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 8 of 12)
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When represented in pictures the Sacti are shown as
ordinary women, modestly draped — often with a child
in the arms or lap.

The inverted triangle, the circle, the fig, the pome-
granate, the sea, all natural concavities — as caves,
clefts, fissures, wells, tanks, and generally all that
" contains or produces," are symbols or representatives
of the Sacti.



The Sactas do not use or acknowledge the masculine
hand of the triad, but one like that pre-
sented in Figure 202, which they call the
YoniG CJiarm, or " door of life." Tliis
they * ' look through ' ' to solve all mys-
teries ; that is, they seek to understand
the feminine power and principle as the
F)g. 201. g^j-^ ^£ enlightenment. Notwithstanding
the facts of former antagonism and wars between the
Lingaeitas and Yonigas, they are now so tolerant — or
so politic, and so curtailed of power — that they are
living peaceably side by side as neighbors. They are
each a small sect as compared with those who worship
both linga and yoni as of the same — or at least each
of essential importance and honor as the emblems of a
dual or androgynous deity.


It must be borne in mind that the last two and the
present forms of worship are practiced by a people of
similar general character and habits of thought and in-
dustry ; that these worshipers are mingling more or
less freely together ; that their peculiar dogmas, cere-
monies and symbology are continually approaching and
often even coinciding with each other ; and that these
dogmas, ceremonies and symbols are traditionally as
well as esoterically interpreted differently to the in-
itiated and the ignorant. It is, therefore, impossible for
an outsider — and especially one of a different race,



language, and mental training — to grasp clearly the
subtile distinctions of doctrine, or interpret very cer-
tainly the graded differences of interpretation which
they give their ceremonies and symbols. It is, therefore,
probable that the dogmas and practices of one of these
sects may be in some cases attributed to the others.

Part of the Hindus reconcile the two above men-
tioned systems, and quote two myths to explain and
authorize the new departure. One mytli is : —

' ' The divine cause of creation experienced no bliss,
being isolated — alone. He ardently desired a com-
panion ; and immediately the desire was gratified. He
caused his body to divide, and become male and female.
They united, and human beings were thus made."

The other allegory says : —

'' Siva and Devi found that their mutual concurrence
was essential to produce perfect offspring ; and Yishnu,
at the solicitation of the goddess, effected a reconcili-
ation between them ; hence the navel of Yishnu was
worshiped as one with the sacred yoni."

Modern Hindu phallic worship is mainly of this type ;
and its adherents are called Sacteyas. As this sect
unites the doctrines of the other two, it naturally also
combines their emblems. These symbols all, however,
directly suggest, or are interpreted to mean, linga-in-
yoni — that is the masculine and feminine in active
imion in the work of generation. Their ceremonies
are such as illustrate this dogma in imagination and



The Imga is generally represented as standing in
the yoni. Tlie ways of indicating this are innumer-
able ; l)ut the design shown in
Figure 203 will indicate the gen-
eral outline and character of
their most common, as well as
their most suggestive, emblem.
The rim of the vessel represents
the yoni ; the upright pillar the
linga. The field between them
is called the Argha. In this il-
lustration we have what is often i 'fe'- -o-
not presented ; that is, the three bars npon the linga,
representing the masculine creative triad ; and this
again repeated above, which indicates conjunction of
the creative powers. The linga, as before remarked.

Fig. 204. Fig. 205.

is often used in combination with the serpent — to in-
dicate power, passion, and active virility. In Figure
204 we have a more elaborate design , introducing the


linga-in-yoni together with the celestial four — with
cap, and the serpent. Figure 205 is a copy of a most
beautiful design — a combination of linga-in-yoni, ser-
pent, crescent moon, circles, pentagram, and sacred
fig leaf.

In front of each principal temple may be found
a tank — some of them beautifully designed and elab-
orately ornamented; and in the center of the tank a
mast or flagstaff. Upon this staff or mast a flag is
hoisted, garlands of flowers are hung, or a light is
placed, at times of special importance. The temples
of the Sactas have the tank, but no mast. A high,
but flat elevation, a natural circular or oval depres-
sion, a pond or lake, may often be seen with a pole
or pillar erected near the center. If a Hindu of this
faith dig a well or build a cistern, he does not con-
sider his work finished until, after appropriate cere-
mony, on a lucky or sacred day, a mast is inserted
in the center of the mysterious yoni ; thus uniting the
original Siva and Devi — in the ' ' marriage of the
linga and yoni."

