Over the very long, cold and grim winter, I have spent many days meticulously crafting dozens of talismans, votives and other magical objects dedicated to the Great Goddess.
The minutiose work, attention to detail, the long walks in the wild to find the raw material, and the spiritual meaning of each piece all helped me in what was a very difficult period, burdened by illness and poor mental health. I crafted those, longing for better days, I asked for guidance, I hoped for spring and light and health. I crafted quite obsessively; each little goddess, a small prayer.
I don’t speak a lot about it but I love the Land. During my first years living here in West Wales, each walk in the woods, each new river discovered, each beach comb, and each mountain hike was a source of inexhaustible magic, an absolute revelation. The moss, twig, leaf, every little pebble, rock, shell and driftwood whispered a story of archaic wisdom. For years living in the city, I longed to reconnect with the Earth, its rhythm, smell, and quietness. Nature has become an integral part of my daily life and a way for me to remember what matters, it keeps me sane. Doing this work is a way for me to do that. Quite literally touching the grass.
And then of course there is the Goddess.
I have found the discovery of feminist archaeology to be an unlimited source of hope and joy. More hopeful than feminist utopia, feminist archaeology is a way to access what patriarchy wants us to ignore: that there used to be equalitarian societies in which women were not slaves. that women’s creative powers including, but not limited to, the power to create life, used to be valued, even worshipped. That at first, god was a woman.
Discovering this went hand in hand with the discovery of the loss: the thousands of years of patriarchy, the endless psychopathic work of submitting half the human race to the will of the other, but also thousands of years of patriarchal propaganda, meticulously erasing any sign of the way people used to live. The Goddess people used to worship of course is a clear symbol, that by trick or by force, had to be completely erased.
it is because patriarchy took so much care in erasing the symbol of female deities and their actual meaning and relevance that I am particularly keen on Goddess representations.
Believe in Her or not, is not relevant here. what is relevant here is that if patriarchy worked so hard to erase Her because she represents an alternative, as a feminist I believe it is important to carry on representing Her, and keep making effigies, paintings and statues.
Erasing a culture and imposing another one has always been the most effective way to change mentalities and to subjugate a people – ever wondered why libraries and museums are bombed during wars? Disconnect a people from its culture and they forget who they are. Disconnect women from women-based spirituality and the same happens.
I am here to reconnect.
The Goddess’ Way
mixed media 2023
The Goddess Way is an on-ongoing and ever-expending project which consists of building small portable Goddess votives and talismans.
Stepping away from patriarchal religions and practises, this piece is a way to encourage women to reconnect with women-centred spirituality, matriarchal ancient societies, female-centric rituals.
This piece is crafted with love in honour of the Land and its connection with the life-force traditionally called “Mother nature”. All Goddesses are created using natural and human-made material found in the local area, in celebration of West Wales’ natural beauty.
I am showing “The Goddess’ Way” as part of the Art Soup exhibition, in the Lampeter uni library until the 18th of June 2023
Some references for the curious minds:
- When God Was a Woman – Merlin Stone
- The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization – Marija Gimbutas
- Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth – Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor
- The Myth of the Goddess: The Evolution of an Image – Anne Baring, Jules Cashford
- Matriarchal Societies: Studies on Indigenous Cultures Across the Globe Goettner-Abendroth, Heide
- Invisible Women of Prehistory: Three Million Years of Peace, Six Thousand Years of War Foster, Judy, Derlet, Marlene