Sheela-na-gig (Síla na Géige)

The Sheela-na-gig is a shocking, immediately noticeable figure found in Celtic medieval stonework. Sheela is most commonly depicted as a squat, ugly female creature using her hands to display grotesquely large genitals. Sheelas of various ages adorn stone steles all over the Irish countryside ; they are also found in the intricate carvings in cathedrals and stone churches in ireland, England, and throughout Europe, often in tandem with the Green man. Sheela is very likely related to the ancient Celtic Goddess; her images are much older than the churches they often appear in, suggesting they are elements of much older religious sites. Many closely resemble ancient Viking figures of a creator goddess Ormgudinna.


A Sheela. To see a gallery of Sheelas: Sheela-na-gig
Related Symbols:
Green manOrmgudinnaVenus of Willendorf


Lynn July 3, 2016 at 11:38 am

What curious language: “grotesquely large genitals”. To me, as a woman who has given birth, it represents how much we stretch to bring life into this world. It is far from “grotesque”, it is wonderment.

Anonymous September 10, 2017 at 8:30 am

Great point.

Anonymous July 8, 2018 at 6:06 am

Thank you! I was thinking the same! Bless the patriarchy for good old fashioned shaming of women. I strongly suspect this is celebrating the beauty and sacredness of a woman’s sex, the source of life.

Michelle LovLeigh February 4, 2016 at 12:42 am

Are those pigtails/ponytails? To symbolize female? Hummmm? Interesting.

Frank Dyson April 28, 2015 at 5:20 pm

In Australian slang, all women are ‘sheilas’.

Traci September 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm

This is my Cunt and those of my Great Grandmothers.
One of many passages through which humankind is born.
A giver and receiver of infinite pleasure.
The unbridled power against the oppression of all living beings.

Mont February 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Can I say it makes me think of a goat-see…? =________=

Miklos September 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm

That’s the first thing I thought when I saw it. I want to believe a time traveler is playing a sick joke.

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