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 – Lost Bride & Queen of Christianity

Married Jesus Mary Magdalene
Jesus and Mary Magdalene Married

My friend (and teacher these 20 years now!), Margaret Starbird writes:

I hope this finds you thriving in the light and enjoying the fresh greening of the land —

For anyone interested, I just posted a new blog article “A Timely Lesson” on my website: .  [Text included below in case the link leads to a newer article]
I hope you’ll pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested in sharing these thoughts from my on-going “quest” for Mary Magdalene, the Lost Bride of the Christian story.
peace and light,

copyright 2014 by Margaret Starbird. All rights reserved.


A Timely Lesson

In 1983 Ann Requa, a dear friend since my college years at the University of Maryland, told me about Holy Blood, Holy Grail, that she thought I needed to read the book, and that I could probably find a copy in my local library. A few days later I looked the title up in the lubrary’s card catalogue, found it listed, and discovered it in the stacks. The front cover said Holy Blood, Holy Grail, as expected. But the back cover asserted that Jesus was probably married and that his wife and progeny survived the Crucifixion and fled into exile as refugees in Gaul. At the time in 1983 I was still “singing in the choir” and teaching catchism classes for the Roman Catholic Church, and I was definitely not inclined to accept any notion that I perceived as so clearly blasphemous.

For two years I did not read the book my friend had recommended, but, radically disillusioned after reading “In God’s Name” (an exposé of the Vatican Bank scandal and alleged assassination of Pope John Paul I by David Yallop), I returned to the library in 1985 and checked out Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I read the book from cover to cover, still reluctant to accept the fundamental premise of the marriage of Jesus to his “consort/companion” Mary Magdalene. I asked myself agonizing questions: How could we have lost the Bride of Jesus? How could the Church have hidden such a momentous secret for so many centuries? Surely the Church fathers would have told us if Jesus were married with children! I’ve recorded details of my quest for the truth of the Magdalene “story,” published in The Goddess in the Gospels in 1998. Numerous synchronicities and Scripture passages that confirmed the sacred partnership of Jesus and Mary Magdalene at the heart of the Christian story made their way into that book, so I won’t repeat them here.

But some important illuminating incidents didn’t make the “cut” for that book, including one I didn’t fully understand at the time, but which has grown on me over the years and has become a very important key understanding of the tragic consequences of the “Lost Bride.”

One Monday afternoon in 1986 while I was doing my usual chores, I sent out a special request—asking God to have the mailman deliver something to my mailbox that would confirm or deny the assertion of Holy Blood, Holy Grail that Mary Magdalene was the “Bride of Christ.” I had no idea what I would consider a proof or denial of the theory—but I asked for it anyhow.

When the mailman had passed, I ran to the box to see what he had left there. To my befuddlement, the only item in the box was a small package, about 7” by 10”, from a company that  advertised ant farms. Opening the container, I remembered having ordered the item weeks before so I could teach my children about the almost legendary work-ethic and industry of ants. The advertisement for the “farm” stated that viewers could watch the community of ants through the plastic walls of the box — tunneling and moving food particles through the network of tunnels the worker ants would create. I was sad that I hadn’t received an answer to my prayer for the confirmation or denial of the “married Jesus” hypothesis, but I decided maybe my request had come too late — probably the mailman had already packed his bag and started on his rounds.

When the kids got home from school, they were excited the ant farm had arrived. They bent their heads together over the instructions and unpacked the package to set up the ant farm. There was a narrow box with clear plastic panels on each side, a package of sand and a small packet containing the live ants! Carefully we assembled the project, added the ants and watched as they began scurrying to and fro digging their first tunnel. Sure enough, over a period of hours, the ants built tunnels and started carrying food particles from place to place. The kids watched with fascination for a few minutes, then went on to other activities, returning at intervals to see how the ants were doing with their project. As advertised, the ants continued to scurry around behind their plastic walls tunneling and carrying food particles.

At breakfast the next morning, the kids inspected their ant colony performing its activities — and rushed in again after school. For several days the ant farm was a magnet for attention. Neighborhood children were invited in to watch the ants. Everyone was enjoying observing ants busily scurrying around inside their plastic box, tirelessly tunneling and carrying food particles hither and yon.

But by the end of the week activity gradually slowed and then finally ceased. The ants had apparently worn themselves out and one at a time had begun to die off. After another forty-eight hours, we sadly agreed that the experiment was over and that it was time to trash the ant farm. We had gotten the message that the ants were an industrious community, but somehow they had failed to thrive. We carried the plastic box out to the back yard and dumped the experimental ant farm onto the ground, hoping any survivors might find a new colony and home outdoors.

Much later I realized that I actually HAD received an answer affirming the “sacred marriage” in the mailbox that Monday afternoon. The meaning was clear. The ant community had failed to thrive because they had no “organizing principle” at the heart of their “farm.” The goal of any community, its “reason for being” is the continuity and nurturing of life. They had no Queen and therefore, no reason for their labor, no progeny to nurture, no “vocation.” All their activities were ultimately just “busy work”—and wasted.

