THERE: is in Hindostan an emblem of great sanctity, which is known as the Linga-Yoni. It consists of a simple pillar in the center of a figure resembling the outline of a conical ear-ring, or an old-fashioned wooden battledore. Dr. Inman says:
Yoni is of Sanskrit origin. Yauna, or Yoni, means (1) the vulva, (2) the womb, (3) the place of birth, (4) origin, (5) water, (6) a mine, a hole, or pit. As Asher and Jupiter were the representatives of the male potency, so Juno and Venus were representatives of the female attribute. Moore, in his "Oriental Fragments,", says: "Oriental writers have generally spelled the word, 'Yoni,' which I prefer to write 'IOni.' As Lingham was the vocalized cognomen of the male organ, or Deity, so IOni was that of hers." Says R.P. Knight: "The female organs of generation were revered as symbols of the generative powers of Nature or of matter, as those of the male were of the generative powers of God. They are usually represented emblematically by the shell Concha Veneris, which was therefore worn by devout persons of antiquity, as it still continues to be by the pilgrims of many of the common people of Italy" ("On the worship of Priapus," p. 28). If Asher, the conspicuous feature of the male Creator, is supplied with types and representative figures of him self, so the female feature is furnished with substitutes and typical imagery of herself.
might infer that Solomon was acquainted with the figure of the sistrum, when he said, "A garden inclosed is my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed" (Song of Sol. iv, 12). The sistrum, we are told, was only used in the worship of Isis, to drive away Typhon (evil).
Equivalent to Iao, or the Lingham, we find Ab, the Father, the Trinity, Asher, Anu, Hea, Abraham, Adam, Esau, Edom, Ach, Sol, Helios (Greek for Sun), Dionysius, Bacchus, Apollo, Hercules, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Jupiter, Zeus, Aides, Adonis, Baal, Osiris, Thor, Oden, the cross, tower, spire, pillar, minaret, tolmen, and a host of others; while the Yoni was represented by Io, Isis, Astarte, Juno, Venus, Diana, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hera, Rhea, Cybele, Ceres, Eve, Frea, Frigga, the queen of heaven, the oval, the trough, the delta, the door, the ark, the ship, the chasm, a ring, a lozenge, cave, hole, pit, Celestial Virgin, and a number of other names. Lucian, who was an Assyrian, and visited the temple of Dea Syria, near the Euphrates, says there are two phalli standing in the porch with this inscription on them, "Those phalli I, Bacchus, dedicate to my step-mother Juno."
From time immemorial to our day, it is, to be noticed the man is put first and foremost, the woman next. He is three; she is one. Christians have perpetuated the triune male God as Abba, father, but left out the mother altogether, except among the Catholics. The sacred four "dignitaries"--of which Rev. Cotton Mather said "the Devil is one"--are only made up by adding Satan, the Typhon or Dagon of antiquity.
Our singular Fig. 8 has, in some measure, descended
to comparatively modern times. In Ireland, up to almost the last century, there were three Christian churches over whose doors might be seen the coarsely sculptured figure of a nude woman exposing the maar (pudenda) in the most shameless manner, the idea being that the sight thereof brought good luck. The horse shoe is the modern representative of the organ in question, and is often fastened over the main entrance door by the superstitious for the same object.
The Papal religion is essentially feminine, and built on the ancient Chaldean basis. It clings to the female element in the person of the Virgin Mary. Naphtali (Gen. xxx, 8) was a descendant of such worshipers, if there be any meaning in a concrete name. Bear in mind, names and pictures perpetuate the faith of many peoples. Neptoah is Hebrew for "the vulva," and, Al or El being God, one of the unavoidable renderings of Naphtali is "the Yoni is my God," or "I worship the Celestial Virgin." The Philistine towns generally had names strongly connected with sexual ideas. Ashdod, aish or esh, means "fire, heat," and dod means "love, to love," "boil up," be agitated," the whole signifying "the heat of love," or "the fire which impels to union." Could not those people exclaim, Our "God is love?" (I. John iv, 8). The amatory drift of Solomon's Song is undisguised, though the language is dressed in the habiliments of seeming decency. The burden of thought of most of it bears direct reference to the Linga-Yoni. He makes a woman say, "He shall lie all night betwixt my breasts" (S. of S. i, 13). Again, of the phallus, or linga, she says, "I will go up to the palm-tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof" (vii, 8). Palm-tree and boughs are euphemisms of the male genitals. Solomon, like the ancients before him, worshiped at the high sanctuary of sex.
