3757 – Madonna on a Crescent Moon with a cloak of stars

Physical description:
Large plastic statue mainly gold, blue, pink, green and red in colour with large fold back in flame/star like shape.
Museum classification:
Goddess, Christian Magic
58cm x 19cm x 13cm

This sort of figure is often said to be a representation of the Virgin Mary or the Madonna from the Christian Religion.  In the Chapter 12 of the Biblical Book Revelation, St John makes the following prophecy: "a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (12:1) and much of this imagery can be seen in this statue.  She is called the Woman of Revelation or the Woman of the Apocalypse and much of her symbolism is derived from images of earlier Goddesses such as Isis (pictured below) and Selene with her crescent moon (bottom image).

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.


Plastic and paint