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 9 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 9 of 12)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

final power of good over evil, it is said Horns castrated
Typhon, and there are statues of the former with the
phallus of the latter in his left hand.

The same idea is found also in the Hindu cults, from
which it was probably adopted by the Egyptians, and
also in the Grecian myths, which were borrowed from
one of the above two sources. Saturn is represented
as having cutoff the genitals of his father. In ancient
times a castrated god — and, therefore, a non-gener-
ating eunuch — lost all claims to divinity. Defeat in
any contest might be condoned, or the vanquished once


be the conquerei* next time ; but lost generative organs
must be restored, or the deity was repudiated. This
restoration was said to be often accomplished — but
that peculiar surgical operation is not now understood.

There may be seen even at the present day on the
walls of the ancient temples at Karnak and Thebes, as
well as in the tcynple atDanclesa (which was built much
later, but in imitation of the ancient Egyptian art),
many phallic designs, which illustrate how intimately
the ideas of virility and religion were interwoven in the
old Eg}^tian civilization. There are many figures of
their gods and kings showing them in manly propor-
tions, and their abundant creative energy or viiile
power indicated by the erected penis.

On the other hand, in the scenes which commemorate
victories over their enemies, they are represented as re-
turning in triumph, with multitudes of captives, many
of whom are shown as undergoing the mutilation of
castration ; and there is seen, in one corner of the
picture, heaps of the genital members which have been
cut off from these unfortunate captives.

Asiatics and Aryans, ancient and modern, counted
the heads of those slain piled up before them. The
Africans of olden time, like their dusky representatives
of the present day, do not count heads, but enumerate
the genitals removed from their captured enemies.

The former gratified a temporary revenge, and buried
or gave to the crows the dead bodies of the van-
quished. The latter took a more lasting triumph, and
utilized the emasculated captives who had a producing


or market value as slaves. This was a practice some-
what in use among the Jews (whether justified or only
tolerated we need not discuss) .

The slave trade of Africa, which furnishes Turkey
and other localities with eunuchs in modern times, is
simply the remnant of this ancient custom. Typhon
is said to have destroyed one of Horns'. eyes, so a cer-
tain order of Egyptian priests were deprived of one
eye — in commemoration of this mutilation of their
deity. Many of the Egyptian priests and priestesses
who appeared in Rome were thus deformed.

The good feminine creative power — passive, recep-
tive, and nourishing — was personified in Isis. This
character was still more generalized, so as to include
universal nature. She says : —

" I am nature, the parent of things, the sovereign of
the elements, the primary progeny of time, the most
exalted of the deities, the first of the heavenly gods and
goddesses, the queen of the shades, whose single deity
the whole world venerates — in many forms, with
various rites — under many names. The wise and good
Egyptians worship me as Isis."

Isis is identified with nature — hence, with the earth
and with the moon. Her representations are innumer-
able, but the cow, either as a mere animal or as a young
and finely formed woman with a cow's head, is the or-
iginal and most sacred symbol. She is also represented
as a woman with a child — Horus — in her lap, or
standing by her side, his mouth at her breast. Figure
210 gives one of these pictures, which is very sug-


gestive of the Assyrian "grove," portraying to the
initiated the ' ' door of life ' ' through which every
human being enters the world. The
whole design shows Isis and Horus in
"the door of life," while the bells in-
dicate the breasts, multiplied in num-
ber and size, so they are sufficient to
abundantly nourish all whom the Door
of Life ushers into existence. The
bells — thirteen in number — are ex-
plained very differently in the Assyrian Fig. 210.
cult ; but the phallic character is always maintained.

The sun over head — which is a symbol found over
the porticos of many Egyptian temples — signifies the
central sun — the masculiue creative power — Osiris. The
crescent moon is again the feminine — the virgin — the
mother — Isis. The position of the sun and moon
together is also creation — sexual union — marriage of
Isis and Osiris.

