For anyone who saw Morgan Freeman’s “The Story of God”, please do not believe that “666” — the number of the beast” — is to be identified with “Caesar Nero.” That theory is half-baked at best!
The number 666 is the ancient Greeks’ (Pythagorean) equivalent of “Yang” energy in the extreme: “power without mercy.” It is the power of the sword, the crocodile, the dictator, the predator in any form–including Nero, but also Caligula, the Roman Inquisition, Hitler, the holocaust, ISIL… and you get the picture. The Beast is “masculine-solar” energy stripped of its “feminine-lunar” counterpart — now rampant and uncontrolled.
The earliest Scriptural references of “666” are found in the Hebrew Bible: 1 Kings 10:14 and 2 Chronicles 9:13: “The weight of gold paid in yearly tribute to Solomon was 666 golden talents.” Apparently “666” golden talents was a fitting tribute for a powerful king — a pure reflection of his status.
Using John Michell as a major source, I explain this pretty thoroughly in my 1995 title, Magdalene’s Lost Legacy: Symbolic Numbers and Sacred Union in Christianity — especially in the two chapters about the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) in that book: http://margaretstarbird.net/magdalenes_lost_legacy.html
Question for Margaret Starbird
Posted by: “Pamela Lanides”
Date: Sun Apr 17, 2016
Dear Mrs. Starbird,
I have a couple of Jewish friends who will say that during the time of
Jesus, no rabbi would be accepted if he had not been married and so it
would be perfectly plausible that Jesus and MM were married.
However, some Christian scholars will turn around and state that there
were many celibate men at the time of Jesus who were considered to be holy
Is the latter statement true, in your estimation?
Margaret Starbird writes:
Dear Rev. Pamela,
My major source for believing that marriage was a “cultural imperative” for Jewish males is Dr. William E. Phipps, head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Davis and Elkins College (West Virginia). Dr. Phipps wrote two books on the subject, “The Sexuality of Jesus,” and “Was Jesus Married?” A Jewish father in the first century had 5 duties toward his son:
1) Have him circumcised on the 8th day after his birth; 2) offer an offering in the temple on his behalf; 3) teach him Torah; 4) teach him a trade (so he could support himself and his family); and
5) find him a wife before his 18th birthday (20th birthday if the son was studying to be a rabbi). If the father failed to find a wife for his son, the community elders helped him! Apparently girls were not required to marry, but boys were!
Occasionally Christians suggest the the Essenes were unmarried, but when females were found in tombs in the cemetery at Qumran, they had to revise that assertion. What appears to be true is that Essene males would leave their wives and families for a period of training and then return to them. Life-long celibacy was not condoned. It was a breach of the first commandment God gave to Adam in Genesis: “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Christian exegetes occasionally mention Rabbi Akiba (2nd century) who devoted his life to studying Scripture, but the Talmud says in several other places that he was married and then divorced his wife so that he would have more time for his studies, so even his (often cited case for celibacy) is unclear.
If your Christian friends can name a 1st c. Jewish man who was unmarried, that would surprise me. A “beardless youth” is not yet old enough to marry and St. Paul, who claims to be celibate during his ministry, also asserts that he is a Pharisee, so he must have been either widowed or divorced. Divorce was really easy back in those times, so many men may have enjoyed that single state…. but they were not “life-long celibates.”
The Hebrew language did not have a word for “bachelor.” The word they now use is “ravak”—which means “empty.”
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, made a prescient comment on the new moral reality in an article in the the Wall Street Journal in 2011, warning, “A tsunami of wishful thinking has washed across the West saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.”
Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/64582/temple-baal-ancient-idol-worshiped-biblical-times-will-stand-times-square-biblical-zionism/#qTTDPdJsT9WZX3Ot.99
The Mormons / LDS believe in the existence of a Heavenly Mother. It was taught in the 1830’s by their founder Joseph Smith, and is still believed today although they like to keep the doctrine on the down-low so as not to be accused of goddess-worship and / or worshiping the Whore of Babylon or something. They also believe Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children, Joseph Smith once claiming to be a descendant of Jesus. Holy Blood, Holy Grail and the DaVinci Code right there in the 19th Century!
From the Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings, pg. 436; “’Will I know my mother as my mother when I get over on the Other Side?’ asked a little girl. ‘Certainly you will,’ was the instant reply of the Prophet [Joseph Smith]. ‘More than that, you will meet and become acquainted with your eternal Mother, the wife of your Father in Heaven.’
