Sheela na Gig


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Sheela na Gigs are medieval carvings of naked, often older women, displaying their vulva. There are hundreds of these little figures spread around Ireland, the highest concentration in all of Europe, and they mostly appear on churches and castles from the 11th century.

We don’t know what Sheela na Gig originally meant to the people who carved her, but it’s possible that she is a representation of an older, now forgotten fertility goddess. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Sheela’s Day falls on the 18th of March, so close to the spring equinox and the official end of winter. Perhaps she bears a connection to An Cailleach, an ancient hag goddess associated with winter.

This is an 9.5″ × 7.5″ giclée print, printed on Hahnemühle William Turner paper and signed by Shelly Mooney.