Archive for the Esoteric symbolism Category

Tantric Art

Posted in Esoteric symbolism with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2013 by alvinavalon

An animal-headed goddess performing fellatio on the elephant God GaneshaThe Tantric tradition of India and Tibet is much broader in its scope than the subset of Tantric Sexuality taught in the West. While Western Tantra focuses on practical techniques, the Eastern form also uses sexual symbolism for purely meditational purposes. As such, Tantric art often contains imagery that can seem bizarre to Western eyes. This Tibetan-style devotional painting, for example, depicts an animal-headed female deity trampling on two small figures while she menstruates into a bowl they are holding. At the same time, she is balancing the Hindu elephant God Ganesha on her hands and performing fellatio on him – in other words, sucking his penis!

Ecclesiastical Autofellatio

Posted in Esoteric symbolism with tags , , , , on December 8, 2012 by alvinavalon

autofellatioWhile explicit sexual imagery is often found in the sacred architecture of other cultures (for example Erotic Indian Temple Sculptures), it is less commonly associated with Christian churches. But it is not absent altogether, particularly from the exterior of ecclesiastical buildings. One image that is fairly common is the Sheela na gig, depicting a naked woman holding open a gaping and exaggeratedly large vulva. Another example is shown in the image here, of a male figure performing an explicit act of autofellatio – in other words, sucking its own penis. This sculpture can be seen on the facade of Cologne Cathedral in Germany, where it is supporting a statue of the 13th century Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden.

Mediaeval Demons

Posted in Esoteric symbolism with tags , on November 23, 2012 by alvinavalon

Detail from Giovanni da Modena's Inferno frescoDemons formed an important part of Christian iconography during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, when they were used to deter immoral behaviour by dramatizing its inevitable punishment. Demons were depicted in a huge variety of forms, combining both humanoid and animal features, and were often explicitly sexual in nature. It was common, for example. to depict demons with a secondary face in their genital region—as can be seen here in a detail from a fresco by Giovanni da Modena in the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna. This depicts a scene from Dante’s vision of Hell (“The Inferno”), showing a whole host of demons of various shapes and sizes persecuting sinners. Many of the demons appear to be raping or sodomizing their victims.

Fascinus

Posted in Esoteric symbolism, Pagan and occult with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by alvinavalon

Ancient Roman depiction of a magical phallus - FascinusFascinus was an ancient Roman deity who, like Priapus, was associated with worship of the phallus or male sexual organ. But whereas Priapus was depicted as a humanoid figure with an oversized penis, Fascinus was often portrayed simply as an animated penis, as in this stone carving found at the Roman amphitheatre at Nîmes in France.

Stone carvings of this kind were believed to possess magical powers that could ward off evil influences. The name Fascinus is connected with our word “fascinate”, which literally means to bewitch or enchant. For the same reason, women in ancient Rome often wore phallic-shaped pendants around their necks.

Yab-Yum

Posted in Esoteric symbolism, Tantric sex with tags , , , , on October 14, 2012 by alvinavalon

Yab-Yum is the fundamental position of Tantric sex. The male partner, representing the God Shiva, sits cross-legged while the female partner, representing the Goddess Shakti, lowers her yoni (vulva) onto his erect lingam (penis) and commences to ride him for an extended session of gentle, face-to-face sexual intercourse. This symbolism is derived from Hindu Tantra, in which the female deity is seen as spiritually and physically superior to the male.

The Yab-Yum position of sexual intercourse (Buddhist version)In Buddhism the situation is rather different. As shown on the left, the female partner, referred to as a “consort”, is physically much smaller than the Buddha. While artistic representations of this type are also called “Yab-Yum”, they are not meant as a practical sexual technique but as an aid to meditation. The male figure signifies wisdom and the female compassion, while the act of copulation represents the mystical union of these two fundamental principles.

Ithyphallic Gods and Demons

Posted in Esoteric symbolism, Mythology with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2012 by alvinavalon

The demon Pazuzu depicted with an erect penis (ithyphallic)Ithyphallic is a word meaning “with an erect penis”, but it is normally only used in the context of artistic representations of gods and demons. In the Christian world, the Devil is often depicted in ithyphallic form, particularly in images dating from the Middle Ages. A number of ancient Egyptian gods are also depicted in this way, most notably Min-Amun. In Graeco-Roman mythology the most common ithyphallic gods are Pan and Priapus. The popular Hindu God Shiva is often depicted in ithyphallic form, as were the ancient pagan gods Baal and Moloch. The image depicts one of the less familiar ithyphallic figures: the Babylonian demon Pazuzu.