not frequently among Gallo-Roman 

As Nismes was evidently a centre of this Priapic worship in 
the south of Gaul, so there appears to have been, perphaps lesser, 
centres in other parts, and we may trace it to the northern 
extremities of the Roman province, even to the other side of the 
Rhine. On the site of Roman settlements near Xanten, in Lower 
Hesse, a large quantity of pottery and other objects have been 
found, of a character to leave no doubt as to the prevalence of 
this worship in that quarter. But the Roman settlement which 
occupied the site of the modern city of Antwerp appears to have 
been one of the most remarkable seats of the worship of Priapus 
in the north of Gaul, and it continued to exist there till a com- 
paratively modern period. * 

So far as Britain is concerned, there is no doubt whatever that 
the worship of Priapus was established here as in other countries. 
Whenever there are any Roman remains of any particular extent, 
statuettes of Priapus, phallic bronzes, and pottery covered with 
obscene pictures are found. The bronzes found in England, are 
perfectly identical in character with those which occur in France 
and Italy. In illustration of this fact, we may mention two 
examples of the triple phallus, which appears to have been, 
perhaps in accordance with the explanation given by Plutarch, 
an amulet in great favour. One was found in London in 1842. 
As in examples found on the continent, a principal phallus formed 
the body, having the hinder parts of apparently a dog, with 

* See Payne Knight’s Work. 


wings of a peculiar form, perhaps intended for those of a dragon. 
Several small rings are attached, probably for the purpose of 
suspending bells Another example was found at York in 1866, 
which displays a peculiarity of action, which leaves no doubt that 
the hinder parts were intended to be those of a dog. 

Numerous examples of lamps of a phallic character have also 
been found in London and other parts connected with ancient 
Roman settlements. They are chiefly of earthenware, and some 
of them are of the most obscene description. One, found in 
London—in Cannon Street—in 1838, said to be typical of this 
class of objects, represents a natural act which will be readily 

One remarkable example of phallic monuments in Britain, 
demands, from its peculiarity, special notice. The author of the 
addition to Payne Knight's work says :—‘ All this obscence 
pottery must be regarded, no doubt, as a proof of a great amount 
of dissoluteness in the morals of Roman society in Britain, but it 
is evidence of something more. It is hardly hkely that such 
objects could be in common use at the family table (this of course 
is in allusion to the lamps); and we are led to suppose that they 
were employed on special occasions, festivals perhaps, connected 
with the licentious worship of which we are speaking, and such 
as those described in the satires of Juvenal. But monuments are 
found in this island which bear still more direct evidence to the 
existence of the worship of Priapus during the Roman period. 

“Tn the parish of Adel, in Yorkshire, are considerable traces 
of a Roman station which appears to have been a place of some 
importance, and which certainly possessed temples. On the site 
of these were found altars and other stones with inscriptions, 
which, after being long preserved in an outhouse of the rectory 
at Adel, are now deposited in the museum of the Philosophical 
Society at Leeds. One of the most curious cf these appears to be 
a votive offering to Priapus, who seems to be addressed under the 
naine of Mentula. It is a rough, unsquared stone, which has 
been selected for possessing a tolerably flat and smooth surface ; 
and the figures and letters were made with a rude implement, 
and by an unskilful workman, who was evidently unable to cut 
a continuous sinooth line. The middle of the stone is occupied 
by the figure of a phallus, and round it we read very distinctly 
the words :—PRIMINVS MENTLA, The author of the in- 
scription may have been an ignorant Latinist as well as an 


unskilful sculptor, and perhaps inistook the ligulated letters, 
overlooking the limb which would make the L, stand for VL, and 
giving A for Az, It would then read Prominus Mentule, Primi- 
nus to Mentula (the object personified), and it may have been a 
votive offering from some individua] named Priminus, who was 
in want of a heir or Jaboured under some sexual infirmity, to 
Priapus, whose assistance he sought. Another interpretation 
has been suggested, on the supposition that Mentla, or perhaps 
(the L being designed for IL ligulated) Mentila or Mentilla, 
might be the naine of a female joined with her husband in this 
offering for their common good. The former of these interpreta- 
tions seems, however, to be the most probable. This monument 
belongs probably to rather a late date in the Roman period. 
Another ex voto of the same class was found at Westerwood Fort, 
in Scotland, one of the Roman fortresses on the Wall of Anto- 
ninus. This nonument consisted of a square slab of stone, in 
the middle of which was a phallus, and under it the words EX 
VOTO, Above were the letters KAN, ineaning, perhaps, that 
the offerer had laboured ten years under the grievance of which 
he sought redress from Priapus. We may point also to a phallic 
monument of another kind, which reminds us in some degree of 
the finer sculptures at Nismes. At Housesteads, in Northumber- 
Jand, are seen the extensive and imposing remains of one of the 
Roman stations on the Wall of Hadrian, named Borconicus. 
The walls of the entrance gateways are exceedingly well pre- 
served, and on that of the guard-house attached to one of them 
is a slab of stone presenting a rude delineation of a phallus with 
the legs of a fowl, reminding us of some of the monuments of 
France and Italy. ‘These phallic images were, no doubt, exposed 
in such situations because they were supposed to exercise a pro- 
tective influence over the locality, or over the building, and the 
individual who looked upon the figure believed himself safe, 
during that day at least, from evil influences of various descrip- 

The Chronicle of Lanercost supplies us with some curious 
information relative to Phallic practices in Britain some five or 
six hundred years ago. A pestilence we are told prevailed in the 
Scottish district of Lothian, which was very fatal to the cattle, 
and to counteract which some of the clergy taught the peasantry 
to make a fire by the rubbing together of wood (this was the 
need-fire), and to raise up the image of Priapus as a means of 


Baving their cattle. When a lay member of the Cistercian order, 
at Fenton, had done this before the door of the hall, and had 
sprinkled the cattle with a dog’s testicles dipped in holy water, 
and complaint had been made of this crime of idolatry against 
the lord of the manor, the latter pleaded in his defence that all 
this was done without his knowledge and in his absence, but 
added, “while until the present month of June, other people’s 
cattle fell ill and died, mine were always sound, but now every 
day two or three of mine die, so that I have few left for the 
labours of the field.” 

In 1282, a similar case occurred at Inverkeithing, in the 
county of Fife, Scotland. In the Easter week of this year, a 
parish priest, named John, performed the rites of Priapus, by 
collecting the young girls of the town, and making them dance 
round the figure of this god; without any regard for the sex of 
these worshippers, he carried a wooden image of the inale members 
of generation before them in the dance, and himself dancing with 
them, he accompanied their songs with monuments in accordance, 
and urged thei to licentious actions by his licentious language. 
The more modest part of those who were present felt scandalized 
by the proceedings, and expostulated with the priest, but he 
treated their words with contempt, and only gave utterance to 
coarser obscenities. He was cited before his bishop, defended 
himself upon the common usage of the country, and was allowed 
to retain his benefice. 

In the Middle Ages, the buildings which were specially placed 
under the supposed protective power of the phallus sculptured on 
the walls, were generally churches. In Ireland, singularly 
enough, it was the female organ which was regarded as the pro- 
tection against enchantments of various kinds, and which to an 
ignorant and superstitious people were a source of so much terror. 
These images were, as pictures of them show, of an extremely 
rude, though elaborate description, and indecent in the highest 
degree ; they were placed generally over the doorway of the 
church, and represented women exposing themselves in the most 
outrageous manner by uncovering those parts which, as a rule, 
are concealed even by the most savage of people. It seems 
tolerably clear that we have here the origin of the custom, which 
has descended to our times, of nailing up a horse-shoe as a pro- 
tection against the evil influence of witches. It has been ob- 
served that this female organ was “far more hable to degradation 


in forin than that of the male, because it was much less easy, in 
the hands of rude draughtsinen, to delineate an intelligible form, 
and hence it soon assumed shapes which, though intended to 
represent it, we might rather call symbolical of it, though no 
symbolism was intended. Thus the figure of the female organ 
easily assumed the rude form of a horse-shoe, and, as the original 
meaning was forgotten, would be readily taken for that object, 
and a real horse- shoe nailed up for the same purpose.” 

A curious aspect. of this matter is presented in the middle 
ages by the conversion of the god Priapus into a saint of several 
names. In the south of France, Provence, Languedoc, and some 
other places, he was worshipped as St. Foutin, a name said to be 
a corruption of Fotinus, the first bishop of Lyons. The object 
of adoration was a large phallus of wood, this was greatly 
venerated by the women, who scraped it with knives and 
swallowed the fragments in water as a cure for barrenness on 
their own part, and gave them to their husbands as a remedy for 
any incapacity or weakness in fulfilling the obligations of the 
married state. Volume five of the Journal d’Henri IIT., con- 
taining “La Confession de Sancy,” gives an account of the 
worship of this saint in France at the commencement of the 
seventeenth century. That work states that at Varailles, in 
Provence, waxen images of the members of both sexes were 
offered to St. Foutin, and suspended from the ceiling of his 
chapel. At Ermbrun, in the department of the Upper Alps, the 
phallus of St. Foutin was worshipped in a different form. The 
women poured a libation of wine upon its head, which was col- 
lected in a vessel, in which it was left till it becainie sour ; it was 
then called the “sainte vinaigre,” and was used for a purpose 
not quite clearly comprehended. In 1585, when Hrubrum was 
taken by the Protestants, this phallus was found carefully laid 
up among the relics of the principal church, its head red with the 
wine that had been poured upon it. At Orange, in the church 
of St. Eutropius, a very large phullus of wood, covered with 
leather, was taken possession of by the Protestants in 1562, and 
burnt. The same name (St. Foutin) is found in connection with 
worship in a number of other places, such as Porigny, Cives, 
Vendre in the Bourbonnais, Auxerre, Puy-en-Velay, &. A 
number of other phallic saints were also worshipped in the iniddle 
ages, such as St. Guerlichon at Bourg-Dieu, St. Gilles in the 
Cotentin in Brittany, St. René in Anjou, St. Regnaud in Bur- 


undy, and St. Guignold, near Brest, and at the village of La 
Chatalette in Berri. 

“Tt appears that it was also the practice to worship these 
saints in another manner, which was also derived from the forms 
of the worship of Priapus among the ancients, with whom it was 
the custom, in the nuptial ceremonies, for the bride to offer up 
her virginity to Priapus, and this was done by placing her sexual 
parts against the end of the phallus, and sometimes introducing 
the latter, and even completing the sacrifice. This ceremony is 
represented in a bas-relief in marble, an engraving of which is 
given in the Musée Sécret of the antiquities of Herculaneum 
and Pompeii ; its object was to conciliate the favour of the god, 
and to avert sterility. It is described by the early Christian 
writers, such as Lactantius and Arnobius, as a very common 
practice among the Romans, and it still prevails to a great extent 
over most part of the East, from India to Japan, and the islands 
of the Pacific. In a public square in Batavia, there is a cannon 
taken from the natives, and placed there as a trophy by the 
Dutch Government. It presents the peculiarity that the touch- 
hole is made on a phallie hand, the thumb placed in the position 
which is called the “fig.” At night, the sterile Malay women go 
to this cannon and sit upon the thumb, and rub their parts with 
it to produce fruitfulness. When leaving, they make an offering 
of a bouquet of flowers to the “tig.” It is always the same idea 
of reverence to the fertilizing powers of uature, of which the 
garland or the bunch of flowers was an appropriate emblem. 
There are traces of the existence of this practice in the middle 
ages. In the case of some of the priapic saints meutioned above, 
women sought a remedy for barrenness by kissing the end of the 
phallus ; sometimes they appear to have placed a part of their 
body naked against the image of the saint, or to have sat upon 
it. The latter trait was perhaps too bold an adoption of the in- 
decencies of pagan worship to last long, or to be practised openly; 
but it appears to have been more innocently represented by lying 
upon the body of the saint, or sitting upon a stone, understood 
to represent him without the presence of the energetic member, 
In a corner in the church of the village of St. Fiacre, near 
Monceaux, in France, there is a chair called the chair of St. 
Fiacre, which confers (so it is said) fecundity upon women who 
sit upon it, but it is necessary that nothing should intervene 
between their bare skin and the stone.” * 

* Worship of Priapus. 


