The Truth about Mary Magdalene – Hiding in Plain Sight!

This morning while preparing my weekly Temple of the Magdalene subscription newsletter, I came upon a momentous discovery! For 2000 years, the Church has known that it was Mary Magdalene that Jesus ordained to lead his disciples in continuing the work that he began and which he called them to complete.  It has also known that it was Mary, not Peter, who was called to lead “the church” which was comprised of all those who were open to believing the Love that Jesus came to know and sought to bring forth in our world.

For 2000 years it has been Mary Magdalene all along, the Church has simply tried to hide this truth from us, eventually denigrating Mary Magdalene (and all women with her) to the status of prostitute and whore and through centuries of subjugation, condemnation and even execution, the Church has deprived women of the very role (but more importantly, the dignity) Jesus first imparted on his most devoted disciple – Mary, called Magdalene (meaning Tower and Beacon of Faith).

How did I come upon this discovery? It is rather simple in fact.  While searching for artwork for my newsletter, I came upon traditional iconography depicting this Sunday’s Feast of the Ascension.  As I’m scrolling through the images on Google, a staggering fact presented itself.  In EVERY SINGLE icon, Mary Magdalene is depicted in the foreground, and is the focus of the icon.  She is standing in the posture of leadership, preaching and teaching.  She is flanked by two angels and contrary to what scripture says about the disciples gazing in long up to heaven as their beloved Christ is leaving them, they all are looking toward Mary.  The intent of this imagery is clear, as Jesus ascended into heaven, Mary was chosen as his successor and all the disciples were invited to look upon her as such.  There can be no mistake about the ancient artists’ intent in this imagery.  And contrary to what the Church might otherwise tell us, the woman in the foreground is NOT Mother Mary.  With her red cloak and priestly gestures, it can be none other than Mary Magdalene.

So there you have it……Mary Magdalene was chosen as Jesus’ successor and for 2000 years this truth has been hiding in plain sight!

Become a Priestess of the Magdalene and embody your own call to be a vessel of healing, love and transformation in our world.

Click on the image above to learn more!

 

A New Rosary for a New World

Click on the image above to register for this FREE course.

The rosary is a traditional Catholic devotion and mantra meditation/prayer using a specific formation of (mala) beads. The intention of rosary prayer is to attune our hearts and minds to that of Mother Mary (who among other titles is called “Divine Mother” in the Catholic tradition), and to invite her intercession in our lives.  If you were raised Catholic, you are familiar with this meditation/prayer practice.

Praying the rosary is a beautiful way to cultivate peace in our minds and in our hearts. Through rote repetition, meditation on the words and phrases and through the tactile sensation produced by moving our fingers from bead to bead, we are brought out of our restless minds and into the peace that dwells within our own Immaculate Hearts (another title for Mother Mary).

Since the time that Mother Mary imparted the rosary practice on St. Dominic (1214), millions, perhaps billions, of people have devoted themselves to its practice. In every Marian apparition since, Mary has implored her children to pray the rosary for the sake of peace in our world.  What the recipients of the Marian apparitions didn’t realize was that it was their own inner peace Mary was referring to, with the larger vision that peace in our world is dependent on people finding peace in their own hearts first.

While the rosary continues to be honored as sacred among devout, practicing Catholics, for many who were raised Catholic but no longer consider themselves part of the Church, the rosary often falls into disuse. The reason many give is that they can no longer utter prayers that speak of the separation out of which the Catholic Church was born.  Instead, they are looking for more inclusive images of the Divine, and for belief in a Divine whose love does not have to be earned, and one who loves without condition – the Divine about whom Jesus spoke.

It is for these people that Our Blessed Mother imparts a new rosary – a rosary that speaks of inclusion, that honors all images of the Divine as sacred, that recognizes the Divine that dwells within us and seeks to be known in the world through us. Mary asks that the new intention of the rosary be for the purposes of:

  • Cultivating our own inner peace.
  • Attuning our minds and hearts to the Divine (in whatever form we experience it).
  • That we offer ourselves to be vessels through which Divine love and the Divine purpose of love be made manifest in our world.

