Art, Spirit, and Wonder: Finding the Sacred Through Art​

Art History tells the story of humanity. Here we'll look at how Paganism has been viewed in art through the ages; into the ancient past, the Renaissance and other eras, and how artists are exploring Paganism today.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Helena

Helena

Helena Domenic has been an art history nerd for her entire life, having toured the Sistine Chapel at the age of eighteen months. She never quite recovered from that experience (thankfully) and has been seeking out the sacred and profane in art ever since. She's even a real-life art history professor at a Pennsylvania university. She is also a Tarot nerd, having created her own Tarot deck, the Fellowship of the Fool.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Art Shows and Goddesses for Our Times

It is a great pleasure in the life of an artist to be able to share one's vision with the world. The internet and online libraries are a lot of fun, but being able to showcase one's work in a place where people can come and view it in person is so much better. This September has kept me super busy as I have had three shows, all opening in the same week. 

The image that heads this blog is my "wall" of art from Cheyney University's faculty art exhibition. I had created a number of canvases this summer for a solo exhibition, ranging in size from 11" x 14" to 30" x 40," and all of those were headed to a show in Wilmington, Delaware (more on these shortly). one of my colleagues was dumbfounded when I told her I wasn't sure I'd have work for the faculty show. "What about those hundreds of Goddess drawings you've been doing," she asked. I was a little stuck. I did indeed have hundreds of drawings as part of my "Goddess a Day" project, however, they were small, on paper, and would have to be framed.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Have You Seen Me Lately?

It has been far too long since I posted here, and I have no great excuses for that..... although I did manage to delete my entire hard drive AND Sense8 was cancelled..... so that was a perfect storm.

Although writing is a long time love of mine, painting is really my thing, although I have to write in my professional career, which also keeps me quite busy. Like everyone watching the national radar, it has been difficult keeping my spirits up, but I am blessed to belong to several communities that show me every day that there is still much to hope for.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
A Visit with the Asynjur

A Visit with the Asynjur: Frigga’s Handmaidens

I have been delving deeper into seeking out lesser-known goddesses for this little project of mine, and decided that the Asynjur, also known as the Handmaidens of the Norse Goddess Frigga were certainly deserving of attention. I began to try and read through Snorri Sturluson and the Eddas as my first source for Norse lore, however it because abundantly clear that something was probably missing. Anyone who has tried to view these ancient writings with a modern eye can discern that most of these stories were re-told by Christian monks with an eye to selling them as pre-cursors to Christianity. Naturally, preserving the stories of female characters was not at the forefront of their minds. I do not consider myself Asatru, nor do I consider myself a reconstructionist of any kind, so I will apologize in advance for any unintended offenses I may make in my own re-interpretation of these Goddesses. I have a love for deities whose stories are not fully known or told, and as such, I am also open to UPG. As I create my own images of the Goddesses, please know I do so with utter respect and love for the cultures from which they came.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    For further study on the Handmaidens, I recommend Norse Goddess Magic by Alice Karlsdottir. That's a new edition of the book previ
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thank you!
  • d Kate dooley
    d Kate dooley says #
    I you offer prints, I want them for my ritual space.
  • d Kate dooley
    d Kate dooley says #
    This makes me so happy. I love your work. I wrote book for Frigga and the Handmaidens and have been their devotee for sixteen year
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thank you so much! I will definitely check out your blog. And I will definitely let you know about prints. Finding time to make t

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Saying Goodbye in the Spring

I have been meaning to write a blog post on Goddesses.... lots of blog posts on lots of Goddesses, but that annoying nuisance known as real life has interrupted me numerous times. Today I slowed down. I slowed down a lot, and in so doing, I thought I was going to finish a much delayed post about the Norse Asynjur, but my heart is not in it today. I need to write about loss instead.

My beautiful 17 year old cat Bella is leaving us. Bella does indeed live up to her name as the many photos my husband and I have taken of her over the years will show anyone. 

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie Okulam
    Jamie Okulam says #
    Oh, we know what it is to loose a cat! We have lost two in the last two years. I miss them so much. My partner and I were unfairly
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thank you! I am so sorry you had to leave your home!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Turan: A Goddess of Ancient Etruria

I have to say, making my 2017 resolution to create a drawing of a Goddess a day has been rewarding, challenging, fun, and illuminating. I've had a great time sharing images of goddesses on my Facebook page every day, receiving feedback on my drawings, and getting ideas for new ones. I thought for today's Blog post, I'd write about Turan, a Goddess of ancient Etruria, or what today is known as Tuscany. The Etrurians are more commonly referred to as the Etruscans, which is how I will refer to them here. 

There are a great many things about the Etruscans which still remain a mystery in the twenty-first century, mostly because their language has been only partially deciphered. What we can do is look at the art they created and see visually the things that mattered most to them.   

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    "Unlike Roman and Greek women, whose husbands were known for faithlessness and not marrying for love, Etruscan women seemed to enj
May the Peace of the Goddess Be Upon You: A Goddess for These Times

The Goddess I have decided to discuss this week is the Roman Goddess Pax. As you can see in my contemporary rendering of her, she is often depicted with an olive branch, a cornucopia (peace brings abundance), and a dove. In this time of fear and panic, we especially need her now to remind us that even if the world around us is filled with hate and rage, we can look within for peace, and we have someone upon whom we can call for that peace.

In Roman times, the term "Pax Roman" referred to the 'peace' brought by Roman colonization. In 19 BC, the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) was dedicated by the Emperor Augustus to celebrate his return from Hispania, and reflects the Augustan religion in Roman culture. 

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thanks so much!!! Awesome to see you too!!
  • Catharine Clarenbach
    Catharine Clarenbach says #
    Hello, Helena! Qira Clarenbach (originally from Four Quarters) -- so delicious to find you here. I hope to read much and much more

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Goddesses and Resistance: Why I Paint

Today I posted on my Facebook page that between scary changes at my workplace and the current national events, it was taking every ounce of energy I have not to run screaming into the streets. I am not alone in feeling this way as numerous friends “liked” my status and numerous more made comments to the same affect. It is indeed exhausting to watch the new US government play itself out on social media, and can make one’s soul very bone weary. My situation is not unique. Indeed, I fear I am even turning into a broken record here on this blog, but please bear with me. A glance at Facebook will guide you to numerous articles about the importance of self-care in such dire times. I have wondered what I, an arthritic fifty-something art professor at a university with declining enrollment can do to make my voice heard amongst the many others resisting the new regime’s policies and proposed changes, and I’ve figured that the most important thing I can do is keep making art.

 

...
Last modified on

Additional information