Last night I started chatting about Mercury and made allusions to a forthcoming post about Him and various regional Italian celebrations and perhaps even putting the sex back into His lore. Looks like we have to turn elsewhere, at least to start:
"We are singing for the sake of Eshu
He used his penis to make a bridge
Penis broke in two!
Travellers fell into the river."
" In condomble, Brazilian orisha worship, Exu rules over sexual intercourse"
The Roman lore surrounding Mercury, other than the remaining clues of Him being the divine spark of sex itself, is basically devoid of anything sexual. What does the lore tell us? We hear about being a messenger, about commerce, thievery and being a trickster, but where's the lovin? The Greek lore that remains has a glimpse hither and thither: Herme's son, Autolychus, was born of Chione, a Princess he "ravished." Let's not forget that one of the symbols of Hermes is the rooster, aka, The Cock.
Let's get back to Italy, Pompeii to be exact:
There He is, winged shoes, caduceus, and All his "Glory."
Now let's talk about Herms. wtf is that? One of these:
Hermai were boundary markers and also intended to ward off evil. Hermes is a God of boundaries, and a big giant penis pointing at me would certainly scare me off. Well, one that big anyway...
How big were phallic symbols in Italy? (pun intended lol) I'm wearing one right now: The cornicello. Out of all the symbols of La Vacchia that survive today, one of the biggest (there's a theme here, roll with the jokes) is The Horn. Italians who have no idea about their Ancestor's pre christian practices still know what The Horn is and how to use it.
So where did Mercury's Mojo go? Priapus. Argh, more names! Now who is this guy?
That's him. Yeah. He's weighing his, er, manhood. Some say he and Mercury were "conflated" but it seems more like he is the sexual side of Mercury, reduced to a "rustic" deity. A deity of the lower classes, the country folk, not the distinguished citizens who were so refined as to vomit so they could eat more at a party... But I digress...
Right now I'm going to chisel you and give you the best thing ever: Excerpts from Hermes Guide of Souls by Karl Kerényi. There are discussions on Samothrace, Herms, His sexuality and so much more. It's definitely a favorite.
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