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

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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 5 of 12)
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it was reverenced, time-honored and well understood ; it
was therefore policy as well as necessity to retain it.
The inverted triangle, pointed oval, ellipse, circle, and
lozenge could easily be replaced by the horizontal line,
especially when a change of position would at once indi-
cate the same meaning and also symbolize the new
dogma. This was effected by placing the horizontal
line across the middle of the upright hues, thus produc-
ing the ancient, modern, and everlasting religious sym-
bol — the cross.

The cross, we thus see, was originally formed by the


combination of the two simplest, l)est-known and most
transcendental ly interpreted religions symbols. The
uprig-ht line — the major element in the
cross, still retained all its former symbolic
significance as the "erect pillar." The
horizontal line crossing it carried with it
all the meaning of the masculine triad.
Changing this line from the extremity to the [_

middle of the npiight line not only conferred ^' '^- ^*-
npon it, in this position, all the significance of the
revered triangle, pointed oval, and circle— in a word
the yoni or woman-hood — the feminine ci'cative pi'iiic:-
ple ; but it did much more, for it g-ave both the mascu-
line and feminine emblems and principles a living
value, because it represented an active cooperative
union in the work of creation.

The cross, then, when first adopted as a rehgious
symbol meant, on the pni-ely sensual plane, linga-
in-yoni, generation by the union and cooperative
activity of the sexes. It was even then, however, in-
terpreted to signify the creation of children — on the
physical plane, of course — by the orderly and de-
signed activity of the unseen powers typed by the
masculine and feminine organs. By the simple un-
folding, developing, spiritualizing of this original
interpretation it has come to mean regeneration —
the union and cooperative activity of the masculine and
feminine princi[)les (which are variously interpreted as
Divine and human — God and nature, love and wis-
dom, will and intellect, faith and works, etc.), to devel-


ope new creatures, who shall not only "inherit the
earth" on the sensual plane, but who shall in the
spiritual realm possess the heavens and fill them.

The cross has not, however, by this spiritual inter-
pretation lost any of its interest or significance — much
less had its teachmg negated — on the sensual jdane of
man's life. Its primitive meaning and earliest intei-pre-
tation is ever vital and ever present — or should be —
to even the most spiritually developed. Ascetics may
claim that they aim to be so busy in the work of saving
the souls of themselves and others that they will have
no time to engage in physical procreation ; that they
aim to labor so continuously and so exhaustingly in
spiritual work that they will lack the power to obey
their God's first command to the first parents in Pai-a-
dise — " Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue
it;" that they strive to be so enamored of spiritual
purity and future glory that they will have no inclina-
tion to admire the flesh or partake of its sensual
felicities. There seems, to say the least, an inhar-
mony between the teachings of God to the perfect
pair, and the ascetic's ideal life of perfect man and
woman nov\^. Certain it is that if they could convert all
mankind to their ideal St. Peter would have to search
out some other source than Earth for a su])ply of
heavenly inhabitants.

Another class will claim that the transcendental mean-
ing of the cross as a symbol of regeneration in spirit
should not replace — but simply supplement its interpre-
tation as to creation on the sensual plane. They will


maintain tliat those who are becomhig spiritually puri-
fied in affection and enlightened in intellect should even
more desire, and more persistently try, to " fill the
earth and subdue it ;" because they will give the world
a healthier, stronger, longer lived, more intellectual
and purer race of men and women — the more of whom
we have the better. They will insist that a man's de-
sire and attempt to regenerate himself and the world
spiritually so far from negating or even interfering with
his ph3"sical duties of marriage and fatherhood, empha-
sizes not only the duties, but also augments the powers
of generation on the sensual plane ; and that however
many spiritual children he may count because of his
instrumentality in leading them from the darkness of
sin to the light of holiness, still the Lord and the world
require his best efforts to beget and bring up, on the
plane of nature, many strong sons and beautiful daugh-
ters. They Avill teach that the cross rejjresenting the
cooperative activities of mascnhne and feminine also
symbolizes that all the duties and responsibilities of
generation and regeneration equally apply to woman
as to man ; that just as virility on the sensual, and intel-
lect on the spiritual, plane is the essence of manhood, so
fecundity and purity of affection, in their respective
domains, are the jewels of womanhood.

