Robert Allen Campbell.

Phallic worship : an outline of the worship of the generative organs, as being, or as representing, the Divine Creator, with suggestions as to the influence of the phallic idea on religious creeds, ce online

. (page 12 of 12)
Online LibraryRobert Allen CampbellPhallic worship : an outline of the worship of the generative organs, as being, or as representing, the Divine Creator, with suggestions as to the influence of the phallic idea on religious creeds, ce → online text (page 12 of 12)
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students, austere, and abstinent, who mortified and
reduced the body — crucifying the appetites and pas-
sions — in order to purify the impulses and elevate the
mind. Of this class, while they were fanatical and
unpleasant associates, much might be said that is
favorable ; but they do not come in the line of our
work. Of the other class — who assumed the name in



self-sufficient arrogance — there were many sects.
Their generally common dogma, however, was that
there was no moral difference between human actions ;
and, hence, they made their religion minister to their
greed and sensuality.

The ]N"icolaitans held that sensual pleasure was
the true blessedness of man here, and the great end
for which he was created ; and that in the future life
this realization would be immeasurably increased.
Basilides was a fountain — or rather a sink — of all
uncleanness. The followers of Carpocrates not only
permitted sensuality and crime, but recommended them.
Only those who daringly filled their measure of
iniquity were saved ; the only sin was in opposing the
appetites and passions — which God had implanted;
so their injunction was to yield to every carnal m-
clination, and their practices were in keeping with their

One sect entertained the stranger with all the pleni-
tude of bed and board ; for, after the meal was
disposed of, the host would arise and say to his
spouse: "Go, exhibit to our guest your charity;"
while he retired, that they might exercise their gener-
ating impulses.

Another sect revered and exalted Cain; and yet
another held Judas Iscariot in the highest reverence.
These Gnostics of the left-hand school cast the shadow
of their errors and abominations over their purer and
wiser namesakes ; but, in reading of Gnostics, there
need be no mistake as to which school is described.


The Nezafres, or I^azarains, form — or at least very
recently formed — a special sect in Syria. They adore
God, and believe in Jesns as a prophet. They pray
indifferently to the Apostles, the Yirgin, and the
ancient prophets. They practice baptism by immersion,
celebrate the ]N"ativity, the Ascension, and some other
festivals — the most solemn of which they call the
Festival of the Womb. In this solemnity they salute
women with a holy respect, and affectionately embrace
their knees, thus bringing the man's head on a level
with the woman's al^domen. From this comes their
title of Worshipers or Adorers oF the Womb. They
allow a plurality of wives and exalt libertinage into a
moral maxim. On the day of the Circumcism — that
is their New Year — all the women gather together in
the hall of sacrifice. The windows are closed and the
lights are put out. The men then enter, and each
takes, by chance, the fii-st woman he finds. Tliis licen-
tious cei-emony is renewed several times a year, partic-
ularly at the Feast of the Womb. The chief and his
wife at these times mingle on a level with the others.

St. Cosmo axd Damiana. — A very peculiar relig-
ious fair and festival was until quite recently held an-
nually, on September 27th, at Isernia in JS'aples.
The special feature of this occasion was tliat those dis-
eased or weakened in any part of the body would offer
a wax image of the part affected. This offering was
accompanied by a fee to the priest and a prayer to the
saint for restoration of health. Devout agents of the
church mingled with thL! crowds, crying aloud " St.


Cosmo and Damiana," and carrying baskets full of
these wax images. The price of these ex votos, as they
were called, was ''the more you pay, the more the
merit." In the vestibule of the church were tables, at
each of which presided a canon of the church crying,
" Here masses and litanies are received," and taking the
offerings presented. By far the larger proportion of
" ex votos " are phalli or masculine triads of all sizes,
and of varying shapes and conditions. Men — old,
depleted, or diseased — offered counterfeits of the ailing
or inert organs, asking for renewed health and vigor.
The great majority of the devotees, however, were
women and girls — widows, matrons, and maidens —
who also presented ex votos of the masculine oi-gans of
generation — of all sizes, and in forms indicating health
and vigor. These devotees paid the fee, offered their
prayer, and, kissing the symbol, handed it to the priest.
Among the prayers heard by an Englishman, who was
at one time near a table, were the following: " St.
Cosmo, dear Saint, bless me soon." "Let it be a
boy." "St. Cosmo send him soon." "Dear Saint,
let it be like this one," etc.

St. FouTii^. — In some parts of France, until quite
recently, St. Foutin received in some respects the same
homage which was bestowed upon Priapus. This saint
was credited with having the power of rendering barren
women prolific, of restoring exhausted virility, and of
curing venereal diseases. It was the custom of the
men requiring his assistance to form ex voto in wax,
representing the weak or diseased phallus. The women.


on the other hand, made offerings of the jDhalhis and
its appendages in the form and of the size which they
desired, in order to insure children.

Among the rehcs of the principal church at Embrun
was the phallus of St. Foutin. The worshipers of this
idol poured libations of wine upon its extremity — which
was reddened by the practice. This Avine was caught
in a jar, allowed to turn sour. It was then called
"holy vinegar," and was used by the women as a
lotion with which to anoint the yoni. At Puy en
Yelay barren women prayed to this saint and scraped
particles from the enormous phallus, of which they
made a supposed fertilizing decoction.

At the church of St. Eutropius, at Orange, was an
enormous phallus, and its natural appendages all cov-
ered with leather. This covering was removed when
the barren devotees desired to worship it. At Bourg
Dieu, near Bourges, the inhabitants worshiped a Priapic
statue — probably of Roman origin. The monks,
fearing the people, did not dare remove or destroy it,
and so called it St. Guerlichon. Barren women flocked
to this abbey, and, laying this statue upon the gi'ound,
stretched themselves at full length upon it. This was
repeated for nine consecutive days. On each day they
also scraped particles from the exaggerated phallus of
this idol, which was soon very much reduced in size.
The particles in an infusion was considered a certain
means of overcoming barrenness. A similar statue
stood in the chapel of St. Guignole, near Brest. The
very prominent w^ooden phallus of this saint traversed


the statue, so that when the devotees reduced its size
by scraping for their fertilizing decoction a mallet
blow from behind performed the not seldom repeated
miracle of restoring that important member to all its
pristine size and glory. St. Gilles, in Brittany, St.
Rene, in Anjou, St. Regnand, and St. Arnaud were
similai'ly adored. In the latter case a mystic apron
covered the important symbol. This was raised in
favor of sterile devotees, and a simple admiring inspec-
tion with proper faith was sufficient to secure the desired
fertility. There are those who believe and suggest that
the monks, as the living representatives of these virile
saints, took an active and efficient part in rendering
these devotions successful, by practically illustrating
to these female devotees the method their husbands
ought to follow in order to secure fertility. Whatever
truth there may be in this suggestion, would only reflect
upon the faithfulness of the monks, and not upon the
Catholic ftiith.

Other cases might be cited, and, although this wor-
ship was opposed l)y the higher dignitaries of the church,
they continued luitil the Revolution.

An enormous phallus of white marble, found at Aix,
in Provence, was an ex voto offered to the deity pi-e-
siding over the thermal waters by a grateful or expectant

The bas-reliefs of the Pont du Gard and the amphi-
theater at E'imes show singular varieties of phalli —
simple, double, and triple, with branches pecked by
birds, furnished with claws, bells, etc. One is bridled.


and ridden by a woman. A very sin

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Online LibraryRobert Allen CampbellPhallic worship : an outline of the worship of the generative organs, as being, or as representing, the Divine Creator, with suggestions as to the influence of the phallic idea on religious creeds, ce → online text (page 12 of 12)