Authors Joan Norton, Margaret Starbird and Burl Hall and the rest of us were discussing Martin Luther and the Sacred Feminine on our GoddessChristians forum. Â Margaret wrote in as follows:
Among other strange opinions of Martin Luther, I stumbled into a quoteÂ of his from “Table Talks” to the effect that Jesus had affairs withÂ three women: the women at the well, the woman taken in adultery, andÂ Mary Magdalene.Â I found this really interesting because it appears toÂ me to be a “garbled” reference to Cathar beliefs that Mary Magdalene,Â the woman at the well, and the woman taken in adultery were all theÂ same person (one woman–not three)…. But Luther was suggesting thatÂ Jesus had promiscuous relationships with all three! Pretty bizarreÂ behavior, in my view!–in a time and place where people had strongÂ taboos about promiscuity and were stoned for less….and from a rabbiÂ who warned that to think lustfully about a woman was tantamount toÂ committing “adultery in one’s heart.”
> VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In the latest Vatican broadside against
> “The Da Vinci Code,” a leading cardinal says Christians should
> respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend
> Christ and the Church he founded.
Since Dan Brown derived his basic ideas about Mary Magdalene and JesusÂ from my “Woman with the Alabaster Jar,” I would like to say that whenÂ I wrote that book I was coming from the heart of the Roman CatholicÂ Church and a charismatic prayer group that included two priests andÂ six lay people to which I had belonged for about 15 years at the time.Â
These people were encouraging me and praying for me while I was doingÂ my research because we had been shown as a community that there wasÂ something important missing from the foundations of Christianity thatÂ had to do with the “denigrated Feminine.”
I gave my “Alabaster Jar” manuscript to my Roman Catholic priest/pastor–and to two Protestant ministers in 1991- before I ever dreamedÂ of sending it to a publisher. All three of these clergymen knew meÂ well and encouraged me to publish my book. In fact, the CatholicÂ priest told me, “This could heal the Church.” I offered “AlabasterÂ Jar” as a gift to the Church–one that would enable the patriarchy toÂ embrace the “Feminine” embodied in Mary Magdalene and welcome her homeÂ with rejoicing! What a shame that they cannot see the healing thatÂ would inevitably flow from the “nuptials of the Lamb and his Bride.”
Carl Jung states in “Answer to Job” that it is incongruous toÂ visualize Jesus embracing a church filled with people. He needs toÂ embrace a woman… This image is beautifully expressed in the stainedÂ glass window from the Kilmore Church at Dervaig, a town on the Isle ofÂ Mull, (posted on my website) which shows Jesus and Mary “hand-fasted” (clasping right hands)–a symbol for marriage in the ChristianÂ liturgy…the “Bride” represents her land and people–as in theÂ ancient metaphor of Yahweh’s undying love for his people….
There was never any intent to attack Jesus…. I was trying to “healÂ the wasteland” that ensues when the “Feminine” principle is denied andÂ defamed, forced into exile and silenced….
In the triptych above the inner door at Mary Magdalene’s basilica atÂ VÃ©zeley, France, (the “Madeleine”), the left hand of Jesus is missing-probably vandalized, although it may have just broken off. What anÂ incredible reminder that he can’t be “whole” without her! SinceÂ Judaism in the first century didn’t have a word for “bachelor” –andÂ the word the Jews now use is “ravak”–“empty”–maybe we need toÂ revisit the foundations of the Christian faith and restore the “lostÂ Bride.”
peace and light,
“Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile”
Joan Norton, author of Mary Magdalene Within, responded:
Â Â Â Hi Margaret,
Â Â I wonder if Martin Luther’sÂ interpretation of the three women as Jesus’ “involvements” influenced Joseph Smith’s Mormon revelations that Jesus had more than one wife?Â I know they put theÂ ritual of the bridal chamber at the center of things, but with the extra added twist of more than one wife.
Â Â Â I put up a new podcast meditation today called “Beloveds in the Garden” at http://marymagdalenewithin.podomatic.comÂ Â and I don’t mean Jesus and three Beloveds! (chuckle)
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And author Burl Hall wrote in with the following intriguing thoughts:
You say it all, Margaret.Â In my work, I have come to the opinionÂ that the wasteland we have created in the environment (endless wars,Â ecological destruction, sensationalist medias, etc.) is a mirror toÂ the wasteland of our minds. I talk somewhat of the surface level egoÂ mind, or empirical/rational thought as surface level with deepÂ thought, the Feminine, lying underneath. By underneath I don’t meanÂ this as a power relationship.Â Indeed, Tehom, the Depths of GenesisÂ 1:2, is Feminine and is the foundations of the Universe andÂ ultimately the Mother of Light (Manifestation).Â Furthermore, it isÂ She that becomes this world.Â As the Hindu Ramakrishna puts it, “TheÂ Unmanifest (Being…Tehom…Brahman….Yahweh…Marie…Tao) shinesÂ forth as Shakti (the Goddess, Divine Energy, Sophia)…and ShaktiÂ takes form as this entire universe.”
