Why is Sheela Na Gig making her comeback now?
You’ve been called the witch in the wall, castle hag, whore,
Evil eye, devil incarnate,
a hideous historical oddity,
a medieval sermon against sin,
the “grossest idea of immorality
to ever be placed on a house of worship!
You’ve been reviled by Patriarchy,
destroyed in your hundreds by puritanical Christianity.
With no records kept
from when you manifested
between the twelfth and early seventeenth centuries
your meaning is shrouded in mystery.
You’ve been projected on endlessly.
You’ve been a birthing stone,
your mound rubbed smooth by women praying for their wombs to be filled
and labour eased.
You are fascinating and confronting,
humorous, terrifying and comforting.
You are an exhibitionist, vulva splayed,
bony ribs, a face like death, rows of tiny teeth,
breasts pointing to your knees
you are a carnival of grotesque
opening your flaps
like a circus tent.
You are the juice, the feist,
the guardian of the land
and the land itself.
You are a survivor, a shapeshifter, a shamanic prayer.
Your Earth magic and apotropaic powers are rivers in spate.
You are Priestess
of birth, regeneration and death.
Creator and destroyer.
Entrance into the Mysterium.
You are a direct descendant of the neolithic frog goddess,
of vulvas on cave walls
the most prevalent motif
of creativity and creation ever known.
As we rewild ourselves
you are an icon of our potency,
a vital pulse of feral energy
actively suppressed for millennia
but never lost.
You give us freedom, permission to be ourselves,
to inhabit our bleeding, birthing,
menopausing, ageing and death-bed bodies,
to lead with wisdom, joy and resistance.
You mirror our Earthiness, our innate wholeness,
the atavism of our imaginations.
We are claiming, reimagining
and making you in a multitude of media.
Originally carved by masons
You have always belonged to ‘the folk’
and now we are taking you to our hearts again
and wearing you there. You are trending.
Sheela Na Gig,
Why are you making your comeback now?
What do you want to tell us?
Sheela Na Gig speaks:
I have coming back because time is running dry.
Femicide, Ecocide, Mass Extinction and Global Poverty are all intertwined.
The Earth needs a Hera
and so do women and girls,
the trees and creatures
and everyone else
who does not fit the white, heteronormative, Imperialist mould,
who is treated with the same violent disregard,
who urgently needs a voice.
I have come back to help you
take back the hallowed ground.
I am a bridge
to bring the ancient back to yourselves
from the deep well
of your collective consciousness
when Culture thrived.
I am a demand
that history and art history go back far enough
to the time when societies were peaceful and just.
when Colonialism, Hierarchy and weaponry did not exist
so that you may know your truest roots
far, far deeper than fake news
and distorted norms that told you to include yourselves
in the false belief that ‘Mankind’ is inherently violent,
Women and men ‘as bad as each other.’
Archaeology, science and statistics-
Nothing supports it.
I have come back
when you need me most
My message is this:
Power to kill, enslave, destroy and dominate is nothing.
Potency to share and create from the heart of the Earth,
with the Earth
and all that is all life
and the life of life - Love