Friday, 6 January 2012

Sheela-na-gig


 There's an old Norman church in our area, built at the same time as Drimagh castle, and I spotted a Sheela-na-gig there a few years ago. This is an ancient pagan/medieval idol, of a female character with an exaggerated vulva. Some historians say it is a warning to an illiterate populace of the evils of lust, others say she was a fertility symbol. They may have denoted sacred pagan sites, and when Christians built churches on the sites they often included the Sheela-na-gigs in their construction. It can be seen under the topmost window, to the left. I like the fertility idea, and had her as a sort of talisman throughout my last pregnancy, even waddling down to her each time I thought I was in labour, until I realised we can see her from the back bedroom, where I eventually gave birth. I like to think this baldy exhibitionist looked over me and guided my labour with her magical powers. That's the closest to religion I get. Any ttc'ers, this post's for you.

I cross the road when passing the church, as the outward-bulging walls and mounded graveyard filled with thousands of decomposed corpses gives me the creeps. Cremation, anyone?
A welcoming sign for the parishioners of old.

3 comments:

  1. ah! i have been wanting to find one since i first heard of her..

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  2. Hi Erin,
    There's a website that details all the sheela-na-gigs in Ireland, can't find it right now to link for you, but it has some photos too. there may be one near you, such an interesting piece of history! Thanks for reading! PS your photography is fantastic, I'm loving your blog
    Niamh x

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  3. Thanks. Great picture of a Sheela-na-gig. But where is the church, please?

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