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Slaughter of the Innocents

My dear sisters and brothers,

Like you, my heart is broken over the recent school shooting – the death of innocent children and the teachers who died trying to protect them.  My heart is broken over the plight of the young boy, troubled to begin with, shattered by the death of his adoptive parents, and then abandoned by an imperfect system that failed to get him the help he so desperately needed.  My heart is broken over a broken system that allows a fragile and broken child to purchase and then use a military assault rifle. My heart is broken over how these kinds of experiences are becoming the “new normal,” and how instead of bringing people together to change the cultural system in which these kinds of tragedies become normative, it creates separation and further division.  Everybody wants to point the finger of blame while pontificating from the perch of their favorite soapbox – gun control, parenting, mental illness, politics, cultural violence, etc. etc. etc.  It is easy to lose hope in the face of all this division and it is impossible to find common ground when everywhere around you people are either defending or blaming.  In this, it is easy to get lost in the details, forgetting to see the larger picture:

The rash of mass shootings is simply another symptom of a culture on the verge of its own collapse. 

That which has been built on fear, power and control, and in this case, patriarchal/hierarchical fear, power and control, is quickly imploding upon itself.  The closer we come to its ultimate death, the worse things will become.  Knowing this does not lessen the impact, but it does help us to gain a wider perspective as we continue to do the work of

  • Being hospice to a dying world.
  • Planting the seeds for the birth of something new.

Historically this has always been true.  Leading up to the collapse of what has been and which no longer serves is an increase in violence, death, devastation and separation.  Scripture provides two such examples, sadly also involving the slaughter of innocent children:

 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.” Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

Exodus 1: 16, 22

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”

Matthew 2: 16 – 18

slaughter of the innocents, mass shootings, school shootings,
Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens

In both of these accounts, something new (Moses and Jesus) was coming into the world.  The old regime was approaching the end of its usefulness.  What had once been benevolent and life-giving had turned to privilege, violence and hatred.  Where there had once been harmony, peace and abundance, there now was only separation, unrest and lack.  At the end of these reigns of terror came those who brought with them the promise of something new (Moses and Jesus), but those who had something to lose sought to put an end to that which might hasten their demise.  The way they sought to put an end to the new was through violence.

It seems in 5000 years, nothing much has changed.  And yet….as proved true for both Moses and Jesus – that which is made of fear has no power in the face of that which is made of love.  Moses was successful in leading his people out of the land of slavery and toward their eventual arrival in “the promised land.”  While Moses led  a small tribe of Hebrews into a new world, Jesus’ teachings provide the opportunity for all of humanity to choose a world defined by love instead of the fear that has become its norm.

Today as we grieve the most recent slaughter of the innocents, we are invited to look beyond our fears, our personal opinions, our favorite soapbox and remember that this – especially the tangled web of debates – is another symptom of a world in its death throes.  The patriarchal/hierarchical world based in fear, power and control is dying.  The world that benefits a gluttonous and greedy few and leaves the rest empty is falling away.  As it clings to what is left of its life it will struggle, fight, and scream to maintain what it has known.  The rash of violence we are experiencing, the divisive debates, the failure to embrace civility are all examples of its death rattle.

There can be no mistake, that world is dying…..and for many it cannot come soon enough.  And yet it is not dead yet.  As adults it is our job to be hospice to this dying world.  Witnessing to its death.  Comforting those affected by its death.  Praying for its release.  Sending it on its way.  As we are being hospice, our children are waiting in the wings, coming together as one in tolerance and love, to build the new world.  Let us welcome them for they are the hope we’ve been waiting for.

How Mary Magdalene Saves the World

Christian doctrine tells us that Jesus saved us through his dying and rising, transmuting the “sin” of humanity through his sacrifice, thereby eliminating the separation between humanity and God. Whether or not we literally believe this to be true (personally, I have another idea of how Jesus “saves”), it is a metaphor that has informed and formed the development of Western civilization and that of any other culture touched by its influence. As a culture that has embraced sacrifice and death as the way to salvation, we have entirely missed the point of the human experience – the point being the human experience itself.  In focusing only on sacrifice and death, we have forgotten how to live.

