We sat quietly in the waning light as the sage smoke which had filled the room cleansed the energies in the spacious living room, wafted up the chimney, encircled the piano, cleansed our energies.
Find where in your body there is a blockage, he said.
My shoulders, I replied. Specifically, a point on each side of the spine about 5 inches down from the nape of the neck, inside the shoulder blades.
Take the right one, he said. Focus on that point. What impressions come? Rowland knows that "seeing" as such is not my forte. Impressions, thoughts, stories, yes. But not clear sight at this time.
There is a knife or arrow, I said. It is deep inside.
How did it get there? What is the story?
I began seeing a camp of plains Indians, tepees circled, being attacked by cavalry and Indians. I saw myself first mounted, then later, seated, taking the arrow at point blank range in the back. Sitting there stoically, waiting for death. Feeling the tip go in, feeling it had to come out, I insisted that it be pulled out, despite the fact that it tore bone, ligament.
The clack of bone fragments, the pain beyond pain, my blood watering the earth. The arrow was gone yet it was still there. It been coated with something, so that its physical removal did not fully remove it from my body. It burned. It burns. I bled to death or died from strangulation as my right lung filled with blood from the wound. I saw my body as dust, not needing disposition by the survivors, simply becoming dust indistinguishable from other dust on the sacred ground. I had returned to the mother. I was safe.
He asked me to look at the event through my own eyes again and again. It seemed the attack was unprovoked and uncalled for. I was non-combatant, perhaps an old man or old woman. Sitting, resigned. He asked me to play it from the eyes of the man who had killed me. I saw the accidental discovery of the camp by the Indian guide of the cavalry troop, the lying about who we were and our intentions in being there, the hot blood of the young soldiers spoiling for a fight, the camp of women, children and the old, with the men mostly gone for hunting. Did I need to be silenced to protect the cavalry captain from learning we were only there for the hunting? It seemed so.
Rowland asked me to look at the event from the viewpoint of Mother Earth. Blood, energies feed the mother. We are all children of the mother. But dishonesty is no part of the mother.
The mother is hurt by the neglect of her, the failure to honor her ways, the dishonesty. Look at it from the point of view of your essence -- that part of your spirit that is above and beyond time.
Aha. This was a different view. I had known of the approaching cavalry. I was wise, a visionary. And I failed to warn the camp. Why? I had seen terrible visions of the future. The future would be so bad, I knew from my visions, there was no point in living. Better to die now. Yet this was not my decision, though I arrogated it to myself. A pattern? Yes. A pattern from the deep past, from lifetimes and lifetimes. And from one lifetime thousands of years ago.
Go to that lifetime, he said. The energy in the room, circling around me, grew thick.
I saw myself as an old prophet, once again foreseeing disaster, this time a volcanic eruption. People were dying, the land was burning, disappearing before my eyes. Death was everywhere. I watched. I burned with the guilt of again not warning the people of the impending disaster I knew would come. Yet as I watched, I could see that nothing I could have said would have made a difference.
How had I arrogated to myself the power of God? My guilt was nothing more nor less than a product of my arrogance -- taking responsibility for things I could not change. There I stood, a broken old man.
What part of you has left, Rowland asked?
I saw then a beautiful young man with clear eyes that could see forever, a man waiting peacefully in a clear space beyond time. The young man was ready to return and always had been. It was the old man who was fearful of accepting the gift of prophecy. The young man was clear, so clear, that we have a duty to the Creator to use our gifts. He could not live in a life where the gifts were not used, where the power was shut down. He could not walk in a way that is not sacred.
Bring the soul part in to the prophet, Rowland said. The old man trembled. Fear gripped him/me. Accept the gift of prophecy? It seemed unthinkable, after so long, so very long, believing the gift was a curse. Slowly, the young man came up to the old man. Standing close, not moving. Looking into the old man's eyes with those clear, blue eyes. Smiling, peaceful, gentle.
The young man touched the old man, first on the arm, then the shoulder. He stood closer, moved to the side, the back. It was like a courtship, so exquisite so gentle, so respectful. Soon it seemed the young man was all around the old man. Glowing, larger than life, all around him. The old man began to glow and soon the young man was looking out of the eyes of the old man. The old man breathed deeply, slowly, and was no longer so old, but ageless. We rested.
Leave the soul part with the prophet, Rowland said, and bring the power, the gift of prophecy forward, not through time, but up to the point of no time and then down into present time. Fear gripped me. The gift of prophecy? For me? Now? Who wants it, I thought. Especially now with such suffering on the planet and in the heart of the earth itself, in this great, living organism of which we are a part. And more, much more of the same to come.
But remember the gifts. Remember the parable of the 10 talents. We are given powers and gifts not to bury them, but to use them. It is our God-given duty to use them. I let go the resistance and waited. Rowland watched. Then he said: from the space you are in now--the point of no time, it seemed to me--bring in the gift of prophecy. Slowly I could feel it enter my body, moving down slowly cell by cell to each part, until finally from head to toe I was buzzing with this energy. The energy pulsed and swirled around me.
Now open your eyes, slowly, and see this place from the place where you are now. Gradually over several minutes, hours it seemed, I opened my eyes to slits. I noticed the patterns of light and shadow in the room, the candle light, yet it seemed as though time had stopped. Nothing seemed changed from when I had gone into trance yet everything had changed. The perception was new. But time had stopped.
I've never seen this before, said Rowland. When there is this much energy around, I am not usually able to see people, yet I can see your face clearly in the energy and it is radiant and beautiful.
I felt utterly clear, like a flawless crystal, so aligned, so filled with light. My body began to tremble, but in such a high frequency it was like a buzzing, yet it was trembling. Slowly, slowly, I returned to the room in conscious awareness. A sip of tea.
When Rowland’s gaze touches me, I want to cry. Tears come to my eyes. The feeling is overwhelming. my body hummed, shook, quietly, invisibly.
I had been saying to myself. I accept the gift of prophecy. I accept the gift of prophecy. I accept the gift of prophecy. Over and over again. until it became real.
I looked at Rowland. I saw him differently, a past? A future? A present? The same sensitivity, yet more enthralled with the physical, adventurous, brimming with the love of life, going forth with confident step on life's great adventure--the young Francis of Assisi, before revelation? The young John of the Cross? The young Rowland Barkley?
You will have a deep, religious experience soon, I said to Rowland. What do you think I'm having now, he said?
Later we talked. The picture began to fill in and I told him more of what I saw. The mental and spiritual aspects are already brimming with power. The creative is expressed in the shamanic work and in Rowland's soaring piano creations. He makes his living as a piano tuner, he tells me. Sure. This man whose fingers fly over the keyboard, weaving ancient and modern themes, at once familiar and strange, yet powerful, lyrical, moving.
Do we hide from power for fear we will abuse it and create bad karma? How many people I know who do this, cruising, throttled back, keeping their heads down. Loving the attention that comes with standing out. Fearing it utterly.
For Rowland, there is much more to be done with the creative side. But first, the physical and emotional aspects need attention. I tried to describe the image of him I had seen: a young buccaneer, a Douglas Fairbanks. Loving life physically, with his body. Angry exuberantly in one moment, then exploding into laughter at the ridiculousness of it all. This is what awaits him.
He can see it coming.
We talked about the gift of prophecy. Why would anyone want to be a prophet in these times, I asked? Prophecies are notoriously faulty in troubled times. Prophets may confuse events in non-ordinary reality with those in ordinary reality, he said. That is why some of the predictions of physical events fail to pan out. But also, once people know what is looming on the horizon, their awareness can change the events. What would have happened had people not been aware, doesn't happen for the very reason they are aware.
