The Hero in Disguise
Journey forth, seeking courage and joy
When The Hero knows his true worth, his courage lives quietly and gently, never boastful or brash. He has no need to tell tales of the dragons he has slain. Although his strength holds as powerfully as iron, his exuberance trills through his piccolo in joyful abandon. Wearing the disguise of Everyman, he returns from his journey more deeply connected to all those he holds dear.
The Hero gives us the gift of reminding us the journey begins within us.
The Black Madonna
Bringing hope and light to a weary world
One of the most enigmatic figures in spirituality, culture, and art, Black Madonna defies definition. Black meaning hidden? sorrowful? unknown? paint color? patina? candle smokedarkened wood and stone? Black as in paying homage to dark-skinned women around the globe? Black representing Earth Mother Goddesses converted to Christianity? Madonna meaning mother, as Mary, Mother of Jesus? Madonna as Mary Magdalene, wife of Jesus and mother of His child hidden in plain sight? Black Madonna statues are prolific in European churches – an estimated 500, with 180 of those in France, some dating back to the Crusades. She not only is associated with churches, but with sacred wells, trees, caves, labyrinths, ley lines, and miracles protecting towns and children. For many, the Black Madonna symbolizes protection, sacrifice and giving beyond measure.
Black Madonna gives us the gift of remembering that we, too, must shine brightly in the darkness.
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity
Like a flower blooming, so too do we grow in light.
Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity (died March 7, 203 CE). Vibia Perpetua, a recently married, well educated 22 year-old noblewoman with a nursing infant, along with Felicity, her friend and pregnant slave, were imprisoned in the Roman province of Carthage, Africa for converting to Christianity. They, along with several other Christians, were executed at the military games celebrating Emperor Septimius Severus’s birthday. They were mauled by wild beasts in the arena and then slain by the sword.
Patron Saints of cattle, married women, and martyrs.
Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicia give us the gift of remembering that deep friendship can transcend adversity.
Peeling away illusions to reveal our true selves.
Saint Bartholomew (born – Galilee; died – Armenia; ?CE) was one of the twelve apostles of
Jesus, according to the New Testament. He is said to have been martyred for having converted Polymius, King of Armenia, to Christianity. He has also been identified as Nathaniel, who appears in the Gospel of John when introduced to Jesus by Philip (who also became an apostle), although many modern researchers reject the identification of Nathanael with Bartholomew. Some researchers trace his mission work to India, but he is most often associated with his work in Armenia. The primary legend about him says he was skinned alive and beheaded. He is often depicted holding his flayed skin or the curved flensing knife with which he was skinned. Other legends maintain he was drowned or crucified upside down. Interestingly, artworks depicting Bartholomew’s flayed body are still used in anatomy lectures.
Patron Saint of butchers, leather workers, tanners, trappers, shoe makers, book binders,
Florentine cheese and salt merchants. Patron Saint against nervous and neurological diseases.
St. Bartholomew gives us the gift of being able to be who we truly are, beneath the surface.