Womb shamans and Venuses

I found this carving on one of the stones at the Neolithic-dated ritual site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey many years ago, when I had my own shamanic archaeology site called Ishtar’s Gate. Some of you may remember that forum?

A carving from Gobekli Tepe, dated between 9500 and 8000 BCE

The other, largely male, members just politely ignored her. For all I know they are still doing so. I haven’t seen any research papers on her. Perhaps nobody wants to address the question: why does a woman with full breasts lying on her back with her legs wide open, have something strange, too small to be babies, emanating from the area of her Lady Garden?

No, I’m pretty sure it’s not early porn. To me she is very obviously a womb shaman in the throes of the ecstatic release of her magnetic field from her sacrum. To my eye, she couldn’t be anything else.

But she is not the most ancient image or figurine that we have of the womb shaman. Some are them hundreds of thousands of years old.

You’re probably more familiar with these august ladies under the name of Venuses, which is what baffled archaeologists decided to call them when they started digging them up, all over the world. Some of them made the connection to love and fertility, but only in as much as they assumed that their huge distended bellies, large pendulous buttocks and and drooping breasts meant that they were pregnant, and therefore they must be protective talismans for birthing mothers.

I beg to differ. For one thing, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve noticed that artists of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic period were not interested so much in capturing literal reality, but enlarged the features that they valued, that conveyed a metaphorical message. On top of that, many of these women have covered faces or don’t have faces at all. Unlike today, when artists paint beautiful models for their Venuses, back then it was if their looks were not considered to be at all important to the matter at hand. So I believe that these so-called Venuses were all womb shamans from an era when it was the height of respectability to be one.

They can’t be just middle-aged women gone to seed. If you’ve ever tried the Palaeolithic Diet, you’ll know that bellies and buttocks of this size would have been virtually impossible to achieve, in those days.

But please tell me what you think in the comments below. Am I wrong? Am I just like the person with the hammer that sees everything as a nail? Given all the other evidence – whole chapters of archaeological, literary, artistic and mythological evidence laid out in The Sacred Sex Rites of Ishtar – I am convinced that all these so-called Venuses are not actually goddesses, but are honouring the very human womb shaman, whose purpose is not to birth babies, but to birth new worlds and new hope wherever it is needed.

Here’s a few more:

Venus of Hohle Fels, found in Shelklingen cave in Germany, dated to between 40,000 and 35,000 years old.
Venus of Laussel – carved into a limestone rock shelter in south-western France, thought to be 25,000 years old.
Figurine from the Kostenki-Borshevo region of the River Don

Venus of Willendorf – found in Willendorf, Austria and dated to 25,000 years old.

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16 thoughts on “Womb shamans and Venuses

  1. Benefit of getting rained out at work, my lucky hammer stays in her bag for now.

    Here is a subject that I can’t resist. Something I’ve given a lot of thought to. Like every thinking man, I’ve thought in circles. And probably accomplished nothing.

    I have no problem with most honest theories. I think the only I take point with is ‘tit therefore porn’ (thanks French anthropology) and the whole ‘women did self portraits wrong’ trope. I’d be lying if I hadn’t considered the priestess angle, but I’m entirely new to your concept of the womb-shaman – although I suspect as I delve deeper it will most likely jive with what I have intuited from other sources.

    To the question… Why not both? Priestess and Goddess. After all, I’ve always understood priest-esses as being representative of their respective deity. In that Goddesses and Gods have often used intercessors, interlocutors, etc.

    But I’m a centrist almost everywhere I go. I don’t see a problem with their being fertility idols, but I also think we’re missing dimensions of fertility as we now live in houses and are overwhelmingly sheltered. At least in the White World. In the Orient and Africa are vestiges of what might be ancient fertility cults. There, a woman’s girth does not preclude her from beauty as in our ever so enlightened modernity. One peradventures to guess that perhaps ancient conceptions of fertility as well as beauty might have seen the size of the priestess/Goddess as an accomplishment, symbol of wealth, prosperity, etc. Maybe that’s why some Venuses look pregnant, but others such as the Çätalhöyük or Maltese finds are merely fat. Which I stress may not have been the insult then that the popular opinion mill has made it now.

