For the past year I have been immersed in deep research for the follow-up to my first novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene. Book two will find Mary, called Magdalene in Alexandria, Egypt where she will experience a whole new life in a whole new culture and will be led to further training and initiation in her journey toward fulfilling the entirety of her Soul’s purpose….after Jesus. This research has brought me to many interesting resources. The most interesting have been the texts on the “magical” traditions of ancient Egypt, especially those on ancient alchemy.
Previous to this research, my exposure to alchemy has been minimal at best. Jay Ramsay in this book, Crucible of Love used the alchemical process as the metaphor for an enduring love relationship. Deborah Harkness in her All Soul’s Trilogy describes alchemy against the backdrop of Medieval culture and the scientists and philosophers who worked to further the cause of alchemy. At best, I was confused by the topic of alchemy and thought of it only as a fairytale science in which magicians hoped to turn base metals into gold.
That was then, this is now. In researching the initiatory practices and “magic” of ancient Egypt, I came upon a text that has blown my mind. The Emerald Tablet of Thoth. The first version of this text which fell into my awareness was the mystical reflection on the Emerald Tablet by Doreal. I was then led (through a voracious researcher friend) to a text which provides a variety of translations to the original text. Finally, the book of all books, The Emerald Tablet – Alchemy for Personal Transformation by Dennis William Hauck has shown me that I have indeed always known what alchemy was. Not only did I know what it was, I WAS LIVING IT. My entire lifetime, especially the past 25 years, has been an experiment in alchemy. Through this “experiment” I discovered the alchemical “formula” that works for me. I then created a curriculum, and published a book ( Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy), which teaches others how to transform the base experiences of the human condition into their own, personal gold. But I did not do this alone.
The alchemical process that I created, Authentic Freedom, is really less of a creation and more of a remembering. Specifically, I believe that Authentic Freedom is the process Jesus used to initiate his followers and that Mary, called Magdalene, (who was said to be “healed of seven demons”) was the one disciple who brought this process to completion within herself and then went on to share this process with others. I also believe that this alchemical process is what was written on the pages that were missing from the Gospel of Mary fragments that were discovered in the late 1800’s near Akhmim in Upper Egypt. Whether these pages were included in the original discovery and then destroyed, are now locked up in the basement of the Vatican, or were never included in the jars in which the gospel was preserved, we may never know. But thanks to the process of alchemy itself, (through the “magic” of our creative imagination which connects us with “The One Mind”) we can now reclaim the original alchemical process and teachings of Jesus along with the woman he appointed to carry out these teachings – Mary, called Magdalene.
Mary, called Magdalene, was said in scripture to be “healed of seven demons.” While tradition has equated this with “sin” and that she was formerly a sinful woman who Jesus converted to faith, there is no scriptural support for this traditional interpretation (for more on this, read my blog, How the Church Maligned the Magdalene). Gnostic scripture scholars suggest that “healed of seven demons” describes an initiatory process that Mary, called Magdalene, completed under Jesus’ tutelage (see the work of Jean Yves-LeLoup for more on this). Through this process, Mary achieved the goal of alchemy which is to become anthropos – to fully integrate the divine and human within her and to fully integrate the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine within her. In short, Mary, called Magdalene, became self-actualized – she came to understand her own unique giftedness and how she was called to share these gifts in the world for the sake of her own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world. Not only did Mary discover her purpose in this life, she moved through the inner obstacles that might have prevented her from living that life to its fullest. Alchemy, then, from a Christian perspective, is allowing ourselves to be vessels through which God is made flesh in the human world, and in becoming flesh, turning our own lives and the world around us from fear into love. Mary, called Magdalene, completed this process and then went on to facilitate others in this same process. Through the process of alchemy, we now have in our possession, the very process that Mary underwent and then went on to teach and that process is Authentic Freedom.
I am forever indebted to Mary, called Magdalene and with her the Christ (for in truth, the two are one) for revealing this process of Christian Alchemy to me so that I can in turn share it with others.
To learn the alchemical process created by Jesus and then fulfilled through Mary Magdalene, check out my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy. Learn more HERE.