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 â€œEmmanuelâ€ that has received incredible “revelation” over a period of yearsâ€”some of it outlined in my 1998 book, â€œThe Goddess in the Gospels,â€ relevant to our on-going efforts to reclaim the Bride and the Partnership (Sacred Union) at the heart of the Gospels.
The 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 IIâ€™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 wellâ€”our family had spent a fishing vacation there in 1973. We had eaten our dinners in the lodge owned by Mr. Trumanâ€”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 â€œ9th of Av,â€ the day when Jews in Israel go to the Western Wall to mourn the destruction of their Templeâ€”not once, but twice! One of my prayer group â€œkinswomen,â€ 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 â€œnovenaâ€ in preparation for this event in solidarity with those who mourn the Temple.
The “synchronicities” and connections of these dates on Mount St. Helensâ€™ 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) Â 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 pouredÂ out into the earth (Pentecost, Spirit Lake poured out). The Church was no longer to be the â€œcustodianâ€ of the â€œwaters of Spirit and Truth.” The denial Jesus was â€œtrue manâ€ would be an issue. (Mr. â€œTrumanâ€ had stayed on the mountain and was buried in the slide).Â He had refused to leave because his WIFE was buried at the site of his fishing camp). The “Templeâ€ in Jerusalem could not be rebuilt because of the loss of the â€œBlueprint,â€ including the denial of â€œMary Magdalene” and all she embodies: the â€œSacred Feminine,â€ the â€œBride,” the physical body, relatedness to the earth, kinship of all people, feminine wisdom, intuition.Â The model of â€œSacred Union” was broken in the cradle of the Christianity–waiting to be restored!
The systematic denial of the Feminine as â€œBride and Belovedâ€ is a core problem underlying the sex and power abuses by priestsâ€”a devastating â€œdesign flawâ€ of the early Church perpetrated into the present with tragic consequences.
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. Â 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 â€œointment bearerâ€ (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 â€œfilled the house.â€ In both case the fragrance is â€œnard.â€ The only passages in all of the Judeo-Christian scriptures where â€œnardâ€ is mentioned are the Song of Songs and the anointing of Jesus in all four Gospels by â€œthe woman with the alabaster jar.â€â€”
Here are several quotes referencing the â€œoilsâ€ or â€œfragranceâ€ 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 â€œVesica Piscesâ€ associated by gematria (153) with Mary Magdaleneâ€™s title is used as a symbol for the â€œanointing by the Holy Spiritâ€ in Christian artâ€”
Hereâ€™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 â€œvesica piscisâ€ () symbol (the yoni) which is universally associated with the goddesses of love and fertility. In Christianity, the meaning of the () is â€œanointed by the Holy Spiritâ€â€”acknowledging that She is feminineâ€¦.
In the Gospels themselves, Jesus is anointed by a woman named twice in Johnâ€™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 â€œthe Magdalene,â€ the one who cries at Jesusâ€™ tomb and meets him resurrected in the Garden on Easter morning.â€
This association of the â€œanointingâ€ with the â€œBrideâ€ derives from the rituals of fertility cults of the ancient Near East where the bridegroom was anointed by his â€œBrideâ€ as a prefiguring symbolic of the anointing of the male by the female during coitus. The â€œvesica piscisâ€ symbol is equated universally with the yoni. Greeks called the symbol the â€œMatrix,â€ the â€œwomb,â€ the â€œdoorway to lifeâ€ and the â€œHoly of Holiesâ€ – literally the â€œbridal chamber.â€ So the use of the vesica piscis in Christian art is a â€œcarry-overâ€ from the ancient rites of heiros gamosâ€”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 Gospelsâ€”clearly the instrument of the Holy Spirit anointing the King in advance for his death and burial.
In memory of her,
â€œThe Woman with the Alabaster Jar”
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 â€œcultural imperativeâ€ 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, â€œThe Sexuality of Jesus,â€ and â€œWas Jesus Married?â€ 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: â€œBe fruitful and multiply.â€
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 â€œbeardless youthâ€ 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 stateâ€¦. but they were not â€œlife-long celibates.â€
The Hebrew language did not have a word for â€œbachelor.â€ The word they now use is â€œravakâ€â€”which means â€œempty.â€
“I would like to ask how to return the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion. My background is Christian, but I find that traditional church is missing something. I feel maybe your organization may help me grow spiritually.” — Stuart, Alberta Canada
We received this inquiry the other day via our northernway.org website. I thought some of you might wish to offer Stuart some ideas, advice, point him in the direction of resources you know, etc.
