Will the Real Mary Magdalene Please Stand Up?

In the forty years (or so) that I have been working with Mary Magdalene I have come across at least a million different theories about who she was/is, what her life looked like, where she lived, who she slept with and who her children might be. In the twenty years (or so) that I have been actively studying and researching the Magdalene, I have read at least a hundred books specifically dedicated to her which also bears their own theories of the Magdalene. Some call her an Ascended Master, others an Essene High Priestess, others a prostitute, others an adulterous woman, others the Sang Grael and the mother of a dynasty of European kings and queens (Jesus’ own progeny), and some claim her as a goddess.  Most of these books are based entirely on theory, oral legend or claim to have been “directly channeled” from the Magdalene herself.

Scholars who study the Magdalene refrain from making such claims and instead stick to what they are able to glean from archeological evidence, scripture itself, and ancient re-discovered manuscripts. My personal preference is to lean toward a more scholarly approach while avoiding the temptation to either define the Magdalene or condemn another’s theory.  It is for this reason that I call my book Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene fiction.  At the end of the day, unless we were there, we know nothing certain about the Magdalene, and until we have passed from this plane, we will never know.

All that being said, I cannot discount the direct, personal experiences and revelations I have had of the Magdalene (and Jesus) through my meditation and prayer. These revelations have guided and informed my work – my writing and publishing, but most importantly, these revelations guided and informed the human development courses that I have developed and which now make up the Magdalene Priest/ess Training.  This work is rooted in scripture (canonical as well as non-canonical) and embraces the rich tradition of Christian contemplative meditation and prayer practices as its foundation. This work is further supported by modern theories of human development as they have been expressed through Humanist and Transpersonal Psychology.

Through the integration of scholarly research and personal revelation, what I have come to understand about the Magdalene and the view I present to the world is that:

  • She was not the adulterous woman of scripture.
  • The “healed of seven demons” said of her is likely referring to a formal process of initiation that supported her journey of self-actualization which she underwent with Jesus’ guidance, successfully completed, and then went on to teach others.
  • She is the only one is scripture said to have completed such a process.
  • She stood beside Jesus (unlike his other disciples who hid in the Upper Room) through his trial, crucifixion, death and burial.
  • She was the one to whom the Resurrected Christ was revealed and THE ONE commissioned to bring the news to the other disciples.
  • She continued to have direct, personal and private visitations by Christ through which he imparted upon her his secret teachings. When she tried to share these teachings with the other disciples they ridiculed and condemned her.

All of these “theories” of the Magdalene are taken directly from scripture and affirmed through scholarship (See resources below).

Beyond this, I personally like to believe that Jesus and Mary were husband and wife and that they were equal, co-ministers in sharing the law of love. I also like to believe that Mary is the only one to have received the full understanding and knowledge of what Jesus came to teach and that she was chosen by Jesus to continue his work.  Legend tells us that she went forth from Palestine and ventured to Alexandria, Egypt, the South of France and perhaps even Glastonbury, England in her journey of sharing the message of love.  None of this can be verified, but it resonates as truth to me.

While these are the “truths” I embrace regarding the Magdalene, to none of these am I attached, because again, unless we were there, we will never know. What I have come to understand about the Magdalene is that she reveals herself to us in the ways that are consistent with our temperament, our personalities, our unique lens into the world and in concert with our unique giftedness and calling in this life.  As such, the Magdalene has revealed herself to me through the lens of my Catholic-Christian upbringing and education and through the reasoned lens of scholarship where the scientific method might provide some assurance of truth.  For others, she reveals herself as an Essene High Priestess, a Priestess of Isis, a pseudo-pagan priestess and goddess, to others an Ascended Master and to others still, the Goddess herself.

As St. Paul once said of himself, Mary Magdalene has become all things for all people for the sake of fulfilling her mission which is to complete the mission that Jesus began of turning our world from one in fear to one ruled by and for the purpose of love.

And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor? Writhe and groan,O daughter Zion, like a woman in labor; for now you shall go forth from the city and camp in the open country; you shall go to Babylon.

There you shall be rescued, there the Lord will redeem you from the hands of your enemies.

Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, “Let her be profaned, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.” But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor. Arise and thresh, O daughter Zion, for I will make your horn iron and your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples,  and shall devote their gain to the Lord,  their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

Micah 4: 8-13

 

Select Resources

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

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.

Johnston, William (Ed.), The Cloud of Unknowing, Image Books, 1973.

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.

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

Schwan, Marie, Syrup-Bergin, Jacqueline, Take and Receive Series – Love, Forgiveness, Birth, Surrender, Freedom, Word Among Us Press, 2004.

 

 

 

The Magdalene’s Lament

(originally published at http://www.authenticfreedomacademy.com)

The Magdalene’s Lament

My Beloved Christ,

For 2000 years I’ve awaited your return. As you wander the hallowed halls of the heavenly kingdom, I have languished in my earthly prison, forever and always alone, and longing for you. As you are serenaded by a choir of heavenly hosts, I am plagued by the suffering cries of humanity – howling, weeping, begging, groveling and gnashing their teeth for an end to their suffering.

And I suffer along with them – lifetime upon lifetime upon lifetime of suffering – rejected by your male disciples, condemned by the Church as a whore, silenced by the magisterium, hunted down by crusaders, burned at the stake for being a witch, drawn and quartered by the inquisition, cast out for the sake of another’s envy. Lifetimes of suffering.

Oh yes, there have been glimpses of joy – in my God-blessed children, the men of courage and strength who have loved me, my beloved sisters and brothers who have returned to me life after life after life. Yes, there have been moments of joy and the satisfaction of love and a purposeful mission; and yet, even these do not endure, for you are not where you belong here, at my side.