As we pray the new rosary, Mother Mary offers her loving guidance and support so that we might fulfill the purpose the Divine has set forth for us – as she was able to do in her own life. In addition, all those saints who went before us and who dedicated themselves to the Mother offer their support as well, including:  Bernadette Soubirous, Catherine of Siena, Catherine Laboure, Joan of Arc, Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Therese Lisieux, Edith Stein, Dorothy Day, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Thank you for your dedication to this practice and through your intercession, changing our world from fear into love!

Click HERE to register for this FREE course!

From Mother Mary through me to you!

Lauri Ann Lumby,

Modern Magdalene Priestess

 

Mary Magdalene – the stone that was rejected

 

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.

Psalm 118

Mary Magdalene is the stone that the builders of the early Church rejected. From the earliest days after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Mary was questioned and challenged for the visions she had of Jesus and the teachings he had given her both before and after his death. Many of the disciples thought of Mary’s words as the ravings of a mad woman and questioned why Jesus would give these teachings to Mary and not to them. (ref: The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Jean Yves-LeLoup). Already, Jesus’ teachings on equality, and the unique and special role of women was being sold out for the hierarchical/patriarchal norm. In first century Palestine where women were valued as less than cattle, the idea of women as equal to men did not stand a chance, especially with Peter and Paul (who are both scripturally represented as having issues with women) leading the charge.

Fast-forward two-thousand years and we see that really, nothing has changed. In the world, women have less of a voice, our uniquely sensitive natures are questioned or condemned, we are paid less than men for the same job, Motherhood is considered an obligation and is not valued for the work it is.

In the Church, women are valued even less than we are in the world. We are not allowed the same vocations as men, even when called to this vocation by “God himself.” Like Mary, our voices are condemned as the ravings of mad women, we have been burned at the stake for daring to share our healing gifts, and it is considered and affront to the Church to believe we should have the same opportunities as the men to lead and to serve. While in some religious denominations this has been changing, in the Catholic Church in which I was raised, women have no voice in the Church and are barred from any form of priestly service.

In the Christian Church, Peter became “the rock upon which I will build my Church.” The funny thing is that I don’t believe Jesus had any intention of building a Church, so I’m not sure where these words came from that have been attributed to Jesus for 2000 years, especially since it was Mary, called Magdalene who Jesus chose to reveal himself to on Easter morning, and the one he sent to bring the message of the good news to the other disciples, and the one Jesus ordained to continue his ministry in his stead.

Again, Mary is the stone the builders rejected. But, as the psalm continues to say, it is this stone that will become the cornerstone. In being rejected (as Jesus was rejected), Mary Magdalene is the cornerstone of the emerging “church” – a church that is nothing like a church at all, but is instead a movement:

A movement of love that serves the purpose of love to tear down the walls of separation, bring people together as equal in love where all human beings are honored as sacred, and to rebuild our world from one based in fear to one rooted in love.

Click on the image above to learn more!

 

 

She is Risen!

Resurrecting the Magdalene Part VII

Happy Resurrection Day! With this, we conclude the Resurrecting the Magdalene series and welcome Mary, called Magdalene, back into her rightful place as co-equal partner with Jesus, the one who supported and bore witness to the resurrected Christ, the one who Jesus commissioned to be the bearer of the good news and ordained to continue the ministry of Love that he began.  This ministry of Love is only now being fulfilled….. it is being fulfilled in the Resurrection of the Magdalene and through her resurrection, the restoration of the original teachings of Christ.  This is the truth that Jesus came to know within himself – the truth that we are all ONE – one within ourselves, one with the Divine of our understanding, one with each other and one with all of creation and in this Oneness, we know that we are love.  As we walk forth from this resurrection, let us BE THIS LOVE!

 

Scripture/Meditation Exercise

We resurrect the Magdalene on this Easter Sunday by replacing the reading that was chosen by the Church for this Easter morning with the “rest of the story.” In the first passage, it seems that Peter is being given credit as first witness to the resurrection, but in truth, all he saw was an empty tomb.  As we continue in the reading, we see that it is Mary Magdalene who is the true first witness to the resurrection and THE ONE sent to bear the good news to the other disciples. 

