All posts by admin

End of September Holidays Holy Days for Alternative Christianity & its Pagan Influences

Sep 26 thru Oct 5 Navaratri, Hindu Festival of the Great Goddess
 Huge holiday in India when Goddess destroys evil and restores cosmic order. Coincides with the end of the deadly rainy aka flood season, so you can see how this holiday made sense over the centuries — especially this year! The 2014 flood season in India and Pakistan was much worse and more deadly than normal.

Asherah the Mother God and Tree of Life in Mesopotamia and the Levant
Asherah was called the Tree of Life in ancient Mesopotamia, the tree symbol in the center is a flowering Asherah “Pole”

Sep 27, Day of the Willows,
The Day of the Willow Trees, that beautiful feminine tree. Mesopotamian Festival of Astarte and / or Asherah.  Mesopotamia which is Iraq and Syria, surely could use their ancient Mother-God now. They have forgotten Her completely, and thus the rampant oppression, enslavement and murderous abuse of females is still taking place. They treat males they disagree with also murderously — another sign of having no Heavenly Mother. I heard that ISIL is so afraid of women that they run from them on the battlefield believing if killed by a woman, they will not go to heaven.  Mother God and the Daughters-of-God are in great need in Mesopotamia.

Sep 29, Michaelmas, one of the oldest Christo-pagan holy days

Sep 30, Feast day of Saint Sophia, mother of Faith, Hope & Charity, saintly version of Goddess of Wisdom. Alternative feastdays for her are August 15 or 17, see previous Calendar entries in our Holy Days section.

OCTOBER

Oct 2 – Druid Feast of the Guardian Spirits

Oct 4 – St. Francis of Assisi Day, one of the most “pagan” and “alternative” of the Christian saints, he coined terms, “brother sun, sister moon”, and honored the covenant between humans and the animal kingdom. His mother was said to be a Cathar heretic who secretly practiced Catharism and may have taught it to him.

Ten Days of Awe begin tonight

September 24 thru October 3, 2014 (dates are different every year)

Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, always followed ten days later by Yom Kippur.  These ten days are also called the Jewish High Holy Days.

Yom Kippur is the last of the Ten Days of Awe in Hebrew lore. The first day is Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year, when the gates of heaven are said to be flung open allowing blessings to rain upon us for Ten Days, after which it goes shut again.

“May your name be written in the book of life,” is the greeting Jews use during the Ten Days of Awe because on Yom Kippur, the solemn day of atonement, the gates and the book go shut again.

What will “rain down on” you and yours during these High Holy Days?

Fall Equinox: Athena, Sophia, Mother Mary have the same Birthday

Goddess Athena Sophia Virgin Mary Fall EquinoxSep 13, Egyptian Lighting the Fire Ceremony for all departed souls
Sep 16, Greek Rites of Goddess Demeter
Sep 17, Hildegarde of Bingen Feast Day
Sep 19, Feast of Thoth, Egyptian scribe god

Sep 21, Nativity of Blessed Mary, Eastern Orthodox Church
Birthday of Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom also known as Sophia.  Both Athena and Sophia are goddesses of “Wisdom”, one Greek pagan, the other Judeo-Christian-Pagan.  Mother Mary was assigned their birthday which might be appropriate if she was not just an ordinary woman, but an incarnation of Goddess Sophia, come to the earth to birth a god-man.

Sep 22 or 23, Autumn Equinox, Mabon, Ishtar’s Day: This year Fall Equinox is September 22 at 10:29 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

In Catholicism both mainstream and “underground”, the Fall Equinox always begins the forty day All Hallows season, which culminates with Halloween, All Saints Day and then All Souls Day (Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov. 2 respectively).  This forty day period is one of four such in the esoteric Church year.  The other three forty day periods are:  Spring Equinox  (Mar 20 or 21) to May Day, Dec. 25 to Candlemas (Feb 1 or 2) and of course, Lent.  Lent is the forty day period beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday every year.

