Eastern European Goddess who lived deep in the woods and was a great protector of animals. If anyone harmed any of her creatures, they could be lured into a magical circle and danced to death, or perhaps caught in a landslide or drowned in a river. As a shape shifter, she could be a falcon, swan, snake, horse or whirlwind. She might agree to teach a human her skills if the proper ceremony were performed in the woods on a full moon Sunday before sunrise. Bear Mother Goddess figure found at Kosovska-Mitrovica (Fafos II) Yugoslavia, Vinca culture, c. 5300-4000 BCE.

 30"x24" copyright 1996 oil on linen  


Slavic Goddess of the woods who is the fierce protector of all animals. She has the ability to shapeshift into a falcon, horse, snake, swan or a whirlwind and would not hesitate to cause harm to anyone who threatens her creatures. She lives deep in the woods and has great knowledge of plant medicine. She is holding a bear mother figure from Kosovska Mitrovica (Fafos II) Yugoslavia, Vinca culture, c. 5300-4000 BCE. Her earrings are from a Scythian diadem from Artjokhov's Barrow, tomb I; the Goddess figures in the tree trunks, left to right, top to bottom are all from Yugoslavia: Bariljevo 4500-4000 BCE; Predionica, Vinca mid 5th millennium BCE; Medvednjak, Vinca 5000-4500 BCE; Vinca, mid 5th millennium BCE; Vinca, late Vinca 4500-4000 BCE; Pristina, 6000 BCE; Medvednjak, Vinca 5000 BCE; Smederevska Polanka, 5000 BCE; Vinca, mid Vinca 1st half 5th millennium BCE; Crnokalacka Bara, late Vinca; Vinca, late Vinca; Supska at Cuprija, late Vinca; Vinca, 4500-4000 BCE.

 30"x24" copyright 1999 oil on linen  


One of a trinity of Water Goddesses from India, it was she who caused words to flow like a flooding river. She invented all the arts and sciences and ruled the intellectual realm. It was said that she invented writing so that the music she inspired could be preserved. Although she is often pictured on the back of a swan, the peacock is the emblem of Sarasvati. She is in front of a roundel from the dome of a ceiling of Mandapa, Vimala Vasahi (Adinatha Temple), Dilwara, Mt. Abu, South Rajasthan, 12th century.

  30"x24" copyright 1996 oil on linen  


Scatha (Scathach), a great warrior Goddess whose name means "she who strikes fear", was also called "the shadowy one". She lived on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and taught many of the legendary Celtic heroes all their skills, including battlefield magic. They traveled great distances to study with her and she instructed them in strategic moves as well as the martial arts. During their stay of a year and a day, she also taught them fierce battle cries and terrifying leaps and bounds, making them undefeatable in combat. She is described as Cuchulainn's teacher in the Táin Bó Cualgne. After the students finished learning, she sent them back to their people to do great deeds. Scatha's helmet is from a Celtic grave in Ciumesti, Romania, 3rd century BCE ; her torque is from Snettisham (Norfolk), England, mid 1st century BCE. She is standing on a hill overlooking the Callanish Stone Circle. The veiled Goddess behind her is Celtic, 1st century CE. The statue of the Goddess figure on the left is from Kerguilly en Dinéault, Finistère, France, 1st century BCE - 1st century CE. During the Iron Age, the Celts wore helmets with images of certain birds or animals on them to make their appearance more threatening; the goose on the helmet symbolizes the warrior because the goose is aggressive, alert, and an excellent guardian.

 29"x24" copyright 1997 oil on linen  


Sekmet was a lion-headed Sun Goddess from Egypt, defender of the divine order, who became so disgusted with people's lack of reverence that she began to eat them. The other gods, wishing to save humanity, laid out a mixture of beer and pomegranate juice which she drank, falling into a stupor. When she awoke, her rage was gone. She represents the cleansing fire that brings energy into form. In addition to her ferocity, Sekmet's strong magical powers caused her to be highly regarded as a healer. The flail in her left hand attracts celestial energy. She holds a mirror representing the head of Hathor, c. 1460 BCE, and stands in front of a representation of herself from the tomb of Imen M. Hebra, Egypt.

 36"x20" copyright 1995 oil on linen  


Selene was an early Greek Moon Goddess, also known as Phoebe, who drove a chariot drawn by two white horses across the sky at night with the moon in tow. Her necklace depicts a Nike driving a chariot from classical Greece; the emblem on the horse is from a Roman cameo showing Luna driving a chariot, early 3rd century.