ONE would naturally suppose the color of a Deity would be the same as the complexion which belonged to the worshipers of it. Black Gods and Goddesses were met with among the Egyptians, Hindus, Greeks and Romans--yes, in Europe.) In explanation of these facts, Dr. Inman remarks that "the female generative structure in some countries is of a dark or black color; that Buddha and Brahma were as often painted black as white." There was a black Venus at Corinth. Osiris, Isis and her child Horus, were black. A black Virgin and black child are to be seen at St. Stephens, in Genoa; at St. Francisco, in Pisa; at St. Theodore, in Munich; and in other places. These Somber facts seem to explain a passage in the Song of Solomon, where a woman is made to Say, "I am black, but comely" (i, 5).
The reason for black Deities assigned above is less satisfactory than attends the author's explanations generally; for the same reason may apply among the same people to their male Gods, which are perhaps more often painted white or red, and for the same local reason. Mahadeva in India was often painted red. Some ancient figures of Bacchus, the Greek personification of Mahadeva, have been found painted red. In the Townley Collection a bisexual figure of Bacchus was, like his analogue, Priapus, painted red. Ezekiel says (xxiii, 14), "the images of Chaldean men portrayed upon the wall were with vermilion."
The experience of those concerned in opening Etruscan tombs shows that whenever the phallus is found therein it is painted red. Adam means red or ruddy.
"My beloved [he] is white and ruddy (Sol. Song V, 10).
"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm, for love is strong as death" (Sol. Song viii, 6). Solomon's seal was in outline the shape of the unit in the field of Fig. 9. The same lozenge-shaped figure was the symbol of Astarte, the Celestial Virgin, wherefrom Solomon may have obtained it. Layard and others state that such homage as is here depicted in the above seal is actually paid, in some parts of Palestine and India, to the living symbol, the worshiper, on bended knees, offering to it bread before he eats it, with or without silent prayer. A corresponding homage is paid by female devotees to the masculine emblem of the Sheik, or Patriarch, which is devoutly kissed by all the women of the tribe on one solemn occasion during the year, when the old ruler sits in state to receive the homage. The emblem is, for many, of greater sanctity than the crucifix. Such homage is depicted in Picart's "Religious Ceremonies of all the People of the World," plate 71.
It may easily be understood that few people would be so gross as to use in religious worship true similitudes of these parts, which their owners think it shame to speak of, and a punishment or reproach publicly to show. As there is circumlocution in language, so there is symbolism in sculpture. Words and figures are adopted which are ingeniously vailed so as not to be understood by the
multitude, yet significant enough to the initiated. The palm-tree, the wine-press, the pomegranate, the tower, steeple, hand gestures, are quite innocent in common conversation, while in mythoses they have a hidden meaning. The scholar is aware there are occasions on which no such reticence was used, but where an excessive shamelessness prevailed. Of their nature it is unnecessary to speak further than to say that the exposures were made with the impulse of a religious idea, such as that which might have actuated David when he leaped and danced naked before the ark, and in sight of the women of his household (II. Sam. vi, 14-20). Moderns who have not been initiated in the ancient mysteries, and only know the emblems considered sacred, have need of anatomical knowledge and physiological lore ere they can see the meaning of many a sign. Note the Greek Delta inverted ▽, the door of life; likewise the concha shell, which was held to typify the same feminine organ.
THE Fish was a sacred being. Fish are found among the venerated pictures and sculptured works of the Buddhists, Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Phnicians.
pointing to the above figure as the visible expression thereof, he might say--leaving out one person, as many Christians do--"There are three that bear witness in earth--the spirit, the water, and the blood--and these three agree in one" (I. John v, 8). That one may be the yoni, though it be not named, neither would he name the fig-leaf triad, or fish, but all would understand that figurative language Bays one thing and means two of more.
Tell me, is it religion
To say, The Gods are three?
To attain to God, within you
Your search for him must be.
Caldwell's Indian Folk Lore.
The statue of Isis with her child Horus has a fish on her head; likewise in Fig. 12 Ardanari stands with an intrepid dolphin on his or her head--for one head seems to answer for the two persons.
The modern idea in regard to the physical influence of fish as an article of diet is, that it is specially adapted to repair waste brain tissue, on account of the phosphatic elements it contains. Phosphates are larger constituents of brain than of other portions of the body. But the ancients took to fish repasts wholly for another end, and for the support of a full vein of divine ardor. They believed it benefited the virile powers. Says Dr. Inman: "I have ascertained that eating fish for supper on Friday night is a Jewish custom. It is well known that fecundity among that people is a blessing specially promised by the Omnipotent. So it is thought proper to use human means for securing the desired end on the day set apart to the Almighty"--Almighty Asher of old. "The Hebrew Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday. Three meals are to be taken during the day, which are
supposed to have a powerful aphrodisiac operation. The ingredients in their dishes are meat and fish, garlic and pepper. The particular fish selected, as near as I can determine, is the skate that which in the Isle of Man is still supposed to be a powerful satyron?"