The trick, then, is not to be a prophet in merely the physical, but in the spiritual. Letting people know that what the Earth will be going through is a cleansing, a purification, for the Earth's own sweet rejuvenation. No cause for despair. Death is not death. We are all divine, fashioned in the image of God and of the stuff of God. Changeless, immortal, imprisoned only by our own concepts of our limitations.
When we leave these bodies, we leave only the form. We can still remain trapped by our thought-forms after passing over, but we need not. Like the dwarves in the stable whom C.S. Lewis describes seated in darkness and fear in the middle of a sunwashed field of flowers, watched with Love by the great Aslan, the lion, the Creator, who asks us again and again to be all that we can be. A "no" comes from fear. A "yes" signals another step in the letting go of that fear.
Healing the Whole Human Being
VANIA DE LARA CRELIER
Psychiatrist - CRM 13455 Psychotherapist, psycho-dramatist, Core-Energetic, Aura-Soma therapist and Shaman.
The integration of the HUMAN BEING as a path to healing
What is healing?
Throughout my professional life as a doctor, I have often come across this Question: WHAT IS HEALING?
Through the eyes of traditional medicine I could not obtain a satisfactory answer.
Candomblé and the Psychological Types
by Carminha Levy
ESHU (*), the African Mercury, is the necessary intermediary between man and the supernatural, the interpreter of the language of the mortals and of the ORISHAS. Therefore, he is in charge of taking of the gods to Africa, the call of its foreign children. In these introductory notes, he is called to take to the foreign children a sample of the infinite possibilities of this rich Pantheon, which is kept alive in Africa, Brazil and other countries in the New World.
Candomblé is a structure of worship to the forces of nature, it is an ode to life as the Eternal Movement which is expressed in the dances, in the ORISHAS colors, in the sacramental food. As a communal ritual of songs, dances, and sacred foods in its public form, Candomblé is sacramented by the "Saint" Father or Mother, the "Saint" Children, by the drum players (OGAN), who sing the sacred songs inviting the presence of the ORISHA, with the participation of the whole community, from the elders to the children. Everyone sings and salutes the ORISHAS, and performs the sacred dance in an ode to Happiness, Love, and Sharing.
The ORISHAS - YORUBA gods in Africa and in the New World, would be mythical ancestors enchanted and metamorphosed into forces of nature. Each individual has a main ORISHA who is the "head owner", and three others who demand worship and also offer protection. Tradition states that each human being the moment he is conceived chooses freely his head (ORI) and his fate (ODU). Each person has a divine origin, which links it to a specific deity. This divine part is located inside the head. The substance of divine origin (IPORI) expresses the link to a specific god - ELEDA - , therefore called the head owner. To know his ELEDA allows the man to be the craftsman of his own fate, obeying the duties or prohibitions determined by his ORISHA. To know how to handle these influences is equivalent to knowing one's horoscope from birth on with life improvements, what one can get knowing how to listen to the stars. The "head owner" (ELEDA) determines the psychological type of your child, influencing also his physical characteristics and destiny. Traditionally one can know which is the head ORISHA by reading the "búzios" (sea shells), divine way of reading the ODU. For this purpose we use the previously prepared African "búzio" (CAUI). After a general overview of the structure of Candomblé, we will return to the ORISHAS and the psychological types.
Candomblé expresses itself in the backyards where the ORISHAS and the honorable ancestors are worshiped. The backyard has two areas, with different characteristics and functions: (a) an urban built space, where the dance is performed; (b) a virgin space (trees and a spring of water, equivalent to the African forest), which is considered sacred.
The supreme master of the backyard is the BABALORISHA or IYALORISHA (father or mother who possess the ORISHA). They have a supernatural power - ASHE, the propelling force of the whole Universe. The ASHE stimulates the sacred practice, which in turn feeds the ASHE back, making the whole system move. The ASHE is neutral, being a principle and a force. It is transmitted, applied and combined to the natural elements, which contain and express the backyard ASHE, who can be: (a) the ASHE of each ORISHA, fed back through the ritual offerings and actions; the ASHE of each backyard member, added to the one of his ORISHA, received at the initiation time, plus the ASHE of his individual destiny (ODU), and the one inherited from his own ancestors; (c) the ASHE of the honorable ancestors.
The ASHE, being a force, it can increase or decrease depending on the liturgical practice and rigorous observance of the duties and obligations. The power of the ASHE is contained in and transmitted by representative elements of the vegetal, animal and mineral kingdoms (offerings), which can be grouped in three categories: (a) red blood from the animal kingdom (blood), vegetal kingdom ( dende oil), and mineral kingdom (copper); (b) white blood from the animal kingdom (semen, saliva), vegetal kingdom (sap), mineral kingdom (chalk); (c) black blood from the animal kingdom (animal ashes), vegetal kingdom (dark juice from certain vegetables), and mineral kingdom (charcoal, iron). These three types of blood, where the ASHE is transported with its color, will determine the fundamental importance of the color in the worship. Summarizing, the ASHE is therefore a power which is received, shared and distributed through the ritual practice, of the mystical and initiating experience, with symbolic concepts and elements used as vehicles. It is the ASHE's power which allows the ORISHA to come and fulfill himself.
Life occurs in two levels: AIYE (the world, man's dwelling place), and ORUN (beyond, the ORISHA's dwelling place, a world parallel to the real world, which coexists with all the contents of this one). Each individual, tree, animal, city, etc has its spiritual and abstract double in ORUN. The myths reveal that in distant times AYE and ORUN were connected, and men could come and go as they pleased from one place to the other. However, one order was violated, and there was the consequent separation and the unfolding of existence. One myth of creation says that in the beginning there was nothing besides air. When OLORUN started breathing, part of the air transformed itself into a mass of water, originating ORISHALA - the great ORISHA FUNFUN of the white. The air and the water moved together and a part became a bubble or a mound: shaped matter - a reddish and muddy rock. OLORUN breathed life over it, and with his breath gave life to ESHU, the first born, the procreated, the first one in the Universe.
OLORUN embodies the whole space and has three powers which rule and keep active existence and the Universe. IWA, who allows generic existence, air, breathing; ASHE, who allows existence to become dynamic; ABA, who gives it purpose and direction. As the poet Moraes Moreira says in "Iorubá Thought":
For everything to be there must be IWA
For it to become there must be ASHE
For it to always be there must be ABA...
By combining these three powers in a specific way, OLORUN transmits them to IRUNMALE, divine entities who date back to the beginning of the universe, in charge of keeping them in the various spheres of their power. The IRUNMALE are supposed to be six hundred, four hundred of the right (the ORISHAS, holders of the masculine powers), and two hundred of the left (the EBORAS, holders of the feminine powers). The ORISHAS are masses of slow, serene movements, of immemorial age. They possess a great balance to control the relationships between who is born, who dies, what is given, what should be solved. They are associated to Justice and to balance, regulating principle of cosmic, social, and individual phenomena.
We saw when OLORUN started breathing, conceived ORISHALA and ESHU, they procreated. As a procreated, ESHU cannot be isolated nor classified in any category. My respects to my BARA! In these writings about the ORISHAS, ESHU with his psychological profile and the determining type of his offspring will clear the way, being the first one to be called.