 30"x24" copyright 1996 oil on linen  


Sh'khinah was the ancient Hebrew Goddess of wisdom and joy, the feminine part of Yahweh, and the light that dwelt within everything. She lived at the root of the Tree of Life. It was said that she resided within the acacia, the tree that produces gum arabic, the glue that holds the world together. Although she was more extensively written about during the Middle Ages in the Kabbalah, her foundations can be traced back to the early Goddess imagery of Asherah and Astarte in Canaan. Behind her is a Canaanite cult stand from Taanach, late 10th century BCE. The Paleolithic Goddess figure in her center is from Berekhat Ram, Golan Heights, c. 230,000 BCE. Her necklace is from Deir el-Balah, 14th-13th century BCE; her earring is from a falcon pendant from Tell el-Ajjul, mid 2nd millennium BCE.

 30"x24" copyright 1999 oil on linen  


Tabiti was the Scythian Goddess who ruled the realm of animals and fire. The early Eastern Europeans swore their allegiance to her as part of the earth that witnesses everything. She was part of Eastern European culture before the Scythian nomads arrived, at first represented by a Goddess bearing a child and later, adopted by the Scythians, as half serpent with a raven on one side and a canine on the other. Background figure is a Paleolithic Goddess from Dolní Vestonice, Czech Republic, c. 20,000 BCE; on the right is a Neolithic Goddess "Ladybird", late Vinca, c. 3500 BCE, near Belgrade, Yugoslavia; on the left is a Goddess with a siren, canines and lions, 5th century BCE, Kherson mound, Ukraine; gold headdress after one found at Chertomlyk, 4th century BCE; bottom layer after a diadem from Kelermes, 6th century BCE; earring from Olbia, 5th century BCE; torque from Chertomlyk, 4th century BCE.

  30"x24" copyright 1996 oil on linen  


Tellus Mater was the Roman Earth Mother who represented the fertility of the earth and all beings. She was closely associated with Ceres, the Grain Goddess. It was Tellus Mater who watched over a seed from the time it was planted until it was fully grown. When couples married, Tellus Mater was invoked during the ceremony to ensure reproduction. Oaths were sworn to her as the earth that sees all. Panel from the Altar of the Augustan Peace, Rome, 13-9 BCE; Owl-headed Mother Goddess figure from Cyprus, 1450-1225 BCE.

 24"x30" copyright 1996 oil on linen  


Cherokee Goddess of the Sun, her name meant "apportioner", she who divided time into units. The world had no sun, so opossum was sent to get one but burned its tail; vulture tried, burning its feathers. Finally, Spider Grandmother wove a web that caught Unelanuhi, the sun, and the people had warmth. On the wall on left is a ritual object (cross in the circle representing the sun) from Moundville, west central Alabama, c. 1300 CE. On the right is an incised shell with spider/hand, Mississippian, 1200-1450 CE, from the Craig burial mound, Spiro, Oklahoma.

 34"x20" copyright 1996 oil on linen  


Vesta was the Roman Goddess of the hearth and home (Hestia was her Greek counterpart). Her six Vestal Virgins (virgin in the sense that they belonged to no man - they were "one within") tended her sacred fire in a round temple in Rome and the Romans offered a prayer to her every day at their own hearths. On March 1st, every year, her priestesses extinguished the fire and relit it. Her worship was connected with fertility and to let her light go out would mean that civilization would also end. On June 9th, the Vestalia was held when her priestesses baked salt cakes and sacrificed them on Vesta's fire for 8 days, after which the temple was closed, cleaned out and then reopened the next day. She holds an oil lamp from 1st century Pompeii and wears a Roman earring from the 3rd-4th centuries. The statues of Senior Vestal Virgins in the background are from the House of the Vestal Virgins in the Roman Forum (heads and hands restored ). On the wall is a Roman frieze from the College of Vestal Virgins.

  30"x24" copyright 1998 oil on linen  


Slavic Goddess, a guardian of the forest animals and plants, Vila was a shape-shifter and might be a swan, horse, snake, falcon or whirlwind. Born on a day of misty rain, she was a winged Goddess whose dress shimmered in the dappled light of the deep forest where she lived. She had a profound knowledge of herbal healing and protected the purity of streams. If anyone brought harm to her creatures, she would cause great harm to them in turn; perhaps they would be caught in an avalanche or even danced to death.

  42"x30" copyright 1992 oil on linen  


Yemaya, the Yoruba Mother of the Sea, mother of all life because the sea is the source of all life, is said to have seven aspects with various characteristics. The first time she walked on earth, fountains that later became rivers sprang up wherever she set foot. Sea shells, through which the priestesses and priests could hear the voice of the universe, were among her first gifts to the people. She is wearing an 18th century Ijebu armlet with a fish-legged figure.

 30"x24" copyright 1996 oil on linen  


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