‘And have I then a Mother in Heaven?!’ exclaimed the astonished girl. ‘You assuredly have. How could a Father claim His title unless there were also a Mother to share that parenthood?'”
“Logic and reason would certainly suggest that if we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. That doctrine rests well with me. However, in light of the instruction we have received from the Lord Himself, I regard it as inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven… The fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her. None of us can add to or diminish the glory of whom we have no revealed knowledge” – LDS apostle Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign Magazine, November 1991
In the Book of Mormon one of the characters Nephi has a vision of the Tree of Life and it immediately makes him think of Mother Mary. The Asherah Tree and Queen of Heaven connection of Mother Mary cannot be a coincidence. Joseph Smith studied Kabbalah, Freemasonry and the occult, which is very cool. The Tree of Life is the major teaching of Kabbalah.
I looked at this slideshow article with a “you won’t gotcha me!” attitude, I have a Ph.D. in Religion thank you very much. But sure enough, they got me with the second one. I’ve never heard of a certain Japanese sect they describe.
The Vietnamese religion mentioned was also fuzzy for me, but I do recall studying it years ago in comparative religions.
See if they can catch you! http://www.patheos.com/Galleries/Obscure-Religions
Please watch this short, awesome video…and read my reaction below
I got teary-eyed watching that video and I am not even a Jew. What got me emotional was the whole idea of clinging onto your heritage no matter what, while surrounded by murderous hostility. Resisting the cultural assimilation demand to “be exactly like us or DIE!”, is valiant indeed. As is not falling for the insidious, less violent pressure to just give in and conform.
Light of the World
As I always tell my children each year, “Yeshua and Magdalene, Mother Mary and Joseph — they all celebrated Hanukkah every year.” It’s amazing how long the Jewish people have made it in a world surrounded by brutal enemies without being stamped out.
Another inspiring part of the video was the concept of light in the darkness, and each of us having an inner light. As followers of Yeshua the Jewish Sage and Messiah, we also know him as the Light of the World and his birthday also occurs along with Chanukah during the dark time of the year, the Winter Solstice. Our inner light, as mentioned in the video, is also a reflection of the Messiah-Light. We must choose to allow our inner light to shine forth. Otherwise it won’t. Think of songs like “Let your light shine,” and “This Little Light of mine”.
Other ironic-seeming connections that come to mind as I type:
Christos is the Greek word for Messiah (means anointed one) and the earliest followers of Yeshua were called “Little Messiahs” or Little-Christos aka “christians”. The first place that word “christian” was used was in Antioch, Syria. Syrian Christians are very ancient — the Assyrian Christians. Now that city is called Antakya, Turkey because a century or so ago the moslem Turks stole it from the Syrian Christians, burned the entire city-center, chased out the Christian inhabitants, and incorporated Antioch into the country of Turkey. It’s very near the land whose air-space the Russian jet flew over for 17 seconds last week causing the Turks to shoot it down.
Ancient events and ancient peoples do seem to tie into current events more and more these days. Be sure to LET your light shine in the darkness. A little light can move a lot of darkness, goes the saying. Help those around you to keep theirs burning, too. Bring out the best in each other, not the opposite!
Because the present orbit of the planet Venus makes a perfect pentagram around the sun every eight years, the 5-pointed star has long been associated with Venus.
Henry Lincoln’s book The Holy Place shows some amazing diagrams of 5- and 6-pointed star configurations using the alignment of cornerstones of medieval churches in an area of Provence around Rennes-le-chateau that he says were designed as a temple honoring Mary Magdalene (as the Christian incarnation of Venus).
A fascination with Venus and her movements is well documented from pre-historic times by Immanuel Velikovsky in a book called Worlds in Collision. According to Velikovsky, ancient peoples looked to the skies for their “gods”—and associated them with the planets, because the planets’ orbits were not yet “fixed.” He theorized that Venus had an erratic orbit that brought her too close to earth on a “near collision” course on a regular circuit (about 50 years)—causing world-wide havoc: floods, volcanoes, tidal waves, even shifts of the world’s axis. Finally, after a final “close encounter” with the earth, she “bounced” away and was forced into her present orbit which was benign. This theory is borne out to some degree by the mythology of Inanna (associated with Venus). In her earliest myths, Inanna was the goddess of war and destruction, but she later became the goddess of love. Ancient Sumerians who had feared her in the past, suddenly began extolling her beauty and benevolence in their liturgies.