When the early Christian Apostles went to Egypt
and Rome — the great central homes of the new faith —
they found the cross already recognized as the supreme
religious symbol. With the same wisdom displayed by
Paul at Athens, they announced that they came — not


to tear down religious ideas or to discard the cross, but
to more fully unfold the interpretations of that revered
and time-reverenced symbol. Accepting the cross and
its symbolism of generation on the plane of natui-e —
physically, they unfolded its transcendental meaning as
the emblem of the divine and the human, actively
cooperating to beget new creatures, that is, regenerated
or divine men and women.

To wi'ite fully of the interpretations of the cross, to-
gether with its associated symbols, would be to give the
religious history of the race from its primitive childhood
up to its present state of comparative maturity. To
prophesy correctly its yet to be unfolded meanings
would be to foretell the manner and result of man's con-
tinued growth until every son and daughter of God
should attain to be perfect even as the Father-Mother
in heaven is perfect.


Probably the next new symbol, with a meaning fun-
damentally distinct from that of the cross, either as a
whole or considered in its constituent elements, and
yet representing an essential element in creation or gen-
eration, was the serpent. This symbol of the serpent
is nearly as old, and almost as nearly universal — both
as to times and places — as the pillar. 'No other sym-
bol has been or is so variously intei'preted. It has
meant, and is now esoterically taught to mean, nearly
every transcendental truth from life to the individual on
earth, and continued life of the individual and the race


ill the recurring- g-enerations by offspring, to the eternal
life of the individual, in a future and spiritual phase of
existence ; from simple cunning- or craftiness to the
broadest and clearest wisdom ; and from simple sen-
suous light to divine illumination. The serpent has also
been used to represent nearly every feeling possible to
humanity, from the purely animal sexual passion to the
passion of the divine man on the cross ; and to sym-
bolize every possible sensual and spiritual being, from
the slimy and poisonous snake in the grass to the or-
thodox personal devil, who seduced our paradisical
mother Eve — and who still roams the earth, seeking
whom he may devour; from Lucifer — the fallen angel
and prince of darkness, to Lucifer — the torch bearer
of the Di\dne, who sheds abroad in the world all the
light it has or can have ; in a word from the great red
dragon, the seducer of hell, the prince of error, the
malignant and eternal enemy of man, to the favorite
arch-angel nearest the celestial throne, the everlasting
spirit of truth, the only divine instructor of man, and
even the Holy Spirit — one with the Most High.

The " wise men of old," therefore, did not adopt the
serpent on account of its beauty only or for ornament
simpl}^ ; but because they had a new and larger per-
ception of truth and, hence, needed a new symbol to
represent a new element in their philosophy. These
men, being close observers, would soon notice that while
the cooperative nnion of the sexes was necessary to,
and resulted in, the bringing forth of children, which
were much prized, that still this desire of procreation


was not then — as it is not now — the only, or even
generally, the main incentive to the creative act. They
donhtless recognized that if the love of the offspring —
the special desire for a child at a certain time — Avas the
only motive for pi-ocreative activity, that this, like
many other important duties, would often be seriously
neglected ; and that, as a natural result, the earth would
be filled and subdued very slowly — if indeed it were
filled or subdued at all. They, therefore, recognized
the passion, which insured the prompt and constant
activity, resulting in populating the world, as a divine
factor in creation. Regarding it thus, they, in accord-
ance with their custom, sought out a representative
symbol. They had also, no doubt, noticed that the
cohra de cajjella^ or hooded snake of India (where the
serpent symbology probably originated) had a peculiar
power of puffing itself up — enlarging and erecting its
neck and head when aroused to excitement. This
peculiar power, and its size, shape, position, and regu-
lar pulsations when in this condition, as well as its well-
known power of fascination — which subdues its whilom
fearful and trembling victims, were
all very suggestive. This snake,
which is the favorite form of the
earlier representations of the ser-
pent, was, probably, for these, and,
perhaps, other reasons, chosen to
symbolize that purely selfish and
^'^' ^^- sexual ])assion which for the sim-

ple end of sensual gratification prompted the fleshly


union of the sexes. This significance would naturally
unfold very speedily, even to the primitive race, so as
to also include all those sentimental promptings which
hrought the sexes into harmonious and enjoyable associa-
tion. Indeed the race may have been so developed as
to recognize both of these interpretations from the first
use of this S3"m1)ol.

