The Goddess. Dragon, Pearl, Database, Female, Mystics, Saints, Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene personify a female Holy Spirit and the Bride of Christ proclaiming the truth of our Goddess the Holy Spirit

 


THE GODDESS, THE DRAGON

AND THE PEARL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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he Old testament word for spirit is 'ruwach', (pronounced roo'-akh) meaning wind, breath, inspiration, and the OT Hebrew noun is always feminine.

 



     The Septuagint is the ancient Greek edition of the Old Testament. The Septuagint is the source of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament. The 'Wisdom of Solomon' was included in the Septuagint. In 'The Wisdom of Solomon' the Holy Spirit is female.

     The book of Proverbs declares 'God's Wisdom' is female. The Greek 'feminine' term for wisdom', sophia; translates a Hebrew 'feminine' term, hokhmah. In the book of 'Proverbs' contained in the Bible as well as 'The Wisdom of Solomon' contained in the Apocrypha; It is clearly shown that the early Hebrews saw God's Wisdom and Spirit as female.


     The "Odes of Solomon" is the earliest known Christian book of hymns or odes. It dates from before 100 A.D. In the 'Odes of Solomon'; the Holy Spirit is female.

     Hermetic writings from the first century AD reveal that the first century Christians used the symbols of both male and female to express the 'light and the life' within God. In the Aramaic roots of The Lord's Prayer. Jesus's original language, The words Jesus used to address God are "Aboon Debashmaya.(Abwoon d'bwashmaya,)" It means, the birther, the bearer, the breather/bringer of life and light. It means both Mother and Father. Also, Jesus spoke of Wisdom as female; ( Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35)

     The Hagia Sophia is the largest church in Constantinople (and in the ancient christian world). The historian Socrates indicated that the church was named Sophia during the reign of Emperor Constantius. The name given to the church symbolized the second divine attribute of the Holy Trinity. Originally, Sophia, which means "Holy Wisdom".

     The original tongue of the Hebrew or Aramaic would translate 'Holy Spirit' as female. Also, Greek would translate 'Holy Spirit' as either female or 'neuter in reference to the subject' and She only became 'He' in Latin and English bibles. Yet, even Milton, in his writing of Paradise Lost, refers to the Holy Spirit and Divine Reason as his Celestial Patroness!

     Clearly, the ancient church traditions refer to the Holy Spirit in feminine rather than masculine terms. It is important to speak of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Reconciler, with a feminine pronoun. The mother aspect of God is real and Holy.


"Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you . . ."


     The functions of the Holy Spirit as characterized in Biblical texts are often those which have been associated with women: consolation, inspiration, emotional warmth, and birth of the spirit.

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http://www.thegoddessproject.org )0(

 

http://www.thegoddessproject.org/

This has been a work in progress.. and still is.. as you will see it is not fully edited, but remains a collection of notes.. it is posted in this unfinished state because the message is so important.. SpiritBride does not claim ownership or copyright of this collection.. it is compiled under ''fair use'' judgment..  please take this information and create new pages for the truth of our Christian Goddess.

s there proof that Holy Spirit is female? Does the holy name of God, YHWH, imply a union between a masculine and a feminine deity? Because the Bible speaks with authority to many millions of people the answers to this question has great impact.

The following is devoted to restoring to light the Goddess of the Hebrew Scriptures – the Goddess who is mentioned within the Bible that is used by Jews and Christians. The Goddess who was known to the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Goddess who is mentioned from Genesis through Revelation. The Goddess of the ancient Israelites and of the earliest Christians. The Goddess who has been hidden in plain view for many, many centuries.

It is my intention in this article to uncover and expose the semantic, historical, and theological truth behind this third divine person of the Christian Trinity. I am aided in this by scriptural and semantic evidence, as well as sound theology. I will then present a more accurate (meaning, gendered) depiction of the Holy Ghost than the traditional one.

This is not about one of the goddesses of the ancient Egyptians or Romans, nor a goddess revered by present-day Hindus, but a Christian Goddess Who was repeatedly mentioned in the Scriptures. The Goddess of Israel Who has been deliberately concealed by churchmen and scholars, century after century. Many scholars who have set out to find Goddess in the Scriptures have often confused the true Hebrew Goddess with goddesses whose worship the Bible condemns. What follows is a restoration of knowledge that there is a Goddess in the sacred Scriptures. It is a revelation that original Israelite and Christian worship included and depended upon a Divine Female: the Covenant People of old believed in a deity that was both God the Father and Goddess the Mother, they believed in a Redeemer and a Co-redeemer.

In our day, the Ecclesia Gnostica and Essene reconstructionist groups are celebrating Christian tradition in a way that is truer to the original form than the orthodox, more familiar forms of Christianity. Other, more mainstream churches have also stepped in and, mainly with insights from the Nag Hammadi library and the Dead Sea scrolls, are revisioning Christianity in a way that will help it stay true to the original spirit in which these mysteries were taught. They also are coming to terms with the fact that there were various original forms of Christianity and that there was a struggle for power between these different schools, which is only normal in all human institutions. This may indicate a need for research beyond the politics and the egoes involved in the process of distilling a Bible and a Christian tradition that was acceptable to all. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide these efforts to retell Her story and revitalize the culture.
 

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n the beginning was the question..


Have you ever dreamed of Paradise? Paradise may be the most popular and intensely meaningful idea ever to have gripped the human imagination. We find it everywhere. It fills our dreams and inspires us all. We seem to be born with it embedded in our unconscious mind. It is a theme of legends; stories that have been told at the hearth fires of our ancestors, going back to a time beyond human memory. The story of Paradise occurs all over the world. The Garden of Eden, the Greek Golden Age, The Australian Aborigines’ Dream time, and the Chinese Taoist Age of Perfect Virtue, are just some of its manifestations. In every tradition, the image of Paradise is derived from a story that dates back to the beginnings of human culture.

Ancient cosmologies tell of a magnificent World-Tree that grows at the centre of the universe and encompasses all realms of existence: its stem pierces through the world of human affairs, its branches reach high up to the domain of the Gods, upholding the firmament of the heavens and all the stars and planets, while its roots stretch far down into the dark, chthonic Underworld, forming a gateway to the realm of the dead. The image of the World-Tree or Tree of Life is truly universal. It can be found at the centre of archaic cosmological iconography in widely separated cultures all over the world.
 

The Genesis account of Adam, Eve, the Garden, and the Serpent, has inspired generations of theologians and scholars; it is a fundamental part of the art and culture of Western civilization. Eden is a place full of fruit bearing trees, gold and precious stones; it was the source of the earth’s sweet waters. A beautiful place is like a beautiful metaphor, both are full of wonder.

In order to understand the story of Eden, it is necessary to think in metaphor. The people of the past thought this way. Long before 'materialist science' arrived on the scene people did not dissect everything, they did not try to break everything up into tiny fragments. When they examined something, when they attempted to understand the world around them they did through the act of metaphorical thinking. They would approach a subject by finding it's simile or attempt to understand it through the act of understanding things that were similar to it. This way of thinking runs contrary to the way that we think today. It also reveals a past that we may not be able to comprehend in a fashion that makes sense to us. When one realizes the power of this way of thinking it sheds an entirely new light on the people of old times.

People love metaphor. Metaphor is poetry. Metaphor is song. Metaphor is myth.
Ancient and tribal peoples shared a love for metaphor. Our modern languages consist of thousand of words and expressions deriving form ancient metaphors. Moreover, the further back you go in time, the more metaphorical language becomes.

Now a metaphorical interpretation of a record does not necessarily rule out a historical one, especially when one considers that supernatural agency may be involved. However, it might also be said that, in some cases, a metaphorical interpretation of a story liberates meanings, and depths of understanding, that can not be seen in, or bound to, a historical event. Another way of saying this may be, since the metaphor is timeless, the history it is concerned with is always present. Some early Christians like those who authored the Nag Hammadi scriptures did not read Genesis as history with a moral, but as a myth with a meaning.

The Genesis text is the metaphorical combination of two separate accounts. In the first, man and woman were created together at the climax of creation. In the second, God make Adam first, and to relieve his solitude creates the rest of the creatures, including the first woman, Eve. Afterward the original couple lives naked and unashamed, in harmony with each other and with the animals. This is the basic cast, or form, of paradise accounts found in many cultures.

Beginning in Genesis the original Hebrew writings described the oneness and equality of man an woman. The first creature called ha'-adam was not strictly male at all. Ha'-adam is a generic term for humankind and is used at the beginning of Genesis Only when God takes a rib from ha'-adam are the sexes differentiated, and the change is symbolized by new terminology. The creature from whom the rib is taken is now referred to not as ha'-adam but as 'ish ("man"), and the creature fashioned from the rib is called 'ishshah ("woman") The very act of creating woman creates man. This is a love story; the rib is a symbol of intimacy. "Bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh." This early concept was that of a soul mate; and is referred to by Plato, who spoke of man and woman as like a split creature always seeking to rejoin the halves.

An originally binary, or sexually undifferentiated, adam (“earthling”) is split down the “side” (a better translation of Hebrew tsela than “rib”) to form two sexually differentiated persons. Marriage is pictured as the reunion of the two constituent parts or “other halves,” man and woman.

God created Adam before Eve? Does the order of the creation make a difference as to one's favor with God? God did not create Adam before all things. God also created birds before Adam. Yet, Jesus spoke of us as being worth many sparrows. Eve is the crown and culmination of creation. Does this mean she is of more worth than Adam?

Did Eve force Adam to eat the forbidden fruit? If Adam was not deceived and yet ate also, how is it that this is not a greater transgression? Jesus spoke of the difference between the deceived and the undeceived often; and said in one place, that the difference is to be received in the Judgment, by, 'Few stripes...and Many stripes."

The Bible says, "in Adam all die" (I Corinthians 15:22), not "in Adam and Eve all die". It says, "by one man sin entered into the world" (Romans 5:12), not "by one man and one woman"! Paul never even mentions Eve in any of the First Adam/Second Adam passages. Why not? Because Eve's sin was not equal to that of Adam's sin.

"Wherefore as by one man sin entered the world"...Rom: 5; 12

If this statement (by one man sin entered) seems biased in favor of woman to you, perhaps it also reveals to the gentleman reader how it feels to be put in your place by the other sex and told that this is God's will.

The point is not to make contention, rather, to show that love speaks to no one as of less worth to God. And it is not by works that we are saved, rather, by grace so that no person may boast. Further, the Apostle Paul was a preacher of grace, yet, fundamentalism in an 'ink on paper' reading of the Bible often contradicts the message of grace by preaching that men are somehow in a preferred status with God. If God is love, then Love is God; in this is the paradox resolved concerning works and grace. Christ fulfilled the requirements of the law and released all of us to love God with unconditional desire for Holy Communion. This makes the daughters as well as the sons of the royal family of saints and in equal standing before their Creator.

Adam and Eve are portrayed in images that are seen as sacrificial toward each other, nature and God. They are cast out of the Garden when they attempt to become Gods. The trouble lies in that the transformation was not complete, They only ate from one tree and could not eat of the tree of eternal life. And so it is, this story relates how our spiritual birth is accompanied with pain. The Garden story  is a metaphor for this truth that is in all our lives. And our struggle with our creativity, which is made in the image of God.

The most important aspects of the image which humanity bears are the close relationship of love between themselves and God and the responsibility given them as God's representatives to care for the rest of creation as God's helpers. The word "dominion" does not imply that humankind is to destroy or exploit nature, but man and woman are to be held responsible before God for the way they serve God in taking care of the world. The Jerusalem Reader's Edition Bible states in Genesis 2:15 Yahweh God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and to take care of it. If this is what is usually translated as "giving dominion" then at least this translation offers a more responsible perspective. God's characteristic as servant is even more clear in the Gen., Ch. 2 description. Here, at the climax of the creation story, Eve is created as the "helper (ezer)" of Adam. Woman is created as help and succor to man’s loneliness. Far from denoting the idea of service in a subordinated position, the word "help" (ezer) is generally applied to God" who is par excellence the succor of those in need and in despair. This image of God as servant emerges clearly in the New Testament in the figure of Jesus, who came "not to be served but to serve" (Mark 10:45). Jesus of Nazareth was identified with the prophecies of God's "suffering servant" (Isa. 42:1-4). Above all, he became God's instrument of divine help in his willingness to live among people in self-surrender to others in love (Phil. 2: 5_1 1)..

A true love story is a poem. This is because poetry speaks in ways larger than mere words. Poetry speaks through metaphor and rhythm; ultimately becoming song. The true love story is the eternal love story. This is the story of woman and man as their Creator has brought them forth. With the exceeding capacity, for the love of the other. The beginning record of man’s purpose is of necessity the story of love. The love between a man and woman. The love that brings forth children. It is from this foundation of life and living the Creator brings forth those elements which are spiritual in nature. In the book of Genesis, beginning at the opening of the book, we read of a man named Adam and his wife, his one and only, Eve.


Among the many pearls of truth that, for centuries, have purposely been concealed from those who attend churches and synagogues is the awareness that Elohim [el-lo-HEEM], the God of the Bible, is really simultaneously both God and Goddess. In the original Hebrew, the word Eloah [el-LO-ah], is the feminine form of ‘God’. The word, Eloah, literally means “Goddess”.
For centuries, theologians, motivated by divers agendas and biases, deliberately masked profound truths about Elohim, the God of the Bible. They deliberately concealed from the common person’s view the existence of the Divine Feminine within the Holy Scriptures. Even though some of the Hebrew words for God have a distinct and clear-cut feminine gender, translators and commentators have almost universally covered up this knowledge. They were unwilling to use the feminine word “Goddess”. Therefore, they consistently used only masculine pronouns when referring to God – even when feminine pronouns would have been more correct.


Early interpreters have pondered the meaning of certain Biblical passages - for example, the saying in Proverbs that God made the world in Wisdom'. Could Wisdom be the feminine power in which God's creation was 'conceived'?, the double meaning of the term conception - physical and intellectual - suggests this possibility: The phrase "He knew his wife" is to know physically but also as 'ennoia'; within thoughtfulness. This character of thought [ennoia] is feminine, since ... [it] is a power of conception." "Wisdom, " God's earliest creation and playmate, who had her counterpart in the Greek Sophia; is a Deity in which biblically, God's wisdom is specifically expressed as female (Prov 8:1-36).

From this brief analysis we can conclude that it is not necessary to think of God primarily as having masculine characteristics of domination and lordship, a practice that has served to legitimatize aggression and domination in androgen cultures. It is also possible to think of God as having characteristics frequently thought of as feminine. God extends divine help to those in need through the chosen instruments. The example of the steadfast love and sacrifice of God in the Old and New Testaments points to possibilities of a world where the fullness of these characteristics could be displayed by both men and women.


  God language should not be confused with the reality of God. It should struggle to disclose that reality through careful investigation and interpretation. It should discover the differences of what is ordinarily acceptable to a Christian community and what is theologically possible.

The passage in Ex., ch. 3, describing God's self-revelation to Moses points toward an image of God that is sometimes overlooked in our view of Old Testament tradition: the image of servant. In and through the actions of the liberator are those of the servant or helper (ezer). The Ex. 34:6 interpretation of the name Yahweh makes this more clear as it reminds us that "God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Yahweh is related to humankind in a covenant relationship of love and concern. This same idea is reflected in the two Genesis versions of creation. Genesis 1:26 speaks of the creation of man and woman in the image of God. "Let us make ... [humankind] in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over ... all the earth." "Male and female ... [God] created them." Exactly what the author means by the word "image" is not clear, but it is evident that the Priestly writer wishes to point to an analogy between God and man-and-woman. The analogy is not merely anthropomorphic because in Israel's view human beings are theomorphic. They are an image of Elohim. The plural word for God (Elohim) and the words "let us .." reflect not only the idea of God surrounded by a heavenly court but also the notion of God as combining all the characteristics of the male and female gods in the Canaanite pantheon which Yahweh transcends, yet includes.

Many plain and precious spiritual Scriptural teachings have been buried by the scholars of mainstream churches. For example, the many names of God have been deliberately kept from Christians and Jews. Scriptural teachings of the true nature of God, and of the plan of redemption were obscured. These were no accidents, but very conscious concealments by religious leaders. The truth “has been falsified by the lying pen of the scribes.” [Jeremiah 8:8] One of the mysteries of the ancient writ is that the Goddess has been ever-present within the pages of the Bible. The Scriptures were originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic , and other Semitic languages. For that reason, the following includes a careful exposition of Hebrew words. It also includes explanations of Scripture passages, as well as comments by early church leaders. References are found in Bible, and in other ancient Hebrew and Christian texts. At a time when sexual ethics and the definition of the nuclear family are changing for many people, this alternative vision of Christian can be very attractive. In addition, these texts offer hope for anyone who's felt rejected or marginalized in their lives,

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In the east where the dawn brings the sun, the Creator planted a garden paradise; in which was brought forth woman and man. In this way has their Creator fashioned them. They were one of the same. Such was the union of the two. And they were brought forth to the delight of the other... And the Creator and looked through the creation and saw the reflection back . And the Creator was well please with the creation, for it was seen to be very good. And the Creator created life to bring forth more life, after its kind, to be fruitful and multiple...

Both Male and Female

his is written in the Hebrew Talmud, the book where all of the sayings and preaching of Rabbis are conserved over time.
It says: "Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. The woman came out of a man's rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved."

 


Gen 1:1 In the beginning God ('elohiym) created the heaven and the earth. Gen 1:26 And God ('elohiym) said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

See also Genesis 3:22 and 11:17 where God is spoken of as "us." 'elohiym is used of God as a plurality:

The Bible reflects that the first creation, as well as continuing creation, is done in tandem by Eloh (God) and Eloah (Goddess) (also referred to as Hokhma and Ruach). Together, Eloh and Eloah make up the Elohim. See Genesis 1:1-3, 1:26-27; Proverbs 3:19-20, 8:22-31; Job 38:4-40:30; Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10, 24:1-6; Wisdom of Solomon 7:22, 8:1-7, 8:21-9:4, 9:9-11.

