In Greek mythology, a thyrsus (thyrsos) was a sacred implement at religious rituals and festivals. It was made of a giant fennel staff covered with ivy vines and leaves and topped with a pine cone.
The thyrsus is a composite symbol of the forest (pine cone) and the farm (fennel). It has been suggested that this was specifically a fertility phallus, with the fennel representing the shaft of the penis and the pine cone representing the "seed" issuing forth. It was associated with Dionysus (or Bacchus) and his followers, the Satyrs and Maenads.
Sometimes the thyrsus was displayed in conjunction with a wine cup, another symbol of Dionysus, forming a male-and-female combination like that of the royal scepter and orb.
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