Suddenly it seems everyone wants to get on the Mary Magdalene bandwagon. This is good news in the sense that it is getting Mary Magdalene’s name out there and attention is being drawn to the first woman of the Jesus movement. For the first time in two thousand years, we are beginning to grasp the truth that Mary Magdalene was not the repentant whore – but was the first witness to the resurrection. Much of what I have seen beyond that, however is limited in scope and does not even begin to scratch the surface of who Mary Magdalene was and what she represents, not only to Christianity, and not only to women, but for the world. Mary Magdalene wasn’t just the first witness to the resurrection and she wasn’t just Jesus’ wife (as Dan Brown et. al. would have us believe).
To understand who Mary Magdalene was and what she represents, we first have to understand Jesus. But to understand Jesus, we first have to take him off the pedestal he was placed on by institutional religion….and then we have to take him off the cross. Jesus was a man. He was a man who was uniquely gifted and called to remember his original nature as One with God (Jesus’ God was so much more than the “Old Man in the Sky God” Christianity has given us). In this intimate connection with God, Jesus came to know his Divinity – what he called “the kingdom of God.” Jesus understood that he was Divine in Human form and in this was able to manifest the fullness of his giftedness which included the gifts of healing, teaching, leading, pastoring, and prophecy. In having attained this level of self-actualization, Jesus was afforded the title of “High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5, 6, 7). Not to be confused with the high priests of Jewish temple worship, this designation placed Jesus in the company of the great mystery schools of the primordial tradition. When Jesus had mastered this within himself, he went out to teach others what he knew and how they too could know “the kingdom of God within” and manifest their own unique giftedness in the world.
As the only one of Jesus’ disciples said to be “healed of seven demons” (symbolic language for the completion of an initiatory process leading to self-actualization), Mary Magdalene embodied the fulfillment of Jesus’ teachings. Like Jesus, Mary came to understand her Oneness with the Divine and allowed that Divinity to find its fulfillment in her Human form. In this, her own unique gifts were revealed and unleashed, giving her the strength and courage to be with her Beloved through his suffering and death (where the other disciples were not); and to be the first witness to the resurrection. But more important than any of this, in becoming self-actualized (High Priestess in her own right), Mary Magdalene was empowered to go out into the world, leading and teaching others in the truth of Oneness – the same path of salvation that Jesus had taught before her. Mary is much more than Jesus’ wife. In teaching and leading us on the path to salvation, like Jesus, Mary Magdalene is Savior.
Today we commemorate the trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus, the Christ. Below is an excerpt from my novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, which tells of the passion from Mary Magdalene’s perspective. May this day be one of deep prayer and contemplation on the mystery of suffering and death – but more than death, the promise of the resurrection that is yet to come! (If you find it helpful, listen to this musical piece before or while reading the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWFXEsFNSZM)
I looked up as the soldiers tore Jesus’ tunic from his body, leaving him naked but for his loincloth. They pushed him down onto his back with the beam still tied to his wrists and shoulders. As Jesus lay prostrate, his shoulders and arms stretched out across the beam, the soldiers knelt beside him, one on each side, and held his arms against the cross as a third approached with a hammer and iron spikes six inches long and three quarters of an inch square in width. I held my breath as I watched the executioner kneel down at Jesus’ right hand, placing the spike over his wrist and in one stroke, he brought the hammer down. I will never forget the scream of pain that escaped my beloved’s lips. It seemed in that utterance, that the very rock upon which we knelt was split in two. The hammer came down two more times, each followed by Jesus’ screams of agony. The executioner turned to Jesus’ left wrist and did the same. I knelt transfixed and paralyzed by my beloved’s agony and it was only because of John’s gentle nudge that I remembered to breathe. I was torn between simply getting up and running as far away as I could from this violence and rushing forward to still the executioner’s blows. Instead, I clutched Jesus’ scarlet cloak even tighter to me. If I could not hold my beloved in his pain, I would clutch his cloak, mustering for both of us, the courage we needed to move through this pain.
