Min the Egyptian god of the desert and fertility, rain and harvest was one of the strange gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians. He was also regarded as the god of sexuality and patron of the traveling caravans. His worship dates back to the pre-dynastic period and his symbol is found on the El Amrah palette, also known as the min palette. Min was represented in many different forms, but most often he was depicted as a mummiform man with an erect and uncovered penis, wearing a crown with two large feathers. In addition, he was portrayed as having black skin to reflect the fertile black mud of the Nile's inundation, as he was regarded as the god of fertility.
Min holds his huge penis in his left hand and his right hand holds a flail up above his shoulder. While the flail was used to thresh corn and remove the husk, it also represents the power of the pharaohs and fertility. In addition to that, while the flail represents a vagina, his arm represents his penis and the position of his arm in relation to the flail represents sexual intercourse. The image of the god was seen as quite acceptable in those days, as the Ancient Egyptians were very open about sex and sensuality.
In Ancient Egypt, lettuce was considered as an aphrodisiac, rather than an appetizer, as it secretes milky liquid resembling semen. It was also regarded as a phallic symbol that represented the celebrated food of Min, the god of fertility. Min, the ‘great god of love’, as described in a text from the temple of Edfu, located on the west bank of Nile in upper Egypt, is often shown standing before the offering tables, covered with heads of lettuce, which would help him to perform the sexual act untiringly.
Generally, Min was regarded the son and husband of Iabet, the goddess of the east, but in Gebtu, a small town near Luxor, he was considered as the husband of Isis and father of Horus. However, in Memphis he was associated with Ptah, the creator-god, as the composite god Ptah-Min. Sometimes, Min is depicted with the head of a Lioness, as he was linked to the warrior goddess Sekhmet, a woman with the head of a lioness. Apart from that, the composite deity Mut-Isis-Nekhbet, the Great Mother and Lady, was described as a winged goddess with the feet of a lion, an erect penis and three heads, the head of a lion with Min’s headdress, a woman’s head, wearing the double crown of Egypt and a vulture’s head wearing the red crown of the Lower Egypt.
Contrary to the traditional view, the Ancient Egyptians believed that fertility was not associated solely with women, but with men as well and as a god of male sexual potency, Min was honoured during the coronation rites and the celebration of the New Kingdom, the Egyptian Empire between 1570 and 1070 BC. During the celebration, the Pharaoh was expected to sow his seed, thought to sow the seeds of plants, which have been controversially suggested that the Pharaoh was expected to physically demonstrate that he was sexually potent and could ejaculate to ensure the annual flooding of Nile and thus, a good harvest.
The Min Festival, known as the festival of the departure of Min was celebrated by the Egyptians at the beginning of the harvest season, when the image of Min was brought out from the temple to the fields, when they blessed the harvest and played games naked in the honour of Min, the most important of these being the climbing of a huge pole.
The cult of Min lasted for 3000 years. Later, as the central deity of fertility and possibly orgiastic rites, Min became identified by the Greeks with the god Pan.