It is interesting to me that in honoring the Black Madonna we have also seen how many characteristics of the healthy masculine she carries within herself.
That is one reason the idea of creating a ritual of the Green Man and Black Madonna seems very powerful. Together, the Green Man and the Black Madonna represent a deep marriage of the masculine and the feminine, of light (photosynthesis) and dark.
The Black Madonna is not just a mother; she is also a shaker-upper, a prophet, a warrior who uproots as well as deepens roots. She is a mystic-prophet, a rooted one and an uprooting one—as we are all called to be in these “turning times.”
Honoring the marriage of the Green Man and the Black Madonna prepares us to welcome other necessary marriages as well. Such as that of Yin and Yang. The marriage of Yin/Yang means the Divine Mother takes on characteristics of the sacred Father (action and strong protection), while the Sacred Father takes on characteristics of the Divine Mother (compassion and intimate caring).
Allen Tsai writes, Yang is like man. Yin is like woman. Yang wouldn’t grow without Yin. Yin couldn’t give birth without Yang. Yin is born (begins) at Summer Solstice and Yang is born (begins) at Winter Solstice.
The key to harmony is not rest, or stasis, but keeping the tension level and balanced. This could be called the Sacred Marriage of Opposites.
This is a true marriage indeed, one in which the children prosper and from the heathy union of masculine and feminine is born a living child. A mystic child. One in love with the universe, in love with life and therefore the Earth. As Andrew Harvey puts it,
This ‘keeping of the One so as to remain in harmony’ is the essence of the path of the sacred feminine, the clue to the sacred marriage, the fusion of masculine and feminine in the dark silent depths of the psyche to produce the child.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp.244, 246f.
Banner Image: (L)”The Green Man,” center of a dish by Alan Caiger-Smith; photo by Clive Hicks, detail of the cover of The Green Man: The Archetype of our Oneness with the Earth by William Anderson. (R) “Black Madonna,” by Arden Mason, detail of the cover of Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna: Chants, Music, and Sacred Practices of the Great Goddess by Alessandra Belloni. Images used with permission.
Queries for Contemplation
Where do you see Yin and Yang occurring in nature? In human nature? In culture? In yourself? In the divine?
The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine
To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature, to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God