The Mysteries of the Black Madonna

The Venus of Willendorf

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.

A row of breast-like carvings from the Cult of the Mother. Kergüntuil Dolmen, France

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.

Isis with Horus.

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.

The Black Madonna of the Cathedral of Orcival, France

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 Stone of Fevers, the original capstone of the miraculous healing dolmen.

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

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 hereto check out the tour!

The Witch's Hut Dolmen, Álava, Spain

Dolmens and Earth Energies

The Witch's Hut Dolmen, Álava, Spain
The Witch’s Hut Dolmen, Álava, Spain

Immense megalithic structures called dolmens have captured the imagination of man for ages.

They inspire a sense of awe and wonder and are puzzling. Why were they built, and how were they used? How on earth did humans move such big stones?

Dolmens are found all over the world and come in many shapes and sizes.

Strangely enough for people in the West, Korea has the highest concentration of dolmens in the world! In Brittany, France, where Dominique and I live, there are many of these megaliths to explore. Some are dolmens can be small with just one room, and others are just a long passageway, and some have a long corridor and a room-like space at the end. The French use the words ‘Alleé Couverte’ to describe the stone covered passageways. In English, they are called passage tombs.

There are a lot of misconceptions about these ancient structures because of the label, tomb.

Most people assume that they are graves. I don’t support this belief at all. During my exploration of many megalithic sites, including dolmens and passage tombs in France, Spain, England, Ireland, I have concluded, they were not initially used as graves. Their energetic qualities are different from a place where the dead are buried.

La Roche aux Feés
The alleé couverte of La Roche aux Feés, France.

To gain a little understanding, let’s look at an example of a dolmen in Brittany, France, called La Roche aux Fées. It is the largest and most famous Neolithic alleé couverte in Brittany, dating back to around 3000 to 2500 BC. Made up of approximately 40 huge stones, the heaviest one weighs about 45 tons.

The name La Roche aux Fées translates to The Fairies Rock.

Legend has it that fairies built the structure because no one understood how mere humans could place such immense stones. Many folktales are connected to megalithic sites in Europe involve giants, gnomes, witches, and fairies. For example, the Germans believed that covered passageways were beds for the giants and called them ‘hunnenbett.’ In Russia’s Caucasus region, stories are told about how the gnomes by trickery made the giants build dolmen houses for them.

Dolmens, alleé couvertes, and passage tombs were built with care and attention to their orientation and placement on the land.

Not many people recognize the skill and precision the builders used in their constructions in regards to the solar rhythms and earth energies. One important aspect of this is orientation. Ancient man was obsessed with the sun and its travels through the year. They would orient the dolmen to one of the four most critical solar times of the year: winter or summer solstices or equinoxes. Our example of La Roche aux Feés is oriented to catch the light of the winter solstice sunrise.

Sun at La roche aux Feés

Another aspect of Neolithic man’s skill is their ability to find and use powerful earth energies, and dolmens are no exception.

Usually, these energies are subterranean water veins or faults, or a combination of both. As you can see in the drawing of La Roche aux Feés, the orthostats were placed on the central water vein’s edges. Locating and using a water vein in this manner is typical for all dolmens, covered passageways, and passage tombs. As you can see, other water veins cross the main one and create vortexes of healing energy. The megalithic builders understood and used the best of these energies in their structures.

To discover what earth energies are present at a sacred site, Dominique and I use our bodies as dowsing instruments, mostly just like the shamans of ancient times did. Our bodies are incredibly sensitive to subtle energies and, once trained, can quickly pinpoint the exact earth energies present, such as water veins, faults and earth vortexes. For example, water veins can be felt in the water area of the body, such as the kidneys and bladder.

La Roche aux Fées, it turns out, is a potent fertility site.

The big water vein that runs the stones’ length is fertility water and lends this energy to the entire structure. To understand this better, you can imagine water flowing inside the earth like rivers. Each of these rivers has different qualities. Some water veins are healing; some can make you sick; others are connected to fertility, etc.

For example, there are hundreds of holy wells in Ireland and Brittany. They date back to pre-Christian times, and many are famous for the ability to heal diseases. There are sacred wells for eyesight, headaches, backaches, wounds, sprains, and fertility issues, to name a few. The point is that water can be a very powerful healing modality, and there are many different types of water.

Earth energy vortexes, found everywhere, are associated with the water veins and faults.

If you are gifted with ‘sight’ and can see them, you will see swirling vortexes of colors related to our chakra system. In sacred places, these vortexes are more potent and can be healing. They help open, balance, and align the chakra system. For example, at La Roche aux Feés, the violet vortex opens and aligns the entire chakra system. The orange one relates to the second chakra and fertility. It feels warm, soft, and juicy and has a distinctive sexy vibe.

When megalithic sites are explored from the standpoint of their energetic qualities, you realize that they are not tombs, but places of life and healing for the whole community. They were sacred places of ritual. Next time you come across a dolmen or other megalithic site, experiment and see if you can feel their healing qualities.

To feel the powerful healing energy in a dolmen,

stand in the back where you can imagine or, better yet, feel the crossing of two water veins. Spend a few minutes standing on this point, allowing the energy to rise through your central channel. Be in a neutral mind state and receptive to sense where you feel the energies in your body. By doing this exercise, you can receive clues about the healing qualities of the place.

By Karen Crowley-Susani
Master Builder, sacred geometry expert, author, and sacred sites tour leader.

