Is the quest for the Holy Grail over – Margaret Starbird

Mary Magdalene the true Holy Grail Margaret StarbirdI’ve told you before, Margaret Starbird has been one of my most powerful influences, and I consider her one of my spiritual teachers ever since I met her in 1999. That was the same  time our Mystery School with its Order of Mary Magdala was going online. I had read her seminal work, The Woman With the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen & the Holy Grail in 1993 when it was first published, so in a way she became my spiritual teacher even before I started following her around the country attending workshops.

Our Esoteric Mystery School study programs use her inspiring books about “the Goddess” hidden in the New Testament, aka Mary Magdalene.

Margaret posted the following yesterday to our GoddessChristians forum. Margaret responds to this short quote about the Holy Grail never existing:

Speaking of the Holy Grail –“its religious significance didn’t arise until medieval legends entwined ancient Celtic myths with the Christian tradition of the Holy Chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper.
“The Grail legend is a literary invention of the 12th century with no historical basis,” Carlos de Ayala, a medieval historian at a Madrid university, told the AFP news agency. “You cannot search for something that does not exist.”

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Margaret Starbird writes: As some of you already know, I don’t believe that the “Holy Grail”– “sangraal” in Old French — was “the Holy Chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper.” Describe it another way as “the vessel that once contained the blood of Christ.” Now, rather than a cup of gold or silver, you have the hint of an “earthen vessel” — in fact, a woman, bearing a child of whom Christ is the father. If you divide “sangraal” before the “g”– you have
“San graal” — encountered in the “Grail” stories about a “cup” or “chalice.” But if the same word is divided after the “g” — “sang raal,” it means “Blood royal” in Old French. You don’t carry the “blood royal” in a jar with a lid!

In medieval legend, Joseph of Arimathea is almost always the “custodian of the Grail” — sometimes shown in medieval paintings holding a chalice under the wound in Christ’s side as he hung on the cross. But there are also medieval paintings that show Mary Magdalene holding the chalice to catch blood dripping from the wounds of Christ, so both Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea are associated with the “Grail” myth. My own pet theory is found in the 20-page fictional Prologue of my Woman with the Alabaster Jar, called “Miriam in the Garden” (published in 1993 — the book that launched Dan Brown’s research for The DaVinci Code).Order of Mary Magdalene textbook for Esoteric Mystery School

Realizing that Mary Magdalene is nowhere to be found in the Book of Acts, despite her prominence at the cross and tomb in all four Gospels, I asked myself, “Why did she disappear so completely?” The only logical answer I could imagine was that she was perceived to be in danger and taken to a place of safety when rumors of the Risen Christ began to circulate in Jerusalem. This scenario would have been extremely likely if she had children or was pregnant….making her “the vessel that once contained the blood of Christ.” You don’t carry the royal blood around in a jar with a lid…

Please check out these articles posted on my website about the “Grail” in Leonardo’s “Last Supper” —  and the webpages about my books Alabaster Jar and Bride in Exile if you haven’t already!

http://www.margaretstarbird.net/last_supper.html
http://www.margaretstarbird.net/the_woman_with_the_alabaste.html
http://www.margaretstarbird.net/mary_magdalene_bride_in_exi.html

In memory of Her,
Margaret

Women bishops increasing — at least in North America!

BIshop Katia Romanoff and Bishop Carol Parrish January 17, 2014. Don't mind the occult sign language there
Bishop Katia Romanoff & Bishop Carol Parrish. Don’t mind our occult sign language going on there…

Spent yesterday with Bishop Carol Parrish, one of my spiritual teachers from the 1990s.  She was consecrated an Independent Sacramental (Catholic) bishop a couple of years ago not long after my own consecration.  The ISM is still the only “catholic” movement allowing woman-bishops and priests, although the Anglicans finally have a few. The amount of female bishops is growing in North America, even if it is not in the rest of the world. Now if only my other favorite teacher, Margaret Starbird, would let us make her an Independent Sacramental Bishop….  hee hee. Time to join the episcopate, Margaret!

I often long for a feminine form of the word bishop we could use (just like I long for more feminine vestments and especially miters for us!).  In the Greek Bible the word for bishop is episkopo, right? So episkopa would be woman-bishop?