Antwerp has been described as the Lampsacus of Belgium, 
and Priapus' was, down to a comparatively modern period, its 
patron as under the name of Ters, a word, the derivation of 
which appdars to be unknown, but which was identical in meaning 
with the’ Greek phallus, and the Latin fasconum. Johannis 
Goropii“Becani Origines Antwerpiane, 1569, lib. 1., pp. 26, 101, 
informs us how much this Ters was reverenced in his time by 
the Antwerpians, especially by the women, who invoked it on 
evefy occasion when they were taken by surprise or sudden fear. 
He states that if they let fall by accident a vessel of earthenware, 
or stumbled, or if any unexpected accident caused them vexation, 
even the most respectable woman called aloud for protection of 
Priapus under this obscene name. Goropius Becanus adds that 
there was in his time, over the door of a house adjoining the 
prison, a statue which had been furnished with a large phallus, 
then worn away or broken off. Among other writers who mention 
this statue is Abraham Golnitz, who published an account of his 
travels in France and Belgium, in 1631, and he informs us that 
it was a carving in stone, about a foot high, with its arms raised 
up, and its legs spread out, and that the phallus had been entirely 
worn out by the women, who had been in the habit of scraping 
it and making a potion of the dust, which they drank as a pre- 
servative against barrenness. Golnitz further tells us that a 
figure of Priapus was placed over the entrance-gate to the 
enclosure of the temple of St. Walburgis, at Antwerp, which some 
antiquaries Imagined to have been built on the site of a temple 
dedicated to that deity. It appears from these writers that, at 
certain times, the women of Antwerp decorated the phalli of these 
figures with garlands. 

We have seen, says the author of “The Worship of the 
Generative Powers,” how the women of Antwerp, who, though 
perhaps they did not speak a Roman dialect, appear to have been 
much influenced by Roman sentiments, made their appeal to their 
genius Ters. When a Spaniard is irritated, or suddenly excited, 
he exclaims, Carajo/ (the virile member), or Conjones/ (the 
testicles). An Italian, under similar circumstances, uses the 
exclamation Cazzo/ (the virile member). The Frenchman apos- 
trophizes the act, foutre/ The female member, cono with the 
Spaniard, conno with the Italian, and con with the Frenchmen, 
was and is used more generally as an expression of contempt, 
which is also the case with the testicles, couzllons, in French— 


those who have had experience in the old days of “ diligence” 
travelling will remember how usual it was for the driver, when 
his horses would not go quick enough, to address the leader in 
such terms as, “ Va, donc, vieux con!” We have no such words 
used in this manner in the Germanic languages, with the excep- 
tion, perhaps, of the German. Potz/ and Potztavsend / and the 
English equivalent, Pox / which last is quite out of use. There 
was an attempt among the fashionables of our Elizabethan age of/ 
literature, to introduce the Italian cazzo under the form of catso, 
and French foutre under that of foutra, but these were mere 
affectations of a moment, and soon disappeared. 

Moral Aspects of Phallicism. 

F all the profane rites which belonged to the ancient pely- 
theism, none were more furiously inveighed against by the 
zealous propagators of the Christian faith, than the obscene 
ceremonies performed in the worship of Priapus, which appeared 
not only contrary to the gravity and sanctity of religion, but 
subversive of the first principles of decency and good order in 
society. Even the form itself, under which the god was 
represented, appeared to them a mockery of all piety and devo- 
tion, and more fit to be placed in a brothel than a temple. But 
the forms and ceremonials of a religion are not always to be 
understood in their direct and obvious sense; but are to be con- 
sidered as symbolical representations of some hidden meaning, 
which may be extremely wise and just, though the symbols 
themselves, to those who know not their true signification, may 
appear in ‘the highest degree absurd and extravagant. It has 
often happened, ‘that avarice and superstition have continued 
these symbolical representations for ages after their original 
meaning has been lost and forgotten ; when they must of course 
appear nonsensical and ridiculous, if not impious and extravagant. 
Such is the case with the rite now under consideration, than 
which nothing can be more monstrous and indecent, if considered 
in its plain and obvious meaning, or as a part of the Christian 
worship, but which will be found to be a very aatural symbol of 
a very natural and philosophical system of religion, if considered 
according to its original use and intention. 

Whatever the Greeks and Egyptians meant by the symbol in 
question, it was certainly nothing ludicrous or licentious; of 
which we need no other proof than its having been carried in 
solemn procession at the celebration of those mysteries in which 
the first principles of their religion, the knowledge of the God of 
Nature, the First, the Supreme, the Intellectual, were preserved 
free from the vulgar superstitions, and communicated, under the 
strictest oaths of secrecy, to the initiated, who were obliged to 
purify themselves, prior to their initiation, by abstaining from 
venery and all impure food. We may therefore be assured that 


no impure meaning could be conveyed by this symbol, but that it 
represented some fundamental principle of their faith, What 
this was, it is difficult to obtain any direct information, on account 
of the secrecy under which this part of their religion was guarded, 
Plutarch tells us that the Egyptians represented Osiris with the 
organ of generation erect, to show his generative and_ prolific 
power; he also tells us that Osiris was the same deity as the 
Bacchus of the Greek mythology, who was also the same as the 
first-begotten Love of Orpheus and Hesiod. This deity is cele- 
brated by the ancient poets as the creator of all things, the father 
of gods and men, and it appears by the passage above referred 
to that the organ of generation was the symbol of his great 
characteristic attribute. This is perfectly consistent with the 
general practice of the Greek artists, who uniformly represented 
the attributes of the deity by the corresponding properties ob- 
served in the objects of sight. They thus personitied the epithets 
and titles applied to him in the hynins and litanies, and conveyed 
their ideas of him by forms, only intelligible to the initiated, 
instead of sounds which were intelligible to all. The organ of 
generation represented the generative or creative attribute, and 
in the language of painting and sculpture, signified the same as 
the epithet rayyeverwp, in the Orphic litanies. 

This interpretation will perhaps surprise those who have not 
been accustomed to divest their minds of the prejudices of edu- 
cation and fashion ; but I doubt not but it will appear just and 
reasonable to those who consider manners and customs as relative 
to the natural causes which produced them rather than to the 
artificial opinions and prejudices of any particular age or country. 
There is naturally no impurity or licentiousness in the moderate 
and regular gratification of any natural appetite; the turpitude 
consisting wholly in the excess or perversion. Neither are organs 
of one species of enjoyment to be considered as subjects of shame 
and concealment more than those of another, every refinement on 
this head being derived from acquired habit, not from nature ; 
habit indeed long established, for it seems to have been as general 
in Homer’s days as at present, but which certainly did not exist 
when the mystic symbols of the ancient worship were first adopted. 
As these symbols were intended to express abstract ideas by 
objects of sight, the contrivers of them naturally selected those 
objects whose characteristic properties seemed to have the greatest 
analogy with the divine attributes which they wished to represent. 


In an age, therefore, when no prejudices of artificial decency 
existed, what more just and natural image could they find by 
which to express their idea of the beneficial power of the great 
Creator than that organ which endowed them with the power of 
procreation, and made them partakers not only of the felicity of 
the Deity, but of his great characteristic attribute, that of multi- 
plying his own image, communicating his blessings, and extending 
them to generations yet unborn. 

Mr. d’Hancarville attributes the origin of all these symbols to 
the antiquity of words; the same term being employed in the 
primitive language to signify God and a Bull, the Universe and 
a Goat, Life and a Serpent. But words are only types and syin- 
bols of ideas, and therefore must be posterior to them, in the 
same manner as ideas are to the objects. The words of a primi- 
tive language, being imitative of the ideas from which they 
spring, and of the objects they meant to express, as far as the 
imperfections of the organs of speech will admit, there must 
necessarily be the same kind of analogy between them as between 
the ideas and objects themselves. It is impossible, therefore, that 
in such a language any ambiguity of this sort could exist, as it 
does in secondary language ; the words of which, being collected 
from various sources, and blended together without having any 
natural connection, become arbitrary signs of convention, instead 
of imitative representatives of ideas. In this case it often 
happens, that words, similar in form, but different in meaning, 
have been adopted from different sources, which, being blended 
together, lose their little difference of form, and retain their entire 
ditference of meaning. Hence ambiguities arise, such as those 
above inentioned, which could not possibly exist in an original 

Considering the general state of reserve and restraint in which 
the Grecian women lived, it is astonishing to what an excess of 
extravagance their religious enthusiasm was carried on certain 
occasions ; particularly in celebrating the Orgies of Bacchus. 
The gravest matrons and proudest princesses suddenly laid aside 
their decency and dignity, and ran screaming among the woods 
and mountains, fantastically dressed or half-naked, with their 
hair dishevelled and interwoven with ivy or vine, and sometimes 
with living serpents. In this manner they frequently worked 
themselves up to such a pitch of savage ferocity, as not only to 
feed upon raw flesh, but even to tear living animals with their 


teeth, and eat them warm and palpitating. Mr. Payne Knight 
says :—‘ The intelligent reader perceives the superficiality of the 
popular notion that Bacchus or Dionysus was but the god of wine 
and drunkenness, and that the orgies or secret religious rites 
were all occasions of revelling and debauchery. His worshippers 
in Thrace, the Orpheans, were ascetics and devotees, like the 
Gymnosophists of India. The Bacchus of ancient worship was 
an Asiatic divinity, identical with Atys, Adonis, Osiris, and 
probably with Maha Deva of India; and in the Grecian Pantheon 
he appears to be a foreigner like Hercules. As Zagreus, the son 
of Zeus by the Virgin Kore-Persephoneia or Demeter, afterwards 
born anew as the son of Semelé, he seems to illustrate the 
metempsychosis. He was probably identical with Baal-Peor, the 
Moabite divinity, and the deity commemorated by the Israelites 
in the ‘Baalim’ or Priapic statnes, often of wood, which were set 
up with the groves or symbols of Venus-Astarté, on every high 
hill and under every green tree. Maachah, the queen-mother, 
who presided over the orgies, was deposed from regal rank by 
King Asa for making a mephallitzeth, or phallic mannikin for an 
ashera, or omphale. (I. Kings, xv. 13, and Herodotus, ii. 48). 
The orgies, works, or nocturnal rites, consisted of dances, mystical 
processions, and searches after the mutilated body of the divine 

One great means of corrupting the ancient theology, and 
establishing the poetical mythology, was the practice of the artists 
in representing the various attributes of the Creator under human 
forins of various character and expression. These figures, being 
distinguished by the titles of the deity which they were ineant to 
represent, became in time to be considered as distinct personages, 
and worshipped as separate subordinate deities. Hence the 
many-shaped god, the woAvpopdos and pupropoeos of the ancient 
theologists, became divided into many gods and goddesses, often 
described by the poets as at variance with each other, and 
wrangling about the little intrigues and passions of men. Hence 
too, as the symbols were multiplied, particular ones lost their 
dignity ; and that venerable one which is the subject of our con- 
sideration, became degraded from the representative of the god of 
nature. to a subordinate rural deity, a supposed son of the Asiatic 
conqueror Bacchus, standing among the nymphs by a fountain, 
and expressing the fertility of a garden, instead of the general 
creative power of the great active principle of the universe. His 


degradation did not stop even here; for we find him; in times still 
more profane and corrupt, made a subject of raillery and insult, 
as answering no better purpose than holding up his rubicund nose 
to frighten birds and thieves.* His talents were also perverted 
from their natural ends, and employed in base and abortive efforts 
in conformity to the taste of the times; for men naturally attri- 
bute their own passions and inclinations to the objects of their 

“The Babylonians,” says Herodotus (Book I. ¢ 199), “ have 
a most shameful custom. Every woman horn in the country 
must once in her life go and sit down in the precinct of Venus, 
and there consort with a stranger. Many of the wealthier sort, 
who are too proud to mix with the others, drive in covered 
carriages to the precinct, followed by a goodly train of attendants, 
and there take their station. But the larger number seat them- 
selves within the holy enclosure with wreaths of string about their 
heads,—and here there is always a great crowd, some coming and 
others going; lines of cord mark out paths in all directions among 
the women, and the strangers pass along them to make their choice. 
A woman who has once taken her seat is not allowed to return 
home till one of the strangers throws a silver coin into her lap, 
and takes her with him beyond the holy ground. When he 
throws the coin he says these words—‘ the goddess M ylitta prosper 
thee.’ (Venus is called Mylitta by the Assyrians). The silver 
coin may be of any size; it cannot be refused, for that is for- 
bidden by the Jaw, since once thrown it is sacred. The woman 
goes with the first man who throws her money, and rejects no 
one. When she has gone with him, and so satistied the goddess, 
she returns home, and from that time forth no gift, however 
great, will prevail with her. Such of the women, as are tall and 
beautiful are soon reieased, but others who are ugly have to stay 
along time before they can fultil the law. Some have waited 
three or four years in the precinct.” 