After his arms were securely nailed to the cross, the soldiers forced Jesus to his feet, and dragged him, tripping and stumbling to the upright support. A rope and pulley system had been put in place, which was secured to the cross. A group of soldiers heaved and pulled, dragging Jesus off the ground while Jesus cried out in agony, gagging and choking as the air was slowly squeezed from his lungs. After Jesus was raised to a height, roughly ten feet off the ground, the executioner again came forward and nailed a wooden support at Jesus’ feet. In the same fashion as his wrists, the executioner nailed Jesus’ feet to the cross – first one, and then the other. After he was finished, another soldier approached with a ladder and a sack across his chest. He propped the ladder against the support beam, climbed to reach Jesus’ head and pulled a hammer, a single nail and a wooden plaque from his pouch. He nailed the plaque above Jesus’ head and on it was written the charges against him: “Here is Jesus, ‘the Christ’ King of the Jews.”
The soldier replaced the hammer into his sack, and pulled from his pouch a small clay bottle and a reed. He uncorked the bottle, inserted the reed and held it toward Jesus’ lips. Surely this was an apothecary’s blend of herbs to aid unconsciousness – intended to alleviate some of the suffering of death. Grateful for this act of compassion shown toward my beloved, I looked on in sadness as Jesus shook his head in refusal. The soldier shrugged his shoulders in resignation and descended the ladder. After this was all accomplished, another soldier stepped forward with trumpet in hand. He blew the trumpet and proclaimed loudly, “Here hangs Jesus bar Joseph, found guilty of being a traitor for proclaiming himself to be king – a crime against Caesar, against Rome and punishable by death.” He blew the trumpet again. The time was twelve o’clock noon.
As the last note of the trumpet rang, the sky darkened, thunder cracked and the earth began to shake. The “gods” were not pleased with this act of treachery. The Romans, who still worshipped the gods of earth and sky were visibly shaken by the elements’ response. They shifted their feet and whispered to each other in questioning tones. All the while, I smiled in silent knowing of Abwoon’s displeasure. The guard who held us at bay now invited us to approach, “You may go nearer to the cross.” We ran to the foot of the cross and stood in prayerful support for our beloved. The soldiers prevented us from getting close enough to touch Jesus, but we stood within an arm’s length.
“My beloved,” I whispered, “You are not alone. We shall be here praying with you until you draw your final breath.” As I uttered these words, I felt Jesus’ heart open in search of mine and when our hearts met, I felt his heart tear in two as mine had when John had given me Jesus’ scarlet cloak. “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?” my beloved begged in heart breaking agony. At that moment, the impact of Jesus’ pain reached the hearts of the Romans, the others criminals who hung on either side of him, and any of the curious onlookers who remained. In unison, they fell to their knees in sorrowful penitence.
The soldier nearest us shouted, “We have killed a prophet, a Son of God, we are
doomed.” In the midst of his own pain, Jesus uttered a prayer of absolution, “Abwoon,
forgive them they know not what they do.” I wept in wonder over Jesus’
compassion as I began to chant the Aramaic formula of forgiveness:
For three hours we stood and wept, kneeling or lying prostrate in prayer as our beloved’s life breath was slowly squeezed from him under the weight of his body as it hung on the cross. We listened to his pain. He wept tears of loss, moaned in agony and in moments of fear, yelled out in anger toward his god. We rode the waves of Jesus’ final spiritual journey as he moved from pain and fear, remorse and loss, doubt and rage to resolution, compassion, surrender, peace and back again. For three hours this went on as the Romans stood in their own form of prayer beside us. As time went on other curious on-lookers began to join us in our prayer. At three o’clock in the afternoon, one of the Roman guards came forward with spear in hand and in one swift and final act of mercy, plunged the spear into Jesus’ side. Jesus’ head flew back in the face of this new-found pain, but instead of the grimace of agony, a peaceful smile played upon his lips and he whispered, “Abwoon, into your hands I commend my Spirit. It is finished,” and his head fell forward and released his final breath as blood and water poured out of his side.
As Jesus released his final breath, my resolve gave way and the grief and horror that I had contained erupted into wailing and screaming. I tore at my hair and at my garments wanting to be freed of anything that might stand in the way of release. It was finished. Jesus was dead. As we poured out our grief, some of the Roman soldiers who had been moved by Jesus’ love drew toward us, knelt on the ground and offered their own prayers. I, in turn, was moved by their compassion and in awe over the ability of Jesus’ love to transcend even the perceived separations of culture, belief and rank. Lazarus, Martha, Judas, Nicodemus, Joanna and Mary’s brother Joseph who had joined them after the noon hour soon joined us at the top of the hill. After a time, the commanding officer came and said, “We must take him down from the cross so you have time to entomb him before the sun sets.” We nodded in our assent.
