The Sacred Marriage of Black Madonna, Green Man, Yin/Yang

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. 

“The Green Man” by Ullrich Javier Lemus

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. 

Mother Earth and Father Sky in the traditional Chinese Yin-Yang symbol using the Earth and the Sky. Image by Donkey Hotey on Wikimedia Commons.

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

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10 thoughts on “The Sacred Marriage of Black Madonna, Green Man, Yin/Yang”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, You ask today, “Where do you see Yin and Yang occurring in nature? In human nature? In culture? In yourself? In the divine?” I see Yin and Yang in nature in photosynthesis as you mention in this meditation. I see Yin and Yang in human nature in terms of “dare I say the Protestant” idea which is expressed in the Latin term: “simul justus et peccator” or “at the same time righteous and sinful.” I see the Yin and Yang in culture in terms of the Democrats versus Republicans, in myself as being theologically and philosophically liberal and open, while at the same time having beliefs that I hold on to without any rational proof for my position. And I most definitely see the Yin and Yang in the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine, the Goddess and the God, the Cosmic Christ and the Cosmic Dark Mother…

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    In todays DM, what particularly caught my attention, were the words, “The key to harmony is not rest, or stasis, but keeping the TENSION, level and balanced. It is the word TENSION that interests me. I see these words, displayed in the image of the cross. I see this also walked out in Jesus’s relationship with the religious and political leaders of his time, along with his relationships with his earlier followers. I see the connection within the mystics and the prophets, whom learnt how to be comfortable with tension. Most humans do not like tension… it makes us feel precariously uncomfortable. So what is it that helps us embrace this tension, rather than fear it?

    What I sense is a relaxed, focused, conscious attention of intention… a kind of soft gaze on moving forward one step at a time, yet at the same time being aware of what’s going on within one’s perevial vision. I also see an ability of sensing, intuitively the ever so subtle movements of the Spirit… responding and adjusting oneself accordingly, as spiritually discerned. It’s about learning to choreograph not only ones own energy in motion, but also to move in rhythm with the designs of the Spirit, which is always for our highest and greatest good… even when we cannot comprehend this fully. There’s a kind of sacred space and distance held within the tension itself… that allows one to aknowledge what at first appears as opposing opposites, yet as one learns to engage with this tension, one discovers that these things are actually complimentary, one to another. Each embodies a necessary substance, essence, presence… that forms inclusively into a related whole. This neccessary tension is designed to unify, rather than divide. What also comes to mind are the words, “What God has joined together, no man can tare asunder.”

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, You write, “There’s a kind of sacred space and distance held within the tension itself… that allows one to acknowledge what at first appears as opposing opposites, yet as one learns to engage with this tension, one discovers that these things are actually complimentary, one to another.” This is true about many seeming opposites. When I studied philosophy in seminary, I found that the German philosopher, Hegel had an interesting way of dealing with opposites, and this is a simplified version of what Soren Kierkegaard called the “system.” Hegel said that everything moves through a process of: thesis versus antithesis, and each of these opposites are eventually resolved in a synthesis of the two, which in turn becomes a new thesis, and the process starts all over again. Thesis, antithesis and synthesis…

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        Richard, another way of adding to what we are both commenting on, is the importance of staying open in heart, mind and soul… to the sacred process that unfolds within this tension we’ve been speaking of… which is to stay open to the evolving and emerging narrative taking place within the relationships with all the different aspects within ourselves, as well as the inner presence and essence of the Spirit within… which includes the inclusivity of archetypal communion as well. These all speak forth, different narratives within the larger One narrative… different stories, perspectives and reflections of conscious awareness within the larger story… designed to foster and nurture unity within diversity. You might say this is traversing the circle of creation spirituality that begins with the tension of the via negativa, then moves into the via positiva, the via creativa and then the via transformativa.

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    Thank you Matthew for yet another very rich Meditation. I especially appreciated the portion of the Gospel of Thomas. Even as great darkness abounds – now as it did in the time of Thomas – the light continues to be proclaimed.

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    Thank you, Matthew for elaborating on balancing masculine/feminine. I am sensing what you said today and I am also hearing this same sort of “knowing” from many other voices that resonate with me. The toxic patriarchy’s harm on all of us is so overwhelming. Mother Earth is showing us the truth. I would like to believe that many are awakening to this pattern of negativity which has clutched too many of us for too long. Transformation is always occurring. Will we humans survive? Will we continue to stagnate, constrict and hold onto fear and lies or will we see these dire appearing situations as opportunities to go within and be guided by the spirit/energy that connects all of us with all of creation to a higher knowing? I do not have the answer, but I do know, now is the time for me to make a higher choice. So Be It. Appreciation.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Monica, Thank you for your comment. You might not feel you have the answer, but you are certainly on the right track !!!

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    Matthew, thank you for this beautiful and profound meditation on the true mystical tradition of Divine Love/Loving Oneness in our honoring our Living Mother~Father Creator Spirit hwithin through, among and around us in All Creation~Cosmos in the Sacred Process of the Eternal Present Moment….

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