Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Unnamed Statue

It can often times be difficult to find a statue of a particular God or Goddess you're looking for, especially if they aren't the mainstream Deities in your religion. For example, trying to find a statue of Zeus compared to finding one of Hemera. As Hellenists and Pagans, it can be difficult to find religious items because we are still a minority class. Believe me, I have experienced this all too well. Even though I have found a lot of stuff online and at thrift and antique stores, the fact of the matter is that several of my Gods and nearly all of my Heroes don't have statues out there, at least not that people can buy for their home shrines. 

However, that hasn't stopped me too much, because the other option is to create them myself, and where there's a will, there's a way. I am certainly not a sculptor, and neither are most people. Nevertheless, I realized that what I can do one way, I can do another. I simply started looking for statues that were unnamed. In other words, general sculptures that didn't have an apparent name or meaning. The statue you see in the picture on the right didn't originally have any color or a Greek name inscribed on its base. In fact, it's been so many years since I bought it in 2012 that it's starting to chip and fade, and I need to repaint it. Originally, it was just a plain white statue of an anonymous female, very basic in depiction. When I looked at the piece, it reminded me of a Greek Goddess for some reason, but I couldn't decide which. I purchased and brought it home where I decided it would best resemble Eirene, the Goddess of peace. I painted it over white again, then added a peaceful green color to the robes. Finally, I wrote Eirene's name in Greek on the foundation, and ever since then, it has stood in my home as an official statue of the Goddess, even traveling all the way across the country with me when I moved to Illinois and the several homes I have lived in since that time.

I took the statue which had no identity and gave it a reasonable one to fulfill my religious functions at home. Then I realized this can also be a very viable option for other Hellenes and Pagans out there who are struggling to find rare or non-existent statuary. Normally, these kinds of unknown statues can be purchased very cheaply and painted with low cost craft paint. However, there is one thing to always have in mind before doing it. The statue should either resemble the Deity you plan to name it after, or at least not utterly contradict a possible appearance or depiction of said Deity. So for example, getting a statue of an unnamed boy in modern clothing who is fishing with a modern pole and calling it Poseidon, is inappropriate and outlandish. But, in my case, using a piece that is clearly classical, basic, able to adapt, and even looks like a Greek woman, is better suited to be changed into that of a God. It's not something I normally teach people to do on a regular basis, but in a pinch when you have no other choices, it can work, both religiously and financially.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.