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A 14-hr mixed level initiation into the transformative teachings of the Black Madonna, the Assumption of Mary as the marriage of spirit and matter, and Chartres Cathedral through lecture, dance and music featuring Anne Baring, Andrew Harvey and other faculty.

Madonna Rising:

The Alchemy of Healing Relationships

Video Course | 7 Sessions | Unlimited access to recordings


Anne Baring, Ruth Cunningham, Jim Garrison, Andrew Harvey,
Calen Rayne, Peggy Rubin, Banafsheh Sayyad and Gyorgyi Szabo

Inside Madonna Rising

In this Video Course, we explore the alchemy of relationships and the mysterious journey toward the healing of wounded relationships through understanding, love and forgiveness. This is the Great Work of Alchemy, the pathway that turns lead into gold. No crucible is more agonizing, ecstatic and essential than that of deeply learning to love one another. 

Through lecture, deep reflection, joyous celebration, prayer, song and dance, we cherish and embrace the rising of feminine healing power and beauty in our consciousness, in our bodies, in our relationships, and in our actions on behalf of Mother Earth. 

This journey takes us deeply into the heart of Chartres, France during the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15) which honors the Church doctrine, enunciated by the Pope in 1950, at the beckoning of 8 million people, that Mary was assumed directly into heaven upon her death and now presides as the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven, a title held by Goddesses such as Isis and Inanna. We will celebrate the rise of the divine feminine, her transmutation and union with spirit as her daughters and sons and as those who long to expand the reality of her presence in the world.

The Feast of the Assumption represents two key points that we will explore metaphorically. One is the resurgence of the feminine archetype and the recovery of the feminine aspect of the divine in order to bring back wholeness and balance to the human psyche. The other is the sacred marriage and union of matter and spirit that affirms the oneness, the utter sacredness and blazing radiance of the whole of creation. 

This is nothing new. From deep antiquity, the divine feminine has been understood as the womb of life, as the soul of the world and as nature. Matter was considered and lived as sacred. But for us today, this worldview and attitude needs to be restored and revitalized as we leave behind the old paradigm of separation and competition and usher in the new era of connection and cooperation. 

We are to find the sanctity of all of life in the midst of our lives, exactly where we are. It is urgent that we live the sacred here, and now. This coming into right relations with ourselves, one another, and the greater ecofield is the great task of our time. Our survival depends on it. 

The world needs each of us to bless one another, to anoint one another with love, compassion, understanding and wisdom. During our time together, we will explore the alchemical healing balm for our broken relationships and reinvigorate the relationships with those we love. We will explore what it means to be a friend.  A friend to oneself, a friend to others, regardless of the type of relationship we are in. 

We will explore some of the teachings of the Divine Feminine embedded in Chartres Cathedral, this 1001-page luminous manuscript, and create a replica, a virtual cathedral where we will contemplate, pray, dance, sing, share deeply, laugh and cry and renew ourselves. We will also learn to inhabit the cathedral of our body with reverence. 

The Black Madonna

Each year on the Day of the Assumption, a statue of the Black Madonna is carried through the streets of Chartres before being placed in front of the statue of the Assumption of Mary, where she is kept for one week and then hidden away till the following year. Parading the Black Madonna in this way recalls the way the Druids in ancient times brought her out of the grotto underneath the granite promontory upon which the cathedral today stands. They honored Mother Earth and the cycles of the seasons through the Black Madonna.

Together, we will explore the nature and scope of the dark feminine as manifested in the Black Madonna as well as her healing dimensions.


Anne Baring, PhD (Hons) author and co-author of 7 books will present on the Great Work of Alchemy and the 2 Marys of Chartres.

Ruth Cunningham, classically trained musician, sound healer and founding member of the Anonymous 4 will create soundscapes.

Jim Garrison, PhD President, Ubiquity University, Co-Director of Ubiquity Chartres Academy, will present on Friendship among other topics.

