How to Return Goddess to Judeo-Christianity

How to Return Goddess to Judeo-Christianity

“I would like to ask how to return the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion. My background is Christian, but I find that traditional church is missing something. I feel maybe your organization may help me grow spiritually.” — Stuart, Alberta Canada

We received this inquiry the other day via our northernway.org website. I thought some of you might wish to offer Stuart some ideas, advice, point him in the direction of resources you know, etc.

Margaret Starbird answered:

Church window depicting marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Jesus & Mary Magdalene as married couple

Maybe Stuart could start by reading the Mary Magdalene page on your northernway.org website. That page introduces him to the “Lost Bride” who was once at the heart of the Christian story. Tell him that the first heresy in Christianity was the denial of the Bride….and that in silencing her, the Church fathers silenced women’s voices on the planet for nearly two millennia! Now, in the Year of Our Lord MMxv, we celebrate her return to our consciousness bringing wisdom, compassion, and celebration of life and the gift of our bodies as “vessels”—containers for the Spirit of God. Show him the “marriage window” from Dervaig, Scotland, where Jesus and Mary are “hand-fasted” (clasping right hands, as in the rites of Christian marriage)…. and if he wants more, send him to my website: http://www.margaretstarbird.net

In memory of Her—
Margaret
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”

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Mystic and poet Wynn Manners said in our GoddessChristians forum:

The First Step, of course, is bringing the Divine Feminine into your own daily life and daily devotions.

Returning the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion as a whole, is a tall order… and it’s just gonna take a lonnng time… and I’m meaning at least centuries.

What Yeshua once told me was, “Goddess must be elevated for a thousand years.”

He also once indicated that Goddess has to have a different language than the patriarchal religious language.

In Her Spirit we must bring forth different words, a different conceptual matrix rather than just copping-out on Her by carbon-copying the patriarchal language describing the patriarchal God and transferring that to Her.

The Second Step is that we have to be in genuine comm*union* with Her Holy Spirit… so that we are receiving Her Direct Guidance… for She’s the One who will know how to bring about the needed changes.. . She’s the One who can provide us with the phraseology of a variant linguistic and conceptual paradigm. We have to become extensions of Her Living Spirit, womanifestations of Her transformative Spiritual Essence into time. We have to become Her Living Hands, Her Heart & Mind & Spirit — rising like waves of Her Eternal Ocean of Spirit into this time.

The Divine Feminine in Christianity, at this point in time, is mainly represented by Sophia, Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene.

Margaret Starbird’s books on Mary Magdalene are an important resource… relative to the Divine Feminine Bride of Yeshua Christ.

There is some measure of Marian worship in Roman Catholicism… but it’s highly doubtful that it’ll ever be “legitimatized” by the patriarchal stranglehold over that denomination.

When talking about Judaism and Christianity, the most helpful book by way of a Major Resource (that I’m aware of) relative to the Sophia of the Bible is WISDOM’S FEAST: Sophia in Study and Celebration by Susan Cole, Marian Ronan and Hal Taussig. Two of these have been in the Methodist ministry; one is Roman Catholic in background.

Of course you’re gonna get a lot of flack from conservative Christianity… so those seeking to help return the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion need to be well-versed in all the segments in the Bible that reinforce the Divine Feminine perspective and Sophia (as the Holy Spirit) specifically. Tho they won’t be of any use to you, relative to conservative theological lock-ins, it is also best to be well-versed in all parts of the ancient Gnostic scriptures that reveal more about Sophia & the Divine Feminine in general.

