A Tribute to Viktoria Maroniva by Judith Shaw

judith shaw photoIt’s been a very tough month for women. The “Me Too” movement started in 2006, when Tarana Burke coined the phrase “Me Too” as a way to help women who had survived sexual violence. Then on October 15, 2017 it was turned into a huge movement with a tweet by Alyssa Milano, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” The tweets and the speaking out have not stopped – they continue to grow –  but the Patriarchy’s defense of a man’s right to sexually assault and abuse women continues. 

Witness the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the subsequent
charade of a hearing concerning Dr. Ford’s allegations of sexual attack during their high school years followed by another charade of an FBI investigation, ending in Kavanaugh’s confirmation. All of this has unleashed a fury of women screaming “No More!!!” Long suppressed memories are surfacing of sexual assaults, harassment, and misconduct.

Then news was released internationally on October 9 concerning the rape and brutal murder of Bulgarian investigative journalist, Viktoria Maroniva on October 6. Perhaps she was targeted for her journalism, perhaps it was a random act of violence. But in either case it was an act of extreme misogyny – she was beaten so badly her beautiful face was not even recognizable.

Her killing broke me down. I found myself a few nights after her murder sitting at my drawing table when unexpectedly Viktoria entered my mind. I cried and cried, thinking of her horrific death and the horrible deaths of so many women before her. All fallen to the insane, power-hungry, life-denying consciousness of misogyny.

Women are now declaring, shouting, screaming – Enough!

No longer will we be silenced!
No longer will our bodies be the battlefield on which men wage their wars of domination!
No longer will we doubt our sisters when they speak out!
No longer will we doubt and blame ourselves!
Women of the world are awake!
We are mad.
We will no longer accept and remain silent concerning our status as second-class citizens.

Together with our lovers, husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons who love and cherish us we stand against misogyny.

We are an overflowing river.
We are a hurricane.
We are an earthquake.
We are a volcano, a tsunami, a forest fire
We are the force – clearing away the old and making way for the new.

The established order is holding on hard to its power of domination and control yet we grow stronger each day. We are one with Mother Earth and, as we have taken up home in the trees to protect them, we also educate, advocate and work harder and longer for our equal place in the world. We continue to believe that a world where all Goddess’s children are honored and protected is possible.

This painting poured out of me that night when I cried for Viktoria Maroniva.


“From My Heart – A Tribute to Viktoria Maroniva. Your Beauty, Power, and Strength Lives On”

Since I started on this piece more and more information has been released about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabian citizen, U.S. permanent resident and writer for the Washington Post. I was nauseous all day as I listened to reports on the gruesome, sadistic details of his murder. I can barely wrap my mind around it all.

Over and over again one sees that the brutal reality of Patriarchal control over society creates victims of men as well as women. In a kingdom like Saudi Arabia, well known for its human rights abuses and extreme oppression of women, even a well-known man firmly entrenched in a power elite position, cannot advocate for reform without losing his life.

The wave of women rising up, crying out, and demanding human rights, equality and justice for ourselves demands the same for all men.

Judith’s deck of Celtic Goddess Oracle Cards is available now. You can order your deck from Judith’s Etsy Shop. Experience the wisdom of the Celtic Goddesses!


Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has been interested in myth, culture and mystical studies all her life. Not long after graduating from SFAI, while living in Greece, Judith began exploring the Goddess in her art. She continues to be inspired by the Goddess in all of Her manifestations. In recent years Judith became very interested in the Goddesses of her own ancestors, the Celts, resulting in her deck of Celtic Goddess Oracle cards.  She is now working on her next deck of oracle cards – Animal Spirit Guides. Originally from New Orleans, Judith makes her home in New Mexico where she paints as much as time allows and sells real estate part-time. Give yourself the gift of one of Judith’s prints or paintings, priced from $25 – $3000.


Author: Judith Shaw

Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has been interested in myth, culture and mystical studies all her life. Not long after graduating from SFAI, while living in Greece, Judith began exploring the Goddess in her art. She continues to be inspired by the Goddess in all of her manifestations, which of course includes the flora and fauna of our beautiful Earth. Judith has exhibited her paintings in New York, San Francisco, Mytilene Greece, Athens Greece, New Orleans, Santa Fe NM, Taos NM, Albuquerque NM, Houston TX and Providence RI. She has published two oracle decks - Celtic Goddess Oracle and Animal Wisdom Oracle and is hard at work on an illustrated fairytale - Elena and the Reindeer Goddess.

