Benjamin Walker - edited and adapted by Gilgongo!


The biologist Lyall Watson says 'the journey down the four-inch
birth canal is probably the most dangerous we ever take.' It has
been said that for some weeks before birth the foetus is aware
of the catastrophic nature of its forthcoming experience.
Occasionally its fear is expressed vocally. Cases have been
recorded of children crying out while still in the womb. This
cry, called the vagitus uterinus, 'uterine cry,' may sound like
a whimper, or like a bleat, a howl or yelp. People who have
heard it describe the experience as unforgettable, and one of
the most eerie imaginable. It is entirely different from the
first normal cry the baby makes after birth. 

New-born children have commonly been regarded as unclean
creatures. The Mahabharata says, 'Man is born out of lust,
engendered by blood and semen, and emerges mixed with excrement
and water.' St Augustine wrote 'Inter faeces et urinam nascimur'
(We are born between excrement and urine.)

Many mammals eat the placenta after the birth of their young,
and it is believed that in earlier times humans always did the
same thing. Until a century ago many chemist shops in Europe
dispensed dried human placenta as a regular item. In modern
medicine, placentas are processed into gamma globulin, a
life-saving protein that increases the level of antibodies when
injected. The Philippines export about 230,000 placentas every
year to the USA for this purpose. 


Breasts have a prolific symbolism. The association patterns
built up in the infant's mind with the maternal bosom are
regarded by many psychologists as the origin of a wide range of
cultural and social activities, and have been attributed to the
development of sculpture and the plastic arts.

In Christian Europe, exposure of the breasts followed the
vagaries of fashion, although it was always opposed by the
church. Tudor women wore bodices which displayed the nipples, a
fashion that returned in the eighteenth century. Revealed
breasts were also a sign of virginity, and Queen Elizabeth I,
'The Virgin Queen,' often wore gowns that exposed her breasts
for reasons of state. 

Not uncommon in medical annals are cases of women having more
than two breasts (polymastia), more than two nipples
(polythelia), or false nipples situated outside the area of the
bosom (hyperthelia or pseudothelia). Anne Bolyn, second wife of
Henry VIII, was multibreasted. 


In earlier times woman's periodical association with dark and
evil-smelling blood, exuded from the innermost recesses of her
person, made her a symbol of psychic pollution. It has been said
that the reason why the adjective 'bloody'  is regarded as
indecent is because of their implied association with menstrual

It has been suggested that the segregation of menstruating
females in a special area reserved for them, a practice common
in many societies, was the foundation of all taboos and
initiation rites. Here girls were taught the secrets of the
feminine functions, fertility rituals, the rules of sexual
intercourse, ways of preventing conception and love-magic,
including the use of herbs and poisons. This secrecy surrounding
menstruation may have aroused sex-envy in the male and caused
him to adopt his own 'mysteries' in imitation of these exclusive
female rites.  


In folk etymology the word virgin comes from vir (Latin. 'man')
and gyne (Greek. 'woman'), a man-woman or androgyne, a complete
person. A virgin has the whole potential of the total original
human being. The true virgin is unique, and can be recognised by
her behaviour, her voice, her walk, her looks, the shape of her
breasts, her urine, her smell and various other characteristics.
The act of taking the virginity of a girl is known as
defloration. For the girl it is the end of maidenhood and the
beginning of womanhood; the transition from 'maidenflower to
fruit-mother.' Some occultists also believe that at the moment
of defloration a powerful impulse of psychic energy is released.
To the black magician, a virgin represents an untapped source of
occult energy, and in one secret sex rite he deflowers a girl,
and uses the spark that flashes forth to empower his magical
operation. Thereafter she is of no more use to him than the husk
of a shelled peanut. Yeah. 


The word vulva has a root meaning signifying a revolving and
circular motion, and in occultism the vulva is conceived of as a
talismanic vortex, a whirling life force that concentrates a
fiery essence. Hence the once common practice of baubism, or the
exposure by women of their genitalia. The sex organs are
invested with a deep occult significance, and in different
peoples, depending on their religious beliefs, the pictorial,
sculptural or symbolical representations of the vulva may
inspire awe, fear, horror, or be a symbol of good luck and
divine beneficence.