And the ancients were i-ight in regarding sexual pas-
sion as divine. It is simply the divuie impulse Avhich
stimulates sensual man, from purely selfish motives,
and, Avithout regard to duty or divinity, to sufferiugly
desire and ardently enjoy, and, therefore, to energetic-
ally and industriously engage in procreative activity.
Among purely animal men — if any such there be —
this passion is, therefore, instinctive — but none the less
diviue — in its intent and result of perpetuating the
race. Among animals it is called instinct. In the veg-
etable world we recognize it as tendency to cellular
develoj^ment and nudtiplication. In the mineral king-
dom it is known as chemical aflSnit}^ In the domain of
intellect it is the spontaneous craving that seeks enjoy-
ment in the mental activity of evolving or receiving
ideas. In the realm of affection it is the anxious agita-
tion which revels in the exciting play of the emotions.
In a word this passion is, in its own domain, the special
manifestation of the universal divine impulse seeking
satisfaction in the reciprocal activity of creative forces ;
and in man prompting him — before purity would induce
or intelligence guide him — to procreative activities.

So we find that, independent of the ultimate aim of


perfecting the universe, affinity, instinct, and impulse
are constantly pi-ompting and securing the energetic
cooperative activity of apparently contending, but, in
reality, supplementary creative powers in the production
of ncAV creatures.

Sensual pleasure, intellectual delight, moral rapture —
in a word, happuiess, on every plane of man's nature — is
constantly resulting from the obedience he accords to
the promptings of impulse, long before he attains the
moral and mental development of designedly — and
with holy purpose aforethought — engaging in the same
outward work.

And this impulse — wdiether manifested as sexual
passion on the sensual plane, seeking and securing
fleshly gratification ; or whethei* it is recognized as
pious fervor in the spiritual domain, longing for and ex-
erting consecrated activity for regenerated . emotional
satisfaction — tliis impulse, so long as it is the sponta-
neous promptings of vital strength to go foi'th in ener-
getic activity, because that activity is self-satisfying, is
what is symbolized by the serpent.

From tliese fundamental ideas, which the sei-i)ent has
from time immemorial represented, it came to have
many other significations. Its every interpretation,
however, as a religious or mystic symbol has been de-
veloped out of — and is the legitimate offspring of —
this primitive and essential esoteric value.



WE cannot too fully appreciate, nor too often,
in pursuing this study, remind ourselves
that the use of phallic syuil3ols, and even the use of
realistic representations of the sexual organs, was, in
the eyes of the worshipers using them, dignified and
pure in purpose, and free from any recognized un-


The use of the pillar in some of its varied forms
was almost universal, as a religious symbol. The
Teutons and Scandinavians w^orshiped their gods under
various names, and with different attributes ; but how-
ever different sects might disagree on the minor i)oints,
they all regarded the Creator as masculine, and used
the phallus or its syml^ols as i-epresenting the Divine.
The Spaniard generally Avorshiped a similar deity
under the name of Hortanes, and used the same " staff
of life" as his emblem. England, Scotland, and Ire-




land still bear evidence of the generality and dominancy

of the phallic idea in
worship. To catalogue
and explain the monu-
ments and remains of this
cult in the British Isles
would require a ponderous
volume. Stonehenge,
the ground i)lan of which
Fig- CO. it^ shown in the annexed

figure, has been so often written about that no descrip-
tion is needed.

This shows, T, the elevation as it now appears ; IT,
an enlarged view of the " Friar's Hell ;" III, the ground
plan of this ancient phallic temple.

Fig. 64,

Fig. 61. Fig. 62. Fig. 63.

Fignres 61, 62, and 63 are outlines of ancien
Round Towers, while two views of the celebrated
ton stone are given in Figures 64 and 65.

t Irish















e St

one "




Yorkshire, Engl a nd.
The Innis Mnra stone
of Ireland is shoAvn in
Figure 67 ; and Figure
68 shows a shaft which
stands beside the ora- Fig. og.
tory of Gallerus, County Kerry

Fig. 67.


