Click to Enlarge     Goddess, Grotesque or Otherworldly Power?

    A Protectress, a Hussy, a carefully concealed Saint?

    She is brassy...she is a gatekeeper...she is a spirit that commands our attention.

    She is controversial... and an enigma. What IS her story?

    Dwelling over church doorways, Sheela na Gig appeared on Irish churches before the 16th century, reminding those with the ability to see that entering a sacred space is to enter the Womb of the Goddess. Ma Gog, the Irish Earth Mother. Many Sheelas were still in place during the 19th century until Victorian prudery defaced or destroyed large numbers of them.

    She is always found over a doorway–of a castle or a church. Sheela na Gig figures closely resemble the yonic statues of Kali which still appear at the doorways of Hindu temples, where visitors lick a finger and touch the yoni "for luck." Some of the older figures have deep holes worn in their yonis from so much touching! But, Sheela is from the Celtic times, Caillech, Old Woman --a meditation object on the endless cycle of death and rebirth.. She is the greatest symbol of the life-and-death goddess of ancient Ireland. Hag of the Maiden.

    She is also is the Otherworldly Gate to the Mysteries. It is understood that after one passes under her image hung above a doorway, that one has passed a test, been recognized as a familiar, allowed to partake of whatever mystery awaits on the other side. She also was said to ward off evil and bring good luck. Too risky just as she was, her double V ultimately became the horseshoe!

    She is enticing...and frightening--the essence of life itself. Maiden, mother, crone. She can be honored in Ireland by drinking a whiskey with a shamrock in it–a custom that denotes the idea of consuming one's luck, increasing fecundity, and internalizing the goddess's protective energies. No whiskey? No shamrocks? Turn to OUR "wish-key"--Chocolate Deities' Sheela to the rescue!