If Jesus saved us through his sacrifice, death and resurrection,

Mary Magdalene saves us through her living.

Enter Mary Magdalene. If Jesus saved us through his sacrifice, death and resurrection, Mary Magdalene saves us through her living. She lived the fullness of the human experience and unlike Jesus, was not released from her suffering by death.  She suffered the pain of abuse, rejection, condemnation, ridicule, trauma, loss, homelessness, expulsion, banishment, and every other form of human pain.  Death did not relief her of her suffering.  Instead, she had to find a path through the suffering and to the liberation that was waiting on the other side of the challenge.  In finding her way through the suffering, Mary was healed and transformed, growing in strength and courage because of her ability to find her way through the suffering.  Mary Magdalene provides for us an example of human resilience.  We do not worship her for her martyrdom, for she did not die for anyone’s sin.  Instead, we see in her the way to make it through the inherent challenges of the human experience while paving the way for others to do the same.

Saving the World through Our Living

This is the call of the Magdalene – especially for those called into her service. We are not here to save others through our death. We are here to save ourselves and provide an example for others while transmuting the very path itself.  This is the “magic” of the Magdalene priesthood.  When we allow ourselves to be fully present to the challenges that life will hand us and use the tools we have been given to find our way through those challenges, we are strengthened, we grow in courage, we are healed of our wounds and we are transformed.  In this transformation, we are better able to enjoy the sublime moments of life – appreciating the beauty and wonder, finding joy in the simple things, embracing the ecstasy of love, reveling in the banquet of life.  We learn how to love, how to find peace, contentment and joy.  And we are changed.  As we are changed, and so are all those around us – our friends and loved ones, our family, and every single person we meet along the way.  Through the example of the Magdalene and the tools she left behind, we learn how to live and in learning how to live we are saved and the whole world with us.

Learn about the Magdalene Priestess Training by clicking on the image here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holding Space for the Divine Masculine

As Mary Magdalene was the Divine Feminine to Jesus’ Divine Masculine, and likely supported Jesus in his own awakening, so too are all women bearing the Magdalene call invited to support the rebirthing of the Divine Masculine in our world.  Below is my vow.  If you feel so-called, I invited you to do the same. 

A Vow to the Divine Masculine

In addition to the vow I have made to myself to be fully born,

I vow to be a vessel through which

The Divine Masculine may find its place in our world.

I offer a safe space in which the Masculine

may lay down his sword

and reveal the tender places of his heart.

Where he might shed tears for his own wounds

and for the wounds of humanity.

Where he may be strengthened

in his commitment to birthing himself –

Birthing his own Divine Masculine:

Of courage and tenderness

Strength and vulnerability

Action and receptivity

Provision and protection

Compassion, understanding and love.

The way all men were meant to be

Before the unholy too its place.

As a Divine Feminine female,

I vow to be a vessel through which

The Divine Masculine may be born

As a queen welcoming her king,

And a goddess welcoming her god.

I offer my loving support to you

in the hope that one day

we might all be free.

 

I offer this as an invitation for all women. If you want to join me in this vow, please add your name in the comments section below, and then share this post on your social media sites, inviting your friends to do the same! 

 

My Mary Magdalene Reading List

The following is my St. Mary Magdalene reading list (besides my own books of course) and the foundational literature which has supported the development of my work.  If your favorite Mary Magdalene book isn’t listed here, please include it in the comments section below!  Thanks!

My Mary Magdalene Reading List

Scholarly or Oral Tradition

Begg, Ean, The Cult of the Black Virgin, Chiron Publications, 2006.

Bourgeault, Cynthia, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene – Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, Shambhala Publications, 2010.

Douglas-Klotz, Neil, The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus, Quest Books, 1999.