As before stated. Figure 119 exhibits one of the
most common, and the most sacred, of emblems of
India. This is the key for interpreting all other sym-
bols. This same idea is variously expressed, wdth del-
icate shades of difference, in the symbols numbered
from 120 to 111, pages 98-100, and from 178 to 182,
page 111, all of which are of Hindu origin.

The Sacteyas draw thi-ee horizontal lines in black,
and a circle, in red, upon their foreheads, similar to



Figure 126 ; and consider it a wonderful charm against
all evil, as well as a profession of their faith.

[From an original drawing by Chrisna Swami, Pundit.]

Figure 206 gives Ardanari-Iswari, and is au" attempt
to express in a design — the following from the
Parana : —

" The Supreme Spirit, in the act of creation, became,
by Yoga, twofold; the right side was male, the left


Avas Prakriti. She is of one form with Brahmah. She
is Maia, eternal and imperishable, such as the spirit,
such is the inherent energy (the Sacti) , as the faculty
of burning is inherent in fire."

This design is, however, much conventionalized from
the original ; for whei^e the Crux Aiisata appears in our
reproduction, the original shows, in realistic detail, the
living and erected " hnga-in-yoni."

In Figure 207 is reproduced one of the most elab-
orate, as well as one of the most beautiful, designs,
both in execution and interpretation, that is to be
found in connection with this worship in India. The
religious teachers say : —

''When one can interpret this emblem of the an-
drogynous divinity, he knows all that is knoAvn ; and
that to learn more he must be enlightened to read yet
more mystically the inexhaustible truth incarnated in
this most wonderful symbol."

This pictui^ has been commented on by nearly
every student of Hindu religion, in all degrees of spirit,
from scorn to rapture.

Figure 146, page 102, is a symliol common to the
Sacteyas, who interpret it as the linga entwined by "a
male and female serpent in sexual congress. This idea
is more realistically represented, on certain occasions of
high religious ceremonies, by the women, in grand
procession, carrying, between two living serpents, a
2"iirantic lincfa, decked in ribbons and flowers, the
prepucial end of which they present to an equally
prominent yoni. They likewise use the symbol of a



serpent with its tail iu its mouth, Figure 144, as repre-
senting- a perpetuation of the race through the ci-eative
activity of the sexes. They also use the design of the

Fig. 207.-ADDHA-NARI.

chest or ark, in which the serpent, or passion, is sup-
posed to be alive — but dormant, as a symbol of Devi.
The ^agas pray that the serpent may come out of the
ark — passion be aroused, sexual union be thereby
consummated — with the blessed result of many and
worthy children. In Maia worshiping the linga.



Figure 199, they recognize Devi — herself the feminine
creator, and, therefore, worthy of worship — as recog-
nizing her masculine consort as divine, and thus
directing her adorers to also recognize and worship the
linga and all it is interpreted to represent.

The tortoise is an important emblem in the Hindu
mythology. They represent the world resting- upon an
elephant supported by a tortoise. It was chosen because
it is popularly supposed to be androgynous, on account
of its great tenacity of life and its gi*eat fecundity.

The frequency

and rapidity

with which it

protrudes its

h c a d from its

shell and with-
Fig. 208. draws it, chang- Fig. 209.

ing from an appearance of repose to one of energy and
action, as well as the configuration of its head and
neck when aroused, would readily suggest to the
mystic Hindu — the acting linga; while a front view
would equally bring to his imagination the sacred eye,
or arba-il.

The lotus. — Brahma is represented as sitting upon
his lotus throne. The lotus was the most sacred flower
among the ancients, and to them typed the two powers
of generation. The germ symbolized the linga, the
filaments and petals the yoni. The lotus is a nymiilima.
^NTympha signifies a young nubile woman, a certain part
of the yoni, and the calix of the rose. Hence, a


maiden is symbolized as being, or having, a rosQ. The
lotns not only signifies the andogynous creator, but
typifies Saeti.