Perhaps it was the association with Venus (“divine feminine”) that prompted Eliphas Levi (the former Catholic priest) to identify the pentagram with evil/Satan? The Catholic Church has a history of negative attitudes toward women. St. Thomas Aquinas (13th c) taught that if a woman conceived a female child it was due to a “defect in the mother or the effect of a humid south wind.” Here’s a quote from St. Jerome (d. 420), who first translated the Bible from Greek into Latin: “Woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness . . . a perilous object.” They are reflecting sentiments from the New Testament epistles of Paul and the author of 2 Timothy marginalizing women in the earliest church: “I do not allow a woman to speak or to have authority over men.” And then, a quote from Tertullian, one of the early Church “fathers” taking us back to Genesis and the “Fall”: “Do you know that each of you women is an Eve? You are the gate of Hell, the temptress of the forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of Divine Law.” Gender bias is as ancient as the Scriptures….
Deborah L Shutek-Jackson, author of the Magdalene Legacy Tarot, writes:
Yes, Margaret, as you have pointed out, gender bias is as old as the scriptures, which is why I believe that Moses took the story of Adam and Eve and twisted it against Eve to satisfy the “God” upon which he conversed with (who was quite a gender biased god, himself) The inference that woman was created as a sidekick for man is biologically incorrect.
We are initially all women at the start of conception. The Y chromosome is not there to directly create the male organs, but rather to affect the creation of specific messengers within the pregnant female. As long as these “messengers” are not blocked from being created in the mother, they will enter the fetus’ bloodstream and recreate the initial beginnings of male genitalia. Once this important task of the mother is complete, the testicles of the now “male” child will continue to produce chemicals via the newly forming genitals which will take over from there. If anything, Man was created for Woman.
It is the Adam and Eve story itself that has cast a great deal of error and misogyny on earth. So my question has always been WHY was the erroneous story written in the first place? Who originated the twisted version and for what purpose?
I do find it very interesting that a very twisted version of the goddess exists in the ancient Egyptian stories of Bast, Sekhemet, and even Het Hert (Hathor), which begin to appear far earlier than the apple in the garden story. Almost a corrupted version of the feminine principle, itself (IMHO)
This image says it all: whether we are Atheist, Religious, White, Black, Straight, Gay, – Our skeletons are all the same! The Pirates with wooden legs are the only “minorities” when ashes come to ashes and dust comes to dust.
This image is like a political cartoon that makes you stop and think during all the controversy today regarding race relations and gay marriage, not to mention the religious wars all over the planet.
Words of wisdom fell like pearls (as usual) out of the Dalai Lama on the desperate need for people of all faiths to work together at this juncture in human history. But not as usual, they were spoken to Glenn Beck. T’was an awesome conversation on interfaith-ism. (I think that needs to be a word, interfaithism)
Glenn Beck told the Dalai Lama about the interfaith work he himself is doing “trying to bring different faiths together without mixing our theology,” in hopes of repairing some of the religious strife ripping the world apart these days.
The Dalai Lama replied the way in which religions hate each other so much “is one of the biggest heartbreaks of his life right now.”
The Buddhist Pope as he’s been called says “we are dividing ourselves. That we’re being so foolish by dividing ourselves when we all will stand together. We all have similar, if not the same goal. Any good religion has the same goal, and that is happiness, love, and peace. And if we can’t unite on that goal as humans — because he said everybody on earth needs to recognize that we’re all equal, that we are all the same. We’re all human. We’re all born, and we all want to be happy. But as he said, there is some troublemakers in that lot as well. And he said many of the troublemakers are highly educated people that are using their position to crush others. He said we’re social animals and yet we’re very self-centered, and those two things don’t match. He said we have to get back to the basics — his words — back to the basics, because this is not good for our future, to be so self-centered, if we have to have each other to lean on. And he counseled that we begin to be friends again. He said friendship comes from trust. Trust comes from caring and serving others.”
Read the entire conversation and see a short video clip of the two here at The Blaze.
A recent claim says the Cathar heretics never existed. You may have heard of them, the Cathars were persecuted (hunted, burned) by the Roman Church in the Dark Ages and had to go underground. Margaret Starbird nicely refutes the claim they never existed (see below). I love her take on it, especially the way she likened the Cathar heretics to the Tea Party “heretics” today!
The Cathars — or “Purist Christians” — did indeed exist. Over 200 of them were burned alive at Montsegur, France in 1244. So uh yeah, I think they existed. The historical record agrees. See Cathars. The cool map above shows their location and dioceses.
Why The Cathars Never Existed, an interview with Dr. Pegg
Published on May 16, 2015 YouTube episode: https://youtu.be/O4-imkYbPWw https://youtu.be/O4-imkYbPWw
The Cathars are known as the greatest heresy of the Middle Ages, perhaps in all of western culture. Yet new scholarship reveals that the Cathars never existed. They were a fabrication and projection of both heresy hunters and romance hunters. We deeply understand one of the greatest historical mistakes in all times, as well as how it forces much of medieval history to be completely rewritten, including that of Christianity…and Gnosticism and Occultism as well.
********Margaret Starbird responds:**************
I listened to this entire interview with Dr. Pegg posted on YouTube. I agree with his assessment that “Catharism” did not exist as an organized religion (with central leadership, foundational documents and doctrines) in the 12-13th centuries. What DID exist were numerous groups of people (like St. Francis of Assisi) who used the Gospels (translated into their own Old French dialect, the Langue doc), to interpret the presence and teachings of Jesus in ways that challenged the rigid hegemony of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The German word for “heresy” is “Ketzerei,” which is suggested a possible source for the word “Catari” (Cathars). But the Latin root (“cathar”) means “pure.” Apparently medieval heretics claimed that their faith was “purer” than that of Rome. St. Bernard of Clarivaux was sent to examine the heretics of southern France and proclaimed that no teachings were more Christian than theirs. My own belief is that these “heretics” (now called “Albigensian” — the general region where they lived—or “Cathars”) were actually Christians who embraced the Gospel of John with its radical message the Christ was present in their daily lives and “walk with the Spirit.” Researchers have always known that the medieval “Cathars” didn’t leave charters and documents. They were living and preaching a “life in the Spirit”—not creating a formal religion.
Also permeating the underground faith of the region was the “great secret” the Jesus and Mary Magdalene were “Beloveds”—attested in a History of the Albigensians written in 1213 by Pier vaux-de-Cerrnay. I have visited the church in Beziers where the “Cathars” and other villagers who sought sanctuary were burned to death when the church was torched on Mary Magdalene’s feast day, 22 July, 1209. Pier Vaux-de-Cernay, a chronicler who wrote about the event in 1213 said that it was Divine Providence to punish the Cathars on that day for their slanderous belief that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were lovers. Other medieval documents assert the “Cathar” belief that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were husband and wife, and apparently this is one of the reasons the Roman Catholic Church was so eager to suppress them. Of course the annals of the Inquisition would not record this belief of the heretics; why would they want to perpetuate the heresy they are trying to squelch?
As discussed in two of my books, “The Woman with the Alabaster Jar” and “Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile,” the art and artifacts of medieval Europe retain evidence for the heresy of the “Sacred Partnership” of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Dr. Pegg may well be correct in his view that “Catharism” never existed as an organized religion, but the fact that P. aux-de-Cernay’s “History of the Albigensians” was written in 1213 would prove that the heresies of Provence were virulent and brutally suppressed by the Church of Rome. Those heresies were an anti-clerical “grass roots” movement that grew out of the Gospels themselves—encouraged by wandering preachers. In a way they are like the modern “Tea Party” movement— a group of like-minded citizens unite in the belief that the central government in DC (like the Roman Church of the 12th -13c) is hopelessly corrupt and is distorting their “foundation documents” and teachings (the Constitution of the USA today, the Gospels in medieval Europe). The “heretics” in both cases are only loosely connected by certain core beliefs—not in any formal, institutional sense.
I was amused that Dr. Pegg mentioned [the book] The DaVinci Code, since Dan Brown, a novelist writing fiction, borrowed his ideas from Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and from two my books (which he mentioned in DVC). I would have liked for De. Pegg to have commented on the massacre at Beziers in 1209 and on the siege at Montsegur and burning of 200+ heretics there in 1244… are they not history and incontrovertible proof that “Cathars” existed and were persecuted into near extinction?
Peace and light,
www.margaretstarbird.net The Woman with the Alabaster Jar