We begin our story a very long time ago, with the Great Mother Goddess of ancient times.
In Europe, the mother goddess has been ever-present since Paleolithic times. Connected to the earth, fertility, and life, she is usually depicted as a very full-bodied woman. One of the oldest was discovered in Germany. The Hohle Fels Venus dates back to around 40,000 years ago. Another more famous one is called the Venus of Willendorf. She was found in Austria and is 25,000 years old.
Other relatively modern mother goddess cults can be found in Malta and Turkey and date back to 6000 to 5000 BC. In Neolithic times, carvings that look like breasts can still be seen carved inside dolmens and are regarded as belonging to the cult of the Mother Goddess. The energy in these unique places is full of life and fertility.
As we move into more historical times, the Mother Goddess appears in the cults of the Mediterranean. The Sumerians, the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Egyptians all had Mother Goddesses. These famous goddesses are Artemis from Ephesus, Inanna, Persephone, Demeter, Hera, and Hecate. Of course, the most notable was Isis.
The cult of Isis first appeared in 2400 BC in Egypt.
It spread throughout the Roman Empire from 400 BC to 400 AD. She traveled up into Europe and throughout Gaul to many Gallo-Roman cities. In 1944, a bronze statue of Isis Lactans was discovered during an archaeological dig in the Gallo-Roman thermal bath complex of Therme de Cluny in Paris. She dates back to 200 BC and is holding baby Horus on her knees.
Many Isis Lactans were found in Egypt and made their way up to the north of France. Isis Lactans were worshipped for around 700 or 800 years in the Roman Empire. It is easy to see that Isis could have been the inspiration for the Black Madonna, who sits with her baby on her knees.
Who is the Black Madonna?
Much has been written about her. We believe she is a continuation of the great Mother Goddess from ancient times. The goddess of the dark earth of fertility, abundant growth, and life. As mentioned before, the Black Madonna, like Isis, is depicted holding her baby on her lap. For the Christians, she is seated on the Throne of Wisdom, representing being in majesty.
Many Black Madonnas are found in Auvergne, France.
Traditionally they were placed deep in the earth in the crypt. Most Black Madonnas have a specific type of energy, which is very connected to the earth and fertility. The energy that goes deep into the earth opens the first and second chakras, then rises through the rest of the chakras and opens the crown.
Black Madonnas are associated with miracles and healings.
The very first church dedicated to Mary is an example of this. It is called Nôtre Dame du Puy and is built in Auvergne, an ancient volcanic region in France. Le Puy en Velay, together with Chartres, were the first places dedicated to Mary in France. Of course, both were associated with miracles and are powerful healing places.
Le Puy en Velay was inhabited since Paleolithic times, some 17,000 years ago. When the dolmen builders arrived in Neolithic times, it was a country full of forests and old volcano plugs. These people found a place on one of these ancient volcanoes, which had exceptional healing power. Because of this, they constructed a dolmen over it to enhance the healing energies.
The Celts also lived here and arrived in the 3rd or 2nd century before Christ. When the Romans invaded in 52 BC, the Celts were conquered and a Gallo-Roman town called Anicium was built.
After the Roman Empire collapsed, the Christians built their first church in the 5th or 6th century on the hill. But it wasn’t until the first half of the 12th century that Mary came into the picture with a miraculous healing.
The Virgin appeared to a woman with a life-threatening fever.
She was told to go to the dolmen on the hill and lay down on top of it. After being miraculously healed, an angel told the woman that Mary had chosen this site for her church. The old lady told the head Bishop of the area named Scutaire, and he decided to visit this miraculous place.
When they arrived, they discovered a stag tracing the outline of the future sanctuary. The Bishop said to surround the area with some thorn branches. The next day, the branches were flowering. Thus, the Bishop decided that a church dedicated to Mary would be built because of these two miraculous signs.
The Cathedral of Nôtre Dame du Puy still has the original capstone from the dolmen, called the Stone of Fevers. The cathedral was built with the dolmen incorporated into the altar, with the healing stone of the dolmen in view. Doing this was a common technique used by the Christians. Some of the most potent dolmens, menhirs, and even cromlechs have their healing energy integrated into church altars simply by building over them.
In the cathedral of Nôtre Dame du Puy, the capstone of the dolmen became a popular pilgrimage destination. People desiring to heal would come and lay down upon it one by one for healing. Through the centuries, the Stone of Fevers moved to different locations inside the cathedral. Now it resides in a room to the left of the altar.
The Black Madonna in the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame du Puy presides over the most powerful place of the cathedral, the altar. Like the Mother Goddesses who came before her, she guards the true location of miraculous healing power in the cathedral. The gift of Mother Goddess in any of her forms is healing, fertility, and life and is still true today.
Is the Mother Goddess and the Black Madonna calling you? If so, join us in May for the Black Madonna Tour. We will follow the goddess’s trail and discover her secrets of healing, of connecting deep into the earth, and of connection to the heavens.
“Click here” to check out the tour!