Martha – Sister of Mary Magdalene and Lazarus – added to the Gospel later

Margaret Starbird writes this morning:

Master's Degree Thesis Martha Mary Magdalene
Jesus, Mary and Martha (Lazarus in background) at their home in Bethany

Elizabeth Schrader, [aka singer-songwriter Libbie Schrader] whose “Magdalene Song” is dear to my heart, has just had a paper published in the Harvard Review at this link: Was Martha of Bethany Added to the Fourth Gospel in the Second Century?  (abstract below)

The article is technical with regard to ancient Greek and Latin texts, but the gist is that the presence of “Martha” in John 11 and 12 is “unstable” in many of the earliest copies of the Gospel, suggesting that she was added in to the story of the Mary whose tears moved Jesus to raise her brother Lazarus and at the supper in Bethany where Jesus was anointed by the same Mary, the sister of Lazarus [and Martha].
I hope many of you will find time to read this article for the light it throws on the New Testament Gospel of John and the woman who was later identified with the title  “the Magdalene.”
Peace and light,
The Woman with the Alabaster Jar
Here is a video where Libbie Schrader talks about raising money to make a music video of her Magdalene Song. She shows a few clips of her trip to France to secret Magdalene gardens, destroyed churches, etc.
Here is the Abstract of Elizabeth’s Master’s Degree Thesis:

This study examines the text transmission of the figure of Martha of Bethany throughout the Fourth Gospel in over one hundred of our oldest extant Greek and Vetus Latina witnesses. The starting point for this study is instability around Martha in our most ancient witness of John 11–12, Papyrus 66. By looking at P66’s idiosyncrasies and then comparing them to the Fourth Gospel’s greater manuscript transmission, I hope to demonstrate that Martha’s presence shows significant textual instability throughout the Lazarus episode, and thus that this Lukan figure may not have been present in a predecessor text form of the Fourth Gospel that circulated in the second century. In order to gain the greatest amount of data on the Fourth Gospel’s text transmission, I rely on several sources. Occasionally these sources conflict in their rendering of a variant; I have tried to make note of these discrepancies and look at photographs of witnesses whenever possible. Although this study is primarily focused on Greek and Vetus Latina witnesses, an occasional noteworthy variant (e.g., from a Syriac or Vulgate witness) may be mentioned when relevant to the subject at hand. The work of many established redaction critics, who have already hypothesized that Martha was not present in an earlier form of this Gospel story, will also be addressed.

Read the whole Master’s Degree Thesis here: Was Martha of Bethany Added to the Fourth Gospel in the Second Century?

Saint Francis of Assisi Mother Cathar Heretic Praying Hands Letter X

The current pope, Pope Francis, was so inspired by St. Francis of Assisi to choose his name for himself when he became pope. I wonder if he knows about Saint Francis’ possible heretical background.

Margaret Starbird wrote:

October 4 is the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi—13th century founder of the Franciscan order.  I was baptized on his feast day many years ago—and have always had a special love for him. The “Song of Saint Francis” and his “Canticle to the Sun” are beloved around the world. [Hear it in the video below] His message of joy in God’s creation resonates with all generations.

Cathar Heretic praying hands
Clasp your hands like this but then point your fingers down toward the floor. You will see the heretical little X’s appear made by your fingers

One of my favorite movies—from the 1970’s(!)  —is “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” [movie trailer below] based on the life of Saint Francis, whose mother is alleged to have been from a prominent Cathar family from Provençe.  At one point in the movie, Francis notices that his mother is praying with her hands folded, fingers crossed in little X’s and pointed downward. Saint Francis comes over to her and straightens out her fingers pointing them all upward in the traditional Roman Catholic prayer position, but after he turned away to go back to his friends, his mother put her hands back in the “alternative” Christian position of “prayer form the heart.”  My mother, who was an Episcopalian, used to pray in that Protestant hand position, and I’ve found numerous paintings of Mary Magdalene with her hands folded together that way as well. It’s interesting that the fingers form little X’s because the letter X was one of the prominent symbols of the “Grail Church” that recognized Jesus and Mary Magdalene as partners. Details are available on my website:

Here is the url for the trailer for “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” in case you’ve never seen the movie.  It’s a classic…

Peace and light,
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”

August 15 Assumption of Mary God-the-Mother, Our Christian Goddess

Mary, Our Christian Goddes or Heavenly Mother, Divine Mother at her Assumption
Mary crowned & enthroned as Queen of Heaven

Today is the day Mary Mother-of-Jesus was said to have ascended into heaven and to begin her reign as Queen of Heaven, crowned by the Father & Son, becoming a member of the Trinity. It makes sense to me that she was our Heavenly Mother and like her Son decided to incarnate here on earth to bring about the Work, to deliver the Message (aka the “Good News” literally gospel).

Margaret Starbird writes:

August 15 is the official Catholic Church Feast Day celebrating the assumption of the Virgin Mary—body and soul—into heaven ( ) validating a folk commemoration of this event over hundreds of years.

In medieval lore, two other female saint were alleged to have been assumed bodily into heaven:  Mary Magdalene and Mary the Egyptian (, another “Fallen Sophia” revered by medieval Christians. Carl Jung was apparently thrilled when this feast day was declared because it elevated the “Feminine”  status, completing (in his view) the “quaternity” (the classic Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit completed by the addition of the Feminine “Mother of God”).

What will it take for the Church to recognize the archetypal Sacred Complement of Christ in the person of Mary Magdalene—his Bride in Exile? She represents the entire human family (flesh and blood) as “Bride”/Partner and co-Creator with the Divine.
In memory of Her,
“Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile”

Mary Magdalene Rosary

Mary Magdalene Rosary

Mary Magdalene First Lady of Christianity
Mary Magdalene by Lily Moses

Margaret Starbird writes: On my website under the Magdalene Rosary tab in the menu you will find prayers and “Magdalene Mysteries” for a rosary I developed in her honor—based on seven “heptads” of seven prayers each.

Here is the “Magdalene Prayer” for anyone interested in honoring her in this way:

Dear Mary Magdalene, love incarnate,

Sacred Vessel, Holy Grail,

Chosen were you from all women,

And blessed is your union with Jesus.

Dearest Bride and Beloved of Christ,

Show us the Way of the heart.

In memory of her—

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—

“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”

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!


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:

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:

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 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”

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,
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”

Margaret Starbird explains why 666 Mark of the Beast is not Caesar Nero

Margaret Starbird 666 Mark of the Beast not Caesar NeroMargaret Starbird writes:

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:

peace and light,
The Woman with the Alabaster Jar

Margaret Starbird on Married Jesus, obligation for all Jewish Males Especially a Rabbi

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.”

I hope this helps!

in memory of her—

The True Meaning of the Pentagram

Margaret Starbird writes:

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.

Venus Pentagram Magdalene
Venus draws a perfect pentagram every 8 years

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….

Peace and light,
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”

Margaret posted the above to our GoddessChristians forum and a few people responded:

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)

Deborah L Shutek-Jackson