Prehistoric Feminine Icons

In this blog post I’d like to take you with me on a recent visit to the special exhibition “Arts and Prehistory”* in the Museum of Mankind (Musée de l’Homme) in Paris.**

Like the Feminine Power in London exhibition I wrote about last year, this is another ode to human imagination and creativity in connection to the mystery of life.

The exhibition features women figurines and cave paintings from dating between 26.000-34.000 years old, and I wonder how these prehistoric icons can inspire us to look at female bodies today…

Continue reading “Prehistoric Feminine Icons”

The Red Hand on the Cave Wall by Carolyn Lee Boyd

As I have gotten older, I find I am drawn more to non-anthropomorphic, inexpressable-in-words, nature, and everyday focused visions of the Divine. Whereas before my spiritual practice involved more rituals and circles, unusually indoors, with others, now I more often engage in solo quiet contemplation, outside in the wild when I can. I think more about ways of being rather than ways of doing and more about the small messages I want to leave to generations to come instead of  major accomplishments.  I feel as if I am contracting in towards the center of the spiral of my spiritual journey.

All over the world, very ancient cave art includes hand prints made by painting or blowing ochre around a hand or putting ochre on a hand and pressing it to the wall. Research has shown that about 75% of these were made by women, making them a very early form of feminist art. I wonder if some of them might have been made by women who had transformations and thoughts similar to mine. Here is a poem in the voice of such a woman. 

Continue reading “The Red Hand on the Cave Wall by Carolyn Lee Boyd”


carol-christIn an earlier blog, I suggested that women might have blown red ocher around their hands to leave their marks in prehistoric caves.

At the time I thought this was a rather bold suggestion.

Had I been asked why I thought the images were made by women, I might have said that people have understood caves to be the womb of the Great Mother, the Source of All Life, from time immemorial. I might have added that those who performed rituals in the caves cannot have been performing simple “hunting magic,” but must also have been thanking the Source of Life for making life possible for them and for the great beasts they hunted.  Still I am not certain that I imagined women as the artists in the Paleolithic caves.

handprint peche merle cave

In recent days the news wires have been carrying a story titled “First Cave Artists May Have Been Women, New Study Suggests.”   According to retired anthropological archaeologist Dean Snow, the handprints made by Paleolithic ancestors 40,000-20,000 years ago may have been made primarily by women. Snow spent a decade gathering and analyzing photographs of the handprints left in caves. The scientific fact that women’s first and ring fingers are generally of the same length, while men’s ring fingers are generally longer their index fingers, led him to the conclusion that ¾ of the handprints in the caves were made by women! If women were painting their hands on the caves in larger numbers than men, then isn’t likely that they were also painting the images of the great beasts on the walls of the caves? Continue reading “WOMEN ARTISTS AND RITUALISTS IN THE GREAT CAVES: THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF INDOLENT ASSUMPTIONS by Carol P. Christ”


I carry the exact replica of MDNA handed down from mother to daughter since the depths of the last Ice Age 17,000 years ago.  My father carries  the YDNA of the Indo-Europeans handed down from father to son since the time when his male ancestors invaded Europe about 5000 years ago.   

My female ancestors moved with the seasons as they gathered fruits and nuts, roots and greens to feed their families. Some of them may have blown red ochre around their hands to leave their marks in ritual cave-wombs.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed down exclusively from mothers to their children. My MDNA “T2b” was given the name “the clan of Tara” by Bryan Sykes in The Seven Daughters of Eve.  According to Sykes the earliest female ancestor with this gene lived about 17,000 years ago, perhaps in Tuscany. Continue reading “A CLASH OF CULTURES IN OUR GENES by Carol P. Christ”

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