The issue of castration can be found in a lot of ancient myths. Saturn cut off his father's penis, Jupiter performed the same operation on Saturn. A wild boar deprived the sleeping Scandinavian god Odin of his genitals, the same happened to Adonis, the lover of Venus. Adonis is usually portrayed with a wound on his hip - a hip symbolized genitals in ancient times. Castrated Indian priests practiced castration in their service. Homer wrote in one of his works that Egyptian priests were eunuchs. History preserved the name of a priest from the era of the XVIII dynasty, Hum Atena, who castrated himself. Apparently, the custom was not widely spread at that time, but was practiced on very rare occasions.
Sacral eunuchs played an important role in many magic and social brotherhoods. Castration was common in certain ethnic groups. Shamans in Northern Europe, for example, were castrated traditionally, like pagan priests of the Algon-quin Indian tribe.
The sexual activity of primeval people was incredibly high. Scientist Zaborovsky wrote in one of his works devoted to baboons: "Baboons stand out among other apes for their sexual lustfulness. The phallus of a male baboon is almost always erected. If a male boon is locked alone in a cage, he will die from his unsatisfied desire to copulate. The smell of a female can drive a male baboon to insanity." A baboon with an erected penis was a divinity in ancient Egypt.
Human beings wanted to restrain and control their impetuous sexuality. Castration was often used to achieve such a goal. Sexual energy was taken away from its natural source to make it work for the mind. It can be the only rational explanation of the myths about ancient castrated gods.
Castrated priests had the following attributes: a mitre, a symbolic representation of a phallus and a loose gown, reminiscent of a woman's garment. In addition, all hairs on the body of a castrated priest were supposed to be shaved off. The most renowned castrated clergymen, Galloi, lived in the ancient world in Syria. Galloi came to Rome and set up a corporation of castrated oriental priests there. The priests wore silky gowns, they dyed their hair white, rouged their cheeks, penciled their eyebrows and had absolutely no hair on their bodies.
Ancient priests from the shrine of goddess Tanit castrated themselves, shaved their heads, wore women's clothes and tried to imitate women's step. Castration was practiced in many Asian provinces in ancient times. Sexual mutilation occurred in orgies arranged by the followers of the Bahus cult. Such orgies occurred on vernal equinox days: people would whip each other to the sound of drums and horns. In the state of ecstasy, people would rip off their clothes, cut off their genitals, run out in the streets and throw them into the windows.
A sect of castrates existed in Russia too. All governments and regimes banned the sect, although it managed to retrieve its activity every time. Numerous litigations took place against the Russian sect of castrates from 1732 to 1930. The castration of Russian eunuchs was performed in several stages. Scrotum would be removed either with a red-hot iron rod or a knife. Penis would be removed afterwards. Female sectarians were also castrated: they would be deprived of nipples, breasts, clitoris and lower lips of pudendum. There was also a third stage, at which men would cut out certain muscles from their chests.
Eunuchs appeared long before they were used in harems. A lot of eunuchs were taken from Persia to the island of Delos in ancient times. Barbers performed the procedure of castration. Eunuchs were divided into three categories: men with no genitals at all, eunuchs with no scrotums, and eunuchs with both penis and testicles, albeit without a reproductive function.
Castration procedures results in heavy bleeding, that is why they became quite interesting for magicians. A penis became an object of magic long with a heart, which was widely used in witchcraft. The ritual of castration was adjusted to agricultural needs, when people became interested in soil and its productive capacities. In certain tribes, people would sprinkle soil with blood flowing from an amputated penis, which would be buried in the field afterwards.
The appearance of the practice of castration determined the moment, when religion took a different orientation and eventually resulted in Christianity. On the one hand, castration was integrated into ancient religious forms and was evolving in compliance with the conditioned reflex principle, by means of associated images. On the other hand, castration was a level, which was used to introduce the majority of moral principles that are still actual, useable, rational and logic in our times. The following peculiar features of the phenomenon can be found at the first stage of its evolution: homosexual priests, insane castrates, insane self-mutilation. The second stage can be described as: chaste priests, mystical impassibility, asceticism, sanctity, a distinction between lustful and spiritual lives and social predominance achieved with the help of sacrifice. Two new rituals appeared: the ritual of castration and the sacrament of holy orders. The rituals spread the following ideas: self-denial, abstinence, self-sacrifice, nobility and sexual morality.