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 7 of 12)
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common and widely diffused emblems, and is found in
most cults, ancient and modern, adorning the brow, or
in some other way designating the feminine, maternal.



and virginal creatress. The crescent was worn among
some ancients, and is now worn in Italy as an amnlet
especially appropriate to virgin and pregnant women.

Fig. 178. Fig. 174. Fig. 173. Fig. 176. Fig. 177.

Fignres 173 to 177 are each symbols of the mascu-
line triad, and are common to most phallic cults.
Fignres 178 to 182 are emblems of the same idea pe-
culiar to the Hindu religions.




Fig. 178. Fig. 179. Fig. 180. Fig. 181. Fig. 182.

The masculine creative triad is also represented by
the right hand in the position shown in
Figure 183. This is an emblem of great
autiquity; and is found on many of the
most ancient Hindu, Assyrian, and Gre-(
cian sculptures. It is the symbol of di-'
vine light, truth, authority, and mystery,
by which initiates in ancient Avisdomknew
each other. This form of hand is placed
upon the head of the staff of justice in France ; and is
often found on the staff oi- wand of authority in cor-
onations and other important exaltations. It is common
in early Christian art, and is the form in which the
Pope raises his hand when he blesses the faithful.

Fig. 183.


The symbol of the hands, as shown m Figure 184,

is also an ancient em-
blem. The hands again
each signify the masculine
triad; the opening be-
tween them types the
yoni; the whole symbol-
Fig- isi. izes, ^' the Four Great
Gods," from whom all beings emanate. This is the
form in which the Jewish rabbi raise their hands when
pronouncing benediction.

In many ancient countries — and the same is true of
some modern peoples — the seeing of the living yoni —
especially that of a maiden — was considered the cer-
tain harbinger of good fortune.

Ceres wandered over the earth, seemingly disconso-
late beyond cure. Baubo, after exhausting all other
means of cheering the goddess, finally retired, shaved
the hair from her mons veneris, and returned to the
celestial presence. She then sat down before Ceres
with her legs wide apart and her skirts drawn u]^ so as
to exhibit her now youthful-like yoni. This sight so
attracted and pleased the disconsolate goddess that she
immediately smiled with hope, partook of refreshments
and renewed her gladness of heart.

This myth is interpreted to mean that philosophy or
ideality alone will not produce happiness ; but that the
thoughts and the activities of life must engage in the
sensual, as well as the ideal, in order to secure the
sweetest and best results in this life as well as in the


future. "Without the participation of the intellect in
the corporeal operations of natui-e, only brute life would
be generated and pei'petnated ; and without the cor-
poreal activities of generative energies, purity and truth
would have no means of expression or of increased de-
velopment in humanity.

The eye, or yoni, was placed over the portals of
temples and tombs in Eg3^pt, Sicily, and other countries,
and was everywhere the emblem of life, health, and
good fortune.

In Ireland, until recently, several churches bore over
their main entrance the rude, but elaborate, sculpture
of a woman pointing to the realistic, but exaggei-ated,
representation of her jom. A similar woman was
sculptured on the side of the chui'ch entrance at Serva-
tos, in Spain, while an equally phallic man was exhibited
on the other side. In some other cases the key-stone
over the poi'tal bore the realistic yoni only. Similar
representations were found in Mexico and Peru. It
was a common pi*actice among the ^oi'th African
Arabs to place over their door the genital parts of a
cow, mare, or feuiale camel — representing to them the
human yoni — as a talisman to avert evil influences.
There is among all peoples more delicacy about exliibit-
ing the yoni and its realistic representations than is
observed in regard to the phallus ; hence, there has al-
ways been the custom of using veiled and suggestive
emblems for the female organs.


The most popular modern representative of this yonic
charm above the door is the plain horse-shoe,
so common, and by many considered so potent
for securing good luck. It is often associated
with the cross, and frequeritly with the arrow,
as shown in Figure 185, which is a very mys-
tic Templar and magic emblem of the Middle
Fig. 185. Ages.