We stood in silence as the soldiers worked together to remove Jesus from the instrument of his torture and death. They removed the spikes from his feet, and then lowered the crossbar as Joseph, Lazarus, Nicodemus, Judas and John bore the weight of his lifeless body. They laid him out on the ground as they removed the spikes from his wrists and the crown of thorns from his head. The men gathered about Jesus’ lifeless body as Mother Mary and I laid out the red cloak – the only thing we had in which to wrap his body. As they laid his body upon the cloak, I fell upon him, wrapping myself around his lifeless body. I held him to my heart as I cried and I rocked him as I would a child. My heart was broken, my soul torn in two. But as I held him to me, I was more and more certain that this body had been just a shell and that my beloved, no longer dwelled within it. And I heard my beloved’s voice as I had all those many times before, “Mary, do not be afraid. I am with you always, even to the end of time.” These words gave me the strength I needed to release his body. I stepped back and allowed the men to gather him up to be carried to the place of his entombment.
During the evening and into the morning, Joseph had accomplished the preparations for Jesus’ burial. First he returned to Bethany to retrieve the burial nard that had been set aside for Martha’s dowry, along with the burial cloths that were all housed in the wedding chest beneath her bed. He located a humble tomb near Jerusalem since their family tomb was several days’ journey to Capernaum. The tomb he had procured was in the potter’s field just outside the city walls in the hillside caves usually reserved for the poor. We took up Jesus’ beaten, broken and lifeless body and walked in procession the short distance to the potter’s field intoning the Kaddish, the Hebrew song of mourning. Three Roman soldiers followed us at a respectful distance, having been ordered to see that Jesus was properly buried and to stand guard at the tomb until three days had passed. The High Priests wanted to make sure that no one was able to fake a resurrection, thereby confirming Jesus’ prediction that he would be raised from the dead. We arrived at the tomb, a small cave hollowed out in the limestone. The space was large enough for us to enter and stand upright. The men lay Jesus upon the floor of the cave while Mother Mary and I prepared the burial cloths. The burial cloths were strips of linen which we first covered in the burial nard – a mixture of resin, oils and spices which were to mask the stench of death while deterring insects, vermin and other animals from feasting on our dead. We soaked each strip and carefully bound his body from foot to head. A separate cloth was used for the head which we first covered in nard, then draped over his face from neck to crown, then over the back of his head to his shoulders. This was wrapped in strips of linen as the rest of the body had been. After his body was anointed and bound, we said our final prayers, our individual goodbyes and departed the tomb.
I waited outside the tomb as John, Lazarus, Nicodemus, Joseph and Judas, along with three of the Roman soldiers rolled the stone in front of the tomb. Mary, Martha, Salome and I held each other as we waited. After the tomb was safely sealed, the men returned to us, John holding in his arms, Jesus’ scarlet cloak. He came toward me and gently laid it into my arms. I wept at his thoughtful generosity. We said our goodbyes as Mary, Judas, Joseph and John turned toward Jerusalem to deliver the news to the Galilean disciples waiting in the Upper Room. Lazarus, Salome, Martha and I turned toward the road to Bethany. As we turned toward home, I heard my beloved’s voice for what I was sure would be the final time, “Mary I am with you always, even unto the end of time.” This time, I found no comfort in these words, only the finality of death.
There has been much discussion lately in the www universe on the topic of ascension. Below is a channeled response to the question about how Jesus fits into the topic of ascension:
Death is the atonement. Resurrection is the result. When we give our life for the all, as we have done so diligently, we transcend the perceived separation of human consciousness. This is what Jesus did. In his human flesh he came to know his Oneness with God, with himself, with humanity and with all of creation. In this, he Re-membered his true Divine nature, and then learned how to fully embody this in human form. Attaining Oneness was the ascension, and then he allowed that consciousness to descend fully into his human form…becoming the “new Adam.” This is the “ascending and descending” of angels reference in scripture and the fulfillment of the Tree of Life. When Jesus died on the cross, he journeyed through the seven fears of the human experience, and at the final moment, remembered his Oneness again “Into your hands I commend my spirit.” While he lay in the tomb for three days, with the help of Mary Magdalene, the man who was Jesus was transformed into the Christ. He “descended” into hell….meaning his consciousness once again felt the sharp sting of separation. And then he was reborn – not in flesh – but as the Light Being that is known as The Christ. In his Light body, there is no more pain, no more suffering, etc. He simply bears witness to the suffering of humanity …..from a place of objective witness, infinite knowing, compassion and love. And he stands as a source of ongoing support….first as the model of perfection (of the potential that resides within all of humanity), then as a guide, teacher, source of healing and comfort.
