Goddesses

Men can truly love only one other, despite however many dalliances. Women are not so limited, so constrained; they can spread their love around.

Perhaps that is why patricentral religions tolerate but one male god; while matricentral spirituality, that is, what patricentral believers call, Pagan, allows any number of goddesses and demigoddesses.

In the matricentral past, long ago, before the female mystique was overcome by the male myth; when the power of women was their own, and not the power of men in the guise of women; when, seemingly, simultaneously, the world appeared to change from matricentral to patricentral worship; the goddesses did not just disappear. They lived on, as Lilith, as Ceridwen, as Mary, and as so many more Muses, Angels, Mothers, Sisters…

To this day, prominently, universally, Lilith is known as the ancient dark-winged goddess, the essence of the dark feminine; Ceridwen is regarded by many modern Pagans as the Celtic goddess of rebirth, transformation, and inspiration; and Mary, relegated to a cult figure, was rather, is rather, a manifestation, a reincarnation, of that age-old worship of the Mother goddess.

Prior to the advent of patricentral worship, matricentral worship was widespread, if not universal. 

For millennia, Chartres was the main pilgrimage site in France. With its ancient pre-Christian roots, its Druidic Black Madonna, its relic of the Veil of the Virgin, not to mention the power of its cathedral, Chartres drew pilgrims from all over Europe.

Much has been written about the magical, alchemical power of the cathedral to bless, to purify, and to transform visitors. Suffice it to say that the Lady of Chartres is a trinity of sorts which finds expression in the cathedral as a whole, bearing her name, Notre-Dame de Chartres, and in the three main depictions of the Madonna on three levels of the church –

In the crypt, the Black Madonna Our Lady from Under the Earth, guardian of the underworld;

In the cathedral, the Black Madonna Our Lady of the Pillar, guardian of this world;

And, in the most famous window of Chartres, Our Lady of the Beautiful Window, crowned and wrapped in her blue mantel as the Queen of Heaven.

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