    But I won’t be belabour the point any further. If one were crippled by boredom they could keyword “Goddess” in my navigation page, I’ve left a good deal of brain there to pick. Or not, whatever floats their boat or sinks their dinghy.



  2. Thanks Eternal Anglo Sax. That’s a great comment, and gives much food for thought! I should point out that one does not have to be crippingly bored to want to read your excellent site. I can thoroughly recommend it! I should add, I know you’re reading The Sacred Sex Rites of Ishtar. At the end of part 2, you will learn more about how and why the womb shaman releases her magnetic fields.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, thank you. I’ll look forward to it. It will certainly account for new ground, in that magnetism has been only tangentially touched upon in books I’ve read. Markale in “The Great Goddess” speaks of magnetic points of interest stemming from at least Neolithic and likely Palæolithic times which the Christians would go on to make into churches, often despoiling apparently what energy was circulated by said magnetic poles.

      In fact, Markale had a magnificent idea (or borrowed one) that I’ll assume you’ve heard of, which has it that the totemic or phallic monuments in Celtic prehistory such as the Henges worked in tandem with the oracular or vaginal monuments such as the hypogeæ or barrows. That many burial Chambers had a “sun spot” wherein a monolith would cast a shadow into a receptacle, which he supposes intimates a ritual of reincarnation wherein the sun revives a soul as the womb of the earth is pierced or inseminated by the sun.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes absolutely, I have heard of these magnetic places. There is a sacred site near here called Avebury with what is obviously a vulva stone that used to be penetrated by the shadow of a larger, pointed phallic stone on the Summer Solstice, but that has since been removed. Also Stonehenge is now thought to have been used for sacred sex rites. I’ve written an article about both of them here: https://anniedieuleveut.com/2017/12/13/the-sacred-sex-rites-of-stonehenge-and-avebury/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very interesting. We don’t have an Avebury in New England, and our wee pygmy little stonehenge, cairn and barrows (as well as the odd runestone, ogham and other) are all hotly debated and thoroughly discredited as authentic by the ever steady hand of science.

      But if I didn’t know any better… I’d be damned if I didn’t feel my hypothalamus tingle some whenever I see anything like it, flesh to stone.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes Annie to: ” I am convinced that all these so-called Venuses are not actually goddesses, but are honoring the very human womb shaman, whose purpose is not to birth babies, but to birth new worlds and new hope wherever it is needed. ” Perhaps these figurines represent the womb shaman prior to the act of creation, rather than after? She comes to the union already pregnant with the energy needed to create…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s a good observation. Thanks!


      1. So I did some sleuthing after reading “Womb Shamans and Venuses” and was fascinated by info on Gobekli Tepe. Per your: “……Gobekli Tepe in Turkey many years ago, when I had my own shamanic archaeology site called Ishtar’s Gate”. Were you actually in Turkey on a physical site? Can you please address that and the experience and findings? Were you by yourself, have a team, what possessed you to take this journey? Perhaps you have something already composed that I could read. I don’t remember you discussing this in “Ishtar” ……delicious!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to disappoint you, Susan. I haven’t actually been to Gobekli Tepe, let alone with my own team. But what I had on Ishtar’s Gate forum were archaeologists who couldn’t get their papers published because they were finding “the wrong thing” at these sites, and so that’s how I came across the information, and much more besides. I will be publishing quite a lot on here that isn’t in The Sacred Sex Rites of Ishtar, because I wrote that seven years ago, and have learned a lot more, shamanically, and magically, since. So hold on to your hat!


    1. Ah. I see. I’m in Great anticipation! …..So, I keep trying to ‘like’ you here but don’t think it’s registering. Or maybe it is on your side? Please advise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry you can’t Like. There seems to be all sorts of jiggerpokery going on with my blog here and also the Facebook group, Shaman of Avalon, that members cannot access. I don’t know whether to take it personally or just put it down to technical error. Either way, I can’t do anything about it.