Here is the Church’s chosen reading for today:

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

John 20: 1-9

 

Here is the rest of the story:

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20: 10-18

 

 

Holy Week – Resurrecting the Magdalene Part V

Holy Week – Resurrecting the Magdalene Part V

This year, as we journey toward the cross, and later, the empty tomb, we not only prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, who became Christ; we work together to resurrect the Magdalene from 2000 years of dismissal. Together we invite Mary Magdalene to rise from the dead – the death that was accomplished at the hands of a patriarchal and hierarchical world that could not imagine a woman as equal to the man they made into a god.

Through a re-reading of scripture, input, discussion and prayerful contemplation, we will take Mary off the cross upon which she suffered her death and restore her to her rightful place as co-equal with Christ. Like Jesus, Mary became fully self-actualized, living by and for the purpose of Love, and is now showing us how to do the same.

Read Part I HERE, Part II HERE, Part III HERE, and Part IV HERE.

 

Good Friday Video Meditation Exercise

Set aside 30 minutes for today’s meditation exercises. The first, is a video reflection on the events of Good Friday – Jesus’ struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal, Jesus’ trial, condemnation and crucifixion.  Watch the following excerpt from the classic movie Jesus of Nazareth. As you are watching, imagine that you are witnessing the events as they are unfolding from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. Place yourself within her being as witness to Jesus’ suffering.  The man she studied under, ministered with and perhaps even married was being killed.  How might she have felt?  Be conscious of what Jesus’ death would have likely meant for Mary.  The life she had known was coming to an end.  The man who empowered her, stood beside her, advocated for her (and other women) would be no longer.  What thoughts might Mary have had related to this loss, to losing the life and love she had known, and what might she be thinking about her future without Jesus?  Record your thoughts and reflections in a notebook or journal. 

 

Scripture/Meditation Exercise I

Prayerfully read through the scripture passage below. Imagine that these are Mary’s words as she is accompanying Jesus to his trial, crucifixion, death and entombment.  Imagine these are also Mary’s words in the face of her own grief, loss and dramatic life change.  Write your thoughts and reflections in your notebook or journal.  Reflect on the times in your own life where you have been invited to surrender your life into the hands of your Divine Parent.

  1. (Lk 23:46) Mother, into your hands I commend my spirit. In you, O Mother, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me. Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O Mother, O faithful One. R. Mother, into your hands I commend my spirit. For all my foes I am an object of reproach, a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends; they who see me abroad flee from me. I am forgotten like the unremembered dead; I am like a dish that is broken. R. Mother, into your hands I commend my spirit. But my trust is in you, O Mother; I say, “You are my Hope. In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.” R. Mother, into your hands I commend my spirit. Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your kindness. Take courage and be stouthearted, all you who hope in the Divine. R. Mother, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Ps 31: 2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25

 

St. Mary Magdalene Crucified by Giedrius Plioplys Used with permission

Scripture/Meditation Exercise II

Prayerfully read the passage below that has historically been associated with Jesus and the promises of “goodness” in his death. But now, read it as a promise of vindication in the death of the Magdalene.  How might the marginalizing of Mary and her story have served a higher purpose?  How might we begin to realize the fruits of Mary’s “sacrifice?”  How might we support the resurrection of the Magdalene in the same way that she supported Jesus’ resurrection?

See, my servant shall prosper, she shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at her so marred was her look beyond human semblance and her appearance beyond that of the daughters of man so shall she startle many nations, because of her kings and priests shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it. Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the EIVINE been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; She was a beauty to behold, Attractive beyond compare. Yet she was spurned and avoided by people, She suffered because of this and grew accustomed to infirmity, becoming one of those from whom people hide their faces, spurned, and she was held in no esteem, because in her presence, all felt seen. It was our infirmities that she bore, our sufferings that she endured, while they thought of her as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. She was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon her was the chastisement that makes us whole, by her stripes we can be healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the MOTHER lifted her up in spite of our guilt.

