POT, THE MOTHER. It is pointed out by G. Elliot Smith (Dr.) that the Proto-Egyptian biologist, groping after some explanation of the natural phenomenon that the earth and seed were made fruitful by water. formu lated the idea that water was the repository of life-giving powers. The realization that animals could be fertilized by the seminal fluid would seem to have been brought within the scope of the same theory. Just as water fertilized the earth, so the semen fertilized the female. Then, as both the earth and women could be fertilized by water, they were homologized one with the other. " The earth came to be regarded as a woman, the Great Mother. When the fertilizing water came to be personified in the person of Osiris, his consort Isis was identified with the earth which was fertilized by water " (p. 29). A new view then developed. Woman was regarded no longer as the real parent of mankind. but as the matrix in which the seed was planted and nurtured during the course of its growth and development. " Hence in the earliest
hieroglyphic writing the picture of a pot of water was taken as the symbol of womanhood, the vessel ' which received the seed " (p. 178). This idea of the Mother Pot ks found in India as well as in Babylonia, Egypt, and the Eastern Mediterranean. Among the Dravidian people at the present day the seven goddesses are often represented by seven pots. According to E. Thurston and K. Rangacheri, the Padma Sales in the Madras Presidency of India celebrate annually a festival in which their god and goddess are represented by two decorated pots placed ou a model of a tiger. The idea is wide spread also among the Celtic-speaking peoples. " In Wales the pot's life-giving powers are enhanced by making its rim of pearls. But as the idea spread, its meaning also became extended. At first it was merely a jug of water or a basket of figs, but elsewhere it became also a witch's cauldron, the magic cup, the Holy Grail," etc. (G. Elliot Smith, p. 1S1).