        1. So take it personally but in a good way….you will not be deterred! Just know I LIKE YOU!…as many do.
          Secret….Lions Gate Portal and Star Babies – OMG!….as foretold many years ago but still quite a big surprise. Seems like all this Ishtar focus was intentional, yet we do all weave into and affect into each others experiences. How delicious!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hey. I’m sorry if I’ve asked this before, but I’m wondering if you’ve ever read Jean Markale’s “Great Goddess” and/or Richard P. Reaves “Odin’s Wife.” Or Thomas Karlsson’s “Nightside of the Runes”?

            Their works ‘ and yours have helped me move some of the hnefatafl pieces in my head lately as regards the Perennial Sophia, as well as Earth based stuff. Anywho. shameless plug below… I have reviews of two of what’s mentioned.

            Great Goddess in Review

            Review: “Nightside of the Runes,” Thomas Karlsson

            Lastly, have you heard of either Galina Krasskova or Raven Kaldera and have you got an opinion of “Neolithic Shamanism “?

            Sorry for the fat-ass comment jammed hastily into this marginally appropriate article… but I’ve been meaning to lean on you for awhile as I respect your insight… … anyways…
            Hopefully all is good with you, Ms. Dieu-le-Veut, and life is treating you well.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Dear Sir Seaxwulf,

              Your query has made me realise the AWEful truth. It’s a very long time since I’ve read any book, let alone all those you mention, although the rooms in my house are lined with bookcases full of them. I might consult one occasionally, to remind me of something. But otherwise, they are just like old friends hanging around and keeping me warm!

              My posts here and in other places don’t come from modern books; they come from the direct guidance I receive from my spirit guides while in the shamanic or otherwise ecstatic, theophanic state.

              There are times when I need help in describing what I’m being shown. It is when I cannot express the concepts easily, because that kind of thinking is no longer in use, and the words no longer exist in modern parlance. So then I do look at old Druidic, bardic myths… although even then, I’m perceiving them through a glass darkly. We only have the transcriptions of medieval monks available to us, and mostly, unless they were also secret alchemists or smiths, they didn’t have a clue about the mysteries and so most of it gets lost in translation.

              I don’t know what the current thinking is on Neolithic Shamanism but there is a plenty of evidence that it was not only a thing, but that their lives were totally based on it. In other words, they knew the advisability of contacting the spirits in other worlds to get help for living in this one. Until we get back there, I don’t see much hope for mankind.

              Anyway, I hope this helps and I wish you happy reading!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I don’t think it’s that awful at all. I believe that everyone is (dare I suggest intelligently) designed to interact with the universe and fill a Sophianic compact in their own way. For me, with my third eye being somewhat blunted, I have at present my wits to lean on. I’ve come to believe even that has an ordinance. But I expect I will one day reach a point where it’s time for me to synthesise the data I store, rather than collect. I suppose I do that now, but the thirst for more is there yet.

              It’s a beautiful metaphor. The friendly books. As to the Neolithic Shamanism, I’m glad to know it. It seems to me from the Palaeolithic to the present is a thread, which I think becomes logically clear when the evidence of ancient art is measured within the womb of developing Paganisms and their iconography which seems to report back to the Ancient, abundant Venuses and their beast-helmed man-friends, wild hunts and such. My favourite example is Laussel. I might add a shameless plug, but you can probably guess what I’d have to say. But ultimately when considering the thing I prefer to ask who does the thing, and as you might imagine, Maine lacks for shamans who appreciate an approach to natural law.

              Anyway. I appreciate your answer, it’s kind of you to take the time. Not everybody would. Few, I think.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. As another aside, I know you’ve a keen eye for contemporary art. Have you looked into some of the artistic embellishments coming out these days relating to the ancient Venuses? There’s some good stuff out there, it’s nice to see.

    Liked by 1 person

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