Margaret Starbird answered:
Maybe Stuart could start by reading the Mary Magdalene page on your northernway.org website. That page introduces him to the â€œLost Brideâ€ who was once at the heart of the Christian story. Tell him that the first heresy in Christianity was the denial of the Brideâ€¦.and that in silencing her, the Church fathers silenced womenâ€™s voices on the planet for nearly two millennia! Now, in the Year of Our Lord MMxv, we celebrate her return to our consciousness bringing wisdom, compassion, and celebration of life and the gift of our bodies as â€œvesselsâ€â€”containers for the Spirit of God. Show him the â€œmarriage windowâ€ from Dervaig, Scotland, where Jesus and Mary are â€œhand-fastedâ€ (clasping right hands, as in the rites of Christian marriage)â€¦. and if he wants more, send him to my website: http://www.margaretstarbird.net
In memory of Herâ€”
â€œThe Woman with the Alabaster Jar”
The First Step, of course, is bringing the Divine Feminine into your own daily life and daily devotions.
Returning the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion as a whole, is a tall order… and it’s just gonna take a lonnng time… and I’m meaning at least centuries.
What Yeshua once told me was, “Goddess must be elevated for a thousand years.”
He also once indicated that Goddess has to have a different language than the patriarchal religious language.
In Her Spirit we must bring forth different words, a different conceptual matrix rather than just copping-out on Her by carbon-copying the patriarchal language describing the patriarchal God and transferring that to Her.
The Second Step is that we have to be in genuine comm*union* with Her Holy Spirit… so that we are receiving Her Direct Guidance… for She’s the One who will know how to bring about the needed changes.. . She’s the One who can provide us with the phraseology of a variant linguistic and conceptual paradigm. We have to become extensions of Her Living Spirit, womanifestations of Her transformative Spiritual Essence into time. We have to become Her Living Hands, Her Heart & Mind & Spirit — rising like waves of Her Eternal Ocean of Spirit into this time.
The Divine Feminine in Christianity, at this point in time, is mainly represented by Sophia, Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene.
Margaret Starbird’s books on Mary Magdalene are an important resource… relative to the Divine Feminine Bride of Yeshua Christ.
There is some measure of Marian worship in Roman Catholicism… but it’s highly doubtful that it’ll ever be “legitimatized” by the patriarchal stranglehold over that denomination.
When talking about Judaism and Christianity, the most helpful book by way of a Major Resource (that I’m aware of) relative to the Sophia of the Bible is WISDOM’S FEAST: Sophia in Study and Celebration by Susan Cole, Marian Ronan and Hal Taussig. Two of these have been in the Methodist ministry; one is Roman Catholic in background.
Of course you’re gonna get a lot of flack from conservative Christianity… so those seeking to help return the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion need to be well-versed in all the segments in the Bible that reinforce the Divine Feminine perspective and Sophia (as the Holy Spirit) specifically. Tho they won’t be of any use to you, relative to conservative theological lock-ins, it is also best to be well-versed in all parts of the ancient Gnostic scriptures that reveal more about Sophia & the Divine Feminine in general.
For example, it is very important to realize that when Yeshua spoke of what we have translated into the English words “the Holy Spirit” that he was always referring to Her with feminine pronouns, not the masculine pronoun as is falsely translated in the Gospel of John, chapters 14 & 16. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach… and the Aramaic word for spirit is rukha (there are variant English spellings of these two words)… both of which are feminine nouns. I think it is also important to know that in “The Gospel of the Hebrews” Jesus actually called the Holy Spirit his Mother! Jerome — who, to my understanding, translated the entire Bible (including the intertestamentary books — which Protestantism expurgated from their Bibles — thus deleting major revelations about Sophia — “Sirach” chapter 24 and “The Wisdom of Solomon”) into the Latin Vulgate also considered “The Gospel of the Hebrews” sufficiently spiritually legitimate that he translated it too! Roman Catholicism did not include “The Gospel of the Hebrews” in their canon — and only quotations from it have survived in some of the Church Fathers’ writings… but maybe a complete copy if it will eventually be discovered and we’ll be able to determine why it was excluded from the canonized scriptures — and (possibly) learn much more therefrom relative to early Christian beliefs and actual further teachings of Yeshua that didn’t survive otherwise.
