What am I present to as I dive into a deeper relationship with the Black Madonna?
There is just so much to absorb! Who is this Dark Lady? Of the many sources I’ve come across, these aspects, curated from a longer list of her qualities in 2011 article by Matthew Fox speak to me the most:
- She is the lady of the lower chakras, grounding us to Earth and, as we are rooted in her, sustaining us with her energy.This is especially potent for me as I recently witnessed her abundant energy to sustain all her creatures. Here in New England, we had an infestation of Gypsy Moths earlier this year, and they denuded many trees of their foliage. There was one tree, in particular, that I noticed outside of the town hall in Brookfield where I live: by mid-June, every last bit of leaf was gone, and the tree was just devastated.
As I continued to commune with this tree on my daily morning walks, I noticed something astonishing: a second springtime, as the tree began putting forth new leaves. We humans were all horrified by the so-called devastation of the gypsy moths, but Mother says, pshaw, the gypsy moths are my children too, and I must provide for them! Do you think I cannot provide for you both? Let them eat their fill and I shall clothe you in new leaves.”
She is the lady of infinite abundance for those who are rooted in her.
- The Black Madonna “…calls us to a renaissance of culture, religion and the city,” and “to reinvent education and art.” I love imagining the Black Madonna as the patroness of a Golden Age of Humanity, where we invest our energy and resources into creating beauty and abundance instead of aggregating power and money, only to have it stagnate and turn cancerous, eating us all alive.Science fiction authors Ursula Le Guin and Sharon Shinn have written of visions of flourishing cultures dominated by a feminine energy or, better yet, working harmoniously with the masculine. In my mind’s eye – and now in the concept work of many modern architects – I can see green cities, elegant cities clean, where the inhabitants are all artisans and all live in a system of sustainable and natural exchange goods and services give all people the fullest expression of their potential and a sort of golden age unlike anything the world has seen.
Sign me up!
In addition to these aspects of the Black Madonna, I am strongly engaged by her quality of encompassing and reconciling polarities. I strive in my own life to be present to “each” and “both”. There is creative energy that comes from the tension between the polarities. Due to my personal life situation, I am especially attuned to the energy of masculine-feminine polarities, and of the virgin-whore paradigm.
I loved when Shiloh asked us to think of the world we see as “the grid”, expanding that polarity into a 3-dimensional field, defined for us by the grid of our consciousness, but barely outlining the fullness of the potential within which we live. Imagine moving into the darkness that is pregnant with potential. Can we hide away here from our enemies? Can we birth new realities to change the grid itself?
What might not be possible for us if we could dwell in the spaces between the limitations of the grid?
Visioning My Black Madonna
I am rooted to the ground and my branches are spangled with stars, but to find my mother I must leave this place. My spirit slips from the tree as easily as a woman might slip off an unwanted article of clothing, and as I set my ethereal foot upon the golden path, it is solidified and I find myself in more familiar form: a mortal woman on a path of red dirt. Lush pastures cover rolling hills to either side of me, but soon the road to my left gives way to an inhospitable beach strewn with rocks and seaweed. The path begins a steep ascent between even steeper hills, and I know I am approaching the place where my Mother awaits my arrival.
The path becomes just a narrow passage hard won from between steep rock walls, and eventually the walls overtake the very roof of my way, and I am plunged into the darkness of a tunnel whose end I cannot see. I slowly make my way forward by feeling the way with my hands and feet.
Deep in the darkness, I begin to see an impossibly vast shimmer, as though the roof of the tunnel has given way to the cosmos itself. Then I find myself on the lip of a great precipice, and realized that I have indeed crossed a threshold into another realm. The great dancing lady seems to take up the entire sky before me. She bring her head down close to where I stand, and I see my entire height reflected in the pupil of her right eye. Though I cannot see her face, I know she smiles when she recognizes me.
She is nursing her son, and continues to do so while she re-sizes herself to come down to my scale, and comes to stand with me on the ledge. She says nothing, but hands me a small gold bracelet with a sort of stylized “x” on it: one leg is curved to a point, almost like a scimitar; the other is stout and knobbed, like a stick. I accept the gift but do not put it on, as I have never liked wearing bracelets. I cannot fathom what it means.
My lady does not seem ready to enlighten me; instead, she tells me: “Take care of my son.” I sense she is speaking of my mate, not the babe she holds in her arms; she returns to the sky and continues nursing her child.