I believe the earliest Christians established their community with the partnership of Jesus and Mary Magdalene at its heart — modeled on the “Song of Songs,” where the devoted relationship of the “Beloveds” was a mirror of God’s passionate love for his people. While Jesus represented Yahweh as “Bridegroom,” (an epithet confirmed in various Gospel passages), Mary Magdalene represented the people of Israel, the “Daughter of Sion,” as Sister-Bride and Beloved. Their union was celebrated at all levels of human experience, exemplified in the “Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber,” in early Christian communities.

In his letter to Corinthians 5:9, Paul states that Cephas and the brothers of Jesus and the other apostles all “travel around with their sister-wives.” Where did Paul get that phrase, if not from the original Christian community that modeled itself on the “Song of Songs,” derived from an ancient rite of “sacred marriage,’ where the Bridegroom frequently refers to his Beloved as “My sister, my spouse: “You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride” (SoS 4:9); “a garden enclosed is my sister, my bride” (SoS 4: 12); and “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride” (SoS 5:1).

English translations of Paul’s letter invariably call these sister-wives “Christian sisters” even though the phrase in the original Greek does not contain the word “Christian” at all.

Why did the Jerome and later translators of the Greek Gospels wish to obscure the knowledge that the closest associates and kin of Jesus traveled with their “sister-wives” as missionary couples, bearing the “Good News” to the farthest outposts of the Roman Empire? When he sent them forth “two by two,” Jesus was apparently sending couples, not pairs of males, according to Paul, the earliest witness to Christian practices.

It’s a good thing Noah didn’t misunderstand God’s instructions about bringing the animals into the ark “two by two” as the early church fathers apparently misunderstood the instruction of Jesus to preach the “Way of the heart” in a couples’ ministry!

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Is the quest for the Holy Grail over – Margaret Starbird

Mary Magdalene the true Holy Grail Margaret StarbirdI’ve told you before, Margaret Starbird has been one of my most powerful influences, and I consider her one of my spiritual teachers ever since I met her in 1999. That was the same  time our Mystery School with its Order of Mary Magdala was going online. I had read her seminal work, The Woman With the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen & the Holy Grail in 1993 when it was first published, so in a way she became my spiritual teacher even before I started following her around the country attending workshops.

Our Esoteric Mystery School study programs use her inspiring books about “the Goddess” hidden in the New Testament, aka Mary Magdalene.

Margaret posted the following yesterday to our GoddessChristians forum. Margaret responds to this short quote about the Holy Grail never existing:

Speaking of the Holy Grail –“its religious significance didn’t arise until medieval legends entwined ancient Celtic myths with the Christian tradition of the Holy Chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper.
“The Grail legend is a literary invention of the 12th century with no historical basis,” Carlos de Ayala, a medieval historian at a Madrid university, told the AFP news agency. “You cannot search for something that does not exist.”

Margaret Starbird writes: As some of you already know, I don’t believe that the “Holy Grail”– “sangraal” in Old French — was “the Holy Chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper.” Describe it another way as “the vessel that once contained the blood of Christ.” Now, rather than a cup of gold or silver, you have the hint of an “earthen vessel” — in fact, a woman, bearing a child of whom Christ is the father. If you divide “sangraal” before the “g”– you have
“San graal” — encountered in the “Grail” stories about a “cup” or “chalice.” But if the same word is divided after the “g” — “sang raal,” it means “Blood royal” in Old French. You don’t carry the “blood royal” in a jar with a lid!

In medieval legend, Joseph of Arimathea is almost always the “custodian of the Grail” — sometimes shown in medieval paintings holding a chalice under the wound in Christ’s side as he hung on the cross. But there are also medieval paintings that show Mary Magdalene holding the chalice to catch blood dripping from the wounds of Christ, so both Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea are associated with the “Grail” myth. My own pet theory is found in the 20-page fictional Prologue of my Woman with the Alabaster Jar, called “Miriam in the Garden” (published in 1993 — the book that launched Dan Brown’s research for The DaVinci Code).Order of Mary Magdalene textbook for Esoteric Mystery School

Realizing that Mary Magdalene is nowhere to be found in the Book of Acts, despite her prominence at the cross and tomb in all four Gospels, I asked myself, “Why did she disappear so completely?” The only logical answer I could imagine was that she was perceived to be in danger and taken to a place of safety when rumors of the Risen Christ began to circulate in Jerusalem. This scenario would have been extremely likely if she had children or was pregnant….making her “the vessel that once contained the blood of Christ.” You don’t carry the royal blood around in a jar with a lid…

Please check out these articles posted on my website about the “Grail” in Leonardo’s “Last Supper” —  and the webpages about my books Alabaster Jar and Bride in Exile if you haven’t already!