The difference between what Jesus went through and what we are currently facilitating is that he had to die a physical death (that is assuming we believe the literal truth of Jesus’ death and not the alternative that the Gospels are merely a metaphor for the journey along the Tree of Life) …..so that a great Divine intervention for the sake of humanity might take place. We no longer have to die the physical death….because of what Jesus (and others before him) did, we have the opportunity to attain our own Christhood in physical form….fully embodying our True Divine/Christed nature for the sake of our own “salvation” and so that a great Divine intervention might take place on behalf of the whole human race……and all of creation. We live this from the perspective of our 5D perch….supporting, guiding, loving. Once we have died and then rise from the dead, there is no more suffering….only understanding, compassion and love as we continue to serve humanity and its great unfolding.
– Lauri Ann Lumby
The Magdalene Priest/Priestess Training was given to Lauri Ann Lumby as a tool for supporting the awakening of human consciousness and to support participants in their own journey of ascension and self-actualization. Learn more and take the FREE preview course by clicking on the icon below:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That one thing is LOVE.
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?
Jesus was lucky, he only had to be crucified once. Mary Magdalene, on the other hand, was crucified more times than we could ever count. She was crucified first for being born a woman. She was crucified again by whatever it was in her life that caused her to need to be healed of “seven demons.” She was crucified as she walked with her Beloved to his death and then watched as he was nailed to the cross and as he suffered the agonizing death by crucifixion. She was crucified again when she and her companions took Jesus’ bleeding, broken and beaten body off the cross and laid it in the tomb. She was crucified again as the stone was rolled over the opening of the tomb and she said her final goodbyes. Again she was crucified when Jesus appeared to her on Easter morning and then just as quickly disappeared from her sight. Again as she went to tell the male disciples and they did not believe her. Again and again and again as Jesus appeared to her in prayer imparting secret teachings and every time disappearing from her sight. Again as she was asked by the male disciples to share what Jesus had taught her and who then rejected her teachings along with the love Jesus had for her. Again as she was apparently no longer welcome by the Jerusalem community of disciples and left to fend for herself. Again and again and again as she made her way in the world carrying the burden of all these crucifixions in her heart, along with the new and fresh crucifixions everytime her mission of love was rejected. And then…..the millions of countless crucifixions that have happened since her death anytime an individual or the Church ignored her role in Jesus’ life and ministry, denied the calling Jesus gave to her, rejected her as prostitute, adulterous woman or whore, demoted the important initiatory process (healed of seven demons) she underwent as demonic possession, denied women’s rightful and necessary place within the mission of love, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. The list is endless.
This is the Magdalene Wound and one that is carried in some degree by all women being called forth to resurrect the Magdalene and reclaim her rightful place in the mission of love by taking on this mission ourselves. As one who bears this wound, I must tell you that it is excruciating. It is a burden I would not wish on another, and yet I know literally hundreds of women who share this burden with me on behalf of the Magdalene (with many not knowing or understanding the source of this excruciating pain) and who continue to feel the pain of crucifixion everytime the world cries out for the lost feminine.
The Magdalene Wound is known by a longing that cannot be quenched. It is a pain that has no relief. It is the feeling of constantly beating one’s head against the wall seemingly getting nowhere. It is the pain of constant rejection. Of speaking and sharing truth and seeing it fall on deaf ears. It is the painful longing of missing our beloved and finding nothing to take its place. It is the knowledge of having been loved beyond measure, of being held in rapt adoration and worshipped for our gifts…and then having that love torn from our grasp. It is the pain of knowing that literally millions of women throughout history have been subject to rejection, abuse, even killed simply because they were born a woman in a world where the masculine rules….knowing that at one time in the history of patriarchal culture, there was ONE MAN who honored women as equal, elevating them to positions equal with their male counterparts and who called all of humanity to do the same…and that the first action taken by those who had the opportunity to fulfill this man’s vision was to sell out the women in favor of the presiding cultural norm….and that this single act has kept women subservient for 2000+ years! It is the constant and enduring pain of a world that is suffering and feeling the blows of this suffering in our own bodies, hearing the cries with our own ears, seeing it with our own eyes and knowing we possess the remedy to this suffering if only….someone…..anyone….would care to ask. I can’t speak for others, but I know for myself, the Magdalene Wound makes me weary…a bone crushing, soul splitting weariness longing for the world to be made free. It is the same burden of truth that Jesus carried – a truth for which he was willing to die.
