Please enjoy our series of articles on dolls in magic and religion. We hope you are inspired
Part 1 A doll is defined as an item that represents a person, animal, or deity. It can be realistic or symbolic, fanciful or specific. Dolls have been in existence – in one form or another – for millennia. The Woman of Willendorph (aka: The Venus of Willendorph) has been dated to 28,000 BCE, the Paleolithic era. This small carved figurine was found in 1908 in an archaeological site in Austria in the town of Krems. She is named for Willendorph- the small village where the excavation was taking place. The nickname of ‘Venus’ is now controversial for several reasons. Firstly, there is millennium between this small idol and the deity for which it was named. Secondly it has been supposed that , while its original name was la Poire, the pear, on account of its shape, it was dubbed Venus due to the obvious representations of the female genitalia - "le Mont de Vénus" - or the mound of Venus. Thus all obese female figures from this era had been dubbed Venus Figurines. Academia now prefers the more precise term Willendorph Women to remove their association from the classical Venus. So were these figurines used for magical and or religious purposes? Of course, we can only speculate but the educated speculation is ‘yes’. Based on the exaggerated depiction of the reproductive female attributes it is believed that these statuettes were used as fertility idols as well as to honor the ‘magical’ associations of women; pregnancy, childbirth, menstruation, breast feeding. Think about that- 28 thousand years ago before written language of any kind, simple machines such as wheels or farming -- humans were celebrating and attempting to connect with The Mysteries by way of a carved physical representation. Humans understood on a deep level that what was Spirit could become Manifest.