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Sheela Na Gig

Sheela Na Gig

Sheela-na-Gigs are carvings of female images depicted as naked and posing in a manner which accentuates the most powerfully evocative symbol of the vulva. They were erected on many churches of the medieval period and invariably in a prominent position such as over the main entrance door or a window. Symbolically they were thought to avoke fertility and were also meant to ward off evil. the sheela is a pre-Christian folk goddess and her exaggerated vulva a sign of life-giving powers and fertility. Even her name is an enigma – although one theory is that “sheela” could mean an old woman or crone, and “gig” was slang for genitals. The Sheela squat, naked, pulling open her enlarged labia: it’s no wonder Victorian clergymen attempted to destroy or hide these glorious figures.
Above the Sheela na gig is the god Lugh is also known as Lug, Luga, or Lugus. He is the Celtic god of the sun and light, and he was also known as a powerful warrior. Known for being wise, Lugh, god of justice, was also sometimes depicted as a trickster god.
The lowers of the Gorse are depicted at the base of the art. There are many Celtic traditions associated with Gorse and it is often associated with love and fertility. It was for this reason that a spring of gorse was traditionally added to a bride's bouquet and gorse torches were ritually burnt around livestock to protect against sterility. Gorse is often associated with Lugh, the Celtic god of light, and it was believed to be a sign of hope in times of difficulty.
 Gorse also plays a role in the ecosystem, serving as a source of nourishment for insects and especially bees who look for nectar and it's a good source of food for them on warm winter days and in early spring.

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