Celebrating Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is the only one identified to have completed the full course of Jesus’ teachings and was initiated as co-equal partner and Beloved with Christ. It was to Mary whom Jesus first revealed his resurrected/Christed Self and it was Mary he commissioned to share the good news with the other disciples and who he ordained to continue his work in his stead.

The Feast of Mary Magdalene is celebrated on July 22nd every year and in honor of her coming feast day, we have many exciting offerings to share with you:

LIVE online Course starting July 31:

Click on image to learn more and register. Course limited to 25. Register early to secure your spot.

 

FREE Feast of the Magdalene Service:

Click on the image above to learn more and to register.

Magdalene Mini-Summit with Lauri Lumby, Renee Starr and other experts on the Magdalene:

Watch this site for more information.

 

The Temple of the Magdalene Weekly Subscription Newsletter:

Learn more and register by clicking the image above.

 

Special Kindle Pricing for Song of the Beloved:

Kindle version only $4.99 through July.

Check out the new items in our Magdalene shop including the Magdalene Oracle by Toni Carmine Salerno!

Visit the Shop HERE. 

Please check out our powerfully rewarding and empowering Magdalene Priestess Training – now with three path options:  women only, men only, co-ed.  Learn more and register by clicking on the image below:

And finally, join us on Sundays at Motherhouse of the Goddess for our blog series:

Countdown to the Magdalene:

 Join us HERE. 

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.

 

 

 

Withholding Our Gifts

I had an interesting interaction yesterday with an organization whose materials I have recommended to my students, specifically as supplemental resources (for purchase) in the What’s Your Magic course that is part of my Magdalene Priestess Training.  Apparently, they are no longer willing to share these resources with those outside their institutional membership – even when they stand to benefit financially for in sharing these resources.  When I inquired further and explained why I appreciate their resources, why I recommend them to my students, why my student’s would not be candidates for membership in their organization and why I would like to continue to share these resources (which would be a financial benefit to their organization), their response was “Best wishes to you.”

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement – not because my students would suffer for lack of these resources (which they won’t), but because the institution in question is unwilling to see past their self-imposed separation to the larger world that is in need of their gifts. This institution has been divinely gifted with a wisdom-filled and comprehensive tool for supporting people in discerning their gifts and how they might be called to share these gifts in the world.  These are tools that could benefit all of humanity, not just the few that belong to their membership.  Instead of being willing and open to find a way to share these gifts with all who might need them, they are hoarding them for themselves.  This makes me sad and I believe this was not what the Divine had intended when imparting these gifts on the creative leaders of this institution.

Buy it NOW!

After dwelling for a moment in righteous anger over the divine injustice of this situation, I was brought back to Authentic Freedom. The above perfectly describes several of the compulsions described in both my book and my course Authentic Freedom, but for our purposes here I will focus on just one:

GREED – withholding the gifts that God has given us, specifically the gifts that we have been given, not only for our own benefit or fulfillment, but gifts we’ve been given that we are meant to share for the sake of the betterment of the world.

Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted to be a vessel of Divine love, compassion, providence, wisdom, knowledge, mercy, and the gifts we have been given are meant to be shared. As Jesus said:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?  It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”  MT 5

The gifts we have been given are not meant to be withheld. Instead, they are meant to be generously shared with all who might be in need of these gifts and who might benefit from them.  Sometimes (often) those who might benefit from our gifts and those who are in need of our gifts do not fit into tight categories of membership.  If we are to truly be vessels of the Divine as we are so-called, we have to expand our view beyond what we currently know or beyond how we currently define ourselves.  We need to be open to stepping outside of our self-imposed boxes to seeing and hearing those who are in need of our gifts, and open to finding ways to make them available to those who need them.

When we generously share the gifts we’ve been given with others, these gifts come back to us a hundred-fold. This is the law of Divine nature and the results of sharing our gifts.

I am saddened by the institution who wants to keep themselves small in the withholding of their gifts, and I am grateful for the resources I have been given in the development of the Authentic Freedom protocol for supporting others in knowing the expansive freedom that God intended.

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