Sometimes when I close my eyes I watch images dance in my mind.Â TheyÂ tend to shapeshift and will often play with me as if I were anÂ external being.Â They are so much fun. And, they appear aware of meÂ as much as I am aware of them. … When I watch these images danceÂ (they do indeed have a life of their own that is beyond myÂ controlling ego) I realize they are the creation of somethingÂ deeper…furthermore, I realize that the power within me that isÂ creating this wonderful display is not separate from that Power thatÂ births, supports and dissolves the cosmos.Â To “see” that Power, I goÂ behind the images and into the Darkness, the Darkness upon the faceÂ of the Deep.Â (Mary or Marie also means Ocean as per the termsÂ Marine, Marina, etc.).
So, when Sophia (the Agent of Becoming, the Holy Spirit) came uponÂ Tehom as the Holy Spirit in Genesis and the Holy Spirit moved uponÂ Marie in the New Testament, are we perhaps repeating the sameÂ story?Â “The Unmanifest (Marie) shines forth as Shakti (Sophia) andÂ Shakti is simply the luminous darkness of the Unmanifest,”Â Ramakrishna says. Or as Paul McCarney says, “When I find myself inÂ times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.Â Speaking words of Wisdom,Â Let It Be.”Â Mary and Sophia are akin to water and wetness, they areÂ not two.Â McCartney may not have been consciously aware ofÂ this….but, hey, Sophia speaks beneath the ego.Â Anyhow, the way IÂ see this relation of Mary the Magdeline (She of the Temple Towers isÂ a definition?) as Wife and Mary the Virgin as Mother.Â These are not,Â from a non-historical perspective, two Women.Â From a mysticalÂ dimension, the birth from Marie is reflective of Motherhood of WomanÂ while the Fate function of Woman is reflected in the Magdeline asÂ Wife or Bride.Â I look at this as the Goddess as Mother and theÂ Goddess as Fate.Â One is birth from Woman, the Unmanifest, the otherÂ is the return Home, to the Unmanifest.Â Women in their physicalÂ bodies mirror this cosmic power of birth, maintanence and fate orÂ dissolution.
This too speaks of Jung with his notion of the Feminine as theÂ Unconscious.Â I do not see the Feminine as Unconscious as much asÂ suppressed.Â When I think of Sophia, I think of Her in my body andÂ think, “Now I don’t know how my heart is beating or how fast, yet SheÂ is in my body monitoring all of this and through a complicated systemÂ of communications is making changes.”Â This same intelligence isÂ worldwide and, indeed, universe wide.Â Earth is an integrated systemÂ every bit as much as our body.Â Furthermore, the surface levelÂ intelligence doesn’t know how to listen (which manifest in the wordsÂ of many women who say that men don’t know how to listen…this isÂ true for how we relate to women AND our inner worlds, which areÂ suppressed at worst or at best turned into media propaganda (e.g.,Â advertising…this is one reason we have created a wasteland).
Suppressing the Feminine externally is the suppression of theÂ Feminine internally.Â I recall as a child how many artists, trueÂ artists, were ridiculed as being effeminite. Why?Â Because they areÂ able to tap into the wild, unruly and surprisingly rebellious orÂ evolutionary Feminine Intelligence.Â Deep Femininty is a danger toÂ the status quo for She is the agent of change.Â As the Book of WisdomÂ says, “She renews the world.”Â All things change and transform inÂ accordance to Sophia.Â This is why the Feminine scares us.Â It meansÂ dissolution of the old and the birth of the new.Â
Anyway, you probably weren’t looking for all of this in a response. Â Its the prozac!Â Thanks for your post and your work.
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I posted some thoughts about the Vatican saying Magdalene and Jesus being married is an insult, a blasphemy against Christianity and that Christians should rise up and riot, bring lawsuits, etc. against those who believe these harmless (and inspiring, if you ask me) things. Â I wrote:
Yeah, notice how they are quick to say Christ and the “Church he founded” have been gravely insulted by the suggestion he may have been a full man with a woman and kids in his life yet, yet, YET, they do nothing when those horrible paintings of someone urinating on the crucified Jesus, or defecating on him or Mary are displayed prominently in famous NY (and other city) art galleries.Â That is one reason to call a “Christian Fatwa” if you ask me and is similar in theory (altho not degree!) to the Mohammed cartoons.Â Just imagine if urine and feces had been done to Mohammed.Â They freaked when the pages of a copy of the Koran might have been used as toilet paper when Muslims (and others) burn Torahs, Bibles and flags all the time.
Don’t get me started…. but rock on Margaret for tellin’ ’em like it is — the Church needs the “denigrated Feminine” RESTORED and it ain’t an insult to nobody, least of all Jesus/Yeshua.