This is the Magdalene Wound and I’m sad to say I’m not sure there is a remedy to this wound. It is the cross we have to bear as those who have been called to restore the Magdalene (and all women with her) to her rightful place in history and in our world. I’m not sure we will see the fulfillment of this resurrection in our lifetime, but there are signs of its happening and it is not just about the plethora of research, writings and books that have been accomplished on behalf of the Magdalene. It includes all ways in which women are finding their voice, speaking their truth and rediscovering their rightful place in world that 5000 years ago stole their power from them. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this movement and grateful for the resources and tools that have come through me in support of the mission of love as Mary Magdalene had envisioned and embodied it.
Join the Magdalene Movement by accepting the call to formation as a Magdalene Priestess:
Confronting that which tempts us away from our original nature of peace.
As much as I believe that Jesus came to realize the truth of Oneness and then sought to teach this to his disciples, including Mary Magdalene who went on to establish her own mystery school teaching the way to love; I am reminded today of the value of perceived separation – especially when it comes to those things outside of us which seek to keep us from the path of our truth.
Satan, meaning adversary, is the representation and embodiment of all that wants to keep us from our original nature as One in love – whether we perceive it as within us or outside of us.
Outside of us, Satan shows up in:
Tribal customs and rules.
Worldly ideals which place value on externals – money, power, status, fame, material possessions, etc. etc. etc. over the place of real value which is within.
People who are threatened by our decision to step outside the tiny little box that our religions, communities, political parties, race, gender, orientation, etc. etc. etc. etc. seek to prison us within.
Any individual or structure which seeks to have power and control over another.
People who reject us or our gifts.
Feeling thwarted in the fulfillment of our gifts.
Every single thing which resides outside of us and tempts us to step away from our original inner state of contentment and joy is The Devil and when doing battle with Satan, it is helpful to think of it in this way.
I know, I know….this is the complete polar opposite of what all the new age/new thought/manifestation/secret and abundance people say. They would say, “Everything that is happening outside of you is simply a reflection of what is happening within.” But here’s the deal…..when I think of my own struggles in this way, it makes me feel TERRIBLE. I feel shame. I feel guilty. I feel as if I am a failure and that I have done something wrong. Believing in the idea that the difficulties happening outside of me are because I thought the wrong thoughts or didn’t believe hard enough or didn’t trust God enough or surrender enough, simply triggers my fear of not being perfect. When this fear is triggered, the downward spiral of self-loathing begins. You mean my anxiety is my fault because I don’t trust enough? My fears over money are my fault because I’m not trusting in God? I haven’t found “the one” because I’m not holding my vibration high enough to attract him? Ignatius of Loyola would have had something to say about these so-called theories of “right thought.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – 1556) was a pioneer in and became one of the foremost authorities on the process of discernment. In his writings on discernment, he describes two distinct energies – one that reflects the Divine path for us and the other that reflects “the devil.” He calls these energies, respectively, consolation and desolation. If I apply Ignatius’ guidelines for discernment to the idea that what is outside of me is a reflection of the energy I am holding within, I find I have to call it desolation – the energy that represents the mark of Satan. Those things outside of me that are tempting me (which I experience as fear, anxiety, worry, self-loathing, depression) away from my Oneness with God (which I experience as peace and contentment) are the Devil and when I think of them in this way, instead of feeling powerless or despairing, I feel strong, confident and empowered because I know what to do with the Devil outside.
When I know that Satan is hard at work trying to keep me from my path, I know how to respond. I have learned that calling temptation what it is, giving it a name and a face, deprives it of its power. I stand toe to toe with Satan. I look him in the eye. I name him for whom and what he is. I call on Michael the Archangel, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Archangels Kamael and Tzafkiel, all my ancestors and the communion of saints to surround me and I then proclaim Jesus’ own words when facing his own Satan, “Get behind me Satan.” In this I feel strengthened and am able to return to the path of my truth – the path where I feel fulfilled and where I am at peace.
What tools are you using to confront that which tempts you away from your own natural state of inner peace?