One of many things we talked about yesterday was the  Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Jean-Yves LeLoup which +Carol is currently reading.  It was a significant study for me and my own formation as a woman priest when I read it in 2004 — suggested by Margaret.  +Carol is just now discovering his work and says she really appreciates the way Leloup answers any naysayers and critics by putting the original text on one page, and the translation on the facing page. His translation and commentary are so inspiring.  I am going to have to go dig out my copy right now.

Bishop Carol is teaching a workshop tomorrow at the Temple of the Living God in St. Petersburg where she’s been coming every year for the past 40 years,  which is basically most of my life…  She really is amazing the way she keeps on working decade after decade.

Pure Vision: The Magdalene Revelation

Has anyone read this intriguing sounding new book, Pure Vision: The Magdalene Revelation?

“By weaving myth, history and international intrigue, my novel PURE VISION: The Magdalene Revelation addresses the Middle East imbroglio through the eyes of a woman determined to discover the truth.

NEW YORK TIMES reporter Maggie Seline has written an explosive book that offers a controversial solution to the Middle East crisis. During a live radio interview, a kidnapping attempt is made and Maggie vanishes. Her disappearance sets in motion a worldwide women’s march toward Jerusalem that threatens the status quo and parallels a frantic race to possess ancient talismans.”

I found the book description above after reading a cool article with nifty illustrations,

The Cyrus Cylinder, Eleanor Roosevelt & The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Cyrus Cylinder was an ancient kind of Bill of Rights — Cyrus the Persian is in the Bible and pre-dates Christianity. Our Constitution was probably influenced by Cyrus’ earliest “Bill of Rights” since Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers studied it extensively. In the article linked just above, there are many keywords that resonate with me (and our work here at the seminary) such as Multi-faith and Interfaith, Metaphysical. What a surprise to see Magdalene’s name in a book title by the same author.

Just ordered a copy, the kindle version is less than three dollars, even though I don’t have much time to read novels any more these days! After the DaVinci Code several years ago I haven’t read but one or two.

Pure Vision: The Magdalene Revelation

“A thrill ride in the vein of The Da Vinci Code but with a much larger vision for all of us. The alchemy is part historic fiction, part spiritual adventure, and a variety of interfaith metaphysics that metamorphosize into a golden vision of world peace . . . a page turner.”
— Paul Hertel, Whole Living

“Presents a fascinating story full of intrigue and history. Birney’s fiction seamlessly blends science and religion into a tale worthy of Indiana Jones . . . The book left this reader confident that idealism is not dead and that, sometimes, it can be the road map by which we might save ourselves.”
–Cynthia Warren, Daily Freeman

“Birney infuses this epic novel with feminine echoes of The Da Vinci Code and The Red Tent, with her eyes on the prize of world peace. Reporter Maggie Seline courts controversy by championing an international Jerusalem…when she disappears, women around the globe march for peace…powerful men vie for two ancient artifacts.”
— Chronogram

Magdalene Anointing Jesus during Easter Holy Week, Sacred Marriage

Become an Ordained Minister
Mary Magdalene and Jesus depicted in Sacred Marriage. Stained glass window in Scotland church

Joan Norton wrote about Sacred Marriage this week on our discussion forum:

Sacred marriage is a mechanism of enlightenment, in my view. It is the psychological principle by which growth of the mind and heart happens on our path with God… through intimacy between people and through an intimate relationship with one’s own psyche/soul/heart/mind. The soul speaks through dreams and the story metaphors used are based on nature’s processes of intimacy, birth, growth and death. In my experience, people grow towards God-realization through intimate encounter with other people or through their own inner life. That intimacy is what is sacred about partnership, sacred marriage. I don’t know how there could be an effective religion without a story of intimacy. There has to be a model for loving intricacy of care other than the mother-child model. I love all images of the archetypal mother but they are not psychologically the same as images of two people –or gods–in love and creating life together. If loving intimacy is seen only in the Madonna/child story it becomes incestuous. It sets up a longing for a kind of immersion in an unquestioning love that doesn’t always encourage growth. Mary Magdalene requests things of Jesus and she cries adult-woman tears that change his course of action.
     Everything I know about the historical likelihood of  sacred marriage being the very heart of our Christian story I have learned from Margaret Starbird’s books and some others; but the real strength of my convictions about it came from inside myself. I’ve met a number of woman who’ve told me that when they were little girls looking at the stained glass window stories of Christianity they just knew that Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ girlfriend. It’s like that.
In Their Name,
Joan
Margaret Starbird writes:
Thanks for your wonderful remarks about the importance of the Sacred Marriage in the psyche, Joan.  Carl Jung says that the “Self” is often “imaged as a Divine or Royal couple” … :  )