There is an allusion to this in the Book of Baruch (vi. 43). 
“The women also with cords about them, sitting in the ways, 
burn bran for perfume: but if any of them, drawn by some that 
passeth by, lie with him, she reproacheth her fellow, that she was 
hot thought as worthy as herself, nor her cord broken.” 

A similiar custom prevailed in Cyprus, Armenia, and probably 
in many other countries; it being, as Herodotus observes, the 

* Horat. lib. i. Sat. viii. 


practice of all mankind, except the Greeks and Egyptians, to take 
stich liberties with their temples, which, they concluded, must be 
pleasing to the Deity, as birds and animals, acting under the 
guidance of instinct, or by the immediate impulse of Heaven, did 
the same. | 

Thus Herodotus ii. 64:—‘The Egyptians first made it 4 
point of religion to have no converse with women in the sacred 
places, and not to enter then without washing, after such con- 
verse. Almost all other nations, except the Greeks and Egyptians, 
act differently, regarding man as in this matter under no other 
law than the brutes. Many animals, they say, and various kinds 
of birds may be seen to couple in the temples and the sacred 
precincts, which would certainly not happen if the gods were 
displeased at it.” 

Payne Knight says :—“ The exceptions he might safely have 
omitted, at least as far as relates to the Greeks: for there were 
a thousand sacred prostitutes kept in each of the celebrated 
temples of Venus, at Eryx and Corinth; who, according to all 
accounts, were extremely expert and assiduous in attending to 
the duties of their profession; and it is not likely that the 
temple, which they served, should be the only place exeinpted 
from being the scene of them. Dionysius of Halicarnasus claims 
the same exception in favour of the Romans, but, as we suspect, 
equally without reason: for Juvenal, who lived only a century 
later, when the same religion and nearly the same manners pre- 
vailed, seems to consider every temple in Rome as a kind of 
licensed brothel.” 

The temples of the Hindus, in the Dekkan, possessed their 
establishments ; they had bands of consecrated dancing-girls called 
the Women of the Idol, selected in their infancy by the priests 
for the beauty of their persons, and trained up with every elegant 
accomplishment that could render them attractive, and assure 
success in the profession; which they exercised at once for the 
pleasure and profit of the priesthood. They were never allowed 
to desert the temple; and the offspring of their promiscuous 
embraces were, if males, consecrated to the service of the Deity 
in the ceremonies of his worship ; and if females, educated in the 
profession of their mothers. 

“The compulsory prostitution of Babylonia was connected 
with the worship of Mylitta, and wherever this worship spread it 
was accompanied by the sexual sacrifice. Strabo relates that in 


Armenia the sons and daughters of the leading families were 
consecrated to the service of Anaitis for a longer or shorter period. 
Their duty was to entertain strangers, and those females who had 
received the greatest number, were, on their return home, the 
most sought after in marriage. The Pheenician worship of 
Astarté was no less distinguished by sacred prostitution, to which 
was added a promiscuous intercourse between the sexes during 
certain religious fétes, at which the men and women exchanged 
their garments. The Pheenicians carried the customs to the Isle 
of Cyprus, where the worship of their great goddess, under the 
name of Venus became supreme. 

‘According to a popular legend the women of Amathonte, 
afterwards noted for its temple, were originally known for their 
chastity. When, therefore, Venus was cast by the waves naked 
on their shores, they treated her with disdain, and, as a punish- 
ment, they were commanded to prostitute themselves to all 
comers, a command which they obeyed with so much reluctance 
that the goddess changed them into stone. With their worship 
of Astarté, or Venus, the Pheenicians introduced sacred _ prosti- 
tution into all their colonies. St. Augustine says that, at 
Carthage, there were three Venuses rather than one: one of the 
virgins, another of married women, and a third of the courtesans, 
to the last of whom it was that the Phcenicians sacrificed the 
chastity of their daughters before they were married. It was 
the same in Syria. At Byblos, during the fétes of Adonis, after 
the ceremony which announced the resurrection of the god, every 
female worshipper had to sacrifice to Venus either her hair or her 
person. Those who preferred to preserve the former adjourned 
to the sacred enclosures, where they remained for a whole day for 
the purpose of prostituting themselves.” 

A similar state of things prevailed in many other countries, 
and, according to Herodotus, particularly amongst the Lydians. 
He says in his first book, Lydia has one structure of enormous 
size, only inferior to the monuments of Egypt and Babylon.* 
This is the tomb of Alyattes, the father of Croesus, the base of 
which is formed of immense blocks of stone, the rest being a vast 
mound of earth. It was raised, he says, by the joint labour of 
the tradesmen, handicraftsmen, and courtesans of Sardis, and 
had at the top fine stone pillars, which remained to his day, with 
inscriptions cut on them, shewing how much of the work was 

*C.S. Wake’s Essays. 


done by each class of workpeople. It appeared on measurement 
that the portion of the courtesans was the largest. He then 
remarks that the daughters of the common people in Lydia, one 
and all, pursued this traffic in order to collect money for their 
portions, and that they continued the practice till they married. 

A note in Rawlinson’s translation says the statement about 
the Lydian women is one of those for which Herodotus cannot 
escape censure, and other writers have denied the practice of 
sacred prostitution by the Egyptians; “the great similarity, 
however, between the worship of Osiris and Isis and that of 
Venus and Adonis,” remarks Wake, “renders the contrary 
opinion highly probable.” Dufour declares that the females on 
their way to the fétes of Isis at Bubastis, executed indecent 
dances when the vessels passed the villages on the banks of the 
river, and that these obscenities were only such as were about to 
happen at the temple, which was visited each year by seven hun- 
dred thousand pilgrims, who gave themslves up to incredible 
excesses, and Strabo affirms that a class of persons called pellices 
(harlots) were dedicated to the service of the patron saint of 
Thebes, and that they were permitted to cohabit with anyone 
they chose. 

Numerous references to similar practices are found in other 
writers, bearing more or less directly upon our subject. Xeno- 
phon consecrated fifty courtesans to the Corinthian Venus, in 
pursuance of the vow which he had made when he besought the 
goddess to give him the victory in the Olympian games, and he 
thus addresses them :—‘‘Oh, young damsels, who receive all 
strangers and give them hospitality, priestesses of the goddess 
Pitho in the rich Corinth, it is you who, in causing the incense to 
burn before the images of Venus, and in invoking the mother of 
Love, often merit for us her celestial aid, and procure for us the 
sweet moments which we taste on the luxurious couches where is 
gathered the delicate fruit of beauty.” 

Clement of Alexandria, in his ‘ Exhortation to the Heathen,” 
has some very striking allusions to the phallic mysteries as prac- 
tised in his time, chiefly in the countries of Egypt and Greece. 
He is writing respecting the absurdity of those mysteries, and 
amongst his many denunciations says:—“There is then the foam- 
born and Cyprus-born, the darling of Cinyras,—I mean Aphro- 
dite, lover of the virilia, because sprung from them, even from 
those of Uranus, that were cut off,—those lustful members that, 


after being cut off, offered violence to the waves, Of members 
so lewd a worthy fruit—Aphrodite—is born. In the rites which 
celebrate this enjoyment of the sea, as a symbol of her birth a 
lump of salt and the phallus are handed to those who are initiated 
into the art of uncleanness. And those initiated bring a pieee 
of money, as a courtesan’s paramours do to her. 

“Then there are the mysteries of Demeter, and Zeus’s wanton 
embraces of his mother, and the wrath of Demeter; I know not 
what for the future I shall call her, wife or mother, on which 
account it is that she is called Brimo, as is said; also the en- 
treaties of Zeus, and the drink of gall, the plucking out of the 
hearts of sacrifices, and deeds that we dare not name. Such rites 
the Phrygians perform in honour of Attis and Cybele and the 
Corybantes. And the story goes, that Zeus, having torn away 
the testicles of a ram, brought them out and cast them at the 
breasts of Demeter, paying thus a fraudalent penalty for his 
violent embrace, pretending to have cut out his own. The 
symbols of initiation into these rites, when set before you in a 
vavant hour, I know will excite your laughter, although on ac- 
count of the exposure by no means inclined to laugh. I have 
eaten out of the drum, I have drunk out of the cymbal, I have 
carried the Cernos, I have slipped into the bedroom. Are not 
these signs a disgrace? Are not the mysteries absurdity ? 

‘ What if I add the rest? Demeter becomes a mother, Kore 
is reared up to womanhood. And, in course of time, he who 
begot her—this same Zeus—has intercourse with his own daugh- 
ter Pherephatta,—after Ceres, the mother—forgetting his former 
abominable wickedness. Zeus is both the father and the seducer 
of Kore, and has intercourse with her in the shape of a dragon ; 
his identity, however, was discovered. The token of the Sabazian 
mysteries to the initiated is “the deity gliding over the breast ”—— 
the deity being this serpent crawling over the breasts of the 
initiated. Proof surely this of the unbridled lust of Zeus. 
Pherephatta has a child, though, to be sure, in the form of a bull, 
as an idolatrous poet says : 

‘The bull 
The pe ee father, and father of the bull the dragon, 
On a hill the herdsman’s hidden ox-goad,’— 
alluding, as I believe, under the name of the herdsman’s ox-goad, 
to the reed wielded by the bacchanals. Do you wish me to go 
into the story of Pherephatta’s gathering of flowers, her basket, 
and her seizure by Pluto (Aidoneus), and the rent in the earth, 


and the swine of Eubouleus that were swallowed up with the two 
goddesses ; for which reason, in the Thesmophoria, speaking the 
Megaric tongue, they thrust out swine! This mythological story 
the women celebrate variously in different cities in the festivals 
called Thesmophoria and Scirophoria, dramatizing in many forms 
the rape of Pherephatta (Proserpine). 

“The mysteries of Dionysus are wholly inhuman: for while 
still a child, and the Curetes danced around [his cradle] clashing 
their weapons, and the Titans having come upon them by stealth 
and having beguiled him with childish toys, these very Titans 
tore him limb from limb when but a child, as the bard of this 
wystery, the Thracian Orpheus, says : 

** Cone, and spinning-top, and limb-moving rattles, 
And fair golden apples from the clear-toned Hesperides.” 

“And the useless symbols of this mystic rite it will not be use- 
less to exhibit for condemnation. These are dice, ball, boop, 
apples, top, looking-glas, tuft of wool. 