September 11 Remembrance Day With Candleworking & Bell-Tolling

As we have done every year since 2002, please join Mystery School initiates and especially our Templar spiritual-warriors, in observing this day of remembrance.  All you need is a candle and a bell — or a glass with a spoon to substitute for the latter.
From our Mystery School’s holy days of the year calendar:

September 11 Remembrance Day With Candleworkings and Bell-Tolling

Strike a bell one time at the exact moment of 8:46 a.m. Eastern Time when the first plane hit Tower One, the North Tower in NYC.  If you don’t have a bell, you can strike a glass with a spoon.  The ringing sound — called a tolling — has long been used to remember souls of the dead.  You may also wish to toll at the following significant times (all Eastern Daylight Time):

9:03 a.m. when the second plane hit the South Tower
9:37 a.m. when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon
9:59 a.m. when the South Tower fell
10:06 a.m. when Flight 93 hit the ground in Shanksville, PA
10:29 a.m. when the North Tower fell

Light a taper or small votive candle for each Sept 11 victim you knew by name, or knew of — such as a friend of a friend, distant acquaintance, or any victim you felt emotionally connected to such as someone from your home-town, alma mater, etc. You may also toll your bell for each name you know. If you didn’t know any of the victims by name, that’s fine, just perform the rest of the ritual as follows.

Next light a column candle to symbolize all the victims. If you have one of those fat round column candles, they serve as a good representation for all victims. Red is a good candle color for remembrance. Multi-wicked column candles are especially appropriate because they represent humanity or large groups of people.  The three-wick candles symbolize body, mind and soul, the three aspects of human beings.

After you light the candle or candles, hold each one up first toward New York City (where the first deaths occurred), then toward Washington DC, and finally toward southwestern Pennsylvania near the town of Shanksville.  You may need a map to help you determine which direction these places are from your specific geographic location.  Say in each direction, “Ignis Vitae Flagra In Aeturnum” or its English equivalent, “(May) this light-of-life burn in eternity.”  Then place the candle with reverence in a window or on your altar or other special spot.  Finish with a bell-tolling of three.  If you want to go deeper into remembrance, you can look up the list of over 3000 victims and recite their names.  Children of the victims did this recitation of names in 2002 and 2003, taking several hours to speak them all.

Keep in mind that in some places in the world today, as was done in Britain in 2003, there are groups celebrating September 11 as a sick kind of “defeat” or victory over the West.  They honor the 19 hijackers, calling them the “Magnificent 19,” praising them with huge rallies and celebrations while screaming promises of future attacks against Americans, British, Christian and Jewish peoples.

You may wish to contemplate the Dalai Lama’s advice to Americans on Sept 11, 2003 as follows:

The Tibetan Buddhist leader, who in 2003 came on a five-city, 20-day tour of the United States timed to coincide with the Sept. 11 anniversary, called on Americans to channel their lingering grief “into a source of inner strength.”

“Big, unthinkable tragedies happen,” he said. “Now, instead of keeping that and developing hatred or sense of revenge, instead of that, think long-term. The negative event, try to transform into a source of inner strength.”

Descent of Holy Sophia, Eleusian Mysteries, September 11 Esoteric Observance

Orion's Belt is the Pyramids Orion is Osiris The Return of Isis and OsirisAug 29 – Sept 11: Return of Isis & Osiris   (star Sirius, rising Nile waters)

Sept 2 – Grape Vine Festival honoring Ariadne & Dionysus

Sept 8 – Birthday of Virgin Mary & DESCENT OF THE HOLY SOPHIA The Descent of the Holy Sophia falls on September 8th. In the Roman calendar this day celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and prefigures the sacred birth of Jesus. In the Gnostic tradition, part of Sophia returns to the aeons, to her true home, and part of her being symbolically returns to the lower regions or to earth. She comes to earth to be with us, her children, to be our consolation and the inspiration of our love. By this image we have the promise that we are not left alone in our darkness but have Sophia’s abiding presence in our lives. (from:  http://www.gnosis.org/ecclesia/cal_mandala.htm )

