THE GODDESS PROJECT: Made in Her Image
VENUS of WILLENDORF
Shortly after the birth of one of my children, I remember catching a glimpse of my naked body in a mirror. Taken aback, I stopped and stared at my relaxed rotund belly, huge milk-filled breasts, wide-spread hips with swollen legs and labia thinking: “I LOOK LIKE THE VENUS OF WILLENDORF!”
Years earlier, I’d first learned about Her in an Art History class. She’s the OLDEST (some sources say 30,000 years old) known human statue yet to date. In that art class, I thought little of Her but back then my body had not yet been used as a portal of the Divine.
The Venus of Willendorf was not a Greek Goddess nor was She from Willendorf, Austria, where She was found in 1903 among crystals and other artifacts. Wikipedia says Her title tells more about Her finders than of Her Paleolithic nomadic sculptors.
This tiny figurette of the fertile, female form gives hints of Her importance to Her original owners. Small enough to carry long distances, (see pic*) the Venus of Willendorf represented hope and faith for fertile Earth and fertile women to those Ancients.
“She symbolizes the divine Creatrix whose mystery resonated deeply in the hearts, minds and magic of early peoples” writes Nancy Blair in AMULETS OF THE GODDESS.
This is the most important Goddess image we’ve ever captured. Imaging the Venus of Willendorf as an ACTUAL living woman, gives all humankind a glimpse of what real women are. Inundated with media and magazines that show us photoshopped, malnourished young female athletes as the ultimate physical goal, leads a majority of girls/women/transfemales on a journey of struggle and self-loathing as they try to become what they’re not meant to be. And what they already are IS perfect. Be yourself. Love yourself. Be healthy but fully accept your sacred self.
Our model for Venus of Willendorf is braver than most humans. It was Tiinia’s idea to portray and be painted as the naked Diety. This is what Tiinia had to say about herself, the Venus of Willendorf and portraying Her:
“I am an artist that does makeup and hair for a living. My favorite color is glitter. I believe dancing is the best medicine. I live in South Dallas with my husband, our potbelly pig, and cats. VofW is the perfect gateway to push myself to be the type of representation I want to see in art. [I feel] humbled and honored that [FREE SOPHIA] would allow me portray her. It was incredibly cathartic. The process of mixing the clay and having it smeared on me was very calming I believe it ended up being a beautiful ritual to honor her. I feel cleansed. She represents an archetype of women that are forgotten and looked down upon. As a society we have rejected the power of her softness. She exudes a feminine sexuality that scares people.”
I can’t thank you enough, Tiinia, for constantly teaching me valiance and value, you remind me than the strength and courage of the Feminine is limitless. You are a great Goddess in this world!!
*Special thanks to Jo Wharton for gifting Free Sophia with the actual sized Venus of Willendorf replica! 🌹