Our Goddess Heritage
This blog seeks to explore the divine feminine by examining the history of women. The analysis of archaeology and history found here is meant to raise questions, not necessarily find answers. In addition, by looking at our female ancestors, we can seek to make connections in our current lives and define ourselves as women in fresh ways.
Do you ever long for an ancient temple to visit or wish that there was a centuries old place full of a rich history of the feminine Divine to tap into? I don't always, but sometimes I do. I love Gaia and do feel that for the most part my worship and meditation is wherever I am; this is especially true for me when I am outdoors. While there are places I could go, temples to visit, and other gatherings, they are not always accessible.
That's when I turn to museums and art galleries to seek out a human expression of the goddess. A few years ago this was limited to the small college art gallery in the tiny town I lived in. This past year I have been fortunate enough to live near a major art museum with a classical collection. Now, I am in the process of moving again, and I don't know what I will find in my new town. So, to tide me over, I took one last trip this year to one of my favorite places, the St. Louis Art Museum.
I want to share some of my favorite images of Goddesses with you, which you can view if you ever find yourself at SLAM.
On the day I took these photos my husband and I went for a leisurely stroll through the galleries, and I let my mind wander on each goddess statue or painting that I came across. It was a wonderful, unstructured experience that also helped me to start to say goodbye to my time in St. Louis.
First, we have an 11th century piece from India. This depicts Parvati. I love her posture and confidence.
Next, is this Daoist figure from 12th century China. She is the Sovereign of the Colored Clouds of Dawn, a goddess of wisdom and enlightenment.
Moving back in time and across continents, we come to the Mediterranean collection. The room that houses all of the marble sculptures and ancient pottery gave me chills.
You are greeted by this life size statue of Artemis, a floating ghost with so much missing, but such lingering power and grace.
There are also several amazing vessels festooned with imagery of women and goddesses. Here's one of Nike about to deliver a lyre to a youth who is waiting on the other side of the vessel.
Tucked away in another case are these tantalizing, tiny statues that could be curled up in your hand and hidden away.
The figure at the top is from Syria and dates to the 2nd millennium BC. The other figure is Greek and dates to around 1400 BC.
I could share more images with you, but I will stop here. Just posting these and reminiscing on this day has helped me as I deal with the stresses of moving. It was a wonderful experience to spend time at the museum and contemplate the history of the goddess around the world.
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