“ Athene (Minerva), to resume our account, having abstracted 
the heart of Dionysus, was called Pallas, from the vibrating of 
the heart, and the Titans who had torn him limb from limb, 
setting a cauldron on a tripod, and throwing into it the members 
of Dionysus, first boiled them, and then, fixing them on spits, 
held them over the tire. But Zeus having appeared, since he was 
a god, having speedily perceived the savour of the pieces of flesh 
that were being cooked, —that savour which your gods agree to 
have assigned to them as their perquisite—assails the Titans with 
his thunderbolt, and consigns the members of Dionysus to his son 
Apollo to be interred. And he—for he did not disobey Zeus— 
bore the dismembered corpse to Parnassus, and there deposited it. 

“Jf you wish to inspect the orgies of the Corybantes, then 
know that, having killed their third brother, they covered the 
head of the dead body with a purple cloth, crowned it, and 
carrying it on the point of a spear, buried it under the roots of 
Olympus. These mysteries are, in short, murders and funerals. 
And the priests of these rites, who are called kings of the sacred 
rites by those whose business it is to name them, give additional 
strangeness to the tragic occurrence, by forbidding parsley with 
the roots from being “placed on the table, for they think that 
parsley grew from the Corybantic blood that flowed forth ; just 
as the women, in celebrating the Thesmophoria, abstain from 
eating the seeds of the pomegranate which have fallen on the 
ground, from the idea that pomegranates sprang from the drops 


of the blood of Dionysus. Those Corybantes also they call 
Cabiri; and the ceremony itself they announce as the Cabiric 

“For those two identical fratricides, having abstracted the 
box in which the member of Bacchus was deposited, took it to 
Etruria—dealers in honourable wares truly. They lived there as 
exiles, employing themselves in communicating the precious 
teaching of their superstition, and presenting the genitals and 
the box for the Tyrrhenians to worship. And some will have it, 
not improbably, that for this reason Dionysus was called Attis, 
because he was castrated. And what is surprising, at the 
Tyrrhenians, who were barbarous, being thus initiated into these 
foul indignities, when among the Athenians, and in the whole of 
Greece—I blush to say it—the shameful legend about Demeter 
holds its ground? For Demeter, wandering in quest of her 
daughter Core, broke down with fatigue near Eleusis, a place in 
Attica, and sat down on a well, overwhelmed with grief. This 
is even now prohibited to those who are initiated, lest they should 
appear to mimic the weeping goddess. The indigenous inhabi- 
tants then occupied Eleusis: their names were Baubo, and 
Dusaules, and Triptolemus ; and besides, Humolpus and Eubou- 
leus. Triptolemus was a herdsman, Eumolpus a shepherd, and 
Eubouleus a swineherd ; from whom came the race of the Eumol- 
pide and that of the Heralds—a race of Hierophants—who 
flourished at Athens. 

“ Well, then (for I shall not refrain from the recital), Baubo 
having received Demeter hospitably, reaches to her a refreshing 
draught, and on her refusing it, not having any inclination to 
drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become annoyed, 
thinking herself slighted, uncovered, and exhibited herself to the 
goddess. Demeter is delighted at the sight, and takes, though 
with difficulty, the draught—pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. 
These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians; these Orpheus 
records. I shall produce the very words of Orpheus, that you 
may have the great authority on the mysteries himself, as evidence 
for this piece of turpitude : 

‘* Having thus spoken, she drew aside her garments, 
And showed all that shape of the hody which it is improper to name, the 
growth of puberty ; 
And with her own hand Baubo stripped herself under the breasts. 

Blandly then the goddess laughed and laughed in her mind, 
And received the glancing cup in which was the draught.” 


And the following is the token of the Eleusiuian mysteries: J 
have fasted, I have drunk the cup ; I have received from the box ,; 
having done, I put it into the basket, and out of the basket unto the 
chest. Fine sights truly, and becoming a goddess; mysteries 
worthy of the night, and flame, and the magnanimous or rather 
silly people of the Erechthidwe, and the other Greeks besides, 
‘whoin a fate they hope not for awaits after death.’ And in 
truth against these Heraclitus the Egyptian prophesies, as ‘the 
nightwalkers, the magi, the bacchanals, the Lenzan revellers, the 
initiated.’ These he threatens with what will follow death, and 
predicts for them fire. For what are regarded among men as 
mysteries, they celebrate sacrilegiously. Law, then, and opinion, 
are nugatory. And the mysteries of the dragon are an imposture, 
which celebrates, religiously, mysteries that are no mysteries at 
all; and observes with a spurious piety profane rites. What are 
these inystic chests ?—for I must expose their sacred things, and 
divulge things not fit for speech. Are they not sesame cakes, 
and pyramidal cakes, and globular and flat cakes, embossed all 
over, and lumps of salt, and a serpent the symbol of Dionysus 
Bassareus? And besides these, are there not pomegranates, and 
branches, and rods, and ivy leaves? and besides round cakes and 
poppy seeds? And further, there are the unmentionable symbols 
of Themis, marjoram, a lamp, a sword, a woman’s comb, which is 
a euphemism and mystic expression for a woman’s secret parts.” 

Sactt Puga, the Worship of the Female Power. 

HE two influences, Male and Female, are conspicuous in cer- 
tain differences in the Phallic monuments, which unitedly, 
however, signify the same thing. The disputes of the comparative 
superiority of the Male over the Female principle, or of the 
Female over the Male, were the origin amongst the earliest 
nations of vast desolatory wars of which no history, scarcely 
even legend, has descended to modern periods. Therefore no 
accounts remain of these primeval wars, which brought about the 
building of the famous Tower of Babel, and were ultimately the 
cause of the confusion of languages, and the original dispersion 
of the nations. Obelisks, towers, and steeples represent and 
figure forth the Male principle. Pyramids, circular magnified 
forms, and rhomboidal or undulating serpentine shapes, denote 
the Female natural power. The one set of forms are masculine: 
therefore, aggressive and compelling. The other set of forms are 
feminine : therefore, submissive and ennobling. But all are alike 
phallic, and mean the same thing, that is, the natural motived 
power which causes and directs the world, that power which 7s 
the world, in fact. 

Phallic objects, innumerable, are always pecular in their form, 
and are of all sizes. If these sometimes prodigious structures are 
Obelisks, Columus, or Pillars, or as occasionally happens, simple, 
rough hewn, or partly fashioned uprights, they represent and 
figure forth the male principle. Subsequent to the very early, 
devotional ages, these pins, or uprights, assumed the forms of 
solid or slender towers, tors, or springing, rising, pointed fabrics. 
Amongst the Muslemmins these were minarets, with egg-shaped 
summits ; in the architectural practice among the Christians, the 
tower attenuated into the spire or steeple. But the memorial 
structures with the larger base, and with that broader incidence 
which might be denominated, with a certain aptness, the Satur- 
nian angle, indicates the opposite influence, that of the female, 
in mystic type or apotheosis. These symbol-structures, involving 
the idea of the feminine power, are the more broadly vaulting in 
shape. Chief, and most majestic of all these monuments, are the 


Pyramids. All the mystic monuments of this form and fashion 
are in the general sense, equally Phalli—that is, devoted to, and 
in witness of the worship of the distinctive sexual peculiarities, 
We accept the whole as meaning the one thing, Phallicism, all 
interpreted under the general, rising, forceful form, aspiring to- 
wards the stars. Stately beyond idea, and gloomily majestic, as 
is the aspect of these Junar or womanly monumental structures, 
they can be soon distinguished. This group of the Feminine- 
Phallic forms comprises the Pyramids in the first rank. The 
Obleisk is a shrunken, vertically thin, concentrated pyramid : the 
Pyrainid is a widely squared “out obelisk, both express the same 
idea. In the conveyance of certain ideas to those who comtem- 
plate them, the pyramid boasts of prouder significance, and 
impresses with a hint of still more impenetrable and more removed 
mystery. We seein to gather dim, supernatural ideas of the 
mighty mother of nature, the dusk divinity crowned with towers, 
the ancientest among the ancients, the Isis, or mysterious consort 
of the dethroned, and ruined, that almost two-sexed entity with- 
outa name. She of the Veil which is never to be lifted, perhaps 
not the angels, for their knowledge is limited. In short, 
this tremendous abstruction, Cybele, Jdew Mater, Isiac controller 
of the Zodiacs, whatever she be, has her representative figure in 
the half-buried Sphynx even to our own day, watching the stars, 
although nearly swallowed up in the engulfing sands. This is the 
Gorgon survival of the period of the Ark, eldest daughter of the 
mythologies, whose other face (for Janus-like she looks two ways), 
turned away from the world, is beautiful as the fairest one of 
Paradise. That other face of the Gorgon, or Sphynx, resembles, 
in one respect, that side of the lunar disc; the side of the moon 
turned away from observers on the earth, that face which no 
mortal eye ever saw, or will see, and which, for this reason, is 
one of the greatest mysteries in all the sky. 

The foregoing remarks furnish the clue to this double history 
of the phallus, in the divided character of its worship, whether 
the obelisk or pillar, or whether the pyramid be the idol. It is 
too plain to be misunderstood. As the Greeks wrote Palaa for 
Pali, they rendered the word Paliputra by Palaigonos, which also 
means the offspring of Pali, literally signifying the offspring of 
ie erat It was notoriously the yoni, and not the phallus, 

/4ch alone received the veneration of the Hindus, though now 
divided into innumerable sects and an inextricable mass of poly- 


theism. Wilford observes that the Yavanas were the ancestors 
of the Greeks, and that the Pandits insist that the words Yavana 
and Yoni are derived from the root, Yu, and that the Ydavanas 
were so named from their obstinate assertion of a superior 
influence in the female over the male nature. An ancient book 
on astronomy, in Sanscrit, bears the title of Ydvana Jatici, which 
may be interpreted, “the Tonic sect.” There is an ancient pro- 
verb amongst the Pandits, that “no base creature can be lower 
than a Yavana,” truly showing the fluctuating nature of human 
opinions and theories, which, nevertheless, have torn the bosom 
of society, and shaken nations to their centre. This creed caused 
the new people in Greece to name their new country itself Ionia, 
from that consecrated Yoni which they revered, and to distinguish 
themselves as the Ionic, or Yonic sect, in indubitable reference to 
their peculiar opinions. These and such-like researches furnish 
us with the real meaning of proper names, and amongst others 
that of the great goddess Juno, which Wilford asserts to be 
derived from the Yoni of the Hindus; also, if we analyse the 
name of Diana, or Di-Yana, the great goddess of the Ephesians, 
we shall at once perceive an identical etymology ; and when we 
remember that Juno was fabled to have been born at Argos, and 
that she was peculiarly worshipped there, we shall fully coincide 
in that opinion, for it is to be observed that the name of Argha 
is derived from the Bhaga of the Hindus, and both signified the 
Yoni, and likewise an ark or boat, which was used throughout 
antiquity as a type of the Yoniitself. The Hindu goddess, Bagis, 
was indifferently called Vagis, from which, no doubt, is derived 
the Latin vagina , and when we remember that Plutarch makes 
the otherwise inexplicable assertion that Osiris (or the incarnation 
of the male principle) was commander of the Argo; and when 
we learn that the true meaning of the name Argha-natha, or, as 
we mostly render it (speaking of the great idol), Jagernath, is no 
other than ‘lord of the boat,” we shall perceive at once the drift 
of these dark sentences, when truly and intelligibly expounded. 
The discussion of this word Argha naturally induces us to 
remark concerning an intermediate or middle sect, which, says 
Wilford, ‘‘is now prevalent in India, and which was generally 
diffused over ancient Europe.” It was introduced by the Pelargi, 
who, Herodotus says, were the same as the Pelasgi. Many 
ancient writers affirm that they were one of the most ancient 
peoples in the world. It is asserted that they first inhabited 


Argolis, and about 1883, B.c,, passed into A#monia, or Yomonia, 
and were afterwards dispersed, or emigrated into several parts of 
Greece. Some of the Pelasgians that had been driven from 
Attica, settled at Lemnos, whither, some time after, they carried 
some Athenian women, whom they had seized on the coast of 
Africa, They raised children by these captive females, but 
afterwards destroyed them together with their mothers, through 
jealousy, because they differed in manners from themselves, which 
horrid murder was attended by a dreadfnl pestilence. Such is 
the account given by the classic writers (Pausanias, Strabo, Hero- 
dotus, Plato, Virgil, Ovid, Flaccus, Seneca, &c.) But, when we 
weigh the foregoing arguinents, can we doubt that the women 
were destroyed through jealousy of their religion, and not because 
they differed merely in manners, in accordance with the peculiar 
characteristics of fanaticism, which brooks no opposition to its 
devouring nature? 