Notwithstanding Isis is the Divine Mother of Horus —
that is, of all created beings and things — and that this
motherhood is the natural i-esult of copulation with
Osiris, still she is worshiped as the Celestial and the
Eternal Virgin, who, by the use of her Sistrum or
Virginal Magic Wand, drove away Typhon — or evil,
from her presence. This Sistrum, shown in Figures 211-
213 represents the yoni, thrice barred across ^ — thus
closing the Door of Life. The bars are also bent so
they cannot be removed except by the " Celestial
Magic Wand.^^ The Virginity of Isis — the Celestial


Mother — was a tenet of the Egyptian faith at least
fifteen centuries before the Virgin Mary bore Jesus.
The Egyjotians symbohzed their
divine triad by a simple triangle.
They compare the perpendicular to
the male, the base to the female,
the sides to the offspring of the
two creative powers — Osiris as the
beginning, Isis as the medium or
receptacle, and Horus as the accom-
plishing. The pyramid — the ancient
and modern achievement and wonder
Fig.211. Fig.212. Fig. 213. of Egypt — Is thc solld triangle;
each face a triangle, the base and four faces — again,
the 'Tour Great Gods."

Yivant Denon found at Thebes the mummy of a
woman who had probably been a lady of rank. In the
vagina of this mummy there was inserted the embalmed
phallus of a bull, which had, in all probability, been
taken from a sacred animal after his death. It was
then embalmed and placed in its human receptacle as a
charm against evil spirits which the ancients believed
tormented the souls of the dead.

The Greeks and Romans frequently placed figures
of the phallus in tombs from similar motives.

Josephus tells us that the custom of saying grace
before meals was practiced by the Egyptians ; and when
seventy-two elders were invited by Ptolemy Philadelphus
to sup at the palace, ISTicanor requested Eleazar to say
grace for his countrymen, instead of those Egyptians


to whom that duty was committed on other occasions.
In short, they were pnnctihous and scrupulous in their
observance of the rehgious ceremonies. These cere-
monies performed, they were convivial, hilarious,
uproarious, and frequently drunken and licentious — just
like modern Europeans and Americans. They believed
in the transmigration of the human soul — which they
taught passed in its progress through many animals,
returning again as man in about 10,000 years for ordi-
nary men ; but in about 3,000 years for the good and

Herodotus says the Egyptians were the first people
to assert the immortality of the human soul.


The worship of the Assyrians — including the Baby-
lonians, the Phoenicians, the Syrians and Phrygians —
was the same in essence and nearly the same in general
character. Their deities bore different names, and
were, in the different civilizations and times, regarded
as having some peculiar differences of characteristics
and powers ; and were represented under different forms.
They were always, however, distinctly and intensely
sexual, vitally and actively virile. The human organs
of generation Avere their constant and especially cher-
ished S3^mbols. And their worship always included
ceremonies in which the d(;votees enthusiastically en-
gaged in the creative activity of striving to imitate —


without any hope of ever equaling — the propagating
performances of their deities.

The supreme maseuhne creator was by the Assyrians
called Bel; and manifested in the male triad, Asher —
after whom the empire was named, Ann and Hoa.
By the I-'hoenicians he was called Baal ; by the Phryg-
ians, Atys ; and by the Syrians, Adonis. The feminhie
consort of Bel was Mylitta, also called Ishtar. The
Phoenicians named her Ashtoreth, or Derceto, and
represented her as a woman terminating from the hips
down in a fish. The Syrian goddess was also Derceto,
but, unlike her Phoenician namesake, was a complete
and voluptuous woman ; who was, however, sometimes
represented as a, fish to symbolize her fecundity. She
was also called Atargatis, and as such shared honoi-s
with her bastard daughter, Semiramis, who was repre-
sented by a dove ; because the cooing of the dove in
the night sounded like the Syrian word which meant
coition . Cybele — also known as the mother of orgies —
was the Phrygian goddess.

These deities were generally thought of and repre-
sented as distinctly sexed masculine or feminine beings.
They were, however, often worshiped and figui-ed,
realistically and symbolically, as androgynes. It is
probable that at a later period these deities were
generally known — in addition to their local names —
as Jupiter, Juno, and the "mysterious third." Jnst
what this "mysterious third" meant was an esoteric
and carefully guarded secret, revealed only to the
specially favorite associates of the inner circle of the


priesthood. It has been variously explained as the
creative act of the divine creators, the children as the
result of this act, and as the illuminated prophets who
talked with the gods and then instructed the people.
The highest interpretation was "Love — divine impulse
to create."