The pointed oval, or as it is called, the Vesica Picis,
is sacred in the church, ancient and modern. It
is often the frame — or rather the ''door of life" —

Fig. 186. Fig. 187.

in which appears the Celestial Mother. Figure 186 is
an Indian representation of the ' ' Gate of Heaven ' ' —
copied from a sculpture of an ancient Dagopa in the
Junnar Cave, Bombay Presidency. The same idea is
also represented in a modified form in the monastery at
Gopach, in the valley of ^epaul, as shown in Figure
187. It is possible — but not probable — that the sym-



' ' door

bol has a horse-shoe for a frame, for the Orientals are
very reahstic in their iUustrations. The worship of the
feminine is, however, clearly shown in both designs.
The sacredness and holiness of the yoni is clearly an-
nounced by making it ' ' holy ground ' ' by the presence
therein of a deity to be adored.

In the same " Kosaiy of the Blessed Virgin, " re-
ferred to on page 100, there is
a representation of "The
Eternal and Holy Y
in this almost realistic
of hfe," which is reproduced
in Figure 188. Figure 189 is
a copy of the medal worn l)y
the pilgrims to the shrine of
the Virgin of Amadou in
France. It is commonly
spoken of by those who wear
it as the Mother and Child in
the "door of life." Figure
190, copied from Lajard, represents Harpocrates seated
on a Lotus, admirhig the lozenge, as representing the
Divine Mother. Such homage as is hei-e depicted is
even now paid by some sects in India, Palestine, and
Africa to the living organ. The devotee on bended
knees, and in silent prayer, offei'S to the uncovered
yoni a part of the food given him by the woman, before
he tastes it, which she accepts and eats, as evidence of
its purity from poison. This exhibition and adoration

Fig. 188.



of the yoni is simply their method of vowing mutual
friendship ; and is similar in meaning to sweai-ing by the
grasping of the phallus, and — like our uplifted hand

Fig. 18t). Fig. 190. Fig. 191. Fig. 192. Fig. 193.

when taking an oath — is an appeal to the divine creator
as a witness of truth and good will.

The shell or Conclm Veneris, Figures 191 and 192,
is a very common symbol of the yoni, and, hence, of
all it represents. This is an ancient and modern sym-
bol, often worn as an amulet. It is common in Italy,
and is there the especial badge of pilgrims to some

The cornucopia. Figure 193, is a similar symbol. It

contains libations which arc poured upon the i)hjillus,

but more especially u[)on the prolific w^omb. It hence

signifies abundant felicity, plenty, and good fortune.

The feminine hand, shown in Figure 194, is of similar

import as the shell, coi'uucopia and vesica

picis — that is, the making of this sign is

interpreted to mean that all the felicity and

blessings rei)resented by these emblems are

wished by the signaler to fall upon and

follow the one to whom the hand thus

Fig. 194. formed is shown.



The eye is a well kno^vn and very common symbol
of Devi, and plays a very conspicuous part
in many ceremonies hasing a phallic origin
or intent. In India it is drawn plain as in
but Ashtoreth, or Astarte, is

Fig. 195.

Figure 195

Fig. 196.

often represented by an eye drawn in rough outline, as
presented in Figure 196, and is then interpreted to
mean the door of life — femi-
nine fecundity — the M(jther.
Creator. There is no physi-
ological reason why the eye is
any more appropriate to sym-
bolize a goddess than a god —
for sight is equally an endowment of both sexes. The
eye, as drawn horizontally, is simply the vesica picis in
a changed position from its natural perpendicularity ;
and the ]3upil represents the masculine emblem in its
union therewith — that is the androgynous character of
the Creator. The Indian myth explains how and Avhy
this symbol was adopted, and also explains the meaning
of the spotted robe of divine personages, as well as the
spots on sacred or symbolic animals. The story relates
that Indra, like David, became enamored of a beautiful
woman whom he accidentally saw, but who was the
wife of another man. This woman's husband had, by
his piety and austerity, attained to almost divine power.
He forgave his ei-ring wife (a really divhie thing to do),
but he punished the adulterous god of the sky by cov-
ering him with a multitude of i)ictures of the yoni.
This was a terrible mortification to Indra ; but, l)y the


intercession of the other gods, the wronged husband
was induced to change the yonii on the culprit's body into
eyes. These, however, were to be so arranged in threes
or fours as to preserve their phallic meaning.

