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Original drawing of Maria Lionza, made with colour pencils on acid-free, first quality Fine Arts paper. Measures 22,7 x 17,3 cms. / 8,9 x 6,8 inches.
The Goddess has had many names, many races and many faces in my art, in my worship and in my life. I have painted Her for my own enjoyment, and I have made many commissions for other Spiritual practitioners, covering almost every single ethnicity and/or mythology. In my canvases, she has been Hekate, Freya, Ochum, Gaia, Pomba Gira, the Fairy Queen, Kwan Yinn, Aradia, and so many others.
For those who are not familiar with Her, Maria Lionza is the highest Spirit of Venezuelan Spiritism, the embodiment of Nature and the Chief of the Three Venezuelan Powers. According to the legend, she was an Indian princess born with green eyes, something extremely rare among Venezuelan Indians. Her father kept her secluded in a cave as a child, protected by the twenty bravest warriors of the clan.
In the cave, there was a lake where a giant snake lived. As the princess grew into a young woman, the snake fell in love with her, and as she was looking at her image in the water, the snake appeared and swallowed her – but since she was a magical creature with great powers, the snake couldn’t stand having swallowed her and exploded. Out of the snake’s body, she emerged with full power, and became the Goddess of Nature.
This piece humbly tries to condense such a magical story in one symbol. I have depicted Her naked, embraced by the snake who fell in love with her and surrounded by flowers and butterflies. One of the many names She has is Queen Of Heavens – for that, she is traditionally portrayed wearing a crown as a symbol of Her royalty among Spirits, and so did I, so the piece could join traditional elements with a more contemporary design.