Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resurrection of the Earth
seems like a perfect post for an Easter Sunday.

But, first I'd like you to consider an image -- a photo montage created by the Brazilian visionary artist and designer Guta.


I'm sure that Guta would have presented a much more professional-looking rendering of this magnificent image. (I simply "posterized" a poor photo of his work.) It captures the interweaving of two great Brazilian religious traditions -- Aparecida and Santo Daime -- both of which manifest the spiritual energy of this Brazilian
and universal Goddess. And, now, I have an additional connection in mind.

Back in November I reported a newspaper article that said:

"God is Brazilian",
said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in response to his government's announcement that massive new oil reserves had been discovered offshore.
But, it turns out that there is more than one kind of Black Gold. The recent "rediscovery" of Terra Preta soils of the ancient Amazonian Indians may prove to be more valuable than off-shore oil. If God is Brazilian, She just might be Black.

This image is of the much-revered Black Madonna of Brazil, Nossa Senhora de Conceição Aparecida -- Our Lady of Conception Who Appeared.


The story is that a statue of the Virgin made around 1650 was somehow lost. Then, in 1717, some government people were traveling north to the gold mining region of Minas Gerais where the precious metal was called Ouro Preto due to a dark coating on the nuggets. Along the way fishermen cast their nets in a river hoping to catch fish for a big banquet. Instead of fish, they found the statue -- all darkened by years in the river bed. The travelers went on but the statue was kept in a little family shrine.

Soon the statue appeared to have healing and wish-granting powers -- at least for some faithful ones -- and a cult began to grow around it. As time passed, it had to be housed in larger and larger quarters and came to be venerated throughout Brazil. In 1929, the Virgin was proclaimed Queen of Brazil and its official Patron Saint. Today its Basilica, in the city of Aparecida near São Paulo, receives about 7 million visitors yearly and is the largest Marian shrine in the world.

From the first time I saw this great Black Madonna, this symbol appeared to me as more than an artifact of the Catholic Church. Indeed, it seemed even more like an icon of the power of the earth.

Nowadays, there is an emerging parallel story. As the world searches for solutions to hunger, fuel shortages, deforestation and climate change, Terra Preta soil from deep in Amazônia may be emerging as as a way to heal the earth. YES, biochar -- the modern equivalent of Terra Preta de Indios -- may be rising into our awareness truly as the resurrection of the earth.

And, yes, the Goddess is Black.


Can you imagine fighting hunger, energy poverty, deforestation and climate change SIMULTANEOUSLY?

Please stay tuned.


Erich said...

Dear Lou,

In line with your spiritual bent, all I have to offer is ;

The Terra Preta Prayer

Our Carbon who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name
By kingdom come, thy will be done, IN the Earth to make it Heaven.
It will give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our atmospheric trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against the Kyoto protocols
And lead us not into fossil fuel temptation, but diliver us from it's evil
low as we walk through the valley of the shadow of Global Warming,
I will feel no evil, your Bio-fuels and fertile microbes will comfort me,
For thine is the fungal kingdom,
and the microbe power,
and the Sequestration Glory,
For ever and ever (well at least 2000 years)

Lou Gold said...

Thanks Erich... for the prayer and for all your good work.