BLACK MADONNAS OF EUROPE:

DIFFUSION OF THE AFRICAN ISIS (AUSET)

By Danita Redd

  Black Madonna

EDITORIAL PREFACE: In this essay the writer is showing the Khemetic origin of the Black Madonna and Child which evolved into the modern virgin mother and child represented by Mary and Jesus in Christianity.

 

“Isis (Auset) was an African goddess of the Nile Valley civilizations whose worship eventually diffused to most of the ancient western world. In early Ethiopia Isis (Auset) was one of the four most widely venerated deities, and was regarded, according to Diodorus Siculus, as the reason “that the queen should have greater power and honour than the king.” ... Charles S. Finch brilliantly summarizes the roles and attributes of Isis (Auset).

            “The second important deity (after Ausar) in the Osirian drama is Isis (Auset), whose Egyptian name “AUSET” means “throne, seat, or abode.” She is the greatest goddess of the Egyptian pantheon, the veritable great mother embodying all the positive feminine attributes as gestator, bringerforth, nurturer, protector and preserver.  She is the Virgin Mother of Horus (Heru), the sister-wife of Osiris (Ausar), and the ideal of the true and faithful consort.”

“Indeed the throne was a major emblem associated with Isis in Egypt. In many pictures she wears a throne shaped headdress. Statues of the goddess Isis (Auset) with the child Horus (Heru) in her arms were common in Egypt, and were exported to all neighboring and to many remote countries, where they are still to be found with new names attached to them...”

“In the aspect as mother with child, Isis (Auset) was pictured as an African Woman with black shin and African features. This early image of Isis (Auset) was dispersed throughout Europe by Rome’s imperial legions. By the latter half of the third century, Isis (Auset) had ascended over the Greek and Roman goddesses as she had over other African goddesses. In Africa and Europe, Isis (Auset) rose from obscurity to supreme rule over other goddesses. On both continents, the transfiguration of Isis may have been aided by similarities in racial and cultural aspects. Anthropologists have noted that many of the Greek and Roman goddesses were portrayed as black, such as the goddesses Cybele and her daughter Demeter Malaina...as well as Diana, Rhea, Artemis and Ceres”.      

“As the cult of Isis (Auset) spread into and throughout Europe, her associated emblems, majestic depictions, attributes and titles, first identified in Africa, became well known. Though she maintained her African qualities and gained new qualities from the Greeks and Romans, her portrayals eventually took on the racial features common to the White Inhabitants of her new domains.”

“She was known as the “Great Mother,” The “Tender Mother,” “personification of feminity”, “Immaculate Virgin,” to whom women prayed for forgiveness of sexual sins, “Our Lady,” the “Queen of Heaven,” “Star of the Sea,” and “Mother of God” were other titles associated with her”.

“The cult of Isis (Auset) coexisted with nascent Christianity, Judaism and assorted Roman religions. In A.D. 430 Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, called a synod which included the major Christian leaders of Europe. The A.D. 431 official declaration of the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God was the result of this synod, the Council of Ephesus. Cyril’s faction of the Christian Church formed the European Orthodox Churches (which eventually separated into the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church)...The Virgin Mary was elevated to a status equal to the status of Isis (Auset). European Christians appealed to God through the image of the Virgin Mary, who was recognized as a divine intervener. Many early Christians believed in the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. Though it did not become official Church doctrine until the eighteenth century A.D., the concept grew in popularity.”

“The Attributes and titles which catapulted the Virgin Mary into the realm of goddesshood were borrowed from the African Isis (Auset). Legends recounted her eternal devotion to her son and life-long fidelity to God. An appellation mater domina, used in association with the African Isis, survives in the form “Madonna.” Titles of the Virgin which include, “The Madonna,” “Queen of Heaven,” “Mother of God,” “The Great Mother,” and “Our Lady are the same titles attributed to the African Isis (Auset) long before the existence of Christianity.”

“Images of the Virgin Mary and Child proliferated after the Council of Ephesus. Cyril, major proponent for the elevation of the Virgin Mary, had spent the larger years of his life in Egypt. He was very familiar with representations of the African goddess Isis suckling Horus (Heru). This served as the prototype for the images of the Virgin Mary.”

