Sunday, February 7, 2010

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.

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