In memory of Her,

Women were ALSO created in God’s Image

We were talking about the woman in Proverbs 8 who helps God create the world.  
Julio over at our GoddessChristians forum contributed the following:
ja_translations / Julio Salomon 20 Feb 2009


God is part woman, women were also created in the image of God, contrary to the false teaching of the old male dominated religious political system. Women are not some spiritually inferior being, made to be a shadow and servant to man, but an equal. Of equal importance, equal beauty and equally representative of the God head that created us for love.
In Genesis chapter 1, verses 26 & 27 it says: “And God said, Let “us” make man (mankind) in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of  the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: “male and female” created he them”. “Who” was God the Father talking to when he said let “us” make mankind in “our” image?
According to the late great American comedian “Lenny Bruce”: “If God made woman for man, he must have one of his own for himself.” Sounds sensible.
So, then, we could safely assume that the Holy Trinity, the Godhead of 3 Gods in one:
Father, Son & Holy Ghost, is not a male dominated political circle, but the perfect picture of the heavenly family of which we are a representation, having been made in their image and likeness: The Father, The Son and “HOLY SPIRIT”: the ever present wife of the Heavenly Father & Mother of the Son. Also known as the spirit of wisdom, compassion, mercy, love,  gentle like a dove, like a woman, not stern, judging or harsh as the Father.
When they talk about the “Trinity” 3 Gods in one, it means that they are ONE in unity, in love, even as “we” should be. Like Jesus prayed to his Father in John chapter 17: “I pray that they be one, even as we are one and the love that we have for each other, let it also be in them.” (read the whole chapter) So women are ALSO made in the image of God. This sounds a lot more fair and equal. Some feminist groups suggest that God is a woman, maybe they are “half” right, because the third person in the trinity: The Holy Ghost “is” a woman.
No wonder Jesus was such a defender of women in a hypocritical society were men were tolerated to commit certain sins, that if a woman committed them she would be immediately stoned to death. Women were viewed as mere possessions, second class citizens, before God and before man, they did not have equal rights. God did not make a woman from Adam’s feet so he could walk all over her (nor did he make her from his head so she could dominate him), but he made her from his ribs, near his heart, so she could be his sweetheart.
Possibly, the male dominated religious system of the past, even influenced the Bible translations to maintain superiority over poor women who were burnt at the stake as “witches” if they dared to demonstrate any spiritual gifts and who even in the epistles of the New Testament were told to be ashamed, take a lower seat, subservient to man because of  the “curse” of the garden of Eden and are not allowed to speak in the church.
Furthermore, the Apostle Paul, seemed to be opposite to Jesus Christ. Jesus said “eat and drink with sinners”, Paul said to disassociate with them. Jesus told a thief that tomorrow he would be with him in paradise, Paul said thieves cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
And on the subject of women, Paul said that a woman should bow her head in shame in the house of God and not be allowed to make any comments. But Jesus in his defense of an adulterous woman said: “he that is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her” and then he told her: “I condemn thee not”. How beautiful.
Jesus did not need anyone to compliment him, not the Apostle Paul, not anyone, nor did he have any twin brothers, he stands on his own, representing himself. Thank God for that.
That part of the bible even contradicts Jesus, who came to free us us completely from all curses. He even liberated us from the curse of death: “He that believes on me HAS eternal life”, right now and without any other conditions. Amen. John chapter 6, verse 47.
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I often contemplate this “let us make man in our image, male and female made he them”.   “Man” in those days meant “humanity”.  And the “god” doing the talking has a compound name (Elohim) which means literally “God and Goddess” or as some translate it, “the gods”.

If you find yourself wondering about all of the above, you might enjoy my online slide presentation, which covers this fascinating creation conversation and the woman-god Sophia of Proverbs 8.  We show other appearances of Sophia in the Hebrew scriptures, too.  See God Has a Wife! starting here (this starts you on slide #28)


Is God Beyond Gender? The taboo Judeo-Christian Goddess in YHVH

Rabbi unveils a secret of God

By Gary Stern, The Journal News

 The tradition-bound Western image of a he-man, masculine God may already be thousands of years out of date, says a Westchester rabbi who believes he has unlocked the secret to God’s name and androgynous nature.

 Rabbi Mark Sameth contends in a soon-to-be-published article that the four-letter Hebrew name for God – held by Jewish tradition to be unpronounceable since the year 70 – should actually be read in reverse. When the four letters are flipped, he says, the new name makes the sounds of the Hebrew words for “he” and “she.”

 God thus becomes a dual-gendered deity, bringing together all the male and female energy in the universe, the yin and the yang that have divided the sexes from Adam and Eve to Homer and Marge.

 “This is the kind of God I believe in, the kind of God that makes sense to me, in a language that speaks very, very deeply to human aspirations and striving,” Sameth said.

 “How could God be male and not female?”

 Sameth, 54, the spiritual leader of Pleasantville Community Synagogue, first hit on his theory more than a decade ago when he was a rabbinical student.  Since then, he has quietly pieced together clues and supporting evidence from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament and the vast body of rabbinic literature.

 His article “Who is He? He is She: The Secret Four-Letter Name of God” will appear in the summer issue of the CCAR Journal, published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, an association of Reform rabbis.

 Sameth’s theory is not as outlandish as it might seem to the uninitiated.

For one thing, Jewish mystical traditions have long found levels of meaning in the Hebrew Bible beyond those that come from a literal or metaphorical reading. For another, there is a deep tradition in Jewish prayer and thinking, particularly among the so-called mystics, of seeking to reconcile the male and female elements in the universe.

 Sameth’s article includes this: “What the mystics called ‘the secret of one’ is the inner unification of the sometimes competing, sometimes complementing masculine and feminine energies that reside within each of us, regardless whether we are male or female.”