Although the canonical Gospels do not agree as to the date, all four evangelists tell the story of the anointing of Jesus by the woman with the alabaster jar, confirming that this event was one of great importance to the earliest Christians.  Why? There are only a handful of stories that occur in all four Gospels, and this is one of them.  The others are:

1) the Baptism of Jesus by his cousin John
2) mulitplication of loaves and fishes
3) overturning the money changers’ tables in the Temple
4) the Crucifixion.
That should give us some idea as to the importance of the “Anointing at Bethany.”
In researching the background for the anointing of the Messiah by a woman, I discovered that this anointing of Christ in the Gospels is reminiscent of an ancient marriage rite  of “Hieros gamos” in indigenous to fertility cults in the Middle East.  The royal bride chose her consort from among the available bachelors and anointed him ceremonially as a prefiguring of the “anointing” during the marriage act in the bridal chamber.  After the consummation of the marriage, the couple was feted with a nuptial banquet–sometimes lasting for days–and the joy from the “bridal chamber” spread out into their domain, blessing the crops and herds.
Later in the liturgical season, the Bridegroom King was arrested–tortured, mutilated and executed–and laid in a tomb.  On the third day, the Bride went to the tomb to mourn the death of her Bridegroom and was overjoyed to find him resurrected in the Garden!  The ancient cults of “hieros gamos” celebrate the eternal return of Life at the time of the spring equinox…  Even the name of our East er celebration hints of these ancient roots in the “sacred marriage” festival honoring Astarte (later “Oestare”),  “Bride of the Easter Mysteries” in Canaan.
This week, “a few days before the Passover,” we read the Gospel story of the anointing of Jesus by Mary, the sister of Lazarus (John 11:2 and 12:3-5).  When Judas complained about the wasted perfume, valued at a man’s year’s wage, Jesus said, “Let her keep it for the day of my burial.”  The Mary who is present in all four Gospels and both cross and tomb is Mary Magdalene, the Bride who embraces her Beloved in the Garden on Easter morning, re-enacting the ancient mythology of the “Sacred Marriage.”  I believe that Mary Magdalene and Jesus embody the “hieros gamos” of the archetypal “Holy Bride” and “Sacred Bridegroom” with which the peoples of the ancient Near East were well familiar.
The “fragrance of the Bride”–her “precious nard”–is mentioned in the Gospel narratives.  The only other place in the Hebrew Scriptures where “nard” is mentioned is in the “Song of Songs” (aka “Song of Solomon”) where the fragrance of the Bride wafts around the Bridegroom as he reclines at the banquet table. In John’s Gospel, her fragrance “fills the house.”
Here are lines from the Song of Songs, a poem known to have derived from an ancient liturgy celebrating the “sacred marriage” of Osiris and Isis:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine.
Your oils have a pleasing fragrance;
your name spoken is a spreading perfume.
While the king was at his table

the fragrance of my nard wafted around him.

How much more delightful is your love than wine
And the fragrance of your oils than all spices!
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The Gospel of Philip (from the Nag Hammadi Gnostic library) mentions Jesus’ frequent kisses — which apparently made the Apostles jealous of Mary Magdalene. In that 2-3rd c. text, Mary is called the “koinonos” (“companion” or “consort”) of the Lord—
 
In memory of Her–
Margaret
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”
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For more on the esoteric meaning of Easter visit our Easter Cycle observances page

Growing Up Without the Goddess

I just posted this review on Amazon of Sandra Pope’s page-turner Growing Up Without the Goddess: A Journey through Sexual Abuse to the Sacred Embrace of Mary Magdalene
At last this story gets to be told