Fig. 68.

Fig. 69.

Fig. 71.

Figures 69, 70, and 71 show phallic monumental
columns found in connection with the tombs of Pompeii
and Herculaneum.

The Linga worshiped by the Parthian Magus is
shown in Figure 72, This is copied from a sculpture


difpusiojS' and modification of symbols.

found ill the Baktyari Mountains. To showhoAv wide-
spread in space and time similar symbols may be found,



Fig. 74. Fig. 75.

there is given in Figures 73 and 74 the pictures of a
modern " Phallic Pillar" and " Sun Stone," as found
in use as a religious emblem — or fetich, at the present
time, in the Figi Islands. The shape, adornments, and
material of Figures 72 and 73 are almost identical.

Are these modern emblems of the Figians any kin,
by way of offspring, to the ancient symbols ; or did
similar ideas suggest and originate the similar repre-

The Sivaic Shrine shown in Figure 75 needs no com-
ment to point out its phallic chai'acter.

Almost exactly similar emblems are found in Java
and Ceylon.

The Linga and Yonic Temple of India — shown in
Figures 76 and 77 — are usually (at least frequently)
called Buddhist Shrines.

Whether the authors are mistaken, or whether some
Buddhists wander so far from the doctrines of Siddartha
as to erect and use such phallic temples is not certain ;
but surely all idolatry and sensuality is as far from



Buddhism as it is from (yliristianity ; for the teaching
of Siddartha and Jesus are alike on the subject of idols
and chastity.






Fig. 73.

The Petrean Menhir, shown in Figure 78, is a com-
plete combination of the masculine emblem of the
"tower," with openings of a similar shape, and of the
feminine "ark," or base, together with "doors" —
linga in form, but yonic, from the fact of being ave-
nues of admission.

Fig. 79. Fig. 80.

The linga-in-yoni, shown in Figui'e 79, presents a
very interesting example of the rude but emphatic
method of a pi-imitive people in Gothland, in expi-essing
the recognition of the masculine and feminine principles



and their cooperative union in the grand work of cre-
ation. The sacred hill at Karnak, in Egypt, the phallic
character of which is obvious, is shown in Figure 80.

In a bone-cave recently excavated near Venice, and
beneath ten feet of stalagmite, were found bones of
animals, flint implements, a bone needle, and a linga
of baked clay.

Figure 81 is a copy of a picture found at Rome when

.t^ ^


excavating the foundations of
the Barbarini Palace. The
mound of masonry, surmounted
])y the round, short pillar, is sim-
ilar to those found
in India, hi Amer-
ica, and in many
parts of Europe.
Fig. 81. The oval p e d i- ^*^-«2-

ment and the solitary pillar have the same significance
as the Caaba and hole — the upright stone and pit —
revered at Mecca, long before Mahommed's time. The
tree and pillar mutually interpret each other. The
same idea is exhibited in modern times by two stones.
Figure 82, one upright and the other with a hole in it,
through which one of modei'ate size could pass, now
found on the Island of Gozo, near Malta.

Stone phalli are common in the temples of China and
Japan. Passing to the Western Hemisphere, the phallic
idea is almost universal among the ancient remains of
prehistoric races. In Yucatan the phallic pillar stands
in front of every temple. In Panuco they adore the


phallus, preserve it in their temples, and have has-reliefs
showing congress of the sexes ; which is also true of
Tlascala. In Honduras, the great idol is a round up-
right stone with two faces — the " Lord of Life/' wliich
the Lidians adore ; in some ceremonies they offer it the
sacrifice of blood, which they draw from the prepuce.
In Peru have been found ancient clay phalli, and also
water jars on which were figured gods and goddesses
with greatly enlarged generative oi-gans — male and

Fig. 83. Fig. 84.

In the center of the great sr[nai'e of tlie temple of
the sun at Ciizco, the early European explorers found
a stone colunni shaped like a sugar loaf, and covered
with gold leaf, which was the object of special vener-
ation on the part of the populace. Ancient phalli are
found in different parts of Hayti. Figures 84 and 85
show two forms of Mexican shrines — common in the
past and not infrequent at the present day.

