The Venus Figurines of the European Paleolithic Era

Read the article by April Holloway here.
Read the article by April Holloway here.

The Venus figurines is a term given to a collection of prehistoric statuettes of women made during the Paleolithic Period, mostly found in Europe, but with finds as far as Siberia. To date, more than 200 of the figurines have been found, all of whom are portrayed with similar physical attributes, including curvaceous bodies with large breasts, bottoms, abdomen, hips, and thighs, and usually tapered at the top and bottom.  The heads are often of relatively small size and devoid of detail, and most are missing hands and feet. Some appear to represent pregnant women, while others show no such signs. There have been many different interpretations of the figurines, but none based on any kind of solid evidence. Like many prehistoric artifacts, the cultural meaning may never be known.

The Paleolithic period lasted from around 30,000 BC to 10,000 BC and is characterised by the emergence of human creativity. Man-made artifacts from this period show the very earliest signs of workmanship, from small personal adornments and cave paintings to the prevalent Venus figurines, which represent the earliest known works of figurative art.

The figurines were carved from all manner of different materials, ranging from soft stone (such as steatite, calcite, or limestone) to bone, ivory, or clay. The latter type are among the earliest ceramic works yet discovered.  The oldest statuette was uncovered in 2008 in Germany. The “Venus of Hohle Fels”, as the figure has since been called, was carved from a mammoth’s tusk and dates to at least 35,000 years old.

The size of the figurines ranges from 1.5 inches to 9.8 inches in height. They have mostly been discovered in settlement contexts, both in open-air sites and caves, and on rare occasions, they have been found in burials. Considering they were found all throughout Europe, and were sometimes separated by thousands of years, the general similarity of these sculptures is extraordinary.

A selection of some of the Venus figurines found throughout Europe

A selection of some of the Venus figurines found throughout Europe. Image source.

The term ‘Venus figurines’ is controversial in itself.  Inspired by Venus, the ancient Greek goddess of love, it assumes that the figures represent a goddess. Of course, this is one possible explanation, but it is just one of many interpretations that have been proposed.  A considerable diversity of opinion exists in the archeological and paleoanthropological literature regarding the possible functions and significance of these objects. Some of the different theories put forward include: fertility symbols, self-portraits, Stone Age dolls, realistic depictions of actual women, ideal representations of female beauty, religious icons, representations of a mother goddess, or even the equivalent of pornographic imagery.

According to Soffer, Adovasio, and Hyland (2000), the garments that many of the Venus figures have been found wearing, including basket hats, netted snoods, bandeaux, string skirts, and belts, were not typical Paleolithic day wear. The authors suggest that the garments are more likely ritual wear, real or imagined, which served as a signifier of distinct social categories.

Dixson and Dixson (2011) argue that it is unlikely that the figures were realistic representations of women.  At the time the statuettes were made, Europe was in the grip of a severe ice age and it is unlikely that obesity was a common feature. Instead, the authors proposed that the figures may have symbolized abundance and hope for survival and longevity, and for well-nourished and reproductively successful communities, during the harshest period of the major glaciation in Europe.

Unfortunately, the true meaning and purpose of these statuettes may never be known, leaving us to wonder why prehistoric people separated by significant time and distance created such similar figures, and what they really meant.

Astrology ~ Venus Enters Libra, Sept. 29, 2014 ~ Astrologer Bill Attride

Click on image for the full article.
Click on image for the full article.

Your Dearest, your Brightly Shining One, is coming home once again.

At times you will see her there, in the twilight gleaming…

She is the First Star of the Night, your Evening Star, setting just after the Sun.

At other times, such as now, you will see her in the blush of a New Day…

She is your Morning Star, the Bringer of Light, the Keeper of your heart.

She is Prometheus, who brings to you the Fire of Love and Understanding,

She is the Herald of Spirit, who welcomes the Dawning of each New Day.

Whether Setting or Rising, Venus is the Avatar of your most Sacred Truth,

That in the end, the measure of any life that was, is or will be is quite simply,

Did you understand how it is done, did you live with, for and by Love?

Welcome Venus now as she returns to her most special realm. Today Venus comes home to bring you these Gifts of Spirit, to brighten and illumine your Shared Sacred Spaces where you will find, forge and share your love of one another.

One Half of your Journey of Love is about understanding that this is your True Nature. That the One True Force that binds together all of this Creation as One, this same Resonance also holds all that you are as one too…That in the Innermost of everything and so in the innermost of you there is a Spark of the Divine. Divine Love abides within you, and because of this you are and will always be Loved, because in your essence you are this Pure Love.

But the other half of your journey is to experience this same Divinity, to know this same Supernal Light of Love “out there”…You are here to know objectively what you already sense intuitively. You are here to leave behind doubt and fear, to move from darkness and into the Light. You are here to lift yourself and one another out of unawareness and into the Greater Awareness. You will come to experience outwardly through and with one another the fuller measure of this Divine Love, and you will know that this Love is the essential core of all that surrounds you. Most especially, most wonderfully and personally, you will find this Light and Love forms the essence of what you hold and have for one another too.

~ Click on the above image to read more!