Hebrew language scholars have noted that there has been a strange violation of convention in the formation of the word "Elohiym", in that the female root "Eoahh", meaning Goddess, is used and is then combined with the masculine suffix "iym". So the word "Elohiym" not only means plural Gods, but Gods with male and female attributes

'elohiym 430. 'elohiym, el-o-heem'; plur. of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great. Yehovah is used of God as His being one God:

Yehovah 3068. Yehovah, yeh-ho-vaw'; from H1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jeho-vah, Jewish national name of God:--Jehovah, the Lord. Comp. H3050, H3069. Thus, in Deuteronomy 6, we see the One God spoken of as a plurality:

Deu 6:1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD (Yehovah) your God ('elohiym) commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: Deu 6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD (Yehovah) thy God ('elohiym), to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Deu 6:3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD (Yehovah) God ('elohiym) of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD (Yehovah) our God ('elohiym) is one (echad)[ Echad speaks of God as being one as husband and wife are one: Gen 2:24 ] LORD (Yehovah): Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD (Yehovah) thy God ('elohiym) with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The Monotheism here is combined with a compound unity of God being one. In other words God is one, but not literally in number but in Substance. The Hebrew word here is the word ('Echad') which means compound unity and an absolute. The Scriptures have this Hebrew word 'one' which is (Echad) used in other Scriptures which proves the unity of this word. For instance, in Genesis 1:5, the combination of evening and morning comprise one (echad) day. In Genesis 2:24, a man and a woman come together in marriage and the two "shall become one (echad) flesh.

There are many scripture references implying God as God/dess:: Numbers 16:22 and also 27:16 | Deuteronomy 32:both 15 & 17 | Job 3:4, 5:17, 9:13, 10:2, 11:5-7, 12:6, 38:7 | Ezra 4:24 to 6:18, throughout all the verses (27 references) Nehemiah 9:17 | Psalms 82 , (Prov. 1:20-33; 2:2-4; 3:13-19; 4:7-9; 8:1-36; 9:1-5), (Greek name – Sophia) chapter 8 in particular describes her as an eternal being with godly attributes, one that was with God from the beginning, who participated in the creation and teaching Her children. In Proverbs 30:5 we also can read, "Every word of (the) Goddess ( #433 Elowahh, Eloahh) is pure: he (she) is a shield unto them that put their trust in him (her) [masculine is English translation].

The Bible abounds in male imagery and language. For centuries interpreters have explored and exploited this male language to articulate theology; to shape the contours and content of the church, synagogue and academy; and to
instinct human beings -- female and male -- in who they are, what roles they should play, and how they should behave. So harmonious has seemed this association of Scripture with sexism, of faith with culture, that only a few have even questioned it.

However, some commentators observed the plight of the female in Israel. Less desirable in the eyes of her parents than a male child, a girl stayed close to her mother, but her father controlled her life until he relinquished her to another man for marriage. If either of these male authorities permitted her to be mistreated, even abused, she had to submit without recourse. Thus, Lot offered his daughters to the men of Sodom to protect a male guest (Gen. 19:8); Jephthah sacrificed his daughter to remain faithful to a foolish vow (Judg. 11:29-40); Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar (II Sam. 13); and the Levite from the hill country of Ephraim participated with other males to bring about the betrayal, rape, murder and dismemberment of his own concubine (Judg. 19). Although not every story involving female and male is so terrifying, the narrative literature nevertheless makes clear that from birth to death the Hebrew woman belonged to men. What such narratives show, the legal corpus amplifies. Defined as the property of men (Exod. 20:17; Deut. 5:21), women did not control their own bodies. A man expected to marry a virgin, though his own virginity need not be intact. A wife guilty of earlier fornication violated the honor and power of both her father and husband. Death by stoning was the penalty (Deut. 22:13-21). Moreover, a woman had no right to divorce (Deut. 24:1-4) and, most often, no right to own property. Excluded from the priesthood, she was considered far more unclean than the male (Lev. 15). Even her monetary value was less (Lev. 27:1-7).

Even present-day Bible dictionaries and concordances are still biased, and ignore basic Hebrew grammatical rules when it comes to translating the various words for Deity. The result is that most Christians and Jews have been hoodwinked into to believing that the God of the Old Testament is exclusively male, and Christians have been mislead into believing that the Holy Spirit is genderless.

All translation is a form of interpretation. The best translations straddle languages, conveying the meaning, rhythm, and style of the original while achieving integrity and beauty in their own right. Translation demands, necessarily, innumerable subjective decisions: How should "Adam be translated? "Man" is a perfectly correct rendering of the Hebrew, so is "humankind." Strictly literal translations from Hebrew to English are virtually impossible due to differences in grammar; Hebrew nouns have gender, which requires changes in verb forms. Also Hebrew and English deal with tenses differently. One problem that presents itself in translating the New Testament from Hebrew and Aramaic into English is that of the gender of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). English is very different from Hebrew and Aramaic. To begin with, English has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter (i.e. he, she and it). Hebrew and Aramaic have no neuter gender. In Hebrew and Aramaic, everything is either a "he" or a "she" and nothing is an "it". Also, gender plays a much more important role in Hebrew and in Aramaic than in English. In English, gender is usually only an issue when dealing with pronouns. But in Hebrew and Aramaic, nouns and verbs are also maculine or feminine. And while there are no true adjectives in Hebrew (nouns are also used as adjectives), noun modifiers must agree in gender with the noun. Now, the Hebrew word RUACH (Aramaic RUCHA) is gramatically feminine as is the phrase Ruach haKodesh. This is matched by the rôle of the Ruach haKodesh as "comforter" (Jn.14-16) and the identifier of the "comforter" with YHWH acting as a "mother" (Is.66:13).


The Greeks of the New Covenant texts were largely Greek-speaking Jews. The texts themselves were meant to persuade them that Jesus was not only a Jewish prophet, but was their messiah, hence the name Christian for their sect, Christian meaning "messianic". The probable Aramaic script or oral witness accounts containing the Hebrew biblical names found themselves Hellenized, given to Greek translation or transliteration, from late Hebrew or Aramaic. So, we see, Yeshua or, more fully, Yehoshua the Messiah, Yehoshua and Ha-Mashiach, rendered into Greek as Iesous 0 Hristos. Iesous is a transliteration of Yeshua and Hristos (meaning the "anointed"), being a translation of mashiach. Greek Iesous 0 Hristos is in turn translated into English as Jesus [the] Christ. Similarly, Yochanan becomes Ioannes in Greek, Johannes in Latin, and John in English.

However we are not Greek-speaking Jews and gentiles. We speak English. Why not biblical Yochanan in English rather than Greek John? Why adopt an English transcription of a Hellenized Greek transcription of Hebrew names from the Hebrew Scriptures?

If we have failed to demonstrate the purposeful inconsistency, consider that the Tanakh (Old Testament) is done with minimal change. (Abraham may be written Avraham since the b and v in Hebrew, as in Spanish and other languages, are interchangeable) Why not transcribe biblical names from the New Covenant directly into English without an intermediary Greek transcription? Hellenizing Yeshua the Messiah, into Jesus Christ is comparable to Hellenizing Yahweh (YHWH) into Zeus. If this were acceptable, we would read the story of creation as, "In the beginning Zeus created the heavens and the earth," The Tanakh (Old Testament) would be in harmony with the presently Hellenized New Covenant.

The English "God" of Old English and is equivalent to the Dutch god, German Gott, Icelandic godh, and Goth guth. The epithet "god" has no added correlation with Greek or Hebrew than "hell"; also of Germanic origin. In the Greek scriptures "hell" is rendered hades, in the Hebrew it is Sheol or Gehenna (Gei Hinnom).

The Greeks chose to Hellenize the Semitic epithets for God. However, in English there exists no grounds (other than the lethargy of tradition) for the Hellenized, Romanized and Germanized words for God not acquiescing to Elohim, Adonai and Yahweh in the New Covenant. "God", the name of a northern pagan divinity, is standard English. Elohim, Yahweh and Adonai may soon beckon to be embraced by His followers.

The first name for God, we encounter as the third word in the Hebrew Genesis (reading right to left): brereshit bara elohim et ha-shamayim ve-et ha-aaretz. Following the Hebrew word order this reads: "In the beginning | created | Elohim | the skies | and the earth". Elohim a "plural of majesty" with a singular meaning, derived from Eloah , or from El meaning "God" as in El Shaddai. In the second account of creation (Gen. 2.4), (be-yom asot adonai elohim eretz ve-shmayim), our triune God is again called Elohim but also Adonai, meaning, "lord". Genesis has provided thusly, two words for God: Elohim and Adonai early in the text.
Yet since His/Her secret name -or any word signifying that name -is ineffable, the true name cannot be known, written, or sounded. There is however a way to represent God with letters that do not spell or reveal His secret name. The Tetragrammaton (also Tetragram), consists of the four Hebrew consonants YHWH or YHVH (yod, he, waw or vav, he ), normally pronounced Adonai (the Semitic word for "lord"). Some choose to sound out the letters, YHWH giving Yahweh another surrogate name for the nameless one.

The "New Testament" is a mistranslation of the Greek title New Covenant based on Jerome's intermediate Latin mistranslation, which he rendered as Novum Testamentum. The title New Covenant itself derives from Luke 22.20, Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:25 and Hebrews 8.8-13.21. The idea of a new covenant, we must remember, comes from Paul who takes it directly from Jeremiah 31:31: "I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel." Paul, a Greek-speaking Jew from Tarsos, who knew the Hebrew texts, used diatheke to convey its meaning in Hebrew, berit , which is covenant, and also a cut or circumcision, as we see when Paul speaks of a "new circumcision of the heart" (Rom. 2.25-29).




If we have failed to demonstrate the purposeful inconsistency, consider that the Tanakh (Old Testament) is done with minimal change. (Abraham may be written Avraham since the b and v in Hebrew, as in Spanish and other languages, are interchangeable) Why not transcribe biblical names from the New Covenant directly into English without an intermediary Greek transcription? Hellenizing Yeshua the Messiah, into Jesus Christ is comparable to Hellenizing Yahweh (YHWH) into Zeus. If this were acceptable, we would read the story of creation as, "In the beginning Zeus created the heavens and the earth," The Tanakh (Old Testament) would be in harmony with the presently Hellenized New Covenant.

The English "God" of Old English and is equivalent to the Dutch god, German Gott, Icelandic godh, and Goth guth. The epithet "god" has no added correlation with Greek or Hebrew than "hell"; also of Germanic origin. In the Greek scriptures "hell" is rendered hades, in the Hebrew it is Sheol or Gehenna (Gei Hinnom).

The Greeks chose to Hellenize the Semitic epithets for God. However, in English there exists no grounds (other than the lethargy of tradition) for the Hellenized, Romanized and Germanized words for God not acquiescing to Elohim, Adonai and Yahweh in the New Covenant. "God", the name of a northern pagan divinity, is standard English. Elohim, Yahweh and Adonai may soon beckon to be embraced by His followers.
 


So Elohim created man in his own image,
in the image of Elohim he created him;
male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27



Get it Right! Ruach is not a Boy's Name! (Good News according to Phillip)

The idea that the Holy Ghost intervened in Jesus' virgin birth is met with open hostility in the gospels of the Nag Hammadi collection, where Phillip the Apostle even says: "when did a woman ever conceive of another woman?", which is a clear reference to the Ruach, or Holy Spirit. This is the one time in the Christian scriptures where the Holy Ghost is refered to clearly and directly as a 'woman'. It is no wonder that Phillip's gospel is excluded from the patriarchal canon, which was organized by the Pauline School.

The term 'Ruach', which is the word used by Jesus to refer to the Spirit, is a feminine Aramaic term translated as the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost in English, which came through Latin as the Spiritus Sanctus. The (Pauline influenced) Romanization of Christianity brought about the masculinization of the Ruach, whose feminine gender is CENTRAL to the Christian mystery, and I will explain why later in my article.

In Romance languages, words have gender, that is, they are gramatically considered either masculine (as in EL hombre: the man, or EL carro: the car) or feminine (as in LA mujer: the woman, or LA casa: the house). The same applies to the Latin language. The Latin word spiritus is a masculine word. But the original, semitic word that was used by Yeshua, the rabbi we know as Jesus, was Ruach, and this is a feminine gendered word. Ruach is the (female) Spirit, the Soul, the accurately gendered Latin translation of which should have probably been Anima. This is the term that Jungians are now using to refer to the inner feminine, or the Divine Feminine. In translating Ruach as spiritus, the association remained between soul and breath, but the original gender of the divine being that Jesus refered to as Ruach was changed.

Phillip, who walked with the historical Jesus, was in fact adamantly rejecting the view of the Pauline School and other Christians on the Holy Ghost and the fathering of Jesus by this agent, because Ruach is a female.

Keep in mind that Paul never met Jesus or heard his teachings in person. For this reason, Paul's teachings, particularly where they entirely divorce themselves from Jewish tradition, may have been an affront to many traditional Jewish followers who were more familiar than him with the teachings of the historical Jesus and knew Paul's theology to be contradictory to that of their Messiah.

Paul's view reflects a strong gentile influence, particularly where he constructed a Christian theology almost identical to Orpheic Dionysian religion, which is a Greek Mystery Tradition. Anyone who knows about the Orpheic tradition will agree with me that the Christian theology that the Pauline School produced was a new form of Orpheism: a mortal is born of a virgin, performs superhuman feats, dies and is miraculously reborn, and becomes a Man-God. He is the new Dionysus, the Son of God (Theos, or Zeus), the God of wine who initiates mortals in the mysteries of wine, and the one who brings, with his mysteries, a promise of a better lot in the afterlife. Jesus himself said: I am the Vine. Jesus himself established his identity within the context of a Dionysian mystery.

 

Women have always played a vital role in God's Plan. Consider Hannah, mother of the great prophet Samuel. Or the widow who fed the prophet Elijah. Shall we forget Mary, mother of Jesus or the women who ministered to Jesus during His earthly ministry? Wasn't Miriam thought of as a prophetess in her own right? Esther? What of Dorcas who ministered to the needs of others by making coats for them… The list could stretch on and on. Godly women should be held in high esteem as daughters of God, and sisters and co-laborers in the Gospel.

. There has been a calculated conspiracy to purge the Goddess from synagogues and churches.

Did you notice Sophia in the painting?

~~*~~

 

rominent among neglected passages are portrayals of deity as female. A psalmist declares that God is midwife (Ps. 22:9-10): Yet thou art the one who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother's breast.

In turn, God becomes mother, the one upon whom the child is cast from birth: Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God. Although this poem stops short of an exact equation, in it female
imagery mirrors divine activity. What the psalmist suggests, Deuteronomy 32:18 makes explicit: You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you and you forgot the God who gave you birth. Though the RSV translates accurately "the God who gave you birth," the rendering is tame. We need to accent the striking portrayal of  God as a woman in labor pains, for the Hebrew verb has exclusively this meaning. (How scandalous, then, is the totally incorrect translation in the Jerusalem Bible, "You forgot the God who fathered you."). Yet another instance of female imagery is the metaphor of the womb as given in the Hebrew radicals rhm. In its singular form the word denotes the physical organ unique to the female. In the plural, it connotes the compassion of both human beings and God. God the merciful (rahum) is God the mother. (See, e.g., Jer. 31:15-22.)



The truth of the sacred feminine is easy enough to establish, not by searching for hidden codes in medieval paintings but by taking seriously Jewish and Christian scriptures and traditions. Is God masculine or feminine? Even to pose the question is to realize that God, as a spiritual being beyond our comprehension, is neither male nor female. Or perhaps more accurately, considering that Genesis 1:27 indicates that woman and man were both created in God's image, God can be described using feminine as well as masculine terms.

To be sure, the Bible uses not only masculine images to depict God, but feminine images as well. Consider Isaiah 66:13: "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you" (NIV). Throughout the Psalms, God is described as a mother hen protecting her children under her wing.

 

Elohim is simultaneously God and Goddess. In the original Hebrew of the Bible, Eloah [el-LO-ah], is the feminine form of 'God.' This one specific word, Eloah, literally means “Goddess.” Theologians, motivated by various agendas, deliberately masked profound truths about Elohim [pronounced el-lo-HEEM], the God of the Bible. They intentionally obscured the presence of the Divine Feminine. Even though some of the Hebrew words for God have a distinctly feminine gender, translators have almost universally suppressed this, being unwilling to use the feminine word “Goddess.” They have consistently used only masculine pronouns when referring to God – even when feminine pronouns would have been correct. Present-day Bible dictionaries and concordances are still biased, and ignore basic Hebrew grammatical rules in translating the various words for Deity. The result is that most Christians and Jews have been mis-taught that God is exclusively male. Elohim is a majestic, awesome Being that is beyond comprehension. Elohim is translated into English as 'God.' It is actually a gender-combined word, simultaneously representing both unity and majestic plurality. It is a compound of the feminine singular Eloah with the masculine plural suffix -im. Eloah is the feminine singular counterpart of El, which means God. Eloah is correctly translated as “Goddess.” In Hebrew, the -oah, -oh or -ah suffix makes a word feminine [comparable to the English suffix -ess, used in such words as waitress and stewardess.]

n the original Hebrew of the Bible there is one word, Eloah, which literally means “Goddess”. Eloah is the feminine form of ‘God’. Other words describing God are also distinctly female. Hebrew nouns are usually gender-specific [although some can be gender-neutral in usage]. While some of the Hebrew words for God have a distinctly feminine gender, translators have almost universally chosen to suppress this, being unwilling to use the feminine word “Goddess”. Likewise, they have consistently used masculine pronouns when referring to God, even when gender-neutral or feminine pronouns would have been more appropriate. Most present-day Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and concordances are still biased, and ignore basic Hebrew grammatical rules when it comes to translating the words designating Deity. This has resulted in most Christians and Jews holding to the erroneous opinion that God is exclusively male. To most Christians and Jews, awareness of the Divine Feminine is not only unfamiliar, but, initially, may even seem unbelievable.