In the Nag Hammadi Library, works like “The Gospel of Philip”… “Thunder, Perfect Mind”… “Trimorphic Protennoia”… and “The Apocryphon of John” (and others like “The Hypostasis of the Archons” and “Upon The Origin Of The World”) are important resources relative to awareness of Sophia & the Divine Feminine as it existed in the early centuries of Christianity… and the return of neo-Gnostic denominations of Christianity, as they florish across centuries ahead will surely be utilizing these… along with more contemporary revelations of and from the Divine Feminine… for, of course, we’re going to get lots of future texts being written across the centuries forthcoming by many who are “in Her Spirit”.
It’s going to be exciting!
Besides contemporary Gnostic groups (like those of Tau Malachi and Tau Rosamonde Miller) incorporating the Divine Feminine in their services, there are a few contemporary ministers in the mainline Christian denominations who are devoted to the Divine Feminine, too. Foremost, to my knowledge, is “herchurch” (ECLA Lutheran) in San Francisco, California.
I think it also Of Value to read some of what the opposition to the Divine Feminine are writing… so that one is aware of what kind of criticisms / attacks one needs to be equipped to respond to for the sake of the borderline sorts (one is hardly going to convince the “hardliners”).
The only major Christian denomination (that I’m aware of) which recognizes Goddess, is Mormonism — but you’ll hardly find that out from the most of what they’re saying! — for they pretty much “keep Her in the closet”… and (it appears to me) that the voices of the women who want to promote Her are being suppressed by the Mormon patriarchy. One writing friend (who is Mormon) at a local writers group a half a dozen years ago, when I asked him about it, said that Mormons don’t broadcast Her Existence because She’s too holy to them to beget circumstances where unbelievers will be profaning Her. Another Mormon who came to my door about six months ago — when I brought up the subject to him — said that Mormons are condemned to hell for so many of their doctrines, already, that they didn’t want to be adding more fuel to the fires of other denominations condemning them as not being Christians by publicly advocating Goddess, too — for of course that gets labelled as being “paganism” by Christians who condemn the Divine Feminine.
I praise those who are working within the established denominations, trying to “return the Divine Feminine to Judeo-Christian religion” — but, overall, I believe it’s going to turn out to be a heart-breakingly futile attempt. (I’ll be only happy to be proven mistaken in this assessment! I believe there are several in the ministry who would love to incorporate Her in their services, but are very well aware that they will either lose their positions… or lose most of their congregation — especially the conservative ones who make the larger monetary donations.)
I think, in largest part, those capable of doing so are just going to have to start up their own separate denominations… just like Methodism, Lutheranism, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormonism, Unity & the Jehovah Witnesses all had their own beginnings (or, more anciently, Valentinism, the Sethians, the Barbelites, etc. did) — only these new denominations will totally incorporate the Divine Feminine, eliminating the distortions and still-faulty mythology of many of the ancient Christian Gnostic sects. And they will be bringing forth “The New Wine of Her Spirit”.
I personally have had good experience with the Unity Church, a very metaphysical Christian denomination. They allow Goddess to be mentioned in childrens’ Sunday School — She is not suppressed! Unity Churches are in most cities. Â — Katia
Margaret says: Although this author, Dr. Margaret Merisante, does not site my work, she could have. I discussed the connection of Mary Magdalene with Isis, the original â€œSister-Brideâ€ of a sacrificed Bridegroom-King in my Woman with the Alabaster Jar (published in 1993). Iâ€™m not an expert on Egyptian funerary rites, but I recognized the connection of the anointing of the king as an ancient rite from the Hieros games cult in which the marriage union of the â€œBelovedsâ€ is followed later in the liturgical season by the assault, mutilation, death and burial. This connection of Mary Magdalene with Isis is strongâ€”based on the â€œSong of Songsâ€ where the fragrance of the â€œSister-Brideâ€ spreads around her Bridegroom at the banqueting table. The â€œCanticleâ€ (Song of Songs) is known to be a a liturgical poem from the cult of Isis and Osiris. The Bridegroom speaks of his beloved as â€œMy sister, my spouseâ€â€” which I believe was the epithet given to the wives of Jesus and his apostles, the â€œsister-wivesâ€ Paul mentions in his letter to Corinthians (1: 9-5).