 The notion that God is what Sameth calls a “hermaphroditic deity” could energize the growing movement in many religious traditions to present God in gender-neutral terms, particularly in Scripture.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, a revered scholar among liberal Jews who has written extensively on Jewish mysticism and spirituality, called Sameth’s article “delicious, thought-provoking and wise.” Kushner is among a small group of scholars and friends with whom Sameth has shared his article in recent weeks.

“I think most people assume the God of the Hebrew Bible is masculine, but Mark, through some sound and clever research, suggests that God may have always been androgynous, ” Kushner said. “This can affect the way we consider holiness and the divine, and invites us to reconsider our own gender identities, which is kind of a bombshell.”

 The Hebrew name of God that is known as the Tetragrammaton – the four letters Yud-Hay-Vov-Hay – appears 6,823 times in the Hebrew Bible. Since early Hebrew script included no vowels, the pronunciation of the name was known by those who heard it.

 According to Sameth’s footnotes, the name was said only by priests after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the name was no longer said and the pronunciation lost.

 Jewish tradition has long held that the name was too sacred to articulate.

Jews have generally used Adonai, “the Lord,” in place of the Tetragrammaton.

Various Christian groups have pronounced the name as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.”

Sameth has no intention of speaking the “reversed” name of God that he has uncovered, preferring to focus on its meaning.

“I still won’t pronounce it, intentionally, as God’s name,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that anyone pronounce the name.”

Sameth became fascinated with Jewish mysticism while a rabbinical student in Jerusalem during the early 1990s. He studied with Moshe Idel, a pre-eminent scholar on mysticism, and learned how medieval Spanish Kabbalists and others uncovered mystical meanings from the Torah that had been shrouded in patterns of words and letters.

Once back in New York, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform seminary, Sameth was studying the biblical story of the prophet Nathan reprimanding King David for murder, which becomes a turning point for David. Sameth realized that the Hebrew forms of both names, Nathan and David, are palindromes, words with spellings that can be reversed.

It was, as they say, a revelation.

“It’s about reversibility, ” Sameth said. “King David is changing the direction of his life, and the two key characters, their names are palindromes.

What are the chances of that?”

A new zeal for biblical reversibility led Sameth to flip the four Hebrew letters of the unpronounceable Tetragrammaton. [YHVH becomes HVHY] In his head, he heard the Hebrew words hu and hi. That’s “he/she” in English.

And he felt connected to a long line of Jewish mystics who have mused about the male and female coming together.

“I really believed that I had found something significant, ” Sameth said.

“Then I did 10 years of study to see if I could find support for it.”

Much of his article consists of weaving together clues and examples from Jewish Scripture and wisdom that offer historical context for his thesis. For example, Sameth contends that the Zohar – a medieval, mystical Torah commentary – was referring to God’s dual-gender “when it suggested that the sin of Adam was that he ruined the marriage between the feminine and masculine halves of God by divorcing himself from the feminine.”

He also writes: “We realize now that the secret was almost revealed by the 13th-century Torah commentator Rabbeinu Bachya, who makes note of every four-word cluster in the Torah whose rashei teivot, or initial letters, spell out the Tetragrammaton in reverse.”

Rabbi Jonathan Stein, editor of the CCAR Journal, was on vacation and not available for comment.

Sameth has been the only rabbi at the decade-old Pleasantville Community Synagogue, a self-described “trans-denominational” congregation that includes elements of Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism. Congregants come from many backgrounds and communities to the synagogue, which has become known for hearty singing and dancing during services.

Talking recently about his years of study to grasp the meaning of God’s name, Sameth had to stop, swallow hard and take a breath when describing what it’s like to receive sparks of insight from the great Jewish thinkers of long ago.

“It is a form of transcendence to be connected in that way,” he said.

Sameth doesn’t believe that he has stumbled on a previously unknown understanding of God’s name, but that he has been able to connect the dots in a fresh way.

Those who find meaning in his work, he said, may encounter a different understanding of God that is comforting to feminists and those on many spiritual journeys. They may also read the Torah differently.

“If this interpretation is correct, it says that the Torah is a mystical or esoteric text,” he said. “The mystics have been saying all these years that the text conceals more than it reveals. It is structured with different levels of meaning and reveals itself over time. We’re talking about one tradition that goes all the way back.”

Katherine Kurs, a religion scholar who teaches at New School University and is an associate minister at West-Park (Presbyterian) Church in Manhattan, said that the image of God presented by Sameth will have great appeal to many people who are searching for spiritual meaning.

“Mark’s unveiling is part of a mystic lineage that presents a prismatic experience of God, that says there are ways of experiencing God that contain and explode categories simultaneously, ” said Kurs, who has known Sameth since they studied together almost 20 years ago. “This God is not a male or even a female but a male-female or female-male, a God that holds tension and paradox, a full-spectrum bandwidth God.”

Sameth has shared his image of a dual-gendered God with the seventh- and eighth-graders he teaches at his synagogue. He said they’ve been very receptive, which isn’t surprising because they are growing up in a post-modern age.

“As post-moderns, we’ve been conditioned to a different relationship with language,” he said. “That’s why there is all this interest now in Jewish mysticism.”

He wonders how, 2,000 years from now, people will understand the final chapter of “Ulysses,” which includes no punctuation.

Will they try to add punctuation, believing that it’s been lost? Or will they grasp that James Joyce knew what he was doing?

