3219 – Icon of Virgin & Child

Physical description:
Carved recessed frame, gold leaf, Byzantine image of the Virgin and child
Museum classification:
10 x 20 cm

The Virgin Mary is seen as one expression of the ancient earth Goddess. Popular devotion has constantly recognized Mary as worthy of what some Catholic theologians have called 'latria' or adoration normally associated with God alone. Officially Mary is given 'hyperdulia' or super-veneration - more than is officially accounted for saints but less than God. For some, this is seen as a means of reducing the role of women within Christian theology, and effectively desexualizing and dehumanizing Mary. But in addition, the widespread success of the cult of Mary has also been seen as preserving some of the best attributes of the Goddess.

See Janet & Steward Farrar, Eight Sabbats for Witches; Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex; Cheryl Straffon, The Earth Goddess: Celtic and Pagan Legacy of the Landscape.

Wood, paint