Iâ€™m so thrilled that others are finally seeing this connection and are willing to research and affirm that Mary Magdalene is indeed, the “Goddess in the Gospels“.
Margaret 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):Â http://sacredconnections.co.uk/â€¦/stained-glass-window-mystâ€¦/ Â 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!
Margaret Starbird wrote today April 10, 2015 the week after Easter:
Legend places Mary Magdalene in France after AD 42, but she disappears from the Christian narrative sometime between Easter morning and the beginning of the Book of Acts. One of the questions we must ask is WHY? The mother of Jesus and the apostles all reappear in Actsâ€”but Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea, not to mention Lazarus and Martha, all disappear abruptly and are noticeably absent in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. Â St. Paul never mentions any of them in his epistles either.
In 1988 I wrote the short fictional â€œnovellaâ€ that was later published as the â€œPrologueâ€ in â€œThe Woman with the Alabaster Jarâ€ (1993). The story show how we might have lost all information about Mary Magdalene following the proclamation of the Resurrection. If Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus and pregnant with his child (or even possibly pregnantâ€”or already a mother), protecting her from the Roman and/or Jewish authorities would have been a top priority of the friends and followers of Jesus. Legend insists that Joseph of Arimathea was the â€œcustodian of the Grailâ€â€”the vessel that â€œonce contained the blood of Christ.â€â€”
In 1995 Susan Methvin, Ph.D. a college English professor in Alabama, sent me a poem she had written in response to reading my book:
“Imagine the Grail if you can, not as a gold cup
nor as one silver, embossed with grapes and vines,
but imagine the grail as the cup of her body,
that rocking place beneath her breast, the deep pear-shaped sac.
Her stomach rounded skin stretched into spun silk,
fills with the fruited seed of their making love.
The unborn child sways in this dark grail as her mother rides
across the searing desert. Â Magdalen’s only songs . .
steady breath, heart’s beat, dry sob.
In the heat, sometimes Magdalen
mouths His name, and the child takes form
blessed beneath the name of Jesus.”
Iâ€™m always amazed at the contortions New Testament scholars go into in an attempt to avoid seeing and stating the obvious.Â The CNN â€œspecialâ€ segment about Mary Magdalene aired tonight. One scholar (Dr. Nicola Denzey Lewis) declared twice that â€œground zeroâ€ for the idea that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus was the Gospel of Philip, which states that Mary was the â€œcompanionâ€ or â€œconsortâ€ of Jesus and that he kissed her often on herâ€¦. (sadly the location is missing, but we are told that the apostles were jealous of Maryâ€¦.because Jesus loved her more than all the rest of themâ€¦.
If she had read my â€œWoman with the Alabaster Jar,â€ published in 1992 and cited by Dan Brown in The DaVinci Codeâ€), Dr.Lewis would have known that for many of us â€œground zeroâ€ is the canonical
Gospel of John which names the woman who anointed Christ at the banquet at Bethany (Mary) and dried his feet with her hair and follows the passion narrative all the way to the sacred reunion of the Sacred King and his Bride at the tomb on Easter morning.Â This has nothing to do with the (2nd or 3rd century) Gospel of Philip. All four canonical Gospels mention the anointing of Jesus by a woman and three place this event in Holy Weekâ€”followed closely by the Passion of the Christ and his resurrection. This liturgical sequence is reminiscent, even a reenactment of ancient rites of â€œhieros gamesâ€ indigenous to the Near Eastâ€”where the Sacred King is anointed and united in marriage with a royal priestess/princess and later sacrificed, mutilated, executed and entombed.
After three days his Bride/consort returns to the tomb to mourn him and finds him resurrected. These ancient rites go back to neolithic times and are repeated in the Gospel narratives, where Mary and Jesus embody the archetypal Bride and Bridegroom â€œin the fleshâ€â€”.
