An Interactive Map of Sheela Na Gigs

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Carlin Ross

Researchers have put together an interactive map of Sheela Na Gigs in Western Europe.  These graven images of older women pulling open their vulvas adorned churches and places of worship in Medieval times and harken back to ancient Egypt. 

It's not surprising that most of these reliefs were taken down and put in church basements like the image I've attached here (it's why so many of them have survived).  The prevailing thought was that Sheela Na Gigs were created as warnings against human lust.  I guess if you were a gay priest full frontal would seem like an admonition against sex. 

To me, they're symbols of female power used to warn off evil spirits.  Betty feels that she is a modern day Babou flashing her vulva to signal power and wisdom...and add a bit of levity to grave situations.  The crone is been an enduring character in history and literature.

I can't imagine living in a culture where vulvas were freely displayed and fully respected.  Genital show and tell is continually the most profound experience in the workshops.  Looking at images of real sex organs is the is our is our power.

All hail the Sheela Na Gig.

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