The modern Hindu phallic worship which recognizes
the essential importance of both the sexual elements in
generation is usually spoken of as Sacteyan w^orship,
in much the same way that in the West all kinds of sex
worship is called phallic worship. All Sacteyan wor-
ship requires the use of some or all of the five following
necessities : flesh, fish, wine, woman, and certain
mystical performances called dancing, but Avhich, unlike
the dances of the West, consists of a pantomime made
up of dramatic action, gestures, twistings, and undu-
latory and expressive motions of the arms, legs, and
whole body. This dancing is at once poetical, sensu-
ous and skillful, and is performed by professional
nautch girls. Every temple — of this faith — of any
note in India has a troop of these nautch girls. They
are generally selected, by the priests, when quite young
on account of their beauty, health, strength and
activity. From infancy they are trained in dancing,
vocal and instrumental music ; and at an early age
mitiated into all the mysteries and duties of their pro-
fession. Their natural beauty is heightened by all the
accessories of drapery, jewels, seductive arts, and gen-
eral feminine Avitchery. Their chief ostensible employ-
ment is to chant the sacred hymns and perform nautches
before the idol at high festivals. But they have
another office to perform. They are the acknowledged
mistresses of the officiating priests, and are requu*ed to


prostitute themselves — in the courts of the temples —
to all who desire and will pay for their possession, and
thus secure funds to sustain and enrich the temple to
which they are attached. As they are beautiful and
accomplished in all seductive and passion-arousing arts,
healthy, and, therefore, safe companions, and as it is
considered honorable on their part as well as in their
patrons thus to swell the temple revenue, and as there
is absolute secrecy as to their patrons, it need not be
wondered at that they are much sought after, and well
paid for this part of their service.

A similar class of Avomen are found in many other
parts of Asia ; and it is said they are far from rare in

These "votaries of the deity," "women of the
idol," "Devadasi," "women given to God," are
looked upon as holy devotees of the faith. Any wo-
man, however, who prostitutes herself for selfish gahi
in India is an outcast who bears a disgraceful name.

The principal ceremonies include the worship of
power, and require the presence of a young, beautiful',
and naked girl as the living representative of the god-
dess. This girl is generally selected from the nautch
company ; and the one chosen esteems it as an especial
honor, as a tribute to her beauty, accomplishments and
ability. The pecuhar duties of this office, the nautch
girl is, by experience, every way fitted to meet with
better grace and more satisfaction than an innocent
and unsophisticated girl. To this naked girl meat and
wine are offered, and then distributed among the wor-


shipers. This is followed by the chanting of sacred
texts and dancing. The celebration ends with an orgy
of the most licentious character. The woman who
in this ceremony takes the part is ever afterwards called
Yogini — attached, which is equivalent to a secular
nun — and she is ever afterwards supported by alms.
Although all parties engage in this worship — of
course as a religious ceremony pleasing to the divine —
yet the women who are, or claim to be, faithful wives
are warned not to associate with one who has thus
officiated as a representative of Sacti.

Sacti is personified as the deified vulva; and in ador-
ing her mentally the worshiper imagines a yoni, in
which he tries to see a chapel, which he is to enter, and
in which he is to worship.

The members of this sect who participate in this
Sacti-puja initiation are sworn to secrecy. Gradually,
howevei", those who are initiated become less reserved
as to the fact of their initiation into the mysteries ;
but the mysteries and the forms of initiation are not

The sect known as Kauchiluas are near akin to the
Sacteyans ; but are distinguished by a peculiar rite,
which *^' throws into confusion all the ties of female
relationship." Natural restraints are wholly obliter-
ated for the time being, for a community of sexual
partners. The women — matrons and maids — deposit
their bodices in a box — each woman and bodice being
numbered by the priest. At the close of the cere-
monies each male worshiper takes a bodice from the


box, and the woman who has the same number found
on the garment — even were she sister or daughter of
the man who draws it — is his pai'tner for the night
in the lascivious orgies that follow. All these cere-
monies, in their wildest excesses, are engaged in by
the most devout and pure-minded men and women —
most of whom, outside of this ceremony, that they
consider a sacred and solemn obedience to their re-
ligious requirements, are, according to their ideas of
purity, as modest and chaste as any devotee of their
more enlightened neighbors of the "Western civilization.

