The Gypsies and the Mother Goddess

Once a year, gypsies from all over the world head to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the South of France, to pay homage to Saint Sarah. According to tradition, Sarah was a gypsy who lived in a small seaside town when Jesus’ aunt, Mary Salome, arrived with other refugees trying to escape from persecution by the Romans.
The statue of Sarah, dressed in beautiful robes, is taken from somewhere near the church (since the Vatican has never canonized her) and carried in procession as far as the sea, through narrow streets strewn with roses. Four gypsies dressed in their traditional clothes place the relics in a boat filled with flowers and repeated the arrival of the fugitives and their meeting with Sarah. From that moment on, everything involved music, feasting, singing and showing one’s courage in front of a bull.

It is easy to identify Sarah as another of the many black Madonnas to be found in the world. Sara-la-Kali, says the tradition, came from noble lineage and knew the secrets of the world. In my mind, she is one of the many manifestations of what they call the Mother Goddess, the Goddess of Creation.
Every year the festival at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer attracts more and more people who have nothing to do with the gypsy community. Why is that? The reason is because God the Father is always associated with the rigor and discipline of religion. On the contrary, the Mother Goddess shows the importance of love above all the prohibitions and taboos that we know so well.

The phenomenon is no novelty; whenever religion makes its rules tougher, a significant group of people tends to seek for more freedom in spiritual contact. This happened during the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church confined itself to imposing taxes and building luxury-filled convents; the reaction was the appearance of a phenomenon called “witchcraft”, which, despite being repressed on account of its revolutionary character, left roots and traditions that have managed to survive across all these centuries.

In earlier traditions, the cult of nature is more important than reverence for the holy books; the Goddess is in everything, and everything is part of the Goddess. The world is just an expression of her goodness. There exists many philosophical systems, such as Taoism and Buddhism, that do away with the distinction between creator and creature. People no longer try to decipher the mystery of life, but rather, take part in it.

In the cult of the Great Mother, what we call “sin”, generally a transgression of arbitrary moral codes, is far more flexible. Customs are freer, because they are part of nature and cannot be considered the fruits of evil. If God is a mother, then all that is necessary is to join together and worship her through rites that try to satisfy her feminine soul, such as dancing, fire, water, air, earth, singing, music, flowers and beauty.

The tendency has grown enormously over the last few years. Perhaps we are witnessing a very important moment in the history of the world, when at last Spirit integrates with Matter, and they unify and change.

Comments

  1. Renate says:

    Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is a magical place for me for two reasons: firstly because of its spirit (as described above) and secondly, because my husband proposed to me at the beach of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer at sunset. Our love story started with a great sign, a bird was flying into my appartment and at our first date my husband and I were trying to get the bird out of the appartment – the bird eased our approach to each other. The next day I told the story to a Persian colleague, who said to me that in Persian mythology a bird is an angel that leaves when he/she has fulfilled his/her duty. For me this little bird is a sign and whenever there are dark clouds hanging above our marriage I think of this little friend.

    It hurts me to read or to think what mankind (men and women) has done to the woman power. In the ‘modern’ world we early learn to divide spirit and material instead of uniting them. When spirit and material are divided, when people loose the connection to themselves and the spiritual world they can easily be manipulated. I had/have problems in finding my own women power as nowadays in the industrialized countries women are ‘forced’ to become manlike – they should make career, nevertheless giving birth to children to preserve society, but start to work shortly after birth of their children. In jobs women should act more like men, not showing their emotions and their sympathy, but their ‘hard’ side. In fact, woman power is something different, it means bringing the ‘soft’ side to surface, it means reuniting instead of seperation. I am searching for this power in me and hope that many do the same…

  2. sofia says:

    en todo el mundo existen diferentes formas de buscar los misterios de nuestra creación, para mi lo màs importante es llegar a ser una persona espiritual antes que religiosa, me encanto la historia como siempre es muy interesante todo lo que escribe

  3. cristina cabral says:

    Feliz Páscoa!

  4. Evelyn Dent says:

    Dear Paulo,
    I was astonished when I on my E Mail page that you wanted to be ‘my friend’ on face book. I accepted, naturally but when I went over to my wall you weren’t there. I can’t imagine why you would contact me but I would be honoured to be in your fan mail. I am also writing a book and maybe that is what you saw on my face book page. This is my first. I have had short stories and poetry published but nothing like yours.
    You have a deep and beautiful mind. So refreshing. God has already blessed you but may He continue to do so mightily. Your friend Evie

  5. Elsie says:

    I love it!!!!!!!! <3

  6. zubia says:

    Great Share….Paulo is a great Guide indeed…
    May God bless Him and all of us in this year of transformation.

