Phallus Symbols

Seeing phallus symbols in all kinds of innocent objects is, of course, a sign of a peculiar mind. So don't go on if your mind is peculiar in some other way.
My mind enjoys to have some focus, even when it's idle. When I hike or walk around in some town, I look at everything with some interest but always see if I can "collect" something. Mushrooms, for example, or other edible things during encounters with nature. When I walk through towns or museums, I collect various things including phallus symbols.
A "true" phallus symbol comes into being without its producer being aware of that. It is the subconscious mind that guided his or her hands. Those phallus symbol creators therefore tend to be surprised and possibly insulted if confronted with this interpretation of their work.
Of course, in our more modern times some people conscientiously create phallus symbols, in particular for advertising. In this case they hope that you do not notice the hidden meaning conscientiously but that your subconscious mind will get tickled with the result that you get favorably inclined towards the product and buy it.
Of course it is perfectly possible to see phallus symbols where no such thing - consciously or subconsciously - was intended by the creator and only your subconscious mind is to blame. This may well be the case with some specimen from my collection. You are thus allowed to disagree with me. However, neither you nor anybody else can really disprove my claim. That is the beauty of the Freudian kind of psychology and the reason why scientists do not take it seriously.
First let's look at swords = phallus symbols. The basic relation is clear. For many centuries the male of the species did not consider himself properly dressed without a sword, even in peaceful times. The sword signaled power, wealth and status, of course, but also potency in more than one way.
Here is Dietrich von Berlichingen, who died 1484 and is possibly the father or some other relative of the famous Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen (c. 1480 – 23 July 1562), also known as Götz of the Iron Hand. Every German knows Götz von Berlichingen from Goethe's drama because it contains the immortal words: "er kann mich am Arsche lecken" (he can lick my arse).
     
Sword as phallus symbol
Sepulchral monument of Dietrich von Berlichingen
in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.
   
Dietrich's sword is far too large. The two-dimensional picture cannot do justice to the raw power and physical presence that the sword conveys when one looks at he three-dimensional sculpture. True to the invoked potency of his phallus symbol, Dietrich (probably) fathered 6 kids even so his cenotaph implies that he died young.
Of course, the artist was not conscientiously turning the sword into a phallic symbol. Since Freud didn't analyze him, we don't even know if his subconscious mind was at work.
In our more enlightened times we don't have swords anymore to advertise our prowess but things like that:
     
The bigest
A Krupp WW I "Dicke Bertha" at the Askeri Museum Istanbul
     
Of course, you don't need a phallus symbol to emphasize your prowess if you display the real thing:
  A black knight is a bit unusual in Germany; it's probably Caspar from the three Magi. No need for a sword here.
     
   
Black knight
"Black" knight in Coburg, Germany
     
While your sword is a recognized phallus symbol, this picture shows that the hilt has some potential, too. Ths hilt of the sword below is obvuiously a three-hander.
 
Sword hilt as phallus symbol
This guy has a long one (hilt, that is)
Source: Fresco from 1470 -1520; photographed in the Aarhus cathedral
   
For contrast: here is a modern one that was quite clearly intentionally designed to produce positive feelings towards the product. It is ejaculating at one (circumcised) end and penetrates (covered with a condom-like sheath) a "Brötchen" (little roll, a well-known synonym for the female counterpart of the phallus symbol) with the other end.
 
Edible phallus symbol
Advertising for a sausage in Oslso, Norway.
   
Oslo, the capital of Norway, has a few more interesting specimens:
"Holmenkollen" ski jump construction in Oslo, Norway
  Note that ski jumping was (and possibly still is) an exclusively male sport..
     
   
17.3 m ( 57 feet) monolithic granite sculpture in Oslo park
  You can't get much bigger or harder than this.
     
Here is a little pair of scissors, perfect for embroidery or related activities almost exclusively associated with the female of the species. However, the way it was made rather suggests male activities.
   
Scissors in the shape of a gun with phallic case in Coburg, Germany
     
Here is one example of some special brand of exercise machines in my club. All of them are arranged in a circle, and for some reason this circle is almost exclusively used by females.
   
Typical shape of one type of exercise machine at my club.
     
Going to Church can give you unholy thoughts, too
   
Window in Baroque Church in Mainau, Germany
     
Here is a more subtle one from a baroque sepulchral monument (now cenotaph) at the cathedral in Schleswig, Germany
   
Hint: if you can't see it, connect the red dots
     
The Romans were into mosaics - and not-so-subtle symbols:
   
Mosaic; boy riding very unfishlike fish or porpoise
Source: Museum in Hatay, Turkey (the old Antiochia)
     
Here is a counterpart of a phallus symbol, sort of the female equivalent:
   
Anselm Kiefer; Hermannschlacht
Anselm Kiefer; The Paths of World Wisdom: Hermann’s Battle
Source: Photographed at the Museum and Park Kalkriese, the place where Arminius / Hermann wiped out three Roman legions in 9 AD.
     
There are several versions of this topic. The woodcut "depictsa tangled pantheon of historical German figures, whose portraits are set within a forest and connected by the superimposed rings of tree trunks. It belongs to a series of similar large woodcut collages that Kiefer created in the late 1970s and early 1980s" says the Guggenheim Bilbao.
It takes a lot of training in art appreciation to see rings of tree trunks in the version above. Simpler minds see something else.
     
If you ever wondered why the King was outfitted with a scepter and a "globus cruciger", the apple of the empire (Reichsapfel in German), look at this picture of a really old scepter and consider Goethe's immortal verses:
     
FAUST mit der Jungen tanzend.
Einst hatt ich einen schönen Traum:
Da sah ich einen Apfelbaum,
Zwei schöne Äpfel glänzten dran;
Sie reizten mich, ich stieg hinan.
DIE SCHÖNE.
Der Äpfelchen begehrt ihr sehr,
Und schon vom Paradiese her.
Von Freuden fühl ich mich bewegt,
Daß auch mein Garten solche trägt.
Source: Goethe; Faust I, Walpurgisnacht; every half-way educated person knows this by heart.
     
  So maybe these things signified the King's potential and desires?
 

With frame With frame as PDF

go to Sword Types

go to Critical Museum Guide: Museums in Istanbul, Turkey

go to Leda and the Swan

go to The Ages

go to 11.1.4 Swords of Major Near East Powers in the 1st Millennium BC

go to Swords and Symbols

go to 2.1.1 What, Beyond the Obvious, are Swords?

go to Old Sagas, Heroes and Swords

© H. Föll (Iron, Steel and Swords script)