Proposing a new model of what it means to be “Priest”
For the past 2000-5000 years, priesthood (across religions) has meant one thing: a position of power and authority held by men acting as an intermediary between the undeserving flock and their god. These men have given themselves the power to interpret the word of their god and to dictate doctrine around their interpretation of that word. They have appointed themselves determiners of who is saved and who is not and have created rituals and practices to be observed by the undeserving so that they might earn the “love” of a jealous and fickle god and therefore their heavenly reward after death. These men have used the threat of eternal damnation to manipulate those they “serve” and have benefited from a culture based in fear. These men have been held as separate, more important and more powerful than the people they “serve” and have benefited from this separation, given places of honor and becoming rich on the backs of those who are expected to pay, pray and obey.
Whereas not every man who has followed the call to be “priest” (or woman who has taken on this kind of priesthood) has lived their priesthood in this way, all are complicit in a culture and a structure that places one in a position of power over those they are meant to serve. The current structure of the priesthood – especially as it is expressed in the Catholic Church in which I was raised, is a culture of (often white) privilege rooted in separation lived out through power and control. I can’t help but believe that this is not what Jesus had in mind. In fact, it seemed that Jesus spoke openly against those who placed themselves in positions of authority and who lauded their power over others. Instead, Jesus provided a completely different model of what priesthood might be which seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way.
In order to understand the kind of priesthood that Jesus lived and then modeled for those who spent time in his company, we don’t have to look very far. Scripture is quite clear about the priesthood that Jesus embodied – one of healing, comforting, teaching and empowering with Jesus hanging out, not at the top of the pyramid, but at the bottom of an inverted triangle upholding and uplifting those he sought to serve. In this, Jesus created a container in which those to whom he ministered might be supported in doing what Jesus did – coming to know themselves as One with God in love, and in this oneness coming to know their own unique giftedness and then supported and empowered in the development of and then sharing of these gifts – for the sake of their own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.
This is the priesthood that Jesus embodied and the priesthood that Mary Magdalene was empowered to embrace. When we turn to those scriptures that didn’t make the cut of the emerging hierarchical/patriarchal institution that became Christianity, we clearly see Mary in this role: comforting, healing, teaching and empowering the other disciples to go forth and continue the work that Jesus empowered them to do. In this, Mary was living not as a priest within an institutional church, but as High Priest in the spirit of the ancient tradition of mystery schools which served to support women and men in achieving the fullness of their personal, psychological, emotional and spiritual development. In short, Mary, like Jesus, did the work to support what modern-day psychologists call self-actualization.
What would our world look like if we lived priesthood in this way – coming to know our own self-actualization and then empowering others to do the same?
If this model of priesthood speaks to you, check out the Magdalene Priestess Training by clicking on the image below:
For over 2000 years priests, theologians, and scripture scholars have argued over who killed Jesus. For the better part of those 2000 years, the Jews have been blamed for Jesus’ death.Only recently, with the advent of authentic scripture scholarship have the Jews been let off the hook with the blame being placed on the shoulders of either the Romans or a few select members of the Jewish temple leadership – specifically the Chief Priests, Pharisees and Sadducees.The truth is neither the Romans nor the Jews killed Jesus –
Scripture is actually quite clear on this subject. When Jesus’ followers had an opportunity to defend their teacher, they chose silence.When Pontius Pilate gave the crowd an opportunity to choose whether Jesus or Barabbas would die, they demanded Jesus’ death. Whether we believe the veracity of these stories or not, Jesus’ disciples, the crowd; those who originally charged Jesus with heresy and then condemned him to die; and those who carried out these orders; represent every single one of us –
When we choose fear over love.
Jesus was a man who came to realize that love was the remedy to the violence, hatred, ignorance, and injustices that arise out of the human condition when people are living in fear.Jesus came to know love as the way through the fear that is inherent within the human condition.Jesus then sought to teach others how to choose love over the fear with which they had grown accustomed.And then…..we killed him for it.
Why in the world would we kill a man who only sought to teach us how to love? The answer is simple – because human beings are lazy.We do not want to do the really hard work of healing our fears. We do not want to take responsibility for our behaviors and the fears that drive those behaviors. It is sooooo much easier to point the finger of blame at someone else than it is to take responsibility for the unhealed wounds within us.It is easier to remain in what we know than to embrace the change that comes from healing our wounds. It is easier to hate than it is to do the work of healing our fears so that we can do the only thing Jesus asked us to do:LOVE.
We are the ones who killed Jesus and we kill him again every time we choose fear over love, hatred over compassion, ignorance over knowledge, violence over peace, judgment over understanding. Love is not a privilege – it is a choice.