One of the earliest works of art found in the digs of archeology is the Venus of Willendorf; sometimes referred to as the Doni. A simple stone carving of a woman’s body sans arms, face and the feet narrow down to a point. In the writings of professor Joseph Campbell, he points out the image was not intended to be a “realistic” rendering of a woman, rather the Force behind the Archetypal Feminine.
Because there is no one alive today to ask, (Carved in the Paleolithic era: 24,000–22,000 BCE) we can only speculate as to how this images were cherished, yet we see the image again and again in many aspects, each time the focus what the body does rather than who the person is. In much of sacred art, when an image is without a face, hands or feet, it refers to the transcendent rather than the the personal.
This simple form of Womanhood has been re-claimed by many as a reminder of the power of creation and how we all rely on the Feminine Aspect of our world. The term: sacred refers to that which is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion. Inspiring awe or reverence among believers in a given set of spiritual ideas. When one is in the presence of a birth or death one gets the sense of the great momentum of creation; it is both a part of who and what we are and transcends all things.
I have created in the Doni Amulet my own an interpretation of this image. The head is a simple sphere: no hair or face that can be identified, thus it may represents all faces and that which has none. I have included the arms that tourniquet without hands: this is a power of momentum and it currents can overflow simple or finite articulation. The legs are also tourniqueted presenting her locality and ability to influence everywhere. Her breasts are those of nourishment: both full and yet capable or going dry. Her genitalia: the bardo or gateway of fertility and birth. In an agricultural society, fertility was extremely important for everyone concerned: everything from the food on your table or whether there will be another generation of young people to bring in the harvest. Over all the Doni Amulet is large, bold and simple in form. In sterling silver it is reflective of the world around it.
The Doni Amulet is for those who love and worship all things feminine. Cultivating those aspects within one’s self and/or honoring the women in their lives.
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