Through Mary Magdalene the Female Christian Initiate we can know the reality of love, wisdom and truth
In my childhood I loved the stories of the Christian tradition. But when explanations and interpretations by ministers and teachers failed to satisfy my longing for meaning, I headed off as a truth seeker into other spiritualities and philosophies. I found so much wisdom to enthuse me but was still left with that longing. This led me to ask, has something been missed in the religion of my own culture – or at least in what had been conveyed to me? Has something vital been lost, a Christian mystery, a path of initiation?
I owe much of my conviction that the Way of the Christos is an initiatory journey and of my deepening experience of the spirit within to my teacher, the late Mario Schoenmaker (1929 –1997), a most unorthodox priest and seer in touch with the eternal. I entered a modern mystery school with a yearning heart and Mario helped unlock the secret chambers of the gospel (‘good tidings’, from Anglo-Saxon ‘god-spell’) as I studied, listened, wrote and worked with him for thirteen years until his death. Colin Read was co-founder with Mario of the 'Church of the Mystic Christ' that later became the Independent Church of Australia with a college attached. Colin was was a mystic.
When I first came to Mary Magdalene I discovered a real woman in whom the Christ spirit lived. She shone so brightly in a world dominated by men and patriarchal beliefs. The Magdalene was a visionary with the courage to live her knowing and loving. So why was she neglected or cast as the archetypal repentant sinner - a false model of all womankind? This was so wrong.
My experience and study of her journey along the Way of the Christ has convinced me that:
~ There is indeed a rarely understood depth in the story of Jesus Christ.
~ That much has gone underground, existing as an almost forgotten stream beneath the patriarchal church as an outdated institution.
~ That the feminine as a vital archetype and with spiritual, psychological and physical dimensions is part of the Christ spirit. This led me to the strong conviction that an explorer of the inner life is inevitably ‘a feminist’. Magdalene Christianity begins, then, with claiming the rejected half of the human soul. It is about human beings, male and female.
~ When the balance of the feminine is restored this will lead to less rejection of ‘the other’, whether it be due to ethnicity, social group, class, religion or gender orientation. And love and care for the earth herself will become the norm. Magdalene Christianity is about a re-emergent spiritual life, and the transformation of the soul that helps to achieve this new world.
On writing my novel Marriages of the Magdalene
My journey with Mary Magdalene began in the early 2000s, fired by my interest in my husband and co-worker Stephen Cugley's profound discourses on John's gospel. Yet it was when I meditated on the revelations in this mystical work, that Mary Magdalene's voice kept intruding, like a whisper at first but becoming stronger.
My aim was to write a modern take on the initiatory path. Of course, her story was essential to unfold the mystery of the Christos Way in which there is neither male nor female but rather the undivided self, the essence of the wonderful yin-yang symbol. She had to be in there. And so began my search for her.
I chose to write fiction because it gave me the freedom to imagine two people, disciples of Christ, who through their unfolding relationship and initiatory trials, discover the reality of agape love. I named my story Marriages of the Magdalene, plural, because this is about the unfolding of love in body, soul and spirit. The book was published in 2016.
Now for the unique story of Magdalene Christianity
Mary Magdalene continued to challenge me to let her speak from beyond my novel's framework. The posts about 'Magdalene Mysteries' have been part of this, although there is so much more to unfold about a uniquely feminine Christianity that connects us with the power of the almost forgotten (and mostly misunderstood) goddesses. And there's more to tell about the beautiful soul who incarnated as Mary Magdalene in the first century. So arose questions to explore in a new website that I call:
Who was she down the ages, before and after she encountered Jesus Christ? What is behind the importance, then and now, of her direct experience of the Christ mystery? How did her symbols come about and what is their meaning for a spiritual seeker today? Why the lasting resonance of her journeys as the first apostle - what lives within her sacred sites? And then there is the continuing influence of her enlightened soul. Has she been here again to play her part in soul evolution? What was and is her purpose? How do we experience her?
Christ is the spirit of the world, for the Christ event changed the world forever. Wisdom, the divine feminine is integral to the cosmic and inner mysteries of life. These high beings are forever united in divine marriage, the hieros gamos, and are the lifeblood of the Holy Grail. It's a marvellous and beautiful still-unfolding story. And within it there is so much more to tell about Mary the Magdalene who became the Grailbearer. I will be posting all this in the dedicated website soon.