The Priestess archetype from the Tarot is a card we need to call on now, in these unstable times. She signifies both strength and softness, a balance of Ying & Yang energies. She is the messenger and uses her intuition and self-trust to do what’s best. She holds the scroll of wisdom, poised for change and a coming into unity. The spirals on her skirt indicate renewal and regeneration towards a healthy change for Mother Earth.
At this moment in time, we need the wisdom of Divine Feminine to guide us through the labyrinth of government to ensure enlightenment on the other side. Nancy Pelosi fills those shoes as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She embodies the Priestess archetype, standing her ground for justice. May she be strong and resilient and gather support from both aisles of the political parties to do what needs to be done.
Let their heads roll at her feet! It’s a time for unity – but not a time to gloss over the crimes directed at our democracy. Unity comes after Impeachment. May this modern day Priestess and her cohorts do what needs to be done to create a peaceful transition for the Biden and Harris administration.
It must have been those red boots I bought my first day in Paris. Or the synchronicity of running into Mary’s old friends in a West Bank Cafe. Or the wonderful exhibition, Crossing Borders, in Ghent, Belgium I was in where we attended the opening and met new artist friends. Or more than likely, my one simple question, “Are there any Neolithic goddess sites in Austria?” that led to my visiting the infamous Venus of Willendorf at the Natural History Museum – inspiration for the Sculpture to come…
I believe in synchronicity, or “meaningful coincidences,” and that being open to possibilities is key. You have to say yes to the Universe to receive gifts that come “out of the blue.” Last year’s trip to Europe was full of such magic; good luck certainly came my way and all seemed part of a divine plan.
Sometimes you create a piece of art because of the materials you have available to you. This is especially true during the Covid-19 lock down. I had this beautiful large sheet of amate paper, a hand-made paper made in a village near Puebla, Mexico, rolled up in a corner and nearly forgotten. I bought the paper for the size, 45″ x 97″ – finding paper that size isn’t easy – so you grab it when you can. But the sheer beauty of it also attracted me. I bought a couple of sheets from the maker who was traveling through Mazatlan a number of years ago.
In June, I unfurled and tacked the huge paper up on my sheetrock wall in my studio (in San Miguel de Allende) not knowing what I was going to do – without a plan. That’s my normal modus operandi: show up at the page and see what happens. I’d thought I might cut it into 3 pieces after I got started. And since I’ve been working figuratively, I began in the center – sketching in a rough figure with charcoal.
I love working with charcoal, although it is very messy. It’s a very sensual medium, one you have to get your hands into. A push/pull of black and white, adding and subtracting, making marks and erasing. Smearing, rubbing, softening with fingers, rags, and erasures. As the figures took form, the symbols began to emerge from the page as well – the moon, the circle, the bird, wings, the spiral, the ouroboros (snake), and flowers.
I began to see the power in the full size paper – no way was I going to cut it into three pieces! It won’t be easy to frame or exhibit, but art is not practical and we don’t make practical choices in the studio.
As the figures emerged, a story developed and The Sacred Feminine Trilogy came to life. On the left is ‘Strength’ – a young woman turns towards center one hand in a fist, in defiance – “a don’t mess with me stance”. A bird sits on her shoulder, another hovers nearby, possibly her Spirit Guides. In the center is ‘Spirit’ – one hand upturned to receive, the other to give back, a sacred mudra or hand gesture. She stands in front of the Full Moon, a sacred feminine symbol if there ever was one, her wings fully in place – suggesting she is a spiritual entity. The Ouroboros, the snake eating its tail, encircles the moon, an ancient symbol for renewal and the cycle of life. On the right is ‘Abundance’ – the Mother, pregnant and abundant with life. She holds white Cala lilies in front of her stomach – a symbol for fertility – and looks towards ‘Spirit‘ for guidance.
The viewer’s interpretation is as valid as the artist’s. What do you read into the Trilogy? Enjoy!
My newest public sculpture, Throne for a Goddess, installed in Austria in September, has launched a fundraiser to benefit a Mexican based non-profit organization that empowers women through education – Mujeres en Cambio (Women in Change). Visit their website to learn more about their good work.
“This project is all about empowering and honoring women – from the ancient to the present”.
Since I couldn’t be in Austria for the opening due to covid travel restrictions, I wanted to raise awareness of my newest public sculpture and offer something locally as well. To that end, I created a beautiful golden print that reflects the imagery of the sculpture and benefits young women. I partnered with the San Miguel de Allende non-profit, Mujeres en Cambio, and offered them 40% of the sales.