This blog is a small taste of what our online class called Stones, Energies, and Sacred Places shares with you. Save 20% on the class with this coupon: take20

We also teach how to body dowse and decode the energies and sacred geometry at sacred sites in our Secrets of Sacred Geometry Certification Courses.
Love exploring megalithic sites? Join us for the Magical Brittany Tour.
Just click the links below.

Kerloas Menhir

Menhirs and Lightning

Who knew there was a connection between lightning and big stones called menhirs?

Kerloas Menhir, the tallest menhir in France
Kerloas Menhir

I sure didn’t. But since I began studying with European Master Builder, Dominique Susani, I found a fascinating correspondence to big stones erected by the Neolithic people and thunder and lightning in the sky. This interest was sparked by a visit to see one of the biggest Menhirs in Brittany, France.

Kerloas Menhir is 9.50 meters high. That’s about 30 feet tall, and when it was erected, it was even taller! It stood at 12 meters or around 36 feet tall. The story was that it was broken by a lightning strike. But as Dominique began to explain to me, that couldn’t have possibly happened to a menhir.

First of all, what is a Menhir?

The word itself comes from 19th-century archaeologists, who adopted it from a couple of words in the Breton language of France. Men means stone, and hir means long. Brittany is a place in France that is full of menhirs. There are over 11,000 of them. The Neolithic people erected menhirs and, as I was learning, served an essential purpose. 

From the perspective of ancient man, thunder and lightning were extremely scary. The deafening sound of thunder was terrifying, and then there are the disruptive effects of lightning. Ancient man had much to fear from lightning strikes, from forest fires that could burn out of control to the killing or injuring of people and animals.

So what if these people from the past found a way to keep the lightning away from their village?

That would be worth the effort of erecting a big standing stone. Let’s take a look at why lightning strikes in certain places. It has to do with the earth energy below our feet. 

It is well known that water veins carry and generate electricity. When two water veins cross, they cause an exchange of electrons between them called a potential differential. When there is an electrical storm in the area, this crossing of water veins generates lightning from the earth, which calls for lightning from the clouds. It acts as a lightning rod.

Let’s explore now explore what the connection menhirs have with lightning.

Traditionally Menhirs were placed on a crossing of two water veins. An excellent example of this is Kerloas Menhir. After we dowsed the earth energy around it, we found it was placed over a crossing of two large water veins and two faults. 

Placing a huge stone over the water vein crossings has the effect of discharging the electrical energy in the area. That’s the primary job of a menhir, to continuously release the electrical energy of a place. By doing this, lightning won’t be called to the earth from the clouds anymore. There is no longer an electrical energy charge to hit anymore.

So the story of the lightning strike and the menhir’s piece broken by lightning strike must not be true, because we found the Kerloas Menhir was erected in a place to discharge all this electrical energy.

I didn’t understand how a menhir could do this, so Dominique told me a couple of interesting real-life stories.

The first one involves chickens. Dominique once designed a chicken coop with the measurements of the solsticial quadrilateral, a fundamental measurement for Master Builders. The chickens in this coop were happy; they grew faster and produced more eggs than a regular chicken coop. Then there was a big storm, and lightning struck the iron feeding chute next to the coop and followed the metal through the coop and went out the other side. 

This strike affected the subterranean water veins and faults running under the coop. Water veins and faults are the main conduit of electricity and became supercharged with electricity when lightning hits. This affected the chickens, and they started laying eggs that were oddly shaped like they were squeezed tight in the middle.

After a week of strange eggs, Dominique was called in to help with this problem. Since there was no way to quickly dissipate this static electrical energy, he needed to manually do this by placing a menhir on a crossing of water veins and faults that were being affected by this excess energy. After he placed the menhir, the electrical energy dissipated, and the chickens went back to laying their normal-looking eggs.

We don’t know how long the water veins and faults are charged after a lightning strike, but we do know that menhirs continuously discharge this excess electrical energy. This knowledge and ability was useful to the Neolithic people. They were able to create a safe place for their village and animals. In the case of the Kerloas Menhir, this effect could affect an area several kilometers in diameter. 

Dominique told me another menhir story.

During a class, one man wanted Dominique to erect a menhir in his yard. Over the years, his yard was regularly struck by lightning and wanted to do something about it. After placing a menhir in the man’s yard, the lightning never struck in his yard again; it moved elsewhere. This menhir protected an area with a radius of around 50 meters from its placement.

Placing a menhir is more complicated than just putting it over a water vein crossing.

Mini menhir

Standing stones need to be appropriately oriented. For example, did you know that there is a cosmic side to stones and a telluric or earth side? You need to place the telluric side in the ground and position the cosmic side up to the heavens. 

That is not all; there is also a magnetic north orientation that needs to be taken into account. At the moment when a stone is formed, it becomes aligned to the earth’s magnetic north at that particular point in time. The earth also oriented to the magnetic north, which has changed throughout time. When you erect a standing stone, you need to align the magnetic north of the stone to the magnetic north of the stone. 

Finally, there is a sweet spot of alignment for the stone.

What this means is that stones are not always aligned vertically. Most of the time, they are leaning slightly to one side, and this alignment opens the energy of our energy system. We can feel this in our body through body dowsing in our central channel (imagine a tube inside your body from the perineum to the crown). The energy circulates energy freely from the earth to the cosmos when a standing stone is aligned correctly.

It is a bit tricky to find the correct alignment of the stone. Training in body dowsing and feeling subtle energies is needed to get it right. It is part of our in-person training in our certifications, weekend workshops, and tours. We also invite you to learn more about menhirs in our upcoming online class, called Stones, Energies, and Sacred Places.