Quite frequently during intromission of the penis, the vagina
seems to receive and draw the organ with a kind of pulling
motion; the muscles contract in forceful spasms and give the
impression of sucking in the phallus. This process, called
invagination, may have contributed to the deep-seated fear that
some men have of the opposite sex and sexual intercourse. This
is manifest in the curious belief in the vagina dentata or
'toothed vulva.' The early Jews spoke of the vagina as beth
shenayim, 'the toothed place,' and stressed the need for
vigilance while entering. 

The fear that a girl might obtain satisfaction by herself before
marriage, and, after marriage, by someone other than her lawful
husband, has also led to considerable tampering with the vulva
in many parts of the world. The chastity of daughters and wives
was maintained, and the honour of families protected by
occlusion (closure) of the vulva by various means such as
infibulation (stitching), or by clitoridectomy (excision of the
clitoris), circumcision (excision of the labia) and the chastity


Classically, the womb was regarded as an independent organism, a
kind of animal within the female body hungry to bear children.
The Book of Proverbs speaks of the grave and the womb being
equally insatiable. Plato in his Timaeus wrote that the womb was
a creature longing to be fertilised. If unfruitful for long it
became restless and angry and left its proper place and wandered
about the body, closing the passages for air, stopping
respiration and causing anxiety, feelings of dread and other
symptoms of illness. Hysteria (from the Greek hystera, meaning
'womb') was long thought to be caused by the womb tearing itself
loose from its anchorage and wandering in the female body. In
Bavaria, the hungry uterus was offered small round morsels made
of cat's grease, honey, nutmeg and other ingredients. It was
believed that while the woman slept, the womb-creature would
emerge from the woman's mouth and partake of the fare and be
appeased. In modern societies, "pre-menstrual syndrome" is a
medically recognised condition that has also recently been
accepted as a legitimate legal  defence in a number of court
cases in the US and Europe. 



Regarded by the ancients of the Middle East as a token of wisdom
and a sign of power. So much so that even Great Godesses of the
early Mediterranean cultures were depicted with beards,
including a number of Bearded Venuses in Greece. The Jews were
enjoined 'not to mar the corners of the beard' (Lev. 19:27)
suggesting that the bearded was to be allowed to grow untouched.
Mohammed, who was bearded himself, charged his followers: 'Do
the opposite of the polytheists, and let your beard grow long.'

In the reign of Elizabeth I, there was a tax on beards in
England, which was levied according to the age and status of the
person concerned. When Peter the Great decided to reform Russia
and bring it into line with Western Europe, he put a tax on
beards, and personally removed the beards of anyone he came

It has been argued that the beard must require a considerable
amount of male energy to help its growth. But when the beard is
full grown, the energy normally diverted to grow it becomes
available for virile purposes. The beard should therefore never
be cut by anyone who wishes to preserve his manhood unimpaired. 


In many early societies the phallus was thought to have a
separate life, mind and movement. Plato said, 'In men the nature
of the genital organs is disobedient and self-willed, like a
creature that is deaf to reason, and it attempts to dominate all
because of its frenzied lusts.' Even St Paul wrote, 'I see a
another law in my members, warring against the law in my mind.'
It was the devil and his minions who controlled the penis.
Leonardo da Vinci, however, wrote in one of his notebooks of the
unruly member: "Sometimes it starts to move without permission
of the man, whether he is sleeping or waking. Often the man is
asleep and it is awake; and many time the man is awake and it is
asleep. Frequently the man wishes it to act and it does not
desire to do so; many times it wishes to act and the man is
compelled to forbid. It seems therefore that this creature has a
life and intelligence separate from man. Man is therefore wrong
in being ashamed to give it a name or to exhibit it, seeking
constantly to conceal what he ought to adorn and display with
ceremony as a ministrant."

It has been observed that as a rule in the case of holy men no
amount of excitement stimulates erection. Modern observation
suggests that this state of apathy is brought about by the
habitual use of weights which are tied to the organ and soon
render it permanently flaccid.


In many places the foreskin, or prepuce, is regarded as a source
of defilement, and it is said that the devil hides under it,
perhaps an allusion to the smegma, the evil-smelling secretion
that quickly forms under it, or to the fact that it is the crown
of the penis head, which is the domain of evil powers. The
Yiddish word schmuk, now most often used as a term of abuse in
North America, means a circumcised foreskin.  