Sept 9 – 11, Feast of Mother Earth (Greek, etc)

Sept 11 Remembrance Day Click to read our alternative church’s esoteric observance of this holiday — Knights Templar, Angelic Alliance

Sept 9 – 18, Greater Eleusinian Mysteries (Greek)

Hecate, Odin, Return of Isis, Norse Harvest Festival

Cornucopia Harvest FestivalAug 21 Greek Festival of Hecate – To protect the harvest.

Aug 24 Feast of Egyptian God Osiris – Partner and true love of Isis, and father of Horus; guide of all husbands, fathers, and judges.

Aug 25 Norse God Odin receives knowledge.

Roman Festival of Goddess Ops – Lady of the Cornucopia, Bounty of the Harvest and Sustainer of Life.

Aug 27 Feast of Egyptian Goddess Isis – Partner and true love of Osiris, and mother of Horus; guide of all wives, mothers, healers, advocates, and teachers.

Aug 28 Norse Harvest Festival.

Aug 29  – Sep 11 Return of Isis – Egyptian festival marking the return to Egypt of Goddess Isis (as the star of Sept / Sirius) and God Osiris (as the rising Nile River).

 

Father Sky Holiday, also Feast of Holy Sophia – mid August Alternative Holidays

Aug 11-13 Feast of Father Sky – Honoring God as Obatala (Yoruba/Santeria), Ouranos (Greek), Svarog (Slavic), Thor (Norse), Taranis (Celtic), Dyaus (Hindu).

             – Celtic Puck Fair – Fertility Festival.

Aug 12 – The Lights of Isis, Festival of the Egyptian Goddess Isis.

Mary Sophia God-the-Mother Christian Goddess ascending to heaven being crowned Queen of Heaven
Sophia Mother Mary Assumption and Crowning as Queen of Heaven

Aug 15 – Assumption Day – Christian feast commemorating Blessed Maria rising into Heaven, being crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, and being transformed into Our Lady, the Paraclete (the Holy Spirit) who appears everywhere.

Aug 15 was originally THE ASSUMPTION OF THE HOLY SOPHIA, The Assumption of the Holy Sophia into the Pleroma is commemorated on August 15th. This correlates in the orthodox church with the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary, a recent addition to the Roman liturgical life. The ancient Gnostic scriptures tell of Sophia, the feminine aspect of the highest God, who wanders out of heaven and gets lost in the lower regions. By singing praises to the Light, she is rescued by the Savior and he aids her return to heaven by a mystery. In our psychological perspective, we are cast out of the Fullness of Being to become differentiated egos. By the mystery figure of the Logos we are able to individuate and return to the state of Wholeness. Thus Sophia’s plight is our own, and by her example we may be inspired to continue on our path. — From:  http://www.gnosis.org/ecclesia/cal_mandala.htm

“The story of Sophia is not just a philosophical conundrum or a moral tale. Sophia is the bringing back of the feminine image of the redeemed redeemer, which restores the hero in all of us. We all have within us, regardless of our gender, the potential to be noble knights in service to Our Lady Sophia; we are all, male or female, prepared as a bride to receive the Bridegroom, our true royal Selfhood, the Christ within.” — From The Assumption of Sophia by Rev. Steven Marshall from http://gnosis.org/ecclesia/homily_Assumption.htm

Aug 17 – Feast Day of Saint Sophia, the saintly version of the ancient Goddess Sophia, Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Other sources list her feast day as September 30, and as Aug 15 above.

First Week of August Alternative Holidays

Aug 1 – Lammas / Lughnassadh – Mid-Summer, First Harvest Festival of the Celtic Sun God Lugh.

