The sculpture depicts a priestess of the Mysteries of Isis, round about the second century AD in Rome, performing a ritual to ensure fertility, regeneration and immortality of the soul. In ancient times man was not conditioned to see the snake as evil. Its ability to slough its skin and arise a new creature over and over again made it a symbol of rebirth.
The snake twined around the legs of the priestess also symbolizes the spiral and meander – the path that the dead soul would take to re-enter the womb of the Great Mother. From there the soul can be born again. The bowls presented to the gods contain grain or food. The skulls, which are incense containers, are symbolic of mortality rather than death.
The Y-shape of the composition is a Pythagorean symbol of life – an ascending road that in the course of time divides and man must choose between good and evil. The altar is of Roman origin. The ram heads at the corners are symbolic of procreation and fertility.
The cylindrical forms on top of the altar are Roman symbols of strength, representing a bundle of sticks that increases in strength with each added stick.
Dimensions: 940 mm high x 330 mm x 360 mm
Edition: Series of 15