Black Virgins in Provence

October, 3rd to 10th, 2022

Black virgins, witnesses of forgotten spirituality

In very remote times, the black color referred to positive and favorable symbols, beneficial and regenerating, as we can see with the iconography of the dark-tinted Gallo-Roman goddesses. People venerated them in underground crypts for their specific powers related to fertility and childbirth. Furthermore, people think that Christians are at the origin of Black Virgins, but the truth is quite different. Indeed, the worship of the Black Virgins is much older, since it descends from the worship of mother goddesses.

A black stone represented the Great Mother, which confirms the ritual and symbolic values of this color. That is why, in the Druidic shrines, this black-faced female figure was a gift giver. Indeed, they represented the different aspects of nature and its destinies: storms, shortages, drought, but also the great harvest and abundance of Earth. Her half-white, half-black face represented her duality.  Thus, her cycles encompassed all phases, all states of mind.

Their location

We can find them on intersections of telluric currents, sacred and divine, which are often symbolized by a snake. To renew their fruitful relationship with the land, the Celts used to make pilgrimages to these vital points. They soaked up its beneficial impulses and filled up with new energies.

In addition, the Virgins of the pagan and druidic tradition are also assimilated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, emblem of Mother Earth. At the beginning of the Christian era, the statues of Isis were in caves. They represented both Virgin goddess and mother goddess, holding her son Horus in his arms; these effigies became the Romanesque Black Virgins.

Provence shelters an impressive number of places with Black Madonnas.

As we walk in Mary Magdalene’s footsteps, we will also find beautiful Black Virgins on our way. We will evoke the history of each through the legends attached to them and the particular devotions to which they are the subject.
With this journey, you will better understand how the cult of the Black Virgins developed from the Mediterranean Basin and ancient rites dedicated to Isis, Cybele or Artemis.

The highlights of this journey

  • The St Baume mountain and the hike to Mary Magdalene grotto through the sacred forest of Artemis
  • The fishermen village of Les Saintes Maries de la mer where Mary Magdalene and the companions came ashore. There, Sara, in the crypt of the church, is the Black Virgin of the Gypsies who come from all over the world to pay tribute to her every 24th of May.
  • Abbaye de St Victor: refuge of the first Christians guided by Mary Magdalene and Lazarus, her brother with her magnificent Black Madonna “Our Lady of Confession”.
  • Manosque : the Black Madona “Our Lady of the Romigier” and the visit of the Occitane factory
  • St Anne relics in the cathedral of Apt and other surprises will await you !!

By going to these high places of energy, to meditate, pray or recharge, one can rise spiritually towards the higher vibratory planes and worlds, where there reign subtle forces full of light and stimulating forces of a high energy quality. Use the energies of Mary Magdalene and the Black Madonnas to heal your soul and your body. 

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