by Lydia Ruyle
Goddess Icon Spirit Banners are sacred images of the divine feminine from the many cultures of the world. Each image was created and revered at some time in human history. Life is about connections between humans, the world of nature and the world of the spirit. Icons connect to the deep soul expression of the divine mystery of life.
The Ancient Mothers called me to bring their images and stories to consciousness using my gift which is art. Over the years my creative path of study, teaching and doing art led to creating icons of the Goddess.
The first banners were created for an exhibition at the Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey in 1995. Since then, the banners have grown from eighteen to over 210. They fly at sacred sites to empower, teach and share their stories around the globe. They hang in museums, colleges, kindergartens, temples, golf courses, conference halls, stone circles, hotels, studios, palapas, and a woman’s prison.
Banners are colorful, portable, lightweight and capable of creating an environment. They are a natural medium to celebrate the Goddess with their connections to traditional women's work and materials of rug weaving, felting, embroidery, painting and icons of the sacred feminine.
Banners and hangings in the west originated in Rome. Cloth banners began with Constantine who dreamed he would conquer under a banner with the sign of the cross, a Goddess symbol. During the Middle Ages, banners and flags with icons came into widespread use in the Crusades. Merchant and craft guilds, fraternal organizations as well as universities and schools carried flags and banners with identifying symbols and colors. Later national flags developed from the personal or state flags of the nobility. The University of Northern Colorado where I teach continues this long tradition. I designed banners for my alma mater’s six colleges for the University’s 100th Birthday. Each graduation the banners are carried by an outstanding graduate.
The banner designs reflect the cultural image making traditions of time and place in the world and in art history. They portray images of the divine feminine, the Goddess. They can be grouped by time period; i.e.Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Greco-Roman, Celtic, MesoAmerican; by image, i.e. Great Mother, birthing, flowering, death, mother, maiden, crone: or by symbol, i.e. snakes, lions, shells, labyrinths.
The banners are made of nylon material which is also used for kites, flags and hot air balloons. They are painted, sewn, collaged and Xerox transferred. The colors are bright and strong. The banners may be hung with light coming through them or on a wall with light reflected from them. They hang from poles and can be carried in a procession as the yearly one at the Goddess Conference in Glastonbury, England. At Machu Picchu we anchored the banners with tent stakes.The banners are available for conferences, exhibitions, sacred journeys, and purchase.
Goddess Icon Spirit Banners are circling the globe, flowering and seeding the universe in Australia, China, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Japan, Finland, England, Italy, Czech Republic, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Peru, Russia, Turkey, Ghana, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and Hawai’i.