Though she was harshly treated, she submitted and opened not her mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, she was silent and opened not her mouth. Oppressed and condemned, she was taken away, and who would have thought any more of her destiny? When she was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten by the sin of the people, a grave was assigned her among the wicked, named “prostitute and whore” though she had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood.
She gave her life as an offering for love, and she shall see her descendants rise, then the will of the Mother shall be accomplished through her. IS 52: 13 – 53: 10

 

Holy Week – Resurrecting the Magdalene Part IV

This year, as we journey toward the cross, and later, the empty tomb, we not only prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, who became Christ; we work together to resurrect the Magdalene from 2000 years of dismissal. Together we invite Mary Magdalene to rise from the dead – the death that was accomplished at the hands of a patriarchal and hierarchical world that could not imagine a woman as equal to the man they made into a god.

Through a re-reading of scripture, input, discussion and prayerful contemplation, we will take Mary off the cross upon which she suffered her death and restore her to her rightful place as co-equal with Christ. Like Jesus, Mary became fully self-actualized, living by and for the purpose of Love, and is now showing us how to do the same.

Read Part I HERE, Part II HERE, and Part III HERE.

 

Chrism Mass

In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, there are two separate masses that are offered on Holy Thursday during Lent – The Chrism Mass and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The Chrism Mass is celebrated by the bishop of the local diocese, in the company of other bishops, priests, deacons and a few lay people.

The Chrism Mass is the occasion on which the bishop blesses the holy oils that will be used across the diocese: oil of the sick, chrism oil and oil of the catechumens. These are the oils used wherever there is a sacramental anointing, such as the anointing of the sick, the anointing of those about to be or newly baptized, and the anointing of priests and confirmandi. After blessing the oils, they are then distributed to the clergy in attendance, who then use these oils in the aforementioned sacramental rites.

It is also during the Chrism mass when the attending priests and deacons renew their promises to serve. As such, I thought it appropriate, during our week dedicated to resurrecting the Magdalene that we restore Mary Magdalene (and all women with her) to her place as deacon, priest and bishop. Not priest in the clerical sense that we have come to know, but priest in the way that Jesus was priest – as one called to serve in the midst of and among the people, humble, not set apart, willing to stoop down and wash the feet of those she lovingly served.

Scripture/Meditation Exercise I

Read the following scripture passage as if it is Mary Magdalene speaking these words. As you are reading, look for a word or phrase that jumps out at you.  Allow yourself to receive this word/phrase as the Divine’s nourishment, guidance, instruction or comfort.  Repeat that word or phrase in your mind over and over and over as a mantra, allowing the word/phrase to lead you into a deep and peaceful state.  Reflect on what that word/phrase is saying to you.  After spending 10-20 minutes with that word/phrase, record your thoughts and reflections in your notebook or journal.  After writing, enjoy a few minutes of silence, simply allowing your meditation to take deeper root in you.

The Spirit of the The Mother is upon me, because Our Queen has anointed me; She has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, To announce a year of favor and a day of vindication, to comfort all who mourn; To place on those who mourn in Zion a diadem instead of ashes, To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning, a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit. You yourselves shall be named priests of the Mother, ministers of our Divine Lady shall you be called. I will give them their recompense faithfully, a lasting covenant I will make with them. Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; All who see them shall acknowledge them as a race the Mother has blessed.

IS 61: 1-3a, 6a, 8b-9

 

Scripture/Meditation Exercise II

“Magdalene,” is not a surname, neither does it designate a place of birth. Instead, Magdalene is a title meaning “great tower” or “great beacon” of faith.  Mary, called Magdalene, is the only one in scripture upon whom this title was bestowed.

Margaret Starbird, in her great work, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, suggests that the scripture passage below prefigures the Magdalene as the tower of the flock, and that in her coming, those who have been in exile would be restored to wholeness.

Every single human being who suffers the false perception of separation from their Divine Source is in exile. Having been healed of this separation herself, Mary comes to support our healing.  Mary’s task is Universal as Divine Love is universal.

For some, the reconciliation the Magdalene provides is more specific and personal – it is the reconciliation of all those who have been exiled by the patriarchal/hierarchical institution – women, heterosexuals, non-Christians, and free-thinkers, who have been condemned for their obedience to the Divine within over institutional law.

