I was reminded yesterday on my pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Tindari why we must keep challenging patriarchal religion.
After receiving what I believe to be the body of the Divine Mother (the Black Earth Goddess), because the Christian communion is based on a much older tradition of eating grain cakes shaped in the body of the Earth Mother of the Harvest, which I explore in my novel The Serpent’s Tale, I was pursued up the aisle by a very officious Church warden who insisted in front of everyone that I remove my mask and eat the wafer immediately.
The fact that I was carrying it back to my seat so that I could remove my mask and be in quiet communion with the Divine Mother before I placed the symbol of Her body in my mouth was of no importance.
The patriarchal rules must be followed and there is no room for individual communion with the Divine nor the unique expression of that.
I bear the man no ill-will – I have met many like him before, such as the woman who came to lock up St Benedict’s Church after I held my workshop there on the Gnostic Goddesses, and started trying to purify the space of our pagan presence by singing Ave Maria loudly. Or the security guard who threw us out of Glastonbury Abbey for our sacrilegious behaviour when we dared to pray to Magdalene and Yeshua.
These people believe they are doing the right thing by their God.
The problem lies, I believe, in their assumption, based on two millennia of patriarchal religious doctrine, that they know what God wants.
When we come in humble service and devotion to the Divine, however we experience it, we can never presume to act as their agents of law.
We are but channels for their Divine love, compassion and wisdom to flow through us when we open our hearts.
I found myself doing as the man said, feeling the humiliation and rising fear from past-life memories of being tortured and burned for “getting it wrong” in the eyes of the Church.
As I took my seat, choking on the wafer, I looked up at the Black Madonna and I heard Her say “This is not my way and this is why you must keep fighting on my behalf.”
Annabel Du Boulay???
Founder of The Avalon Rose Chapel