A peculiar custom, still common in India, is thus
described by General Furlong : —

"Many a day have I stood, at early dawn, in the
door of my tent, pitched in a sacred grove, and gazed
at the little group of females stealthily emerging from
the adjoining half sleeping village, each with a little
garland or bunch of sweet flowers, and perhaps costly
oil, wending their way to that temple in the grove or
garden of the god and goddess of creation ; and, when
none were thought to see, accompanying their earnest
prayer for pooli-palam (child-fruit) with a respectful
abrasion of a certain part of their person on linga-jee,
and a little application of the drippings that are for-
ever trickling from the orifice of the Argha."

In Oriental villages it is common to see tAvo stones —
one circular, and the other small, smooth and upright —
near together; they indicate the male and female.
Women step upon the circular stone, adjust their
drapery so that perfect contact with the vulva can


be assured, and seat themselves upon the upright
stone, with at least partial entrance — repeating a shoii;
prayer for any desired favor.

According to some Hindu sects women of or above
the age of puberty, who ai-e maidens, cannot enter
Paradise. They, therefore, if denied marriage, rupture
their hymen by means of an idol with an ii'on or stone
linga. Brides in Pondicheriy sacrifice their maiden-
hood in a similar way — in honor of the deity — to
whom they first belong. This was not an unusual
custom in many ancient nations. The Moabitish
maidens always thus sacrificed their maidenhood, as a
religious duty, to their deity, Peor, l^efoi-e becoming
kedesha among the Jews.

Some Hindu women of some sects regard a child
resulting from intercourse with a peculiarly saintly priest
as an incarnation by Yishnu ; and, if they can agree
upon terms, the official will generally accommodate her.


,The oldest and dimmest traditions, the earliest writers,
and the remains of the most ancient sculptures, tell us
of phallic dogmas, ceremonies, and symbols being abun-
dantly general in Egypt. In the ancient Eg3q3tian
religion, the good and creative power — the masculine
principle — the active principle, as they generally called
it — was attributed to, or incarnated in, Osiris. Osiris
was the child of Time and Matter. He was worshiped
as the being who dwelt invisibly in the sun ; so the sun


was one of his emblems. From this idea of the smi,
and its heat and hght as creative powers, he was also
represented by fire — celestial fire ; and, hence, by the
upright triangle — which is a symbol of Osiris, be-
cause it is a symbol of fire. The bull was, however,
his chief symbol, and was regarded as his real self,
incarnated in living form. This sacred bull was said
to be miraculously begotten by a ray from heaven, and
bore certain marks which revealed his divine parentage.
The worship of the bull was, in later times, connected
with the constellation Taurns in the Zodiac ; but this
was a later adaptation, and the probability is that the
constellation was so named by those who "adapted"
the union of the two cults. In all interpretations it
must be borne in mind that time-honored symbols, as
well as sacred days and seasons, are persistently re-
tained — for the masses prize forms, times, and cere-
monies. The hawk was also a representation of Osiris
as an emblem of directing power. The Nile, upon
which depended their crops, was called by the Egyptians
the outpouring of Osiris, so when they personified the
JS'ile or any other river it was represented as a bull —
or with the attributes of that saci-ed animal. In short,
all beneficent and productive moisture Avas venerated
as being the substance of the semen of Osiris. By
intercourse with Isis he produced all living beings. He
was reported dormant or absent for forty days in each
year — which was a season of sorrow and lamentation ;
and his body was said to be repeatedly torn in pieces by
his bad brother, Typhon.


