This summer I received a postcard from a friend in Italy portraying the Madonna in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the major church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Far more than a just a beautiful image, this Black Madonna has been attributed with miraculous and awesome power. Her titles “Our Lady of the Snows” and “Salvation of the Roman People” offer clues of her power over the weather and her ability to protect a whole community.
According to the legendary fourth century origins of the church, still celebrated today, the Virgin Mary caused snow to fall in August in Rome (a highly unlikely weather phenomenon) so that she could designate where she wanted her church to be built. She appeared to a couple and to the pope in a dream telling of the snowfall. She came to be known as Santa Maria della Neve, Our Lady of the Snows. On August 5, white flower petals are released from the church to celebrate the event and to simulate the miraculous snowfall. Continue reading
May Love Be At the Center of All Choices Shiloh Sophia 2008
A dream foretold my Mother’s death. We all knew her months were numbered. Her heart was no longer functioning well, and although she was still able to live in her home, thanks to visits from my sister, Marlene, three times a day, Mom was weak. The last few months had been rocky with several trips to the emergency room.
In my dream, Mom was in a car parked in front of my childhood home. She was in the driver’s seat and the back door was open for me to get in. She turned around to tell me something but her voice was weak, and I couldn’t understand what she said. The scene then shifted from our quiet tree-lined street to the middle of a busy intersection, our car stopped in several lanes of heavy traffic. But, when the cars in front of us began to move, Mom pressed hard on the pedal and lurched backward! I closed my eyes, anticipating several lanes of traffic coming at us from either side. . . it seemed impossible that we would survive. Continue reading
I am standing under the light of the full moon near the apple tree in the backyard of my home. Suddenly the light of the moonbeam begins to lift me up, off the ground, towards the moon. I awake, frightened, my heart beating fast.
I have never forgotten this childhood dream. As a young girl, I did not yet know that I had a lunar legacy in my cultural history. In years to come, I came to understand the power of the cycle of the moon: the potency reflected in its darkness and the manifestation of that potential energy in its fullness fourteen days later. Continue reading