“Joyce was playing with language, using language to play with the medium,” Sameth said. “And the Torah isn’t just about Noah taking the animals, twosies by twosies. If that’s what the Torah was all about, how could it have captivated Western civilization for 3,000 years? There had to be more.”


— In, Rachel wrote:

> The only problem with the article is that G-d has never been seen as male in Judaism; calling G-d “He” is convention. There is no neutral gender word in Hebrew. G-d is neither (not both but neither) male or female in the Jewish religion; having no physical attributes or even emotions as we understand it. When it talks about humans being created in G-d’s image it means spiritually. G-d has always been spoken of in the feminine as well as masculine, for example as a mother or father, as a master or mistress (when we are referred to as bondsmen or bondswomen).

> I don’t understand a Rabbi who hasn’t learned that. It is a bit odd to me.

Katia writes:  Seems to me the very fact there is no gender neutral word in ancient Hebrew, the original language of theology, basically proves there was no gender neutral God in Judaism.

GLENN KING responded to Rachel by posting the following to the DivineMother forum.

Rachael, I am certain that you are right in stating that the formal theology of Judaism states that God is beyond all aspects of gender. That is also the position of Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and liberal Protestantism. My problem is that I doubt that few people in their hearts of hearts really believe this. I also suspect that few Jews historically have believed it either.

      First let me explain a few things. It is certain that the biblical God is not a male in the same physical way that a human man is or as Greek god such as Zeus. The god of the Israelites did not relate to other gods and to human women as did the Greek gods. Clearly the bible discourages that point of view.

       However after stating that, it is clear that in most respects the biblical writers saw Yahweh is in a deep way as male. “He” is Lord and King and never lady and Queen. G-d has mostly “male” roles of ruler, judge, warrior, etc. It is true that sometimes this male aspect slips and in few places he is seen as like a female eagle, or a woman in labor. But in general the male images hold.

       There is other evidence of this. G-d is often called Elohim in the bible. My understanding is that Elohim is the masculine plural of Eloah which  can quite properly be translated as “goddess.” Yet the verbs associated with this are always masculine and singular. My point is that the biblical writers had a multiple of opportunities to dispel the idea that G-d is some how intrinsically wrapped up with maleness. Yet the writers repeatedly do not do this. Thus I would argue that the idea that the biblically male language of G-d in the bible is purely conventional is incorrect. On the contrary the male language of god in the Bible betrays the very strong patriarchal culture of Israel which believed that if god has to be imaged as personal then G-d has to be male even if not conventionally so.

      I would also suggest, whatever the rabbis’ point of view, that they were not the authors of the biblical text. The understanding of the rabbis, most of them wrote and commented on the Torah after the time of Jesus, is not necessarily the view of earlier pre biblical Israel i.e. of the period 1300 BCE to about 600 BCE. It seems that monotheism only fully triumphed in Judah after the exile. Thus the understanding of the majority of Israel’s people and of her elites were not doubt quite different than that of the latter rabbis.  It is also obvious that the latter Cabbalist Medieval writers had a different point of view. To a large degree their theology was that the High Holy One, the King, had lost his connection with his Shekinah i.e. Queen or daughter who was in exile with Israel. The Shekinah, the Sabbath Queen, etc were all seen as basically female. I am of course aware that latter day theologians and philosophers have argued that all of this Kabalistic language was all merely metaphoric not to be taken literally. To defend this language I am sure that even the Kabbalists themselves stated that it was all just metaphor. The problem is why use all of this metaphor if it just confuses the issue. Why talk as if there is in fact a female and male presence of God if God is only a singular, sexless “spiritual” (what ever that means) being.

      My real suspicion is of course that these people did have a radically different vision of G-d  which was not compatible with Rabbinic orthodoxy. Thus what they did is cover it up with their talk of allegory and metaphor. It would not be very pleasant to be exiled even from the exiles.

       I think of course that the same thing has happened within Christianity in relationship with Mary. Official Catholic and Orthodox theology claim that Mary’s role as Queen of Heaven, Co mediatrix and of her power and Glory are all just borrowed powers from Jesus to whom all real power and glory resides. Thus all of Mary’s power and glory  is simply at bottom not real.

The problem with this is why in fact would God even permit this. If this is all there is to Mary, then Protestantism makes all the sense in the world. Of course again I think that all of this talk is subterfuge to hide the real fact that psychologically and really Catholics love and adore Mary in ways very similar to how the old Pagans used to worship Isis, Inanna and other goddesses. The point of this being that official doctrines of religions often hide as much as they reveal. Often they hid radical realities rather that admitting the radical truth of the real situation.  –Glenn

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Ricardo from our local Meetup wrote:

This documentary talks about this topic in a very interesting way:

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Glenn King writes:

Rachael, I am certain that you are right in stating that the formal theology of Judaism states that God is beyond all aspects of gender. That is also the position of Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and liberal Protestantism. My problem is that I doubt that few people in their hearts of hearts really believe this. I also suspect that few Jews historically have believed it either.

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BURL responds: 

I think to take gender out of the Godhead is to deny our relationship to the greater whole.  When I see the Sun’s rays entering my cells and feel them unfold their potential by absorbing those rays, then I tend to see my cells as acting in a female role and the sun in a male.  In other words, gender is reflective of cosmic process.