ESHU existed before the world order. As life itself, he constantly changes, but not evenly, because ESHU changes the rules of the game as he pleases - he is a trickster. He is smart, conceited, intelligent and ambiguous - to such an extent that the first missionaries were scared and compared him to the devil, making him a symbol of all evil. But ESHU, due to his own energy and paradoxes, is who keeps things alive. It is him who makes it possible for ASHE to always circulate, and if treated with consideration (offerings), he reacts favorably, showing himself willing and at our disposal. ESHU is shown as the most humane ORISHA, neither totally evil nor totally good. Being related to the ancestors, he is the caretaker of the temples, houses, cities and people. Each person has his/her own BARA - even each ORISHA has his ESHU. He is everywhere and with everything, for he is the eternal intermediary between men and the gods. Therefore, in all Candomblé ceremonies his offering is the first one to be made, called PADE - which means re-union. In PADE, ESHU is called, saluted, greeted and sent beyond with a double objective: to summon the other ORISHAS for the party and at the same time to remove him from there, so that he does not disturb the ceremony with his tricks. As a carrier of offerings he is OXETUA, son of OSHUN with the sixteen ODU of the oracle (sea shell game) (CAUI). This good characteristic of ESHU grants him the power of restoring fertility to the world. As master of the power of transformation, he is ESHU ELEGBARA, who was cut into pieces and regenerated himself later, and by doing this symbolically he reunited the whole Universe.
ESHU maintains the balance of exchanges, he provokes conflict to foster synthesis. Everything which is joined multiplies, separates, transforms itself - everything is ESHU, personification of the transformation principle. His day is Monday. He is associated to the beginning and to the future, and his color is purplish dark blue, color of the mystery of procreation. His animal is the dog; his plants are the cactus and the "mandacaru". He controls sex and wears a hat similar to a phallus: there is no sexuality without ESHU.
OKOTO is the snail symbol of ESHU, representing the spiral of evolution. When it appears it is saluted by one of its names (LAROYE). He wears white, blue and red, and holds either a trident or a seven tip iron or a spear in his hand.
The psychological type of ESHU's son has the following characteristics: he is strong, agile, dynamic, untiring, overflowing with vitality. He loves the pleasures of life, he is greedy, always hungry and drinks a lot. That is why nobody in a Candomblé ceremony can drink without spilling a drink for ESHU on the ground of the main entrance. He is happy, playful, he likes to play tricks, hide objects, tell lies, teach the wrong way. He loves to shock people, to say four-letters words. He is untidy, and he loves to disturb parties and meetings. If it is convenient for him, he can be extremely hard-working, efficient, untiring and obstinate - always bearing in mind that he may profit with that. But he is totally unpredictable, sometimes abandoning some work in a whim. However, he is not insensible. He is helpful, and does not refuse assistance to his friends. He is always summoned to solve financial problems, arguments, love troubles, for which he finds a happy end with skill and a good mood. But the main characteristic of ESHU's sons is the heightening of sexuality; their lives are conducted by intense sexual activity, and sexual fidelity is impossible to get from ESHU's children.
Following the hierarchical sequence, we face the FUNFUN ORISHAS of the white, OSHALA.
OSHALA is the holder of the progenitor male and female power. All his representations include the color white. It is a fundamental element of the genesis, air mass and water mass, the prototype and the formation of all types of creatures in AIYE and ORUN. He has two forms when incorporating: OSHAGUIAN, young warrior, and OSHALUFA, and old man leaning on a silver cane (APASHARO). OSHALA is apart from all violence, disputes, fights, he likes order, cleanliness, purity. His color is white and his day is Friday. His children should wear white on this day. Metals and other white substances belong to OSHALA.
The psychological type of a son of OSHALA is benevolent and paternal, wise, calm, patient, and tolerant. He is slow, closed, cold. He is obstinate, works in silence. OSHALUFA is fragile, delicate, subject to colds because he feels cold. He makes up for his physical fragility with a great moral force, and his objective is to realize the human condition in what it is noblest. He is faithful in love and friendship. The OSHAGUIAN type is a young, pugnacious warrior. He is usually tall and strong, but neither aggressive nor brutal. He does not despise sex and is in favor of free love. He is happy, loves life deeply, he is talkative and playful. At the same time he is an idealist, defending those who need justice, the weak and the oppressed ones. He is proud, craves for glorious deeds, and is sometimes a sort of Don Quixote. His original thoughts usually anticipate his times. He is the beginning, the East where the sun rises, and OSHALUFA the setting, the West where it sets.
ODUDUWA, also considered a FUNFUN entity, received the earth element from OLORUN, with which she created AIYE. Her color is black (dark blue), by being a representative of AIYE. OSHALA and ODUDUWA are worshiped on the same day (Friday), and in some Candomblé backyards the two concepts are mixed.
The psychological type of a son of ODUDUWA from the physical point of view is similar to the OSHALA type. They are slim, thin, nervous and dry like the soil. But as opposed to the OSHALA type, ODUDUWA's children are violent and aggressive, closed, insecure and distressed, sometimes becoming touchy, impatient, intolerant, and suspicious. They are envious, vindictive, pursuing those whose happiness or success mean an insult to them. They know how to manipulate others and all their force is in their curious intelligence, critical sense and sharp irony. He is dominating, authoritarian, and at work he is demanding, perfectionist and precise.
NANA, a god from the beginning of creation, is associated to mud, water and death: she receives the dead inside her, making rebirth possible. The fact that she is a continent, associated with process and interiority, connects her with the color black, which is expressed in dark blue. Because she is a generating force, she belongs to the white. Her colors are therefore blue and white. Her animal is the frog and her day is Tuesday.
As an ORISHA of Justice, NANA does not tolerate neither treachery, nor indiscretion, nor theft. Being a very discreet ORISHA, and because she likes to hide, her daughters can have a totally different character from hers. For example, nobody will suspect that apparently a daughter of OSHUN, charming and vain, would be a "hidden" daughter of NANA.
The psychological type of NANA's children is introverted and calm. Her temper is strict and rigid. Bad-tempered, she is more feared than loved. Not very feminine, she is not very attractive and is very removed from sexuality. Because she is afraid of loving, being abandoned, and suffering, she dedicates her life to work, the inner call, to social ambition.
OMOLU, the King of the Earth, is NANA's son, but ha was raised by IYEMENJA, who received him when his mother rejected him because he was lame, ugly, and covered by wounds. He is a god from the dry, hard and warm land. Citonian, he is sometimes called "the old man", with all the prestige and power which age represents in Candomblé. He is linked to the Sun, he grants harvest, and at the same time he controls sickness and cure. With his SASSARA, ritual straw scepter from the Coast, he ousts pestilence and evil. But sickness can also be the sign of the chosen, by whom OMOLU wants to be served. He who had small-pox is frequently devoted to OMOLU, who is called "doctor of the poor". His colors are red and black, and he wears a "line" of straw from the African Coast which covers him from head to waist. His relationships with the ORISHAS are marked by fights with SHANGO and OGUN and by the fact that the female ORISHAS abandoned him. First he was rejected by his mother, then he is abandoned by OSHUN, with whom he fell in love who, together with IANSANN (Oyá), exchanges him by SHANGO. Finally OBA, with whom he got married, was stolen by SHANGO. He is a lonely ORISHA, from the streets like ESHU. His day is Monday, when popcorn is offered to him. His animal is the crab.
