Skip to main content

The Black Madonna: My Journey




I've begun doing more and more research on the Black Madonna, spurred on by my upcoming artist residency near Montserrat next fall. I realize though, that I've been interested in the Black Madonna for many years, although I'm not a Catholic or attached to any particular faith. I'm interested mostly in the dark aspect of her.

Matthew Fox, is an American Episcopal priest and theologian. He is an exponent of Creation Spirituality, a movement grounded in the mystical philosophies of medieval visionaries, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart and Nicolas of Cusa. He has written more than 22 books which have sold millions of copies.

In his essay, called "Welcome: The Return of the Black Madonna", Fox says that the "Black Madonna calls us to darkness. Darkness is something we need to get used to again-the 'Enlightenment' has deceived us into being afraid of the dark and distant from it. Meister Eckhart observes that the 'ground of the soul is dark'. Thus to avoid the darkness is to live superficially, cut off from one's ground, one's depth. The Black Madonna invites us into the dark and therefore into our depths. This is what the mystics call the 'inside' of things, the essence of things. This is where Divinity lies. It is where the true self lies. It is where illusions are broken apart and the truth lies."

I have come across a number of websites and a lot of information about the Black Madonna and realized that my interest and research was turning into something more than I had originally intended. In an effort to learn more about her myself, I hope to write a series of blog posts from time to time, called The Black Madonna: My Journey.

I'll reread my copy of the book "The Cult of the Black Virgin" by Ean Begg, and also reread China Galland's book, "Longing for Darkness, Tara and the Black Madonna" and report back in on more books and sites that I've come across.

Millions of people across the world make annual pilgrimages to Black Madonna sites. Two million/year visit the monastery at Montserrat and that is only one of nearly 250 sites of Black Madonna images throughout the world.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Case for Coming to Art Late in Life-Part 1

There are a lot of us out there who have come to art later in life. My workshops are filled with women (mostly) who are between the ages of 50 and 75 (The baby boom generation). Probably most are between 60 and 75. And what interesting people they are! They bring their life experiences with them to their art––their heartaches, joys, achievements, worries, and gratitude. And they are, for the most part, committed artists. They are embracing art like it's finally their time. It's what they've been waiting their whole lives to do. They come with their souls on fire.

"and there was a new voice 
which you slowly
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do––
determined to save
the only life you could save." The Journey by Mary Oliver

 It doesn't matter how old you are if you have passion for life.

That passion can carry us a long way. And while recognition is important in the way…

Meet the Owners of a Scottish Castle

Art Workshops and Mary Oliver

To begin each day in my painting workshops, I do a short mindfulness meditation to bring our focus into the studio, into the workshop. And then I read a poem. Words that might inspire. Poems that might, in the words of John O'Donohue, "create an invisible cloak to mind your life".

My workshops are filled with women (mostly) who are generally between 55 and 75. The Boomer Generation. These are women who have worked as teachers, nurses, doctors, professors, engineers and who are now retired or near the end of their careers. Many are also mothers of grown children. And grandmothers. They've come to art later in life and are ready for a second career, finally able to follow their hearts to discover their creativity. But still, many are tied to their roles as mothers and grandmothers and find it difficult, as women do, to allow themselves space and time where they are not nurturers and caregivers. Time for themselves, for their creativity.