Since the ancient times, men have worried irrationally about the threats received towards their penises. They grab themselves as soon as they perceive any incoming dangerous force towards their penises. In the Middle age, it was believed that witches had the ability to make penises disappear, and some even kept them in nests as pets.
This practice was described in the Malleus Maleficarum, a witch-hunting manual written by Heinrich Kramer. Although, his writing was considered an absurd and misogynistic text, however it led to countless vicious murders of women accused of witchcraft.
Heinrich Kramer described the witches as lustful and sexually insatiable and that’s why they were hunting penises to keep as pets and toys. Moira Smith in her magazine titled “Penis Theft in the Malleus Maleficarum” stated three case studies in which witches had magically deprived men of their penises.
The first two examples included men who had their genitals hidden through some magical illusion of witches. These organs were not actually stripped off the body but were hidden. The third tells the phenomenon of how witches kept penises without body as pets and fed them with oats and other cereals.
“What are we going to think of those witches who somehow have penises in large numbers, twenty or thirty, and lock them together in a bird’s nest or in a box, where they move like living members, eating oats and other food? This has been seen by many and is a common theme of conversations. It is said that everything is done by the work of the devil”
Kramer goes on to describe a castrated man who approached a witch to restore his penis. The witch told him to climb a particular tree where the nests contained several penises and he was asked to pick any one and he picked a large one that belonged to a priest.
A Historian, Johan Mattelaer published an article in 2010 where he talked about the penis tree. Between the end of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century, the phallus tree was a phenomenon. These trees flourished throughout Europe, according to his research: a fourteenth-century French manuscript contains two images of nuns harvesting penises on trees and tucking them into their clothes.
In 2000, archaeologists discovered a particularly impressive specimen of a penis tree: a huge 13th century mural in Tuscany. It represents a tree covered with male sexual organs which were disproportionately large and clearly in a state of excitement.
“At the base of the tree are eight women, two of whom seem to be fighting for a penis and one of which is trying to remove one from a branch with a stick. Next to them there is another woman who seems to be less involved, but who, on a closer inspection, has one of the fruits of the tree that protrudes from the bottom”
The penis tree myth raises a weird question. If witches were lustful and sexually insatiable why in the world do they need men? Also, if witches actually stole penises and kept them in cages and fed them with oats; does it mean that penises have digestive system? Also, during that time that the penises are stolen magically, would the victims still be able to have sex?