The Black Madonna can be found in image and effigy throughout the planet; candles are lit, prayers incanted and offerings proffered in her honour. Cathedrals, chapels, wayside shrines, grassy hillocks and cloistered groves are named for her in every corner of this round earth. She has been associated with Isis and Mary Magdalene (whose father, some historians believe, was John the Baptist, also thought by some to have been Ethiopian), and as an embodiment of the feminine Christ energy. In her very name, we feel the aspects of Woman that have been shorn from one another: although we have learned the division – and choice – to be between Madonna and Whore, the word “black” encompasses, with less vitriol, the sensual, earthy aspect of the feminine that is not the Queen of the Heavens, but rather the Queen of the Underworld – of mysterious, powerful natural forces. This is the dark force of Matter that was considered, when quantum physics was still stuck in the lab and not bounced around the dinner table, to be the antipode of Light and Spirit, the two polarities separated by a yawning chasm of moral judgement.
We now understand that between those two poles lies the entire swirling spectrum of manifest existence; our lives and bodies reflect our awareness and our assessment of the relationship between the Divine Couple of Spirit and Matter, Heaven and Earth.
In each cycle of Life – each spiralling of earth and sun, each individual lifetime, each wobble of our planet on its axis, even in each movement of breath as we inhale and exhale – we experience the courtship of the dualities of existence. It is a dance of exhilarating alchemical geometry – the very definition of passion….
I was in the UK for the Queen’s Jubilee, when fire beacons were lit from the tip of the Orkneys down the length of the land and throughout the Commonwealth – the ancient ritual sent shivers through me, awakening something primal – I felt like a wolf, sniffing the air…. The next day was the Venus transit, when energies of balance and harmony – of the healing of Relationship – were present and accessible for our world…. Fire, followed by new potential….
We’ve now crossed the threshold of the summer solstice; fire ceremonies were held at sacred sites and in intentional circles around the earth to mark this transition through the South Gate of the Medicine Wheel and into the fire element medicine…. In the southern States and southern Europe this is literally the case, as temperatures soar into the unbearable and forests are aflame. I’m told that this year, electrical consumption to cool the summer heat may surpass what is used to warm us in winter. Life on this planet is heating up as we are also exposed to higher frequencies from the sun and the plasma cloud through which we’re passing – we know that the movement of molecules becomes more and more agitated and random the higher their frequency….
That just about describes how people seem to be feeling and acting lately – agitated …chaotic. Since the winter solstice, the sun’s increasing warmth has slowly extricated our gaze from our bellybuttons to focus on the world outside of ourselves. We are called into relationship, action, performance and competition as the wounded male in us seeks to prove himself lovable and of value. The teaching of the South direction of the Medicine Wheel is largely about the joy of being incarnate and all the different ways that this joy can be expressed…. What I am seeing is that the obstacles to passionate, exuberant existence that we have accrued in our lives are becoming painfully obvious and challenging – it is taking more and more energy to maintain the blasé and mundane! “Affairs are now soul size” wrote Christopher Fry in 1951, well before the Super-Size fast-food battle of the bulge had warped N. Americans into anaesthetised objects of derision. It looks as if some of the anaesthetic is wearing off – at least around the edges, Pacific and Atlantic…. Corrupt, repressive, dictatorial governments from Egypt to Canada to China are coming under attack from citizenry wielding the swords of truth, justice and righteous indignation.
What did you feel as we crossed into summer, and what has transpired in your life since then? Here at Heartroot, I felt practically catatonic – so much so that I contacted friends around the world to check how they were doing. The consensus seemed to be that Something very big was occurring – it felt to me like walking into a gale-force wind, or counter-current to a tidal wave….it took everything I had to stay rooted and more or less right-side-up. We’ve heard so much about the awakening of the Feminine lately, but the massive shift that has been taking place with the masculine energy on this planet has been strangely ignored.
What came in meditation was that the energetic template of the healed masculine energy has been put in place, and the last tendrils of the wounded male were struggling as they snapped, losing their grip on our reality. The solar eclipse in May set the stage for the dissolution of the hurt, tired paradigm of domineering masculinity; with the summer solstice and the solar energy at its apex, the renewed masculine is able to stand in dignity and integrity, utilising its gifts of intelligence and wisdom with compassion.
As we have passed through the door of the South, we now begin the feminine, inward path once again. Days now become shorter and the sunlight slowly decreases. We meander our
way back to the autumn equinox and a state of balance. I had two strong recurring images – one, of a bridegroom standing at the top of the aisle, awaiting his beloved. The other was going out into the fields to welcome the Shekhinah on the eve of Shabbat, the People calling the Bride.
The feminine aspect of each one of us is to be prepared, to be “dressed” for the ceremony of Sacred Marriage that will occur on the autumn equinox, this year so much more profoundly than we have seen before. Our physical bodies, our notions of Home, our
emotional leftovers – this is where Life will place our attention, so we’d might as well go there with awareness. The Divine Couple express themselves within us as well as in nature, as Spirit and Matter, inner and outer lives, intellect and instinct – all possible manifestations of the masculine and feminine principles – seek union, balance, equality and peace.
Here at Heartroot, I feel the “dressing of the Bride” in the work that is being done on the land in preparation for the autumn equinox that has become the focal point of this year. I am observing and honouring my body’s needs for less food, more activity and more rest…. Hands and bare feet in the warm, dark earth, the sun coaxing wetness to my skin, I feel the Black Madonna rise within me, and rejoice….