More graphic goodness! And strange glimpses into my life...


mages Page VII 

The Black Madonna

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I AM Nature... 

The universal Mother, Mistress of all the elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, Queen of the dead, Queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are. The primeval Phrygians call me Pessinuntica, or Cybele, Mother of the gods; the Althenians, sprung from their own soil, call me Cecropian Artemis; for the islanders of Cypress I AM Paphian Aphrodite; for the archers of Crete I AM Dictynna, for the trilingual Sicilians, Stygian Persephone, and for the Elusinians, their Ancient Mother of the Corn, Demeter.

Some know me as Juno, some as Bellona of the Battles; others as Hecate, others again as Rhamnusia, Nemesis, But both races of Aethiopians, whose land the morning Sun first shines upon, and the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning and worship me with ceremonies proper to my god-head call me by my true Name...


I have this...fetish. I collect Black Madonnas. I never did the doll thing when I was growing up, so this came as somewhat of a shock to everyone. Dolls gave me the willies. Its a quasi-religious dogmatic problem that I have no intention of getting any help for. ALL of these statues and icons reside here at the house, making this one of the largest personal collections of Black Madonnas in the United States. When I get the second page done, I'll post some pictures of the room they live in. It is however an expensive mentally aberrant issue, so I thought I might as well share it with you. Don't you love seeing people's neurosis spread all over the internet? I know I do. So, for your consideration...


The Woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach." ---Revelations 12:14.


The original Virgin (1734) is placed in the Main Retable at the San Francisco Church (Iglesia de San Francisco) in Quito-Ecuador. This is completely done in hand carved polychromed cedar wood. And She's one of the coolest Madonnas I own. :)




An ancient statue of The Lady and Child was brought from Egypt to northern France at the same time of the Crusades by three knights of the Order who had been captured by Saracens and later released. It was enshrined at Liesse, near Laon, in the diocese of Soissons (France). The original statue was destroyed during the French Revolution, but the medieval basilica at Liesse remained a center of devotion to the Mother of God: a new statue was installed and crowned there in 1857. Our Lady of Liesse is the patron of the diocese of Soissons and the focus of pilgrimages, especially an annual pilgrimage on Whit Monday. 


This is one of the few Black Madonnas I have from France. The rest are from all over, but the one from France that I'm desperately searching for is Notre Dame de Luminaires. If anyone has one, let me know what you want for it. I'll gladly trade charts! Actually, I'd trade my firstborn, but he's kinda big, and makes his own mind up about where he wants to go. :)




Mary Magdalene, the Woman that knew the All...This is the Mary Magdalene of the Templars and Masons, the Apostle, the Companion and the Wife of The Christ. She also appears VERY pregnant in this picture. My allegiance begins here ~ This is a beautiful picture of her that I have on my wall. It looks to have been done in the 30's or 40's sometime. Maybe as late as the 50's, but I don't think so. Anyway, this is also another aspect of the Black Madonna. She is the Black Madonna of the Templar Knights. 




Another Mary Magdalene this one is an 'icon' which is supposedly a window into the spiritual world or a window into the house of God. Contemplating on an icon leads to some pretty freaky spiritual experiences. :)





The Carmelite Virgin ~ This statue is exquisite and REALLY hard to photograph. She stands over 15 inches tall, another one with the base. She is done completely in silver, with gold highlights around the crown and hair. It is marked 800 silver, made in Italy. This is definitely a Church piece. Since I do have such a thing about Black Madonnas, I'm letting Her go into the natural state of tarnish, and She looks great. This is when She was all cleaned up for pictures. 






This is Notre Dame.

 This is a breathtaking wall niche, complete with gargoyles. It doesn't get much cooler than gargoyles. Notre Dame, I know, you're thinking "Good football team." But this is much more than that...Proceeded by a Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter, a Christian basilica, and a Romanesque church, construction of Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII. Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone. The idea to replace the Romanesque church occupying the site - the Cathedral of St. Etienne (founded by Childebert in 528) - was that of Bishop Maurice de Sully (who died in 1196). (Some accounts claim that there were two churches existing on the site, one to the Virgin Mary, the other to St. Stephen.) Construction was completed roughly 200 years later in about 1345. It was the first huge building project dedicated to Our Lady that the Templars started. However, they were outlawed relatively shortly before in 1307, and it became a moot point. The Catholic Church and the French king Phillippe went after the Templars with a vengeance on  October 13, 1307.