Mujeres en Cambio was a logical choice since they empower young women in rural communities by offering scholarships for their education. In Mexico, education is only free through the 6th grade. In 2019 the organization gave scholarships to 187 girls from 46 villages in rural San Miguel. V.P. Trish Leaven said, “these times are greatly affecting how NGO’s like ours continue to raise funds to support our young women, so offers like hers (Glen’s) are truly appreciated.”
The Throne for a Goddess commemorative print is 11.5” x 8.5” and is an archival, limited edition digital print, signed and numbered by the artist. The prints are $100USD or $2100 MXN each. Your Purchase of a Print Empowers Young Women Through Education! Purchase your print on my website:glenrogersart.com
The Seed of an Idea becomes a Reality
So how did this public sculpture come about? In September 2019, I was in Europe for a group exhibition in Ghent, Belgium called Crossing Borders. After the show, my friend and I traveled to Austria where we visited her cousins in Vienna and later her extended family in Weiz in the beautiful countryside of Styria.
Sitting around the dinner table on our first night in Vienna, I asked our hosts if there were any Neolithic Goddess sites to explore nearby. (Visiting sacred sites is a passion of mine, one that I’ve been pursuing for many years, thus my book, Art and Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place.) To my utter surprise, they told me that the Venus of Willendorf, one of the oldest and most celebrated Paleolithic goddess sculptures, was housed in The Natural History Museum in Vienna. With a feeling of reverence and excitement, we paid her a visit the very next day! Housed in a special room with only a few other artifacts, the Venus was incased in a glass cube – all 6” of her. She was exquisitely carved in stone during the ice age, almost 30,000 years ago, and was discovered in Willendorf, lower Austria in 1908.
The Venus of Willendorf has become an icon for women everywhere, with her characteristic voluptuous shape, she is a fertility symbol honoring women as life-givers. She is an archetype that points to ancient goddess cultures and matriarchal societies. For me, this image of the Great Mother is a symbol of female empowerment, a reminder of who we are and where we came from.
Kunstpark St. Ruprecht/Raab sculpture park:
During our stay in Austria, our host took us to Weiz, and on the way, stopped to show us a new sculpture park in St. Ruprecht/Raab where he had a piece. The park which is beautifully laid out like a giant peace symbol, already had 20 to 25 sculptures by local artists. We met Wolfgang Neffe, the initiator of the park and shortly after, I made a proposal. I wanted to honor the Venus of Willendorf, this Austrian artifact that symbolizes the Sacred Feminine – the primary motivation for my art for many years.
The sculpture was fabricated in Austria by the Binder Company where I worked closely with Jitka Derler, an artist herself. Jitka totally related to the goddess imagery that was the basis for the work and we worked well together inspite of our language barrier and the physical distance between us. Throne for a Goddess was installed at Kunstpark St. Ruprecht/Raab on September 9th, 2020.
Throne for a Goddess is an interactive sculpture where visitors are invited to sit and feel the energy of the Great Mother: Rest in the Warm Embrace of the Goddess, the Great Mother, the Divine Feminine. Feel Her Nurturing Love and Offer of Abundance and Prosperity. Sit in Her Lap of Fertility and Plant a Seed for your Dreams and New Beginnings.
More of my public sculpture can be seen on my website: Beacon, Campbell, CA; Three Wings, Stockton, CA; Web of Life, Chico, CA; Spirit Gate and Meditation Bench, San Jose, CA. https://www.glenrogersart.com/sculpture-
This deck of 50 oracle cards is a contemporary approach to an ancient tradition. The images were inspired by universal symbols that honor Mother Earth and the Sacred Feminine. I created the artwork, both paintings and prints, over a 30-year period.
Use these Spirit Cards as a companion on your journey of self-discovery. Open your mind, heart and spirit to the messages you receive and use them as a form of meditation and contemplation.
A boxed deck, cards are 5 3/8″ x 3 1/2″. Includes guidebook with introduction and interpretations.
Spirit Cards were conceived during the covid quarantine, a silver lining to troubling times.
Order your cards on my website: $30 usd plus shipping. Add a beautiful gold organza bag for your cards – $5.00
This deck of 50 oracle cards is a contemporary approach to an ancient tradition. The images, inspired by universal symbols that honor Mother Earth and the Sacred Feminine, were created over a 30-year period by artist Glen Rogers. In her books Art & Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place and Symbols of the Spirit: A Meditative Journey Through Art, she shares her pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world and her interest in archetypes and their universality. For Glen, creating in the studio is a form of meditation and a way to evoke a connection to the Divine Spirit. Her paintings and prints share a mystical quality that transcend into the spiritual realm. Spirit Cards were conceived during the covid quarantine, a silver lining to troubling times.
