Art, Spirit, and Wonder: Finding the Sacred Through Art​

Art History tells the story of humanity. Here we'll look at how Paganism has been viewed in art through the ages; into the ancient past, the Renaissance and other eras, and how artists are exploring Paganism today.

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Helena

Helena

Helena Domenic has been an art history nerd for her entire life, having toured the Sistine Chapel at the age of eighteen months. She never quite recovered from that experience (thankfully) and has been seeking out the sacred and profane in art ever since. She's even a real-life art history professor at a Pennsylvania university. She is also a Tarot nerd, having created her own Tarot deck, the Fellowship of the Fool.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Saying Goodbye in the Spring

I have been meaning to write a blog post on Goddesses.... lots of blog posts on lots of Goddesses, but that annoying nuisance known as real life has interrupted me numerous times. Today I slowed down. I slowed down a lot, and in so doing, I thought I was going to finish a much delayed post about the Norse Asynjur, but my heart is not in it today. I need to write about loss instead.

My beautiful 17 year old cat Bella is leaving us. Bella does indeed live up to her name as the many photos my husband and I have taken of her over the years will show anyone. 

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  • Jamie Okulam
    Jamie Okulam says #
    Oh, we know what it is to loose a cat! We have lost two in the last two years. I miss them so much. My partner and I were unfairly
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thank you! I am so sorry you had to leave your home!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Turan: A Goddess of Ancient Etruria

I have to say, making my 2017 resolution to create a drawing of a Goddess a day has been rewarding, challenging, fun, and illuminating. I've had a great time sharing images of goddesses on my Facebook page every day, receiving feedback on my drawings, and getting ideas for new ones. I thought for today's Blog post, I'd write about Turan, a Goddess of ancient Etruria, or what today is known as Tuscany. The Etrurians are more commonly referred to as the Etruscans, which is how I will refer to them here. 

There are a great many things about the Etruscans which still remain a mystery in the twenty-first century, mostly because their language has been only partially deciphered. What we can do is look at the art they created and see visually the things that mattered most to them.   

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  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    "Unlike Roman and Greek women, whose husbands were known for faithlessness and not marrying for love, Etruscan women seemed to enj
May the Peace of the Goddess Be Upon You: A Goddess for These Times

The Goddess I have decided to discuss this week is the Roman Goddess Pax. As you can see in my contemporary rendering of her, she is often depicted with an olive branch, a cornucopia (peace brings abundance), and a dove. In this time of fear and panic, we especially need her now to remind us that even if the world around us is filled with hate and rage, we can look within for peace, and we have someone upon whom we can call for that peace.

In Roman times, the term "Pax Roman" referred to the 'peace' brought by Roman colonization. In 19 BC, the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) was dedicated by the Emperor Augustus to celebrate his return from Hispania, and reflects the Augustan religion in Roman culture. 

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  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thanks so much!!! Awesome to see you too!!
  • Catharine Clarenbach
    Catharine Clarenbach says #
    Hello, Helena! Qira Clarenbach (originally from Four Quarters) -- so delicious to find you here. I hope to read much and much more

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Goddesses and Resistance: Why I Paint

Today I posted on my Facebook page that between scary changes at my workplace and the current national events, it was taking every ounce of energy I have not to run screaming into the streets. I am not alone in feeling this way as numerous friends “liked” my status and numerous more made comments to the same affect. It is indeed exhausting to watch the new US government play itself out on social media, and can make one’s soul very bone weary. My situation is not unique. Indeed, I fear I am even turning into a broken record here on this blog, but please bear with me. A glance at Facebook will guide you to numerous articles about the importance of self-care in such dire times. I have wondered what I, an arthritic fifty-something art professor at a university with declining enrollment can do to make my voice heard amongst the many others resisting the new regime’s policies and proposed changes, and I’ve figured that the most important thing I can do is keep making art.

 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Very Fine Art of Protest

The Art of Protest and Protest Art

Get Up, Stand Up
Stand Up For Your Rights
Get Up, Stand Up
Don’t Give Up the Fight
- Peter Tosh

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  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Desperately needed sentiment and powerful artwork! Thank you for sharing, for encouraging.
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thank you so much!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Reflections on 2016: Life, Death, Netflix and Hope

Reflections on 2016: Life, Death, Netflix and Hope

I confess that although I did not write a great deal in this blog in 2016, there were certainly plenty of things going on in my life and in my world. It would be an easy way out to say that the events of this year simply rendered me speechless, and I doubt that there would be many who would argue with me on that. Personally, I hit many milestones and manifested a number of things I had been hoping to achieve. However, the harbingers of doom and despair came in the form of the deaths of many artists who influenced my life, and the lives of many others.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
A Polymorphous Perverse Journey

Years ago, when I was much younger, I read Rita Mae Brown's Ruby Fruit Jungle, where I first learned the tern "polymorphous perverse." At the time, I thought it was a term created by the author to describe her emergent sexuality, and I always thought perhaps the term applied to me as a polyamorous, bi, pagan female. It wasn't until years later that I learned the term was actually coined by Freud to denote people who are able to find sexual gratification outside of accepted societal norms. I was elated to learn that the term could still apply to me, which is why I've decided to use it to name the oracle deck I've been creating.

(By the way, I was gone for awhile. Did you miss me? I've had my head buried in projects like these! I'm back to tell you all about them). 

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