Join us at Chartres’ holiest time during the Feast of the Assumption of Mary and the honoring of the Black Madonna. A time for deep reflection, joyous celebration and dance. The world situation requires nothing less than a full immersion in the energy of the feminine to navigate and thrive. Rising women dynamically, synergistically and compassionately coming together can powerfully shape the world to come.
Dates: August 13-19, 2020
Location: Chartres, France
Academic Credit: Masters and Doctoral – 4 credits
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Ubiquity Chartres Community Webinars – Join the faculty and participants in our monthly webinar on the second Sunday of every month for discussions on the topics included in the intensive. Register for the Webinars.
Watch past webinars: October 6, 2019 November 3, 2019
This pilgrimage will center us deeply in the heart of Chartres. We will be there on 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. Carl Jung believed that this doctrine elevating the feminine into the Godhead marked the most important development in Christian theology in the last 2000 years. This year’s Feast coincides with the full moon. A city that has reverenced the feminine for several thousand years, honors the feminine in the deepest of ways. On the Day of the Assumption, the Black Madonna is carried through the streets 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 at this one time of the year will both deepen our Memory of ancient rites and activate our souls to a greater reverence for the Mother of God.
It is in this sacred space that we will 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.
Each day will include sacred practice; an opening session; presentations on the Assumption, the Black Madonna and Mary Magdalene; sacred dance, immersion in the Cathedral, and personal time for meditation and exploration. We plan to have one private evening in the cathedral devoted to walking the labyrinth, accompanied by Gregorian chant, and another private evening in the lower church (crypt). We will spend time in the cathedral reflecting on the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, and communing with the Black Madonna.
Required Reading (if taking course for academic credit)
1) Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos
2) Jill Geoffrin, Visions of Mary
3) Andrew Harvey, Evolutionary Love Relationships and/or The Soulmate Contract: The Power of Partnership in Your Spiritual Life
Post-Class Assignment (if taking course for academic credit)
Requirement for BA students is a 12-15 page paper, and Doctoral students, a 20-25 page paper, focused on one or more aspects of the relationship between the sacred feminine and sacred masculine, as well as new forms of their union or Hieros Gamos, 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.
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.