The eye — the all-seeing eye — is a favorite modern
symbol, especially with secret societies. It may have
had its origin as above suggested ; but, hidependent of
this myth, it has a good foundation as the symbol of
the Mother Creator, or as the •feminine side or attributes
of a masculine or androgynous creator. The ancients —
and many moderns as well, considered reason — in the
sense of logic and calculation — as a peculiarity of the
masculine mind, while they looked upon perception and
intuition as especially feminine attributes. The eye,
as the organ of sight, would, therefore, naturally rep-
resent intuition, and hence the Celestial Mother.

The COCK has from time immemorial been the sym-
bol of masculinity. The doctrine and interpretation
seems to be that the cock announces the rising sun —
the god of day. For its size this bii'd is remarkably
strong, courageous, and enduring, and he seems to
have unlimited virile powers among the hens.

Minerva — also called Pallas — is often shown with
a cock sitting on her helmet ; and her crest denotes her
admiration for this salacious bird. Tlie sacrifice of a
cock was a solemn ceremony of the highest order in
Greece. The Celts also practiced the same ceremony.
The sacrifice is common now in many parts of Asia,
where the priests select at will — for no refusal is antic-
ipated — the finest bird in the village. They carry it


to the top of the hill and there, upon the summit, offer
to the divine the sacred fowl — spattering his hlood
over their Tsur-oo-Salem — "Koek of Ages." Payne
Knight reproduces a design in -which the body of a
man has for its head the body of a cock, of which the
beak is a linga — the pendant wattles being the other
two members of the masculine triad, and these, with
the comb, suggesting very plainly the capilary adorn-
ment. The inscription reads " Soter Kosmoit — Sav-
ior of the World," a term applied to all deities, but
more especially to those charged with creative functions.

The weather cock — or its substitute, the arrow, which
has the same meaning — is the modei'n survival of the
ancient emblem. "Whether on the pole, barn, or church
spire — in wdiich last place it is a peculiarly appropriate
adornment — it stands forth in vital and defiant dignity,
with its head meeting and dividing the wind, which is
the natural emblem of the active creative feminine.

The Chinese represent the sun by a cock in a circle,
and a modern Parsee will on no account kill one. The
cock is a common symbol on Greek monuments.

The Tree. — The pine tree, by its height, straight-
ness, and evergreen foliage, was recognized as especially
appropriate to represent the ideal phallus. From this
it was easy to adopt the pine cone, as a masculine em-
blem symbolizing especially the testes, and thus energy
and impregnating potenc3\ Thus, it is easily seen why
the wand of Bacchus — the thrysus — terminates in a
pine cone.

The palm tree, for similar reasons, in the countries


where it was the '' great tree," was used for the same
purpose, and so pahn branches have been used as they
are now, and, in their absence, pine or other evergreens,
as emblems of Ufe, peace, and happiness.

Even within the present century the women of France,
on Pahn Sunday, carried in procession, at tlie end of
their pahn branches, phalli made of bread, which they
called " la pine " — the French euphonism of the phal-
lus — whence it was called the Feast of the '' Pines. "
These *' pines," having been blest by the priest, were
kept for the year as an amulet.

The palm tree, when used as a sacred emblem, was
usually conventionalized as having seven branches.
The first Jewish coinage, under the Mac-
cabees, shown by the shekel given in
Figure 197, at once tells of the palm as
being a sacred tree, and also that seven
branches, as spoken of in Exodus and
FiTm! Revelation, was likewise a revered na-
tional emblem.

For similar reasons the oak, in the countries where it is
the tree dominant in size, has been dedicated to similar
purposes with like interpretation.

In India the Banyan is, for like reasons, the sacred



IT is questioned whether the writers of the Yedas
were acquainted with — or, at least, whether tliey
recognized or practiced — any form of worship in which
the generative organs or their symbolic representations
were used in any sensual way.


however, is spoken of freely in the Puranas, and one of
them is called the Linga Purana. The authority for, and
the origin of, Linga worship, as well as the prominence
and prevalence of its imagery and symbolism, is ac-
counted for in a myth with the following outline : —

"A powei'ful company of wicked conspirators, whose
hypocrisy Siva had exposed, sent a consuming fire to
destroy the genital organs of the latter. Siva was so
indignant at this attempt to unsex him that he threat-
ened to destroy the human race. Vishnu implored him
to suspend his wrath. Siva relented in his purpose of
extermination ; but ordained that in his temples those
parts which his enemies had attempted to destroy
should forever be worshiped."