For example, it is very important to realize that when Yeshua spoke of what we have translated into the English words “the Holy Spirit” that he was always referring to Her with feminine pronouns, not the masculine pronoun as is falsely translated in the Gospel of John, chapters 14 & 16. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach… and the Aramaic word for spirit is rukha (there are variant English spellings of these two words)… both of which are feminine nouns. I think it is also important to know that in “The Gospel of the Hebrews” Jesus actually called the Holy Spirit his Mother! Jerome — who, to my understanding, translated the entire Bible (including the intertestamentary books — which Protestantism expurgated from their Bibles — thus deleting major revelations about Sophia — “Sirach” chapter 24 and “The Wisdom of Solomon”) into the Latin Vulgate also considered “The Gospel of the Hebrews” sufficiently spiritually legitimate that he translated it too! Roman Catholicism did not include “The Gospel of the Hebrews” in their canon — and only quotations from it have survived in some of the Church Fathers’ writings… but maybe a complete copy if it will eventually be discovered and we’ll be able to determine why it was excluded from the canonized scriptures — and (possibly) learn much more therefrom relative to early Christian beliefs and actual further teachings of Yeshua that didn’t survive otherwise.

In the Nag Hammadi Library, works like “The Gospel of Philip”… “Thunder, Perfect Mind”… “Trimorphic Protennoia”… and “The Apocryphon of John” (and others like “The Hypostasis of the Archons” and “Upon The Origin Of The World”) are important resources relative to awareness of Sophia & the Divine Feminine as it existed in the early centuries of Christianity… and the return of neo-Gnostic denominations of Christianity, as they florish across centuries ahead will surely be utilizing these… along with more contemporary revelations of and from the Divine Feminine… for, of course, we’re going to get lots of future texts being written across the centuries forthcoming by many who are “in Her Spirit”.

It’s going to be exciting!

Besides contemporary Gnostic groups (like those of Tau Malachi and Tau Rosamonde Miller) incorporating the Divine Feminine in their services, there are a few contemporary ministers in the mainline Christian denominations who are devoted to the Divine Feminine, too. Foremost, to my knowledge, is “herchurch” (ECLA Lutheran) in San Francisco, California.

http://www.herchurch.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/herchurch/135493109832761

I think it also Of Value to read some of what the opposition to the Divine Feminine are writing… so that one is aware of what kind of criticisms / attacks one needs to be equipped to respond to for the sake of the borderline sorts (one is hardly going to convince the “hardliners”).

http://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/category/goddess%20worship

The only major Christian denomination (that I’m aware of) which recognizes Goddess, is Mormonism — but you’ll hardly find that out from the most of what they’re saying! — for they pretty much “keep Her in the closet”… and (it appears to me) that the voices of the women who want to promote Her are being suppressed by the Mormon patriarchy. One writing friend (who is Mormon) at a local writers group a half a dozen years ago, when I asked him about it, said that Mormons don’t broadcast Her Existence because She’s too holy to them to beget circumstances where unbelievers will be profaning Her. Another Mormon who came to my door about six months ago — when I brought up the subject to him — said that Mormons are condemned to hell for so many of their doctrines, already, that they didn’t want to be adding more fuel to the fires of other denominations condemning them as not being Christians by publicly advocating Goddess, too — for of course that gets labelled as being “paganism” by Christians who condemn the Divine Feminine.

I praise those who are working within the established denominations, trying to “return the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion” — but, overall, I believe it’s going to turn out to be a heart-breakingly futile attempt. (I’ll be only happy to be proven mistaken in this assessment! I believe there are several in the ministry who would love to incorporate Her in their services, but are very well aware that they will either lose their positions… or lose most of their congregation — especially the conservative ones who make the larger monetary donations.)

I think, in largest part, those capable of doing so are just going to have to start up their own separate denominations… just like Methodism, Lutheranism, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormonism, Unity & the Jehovah Witnesses all had their own beginnings (or, more anciently, Valentinism, the Sethians, the Barbelites, etc. did) — only these new denominations will totally incorporate the Divine Feminine, eliminating the distortions and still-faulty mythology of many of the ancient Christian Gnostic sects. And they will be bringing forth “The New Wine of Her Spirit”.

