Selected quotes from dark mother

“Healing black madonnas are associated with wooded areas, water (the sea, a lake, a river, a fountain), grottoes and caves, and with the subterranean, often volcanic, chthonic earth.” (140)

“Deborah Rose went to France in search of black madonnas; afterward, she wrote, ‘the last thing I expected was to re-enter Catholicism, the religion of my childhood.’ She found that ‘devotions of the catholic faithful were keeping alive a reverence for the mother that I suspected was much older than that to the Christian Mary.’ Her twenty five years of work in holistic health care have made her ‘a firm believer in body memories and cellular consciousness. On an individual, and I believe on a collective level, the body remembers the past. And the oldest memory is of darkness as the source and the beginning. The dark mother is the original mother.'” (149)

“Lucia’s popular meaning is caught at Canicattini Bagni, paleolithic site in Sicily, where Lucia is sought for eye maladies connected with loss of wisdom. In italian popular culture, loss of wisdom means loss of hindsight, or memory of the past, and loss of vision, or faith in the future.” (171-172)

“In popular themes underlying political traditions of the left in Italy, the black of anarchism is understood as fidelity of subordinated peoples to the truth of the earth.” (172)

Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, dark mother: african origins and godmothers

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