The Black Madonna, Magdalene, and the Deep-Feminine Mysteries at Sophia’s Children.

Those are just a couple of the names, across so many cultures and times.

One of the most popular themes, along with the Empaths & Sensitive Series, are my articles on the the Black Madonna, Sophia, and the Mysteries of walking the Via Feminina … and Via Transformativa!

(They’re among my favorites, too, so we’re ‘in sync’ on that. Thank you!)

Many of the posts at Sophia’s Children have their roots in the rich, dark soil of my Via Feminina initiation journeys after I was konked over the head and dragged into the Underworld … er, I mean called back into remembrance and re-embodying of and stepping into a renewed role as a Keeper of the Flame for the Sacred Feminine.

But there are also a collection of posts where I wrote specifically about the Black Madonna, Sophia, Lilith, the Magdalene, Cerridwen, Dark Aphrodite, Durga, and others.

Love's Messenger (1885), by Marie Spartali StillmanAnd I created a collection of Divinely Feminine audio workshops & other Feminine Mojo-stirring resources as well (including several on the Black Madonna Etc.), and now work with a small circle of devoted emerging Waykeepers in my very personalized Ways of Wisdom Apprenticeship Program.

For online inspiration here at Sophia’s Children, here’s an index to many (if not all) of my musings on the deep Feminine Mysteries, the Via Feminina journey, Sophia, and the Black Madonna.

To start, you’ll find a couple of short excerpts from a gathering of Divine Feminine-stirring posts, and then you’ll see a whole list of posts if you’re really feeling the call to immerse.

You’ll also find mention of The Feminine Mojo Mystery School program archive — a collection of one-of-a-kind, Divine-Feminine-activating programs and audio workshops I created, available now to Ways of Wisdom apprentices who really feel the call.

For information on those, send me an email – jamie ‘at’ sophias-children ‘dot’ com.

Excerpts from Select posts:

Stella Dei Cieli (c. 1880-1885), by Edward Robert Hughes. Image via WikiCommons.

“The New Venus, New Woman, is Venus become one with Persephone her deeper nature. She emerges as the Woman of Revelation “clothed with the Sun” who brings new feminine consciousness, an artful mindfulness and imminent being that is here and now, beyond words, fully aware.” ~ the late Steve Nelson, Gaiastrology

In our mythic stories, Persephone — among others — symbolizes and speaks to us about the innocent ‘maiden’ Feminine that, through the spirals of initiation and Underworld-born mastery, emerges as the initiated Wise Woman, the wise Feminine.

Read the full Sophia’s Children post The New Venus: The Rise of the Initiated Wise Women

A few more recent Black Madonna posts:

Black (Madonna) Friday

The Black Madonna Connection

Find Feminina-Soul-stirring inspiration in the following selections (with links to full posts).

Our Lady of Lourdes, Valais. Photo by Armin Kübelbeck, shared via Creative Commons SA, Wikimedia.jpg
Our Lady of Lourdes, Valais. Photo by Armin Kübelbeck, shared via Creative Commons SA, Wikimedia.jpg

“Persephone, like Inanna, is such an important mythic and archetypal story about the epic Underworld Journey and initiation into our deep-Feminine wisdom.

Some of us experience a real-deal Dark Night of the Soul, a true Underworld Journey, as we’re shaken free of false conditioning and stripped of the survival-armor we’ve adopted to hide away our deeply Feminine, deeply Medial Feminine nature, gifts, and sensitivity.”

From my Persephone’s Underworld Journey and Deep Feminine Initiation post.


Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, Vilna, Lithuania. Image courtesy of Albertus Teolog, GNU, Wikimedia

“What’s feared is hidden, and what’s powerful is hoarded, and both are true relative to the Black Madonna. She is Christianity’s largely unknown Dark Goddess, drawn from much older pre-Christian traditions. She has come to symbolize what’s hidden or marginalized, whether through suppression or oppression.”

“But just because we don’t know about her doesn’t mean her influence isn’t present in our lives.” ~ from The Black Madonna’s Calling

La Moreneta, Black Madonna of Montserrat, in a prayer mini-grotto niche, also at the Santa Maria Monastery in Catalonia, Spain.
La Moreneta, Black Madonna of Montserrat, in a prayer mini-grotto niche, also at the Santa Maria Monastery in Catalonia, Spain.