While the dogmas of these countries named the mas-
culine and feminine deities together, and taught their
equal importance and honor, there were some very
curious practical outworkings. The temples were built
to the goddesses. The male emblems were often very
realistic, and always numerous. The priests and prin-
cipal temple attendants were males or eunuchs, while
the worship paid was principally to the feminine deity.
The men directed the rites and ceremonies, yet the
women were the more enthusiastic worshipers. While
virginity and chastity Avere there, as elsewhere, woman's
greatest treasui-e, and profane loss of them was punish-
able with death, still they enthusiastically sacrificed
both — the men gladly consenting — in religious orgies
in honor of their celestial virgin mother. Women who
at home and in society were modest, chaste, and honor-
able, when worshiping engaged passionately in the
wildest sexual excesses, and even in the grossest
and most unnatural satisfaction of frenzied sexual

The religion — and consequent ceremonies — of Syria
and Phrygia was at one time very peculiar; it was
broadly and intensely phallic, and ran to the extreme
of sexual symbolism and licentious excess among the


masses of the worshipers, while it, at the same time,
required emasculation of the priesthood and temple at-

Lucian describes the Syrian temple and worship at
great length, and in wonderful detail — using, how-
ever, the Greek names for the deities instead of their
local equivalents. The following is an outline of his
statements : —

" The magnificent temple of Atargatis, at Hierapolis,
is situated on a commanding eminence in the midst of
the city, and surrounded by a double wall. The porch
of the temple is two hundred yards in circumfei-ence.
Within this porch, in front of the temple, are two
enormous phalli, each a hundred and fifty j^^ai'ds high,
and bearing the inscription, ' These phalli, I, Bacchus,
dedicate to my step-mother, Juno.' A man once a
year ascends to the top of these phalli, remaining there
seven days. At the right of the temple is a little brazen
man with an enormous erect phallus. Outside the
temple there is a very large brazen altar and a thousand
brazen statues of gods and heroes, priests and kings.
The temple, into which any one may go, has golden
doors, a roof of the same material, and the interior is
gorgeously garnished with a blaze of golden ornaments.
It is filled with a heavy and delicious perfume which
clings a long time to the visitors' garments. On the
left as one enters there is the throne of the sun, but no
representation of that luminary ; because, they say, all
may see the sun himself, and, therefore, need no sym-
bol. There is also the statue of a woman in man's
dress. Next is the statue of Apollo, with a long
beard and clothed. All the other statues are nude.


Next are the statues of Atlas, Mercury, and Luciua.
AYithin the temi)le is a sanctum, Avhich is entered only
by the high priest and his most holy associates. In this
sanctum are golden statues of Juno and Jupiter —
which the priests call by other names. The latter is
seated upon a platform supported by bulls. Juno is
seated on a like stage borne by lions. In one hand she
holds a sceptre, in the other a distaff. Her head is
ci'owned with rays and a tower. Her dress is profusely
adorned with gold and precious stones of all kinds,
brought and presented by devotees from Egypt, India,
Ethiopia, Media, Persia, Armenia, and Babylon. Be-
tween these two statues is the revei-enced but unnamed
* mysterious third.' Thei*e were over three hundred
priests attached to this temple, some of whom kill the
sacrifice, others carry the drink offerings, others are
fire bearers, wdiile the remainder wait on the altars.
They all wear white garments and a peculiar felt cap.
They each year elect one of their number as high
priest, who is, during his term of office, clad in purple
and wears a golden tiara. These priests are all self-
castrated. Attached to the temple are also crowds of
other persons — musicians, galli or sodomites, and en-
thusiastic or fanatic women. All these attendants
come to the temple to the sacrifice, which occurs twice
a day. A peculiarity of their service is that they
make offering to Jupiter (Adonis) in silence, while
their saci-ifice to Juno (Atargatis) is accompanied
with music — for which no reason is given to the

