Priapus


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Priapus

(prīā`pəs), in Greek religion, fertility god of gardens and herds; son of Aphrodite and Dionysus. He was represented as a grotesque little man with an enormous phallus. Priapus was important in fertility rites.
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Priapus; Priapic Wand

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In Greek mythology, Priapus was a faunlike creature with an erect phallus. A son of Aphrodite, he ensured the fecundity of crops, animals, and humans. He also presided over the vine, bees, and fishing. While still in Aphrodite's womb, he was cursed by Hera, who had been offended by Aphrodite's pregnancy. Hera cursed Priapus with large, ugly features, including an enormous, always-erect penis. Aphrodite found her son so hideous that she abandoned him to the care of shepherds.

In some modern traditions of Wicca, a phallic, or priapic, wand is used in rites. The priapic wand is carved like a penis, or it may be tipped with a pine cone to represent the organ of fertility. In Witchcraft, the ends of the handles of broomsticks, pitchforks, and riding poles were frequently carved to represent a phallus. These were ridden, like hobby-horses, between the legs, in rites associated with bringing fertility to the fields.

(See also Phallic Worship.)

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Priapus

 

in ancient religion, a fertility divinity originating in Asia Minor. He was considered the protector of vineyards and orchards. Sacrifices of grains, milk, and honey were made to him.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Priapus

son of Aphrodite and Dionysus; grotesque man with huge phallus. [Gk. Myth.: Howe, 233]

Priapus

monstrous genitals led him on the wayward path. [Rom. Myth.: Hall, 252]
See: Lust

Priapus

male generative power personified. [Gk. Myth.: Espy, 27, 224]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
'tertian ague' that she has contracted thanks to Priapus, and
The reader of "Priapus," for example, will have to "see" the pear falling along with the speaker.
witches) are referred to by the Priapus as 'women, who steer human
I thought of Fragilion, that shy figure among the birch-trees, And of Priapus in the shrubbery Gaping at the lady in the swing.
(6) En The Garden of Priapus. Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor, Amy Richlin defiende el origen religioso del latin obscenus, con el que llega a la poesia, considerada para los romanos cuasirreligiosa en muchos sentidos, de tal manera que "the obscene area has its own bards and its own poetry" (9).
In his impish way Voltaire, with a whiff of his customary anti-Semitism, even suggests that such practices could be found among the 'miserable little Nations of the Jews' some of whom 'worshipped Priapus'.
Eye Way: Lascaux Priapus, Tutankhamen crab, Crete amphora, Nazca
These ancient innovators carved wooden statues to look like Priapus, the son of the god Dionysus and the goddess Aphrodite.
The 'garden' deity to whom Margot calls out is naturally Priapus whose evocation here points to Pangloss's 'garden' lesson, where Cunegonde rather than Paquette ogles the philosopher's "raison sufisante." Voltaire's description of Paquette as "tres docile" echoes the advice offered by Madame Florence to the newly discovered Margot: "tout ce que je vous demande a present, c'est de la docilite et de vous laisser conduire" (Margot La Ravaudeuse 14-15).
What Caro describes is actually a hybrid, a femininely dressed marble figurine of Priapus with breasts.
A discourse on the worship of Priapus, by member Richard Knight, combines both sides of the society.