"Sheila-na-gig"--Ancient yoni (gential) worship

The Sheila-na-gig was a craved representation of a naked woman swatting with her knees apart, displaying her vulva (yoni) shown as a vesica piscis or double pointed oval. Looks alittle similar to what Kim was doing minus the hands....Sometimes the figure appeared all over old Irish churches built before the 16th century, but Victorian prudery defaced or destroyed large number of them. Some have been found buried near the churches they once embellished. Medieval Christians understood very well that the protruding tongue was a sex symbol. Their pictures of the lusty devils showed with long phallic tongues and sticking out the tongue at someone became their favorite gesture of insult "fuck you". After doing alittle more research I found that these images of Sheila-na-gig along with others was used as a form of magic (apotropaic) to ward away evil from their chruches. Along with pictures of the yoni the phallic was also used. It was represented by the tongue. Lingus is "tongue" in Latin and was derived from the Sanskrit lingam "phallas". Showing the tongue between the lips was once a sacred gesture representing the lingam-yoni; to this day the folds of the vulva are properly called labiae, "lips". By the Renaissance time, the old deities with their protruding tongues were declared devils, so it became conventional to show devils making this gesture.

Sheila-na-gig figures closely resembled the yonic statures of Kali which still appear at the doorways of Hindu temples, were vistors lick a finger and touch the yoni "for luck". Some of the older figures have deep holes worn in the yonis from much touching.

The protruding ribcage on many examples of the sheila-na-gig imitates the figures of Kali as the

death-goddess, kalika, evidently remembered in Ireland as the Cailech or Old Woman, who was also the Creatress and gave birth to all races of men. Celts generally protected doorways with some female-genital fetish, wihc is why they setled on the horseshoe, classic Omega-sign of the Kalika. In India it stood for the feminine cosmos within which Shiva ever performed his creative sexual dance, although he was assimilated to the Kalika and given her title of Destroyer.

Derivation of the term sheila-na-gig is obscure. It meant something like vulva-woman. Gig or giggie meant female genitals and may have been related to the Irish "jig", form French gigue, in pre-Christian times an orgiastic dance. In ancient Erech a gig seems to have been a holy yoni; the sacred harlots of the temple were known as nu-gig.

From Barbara Walker's Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets


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