Another piece is that if you read other myths and scriptures from throughout the world, no other culture is shy about describing that which is before manifestation (i.e., the Unmanifest) in the Feminine.  The Feminine is the container of potential, be that potential be in the form of a seed in the ground, an egg in a mammal or bird, or as hidden knowledge in the depths of our minds.

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>>First let me explain a few things. It is certain that the biblical God is not a male in the same physical way that a human man is or as Greek god such as Zeus.

Genesis 1:27 reads: “God created humanity is “his” image, male and female created he them.” However after stating that, it is clear that in most respects the biblical writers saw Yahweh is in a deep way as male. “He” is Lord and King and never lady and Queen. G-d has mostly “male” roles of ruler, judge, warrior, etc. It is true that sometimes this male aspect slips and in few places he is seen as like a female eagle, or a woman in labor. But in general the male images hold.

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This change could also be seen as a holographic tidal wave on this planet.  … all one movement of one tidal wave that will eventually rescind and calm down (will we become extinct in the process, or transform? is the question).  Your work, my work, the work of the people in this group is to be the beginning of this transformation.  So is the work of the locavores or local food movements and so on.  While you may not see the relationship of these two movements (and many others), I do.  They are one wave that hopefully will gain momentum (according to Sophia’s desires which operate much like the moon on the water (and our bodies) to replace these dark ages.


> Thus I would argue that the idea that the biblically male language of G-d in the
> bible is purely conventional is incorrect. On the contrary the male language
> of god in the Bible betrays the very strong patriarchal culture of Israel
> which believed that if god has to be imaged as personal then G-d has to be male
> even if not conventionally so.

Looking at this holographically, I would also say that seeing God as purely male reflected a shift towards more externalized thinking.  We have wars because we are more interested in conquering and controlling them over there then we are about developing our inner potential.  This is what Sophia is, in my opinion.  she is the infinite inner world of all creatures and contains all potentials that unfold according the interactions of Her son and husband, Eros, or Creative Desire.  Or as Hermes said (I’m paraphrasing), “Sophia is the container of potential and Eros initiates that unfolding.” Hence, in sexual reproduction, the egg exists as a potential person that unfolds as a body upon the union with sperm.  Or, in the Stanza’s of Dyzan “Darkness (female) radiates Light and Light drops one solitary ray into the Mother’s depths.  The eternal egg thrills and divides…”  And, wa-la here we are having this conversation.

> It is also obvious that the latter Cabbalist Medieval writers had a different point

> of view. To a large degree their theology was that the High Holy One, the

> King, had lost his connection with his Shekinah i.e. Queen or daughter who was in

> exile with Israel.


When you get down to it, the Holy One entails the knowledge of unity in diversity.  The mystical aspect of the people existing when the U.S. came to be knew this in their “E Pluribus Unim,” IN UNITY DIVERSITY.  There is unity in diversity and diversity in unity.  As the chaos theorists now realize, this is one Planet that operates as a single organism.  We, in other words, are cells in the Planet and are not the Kings or Queens of it.  Due to our arrogance and our “growth without end” mentality, we have become cancerous cells..this is what cancer is, growth gone wild.

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The Shekinah, the Sabbath Queen, etc were all seen as

> basically female. I am of course aware that latter day theologians and

> philosophers have argued that all of this Kabalistic language was all merely metaphoric

> not to be taken literally.

Ah!  Merely metaphoric!  Metaphor according to Burl and Gregory Baetson IS the language of the universe.  Metaphor is the language that connects.  If we look at the external orientation of our modern day, we can see the male externalized genitals.  We are more interested in invading other countries and controlling the population (politicians, scientists, etc) then we are our inner world.  Yet, it is in our inner world that a new world can unfold.  It is only by tapping into the Feminine that we can create a peaceful planet.

Hence, one of Sophia’s names is Salem, Shalom or Jerusalem meaning peace.  Giving birth to Sophia (i.e., the Daughter), we give birth to peace on Earth.

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To defend this language I am sure that even the

> Kabbalists themselves stated that it was all just metaphor. The problem is why use

> all of this metaphor if it just confuses the issue.

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Metaphor is holographic.  Understanding one, you understand the all. Gregory Baetson says that metaphor is Nature’s language. I can figure every one of our individualized and creative paths through the Wizard of Oz.  The Wizard of Oz is metaphor.  One person argued with me about Baum’s story being political.  “Well, I said, that’s true too.”

Now, how could I say that?  Easy, in my holographic universe, the political interpretation of this man was one with my spiritual [interpretation].  The sun’s rays shining through a prism breaks down into a multitude of colors.  Each interpretation is one strand of color existing in one ray of Light emanating from the Womb of Sophia.  (Baum states that the story just erupted into his consciousness.  Need I say more about Sophia’s hand being there?)  We are all Dorothy in Oz (manifestation) seeking Kansas (Heaven or the land of non-duality as reflected in the flat greyness).

>         I think of course that the same thing has happened within

> Christianity in relationship with Mary. Official Catholic and Orthodox theology claim

> that Mary’s role as Queen of Heaven, Co mediatrix and of her power and Glory are

> all just borrowed powers from Jesus to whom all real power and glory resides.