Elohim

Elohim is the Hebrew word that is most often translated as the English “God.” Elohim is gender-combined, plural word. The word Elohim is concurrently male and female, and simultaneously represents both unity and majestic plurality. Elohim is a compound of the feminine singular Eloah with the masculine plural suffix –im. The word Elohim represents a majestic, awesome God that is beyond the ability of the human mind to fully comprehend. We can comprehend some of the attributes of Elohim, but the fullness of the Godhead is beyond our understanding.
El7 is the masculine singular Hebrew word for God. Although specifically male, in practice, El is often gender-neutral. Eloah8 is the feminine singular form of the same word, and is correctly translated ‘Goddess’. In Hebrew, the –oah¬, –oh or -ah suffix makes a word feminine. This is very similar to the English suffix –ess, used in such words as waitress, stewardess, or poetess. Eloah is Goddess, the feminine form of God.
Elohim is a combination of the singular feminine word Eloah, to which the masculine plural suffix –im has been added. In Hebrew, the –im suffix is normally added only used to make masculine words plural. The question that naturally arises is, Why add a masculine suffix to a feminine root? The answer is that Elohim is androgynous, being simultaneously male and female in principle and attributes.

Eloah / El Shaddai

El Shaddai or simply Shaddai are other titles of God. As has already been mentioned, El means ‘God’. The word shad means “woman’s breast” [Strong’s 7699], and shaddai [7706] means “breasts”, “breasted”, or “many breasts”. Though El Shaddai is translated as “Almighty God”, “God Almighty”, or “the Almighty” in the English Bible, it literally means “God with breasts” or “[many] breasted [One]”9 There remain some who refuse to properly translate shaddai as “breasts”, however, the parallelism of the language used in Jacob’s blessing, in Genesis 49:25, emphasizes that this is the correct translation. “El Shaddai who blesses you…with blessings of the breasts and womb.”10 The descriptive title El Shaddai depicts the Goddess of Israel.
A fascinatingly important declaration was revealed in Exodus 6:3: “To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I appeared as El Shaddai, but I did not make my name Yahweh11 known to them.” While there is Scriptural evidence that the Patriarchs were actually aware of the word Yahweh, evidently Elohim related to the Patriarchs primarily in the feminine manifestations of Eloah and El Shaddai. This revelation given to Moses is highly important to our understanding. The Deity the Hebrews knew was the Goddess Eloah, or El Shaddai. Eloah appears 57 times in the Old Testament; two-thirds of those mentions occur in the book of Job. Shaddai or El Shaddai appears in the Tanakh [Old Testament] forty-eight times. Thirty one of those occurrences are found in the book of Job. The fact that Job lived during the days of the Patriarchs, combined with Yahweh’s declaration to Moses about the Hebrew Patriarchs mainly recognizing Deity as El Shaddai, allows us to conclude that the Goddess attributes of Elohim were much more clearly understood in Patriarchal times. Although the names Elohim and Yahweh appear in Scripture many more times than Eloah or El Shaddai13 , we must notice significance in the fact that the earliest Hebrews had a considerable understanding of and relationship with the Divine Feminine. In the book of Job are two specific declarations of the femininity of Eloah. Yahweh announced to Job, “the sea…leapt tumultuous from the womb.” [Job 38:8] Then, Yahweh rhetorically asked, “Out of whose womb came the ice?” [Job 38:29] Obviously, these verses [and others] undeniably attribute feminine characteristics to Eloah.
Eloah is synonymous with Shaddai, the Goddess. “Can you claim to fathom the depth of Eloah? Can you reach the limit of Shaddai?” [Job 11:7]14 “Then Shaddai will be your delight, and you will lift your face to Eloah.” [Job 22:26] “Can he be happy with Shaddai? Can he call on Eloah at all times?” [Job 27:10] A similar verse is, “Now what portion does Eloah allot from above; what fate does Shaddai apportion from [Her] heaven?” [Job 31:2] A number of verses, mostly within the book of Job, mention either El or Yahweh as distinct from Eloah. “I would seek unto El, and unto Eloah I would commit my case.” [Job 5:8] “Does El pervert judgment, or does Shaddai pervert justice…if you search for El and plead for mercy from Shaddai?” [Job 8:3,5] “This is the portion of a wicked man from El, and the heritage appointed him by Eloah.” [Job 20:29] “I swear by the living El who denies me justice, and by Shaddai who has filled me with bitterness.” [Job 27:2] “El judges the Righteous and Eloah is angered by the Wicked every day.” [Psalm 7:11] Similar passages include Job 15:25, 22:17, 23:16, 33:4, 34:12, and 35:13.

In Aramaic, the original language of New Testament times, the word Abwoon is similarly gender-combined, meaning “Father-Mother.” In the original Aramaic, 'The Lord's Prayer' begins with the word Abwoon, but in English translations of the Bible, it has been translated as Father, only. El Shaddai is another name of God used in the Bible. The word 'shad' means 'woman's breast,' and 'shaddai' means 'breasts,' or 'many breasts.' Though El Shaddai is translated as 'God Almighty,' or 'the Almighty' in the English Bible, it literally means 'God with breasts' or '[many] breasted [God].' The name El Shaddai refers to the Goddess of Israel. There is a radically important declaration in Exodus 6:3: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob by the name of El Shaddai, but by my name Yahweh I was not known to them.” The Patriarchs were aware of the Father [Yahweh], but Elohim related to them primarily as the Goddess, El Shaddai. The word Eloah appears fifty-seven times in the Old Testament, and Shaddai or El Shaddai appears forty-eight times; two-thirds of these are found in the book of Job. Job lived during the days of Abraham, and Job is the second most ancient book of the Bible. There are two specific declarations of the femininity of Eloah, in Job. The Father announced, “the sea 'leapt tumultuous from the womb'.” [Job 38:8] Then, He rhetorically asked, “Out of whose womb came the ice?” [Job 38:29] Obviously there is a Biblical Goddess, Eloah, from whose Divine Womb sprang the sea and ice. Ruach ha Kodesh is the Hebrew phrase that means 'Holy Spirit.' Ruach is feminine, and the Aramaic equivalent ruah is also a feminine noun. These words are always paired with feminine verbs and pronouns. The Holy Spirit is feminine, and is another designation of Eloah. In the original Aramaic texts, Messiah promised: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that She may dwell with you forever.” [John 14:16] Wisdom is another name for the Goddess. 'Wisdom' is the feminine Hebrew word Hochmah; the equivalent name in Greek is Sophia. Although the word 'wisdom' definitely is equated with good judgment and astuteness, Wisdom unmistakably refers to Goddess in several scripture passages, The Messiah said: “Wisdom is proven by Her children.” [Luke 7:35] Wisdom announces that She was brought forth before the physical creation, and She also assisted in the generative process, alongside Yahweh. “Yahweh created Me, first-fruits of His fashioning, before the oldest of His works. From everlasting I was firmly set – from the beginning, before the earth came into being. The deep was not when I was born, nor were the springs with their abounding waters. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before He had made the earth, the countryside, and the first elements of the world. When He fixed the heavens firm, I was there; when He drew a circle on the surfaces of the deep, when He thickened the clouds above, when the sources of the deep began to swell, when He assigned the sea its boundaries (and the waters will not encroach on the shore), when He traced the foundations of the earth. I was beside the Master Craftsman, delighting Him day after day, ever at play in His presence, to play everywhere on His earth, delighting to be with the children of men.” [Proverbs 8:22-31] The Bible makes numerous references to the Goddess. It instructs us to praise and worship Her; to offer prayer to Her. “I am one who calls on Goddess and expects an answer.” [Job 12:4] “Then Shaddai will be all your delight, and you shall lift your face to Eloah. You will pray and She will hear.” [Job 22:26-27] “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
“The word that is translated as “rule” comes from the root mashal, and not from malakh, which means to rule by domination and is the root of melekh, or king. Mashal has a different connotation: it implies affinity or complementarity. It is the root used in Genesis 1: 16 to say that the sun “rules” the day and the moon “rules” the night. Concerning the zodiac, it is similarly said that each planet “rules” a constellation. The use of “rule” does not mean to dominate; rather, it means to have an affinity for each other, to go together because of complementary qualities... The story of Chavah lends itself to further contemplation. For instance, what does it mean when Genesis Rabbah 20: 7 compares a woman’s desire for her husband to the desire of rain for the earth and the desire of God for Israel? Surely this is not domination!”


In this quotation, Chavah is a more accurate transliteration of the Hebrew name usually rendered as Eve, and Genesis Rabbah is the first book of Midrash Rabbah, a homiletic exposition of Hebrew scriptures, compiled up to the eleventh century.

“A major misunderstanding of the role of woman in relation to man has also been created by inaccurate translation of ezer knegdo. Usually rendered as “helpmate,” the term has been used to say that women should be subordinate to men. Actually, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Elsewhere in the Bible, God is referred to as an ezer to Israel. Surely, God is not subordinate to the Jewish people! Knegdo means “opposite” or “against” him: “If he is worthy, she shall be a help (ezer) to him; if he is unworthy, she shall oppose him (knegdo), to fight him” (Rashi; Yev.63a*). This is certainly not a prescription for an obedient wife! Rather, it validates a woman’s ability to accurately judge her husband’s behavior and to treat him accordingly.”
~ Ibid., page 6. * This is a reference to Rashi’s commentary on Yevamot, 24th tractate of the Talmud. Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, 1040–1105, France) became widely known for his scholarly commentaries on the Talmud and Hebrew scriptures, and influenced Christian theologians.


Pertaining to the exclusive maleness of the Hebrew Priesthood, in the cultural context of Exodus: Of the varieties of religious service in neighboring Pagan cultures, whether priest or priestess of god or goddess, only the male priest of a male god performed a service that had no sexual component. Typically, the priest of a goddess was a transvestite eunuch who had ritual sex with men, the priestess of a god had ritual sex with the king or Pharoah at harvest festivals, and the priestess of a goddess was a “holy” prostitute who had sex with any man who paid the temple fee. The priest of a god served through offering sacrifices, libations, incense and psalms. The pagan gods, goddesses, myths and festivals were explicitly sexual, and often brutal in nature. It makes sense that God’s effort to differentiate a covenant people, a holy “set–apart” nation, and to prevent or eliminate the semblance of ritual sexual exploitation, mutilation and phallus worship — given the context — should involve instituting a male priesthood to serve a linguistically “male” god with no graphically portrayed sexual nature.


God is Light
ISRAEL
The origin of the word Israel is quite interesting and takes all of our Judeo
Christian heritage back to a deep connection with ancient Egypt.
The word Israel is made up of three ancient forms IS RA EL.
When we define each part we find a deep truth.


IS Female---- I·sis1 (º s¹s) n. Mythology. An ancient Egyptian goddess of
fertility, the sister and wife of Osiris.

RA Male---- Ra1 (rä) also Re (r³) --n. Mythology. The ancient Egyptian sun
god, the supreme deity represented as a man with the head of a hawk crowned
with a solar disk and uraeus.

EL GOD---- the Hebrew term el also became an equivalent to the English
term god, as in the verse: "Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods"
(Exodus 15:11), in which elim (the plural of el) is used as gods.

There is Israel. The female and male that is within all living things that
together equal God. Or as Jesus put it, the Kingdom of God Is Within You.


The first name for God, we encounter as the third word in the Hebrew Genesis (reading right to left): brereshit bara elohim et ha-shamayim ve-et ha-aaretz. Following the Hebrew word order this reads: "In the beginning | created | Elohim | the skies | and the earth". Elohim a "plural of majesty" with a singular meaning, derived from Eloah , or from El meaning "God" as in El Shaddai. In the second account of creation (Gen. 2.4), (be-yom asot adonai elohim eretz ve-shmayim), our triune God is again called Elohim but also Adonai, meaning, "lord". Genesis has provided thusly, two words for God: Elohim and Adonai early in the text.
Yet since His/Her secret name -or any word signifying that name -is ineffable, the true name cannot be known, written, or sounded. There is however a way to represent God with letters that do not spell or reveal His secret name. The Tetragrammaton (also Tetragram), consists of the four Hebrew consonants YHWH or YHVH (yod, he, waw or vav, he ), normally pronounced Adonai (the Semitic word for "lord"). Some choose to sound out the letters, YHWH giving Yahweh another surrogate name for the nameless one.

It is said that Jesus is the image of God, what that means is that Jesus is pure love, for God is love and love is a verb. The meaning of love is clearly seen between a man and woman and so it is said, in his image made he 'them'




 


There is another compelling feminine image in the Bible: That of Lady Wisdom. In the Jewish Wisdom literature, beginning with Proverbs, God's Wisdom is personified as a woman (see Proverbs 8:1-9:6). And as many biblical scholars now recognize, some of the principal New Testament passages about the incarnation (including John 1:1-18 and Colossians 1:15-20) are rooted in this Jewish Wisdom tradition, depicting Jesus as the incarnation of divine Wisdom.



The Greek 'feminine' term for wisdom', Sophia; translates a Hebrew 'feminine' term, Hokhmah. In the book of 'Proverbs' contained in the Bible as well as 'The Wisdom of Solomon' contained in the Apocrypha; It is clearly shown that the early Hebrews saw God's wisdom and spirit as female.

"Wisdom is a spirit that is friendly to people, but she will not forgive anyone who speaks against God, for God knows our feelings and thoughts, and hears our every word. Since the Lord's spirit fills the entire world, and holds everything in it together, she knows every word that people say". Wisdom of Solomon 1:6-7


The bride of the lamb is interpreted to be the new city of Jerusalem, in Christianity again symbolizes the Church. We read:

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

That the interpretation is later than the original idea of a bride is quite obvious in the Fourth Book of Esdras, where the prophet encounters a woman and listens to the tale of her tribulation. The woman disappears and in her place he beholds a city whereupon the angel Uriel explains the vision saying (4 Esdras x. 44): "The woman which thou hast seen is Sion, which thou now seest before thee as a builded city." A similar idea is found in the Wisdom of Solomon where wisdom is personified as Sophia and is spoken of as having existed before the world, taking the place of the Holy Ghost in Christianity. We read for instance in chapters vii and viii:

"For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness. . . . And p. 458 being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets. For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom. . . . Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things. . . . In that she is conversant with God, she magnifieth her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things himself loved her. For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of his works."


English translations usually translate the feminine "Sophia" into the abstract "Wisdom". Although the Greek and Hebrew words were fully feminine, the English is not.

“Martin Luther, the originator of the Protestant movement, was not ashamed to think of the Holy Spirit in feminine terms. We often miss this in Luther studies because his feminine terminology is translated into English masculine terms, but if his German is translated without such a gender bias, his sense of the Holy Spirit being feminine shines out like a beacon.”

 Even the famous Church Father Origen speaks of the Holy Spirit as
being feminine, when saying:

Paidiske de kypias tou hagiou Pneumatos he psyche.

The soul is handmaiden to her mistress, the Holy Spirit. Another
illustration is found in the now lost Gospel of the Hebrews (cf. The
Lost and Hostile Gospels by Rev. S. Baring-Gould, London, 1874, pp.
130-1), probably one of the first ever written by Christian hands,
extracts from which have survived in the writings of Origen and
Jerome. This particular passage is quoted by Origen and runs as
follows:

Arti elabe me he meter mou to hagion pneuma, hen mia ton trichon mou,
kai anenenke me eis to horos to mega thabor.

Straightway my mother the Holy Spirit took me in one of my hairs and
bore me to the great mountain Thabor. -- Homily xv, on Jeremiah and
on John. Similarly Jerome, another Church Father, wrote (Micheas,
vii, 6):

Modo tulit me mater mea Spiritus Sanctus in uno capillorum meorum.

Then my mother the Holy Spirit took me in one of my hairs.



The fullest development of her is in the so-called "Wisdom Books" of the apocryphia in the Greek Pentateuch that were canonized into Christian Scripture and are still used by the Roman Catholic and English Orthodox churches.
Sophia dominates the first nine chapters of Proverbs and is found in both the Old and New Testaments.

The Christian sacraments clearly derive from the Greek Mysteries, and share some similarities with the Dionysian and even the Eleusinian mysteries. We need only look at the Dionysian and Orpheic consumption of goat meat or bread and wine in order to attain communion with the Son of God (Dionysus) to see a clear pattern which all salvific religions share: the consumption of the sacrificial victim implies one's participation in his salvation and grace, and this is how one benefits from the man-god's sacrificial merit.

Having lived among gentiles his whole life, Paul must have been familiar with their theologies and beliefs, and was quite brilliant in his retelling of the Jesus myth in line with the more familiar tradition of Greek heroes and men-gods, which was an appealing theme to Greeks and other gentiles. In fact, mystery religions were in the process of replacing traditional, classical paganism throughout the Mediterranean.

The Pauline salvific faith is, therefore, not entirely contradictory to the Essene Jewish teachings of Jesus, but Paul's mysteries or sacraments erase the memory of an important early Christian person: the Holy Ghost. And it is here that Phillip takes a stand against Christians who don't understand the true, original Christian teachings, and are perpetuating false doctrines.

Keeping in mind that Phillip (unlike Paul) walked with the historical Jesus and heard the teachings directly from his mouth, we have to interpret Phillip's remark in his gospel as meaning that the Pauline School was teaching a false doctrine that contradicted what Jesus taught while alive. This means that there is a Goddess, which is hidden or silenced in the Christian tradition, and that the Holy Ghost is a woman. It also means that there is another explanation, other than our familiar inmaculate conception, for Mary's virgin birth. The theological implications of this for Christians are many. Let's look within the Bible for references of the Holy Ghost.

