Madonna Rising: Rosa Mystica, Chartres, France, August 13-19, 2020

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COMBO DISCOUNT applies when you register for 2 or more in-person courses in France July and August: use Coupon code: “summercombo” ($250 off for 2 summer courses).

Special Notice: Due to concerns regarding the recent emergence of the COVID-19 (coronavirus), our cancellation and refund policy will remain flexible as we move toward the summer season. At the current time, we are proceeding as planned but are monitoring the situation closely in consultation with authorities to ensure the safety of our attendees and staff. Should the situation change, we will inform you and issue refunds as warranted.

Join us at Chartres’ holiest time during the Feast of the Assumption of Mary and the honoring of the Black Madonna. Through deep reflection, joyous celebration, song and dance, we gather to cherish and embrace the rising of feminine power and beauty in our consciousness, in our bodies, and in our actions on behalf of our Earth.

Dates: August 13-19, 2020
Location:  Chartres, France
Faculty: Banafsheh Sayyad, Anne Baring (via zoom), Peggy Rubin, Ruth Cunningham, Veronica Goodchild, Andrew Harvey, Jim Garrison
Logistics Info:  Travel & Accommodations, Arrival & Departure (click here)
Academic Credit: Bachelors, Masters and  Doctoral – 4 credits
We recommend joining us on the Mary Magdalene and Black Madonna Pilgrimage following this intensive.
Email for more information

Ubiquity Chartres Community Calls – Join the faculty and participants in our monthly call on the second Sunday of every month for discussions on the topics included in the intensive. Register for the Calls.
Watch past webinars: October 6, 2019  November 3, 2019  December 1, 2019  January 12, 2020  February 9, 2020

Madonna Rising: Rosa Mystica

The Rose has long been the symbol of divine wisdom and the Chartres cathedral with its 3 sublime rose windows is a hymn to Mary as the throne of wisdom. Chartres Cathedral was built as a temple for the Queen of Heaven. This final rebuilding was dedicated to the risen Mary as her dwelling place on Earth. It is also a grail, the container of mysteries.

From ancient times, the rose has been associated with the great goddesses of the ancient world. The Rose is one of the oldest symbols of the wisdom tradition and of the divine wisdom and holy spirit radiating love to our world from the divine ground. The Rose came to symbolize not only the holy spirit but the awakened soul reunited with the divine ground. Mary was known in the middle ages at the time of the building of Chartres Cathedral as the Rosa Mystica. The rose represents the radiant presence of the holy spirit who fills the whole cathedral.

Mary as the divine feminine is the rose, the lily and also the tree of life from which all who turn to her can draw sustenance, an image that evokes the Shekinah and even older as Isis as the tree of life giving sustenance. Wherever the association is made between love and divinity, between beauty and harmony and divinity, between compassion and divinity, there stands the image of Mary as representing the qualities of the divine feminine.

This intensive will center us deeply in the heart of Chartres during the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15) which honors the Church doctrine, enunciated by the Pope in 1950, that Mary was assumed directly into heaven upon her death and now presides as the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven, a title held by Goddesses, Isis and Inanna. The much needed resurgence of the feminine archetype and the restoration and recovery of the feminine aspect of the divine in order to bring back wholeness and balance to the human psyche is the key to understanding the Feast of the Assumption which Carl Jung believed marked the most important development in Christian theology in the last 2000 years.

The Black Madonna

On the Day of the Assumption, a statue of the Black Madonna is carried through the streets of Chartres before being placed in front of the statue of the Assumption of Mary, where she is kept for one week and then hidden away till the following year.

Parading the Black Madonna recalls the way the Druids in ancient times brought her out of the grotto underneath the granite promontory upon which the cathedral today stands. They honored Mother Earth and the cycles of the seasons through the Black Madonna. Being in Chartres, a city that has honored the divine feminine for thousands of years at this time of the year will both deepen your memory of ancient rites and activate your soul to a greater reverence for and embodiment of the divine feminine.

In this sacred space you can deeply explore the nature and scope of the dark feminine as manifested in the Black Madonna. The dark feminine in all her aspects has been revered since ancient times. She was refracted through the great goddess of antiquity such as Innana and Isis, Kali and Quan Yin. There are over 300 statues and sacred sites in Europe alone dedicated to the Black Madonna, the most famous and revered of which is at Rocamadour in France. One of the critical issues we will explore is how the Black Madonna is present today in world affairs and personal transformation. She has historically been present during times of turbulence and upheaval when a culture or civilization is dying and something profound and redemptive is being born. The metamorphosis from the old to the new is uniquely the domain of the Black Madonna, which is why she is so actively present in our lives today. A profound aspect of the Black Madonna is the manner in which she challenges our understanding of what it means to be feminine.