The Eastern devotees not only obey tliis ordinance,
bnt iro farther and model the architecture of their tern-
pies after the phallus, as the divinely formed and in-
dispensible medium ordained by God himself for human
propagation. Lucian speaks of such a phallic temple
of great height as existing in Syria. The primitive
linga is said to have been a radiant pillar in which
Mahesa (" whose form is radiant as a mountain of sil-
ver, lovely as the crescent of the new moon, resplen-
dent with jewels,") dwelt, and on which was visible the
sacred word OM. How suggestive this is of the pillar
of fire in which Jehovah went before the Israelites.

The linga is always found in the Hindu temple. It
is generally in the sanctum, or holy of holies, and is
made of granite, or other stone, ivory or precious wood.
On certain occasions it is garlanded with flowers ; some-
times above it is a brilliant golden or silver star. On
great occasions it is honored l^y a light from a seven
branched lamp. The same emblem, smaller in size,
carved in gold, silver, ivory, crystal or sacred wood, is
worn about the neck, in the turban, or in the bosom, as
a charm, or amulet — and as a declaration of faith. The
Hindus use it in prayer as the pious Catholic uses the
image or symbol of his patron saint. It is also often
buried, by request, with the body of its former owner.
Worshipers of Siva also mark his symbol — an upright
line — on their foreheads ; while the followers of Yishnu
use a horizontal line with three short perpendicular

There is much misapprehension in regard to Siva,


who is often spoken of as the g'od of destruction. This
is a misleading- name. He is not the creator of original
matter, hut the diety who makes new forms — or new
beings — by the process of changing- the old. lie is in
fact the god of evolution. Hindus look upon change
as the ca-Qse of suffering, and, hence, they long* for
Nirvana, which is " changelessness." Still even JVIr-
vana is attained by change. So Siva might be called,
in Western phraseology, the god who develops by dis-

Siva, the diety presiding" over generation, is the god
especially worshiped under the foi-m of the linga ; but
as in other cults of similar nature he is symbolized by,
or ideally seen in, all pillars, obelisks, pyramids, high
trees, limbless trunks — especially palm ti'ees, poles, up-
right lines, high places, and in the triangle with the
apex upward. The linga pillars are of all sizes. Some
of them are gigantic. They are usually red, but fre-
quently of other colors ; some being black, and the one
in the golden temple at Benares is ]3ure white. The
principal seats of linga worship at the present time
are in Northeastern and Southern India. As these are
localities little under Brahman influences, it tends to
show that this form of worship preceded the Brahman

The temples of Siva worship are in many parts of
Hindustan — especially along the banks of the Ganges —
more numerous than those of any other religion.
Benares, however, is the great center of this form of
worship. The principal diety there is Yisweswara,


'Hhe Lord of All." His symbol is a linga; and
most of the objects of pilgrimage are kindred stone

These temples are square buildings with round roofs
tapering to a point. In Bengal each one consists of a
single small square chamber surmounted by a pyra-
midal center. The linga occupies the center, and the
offerings are made on the threshold.

Strangers are not, of course, generally admitted to
these sacred precincts ; but a French gentleman gained
access to the Sivaic temple at Treviscare, and there
found a granite pedestal in which was a large cleft rep-
resenting the female sex. On this base was a column
supporting a basin, from the center of which arose a
colossal linga about three feet in height. This sanct-
uary is lit from above only.

Figure 198, which is said to be Time and Truth wor-
shiping Siva, illustrates this ancient
worship in India. In this there is no
suggestion of the feminine principle.
The Serpent is a common religious
Fig. 198. symbol in India — as indeed it is near-

ly everywhere — and is frequently used in connection
with the linga to indicate passion, power, vitality, and
activity — as well as wisdom, discretion, and use — and,
hence, active application for increase, both physical
and mental.

The Serpent, with the masculine tail in the feminine
mouth, (Figure 144, page 102), typing their active
union to perpetuate the race — either with or without an



inscription — forming the ring of eternity, is a common
symbol in India.

The " Staff of Siva " (Figure 146, page 102), con-
sisting of the upright pillar, with the two entwining
serpents, is a constantly recurring symbol.