The Waters of Life

Jesus hints at the Holy Ghost's gender when he refers to his 'mother' in heaven, and compares her in the Nag Hammadi gospels to his earthly mother, saying his earthly mother gave him death but his heavenly mother gave him life. He also mentions that his followers are to be born again of the Ruach or Anima, and he speaks of baptism as a ritual of rebirthing, where we are BORN again of the water. Everyone knows there is no birth without a womb, without a mother. Jesus explains this so that the gender of the Ruach is not only incidental, but central and crucial to the mystery of baptism, and the one being baptised is reborn as a child of the Holy Ghost, he or she is born again of the Holy Ghost, a son of the Goddess. I have presented all these facts to conclude that Jesus, and his rabbi John the Baptist, both of whom were Essenes, were beyond a shadow of a doubt teaching a form of Goddess spirituality and a Goddess mystery tradition WITHIN Judaism, and that the Ruach's status as a Divine WOMAN was central to the true mystery and meaning of baptism (3).

Like all initiations, in the baptism performed by John the Baptist and the Essenes, the old self must die and one is reborn again. The Gospel of Phillip sheds light on this mystery when it teaches us that 'a horse can only beget a horse, a man can only beget a human, and a god can only beget a god'. This further illuminates what it means to be 'born of the Ruach'. If the Ruach is spirit, then one reborn from Her becomes spirit and shares her divine, immortal nature, and receives the Holy Ghost as his mother. This new relationship between humans and the Ruach is one of the things that identifies the new Christian community and Christian mysticism.

The mystery of baptism is clearly a Goddess mystery, where the sacred waters grant us new life just as they did in Genesis. In fact, the creation myth that we find in Genesis is based on an earlier, Sumerian myth where the Sumerian Father God (El) and Mother Goddess (Asherah) (1) copulate at the beginning of creation. We know of the identity between the God of Abraham and the Heavenly King in Sumerian myth from the name: El. Most prophets and angels in Jewish traditions have names that end in -el, such as Daniel, Gabriel, Mikael, etc. This is a reference to El, the Sumerian God, with whom Abraham believed to have made a pact or covenant that extended to all his descendants. Abraham came from Ur, where El was the main God, even if one among many.

We also know of the identity between the Holy Ghost and the Asherah because both are the waters of life. Lady Wisdom, in the Bible, says that She existed before creation and witnessed it, which means that She is non-created, and therefore her nature is divine. In the Sumerian myth, the spirit of El is hovering over the Asherah, and they are copulating. In the Genesis myth, the waters of life are no longer personified, and we see a plain sea where the Sumerians saw a watery primal Goddess. But the myth, otherwise, is almost identical. Asherah is the consort of the God of Abraham, the co-Creator, and this must have been the reason why Jewish women used to commit transgresions against the prophets' warnings and pray to Her during early Judaism, because they saw their pagan cousins and neighbors praying to her alongside their more familiar God, and they knew that they had a spiritual Mother who had been stolen from them by patriarchal Jewish religious authorities. Lynn Gottlieb makes the point that had Jewish women -as opposed to Jewish men- written the Bible, the story of the evolution of their religious thinking would have been told very differently.

In the African Yoruba tradition, known as Santeria in the diaspora, there is a type of once in a lifetime initiation where a mortal becomes a priest of an Orisha, which resonates with the Christian baptismal Goddess mystery. One of the many rituals that has to take place before initiation is, as in Eleusis, a ritual bath. This takes place in the river, as Oshun is the Goddess of the sweet waters of life, of fertility, and of the rivers. Oshun's name means 'source', and like Asherah She is a water Goddess. She is therefore identical to the pre-Biblical the Sea Goddess hinted in Genesis only as a de-personified metaphor in her role as the initiator in a new spiritual dispensation. Once the initiate has bathed in Oshun's waters and once he has been cleansed of his past crimes, he is fit for rebirth. In Eleusis, the ritual bath and sacrifices also took place before the initiates entered the Telesterion and underwent the more important secret rites. I won't get into any more details as it's not within the scope of this article, but Yoruba religion is the only pagan mystery religion which has existed consistently and without interruption since pagan times.



Then have them make a sanctuary for me, that my Shekinah may dwell among them.
Exodus 25:8

The Jewish Holy Ghost is known as Shekinah. Her name means 'presence', and according to Lynn Gottlieb (2), her descent among the Jews seems to have been the fulfilment of the terms of the alliance between the God of Abraham and the Jewish people. Hence, the Ark of the Alliance was built so that She may dwell among them.

In the Christian tradition, some of the boons of the Holy Ghost include creativity, inspiration, counsel, and the transformation of both the individual and the culture by its grace. These are all attributes of Divinity that are associated with the Shekinah, and these have become evident in the modern Goddess movement which accentuates the importance of intuition and creativity. They also are in line with the Jungian concept of Anima as the Inspirer, and with scriptural references to Sophia, or Divine Wisdom in Proverbs, Wisdom, and other books of the Bible. In her attributes and roles, the Ruach, the Shekinah, Sophia and the modern pagan Goddess seem to be one and the same.



I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
Proverbs 8:23

In the scriptures, Wisdom (Sophia, in Greek) is the Lady that inspires men to be good, righteous, and wise, and to perform virtuous deeds. She is the Goddess of philosophers (literally, 'lovers of Wisdom'), King Salomon seems to have been inebriated with Her beauty and power, and the eigth chapter of Proverbs is the one chapter in all of the Bible where She speaks for herself, in the first person.

After Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586BCE, refugees fled south. The prophet Jeremiah went with them, and told them that the disaster had been due to their sins, and that even in Egypt, the punishment would continue. The refugees in Pathros confronted Jeremiah and would not accept what he said. The disaster had been caused, they said, by neglecting the Queen of Heaven. Jeremiah 44 then offers us a glimpse of the religion of seventh century Judah - burning incense to the Queen of Heaven, pouring out libations to her and making loaves to represent her: ‘For then we had plenty of food and we prospered and saw no evil’ (Jer.44.17).

Set alongside this the brief and stylised history incorporated into the Book of Enoch, known as the Apocalypse of Weeks because each period of the history is designated as a week. It is the history of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, the giving of the Law but without any mention of Moses and the Exodus, the building of the temple in the fifth week, and then, in the sixth week, ‘All who lived in the temple lost their vision, and the hearts of all of them godlessly forsook Wisdom, and the house of the kingdom was burned and the whole chosen people was scattered (1 Enoch 93). This history knows nothing of the Deuteronomists’ story of the Exodus and their hero Moses, but it does emphasise Enoch, and says that Jerusalem was destroyed after the people in the temple had forsaken Wisdom. There is even a poem about the rejected Wisdom:

Wisdom went forth to make her dwelling among the children of men, and found no dwelling place
Wisdom returned to her place, and took her seat among the angels (1 Enoch 42)

*

Just before the temple was destroyed, there had been a massive purge of the religion of Judah and Jerusalem, usually described as King Josiah’s reform. The Deuteronomists’ own account of this purge makes it clear that an old copy of a law book had been found in the temple, and this prompted the young king to remove from his kingdom everything which did not comply with the regulations of that law book. 2 Kings 23 describes what happened: anything associated with the worship of Baal and Asherah and the host of heaven was removed from the temple and destroyed. The priests whom earlier kings had appointed to burn incense in other cities were deposed, but they would not come to serve in Jerusalem; they stayed in their own areas. The account emphasised the destruction of the Asherah, which was taken from the temple and burned by the Kidron, and the destruction of the houses of the qdsm, a word usually translated male prostitutes, but which should perhaps be read as ‘holy ones, angels’, in view of the fact that Josiah was removing everything connected with the host of heaven. In these houses, women had woven linen garments for Asherah[1]. He also removed horses dedicated to the sun which had stood at the gate of the temple. What the refugees described as abandoning the Queen of Heaven, and Enoch described as forsaking Wisdom must have been this purge by Josiah. What he had tried to destroy was the older religion of Jerusalem and Judah.

As late as the fourth century CE, people remembered what had happened at that time: the Jerusalem Talmud described how a large number of priests had fought with Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, and had then been settled in Arabia, ‘among the sons of Ishmael.’ (j.Ta`anit 4.5). These must have been the disaffected priests who would not accept Josiah’s purge. Jeremiah records the fear of King Zedekiah, one of Josiah’s sons: ‘I am afraid of the Jews who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they harm me.’ (Jer.38.19). The first temple was always remembered as the true temple. In the time of the Messiah, five things would be restored which had been in the first temple but not in the second: the fire, the ark, the menorah, the Spirit and the cherubim[2]. Elsewhere we read that in the time of Josiah the ark, the anointing oil, the jar of manna and Aaron’s rod had been hidden[3]. The account of Josiah’s purge must include within it somewhere the removal of the ark, the menorah, the oil, manna and high priestly staff, and the cherubim, presumably of the throne. Some of them may have been taken away for safe keeping, by those devoted to the temple tradition. Others would have been destroyed.

The first chapter of the Book of Proverbs also describes the rejected Wisdom, and could well have been set in the period between the rejection of Wisdom by Josiah and the destruction of the city by the Babylonians. ‘How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing, and fools hate knowledge? Give heed to my reproof and I will pour out my spirit on you… because I called and you refused to listen… and you have ignored all my counsel… I will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when panic strikes you… when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me but I will not answer, they will seek me diligently but they will not find me.’ (Prov. 1 22-28) This is a Goddess speaking to the people who have rejected her.

Even a brief survey shows that there had been a Lady in Jerusalem who had been rejected and returned to her place among the angels. She had been worshipped with wine and incense, and bread to represent her. She had protected the city and given prosperity, and she had given vision to the priests. She had been evicted from the temple by Josiah, and her cult probably involved the items removed in the purge or remembered as missing from the second temple: the item named the Asherah, the host of heaven, the horses for the sun, the menorah, the oil, the manna, the high priest’s staff that bore almond blossoms, the ark, the fire and the Spirit. A long list, but these things were not forgotten.

In the Book of Revelation John saw the ark restored to the holy of holies, (Rev.11.19), he saw four horses ride out from the temple (Rev. 6.1-8), he saw the Man in the midst of the seven lamps, the menorah (Rev.1.12), he heard the Spirit promising the faithful that they would receive the hidden manna (Rev.2.17). John was describing the restoration of the first temple. He also saw the Queen of Heaven in the temple, even though she is not named as the Queen. ‘A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars’ (Rev.12.1). At her feet was a great red dragon. She gave birth to a son who was destined to fulfil Psalm 2 - to rule the nations with a rod of iron - and presumably the rest of the Psalm as well: ‘You are my son. Today I have begotten you’. The woman’s son was taken up to the throne of God. These few verses in the Book of Revelation show the importance of the Lost Lady and the cult of the first temple for understanding Christian origins.

*

Something of the Lost Lady and her world can still be recovered, a world in which profound issues were explored and theology was expressed, not in the abstract philosophies which we have come to associate with theology, but in pictures, symbols and the sound of words. This does not mean that it was an unsophisticated system. Wisdom theology has been overshadowed by a simplistic theology of history, which modern scholars have presented as Old Testament theology. Wisdom, by means of the images used to depict her, addresses such question as the relationship between the human and the divine, the means of apotheosis, the stewardship of knowledge, and the power which knowledge gives to transform or to destroy.



There was no attempt in the West to maintain the integrity of the original texts until Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate at the request of the papacy in the fourth century. Zuntz, by using the standard practice of textual comparison, in his detailed analysis of the oldest Pauline manuscript, notes, in his book, The Text of the Epistles, numerous places where the text has been altered. Jerome, himself, in letters to his colleagues, bewails the fact that he has so many variant texts to select from for the compilation of a standardized version. At one point before him he has the old Hieronymian text and its revision. He says, “The differences throughout are clear and striking.” In his writings he does leave us a clue to the subject at hand. At one point he has before him the gospel of the Hebrews used by the Syrian Christians which, as some now say, predated the four canonical gospels. In it, Jerome says that the Holy Spirit is expressed in the feminine gender and is considered the mother in law of the soul. (Library 11, commentary in Isaiah, chapter 11: Library 2, commentary. in Micah 7.6:) So here is some additional external evidence from an unrelated source that the Holy Spirit was originally considered feminine. In Judaism, the medieval writers of the Kaballah concentrated on the masculine aspects of the sefiroth (the 13 aspects of God) and relegated Sophia to an inferior sphere than that she had heretofore occupied. Roman Catholicism explicitly associated Old Testament Sophia texts with Mary or the Mother Church. In the Eastern Church, Sophia survives and is often associated liturgically with the Holy Spirit and sometimes with Christ, himself. Further, the church fathers of the Patristic Age preferred the male "Logos" when describing Christ in order to avoid gender confusion. Philo, who at first equated Sophia with Logos, "substituted Logos for Sophia, until the masculine person of the Logos has taken over most of Sophia's divine roles including the firstborn image of God, the principle of order and the intermediary between God and humanity. Sophia's powers are restricted and she is limited to Heaven.


John’s concept of the Logos, the Word that was God and became flesh (John 1:1-14) was derived from the Old Testament understanding of Wisdom as much, probably more, than from the Greek idea of Logos. And yet Wisdom, the one before whom are riches and honor and righteousness (Proverbs 8:18) and who shared with God in the creation of all things (Proverbs 8:27-31) is consistently given a female gender in Proverbs and by Jesus (Proverbs 1:20; 4:6; 8:1,11; 9:1; 14:33; Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35). "Jesus and Sophia came to be associated through a process that took place during the first two centuries of our era. The apostle Paul said it clearly: 'We are preaching a crucified Christ . . . who is the Wisdom of God' (1 Corinthians 1:23; see also 1 Corinthians 2:6-8). Others, the author of John 1:1-18, for example, describe Sophia clearly but only imply that the person they are describing is Jesus. Elsewhere, such as in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and Thomas, Jesus speaks the words of Sophia as if he were Sophia. Yet others, among them the authors of Ephesians, Colossians, and James depend heavily on their readers' knowledge of Sophia in communicating who they thought Jesus really was. Finally, the literature that came to be called gnostic includes a wide range of stories in which Jesus and Sophia exchange roles in a variety of earthly settings.
In the Hebrew tradition, Sophia was considered to have been with God from the beginning of Creation. In Proverbs 8:27-51, Sophia says:
When God set the heavens in place, I was present,


Sophia is found throughout the wisdom books of the Bible. She is Wisdom Incarnate, the Goddess of all those who are wise. There are references to Her in the book of Proverbs, and in the apocryphal books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon (accepted by Catholics and Orthodox, found in the Greek Septuagint of the early Church). Paul explicitly identifies Jesus with Sophia in 1st Corinthians 1:23-25,30 "By God's action, Jesus Christ has become our Sophia." Then following, in 2:6-8, "But still we have a Sophia to offer those who have reached maturity: not a philosophy of our age, it is true....The hidden Sophia of God which we teach in our mysteries is the Sophia that God predestined to be for our glory before the ages began...." John more directly incorporates Sophia scriptures into his description of Jesus. Sophia's statement (Ecc. 24:8) "Then the creator of all things instructed me...'Pitch your tent in Jacob, and make Israel your inheritance'" ... becomes John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh, and pitched his tent among us." Extensive references in Paul, John and the Synoptic Gospels are given.

Is it any wonder that She is constantly associated with wise King Solomon? 1 Kings 4:29-31 tells us that God gave wisdom to Solomon, and that he became wiser than all the kings of the East and all the wise people of Egypt. Wisdom 8:2, 16, 18 tells us that Solomon was seen as married to Sophia. One of the many layers of symbolism attributed to the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles) is that it speaks of Solomon's marriage to Holy Sophia. Wisdom 9:8-11 even tells us that Sophia instructed Solomon in building the Temple!

Most New Testament (better rendered, new covenant) translations, by naming and renaming of places, people and movements, have changed identity and position to pass distinctly as Christian, and not as another Jewish faction.
The dissociation of the New Covenant as a Jewish book begins with the mutation of Semitic names into Greek names. The messianic (christian) belief itself is not a new concept. Avraham (Abraham) himself was a messianic. He believed in a messiah bringing salvation; he simply looked forward while we look back. In the New Covenant, members of the messianic movement are referred to using largely Greek or seemingly Greek names. The Greek name most often is but a vague reference to the original Hebrew name in sound and association.

In both Greek and English, "Spirit" is a neuter noun. And we think of a neuter noun as an "it" rather than a he or she. Thus we think of the Holy Trinity of orthodox theology in a peculiar way. God the Father we visualize in warm, personal terms. God the Word (i.e., Logos) we more often speak of as God the Son and think of personal images ranging from Bethlehem to Nazareth to Jerusalem. Not so, however, with the Holy Spirit. Both the neuter noun and the biblical images of fire and anointing tend us away from personal to impersonal imagery, from Spirit as divine personality to Spirit as divine emanation. How unfortunate. In the Gospel of John, Jesus invites us to know about, expect, and experience the Holy Spirit. And he speaks of the third member of the divine family in terms that are personal. In fact, he challenged his original followers to think of the Holy Spirit in the same personal ways they had experienced him.