The method and occasion of the self-castration of
the eunuch attendants and of the candidates for priest-
hood was in all respects like the same ceremony among


the Phrygians, which is described by a learned French
author, in substance, as follows : —

" Once each year in the springtime there was a wild
and noisy, tliough a sacred and solemn, festival. It
began in quiet and sorrow, for the death-like sleep of
Atys. On the third day joy breaks forth, and is mani-
fested by delirious hilarity. The frenzied priests of
Cybele rush about in bands, with haggard eyes and
disordered hair, like drunken revelers and insane women.
In one hand they carry burning fire brands, in the (^ther
they brandish the sacred knife. They dash into the
woods and valleys, and climb the mountain heights,
keeping up a hoi-rible noise and continual groaning.
An intoxicating drink has rendered them wild. They
beat each other with the chains they carry. When
they draw blood upon others or upon themselves they
dance with wild and tumultuous gesticulations, flagel-
lating their backs, piercing their limbs, and even their
bodies. Finally, in honor of the god they worship,
they turn the sacred knife upon their genitals and call
upon their deity, showing her their gaping wounds and
offering her the bleeding spoils of their destroyed virility.
When they recover from this self-inflicted unmanning,
these eunuchs — or, as they call themselves, galli —
adopt woman's dress. They are then ready to become
priests, or, failing in that, to take their place as attend-
ants of the temple worship ; or to engage in pederasty
for the benefit of the temple treasury, whenever their
patrons prefer such indulgence to ordinary fornication
with the enthusiastic women."

While this fanatical — but, to the participants, aw-
fully solemn — procedure of the would-be priests and
temple servitors was taking place on the hills and in the


valleys, a very different ceremony was performed in or
near the temple. Tliere the orgy was as wild, but less
bloody, and more licentious, but equally phallic. The
sexual rites were of three orders : First, the devotees
could choose sexual association with the ' ' temple
women," who were available to whoever desired to pay
for their service — the sums thus realized being turned
into the temple treasury ; or they could, if they so de-
sired, engage in what Paul describes as "women
changing' the natural use into that which is against na-
ture ; and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use
of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another ;
men with men working unseemliness." The galli at-
tendants at the temples were also sodomites, and the
price of their uncleanness increased the income of the
temple. Those who did not care to engage in these
rites could, under certain rules, join each other in for-
nication ; and, in many instances, all bonds of blood or
kinship were totally ignored.

The character of the religious services in Babylon is
shown from the fact that the chief temple in that city
was called by the name of Bit-Shaggathu, which means
literally " the temple for copulation."

Besides many other phallic ceremonies, every native
woman in Babylon was obliged, as an imperative re-
ligious duty, to present herself in the temple of Mylltta,
and, once in her life, deliver herself to a stranger.
They came to the temple wearing a crown of cord about
the head. Most of them were seated in such a manner
that those desiring their company could pass along


straight aisles among them ; thus securing a full and fair
view of the candidates. Some, however, proud of their
wealth and rank, came in covered carriages, attended
by servants, and remained thus apart. "Whenever a
woman thus presented herself, she was expected to be
in constant attendance until she attained the object of
her visit. As the stranger passed along the aisles,
having made his choice, he threw the selected one a
piece of silver, saying : " I beseech the goddess Mylitta
to favor thee." 'No matter what the value of the sil-
ver, large or small, she must accept it from the, first to
offer it : for it was thus made sacred and applied to re-
ligious purposes. She then followed him outside the
temple to one of the semi-seclusive alcoves provided for
the purpose, and there had sexual intercourse with him.
Having thus performed her religious devotions to her
goddess, Mylitta, she returned home, believing she was
purified. Any subsequent deviation from chastity
would be considered mortal sin.

Many were continually coming to thus present them-
selves in the temple; and, of course, many retiring
after their devotions.

It will readily be seen that those endowed with
beauty of features or symmetry and richness of form
were not long detained, for no refusal was allowed;
while the unattractive or deformed were often com-
pelled to experience a weary waiting.

