Joan is the founder of the Institute for Archaeomythology, and was the special guest of the Sonoma County Pagan Network.
Her talk was a delicious feast of images & information about goddess statues, mainly from about 37,000 BCE to 3000 BCE, from central Turkey to southeastern Europe.
She described voluptuous female imagery invoking & expressing the source of animal & plant abundance & domestication. Her account was simply the most satisfying version of this rich history I've encountered. I awoke this morning with a new sense of moving within a continuous, unbroken, ancient flow.
Two smaller themes were particularly poignant for me: statues of women & children with bird heads, & owl statues & vessels. These so vividly convey how communion between human & bird was once taken for granted, I feel affirmed in the communion I experience with birds today.
With excitement, I recognize the animal spirits I paint as legitimate actors in the long, ongoing drama of human life playing in company with all sorts of fellow beings. I savor in a new way the work of creating these images.
This one is Bird Grandmother in the Redwood Grove, which flew out of me after a visit to Armstrong Woods. She is a watercolor, about 11" square. After Joan's talk, I feel how she expresses the happiness of being briefly among great beings who endure thousands of years. She is a messenger of our joy among trees.