Warrior: Goddess of the Victim
21" x 24" / acrylic on wood board / 2007 / sold
When I approached the canvas, I wanted to paint the energy that surrounds a victim. The dictionary defines a victim as a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency. Although I do not dispute the dictionary definition, I believe that it is lacking depth, for I believe that the energy that surrounds a victim is rich with potential and power. If the victim can transmute the energy, the life lessons and teachings that will be acquired are great. As I was painting, I began to realize that what was taking form was actually a representation of an archetypal energy or form of a victim. As the painting unfolded, I saw a Goddess who radiated immense power. She was revealing to me the energies and powers that must be balanced and understood in order to begin the transmutation of the victim’s energy.
In one hand she holds a caged dove and in the other a leashed badger. The dove has a long tradition of wealth, lore, and legend associated with its being, most of which centers on the traditional feminine and maternal energies of peace and prophecy. To the alchemist of early days, it was a symbol of sublimation. The badger is a creature of bold self-expression and reliance. Its powerful jaws have symbolic ties to the power of Stories and the magic of storytelling.
In the painting, the Goddess holds both the keys to the locks that would set these creatures free. Is she reminding us that the victim holds their own keys and when aware can choose which of these energies to apply to the experience of victimization? Is she attempting to warn those who are the victimizers by letting them know that they will be held accountable for their actions? Is she trying to warn them of the consequences of their involvement in the oppression, suppression, marginalization, humiliation and victimization of another life?
I believe her message depends upon who is looking at her. Some will see strength and hope where others might see fear and weakness. It has been my experience that whatever the individual interpretation of her image is remains dependent on the position of the viewer. There are many possibilities, but what one will see or come to understand, has the potential to unveil aspects of their own relationship with being in the role of a victim, or being the one who causes or allows the victimization to occur.