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.