pagan to the hilt

April 22, 2018

Bacchanal - Rosaleen Norton

From an early age she had a remarkable capacity to explore the visionary depths of her subconscious mind, and the archetypal beings she encountered on those occasions became the focus of her art. It was only later that Roie was labelled a witch, was described as such in the popular press, and began to develop the persona which accompanied that description. As this process gathered momentum, Roie in turn became intent on trying to demonstrate that she had been born a witch. After all, she had somewhat pointed ears, small blue markings on her left knee, and also a long strand of flesh which hung from underneath her armpit to her waist – a variant on the extra nipple sometimes ascribed to witches in the Middle Ages.. .

.. .She had no time at all for organised religion, and the gods she embraced – a cluster of ancient gods centred around Pan – were, of course, pagan to the hilt. She regarded Pan as the God of Infinite Being. Traditionally Pan is known as the god of flocks and shepherds in ancient Greece. Depicted as half-man, half-goat, he played a pipe with seven reeds and was considered the lord of Nature and all forms of wildlife. He was also rather lecherous, having numerous love affairs with the nymphs – especially Echo, Syrinx and Pithys.

Nevill Drury
Rosaleen Norton: Remembering Roie – the Witch of Kings Cross