(excerpt from the “Bewitching Samhain 2017 Guidebook” inspired by the Samhain Season of 2017)
This is the last of our Samhain series as we are quickly being ushered towards Yule. The presence of the Mother - Holy, Blessed, Beloved, Divine - is here among us. One form of Her is the Black Madonna. She is the Dark Mother of the Golden Child. She came in quite strongly for me just before Samhain, and She was with me through the 22 hours of labor with Taliesin. I feel Her here, still. She carries each one of us in Her womb through the dark half of the year, nourishing our Dreams and bringing them forth to and for this Earth.
“She is mother mild and tender, mother most alert and tending to, mother most fierce and protective, and mother who heals the worst of the wounded.” (Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Untie the Strong Woman)
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes affectionately calls Black Madonna, “She Who Is Forged in the Fiery Furnace”. I love this description of her, as it brings her closer to the experiences we have in the crucible of life here on Earth. She is not above and beyond it all.
Black Madonna meets us at the threshold of transformation where we pause and peer in all directions, deciding which way to go next. Sometimes the pause is a simple moment to catch our breath; sometimes it is more like being stopped dead in our tracks by trauma or injury to body, mind, heart, spirit, soul.
She invites us to explore that which we cannot see, but know by touch and deep felt sense. She carries us into the eternal realm of Soul where past, present and future converge - the Past through her Blood/Soul lines, the Present through her Love, and the Future through her Golden Child.
She is here and not here, walking in two worlds, as mystics do. Gazing out and in, both. Awake and Aware, night and day, held captive by no shadow, for she is the shadow, the figure and the light. All Three.
She is one with the land, devoted to Earth, darkened by heat of Sun and illuminated by Stars in inky Night. She is sovereign, belonging to herself, Virgin in the original sense of the word. She tills the fields and wanders through the wild lands, gathering the final harvest of Samhain, drawing life up from the roots in a most radical way. Us, too. And after the harvest, we, like her, are tinged with the labors of summer and early fall with dirt still under nails and smudged on face.
In this way, connected to her, Earthy and Mystical, immanent and transcendent, our spirits are replenished and regenerated. She takes us into the Womb again and again, and through her, we are gestated and birthed again and again. The darkness, the Black absorbs all color, all light into itself. We traverse through our own inner darkness and the Outer. Then, we come home again to our eternal golden Soul.
Know that as she carries the Divine Child in her womb, she carries your prayers and she carries you. She is in you. In me. All of us.
So, go on a quest for the Black Madonna: forged and formed by the elements, also crafted by loving human hands. Sift through the burnt wood and ashes for her round dark form. Dig in the dirt. Look to the trees, mountains, and stars in the radiant night sky. Peer into the hidden caverns of your heart. Go into the dark and forgotten places. Find hidden treasure, most precious Soul, essential Self, whole and complete.
Her healing presence can be felt wherever there may be darkness and suffering; for she, like parts of us, has been declaimed, denounced, decried, denied…sovereignty and nobility cast aside by a culture that fears and misunderstands Feminine power. She is the one scarred, dirtied, bloodied and marred, but not destroyed. Never destroyed. She will not rest until her work is done. She rises from the ashes. Our Lady of the Holy Blood - Woman Who Knows All - She Who is Forged in the Fiery Furnace.
Blessings by fire, ash, dust, dirt, bloode and mud.
* You are welcome to share your experiences of the Divine Mother here in the Comments section.
* By now, you have received much of the Guidebook! However, if you want it all together, including the bits that have not been shared here, the full Bewitching Samhain 2017 Guidebook is available for purchase on Gumroad. The reflections, crafts and rituals are specifically written for Samhain, but they speak to the dying and rebirthing times we encounter throughout the seasons of our lives.