Douglas-Klotz, Neil, Prayers of the Cosmos, Harper One 1993.

Eisler, Riane, The Chalice and the Blade, Harper Collins, 1987.

Eisler, Riane, Sacred Pleasure, Harper Collins, 1995.

Ericco, Rocco A. Setting a Trap for God: The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus, Unity Books, 1997.

Harvey, Andrew, Son of Man – The Mystical Path to Christ, Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1998.

Haskins, Susan, Mary Magdalene – Myth and Metaphor, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993.

Hoeller, Stephan, Gnosticism – New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing, Quest Books, 2002.

King, Karen, L., The Gospel of Mary of Magdala – Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, Polebridge Press, 2003.

Leloup, Jean-Yves, Judas and Jesus – Two Faces of a Single Revelation, Inner Traditions, 2006.

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Inner Traditions, 2002.

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Gospel of Philip, Inner Traditions, 2003.

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Gospel of Thomas, Inner Traditions, 2005.

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary – The Sexual Mystery at the Heart of the Christian Tradition, Inner Traditions, 2005.

MacDermot, Violet, The Fall of Sophia – A Gnostic Text on the Redemption of Universal Consciousness, Lindisfarne Books, 2001.

Malachi, Tau, The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas – Meditations on the Mystical Teachings, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2004.

Malachi, Tau, Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ – a Gnostic Christian Kabbalah, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2005.

Malachi, Tau, Living Gnosis – A Practical Guide to Gnostic Christianity, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2005.

Malachi, Tau, St. Mary Magdalene – The Gnostic Tradition of the Holy Bride, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006.

Marion, Jim, Putting on the Mind of Christ – The Inner Work of Christian Spirituality, Hampton Roads, 2000.

Pagels, Elaine, Beyond Belief – The Secret Gospel of Thomas, Random House, 2003.

Silva, Freddy, the Lost Art of Resurrection, Inner Traditions, 2014.

Starbird, Margaret, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, Bear & Company, 1993.

Starbird, Margaret, The Goddess in the Gospels – Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine, Bear & Company, 1998.

Starbird, Margaret, Mary Magdalene – Bride in Exile, Bear & Company, 2005.

 

Fiction or Channeled Works:

Ferrini, Paul, I Am the Door, Heartways Press, 1999.

Heartsong, Claire, Anna – Grandmother of Jesus. S.E.E. Publishing, 2002.

Heartsong, Claire, Anna – the Voice of the Magdalenes, S.E.E Publishing, 2010.

Kenyon, Thomas & Sion, Judi, The Magdalen Manuscript, Tom Kenyon Orb, 2006.

McGowan, Kathleen, The Expected One, Touchstone, 2007.

McGowan, Kathleen, The Book of Love, Touchstone, 2010.

Pevehouse, Dolores, I, The Christ, Hampton Roads, 2000.

Wilson, Stuart, Essenes – Children of the Light, Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2005.

Wilson, Stuart & Prentis, Joanna, Power of the Magdalene, Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2008.

 

Recovering Catholics – 42.7 Million Strong

Authentic Freedom Academy

The Second Largest Religious Denomination

A few years back, I learned that the second largest religious denomination in the United States (reported by PEW Research, second only to the Roman Catholic Church), is made up of non-practicing Catholics.  I sat down and did the math and the number of people who still call themselves Catholic, but who no longer attend mass on a regular basis is 42.7 million!  That is a HUGE number of people.  If you are reading this blog, you are likely one of those 42.7 million, or perhaps you were raised Catholic and no longer call yourself Catholic, so we can simply add you to this number and we might find that there are in fact 85.4 million Recovering Catholics in the United States. If that were the case, we would outnumber the active Roman Catholic population!!!

StMaryOshkoshaltar

Who Cares?

You might ask yourself, “Who cares?”  Why…

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Healing Our Religious Wounds – new online course

Authentic Freedom Academy

Online course

Do at your own pace

23 modules

Only $49.99!