“The Black Madonnas of Europe have a tradition which goes back hundreds of years, before the advent of Christianity. The African Isis was prototype for the Black Madonnas of Europe. As the worship of Isis was suppressed, the Virgin Mary was elevated into the European Christendom. The African Isis was worshipped under the name of the Virgin Mary. But the images most venerated and held in highest esteem, are those most similar in depiction of the African Isis. Isis is best remembered through the images of the Black Madonna.”  

Source: Redd, Danita, “BLACK MADONNAS OF EUROPE: Diffusion of the African Isis”.  Van Sertima, Ivan, (Editor) AFRICAN PRESENCE IN EARLY EUROPE. Transaction Publishers New Brunswick (USA) and Oxford (UK). 1985. P. 108-128.

Photo Credit: From Gyles Facebook Photo Album

 

…MORE KNOWLEDGE…

WAS JESUS CHRIST A NEGRO [BLACK MAN]?

“A LITTLE over a half century ago Kersey Graves created quite a furor in orthodox religious circles by writing a book which flaunted the sensational title of THE WORLD’S 16 CRUCIFIED SAVIORS. One of the most interesting parts of the book is a section in which the author discussed the racial identity of Jesus and offers evidence that the Christian Savior was a black man. The passage referred to reads as follows:

“There is as much evidence that the Christian Savior was a black man, or at least a dark man, as there is of his being the son of the Virgin Mary, or that he once lived and moved upon the earth. And that evidence is the testimony of his disciples, who had nearly as good an opportunity of knowing what his complexion was as the evangelists who omit to say anything about it.

“In pictures and portraits of Christ by the early Christians he is uniformly represented as being black. To make this more certain a red tinge is given to the lips; and only text in the Christian bible quoted by orthodox Christians as describing his complexion represents it as being black.

“Solomon’s declaration, I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem; (Sol. 1, 5), is often cited as referring to Christ. According to the bible itself, then Jesus Christ was a black man. Let us suppose that at some future time he makes his second advent to the earth, some Christians anticipate he will worship a Negro God, and that he comes in the character of a sable messiah, how would he be received by our Negro hating Christians of sensitive olfactory nerves. Would they worship a Negro God?”

The question might arise in the mind of the reader: “Well, the argument of Kersey Graves sounds plausible enough, but really we need a great deal more corroborative evidence before we can give his conclusions more that passing notice?” This question, the writer believes, is justified. In questions of historical controversy only the most careful consideration of evidence should satisfy us.

To say that the early pictures and images of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus represent them with black complexions is not enough. Our statement must be backed up by archaeological evidence. This evidence, fortunately, was collected by the great British Orientalist, Sir Godfrey Higgins, and has been preserved for the posterity in his monumental work: THE ANACALYPSIS, OR AN INQUIRY INTO THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGES, NATIONS AND RELIGIONS.

Sir Godfrey Higgins informs us that “In all the Romish (Catholic) countries of Europe, France, Italy, Germany, etc., the God Christ, as well as his mother, were described in their old pictures to be black. The infant God in the arms of his black mother, his eyes and drapery white, is himself perfectly black. If the reader doubt my word he may go to the Cathedral a[t] Moulins – to the famous Chapel of the Virgin at Loretto – to the Church of Annuciata – the Church at St. Lazaro or the Church of St. Stephen at Genoa – to St. Francisco at Pisa – to the Church at Brixen in Tyrol and to that at Padua – to the Church of St. Theodore at Munich – to the Church and to the Cathedra at Augsburg, where a black virgin and child as large as life – to Rome and the Borghese chapel of Maria Maggiore – to the Pantheon – to a small chapel of St. Peters on the right hand side on entering, near the door; and in fact, the almost innumerable other churches in countries professing the Romish religion.

“There is scarcely an old church in Italy where some remains of the worship of the black virgin and black child are not to be met with. Very often the black figures have given way to white ones and in these cases the black ones, are being held sacred, were put into retired places in the churches, but were not destroyed, and are yet to be found there.