Nuestra Señeora Aparecida--

Also known as the Madonna of the Apparation from Brazil. I actually have two of them, this one and another, much younger one formed of plaster. This appears to have been a church or a private shrine piece since she was very lovingly carved in wood, and has survived the last couple of hundred years or so to finally arrive here---a resting place and haven for all of the Madonnas, either Black or White...May the Ladies bless and keep all of you ~ May the Morning Star shine gently on your face, and the Evening Star show you the path home...may the Star of the Sea bring you safely home with your nets full and your hearts free...



 She is between 300 -350 years old, believed to be originally from the 18th century, She stands 21 inches tall, and 5 inches across. This one is not holding a child, and is standing, as are most of the later era Black Madonnas...the Byzantinian Madonnas are for the most part, seated with the Child placed centrally. It wasn't until later that the Madonnas started standing, with the Child cradled in Her arms. 

 As you can see, there is a small amount of the polychrome left from many Moons ago, when She was painted. This is the biggest tell right here that not only was She always a Black Madonna, but She is somewhat of a heretic, like me... According to the dictates of the Church of Rome, The virgin was ALWAYS to be portrayed in blue, or pink, or a rose colored red. Only in pictures of her at the cross was she allowed to wear any other color in any painting or carving. This one was at one time wearing a red crown. That would have been forbidden, especially since the colors of the Esoteric Church were black, red and white. 


This is another interpretation, or rendition of the Carved one right above---This is Nuestra Señeora Aparecida. Our Lady of the Apparition. The two don't look that much alike unless you know what you are looking for. They both have the same crown, hands folded in prayer, no child and there is a design down the front of the gown that gives it away... Here is Her story---She is one manifestation of "The Star of the Sea..."

In 1716, three fishermen were working the Paraíba river. That day the nets they hauled in do not contain any fish, but an artistic terra-cotta figure of Our Lady of the Conception. Legend has it that once the image was placed in the ship, the fish were almost jumping in the boat. The fishermen, afraid of the abundance that started with the Lady returned to port for fear that the small fishing boat would sink under the weight of their miraculous fortune.  

It is not known how image arrived at the bottom of the river, but it is known Her sculptor, Frei Agostino de Jesus, a Rio de Janeiro monk of Sao Paulo that created The image,  made Her around 1650, and She remained submerged in the Paraía for many years until Her glazing and polychrome wore off,  and left Her a shining dark color. 

The Dark Virgin is clothed in a rigid fabric mantle--- heavily  and richly embroidered, so that only Her Hands and Face are visible, While Her hands are in set in continuous prayer. She wears the RED imperial crown, of gold and precious stones, with which She was crowned in 1904.

 Pio XII proclaimed the Lady a miracle, and sent Her a holiday and day of celebration, October 12th has now been declared a National Holiday. The Virgin Appeared to Juan Pablo in Her sanctuary, concediédole tíulo of Basíica. Days before, someone intentionally tried to destroy the Virgin by throwing Her to the ground.   Although the figure made in fragile clay was divided in many pieces, the love and the careful work of several artists and experts managed to reconstruct it perfectly and the repaired Virgin returned to her niche in the basíica. She is another miracle working Black Madonna that seems to populate the Earth...

You know what's REALLY strange? You should see all the Black Madonnas that are found or discovered by cattle or bulls. Harking back to Hathor, perhaps?? Either that or they decided to blame it on the livestock...shades of Gary Larson? BTW... I'm also an incorrigible heretic.




This is Notre Dame de Bonne de Deliverance ~ 

Our Lady of Deliverance.

I have absolutely NO clue...but She did come all the way from France to be here. She needs a lot of repair work that I'll get to as soon as I get the rest of my life straightened out. { that will be real soon. Hope She's not in any hurry...} 

I found Her fascinating for several reasons---first, they DO NOT make Her anymore, at all. She is also wearing the French National colors. She's the only Blonde Black Madonna and Child I've ever seen--- She is definitely something of an enigma...I have a bit more research to do on Her---She has a marking on Her dating Her to at least the 1930's.


This is another rendition of the Virgin Mary. This one has the Virgin standing on the crescent Moon and crushing the serpent under her foot. She is under going reconditioning. All the lacquer has been stripped off and She is being conditioned with only the finest essential oils, mostly Benzoin, Neroli, Vetiver, Jasmine, Frankincense and Myrrh. She's looking good!




