"The mysteries were founded to lead mankind from a bestial to a cleanly way of life; to instruct youth at the proper period in matters which are sadly neglected now, or suppressed altogether, from false notions of the fallen nature of the 'flesh.' The most attractive women were employed as demonstrators of the reality that was set before the initiates to take the place in their minds of misleading fancies. One object of the painful treatment at puberty, prolonged sometimes for six months, was to prevent what the Egyptians termed nnu-hu; nnu, or nen, denoting negation, and hu, seed, spirit, ailment of life. They desired to save the race and ensure progeny.
It was the teaching of sexual matters in the mysteries that led to the establishing of such institutions as those of the qodeshoth, the pallakists, nautch girls, and other forms of the temple hetairaei and the investing of the courtesan with a sacred character. The origins here, as in other things, are traceable at last to the simplicity and not to the depravity of human nature; and it was these uterine origins of the teachings concerning the production and preservation of the race, which alone account for what may be termed the uterine religion, in which the eucharistic celebration of divine love was enacted, and the conjunction of the soul with its source was consummated in the agape of the early Christians, according to the marriage-model of Cupid and Psyche. Davis's plain statement that the rites were intended to teach boys how to behave with women dissipates much mystery.
The customs of circumcision and tattoo were modes of memorizing [p.557] and means of biting and branding in the things that were to be had in everlasting remembrance. Matters relating to the sexes were taught to the children at the period of puberty, with the object of ensuring progeny and avoiding disease through uncleanness; and, as in the Hebrew, the zachar and the memorial were identical. The lizard, in Maori, is named the moke, and moke also denotes the tattoo marks made on the body. Moke probably represents the Egyptian mak, to make, to inlay, work in, composition, to think, consider, regulate, and rule. The maka is also the fighter. The Africans of Abeokuta have a vast variety of tattoo marks, among which the lizard (moke) is the favourite figure."
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