We have been meditating on the archetypes of the Green Man and the Black Madonna in the context of calling for a more sane balance between the healthy and sacred masculine and the divine feminine.
In that context, I called years ago in my book on The Hidden Spirituality of Men for a ritual to celebrate the sacred marriage of the Green Man and the Black Madonna, the Green Man representing the spiritual warrior defending Mother Earth, and the Black Madonna, among other attributes, representing the grief of Mother Earth and her call to both heal and celebrate.
Last week we applauded the release of a new book by theologian Christena Cleveland, God Is a Black Woman, which tells of her intrepid journey with the Black Madonna–and lo and behold! The book and the Black Madonna find themselves now in the hot lights of Times Square.
The Black Madonna is quite a trickster, as I have noted before. Talk about coming out of the closet with a vengeance. I guess I’m not the only one who believes that her time has come.
Last week we also celebrated the journey with the Black Madonna undergone by Alessandra Belloni and shared by her in her book, Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna. Alessandra has spent years leading rituals and retreats and pilgrimages based on the Black Madonna who is integral to her homeland in Italy. She is also a New Yorker since she has been artist in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC for a number of years.
The Black Madonna calls us to the power of darkness, to our common mother of humans who emerged from Africa, to the darkness and depth of the cosmos (she is a cosmic mother), to love of the earth, to the truth of grief and suffering, to the joy of celebrating life even in difficult times, to putting the poor and oppressed first, to living with wisdom and passion and to working for compassion and justice for the most neglected. To waking and shaking up people and their institutions. To moving beyond Patriarchy therefore.
She is a sign of our times and for our times.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 231-244.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: “Times Square at Night.” Photo by Nelson Ndongala on Unsplash
Queries for Contemplation
Do you see the Black Madonna as a sign of our times? Why or why not? How does this affect you personally? How do you see her altering our culture and our species today?
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