'A link between Black Madonna of European Middle Ages ancient pagan traditions & representations has been asserted & although no direct Catholic theological sources exist, it has also been suggested that medieval veneration of the Black Madonna was in response to a line from Song of Songs 1:5 in the Old Testament: "I am black And Beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, ..." These words are discussed at length by St Bernard of Clairvaux, although he uses them to refer not to Mary but to the Catholic Church. Several surviving Black Madonnas are inscribed with these words, although in some cases inscriptions were added at a later date.
* Some claim the Black Madonna grew out of pre-Christian earth goddess traditions. Their dark skin may be associated with ancient images & with the color of fertile earth. Sometimes associated with stories of being found by chance in a natural setting: in a tree or by a spring, for example. It is further asserted that some of their Christian shrines are located on the sites of earlier temples to Cybele & Diana of Ephesus.
* Black Madonna may derive from the Egyptian goddess Isis. The dark skin may echo an African archetypal mother figure. Early Christian pictures of a seated mother & child were influenced by images of Isis & Horus & slashes on the cheek of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa represent markings of the Eye of Horus.
* The Black Madonna may portray the original skin tone of the Virgin Mary, thus placing the figures in apt historical contexts, as Jesus' family was more likely than not to have Semitic colors and features.
* Black Madonnas express a feminine power that is not fully conveyed by a pale-skinned Mary, whom they assert symbolizes gentler qualities like obedience and purity. The "feminine power" approach is sometimes linked to female sexuality, which was allegedly repressed by the medieval Church.
* May be an association with Black Madonnas, The Templars & St. Bernard of Clairvaux. They were revered by an esoteric cult with Templar and Cathar links, but this idea is dismissed by most historians, who also reject stories of connections with Mary Magdalene & Gnosticism.