In 1986, Vijali traveled to 12 sites around the world creating earth sculptures and performance ceremonies with the local communities. Below is a description of one of the 12 sites from the first World Wheel circle. For more information about the first World Wheel project, see About World Wheel page.
Phidousa Snake Woman
Reawakening the Ancient Serpent Healing Power
Tinos Island, Greece
In Greece I fell in love with the Island of Tinos and its inhabitants, known since time immemorial as a site of miracle healing. In the Greek Orthodox Church here, there is a miracle-working icon, visited by pilgrims from around the world.
Beneath the Church are the ruins of an ancient temple to Dionysius. I chose the beautiful Bay of Livada as the site for the World Wheel, and carved and painted inside a cave that I called Gaia’s laboratory, in honor of the Earth. On the windy cliffs overlooking the bay, I created “Woman Made of the Cosmos”, a blue and old giantess whom I dedicated to the wind. To the element of fire, I offered a ten-foot-high driftwood sculpture.
As a salute to water on the edge of the sea, I sculpted a large granite serpent that was totally submerged in steel gray waves when the sea churned. I painted a sun-yellow design with car enamel. This 25 foot long serpentine megalith represents ancient Greek healing rites of the island, of sleeping in the presence of snakes. It also represents the ancient name of Tinos, Phidousa, “The Place of the Snake.”
NOTES AND PHOTO CREDITS
Photo by Sacha Burger — Spirit Within Matter II in Santa Monica Mountains
Photo by Vijali Hamiton — Woman of Space (detail) in China
Photo by unknown — Serpent by Vijali Hamilton – World Wheel site 5