The Phallus: Sacred Symbol of Male Creative Power

The Phallus: Sacred Symbol of Male Creative Power

Language: English

Pages: 128

ISBN: 0892815566

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Beginning with an overview of the symbolism of creative forces in general, The Phallus first examines the representation of male fertility in such forms as the menhirs or standing stones of prehistoric Europe; the Mahalinga and Svayambhu of India; and the ancient Greek Omphalos. The second part of the book surveys the presence of ithyphallic gods in archaic shamanistic religions (the Lord of the Animals), the Greek pantheon (Hermes, Priapus), and the Hindu deities (Ardhanarishvara, the androgyne). Danielou also explores the role of Shaivist and Dionysian initiatory rites in bringing men into communion with the creative forces of life. Illustrated throughout with photographs and line drawings of European and Indian art, The Phallus celebrates the expression of the masculine in the religious traditions of East and West.

Phallic imagery, in one form or another, may be found in the artistic traditions of virtually every world culture since prehistoric times. Alain Danielou here unveils the religious impulse underlying art that at first glance seems to have no purpose beyond the erotic.

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is represented with five faces. THE ALTAR FIRE In sacrificial rites, fire, image of the Destroyer, is called its sign, its lingam. It is the light of Shiva (shiva-jyotis). The altar represents the woman; the yajña-kunda, the hearth hollowed at the top of the altar, is the yoni. The ritual flame is obtained by the rotation of a pestle in a wooden bowl. "Fire, obtained by friction, is considered to be the progeny of a sexual union" (Mircea Eliade, Histoire des croyances et des idées religieuses,

appearance of a man of low estate. In his hand a flaming torch shook. His eyes were red and brown. Sometimes he would laugh uproariously; sometimes he would sing in an astonishing manner. Sometimes he danced lasciviously; sometimes he cried out. He wandered around the hermitages like a beggar.... Despite his dark-colored skin, he was of a surprising beauty. He laughed and sang, winking at the women in such a way that they were utterly captivated. He, who had vanquished the god of love, inspired

Rhodes, described a procession that took place in Alexandria, under the rule of Ptolemy II Philadelphia with an incredible splendor, that assembled together hundreds of participants and paraded more than ten sacred chariots before the luxurious pavilion that had been erected fur the occasion by order of the king. An army of Sileni, satyrs, "ithyphalli," and maenads accompanied the god's images. Tableaus celebrated his prowess or exalted the gifts that he brought to mankind. In an Indian triumphal

Phallus. Mahā Transcendent. Mahat Universal consciousness, the "great principle." Maithuna Copulation; union of Shiva and Shakti. Mukha Face. Mukti Liberation. Nāda Vibration, sound. Nandi Joyous; the bull. Nidhana Closing hymn. Nirālamba Independent divinity. Nirvikāra Beyond change. Pāsha The bond, the snare. Pashu Livestock. Pati Master. Pitriyāna Ancestral destiny. Prakāsha Power of realization or expression. Prakriti Nature; creative energy; female principle. Prāna Breath.

existence requires a different womb to be fertilized. That is why all the different species are called wombs, or yoni. The Purānas speaks of 8,400,000 yoni, or different species residing on the earth. The principle called Shiva represents the totality of procreative power to be found in the universe. All individual procreation is a fragment of it. "The universe is the issue of the relationship between a masculine and a feminine principle. Everything, as a result, carries the signature of the

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