Church Immaculate Conception

December 8 is the Festa dell’Immacolata or the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated throughout Italy. One of the most breathtaking churches in all of Sicily is the baroque church, Chiesa dell’Immacolata Concezione (The Church of the Immaculate Conception) in Palermo, where this photo of me was taken earlier this year. Above the…

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception 

December 8 is the Festa dell’Immacolata or the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated throughout Italy. The feast recognizes that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin — something with which, in Catholic dogma, every person is considered to have been born. Pictured is the painting “Immacolata Concezione”…

Persephone’s Guidance 

As the seasons change where I live in the northeastern United States, and the days are darker longer, I turn to Persephone for assistance during the transition to winter. Part of the “Queen of the Underworld’s” responsibilities, once she descends into Hades each autumn, is the role of psychopomp–a guide for new souls crossing over;…

I am black but beautiful

Nigra sum, sed formosa = I am black but beautiful… From the Song of Songs, 1:5. The Black Madonna of Tindari is celebrated today, September 8. Black Madonnas, which are found throughout the Mediterranean basin, are venerated in localities where ancient goddesses such as Artemis, Isis, Venus, Persephone, Cybele, and Mater Dea were worshiped for centuries….