Monday, May 19, 2008

Sheela-Na-Gig and her Dirty Pillows

I was linky-linking this morning through some Pagan-type pages of Wikipedia, and came across one of my most favourite names…Sheela-Na-Gig. Ah, what a comely lass! Sheela-Na-Gig are ancient stone carvings of women displaying…uh…their yoni. Sometimes pulling it open. Sometimes squatting with their hands on their thighs.

Very sexy.

And folks put them on churches.

Apparently you can find them all over Europe, and there are various and sundry opinions as to their meaning. Me, I prefer a combination of the “pagan goddess” and that of “fertility symbol”. I mean, c’mon! She’s pulling herself open! Giving birth to the world! How can you fight that?!

One thing I miss about being a citizen of a fairly new country (well, new to my ancestors) is that we have no history of this country to reach far back on and celebrate. My ancestors lived in Europe before jumping the pond to the New World, and they had these stone figures all ‘round in Zee Olde Country. But here? In good ol’ ‘Merica? People can’t stand the site of booby-laden Cosmopolitan magazine in the magazine rack of their local grocery store…let alone stone sculptures of women ripping open their idol holes to let the world get a free peek. How repressed we are. How sad. I think I would have been a good Naked Hippie back in the day.

A scholar posited a male version of the Sheela, which he named Sean-na-Gig. Which is Ithyphallic (which is now my new Favourite Word).

If it wasn’t for local ordinances, and the possibility that families would forbid their children to play with my children, I would love to put both Sheela and Sean on display in my yard…a cunning throwback to garden gnomes, or stone bunnies, and certainly much better than those wooden "women showing their gardening butts" thingies.

After all this, I had to look up the video to my sweet PJ Harvey’s song. I listened to this album of Polly Jeans so many times in the early 90s, I didn’t even have to reach for the lyrics whilst playing it. I love you, Polly Jean. You exhibitionist.

(Careful...the sounds gets LOUD.)

6 Comments:

At 8:36 AM, Blogger gr said...

rock on, Mona, rock on....
btw, I have posted recently on pre-Columbian American sculpture and pottery, (Aztec, Inca, etc) which has similar female figures, and I posted a pic of a dude playing with his dingaling, on a pot,so you could say that although the US is a young and uptight country, the land upon which it sits and the previous cultures had a different outlook!

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger patches said...

Repressed sums it up well. The Venus sculptures, the greek pottery, the Kama Sutra, and obscene saki sets from japan. Playboy doesn't really hold up a candle does it?

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Irrelephant said...

Ah, repression. Gotta love it. We need more nekkid gurlies.

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Clowncar said...

Ah, you've entered the cult of Sheela-Na-Gig. She apparently is fond of twins, and hands em out like tic-tacs. A fellow blogger (I'll let her out herself) sez Sheela is responsible for the birth of her twins. Said blogger sent us a pic of Sheela, when we were entering our third year of the hopelessly slow bureaucracy of adoption, my wife touched the picture, and within a week we were welcoming two little girls into our house. They aren't twins, but they could pass for them.

Sheela rocks!

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

That would be me letting myself out.

If I believe in any Goddess anymore it is the Sheela-Na-Gig. (*snort* 'Venus' just came on the radio; She must be jealous) She's responsible for my twins. Specifically, the stature of her in Bunratty Castle is responsible. She has a history of granting twins. Haven't I told this story already?

And it did work for Clowncar and Hux too.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger minijonb said...

yeah! i loved that song. PJ Harvey is the best.

 

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