The psychological type of OMOLU's sons is sullen, closed, clumsy, rustic, lacking elegance and charm. He may be marked by small-pox or some other skin disease, and is frequently a hypochondriac. He has a considerable endurance and is able to make long efforts. He is usually a pessimist, with self-destructive tendencies which hurt his life. He is bitter, melancholic, becomes lonely. But when he has set objectives, he fights and is obstinate in reaching his goals. When he is disappointed, he represses his ambitions, taking a life of humbleness, voluntary poverty, mortification. He is slow, but persistent. He is strong as a rock. He lacks spontaneity and adaptation skills, therefore he does not accept changes. He is vindictive, cruel, and ruthless when offended or humiliated. Essentially virile, being a fundamentally masculine ORISHA, he lacks a touch of seduction and what is left is only a brutal bachelor. A similar phenomenon seems to occur in NANA's case: the more powerful and stressed the femininity, more dangerous it becomes, and paradoxically, less seductive.
OSHUMARE is the youngest and favorite of NANA's sons, OMOLU's brother. He is a very old white entity. He participated in the creation of the World wrapping himself around the earth, joining the matter and shaping the World. He supports the Universe, controls the stars and the ocean, and sets them into movement. Crawling through the World, he designed its valleys and rivers. He is the great snake which bites its tail, representing the continuation of the movement and of the vital cycle. The snake is his, and that is why in Candomblé it is not killed. His essence is the movement, fertility, the sequel of life. Communication between heaven and earth is granted by OSHUMARE He takes the water from the seas to the sky, so that rain can be formed - he is the rainbow, the great colored snake. He assures communication between the supernatural world, the ancestors and men, and is therefore associated to the umbilical cord. His color is lettuce green and all the combinations of the rainbow.
His day is Tuesday, and his favorite offerings are armadillos, roosters, and fresh fruit. He is bi-sexual with a feminine aspect, dances with ADE (the queens' crown). He is a man for six months, a woman during the other six. He own the riches hidden in the forest, ingrained in the land, and in the bottom of the sea, where he lives under the ocean: all precious stones, gold and coral belong to him.
The psychological type of OSHUMARE's sons is aristocratic. Physically he is slim, with fine features. He is dynamic, intelligent, inquisitive, and ironic. He likes to gossip, and he attracts, seduces and entertains because he is intriguing. He is often snobbish, and likes to show off, being sometimes eccentric and extravagant. When rich, he protects talented youngsters. He is homosexual or bisexual. He is neither rough nor gross, he is refined and civilized, but his vilification can be dangerous. He has a great intuition, and can be a smart soothsayer.
YEMANJA is considered the mother of all ORISHAS - OGUN, SHANGO, OBA, OSHOSSI, and OSHUN - who were born from an illegitimate affair he had with IF. NANA, as we saw, is OMOLU and OSHUMARE's mother. YEMANJA, on the other hand, is OLOKUN's daughter, masculine ORISHA in BENIN or feminine in IFÉ, always from the sea. She is highly worshiped in Brazil, and her cult became almost independent from Candomblé. She is represented as a mermaid with long black hair. She rules motherhood, she is the mother of the fish, representing fertility. Her day is Saturday. At the great "duties" she is offered white goat, duck or chicken. She loves flowers and is usually given seven open white roses, which are thrown to the sea in thankfulness. Her color is white with blue. She wears an ADE with bead fringes hiding her face. She holds the EBEBE in her hand - it is a round silver metal ritual fan, with a mermaid cut in the center.
The psychological type of YEMANJA's children is imposing, majestic and beautiful, calm, sensuous, fertile and irresistibly fascinating (the mermaid's song). YEMANJA's daughters are good housewives, excellent educators, generous, even raising other people's children (OMOLU). When offended, they do not forgive easily. They are possessive and very jealous. Since YEMANJA, guides the formation of individuality, which is in the head, as we know, she is present in all the rituals, especially EBORI.
OGUN is YEMANJA's first-born son, with whom he always was. He was also very fond of ESHU and his brother OSHOSSI, the hunting ORISHA - to whom he gave his weapons. He was married to IANSAN (Oyá), who abandoned him to go with SHANGO. He also married OSHUN, but he lives alone, clearing the roads. He is the iron ORISHA; he was the first blacksmith. He is the ORISHA of civilization and technology. He introduced agriculture, and as offerings, he receives yam and beans, the fruits of the land. He is the ORISHA of the engine drivers, car drivers, railroad workers, technicians, and of all those who work with machines and tools. He is the ORISHA of virility; he removes obstacles, civilizes the world, provides food.
His day is Tuesday. For the great "duties" he may request an ox or a goat. His color is red, but he also likes deep blue and green. His animal is the dog. He is aggressive and brutal and he is said to be responsible for car, airplane and mechanical accidents in general, with which he punishes those who disrespected him. His children should abstain from drinking "cachaça" (sugar cane alcoholic drink) and from going armed with knives. As his possession is very violent, he who receives his entity may become totally unconscious and without control of his acts.
OGUN's children are quarrelsome, violent, impulsive, and do not forgive the offenses they suffer. They fiercely pursue their objectives, and in difficult moments they are successful where any other would have abandoned the struggle and lost all hope. Their mood is variable, ranging from furious anger fits to a tranquil behavior. They are impulsive and arrogant, do not care about hurting others, but they are seldom hated due to the frankness of their intentions and their sincerity.
SHANGO is an ORISHA of fire, son of OSHALA with YEMANJA. The legend says he was OYA's king. A powerful and proud king, he had to face rivalries and even fight with his brothers to keep his power. Beaten by his enemies, he took refuge in the forest, always with his faithful OYA (IANSAN), and hanged both of them. His body disappeared underground in a deep hole, from where an iron chain came out - the human generation chain. He became an ORISHA, but at the same time he is an EGUM (spirit of the ancestors). A real paradigm, in Candomblé the EGUNS are not worshiped together with the ORISHAS. EGUM is for the men like a father, and the ORISHA is for OSHALA a son: SHANGO is at the same time OSHALA's son and a mythical ancestor linked to royalty, a divinized hero, founder of the NAG dynasty.
Due to his dual origin, SHANGO is the Saint of Justice, punishing with a lightening. He is also a charmer; he has three wives: OBA , the oldest and least loved; OSHUN, who was married to OSHOSSI and with whom SHANGO falls in love and makes her leave OSHOSSI for him; and IANSAN (Oyá), who lived with OGUN and who was kidnapped by SHANGO. She is the youngest and favorite, for she is a dedicated wife and strong warrior, who precedes her husband in the battles and, because she own the lightening, she gave the fire to her beloved SHANGO, commanding the natural forces characterized by violence: thunder, lightening (the supernatural fire from heaven), he throws rocks from the sky.
He is the dynamics of the elements of nature from whose meeting these meteorological phenomena are born. Power, fire, movement, life and fertility - he receives from his wife IANSAN (Oyá). His animal is the sheep, whose attacks are compared to the violence of the lightening and who has spiral horns like fire. He is a dissolute ORISHA, turbulent, red, hot and stands out for his intense sexual activity. SHANGO is scared of death and of the EGUNS. These are the opposites who have to join: mortal and immortal, father (of men) and son (of OSHALA), which he will do with his wife's intervention (IANSAN (Oyá)), who brings the fire, fertility, the continuation of generations, the life power transmitted from father to son through the woman's pregnancy.
His color is red and white, and his day is Wednesday. He likes the sacrifice of the turtle, who is often called his horse, of the rooster and of the duck. His possession is an explosion of happiness, his dance is vigorous and beautiful, and his children salute him with hand-clapping, fireworks, yells and the expression: "we wish your majesty a long life" - above all, a King. SHANGO's sacred objects are LAB and OSE, a double axe which represents the lightening and can be in wood or bronze metal - by the reddish color, it is consecrated to him. LABA is a painted leather bag made only in Africa, whose drawings are sacred. It is divided in four parts and the drawings, which resemble the lightening, are asymmetrical and evoke the three segments of the radius and the triangle. The number three is the even number plus one, suggesting movement and continuation, i.e., life itself.
