Mirth and Reverence

The Green Phallus
I (Melanie) love penises. 
I have worn a penis necklace often for decades:
I have worked to keep penises intact. 
I love Anaïs Nins story of a woman who loved penises so much that she pretends to faint during a Scottish parade so as to get a better view. 
And yet, I am uncomfortable with the adventures of “green phallus”.
When I first saw the green phallus at a festival, I loved it. It embodied so many things I love: fiber arts, amigurami, penises.
But as time traveled on, I began to feel uncomfortable with green phallus. Or rather, the way it was being treated. Paraded around like a joke. People openly performing sexual acts upon it. Now, you all know that I am bawdy. But in public space, with children present, at 10 in the morning? Even my strong stomach turned. What if this were a vulva? Vulvas are fun. They are sexy. They are sacred. 
But can you imagine a toy vulva being licked, worn, fucked, etc, at a morning meeting?  It might be upsetting!
Chris also feels very conflicted about the adventures of the Green Phallus.  On one hoof, he loves the humor, and holds humor as a sacred thing. He enjoys the light-hearted play around the Green Phallus adventures.  We don’t want to offend anyone, many of whom we love and respect, who have been having such a good time with it.  
 So, we are offering the following in the spirit of balance, and not criticism; to be viewed in addition to the fun, not instead of the fun. 

Our ancestors have employed the symbol of the phallus in their worship for millennia:
Ithyphallic deities are present in many pagan cultures:
Frey, King of Pleasure, Plenty, and Peace:
The God Pole, axis mundi of the God Pole Rite, and site of a beautiful hand fasting at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2011:

So we are torn. Are we being (gulp) puritanical? Do we need to loosen up? Or perhaps green phallus needs to be treated a little more respectfully? What do you think?

Author: thewitchmama

Melanie Elizabeth Hexen is a midwife, regionally famous bellydancer, homeschooling mother and matriarch of the Many Hands House. She has been a witch for 25 years, and her belief system is currently based on the writings of Terry Pratchett and the teachings of Steven Posch. With her coven, the Prärie Hexen, she is creating the Hexen Tradition of Witchcraft.

5 thoughts on “Mirth and Reverence”

  1. I'd say you are spot on, I think that this inappropriate behavior is actually a backlash *against* puritanical fear of genitalia in public. That said, two wrongs do not make a right. and I'm saying this as the proud owner of a raccoon penis bone necklace. ;P

    As someone with the most knowledge about ancient Egypt (home of Min, the phallic male fertility god you posted a pic of) Phalli and ithyphallic gods were indeed venerated, but sexual activity in temples and especially around sexual images was severely frowned upon; these images were kept in a state of ritual purity and hidden from the public most of the time,and touched only by holy people who had undergone a rigorous ritual purification. They would NOT be paraded around as a joke and have sex acts performed on them.

    Phalli weren't even always sexual in many cultures; often times they were used as prosperity or protective charms and nothing more. Winged penis wind chimes have been found in the ruins of Pompeii in ordinary people's gardens for protection:

    http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/gr/b/bronze_phallic_wind_chime.aspx

    The god Bes is very ithyphallic, too, but his phallus acts as a bawdy thing to scare away malevolent spirits. He also plays a drum, and dances and plays with huge penis waving to protect babies and pregnant women. Phallic, but not sexual. The ancients got it, why can't we?

    http://www.touregypt.net/godsofegypt/bes.htm

    I also think it's a matter of what one's motivation…Is one donning a green phallus and playing sexual games as a sort of Dionysian ecstatic rite, or is it done be
    cause it's fun, and this gives you an excuse to finally do this in public? In other words, are you doing it for you, or for the gods?

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  2. I don't think you are the only one who is torn about the appropriateness of the adventures of the green phallus. I'm really glad that you chose to post on this and bring the topic out for at least consideration if not debate.

    Personally I agree that the sacredness is not always well served by casual humor. I also think that the opportunity to expose the phallus in a culture that is so prohibitive is very powerful.

    I'm glad there are many of us that have mixed feelings about it. Mixed feelings are not comfortable but so much more reasonable than blind acceptance.

    Thanks for posting.

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  3. I think some people just don't know how to react to a huge green phallus. For some, it probably triggers some level of uncomfort, conscious or subconscious, and they act that out in various ways. And then there's the fact that a huge green phallus is pretty funny to encounter when you're not expecting it, so some people react with humor, sometimes in poor taste. And then again, a big green fiber art penis doesn't seem very reverent, just in and of itself. If it was a beautiful bronze sculpture I bet people would be more respectful. But it's a very friendly, approachable phallus so folks act accordingly.

    I hope people will treat Green, and all phalli, with mirth and reverence. The phallus is for many Pagans a symbol of the generative power of the universe. It's a powerful symbol, one that should be respected, but also not something we should be afraid of.

    And by the way, I don't think you're being puritanical, nor do you need to loosen up. You've raised an interesting point and started people thinking and having conversations about phalli! Sweet!!

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  4. I have to agree with all of the previous commenters. I've seen multiple large phallic objects at events through the years and always they seem to be treated in exactly the same manner.
    My largest issue has been the timing. Im okay with a bit of the joking but As you said, 10 am when children are around. Let some of the mirth wait until the evening hours.

    Like

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