Irish Sheela Na Gig Plaque
Sheela Na Gig Statue Plaque. The Goddess Displaying Her Parts. This Celtic archetype of the Great Mother appeared in folk and church art by at least 1080 AD, but undoubtedly is of much earlier origin.
She may be identical with the war goddess Morrigan, consort to the Dagda. One of her images is found near the ancient goddess shrine of Avebury, where she symbolized fertility; displaying her sexual parts was believed to ward off evil.
Carvings of Sheela-na-Gigs may have accompanied the seasonal harvest custom of weaving corn dollies which dates from North European antiquity.
[Church of St. Mary and St. David. Kilpeck. Herefordshire, U.K. 850 A.D. Celtic Wall Hanging, 1140 CE]
5 inches High by about 4 inches wide
12.7 cm x 10.16 cm
Artist's Casting Stone Wall Plaque
Dark Brown with gold accented antiquing.
Victorian prudery resulted in the defacement or destruction of large numbers of these figures. Some have been embellished. She is represented usually as a naked woman, squatting with knees apart, displaying her vulva and often presenting it with both hands. The term Sheela-Na-Gig means something like "Vulva-Woman."
Celts generally protected doorways with some female-genital fetish. Sheela-Na-Gig figures closely resembled the yonic statues of Kali which still appear at the entrance to Hindu temples. There, visitors lick a finger and touch the yoni for luck.