Circumcision is practised in many societies either at birth, or
at the onset of puberty as part of a rite of passage into
manhood. In some places the prepuce is regarded as being
intimately connected with the person to whom it belonged, and
has to be carefully preserved, hidden or destroyed. Some men are
born without a foreskin, the condition known as aposthia,
although this has no ill effects. The prophet Mohammed,
according to popular tradition, was born circumcised, that is,
he lacked a foreskin.


The human penis is quite small compared with the dimensions of
other animals in proportion to their size, although the
preoccupation of Western males with the dimensions of their
organ seems to be a modern phenomenon.

The psychoanalyst, Phyllis Greenacre, uses the term 'penis awe'
to describe the feelings certain people get from the sight of a
penis. Some have even described it as being surrounded by a
halo. Sex-worship at various times has centred on the phallus
and phallic objects, manifesting itself in tree-worship,
pole-worship, snake-worship and so on. Although the vulva had
received homage, it is primarily the penis, the erect phallus,
that has been the special object of devotion. J M Allegro has
advanced a modern theory of the identity of Jesus Christ which
traces him to the personification of a phallic mushroom. 

The penis was regarded in medieval Europe as the devil's organ,
and the devil and his demon company who attended the sabbat had
enormous phalluses, rough and scaly, often bifurcated so as to
penetrate both vagina and anus the same time. Witches had the
power to deprive men of their penises, which they used to
collect in great numbers and secrete them in the nests of birds
or shut them in boxes where they would move about like living
things and would be fed on oats and corn. The existence of such
'treasuries' is mentioned in the Malleus Maleficarum and other
writings on witchcraft. 

Because it was an organ of procreation, a source of intense
pleasure, and thought to have life of its own, the penis has
been accorded great reverence. The practice of penis-kissing,
for instance, is of very ancient origin. In early societies,
kissing the penis of a chief was said to cure disease and bring
strength. Barren women were especially helped if they kissed the
fecund organ of a male. The priests of Canara (India) at certain
times go naked down the streets ringing bells so that women can
perform the religious duty of kissing their sacred member. If
during the operation the penis ejects, the mouth is applied and
the life-bearing fluid is sipped. 


The composition of semen, and how it comes into existence, was a
question that greatly exercised the ancients. Egyptian, Talmudic
and Tibetan theories describe semen as being produced through
various stages of the digestion of food. The Englishman Robert
Fludd wrote that semen had a twofold character, an external,
visible substance and an invisible, flame-like presence
descending from above. Since semen was produced as a result of
'burning' passion and 'raging' lust, the word for burning was
sometimes used for the seed and seminal fluid, like the English
word spunk, which signifies a spark or flame. This idea of the
thermic properties of semen is common, and in the rite of tummo
Tibetan adepts have developed special techniques by which the
gross sperm-energy can be used to generate internal bodily heat
and other physical powers. 

The expenditure of semen was sometimes regarded as a good thing,
and sometimes as a great evil. The Catalonian physician, Arnold
of Villanova, recommended the daily ejection of semen either
manually or in intercourse. The phenomenon of nocturnal emission
is one of the great male taboos, and men have often been
instructed to release 'excess' semen in their waking hours in
order to prevent this embarrassing occurrence. On the other
hand, there were many who valued the semen as a magical and
life-giving fluid to be preserved at all costs. This has led to
the practice of encratism, or sexual restraint, with the object
of developing spiritual and psychic power. All the great
spiritual leaders at the critical period of their careers were
celibates. They were thus overflowing with psychic energy which
they were able to utilise. 


The testes are the ultimate badge of a man's virility and the
test of his worth as a male. Hence the possession of a penis,
but especially of the testicles, was an essential prerequisite
for the priesthood in many religions. No pope could be elected
to the papal office who lacked testicles, and his eligibility
was accordingly tested in the specially built Porphyry Chair, a
model of which can be seen in the Louvre, in Paris. The Pope, it
is said, would sit on the horseshoe-shaped seat and a cardinal,
after checking by manual examination, would proclaim 'Testiculos
habet et bene pendentes' (He has testicles and they hang well).