The word Pelargos was derived, says Wilford, from Phala, 
and Argha, (Phallus, and Argha from Bhaga, or Yoni), those 
mysterious types which the later nythologists distinguished under 
the names of Pallas and Argo. 

The Pelargi venerated both male and female principles in 
union, as their compound appellation indicates, and represented 
them conjointly, when their powers were supposed to be combined, 
by the intersection of two equilateral triangles, thus, x, that 
peculiar symbol 
the emblem of Lux, and to which innumerable perfections and 
virtues, including those of the Cross, have been attributed, from 
time immemorial. The union of these two symbols, devoting the 
male nature, and the female nature, or the phallus, the mark of 
which is the upright line, and the Yoni, the recognitive mark of 
which is the horizontal line, are best rendered, or depicted, in the 
double, or conjoined equilateral triangle in intersection. The 
pyramidal, aspiring, equilateral triangle is male, and signifies fire, 
and the rushing force of fire, mounting upwards in its own im- 
pulse, contradicting nature, inasmuch as it shoots up against 
gravity. The pyramid in reverse, or pointing down, is the indi- 
cating symbol of Wata, or of the lunar, female influence. 

Sacti Puja, the worship of the female powers, presents us 
with a very singular phase of the extraordinary subject we are 
examining, and ve now proceed to lay before our readers certain 

‘*Form’d all mysteries to bear.” 


facts which will enable them to form some clear idea of its 
character. In England perhaps, save in learned circles, but littte 
is known of this matter. India however has long been familiar 
with it, and, owing to certain revelations in the law courts in 
connection with an action for libel, has become notorious for the 
gravest scandals in connection therewith. 

The creed Sacteya (Sharkt-ya) is said to be one of the most 
curious of the results of, or emanations from, the ‘austere prin- 
ciples ineulecated by the Saiva and Vaishnava Codes of the Hiudu 

Sacti is power, and to this great goddess the Secteya creed, 
though acknowledging Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, and others, declares 
all to be subject. The doctrines of this particular sect are to be 
found in the sacred books called Tautras, which until a compara- 
tively late period were virtually unknown to most Europeans. 
By the aid of extracts from these books and the testimony of 
witnesses in the trial just alluded to, we shall be able to present 
a tolerably comprehensive view of this outrageously immoral and 
funatical phase of a sexual worship which at one time was almost 
perfectly free from reproach. 

This sect is known in India as the Maharajas, Rudra Sam- 
pradaya, or Pushti Marga. Vallabhdcharya, the progenitor, was 
born about 400 years ago. Laxman Bhat, his father, was a 
Telinga Brahmin, from the country called Talingra, situated in 
Southern India. Ina book of the Maharajas called ‘“ Sampra- 
daya-pradipa” (the illuminator of customs), it is stated that 
Luxman Bhat was promised by God, that he should have three 
sons, whereof the second would be his own (that is God’s) incar- 
nation. Accordingly after the birth of Ramkarshna, the first 
son, Laxman Bhat started on a pilgrimage to the Holy Places. 
Ere he reached Kasee (Benares), a serious quarrel had arisen 
between the Hindus and Mussulmans of that city; and Laxman 
Bhat, therefore, left that spot and arrived in a jungle called 
Champdé. There his wife gave birth to a child on Sunday, the 
llth of Vaisakh Vadya, Samvat 1535. As he and his family 
had to fly for their lives, the infant was left among the leaves of 
the trees, and they stopped m the town of Chanda. After a 
few weeks, when quietness was restored in Benares, they set out 
for that place by way of Champa Forest. When they came to 
the latter place, they saw a boy playing in the midst of a pit 
containing sacrificial fire, and taking that child to be their own, 


they took him along with them to Benares, and gave him the 
name of Vallabha. When he grew older and founded a new 
creed, he came to be known by the name of Vallabhacharya. 
A temple has been built on the spot where he was born. 

From the time Vallabhacharya began to inculcate his own 
new creed called “ Pushti Marga,” up to the day he died, 84 
Vaishnavas had agreed to follow his doctrines. Vallabhacharya 
had two sons, whereof Vithal Nathji is reckoned the principal 
incarnation of God. He brought 252 Vaishnavas into the new 
creed, Vithal Nathji had seven sons, who established themselves 
at seven different localities. They gave themselves out to be in- 
carnations of God, and that Vallabhacharya came out playing 
from a pit of sacrificial fire, and by these means increased the 
number of their followers, who began to come over by thousands. 

As the progeny of these seven increased, so the number of 
Mahardajas also was augmented. Soon as a child was born in the 
family of a Maharaj, he was called a Maharaj, and the Vaish- 
navas considered him to be an incarnation of the divinity, and 
fell at his feet. Ifa Maharaj died, the Vaishnavas could not say 
that he died, because he was a divine being ; he was said, there- 
fore, to have extended his career to the other world. 

Amongst other articles of the new creed, Vallabha introduced 
one, which is rather singular for a Hindu religious innovator or 
reformer: he taught that privation formed no part of sanctity, 
and that it was the duty of the teachers and his disciples to wor- 
ship their deity, not in nudity and hunger, but in costly apparel 
and choice food: not in solitude and mortification, but in the 
pleasures of society and the enjoyment of the world. The 
Gosains, or teachers, were almost always family men, as was the 
founder, for after he had taken off the restrictions of the monastic 
order to which he originally belonged, he married, by the parti- 
cular order it is said, of his new god. 

The Gosains were always clothed with the best raiment and 
fed with the daintiest viands by their followers, over whom they 
had unlimite influence; part of the connection between the 
Guru and teacher being the three-fold Samarpan, or consign- 
ment of Jan, Man, and Dhan, body, mind, and wealth, to the 
spiritual guide. The followers of the order were specially 
humerous amongst the mercantile community, and the Gosains 
themselves were often largely engaged, also, in maintaining con- 
nections among the commercial establishments of remote parts of 


the country, as they were constantly travelling over India, under 
pretence of pilgrimage, to the sacred shrines of the sect, and 
notoriously reconciled upon these occasions the profits of trade 
with the benefits of devotion; as religious travellers, however, 
this union of objects rendered them more respectable than the 
vagrants of any other sect. 

The practices of the sect were of a similar character with 
those of other regular worshippers: their temples and houses had 
images of Gopal, of Krishna, and Radha, and other divine forms 
connected with this incarnation, of metal chiefly, and not un- 
frequently of gold, the image of Krishna represented a chubby 
boy, of the dark hue of which Vishnu is always represented : it 
was richly decorated and sedulously attended, receiving eight 
times a day the homage of the votaries. These occasions took 
place at fixed periods and for certain purposes, and at all other 
seasons and for any other object, except at stated and periodical 
festivals, the temples are closed and the deity invisible. The 
eight ceremonials are the following :— 

1.—Mangld, the morning levee: the image, being washed and 
dressed, is taken from the couch, where it is supposed to have 
slept during the night, and placed upon a seat, about half-an-hour 
after sunrise ; slight refreshments are then presented to it, with 
betel and pan; lamps are generally kept burning during this 

2.—Sringdra.: the image having been anointed and perfumed 
with oil, camphor and sandal, and splendidly attired, now holds 
his public courts: this takes place about an hour-and-a-half after 
the preceding, or when four Gheries of the day have elapsed. 

3.—Gwéla: the image is now visited, preparatory to his going 
out to attend the cattle along with the cow-herd ; this ceremony 
is held about forty-eight minutes after the last, or when six 
Gheries have passed. 

4,—Rdja-Bhéga. held at mid-day, when Krishna is supposed 
to come in from the pastures and dine ; all sorts of delicacies are 
placed before the image, and both these and other articles of food 
dressed by the ministers of the temple are distributed to the 
numerous votaries present, and not unfrequently sent to the 
dwellings of worshippers of some rank and consequence. 

5.—Uthdpan.: the calling up; the summoning of the god 
from his siesta ; this takes place at six Gheries, or between two 
and three hours before sunset. 


6.—Bhoga: the afternoon meal, about half-an-hour after the 

7.—Sandhya: about sunset, the evening toilet of the image, 
when the ornaments of the day are taken off, and fresh unguent 
and perfume applied. 

8.—Sayan.: retiring to repose; the image, about eight or 
nine in the evening, is placed upon a bed, refreshments and water 
in proper vases, together with the betel box and its appurten- 
ances, are left near it, when the votaries retire, and the temple 
is shut till the ensuing morning. * 

Besides their public demonstrations of respect, pictures and 
images of Gopdala are kept in the houses of the members of the 
sect, who, before they sit down to any of their meals, take care 
to offer a portion to the idol. Those of the disciples who have 
performed the triple Samar-pana, eat only from the hands of each 
other, and the wife or child that has not exhibited the same mark 
of devotion to the Guru can neither cook for such a disciple nor 
eat in his society. 

The mark on the forehead consists of two red perpendicular 
lines, meeting in a semi-circle at the root of the nose, and having 
a round spot of red between them. The salutations amongst 
them are Krishna and Jaya Gopal. 

Vallabha was succeeded by his son, Vitalla Nath, known 
amongst the sect by the appellation of S71 Gosain Jz, Vallabha’s 
designation being Sri Acharji. Vitalla Nath, again, had seven 
sons—Girdhari Rai, Gouind Rai, Bal Krishna, Gokul Nath, 
Raghu Nath, Yadunath, and Ghanssyama ; these were all 
teachers, and their followers, although in all essential points the 
same, forin as many different communities. Those of Gokulnath, 
indeed, are peculiarly separate from the rest, looking upon their 
own Gosains as the only legitimate teachers of the faith, and 
withholding all sort of reverence from the persons and Maths 
of the successors of his brethren: an exclusive preference that 
does not prevail ainongst the other divisions of the faith, who do 
homage to all the descendants of all Vitalla Nath’s sons. 

The worshippers of this sect are very numerous and opulent, 
the merchants and bankers, especially those from Guzrat and 
Malwa, belonging to it. Their temples and establishments are 
numerous all over India, but particularly at Mathura and Bun- 
draban, the latter of which alone is said to contain many hun- 

* See H. H. Wilson’s Works. 


dreds, some of great opulence. In Benares were two temples of 
great repute and wealth, one sacred to Lal Ji, and the other to 
Purushotama Ji. Jaganath and Dwarka are also particularly 
venerated by this sect, but the most celebrated of all the Gosain 
establishments, was at Sra Nath Dwar in Ajmer. The image at 
this shrine is said to have transported itself thither from Mathura, 
when Aurangzeb ordered the temple it was there placed in to be 
destroyed. It is a matter of obligation with the members of this 
sect to visit Srt Math Dwér, at least once in their lives; they 
receive there a certiticate to that effect, issued by the head Gosain, 
and, in return, contribute according to their means to the en- 
riching of the establishment. It is a curious feature in the 
notions of this sect, that all the veneration paid to their Gosains 
is paid solely to their descent, and unconnected with any idea of 
their sanctity or learning ; they are not unfrequently destitute of 
all pretensions to individual respectability, but they not the less 
enjoy the homage of their followers. 