The psychological type of SHANGO's children is physically robust, strong and obstinate chin, short neck, sensuous and fleshy lips. They are violent, proud, but their aggressiveness is not senseless: it is against evil, because like SHANGO, his children are paladins of Justice.
IANSAN is the daughter of YEMANJA with OSHALA and SHANGO's favorite wife. She is a warrior and adventuresome like him, a woman of many men ( OSHOSSI, OGUN, and SHANGO ). She relates to all elements of nature. Water, in the form of rain, of storm. The air, as the storm wind which uproots trees, knocks down houses. In its good aspect, it was IANSAN's air which spread medicinal plants, previously kept by OSANYIN in a bowl. Linked to the forest, she transforms herself into a buffalo, deer or elephant. She provides abundant hunting. But her essence is the movement and the fire, she is the ORISHA of lightening. This relationship with movement and fire makes IANSAN a goddess of sex and love. She is a queen for being SHANGO's favorite. And because she is the EGUNS' mother and queen, she is the only ORISHA who is not afraid of the dead. Her number is nine, product of 3 X 3 - the initial even number plus one, indicating continuation, pure movement. Her day is Wednesday and her color is red. Her objects are a copper sword and a "fly catcher" with which she keeps the EGUNS away.
The psychological type of IANSAN's daughters is turbulent, restless, full of initiative. They are noticed, provoking and they dominate men, but they are dedicated wives. The homosexuals have IANSAN as a role model. They are fertile women, mother of many children, but which are raised by a grandmother, a nanny, an aunt. The IANSAN type only oversees their upbringing. They do not like housework nor executive work. They prefer to be actresses, farmers or pursue any other profession in which some adventure, passion, and drive are needed.
OBA is an ORISHA linked to water, a not so feminine warrior. Her clothes are red and white, she carries a shield, a sword, a copper crown. She wears a scarf on her head so as to hide her cut ear. The legend says that OBA, rejected by SHANGO, was always around the palace wanting to return. OSHUN, with his artifices, tells OBA that SHANGO loves ears and suggests she makes a soup with her ear, which will be an unfailing way to get him. OBA did just that and when SHANGO had the soup and it tasted strange, he wanted to know who made it; OBA happily says it was her, thinking she had gotten him back. SHANGO got shocked with her mutilation and evicts her forever.
The psychological type of OBA's children is the stereotype of the strong will-powered woman, terribly possessing and deprived. As opposed to IANSAN, she is a one-man woman, faithful and long-suffering. They are strugglers, impulsive, and revengeful. OBA is an ORISHA who rarely expresses himself and there is very little studied by her. Maybe because presently, in Africa or in Brazil, there is no room for these characteristics in females, who are recovering more and more their IANSAN power.
OSHUN is a female ORISHA by excellence - the Eternal Feminine. She is OSHALA and YEMANJA's favorite daughter. In the myth, she was married to OSHOSSI, to whom she is unfaithful with SHANGO, with OGUN, who battered her and from whom SHANGO saves her. She seduces OMOLU, who becomes so madly in love with her that he removes the pest from SHANGO's kingdom. But OSHUN is unanimously considered one of SHANGO's wives, and IANSAN's and OBA's rival. She is a sweet water ORISHA, from springs and streams, owner of the OSHUN River and of all waters born in the earth. An esoteric tradition says that OSHUN is Mother Earth herself, a live self-regulating being, the rivers being her veins.
OSHUN is essentially the women's ORISHA, presiding over menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth. She has an important function in the initiation rites, which are pregnancy and birth. She is the ORISHA of motherhood, she loves children, protects life and has healing functions. OSHUN is fertility and abundance which expresses itself in the fruit of the waters (fish) and in the fruit of the land (yam), which are always present in her cults. Fruitfulness and fertility are, by extension, abundance and affluence. OSHUN is the ORISHA of richness - she owns gold, the fruit of the inside of the earth. She is happy, smiling, charming, intelligent, girl/woman who plays with dolls, and wise woman, generous and compassionate, never getting angry. She is elegant, full of jewels, the queen that refuses nothing, gives everything. She is called IYALODE among the YORUBA people: she commands women in the city, mediates disputes, and is in charge of order in the food market. She also commands the witches, which only shows in her preference for the bird - a red eyed pigeon. She has an important role in the game of "búzios" (sea shells), for she makes the questions which ESHU answers.
Her day is Saturday, day of the waters, her color is golden yellow and the egg is consecrated to her for representing pregnancy. She loves honey, sweet like her. When OSHUN dances, she holds in her hand a sword and a mirror, revealing her condition of seduction warrior. She bathes herself in the river, combs her hair, wears her jewels and bracelets, all this in a slow and provoking movement. ORISHA of gold, of peace, of richness, she is essentially the Mother - generous, prodigal, and accommodating and, because of this, like OSHUN EWUJI is saluted in the PADE, the beginning of every ritual in the Candomblé.
The psychological type of OSHUN's children is being physically very beautiful. They have well built bodies, usually fair and blond. They always represent the attractive type, and are always pursued by the opposite sex ( not like IANSAN, who pursues). They appreciate luxury and sex, they are vain, elegant, sensuous and like changes, maybe being unfaithful. But they are calm, tranquil, emotional, cry easily. They are smart, managing to get everything they want with imagination and plot. Though complacent and prodigal, they can be self-seeking, lazy and hesitant. They are very suspicious, and have a great intuition which is often put to work for artfulness.
OSHOSSI is Keto's King, son of OSHALA and YEMANJA or, in the myths, APAOKA's ( jackfruit ) son. He is the hunting ORISHA; he was an elephant hunter, an animal associated to royalty and to the ancestors. The myth says that OSHOSSI found IANSAN in the forest, as a great elephant which transforms itself into a woman. He marries her, has many children who are abandoned and raised by OSHUN. OSHOSSI lives in the forest where the spirits live and is related to the trees and the ancestors. He owns the bees, who represent the spirit of the female ancestors. He relates to the animals, whose screams he imitates perfectly, he is a brave and agile hunter, he is generous, provides hunting and protects against the attack of wild animals. He is a lonely bachelor after he was left by IANSAN, and also because as a hunter he has to keep away from women for they are ominous to hunting. He is closely linked to OGUN, from whom he received his hunting weapons. OSANYIN fell in love with OSHOSSI's beauty and enclosed him in the forest. OGUN is able to penetrate the forest with his blacksmith's tools and frees him. He is associated to the cold, the night, the moon; his plants are refreshing. His day is Thursday.
He wears turquoise blue or blue and red. He wears an elegant wide-brimmed hat decorated with blue and white ostrich feathers. He carries two bull's horns at his waist, a bow, a golden arrow and a IRUKERE - a bull-tail whip to keep away the ancestors. His dance emulates the gesture of throwing arrows to the right and left, the rhythm is fast, when he imitates the rider hunting, sliding slowly, sometimes jumping and rotating around himself. It is one of the most beautiful dances in Candomblé.
The psychological type of OSHOSSI's son is refined and very beautiful. He is the ORISHA of the intellectual artists. He is inquisitive, a greatly penetrating observer. He is full of crazes, unstable in his love affairs, very susceptible and believed to be "complicated". He is lonely, mysterious, discreet, introverted. He does not adapt easily to urban life, and is generally a pioneer. He often fascinates boys and may be a homosexual. He is extremely sensitive, has artistic qualities, creativity, a refined taste. His psychic structure is very emotional and romantic.