Mary Magdalene

Mary of Magda is the other Mary of Chartres. As a wisdom keeper and “the woman who knew the All” (her epitaph), there is a hidden alliance between her and the Black Madonna. We will explore her sacred lineage and her teachings, contemplate images and statues of her in the cathedral, and prepare ourselves for the pilgrimage to the south of France where Mary is believed to have lived and taught when she came to France with her the children she had with Jesus and others who had been part of the early Christian community.

Daily Program

This program is primarily experiential and designed as an initiation into the Way of the Rose. Our intention is to heed the call of the Divine Feminine to see her around us and become her in our very cells so we can live in harmony with each other and with the Earth and all of the Earth community. We will integrate head, heart and body through wisdom teachings, song, dance and theater, and immersion in the cathedral. Please be prepared to move and dance.

Each day will be a balance of:
Wisdom teachings presentations on the Assumption; The Way of the Rose; Mother Mary as the incarnation of the Divine Feminine; the Black Madonna; the lineage and teachings of Mary Magdalene; and the Chartres Cathedral as a grail and container of mysteries.

Embodiment practices that bring us into heart presence and open a door for us to become the wisdom teachings we explore through meditation, sacred dance, ritual, singing, theater, and sharing circles.

Daily immersion in the Cathedral that include at least one private evening in the cathedral devoted to experiencing the labyrinth, accompanied by Marian and Gregorian chants; one private evening in the crypt accompanied by Marian chants; private early morning visits to the Cathedral; singing in the Cathedral; special tour of the Cathedral with a focus on the Rose, the Assumption, the two Marys of Chartres: Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene, and communing with the Black Madonna. We will also join the festivities of the Feast of the Assumption which includes a special procession of the Black Madonna and the Sancta Camisia in the streets of Chartres.


  • Anne Baring, PhD, author and co-author of 7 books will presents virtual lectures on Mother Mary as the incarnation of the Divine Feminine; The Way of the Rose; and the lineage and teachings of Mary Magdalene. She will join us live via zoom for a discussion after her presentations.
  • Ruth Cunningham, classically trained musician, sound healer and founding member of the Anonymous 4 will guide us in singing, and create soundscapes during our visits to the Cathedral.
  • Veronica Goodchild, PhD, Jungian psychotherapist, author, and Professor Emerita, Pacifica Graduate Institute for 16 years, will present on Mary Magdalene, the Black Madonna, and the Path of the Blue Rose, focusing on embodiment of the Rosa Mystica as an oracular/shamanic/visionary path.
  • Jim Garrison, PhD, founder and President of Ubiquity University, will speak about the mysteries of the Chartres Cathedral and present on various aspects of the Assumption of Mary and of Gaia as a new organizing framework for spiritual development.
  • Andrew Harvey, PhD (Hons), scholar, mystic and author of more than 30 books will share his understanding of the Black Madonna.
  • Calen Rayne, DMin, Director of Energetics, will assist with the rituals in the cathedral.
  • Peggy Rubin, Shakespearian actor and master of sacred ritual and group theatre, will guide us into enactment of the mysteries we explore and share her deep insights into the nature of the Black Madonna and how to use the transformational energy of the the feminine for personal growth and group harmony.
  • Banafsheh Sayyad, MFA, MA, sacred dancer, choreographer, founder of Dance of Oneness®, and Creative Director at Ubiquity University will guide us to embody the wisdom teachings we explore during our week via embodiment practices, sacred dance and whirling.

Required Reading (if taking course for academic credit)
1) Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos
2) Jill Geoffrin, Visions of Mary
3) Jehanne de Quillan, Gospel of the Beloved Companion

Post-Class Assignment (if taking course for academic credit)
Requirement for BA students is a 6-9 page paper, Masters a 12-15 page paper, and Doctoral students a 20-25 page paper weaving together content from the lectures, discussions, artistic activities, reading materials and your experiences related to the entire course. Artistic work is welcome to supplement your paper.

This intensive is co-presented with Dance of Oneness®


The week in Chartres fills my spirit for the whole year. The faculty is eager to share their knowledge and wisdom; they challenge the mind and help the spirit grow.  Experiencing the divine at Chartres is priceless.


I have just attended a marvelous week with Ubiquity University in Chartres. I feel like I have found ‘my tribe,’ a group of passionate truth seekers who are truly heart-centered. I learned so much and it will take some time to fully integrate such an amazing, powerful experience.


The magic of this week will stay with you forever giving you hope for the future.


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