Ruach or Ruacha. Feminine. Ruach HaKadosh rather than Ha Kodesh. Kodesh is referred to as an object, kadosh is use to refer to a living entity. We know the name of the Father - Yahuweh. And of the Son - Yahashua. But what is the name of the Ruach HaKadosh (the Holy Spirit)? Her name in the Hebrew is “Chochmah” (pronounced “KohK-mah”, which in English means, and is translated as, Wisdom. And as it is written and stated previously, in Luke 7:35 7:35 “Wisdom is justified by all Her children.” Proverbs 8:1 She/Ruach calls for truth in the assembly and the lives of believers… Mishlei (Proverbs) 8:6,7 it states that Wisdom is the instructor of Truth, as it is written, 8:6 Listen, for I will speak excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things, 8:7 for my mouth will speak truth...” And in I Yahchanan (I John) 5:6 we read that the Ruach (the Spirit) is Truth. And in Yahchanan (John) 16:13 that, 16:13 “When She, the Ruach (Spirit) of Truth has come, She will lead you into all truth.” And isn’t it most often the mother who teaches the children the commandments and instruction of her husband? Yahshua promised that Mamas Torah would internalize the mitzvoth of the Abba. The Torah of ema is called wisdom, and she is the Spirit of Torah bringing comfort to balance the Fathers discipline. Mishle 1:8 And in Yochanan (John) 14:26 it says, 14:26 But the helper, the Ruach HaKadosh (Holy Spirit), whom the Father will send in My Name, She will teach you all things, and declare to you all things that I said to you.” So here She is referred to as “the Helper“ or EZER, even as Havah (Eve) was given as Adam‘s “helper“. EZER KENGEDO a Helper against or to balance the overwhelming gevurah/power of the ABBA. The Ruach is the balance to ABBA just like man and woman balance each other in the natural! Some translations state comforter rather than helper. Both are correct, and comforter still describes a female entity for it is the mother who usually comforts the children. She balance the fathers strict discipline and rigidity. These things should all be making sense by now. It’s only common sense that if Havah (Eve) was called by Adam the “mother of all living” that there must also be one who is the mother of all spiritually living; and that of course, is the one whose image Havah (Eve) was created in; B‘resheet (Genesis) 1:26,27. Adam was made in Yahshua’s image the Adam Kadmon and Chavah was made in the Ruach’s image. Male and female. Now, going back to B’resheet (Genesis) 1:26,27 where Elohim says, “Let ‘Us’ make humans in our image” In Beresheeth (Genesis) 11:7 it says, 11:7 Come let “Us” go down there and confuse their language that they may not understand one another’s speech. If the second party in the “Us” statement is the Ruach HaKadosh (the Holy Spirit), then is it any surprise that the one who caused the languages to become confused is the same who caused the languages to be brought back into unity at Shavuot (Pentecost) in Acts 2:1-12? And doesn’t even science indicate that it is the female gender that is the more gifted in language? Chochmah, like the Ruach HaKadosh (the Holy Spirit), is feminine, gifted in language, a mother of the Sons of Elohim - one through whom we must be born. And in Romans 8:2 it is written that the Ruach of truth is the Spirit “of Life“. And finally, last but not least, in Mattityahu (Matthew) 29:19 Yeshua says, 29:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Ruach HaKadosh (the Holy Spirit).” The Great Commission is in essence in invitation to join the 2 parent family of YHWH. She was there in the beginning, nurtures and comforts her children, and leads Her children into all truth as she upholds the Torah. And what a joy and wonderful thing it is to know that we are part of a complete, two-parent family. 1:13 In Him is the gospel of your deliverance, in whom also, after having believed, you were sealed with the Ruach haKadosh (Holy Spirit) of Promise.” In this verse we see the birth process described once again; this time to describe the formation of our character, into the character of Yahshua, thus completing the picture of us being sealed inside the womb of our spiritual mother until the character of Yahshua can be formed in us.


The Holy Spirit in particular is an archetypal image that evokes the feminine divine. She gives birth (John 3:6), life (2 Corinthians
3:6), inspiration (2 Peter 1:21), comfort (Acts 9:31), and groans as if in childbirth (Romans 8:23). Furthermore, she is described as a
dove and as fire -- both feminine images of the divine in that culture.

The Hebrew Ruach ha Kodesh is the phrase that translates into the Holy Spirit. Ruach is feminine, and the Aramaic equivalent ruah is also a feminine noun. These words are paired with feminine verbs and pronouns15. The Hebrew phrases “Spirit of Elohim” and “Spirit of Yahweh” consistently use feminine grammatical construction. The Holy Spirit is feminine, and is another designation of Eloah. Therefore, following the original texts, the Messiah promised: “I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that she may dwell with you forever.” [John 14:16]
The Holy Spirit is identifies as the Comforter in John chapters 14 to 16. This role of comforting is associated with mothering, of course. “As a mother comforts a child, so shall I comfort you.” [Isaiah 66:13] In Isaiah 11:2, the “Spirit of Wisdom” is also called the “Spirit of Yahweh”. Irenaeus, a second century bishop, declared that the ‘Wisdom’ of whom Solomon wrote in the Old Testament is identical to the Holy Spirit so often mentioned in the New Testament. [Against Heresies]
The Holy Spirit inspired those who wrote the Scripture. [2nd Timothy 3:16] It is through infusion of insight from the Holy Spirit that we are able to understand the depths of Scripture. [1st Corinthians 2:11] The Holy Spirit reveals spiritual truths to sincere believers. [Moroni 10:5] She interprets our prayers and the intents of our hearts. [Romans 8:26] She gives spiritual gifts to believers, such as the gifts of healing, prophecy, beholding spirits and angels, and speaking words of wisdom. [1st Corinthians 12:1-12; Moroni 10:7-17 (7-11)]
Another word commonly used to refer to the Holy Spirit is ‘shekinah’. The feminine word shekinah appears in Aramaic translations of the Bible, and is commonly use within modern Judaism. Shekinah is the equivalent of the Holy Spirit; it means “Divine Presence”. The –ah suffix indicates that it is Feminine Divine Presence.
The Didascalia, Apostolic teachings written during the 3rd century, compared the Deaconess [female minister] with the feminine Holy Spirit. The ministry of the Deacon was likened to the masculine attributes of God. “Let the Deaconess be honored by you in the place of the Holy Spirit.” [II:4:26]
In the Gospel of Philip, written in the late 2nd or early 3rd century, it is also quite evident that the Holy Spirit was understood by the earliest Christians to be the Divine Feminine. In lines 24 and 25 we read: “Some said, ‘Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.’ They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman?” The author of Philip was making an important clarification. The Scriptures say that Mary, the earthly mother of Messiah, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit – not that the Holy Spirit impregnated her16.

God Became

In some Hebrew traditions, God is referred to as Ain Sof – which means “without end”. God is infinite, ultimate, and immeasurable – beyond our capability to fully understand. Although we cannot fully comprehend God, the Scriptures do contain a wealth of knowledge about the Divine that we can understand.
The Scriptures are emphatic that there is one God – one Elohim. The Shema declares: “Listen, O Israel, Yahweh your Elohim is One.” [Deuteronomy 6:4] Though there is unmistakable unity in God, the Scriptures simultaneously reveal a plurality. “The Father, and…the Son, and…the Holy Ghost. The Spirit Eloah is part of the Divine – one facet. This is just like the Father and Son existing as distinct elements within the majestic plurality that is Elohim. The ‘trinity’ is Father, Mother [Holy Spirit], and Son.
The words Elohim and Yahweh may each be classified as collective nouns. Collective nouns include words such as family, flock, herd, forest, jury, staff and team. The plurality of Elohim [or of Yahweh] can be understood in the collective sense of family. Paul wrote that “the whole family in Heaven” receives its name from Elohim. [Ephesians 3:15]

Considering these things, it should come as no surprise that in Hebrew writings, God had no singular epithet. S/He was at once, nameless, but with a secret sign that could not be uttered, and so took on one name that meant itself, which was HaShem, which means "The Name".
 

A not often remembered image of God is one in which Yahweh is described by an analogy to the action of a female bird protecting her young (Ps. 17:8; 36:7; 57:l; 91: 1,4; Isa. 31:5; etc.). The sustaining care of Yahweh for Israel is represented in Dent. 32:11-12 by the words: "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no foreign god with him." In a similar reference in Matt. 23:37 (Luke 13:34) Jesus says: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... ! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" Other passages compare the love of God with the love of a mother for her child, or the loyalty and affection of a wife for her husband (Dent. 32:18; Isa. 46:3; 51:1; 49:14-15; Ps. 131: 2).70 We need to remind ourselves of the importance of three words used in the femine gender in Hebrew tradition which stress feminine attributes of God: Shekinah or the glory of the presence of God on earth; Torah or the guidance of God; Chokmah or the pre-cosmic divine wisdom . In the New Testament, Jesus is associated with all three of these attributes, Thus in Matt. 18:20 we read: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." With this we may compare the saying in PirkeAbo ' th: "When they sit together and are occupied with the Torah, the Shekinah is among them. " In I Cor. 1:24, 30, Paul calls Christ the Wisdom of God . From this we can conclude that both feminine and masculine characteristics play a part in the description of Yahweh and Christ. In the Bible when God has to be described metaphorically, both male and female imagery is used. "Now will I scream like a woman in labor", says God in Isaiah. "Gather her brood under her wings", says Jesus to the people. "Having ten pieces of silver and losing one", is the Woman who seeks diligently for the lost soul. "As a nurse cherisheth her children", says the evangelist in the epistles. In Proverbs and elsewhere the female figure, 'Wisdom' personifies the Divine.



The Hebrew matriarch Sarah is one of the most renowned of the heroines of the Jewish nation. She is the inspiration for the wise and virtuous woman of the proverbs. She was nearly a century old when she bore her child, who transformed that nation into Israel. But it was not her motherhood that made her great and beloved. It was her wisdom, based on inner strength and knowledge.


" How beautiful Sarah is!
Her long soft hair her bright eyes and her radiant face,
her full breasts and her delicate hands,
her round hips and her thighs!
There is no woman more beautiful than Sarah,
no woman who ever stood under the canopy to be wed to a good man.
Excellent is her beauty,
fair is she under the wide sky. Yet this is not why she attracts our love: it is her wisdom,
her prudence, and the graceful way she moves her hands."
~Genesis Apocryphon and Jubilees


Wisdom is a quality that is not, today, often acknowledged. Yet in ancient times a woman's wisdom - gained through years of watchful awareness and inner searching - was important for the health and happiness of all her family and, beyond that, of her entire people. Sophia retains this place which she holds in the Old Testament Apocrypha with the Gnostics, and as we know from a fragment of the Gospel According to the Hebrews, the Holy Ghost is regarded as the wife of God the Father, for there Jesus uses the expression "My Mother the Holy Ghost," as quoted by Epiphanius (Haeres LXII, 2).

In India, a dove was uniformly the emblem of the Holy Spirit or Spirit of God. A dove stood for a third member of the Trinity, and was the regenerator or regeneratory power. Compare this with Titus (3:5): regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. A person being baptized under the Brahminical theocracy was said to be regenerated and born again, or, they were born into the spirit, or the spirit into them—the dove into or upon them. In Rome a dove or pigeon was a legendary spirit, the accompaniment of Venus, the emblem of female procreative energy. It is therefore appropriately shown as descending at baptism in the character of the third member of the Trinity. The dove also fills the Grecian oracles with their spirit and power. A dove was, in several ancient religions, the Spirit of God (Holy Ghost) moving on the face of the waters at creation (Gen. 1:2), a pigeon was often substituted. The dove and the pigeon were used interchangeably. In the ancient Syrian temple of Hierapolis, Semiramis is shown with a dove on her head, the prototype of the dove on the head of the Christian messiah at baptism.

the Eastern Orthodox Church has women deaconesses, married priests, and the Feminine Principle is recognized in Sophia, the Wisdom of Christ.

The Holy Ghost was the third member of the Trinity in several Eastern religions as well as the Gothic and Celtic nations. This notion of a third person in the the godhead was diffused among all the nations of the earth. Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or Father, Word and Holy Ghost (1 John 5:7) express the divine triad of which the Holy Ghost was the third member. The Holy Ghost was the Holy Breath which, in the Hindu traditions, moved on the face of the waters at creation, and imparted vitality into everything created. A similar conception appears in the scriptures. In Psalms 33:6 the Word of the Lord made the heavens, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. The Brahminical conception of creation by the Divine Breath, the Holy Ghost, which was breathed into Adam to make him a living soul. The Prana or principle of life of the Hindus is the breath of life by which the Brahma, the Creator, animates the clay to make man a living soul. Holy Ghost, Holy Breath and Holy Wind were equivalent terms for the sigh from the mouth of the Supreme God, as laid down in pagan traditions. The Holy Wind is suggested by the mighty rushing wind from heaven which filled the house on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2). The Holy Wind is an accepted term for the Holy Ghost in ancient religions. The doxology, reported by a missionary, in the religious service of the Syrian church runs thus:

Praise to the Holy Spiritual Wind, which is the Holy Ghost; Praise to the three persons which are one true God. The Hebrew Ruh Elohim, translated Spirit of God (Gen. 1:2) in our version, is literally, Wind of the Gods.

The word Pneuma, of the Greek New Testament, is sometimes translated Ghost and sometimes Wind, as suited the fancy of the translators. In John 3:5 the word is Spirit, in verse eight both Wind and Spirit, and in Luke 1:35 the term is Holy Ghost—all translated from the same word. In the Greek Testament the word Pneuma is used for Spirit, Holy Ghost, breath and Wind so that in the Christian Scriptures they are synonymous. An unwarranted license has been assumed by translators in rendering the same word different ways. The Holy Ghost appears also as a tongue of fire, which sat upon each of the apostles in Acts 2:3. Buddha, an incarnate God of the Hindus over two thousand years ago, is often seen with a glory or tongue of fire upon his head. The visible form of the Holy Ghost as fire was accepted among the Buddhists, Druids and Etrurians. The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit when visible, was in the form of fire or a bird and was always accompanied with wisdom and power. The Hindus, Persians and Chaldeans made offerings to fire, emblem of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit as the solar fire. The Gospel of the Hebrews is known only through quotations from it given in the writing of early church fathers. In one such, a feminine Holy Spirit, descending upon Jesus at his baptism, says: "My Son, in all the prophets was I waiting for you that you should come and I might rest in you." Another quote, this time from Jesus: "Even so did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away to the great mountain Tabor." The Acts of Thomas, a legendary account of the apostle Thomas’s travels to India, contains prayers invoking the Holy Spirit as, among other titles, "the Mother of all creation" and "compassionate mother." In the Secret Book of James,Another Nag Hammadi discovery; Jesus refers to himself as "the son of the Holy Spirit." The Gospel of Thomas was composed at about the same time as the biblical Gospels. Ron Cameron of Wesleyan University agrees. In The Other Gospels, a collection of 16 apocryphal Gospels,the Gospel of the Hebrews dates as circa 100 AD. or earlier, and the Secret Book of James in the first half of the second century. However, all three could have been written as early as the middle of the first century (about the time of Paul). Congregations founded by Paul used a baptism ritual which reunified the male and female in each new believer. The key verses are in Galatians, the much-quoted 3:27-28: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The early Christian groups thought of themselves as a new genus of mankind, or as the restored original mankind. The Christian baptismal initiation reversed the division of male and female, returning to the gender unity found in Adam before Eve and in God. Paul also uses reunification language in I Corinthians and Colossians, but without specific reference to male and female. The androgynous concept received expanded treatment from Gnostic Christians, some of whom developed the sacrament of the bridegroom chamber to reunite the two halves in the believer. (In the Second Epistle of Clement, a second century sermon, appears a saying not inconsistent with Galatians 3:28: "When the Lord himself was asked by someone when his kingdom would come, he said, ‘When the two become one, and the outside as the inside and the male with the female neither male nor female.’") That rite’s imagery can be linked with the imagery of Jesus as the reappearing Primal Man, the androgynous Anthropos, or, as Paul expressed it, the "Last Adam" (I Cor. 15:45). Also, Jesus urged his followers to become his equal -- Luke 6:40, the Gospel of Thomas 13, 108, and in the Secret Book of James. "Make yourselves like the son of the Holy Spirit," Jesus says in the latter text; and again, "If you . . . do his [the Father’s] will, I [say] that he will love you, and make you equal with me."



So why do we not use the term "Sophia" often today? Becuase of what is called 'Gnosticism', which rejected Jesus's humanity and crucifixion while boldly proclaiming his identification with Sophia.  Further, there was Wisdom's (and woman's) connection with the stars, hence astrology, which was also a source of heresy, and which was systematically removed from scripture. The same can be said about the "Celestial Father" which is also "heavenly" father.


The idea of a trinity as God,—father, mother and son—faded away quickly during the early development of the Christian dogma and it seems that the replacement of the word logos for sophia helped to obliterate the idea that the second person of the deity was female. The change was also favored by the fact that while ruwach (ruah), the Hebrew term for spirit, is feminine, the Greek term pneuma is neuter.

The students of the Gospels who had no wish to identify with the Gnostics often muted the connection while they explored it.

In the Aramaic roots of The Lord's Prayer. Jesus's original language, the prayer takes on a much fuller meaning. Of particular relevance is the opening line...."Abvwoon Debashmaya." The words Jesus used to address God. It means, the birther, the bearer, the breather/bringer of life and light. From this, it appears that Jesus is addressing a God that is mother and father. It would suggest that a mother aspect of God is real and Holy

The Prayer To Our Father in the Original Aramaic

Abwûn... O cosmic Birther, from whom the breath of life comes,
d'bwaschmâja... who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
Nethkâdasch schmach... May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Têtê malkuthach... Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d'bwaschmâja af b'arha... Let Your will come true in the universe (all that vibrates) just as on earth (that is material and dense).
Hawvlân lachma d'sûnkanân jaomâna... Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,
Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna daf chnân schwoken l'chaijabên... detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma) like we let go the guilt of others.
Wela tachlân l'nesjuna... Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),
ela patzân min bischa... but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.
Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlâm almîn... From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act, the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Amên... Sealed in trust, faith and truth. (I confirm with my entire being)



The Aramaic word, abwoon, is gender-inclusive. It means ‘ancestor’, and includes both male and female. In the Aramaic version of the “the Lord’s prayer”, abwoon is the first word. It was translated into ‘father’ in Greek, instead of ancestor. Consequently, the Lord’s Prayer in the English, Greek or Latin New Testament begins with “Our Father in Heaven”, whereas in Aramaic it begins by addressing “Our Parents in Heaven”.

