"Síle" - Sheela na Gig - Birthing Stone - Sterling Silver Pendant
Cast in sterling silver from an avocado stone carving by Jan Campbell.
Síle is an Irish name meaning "pure and musical." It is pronounced like Sheela. Síle is just under an inch in height.
Sheela na Gigs are figures that have been found carved into the stonework of many medieval churches, castles and other buildings around Ireland and Great Britain. Sheela na Gigs generally depict a female figure displaying an exaggerated vulva. There is much mystery surrounding the meaning and origin of these fascinating carvings.
There is folkloric evidence that Sheela na Gigs were known as "birthing stones" and were loaned out to women in labour. Women would rub the figure in order to encourage their own vulvas to open and ready their bodies into birthing. A theory of her origin that I like is that these carvings may be remnants of a pre-Christian pagan Mother Goddess religion. The figure has connotations with fertility, her displayed vulva representing the gateway between non-life and life, some saying that the whole universe was born from her yoni. Another theory is that the figures were used to ward off evil, derived from women lifting their skirts to curse evil spirits.
Each sterling silver piece is hallmarked by the Irish Assay Office, located in Dublin Castle, and is stamped with Jan's unique maker's mark.
Each piece was made and finished with caring hands. Small differences may occur from piece to piece.
A length of black waxed cotton cord is supplied with each pendant.
This item will be sent out from Ireland via Registered post. The tracking code will be sent to your email once it has been posted. A signature is usually required upon delivery. If you are out when it arrives, you will likely receive a docket instructing you to pick up your package at your local mailing centre. Packaging, as always, is plastic-free and made entirely from reused or recycled paper materials. Please read through my Shop Policies before purchasing this item.