~~wynn manners

http://cosmicwind.net/800/Cmwl/SiteMap/CmwlSiteMap.html

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sophia-Mother-of-the-All/332599176773679

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seeking-Mary-Magdalene/102467599878534

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I personally have had good experience with the Unity Church, a very metaphysical Christian denomination. They allow Goddess to be mentioned in childrens’ Sunday School — She is not suppressed! Unity Churches are in most cities.  — Katia

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Margaret Starbird wrote yesterday regarding this article about about Mary Magdalene’s similarities with the Egyptian Goddess Isis.
https://www.academia.edu/12129204/Tears_and_Fragrance_for_the_God_s_Death_and_Resurrection_The_Funerary_Syncretism_of_Mary_Magdalene_with_Isis

Margaret says: Although this author, Dr. Margaret Merisante, does not site my work, she could have. I discussed the connection of Mary Magdalene with Isis, the original “Sister-Bride” of a sacrificed Bridegroom-King in my Woman with the Alabaster Jar (published in 1993). I’m not an expert on Egyptian funerary rites, but I recognized the connection of the anointing of the king as an ancient rite from the Hieros games cult in which the marriage union of the “Beloveds” is followed later in the liturgical season by the assault, mutilation, death and burial. This connection of Mary Magdalene with Isis is strong—based on the “Song of Songs” where the fragrance of the “Sister-Bride” spreads around her Bridegroom at the banqueting table. The “Canticle” (Song of Songs) is known to be a a liturgical poem from the cult of Isis and Osiris. The Bridegroom speaks of his beloved as “My sister, my spouse”— which I believe was the epithet given to the wives of Jesus and his apostles, the “sister-wives” Paul mentions in his letter to Corinthians (1: 9-5).

I’m so thrilled that others are finally seeing this connection and are willing to research and affirm that Mary Magdalene is indeed, the “Goddess in the Gospels“.

In memory of Her—
Margaret
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”
www.margaretstarbird.net

Papal Hypocrisy: Equal Pay for Women, But Won’t Ordain Women!

Ordination of Women?

Our seminary ordains men AND women because we believe becoming ordained as a priest (or other clergy ordination) should be an answer to the Call, not dependent on one’s gender! We also ordain both men and women as minister, rabbi, reverend, chaplain, etc.

A few days ago the Pope in Rome called for equal pay for women worldwide. Women should get the same pay as men, he said. Yet the Pope won’t even HIRE women because they are not allowed to become ordained as a priest or even deacon.

Our seminary does not discriminate in any way, and one of our bishops, Bishop James, wrote:

“So this means that female Roman Catholic Bishops and Cardinals make the same as their male counterparts?”

 

Father Erik chimed in: “Lol, sharp wit, and a great point +James! Why would one worry about equal *pay* when one is not even recognizing men and women are equal in more basic human rights – specifically in this case, opening the priesthood to *all* human beings. Seems pretty fundamental to me.”

Becoming Ordained — and she’s female!

One of our seminarians, Deacon Angela, who will soon be ordained a woman priest, concurred saying, “I agree. Let’s implement equality at all levels!”

 

Mary Magdalene & Mary of Bethany the same person

Magdalene anointing Jesus ordained by God priest and messiah
Mary of Bethany aka Magdalene Anoints Jesus Making Him the Anointed One – in Hebrew language, “Messiah”

For centuries people have debated whether Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, is the same person as Mary Magdalene. This is called “the conflation of the Marys”.  Supposedly Pope Gregory said they were the same woman in a sermon, confusing everyone for centuries thereafter. But no, people thought they were the same woman before his sermon. The Eastern Orthodox Church believes and teaches that Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene are two separate women, but the Catholics said they were the same for over a millennia.

Margaret Starbird asserts they are the same person and indeed the Secret Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of John, and more recently an early 20th century Catholic Encyclopedia(!) imply or state they are indeed the same woman.

Here is a recent post by Margaret Starbird explaining why she believes they are the same woman.