“There’s a reason, from what I’ve gathered, that many (most) people don’t know about the Dark Madonna (a term used interchangeably with the Black Madonna). And if it does come to you, and it does intrigue you, well that’s interesting, too.”

“The Dark Feminine is that which can’t be accessed by our rational, linear, ‘five senses’, supposedly ‘concrete world’ processes.

It’s the territory of the other senses, seeing with your ‘other’ eyes, and becoming a traveler between the worlds or dimensions.

The calling almost always, no, always, includes some sort of initiation. The old mysteries had rituals for that; in Western culture, we have the dark night of the soul, for a lot of reasons.”

~ from the Sacred Feminine and the Black Madonna, a post in which I share some of my personal experiences from France and Barcelona.

Statuary of Tanit – Elat found in Phoenician shipwreck. Hecht Museum, Haifa, Israel.

“Rilke’s words reflect a deep knowing about the energy of the Great Mother, Sophia, the Black Madonna.

“To whom shall I turn, if not the One whose darkness is darker than night, the only one who keeps vigil with no candle, and is not afraid…”

We get a sense of why the Black Madonna, as one symbol of the Great Goddess, the Divine Feminine, is associated with freedom from that which oppresses our Divine nature.

Because She is not afraid …” ~ from Rilke & the Black Madonna

La Moreneta Madonna of Montserrat, a more renowned Black Madonna located at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia.
La Moreneta Madonna of Montserrat, a more renowned Black Madonna located at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia.

“In The Dark Places of Wisdom, Peter Kingsley writes,

“If you’re lucky, at some point in your life you’ll come to a complete dead end.

Or to put it another way: if you’re lucky you’ll come to a crossroads and see that the path to the left leads to hell, that the path to the right leads to hell, that the road straight ahead leads to hell and that if you try to turn around you’ll end up in complete and utter hell.

Every way leads you to hell and there’s no way out, nothing left for you to do. Nothing can possibly satisfy you anymore. Then, if you’re ready, you’ll start to discover inside yourself what you always longed for but were never able to find.”

I completely understand what Kingsley is talking about here.

I didn’t go into the Dark Night, or dark places of Wisdom, by conscious choice. I went kicking, protesting, weeping, and clawing at whatever seemed ‘secure’ and ‘permanent’, which didn’t end up being very much (at least according to what we’ve been taught to define as ‘secure’ or ‘permanent.).

And I don’t think I’ve seen a clearer description of that ‘crossroads’ – the place that Dante referred to when he wrote “In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in the dark wood where the true way was wholly lost.”

This is the territory of Sophia, the Black Madonna, the Dark Goddess. She of Many Names.” ~ from In the Dark Places of Wisdom

The Virgin of Guadalupe at a wee local restaurant near Asilomar, CA, in 2007. Photo by Sophia's Children blog keeper, Jamie Walters.
The Virgin of Guadalupe at a wee local restaurant near Asilomar, CA, in 2007. Photo by Sophia’s Children blog keeper, Jamie Walters.

“Many people find the Black Madonna or Dark Goddess frightening. Indeed, fear of what Black Madonna-Dark Goddess represents is one major factor in the suppression of the Whole Divine Feminine, and the backlash of cruelty and violence that seems to accompany the fearful efforts to control that power.

But is the Black Madonna and Dark Goddess frightening?

Listening to certain teachers, who go on at length about the suffering, the crucifixion, the Dark Night of the Soul that the Dark Mother drags you into before making you burnt-toast, it becomes clear why some might be terrified by Her even while being called to deeper exploration.

My perspective differs a bit, though it’s one that emerges, ironically, only after a deep, Dark Night over which I was made burnt-toast, and the first tentative steps towards integrating the wisdom gained from the Underworld-Upperworld journey.

Let me share it by starting with a story, and a realization about the purpose of the fear and the ‘scary masks’ …” ~ read more in The Scary Black Madonna?

The Dark Madonna at Salisbury Cathedral, U.K. Photo by Jamie Walters, 2007.
The Dark Madonna at Salisbury Cathedral, U.K. Photo by Jamie Walters, 2007.