Figm-e 199 represents Maia-Devi in a sea of ser-
pents worshiping the linga which
she holds in her hands in such a po-
sition that she can contemplate at
once this emblem and her navel —
wdiich to her is, in this meditation,
the representation of the navel of
Vishnu, or creative poAvcr. Devi is
Fig. 199. also frequently represented with a

linga on her head.

The Tibetan Buddhists (who are Indian in their re-
ligion and practice, and
who are less progressive,
and, therefore, retain
longer the prmiitive dog-
mas and ceremonials) are
in the practice of seeking
the assistance of the di-
vine, when in danger, by
building a " Temple of

Peace," as shown in Fig- "-^^ Lz ~A,^

ure 200. The worship- ^^^I^i^tJiR'''

ers bow in silent medita- Fig. 200.

tion and adoration before it; while the priest calls

upon it to protect them from their enemies. It is



usually built of clay and plastered with lime and

The masculine hand, or hand of wisdom — hand of
mystery — is a sign which the Linga-
citas interpret as the creative triad.
Lingas are made by the women — or
by the priests for them — for tempor-
ary use, of clay from the Ganges, and
offered in Siva's temples, and thrown
back into that river after use. The
Fig. '201. priests of Siva are vowed to the strictest

chastity. As they are nude when officiating, any excite-
ment of the imagination which manifested itself in the
external organs would be readily noticed by the
people, who would proceed to punish such clerical
unfaithfulness by immediately stoning the offender.

It is not an uncommon custom for women who are
barren to kiss the inert organ of one of these priests,
or of an idiot, as a charm to render them fruitful.

Among the Druses, on a certain day, the chief Sheik
attends at a sacred place for the purpose of allowing
the female devotees, for a similar purpose, to kiss his
living symbol of creation.

The Sivaites never carry the linga in procession ;
and do not present, to the outside observer at least, any
indecent ceremonies, or suggest any impurity or indel-
icacy in the mind of the devotee. They are thus in
striking contrast with some of their neighbor phallic
worshipers, as well as with Western Orientals, Greeks,
Komans, and Egyptians ; showing that the use of


sexual symbols in worship need not necessarily be as-
sociated with impurity of thought or indecency of action
in ceremonials.


Indian Mythology teaches a divine masculine creative
triad, each of whom have a wife. Brahma's consort is
Saraswati, Vishnu has Lakshmi, and Siva, the genera-
tor of mankind, has for a spouse Parvati, meaning
' ' mountain born ' ' — referring to the mons veneris —
womb of nature — or, as she is usually called, Devi.
These consorts are known under the general name of
Sacti, and are also called Matris — or mothers. Some
Hindus prefer to worship the Sacti rather than Siva,
just as some pious Christians worship the Virgin, or
Holy Mother, more earnestly and more satisfactorily
than they do the Father. These worshipers of the
feminine are in the East called Sactas.

The worship of the j^oni as the emblem of the Sacti
is, by its adherents, said to have its authority and origin
in the following myth : —

"Siva and Devi, his wife, shortly after their mar-
riage, had a serious dispute about their comparative
power and importance in creating new beings. They
mutually agreed that each should create a new race of
human beings. Siva produced a race who worshiped
the masculine deity oul3^ Their intellects were dull,
their bodies feeble, their limbs distorted, and their com-
plexion of different shades of color. Devi at the same
time created a race who adored the feminine power
only ; they were of quick intellect, well shaped, strong,


of kindly aspect and had a beautiful complexion. Fnri-
ons contests ensued between the two faiths, in which
the Sactas were victorious. Siva threatened to destroy
the victors, but relented upon condition that they for-
ever leave the country."

The Sactas — Yonigas — worship the female emblem
or principle wdth all the devotion that the Lingacitas
bestow upon the linga and its interpretations ; but with
different rites and ceremonies. They interpret Sacti to
mean wisdom — it literally means force — thus identi-
fying her with what the Greeks meant by Sophia or
Logos, and offer her the most endearing and flattering
phrase. She is endowed with lovely attributes and re-
ceives very much such adoration as pious and enthusi-
astic Catholics pay to the Virgin. The ceremonies
have, however, another side when the feasting and
merry making concludes the ceremonies ; then the de-
votional is replaced by the reveling ; the mystic gives
place to the real ; and the orgies — eating, drinking, and
promiscuous mingling of the sexes — may be better
imagined than desci-ibed.

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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 7 of 12)