In Man and His Symbols, Carl G. Jung refers to certain symbols as archetypal: images that all of us can tap into through our unconscious mind, dream states and the creative process. He believed that “the greatest and best thoughts of man shape themselves upon primordial images,” and that archetypes—symbols from the collective unconscious—are metaphysical in nature. On my travels to sacred sites around the world, I learned firsthand that there truly is a universal visual language that connects us all.
Throughout my adult life, I have consulted various divination methods—astrology, psychics, the I Ching—all with eye-opening results. One of my favorites is Angeles Arrien’s interpretation of the Thoth deck in her Tarot Handbook. From her perspective, the ancient wisdom of the Tarot offers an opportunity to see life as a process of “walking the mystical path with practical feet.” Spirit Cards are a form of divination as well, a way of seeking clarity on an issue, and a simple-to-use form of reflection and contemplation to add to your daily practice.
Oracle cards can be a tool on your journey of self-discovery, a way to inspire and awaken the Light within. For some, they are synchronicity at work through both image and word, allowing the unknown to become known. Open your mind, heart and spirit to the messages you receive and reflect on how they resonate with you. Meant to inspire and offer food for thought, each Spirit Card you choose is the right card for you at that moment. Comes with booklet with instructions and interpretations.
Pre-order Now! Introductory price $25 USD plus shipping. Visit my website to purchase:glenrogersart.com
Special Offer: The first 50 orders received includes a beautiful gold pouch to store your cards!
On a recent visit to France, I visited one of the last prehistoric caves sites open to the public where one can see authentic paintings from the paleolithic era. The Niaux Grotto is located in the northern foothills of the Pyrenees, just south of the French town of Foix. I made us a reservation months in advance for 1:30 in the afternoon – enough time, I thought, to drive from the small village of Sauve. We booked a rental car and set off – GPS said 3 1/2 hours to get there. It took 4 hours and we barely made our tour! Driving in a foreign country, sometimes on small windy roads, not knowing where we were going or if we would make it on time, added to a slightly stressful adventure.
But we did make it (at 1:15) and it was worth the stress! Like my traveling companion said, this was a once in a lifetime experience. (Actually, this was my third cave visit (See my blogs), but equally exciting. Ofcourse, no photography was allowed and veryone was given a flashlight to maneuver the unlit cave.
Once inside the cathedral like space, I felt a serenity and a connection to the ancients who walked this space 15,000years before us. On the left, a figure of a woman (not a painting- a spirit) greeted me. (This is not in the guide books, folks!) She was there to the left outlined in the gold and white granite rock. I pointed her out to my friend and she saw her as well. This sign of the sacred feminine spoke to me and let her presence known. Perhaps she created some of these drawings and wanted me to know it. Thats my story and Im sticking to it!
As we moved further into the cave, our guide pointed out the beautiful drawings made with black carbon – horses, bison, mountain goat, ibis etc. There was often a layering of images – implying motion and one could tell many hands created these images over time. One never knows what will inspire the artist – in my case it was something even more mysterious and ethereal than the ancient cave drawings themselves. It was the spirit of the cave and perhaps a whisper in my ear…
“Retablo for the Sacred Feminine”, oil on canvas with gold leaf & wood, 25.5″ x 18″
I’m honored to be participating in The CrossingBorders exhibition in Ghent, Belgium, August 31 thru September 15, a group exhibition of artists from the Global Art Project (GAP). We were invited to create an artwork that reflects a border or boundary and what it means to cross it – (political issues, globalisation, (im)migration, climate change, gender, race, culture, religious racism, terrorism, genocide, war, misogynist behavior, feelings of fear or superiority etc.)
I chose to use a retablo format and focus on how women have been marginalized, tortured, terrorized, and abused for thousands of years in the name of religion. Through time, matriarchy was erased from memory as myths were appropriated and symbols were stolen. With this votive, a prayer is lifted for women to break through patriarchal boundaries around the world and share the bounty of the planet equally and peacefully with men.
Traditionally, retablos were a votive offering in the form of a religious painting with a solemn request or a show of gratitude for a miracle. They were specifically important in Mexican folk religion in the 19th century where workshops would paint a favored scenario on a piece of tin or wood and write a request to God at the bottom of the image.
Using this retablo format as the basis for my piece, I chose to focus on Mary as she represents the divine feminine in the Catholic Church. For many indigenous cultures who were forced into the religion of the Opressor, Mary is a symbol for their goddess from ancient times.
