I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mystery of the Black Madonna

A recent article entitled the "Mystery of the Black Madonna" speculates on the origin and meaning of the numerous Black Madonnas found in Europe. Those who read my blogs would know that this mystery is connected to the mystery of the feminine dark waters and the dark mirror that is the Matronita. She has no light of her own but is the immaculate mirror that reflects perfectly the Glory of God back to God as mentioned in the Book of Wisdom. She is the mystery of the Dark Night discussed by St John of the Cross. It is also Our Lady symbolised as the moon (who has no light of its own) that reflects the light of the Divine Sun.

It is obvious that in the early Church the first Christians of Jewish origin understood the mystery of the Virgin Mary connected with the Well of Miriam and the dark waters of creation connected to the idea of the night. This was represented in artistic form with the Black Madonnas. They also knew that the beliefs about the famous Goddesses of pagan times had elements or sparks of the truth in them, these were then returned to their source in the mystery of the Dark Lady and cleansed of any perversions so that the people could honour Our Lady in purity of understanding.

The concept of the soul being cleansed, purified, healed and restored through the dark night of the soul is found in St John of the Cross and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (see Likutey Moharan 74:B). This dark night is referred to with Marian -tabernacle language alluding to the soul dwelling in the dark waters of the womb of the Mother. One cannot see in this dark Light but in fact one is protected and surrounded by the Mother who is experienced as darkness and night. Rebbe Nachman refers us to the verse in Isaiah (26:9)"My soul longs for You in the night" and links it with the verse in Genesis (1:5)"And the darkness He called Night". Rabbi Kramer writes: "...Rashi on this verse [Isaiah 26:9] call's this the soul's exile. When trapped in the "dark night of the nefesh [soul]", healing comes through seeking God and yearning for his closeness. Thus in the context of our lesson, the verse reads: "My nefesh longs for You[despite my being]in the night[of judgement and affliction]."

This darkness is also associated by Rebbe Nachman with the blind eyes of Isaac who in the Jewish mystical tradition is associated with din (judgement). Din is associated with the female and Rebbe Nachman alludes to Isaac's mother Sarah. Sarah is seen as the Mother or Shekhinah in her role of constricted judgements. In the Jewish devotion of the Divine Face the eyes are associated with the Sefirot of Din (judgement/ justice) and Chesed (lovingkindness/ mercy). Rabbi Kramer writes: "...In his later years, Yitzach [Isaac]was blind. He is thus said to be enveloped in darkness...On account of his blindness, Yitzach, the aspect of judgements, is associated with darkness. This verse which Rebbe Nachman cites from Genesis [1:5 "the darkness He called Night"] shows that darkness is synonymous with "night", when one's vision is limited and it is difficult for him to see his way. Darkness/ night/ Yitzach/ judgements are thus associated with constricted consciousness, in which it is likewise difficult to see one's spiritual way..."

Thus the darkness that envelops Isaac is the dark Presence or waters of the protecting Womb of the Mother (Shekhinah/ Female). This dark light is called "Zohar". In Jewish tradition Zohar is also another name for Miriam. The darkness that enveloped Golgotha and the earth at the crucifixion was this maternal love and presence of Our Lady (manifesting from Eternity)holding her son in her spiritual womb in this darkest moment of deep mystical night. In Catholic tradition and art the binding and sacrifice of Isaac is also seen as a type of the crucifixion and the sacrifice of the Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI also associated the sacrifice of Isaac and the crucifixion with the divine comedy or laughter (see Behold the Lamb). Rebbe Nachman also alludes to the laughter (TzChoK) of Isaac (Yitzach) and its connection with the darkness and the night of judgements and affliction. The mystery of the use of the Divine Name Elohim in the Akeidah (Binding of Isaac)is associated with the laughter. Rebbe Nachman teaches in Likutey Moharan :"...YiTzChaK corresponds to judgement,the aspect of Elohim, as it is written (Genesis 21:6) "Elohim has brought me TzChoK (laughter)." For Yitzach was born to Sarah, who corresponds to Malkhut (Kingdom)as Rashi explains: She was named SaRaH sheh'SaRah (since she ruled) over the entire world (Genesis 17:5 based on Berakhot 13a). And Kingdom is judgement, as in: The judgement of the Kingdom is judgement(dina d'malkhuta dina)(Gittin10b)..."

Rebbe Nachman alludes to Sarah as Shekhinah (the female associated Malkhut) here as the Ark of the Covenant Sovereign of all the earth (Joshua 3:11) discussed in the Zohar as the Elleh (Elah/Goddess). The mystery of the darkness also alludes to the darkness of the Holy of Holies enveloping the Ark of the Covenant and the darkness in the interior of the Ark where the middle box (arc)made of acacia wood is called Gulgalta (Skull).

When one studies the Kabbalah and the pagan religions in the light of the truths of Catholicism, it reveals how the whole of history was preparing for the revelation of the mysteries of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. One then elevates the sparks of truth hidden even in the pagan religions back to the side of Light.


Donna Kaye Rock said...

Your blogs are very interesting!
Our Catholic Faith comes from our Jewish Roots. Father Stanley Smolenski does not Blog and he read in the comment from Umbarge, I think Matthew? Father asked me to get his email and information; so Father could mail him the 7 Part Rosary that he created. Can you do that. I am donnaofthepen@aol.com. Thank you! Baruch HaShem, Yeshua Mashiach!

Gilbert of the Divine Presence said...

Donna- he posted on my blog article called Hebrew Catholic Rosary. I will transfer your email there and hopefully he will get in contact.