In the CNN segment, the question was raised: What happened to Mary Magdalene?Â Back in the 1980â€™s when I was researching everything I could find about Mary Magdalene, it struck me that in spite of her importance in the final chapters of the Gospelsâ€”beginning with the anointing scene and ending with the reunion with Jesus at the tomb (â€œDonâ€™t keep clinging to meâ€)â€”Mary totally disappears from the story, never mentioned in the epistles or in the Book of Acts of the Apostles.Â What happened to her? The mother of Jesus and other female disciples show up in Acts and elsewhere.Â Only Mary, Martha and Lazarus are totally missing, except for later legends that try to
fill in the gaps, placing them in Gaul around AD 42â€¦. But why did they leave?
One afternoon in 1988, I sat down at my computer and wrote a storyâ€”which is now the fictional opening â€œPrologueâ€ in my â€œAlabaster Jarâ€ bookâ€”explaining how we came to lose the Beloved of Jesus for two millennia.Â Sensing danger to the wife of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, the â€œcustodian of the Grail,â€ came to her on Easter in the evening and convinced her to flee with him to a place of safetyâ€¦which would only have been necessary if she were possibly pregnant withâ€”or the mother ofâ€”a child of Jesus.Â Protecting the royal family would have been a top priority of the friends and followers of Jesus, the Davidic Messiah of prophecy.
Imagine herâ€”meditate on herâ€”over these coming days, riding on a donkey across the Sinai under the protection of Joseph of Arimatheaâ€”â€œdefiled and defamedâ€ seeking refuge in a foreign land, fulfilling the prophecy of the â€œMagdal-ederâ€ from Micah 4:8-11.
One of our GoddessChristians members — his name is Klaus M. from Germany — just sent this awesome photo of a newly discovered “John the Baptist” cave in the Holy Land with mysterious subterranean chambers. John Baptizer used to hang out in the desert as you recall, teaching the mysteries and initiating/baptizing people who came in throngs to hear him. He was arrested because of a beautiful princess Salome’s intoxicating dance of the seven veils, but that’s another story. He hid deep in this cave, trying to avoid Herod’s soldiers.
The subterannean chambers and tunnels connected to the cave seem to lead down into Mother Earth. Our German cousin says, “Did John venerate an old Earth Mother? One of the Mothers who went to the underworld to save Her beloved? Inanna did that, as did Ishtar, Isis, DemeterÂ – and last but not least Mary Magdalene!”
We teach in our Mystery School lessons that John the Baptizer, who initiated Jesus with the water-rite, and also Jesus himself were probably well aware of God-the-Mother AND God-the-Father. There is an often forgotten verse in the Greek Bible aka New Testament that has Sophia,Â Christian Goddess of Wisdom,Â and co-Creator saying, “And I Sophia will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute.” Luke 11:49
Perhaps both John the Baptizer and Yeshua the Anointed (aka Messiah) were initiates of the full Godhead, of the Creators Divine Mother and Ancient of Days Father God.
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.”
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.”Â 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).
I wrote up the prayers and mysteries for the “Magdalene rosary” several years
ago and posted the information on my website.Â 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 Magdaleneâ€™s Feast Day
WHO DO WE SAY SHE IS?
â€œWho do you say that I am?â€Â Â (Matthew 16:15)
When Jesus asked his disciples, â€œWho do men say that the son of man is?â€Â 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, â€œWho do you say that I am?â€ And Simon-Peter replied, â€œYou are the Christ, the Son of the Living Godâ€ (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 equinoxâ€”an Adonis, Baâ€™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 â€œh Magdaleneâ€ was given to Mary, the sister of Lazarus–not Â 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.
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 spouseâ€”the â€œSister Brideâ€–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 weâ€”once againâ€”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 â€œthe Towerâ€ occupy when she is reinstatedâ€”as she must beâ€”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 Apostlesâ€”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 gospelâ€”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.
My three daughters and IÂ received a bunch of new Christian curriculum items for our homeschool and as usual, we enjoy adding inÂ the Holy Mother, aka “Goddess” to any and all Bible stories we think She belongs. Believing in the Divinity of the Feminine as much as the Masculine, we “restore” the Divine Mother aka God-the-MotherÂ intoÂ the stories alongside God-the-FatherÂ where She was probably supposed to be mentioned, but for various historical reasons down thru the ages, was left out or removed. We alsoÂ bring outÂ the women and girls in all BibleÂ stories, giving both hero and heroine figures equal time.