The goat was one of the sacred animals of Eg-ypt,
and, probably on account of its well known salacious
peculiarities, was worshiped as the personification of
tlie masculine principle — or male creator. It seems,
however, that the goat, both male and female, were
used in a more sensual sense — to t3q)e the divine
powers as exhibited in human manifestation — hence,
human virility, passion, and its satisfaction and fruit.
A part of the veneration bestowed upon this animal at
Mendes, which was especially celebrated as the great
center of Caprine worship, was for the women to offer
themselves sexually to the goat. This unnatural
copulation, Herodotus tells us, the goat accepted, and
the union took place publicly in the assembly. The
female goat was also sacred, but not so highly esteemed,
or at least not so generally made prominent in the
ceremonies or in symbolic art representations. Still the
women did not monopolize the practice of caprine
copulation, as is shown by occasional references, and
not infrequent scul])tures and paintings representing
men in sexual union with female goats.

This orgy was well calculated to suggest, even if it
did not produce, the satyrs and fauns — which play
such an important part in Grecian mythology ; and by
arousing the hopes, quickening the imagination, and
exalting the passions, it was well calculated to render
prolific the women who took part in or witnessed the

The augurs who prompted the oracles of Juno,
when consulted as to the cause and remedy of barren-


ness among the Roman women, probably wished to in-
troduce this practice when the response was : ' ' Let
the rough goats approach the Trojan matrons." But
this mandate was executed in the very different way of
sacrificing the goat and cutting the sldn into thongs,
with which the women were scourged upon their bare
backs. The desired result of child-bearing was, how-
ever, thus attained, showing the powerful effect of
flagellation and an exalted imagination ; for Ovid tells
us ' ' speedily was the man a father, and the wife a

This sacred goat of Mendes was by the Greeks
transformed into their god. Pan, and represented by a
personification half goat and half man. Satyrs and
fauns seem to be degenerate and purely sensual de-
rivatives from Pan.

Representations of Pan, in some instances, show him
with rigid and sti-ained muscles, his face wild with pas-
sion, and his generative organ ready for his character-
istic work. He is at other times shown with relaxed
muscles and a jaded countenance, as if wearied by his
depleting excesses ; in all cases, however, his phallus
is of exaggerated proportions, thus representing his pe-
culiar characteristic.

The liereditary priests of Egypt were, when ad-
vanced to the sacerdotal rank, first initiated into the
mysteries of the goat, as a preparation for the higher
and more divine mysteries of Isis.

The mysteries of the goat, and the sublimer arcana of
Isis, as in fact all the esoteric interpretations of the


Egyptian cult, was a sacred trust which was known
only to the initiated priesthood (and some secrets were
imparted to only a chosen few of the most enlightened
and most trusted priests), and was guarded so zeal-
ously and successfully that little is known concerning
them. While their religion was clearly phallic — re-
cognizing both masculine and feminine creative deities
and the necessity of their sexual union in producing
new beings, and while these views were very realistic-
ally represented in their religious ceremonies, still the
worship — or, at least, the ' ' mysteries " — of the fem-
inine were the more exalted.

In later times, the goat was an important element in
the initiations, ceremonies, and occult work of the

But the Templars, in introducing the Goat of Mendes,
and in the inauguration and continuation of their sahat,
were only adapting to their use a well-known ancient,
effective and occult ceremony — which, to the instructed
and intelligent initiate, had a holy esoteric interpretation,
and Avhich was well calculated to test, secure, and
maintain the neophyte's integrity, endurance, and en-

The obscene sabat of the sorcerers bore the same
relationship to the Templar ceremonies that prostitution
does to holy wedlock.

The Templars, by a series of impressive and instructive
ceremonies, sought to teach transcendent truths, which,
being contrary to the dogmas of the church, were unsafe
to teach openly. For this reason the neophyte was



severely tested and rigidly vowed to secrecy. The
profane sabat, or, as it was called, the " witches sabat,"
was practiced by those who mistook the shadow for the
substance, and who engaged in the wild orgies — not
for enlightenment — but for selfish gain or lustful
gratification — and were secret because they were

Osiris was represented as a man with an enormous
movable phallus, to signify the prolific procreative
power of the good generative principle. He was
sometimes represented with thi-ee phalli, to symbolize
his active creative energy in the three elemental Avorlds —
air, earth, and water. The women carried these man-
ikins in their sacred processions in some of their
religious ceremonies.

Typhon was the personification of the evil power or
destroyer, and was represented by the Hippopotamus —
the most savage animal known to the Egyptians. He
was also represented by material fire. To show the

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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 8 of 12)