LOGUM EDE is OSHOSSI and OSHUN's son. He is a woman for six months, living in the water, and a man in the other six months, living in the jungle. He provides hunting and fishing. He dresses as an AYABA, with a pink skirt, wears a golden metal crown (not the ADE of the queens), a bow and an arrow. He always wears light colors. With his masculine aspect he wears a golden metal helmet, bags, bow and arrow or sword. He always dances with OSHUN and OSHOSSI.
The psychological type of LOGUM EDE's children is very proud of their body - our present policy of body culture could be conducted by LOGUM EDE. He is seductive, vain, lazy and jealous. They are ambivalent types, they can be well mannered, have a good mood, be refreshing as the ODUNDUN leaf and the water, but they can also be gloomy as their ancestors. The ORISHA LOGUM EDE is responsible for dizzy spells and fainting, which can be taken as EGUNS' provocations. His cult in Africa is almost extinct, but in Bahia it is alive. His children cannot wear the color red.
OSANYIN is OSHALA and YEMANJA's son, OGUN, OSHOSSI, and SHANGO's brother. He lives in the forest - he is also an ORISHA of the open air, where he found and arrested OSHUN. He is SHANGO's enemy, from whom it is said that he tried to get OBA, thus having to face SHANGO's wrath, losing a leg in this battle. Other legends say that he stole the fire from SHANGO and gave it to men, being this the reason for the hostility.
OSANYIN is the ORISHA of the leaves and medicine. As we have seen, thanks to IANSAN all the ORISHAS have their leaves, but in principle OSANYIN continues being their owner. There are leaves for everything: for each type of sickness, of distress, or well being, to get happiness, money, long life. The leaves are always with ASHE, and in Candomblé without them and without OSANYIN nothing gets done - therefore, OSANYIN is ASHE's owner!
His color is green and his day is Monday. As the master of vegetation, he is linked to the earth. He is a chthonic ORISHA, like OMOLU he is lame or he does not have a leg. His metal is iron. He is deeply linked to the gourd - which represents the cosmic matrix, where he keeps his leaves and his power. He is associated to the birds, and wears a crown with a bird on top. We should remember that the witches' symbol is a gourd where a bird is enclosed, symbolizing their power and performing the work determined by them. Thus OSANYIN represents the gourd's magic power - pregnancy. He is the ORISHA of medicine, who with his leaves makes medicines, enchantments, good luck charms, and cures the sick. Knowing the leaves is the most secret part of Candomblé. OSANYIN wears on his head a silver metal crown decorated with a bird, he carries on his waist small gourds where he keeps his medicines, and takes in one hand a large silver gourd and in the other a seven tip tool and a bird in the central tip. He is the ORISHA of the doctors and scientists.
The psychological type of OSANYIN's children has a secret and unpredictable mood, he hides, "puts others in front because he does not like to show himself". From the morphological point of view, he is delicate and fragile; sometimes when they are old, they become lame or cripple. He is discreet, quiet, does not talk about himself and makes a point of preserving his freedom. Unaware of the petty aspects of day-to-day life, when he is seeking the solution to a scientific or philosophical problem he forgets to eat. He is sensitive, generous, compassionate, he loves animals, especially birds. His balanced character does not allow compatibilities or dislikes to interfere in his decisions. His judgements about men and things are not based on the idea of good and evil, but on their efficiency.
These introductory notes to the study of Candomblé - the ORISHAS' religion - started with a salutation to ESHU (ASHE's vehicle between men and the gods), and it concludes with our meeting with OSANYIN (ASHE's vehicle among men).
When OSANYIN stole the fire for men, he opened their way to consciousness, and because he owns the ASHE of the plants, he has the energy of the Candomblé practice - in Candomblé, nothing gets done without the energy of the plants - and the energy of healing, through their curative energy. OSANYIN is lame and fragile, with the power of limitation and his fragility maintains an extraordinary reserve of creative and curative energy, and of passive resistance towards the objectives he set as a goal - he is our WOUNDED HEALER.
São Paulo, Brazil, winter of 1990
CARMINHA LEVY is an educator, clinical psychologist of Jungian orientation and art-therapist. Mrs. Levy has been dedicating herself since 1981 to the spreading of Shamanism in Brazil with Michael Harner's technique, with whom she made the following courses: The Shamanic Journey, Power and Healing, and Two-Week Advanced Course in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, both at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur - California, USA. Also at the Esalen Institute, she was a pupil of Stanislav Grof, with whom she had a Transpersonal Therapy course.
Presently, Mrs. Levy dedicates herself to spreading the Afro-Brazilian Shamanism abroad.
In the spring of 1990, Mrs. Levy founded the Paz Géia Institute of Shamanic Research, whose objective is the study, research and disclosing of the Indian-Afro-Brazilian and South American Shamanism.
Mrs. Levy is also a member of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA.
THE POWER OF THE BLACK MADONNA
By Carminha Levy
This paper starts with a dream, a GREAT DREAM which the tribe's Shaman must tell his people.
Ten years ago, in 1981, after my Shamanic initiation with Michael Harner in Esalen, California, I went through a serious health problem returning to Brazil. I had a brain vascular accident (aneurism) and faced death and dismembering in a real concretization of Shamanic initiation. My life hung by a thread, and going into surgery I had only 1% possibility of coming out unharmed and 10% of surviving. I had my Dream under these terrible circumstances.
In Rome, in the Vatican Square, my husband and I were in a black carriage, pulled by black horses - the carriage of death. Suddenly, in the middle of the square I see four lions, all free, and one of them was black. I was surprised to see the lions, and people walking by freely in the square. My husband said there was no danger, it being only necessary that everybody respected each other. We were going to a Mass that a cousin of mine had celebrated as thanksgiving. The Mass was officiated by the Pope in an amphitheater and there were many people around praying. The Pope then becomes José de Anchieta, a Brazil in saint who was a priest and a poet at the time of the Colonization. The Mass is a poem written on the sand which was in the amphitheater. Each word he wrote became a purple rosebud. When he finished, the Mass-poem is shaped like a fan, and Anchieta, like a magic trick with a wand, opens all the roses. The audience praying at the Mass is simply marveled and one can hear an "oh" of surprise and awe and incredibility. And I tell my husband: "This is my cousin, always spectacular!" Obviously, I survived this surgery without sequels, with absolute control of my body and mind. But my life started again as the life of a newborn, and I needed some months to rehabilitate myself. During all this time, an image never left my mind: the Black Lion, never seen before.
Since my Great Prophetic Dream which predicted my healing, until today the Black Lion reveals the secrets of the Black Madonna, our Great Mother, to whom he belongs. He comes to me teaching me through dreams, experiences with my patients, Shamanic study groups and my own experience of miraculous cure. He teaches me the powerful healing strength of the Black Madonna and guides me to Her, for he is one of Her sacred animals.
Who is the Black Madonna?
She is our Mother Earth, the Female Principle, our Primordial Mother, symbol of Wisdom and integration and resolution of the opposites.
As a perpetuation of the powerful goddesses of the ancient times, she returns with the sacred characteristics of the Virgin Mary. Metaphorically Virgin, but not in the Patriarchal meaning, for she does not belong to any man, but to all men. She provides life. Men as fruits of the earth come from her and to her we all return, to Mother Nature, to the Goddess-Mother.
Hers is the Holy Ghost - the female part of God, sacred fire which rises from the bottom of the earth. Macroscopically following Kundalini's winding path of fire, he goes through the earth's body coming out transformed into the Holy Ghost.
