An exceptional late medieval German ink drawing survived and was found in Istanbul, Turkey. The drawing shows a tree in a vase and the branches have two large phalluses (with a tail) and two small phalluses. There are also two little angels, putti, of which one nourishes a phallus in its arms, the other angel is in the process of plucking a phallus from the tree.
Chapter seven of the Malleus Maleficarum provides a description of how to cast a spell on a male member. When a young man ended his relationship with a girl, he “lost” his penis and his abdomen became devoid of all male distinguishing marks. At an inn, a woman asked him why he was so sad. She advised him to compel the girl, even using force if necessary, to return his penis. When the girl claimed to be innocent, the young man pretended to strangle her. Then she reached with her hand between his thighs and said “I herewith return your penis.” As of that moment, the young man had his penis again, all was back as it was before
In the 1970s and early 1980s, newspapers reported incidents of genital shrinking in Western Nigeria. Since late 1996, a small-scale epidemic of genital shrinking was reported in West African nations. Victims in the African outbreaks often interpreted the experience as genital theft, accusing someone with whom they had contact of "stealing" the organ and the spiritual essence, causing impotence. The perceived motive for theft was associated with local occult belief, the witchcraft of juju, to feed the spiritual agency or to hold the genital for ransom. Social representations about juju constitute consensual realities that propose both a means and motivation for genital-shrinking experience.
The epidemic began in Nigeria and Cameroon, and spread to Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal by 1997. Cases were reported in Cotonou, Benin where mobs attacked individuals accused of the penis theft and authorities ordered security forces to curb the violence, following the deaths of five people by vigilantes. Later reports of outbreak suggest a spread beyond West Africa, including the coverage of episodes in Khartoum, Sudan in September 2003; Banjul, Gambia in October 2003; and Kinshasa, DR Congo in 2008.
Comparing West African genital-shrinking epidemics with koro in Southeast Asia, the latter has symptoms centered on genital retraction (instead of shrinkage) and fear of death (which is absent in African cases). A study analyzing the West African epidemics from 1997 to 2003 concluded that rather than psychopathology, the episodes were product of normal psychological functioning in undisturbed individuals, who were influenced by the local cultural models or social representations
it's really cool that - got just enough abstraction within it that it could be a number of things. What's the thing no the left? An altar?
Very often the figures on the two sides of the vase are to be conceived of as coming from the same scene, and the quality of drawing is consistently the same, indicating that one side was not more important than the other
OK, so the thing on the left is maybe some kind of vase, maybe cauldron?
and the branches are on eithe rside of the dick.
There's a clear wing at the base of the dick.
What's the thing on the top? could it be some kind of personification?
Some argue that Dionysus appears, juxtaposed to an offering table, on an Attic skyphos in the form of a large winged phallus with an eye on the glans
He also has this interesting insight about foundational myths... he says that Semitic and Aryan (meaning Greek/Roman) founding myths are very similar, in that they both basically involve Gods as generally benevolent, but also as rule-setting. And the key kick off for any kind of story/drama is that the humans transgress in some way, go beyond what God has proscribed for them.
So the classic examples are the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Evil, and in the Aryan world, Oedipus' solving of the Sphinx's riddle, or Prometheus' stealing of fire.
So this is interesting enough, but Nietzsche also says that there is a key difference between the Semitic/Aryan stories. In the Semitic world, the transgression is coded feminine, involving deception. Whereas the Aryan version codes the transgression as active/brave, masculine.
The pine tree was (like the vine and the fig) a totem plant of Dionysus. It evokes a similitude with the androgynous castrated Phrygian god Attis, who was likewise strongly associated in myth with the pine tree. Attis was consort of the great mother goddess Cybele, identified with Kronos’ wife Rhea in Greek mythology. Kronos, of course, castrated his father Ouranos. The pine is both evergreen and erect in habitus so is a fine metaphor for the phallus – its sticky sap a metaphor for semen.
But formally ‘Na Audiart’ is markedly original and, in its musical organization of themes, anticipates that of many Cantos. Some of the thematic motives also reappear in the Cantos, notably the dendrophilia, which makes a startling entry:
Where thy bodice laces start
As ivy fingers clutching through
Its crevices.. . .
Pound can’t look long at a girl without thinking of trees, and vice versa; of trees, flowers, grass, birds in flight or in song. Women merge into nature; but also into supernature— they ‘ pass through’ ; not, in this case,very happily. The scale of plant-human-goddess is one Pound runs up and down very easily; for him it is a way of expressing mythically or metaphorically certain perceptions of intimate importance to him, a nature mysticism that must antedate his acquaintance with Ovid’s Metamorphoses or any conscious neo-paganism.
Now that I've mentioned Christmas trees I feel that I should share this "special interest" page that I came across..
VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS OF WOMEN POSING WITH THEIR PAGAN FERTILITY SYMBOLS
Just waitin’ for Santa
Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice
Santa’s little helpers