(content heavy and fiscally light)

Click on this image to register.

While religion has provided a great service to humanity, it has also done great harm. If you are one who has felt harmed, rejected, condemned, judged, ridiculed, stifled, silenced, by religion, you are not alone. In fact, the second largest “religious” denomination in the United States is made up of 42.7 million non-practicing Catholics – those who have left the Church because they no longer felt welcome or at home.  Perhaps like me, you are one of those.  Whatever it is that brings you to this class, “Healing Our Religious Wounds,” know that here you are welcome!  Through this course you will find acceptance, unconditional love and support for healing the wounds that you experienced at the hands of religious institutions or from those associated with that religion…

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I Know Why I’m Here

 

Image Credit: Robert M. Place

I know why I’m here, and as we stand at the ending (THANK GOD) of 2017 and at the threshold of 2018, I find myself even more aware of who I am, my purpose in this life and all the resources that have shown up along the way to make up the unique gift and call that I bring to the world. This is a calling so unique (and yet so simple and so universal) that words almost always elude me.  I have yet to find “the elevator speech” which adequately describes who I am and what I do.  What I do is kind of like my mom’s “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” soup…..there’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a pound or two of this, and a splash of that……all of which comes together to make the most amazing winter soup in the whole wide world.

On one hand, I am here to be and fulfill the Magdalene Mission.

What the heck does that mean????? Again, like my mom’s soup, it is a little bit of this and a little bit of that:

  1. Restoring Mary Magdalene to her rightful place in the Christian narrative, and in doing so, restoring women to their rightful place in the continuing mission of love, and in doing so, restoring the lost feminine to what once honored and empowered women equally with men but which very quickly sold the feminine out for the patriarchal norm and which then systematically sought out the destruction of anything that resembled feminine power.
  2. In restoring the feminine – reclaiming the INNER aspects of Jesus’ mission of love. Inner aspects which include: the primacy of contemplative prayer and meditation, the journey of self-knowledge, the process of becoming self-actualized (coming to know our unique giftedness and calling and being empowered to use these gifts for the sake of our own fulfillment and for the betterment of the world), which honors the inner authority (God) over any outside perceived authority and over any laws made up by man, which understood ritual as a vehicle of celebration and worship and not as a requirement for salvation.
  3. In reclaiming the inner – restoring egalitarian, collaborative, cooperative models of leadership and in the building up of community. Understanding the purpose of community to be that which supports and empowers individuals in self-realization, knowing that in doing so, the community and therefore the world are enriched and made better.

In doing all of the above, our understanding of the mission of Jesus is completely transformed.

  1. No longer do we believe that Jesus came to start a new religion, or to create anything that might separate one human being from another.
  2. We come to understand that Jesus’ mission had nothing to do with religion, tribe, nationality, gender, etc. but had to do with only one thing….and that one thing is UNIVERSAL.
  3. That one thing is LOVE.
  4. This is not a co-dependent kind of love that has anything to do with seeking approval or guidance from outside of us (including “God”), but is only found within in our intimate relationship with our highest self and that which some might call “God.”

When you mix this all together and put it in the crockpot, like my mom’s “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” soup, it boils down to one thing:  LOVE.

I am here for the purpose of Love.

And so are you.

How are you supporting yourself in living out your purpose?

 

 

Birthing Love

Authentic Freedom Academy

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said…

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No Reward for Being Good

Authentic Freedom Academy

A letter to all healers and change-makers

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Yesterday I was gifted with a startling realization – one that I believe applies to many (if not all) of the amazing women, men and children I know who are here to heal and change our world.  The roots of this lie within our childhoods, the roles we took on, our beliefs about those roles and how these beliefs have translated into our adult lives – specifically in our tendency to take the unique and special people we are and the gifts we bring to our world for granted and the physical manifestation (or rather, the lack thereof) of taking our gifts and ourselves for granted….which for many of us has translated into struggles over money. (UGH).

It begins in our childhood and in the roles we took on within our family…

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