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The White Moon Gallery Presents

a project by Rowen Saille

© All original material in this site is under copyright protection
and is the intellectual property of the author.

Sheila Na Gig by Hrana Janto

©Hrana Janto , used by permission of the artist.

  About Sila Magic  Divination

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Sila na Geige [SHEE-luh-nah-GIG] is a shadowy sometimes-controversial Celtic goddess. She represents both mother and crone aspects of the Goddess. Her image is found carved on stone thresholds, lintels, and standing stones of sacred sites or places of worship throughout the British Isles (2,6,7,10). Not a lot has been written or is known about this Goddess or her origins, and much information may have been lost through the ignorant prudishness of a patriarchal culture that saw only a vulgar caricature. Sila, however, survived into Christianity, and Her image can still be found carved on lintels and thresholds of churches in Ireland. In the 19th century, patriarchal society was appalled by the unrestricted feminine sexuality of the Sila images, and many Sila images were defaced or destroyed entirely (2, 9, 10, 11). Sila na Geige is represented by a crudely carved female figure holding her vulva wide. The open vulva is a gateway symbol, a portal to greater mysteries (10, 13). Generally considered a birthing Goddess (4) and shown as the "Mother of All," Her often skeletal appearance and emaciated breasts give her the crone status and connects her with the passage of the soul to the afterlife. Sila is the guardian of the gateway that governs many rites of passage and the unending circle of life and death (4, 10, 11, 13).

Kiltinan Church Sheela
Kiltinan Church Sheela na gig

Sila is connected with liminal birds, herons, cranes, and storks ( 13). These animals serve as guides and guardians of souls and carry spirits from the Islands of the Blessed in the Western Sea to the earth realm to be incarnated in a new life. Sila is protector of living and dead (2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11). She offers her protection in passage into life as well as death. Her vulva is the welcoming arch into the world and in coming home. She is considered a special protector of the poor. On May 4th, people hang old clothes on Hawthorn to appeal to Sila and ward away poverty (1).

Sila is associated with fertility, openness, and sexuality. In one town in Ireland, the local image of Sila is used in birthings (11). Women in labor lean against the figure during their delivery to insure a safe birth. Worshipers often touch the open vulva to promote fertility, healing, or protection (9, 10, 11, 13).

Sila is the guardian of the gateway to life, death, and knowledge of the mysteries of the universe. Sila's message to us is "Open up! Open yourself to life," (8). By embracing Sila na Geige, perhaps we can pass through the gateway to greater understanding.

Alternative Spellings

Spellings of the name are based frequently on phonetic spelling of the original Irish. 

Goddess House

Symbols/Aspects of Sila na Geige

(1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12)

Colors:red, orange, purple, magenta
Moon phase: full or waning
Animals: heron, crane, stork
Herbs/Flowers: Hawthorn, birch, willow, cedar, black cohosh, heliotrope
Stones: any hard stones or building stone
Aspects: Protection, death, fertility, birth, lust, opening, enjoyment of life,
     feminine power, feminine mysteries, womb chakra
Wheel of the Year:
     Alder moon (Fearn): March 18 - April 14
     Willow moon (Saille): April 15 - May 12 

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Sila na Geige is associated with fertility and protection magic. Believers invoke Her to protect themselves and their loved ones, and women consider Her a special protector in childbirth (9, 10, 11, 13). In voke Sila for protection, to increase fertility (of mind or body), or to heat up your sex or social life.

Here are a few spells:

The Social Creature
Meditate on Sila na Geige and the gateway.
Imagine a scene framed in the gateway.
You see yourself in a social situation having a wonderful time,
  laughing and enjoying yourself with confidence.
Feel yourself stepping through the gateway into the scene and
  becoming the self in the scene you painted.
Chant 3 times:
  "To the left and right of me
  Above and below me
  I awaken the spirit of nature within me!"

This is a very simple spell which can be performed anywhere with as few or as many materials as you wish. Lighting red or orange candles can add to the focus of the spell.

Heating Up Your Sex Life
Needs: red or orange candles
    Incense - vanilla or other lust inspiring scent
    Soft scarf or long piece of material
    Favorite perfume or essential oil
    a mirror
This spell is best performed in your bedroom.
Take a ritual bath.
Light the candles.
Cast a circle.
Sacred Source
Sacred Source
Wrap the scarf or cloth around your hips, and stand before the mirror.
Annoint your heart and womb chakra with perfume or essential oil.
Raise the energy by chanting:
    "Sheelah my hunger see; Let my body love freely." (12)
Ground, and tell the Goddess image in the mirror how beautiful and sexy she is.