> Thus all of Mary’s power and glory   is simply at bottom not real.


Another slant on this is that Mary, Marie, means Ocean (marine, marina, etc).  When the Spirit moved over the face of the Deep in Genesis, the Holy Spirit came upon Marie in the New Testament. Hence, the Light of the world was born, the Word.  Again, this happens beyond time and space, in infinity, and as such is as much a possibility for each one of us as it is for some externalized woman living during the Roman times.  “Of what use Gabriel your message to Marie / unless you deliver that same message to me,” a mystic once said.

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> The problem with this is why in fact would God even permit this. If this is all there is to Mary, then Protestantism makes all the sense in the world. Of course again I think that all of this talk is subterfuge to hide the real fact

> that psychologically and really Catholics love and adore Mary in ways very > similar to how the old Pagans used to worship Isis, Inanna and other goddesses.

Ya just can’t kill your love for your Mother.


> The point of this being that official doctrines of religions often hide as much

> as they reveal. Often they hid radical realities rather that admitting the 

> radical truth of the real situation.

 — Glenn


Or, is it that we don’t understand the language in our literal, empirical, results oriented, society.  Doctrines are living documents.  The Bible, the Rig Veda, the Tao Te Ching, the Upanishads, etc are all living, interactive beings.  There words are seminal in unfolding potential within you.  They are not to be taken literally, for to take them that way would be to kill them.  Rather, one should dance with all religious writings and in hearing other interpretations, one should dance with those also.  As the Three Musketeers stated, “Its all for one and one for all.”  In the diversity of interpretations is the mirror of the Holy One….Sophia who is male and female in Her divine essence.  Her kiss is Her Son, Eros.  Every time He visits me, I create an article, a book, or an insight.  What is unmanifest becomes manifest in me when I am in His arms.  And who is His arms if not Her extension?

–Burl Hall, author of Sophia’s Web

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I would go further and note that this claim of a genderless God only arises when one is discussing the Goddess. As long as the pronouns remain masculine, no one makes this argument. It is just another way of keeping the Goddess from being discussed. Their argument can be boiled down to this: If God is genderless, there is no point in discussing the sacred feminine because it either doesn’t exist or is included in the masculine references.

This is the same argument made against using genderless titles (ie flight attendant, chairperson) back when the second wave of feminism began to demand that women’s titles be the equal of men’s. The argument that the male title actually includes the female was quite popular with those who wanted to resist feminine empowerment. This argument went so far as to claim that the laws didn’t need to be changed to include women because the words “man” and “men” actually included women — this despite the exact opposite argument had been made to deny any rights to women for centuries.

In “The Goddess vs. The Alphabet,” Leonard Schlain argues that the Hebrew ban on images was a direct attempt to erase the Goddess. The Goddess religions that preceded patriarchal monotheism made liberal use of images, especially sculpture. When we understand this, the God of Moses banning all “graven images” takes on a new context.


We can even argue that the concept a genderless God arose from the need to eliminate the Goddess. The Goddess worshippers were too powerful to [get rid of] all at once, therefore they began to indoctrinate the masses with the idea that God has no gender. This would have developed over decades or centuries until no one remembered that the “genderless” God (expressed as male) was needed to eliminate the feminine Goddess.


The people that claim God is genderless are disturbed when I use exclusively feminine pronouns and references when speaking of deity.  If God is genderless, then my use of these sacred feminine words shouldn’t matter. It is obvious they do, thus it is obvious that despite their claim God is genderless, they are accustomed to thinking of God as masculine and are not comfortable with thinking of God as feminine.

But in my world, this argument about how the Hebrews and rabbis think of God is moot. I was raised Christian where God is very definitely male. The RCC made official pronouncements to this effect just recently, going so far as to denounce and deny all marriages whose marriage rites contained gender-neutral language. The Sistine Chapel is very clear: the image of God is powerfully male. I wasn’t raised RCC but their images bleed over into all Christian religions. No traditional Christian would make the argument that God is genderless nor do they easily accept the idea of the sacred feminine, even in the abstract. Even those who claim God is genderless do not easily accept having the sacred feminine being plainly addressed or represented alongside their easy acceptance of the sacred masculine address or representation (ie using God and Goddess equally or displaying both images in equal prominence). This is why they engage in their genderless God rhetoric. Discussion of the Goddess or any version of the sacred feminine makes them uneasy, therefore I should not feel free to use it.

As long as we’re willing to engage in their argument — that God is genderless therefore we don’t need to use any sacred feminine references, we are reacting on the defensive and allowing their definition of deity to be the primary definition of deity. If indeed their God is genderless, my use of the sacred feminine in any of Her variations should not bother them. As long as they argue otherwise, it is an indication that their genderless claims are denied by their passionate need to keep me from referring to the sacred feminine.

When they no longer care, then I would believe their God is indeed genderless.

I don’t really care what the ancients believed or how they thought of God. I prefer to claim the sacred feminine alongside the sacred masculine, therefore their preferences are meaningless to me.

Lore continues:

At 11:36 8/24/08, Burl wrote:

>I think to take gender out of the Godhead is to deny our

>relationship to the greater whole.