The story of the Black Madonna has the quality of the profound mysteries. It has therefore a heretical secret which cannot be revealed in writing, but only transmitted by the oral tradition, a privilege of the initiated. From what can be revealed through writing, we have the historical registry which sends us to the worship of Mother Earth, the Great Mother, the Goddess.
"Darkness precedes light and she is mother" (inscription in the altar of the Salerno Cathedral in Italy). The first wisdom was dark and feminine, eternal womb which in the religious African tradition of Candomblé is represented by the female ancestral power Iyá-mi-Osorongá (my mother Osorongá). This eternal uterus, amorphous matter, the earth's womb, is symbolized by the igbá (cabaça) - the bowl which is the whole, the content and the container. The bowl contains one bird - Atiorô, which represents simultaneously the power of pregnancy and the procreated element. Iyá-mi is the lady of the bird children, and is so powerful that her name cannot be mentioned lest these little children are destroyed. The ambivalence of her power shows in the myth which tells that when the Iya-mi-Eleye, the bird-women who founded the World, arrived here, they spread themselves on seven trees representing the seven types of different activities. On three of these trees they worked for the good, on three others they worked for evil, and on the seventh tree they worked both for good and for evil. Our Great Mother, Iya-mi, the Supporter of the World, contains in herself also the Terrible Mother, but is primordially an integrating symbol, able of using her power in the resolution of all the opposites.
Sublime queen of this ancestral female power, she reigns until our days, especially in Brazil and in Africa, OXUM, the most prominent of the Iyás, in a living cult to the great mothers. Orixá of all the waters, rivers, falls, streams and even the sea (in the Yorubá country), Oxum is the genitor by excellence, and at the same time, Supreme Ancestral Mother linked to procreation and also patroness of pregnancy. "She protects the foetuses and cares for them after birth until they have accumulated the knowledge which allows them to speak. "The cure of the children belongs to her and Oxum should not be anybody's enemy." - From a Yorubá text. Oxum is represented in some narrations as a mythical fish, for the fish are considered her children. The scales of Oxum's body symbolize these children. Like the fish, the birds personify her. These are represented by the feathers. "Her body of fish or of a huge mythical bird is covered by scales or feathers, parts of the maternal body, capable of separating from her, symbol of fertility and procreation". - Juana Elbein dos Santos.
In the Egyptian and Greek religions the soul is represented by the bird who always followed the Goddess Mothers and which follows the Black Madonna like the Holy Ghost follows Mary.
The most ancient manifestations of the cult to Mother Earth date back to Pre-historical times. One of the manifestations which arrived to us is a small figure, "La Polichinelle". She was brought to light by a worker near the caverns of Grimaldi. The profile shows a sharp projection of buttocks, breast and belly. The justly famous Venus of Sespugne has a tailpiece scored with vertical lines that resemble tail feathers (Pyrenees, France). In Ur there is another archaic registry of the cult to the Goddess Mother, a small statue in which she is shown with her divine son, both with a snake head.
She shows up in Sumeria as the super popular Inanna with a double personality: in the morning she is the valuable "Lady of the Battles", goddess of the heroes, and in the evening she be comes the goddess of fertility, of the pleasures of love. She fertilizes the grains, the earth and the man. She does not be long to one man only, but to several. Her priestesses are the "sacred prostitutes" who, like the virgins who do not belong to any man, metaphorically they do not belong to any because they belong to all. They have a multiple womb which belongs to all men, for theirs is the womb of the goddess Inanna - Mother Earth - which they will become. The cult to Inanna had in the sexual act its main practice, because it re-established the original androgyny through the sacred prostitution.
We see Mother Earth be worshiped as Ishtar in Babylonia, and later as Isis in Egypt, and as Astarte among the Hebrews. In Frigia she appears as Cybele (Diana of the nine fires, indicating fertility.
As a Greek goddess she receives the name of Rea, Gaia or Demeter, always goddess, profound, mysterious and dark. Her Roman equivalents are Tellus, Ceres and Maia.
Still in Egypt Mother Earth appears as Neith, the oldest and wisest of the goddesses. Protector of the dead and of the war, she was head of the practical arts. She is the night sky which bends over the earth, forming with her hands and feet the gates of Life and Death. The first-born androgynous is a virgin who fertilized herself, bringing the life she produced to all the worlds.
The Celtic goddess Mother Earth is Annis (or Anu) and her cult reaches Europe.
However, where the cult to Mother Earth(our Black Madonna) is most developed was in the Aegean-Cretean culture, where the Goddess Mother was originally venerated in caves, and whose priests were women. She is the Lady of the Beasts, of the mountains and of the birds. The serpents and the animals of the lower world and the wild ones were sacred to her, and the dove was in its crown as the Holy Ghost is in Mary's. She is the animal mother always with bare breasts, and nurses the Zeus child like a goat, pig or cow. As indicated by the fur clothing and the priestesses' clothing always with bare breasts, her cult dates back to the Stone Age. In the middle of the great cult to fertility in Crete is the bull, the double axe (or labris), the Minotaur and the Labyrinth.
The bull is the male instrument which fertilizes and at the same time is the victim of fertility, as demonstrated by his sacrifice which until today is found in the bull-fights.
The goddess of Crete - Demeter of the Greeks, is the lady of the lower world, of the bottom of the earth and of death. Her earthly womb is the womb of death, as it is also the center of fertility from where life sprouts. To enter the labyrinth means entering this womb to face death and from where, like a grain of wheat, one comes out gloriously reborn.
The Goddess Mothers in the Christian World
With the beginning of the Christian Era declines the cult to the deities of all the Olympuses. The cult to Mother Earth also suffers this same decline and starts being clandestine. To our times come only the echoes of some cults, such as the mysteries of Eleusis, in which Demeter and Persephone were worshiped. Artemisia in Ephesus reigned undisturbed for a good while. Not even Paul, the Apostle, was able to prevent its worship. She was also Diana (Hecate in the Roman world), the goddess of the wood and the golden bough, being this a characteristic of hers and of the Black Madonnas, which were many times found in trees.
The three great goddesses of the East, Isis, Cybele and Di ana of Ephesus, which were represented as being black, established themselves in the East before the Romanization.
In the Celtic world the adoration of the three goddesses (Deae Matres) and of the horse goddess Epona flourishes among the druids and goes on under the Roman domain.
At the Mediterranean seaside, from Antibes and Barcelona until the Galicia area the cult to the three goddesses developed, and nowadays that is where one can find the highest concentration of Black Madonnas.
It is usually a consensus that the first images of the Black Madonna and her divine son were representations of Isis and Horus. In the last centuries of the Roman rule, the East welcomed Isis and Cybele (which in the 3rd century became the highest deity of Lyon, capital of the three Galias) as the great universal goddesses. Isis reigned in Paris at this time, until she was Christianly replaced by Saint Genevieve, her present patroness. The Meroginies worshiped Cybele as Diana of the nine fires (of fertility). In 679 Dagobert II, the Saint Meroginy established the cult to "the one which today receives the name of Our Lady and who is our Eternal Isis". Her name as Black Madonna was Our Lady of the Light.
Until the 4th century one can perceive the religious feeling based on the Great Universal Mother and her soft characteristics of love, forgiveness and welcome. The Christian church, however, established after Constantin gives the privilege and demands from its followers the growth of a blind faith which emphasizes the challenging and strict masculinity of its martyrs. The sublime and subtle qualities of the feminine are rejected and a period of darkness and clandestinity befalls the cult of the matriarch goddesses, providers of life, pleasure and happiness. Patriarchism starts exerting its morbid and cruel face.
