Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/356

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346 The Religious Basis of Social Union.

by accident. It will be Magic — not the malevolent sorcery of the private practitioner for the benefit of rich clients at the cost of the community, but the public authorized magic for the general weal, which, I believe, is found oftener at the root of primitive religion than is sometimes allowed. That it is wholly estranged from the religious attitude of prayer, entreaty, appeasement, I hesitate to say ; but at least the cool scientific opus operatuni of fertilizing, rain- making, sun-raising, ritual is in the foreground ; and I suspect that when prayer begins to fall half-unconsciously from the sorcerer's lips, he is thinking of an ancestor-j-^?/;/ and not of a nature-j/mV at all.

3. Meantime within the tribe were the mysterious Mothers of the race ; the unknown female sex with its wonderful powers and strange symptoms. When the curtain rises upon history proper, we find over the whole Aegean and Anatolian area, the worship of the Great Mother. In Egypt, in the crowd of animal and (latterly) human deities, Isis stands out — not perhaps so striking as the regal patron the vSun, but far more popular with the common folk, far more active than the curiously quiescent and dummy figure of her spouse Osiris : and it is certain that what survived out of this obsolete religion, right on into Roman imperial times, was her attractive worship. In Hindustan patient research has established the Mother- cult as one of the chief features of the indigenous religion, and its revival in the darker side of Hinduism marks a Dravidian victory over the Aryan father-right and the religion of heaven. The growing tribe, fused with other groups in con?iubiiiiu with all the ensuing complex Tables of Affinities and Prohibited Degrees, was, as we have seen, a dualistic society, with a fierce sex-rivalry and sex- antipathy, separating men and women (in spite of their mutual need of each other) for long periods and at important crises, jealously marshalling the boys and girls in two opposite regiments, overpowering the natural exclusiveness