On the mountain named Montserrat, near Barcelona, in the Catalonia region of Spain, a church now contains a 'miracle-working' statue of the Madonna and Child known as La Moreneta, that is: the dark little one. Legend relates that the miraculous image was first known as La Jerosolimitana (the native of Jerusalem), since it is believed to have been carved in that city during the early days of the church. Another account, seemingly well-attested, indicates that the image was moved to Montserrat in 718, to avoid the danger posed by invading Saracens.

 The image disappears from the historical record at this point, to reappear in a legend holding that shepherds found the lost statue under supernatural guidance in 890: While tending their flocks that night the shepherds were amazed to see lights and to hear singing coming from the mountain. When this was repeated, the shepherds reported the situation to their priest, who investigated. When the priest also heard the singing and saw the mysterious lights, he informed the Bishop, and he also witnessed the phenomenon. The statue of Our Lady was discovered in a cave and was brought out and placed in a small church that was soon erected. However, the statue presently kept at the Montserrat shrine appears to have been introduced in the twelfth or thirteenth century. Its Romanesque style is consistent with this estimate. 

Beyond general style, the genre of the statue is certainly that of an 'enthroned virgin', typical of the earliest icons of Mary. On behalf of Madonna and Child representations, Stephen Benko notes: It is well known that the iconography of Isis and [her son] Horus was basically adopted by Christians when they started to portray Mary and Jesus as Mother and Child." Benko adds that Isis was sometimes "pictured as black". These observations indicate only a correlation, not a causal relationship. They do not answer the question why the Montserrat figures or over 1,000 of the world's better known Madonnas are black. 

The present copy could have reproduced the general style with adaptations to accommodate Romanesque taste. However, no less likely is the theory that the present copy was modeled on the Christian genre of the enthroned Virgin. Why then the black color of the figures? Perhaps it was done in imitation of earlier Christian Black Madonnas the sculptor had seen. This sounds plausible, but is unsupported by hard data. Maybe it was inspired by the commentaries on the Song of Songs ["I am black but beautiful"] which were popular at that time. Again, there is no evidence of this beyond the temporal coincidence of events. On the negative side, Montserrat is located in Spain, not in France where St. Bernard of Clairvaux ( the nephew of one of the original nine Knight Templars) and others produced well-known commentaries on the Canticles. Perhaps the image was created black to represent some esoteric religious symbolism. Ean Begg notes that the Shrine of Montserrat is among the best candidates for former sanctuaries for the Holy Grail. Further, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries esoteric Christian sects proliferated, though not primarily in Spain. Again, these are correlations and speculations, not proofs. 

 The statue has always been considered one of the most celebrated images in Spain. However, like Our Lady of Einsiedeln in Switzerland, its popularity is limited to a regional rather than a universal scope. Also, the shrine has received innumerable pilgrims over the years, currently at the rate of at least one million per year. This multitude includes secular and ecclesial rulers as well as a number of canonized Saints. The most notable of these was St. Ignatius of Loyola, who laid down his sword and embarked on his religious mission "after spending a night praying before the image", a miracle in the order of grace.

This is the Black Madonna of Montserrat. La Virgen de Montserrat or La Moreneta. I actually have another one that no one is allowed to see. Kinda like the president's invisible plane. However, the one that I pay homage to is not for public consumption. Like my angel once said when I asked him why he didn't appear to everyone so that I could prove that I wasn't crazy, "If I wanted everyone to see me, I'd rent a hall." This is a wall plaque, hanging on my wall that I show to everyone that asks what's in the shrine. Note that She is VERY Egyptian looking..





This is another version of Notre Dame de Monserrat...Another one in the collection. I would say *MY* collection, but I really have this sneaking suspicion that they have collected me...










Vierge Noir en Mejeste Tournemira

Another French Black Madonna...This one is finished and dressed in gold, richly elegant and formal...This one is a real stretch to call it the Mother of Christ. At least, the Catholic Church was hard pressed to have Her renamed as Mary, Virgin Mother of God. But to save face, that is exactly what they did...This one is more than likely another one from all over France that either symbolizes Mary Magdalene, or has Her connections going back to Isis, or just the very primal Mother of All. 

Another Madonna I have some research to do on. I was recently informed that She is not who I thought She was by a very talented lady. You can reach her website here: 

So far, it looks like She resides in chateau d'Anjony, which is the ancestral home of  Joan of Arc's sponsor, Rene de Anjou. As soon as I get more information I will post it here. And do visit Majak's site. She has some very deeply moving art. 




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