14 thoughts on “A Tribute to Viktoria Maroniva by Judith Shaw”

  1. And as far as I know, only Angela Merkel has taken action while Donny whines about the Saudi royalty being his friends and worth a lot of money. I also realized reading your post Judith, that I immediately knew the story of Jamal, but not Viktoria. That could be because of nationality, but …
    Sometimes it’s really hard to tolerate some people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Barbara it is true that Viktoria Maroniva’s murder was in the international news for only a day and the news around Jamal Khashoggi continues still. In this case I tend to believe that the ongoing reporting around the murder of Khashoggi is because it creates such extreme geo-political consequences. Or we hope that it would. As you said only Angela Merkel has taken action. The world makes noises but weapons sales continue unabated.

      Yet one of the issues that fueled my tears around the murder of Viktoria is the fact that a huge number of women are raped and murdered everyday who remain nameless and unimportant to the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Judith, for this exceedingly well written, deeply sensitive post regards the tragedy of the rape and death of Viktoria Maroniva, who was herself, I read, a courageous TV journalist. Your paintings always touch my heart deeply. But today the tears are streaming down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fran – Tears are becoming an everyday experience these days for me. After I heard about Viktoria Maroniva’s rape and murder I looked up other journalists who had been recently murdered. I discovered Daphne Caruna Galezia, Maltese investigative journalist, who was murdered by car bomb in October, 2017. Here’s a link to an article about an artist who responded with a beautiful portrait of her which is now permanently displayed right outside the press conference room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The artist, Malta-based metal artist Marie Louise Kold, had a similar motivation to mine – to honor her fearlessness and to keep her memory alive. https://lovinmalta.com/news/journalists-at-the-european-parliament-will-now-see-daphne-caruana-galizias-face-at-every-press-conference


  3. Brava! It’s wonderful that so many women in this FAR community are speaking out and writing strong posts. It’s wonderful that so many women in the world are speaking out and gathering in protest.

    I didn’t know about Viktoria Maroniva before this morning. Thanks for telling me and us about her. And thanks for another of your beautiful paintings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara, I only knew about Viktoria Maroniva because I happened to be listening to the news on the radio on the one day that her rape and murder were mentioned internationally, though her death did receive a lot of attention in Bulgaria. These are very scary times and I am so moved by women like Viktoria, who truly put their lives on the line to bring us the truth of Patriarchal corruption.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your painting and your words go straight to the heart of the matter and to the heart. I hope you can share your painting with Viktoria Maroniva’s family. Thank you for sharing here.


    1. Elizabeth, that’s funny that you mention perhaps sharing my painting with Viktoria Maroniva’s family as that thought just entered my head when I found the article I posted in my response to Fran Cruz about an artist who created a portrait of another murdered journalist, Daphne Caruna Galezia. Not sure how I could make that connection though – I guess internet searching might be the way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “We are an overflowing river.
    We are a hurricane.
    We are an earthquake.
    We are a volcano, a tsunami, a forest fire”

    Will we ever be heard?

    Judith, this is a deeply moving post and one that reminds me that my grief is a great overflowing river – this has been a tough month for women – and personally I am struggling more with woman hatred than ever before. I am physically nauseated, experiencing all sorts of BODILY symptoms that keep me emotionally present to misogyny like never before…

    thank you for your beautiful painting – you speak to the sorrow of so many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sara, I also find myself physically nauseated on many days. It is difficult to not succumb to despair as hatred spews out of the mouths of so many. I just heard on the news that explosive devices were discovered and detained in the mail – one sent to Barak Obama and one sent to Hilary Clinton.

      But I do believe that we are heard and that the majority feels as we do. Unfortunately the minority who hold power through murder, torture and intimidation does not care. Yet the fearless warriors working for a peaceful, just world continue. Will we ever be heard? I believe we will but it seems that we have a very, very dark period to live though before we get to a new dawn.


  6. I think women who have been abused and are able to acknowledge it hear women’s cries – but not all women, and most certainly not many men… and certainly those in power turn a deaf ear. I don’t see how anything can change until this entire system breaks down which probably won’t happen in my life time.

    Liked by 1 person

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