web designer, writer, editor and ceremonialist

Abroad thoughts from home

6 September 2005

Black Madonna at WalcourtWell, I’ve been home for a day or so and felt like I needed to sleep for a week at first. And now it feels as though I was never away ….

But I have a treasure of memories, images and thoughts stored away. I’m still not entirely sure why I had to go looking for Black Madonnas, but at least I now have a better idea. I know that the dark mother – the one the patriarchs have tried to do away with so many times and in so many ways – will never leave us. I know that she is infinitely compassionate and wise. I know that she is my mother, and the mother of the whole human race. For even when her statues are whitened, made to disappear, destroyed and damaged, somehow artists reach into that deep place where we are all one, and yet again pull out the image that is beyond words, beyond academic study … but which exists now and forever in our hearts and souls.

I’d like to acknowledge a debt to Ean Begg and his marvellous book, The Cult of the Black Virgin (Arcana, 1996). Without it, I wouldn’t have known where to start.