It is not by accident that we yearn to identify with the sacred feminine. It is the completion we need to have a healthy relationship with all of life and the universe. Gender is indeed reflective of the cosmic process, as you noted. It is so integral that it is represented in every species, even those that are androgynous. As a species, we cannot imagine life without either gender. Even our material items are referred to as gendered (ie a ship is “she”). Trying to make a monotheistic deity one gender or genderless defies this deep natural instinct and creates imbalance in our thought processes.

It also creates a masculinized world that devalues and fears anything associated with the feminine while worshipping anything associated with the masculine. This worship of all things masculine is what allows our society to glorifies the mass extinction of others (including other species) via war, genocide, rape of the earth, etc.

Since creativity is viewed as feminine, it too is feared and devalued. We cannot make progress without creativity, yet men who display prowess in overtly creative endeavors (ie an artist) are ridiculed as “feminine” and shunned.

There is no way to have a balanced society that strictly worships a monotheistic deity that is either one gender or genderless. It is an abnormal and deformed way of viewing the universe and our world experience. Like all things that are deformed, this abnormal belief cannot create the balance and acceptance of Self, Earth and Universe that we desperately need.


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Katia wrote later:

I really like the new theory by Rabbi Sameth about YHVH being reversed to say He/She.   He/She makes alot of sense for the Divine’s name, and the major names of God in our very Bibles literally mean just that.   Elohim means “God and Goddess” and Yahweh/Yahovah/YHVH is a combination of the God Yah and Goddess Havah (Havah is Hebrew for “Eve”, and means Mother of All). 

The Tetragrammaton name of the Divine, written YHVH, has the added benefit of meaning God/Goddess no matter which way you look at it — front to back or back to front.   No matter how you flip it, there is Goddess-and-God simultaneously.

Bloodline the Movie, evidence of Magdalene & Jesus in France

Magdalen Papess Card by Robert PlaceEveryone is talking about — and my friend Joan Norton, author of The Mary Magdalene Within, is blogging about — the mysterious film coming out next month called Bloodline: the Movie. The filmmakers interviewed Margaret Starbird whose work we very much appreciate and very much study in our Order of Mary Magdala. Margaret told us on our Yahoogroups forums she doesn’t even remember a word she said the day they interviewed her because producer Bruce Burgess showed up on her doorstep, cameras in tow, just hours after she had learned of the death of her beloved father. She had forgotten he was even coming. Evidently the interview ended up being quite powerful because the Bloodline movie people have posted it in full to their website (click on Screening Room).  I need to go over and have a look. They also have an interview with the supposed head of the Priory of Sion, an organization I thought was basically made-up by Frenchman Pierre Plantard (of Holy Blood Holy Grail fame). The film claims to be following up on the mysteries of the groundbreaking book Holy Blood, Holy Grail (as brought into the public forum by DaVinci Code), a sort of whodunnit digging thru clues and artifacts in France and uncovering a chest of treasures dating to 1st Century France. Somewhere online a few years ago I saw photos of the contents, on a website of one of the filmmakers, I believe. Anyway, there was a scroll (I think) and a cup (the Holy Grail?) and some other items. Very cool. Then the Indiana Jones type explorers found a tomb with a mummy draped in a shroud bearing a red cross.

It sounds a bit fantastic, too good to be true, but hey, I will be in the front row watching the movie and taking notes. Well actually, I don’t live where it’s going to be screening! Bloodline: The Movie is being shown only in limited theaters in Los Angeles — and maybe New York? Joan has it posted on her blog where you can go view it in L.A. on May 9, I think it is. They are going to have a question and answer session after the premier. Then it’s going straight to DVD after that, so the rest of us won’t have to wait too long.

Sophia, copyright Hrana Janto, used with artist permission. Note her wings, holy spirit dove, pregnant belly with crescent moonThe blogs and forums are all discussing the topic and it’s good to have dialog about our favorite Christian “theory”, that Magdalene and Yeshua were married and the Sacred Union is at the heart of Christianity.I say theory because as Margaret Starbird often quips, “we don’t have a marriage certificate!” Having both a Christian Goddess and God is a spiritual “doctrine” that brings Christianity into balance, no longer a lop-sided dysfunctional religion, but one with heart AND soul. I believe Mother Mary was also a Judeo-Christian Goddess, an incarnation of Sophia, the God-ess mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as being co-creator with God, called the Holy Spirit and Tree of Life. See Proverbs 8 and the apocryphal book of Sirach.

You and I have Christian goddesses! — and acknowledging them can make all the difference in our spiritual practices.

As for the Bloodline Movie, I only hope they are not gonna say that mummy is Jesus’, since we just went thru all that agony (and I believe, nonsense, call me a snob) over the Talpiot Tomb.

If they imply it is Magdalene’s body, then okay, I can handle that. I guess I can even be open to it being Yeshua’s, since I do believe after the resurrection he lived among his disciples awhile (one Gnostic text says 11 years!) teaching and getting the teachings preserved. I mean, he died to deliver that message, so it makes sense he’d want them to get it right. Okay, we didn’t said message so well back then, but he, Magdalene and their students seeded the earth’s consciousness so to speak so that now we can get the point, or at least work on getting the mystery. Digging around the ‘Net, contemplating and pondering, researching, studying ancient wisdom, is delving into those mysteries…

What mysteries are you studying, pondering or digging into lately?