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:

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FREE Feast of the Magdalene Service:

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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:

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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.

 

 

 

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!

 

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.

Click on the image above to learn more!

 

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 VI

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.

 

In this space of time between the crucifixion and the resurrection on Easter Sunday, we rest in sacred pause, remembering that all the Divine has created is Good. In this, we remember the ancient tradition of the Divine as more than only male, and the sacred tradition of God’s feminine counterpart.  She has been given many names, Shekinah, El-Shaddai, Ruah, Hokhmah, Sophia.  Here, we simply call her Mother.

 

I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and I covered the earth like a mist. I had my tents in the heights and my throne in a pillar of cloud. Alone I encircled the vault of the sky, and I walked on the bottom of the deeps.   Ecclesiasticus 24: 3-5

 

When the Most High set the heavens in place, I was there,

When God drew a ring on the surface of the deep,

When God fixed the clouds above,

When God fixed fast the wells of the deep,

When God assigned the sea its limits and the water did not invade the land,

When God extablished the foundations of the earth,

I was by God’s side, a master craftswoman,

Delighting God day by day

Ever at play by God’s side,

At play everywhere in God’s domain,

Delighting to be with the children of humanity.

 

Proverbs 8: 27-31

In the beginning, when The Mother created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then The Mother said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The Mother saw how good the light was. The Mother then separated the light from the darkness. The Mother called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day. Then The Mother said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.” And so it happened: The Mother made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. The Mother called the dome “the sky.” Evening came, and morning followed—the second day. Then The Mother said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.” And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. The Mother called the dry land “the earth, ” and the basin of the water She called “the sea.” The Mother saw how good it was. Then The Mother said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.” And so it happened: the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. The Mother saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed—the third day. Then The Mother said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened: The Mother made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and She made the stars. The Mother set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. The Mother saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day. Then The Mother said, “Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.” And so it happened: The Mother created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. The Mother saw how good it was, and The Mother blessed them, saying, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day. Then The Mother said, “Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.” And so it happened: The Mother made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. The Mother saw how good it was. Then The Mother said: “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them be stewards of the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” The Mother created human beings in Her image; in the image of The Mother She created them; male and female She created them. The Mother blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Be stewards of the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” The Mother also said: “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.” And so it happened. The Mother looked at everything She had made, and She found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. Since on the seventh day The Mother was finished with the work She had been doing, She rested on the seventh day from all the work She had undertaken.

GN 1: 1-2:2