The Maharajas have contrived various schemes to throw their 
followers in the trap and temptation of licentiousness, They 
have laid open to their followers the doings and examples of 
Krishna, and explained that their female worshippers will obtain 
salvation in the same way as the Gopis have obtained it by making 
hés-lila (wanton or amorous sport with many women) with 
Krishna. They (the Maharajas) sit in their temples with the 
hairs of their heads fashionably dressed and in costly apparel, 
and rub over their bodies the essence of rose and aromatic frag- 
rance. The female followers, who go to touch their feet, fall in 
temptation by their costly ornaments and odoriferous fragrance. 
They (the Maharajas) worship Thakurji (the image) for name’s 
sake. This business is entrusted to their servants, and they 
merely go and stand near Thikurji, when everything is prepared. 
Instead of casting their look on Thakurji, they intently look at 
the female worshippers. They send sweetmeats and spiced milk 
to some of their sevkees (female devotees), and by such several 
contrivances they throw them in the trap of licentiousness. 

The Maharajas have written in their books a great deal to 
support the cause of licentiousness. Their most orthodox fol- 
lowers meet together in the evening, to hear stories from books 
called the ‘tales of eighty-four and two hundred and fifty-two 
Vaishnavas.” The males and females assemble to listen to these 
narratives. Some of the stories produce bad effects on the minds 


of the hearers, who are thus inclined to licentiousness. At last, 
so great is the effect that they become prepared to form a Ras 

This term has two meanings: the one is a society of love, 
affection, and fondness; and the other is from Rdslilé. In Ras- 
lild, the Gopis used to mix, dance, and fall in love with Arishna. 
With this object the Ras Mandali is formed. These Mandalis 
(societies) do not meet publicly, but are convened privately at 
the residence of some orthodox and rich Vaishnava. In this 
Mandali, some of the Vaishnavas and their wives meet tovether 
and discuss matters of love and affection. They then bring before 
them the sweetmeats which have been consecrated to Thakurji. 
They then put a morsel in each other’s mouth, and feed each 
other’s wife. 

The wife of one Vaishnava, puts a morse] in the mouth of 
another Vaishnava, who in turn does the same to her with ardent 
love. After they have done eating, they fall in so much love 
with each other that they join in promiscuous intercourse. One 
Damodar Swami of the Maharaja has written a verse regarding 
the Ras Mandali, which says:—“ We must eat and drink with 
mutual love and take delight in sexual intercourse. This is a 
praise-worthy act of those, who have consigned their minds to 
Gokulnathjee, and know that females are intended for men.” 

In this Ras Mandal, ifa male Vaishnava wish to enjoy the 
wife of another Vaishnava, the latter should give that liberty 
with great delight and pleasure; not the slightest hesitation is to 
be made. This is a chief condition with a Vaishnava, who wishes 
to be a member of this Mandali, and though he is without a wife, 
he can take liberties with the wives of other Vaishnavas, Captain 
MacMoode, resident in Kutch, has observed about the Ras Man- 
dalis .—‘‘ The well-known Has Mandalis are very frequent among 
them (Bhattias), as among other followers of Vishnoo. At these, 
persons of both sexes and all descriptions, high and low, meet to- 
gether; and under the name and sanction of religion practice 
oT kind of licentiousness.” 

n this way the Maharajahs have spread a net of licentious- 
ness among their followers. 

“The word Tantram,” says Mr. Edward Sellon, ‘signifies 
literally—art, system, craft, or contrivance; prescribing the 
abolition of all caste, the use of wine, flesh, and fish (which the 
Brahminical code considers unlawful for Brahmins), with magical 


arts, diagrams, and the express adoration of the female sex. The 
Sacti sect is, in fact, what the Greeks called Telestica or Dyna- 
mica, and like gnosticism inculcates great contempt of the 
acknowledged religion, the peculiarities of which are only alluded 
to as matter for ridicule. Like gnosticism, it teaches magic, and 
looks upon the causes and agents of evil as the gods of the world. 
Let it not be supposed, however, that the creed of the Sacteyas is 
a religion of a modern date; the Brahmins look upon the books 
describing it as undoubtedly ancient,—more ancient, indeed, than 
the Purans. The most popular of these books are comprised in 
the following, to which are here given equivalent titles :— 
Sarada Tilacam.—The Masterpiece. 
Jyan Arnavam.—A System of Wisdom. 
Culanarvam.—The Noble Craft of Thought, 
Gudha Culanarvam.—The Hidden Part of the Noble Art. 
Bagala Tantram.—The Litany of the Vulva. 
Ananda Tantram.—The System of Joy. 
Rudra Yamalam.—Conversations of Siva and his Spouse. 
Yoginit Hriolayam.—The Heart of the Angel—this is also 
called Yoni Tantram. 

9. Siv’ Archana Chandrica. — Rules for the worship of 
Girls in the bloom of youth.—[In the Calpam, ce, iii. 
and iv., is a description of every limb of a woman, with 
the Madan alayam, and how they should be adored. 

10. Lyam’ Archana Tarangunt.—The System of Worshipping 
a Girl. 

Il. Anand Calpa Valli,—The Rites of Delight. 

12. Tantra Saram.—Summary of the Craft. 

13. Yantra Rajam.—lIllustrations of the Sublime Art. 

“The system advocated in these books is termed Panchama- 
caram. In other words, the five mystical M’s, in allusion to the 
five words beginning with M, viz.: Madya, Mamsa, Matsya, 
Mantra, Mithuna, 7.e., wine, flesh, fish, magic, and lewdness ; 
which have reference to the following as a proposed means for 
the attainment of beatitude in the next world :— 

1. <A total freedom from cast and distinctions of every kind. 
2. A liberty of eating flesh and fish, and drinking wine. 
3. Promiscuous enjoyment. 
4. The practice of magic, and the adoration of women. 
5. The worship of demons and Yogini 7.¢e., Powers. 
The Sacteyas are divided into two sects: the Dain’ dcharam (or 



right hand), and Vamacharam (or left hand). Each sect re- 
nounces the established religion, and declares the worship of 
women supreme, every woman (according to them) being a Sacti, 
or image of the great goddess. There rules for fasting, bathing, 
and prayer, are to the full as irksome as with the Brahinins 
themselves. The person worshipped is a woman or girl of the 
Brahminical caste (among the Dawxin dchiram), who is elegantly 
dressed, and adorned with jewels and garlands. One, three, or 
nine females are to be thus adored by one or more nen; but in 
the left hand mode, there is only one girl and one worshipper. 
“The Viimdcharum sect veil in decp mystery the rites which 
they practise. They commence by fasting and bathing like the 
Daximacharum ; but many of their observances are of a less 
innocent nature. The great feast, called Szva Ratr?, is the period 
of the year when the Hindu worship of Venus is to be performed : 
other days are also named in their code besides the Siva Katri, or 
Dussera. The person who wishes to perform the sacritice is to 
select a beautiful young girl of any caste, a pariah, a slave, a 
courtesan, or nautch girl, would be preferred. She is called 
Duti, or ‘angel messenger,’ or conciliatrix, being the medium of 
intercourse between the worshipper and the goddess. She is also 
called Yogini, or nun,—literally, ‘one who is joined.’ The 
Yogini Hridayam, or ‘ Heart of the Nun,’ is a book well known 
to these sectaries ; 1t is usually known by the name Yon: Zan- 
trum, or, ‘Ritual of Vulva Worship,’ Yoginz being used as an 
occult name of Yoni (pudendum muliebre). It is a peculiarity 
that no widow, however young and lovely, is ever selected. 
After fasting and bathing, she is elegantly dressed and seated on 
a carpet. The fine acts—already mentioned in alluding to the 
letter M—are then performed in order, and the votary erects a 
magical diagram and repeats a spell. These diagrams are diverse. 
The spell called Agna Puram has for a diagram a ‘volcano,’ 2.e., 
a double circle, and therein a triangle, doubtless the same with 
the atish kadr, or ‘house of fire.’ Spells are always used. The 
devotee next meditates on her as Pracriti (Nature), and on him- 
self as a deity. He offers prayer to her, and then proceeds to 
inspire her in each particular limb with some one goddess, of the 
host of goddesses. He adores, in imagination, every individual 
part of her person, and, by incantation, lodges a fairy in every 
limb and member, and one in the Yoni, as the centre of delight. 
The names of the female sylphs addressed to her are not very 


delicate, and need not be here further alluded to. Then follow 
the second, third, and fourth M, 7.¢., he presents her with flesh, 
fish, and wine. He makes her eat and drink of each, and what 
she leaves, he eats and drinks himself. He now divests her 
entirely of all clothing, and himself also. He recommences to 
adore her body anew in every limh; from this the rite is often 
termed Chacra Puja, or worship of the members. He finally 
adores the Agni Mandalam with reverent language, but lewd 
gesticulations. Special rites are used, says the Ananda Tantra, 
to divest her of all shame, and shame can only be annihilated 
by the use of wine.” 

In the Sri Vidya, which enjoins secrecy, occurs the 
following :— 

“Such was the rule, sung by the inspired prophets. For those 
who adore the young and lovely Sacti, revealed to none but the 
few. Keep it concealed, like the rosy lips that pout between the 
recess of thy thighs, O Goddess. Hide this creed, so pure so 
excellent, as closely as you hide your vulva cleft. O hide this 
code of bliss, lady, from vulgar eyes.” 

Again, in the 4gnt Mandalam [volcano]. 

“Let the fuel of sacrifice be her decorations ; let the altar of 
sacrifice be her middle; the pit of her navel is the hearth, and 
her mouth the ceaseless fire ; the south point her chin; her rosy 
hand the spoon; let the Sabhya and Avasadlya be the two sides 
of the same. The holy flame is the moist vulva. The fuel is 
collision (because fire is produced by friction), and the Lord 
Linga is the great high priest.” 

Again in the Cama Cala, — 

1. “Let us land the god and goddess facta (Parvati) and 
Sucla (Siva), ever glorious! Primary, noblest of fanciful blisses, 
without compare! highest in glory, which is comprehended by the 
wise alone. 

2. “To the great and holy one, accomplished in voluptuous 
movements, elevated in enjoying! The ¢ejas compounded of blood 
and , to him I bow! Praise him, the supreme Lord ‘of 
delight ! noblest in faith, the only bliss of my soul (Madia 
pamam ), the most secret Vedha, veneration. 

4, ‘The bliss of all men, exalted ou his throne. To Siva, 
my Lord, soul viewed, the form of bliss, the glorious! may he 
with his slant glance, remove the foulness of mistrust. By the 
holy act of enjoyment was the blessed science called amorous, 


aroma invented. How can it be denominated? The unmen- 
tioned,” Kc. 

(Then begins the book called the Spirit of Sexual Joy]. 

Mr. Sellon then supplies us with some further extracts from 
these books from which we call the following. Passing over 
certain introductory matters we proceed thus :— 

3. ‘ Unspeakable, incomparable in form, inexpressible by 
writing, by figure, or by image. 

4, “That sun, the supreme Siva (2.¢., Sucla), whose rays are 
reflected in the heart, that in reflecting the glorious beauty, 
receives the great seed. 

' 5, “That sense of individuality which is inherent in the 
mind, clearly expressed in the term A’ HARNAM [A denotes 
Siva, z.e., semen; and HA denotes Sacti, 2.¢., Power, typitied by 
blood, the two are united by the mystic word. | 

6. “ Whiteness and redness (blood) when their respective 
fluids are united, a word and its import; so are united creation 
and its cause, mutually collocated and indivisible. 

