The painting displays a traditional from the icons of Eastern Orthodoxy. The Virgin Mary is shown as the "Hodegetria" ("One Who Shows the Way"). In it the Virgin directs attention away from herself, gesturing with her right hand toward Jesus as the source of salvation. In turn, the child extends his right hand toward the viewer in blessing while holding a book of gospels in his left hand.
By the 12th century the ancient catacombs of old Marseille had became the much revered shrine of a Christian Black Madonna. But there is little doubt that she harkens way back to the ancient patroness of the Greek city, the goddess Artemis. These catacombs were also once also the site of the mysteries of Persephone, whose torchlight return from the underworld is still celebrated every February under the form of the Christian Candle mass. Little cakes or navettes are baked each year at this time to commemorate the arrival from the Holy Land of the three Mary's, one of them supposed the Magdalene. Could their number be a reminder of the Mother as Triple Goddess?----Listening to our Healing Intuition: A Lesson from the Ancient Temples of Asclepios---
-----RITUAL IN THE JEWISH PSEUDEPIGRAPHA----RE-BALANCING THE MASCULINE AND THE FEMININE----Orpheus redivivus: The Musical Magic of Marsilio Ficino---incubation rites induce a mantike atechnos, an. artificial mania in which the soul speaks directly (Latin, divinat; see -----Parmenides' poem is a "sacred text" (199), a book of incantations that initiated its readers into an experience of death and rebirth and provided magical techniques for "dying before you died"...Parmenides was a healer (iatromantis) and priest of Apollo who guided initiates into rites of incubation and the stillness of death where they, like he, might receive the words of Persephone, goddess of the underworld ----UNEXPLORED DIMENSIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE VISIONARY EXPERIENCE: PARMENIDES, DANTE, AND JUNG'S SEVEN SERMONS TO THE DEAD----Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition