Sacred Partnership of Jesus & Magdalene

Magdalene anointing Jesus
Magdalene Anoints Jesus making him “the anointed one” aka the Messiah

Margaret Starbird wrote on the GoddessChristians forum:

When Pope Francis announced that Mary Magdalene’s “Memorial” on 22 July would henceforth be an official Feast Day of the Catholic Church, he commented that “She loved Jesus and Jesus loved her.”

I’ll be doing an interview with Kris Steinnes for “Women of Wisdom” on Friday afternoon October 14th (1-2 PM Pacific; 4-5 Eastern)–centered on the Sacred Partnership of Jesus and Mary Magdalene at the heart of the earliest Christian community. Please tune in here for the live broadcast or later archived segment: http://www.transformationradio.fm/host/kris-steinnes,16.html

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

Mary Magdalene Feast Day July 22nd

July means Mary Magdalene Day is coming!

July 22nd in centuries-old church tradition is considered Magdalene’s birthday and Feast Day. She is the only woman in history about whom Jesus said, “people will tell this story in memory of her”. The story Jesus meant is the story of Magdalene anointing his head and feet as if for burial, but symbolizing the anointing him as messiah. Messiah is a word meaning “anointed one” and she is the only person in the Bible who anoints him. You recall the rest of the story when she weeps and dries his feet with her hair.

In June 2016 the Pope finally declared July 22nd to be Magdalene’s special Feastday again (in the 1960s they had demoted her holiday but people still celebrated it)

Margaret Starbird writes:

The Pope’s recent pronouncement declares Mary Magdalene about equivalent with the Apostles, but we should not be satisfied until she is acknowledged as the Sacred Partner—Bride and Beloved—of Christ. If you have read my “Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile,” the epilogue expresses my position: “Who do we say she is?” Until Mary Magdalene is proclaimed as the true partner and co-Redemptrix with Christ, my work is not done. It thrills me to know that other, younger women understand this need to balance the masculine energy, stripped of its feminine partner—and are willing to carry on the effort to enlighten others.

Pregnant Mary Magdalene Married Jesus
Jesus & Magdalene portrayed as married and pregnant. 19th Century Scottish Church

The Book of Revelation ends with the Nuptials of the Lamb and his Bride—a union of the Masculine and Feminine—Lord and Lady of our hearts, as in the “marriage window” from the Dervaig Kilmore chapel [pictured right] —a union of archetypes that causes streams of living water to flow from the throne of God– “for the healing of the nations.”

So, in light of the honor that should have been hers for two millennia, proclaiming her feast day “official” is not nearly enough for me! But I love the Pope for taking this small step in the right direction.

I hope you are aware of my two best arguments for Mary as “Bride”: Micah 4:8-11 -The Magdal-eder prophecy which sums up her post-Crucifixion fate in four lines, and the sacred number of the “153 fishes,” a metaphor for the Church as “Bride” in John 21. The gematria of “H Magdalhnh”–153—is also associated with the vesica piscis and goddesses of love and fertility. I consider these two discoveries that prove the the authors of the Gospels acknowledged Mary Magdalene as the consort of Christ as my most important contributions to the Magdalene “unveiling.”

In memory of her—

Margaret
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”
www.margaretstarbird.net

Pope Francis Restores Magdalene’s Feast Day

Gabriele shared the following Catholic News Service article with our GoddessChristians forum

Things definitely seem to be moving in the right direction!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/pope-elevates-memorial-of-st-mary-magdalene-to-feast-day.cfm

Pope elevates memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to feast day
By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service

June 10, 2016

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Recognizing St. Mary Magdalene’s role as the first to witness Christ’s resurrection and as a “true and authentic evangelizer,” Pope Francis raised the July 22 memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to a feast on the church’s liturgical calendar, the Vatican announced.

A decree formalizing the decision was published by the Congregation for Divine Worship June 10 along with an article explaining its significance.

Both the decree and the article we re titled “Apostolorum Apostola” (“Apostle of the Apostles”).

In the article for the Vatican newspaper, Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the congregation, wrote that in celebrating “an evangelist who proclaims the central joyous message of Easter,” St. Mary Magdalene’s feast day is a call for all Christians to “reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the new evangelization and the greatness of the mystery of divine mercy.”

“Pope Francis has taken this decision precisely in the context of the Jubilee of Mercy to highlight the relevance of this woman who showed great love for Christ and was much loved by Christ,” Archbishop Roche wrote.

While most liturgical celebrations of individual saints during the year are known formally as memorials, those classified as feasts are reserved for important events in Christian history and for saints of particular significance, such as the Twelve Apostles.

In his apostolic letter “Dies Domini” (“The Lord’s Day”), St. John Paul II explained that the “commemoration of the saints does not obscure the centrality of Christ, but on the contrary extols it, demonstrating as it does the power of the redemption wrought by him.”

Preaching about St. Mary Magdalene, Pope Francis highlighted Christ’s mercy toward a woman who was “exploited and despised by th ose who believed they were righteous,” but she was loved and forgiven by him.

Her tears at Christ’s empty tomb are a reminder that “sometimes in our lives, tears are the lenses we need to see Jesus,” the pope said April 2, 2013, during Mass in his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Pope Francis also mentions her specifically in the prayer he composed for the Year of Mercy: “Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured paradise to the repentant thief.”

Archbishop Roche explained that in giving St. Mary Magdalene the honor of being the first person to see the empty tomb and the first to listen to the truth of the resurrection, “Jesus has a special consideration and mercy for this woman, who manifests her love for him, looking for him in the garden with anguish and suffering.”

Drawing a comparison between Eve, who “spread death where there was life,” and St. Mary Magdalene, who “proclaimed life from the tomb, a place of death,” the archbishop said her feast day is a lesson for all Christians to trust in Christ who is “alive and risen.”

“It is right that the liturgical celebration of this woman has the same level of feast given to the celebration of the apostles in the general Roman calendar and highlights the special mission of this woman who is an example and model for every woman in the church.”

Time to allow women to be Ordained Priests?

One of our other members, Klaus M. in Germany posted after hearing the news:

After Franziskus’ “Magdalenian decision”:
The next step now should to be allow women becoming priestesses in the RCC!
For those who are interested to read the Magdalene elevation in German:

Earliest Origins of Christianity Survey – Married Jesus, Paul founder, Magdalene?

Jesus in India Origins of ChristianityJust completed this online survey asking what topics I’m interested in regarding the origins of Christianity.  T’was quick and easy. I urge others to go answer the questions.  Hi Margaret — Good luck to your author friend, Barry. Asking future readers what they wanna read about is a good idea! I look forward to his book when it comes out!

+Katia

—–Original Message—–
From: Margaret Starbird Starbird@wa.net
To: goddesschristians <goddesschristians@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Jun 3, 2016
Subject: [GoddessChristians] questionnaire

I’m posting here a link to a questionnaire sent me by a friend who is exploring the idea of writing a Q and A book about the origins of Christianity. The questions are designed to inform the author about which topics would be of most interest to the reading public. The questionnaire only took me about 5 minutes to complete—please take a look and help if you can by filling it out yourselves. Barry would really appreciate as much feedback as he can get for this project.
Thank you for your help and interest!
peace and light,
Margaret 
“Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile”

Is it Spiritually Immature to Believe in Mother-God? Can Deity Have a Physical Body?

Pregnant Mary Magdalene Married Jesus
Jesus & Magdalene portrayed as married and pregnant. 19th Century Scottish Church

On May 27, 2016 Pamela Lanides wrote on GoddessChristians Forum:

[The following] blogger does not agree with many Goddess Christian beliefs or the teachings of Margaret Starbird.

While his article begins with the various holy grail mythologies and the Priory of Sion hoax, if we scroll way down to Holy Bloodline, we can see that he “exposes” the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene (sometimes abbreviated MM) as a myth.

In another article, he seems to reject the idea of MM being any type of Goddess:

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-america-unearthed-s03e12-the-templars-deadliest-secret-the-chase.

In yet another article he states: The Holy Bloodline myth derives from the semi-fictional pseudo-history book Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, which used poor scholarship and unreliable sources to develop the idea that Mary Magdalene married Jesus and had children by him who eventually gave rise to the Merovingian royal house. The claim has little textual support beyond some ambiguous Gnostic references to the pair kissing.

This link is interesting, I had never heard of a tradition that MM was married to John the Evangelist:

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/mary-magdalene-in-eastern-and-western-church-lore.

In this article, http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/america-unearthed-new-season-clip-bees-are-the-key-to-finding-the-holy-bloodline-of-jesus, he refers to the Magdalene-goddess conspiracy.

He also mentions: imaginary Mary Magdalene cults.

This is his view on the idea of Jesus and Mary Magdalene having a child: http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/the-bizarre-argument-for-a-son-of-jesus-in-the-gospels-without-god. Granted, he is speaking about a son, but he discounts the notion of Jesus and Mary having a child in other articles, as well.

If you do a search on Jason Colavito and Mary Magdalene, or Jason Colavito and Margaret Starbird (while he only mentions alternative writers, some of the follow-up comments do mention her, specifically), or the author and DaVinci, or the author and the bloodline of Jesus, or Jesus and Mary Magdalene being married, or Mary Magdalene as Goddess, etc., all kinds of articles from his archives will come up.

Mass Burning of the Cathars by the Roman Catholic Church
Mass Burning of the Cathars by the Roman Catholic Church

[And now a link to] his rather bizarre views on the Cathars, based upon the writing of their enemy, a Roman Catholic and further based upon his own translation of the Latin text. When challenged, in the comment section, about his authority to translate the difficult Latin, his response was that he had been ‘reading Latin since he was a teenager’. There is no mention of studying the language at a University level.

This is his view of the Cathars: http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/the-cathars-and-mary-magdalene-the-account-of-peter-of-les-vaux-de-cernay.

Anyway, unless I am completely misreading this blogger’s articles, which I may well be, he does not seem to feel that many Goddess Christian beliefs hold any validity. I think he would consider the beliefs of many Goddess Christians to be fringe conspiracies. –PAMELA

KATIA WRITES:  We are the fringe of Christianity in our belief in a Divine Feminine / Heavenly Mother and her earthly incarnations as Magdalene. Some people don’t believe as we do that down thru the millennia Godhead might choose to manifest as a woman, not always a man, that a Heavenly Father REQUIRES a Heavenly Mother since no parent arrives at parenthood alone.

Genesis says, “Let US make man in OUR image…. Male AND female”. Both sexes made up the heavenly creator-couple’s “image”.

God the Mother Genderless Holy Spirit is Female
God the Mother as part of the Trinity on a church ceiling in Urschalling Germany

Heavenly Mother may have manifested / incarnated as Mother Mary, and Magdalene may be a Daughter of God like Jesus is a Son of God. To our Creator, women are not second best humans that must struggle extra hard to develop their spirituality by breaking social norms to spend time with a male teacher (Jesus). How cruel that would be. Jesus had a partner, a woman who could teach the women and sometimes talk to men, just as Jesus spoke mostly to male disciples but sometimes to women. When he preached he preached to both genders, but one on one teaching was lopsided male-to-male as we know, and the beautiful story of Martha wanting her sister Mary to come into the kitchen and leave Jesus’ bible-study lesson illustrates how difficult it was for women to study at all in those days.

The women of Luke 8, and Magdalene are probably all that remains in the canonized Church approved scriptures to hint at this women’s studies contingent of Jesus’ ministry. Of course if a deity manifesting as a female human makes you uncomfortable you don’t have to believe Magdalene or Mother Mary were divine aka “a god” like it was later claimed Jesus was. Jesus never claimed to be a god anyway. He barely even claimed to be the messiah! (Note: Jews do not and have not ever taught the Messiah is God or a god)

What IS a god, male or female or genderless? Can humans embody them at least temporarily? To me, the Creator, the Intelligent Designer, is God. If the Creator is a Godhead made up of more than one personage, and I think it is, then it makes sense it would be male and female. If God is One — no Godhead personages — then a transcendent genderless Being could be the Absolute Source Deity. We just don’t know which it is — or if both could be true. The Bible doesn’t say, it clearly makes God of the male gender and hints with words like Elohim, Queen of Heaven, and the Genesis quote, that a female gender is there, too in a Godhead.

Most of us in this forum also believe in the Sacred Marriage as a model found but suppressed in both ancient Judaism and earliest Christianity.

It’s okay, we are used to being fringe in this area. It doesn’t mean we believe in many of the less logical myths about Judeo-Christianity such as it originated in Atlantis, or that the Holy Family and half the tribes of Israel were really white non-semitic British people. Archaeology and DNA studies show without exception that the 12 tribes and Jesus’ family were all middle eastern.

Did Joseph of Arimethea travel to Britain? — quite possible considering what was going on in Britain during the reigns of Tiberius and later Claudius.

Just my opinions of course, but I see why scholars look askance at all fringe beliefs when they lump us believers in a male-and-female Godhead in with the extremely fringe stuff such as: UFO astronauts with oxygen tanks and all, came to earth and seeded it.

No Evidence for a Genderless God or Female God but both feel right / make sense

While discussing with my three young daughters our current God-gender topic, a thought occurred to me — I put it in the subject line of this email.

THE EVIDENCE

  1. God is genderless and / or beyond gender

We have zero evidence, although perhaps some very veiled hints, in Judeo-Christian scripture that God is “beyond gender”, is gender-less, is above and beyond physical bodies, anatomy, reproductive organs. Yet, on some level it “feels” right, or “makes sense”, that God/Goddess/It would be transcendent and genderless.

  1.  God is a Godhead with both Male and Female beings

We have zero evidence, except for some loud hints, in Judeo-Christian scripture that God is a Godhead unit made up of at least one male and one female deity.

  1.  God is not genderless, God is Male

The only evidence we have in Judeo-Christian scriptures is that God does have gender, and he is male. Both the Father in Heaven and the Incarnate God on earth Jesus, are male. Male pronouns, male, male, everything male. God the Father, Son and even Holy Spirit are said to be male. There is some small evidence in Hebrew and Greek that the Holy Spirit might also have a Female counterpart (Ruach and Pneuma are feminine-gendered words in Hebrew and Greek for the Holy Spirit), but we all know the mainstream teaching states loud and clear that we have an all-male Godhead.

I homeschool my daughters, and we recently came across this Aristotle teaching:

The 3 Rhetorical Appeals aka Modes of Persuasion

Logos, ethos, and pathos are the three techniques used when trying to convince others. Aristotle taught them in his work Rhetoric.

ETHOS:
Using the power of personality to convince, based on the speaker’s credentials, authority, such as a professor or a known expert in a certain field

LOGOS:
Arguing from logic, reasonableness, rational, proving something is logical and factual using data. Yet it can still be misleading see Wikipedia for explanation how: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modes_of_persuasion#Logos ;

PATHOS:
Appealing to the emotions of the listeners. Here’s Wikipedia:

Pathos (plural: pathea) is an appeal to the audience’s emotions, and the terms sympathypathetic, and empathy are derived from it. It can be in the form of metaphorsimile, a passionate delivery, or even a simple claim that a matter is unjust. Pathos can be particularly powerful if used well, but most speeches do not solely rely on pathos. Pathos is most effective when the author or speaker demonstrates agreement with an underlying value of the reader or listener.

In addition, the speaker may use pathos to appeal to fear, in order to sway the audience. Pathos may also include appeals to audience imagination and hopes; done when the speaker paints a scenario of positive future results of following the course of action proposed.

* * * * * * * * *

So when examining the same Bible, the same evidence, we all can come to different conclusions about the gender or genderlessness of God.

God as Absolute Oneness, in “its” sense as Source and Beingness, not only appeals to our “gut” aka emotions (pathos) but also seems logical, thus logos. But the concept of a genderless god / Creator is not based on any evidence, so perhaps we can’t call it logical. This gets confusing to my feeble brain, so please comment if you can help me out, here.

A balanced male and female Godhead with a Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father appeals to our gut-level common sense on an emotional level and logical level, which is an argument from both pathos and logos, like the above.

A male-only Godhead (Christianity) or male-only solitary God (Judaism, Islam) is argued by the desert religions’ scriptures. All the evidence both written and traditional, says God is male. This seems to be Logos, and indeed Jesus’ gnostic code-name is Logos!, but I think it falls into ethos (again people, help me out here) because it is based on what the authorities have been telling us the past 3000 years.

As I continue to think about this, especially about my very different friends/colleagues Bishop James and Priest Pamela, it dawns on me that some of us lean toward believing pathos more than logos, or ethos more than pathos, etc. I think I have a tendency to go with commonsense “logical” arguments that nevertheless stir my emotions to get me there. Logos and Pathos. Because of all the shoddy scholarship out there and goofy theories as +James points out, I am distrustful of arguments by Ethos. They don’t appeal to me. Except when the ethos is that of my long-ago teacher Margaret Starbird whose ethos still has me a believer! (smile).  Yes, yes, partly I WANT to believe (pathos) and it FEELS right and true, plus makes sense in a commonsense way. But you can’t say, “your beliefs are only based on emotions”.

———-
From: Bishop James  To: goddesschristians May 27, 2016
Re: No Evidence for a Genderless God or Female God but both feel right / make sense

Professor Michael Heiser is a solid OT scholar (Logos Software, Liberty University) and an advocate of a “Divine Council.” This is a link to his site: The Divine Council.com

He also does a series of weekly podcasts that can be found here: Dr. Michael S. Heiser | Biblical Scholar | Author | Semitic Languages Expert

God Among the Divine Council
The Divine Council.com

God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment. Psalm 82:1

“The term divine council is used by Hebrew and Semitics scholars to refer to the heavenly host, the pantheon of divine beings who administer the affairs of the cosmos. All ancient Mediterranean cultures had some conception of a divine council. The divine council of Israelite religion, known primarily through the psalms, was distinct in important ways.”

Michael S. Heiser, “Divine Council,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (ed. Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns; Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Inter-Varsity Press, 2008), 112.

Gender of God, Do Majority of Christians view God as Genderless

Bishop James post on May 27, 2016
Re: No Evidence for a Genderless God or Female God but both feel right / make sense

The vast majority of Christian denominations view God as genderless.

Gender of God in Christianity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bishop Katia writes:

Great summary of Gender of God in Christianity. Thanks for posting it, Bishop James (link at the end if readers didn’t get to read the short article yet). I am glad to see Elohim and other Feminine Divine evidence in the Hebrew Bible was touched upon.  This line in the Roman Catholic section got me a bit peeved, however…(!)

Though Church teaching, in line with its Doctors, holds that God has no literal sex because he has no body (a prerequisite of sex),[11][12] classical and scriptural understanding states that God should be referred to (in most contexts) as masculine by analogy. It justifies this by pointing to God’s relationship with the world as begetter of the world and revelation (i.e. analogous to an active instead of feminine receptive role in sexual intercourse).[13]

Soooo….. because male anatomy is active and female anatomy is passive during sexual intercourse the RCC reasons God “should be referred to as masculine.” Uh-huh. Yet God has no body, they claim. I wonder why God can’t have a body?

God with a body portrayed in artwork from the 1500's
God with a body portrayed in artwork from the 1500’s

Seems like a rip-off that He who is Everything and ominipotent can’t have a body. He walked with Enoch, Adam and Eve — was that a ghost-like shape? Light-being holograph projection? Doesn’t make sense. I think he has a body, an awesome one like the resurrected body of Christ which could walk thru walls and ascend into heaven bodily. Like the resurrected bodies we are going to get some day. Or are they saying Jesus turned into a neuter after the resurrection losing his male anatomy but keeping the wound marks on his hands and feet? Still doesn’t make sense.

Another annoying thing in the excerpt above is the supposed Roman Catholic teaching as fact that God’s relationship to the world is as begetter and this “naturally” led to a “should-ness” of referring to him as a male by analogy.  But doesn’t it seem more natural to view the world as being “born”, not inseminated? Ancient people could have viewed God as a Mother who gave birth to the world and all our souls. Mothers and birth was all around and obvious to ancient people, but not necessarily insemination which is less obvious.  Begetting / insemination still requires a womb and a woman. We need both genders in the Godhead or none at all. This logic that we “should” always refer to God as male is lame.

I believe Source,  Being, the Absolute Deity, “the Force” (like the ancient Monad teaching) existed before Creation and split into God-the-Father and Mother-God in order that Creation could come into existence, in order that conscious sentient beings could come about — us “creatures” — to carry around in our skulls the most differentiated item in the physical Universe, the human brain.

Happy to see these lines in the Wikipedia genderless God article, because it seems to support my personal belief in a male-female Godhead:

Elohim is used to refer to both genders and is plural; it has been used to refer to both Goddess (in 1Ki 11:33), and God (1 Kings 11:31).

Genesis 1:26-27 says that the elohim were male and female,[5] and humans were made in their image.[6]

Glad this info is out there, and that theologians are at least opining about it, writing about it.

I dunno, Bishop James about the vast majority of Christian denominations viewing God as genderless, however. Maybe some of the denominational authorities are saying that on paper in the past 75 years as they deal with the feminist movement in theology and society.  But in my observation, mainstream Christians still view Him as a Him, like the scriptures seem to say he is. Jews certainly still believe and teach God is masculine.

I have visited a lot of different mainstream churches this year so far with my family and have not encountered anyone that believes God is beyond gender. Only in the Mormon Church do you find those who believe there is both Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father.

Some Christian thinkers and theologians may talk/write about the genderless God, but I’ve not heard of it being taught from the pulpit on any kind of scale. Have you, +James? Would be pretty cool if it is being taught.

When the (horribly depressing) book The Shack made waves in Christian Protestant circles several years ago, the ruckus was because the author placed a black matronly woman in the role of Father-God. The discussion of a genderless god came up thanks to the book, but so many mainstream Christians were not able to give up the masculine divine God-the-Father. The author was just “playing pretend” when he made God female in an attempt to make a point that God can morph into any gender we need him to when healing or belief is needed.

The author presented brilliant reasoning for making God a black woman, explaining that God goes beyond gender, takes the form we “need” him/her to, is not limited only to the male gender.  But most of the faithful just chocked it up to poetic license, concluding the author doesn’t really believe God is or can be a woman, just did it to make a point.

Genderless God is an awesome teaching, and I hope it can someday work in a practical sense such as in Sunday School. But it doesn’t appeal to everyday people and Sunday School kids. We like our archetypes. Ah, the pull of beautiful archetypes like the Bridegroom, the Bride, the Saving Hero, the Champion and the Underdog. Genderless is so…. LESS.  <smile> and doesn’t penetrate into the human “story” as nicely as these gender archetypes we’ve been using for millennia. How can you ask kids to pray to an It.  Even Jesus when asked to teach us how to pray knew that we needed gender for our deity and said we should call God, “Our Father” or “Dear Dad,” as others have translated Jesus’s use of the word Abba.

Perhaps a God with no masculine or feminine aspects is one we humans can’t relate to. But Source is surely genderless and can be understood when one is older and “initiated”. I don’t think you could explain to dozens of children staring at you with open faces in Sunday School class that even though the Bible says God is a male and even though the Church teaches the Trinity is 3 men, and even though every song we sing here in Sunday School has God as a Father-figure male, you girls can view Him/It as a female or genderless being.

From: Bishop James To: goddesschristians May 28, 2016
Subject: [GoddessChristians] Re: Gender of God, Do Majority of Christians view God as Genderless

There are people that study those things in depth. One very popular book is Stages of Faith by James W. Fowler III.

A quick summary of the stages he discusses is provided in Wikipedia:

Stage 0 – “Primal or Undifferentiated” faith (birth to 2 years), is characterized by an early learning of the safety of their environment (i.e. warm, safe and secure vs. hurt, neglect and abuse). If consistent nurture is experienced, one will develop a sense of trust and safety about the universe and the divine. Conversely, negative experiences will cause one to develop distrust with the universe and the divine. Transition to the next stage begins with integration of thought and languages which facilitates the use of symbols in speech and play.

Stage 1 – “Intuitive-Projective” faith (ages of three to seven), is characterized by the psyche’s unprotected exposure to the Unconscious, and marked by a relative fluidity of thought patterns.[4] Religion is learned mainly through experiences, stories, images, and the people that one comes in contact with.

Stage 2 – “Mythic-Literal” faith (mostly in school children), stage two persons have a strong belief in the justice and reciprocity of the universe, and their deities are almost always anthropomorphic. During this time metaphors and symbolic language are often misunderstood and are taken literally.

Stage 3 – “Synthetic-Conventional” faith (arising in adolescence; aged 12 to adulthood) characterized by conformity to authority and the religious development of a personal identity. Any conflicts with one’s beliefs are ignored at this stage due to the fear of threat from inconsistencies.

Stage 4 – “Individuative-Reflective” faith (usually mid-twenties to late thirties) a stage of angst and struggle. The individual takes personal responsibility for his or her beliefs and feelings. As one is able to reflect on one’s own beliefs, there is an openness to a new complexity of faith, but this also increases the awareness of conflicts in one’s belief.

Stage 5 – “Conjunctive” faith (mid-life crisis) acknowledges paradox and transcendence relating reality behind the symbols of inherited systems. The individual resolves conflicts from previous stages by a complex understanding of a multidimensional, interdependent “truth” that cannot be explained by any particular statement.

Stage 6 – “Universalizing” faith, or what some might call “enlightenment.” The individual would treat any person with compassion as he or she views people as from a universal community, and should be treated with universal principles of love and justice.

Anthropomorphism, personification and anthropotheism have been analyzed for centuries. A short Wikipedia summary is located at: Anthropomorphism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

STAGES OF FAITH – MY THOUGHTS ON

Thanks for posting Fowler’s Stages of Faith, Bishop James. I have always loved these, and can definitely perceive them in my own life, childhood, teen years, etc. I can recognize the stages in my six children and others whose spiritual life I know intimately, but my anecdotal observation is not always in alignment with the ages Fowler gives. Some people / children / saints(!) seem to merge or completely skip stages. Sometimes he generalizes overmuch in his descriptions as his critics complain, but overall his stages are a nice guide and much can be learned.

Another criticism leveled at Fowler is that his stages of faith can lead to pride and condescension such as, “he’s stuck in an immature/childish stage,” or “I am more spiritually evolved in my faith than so-and-so.” Of course the truly “evolved” in Fowler’s final stage would not be prideful since they are “compassionate to all humans.” Thankfully we can sort of test ourselves for ego by asking, do I view every person with compassion? Do I view every person as a part of my personal inner-circle community (all completely equal brothers and sisters)?, do I think every person regardless of nationality, religion, birthplace, deserves to be heard, deserves perfect justice and caring?

As I think of the political speech and protesting of political speech in the news yesterday, another faith and spirituality aka compassion question comes to mind. Let us ask, “Am I trying to shut this person up?” I also try to ask this question when dealing with children and husbands from time to time!  When we can’t listen to a person we disagree with and cannot answer back with words stating personal arguments and beliefs, things go down hill fast. Shouting and talking over top of people (a form of stifling speech) ensues, but at least that is still using words, the human gift. You and I might dearly wish the person would shut up  — especially if they are yelling at you and not letting YOU be heard. Unfortunately, the next human urge is to get physical, to use our hands and feet to express ourselves when we think words have failed (or we are too lazy to keep trying words). Pushing and shoving come after yelling and screaming. Violence is the result of not letting others speak. (I’m not talking about “violence” used to defend yourself if someone else throws the first punch).  A person with evolved spirituality in the highest stage according to Fowler (and this I agree with him) still loves/has compassion for the protester screaming in their face, still believes that person has a right to be heard, and does not feel the urge to get physical or violent. We are not all saints, so don’t feel bad if when watching the news lately you at least mentally feel the urge to get physical! Hah.

ANTHROPOMORPHISM – MY THOUGHTS ON

Anthropomorphism or personification of deities is considered spiritually “immature”. I totally agree that we should not project onto members of the Godhead human traits and character flaws like adultery, sex-goddess, vengeful jealousy, rape (Zeus), murder, etc.  But I do not believe thinking God or members of the Godhead have a physical form as well as a spiritual form is immature.

Unfortunately, atheists use anthropomorphism as “proof” there is no God and as proof that religions are founded entirely upon human mental delusions. Indeed, in the Wikipedia article on Anthropomorphism (link below), atheist Stewart Guthrie is quoted claiming “all religions are anthropomorphisms”.

In Faces in the Cloudsanthropologist Stewart Guthrie proposes that all religions are anthropomorphisms that originate in the brain’s tendency to detect the presence or vestiges of other humans in natural phenomena.[16]

ALL religions are poppy-cock because it’s really our mind playing tricks on us, see. We’re deluded, immature and un-evolved for believing (shock!) that God creating us in his image is at least partly literal.

Look at this line in the same article:

Anthropomorphism has cropped up as a Christian heresy … This often was based on a literal interpretation of Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them”.[10]

A Christian heresy? Call me a heretic, then. And I am not even a Biblical literalist. Either we have literal bodies or we do not. Because well, the physical Universe, Creation, is LITERAL. Sheesh. I suppose I am considered a heretic for believing we resemble our Creator in our spiritual, mental and physical forms. This aversion to God having a body and/or being physical reminds me of the Gnostic (with a capital G indicating historical Gnostics, not philosophical or spiritual gnostics) loathing of “fleshly” bodies as “corrupt”. The Christian church later adopted this doctrine of physical-is-dirty, hatred of all bodily functions. Bodies are yucky and dirty, God would not have a body. God would not get married, God would not touch an unclean female body in the act of procreation. But doesn’t this mean God can indeed create a rock too heavy for himself to lift? — he can create beings with bodies, yet he can not have one. Or don’t we believe God created us and have walked into the atheist’s use of anthropomorphism. Believing God cannot or does not have a body limits God, and theologians have always said God is limitless.

A heretic is someone who teaches heresy, not merely believes a heresy, and because of creating this GoddessChristians forum and our many Esoteric Mystery School lessons I have been accused of doing just that. Since I think God literally created human beings and the physical Universe, too, I am a heretic for yet another reason in the eyes of the mainstream church — or rather in the eyes of certain borderline-atheist church authorities and theologians. I believe most mainstream Christians are guilty of this “heresy” that Genesis 1:27 can be interpreted literally.  Perhaps many theologians back themselves into a corner because they can’t get to Fowler’s 5th Stage of Faith… embracing the paradoxes and transcending them, embracing both…and instead of either…or. (paradoxes).

The Wikipedia says:

Anthropomorphic deities exhibited human qualities such as beauty, wisdom, and power, and sometimes human weaknesses such as greed, hatredjealousy, and uncontrollable anger. Greek deities such as Zeus and Apollo often were depicted in human form exhibiting both commendable and despicable human traits.

Anthropomorphism in this case is referred to as anthropotheism.[8]

From the perspective of adherents to religions in which humans were created in the form of the divine, the phenomenon may be considered theomorphism, or the giving of divine qualities to humans.

I am sure I am an anthropotheist, and possibly a theomorphist also since I believe in Theosis.

Anthropomorphism should not be confused with connecting to archetypes. Jung discovered the universal archetypes in human consciousness and subconsciousness. The archetypal realm is different from simply personifying supernatural beings. When one connects with an archetype, or a divine being, and sees them in human form, they are not necessarily deluded or “falling for” anthropomorphism. That is what critics say of mystical experiences and why Thomas Aquinas wanted so badly to have one himself, refusing during his long career to criticize such visions/experiences.  St. Paul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus, Mary saw Gabriel in human-like form, and we are specifically and clearly told that humans look like the Creator-God(s), are made exactly “in his image.”  Not “like” his image, or similar to his image, or “after a likeness of” his image, but IN his image, like a cast iron mold.

Supernatural means beyond and above natural, but it does not mean exempt from nor excluded from the natural physical realm. Roman Catholic doctrine teaches on one hand that Jesus was really God-the-Father who took on physical form, “made” himself a body. On the other-hand Roman Catholicism teaches the Trinity that God “sent” his son. The Jesuits love the Jesus-is-really-Father-God-in-the-flesh doctrine and I have often pondered it.  There seems to be truth in both. “I and the Father are One,” said Jesus. It’s a paradox, but it’s okay. We can handle it.

I worry that anthropomorphism and personification are used incorrectly to judge someone’s level of spiritual development. Of course history and our contemporary world reveal countless cases of con artists claiming they’ve seen/heard God, Jesus, Mary, Mohammed etc and committing crimes from incest and rape all the way to genocide based on their false “visions”. That is the dark side of anthropomorphism, really anthropotheism. It is a form of blasphemy to project anthropomorphic things like uncontrolled sexual lust, or murderousness onto God. That negative kind of anthropomorphism is spiritually immature also, but it’s primarily blasphemy, whereas believing God created us in his image is not immature. Nor is such belief denying God also has a transcendent, beyond-gender state of Being.

Like so many things, I believe this argument is a “both…and,” not an “either…or”. We do not have to buy into these (borderline atheistic) statements:

  1. Either God has a human-like form OR he has a completely inhuman abstract form.
  2. Either God has a body OR he does not

Both are true, that is the paradox we encounter and embrace as described in Fowler’s later stages of faith.

  1. God has BOTH a human-like form when he/she/it chooses to AND an abstract ultimate unmanifest Source “form”
  2. God has a body AND does not have a body

Paradoxes are a pain in the neck, but they are so cool when “both ends of the stick” can be mentally grasped — by pushing the mental rational self in his chair and allowing the spiritual self to contribute equally to our “reasoning” process. Or you could just say by transcending the intellect and embracing the paradoxical. It’s gut-level and spirit level “gnowing”, spelled with the g of gnosis.
Remain blessed!

Bishop Katia

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Margaret Starbird writes:

Father Matthew Fox, author of “Original Blessings” and “The Coming of the Cosmic Christ,” offers what I think is “ground zero” for the understanding of “God”— in suggesting that the Divine “indwells” creation and is not separate from it. He calls his theory “Panentheism” (not to be confused with “Pantheism.” I embrace this idea of the Divine Presence in everything: “Take off your shoes, for this is holy ground.” “Practicing the Presence of God” acknowledges that all ground is holy ground, all that is, is Sacred. An Old English spelling of God—“Godde”—seems to reconcile “god” and “goddess” making the question of gender irrelevant. Remember the Jewish “take” is that “God” is beyond all understanding, beyond all imaging.

In my “Goddess in the Gospels” I include discussion of a quote from Job: “Perish the night when it was proclaimed, the child is a boy.” Yet that is a fundamental message of the Christian era: the Child was male. This has led to the “High Christology” that places the human Jesus on a throne in heaven to be worshipped alongside his heavenly Father—to the exclusion of the “Sacred Feminine” that is the “other face of God. As I’ve discussed many times, this adulation of the masculine, stripped of its feminine partner, is playing out now all over the world: the “masculine principle” (solar/666) unleashed without its mitigating “feminine” (lunar/1080) culminates in materialism, hedonism and violence. “When the sun always shines, theres a desert below.” We’re watching the adulation of the masculine principle play out to its bitter end across our planet—

This, in a nutshell, is the whole meaning to the Book of Revelation. The wars and rumors of wars end with the “Marriage of the Lamb” (Rev. 21-22) which causes streams of water to flow from the throne of God….”for the healing of the nations.” As Carl Jung so poignantly insisted, one cannot envision Jesus embracing a church building full of people. He needs to embrace a woman who represents the Community as Bride. In the Christian Gospels, that woman is Mary Magdalene.

In memory of her,
Margaret
Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile
http://margaretstarbird.net/mary_magdalene_bride_in_exi.html

 

Margaret Starbird on Mount St Helens, Magdalene, Sacred Marriage in Christianity

May 18th was the anniversary of the first 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, an event my friends and I considered hugely prophetic. I am a member of a small Roman Catholic prayer community “Emmanuel” that has received incredible “revelation” over a period of years—some of it outlined in my 1998 book, “The Goddess in the Gospels,” relevant to our on-going efforts to reclaim the Bride and the Partnership (Sacred Union) at the heart of the Gospels.

Mount Saint Helens Mt St Helens Magdalene Margaret StarbirdThe mountain (named for a British explorer) bears the name of the Emperor Constantine’s mother Helena who prayed for decades for the conversion of her son to Christianity. It erupted on Pope John Paul II’s 60th birthday (May 18, 1980) and again, a much smaller eruption, on the following Sunday, May 25, the feast of Pentecost. The first eruption of the “fire mountain” caused incredible devastation. The lake that spilled its waters down into the coastland below was called “Spirit Lake.” I knew the place well—our family had spent a fishing vacation there in 1973. We had eaten our dinners in the lodge owned by Mr. Truman—dinners cooked by his wife.

For these reasons, on noticing these dates, I immediately associated the volcano with the Institutional Roman Catholic Church. The Scripture passage I received when I prayed over the volcano’s eruption was from the prophetic book of Jeremiah:

“Beware. I am against you, destroying mountain. I will stretch forth my hand against you, roll you down over the cliffs and make of you a burnt mountain.” (Jer. 51:25). Reading this passage, I was horrified! I was convinced that God was talking about the Church in its present condition. At the time I had never even heard of pedophilia, but I knew about the Vatican Bank scandal and other abuses of power.

Several months later another explosion of Mount St Helen’s occurred, this one on 22 July–the Feast of Mary Magdalene–which in that year fell on the “9th of Av,” the day when Jews in Israel go to the Western Wall to mourn the destruction of their Temple—not once, but twice! One of my prayer group “kinswomen,” who lived in Tel Aviv at the time, planned to go to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem on that day in 1980 and had asked our prayer group to be with her in prayer mourning for the Temple that has not been rebuilt. We had each performed a “novena” in preparation for this event in solidarity with those who mourn the Temple.

The “synchronicities” and connections of these dates on Mount St. Helens’ eruptions were, I believe, enormously prophetic. At the time, my prayer group friends and I had been shown to record dates of important current events and interpret them with a view to the Church calendar of feast days. We all thought that the implied implosion of the Church (Mt. St. Helens)  had to do with the Vatican bank scandals and the cover up of the rumored murder of John Paul I (a ‘story rarely told’). We had as yet no idea of the other devastating internal problems brewing in the Church that included the massive cover-ups of pedophilia.

Here’s what the Mount St. Helens Volcano revealed when we prayed about it:

A damaging implosion would come from within the Church
It would occur during the “watch” of John Paul II
It would cause an the waters of the Holy Spirit to be poured out into the earth (Pentecost, Spirit Lake poured out). The Church was no longer to be the “custodian” of the “waters of Spirit and Truth.”
The denial Jesus was “true man” would be an issue. (Mr. “Truman” had stayed on the mountain and was buried in the slide). He had refused to leave because his WIFE was buried at the site of his fishing camp).
The “Temple” in Jerusalem could not be rebuilt because of the loss of the “Blueprint,” including the denial of “Mary Magdalene” and all she embodies: the “Sacred Feminine,” the “Bride,” the physical body, relatedness to the earth, kinship of all people, feminine wisdom, intuition. 
The model of “Sacred Union” was broken in the cradle of the Christianity–waiting to be restored!

The “revelation” of Mt. St. Helens is discussed more thoroughly in chapter 3 of my book, The Goddess in the Gospels:  http://www.margaretstarbird.net/the_goddess_in_the_gospels.

The systematic denial of the Feminine as “Bride and Beloved” is a core problem underlying the sex and power abuses by priests—a devastating “design flaw” of the early Church perpetrated into the present with tragic consequences.

In memory of her–
Margaret

Margaret Starbird on Oils & Magdalene, Mother Ruah, Song of Solomon

Klaus Mailahn posted:

Oils as symbol of Divine Mother Ruah / Ruach

Last night at BibleTV I saw an interesting sermon of famous US-preacher Bayless Conley. At the beginning he spoke of the Holy Spirit (we call Mother Ruah / Ruach). One of Her most important symbols has been oil, especially oil of anointing and oil for lamps! This special assignment seems to be an indication for the connection between Mother Ruah and Mary Magdalene. For oil of anointing brings to mind Mary Magdalene appearing as Sulamith in Song of Solomon / Song of Songs. Oil for lamps of course has to do with light – and Mary Magdalene is the Pure of Light in the Pistis Sophia and the Illuminated in the Gnosis. William Henry in one of his books calls Her in his subtitle “Illuminator. The woman who enlighted Christ”. In the Revelation 12, Mary Magdalene appears as The Woman clothed with the Sun.
We now can understand better why Hippolyte of Rome (170-236) in his Commentary on the Song of Songs associates Mary Magdalene with Ruah, particularly here:
On Song of Songs 4:1f.: “Look, my friend, my lovely, your are beautiful, your eyes are like doves.” The bridegroom calls this out to Sulamith, in Hippolyte’s opinion, because he has seen the Holy Spirit (Mother Ruah). So Sulamith is associated with Ruah. Writing about the Song of Songs 3:1-4 Hippolyte identifies Sulamith with Mary Magdalene, calls Her “Apostle” and “New Eve”. Commenting on the women going to the tomb of Christ he writes: “Oh, the new instruction, Eve becomes Apostle!”

Mary Magdalene and the Force

On Song of Songs 2:5: “Anoint me with oil and gather apples”. Here Hippolyte defines the oil of anointing as “the force teaching us all, fortifying Christ to the inner human”. So this means Mary Magdalene’s oil of anointing strengthens our connection to Christ. And the apple of Eve is the old symbol of the goddess of love, Aphrodite, identified with Mary Magdalene.  For more on Aphrodite and Mary Magdalene see Ariadne Green: “The mythology of Jesus and Mary Magdalene” http://www.newageinfo.com/myth-Jesus-Magdalene.htm

Margaret Starbird writes of Magdalene the Myrrhophore

Thank you for posting this, Klaus. The connection between Mary Magdalene as “ointment bearer” (Myrrhophore) and the Bride in the Songs of Songs [Solomon] is of immense importance! In the Song of Songs / Solomon, the fragrance of the bride wafts around the king at the banqueting table. In John 12, her fragrance “filled the house.” In both case the fragrance is “nard.” The only passages in all of the Judeo-Christian scriptures where “nard” is mentioned are the Song of Songs and the anointing of Jesus in all four Gospels by “the woman with the alabaster jar.”—

Here are several quotes referencing the “oils” or “fragrance” of the bride:

While the king was on his couch, my nard gave
forth its fragrance. (Song of Solomon 1:12)

Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of
pure nard and anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped
them with her hair. (John 12:3a)

How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride.
How much better…is the fragrance of your oils
than any spice! (Song of Solomon 4:10)

The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume…
and Jesus said, “Leave her alone so that she might
keep it for the day of my burial. (John 12 3b, 7)

The only anointing of Jesus during his ministry was by the woman whom Luke calls a sinner, but John names: She is Mary, the sister of Lazarus. As I pointed out recently on this list, the “Vesica Pisces” associated by gematria (153) with Mary Magdalene’s title is used as a symbol for the “anointing by the Holy Spirit” in Christian art—

Here’s what I posted a week or two ago: “Often when you see a medieval sculpture of Christ seated in glory, he is surrounded by the “vesica piscis” () symbol (the yoni) which is universally associated with the goddesses of love and fertility. In Christianity, the meaning of the () is “anointed by the Holy Spirit”—acknowledging that She is feminine….

In the Gospels themselves, Jesus is anointed by a woman named twice in John’s Gospel (11:2 and 12:3). She is Mary, the sister of Lazarus, associated in Christian art and tradition (until recently!) with the Mary whose title is “the Magdalene,” the one who cries at Jesus’ tomb and meets him resurrected in the Garden on Easter morning.”

This association of the “anointing” with the “Bride” derives from the rituals of fertility cults of the ancient Near East where the bridegroom was anointed by his “Bride” as a prefiguring symbolic of the anointing of the male by the female during coitus. The “vesica piscis” symbol is equated universally with the yoni. Greeks called the symbol the “Matrix,” the “womb,” the “doorway to life” and the “Holy of Holies” – literally the “bridal chamber.” So the use of the vesica piscis in Christian art is a “carry-over” from the ancient rites of heiros gamos—the marriage of the Sacred King and his Holy Bride, who is the representative of the Goddess of the land and people.

Mary Magdalene is clearly cast in the role of the Bride in the Gospels—clearly the instrument of the Holy Spirit anointing the King in advance for his death and burial.

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

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”
 

 

Jesus & Magdalene Marriage Depicted in Church Stained-Glass Window

Church window depicting marriage of Jesus and Mary MagdaleneMargaret Starbird wrote yesterday: My Highland friends Theresa and Barrie Dunford just sent me this link to their webpage about the “Marriage Window” in the Kilmore Church in Dervaig, on the Isle of Mull (Scotland):  http://sacredconnections.co.uk/…/stained-glass-window-myst…/  The page includes information about the artist, Stephan Adam and his connections with the 19th c. “Pre-Raphealite” circle (DG Rosetti, Sir EB Jones, et alia), whose many depictions of the Grail Maiden are so wonderful!

God did have a wife, say religious scholars

Thanks to Msgr James for sending this article link about God’s wife and his “divorce” from MotherGod.  See my “theories” after the short article.

Veiled Mother of the World by Russian esoteric Christian Nicholas Roerich
Veiled Mother of the World, 1930, by Russian esoteric Christian Nicholas Roerich

http://www.helium.com/items/2119975-god-had-a-wife

Religious scholar: God had a wife

by Terrence Aym, March 20, 2011

According to theologian and historian Francesca Stavrakopoulou, God had a wife and her name was Asherah.

Wikipedia states that Asherah is mentioned in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Judges, the Books of Kings, the second Book of Chronicles, and the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah. She crosses many of the ancient cultures and the ancient Hebrews saw her as God’s wife or “the Queen of Heaven.” She’s generally considered identical with the Ugaritic goddess Athirat by most religious historians.

The Book of Jeremiah written about 628 BC refers to the “Queen of Heaven” and many believe it’s a reference to Asherah that was not expunged by heavy editing several hundred years later.

An Oxford scholar has argued that the Book of Kings reveals the Hebrews worshiped Asherah and Yahweh in Yahweh’s Israelite temple.

Although during the past decades many religious scholars, historians and some theologians have discussed Asherah and her relationship to the Hebrew God Yahweh, it’s generally recognized that the first to discover that the ancient Hebrews worshiped both deities equally was historian Raphael Patai.

Patai voiced the argument of God and His wife, and presented evidence, to the skeptical world of 1967.

Now, more than four decades later, the world is catching up to Patai’s milestone work thanks in large part to Stavrakopoulou’s research while at Oxford University and her continuing work as a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter.

In a written statement to the British press accompanying a three-part series airing in Western European countries about her research, Stavrakopoulou stated, “You might know him as Yahweh, Allah or God. But on this fact, Jews, Muslims and Christians, the people of the great Abrahamic religions, are agreed: There is only one of Him. He is a solitary figure, a single, universal creator, not one God among many…or so we like to believe.”

But then she shared her bombshell finding with the media stating that “After years of research specializing in the history and religion of Israel, however, I have come to a colorful and what could seem, to some, uncomfortable conclusion that God had a wife.”

Evidence in scripture and artifacts

Her startling theory which flies in the face of modern organized religion is based on artifacts from the past and ancient texts. She points to many unambiguous artifacts—primarily amulets and figurines—that have been found by archaelogists over the years. Many are from the Ugarit, an ancient Canaanite coastal city located in what later became Assyria and then, Syria.

All of the artifacts, she argues, show that the goddess Asherah was a very powerful figure, linked strongly to Yahweh, as his wife, and as the powerful fertility goddess of Creation.

Agriculture, the first and most important invention of humans, was strongly influenced by such things as a fertility goddess. Because crops were a life or death issue to everyone, Asherah was pictured as being equal to Yahweh and, in fact, his loving bride.

Her link to the Hebrew God, Stavrakopoulou says, is equally evident from an inscription discovered on a section of 8th Century BC pottery recovered from a site in the Sinai desert—as well as within the text of the Hebrew version of the Old Testament.

While describing the importance of the pottery’s message, Stavrakopoulou explained, “The inscription is a petition for a blessing. Crucially, the inscription asks for a blessing from ‘Yahweh and his Asherah.’ Here was evidence that presented Yahweh and Asherah as a divine pair. And now a handful of similar inscriptions have since been found, all of which help to strengthen the case that the God of the Bible once had a wife.”

Ancient Israelites were polytheists

The director of the Bade Museum and an associate professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion, Aaron Brody, believes that all the hard evidence reveals the ancient Israelites were polytheists.

Asherah fell into disfavor soon after some high-ranking Israelites were banished to Babylon. About that time the famous Temple of Jerusalem was razed. Brody thinks those events during 586 BC were followed by a purge in Judea among the worshipers of Asherah.

Eventually only one male God—without a wife—was accepted and preached and believed by people of all the countries of the world.

Thus it might be said that by the 5th Century BC, as far as the Israelites were concerned, God got a “divorce.”

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I don’t think God got a divorce. Mother-God just went underground; they are still married. Her veiling herself up and going into hiding was a mutual decision, I believe, because human-kind was not ready for a Divine Pair. If female humans were not respected enough to have souls, are even not not respected enough to be able to drive cars without being flogged, be able to hold jobs, own real estate, if human females are not respected enough to be able to walk out doors after dark, or stand at the bus-stop, or play in the yard during the day(!) without fear of kidnapping and rape, then female Deities could not be respected, either. She went underground, our Judeo-Christian goddess did.  Only in the Western world are women receiving the above mentioned privileges. The majority of us Western Women are avoiding rape and kidnapping (See Wikipedia’s article on worldwide rape statistics). Therefore, only in the Western world do we have the Sacred Feminine, the “Goddess” taking her veils off and coming into the open again alongside her spouse, Father-God. The Eastern mythologies may have goddesses married to their gods, but they are so sexist and misogynist they kill female babies (China, India), enslave daughter-in-laws (India and other countries), and sexually enslave girls and women for life in horrible brothels (India, the Far East, too many to list).

Asherah or God-the-Mother was considered God’s equal and his spouse for centuries up until around 500 years before Christ. For several reasons at that time, among which was all the perversions surrounding Her worship, it was deemed “safer” to go to all-male-god religion. People just could not separate sex from Goddess worship, and her temples and places of worship (groves of trees on hilltops) had become glorified brothels. Not family friendly at all!

Even today whenever we try to start up churches that worship Mother God alongside Father God, we end up with so many nut-cases that only think with their hormones. There is always one or two who show up at our meetings and ruin it for everyone by doing things like hitting on the under-age daughters of participants, stalking adult female members, and worse. I have seen it again and again in various cities and towns all over this country the past 20 years as I have tried to start God-and-Goddess Judeo-Christian churches. It is easy to see how the ancients got tired of this unfortunate side effect regarding God’s female counterpart and decided to go to all-male deities. In those days you had bandits and even groups of soldiers who would “just for the fun of it” go raid Asherah worshippers, raping priestesses and devotees, murdering anyone who got in the way of their fun. Just think of the brothels in India, the Far East and Eastern Europe where sex slaves are abused daily, repeatedly to this day. Whenever we have a place of worship that centers around a Divine Union of God and God-ess, a large segment of the population fixates on the sexual aspect of that. Even some of the all-Goddess churches I have visited, worshipped with, or worked with have large lesbian memberships (and some have all-lesbian leadership) that frown on heterosexuality.

Mary Magdalene and Jesus depicted as husband and wife, Magdalene pregnant
Pregnant Mary Magdalene & Jesus depicted as Husband & Wife, 1910 Scotland Church window

The hormones really come out whenever the Feminine Divine takes her veils off and gets human attention. For the same reason Mary Magdalene was kept hidden “veiled”, edited out of mainstream Christianity (she remained in Gnostic scriptures and in underground Christianity as evidenced by the stained-glass church window over a century old in Scotland). It’s easier to have a celibate god and a virgin non-sexual mother as we discuss in our Restoring the Goddess  lessons based on Margaret Starbird’s wonderful work. The only females that are “safe” are asexual unnatural virgins or hyper-sexual prostitutes. Males like Jesus must be stripped of their sexuality, made celibate with no hint of human sexuality.

It’s sad, and I don’t know when we will finally get there, but at least here in the Western world we can discuss,  study and have a web-based honoring of Her. In the Middle Eastern world we’d all hang…or be beheaded, stoned to death, etc. for blasphemy, apostasy and perversion. Yes, we would be the perverted ones. Not the people who “circumcise” their female population at the age of 7 or 8 so that 90 percent of (for example) Egyptian women cannot achieve climax during relations with their husbands. Why do they want marriages like that, the Egyptian men? It is baffling that Westerners are called sexually perverted. Even Allah had a wife named Allat (she’s the same as Asherah, but the Arabic version). But don’t bring Her up, either.

I cover all this evidence of God and Allah having a Divine Spouse in my online slide presentation God Has a Wife! here:

I am glad the author of the article mentioned Raphael Patai’s work. In our online study program we have a whole course on his famous book, The Hebrew Goddess. Very inspiring book, in a scholarly way. Here’s our (old) page on the Hebrew goddess. Remind me to update that old page and add this latest research findings and my pet theories. (smile)

If you have watched our God Has a Wife! slide show presentation all the way to the end and want to take our course based on Patai’s book Hebrew Goddess, let me know.  The Hebrew Goddess lessons are on the passworded pages of our Mystery School’s website and we usually charge membership dues for it. Send me an email or comment below if you HAVE THE BOOK and are SERIOUS ABOUT READING IT. I will let you access the Hebrew Goddess lessons thru the back door, at no cost.  Click here to order the book from Amazon: The Hebrew Goddess
In Her,
+Katia

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Skull, Red Egg, Chakras and Magdalene

Scott Hutton over at the GoddessChristians forum last week posted these interesting observations about the red egg, skull and Magdalene.
I read – whether in his forum or one of his books I can’t say – a most fecund
sharing of Tau Malachi, to wit:

The red egg and the skull that are so often associated with the Magdalene?
Without interfering with the other attributes out there, he suggests: the red
egg points to the first chakra, where in most of us lies the sleeping kundalini
princess will awaken; the skull points one not to death but to the seventh
chakra, where dwells the Awakener. The mystic marriage of these two occurs, of
course, in the fourth chakra, the sacred bridal chamber where the two combine.

I merely share the jotting. I have little to say about it, except to note the
thinking on it leads one to some sublime perceptions indeed. As I’ve been
wearing the Magdalene mysteries medal for some weeks, I am often reminded of
these symbols. Synchronistically, to my immediate right at my computer keyboard
for several years has been a crystal skull (full of rainbows) and a blood red
egg shaped naga eye crystal from Thailand. For at least two years I’ve been
wondering what on earth they’re doing there, and why did it seem so in
appropriate to move them.

Early this week, reading Tau Malachi’s words, I understood.

I tell you, if we just give it half a chance, life can be grand.

All be well,

Scott

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Katia here:  I have been contemplating this chakra connection to the symbols of the egg and skull. The Sacred Marriage and the Bridal Chamber sacrament of Gnosticism are so intriguing. The Gospel of Philip is a good place to see the Gnostic sacraments explained.  Explained is too strong a word… the sacraments are pointed to, hinted at, and in some cases symbolically explained in the Gospel of Philip.  The Bridal Chamber is the ultimate Sacrament in Gnosticism and I sure wish I fully understood it… <grin>  
I like the idea of the marriage of mind and body, head and heart.
The skull representing Awakening and the Awakener is very satisfying.  Not sure about the red egg and sexuality… gotta think about that one.  Hee hee.
Katia