7. “The fluid is the source of individuality, and the (portion) 
abode of the sun is therein; and Cama (or Cupid) being the 
attractive power, is the Cuda (spirit), and is the enjoyment. 

8. “This is the discrimination of Cula (male and female 
joined im coivtu), and is equivalent with Srv Chacra. He who 
knows to distinguish them is the freed, and shall assume the form 
of the great 7'ripure. 

9. “There is distilled from the red Sacti the mystical sound 
CLIM, which is denominated Vada Brahma, and the sound is 
audible; from it originates the ether, wind, and fire, and the 
terrestrial decade. 

10. “ Next, from the fluid thus made known, spring wind, 
fire, water, and earth, all the universe, from an atom up to a 

* * x * % * # * % * 

13. ‘The three great powers are those of Desire, of Anow- 
ledge, of Loving, and of performing the act. 

14. “And in the same order are three Lingas, of tangible 
(Sthula) spiritual bodies, and visionary, and this is Zripura, 
triple; and the forth is the Art. 

15 ‘Sound, touch, form, taste, and smell, and the essential 
qualities of each multiplied by the three gunas (qualities) of 


16. ‘ Hence the Spell of fifteen syllables. 

17. “And there are fifteen 77ithis. 

18. ‘On the letters, consonants, and vowels. 

19. ‘The Art is magic; the object is the goddess. 

20. ‘From letter Y to letter S there are three forms. 

21. Between the chacra (inembers) and the goddess it is 
impossible to draw any distinction before the spiritual body is 

22. ‘In the centre of the chacra let the mystic fluid be ; this 
is the essential fluid. 

23. ‘The three that are formed from the triple root,” de. 

From the passages here cited, it will be seen how closely the 
Sacteya rites resemble those practised by ancient Pagan peoples ; 
they are expressly forbidden in the Mosaic law. “ Ye shall not 
eat anything with the blood, neither shall ye use enchantment, 
nor observe times ”—Lev. xix. 26. ‘Giving his seed unto 
Moloch ;” ‘Who go a-whoring after idols;” “Turning after 
familiar spirits, to go a-whoring after them ”—Lev. xx. 2, 6. 

Mr. Sellon further says :—“ The diagram, also, discovered by 
Cicero, on the tomb of Archimedes, appears identical with one of 
those spells used in the Sacte Puja,—the apex of the triangle is 
downwards, with a point in the centre. 

“In India, the adorers of the goddess regard the mystical ring, 
or circle, as the orifice of the vagina, while the triangle represents 
the nymphe, the dot represents the fairy lodged in this member. 
When the imagination of the Sactz is sufficiently excited by wine, 
divine homage, and libidinous excess, she is supposed to be in a 
guyana nidra, or mystic sleep, wherein, like the sibyls among the 
ancients and the modern clairvoyants, she answers questions 
in’ a delirious manner, and is supposed to be, for the time, the 
mouthpiece of the deity. 

“Such is the Sactt Puja, or worship of power, power here 
meaning the good goddess Maya (delusion); she is also called 
Bagala, Vagala, and Bagala Mukhi. She has neither images nor 
pictures, and is usually typified by a vessel of water. The girl 
who performs Sactz (for the time) is the only true representative 
of the goddess, 

“The Eleusinian mysteries bear a very striking analogy to the 
Sacteya, and those writers err who have asserted that the mys- 
teries of Eleusis were confined to men. A reference to d’Han- 
carville (Naples edit., 1765, tome Iv.) will give several instances 


of the initiation of women. The method of purification, portrayed 
on antique Greek vases, closely resembles the ceremony as pre- 
scribed in the Sacti Sodhana. From this ciscumstance, and also 
from the very frequent allusions to Sacteya rites in the writings 
of the Jews and other ancient authors, it is evident that we have 
now in India the remains of a very ancient superstitious mystic- 
ism, if not one of the most ancient forms of idolatry, in the 
Sacti, or Chacra Puja, or worship of Power.” 

These particulars, so far as Mr. Sellon’s name is connected 
with them, were communicated by a very learned orientalist, a 
member of the Madras Civil Service, and a judge, whose name it 
is impossible to give owing to a condition he himself imposed. 

The worshippers of the Sakti, the power or energy of the 
divine nature in action, are exceedingly numerous among all 
classes of Hindus. This active energy is, agreeably to the spirit 
of the mythological system, personified, and the form with which 
it is invested, considered as the special object of veneration, 
depends upon the bias entertained by the individuals towards the 
adoration of Vishnu or Siva. In the former case the personified 
Sakti is termed Lakshini, or Maha Lakshmi, and in the latter 
Parvati Bhavan, or Durga. Even Sarasvati enjoys some portion 
of homage, much more than her lord Brahma, whilst a vast 
variety of inferior beings of malevolent character ‘and formidable 
aspect receive the worship of the multitude. The bride of Siva, 
however, in one or other of her many and varied forms, is by far 
the most popular emblem in Bengal and along the Ganges. 

The worship of the female principle, as distinct from the 
divinity, appears to have originated in the literal interpretation 
of the metaphorical language of the Vedas, in which the will or 
purpose to create the universe 1s repr esented as originating from 
the creator, and co-existent with him as his bride, and part of 
himself. Thus, in the Rig Veda it is said, “That divine spirit 
breathed without afflation, single with (Svadha) her who is sus- 
tained within him ; other than him nothing existed. First, desire 
was formed in his mind, and that became the original productive 
seed ;” and the Sama Veda, speaking of the divine cause cf 
creation, says, ‘ He felt not delight, being alone. He wished 
another, and instantly becaine such. He caused his own self to 
fall in twain, and thus became husband and wife. He approached 
her, and thus were human beings produced.” In these passages 
it is not unlikely that reference is made to the primitive tradition 



of the origin of mankind, but there is also a figurative represen- 
tation of the first indication of wish or will in the Supreme 
Being. Being devoid of all qualities whatever, he was alone 
until he permitted the wish to be multiplied, to be generated 
within himself. This wish being put into action, it is said, 
became united with its parent, and then created beings were pro- 
duced. Thus this first manifestation of divine power is termed 
Ichchharupa, personitied desire, and the creator is designated as 
Svechchhamaya, united with his own will; whilst in the Veddnta 
philosophy, and the popular sects, such as that of Kabir and 
others, in which all created things are held to be illusory, the 
Sakti, or active will of the deity, is always designated and spoken 
of as Maya, or Mahdmaya, original deceit or iJlusion. 

Another set of notions of some antiquity which contributed 
to form the character of the Sakti, whether general or particular, 
were derived from the Sankhya plilosophy. In this system, 
nature, Prakriti, or Mula Prakriti, is defined to be of eternal 
existence and independent origin, distinct from the supreme 
spirit, productive, though no production, and the plastic origin of 
all things, including even the gods. Hence Prakriti has come 
to be regarded as the mother of gods and men, whilst as one with 
matter, the source of error, 1t 1s again identified with Maya, or 
delusion, and as co-existent with the supreme as his Sakte, his 
personified energy or his bride. 

These mythological fancies have been principally disseminated 
by the Puranas, in all which Prakrite, or Maya, bears a promi- 
nent part. The aggregate of the whole is given in the Brahma 
Vawartta Purana, one section of which, the Prakritt Khanda, is 
devoted to the subject, and in which the legends relating to the 
principal modifications of the female principle are narrated. 

According to this authority, Brahma, or the supreme being, 
having determined to create the universe by his super-human 
power, became two-fold, the right half becoming a male, and the 
left half a female, which was Prakritt. She was of one nature 
with Brahma. She was illusion, eternal and without end: as is 
the soul, so is its active energy; as the faculty of burning is in 
tire. In another passage it ts said, that Krishna, who is in this 
work identified with the Supreme, being alone invested with the 
divine nature, beheld all one universal blank, and contemplating 
creation with bis mental vision, he began to create all things by 
his own will, being united by his will, which became manifest, ag 


Mula Prakriti. The original Prakriti first assumed five forms, 
Durga the bride, Sakta, and Md iyd, of Siva, Lakshmi the bride, 
Sacti and Maya of Vishnu, Sarawasti the same of Brahma, or in 
the Brahma Vaivartta Purdna, of Hari, while the next Savitri 18 
the bride of Brahma. The fifth division of the original Prakniti, 
was Radha, the favourite of the youthful Krishna, and wun- 
questionably a modern intruder into the Hindu Pantheon. 
Besides these more important manifestations of the female 
principle, the whole body of goddesses and nymphs of every order 
are said to have sprung from the same source », and indeed every 
creature, whether human or brutal, of the female sex, is referred 
to the same principle, whilst the origin of males 1s ascribed to the 
primitive Purusha, or male. In every creation of the universe 
it it is said the Mula Prakriti assumes the different gradations of 
Ansaripini, Kalarupini, Kalansarupini, or manifests herself in 
portions, parts, and portions of parts, and further subdivisions. 
The chief Ansas are, besides the five already enumerated, Ganga, 
Tulasi, Manasé, Shashthi- or Davasena, Mangalachandika, and 
Kali; the principal Aa/las are Swaha, Swadha, Dakshina, Swasti, 
Pushti, Tushti, and others, most of which are allegorical personi- 
fications, as Dhrifz, Fortitude, Pratishtha, Pame, and Adharnia, 
Wickedness, the bride of Afyrityn, or Death. Aditi, the mother 
of the Gods, and Diti the mother of the Demons, are also Kalas 
of Prakriti. The list includes all the secondary goddesses. The 
Kalansas and Ansdénsas, or subdivisions of the more important 
manifestations, are all womankind, who are distinguished as good, 
middling, or bad, according as they derive their being from the 
parts of their great original j in which the Satya Ragas, ‘and Tama 
Guna or property of goodness, passion, and vice predominates. 
At the same time as manifestations of the great cause of all they 
are entitled to respect, and even to veneration: whoever, says 
the Brahma Vawvartta Purdna, offends or insults a female, incurs 
the wrath of Prakriti, while he who propitiates a female, parti- 
cularly the youthful daughter of a Brahman, with clothes, orna- 
ments, and perfumes, offers worship to Prakitri herself. It is in 
the spirit of this last doctrine that one of the principal rites of 
the Saktas is the actual worship of the daughter or wife of a 
Brahman, and Jeads with one branch of the sect at least to the 
introduction of gross impurities. But besides this derivation of 
Prakriti, or Sakti, from the Supreme, and the secondary origin of 
all female nature from her, those who adopt her as their especial 


divinity employ the language invariably addressed towards the 
preferential object of worship in every sect, and contemplate her 
as comprising all existence in her essence. Thus she is not only 
declared to be one with the male deity, of whose energy some one 
of her manifestations is the type, as Deni with Siva, and Lakshmi 
with Vishnu; but it is said, that she is equally in all things, and 
that all things are in her, and that besides her there is nothing. * 

The profligacy, debauchery, and licentiousness which charac- 
terize the seet of Vallabhacharya have been noticed by several 
distinguished persons, two or three of whom flourished some 
hundred years ago. Damodar Svami, a dramatic writer, com- 
posed a Sanskrit draina entitled Pahhanda Dharma Nhandan, in 
the year Samvat 1695 (about a.p. 1639), in which a distinct 
reference to Vallabhacharya and his sect is made as follows :— 

“The Sutradhara (says to the Nati):—O dear, the Vedas have 
fled somewhere ; no one knows the story of their flight (ve, 
whither they have gone). The collection of the Sankhya, Yowa, 
and the Puranas, has sunk into the bowels of the earth. Now, 
young damsels, look to the self-dedication preached by Shrimat 
Vallabha Vittaleshvara, who has conspired to falsify the meaning 
of the Vedas. 

