The lush Willendorf Goddess shows that humans revered the Goddess as long as 30,000 years (the stone age). For many years, she was the oldest sacred art piece that archeologists had ever found.When the Willendorf Goddess was first discovered, she was covered with red ochre, which commonly symbolizes the miraculous power of menstruation and birth. Many ancient Goddesses were found to be decorated, or perhaps blessed, with red ochre. As with most Goddesses of prehistory, the Willendorf Goddess was erroneously called a “Venus” because at the time of her discovery, men couldn’t imagine a female figure — particularly a naked one — as anything other than a fertility symbol, at best. Her face is hidden, suggesting her divine status, for who can know the face of the Goddess? Her ripe, well-fed body promises abundance and the continuance of life. Her vulva is sculpted clearly, the sacred Vesica Piscis — one of the most common Goddess symbols, signifying the Gates of Heaven, the source of all creation.
Willendorf Goddess is particularly relevant to women today as a symbol of the beauty of the fully-fleshed, maternal female body.She is a vital antidote to a culture that denigrates softness of the body (or, really, anything soft at all) — a culture that admires feminine beauty most when it looks somewhat masculine, with the flat belly (or even 6-pack abs!) and pared down flesh more naturally found on young boys.This cultural distortion of femininity has, at its root and as its fruit, the disempowerment of women.Women’s natural form includes a softly rounded belly and a layer of healthy fat under the skin; without this, women can lose even the most basic expression of the Goddess: the magickal menstrual cycle.Divided from her body, denied her sanctity and beauty, the Goddess herself loses her life giving power! The Willendorf Goddess challenges these prejudices and boldly proclaims the power of women as life givers and creatrixes.She dares us to love ourselves fully — even (especially!) the “flaws” that make us unique.
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