Banafsheh Sayyad, MFA, MA,  Co-Director of Ubiquity Chartres Academy, will moderate and guide the group to embody the wisdom teachings explored during our week.

Andrew Harvey, PhD (Hons), scholar, mystic and author of more than 30 books, will share his understanding of the Black Madonna.

Calen Rayne, DMin will share insights on the labyrinth and the magical powers of the waters of Chartres.

Peggy Rubin, Shakespearian actor and master of sacred ritual and group theatre, will guide us into the enactment of the mysteries we explore and the transformational energy of the feminine for personal growth and group harmony.

Gyorgyi Szabo, PhD, the Dean of Graduate Studies at Ubiquity University and the Executive Director at The Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research, will present on Tara and Quan Yin.


Our intention is to heed the call of the Divine Feminine, to see her around us and become her in our very cells so we can live in harmony with each other and with the Earth and all of the Earth community. We will integrate head, heart and body through wisdom teachings, song, dance and theater, and immersion in the imagery and symbolism of the cathedral.

This Course is a balance between:

Wisdom teachings on the Assumption; The Great Work of Alchemy; the Black Madonna; Tara and Quan Yin, Chartres Cathedral as a grail and container of mysteries.

Embodiment practices that bring you into heart presence, open a door for you to become the wisdom teachings we explore, help you release what no longer serves you and renew yourself through sacred dance, song and theater.

A virtual journey into Chartres Cathedral consisting of an exploration of the references to the Virgin Mary and the Assumption, the Black Madonna and the crypt, the labyrinth and the rose windows.

Live music that will bring inspiration, blessing and healing.

Course Audience: This Workshop is suitable for ALL who love to move, all genders and age groups as an immediately accessible embodiment tool to ground and center yourself and become more conscious, joyful and energized. In addition, this Workshop offers

trained dancers, yoga instructors, creative arts therapists and other movement practitioners the opportunity to deepen their professional skills. 

Certification: This Course counts as a foundational Dance of Oneness® course and fulfills 14 hours of the 200-hr Dance of Oneness® Certification Program.

What Students Say about Dance of Oneness

Benefits of this Course

Join a global community of like-hearted people

Activate high levels of intuition

Elevate your state of being

Feel energized and unlimited

Cultivate a conscious coherence between your heart, mind and body

Activate inspiration and creativity 

How this Video Course works

The Course is co-presented with Ubiquity University. You will register and access the Course on the Ubiquity University platform.

You will have access to the videos  permanently.

Please find FAQ and Read Health Disclaimer here

How to prepare for this Course

Have water handy to stay hydrated and give thanks for the water

Make sure you have an unobstructed space of 5×5 ft or 1.5×1.5 m to dance in

Have socks or soft soled dance shoes available and handy

Dress comfortably in attire you can move in easily

Examples of soft-soled jazz shoes suitable for our dance: Capezio and SoDanca

Enroll Now
Madonna Rising

Tuition: $349

Register at Ubiquity University

Make sure to choose ‘Audit – no credit’ option when registering if you are not a degree seeking student at Ubiquity University.

Email questions about Course content

About Banafsheh

Banafsheh Sayyad is a master Persian sacred dancer, choreographer and founder of Dance of Oneness®. She is a deeply profound and highly accessible spiritual teacher of embodiment. Banafsheh performs and teaches internationally, initiating people into the wisdom of their bodies. She inspires all to live in these modern times grounded in love for the Earth and centered around our abiding true nature. Her signature style of holy wildness infused with ancient wisdom ignites transformation and illumination in all those who dance with her from around the globe. Banafsheh invites the dancer within to remember, reclaim and resource the innate healing intelligence streaming through us and spiraling all around us. Her easeful instruction and welcoming spirit empowers students from all stages of life to feel a true sense of belonging in their bodies and passion in their lives, by integrating wisdom teachings proven throughout the ages.

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