Similar customs were followed in Armenia, Cyprus,
and in fact in most ancient nations in some period of
their religious development. This practice, however.



must not be confounded, as it often has been by un-
careful writers, with " consecrated prostitution," spoken
of elsewhere.

In connection with the worship of Assyrians and of
the neighboring nations which they influenced, there
occurs a very remarkable, as well as a very elaborate,
symbol. It is of very frequent occurrence in the sculp-
tui-es of ^N'ineveh. It is called by the name of Asherah,
Avhich, in the King James version of the Bible, is trans-
lated " groves," and is, therefore, of special interest to
the Christian world.

Dr. Inman, in his Ancient Faiths, identifies
'^ Asherah" with the female "door of
life." He says: "The Asherah, or
grove, Figure 214, shows a central fis-
sure — the door of life. This is barred
more elaborately than the sistrum shown
in Figure 212, but Avith the same signifi-
cance. Above the fissure is a fan-like
emblem, representing the clitoris — di-
vided into seven parts, which represent
the seven planets, or the seven da3^s in the moon's
phases. Around the fissure is a fringe, as in nature,
which is artistically arranged in tufts or curled braids.
These are thirteen in number, indicating the number of
fertile periods in a woman's life each year. In Figure
215, of wliich the " grove " is the central object, the
periods are also found by counting the tufts on each
side, the one at the top being common to both and
forming the thirteenth.



Mr. I^ewton — an equally erudite student — gives it
a more elaborate interpretation, which is, however,
quite as phallic. The truth probably is, that when
used, it was successively — and, perhaps, contempora-
neously — interpreted both ways, by those whose views
of the relative superiority or equally exalted value of
the male and female principles called for the special
meaning they gave it. According to the latter writer,
it embodied, in a more complex and veiled way, all that
is contained in the interpretation of the Crux Ansata —
or both sexes and their united activity in creation.

The design in Figure 215 shows the grove receiving
the worship of the king and his son or successor and
their attendant genii — their rank and character being

Fig. 215.

shown by their head-dresses, costumes, and the sym-
bols carried in their hands. The kings present to the
grove the '' phallic right hand," the symbol of life and
good fortune. They each carry in the other hand a rod
of life or sceptre. The attendants, each with the right
hand, presents the masculine emblem of the pine cone,
and carries in the left hand a bag or basket, in which is


symbolically stored abundance of energy. The winged
figure above the grove — originally the dove — is the
celestial bowman, Avith string, bow and quiver full of
arrows ; which are for the use of all who desire divine
vitality and activity in the sensual manifestation of wor-
shiping the grove.

There are numerous representations of the grove and
its adoration in many modified forms and combinations ;
but they all agree in the general character above de-
scribed. Always the central "door" barred and
fringed; always the worshipers — kings, divine beings,
warriors, or laymen, offer gifts of phallic and creative
import. The homage took generally — and probably
always — -the form of actual copulation among the

This grove was e\ddently the symbol of Ashtoreth,
or of the creative union of Baal and Ashtoreth. The
practical ultimation in this service took place between
the male and female devotees, who retired to a small
bower, or arched tent, called a qubhaJi — which is also
the Hebrew name of the yoni. Each kadeshah had
such a tent attached to or near the temple or worship-
ing place where homage was paid to the " grove."

Many statuettes found in Nineveh, unquestionably
represent the feminine deity, as the yoni is very ob-
trusively represented — the hair on the mons veneris
being conventionally curled, after the manner of the
beards of the males in ancient Assyrian statues. In
others, the fissure and hirsute appendages are entirely
omitted, '^o explanation is knoAvn for the difference,



The royal collar, here presented, was a common
jewel in Babylon, Assyria, and Rome. It was worn by
all classes in those countries, and is worn now by pious
worshipers of Maha Deva, in India. On the left is the
eyer-recurring masculine triad , representing the Divine
Father, while on the right is the crescent moon,
the symbol of the equally exalted
f e m i n i n e creatress — the eternal
Virgin-Mother. The horned cap,
Fig.216. next to the trident, is the signature of

royalty — or of tlie diviue man — the acting creator or
" word." The cross here again represents cooperative
activity of the divine creators in generating humanity —

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11 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 9 of 12)