|March 17, 2012|
Sheela Na Gig
When Saint Patrick came to Ireland, he brought with him intolerance for the pre-existing beliefs (driving the "snakes" out of Ireland references the expulsion or repression of pre-existing pagan belief structures.) Among this intolerance was to women's knowledge of fertility and the sexual health of the community. This knowledge was driven underground despite attempts to make it taboo and forbidden. Seems like we are currently still dealing with this misogyny and intolerance today.
In the churches sheela na gigs, stone figures of the goddess with her enlarged vulva, were placed in doorways and other points. Touching the enlarged vulva of these figures is believed to ensure fertility and good sexual health as well as prosperity. The links between women's health, education levels and sense of empowerment have been found to be one of the strongest factors in ensuring the ENTIRE community's overall well-being. Hmmm. Seems if we ensure that women have adequate access to contraception, education, and hope and empowerment, then perhaps we all might do better.
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