Quoting an article we were discussing on the GoddessChristians forum:

  “Mary Ann Beavis explains how the unnamed sinful woman who anoints Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:36-50, Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene gradually became identified.  This was the teaching of Pope Gregory. The idea that (the conflated Mary’s chief sin was sexual and that she was a prostitute is a later elaboration.
***************Margaret Starbird’s reply;
IMO, this very old and very tired explanation is an error, endlessly perpetuated by people who attempt to separate Mary of Bethany from Mary Magdalene, although for centuries they were honored as a single Mary, the “ointment bearer” at the banquet at Bethany and at the tomb of Christ.  The earliest “conflation” of the two women occurs in the Gospel of John, believed to have been written in about 90 A.D., although some scholars attest that the Gospel seems to have strong “eye-witness” elements.
Here’s the account from Luke’s Gospel 7;37-38:
        37. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,
38. and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.

Remember that  an “unnamed woman” had anointed Jesus in Mark 14 (written c. 70) and Matthew 26 (written c. 80), a woman with “an alabaster jar” of pure (precious) perfume (nard) came to Jesus at a banquet and anointed his head….and the apostles complained about the wasted value of the perfume. Jesus this says, “She has done me a favor.  She has anointed me in advance for my burial, and wherever this story is told, it will be told in memory of her.”  He links this anointing (an ancient rite associated with the messiah and his marriage to the land and people through the action of the “Bride”).

So Luke, writing in about 80-85) retells (and embellishes!) the story of the unnamed woman with the “alabaster jar” —and calls her a sinner!  He also takes the story away from Bethany and Holy Week and places it in an unnamed town much earlier in Jesus’ ministry, I believe in an attempt to downplay the importance of the action of the woman who anointed the head of Jesus in the earlier Gospels.

So now we come to the Gospel of John, written a few years after Luke.  John is trying to correct Luke’s version of this story.  It is most improbable that an anointing of Jesus by a woman happened more than once, since a woman touching a Jewish man in public is an absolute “taboo”—as in NO chance!!  All four Gospel authors are dealing with a story that has been “told and retold” in their community for an entire generation about a woman who anointed Jesus at a banquet….probably just shortly before his Crucifixion and probably in Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, an extremely important location in Jewish prophetic tradition.  And John’s version is extremely explicit.  In John 11:2 and again in 12.3, the author states that “it was Mary who anointed Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.”  Clearly this is a detail (outrageous action on the part of Mary, in light of the “taboo”) that occurs in Luke’s Gospel and is repeated here.  Then, in chapter 12:3, the author of John’s Gospel repeats the story, in case we missed it the first time:

1. Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
2. So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.
3. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, *said,
5. “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?
6. Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
7. Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.
We can see that “John” has taken the original story and has now named the woman with the ointment who anointed Jesus —she is Mary, the sister of Lazarus. And, when Judas complains, Jesus says, “Let her keep it for the day of my burial”!  Again, Jesus associates the action with the ancient “heiros games” rites of the sacrificed Bridegroom and his Bride, the woman who anoints the King.  Luke’s version is the anomaly. The other three accounts agree that the woman who anointed Jesus was the “ointment bearer” at the banquet and at the tomb.  Yet WHICH Mary carries the ointment at the tomb?  Invariably, it is the one called “the Magdalene,” an extremely significant title that associates her with the prophecy of the Magdal-eder, crying at the tomb of the deceased King and being sent, defiled and defamed, into foreign exile!  “Why are you crying?” the Daughter of Sion/Magdal-eder is asked (Micah 4); the words are repeated at the tomb of Jesus n John 21, again, not once but twice:  “Why are you crying?”   It is the role of the bereaved Bride to return to the tomb of her beloved and to find him resurrected in the Garden….  Where have we heard this story before?
 
I believe it’s time to correct the record! The “conflation” of Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene was NOT a later construct based on a sermon by Pope Gregory in 592. It was the original understanding of the community who knew Jesus and Mary, the one whom they gave the title “H Magdalhnh.”  For more information, please visit my website article about this title:    http://margaretstarbird.net/mary_called_magdalene.html       
 
In memory of Her,
Margaret
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”