May 13, 2005
Cathedral of the Black Madonna: The Druids and the Mysteries of Chartres
By Jean Markale
Publisher: Inner Traditions (October 2004)
Pages: 296 - Price: $16.95
Review by Lee Prosser - email@example.com
Jean Markale has devoted a lifetime researching pre-Christian and medieval culture, and the spirituality found in various traditions. The author of more than 40 books, he has written Merlin, Women of the Celts, The Church of Mary Magdalene, and many other titles. His prose is concise and enjoyable.
Chartres is known throughout the world as a surviving masterpiece of High Gothic architecture. It has intricate stained glass and a mystical labyrinth. Its foundations go back long before Christianity, when it was utilized as a clearing place where Druids worshiped. The Druids worshipped here a virgo paritura -- a virgin about to give birth. Now, the Chartres cathedral stands upon this hollowed landscape. It is the dedicated to the Virgin Mary and considered the home of the Black Madonna known as Our Lady of the Pillar.
Markale makes a case for and proves that this is a site dedicated to a virgin giving birth to a world without end, where humanity is thus in "perpetual becoming." His proof is logical.
Topics covered in the book include the entrance to the labyrinth, worship of the god, our lady of under ground, the virgin of the Druids, among many others. Each section is full of detailed facts and important discoveries.
This is a book which will entertain as well as educate. For those interested in the mysteries of Chartres, and the Druids, this will hold your interest completely. Well-written.
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