To Conceive a Child
This spell should be performed with a willing partner.
Need: orange candles
    Incense: musk
    Image of Sila na Geige
    Birch branch or wand
    Paper and writing utensil
Light your candles.
Cast a circle with the birch branch/wand.
Call the corners.
Meditate upon the image of Sila:
    Imagine through the gateway a rosebud.
    Step through the gate and the rose becomes a part of you.
    It enters your womb.
    Imagine the rose opening to its full glory.
    Keep that image in your mind.
Take the piece of paper, and write down your request for a child.
Fold the paper and place it beneath the image of Sila na Geige while chanting:
    "My wish goes out with love and light
    Sila encourage the spark of life."
Let the candles burn down.
Have sex with your partner.

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Ogham Set
Wooden Ogham Set
Rowen Saille

Knowledge, language, and alphabets are associated with the crone aspect of the Goddess. As a crone Goddess, Sila na Geige governs the gateway of knowledge and mysteries of divining (9, 10, 13). Ogham is an ancient Celtic alphabet used for communication and divination (3, 9, 14). The Ogham alphabet is a set of 25 characters often carved into wood or stone. The letters represent 25 sacred trees when lent their names to the characters.

Divining with Ogham
Meditate on a question or situation on which you wish to be advised.
From the bag of ogham staves, draw 3 staves.
Hold the staves in your left hand and concentrate on your question.
When you feel ready, toss the staves out in front of you.
Read the most central character.
This gives you the general tone of the reading.
Read all the other face up characters next.
These represent elements manifesting themselves currently in your life.
Read face down ogham staves last.
These represent that which is hidden or yet to come.
For more complete readings use more staves.
Use multiples of 3.

There are many books and websites relating information about Ogham. The ogham are interpreted on three planes phisical, mental and spiritual. As you become more comfortable with ogham, you will become adept in relating the characters to each other and transcending the three planes, as Sila controls the gateways to the spiritual, mental, and emotional realms of understanding.
Here is an excellent site to interpret the meaning of the ogham staves:
Meanings of the Ogham Staves

Scrying is a method of divination also attributed to Sila na Geige (9, 10). This is probably related to the crone's cauldron of creation in which the future can be seen forming (4).

Scrying Through the Gateway of Sila
Place an image of Sila na Geige near your scrying mirror, crystal ball, or cauldron of salt water.
If you are new to scrying, you might want to keep paper and pen nearby as well.
Focus on the image of Sila, and meditate upon the gateway.
Focus on entering the gateway, passing through to the mysteries revealed.
Turn your eyes to your scrying vessel.
Make note of any images that present themselves to you.
Study these images and ask yourself what the Sila na Geige is wanting you to learn.

Scrying Mirror
Sila na Geige Scrying Mirror
Rowen Saille

Sheila Na Gig
Amy Sophia Maranshinsky from The Goddess Oracle
I flash my vulva for all to see
I stretch it wide
the gateway that all comes through
the passageway to life
I say come through my doorway
open yourself to what is
if you have something important
show it
so everyone can see
I am the opening to this world
the sacred and the silly
the wild and the wooly
the bold and the brazen
I am the Hag
opened by so many turnings
broken down
broken in
broken through
I am the portal to Life
and I say
Open Up!

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  1. Budapest, Z.  E. (1989). The Grandmother of Time. HarperSanFrancisco.
  2. Kate Cartwright's Goddess Art -
  3. Celtic Ogham -
  4. Conway, D. J. (1994).  Maiden, Mother, Crone. St. Paul, MN:  Llewellyn Publications.
  5. Elsbeth, M. & Johnson, K. (1996). The Silver Wheel. St. Paul, MN:  Llewellyn Publications.
  6. Fethard Historical Society. Sheela Na Gig: The Fethard Connection -
  7. Goddess House: Sheela-Na-Gig -
  8. Marashinsky, Amy Sophia. (1997). The Goddess Oracle: A Way to Wholeness Through the Goddess and Ritual (illus.: Hrana Janto). Boston: Element.
  9. McCoy, E. (1995). Celtic Myth & Magick . St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 
  10. McCoy, E. (1998). Celtic Women's Spirituality. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications.
  11. Sheela-na-gig Theories -
  12. Telesco, P. (1998). 365 Goddess . NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 
  13. Theatana, K. P. Sila na Geige: Sheela na Gig and Sacred Space -
  14. Ogham: A System of Divination -  

Ogham Resource List -

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