fertility rites

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fertility rites,

magico-religious ceremonies to insure an abundance of food and the birth of children. The rites, expressed through dances, prayers, incantations, and sacred dramas, seek to control the otherwise unpredictable forces of nature. In primitive agricultural societies natural phenomena, such as rainfall, the fecundity of the earth, and the regeneration of nature were frequently personified. One of the most important pagan myths was the search of the earth goddess for her lost (or dead) child or lover (e.g., Isis and Osiris, Ishtar and Tammuz, Demeter and Persephone). This myth, symbolizing the birth, death, and reappearance of vegetation, when acted out in a sacred drama, was the fertility rite par excellence. Other rites concerned with productivity include acts of sympathetic magicmagic,
in religion and superstition, the practice of manipulating and controlling the course of nature by preternatural means. Magic is based upon the belief that the universe is populated by unseen forces or spirits that permeate all things.
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, such as kindling of fires (symbolizing the sun) and scattering the reproductive organs of animals on the fields, displays of phallic symbols, and ritual prostitution. In India it was once believed that a fertile marriage would result if virgins were first deflowered by means of the lingam, a stone phallus symbolizing the god Shiva. Sacrifices of both humans and animals were believed to release the powers embodied within them and so make the fields or forests productive where the sacrifices had taken place. Many ancient fertility rites have persisted in modified forms into modern times. The Maypole dance derives from spring rituals glorifying the phallus.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the documentary, the fertility rites in Obando was cited in Dr.
Their survival instincts led them to perform certain magical fertility rites which they believed could aid the earth, which is the principle of life, against the opposing principle of death (or drought).
Many social historians believe it has much earlier origins, as a fertility rite to ensure a plentiful herd of young reindeer in the local forest.
a dramatic survival of a fertility rite which symbolizes the death of the old year and the resurrection in the spring'.
Significantly, Mama Day sends him to the chicken's nest, associated throughout the novel with the female creative powers (most notably in Bernice's fertility rite [139-40]) that George fears and misunderstands but needs to respect.
Its origins are a mix of legends involving two Christian martyrs, a Roman fertility rite, and the old notion that this is the time of year when the birds choose their mates.
The Samar tree appears to be linked with some form of fertility rite, for at the time of harvesting, when the harvest has been gathered in, there is feasting and images of the horse, the man and the woman along with coconuts are offered to the Samar tree.
But she insisted the ceremony was a pagan fertility rite, not an occult ritual.
Could it be rooted in the excesses of the pagan fertility rite, the Maypole Dance, that was practised on these island before the Romans came?
James Conway's production responds with inexhaustible wit and intelligence, and symbolism, too, for those who care to look for it (and aspects of what occasionally becomes almost a fertility rite are decidedly sexy).
The historic spectacle, linked to an ancient fertility rite, has been cancelled in recent years due to safety fears and the foot and mouth crisis.