Goddesses for the Earth
A Goddess in the palm of your hand
A Goddess in the palm of your hand
New bronze sculpture by Niamh Ní Shúilleabháin.
London based Irish sculptor, Niamh Ní Shúilleabháin is creating a series of eight goddess figures celebrating the Celtic Earth Festivals. These powerful sculptures, approximately 14cms in length, are designed to be hand held in order to impart an intimate connection to the ancient wisdom of the Celts, and the power of the Earth itself.
Working with reverence and intuition, Niamh through her "Oneness" with the spirit of the Earth has created these figures. Through holding them and communing with them, they can act as icons, tactile "connectors" to the ancient mind of the Earth and induce an empathy that brings us health, harmony and balance.
The Goddess in all her manifestations is a symbol of the unity of all life in nature. Her power is in water and stone, in cave and tomb, in animals and birds, hills and trees and flowers. She is perceived as the personification of all that is scared and mysterious on Earth. Goddesses have always been made for ritual purposes, her symbolism being the mystery of birth and death and the renewal of life, not only human but also all the life on Earth and indeed the whole cosmos. When you discover the Goddess you rediscover the creative power of the community and of the individual cosmic wisdom.
Many of us have forgotten how to listen to the Earth, living as we do in such a fast material age. The ancient ways of connecting are lost to memory for many of us but we each have an innate ability to tune into the Universal mind, our cycles of time and find our place of balance again. It is with that purpose that these Goddesses are being made.
The Celtic year was divided into two parts; the summer half, starting on the 1st May: Bealtaine, and the winter half starting on 1st November: Samhain. There were two further divisions of almost equal importance; the beginning of Spring on the 1st February, Imbolg, and the beginning of Autumn on the 1st August, Lughnasa. These quarters or directions are the four arms of the Celtic Cross contained within the circle: the circle being the cycles of time through the year and representing the wholeness and unity. To mark the "turning of the wheel", these four seasons were celebrated with impressive festivals full of local custom and lore. They began at sunset on the eve of the day before, following the Celtic view that the night proceeds the day, thus O¡che Bhealtaine, the "Night of the May" means the last day of April, and similarly with O¡che Shamhna, being the last day of October.
The Celtic imagination loved the circle. It recognised how the rhythm of experience, nature and Divinity followed a circular pattern as do the cycles of growth, flowering, harvest and evaluation. The Celts had reverence in the spirit of all things.
Each sculpture will be released to coincide with a significant date in the celtic festival calender : beginning with IMBLOG on the first of Febuary 1999. The other seven figures to will be available to mark the Spring Equinox (21st March) Awakening Time, Bealtaine "Bright Fire" (1st May) Festival of Expectation, the Summer Solstice (21st June) Festival of Attainment, Lughnasa (1st August) Festival of First Fruits, the Autumn Equinox (22nd September) Festival of Thanksgiving, Samhain (1st November) Festival of the Dead, and the Winter Solstice (21st December) Festival of Rebirth.
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