The Cult of the Black Virgin by Ean Begg
Why are over 400 of the world's images for the madonna "black" or "dark"? Why are they so little known? "The Cult of the Black Virgin" investigates the pagan origins of the phenomenon as well as the heretical Gnostic-Christian underground stream which flowed West with the cult of Mary Magdalene and resurfaced in catharism at the time of the crusades. A resurfacing of the powerful pagan goddesses of sexuality, the underworld and earth wisdom, the black virgins are symbols of power and majesty- the other aspect of the traditional madonna's maidenhood or tender maternity. They personify the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant in a quest for lost feminine wisdom and the search for soul. This comprehensive gazetteer enables the reader to locate the sites where black virgins can be found and provides information about their origins.