Sheela (Sheelagh) Na Gigs

Kondoru

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Oh, how revolting.

Sheelas are there to laugh at, not to be political or titillating.

Anyone who equates them with feminism...

(Where do male figures come into it?)

And they are nothing to do with pagan survivals, -most are not earlier than the 12th C.

They are just silly vulgar images.
 

Lb8535

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I collect statues of the mother goddess so out of curiosity I checked Ebay. There are reproductions of a few of the more famous, a pewter keychain, and a few used books and maps if anyone is looking.
 

Lb8535

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Oh, how revolting.

Sheelas are there to laugh at, not to be political or titillating.

Anyone who equates them with feminism...

(Where do male figures come into it?)

And they are nothing to do with pagan survivals, -most are not earlier than the 12th C.

They are just silly vulgar images.
There may not be any existing in churches of before the 12th century, which is a great period of carved art in churches, but they're too weird to date to there. The heads and faces eare the most interesting part actually. Looks more to me like a folk practice that someone was OK to hide in the shadows, or maybe a mason guild in-joke. I'm just spouting because I really know nothing about them, but if a 12th century sculptor wanted to make a rude joke, I don't think it would look like that. They were copying in a tradition.
 

ramonmercado

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Oh, how revolting.

Sheelas are there to laugh at, not to be political or titillating.

Anyone who equates them with feminism...

(Where do male figures come into it?)

And they are nothing to do with pagan survivals, -most are not earlier than the 12th C.

They are just silly vulgar images.

These women are feminists who would disagree with you.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Oh, how revolting.

Sheelas are there to laugh at, not to be political or titillating.

Anyone who equates them with feminism...

(Where do male figures come into it?)

And they are nothing to do with pagan survivals, -most are not earlier than the 12th C.

They are just silly vulgar images.

They clearly represent more than just a silly vulgar image.
 

ramonmercado

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So am I and they're free to disagree (if possible with data.)

Well they do put forward an argument (in the article) as to why they think SnGs are relevant to Feminism.

Rhoades recalls meeting a young curator from the National Museum in Dublin a few years ago, who had been asked to do an inventory of the sheelas the museum holds (most of which are hidden away, she says). “He said some of his colleagues were very concerned for him – they were worried the sheelas might cause undue arousal in a young man!”

For the women behind Project Sheela, the rediscovery of the history of the sheela is part of a shift in Ireland “towards a more secular society, especially among younger people, who are now looking to choose their own spiritual symbols away from the oppressiveness of the Catholic church”. They point to the growing interest in pagan symbols such as the goddess Brigid, who shares her name with a Catholic saint and whose spring festival, Imbolc, is celebrated more and more by young people, with a petition to make it a national Irish holiday.

It seems that once you see a sheela na gig, it is impossible to let go of it. We may never know the truth about how they came to be, but as Rhoades says, what matters is how they are seen as symbols now: powerful, important, unashamed depictions of female genitalia and inner strength. Freitag, who is now retired, had a long career in academia. “I’ve written two books and almost finished another one since and, really, nothing has touched me as much as the sheela na gigs did all those years ago – because I could sense all the agony and hope that was attached to those figures in medieval times.” Centuries later, this mysterious figure is offering hope still, in all her glory, as a new generation depict her in their own way.


The author of the article has tweeted it at:
You could comment on the article there.
 

Lb8535

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Well they do put forward an argument (in the article) as to why they think SnGs are relevant to Feminism.

Rhoades recalls meeting a young curator from the National Museum in Dublin a few years ago, who had been asked to do an inventory of the sheelas the museum holds (most of which are hidden away, she says). “He said some of his colleagues were very concerned for him – they were worried the sheelas might cause undue arousal in a young man!”

For the women behind Project Sheela, the rediscovery of the history of the sheela is part of a shift in Ireland “towards a more secular society, especially among younger people, who are now looking to choose their own spiritual symbols away from the oppressiveness of the Catholic church”. They point to the growing interest in pagan symbols such as the goddess Brigid, who shares her name with a Catholic saint and whose spring festival, Imbolc, is celebrated more and more by young people, with a petition to make it a national Irish holiday.

It seems that once you see a sheela na gig, it is impossible to let go of it. We may never know the truth about how they came to be, but as Rhoades says, what matters is how they are seen as symbols now: powerful, important, unashamed depictions of female genitalia and inner strength. Freitag, who is now retired, had a long career in academia. “I’ve written two books and almost finished another one since and, really, nothing has touched me as much as the sheela na gigs did all those years ago – because I could sense all the agony and hope that was attached to those figures in medieval times.” Centuries later, this mysterious figure is offering hope still, in all her glory, as a new generation depict her in their own way.


The author of the article has tweeted it at:
You could comment on the article there.
I have no problem with them deciding that this icon helps their feminism, it's probably a relic of a period when the mother goddess was the top of the pantheon, pretty much true of all of Europe. Icons last well after beliefs change and then people forget what they were for, but possible that folk belief was that this particular one was good for fertility and easy childbirth. The local priests decided as they did with many holdover pagan beliefs and images that they didn't do any harm, and some snuck into churches. It's a stretch I guess to attribute it to a saint or to Mary.
 

Lb8535

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If they like her they should love the Cretan snake goddess .1500 bc

1615242009699.png
 

hunck

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This isn't particularly news, since it was uncovered in the 90s when a cafe was built in Hereford's All Saints Church but it's in the Metro today. Carved in the rafters, probably created when the church was built in the 1300s.

It was illuminated by a spotlight during the cafe works, and there were reportedly even plans from the vicar at the time to monetise the find by creating postcards and fibre glass casts of Seamus - but the idea was halted by the congregation over "pushing back the bounds of decency too far".

Here's the uncensored version.
1628165906300.png
 

Tempest63

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This isn't particularly news, since it was uncovered in the 90s when a cafe was built in Hereford's All Saints Church but it's in the Metro today. Carved in the rafters, probably created when the church was built in the 1300s.



Here's the uncensored version.
View attachment 43113
I don’t think that is fertility…looks more like constipation
 

Mythopoeika

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This isn't particularly news, since it was uncovered in the 90s when a cafe was built in Hereford's All Saints Church but it's in the Metro today. Carved in the rafters, probably created when the church was built in the 1300s.



Here's the uncensored version.
View attachment 43113
As that is clearly male, is it a sheelagh-na-gig?
 

escargot

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Frideswide

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No it’s not but I didn’t know where to post it.

Mods - if there’s somewhere better, please move.

I reckon it’s a ‘fuck you’ to either his employer, the church in general, or something similar.

Or apotropaic. There's a solid tradition that supports that interpretation.
 

Naughty_Felid

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This isn't particularly news, since it was uncovered in the 90s when a cafe was built in Hereford's All Saints Church but it's in the Metro today. Carved in the rafters, probably created when the church was built in the 1300s.



Here's the uncensored version.
View attachment 43113
index.php

I bet that's one of my ancestors
 

Kondoru

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Its a jolly carving but not the worst by far!
 

Lb8535

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Its a jolly carving but not the worst by far!
It is a jolly carving and I think just meant to be funny. In the 1300's humor that has come down to us is very - earthy.
 

Kondoru

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Its clearly meant to be funny and not a Male liberation icon.
 
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