The similarity in the outlines of these shrines or
temples in Ireland, India, Petrea, Rome, and Mexico is
very suggestive. In various parts of the United States
there have been found excellent examples of phallic
worship remains. An image found in Tennessee has


an enormous phallus. Two stone phalli — one twelve,
the other fifteen, inches long — were also discovered in
that State. In tlie mounds near ]N'ew Madrid, Missouri,
among thousands of specimens of prehistoric pottery,
there were found numerous examples of water jars ex-
hibiting breasts and yonii of exaggerated size. These
wei*e l^y some supposed to be simply obscene articles ;
but such an idea is a great mistake — for they were
found in only two kinds of localities — "worshiping
places " and in burial mounds. And no race of people
are so iudecent and degraded as to designedly desecrate
the silent city of their dead ancestors and comrades, or
purposely pollute their sanctuaries.

The Antiquarian Society of Rio Janeiro, in a recently
published report, state that phallic worship was common
in Brazil in prehistoric times and up to a comparatively
recent date ; and they give illustrations of the images
and symbols used in the ceremonies, and of the orna-
ments Avorn by the devotees. These are all masculine —
some of them very realistic.

Phallic worship, with all the realistic emblems, is now
prevalent in India, as the chapter on that country will
illustrate. Mahommedan women — even in this day —
reverently kiss the phallus of an idiot or a saint, recog-
nizing them as being so holy and passionless as not to
be effected by such a caress. The linga is carried in
procession in Japan and in the Maiianne Islands.

In Dahomey priapic figures are found in every street
of their settlements. In an Egba temple Burton re-
cently found an abundance of carvings of the masculine


and feminine organs ; and in the innermost sacred pre-
cinct a phallus and yoni in coition. Some natives of
Africa, when traveling, carry a priapic image and pour
a libation over its linga before they drink from a newly
arrived at river or spring.

In some of the Pacific islands the phallic ceremonies
are common. An early navigator writes of attending
a native religious festival, at which a young man of
fine size and perfect proportions performed the creative
act w^ith a little miss of eleven or twelve, before the
assembled congregation, among A^hom wxre the leading
people of rank, of both sexes, without any thought
of observing otherwise than an appropriate religious

The designs in figures 8G and 87 are representations
of the straw pillai-s of the
Polynesians. The smaller
one, which they cover with
feathers, is the more common,
representing one of their gods.
The "Eoyal God" is, how-
ever, represented by one of
larger size, banded and ter-
minating in a more realistic
apex, and given a modified
^name showing its superioi-ity.
Straw figures ai-e frequent in
India, especially in harvest time, when they are made
in most realistic sexual forms, or of human figures,
exhibiting both sexes very conspicuously.

Fig. 87.


Although the Sandwich Islanders have been to some
extent Christianized ; still it is well known that their old
faith frequently crops out, and there are numerous noc-
turnal assemblies, when the ancient worship of their
fathers is resumed — during- Avhich the promiscuous
and frenzied association of the sexes takes place as the
crowning part of the ceremonies. As these lapses into
phallic worship usually occur at times of threatened or ac-
tual misfortune and suffering, such as pestilence, famine,
or oppression, it AYOuld seem that the religious idea, and
not the sensual impulse, is the great motive for the ap-
peal to their traditional gods. When the late spinster
princess, heiress apparent to the throne, died, the natives
performed their time-honored and traditional funeral
services all over the kingdom. These services were very
similar, in some respects, to the Irish wake — gather-
ings in which, during the entire night, there was feast-
ing, diinking, and singing the praises of the deceased.
Her dominant virtue, which was universally acknowl-
edged, and often and again extolled, washer inexhaust-
ible virility and passion, which no man, or troop of men,
could cool ; and even in her embraces with the gods she
was credited Avith being uniformly victoi-ious — for she
sent them away exhausted and discomfited, because
their potency being expended, they could not accept
her invitation for repeated coitions. Similar ceremonies
are common in Africa — and in many parts of the more
civihzed world. The witches sabbat of Europe, and

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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 5 of 12)