I was so engrossed in Growing Up Without the Goddess that at times I became detached from reality, as though I was in an alternate world — which, when I forced myself to put down the book, I realized I was — Sandra Pope’s world! Her story is BEYOND riveting; it is soul-bonding. 
This author, with her hypnotic, almost mythical writing style, peels back the layers of human nature and expresses it so profoundly that you just can’t stop reading. I literally couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page waiting for the next thing to happen. And this is a true story! Truth is more exhilarating than fiction. It reads like a combination of The Secret Life of Bees and Rich Man, Poor Man. 
It is healing to read this book. The author says it was healing to write it. You will enter her world and hold it in your heart. 
If you have your own embracing the Sacred Feminine story, you must read Growing Up Without the Goddess, find your voice, and write YOUR story. It needs to be told, needs to enter human consciousness in these significant times, just like this book…

If you are a daughter, or have daughters, or both, you MUST experience this book. By the way, as I wrote the second to the last line I was thinking of many of you who have Growing Up Without Goddess stories. Write your life people, join your stories to this growing movement started by brave and beautiful Sandra Pope.  I mean it, her book reads like a combination of Rich Man, Poor Man and The Secret Life of Bees.  I don’t read many stories or autobiographies, preferring non-story, non-fiction type of “documentary” books. But Growing Up Without Goddess…. wow, I gave up sleep for it, and the time flew… 3, 4, then 5 o’clock in the morning and still I was there.  Oh hey!, one of the surreal parts of Sandra’s book for me personally is when Joan Norton showed up in the story. How can this be?, asked my subconscious mind woozy on the power of the story.  Sandra’s tale is otherworldly, how can a “real” person like Joan whom I’ve met “in the flesh” be here, talking, holding her pen, using her kind penetrative eyes to look at our heroine.  It actually freaked me out in a “spiritual experience” kind of way. That’s how mythically, hypnotically, Sandra weaves her words. You gotta read it… you will never be the same. 
(And pssst, our GoddessChristians forum is mentioned at the very end. Just by being here, you are a pioneering member of the awakening to the Sacred Feminine movement!)

–Katia

Magdalene Sacred Feminine class forming Atlanta Unity Church

A new friend is hosting an exciting Divine Feminine class in the Atlanta metro area. It will meet in the Atlanta Unity Church starting April 7. Wish I lived nearby, it sounds so cool!

14 Steps to Awaken the Sacred Feminine

14 Steps to Awaken the Sacred Feminine: Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene…
Tuesday evenings for 14 weeks beginning April 7th from 7:30-9:00.

Atlanta Unity Church, 3597 Parkway Lane, Norcross, GA 30092.

Please join us for this weekly gathering based on the newly released book by Margaret Starbird and Joan Norton.

Come be immersed in the archetype of the sacred feminine known as “history’s most misunderstood woman.” Through reflection, meditation, and journaling you will experience the awakening of your inner sacred feminine in this expanding path of women’s spirituality.

$16/wk Space is limited; pre-registration requested.

Facilitated by D’Ann Baldwin
Contact D’Ann @;newearthfeminine@gmail.com  678-644-9698

Feminism, Gnosticism & Roman Church Teach Body is Bad. Also Montsegur, Ides of March, & More

Here is my 25 minute Sunday talk on everything from Montsegur Eve to the Ides of March, Cleopatra and Julius Caesar in a sacred marriage to our topic, How Gnosticism influenced Feminism and the Roman Church into believing the body and the material world — and therefore sex — are bad, corrupt, dirty. 

Click here to listen (27 minutes)

Come back to this page when you’re done listening and then play the video below for our closing hymn, Ave Maria No Morro sung by Andrea Bocelli, the blind tenor of Tuscany with beautiful art slides of Mother Mary, our Christian Goddess.

And here’s an ethereal sounding Ave Maria No Morro sung by Klaus Meine of the rock band, Scorpions. 

Thanks to Margaret Starbird , Joan Norton and Jennifer Reif for the material for this “sermon” which includes a brief guided meditation from Joan and Margaret’s brand new book, 14 Steps to Awaken the Sacred Feminine: Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene “portrait” by Christian Artist

 

This painting of Magdalene is called "Companion", which is the title given to Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of Philip where she is called the Companion or Wife of Jesus
Magdalene called Companion by James Kessler

Margaret Starbird writes:

 

I just received the link to a rather amazing “portrait” of Mary Magdalene that the Christian artist, James Kessler, calls “Companion” (the epithet given to Mary in the Gospel of Philip).  I thought some of you might like to see it:  Www.InChristVictorious.com

peace and light,
Margaret
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”

Listen to this Mary Magdalene Joan Norton Interview!

