THE LIVING MARY MAGDALENE
I would love you to have a look at my new website.
My background was Christianity, but it was a patriarchal rule-based version that already seemed outdated when I was a teenage feminist. Since then I have come to know a deep universal meaning to the Christ event. And the last couple of years have been quite an adventure unravelling the threads surrounding Mary Magdalene, the first woman initiated by Jesus Christ. I sought her, or she took hold of me, because I wanted to draw out the vital, yet largely ignored role of the divine feminine in the way of Christ.
The website takes us on a journey with Mary Magdalene the leading female disciple and first apostle. As to what she preached and taught, a century after her passing Gnostic Christians chose her as a kind of living image of Sophia, and the one with greater gnosis of the saviour than Peter and other male disciples. Could this be drawing on memories of the real woman?
She would later be claimed by the church establishment as a penitent whore to encourage all women to give up their evil ways. Happily, she gained a wider range of symbolic attributes that bring us closer to who she was. As well legends about her grew in the telling. She has long been a motivation for pilgrimages to southern France and Ephesus in Turkey. Legends are not factual, but there is an inner truth to them.
And what a subject she has been for artists – repentant and yet still with the insignia of her supposed profession, golden haired, bare-breasted, head thrust back, eyes gazing up in ecstasy (heavenly of course). Sometimes she is depicted as a haggard emblem of extreme renunciation and self-sacrifice. Art depicts the mood of ‘the times’, yet again they hold an inner verity. In recent times she has been adopted by feminist spiritual seekers as their priestess, or one of a sorority of goddesses.
At this sad and strange time with ‘unprecedented’ as the most common word for the drama and chaos the world faces, and with Mother Earth crying out in desperation, there is a profound need to restore the feminine spirit to find balance physically, emotionally, and especially spiritually. Mary Magdalene can be a guide for us.
The many stories surrounding her beautiful soul are parts of a reality, like shards of a broken vessel. My undertaking in Magdalene Christianity has been to bring them together into a symbolic Holy Grail to reveal her still living gospel.