The Phallus: Sacred Symbol of Male Creative Power

The Phallus: Sacred Symbol of Male Creative Power


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The Phallus: Sacred Symbol of Male Creative Power by Alain Danielou, Alain Daniilou

Beginning with an overview of the symbolism of creative forces in general, The Phallus first examines the representation of male fertility in such forms as the menhirs or standing stones of prehistoric Europe; the Mahalinga and Svayambhu of India; and the ancient Greek Omphalos. The second part of the book surveys the presence of ithyphallic gods in archaic shamanistic religions (the Lord of the Animals), the Greek pantheon (Hermes, Priapus), and the Hindu deities (Ardhanarishvara, the androgyne). Danielou also explores the role of Shaivist and Dionysian initiatory rites in bringing men into communion with the creative forces of life. Illustrated throughout with photographs and line drawings of European and Indian art, The Phallus celebrates the expression of the masculine in the religious traditions of East and West.

Phallic imagery, in one form or another, may be found in the artistic traditions of virtually every world culture since prehistoric times. Alain Danielou here unveils the religious impulse underlying art that at first glance seems to have no purpose beyond the erotic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780892815562
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 11/28/1995
Edition description: Original
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Alain Daniélou (1907-1994) wrote more than thirty books about the philosophy, religion, history, and arts of India and the Mediterranean. Following a series of successful careers as a dancer, musician, and composer (Cocteau, Diaghilev, and Stravinsky were among his friends), Daniélou settled in India and spent fifteen years there in the study of Sanskrit, philosophy, and music. After numerous university appointments in India, he returned in 1963 to Europe, where he established the Institute of Comparative Music Studies. Daniélou's other books include The Complete Kama Sutra; Gods of Love and Ecstasy; Myths and Gods of India; and Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation.

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