The Dove

A favorite symbol and accompaniment of the yoni is the dove. “From the affectionate intercourse between the sexes, it was sacred to Venus, and was her constant attendant.” Inman however, seems to think that it is because the dove’s “note, coa or coo has, in the Semitic, some resemblance to an invitation to amorous gratification.”

Still a third reason may be found in the fact that the parent birds among doves, as well as the rest of the pigeon family, nourish the young with the curd-like contents of the crop, secreted by special glands like the milk in mammalia; and that “a young dove, like a young mammal, will die if deprived of its parents in the first week of its life.” Since this “pigeon’s milk” is secreted by both the father and the mother dove, it must have rendered this bird markedly a type of motherhood, and, therefore, of the yoni. We need, therefore, not be surprised at learning that the Hebrews called a dove yonah, and that the very name yoni is applied to this bird in Sanskrit. Nor need we wonder that the Hebrew woman, after bringing a child into the world—an act deemed symbolically so “unclean” as to require her religious purification and abstaining from all hallowed things, including the sanctuary, for thirty-three days—should be commanded by Jehovah to bring either “a young pigeon or a turtle-dove for a sin offering unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation”; since this was but a symbolic homage exacted by the masculine Hebrew deity from a type of the more ancient deity of the female principle; and it was necessary to show that the young mother was too impure a creature to be admitted, even as a worshipper, into Jehovah’s sanctuary without a purification extending over a lunar-menstrual month of 28 days plus five days = 33 days, to make sure of her complete sexual purification from the blood-source both of present and of future motherhood.

The Hebrew word yonah bears such a marked resemblance to the name John or Ion (pronounced Yon) that the dove at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan must have seemed, to the Oriental mind, only a natural accompaniment of John the Baptizer. The same word Yonah appears in the name of the prophet Jonah or Ionah, whose name the Oxford Bible Vocabulary translates as dove….

Since the dove was emphatically a symbol of Venus and other amorous goddesses, it naturally came to occupy a place in the phallic triad on the left-hand side of the central pillar—i.e., the left-hand testicle or “egg” from which, it was said, girls were produced. And when Christianity began to preach its doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, it was small wonder if the dove of Venus fell heir to the same place in the Christian as in the old pagan triad—on the left hand of the Father God (the Son, of course, continuing also to hold his old position on the right, since the Church teaches concerning him that he “sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty”). Here the dove received the name of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Breath, or Holy Wind or Holy Spirit—in some aspects an equivalent of the Hindu Shakti, a term applied long centuries before to the female inspirer of passion in the male. Christianity, however, made the Holy Spirit the male inspirer of the Virgin Mary, when she conceived Jesus. Nevertheless, it was sometimes masculine, and sometimes feminine. Origen expressly makes the Holy Ghost feminine, saying, “the soul is maiden to her mistress, the Holy Ghost.” …. The mother of Confucius, 551 B.C., when walking in a solitary place, was impregnated by the vivifying influence of the heavens. Great Zeus himself, it is said, visited Pythia under the form of a dove. That these ideas all meet in the traditions concerning the conception of Jesus is shown by the fact that the Arabic legends relate that Mary was conceived by the breath of Gabriel, the angel of annunciation.

(pp. 266-270)

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