In about 200 CE, Clement of Alexandria wrote similarly: “God…out of love to us became feminine. In his ineffable essence He is Father; in His compassion to us He became Mother, …by loving, became feminine. [The Rich Man’s Salvation, XXXVII, in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2] Methodius, a bishop of the third century, wrote: “Adam [was] the type and resemblance of God the Father…whilst Eve, who proceeded from Adam, signified the person and procession of the Holy Spirit.” [Ante Nicene Fathers. Fragments from the Homily on the Cross and Passion of Christ]
Adam, the first human, was created in Elohim’s image. At first, Adam, like Elohim, was simultaneously male and female. [Genesis 1:27] Then, Elohim divided Adam, separating the feminine from the masculine into two individuals, with distinct male and female gender. [Genesis 2:21-23]
Synesius, Bishop of Libya in the early 5th century, in his 2nd Hymn, wrote of the Divine as both masculine and feminine. ‘Thou art Father, thou art Mother; Thou art male, and thou art female.’ [lines 63-64]
 

There can also be no maleness without femaleness. There is no Father unless there is Mother. There is no Bridegroom unless there is a Bride. There is no Savior without they who are the Lost. There are no children unless there are parents.
Elohim became the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the whole Divine Family. The presence of family necessitates the existence of gender. Similarly, the fact that Messiah is the Bridegroom necessitates that there must be a Bride. Not only did Elohim become the masculine Father and the masculine Messiah, Elohim also became the feminine Holy Spirit / Eloah / Wisdom, and the Bride [the Elect]. There is a perfect male-female balance within the Divine. Because of the unity of the Father, the Spirit, and the Son, when an individual believes in one, she believes in the other aspects of Elohim as well. Jesus said, “Whoso believeth in Me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of Me, for He will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. And thus will the Father bear record of Me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and Me; for the Father and I and the Holy Ghost are one.”


The Aramaic Language has (like the Hebrew and Arabic) different levels of meaning. The words are organized and defined by a poetical system where different meanings of every word are possible. So, every line of the Lords Prayer could be translated into English in many different versions.

Scripture proclaims an entirely different understanding of power. In both the
Old and New Testaments, our God hears the cries of the oppressed and leads
them to freedom, while over-lords are reduced to insignificance. Jesus
incarnated this theme in his life and teachings especially with regard to women.
When a woman preaches, she is a living testimony to the God who turns Nobody
into Somebody. Outside the church, women still struggle with inferior jobs,
low pay, the trivializing and wasting of their talent. but within the church,
women proclaim a God who puts down the mighty and exalts the humble and meek.
 




However we choose to describe God's transcendence, the mystery of God's freedom points to
I AM , & LOVE IS

I AM MADE IN THE IMAGE OF THE GREAT I AM,

THE MYSTERY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THAT 'LOVE IS'

THE TWO TOGETHER MAKES ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS



Creativity is ever-vital. Vitality is ever-creative. She *is* the energy-force of creativity, itself. She is the vital essence of vitality. Her numinous vitality is creatively generating across the parallel dimensions, evolving realities. We *are* Her vitality, Her mercy, Her creativity, Her ever-evolving reality -- every organism, every *thing*; not only the animate but the inanimate. She is the If of yet-to-be, the ineffable, the wholly free... She is Living Eternity... & even to be but momentarily aware of this, as light*spark dancing within Her veil of because, brings a brightening of awe in the Presence of Her mystic splendors, Her radiant darkness, enwombing the Cosmos..

English translations usually translate the feminine "Sophia" into the abstract "Wisdom". Although the Greek and Hebrew words were fully feminine, the English is not.

“Martin Luther, the originator of the Protestant movement, was not ashamed to think of the Holy Spirit in feminine terms. We often miss this in Luther studies because his feminine terminology is translated into English masculine terms, but if his German is translated without such a gender bias, his sense of the Holy Spirit being feminine shines out like a beacon.”

 Even the famous Church Father Origen speaks of the Holy Spirit as
being feminine, when saying:

Paidiske de kypias tou hagiou Pneumatos he psyche.

The soul is handmaiden to her mistress, the Holy Spirit. Another
illustration is found in the now lost Gospel of the Hebrews (cf. The
Lost and Hostile Gospels by Rev. S. Baring-Gould, London, 1874, pp.
130-1), probably one of the first ever written by Christian hands,
extracts from which have survived in the writings of Origen and
Jerome. This particular passage is quoted by Origen and runs as
follows:

Arti elabe me he meter mou to hagion pneuma, hen mia ton trichon mou,
kai anenenke me eis to horos to mega thabor.

Straightway my mother the Holy Spirit took me in one of my hairs and
bore me to the great mountain Thabor. -- Homily xv, on Jeremiah and
on John. Similarly Jerome, another Church Father, wrote (Micheas,
vii, 6):

Modo tulit me mater mea Spiritus Sanctus in uno capillorum meorum.

Then my mother the Holy Spirit took me in one of my hairs.

The fullest development of her is in the so-called "Wisdom Books" of the apocryphia in the Greek Pentateuch that were canonized into Christian Scripture and are still used by the Roman Catholic and English Orthodox churches.
Sophia dominates the first nine chapters of Proverbs and is found in both the Old and New Testaments.

There was no attempt in the West to maintain the integrity of the original texts until Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate at the request of the papacy in the fourth century. Zuntz, by using the standard practice of textual comparison, in his detailed analysis of the oldest Pauline manuscript, notes, in his book, The Text of the Epistles, numerous places where the text has been altered. Jerome, himself, in letters to his colleagues, bewails the fact that he has so many variant texts to select from for the compilation of a standardized version. At one point before him he has the old Hieronymian text and its revision. He says, “The differences throughout are clear and striking.” In his writings he does leave us a clue to the subject at hand. At one point he has before him the gospel of the Hebrews used by the Syrian Christians which, as some now say, predated the four canonical gospels. In it, Jerome says that the Holy Spirit is expressed in the feminine gender and is considered the mother in law of the soul. (Library 11, commentary in Isaiah, chapter 11: Library 2, commentary. in Micah 7.6:) So here is some additional external evidence from an unrelated source that the Holy Spirit was originally considered feminine. In Judaism, the medieval writers of the Kaballah concentrated on the masculine aspects of the sefiroth (the 13 aspects of God) and relegated Sophia to an inferior sphere than that she had heretofore occupied. Roman Catholicism explicitly associated Old Testament Sophia texts with Mary or the Mother Church. In the Eastern Church, Sophia survives and is often associated liturgically with the Holy Spirit and sometimes with Christ, himself. Further, the church fathers of the Patristic Age preferred the male "Logos" when describing Christ in order to avoid gender confusion. Philo, who at first equated Sophia with Logos, "substituted Logos for Sophia, until the masculine person of the Logos has taken over most of Sophia's divine roles including the firstborn image of God, the principle of order and the intermediary between God and humanity. Sophia's powers are restricted and she is limited to Heaven.

In both Greek and English, "Spirit" is a neuter noun. And we think of a neuter noun as an "it" rather than a he or she. Thus we think of the Holy Trinity of orthodox theology in a peculiar way. God the Father we visualize in warm, personal terms. God the Word (i.e., Logos) we more often speak of as God the Son and think of personal images ranging from Bethlehem to Nazareth to Jerusalem. Not so, however, with the Holy Spirit. Both the neuter noun and the biblical images of fire and anointing tend us away from personal to impersonal imagery, from Spirit as divine personality to Spirit as divine emanation. How unfortunate. In the Gospel of John, Jesus invites us to know about, expect, and experience the Holy Spirit. And he speaks of the third member of the divine family in terms that are personal. In fact, he challenged his original followers to think of the Holy Spirit in the same personal ways they had experienced him.

John’s concept of the Logos, the Word that was God and became flesh (John 1:1-14) was derived from the Old Testament understanding of Wisdom as much, probably more, than from the Greek idea of Logos. And yet Wisdom, the one before whom are riches and honor and righteousness (Proverbs 8:18) and who shared with God in the creation of all things (Proverbs 8:27-31) is consistently given a female gender in Proverbs and by Jesus (Proverbs 1:20; 4:6; 8:1,11; 9:1; 14:33; Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35). "Jesus and Sophia came to be associated through a process that took place during the first two centuries of our era. The apostle Paul said it clearly: 'We are preaching a crucified Christ . . . who is the Wisdom of God' (1 Corinthians 1:23; see also 1 Corinthians 2:6-8). Others, the author of John 1:1-18, for example, describe Sophia clearly but only imply that the person they are describing is Jesus. Elsewhere, such as in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and Thomas, Jesus speaks the words of Sophia as if he were Sophia. Yet others, among them the authors of Ephesians, Colossians, and James depend heavily on their readers' knowledge of Sophia in communicating who they thought Jesus really was. Finally, the literature that came to be called gnostic includes a wide range of stories in which Jesus and Sophia exchange roles in a variety of earthly settings.
In the Hebrew tradition, Sophia was considered to have been with God from the beginning of Creation. In Proverbs 8:27-51, Sophia says:
When God set the heavens in place, I was present,


Sophia is found throughout the wisdom books of the Bible. She is Wisdom Incarnate, the Goddess of all those who are wise. There are references to Her in the book of Proverbs, and in the apocryphal books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon (accepted by Catholics and Orthodox, found in the Greek Septuagint of the early Church). Paul explicitly identifies Jesus with Sophia in 1st Corinthians 1:23-25,30 "By God's action, Jesus Christ has become our Sophia." Then following, in 2:6-8, "But still we have a Sophia to offer those who have reached maturity: not a philosophy of our age, it is true....The hidden Sophia of God which we teach in our mysteries is the Sophia that God predestined to be for our glory before the ages began...." John more directly incorporates Sophia scriptures into his description of Jesus. Sophia's statement (Ecc. 24:8) "Then the creator of all things instructed me...'Pitch your tent in Jacob, and make Israel your inheritance'" ... becomes John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh, and pitched his tent among us." Extensive references in Paul, John and the Synoptic Gospels are given.

Is it any wonder that She is constantly associated with wise King Solomon? 1 Kings 4:29-31 tells us that God gave wisdom to Solomon, and that he became wiser than all the kings of the East and all the wise people of Egypt. Wisdom 8:2, 16, 18 tells us that Solomon was seen as married to Sophia. One of the many layers of symbolism attributed to the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles) is that it speaks of Solomon's marriage to Holy Sophia. Wisdom 9:8-11 even tells us that Sophia instructed Solomon in building the Temple!

Most New Testament (better rendered, new covenant) translations, by naming and renaming of places, people and movements, have changed identity and position to pass distinctly as Christian, and not as another Jewish faction.
The dissociation of the New Covenant as a Jewish book begins with the mutation of Semitic names into Greek names. The messianic (christian) belief itself is not a new concept. Avraham (Abraham) himself was a messianic. He believed in a messiah bringing salvation; he simply looked forward while we look back. In the New Covenant, members of the messianic movement are referred to using largely Greek or seemingly Greek names. The Greek name most often is but a vague reference to the original Hebrew name in sound and association.




Considering these things, it should come as no surprise that in Hebrew writings, God had no singular epithet. S/He was at once, nameless, but with a secret sign that could not be uttered, and so took on one name that meant itself, which was HaShem, which means "The Name".
 A not often remembered image of God is one in which Yahweh is described by an analogy to the action of a female bird protecting her young (Ps. 17:8; 36:7; 57:l; 91: 1,4; Isa. 31:5; etc.). The sustaining care of Yahweh for Israel is represented in Dent. 32:11-12 by the words: "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no foreign god with him." In a similar reference in Matt. 23:37 (Luke 13:34) Jesus says: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... ! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" Other passages compare the love of God with the love of a mother for her child, or the loyalty and affection of a wife for her husband (Dent. 32:18; Isa. 46:3; 51:1; 49:14-15; Ps. 131: 2).70 We need to remind ourselves of the importance of three words used in the femine gender in Hebrew tradition which stress feminine attributes of God: Shekinah or the glory of the presence of God on earth; Torah or the guidance of God; Chokmah or the pre-cosmic divine wisdom . In the New Testament, Jesus is associated with all three of these attributes, Thus in Matt. 18:20 we read: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." With this we may compare the saying in PirkeAbo ' th: "When they sit together and are occupied with the Torah, the Shekinah is among them. " In I Cor. 1:24, 30, Paul calls Christ the Wisdom of God . From this we can conclude that both feminine and masculine characteristics play a part in the description of Yahweh and Christ. In the Bible when God has to be described metaphorically, both male and female imagery is used. "Now will I scream like a woman in labor", says God in Isaiah. "Gather her brood under her wings", says Jesus to the people. "Having ten pieces of silver and losing one", is the Woman who seeks diligently for the lost soul. "As a nurse cherisheth her children", says the evangelist in the epistles. In Proverbs and elsewhere the female figure, 'Wisdom' personifies the Divine.

" How beautiful Sarah is!
Her long soft hair her bright eyes and her radiant face,
her full breasts and her delicate hands,
her round hips and her thighs!
There is no woman more beautiful than Sarah,
no woman who ever stood under the canopy to be wed to a good man.
Excellent is her beauty,
fair is she under the wide sky. Yet this is not why she attracts our love: it is her wisdom,
her prudence, and the graceful way she moves her hands."
~Genesis Apocryphon and Jubilees


The Hebrew matriarch Sarah is one of the most renowned of the heroines of the Jewish nation. She is the inspiration for the wise and virtuous woman of the proverbs. She was nearly a century old when she bore her child, who transformed that nation into Israel. But it was not her motherhood that made her great and beloved. It was her wisdom, based on inner strength and knowledge.


Wisdom is a quality that is not, today, often acknowledged. Yet in ancient times a woman's wisdom - gained through years of watchful awareness and inner searching - was important for the health and happiness of all her family and, beyond that, of her entire people. Sophia retains this place which she holds in the Old Testament Apocrypha with the Gnostics, and as we know from a fragment of the Gospel According to the Hebrews, the Holy Ghost is regarded as the wife of God the Father, for there Jesus uses the expression "My Mother the Holy Ghost," as quoted by Epiphanius (Haeres LXII, 2).

In India, a dove was uniformly the emblem of the Holy Spirit or Spirit of God. A dove stood for a third member of the Trinity, and was the regenerator or regeneratory power. Compare this with Titus (3:5): regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. A person being baptized under the Brahminical theocracy was said to be regenerated and born again, or, they were born into the spirit, or the spirit into them—the dove into or upon them. In Rome a dove or pigeon was a legendary spirit, the accompaniment of Venus, the emblem of female procreative energy. It is therefore appropriately shown as descending at baptism in the character of the third member of the Trinity. The dove also fills the Grecian oracles with their spirit and power. A dove was, in several ancient religions, the Spirit of God (Holy Ghost) moving on the face of the waters at creation (Gen. 1:2), a pigeon was often substituted. The dove and the pigeon were used interchangeably. In the ancient Syrian temple of Hierapolis, Semiramis is shown with a dove on her head, the prototype of the dove on the head of the Christian messiah at baptism.

the Eastern Orthodox Church has women deaconesses, married priests, and the Feminine Principle is recognized in Sophia, the Wisdom of Christ.

The Holy Ghost was the third member of the Trinity in several Eastern religions as well as the Gothic and Celtic nations. This notion of a third person in the the godhead was diffused among all the nations of the earth. Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or Father, Word and Holy Ghost (1 John 5:7) express the divine triad of which the Holy Ghost was the third member. The Holy Ghost was the Holy Breath which, in the Hindu traditions, moved on the face of the waters at creation, and imparted vitality into everything created. A similar conception appears in the scriptures. In Psalms 33:6 the Word of the Lord made the heavens, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. The Brahminical conception of creation by the Divine Breath, the Holy Ghost, which was breathed into Adam to make him a living soul. The Prana or principle of life of the Hindus is the breath of life by which the Brahma, the Creator, animates the clay to make man a living soul. Holy Ghost, Holy Breath and Holy Wind were equivalent terms for the sigh from the mouth of the Supreme God, as laid down in pagan traditions. The Holy Wind is suggested by the mighty rushing wind from heaven which filled the house on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2). The Holy Wind is an accepted term for the Holy Ghost in ancient religions. The doxology, reported by a missionary, in the religious service of the Syrian church runs thus:

Praise to the Holy Spiritual Wind, which is the Holy Ghost; Praise to the three persons which are one true God. The Hebrew Ruh Elohim, translated Spirit of God (Gen. 1:2) in our version, is literally, Wind of the Gods.

