Prayer to the Black Madonna

07 August 2020


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“Sorry,” I said to the Madonnas in my office, my voice as small as a whisper. The ceiling fan whipped the word into disjointed letters.

“I don’t like the way things are,” I said. A Black Madonna with haunted brown eyes looked at me from a small plaque hanging on the wall above my computer. I made a pilgrimage to a monastery in Częstochowa, Poland, for her.

A second Black Madonna sat on my desk. The intense white desert sun pouring through the window fell sharp on her umber-colored face. A tiny statue made from wood the shade of burnt sienna, I went to a mountaintop shrine at Monserrat, in Catalonia, Spain, for her.

The Black Madonna of Monserrat

A third Madonna, an enigmatic silver sylph haloed in gold, watched from the wall above my copper water fountain. I drove 14 miles down a rutted desert road in New Mexico to find her at a cloistered monastery.

“But that’s the way they are,” I said. My heart thumped strong and steady. The skin on my arm, wrinkled like crepe paper, rested against the couch; it sagged into the beige fabric. My  shoulder ached from the pinched nerve in my neck. The hot pain dragged my spirit like an anchor.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” I said. “this pandemic and political catastrophe.” I felt raw. My business card sat on the table in front of me. The teal and coral logo that proclaimed “fresh understanding, deeper love” seemed at odds with reality.

“It reminds me of something, though,” I said. Outside the window a bright green hummingbird with an iridescent ruby throat poised above a tiny pineapple yellow flower. I do not know the name of the bush. The plants in my sandy desert home are alien to me still. Right then I was swamped by a wave of longing for the shamrock green ferns and olive pines of West Virginia. For the smell of wet earth. A crumbled face mask rested against my password book on the table.

“Do you remember the house in the mountains?” I said, my three companions looking on. There, after my husband’s death, I felt a lot like this. Bereft. Blindsided. Unmoored. Empty. The Black Madonna, the goddess of transformation, drew me close then.

“Yeah,” I said. That was a hard time when a boulder of sorrow changed into gold through the alchemy of grief. The air whirled by the fan brushed my skin as though angel wings beat against my bare shoulders.

“Why is everything falling apart?” I said. My books were organized though. Arranged in a neat row on my desk. An indigo rosary draped the edge of my computer screen.

“No reason you’ll understand,” said the Black Madonna. The little red light on my Blue globe microphone gleamed. It did not wink as I contemplated an incomprehensible world. Tears smarted like acid.

“Maybe I’d better just go home,” I said. Home to my inner cloister. There in a cave lit by the glow of heart fire, I was safe from the chaotic world.

There, the Madonna whispered. “This is the time of Great Disruption,” she said. “After will come the time of Great Reckoning. Only then, will come the time of Great Healing.”

“Will I still be here?” I said. “To see the Great Healing?” I watched the fan scatter the words into the threads of the carpet. I walked on them on my way to the bathroom.

Copyright 2020: Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D.

Large photo: Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland; Small Photo: LaMoreneta, The Virgin of Monserrat, both courtesy of iStockPhotos

Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D. inspires intuitive-creative women healers to use their healing modalities, speaking voices, and written words to unfold and share the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine.

The Sacred Feminine embraces intuition, curiosity, connection, authenticity, humility, vulnerability, oneness, and the natural beauty of the body and the earth. Linda’s understanding of the Sacred Feminine is formed from a nonreligious spiritual understanding known worldwide as the 3 Principles. [for more information, see]

Linda offers sanctuaries, intimate small-group programs, to women healers who want to bring the 3 Principles into their work, and to women writers who are ready to share, get feedback, revise, and publish.

Through her Apprentice’s Way individual all-in-one mentorship program, Linda encourages her clients’ spiritual evolution, psychological health, effective writing, messaging, marketing, and content creation.

Linda holds a doctorate in counseling psychology, a master’s degree in counselor education and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Visit to learn more about her programs and array of masterclasses and courses.

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