Enters a Vaishnava, having on his neck, ear, hand, head, and 
around his loins, a wreath made of the Vrenda, having on his 
forehead Gopichandana (a substitute for sandal-wood). He is the 
one who repeats Radha! Krishna! Being opposed to the Shruti, 
he is the reproacher of those who adhere to the Vedas. He finds 
at every step crowds of females filled by Ama (lust or cupid). 
He is the Kisser of female Vaishnavas. Ye Vaishnavas, ye 
Vaishnavas, hear the excellent and blessed Vaishnava doctrine : 
the embracing and clasping with the arms the large-eyed damsels, 
good drinking and eating, making no distinction between your 
own and anothers, offering one’s self and life to gurus, is in the 
world the cause of salvation. 

Mutual dining, intercourse with females night and day, 
drinking, forming endless alliances, are the surpassing, beautiful 
customs of the persons who have consecrated their souls to Sri 
Gokulesha. Charity, devotion, meditation, abstraction, the 
Vedas, and a crore of sacrifices are nothing: the nectarine 
pleasure of the worshippers of the Pddukd (wooden slipper), in 

* See H. H. Wilson’s Works, vol. 1. 


Sri Gokula, is better than a thousand other expedients. Our 
own body is the source of enjoyment, the object of worship 
reckoned by all men fit to be served. If intercourse do not take 
place with the Gokulesha, the paramour of men is useless, like 
a worn or ashes. 

The chief religion of the worshippers of the Paduka is the 
consecration of a daughter, a son’s wife, and a wife, and not the 
worship of Bralhmanas learned in the Vedas, hospitality, the 
Shraddha, vows and fastings.” 

The following is a specimen of several stories written in a 
religious book of ‘the Maharajahs, known as “ Chorasi Vaishnava 
Ki Barté (the Stories of Eighty-four Vaishnavas), It is intended 
to show that a devotee is bound at any rate, and if female, even 
at the sacrifice of her chastity, to become serviceable not only to 
Acharyaji (Maharaja), but also to the time Vaishnavas or 
believers in Maharajas :— 

“Krashnadas (a follower of Vallabha) lived inatown. He 
was a plous and reserved man. The followers of Shri Achariaji 
Maha Prabhu (Vallabha) lived in various villages. They used to 
go in company to pay darshna (divine homage), to Maha Prabhu 
toa village called Adel. At one time, about ten or twenty 
Vaishnavas mec ting together, set out to pay homage to Maha 
Prabhu. They arrived at the village in which Krashnadas lived. 
When they entered the house of Krashnadas, he was not there. 
He had gone on business to a village situated at the distance of 
two or three A‘os. The wife of Jxrashnad’as was in the house. 
She bowed to her visitors, and after making the usual salutation 
of Shri Krishna, they were requested with great reverence to 
take their seat. Afterwards, going in her chamber, she began to 
think for herself as to what she was to do. At that time she 
recollected that a certain Vania shop-keeper was enamoured of 
her and he used to say if I cohabited with him he should give 
me whatever I asked for. ‘To-day I will go to his shop and get 
some articles of food and say to him to give me the things I want 
to-day for food.’ So thinking, the female walked on and arrived 
at the shop. The Vania (shop-keeper) made some becks or signs 
of love, upon which the female said to the Vania, ‘I shall once 
meet you (in the embrace of love), give me to- day what I want 
for food.’ The Vania replied ‘I would believe if you give me a 
promise.’ Then the female gave a promise, and took whatever 
articles of food she wanted. Afterwards arriving at home, having 


cooked the food and dedicated it to Thakurji (the image), she fed 
the Vaishnavas. Then the Vaishnavas ate the feast with great 
joy. Afterwards Krashnadas came home in the evening. He 
paid his respects to all the Vaishnavas in person. He 
went in his chamber after making the usual salutation of Shri 
Krishna. He asked his wife as to whether she had feasted the 
guests. The female replied she had done so; and related to him 
all the matters that had passed. Then Krashnadas greatly be- 
came pleased with his wife. And then the wife and the husband 
feasted together. Afterwards Krashnadas came and sat in the 
assembly of the Vaishnavas. The whole night they talked about 
God. The day then broke; the Vaishnavas went away after 
taking leave of Krashnadas. Krashnadis saw them in person to 
a certain distance. Returning home, and after making his 
ablutions and worshipping Thakurji (the image), he went out (on 
business). The female after cooking the food, dedicated it to 
Thakurji, and kept the same under a cover. Krashnadas came 
home in the evening, when he and his wife feasted together. 
Then Krashnadas spoke thus to his wife:—‘The Vaishnava to 
whom you have given a promise must be waiting for you. You 
must fulfil your promise and that is proper.’ The female having 
bathed and applied anjan (black powdery substance) to the lower 
part of her eyes (which is the usual fashion in India of making 
them more attractive), and after having dressed herself most 
gaudily, with all proper adornments, she set out. It was the 
rainy season and it had ceased raining then. In consequence of 
this the roads were dirty and muddy. Therefore Krashnadas 
said to his wife, ‘I shall carry you on my shoulder; otherwise 
you shall dirty your feet and therefore the Vania would not like 
you.’ So placing his wife on his shoulders, he took her to the 
shop of the Vania, and there alighted her. Afterwards the 
female called aloud the Vania, and asked him to open the doors. 
Opening the doors, the Vinia took her in. He brought water 
and desired to wash her feet. The female then told ‘my feet 
are not dirty.’ On this the Vania inquired ‘how it was that 
while the road was dirty, your feet are clean.’ The female then 
said to the Vania, ‘what business have you with that question 
or matter ; do your business (meaning that for which the meeting 
was appointed.’) The Vania then said the whole truth must be 
related to him. The female then related that her husband 
brought her there on his shoulders. The Vanii was wonder- 


struck when he heard the whole story. He took the female 
to her husband and implored forgiveness of him. He then 
became a follower of Maha Prabhu.” 

A few extracts from the opinions of the press, published some 
years ago, will throw light upon the character of this notorious 
sect :— 

‘The Gosainji Maharajas of the Vaishnavas of this place, 
instead of giving religious instructions, carry on debaucherous 
practices on their followers. This appears nothing, looking on 
thein with the eyes of a savage man; but, thinking justly, it 
appears a wicked practice. These Maharajas appear totally 
divine to the Hindus, but their acts seem extremely base, and 
their heart full of sin, and their conduct out of the way of social 
arrangements, and their practices opposed to religion. Their 
followers expose the vices of their religious guides with respect to 
all this. .. .. Oh, Shiva! Shiva! that aged matrons like their 
(Maharajas) mothers, young women like their sisters, and maidens 
like their daughters, who come to touch the feet of these true 
religious guides in their temples, who come to pay aarshana 
(divine homage) to these godly Maharajas, who repair to pay 
darshana believing them to be God, that they should be made 
victims of carnal intercourse by the Maharajas, instead of giving 
them religious instruction. Fie! Fie! upon this incarnation, oh! 
damned (burnt) your Vaishnava religion.” 

Bombay Chabuk : June, 1859. 

“Not only are their bodies and wealth dedicated to the ser- 
vice of these Maharajas, but their daughters, sisters, and wives, 
with their persons, are dedicated to these debaucherous religious 
preceptors. The authority of the Maharajas is exercised over 
their followers without any restraint.” 

The Prabhodaya: August, 1859. 

“T have seen the deceit of the Maharajas ; now, lady! none 
of you should go into the Maharajas’ temple. Inviting a girl of 
tender age, they give the sacred sweetineats, and representing 
the story of the Kuhn Gopics, make a wauton assault. IEf they 
see wealth, they invite with affection, otherwise they heed not ; 
robbing the wealth and bloom of youthful beauty! See the 
honesty of these religious instructors.” 

“The conduct of the Maharajas of the present day is so 
notorious that it is not necessary to say much about it. Besides, 

their acts are so disgraceful that our pen does not move to des- 


cribe them in this work. Being possessed of affluence, they are, 'd 
from their childhood, brought up in indulgence, and are allowed it 
to do as they fancy, and receive no education whatever ; most of le 
the present Gosainjis (Maharajas), therefore, are ignorant fools ; le 
they do not possess as much knowledge as is required for the oftice ri 
of a guru. What admonition can one impart to others who doesae 
not himself possess any knowledge. .... The Gosainjis passm 
their time in eating daintiest viands, in wearing fancy clothes and'e- 
jewels, in driving carriages, in committing adultery with strange 'd 
women, and in repose.” 1€ 
Ancient Religion of the Hindus, 1861. 1t 

Captain MacMurdo, the Resident in Kutch says:—“ The. 
principal Maharaja at present, on this side of India, is nameg i 
Gopinathji, a man worn to a skeleton, and shaking like a lea, 
from debauchery of every kind except spirituous liquors, He { 
constantly in a state of intoxication, from opium and various othe 

stimulants which the ingenuity of the sensual has discovered.” hae 

Transactions of Literary Soc., Bombay, Vol. II. t 
» to 

“The Maharajas, for these evil purposes, through certaYou 
females and males, order sooner or later the female whom theing 
have singled out from those who have come to pay darshanwer 
(divine homage). Sumptuously-dressed females, who are wanton:ing 
are invited by the Maharajas merely with a book of their eyerost 
An invitation from the Maharaja is an invitation from Krishnzthe 
and thinking she has met God, she hastens with delight and pr: of 
cipitation to touch the person of the Maharaja. ... . In thesdas 
purposes, they (the Maharajas) do not use females of their owvrise 
age, but upon tender youthful girls they exert their beastlyke 
strength.” the 

“At this time a few Maharajas may be going in the righrhe 
path. The majority of them follow the wrong path. The youths: 
ful fops are given to ostentation. The present children of Valla-& 
bha disgrace the naine of their ancestors. . . . . The lalji (showy)°? 
Maharajas, when the darshana time has commenced and people ‘ 
crowded, sit in their bed-chamber inside the temple, and by the? 
gesture of the eyes, or through some persons kept for the purpose, /@ 
invite the female designed (for evil purposes), and commit evil 48 
act with her. In Surat once, a Maharaja, exerting his wild?® 
strength upon a girl who had not attained the age of puberty, ' 

had almost caused her death. Similar horrible events have hap- 


ened at (Kutch) Mandvee, with which the Raja and his subjects 
ff that country are not unacquainted.” 
: The Guru and Woman, 1858. 
‘The temple of the Hindu Marajas is proved a brothel ; their 
rivate dwelling, the home of a corrupt and disrespectable family ; 
fie eyes, wanton licentiousness ; their senses, the seat of wicked 
opetites (desires) ; every pore of their body, unrighteousness, 
ncleanliness, dirtiness ; and, in short, they have been found in- 
rnations of devils, and possessed of the qualities of Satan 
istead of the incarnation of God.” 
The Apektyar : June, 1859. 
‘These Maharajas, claiming to be your spiritual guides, enjoy 
gur young daughters and sisters, destroy your domestic comfort, 
\d stain your character. Therefore, you Vaishnavas should 
3p anxiety about it, and, as the reformed party of your caste 
"aye used their prudence to shun these refuges, it behoves you to 
(‘on your guard. It is a credit to you to keep off your females 
lim these debaucherous (Maharajas), and to observe the dictates 
% celigion with prudence.” 
7 The Parsi Reformer: May, 1861. 
' © Most of the simple and ignorant female devotees are en- 
rapped into this religious snare, and, giving money to Maharajas, 
rractise adultery with them. But those immoral creatures, the 
Waharajas, are not content with this, and they many a time use 
‘iolence on the tender body of the maidens (of their devotees), 
he instances of which are not uncommon. Such are these Ma. 
iarajas—the pretended preceptors of religion, and their acts.” 
The Khoja Dost : Awyust, 1861.