The word Pneuma, of the Greek New Testament, is sometimes translated Ghost and sometimes Wind, as suited the fancy of the translators. In John 3:5 the word is Spirit, in verse eight both Wind and Spirit, and in Luke 1:35 the term is Holy Ghost—all translated from the same word. In the Greek Testament the word Pneuma is used for Spirit, Holy Ghost, breath and Wind so that in the Christian Scriptures they are synonymous. An unwarranted license has been assumed by translators in rendering the same word different ways. The Holy Ghost appears also as a tongue of fire, which sat upon each of the apostles in Acts 2:3. Buddha, an incarnate God of the Hindus over two thousand years ago, is often seen with a glory or tongue of fire upon his head. The visible form of the Holy Ghost as fire was accepted among the Buddhists, Druids and Etrurians. The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit when visible, was in the form of fire or a bird and was always accompanied with wisdom and power. The Hindus, Persians and Chaldeans made offerings to fire, emblem of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit as the solar fire. The Gospel of the Hebrews is known only through quotations from it given in the writing of early church fathers. In one such, a feminine Holy Spirit, descending upon Jesus at his baptism, says: "My Son, in all the prophets was I waiting for you that you should come and I might rest in you." Another quote, this time from Jesus: "Even so did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away to the great mountain Tabor." The Acts of Thomas, a legendary account of the apostle Thomas’s travels to India, contains prayers invoking the Holy Spirit as, among other titles, "the Mother of all creation" and "compassionate mother." In the Secret Book of James,Another Nag Hammadi discovery; Jesus refers to himself as "the son of the Holy Spirit." The Gospel of Thomas was composed at about the same time as the biblical Gospels. Ron Cameron of Wesleyan University agrees. In The Other Gospels, a collection of 16 apocryphal Gospels,the Gospel of the Hebrews dates as circa 100 AD. or earlier, and the Secret Book of James in the first half of the second century. However, all three could have been written as early as the middle of the first century (about the time of Paul). Congregations founded by Paul used a baptism ritual which reunified the male and female in each new believer. The key verses are in Galatians, the much-quoted 3:27-28: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The early Christian groups thought of themselves as a new genus of mankind, or as the restored original mankind. The Christian baptismal initiation reversed the division of male and female, returning to the gender unity found in Adam before Eve and in God. Paul also uses reunification language in I Corinthians and Colossians, but without specific reference to male and female. The androgynous concept received expanded treatment from Gnostic Christians, some of whom developed the sacrament of the bridegroom chamber to reunite the two halves in the believer. (In the Second Epistle of Clement, a second century sermon, appears a saying not inconsistent with Galatians 3:28: "When the Lord himself was asked by someone when his kingdom would come, he said, ‘When the two become one, and the outside as the inside and the male with the female neither male nor female.’") That rite’s imagery can be linked with the imagery of Jesus as the reappearing Primal Man, the androgynous Anthropos, or, as Paul expressed it, the "Last Adam" (I Cor. 15:45). Also, Jesus urged his followers to become his equal -- Luke 6:40, the Gospel of Thomas 13, 108, and in the Secret Book of James. "Make yourselves like the son of the Holy Spirit," Jesus says in the latter text; and again, "If you . . . do his [the Father’s] will, I [say] that he will love you, and make you equal with me."

Teaching attributed to Jesus might challenge any thoughts that God the Father is much more important than the Holy Spirit. The synoptic Gospels all have a version of the saying, admittedly mysterious, that no blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is ever forgiven, unlike sins or blasphemies against sons of men (Mark) or the Son of Man (Matthew and Luke). Thomas 44 says it more strongly: blasphemies against Father and Son will be pardoned, but those against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven on earth or in heaven.
 



The New Testament is that the one used by the Western Churches is a Greek translation of the original Hebrew, a language evolved within a pagan context as opposed to the Hebrew of the Old Testament which was, The original divine language and which evolved within the context of a divine theocracy (Israel). the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew and subsequently translated into Greek. Therefore in terms of defining the gender of the Holy Spirit, Christians are more disposed to the Hebrew Old and New Testament witness of the Bible which overwhelmingly reveals the Holy Spirit to be feminine. Recent studies of the original Hebrew New Testament, before it was translated into Greek, show conclusively that the Holy Spirit is feminine in both Old and New Testament.



In other passages, too, Philo speaks of God as "the Father of all things ... and the Husband of Wisdom, who sows the seed of eudaemonia in the good and virginal earth."' These lines speak of a marriage to a Mother Wisdom, who constantly renews the mystery of her virginity. Hence, she is at once both a virgin bride and a mother-an image that will again appear in highly significant contexts in Kabbalistic symbolism. Wisdom likewise appears as God's daughter, in an image fusing allegory and archetype in an interpretation of the biblical name Bethuel: "because she is the true daughter [i.e., of God] ( bath el) and eternally virginal (bethulah)."' But in the same passage we immediately find a statement that negates any archetypal understanding of this image:

Other feminine attributes within God are the "Daughter Voice" (Bath Qol), through whom God's will was made audlble on earth; Zion, regarded as the mother of the people; and her counterpart, the Daughter of Zion, who represented the Mother's children, the people of Israel.' All of these were personafied, all were female and all partook, to a greater or lesser extent, of the feminine numina who, in one period or another, played a role in the history of Hebrew and Jewish religion.

The ancient Greek words for soul and spirit were Psyche and Pneuma. Historically, the early Greek imagination used psyche for both spirit and soul, but later dropped psyche as spirit, in favor of pneuma. This occurred at the time when mythological and poetic imagination was transformed to philosophy and rhetoric. However, the difference between soul and spirit is not one of substance but of operation. Man's immaterial aspect is represented in Scripture by the single terms (psyche) spirit, or (pneuma) soul, or both of them together. Both psyche and pneuma in their pristine condition pictured "breath" or "wind" The Greek word psyche also means butterfly Psyche was said by Plato to be in form, winged, and that its proper prophetic, poetic, erotic, and philosophic function is "to fly" (Matt 3:16). . The analogy between psyche and pneuma are remarkable; both form the active visualization of breathing or blowing, as the wind. However, the origin of the concept of Psyche as 'collective soul' is the same as that which developed into the Oriental concept of Tao ( the Spirit's way ) Within the writings of the 'Tao' the female traits are not hidden but clearly manifest. Also, in the early Greek language Psyche is feminine.



The only "holy spirit" that can be found in Judaism is the female holy spirit, often called Pneuma, or the Holy Soul.

In Judaism, the medieval writers of the Kaballah concentrated on the masculine aspects of the sefiroth (the 13 aspects of God) and relegated Sophia to an inferior sphere than that she had heretofore occupied. Roman Catholicism explicitly associated Old Testament Sophia texts with Mary or the Mother Church. In the Eastern Church, Sophia survives and is often associated liturgically with the Holy Spirit and sometimes with Christ, himself.

it flowered in the writings of the Jewish Kabbalists of medieval Spain and southwestern France. In Kabbalah, religion ceases to be a matter of worship and collective belief. It becomes a direct path of communion between the individual and the Divine. In the imagery of the Shekinah, Kabbalah gives us the cosmology of the soul and the relationship between the two aspects of the godhead that has been lost or hidden for millennia. The mythology of the Kabbalah is so gloriously rich, so broad in its imaginative and revelatory reach, and so intensely nourishing to a world that lacks any awareness of the Divine Feminine, that to discover this tradition is immensely exciting. The Shekinah reveals the missing imagery of God-as-Mother that has been lost or obscured in both Judaism and Christianity. Whereas the Old Testament is the written tradition of Judaism, Kabbalah offers the hidden oral tradition, wonderfully named as "The Voice of the Turtle" (turtledove). This mystic knowledge or mystic tradition of the direct path to God was described as the Jewels of the Heavenly Bride. The Bronze Age imagery of the Great Goddess returns to life in the extraordinary beauty of the Kabbalistic description of the Shekinah and in the gender endings of nouns that describe the feminine dimension of the godhead. But the Divine Feminine is now understood as cosmic soul, the intermediary between the godhead and life in this dimension who, as the Shekinah brings together heaven and earth, the divine and the human in a resplendent vision of their essential relationship. The mythology of this tradition restores the image of the sacred marriage in the union of the Divine Father-Mother in the ground of being. There is not a Mother and a Father but a Mother-Father who are one in their eternal embrace: one in their ground, one in their emanation, one in their ecstatic and continuous act of creation through all the invisible dimensions they bring into being and sustain. No other tradition offers the same breathtaking vision, in such exquisite poetic imagery, of the union of male and female energies in the One that is both. The Song of Songs was the text most used by Kabbalists for their contemplation of the mystery of this divine union. Yet one has the feeling that this way to union with the Divine may descend from some unknown source that nourished Egypt, Sumer, and India. The Kabbalistic tradition describes the feminine image of the godhead as Mother, Daughter, Sister, and Holy Spirit, giving woman what she has lacked throughout the last two and a half thousand years in Judeo-Christian culture - an image of the Divine Feminine in the godhead that is reflected at the human level in herself. The Shekinah is Divine Motherhood, Mother of All Living. Women can know themselves, in their role as mothers, in their care and concern for the well-being of their loved ones, as the instinctive custodians of her creation. The thirteenth-century "Zohar, The Book of Radiance or Splendor" that was the principal text of Kabbalah, contemplates the mystery of the relationship between the female and male aspects of the godhead expressed as Mother and Father, and their emanation through all levels of creation as Daughter and Son. The essential conception of this mystical tradition expresses itself as an image of worlds within worlds. Divine Spirit (Ain Soph or Ein Sof) beyond form or conception is the light at the center, the heart, and moves outward as creative sound (word), thought and energy, bringing into being successive spheres, realms, veils, or dimensions imagined as veils or robes that clothe and hide the hidden source yet at the same time transmit its radiant light.
 


As the upper Shekhinah of the Sefirah of Binah, femininity is the full expression of ceaseless creative power-it is receptive, to be sure, but is spontaneously and incessantly transformed into an element that gives birth, as the stream of etemally flowing divine life enters into it. One might almost say, to use the terms of Indian religion, that the upper Shekhinah is the Shakti of the latent God; it is entirely active energy, in which what is concealed within God is externalized. In the division of the Sefirotic world into the three upper and seven lower Sefiroth-a division generally accepted since Sefer ha-Bahir-the upper Shekhinah stands at the edge of the seven Sefiroth or seven primal days, emitting them from herself and realizing her strength in them (this is the inner, theogonic side of Creation!). In the same way, the lower Shekhinah stands at the edge of the external Creation, formed during the temporal seven days of Creation. Insofar as each of the two Shekhinahs is, so to speak, the "mother" of one of the two aspects of the process of God's self-manifestation or extemalization (the esoteric and exoteric aspects, respectively), the two necessarily share many features in terms of this structure. But the difference between them is equally plain. The process of emanation, through which the Kabbalists represented their conception of God as an expanding life (one doubts whether the Neoplatonic image of emanation adequately expresses their actual intention), achieves its richest expression in Binah, the "upper mother," while it ends in the "lower mother," the final Sefirah. That which flows out of Binah still belongs to the realm of Godhead, and is identical with God in His unfolding oneness. But this is not true of the lower Shekhinah: the divine potency in all its purity flows from it only back into itself; what emerges from the lower Shekhinah is no longer God, but Creation. This Sefirah can only receive the Divine, not transmit it. Thus, the active side of the female energy in God, the strength by which He eternally gives birth to Himself and emerges in His attributes as a personal God, is realized in the upper Shekhinah, while the passive side is realized as the lower Shekhinah. One must realize however that the whole process is a circit or hoop. This circut has been applied to both the Zodiac and Christian symbols by gnostic mystics.

While the Bible does not mention the name Shekhina directly, she is nevertheless bound to extremely old traditions, and closely relates to the ancient goddesses. Particularly significant is the Canaanite goddess Ashera who, at the beginning of the Israelites' settlement in the land of Canaan, was often referred to as Yahweh's Consort. The literature also calls her the "Holy Spirit"(Chokma) which, in Hebrew, is also a feminine form. The feminine nature of the Shekhina is so easy to establish in Hebrew, because the gender of the subject plays an important role in the sentence structure. In English, you can say "The Glorious Shekhina returned to bless us" without mentioning gender. In Hebrew, both verbs and adjectives have a male or female forms, and many names suggest gender to anyone who understands the language. The simple sentence above indicates three times that the Shekhina is female, and the fact sinks easily into the consciousness of the reader.

From the first covenant, Yahweh presented an image of a harsh, daunting God. His character almost demanded the birth of an entity like Shekhina. Also, He could not be seen by human eyes, and only a few prophets heard His voice. Yet almost every religion shows that human nature seeks intimacy with a deity. The manifestation of a loving maternal entity, ready to defend her people even from God Himself, brings a feeling of comfort that a paternal, invisible entity like Yahweh cannot bestow upon His worshipers. Shekhina represented compassion in its purest form, and despite being, officially, the female side of God, she was visible and audible as a feminine entity in her own right. A beautiful being of light, whose most important function was to intercede with God on behalf of her children. Such an entity had to come into being to soften the harshness of the original Judaism.

But how did such a complex entity develop? It started with the changing of God's dwelling. During Biblical times, people assumed God dwelled in the clouds. When the Israelites built the desert Tabernacle, and later, Solomon's Temple, Yahweh descended in a cloud and dwelt there. The word Shekhina, in Hebrew, is derived from the Biblical verb shakhan, meaning "the act of dwelling" but taking the feminine form. Therefore, at the beginning of the Talmudic era, the word Shekhina meant
the aspect of God that dwelt among people and could be apprehended by the senses. For example, one Talmudic verse said: "Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell (ve'shakhanti) among them." However, in a later version, the translation said "Let them make Me a Sanctuary so that My Shekhina will dwell among them." In other words, a separate entity.

Slowly, the manifested entity became stronger. A complete distinction appears in a Talmudic quotation from the end of the 1st century BCE: "...while the Children of Israel were still in Egypt, the Holy One, blessed be He, stipulated that He would liberate them from Egypt only in order that they built him a Sanctuary so that He can let His Shekhina dwell among them... As soon as the Tabernacle was erected,
the Shekhina descended and dwelt among them." Another quotation from early 3rd century says: "On that day a thing came about which had never existed since the creation of the world. From the creation of the world and up to that hour the Shekhina had never dwelt among the lower beings. But from the time that the Tabernacle was erected, she did dwell among them."

Another tradition claimed that she had always dwelt among her people, but their sins drove her, on and off, into Heaven. However, she was drawn back to her children and tried to save them, over and over. By that time, her image was so ingrained into real historical events, that when the Jews were exiled to Babylonia, she transferred her seat there, and appeared alternately in two major synagogues. She often made herself visible to the congregations there, particularly in one synagogue, which was built of stones and dust taken from a holy place in Jerusalem.

As the Jews dispersed further, sightings occurred in Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia - in every town where Jews lived. Shekhina comforted the sick, the poor, the suffering, and had a particular concern for repentant sinners "These are accepted by the Shekhina as if they were righteous and pious persons who never sinned. They are carried aloft and seated next to the Shekhina...he whose heart is broken and whose spirit is low, and whose mouth rarely utters a word, the Shekhina walks with him
every day...".

The paradox of dwelling in one place, and being in various places and with many people at the same time, had to be resolved. The Talmud reconciled the two ideas beautifully in a well-known anecdote. "The Emperor said to Raban Gamaliel: ‘You say that wherever ten men are assembled, the Shekhina dwells among them. How many Shekhinas are there?' Thereupon Raban Gamaliel beckoned a servant and began to beat him, saying: ‘Why did you let the sun enter the Emperor's house?'
‘Have you gone mad?' said the Emperor, surprised at the violence of the usually gentle Raban Gamaliel, ‘the sun shines all over the world!' ‘If the sun,' answered Gamaliel ‘which is only one of a thousand myriad servants of God, shines all over the world, how much more so the Shekhina of God!"

As time went by, her position strengthened. An interesting Medieval anecdote shows the Shekhina as a total separate entity, in her most important role - interceding on behalf of her children. "The Shekhina comes to the defense of sinful Israel by saying first to Israel: ‘Be not a witness against thy neighbor without a cause' and then thereafter saying to God: ‘Say not: I will do to him as he hath done to me..' " This is obviously a conversation taking place among three distinct entities - Israel, God, and the Shekhina. Another significant passage from the 11th century, describes Rabbi Akiva (a second century sage) saying: "When the Holy One, blessed be He, considered the deeds of the generation of Enoch and that they were spoiled and evil,
He removed Himself and His Shekhina from their midst and ascended into the heights with blasts of trumpets..."

Like any good mother, she could punish too. When she behaved violently, her character came closer to her powerful aspect of the great Asherah, Yahweh's Canaanite Consort. She descended to Earth to punish Adam, Eve, and the Serpent when they sinned at the Garden of Eden. She confused the builders of the Tower of Babel. She drowned the Egyptians at the Red Sea crossing during Exodus. When needed, she even killed righteous people. Since the beginning of time, six people -- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam -- could not be taken by the Angel of Death because of their perfect purity. Someone had to bring their souls to Heaven, and only Shekhina could do that. By kissing them, she released their souls from bondage to this world. In a particularly touching story, after kissing
and releasing Moses' soul, she carried his body for a long distance on her wings, to his secret grave. This myth connects Shekhina to another ancient goddess, Anath. According to the legends, Moses had to live apart from his wife so that he would always be pure enough to communicate with the Shekhina. This gave rise to the curious myth, later elaborated on in the Kabbalah, that Moses and Shekhina
lived as husband and wife. The image of Shekhina, carrying the dead body of her husband to his final resting place, resembles the myth of Anath, carrying the body of her husband Baal to his burial place.

