Sheela-na-Gigs

What the heck is a Sheela-na-Gig, you ask? Well good, let me tell you.
Sheela-na-Gigs are stone carvings found all over the British Isles (mostly in Ireland) of a figure of a woman holding open her vulva. 

I know, right? Crazy.

A Sheela-na-Gig on the outside of a church in Ireland

A Sheela-na-Gig on the outside of a church in Ireland

They've been found on churches and in abbeys, and they have many possible origins which we can never know for sure. Some people believe them to be used for warding off evil spirits (because vulvas are scary you guys, the devil hates them. Let's use this power!), while others believe them to be fertility and birth totems!

The vulva, or yoni ('sacred opening' in sanskrit) is an ancient symbol for birth and life. These little figures were given to women in labour for strength during delivery. 

It's so interesting to picture what it may have been like way back when, with groups of women worshipping these figures as divine goddesses birthing the universe.  

Rhiannon the Sheela-na-Gig from www.avocadostonefaces.com. Isn't she lovely?!

Rhiannon the Sheela-na-Gig from www.avocadostonefaces.com. Isn't she lovely?!

Even now they're still being made for the same purposes, and you can have one yourself! There's an artist in Ireland who creates small figurines out of avocado stones. The detail in her work is just incredible, and amongst her collection of little magical creatures are some Sheela-na-Gigs!

I will definitely be getting my hands on one of them in the future. I hope to have as many birth totems as I can find one day! 

-Lila