In “Retablo for the Sacred Feminine,” Mary is crowned in all her glory with a golden halo and a hint of angels wings behind her. She is truly Divine. Her breasts are bared, challenging the status quo and breaking through the shame that the Church imposed on her body. One hand open signifies her love and caring for all humanity and the other, a tight fist, represents her anger for the suppression of women and her readiness for their defense. Incorporating the spiral and the lozenge design at the top, symbols of renewal and fertility from the Neolithic goddess culture, signifies her role as life-giver.
The CrossingBorders exhibition will take place at the Sint-Amanduskapel – Campo-Santo – Visitatiestraat 2 – 9040 Sint-Amandsberg – Ghent – Belgium. It is organized for Global Art Project GAP by 10dence and curated by Ron Weijers and Carl Heyward.
You will want to savor your time with this gorgeous volume created with love and wisdom by very talented printmaker, painter and sculptor, Glen Rogers. The book is filled with Glen’s beautiful artwork expertly laid out and printed in rich colors, accompanied by short text and guided meditation.
Glen’s work has long been grounded in archetypal imagery—metaphysical symbols from the collective unconscious. As a young feminist artist, Marija Gimbutas’ insights in The Language of the Goddessspurred Glen to walk in the footsteps of early goddess cultures. Over the next several decades Glen made spiritual and artistic pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world. On these journeys and in her art and life in between, Glen discovered and nurtured an internal resonance with sacred archetypal symbols, which then became a focus of her work. When she began authoring this latest volume, she set out to write a book about two of her favorite symbols: the bird and the lotus. Once she began, however, she quickly realized there were eight key symbols that appear again and again throughout her body of work.
In Symbols of the Spirit Glen writes a two-page essay on each of these eight symbols that have imbued such meaning and beauty into her art and daily life: the bird, circle, lotus, moon, seed, spiral, vessel and vesica piscis. She covers the symbols’ historic use and meaning as well as how they came to speak to her personally. Glen includes a short meditation or experiential activity inviting the reader to connect with the energetic properties of each of the symbols: to “experience it with your heart and allow the images to become part of your visual and spiritual vocabulary.” Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.
The effect is one of pure joy and thoughtful contemplation. If you are looking for reading that nurtures the spirit, the heart, one’s creativity and authenticity, you will find it here. Merely touching the rich pages deepens and calms one’s breath. Keeping this book near you in your home or work space provides a quick escape from the harried world we live in.
Most Mazatlán residents have much to thank Glen for, including the First Friday Art Walks in Centro Histórico and the OMA Gallery at the airport. She owned Luna Art Gallery in Mazatlán, and currently splits her time between our city on the bay and San Miguel de Allende. Born in Mississippi, Glen holds an MFA from San Jose State University and has a long and esteemed art career. For decades she worked in public art and as a community leader. Glen has had solo exhibitions throughout the USA and Mexico plus several in Peru, and group exhibits on four continents.
Glen feels that these eight archetypal symbols offer a promise of healing and transformation, a spiritual and artistic anchor to the Sacred Feminine. She views the creation of art as meditation—a communing with a higher power. Working with ancient symbols provides a bridge to our ancestors and a heart connection to the past. Glen’s experience tells us that these symbols provide healing on a subconscious level, and that once we’ve healed ourselves we can heal the world, because archetypes allow us to go deeper inside to find new truths to the dilemmas we face individually and collectively. Do we really need reasons more powerful than these to invest our time and talent?
Glen’s record of giving back to the community and trying new things is evident in this book. Making such personal works available to everyone—artist and non-artist alike—allows us a peek into what pushes someone as amazingly talented as Glen, and in doing so inspires us to look inward as well. Meditating with Glen via these precious pages is a truly therapeutic endeavor. Contact Glen to start enjoying your copy.
“The man who speaks with primordial images speaks with a thousand tongues.” —Carl Jung
The vessel, a simple utilitarian object, is layeredwith metaphorical meaning. At its essence, the vessel is a symbol for the human body – specifically the female body, which carries and nurtures the child within. Mimicking a pregnant woman, the vessel bulges out at the center into a curvilinear shape. In pagan societies, the cauldron was a symbol for the womb of the Great Goddess and offered the power of rebirth.
The famous Chalice, some scholars believe, was actually Mary Magdalene, the sacred vessel that held the Christ child. According to Barbara G. Walker in her book, The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power, the vessel was the source of life, wisdom and inspiration in pagan religions. At its most primal level, it is a sacred container that will forever be connected with magic and the act of creation.
Even the simplest hand-made pot can transcend the ordinary and reflect the spirit of those who came before us. I gather these images around me and draw from them in the studio. The shape emerges and becomes the focal point of a painting or print often filled with a liquid golden light signifying its sacred nature.
Excerpts from my upcoming book, Symbols of the Spirit, A Meditative Journey Through Art.