Layard remarks: "In our days, indeed, the Druses of Lebanon, in their secret vespers, offer a true worship to the sexual parts of the female, and pay their devotions every Friday night--that is to say, the day which was consecrated to Venus, likewise the day in which, on his side, the Mussulman finds in the code of Mahomet the double obligation to go to the mosque and to perform the conjugal duty."
Mythology informs us that the body of Osiris, when killed by Typhon, was carried in a chest to Byblos, there found by Isis and brought back to Egypt; but the malignant demon cut up the body, and threw the places away. All were recovered but the pudenda, which were replaced by a model thereof, and this image, enshrined in an ark, became one of the symbols of the God. The missing parts are said to have been eaten by a fish. Thus we see "the Ark," "the Fish," and "Good Friday," brought into parallelism. We are also told that the holy chest (ark) of Isis was carried once in a year, in November, to the seaside; the priests, during the passage, pouring drink-offerings of water upon it from the river. The signification of this lavement must at once be apparent to those who know that the Hebrew mi in the text signifies not only "water," but "semen virile."
In the foregoing we have seen how the eroto-religious feeling of antiquity deified the male members of the body under Asher, Ann, and Hea. We here perceive the same genius has divinized the female structure. With a fish
diet, the male God was believed to be omnipotent and all-powerful. Joshua was the son of Nun. Nun in Hebrew is the name for fish; it also signifies a woman, or, rather, the sexual part of a woman.
THE Tortoise, like the elephant, ox, ram, goat, ass, serpent, fish, was an object of pious veneration. In the Hindu mythos, the tortoise was the form taken by Vishnu in his second Avatar-Incarnation. The statue of the celestial Venus stands with one foot on the tortoise. Resemblances in form, similitudes in type, constituting as they did in the Hindu mind the highest power of expression, logic was found in comparisons. A glance at
"MOTHER Earth" is a legitimate expression, only of the most general type. Religious genius gave the female quality to earth with a special meaning. When once the idea obtained that our world was feminine, it was easy to induce the faithful to believe that natural chasms were typical of that part which characterizes woman. As at birth the new being emerges
from the mother, so it was supposed that emergence from a terrestrial cleft was equivalent to a new birth. In direct proportion to the resemblance between the sign and the thing signified was the sacredness of the chink, and the amount of virtue which was imparted by passing through it. From natural chasms being considered holy, the veneration for apertures in stones, as being equally symbolical, was a natural transition. Holes, such as we refer to, are still to be seen in those structures which are called Druidical, both in the British Islands and in India. It is impossible to say when these first arose; it is certain that they survive in India to this day. We recognize the existence of the emblem among the Jews in Isaiah li, 1, in the charge to look "to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged." We have also an indication that chasms were symbolical among the same people in Isaiah lvii, 5, where the wicked among the Jews were described as "inflaming themselves with idols under every green tree, and slaying the children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks." It is possible that the "hole in the wall" (Ezek. viii, 7) had a similar signification. In modern Rome, in the vestibule of the church close to the Temple of Vesta, I have seen a large perforated stone, in the hole of which the ancient Romans are said to have placed their hands when they swore a solemn oath, in imitation, or, rather, a counterpart, of Abraham swearing his servant upon his thigh--that is, the male organ. Higgins dwells upon these holes and says: "These stones are so placed as to have a hole under them, through which devotees passed for religious purposes. There is one of the same kind in Ireland, called St. Declau's stone. In the mass of rock at Bramham Crags there is a place made for
the devotees to pass through. We read in the accounts of Hindostan that there is a very celebrated place in Upper India, to which immense numbers of pilgrims go, to pass through a place in the mountains called the Cow's Belly." In the Island of Bombay, at Malabar Hill, there is a rock upon the surface of which there is a natural crevice which communicates with a cavity opening below. This place is used by, the Gentoos as a purification of their sins, which they say is effected by their going in at the opening below and emerging at the cavity above--"born again." The ceremony is in such high repute in the neighboring countries that the famous Conajee Angria ventured by stealth, one night, upon the Island, on purpose to perform the ceremony, and got off undiscovered. The early Christians gave them a bad name, as if from envy: they called these holes "Cunni Diaboli" ("Anacalypsis," p. 346).