Just listened to this short but awesome interview of our dear friend Joan Norton, author of The Mary Magdalene Within, on the radio the other day on Magdalene’s feastday… you gotta hear it…  I love the way Joan so lucidly relates the truth, the hidden truth, of Our First Lady of Christianity.

The Maria Sanchez Show KVTA July 22 Joan Norton

–Katia

Bloodline the Movie, evidence of Magdalene & Jesus in France

Magdalen Papess Card by Robert PlaceEveryone is talking about — and my friend Joan Norton, author of The Mary Magdalene Within, is blogging about — the mysterious film coming out next month called Bloodline: the Movie. The filmmakers interviewed Margaret Starbird whose work we very much appreciate and very much study in our Order of Mary Magdala. Margaret told us on our Yahoogroups forums she doesn’t even remember a word she said the day they interviewed her because producer Bruce Burgess showed up on her doorstep, cameras in tow, just hours after she had learned of the death of her beloved father. She had forgotten he was even coming. Evidently the interview ended up being quite powerful because the Bloodline movie people have posted it in full to their website (click on Screening Room).  I need to go over and have a look. They also have an interview with the supposed head of the Priory of Sion, an organization I thought was basically made-up by Frenchman Pierre Plantard (of Holy Blood Holy Grail fame). The film claims to be following up on the mysteries of the groundbreaking book Holy Blood, Holy Grail (as brought into the public forum by DaVinci Code), a sort of whodunnit digging thru clues and artifacts in France and uncovering a chest of treasures dating to 1st Century France. Somewhere online a few years ago I saw photos of the contents, on a website of one of the filmmakers, I believe. Anyway, there was a scroll (I think) and a cup (the Holy Grail?) and some other items. Very cool. Then the Indiana Jones type explorers found a tomb with a mummy draped in a shroud bearing a red cross.

It sounds a bit fantastic, too good to be true, but hey, I will be in the front row watching the movie and taking notes. Well actually, I don’t live where it’s going to be screening! Bloodline: The Movie is being shown only in limited theaters in Los Angeles — and maybe New York? Joan has it posted on her blog where you can go view it in L.A. on May 9, I think it is. They are going to have a question and answer session after the premier. Then it’s going straight to DVD after that, so the rest of us won’t have to wait too long.

Sophia, copyright Hrana Janto, used with artist permission. Note her wings, holy spirit dove, pregnant belly with crescent moonThe blogs and forums are all discussing the topic and it’s good to have dialog about our favorite Christian “theory”, that Magdalene and Yeshua were married and the Sacred Union is at the heart of Christianity.I say theory because as Margaret Starbird often quips, “we don’t have a marriage certificate!” Having both a Christian Goddess and God is a spiritual “doctrine” that brings Christianity into balance, no longer a lop-sided dysfunctional religion, but one with heart AND soul. I believe Mother Mary was also a Judeo-Christian Goddess, an incarnation of Sophia, the God-ess mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as being co-creator with God, called the Holy Spirit and Tree of Life. See Proverbs 8 and the apocryphal book of Sirach.

You and I have Christian goddesses! — and acknowledging them can make all the difference in our spiritual practices.

As for the Bloodline Movie, I only hope they are not gonna say that mummy is Jesus’, since we just went thru all that agony (and I believe, nonsense, call me a snob) over the Talpiot Tomb.

If they imply it is Magdalene’s body, then okay, I can handle that. I guess I can even be open to it being Yeshua’s, since I do believe after the resurrection he lived among his disciples awhile (one Gnostic text says 11 years!) teaching and getting the teachings preserved. I mean, he died to deliver that message, so it makes sense he’d want them to get it right. Okay, we didn’t said message so well back then, but he, Magdalene and their students seeded the earth’s consciousness so to speak so that now we can get the point, or at least work on getting the mystery. Digging around the ‘Net, contemplating and pondering, researching, studying ancient wisdom, is delving into those mysteries…

What mysteries are you studying, pondering or digging into lately?

–Katia