“The real surprise, as I wandered through the beautiful cathedral was coming upon a chapel dedicated to prayer for ‘prisoners of conscience’, which featured a stunning stained glass window. (See links in the full article.)

Looking over this chapel, dedicated to mindfulness of and prayer for those who are being held prisoner throughout the world, was a Dark Madonna, appearing unexpectedly, as She often does.

For any who know the archetype of the Dark or Black Madonna, and the many things She symbolizes, you will know that there is no more appropriate place for Her than this space dedicated to those who have been forgotten, who are being held captive, who are being treated cruelly.

To those who are lost to the awareness of many but who live still, yearning to be remembered, wanting beyond anything else to be liberated, freed, living once again in the Hearts of all, out in the open.

The Dark Madonna stands for many things in addition to this.” ~ from Aqua Sulis & the Dark Madonna of Salisbury

Il Barbagianni, The Owl, by 1862, Valentine Cameron Prinsep.
Il Barbagianni, The Owl, by 1862, Valentine Cameron Prinsep.

A Roster of Black Madonna & Feminine Mysteries posts:

(Some are from the deep-archives of Sophia’s Children, the early days, and others are here on this Sophia’s Children site (the post-Typepad days).

The Black Madonna Connection (April 10, 2015)

The Black Moon and the Black Madonna Connection

Rilke and the Black Madonna (includes links to several other Black Madonna posts)

Who is the Black Madonna

The Black Madonna’s Calling

The Sacred Feminine and the Black Madonna

Scary Black Madonna-Goddess?

Sophia, By Any of Her Names

In the Dark Places of Wisdom

Sacred Feminine: Aqua Sulis and the Black Madonna of Salisbury

Storms, Cycles, and Black Madonnas

Dreaming Sophia

Remembering Sophia

A Fresh Look at the Feminine Archetypes: Demeter & Persephone, and the New Athena

Lilith: Reclaiming a Jewel in the Dark

Lilith & Changing Stories

The Power of Imagery & The Awakening of the Divine Feminine

The Via Feminina Way of Mary Magdalene

Spiral Time and Evolutions on the Way: Revisiting the Black Madonna Journals

Unleash the Hounds: The Fierce and Feist Feminina (this post scared several of my male friends, btw)

Reclaiming the Wild Child & Naughty Girl

Reasserting Our Wildish Nature

Squaring with the Wild Feminine: Lilith, Saturn and Re-Integration

Lilith, Changing Stories & Our Seed Task

Dark Aphrodite: When Relationship is the Initiation Cauldron

Cerridwen and Awyn, the Cauldron of Creation

Una and the Lion, 1880, by Briton Riviere. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Una and the Lion, 1880, by Briton Riviere. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Enjoy this immersion about the Black Madonna and the Via Feminina, or Feminine Initiation Mysteries.

Do you feel drawn and ready to deeper, with an experienced (and Life-initiated) mentor?

If it calls to you, send me an email – jamie ‘at’ sophias-children ‘dot’ com.

Or you can explore Current Featured Offerings for several places to begin.

Circe (1889), by Wright Barker. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

The Ways of Wisdom Apprenticeship

Feeling truly called and ready to step into a more powerful level of mastery and dedication?

If it’s a right fit, you can receive more personalized mentoring and immersion through the Ways of Wisdom Apprentices, working more closely with me (Jamie) and following a tailored-for-you (while still covering the essentials of the Wisdom Way) curriculum and mentorship for following the path of the Waykeeper and Keeper of the Flame in contemporary times.

The Ways of Wisdom Apprentices receive access to the Feminine Mojo Mystery School audio program archive as part of their Apprentice Program curriculum.

Email me (Jamie) at jamie ‘at’ sophias-children ‘dot’ com for more on the Ways of Wisdom Apprenticeship or other writings, musings, programs, and personal consultation options.

If you have questions or would benefit from a ‘been there’ journey guide and mentor, just let me know (send along an email and we’ll open a conversation).


Big Love,


Let Your Divine-Spark Heart Light & Shine! PD pic from Tao Bao.

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See Support Sophia’s Children for a variety of options.

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Big Love & Bountiful Appreciation,