2000 years I’ve awaited your return. Accepting my fate in human skin, even when it means I suffer more for lack of you.  My Spirit is strong, but my flesh is weak.  I long to stroke your hair, to gaze deeply into your chameleon eyes, to feel the touch of your lips on mine and to once again be held in your loving embrace.

Lamentation of Christ by Botticelli
Lamentation of Christ by Botticelli

Mary Magdalene Speaks About Beloved Partnership

This morning, I received a channeled message from Mary Magdalene on the topic of Beloved Partnership, a topic near and dear to my heart!  I hope you find the same comfort and inspiration in Mary’s words as I have:

JesusandMary

My beloved brothers and sisters, I want to speak to you today about the “call of the beloved,” the most sacred and most holy call of the human experience, one that not everyone is called to, but for those who are, they cannot and must not settle for less.

The call of the beloved is not to be confused with co-dependency – needing someone to complete you. At the same time, the call of the beloved IS about completion….or rather, it is about REUNION. Specifically, the call of the beloved is about being reunited with your Sacred Twin, your Twin Soul, he or she that is necessary for the fulfillment of your mission on this plane, and you for them.

Jesus and I were beloveds for each other. In this, neither he nor I could complete our missions on this plane without our coming together…not just as friends, companions, co-ministers or co-equals, but also as lovers.  We consummated this love within the blessings and vows of matrimony and the marriage bed was our temple.

While this will not be the call of every beloved partnership, for those who are called to come together in the rite of sacred intimacy, it is the most holy rite and one that exists only between the beloved partnership, not to be tainted by outside influence or engagement. In this way, the rites of the marriage bed are sacred and holy to the couple, held in secret between then, all for the sake of their own growing intimacy and for the sake of initiating the creation codes that assist in bringing forth the new earth.  This was part and parcel of the holy work Jesus and I together accomplished, the rites of which shall forever remain secret and sacred, but which can be discovered by those who find themselves called to this same kind of holiness and in the context of their own beloved partnership.

Movie still from Jesus Christ Superstar
Movie still from Jesus Christ Superstar

Our beloved is not unknown to us. In fact, knowledge of the beloved and the call of the beloved resides within us from our conception to be awakened in a time that is appropriate and pre-ordained. For those who possess this call, they speak of having known, for as long as they can remember, the energy of their beloved.  This energy provokes us to seek after the fulfillment of this knowing and we are unsatisfied until this knowing is fulfilled in the physical coming together with our beloved.

Sometimes, when we do not yet know ourselves, we mistake another for the beloved. This mistake only leads to more frustration and misery, our Soul crying out that “this is not the one,” often provoking us into trying to make the mistake be our beloved, which again only results in failure.  There is no one who can be made into our beloved because in the case of true beloved partnership, there can be only one.  Nothing else will satisfy.

Beloved partners come together for a specific mission and purpose. Sometimes it is to bring forth new life in the form of children, but more often, it is for a purpose even higher than this.  Beloved partners coming together impacts the world in profound ways that often cannot be fully seen.  In the case of Jesus and myself, for example, we were able to be together physically for only a short period of time, but our coming together initiated a profound change in the course of humanity that is only now beginning to be realized – more than 2000 years after we shared our physical lives.  Our coming together did not end with Jesus’ death and resurrection, indeed, our partnership has continued throughout the millennia and will continue into eternity.  In addition, our coming together planted the seeds for other beloved partnerships to come forth – partners that have continued our work and will continue to do so as the evolution of human consciousness unfolds.  St. Francis and St. Clare, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Barbara Marx Hubbard and her Beloved Earl, Roma Downey and Mark Barnett are a few examples of these partnerships.

Beloved Partners come together for the sake of their own fulfillment, but more importantly, they come together for the sake of the transformation of the world. They are not just here to awaken humanity, they are here to TRANSFORM humanity from a species rooted in fear to one that resides in love.  It is for this reason that those called to beloved partnership cannot find rest until this partnership becomes real – not only within one’s self but in real and true physical form.  Once this is accomplished, and after they surrender into the sacred and holy place of this partnership, both find peace.

Sophia Christine Icons
Sophia Christine Icons

I wish that I could describe to you the sheer joy and sense of contentment that comes with beloved partnership – it is a feeling that cannot be described, but can only be lived. It is a peace beyond imagining – even when the life one is leading is not peaceful (Jesus and I both experienced condemnation, ridicule, suffering and in the case of my Beloved, death).  There is a joy in the creativity that emerges in this partnership and an excitement over what is being created.

And then there is love. The love between Beloved partners cannot be described.  It is a self-sustaining, supportive, empowering, all-embracing kind of love.  It is love for love’s sake…but more than this, it is love that sees the beloved through the vision of the GREAT BELOVED, that which some might call “God.”  This is not an idealized, placed on a pedestal kind of love, this is the love that says, “I know you…..with all your human frailty and imperfections, and I love you, not in spite of this, but because of this.”  The love of Beloved partners transcends the otherwise perceived separations between human beings and in this partnership, two have indeed become one – the yin to each other’s yang, the ebb to the each other’s flow and the ecstasy to each other’s despair.  The beloved partnership holds it all within the container of holy and sacred – acknowledging the holiness of the entire human experience – the joys and the sorrows, the love and the fear, the peace and the conflict – it is all held as sacred within this partnership so that humanity can come to accept all that it has been given – both the holy and the profane, the dark and the light.  In Beloved Partnership, the wisdom of the psalmist is lived out to its fullest:

“For to thee, darkness and light are but one.”

Psalm 139: 12

 

In support of your own call to Beloved Partnership, Lauri Ann Lumby has created the online course, “Happily Ever After – the Transformational Journey of Beloved Partnership.” Learn more and register for the class by clicking on the icon below:

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