Gnostic Black Madonna Black VirginAug 2 – Feast of the Black Madonna – Gnostic celebration of the Dark Goddess

Aug 3 – Day of the Dryads – Greek celebration of the Macedonian maiden spirits of woods and water.

Aug 3 –  4  Feast of Old Greek Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana) – Defender of rights and liberties, and punisher of rapists and oppressors.

Aug 5 Celtic Tree Month of Hazel begins.

Aug 6 Celtic Fire Festival of Tan Hill.

Aug 9 Druid Feast of the Fire Spirits

 

Magdalene Day Today! Magdalene Rosary, Video

Magdalene ordained by marriage to Rabbi Jesus Wedding at Cana
Magdalene by Ginger Snuffkin from Deviant Art

In honor of Mary Magdalene Day today, here is a video and an inspiring Magdalene story, both from author Margaret Starbird.

For Mary Magdalene’s feast day on 22 July, you might be interested in viewing this interview I did in February 2006–nicely edited out of the “Bloodline” movie — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEhMXUoMLGY&feature=youtu.be

Please keep in mind that I think the “bloodline” is a red herring and irrelevant to the underlying question of the marriage of Jesus with Mary Magdalene, a union that mirrors a model for Sacred Partnership, the “union of Sacred Complements.”

You might also be interested in the information I’ve posted about the “Magdalene Rosary” as a tool for devotional meditation:
http://www.margaretstarbird.net/magdalene_rosary.html

All my life I’ve said the traditional Marian rosary, and occasionally still do, but in 1994 I was shown to create a rosary of seven decades of seven prayers to honor Mary Magdalene and the “Sacred Union.” The number “7” is sacred to the Divine feminine, but is also the “union” of the traditional numbers associated with “masculine” (3) and “feminine” (4).

Magdalene in her bridal gown, ordained priest ess minister Apostle
Mary Magdalene by Katia Honour. Prints can be purchased on RedBubble

I wrote up the prayers and mysteries for the “Magdalene rosary” several years ago and posted the information on my website. The mysteries include 7 Scriptural Mysteries of Mary Magdalene and 7 Legendary Mysteries.

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

On the eve of Mary Magdalene’s feast day, I want to share with you a slightly abridged version of the epilogue from my book, Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile

Epilogue –a Reading for Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day

WHO DO WE SAY SHE IS?

“Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)

When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the son of man is?” they replied variously that some people thought Jesus to be John the Baptist; others claimed he was Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. Then Jesus queried them further, “Who do you say that I am?” And Simon-Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16).

There were obviously many varying views about Jesus even in his own time, and there are many still. Some people see Jesus as a historical figure, a Galilean rabbi with a staff in his hand, an itinerant preacher and healer. Some see him as a cultural revolutionary, even a Zealot or an Essene. Finding negligible evidence for Jesus as a historical figure, others think he was the composite of many myths of the son-god tortured and sacrificed at the vernal equinox—an Adonis, Ba’al or Tammuz, Dionysus or Osiris.

Similarly, we have a variety of views about Mary Magdalene, both traditional and heterodox, expressed over two millennia in Christian art and lore, as well as her connection to a number of powerful myths from the ancient world. I am aware of the most ancient tradition of the Church that the title “h Magdalene” was given to Mary, the sister of Lazarus–not referring to a town destroyed for its immorality, but as a title of great honor and prophetic significance. We contemplate her presence in art, artifact, and folklore. And we examine the record of the historical Mary Magdalene, who allegedly witnessed the resurrection of the Savior and was sent to tell the good news to the other disciples and to the brothers of Jesus. And we have studied legends and myths of the bride of the sacred king sent defiled and defamed into exile to protect her from the dangerous talons of the malevolent dragon.