“When the circumstance has been named to the Romish priests they have endeavored to disguise the fact by pretending that the child has become black by the smoke of candles; but it was black where the smoke of a candle never came and, besides how came the candles not to blacken the white of the eyes, the teeth and the shirt and to redden the lips? Their real blackness is not to be questioned for a moment. A black virgin and child among the white Germans, Swiss, French and Italians” (THE ANACALYPSIS, VOL I, BOOK IV, Chap. 1). My friend, Mr. J.A. Rogers, the well known traveler and journalist, has seen quite a large number of these black images of the Madonna and infant in his European travels and has discovered that some of the images possess African features. Evidently early Christians must have thought that Jesus Christ was a member of the Ethiopian race or they would not have so stressed the dark hue of the skin of the Savior and his mother in their pictures and statues.

According to Christian dogma, Jesus is the son of God. Since children are, as a rule, similar in complexion to their parents it is reasonable to assume that God also is black. This conclusion is both logic and scientific. “There is a strong reason to think,” declares Joseph McCabe, “that man was first very dark of skin, woolly haired and flat nosed.” And since the bible tells us that man was created in God’s Image, then beyond all doubt God must be of dark complexion with unmistakably African features.

Some of my friends have suggested that should it be generally believed in these United States that either Jesus or Jehovah were of sable hue that the Christian church would soon go out of business. They reason that white citizens of the nation, on account of face prejudice, would have absolutely no use for a black god; and the colored citizens would not have any confidence in an Ethiopian God who had so long neglected his own race of people. However, I do not think such a situation will come to pass, for the overwhelming majority of people do not believe what is plausible or what is true; they believe what is comforting and pleasing.”

SOURCE: J. G. JACKSON: WAS JESUS CHRIST A NEGRO? AND THE AFRICAN ORIGIN OF THE MYTHS & LEGENDS OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ECA Associates1987 (Orig. 1933) P. 13-16.

 

EDITORIAL COMMENTS:  When the Greeks came into Khemet (Egypt) they adopted the Khemetic religion and all the gods/goddesses of the Khemetic (Egyptian) pantheon. As the Greeks and later the Romans adopted the religion the Khemetic name of the goddess Auset became Isis and Ausar became Osiris and all the other Khemetic (Egyptian) gods were likewise given Grecian names. Though Christianity abolished the old religion, it later adopted many of its original elements. The early church recognized Mary and her son, Jesus as black, and worshipped them as such. It was not until after the split between the church that the west, i.e., Rome changed the images to white; however the black Madonna and child are still venerated as black in some parts of Europe and Latin America. It is disturbing that the Afrikan Christian Clergy still present Mary and Jesus as white to their Afrikan Congregations. One can just imagine the subtle psychological effects on  Afrikan children when they are told that the Mother of God and God are White. Now that we know the truth this shall set us free. (See Photo Treasures for more pictures of Auset and Heru and Black Madonnas).

(Note: god/goddess means divine energy)

 

 DR. JOHN HENRIK CLARKE

“...TO UNDERSTAND THAT FOR 500 YEARS WE HAVE LIVED IN A EUROPEANIZED-CONCIEVED INTELLECTUAL UNIVERSE, I AM WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I AM INFLUENCED BY THIS CONCEPTION, BUT I AM AT LEAST, AT WAR AGAINST IT BEAUSE I REALIZE THAT IT IS NOT ONLY DETRIMENTAL TO MY PEOPLE IT IS DETRIMENTAL TO THE WHOLE WORLD...WHAT WE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT BLACK PEOPLE, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD HAVE SUFFERED A SPECIAL CATASTROPHE OVER AND ABOVE THAT OF OTHER PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, WHEN EUROPE ROSE IN THE 15TH AND 16TH CENTURY, STARTED THE SLAVE TRADE, COLONIZED HISTORY AND INFORMATION ABOUT HISTORY, THEY ALSO COLONIZED IMAGE-THEY COLONIZED THE IMAGE OF GOD. THEY TOOK AWAY FROM MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THE IMAGE OF THEIR ORIGINAL GOD-CONCEPT AND REPLACED HIM OR HER BY A GOD CONCIEVED IN EUROPE.”

FROM ASHRA KWESI DVD: AFRICAN HISTORY VS. BIBLICAL MYTH

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