The Basilica Of The Black Madonna del Tindari, Sicily

Ciao from Sicily! I’ve always had mixed feelings about the design of this basilica for the Black Madonna of Tindari, a most sacred place for those of us who are devotees of the dark mother/goddess archetype. Today, though, was different. Maybe because of this moment in my life when I’ve been strongly devoted to my folk medicine practices, or maybe because of my years visiting other churches throughout the island. It’s probably a combination of the two.

Today, the 1950s design aesthetic made sense to me. It seems very kitch at first glance, but in fact, it recalls many elements of the Arab-Norman Monreale Cathedral, yet done in a 20th-century style and dedicated to the great mother with much sincerity. Sometimes it takes a second (in my case, third!) look to understand what you are seeing. Tip: If possible, visit the ancient chaple and offices off to the left side and through the doors. The views of the coastline and beach below are stupendous, and you’ll understand why the Greeks placed their temple to Demeter on this spot and then the Romans later, for Cybele. It’s a panoramic view meant for a goddess.


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