Magdalene Ordained Womens Minister
Magdalene by Gallery Zograf from Deviant Art. Reminiscent of Icons of the Early Christian Church

And who do we now say that SHE is? Was she an actual historical person? A disciple of Jesus, shod in sandals? A wealthy patroness? Perhaps a princess in her own right? Or was she a whore? Or even, as the Gnostics taught, a mythic incarnation of the Holy Sophia? Was she the soul-mate and spouse—the “Sister Bride”–of Jesus in a union similar to that of Tammuz and Ishtar or of Isis and Osiris? Or was she perhaps a sacred prostitute, a priestess representative of the Goddess? Was she a frenzied redheaded demoniac? A favored daughter of Benjaminite lineage? Was she, like Wisdom herself, both scorned and beloved? Could she have been a wife and a mother? How can we know which face is hers, when no one has lifted her veil?

The struggle to reclaim the real Mary Magdalene remains fraught with danger. Will we—once again—refuse to recognize in her an incarnation of the Divine, the other face of God? An important question remains to be answered: What position will the Mary called “the Tower” occupy when she is reinstated—as she must be—in the celestial throne room in heaven and in our communal psyche on earth? Will she be honored as apostle or as Bride?

Will she be blessed and embraced as the historical counterpart of Peter? Or of Christ?

Who do we say that she is?

One answer, that she was an apostle equal in status and authority to Peter, seems to satisfy many clergy and scholars of Christian denominations. The right-handed and orthodox affirm Magdalene as the Apostle to the Apostles—a title of considerable honor, although her role was apparently short-lived, given that she carried a single message to the brethren of Jesus on that first Easter morning, and that her testimony was not at first believed. Modern scholars seem content with their proofs that Mary was not a prostitute and with reclaiming for her a position of prestige and authority as the first witness and messenger of the resurrected Lord. It is a limited role.

But the other answer, confirmed by left-handed intuitives who see visions and dream dreams, asserts that Mary Magdalene was the Sacred Bride so long exiled from our consciousness. This vision of the sacred reunion of the beloveds is not new. The image of the holy braiding of flesh and divinity was always at the heart of the gospel—God incarnate in flesh, both male and female.

Reclaiming Mary as Bride brings water to heal the parched earth, causing flowers to bloom, healing broken hearts, setting prisoners free.

If we ever needed her, we need her now!

In Memory of Her,

Margaret

Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile

http://margaretstarbird.net

Multi-Faith Holy Days July 20 – 31

Magdalene Altar by an Ordained Minister at his Home Church
Mary Magdalene Altar With Red Egg, Chalice

July 22  Mary Magdalene Feast Day – the Holy Grail.  Official Christian feast of St. Maria Magdalen, both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.  Some Magdalene devotees such as those in our Order of Mary Magdala, bake Madeleine cakes for the Queen of Heaven in honor of her day. Madeleine is a French form of Magdalene. Here is a good recipe for Madeleine cakes, and you can read about the history of Madeleine cakes here. Our Magdalene initiates and ordained priestesses wear red, white and green today, and light candles of those colors, the colors of Mary Magdalene. We display our red altar egg on Magdalene Day and recite litanies dedicated to her.

Archangel Uriel aka Auriel Church in Maryland
Archangel Uriel aka Auriel

* July 28 Archangel Auriel (Uriel) Day.  His/Her name means “Fire or Light of God,” and titles include, Regent of the Sun, Angel of Music, Patron of Prophecy, Archangel of Salvation, Angel of the Presence. See Uriel.org  for more about him/her, the crystal egg association, and paintings.

July 29 – Festival of Thor – Celebration of Norse God Thor

July 31    – Lammas, harvest festival coming 40 days after Summer Solstice, offer 1st fruits to the Divine (See Aug. 1)
– Festival of Loki – Day to honor Norse trickster god Loki and his consort Sigyn

July 31 thru Aug 2 – Lughnasadh – Old Celtic / Irish Feast of Goddess Tailtiu and God Lugh (Deities of Life and Light), celebrating the grain harvest.