ICON OF LIBERATION
BLACK MADONNA: ICON OF LIBERATION
Lisa Paul Streitfeld
The Black Madonna liberates through her uncompromising love, a love that destroys old forms and calls forth the new from under polished surfaces. The patron saint of Polish freedom fighters, symbolic of all revolutionaries who carry a universal energy far beyond their environment, this archetypal power labeled as “dark matter” by scientists today has no external fixed limits. Rather, her image is a dark reflecting mirror, defying all attempts at categorization. In her unformed state of blackness before creation, she speaks to the deepest abyss of the soul longing for something of value, like Solidarity, to take the place of undefined nature and the incomprehensibility of life.
Historically, the Black Madonna often appeared as a curious fertility figure since she is both androgynous and pregnant. The legend of the Black Madonna had Mary Magdalene as the bride of Jesus arriving pregnant in the south of France where she became a cult figure carrying the bloodline of the Grail worshipped by the Knights Templar.
In the “last rites” of patriarchal archetypes in the late 20th century, the controversial pop star Madonna rose to fame and fortune through her embodiment of this highly sexualized and repressed dark power.
Through her many guises and disguises of sirens past and future, the archetype of the pregnant Black Madonna has personified by Madonna for over two decades now — from her S&M leather personas to her controversial “I’m having my baby” video followed by her out of wedlock pregnancy. Whether her rage for recognition was from the gut or just for show, the enormous commercial success that made Madonna a self-created icon for the materialistic eighties served as a lightening rod for creative women seeking to connect with a holistic archetype of the divine feminine.
The pop star’s phenomenal rise followed the global unveiling of the Black Madonna by the newly installed Polish Pope in 1978. Madonna confronted the conservatism of the Roman Catholic Church by mixing sexual images with the mystical symbols of the clergy. She wore numerous crucifixes over underwear she wore as outerwear, reflecting her instinctual drive to turn the long repressed dark feminine power, the Kundalini, inside out.
The dark feminine is the primal power recently labeled by scientists as dark energy awaiting human creation or environmental change to give Her form. This tantric power connects us to the mysteries of the cycle of life, death and destruction, birth and rebirth. Acknowledging this dark goddess puts us in touch with the potentialities of creation.
Bold, daring women such as Isak Denison and Beryl Markham ventured to Africa in the 1920’s to be transformed by her primal power through self-invention as pioneering adventurers in primal landscapes. If Angelina Jolie is able to carry the energy of the Sky Goddess, it is because she absorbed the Black Madonna during her Goth period and made this embrace of darkness conscious in her life adventure by frequent humanitarian excursions to Africa. On the “dark continent” she delivered a child, Shiloh, whose very name denotes the Messiah, signifying the child of the sacred marriage union.
The path of the African explorer in previous centuries reflected the ego’s submission to the primal force of the unconscious. The final stage of the passage to liberation of the authentic feminine is the most dangerous, as all the gains of the previous two stages are risked, along with the annihilation of false identities that must be surrendered at the gates of authentic creativity. Transformation occurs in the unconscious, a realm outside of ego control.
In Greek myth, descent began with rape of the daughter, Persephone, kidnapped by Pluto and taken into the underworld. In Mesopotamia, Inanna’s descent into the underworld was a decision to visit her dark sister, Ereskigal. While both goddesses were fated to enter the underworld, the key difference between the Greek myth and the earlier Sumerian myth is that Persephone was taken by force while Inanna went of her own volition. Because Inanna is Venus, she had to enter the underworld due to the planet’s retrograde cycle. This means transforming fate into destiny.
The conscious integration of the Black Madonna entails a creative incorporation of the underworld passage reflected in the Third Wave of Feminism. Artists in control of their kundalini power are bent on annihilating the mothers that spawned them. This breakdown of Second Wave structure has given way to a new form of Woman who defies all attempts at classification. The fully liberated feminine energy of the Aquarian Age has no need of labels; she simply is. Regardless of birth sign, she who embodies her own new archetype will hold dear the Aquarian ideals of freedom, independence and service to humanity. No longer bound by the material, her body lightens with spirit as her DNA resonates to the galactic realignment. She exists in the image of the androgynous goddess who contains all opposites with her erotic, sexual power. With the ease of passage, from proactive Morning Star to reflective Evening Star, the prototype Aquarian Age woman moves from masculine to feminine in a body that is never static but always in motion.
Her Kundalini freely flowing, her chakras open and functioning, her mind clear and detached, the woman of the new millennium has abundant energy to create change in the world. The past injustices committed against her sex are conscious though no longer a preoccupation: her mind is in the future; her heart is in the present. The radiant inner child has been released and can now accompany her into public as a symbol of the free and spontaneous expression that once was denied to women. The scenario of the centered female bringing her spirit child into the public arena is central to the creation of a new culture. At last, the daughter Persephone has been liberated from the underground (literally the base of the spine) where she was forced to flee during the patriarchy and now is free to participate in the Great Round–death, destruction and rebirth – in partnership with the Resurrected Groom!