PHALLICISM,. or PHALLISM (from phal lie, from Gk. dai.ialioc, phallikos, relating to the male organ, from pa2.2.6c, phallus, male organ). The worship of the generative power, as expressed most strongly by adoration of the male organ. As a cult, phallicism is typical of the Oriental races, especially Semitic and Dravidian. In Europe its strongest expression is found in Greece, which was under Semitic influence; but as a phase of other worship, rather than as a special cult, it is native to many savage tribes of Amer ica and Asia. 'Under a corresponding name, linga worship, phallicism is still practiced by the na tives of India. There are two forms of phallicism. The lower, and probably earlier, form is found when the phallus itself is worshiped as divine or is regarded as emblematic of sexual passion alone. Ordinarily, in this form, the phallic emblem is the mark of devotion to some deity of lust, who is not necessarily a male divinity. On the contrary, the female deity is more usual and sometimes older than the male. In the latter case we have reverence paid to the divine moth ers, or female forms, of India; to the late-palm, mother-goddess in Arabia, etc.; in the former we find the worship of Dionysus in Greece and Siva in India. In this first form of phallicism there is no notion, or only a very vague notion. of affinity between sexual instinct and the creative power of nature. Among savages the rite in this form is scarcely more than a frankly brutal indulgence of passion; in a civilized community, where excess is frowned upon by a inure refined sentiment. the indulgence tends to become secret. as in the Tantrie worship of India. This Hindu phallicism. with its conventional admixture of philosophy. represents the conditions which ob
tained in Greece when orgies were veiled as Orphie mysteries.
In the second form the phallus serves merely as a symbol of that mysterious force which in spring renews vegetable life and awaken to fresh energy all living things. and phallicism thus re lined becomes the worship of a great divine uni g and creative power. Such phallicism as this Ina% oe the religion of ascetics, like the Lingaites of India. and in this case the phallic emblem is usually too-fold, as the deity is regarded as andreg V11011,, But the two emblems, no longer lea 1 is t. ic, are merely conventionalized shapes, IN are placed in the temples of the male sod Siva. Such was probably the phalli cism of the higher minds in Greece, and to them the orphic mysteries were a philosophical re interpretation of the naive form of grossly ma terial phallicism which alone appealed to the vulgar.
Phallicism is not necessarily primitive, al thiawli found in very savage communities. Among the Central Australians, for example, there are erotic dances, but no trace of phallic worship. Finally it is to be observed that many supposed phallic survivals, such as the swastikas (q.v.) and upright stones, may have in reality nothing to do with phallic worship. Phallicism, however, lies at the base of various savage rites in many parts of the world, Asia, Africa, and America, and was often connected. as among the Aztecs, with higher forms of nature-worship. Consult: Tvlor. Primitim Culture (Boston, 1874) ; Fergus son, Rude Rune Monuments (London, 1872) ; Barton, t!temitic Origins (New York, 1901).