The female principle outlines an emerging movement during the Gothic Renaissance. In France, in the 12th century, there is a religious and knightly order surrounded by mysteries. The Order of the Priorate of Our Lady of Sion. It is passionately interested in the cult of the Goddess Mothers, now already in the Christianised figure of the Black Madonna. Her most important historical contribution was an amazing precedent in the struggle for the equal rights of women.
The Black Madonna became consistently present after the Crusades. Especially the Knight Templars, who brought to their countries small statues of black Virgins which were considered exotic pagan representations. The great celebration of the Knight Templars was Pentecost, day of the Holy Ghost and, as we have seen, the Dove belongs to Mother Earth as the Holy Ghost belongs to Mary.
Pentecost was also the great Arthurian celebration of the Holy Grail, object of the sacred search which appears at this time.
The Knight Templars became part of history as the Grail's guardians. The Holy Grail protected the earth, nourished it and granted it fertility, powers similar to those of the Mother Earth and the Black Madonna.
The female principle is revealed in the Grail, as was also the cult to the worship of Love practiced by the Troubadours through their total dedication to the Lady.
The 14th century, however, sets the end of the flourishing of this femininity with the first fires of the Inquisition, which burned for 500 years. This great fire burns and defames the Knight Templars and heads the "witch hunting", in an attempt to eliminate the female principle of pleasure, freedom and peace of Mother Earth.
The witches' pyres were only extinguished at the Age of Reason. Although they apparently did not correspond to the ideal of the Age of Reason, the small Black Madonna appeared as a symbol of a Formidable Strength, older and more powerful than any king or Pope.
They are a source of elementary and uncontrollable source of life as is freedom. They have their own spirit and wisdom: they did not submit themselves to any nationalist organization or law. The return of the female part of God lifts popular enthusiasm and mankind experiences the sacred directly through the apparitions of the Virgin of Lourdes and of the La Salete in the 19th century.
Parallel to these religious phenomena of the apparition of the Virgin (in the 20th century in Fatima), there is a sociological phenomenon which shocked the world. The sexual revolution, the emancipation of women by means of equal rights and duties and birth control. In the cult of Inanna we saw that sacred prostitution was the act which re-established the original androgyny. This cult returns in the 12th century, presenting Magdalene as the "repentant prostitute". Later on, she and Saint Mary the Egyptian are venerated as Black Madonnas. This need to reconcile sexuality and religion, as in the beginning of the cult to the Mother Earth Goddess became the greatest legacy of the Black Ma donna and grants her the power of integrating the opposites. Her return to the first level of collective consciousness assumes the fall of patriarchal rigidity. Tolerantly regarding the search for the pleasure of life, of happiness and the care for the subtle female qualities, it deceives the male hypocritical laws. Politically, it is in favor of freedom and dignity of the people. Its most important function is to be able to join Justice and Charity, qualities by which the Black Madonnas are venerated by mankind. Like the Holy Ghost, the female part of God, she is the consolation of the Afflicted, and she appears mysteriously where the people suffer more and need more support, as proved by these apparitions:
Intended to be the patroness of her people in the 11th century, she appears as Our Lady of the Black Forest, where there is today Einsiedeln Abbey.
Our Lady Underground also appears at this time in an ancient sacred druid place in Chartres.
The Montserrat Black Madonna was discovered among rocks, by shepherds in Barcelona, and the Black Madonna of Prates, in the Pyrenes is, like Artemis, found in a tree.
The Lady of Guadelupe, the Black Madonna of all Spains, including Mexico, is found by a cowboy after having spent 600 years buried in an iron coffin.
The Virgin of Copacabana, patroness of Bolivia, is found by fishermen after they have been miraculously saved from a storm in the Titicaca Lake.
In Brazil, in 1717, a fisherman finds a Black Madonna in the Paraiba River in Sao Paulo - Our Lady Aparecida, patroness of Brazil, and venerated today in the city which has her name. She is a small and beautiful black female figure supporting herself on a crescent moon. Says the legend that when she was discovered, this tiny figure becomes extremely heavy, preventing the fisherman to take her away from the place where originally was made a small sentry-house for her. Today there is a sanctuary city with Basilicas, numerous churches and the whole infra-structure of a city that has already welcomed the Pope, and which all year round receives pilgrims from the whole country in a great happy and colorful religious celebration.
And, in the Afro-Brazil in tradition, the Black Madonna is our Orixá Oxum, Great Mother, patroness of pregnancy and of babies, of the Rivers and of the Seas, of Gold, of Honey, of Laughter, of Beauty, of Seduction, of Shrewdness and Wisdom, our Supreme Ancestral Mother: Iyami-Akoko.
The Black Madonna's entourage: the Black Lion and the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
The light of the inside of the Earth is bright and condensed, as black as a black hole. This is the light of the Holy Ghost. The sacred black animals, as the black lion which announced my cure and guided me in this work, come from this condensed energy from the inside of the Earth and belong to the entourage of the Black Madonna. As they retain this concentrated light, they possess the unique, extraordinary power of fighting against the black forces of Black Magic. These animals, which have the gift of the Holy Ghost of destroying black magic, are the sacred counterparts of the black.
Everything in the Universe has two parts: one positive and one negative. The black of the sacred animals is the positive counterpart of the black. Therefore, the sacred black animals have the energetic quality which grants them the right to work with the power of white magic but within the vibration of black magic, being thus able to reach it and destroy it.
It is a sign of black magic when serious and repetitive illnesses cannot be cured normally. In many cases this is caused by past lives black magic, which must be removed through Shamanic energy.
For the Shaman to work with the power of the sacred black animals deriving from the Black Madonna's Divine Power, a psycho- spiritual development is necessary. This comes to the Shaman as a golden animal - as for example Artemis' Golden Deer or the Golden Fleece - or as a non-winged animal which appears with wings, like a lion or horse with wings, as Pegasus. This means that our Ego is developed enough to vibrate in the same wave length of such powerful strength, and implies a high level of spiritual development, acquired through many past lives lived as a Shaman.
To work with the power of the Black Madonna it is absolutely necessary that four powers be harmonized:
One Power Animal that every Shaman has.
One black sacred animal - which normally is not black, as the lion.
One golden animal.
One winged animal.
Some people have other Shamanic "tools", such as an emerald Hermes caduceus or another specific symbol, very personal, which will be used in this work about the Black Madonna.
By worshiping the Black Madonna we are receiving the gifts of the Holy Ghost who, it should be reminded, are clear-sightedness, polyglottism, "clairaudience", inspired teachings and the expulsion of evil spirits (black magic). With these gifts, from the Inanna Goddess to the Holy Virgin, the Black Madonna comes to us as a symbol of the integration/resolution of the opposites.
And her secret and her power is the transmutation of our internal moon (soul) into our internal sun (spirit) in an eternal alchemy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CARMINHA LEVY is an educator, clinical psychologist of Jungian orientation and art-therapist. Mrs. Levy has been dedicating herself since 1981 to the spreading of Shamanism in Brazil with Michael Harner's technique, with whom she made the following courses: The Shamanic Journey, Powerr and Healing, and Two-Week Advanced Course in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, both at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur - California, USA. Also at the Esalen Institute, she was a pupil of Stanislav Grof, with whom she had a Transpersonal Therapy course.
Presently, Mrs Levy dedicates herself to spreading the Afro-Brazil in Shamanism abroad.
In the spring of 1990, Mrs Levy founded the Paz Geia Institute of Shamanic Research, whose objective is the study, research and disclosing of the Indian-Afro-Brazil in and South American Shamanism.
Mrs. Levy is also a member of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA.
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