Not only Bible stories need this balancing act, but most of the ancient and classical stories reduce women to sexuality based roles, because well, humanity wasn’t as far along mentally and emotionally as we are now. Western women at least trulyÂ have “come a long way baby,”Â the proof of which can be seen simply by observing anyÂ current country that suppresses its women in the name of their Holy Book / religion.
Stories we have fun with are putting Noah’s wife Norea back into the narrative, and his daughters-in-law. Eve and Adam’s daughters are enjoyable to ponder about, as is the true reason Sarah could have a baby at such an advanced age yet still be considered one of the most beautiful women in the world (Pharoah was ready to kill Abraham in order to steal Sarah for his harem).Â True reason is because she was a close direct descendant of Methuselah (Noah’s father) and inherited the ability to live longer years, likeÂ Aragorn in Lord of the Rings.Â You’ll recall that Aragorn’s people could live to be 200, notÂ as long as the elf princess he loved, but long indeed. Abraham was also a descendant of Methuselah of course, and he is said to have lived to be almost 200.
Our Christian based curriculum, despite being mainstream church style,Â even includesÂ an awesome version of the Gilgamesh Epic. Pagan literature is required reading in the Veritas PressÂ courses andÂ I am glad they are not afraid of it. They include it all. The awesomeÂ (and sumptuously illustrated) Gilgamesh Epic they recommend makes the heroine be a beautiful singer instead of a prostitute.Â Mary Magdalene wasÂ unjustly called a prostitute, andÂ so was Enkidu’s beloved Shamhat. Rahab the prostitute in the walls of Jericho story comes to mind, and since she isn’t being hired by anyone, I also wonder if she really was a prostitute or just an unmarried woman with a family. Women who had children without marriage were often called whore and prostitute. As recently as the 1960’s this happened in my own family. Rahab is the heroine of the Jericho walls story, and is alsoÂ an ancestress of Jesus himself. Why would they put her in his family tree if she was selling herself regularly? Why would they want to make the Son of God also a Son of a Whore?Â Mary Magdalene was not even called a prostitute in scripture, butÂ European Christian authoritiesÂ made sure to turn her into one a thousand years later. There isÂ surely moreÂ to this meme of the prostitute heroineÂ so often found in ancient literature and scripture.
Speaking of Mary Magdalene, we also received a new (wonderful) children’s book by famous Magdalene author Margaret Starbird.Â New Neighbors is written for children and although not about the Divine Feminine like Margaret’s adult books, itÂ certainly teaches that girls and boys both thrive when both genders are given equal status, equal focus.Â Thank you Margaret forÂ another gem. I stillÂ plan to mailÂ our copy of New Neighbors to you so you can autograph it for theÂ girls. (Sorry I haven’tÂ done soÂ yet, they won’t give it back to me!)
My 11-year-old daughter read the book out loud with my 8-year-old sitting right beside her looking at the pictures, and the rest of us listening. For each new page my daughter would turn the book to face usÂ so we could seeÂ each newÂ illustration.Â She was so proud to be the one reading out loud (usually it’s Mama doing the reading), andÂ my youngestÂ sat right next to her devouring the storyline. The next night at story time, she took a turn and read it herself. She needs all the reading practice she can get,Â andÂ I loveÂ thatÂ my 8 year old can read something by an author her mother has studied with for years. Kinda freaky in a way… I remember giving my now-20-something daughter her first copy of Margaret’s bestseller The Woman With the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail. Heck, I remember giving my own mother that 1993 book for the first time.
It’s been an interesting week.Â I also got inspired by this Zen Parenting article by Leo Babauta. How to Keep Your Cool as a Parent. Not only does it teach us parents some awesome cool-as-a-cucumber techniques, but you can use the same strategies to help the kids deal with their own anger fits, frustration fits, etc. I printed that sucker out for me, and realized I can use it as yet another homeschool lesson.
We’ve dug into so many newÂ books this month, you’d think it was winter.
Summer school is fun, they have decided. We were going to save our Veritas Press homeschool history cards and books for next Fall, but just couldn’t resist digging in.