  7. ANTONIA says:

    ES LA VIDA UN CAMI O EL CAMI ES LA VIDA …ES LÁMOR EL DESTI O EL DESTI ES LÁMOR ..PABLO ESTS TOCAT PER LAS ESTRELLES ,Y LE TEVES PARAULES SON VERITATS COM TEMPLES

  8. Jessica says:

    Well there is to little femenin in the ordinary “church” if you ask me.
    Im not a regular church visitor …. I pray at home instead … because for me God is everywhere if he/she exist.
    Since a logn time it has been to much male influence and I think we need balance betwwen male/female. Its about time I suppose :-)

    Love and light Jessica

  9. Eric says:

    Could not we send Love energy to support the work of the Real Big Muftis and the leaders of Islam and Christianity, (by Real, I mean the Ones that don’t sell themselves) that understood clearly what Islam and Christianity is about even though what they can read in their Holy books, words of war like in the Bible to lead they followers to kill all the Pharisiens “and Others I don’t remember” in the old testament, and in the new testament Jesus Christ with all his anger getting in a Temple where they were worshiping Idols and destroyed all that was inside that Temple….. For the Islam the Djihad…

    Unfortunately, we need to consider that the leaders whether, they are from such or such religion or Beliefs, is not the problem.
    The ones that are ruling are doing it for their own power and wealth and are using whatever is best, just to carry on playing their games, which implies wars to sell armaments (among others), but also to divide the people strategically, so these people (us) can feed them better in their thirst of power and wealth and blood.
    Do you think that the Ultra Wealthy, whether they are Islamists, Christians, and other religions, or Atheists or Agnostics, that we do or don’t know, are killing themselves? I think they enjoy it and have a great time, I imagine them bursting into laughters into Luxury we can not even dream to have (because we don’t need it).

    We all have the right to be Angry, but if we play their games, we’ll continue feeding them, we’ll carry on to be Infidels, sheeps or muttons or else, and they will carry on enjoying their game while engranging wealth and power just because THEY USE US.

  10. I always know I can repost something of yours without reading it (not that I ever do that). You are such a gift to humanity. Happy National Poetry Month to a beautiful soul. I enjoyed this post very much.

  11. Eric says:

    “In earlier traditions, the cult of nature is more important than reverence for the holy books; the Goddess is in everything, and everything is part of the Goddess. The world is just an expression of her goodness. There exists many philosophical systems, such as Taoism and Buddhism, that do away with the distinction between creator and creature. People no longer try to decipher the mystery of life, but rather, take part in it.”

    Was there holy books then? When people were drumming, or keeping the fire alive?

    Without being judgmental, there are still all over the world, what is left of minorities who did not lose their contact with Nature and still have ancestral Oneness with this Nature as well as worshiping their Ancestor’s spirits.
    These people, unfortunately, in and among their villages, see their families divided by the “good will” of so-called charitable churches, which in exchange of education and health don’t hesitate to change their soul’s source “system”, is this fair?
    Aren’t we meant to give without the wish of anything back in return?

    Even if we are aware that One gets what One gives? What I mean is that when i read Aleph, which gave me a lot in many different ways, similarly to the all the books I read from Paulo Coelho, I cannot stop my self from thinking:” When are they going to stop harassing, dividing, getting away the freedom of choice from all these people in the world?

    I guess there always were Some and I am not only talking about churches but those who could Get, could Use, of this Earthly or Universal Energy not giving a damn how much pain, terror, genocide, crimes, they did and are still carrying on today.

    I always believed that Love wins over its counterpart, and I believe more and more that way.

    Eric.

  12. Catherine says:

    Les Sts Maries de la Mer is a really beautifull place ! On the roof of the church the view is so wide and wonderfull. I got up early in the morning to see the sun rise and waited for the sun to set, before i got back to bed !!! Had a great time there… ;)

  13. Jean says:

    2012 is the year when huge changes will occur within the soul Paulo Coelho is one who has great wisdom for this time.

  14. ed says:

    thanks for that wonderful information, religion sometimes dividing us instead of unifying us …

  15. Cynthia Pugh says:

    Thanks for the reminder Religion is man made, spirituality is earth made or should I say universe made (the one -the thread that unites us all in being and expression and energy). So obvious but hidden like the moon on a sunny day.

  16. Mariette says:

    Thanks you for sharing!
    Beautiful;-)

  17. Hanna-Kaisa says:

    Thanks for sharing, I really love this post!

  18. Pandora says:

    “If God is a mother, then all that is necessary is to join together and worship her through rites that try to satisfy her feminine soul, such as dancing, fire, water, air, earth, singing, music, flowers and beauty….”

    and

    “Remember to let her into your heart.” ~ John Lennon

  19. Me parece una muy bonita y tierna historia, interesante conocerla o en este caso, Mr. Coelo, leer todo el libro. Gracias, saludos

  20. Tarot says:

    “a very important moment in the history of the world, when at last Spirit integrates with Matter, and they unify and change”—->Alchemy:))

  21. Vanda says:

    Persecution has been in existence since time began. Women are not exempt from that. We lured, enticed Adam to sin and paid for that even to this day. We are made from a rib of man. A small insignificant part at that. What they “being the religions of old and new” do not get is that men and women were made to only succeed if they join in love ” true love”. What each lacks the other has to make a whole.To show how love was truly supposed to exist to the greater good of mankind. The infusion of our environment all were made to compliment not destroy our existence. Even animals without the interference of humans were here to help and show how simple life could become if we just live right. Our selfishness has taken it’s toll. Love will prevail but at a cost.

  22. laila says:

    There is a similar festival too in my country of Trinidad WI called La Divina Pastora where the black virgin is walked through the streets with the attendant Roman Catholic prayer. In our cosmopolitan land, there are those within the Hindu community which also worship the Black virgin in her flowing white robes as the Goddess Kali and for them the same festival is known as Siparee Mai Ke Mala. They adorn the statue with gold and money and in true Trinidad tradition there is a fete/party that lasts way into the night as well. Isn’t it amazing how we have similar festivals all over the world? Our connectedness as a world people is fascinating.