Read the scripture passage below slowly and prayerfully, imagining that it is the Magdalene that is the tower of the flock, she that will restore all those who suffer the wound of separation, and/or those who have been exiled for standing boldly in the truth and law of Love. Record your thoughts and reflections in your journal or notebook.

Restoration Promised after Exile

In that day, says the Lord,     I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away,     and those whom I have afflicted. The lame I will make the remnant,     and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion     now and forevermore.

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 or queen 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: 6-13

 

 

Scripture/Meditation Exercise III

Slowly and meditatively read the passage below from the Book of Revelation. Envision Mary, called Magdalene as the “woman clothed with the sun.”  After reading and reflecting on this passage, write your own poem or prose piece on Mary’s story – on how her story, her presence, her role, her importance, and her voice were excised from the Jesus narrative and eventually from the institution of Christianity.  Write the story from either Mary’s perspective, or from the perspective of the author of Revelation (John the Evangelist).

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born.  And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

REV 12: 1-6

Crucifixion of the Magdalene

The first course in the The Magdalene Priestess Training involves a study of the life and teachings of Mary Magdalene, for the purpose of resurrecting the Magdalene and the feminine principle that was crucified with her 2000 years ago.

Through a prayerful study of the texts associated with the Magdalene, including the (suppressed) gospel attributed to her, we discover Mary’s role in the life and ministry of Jesus, and what she fully embodied in that role.  Specifically, Mary embodied and lived out the fullness of the feminine principle.

What does that mean exactly? It means that Mary:

  • Came to know God/her highest self through direct, personal experience (gnosis).
  • Came to realize that the source of knowledge and wisdom resided within her.
  • Experienced “salvation” through an initiatory process through which she came to know her most authentic self, her Soul’s purpose, and was freed of the inner obstacles to achieving this purpose. In other words, Mary came to know the “on earth” experience of the Divine kingdom. (Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.).
  • Experienced this process of knowing The Divine and knowing self through her inner, intuitive, visionary, creative, imaginative, physical, embodied, sensual and sexual faculties.
  • Came to realize that her BODY is the literal temple of the Divine – the place where the Divine dwells and is known through the senses, feelings, physical and even sensual experiences.
  • Through her embodied spirituality and comfort with the earthy things of life, was able to be present to the darkness, pain and death that are all part of the human condition, mastering that which indigenous cultures call “shadow work.”
St. Mary Magdalene Crucified by Giedrius Plioplys Used with permission

While we learn what Mary represented and embodied in her life and co-ministerial role with Jesus, we were also glaringly reminded of how quickly the embodied feminine was excised from the early Christian experience. As my friend, Giedrius Plioplys says about his sculpture, St. Mary Magdalene Crucified, I made her to be seen, to awaken people to the equality of women’s spirituality, and to demonstrate the misogyny of the “founders” of the early Roman church. Who crucified Mary Magdalene? St. Peter.” Amen brother. Mary Magdalene, and the feminine principle along with here, was indeed crucified by the founders of the institutional church. What is most ironic about this is that Jesus, who Peter et. al. claimed to have followed, also fully embodied the Divine Feminine, but in their haste to be rid of Mary, they denied that principle in their Christ as well and in doing so, denied the feminine within themselves and in all those who would follow them. We don’t need to look very far to see the carnage that has been brought forth through the denial of half of what it means to be human – both within institutional religion and in society at large.

We have now been charged with the task of resurrecting the Magdalene and the feminine principle from the tomb in which she/they have been buried for the past 2000 (5000) years! This is not a feminist mission or for those only concerned with the Magdalene. This is also not about gender. The masculine and feminine principles reside within all of us and in their original nature are holy, loving, supportive and pure. This is a mission for all of humanity – for the sake of all we have left behind in denying the feminine principle. In denying the feminine, we have left behind half of what it is that makes us healthy and whole human beings – the intuitive, imaginative, visionary, creative, sensual, sensate and embodied paths of knowing.

Learn more about the Magdalene Priestess Training HERE.