Nor is this the end of her development. The Kabbalah greatly elaborated on the theme of the feminine aspect of God. She would appear as the powerful Matronit, the controversial Lilith, and finally, as the glorious figure of Shabbat Hamalka - Queen, Bride of God, celebrated every Saturday by Jews all over the world as they light the Sabbath candles. And by tradition, the candles must always be lit by a woman. Naturally -- Ashera, too, was served chiefly by priestesses. The cycle
is very neatly completed.
Shekinah is the Supreme Spirit
devoted to the good of all people . .
She shines bright in the bloom of ignorance;
She is unfading;
She is easily seen by those who love Her;
easily found by those who look for Her,
And quickly does She come to those who seek Her help.
One who rises early, intent on finding Her, will not grow weary of the quest--
For one day he will find Her seated in his own heart.
To set all one's thoughts on Her is true wisdom,
And to be ever aware of Her is the sure way to perfect peace.
For Shekinah Herself goes about in search of those who are worthy of Her.
With every step She comes to guide them;
in every thought She comes to meet them . . .
The true beginning of spiritual life is the desire to know Shekinah.
A desire to know Her brings one to love Her.
Loving Her enables one to follow her will.
Following Her will is the sure path of immortality.
And immortality is oneness with God.
So the desire to know Shekinah leads to God
and His Kingdom - - a never-fading Kingdom.
With all your thrones and scepters you may rule the world for a while,
But take hold of Shekinah and you will rule the world forever.
~ The Wisdom of Solomon (50 BCE)


Wisdom is another name for the Goddess. ‘Wisdom’ is translated from the feminine Hebrew word Hochmah. [Strong’s 2451, 2452 and 2454] Hochmah has the –ah feminine suffix. The equivalent name in Greek is Sophia. [4678]
Although the word ‘wisdom’ definitely is equated with good judgment and astuteness, in several Scripture passages, Wisdom is also unmistakably a Divine Personage. Wisdom is feminine, and consistently referred to by feminine pronouns. “Say to Wisdom, You are my sister.” [Proverbs 7:4]
The Messiah also referred to Wisdom as a person. He said: “Wisdom is proven by Her children.” [Luke 7:35] He also quoted19 a declaration made by Her. “The Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles…’” [Luke 11:49]
“How blind and impenetrable are the understandings of the children of men; for they will not seek Wisdom, neither do they desire that She should rule over them.” [Mosiah 8:20 (5:85)]
In a number of passages of scripture, Wisdom is described and adored by writers, and also speaks on Her own behalf. This is particularly true of the 8th chapter of Proverbs, the 24th chapter of Ecclesiasticus, and the 7th chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon20.
Wisdom announced that She was brought forth before the creation21. She also assisted in the creative process, alongside Yahweh. “Yahweh created Me, first-fruits of His fashioning, before the oldest of His works. From everlasting I was firmly set – from the beginning, before the earth came into being. The deep was not when I was born, nor were the springs with their abounding waters. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before He had made the earth, the countryside, and the first elements of the world. When He fixed the heavens firm, I was there; when He drew a circle on the surfaces of the deep, when He thickened the clouds above, when the sources of the deep began to swell, when He assigned the sea its boundaries (and the waters will not encroach on the shore), when He traced the foundations of the earth. I was beside22 the Master Craftsman, delighting Him day after day, ever at play in His presence, to play everywhere on His earth, delighting to be with the children of men. ¬[Proverbs 8:22-31]
Within the apocryphal books of Ecclesiasticus [also known as Ben Sirach], and the Wisdom of Solomon [sometimes known simply as Wisdom], the Feminine Deity is quite evident. It is apparent that the following passages refer to much more than mere personifications of the attribute of wisdom, but actually represent statements by and about Eloah. {The surviving originals of these manuscripts exist only in Greek. However, based upon translation in the Septuagint, we can extrapolate the original Hebrew equivalent of certain words.}
“Wisdom [Sophia] speaks Her own praises in the midst of Her people She glories in Herself. She opens Her mouth in the assembly of the Most High {El Elyon}; She glories Herself in the presence of the Mighty One {Abi’ir}: I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and I covered the earth like mist. I had My tabernacle in the heights, and My throne was a pillar of cloud. Alone I have made the circuit of the heavens, and walked through the depths of the abyss. Over the waves of the sea and over the whole earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway. Among all these I searched for rest, and looked to see in whose territory I might pitch camp. Then the Creator of all things instructed Me, and He who created Me fixed a place for My tent. He said, ‘Pitch your tent in Jacob; make Israel Your inheritance.’ From eternity, in the beginning, He created Me, and for eternity I shall remain. In the holy tabernacle I ministered before Him, and thus became established in Zion. [Ecclesiasticus 24:1-10]
“And so I prayed…I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. I esteemed Her more than scepters and thrones; compared with Her, I held riches as nothing. I reckoned no precious stone to be Her equal, for compared with Her all gold is a pinch of sand, and beside Her silver ranks as mud. I loved Her more than health or beauty; preferred Her to the light since Her radiance never sleeps. In Her company all good things came to me, and at Her hands incalculable wealth. All these delighted me, because Wisdom brings them, though I did not then realize that She was their Mother…” [Wisdom of Solomon 7:7-12]
“And now I understand everything, hidden or visible, for Wisdom, the designer of all things, has instructed me. For within Her is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, incisive, unsullied, lucid, invulnerable, benevolent, shrewd, irresistible, beneficent, friendly to human beings, steadfast, dependable, unperturbed, almighty, all-surveying, penetrating, all-intelligent, pure and most subtle spirits. For Wisdom is quicker to move than any motion; She is so pure, She pervades and permeates all things. She is a breath {ruach} of the power of God {Elohim}, pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty {Shaddai}; so nothing impure can find its way into Her. For she is a reflection of the eternal light, untarnished mirror of God’s active power, and image of His goodness.” [Wisdom of Solomon 7:21-26]
“Although She is alone [only one power, but] She can do everything. Herself unchanging, She renews the world, and, generation after generation, passing into holy souls, she makes them into God’s friends and prophets; for God loves only those who dwell with Wisdom. She is indeed more splendid than the sun; She outshines all the constellations. Compared with light, she takes first place; for light must yield to night, but against Wisdom, evil cannot prevail. Strongly She reaches from one end of the world to the other and She governs the whole world for its good.” [Wisdom of Solomon 7:27-30]
Solomon prayed to Yahweh regarding Wisdom. “With You is Wisdom; She Who knows your works, She Who was present when You made the world. She understands what is pleasing in Your eyes, and what agrees with Your commandments. Dispatch Her from the holy heavens, send Her forth from Your throne of glory to help me and toil with me, and teach me what is pleasing to You. Because She knows and understands everything, She will guide me prudently in my actions, and will protect me with Her glory.” [Wisdom 9:9-11]
 

 

In the Divine, there is neither male nor female yet there is both. To argue which is first or which is superior is, quite literally, a chicken and egg argument. The feminine gives birth to the son who espouses the feminine as bride who again gives birth to the son in the eternal heiros gamos. The feminine is maid, mother and spouse, as the masculine is son, father and spouse. There is unity in this duality, but there is not eternal dominance. "AGAIN Jesus taught them saying, God hath raised up witnesses to the truth in every nation and every age, that all might know the will of the Eternal and do it, and after that, enter into the kingdom, to be rulers and workers with the Eternal, 2. God is Power, Love and Wisdom, and these three are One. God is Truth, Goodness and Beauty, and these three are One. 3. God is Justice, Knowledge and Purity, and these three are One. God is Splendour, Compassion and Holiness, and these three are One. 4. And these four Trinities are One in the hidden Deity, the Perfect, the Infinite, the Only. 5. Likewise in every man who is perfected, there are three persons, that of the son, that of the spouse. and that of the father, and these three are one. 6. So in every woman who is Perfected are there three persons, that of the daughter, that of the bride, and that of the mother and these three are one; and the man and the woman are one, even as God is One 7. Thus it is with God the Father-Mother, in Whom is neither male nor female and in Whom is both, and each is threefold, and all are One in the hidden Unity. 8. Marvel not at this, for as it is above so it is below, and as it is below so it is above, and that which is on earth is so, because it is so in Heaven. 9. Again I say unto you, I and My Bride are one, even as Maria Magdalena, whom I have chosen and sanctified unto Myself as a type, is one with Me; I and My Church are One. And the Church is the elect of humanity for the salvation of all. 10. The Church of the first born is the Maria of God. Thus saith the Eternal, She is My Mother and she hath ever conceived Me, and brought Me forth as Her Son in every age and clime. She is My Bride, ever one in Holy Union with Me her Spouse. She is My Daughter, for she hath ever issued and proceeded from Me her Father, rejoicing in Me. 11. And these two Trinities are One in the Eternal, and are strewn forth in each man and woman who are made perfect, ever being born of God, and rejoicing in light, ever being lifted up and made one with God, ever conceiving and bringing forth God for the salvation of the many. 12. This is the Mystery of the Trinity in Humanity, and moreover in every individual child of man must be accomplished the mystery of God, ever witnessing to the light, suffering for the truth, ascending into Heaven, and sending forth the Spirit of Truth And this is the path of salvation, for the kingdom of God is within." Gospel of the Holy Twelve Lection 66: 1-12

Further, the church fathers of the Patristic Age preferred the male "Logos" when describing Christ in order to avoid gender confusion. Philo, who at first equated Sophia with Logos, "substituted Logos for Sophia, until the masculine person of the Logos has taken over most of Sophia's divine roles including the firstborn image of God, the principle of order and the intermediary between God and humanity. Sophia's powers are restricted and she is limited to Heaven.

The "Word," (feminine) who also had a Greek counterpart in Logos; (In the beginning) The same can also be said of the Spirit which is spoken of in Hebrew by a word of feminine gender, ruach ("wind" or "breath"), and translated into Greek in the neuter gender as pneuma .

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 "For the Hebrew scriptures Sophia was, first of all, part of the creative process. She created the world with God. She was present in the birth of individuals. She was described as ordering all things and making them new. "With this central aspect of Sophia in mind, listen to the way the author of the Gospel according to John (1:1-3) introduces Jesus: In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God And the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. "The description of Jesus as Word in John corresponds to the description of Sophia in the Hebrew scriptures.

In English, the Holy Spirit is conventionally referred to as "He", because the Latin word for "Spirit" is spiritus (masc.). In Greek, "Spirit" is pneuma (neut.), leading to references as "It" (e.g., Romans 8:16, "The Spirit itself...) In Hebrew/Aramaic, "Spirit" is ruach (fem.), leading to references as "She". In the "Odes of Solomon'; the oldest surviving Christian hymnal, the Holy Spirit is female.
Ode 36

(Odist speaks)
1. I rested on the Spirit of the Lord,
And She¹ lifted me up to heaven;
2. And caused me to stand on my feet in the Lord's high place,
Before His perfection and glory,



The "Odes of Solomon" is the earliest known Christian book of hymns, psalms or odes. It probably dates from before 100 A.D. It has been reconstructed from manuscripts in the British Museum, John Rylands Library and Bibliothèque Bodmer. It contained 42 Odes.

The original tounge of the Hebrew or Aramaic would translate 'Holy Spirit' as female. Also, Greek would translate 'Holy Spirit' as either female or more likely 'neuter in reference to the subject' and it only became 'He' in Latin and English bibles. Yet, even Milton, in his writing of Paradise Lost, refers to the Holy Spirit and Divine Reason as his celestial patroness!

Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic written with rounded letters reminiscent of modern Arabic. Syriac was the language of people living in northern Mesopotamia, from at least 300 BC until the time Arabic became dominant in the region, around 1000 AD. Most of the Syriac documents available today were produced by a Monophysite branch of Christianity, today known as the Syrian Orthodox Church (monophysitism is the belief that Christ had but one nature). One striking puzzlement of the texts, at least to me, was the constant reference to the Holy Spirit as "she". I was aware, of course, that in Aramaic (and hence in the dialect known as Syriac) the natural gender of the word "spirit" was feminine; however, I was surprised to discover that this accident of grammar had resulted in a whole theology constructed around the femininity of the third person of the Godhead.

An example of Syriac theology is found in the apocryphal Acts of Thomas; it is usually assumed that this particular work was influenced by speculative gnostic Judaism because it contains the notion, that associated with God was a wisdom, or creative power - a spirit - which was feminine. In an invocation accompanying baptism, Thomas calls for the Holy Spirit:

Come, holy name of Christ that is above every name;
Come, power of the Most High and perfect compassion;
Come, thou highest gift;
Come, compassionate mother;
Come, fellowship of the male;
Come, thou (f.) that dost reveal the hidden mysteries;
Come, mother of seven houses, that thy rest may be in the eighth house.
(Acts of Thomas 2:27)

Come, silence that dost reveal the great deeds of the whole greatness;
Come thou that dost show forth the hidden things
And make the ineffable manifest;
Holy Dove that bearest the twin young;
Come, hidden Mother;
Come, thou that art manifest in thy deeds
and dost furnish joy and rest for all that are joined with thee;
Come and partake with us in this Eucharist
Which we celebrate in thy name,
and in the love-feast in which we are gathered together at thy call.
(Acts of Thomas 5:50)

Mother in Heaven

Eloah is the Heavenly Mother. She is the Father’s partner and spouse, the true Queen of the Universe. In language similar that used by Job, the Heavenly Mother is mentioned in Ecclesiasticus 40:1. “A hard lot has been created for human beings…from the day they come out of their [earthly] mother’s womb, they day they return to the Mother of them all.”
In the gnostic book of Sophia, we read, “The great Sophia is [the Father’s] spouse…[She is the] Begetress Sophia, Mother of the Universe…” [3:104] The word used in some Greek texts in reference to Goddess is koinonos, which means [equal] partner. In common use, it meant ‘spouse’, or ‘consort’, particularly in the sense of the wife of the king, or the husband of the queen. This is not precisely the same as human marriage, but mortal marriage is a reflection of the hierosgamos – or sacred cosmic union of El sand Eloah.
Yahweh commanded Moses to have sculptures of two cherubim placed atop the Ark of the Covenant. When Solomon built the Temple, images of cherubim were embossed upon the walls, carved in relief into doors and panels, and were incorporated into tapestries and other furnishings. According to a few historical accounts, the two cherubim were male and female, representing the Divine Male and the Divine Female – El and Eloah.
Several first or second-century Christian documents discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, plainly identify the Holy Spirit as feminine – as the Mother figure within the Godhead. In the Apocryphon of John, Elohim appeared to John and said, “I am the Father, I am the Mother, I am the Son. I am the undefiled and uncorruptible One.” In the Gospel According to the Hebrews we read the phrase “my Mother the Holy Spirit”. Regarding this phrase, Jerome commented around 400 AD, “No one should be offended by this, because ‘spirit’ in Hebrew is feminine, while in our language [Latin] it is masculine, and in Greek it is neuter. [Commentary on Isaiah 11]
In the Acts of Thomas, written around 200 CE, an invocation includes: “Come, compassionate Mother; come She that revealeth the hidden mysteries.” [2:27] Another prayer, referring to the Holy Spirit as the “Holy Dove”, invites “Come, hidden Mother.” [5:50] “We glorify and praise thee [Messiah], and thine invisible Father, and thine Holy Spirit, the Mother of all creation.” [3:39]
The Holy Spirit gives new birth to the Elect. The believers are ‘born again’ of the Heavenly Mother. The sons and daughters of God/dess are the assembly of believers. The New Testament epistles often speak of the fellowship of believers as ‘brethren’. The covenant members of the church or synagogue are spiritual brothers and sisters, born of the same spiritual Mother. The Greek word for ‘brethren’, adelphos, literally means “of the same womb” [delphos meaning ‘womb’].

Not the Goddesses of the Gentiles

The apostle Paul wrote that people give honor to many different gods and goddesses. [1 Corinthians 8:5-6] We acknowledge the same to be true today – adherents to a variety of religions worship many gods and goddesses. Although people worship “many gods and many lords”, for the People of the Covenant, there is only one true God – Elohim. Those whom the Scriptures call Gentiles24 generally worshipped other gods or goddesses. This means that they worship gods or goddesses that have been invented within their own imagination, or are misinterpretations of the true El and Eloah. Instead of worshiping the true Elohim, they worship gods and goddesses that were created within human minds. [Romans 1:25] Elohim consistently and plainly banned worship of Gentile gods and goddesses.
Contrary to modern pluralistic thinking, this means that there is a difference between Elohim and the gods and goddesses of other nations. Plainly said, Baal is not the same as Yahweh, just as Ashtoreth is not the same as Eloah25. Inanna, Isis and Lilith are not Eloah called by other names – they are truly “other gods”.
Throughout the history of Israel, the nation waxed and waned through cycles of the worship of “other gods”.

A major consideration in the discussion of the femininity of the Deity must be found in the many, many references to the "Spirit" of God. In Hebrew, the word is actually "Breath" and similar roots are present in both the Latin and Greek words used to translate it. In Hebrew, this "Breath" is most often mentioned using the feminine form of the word. There are those who proclaim that the Holy Ghost is the focus of femininity in the Trinity. The orthodox would argue that all members of the Trinity are equally male and female – indeed that they radically transcend the whole dynamic. A female Holy Ghost, however, receives further reinforcement from the "Wisdom" literature in the Old Testament. There, "Wisdom" is portrayed as lover and spouse of humanity. In Proverbs 5:17&f she is presented as: "the wife you married in your youth, fair as a hind, graceful as a fawn, Let hers be the company you keep, hers the breasts that ever fill you with delight, hers the love that ever holds you captive.” Indeed, the next verse reveals a very, very frequent theme of the prophets too, that turning from proper worship to false gods is adultery. Now if the "son" commits adultery when committing idolatry, then it stands to reason that God is the true wife!! Isaiah 54:6: "Yes, like a forsaken wife, distressed in spirit, / YHVH calls you back." This kind of rhetoric has led to the building of churches like Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom – now the great mosque of Istanbul). It has also led to the cult of Sophia as the Bride of God which is popular among neo Gnostic strains of Christian Esotericism. In Classic Gnosticism, Sophia is often the emanated entity who forgets the true source and engenders the demiurge!

Liberty of consciousness brings human liberty. In the great drama of Calvary, there is one fact that stands out very clearly; the men failed, the women did not. 


It is important to speak of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Reconciler, with a feminine pronoun. The functions of the Holy Spirit as characterized in Biblical texts are often, but not exclusively, those which have been associated with women: consolation, eschatological groaning in travail of childbirth, emotional warmth, and inspiration.



Clearly the ancient church traditions refer to the Holy Spirit in feminine rather than masculine terms. "Syriac theology (and sometimes Orthodox Theology) often regarded it as an archetype of femininity and hypostatic union

The Hebrew word for spirit (ruwach) is feminine. Furthermore, in the Old Testament the wisdom of God (Sophia) is portrayed as a female spirit (Proverbs, chaps. 8 and 9). Finally, in John's Gospel, the Holy Spirit which Jesus promises his disciples serves the feminine function of comforting and reassuring Christians whose faith is threatened by persecution. There is clear evidence that early Christians believed that the Holy Spirit was a female entity. The Gospel of the Nazarenes, used by Jewish-Christians in the post-apostolic age, contained a quotation of Jesus in which he speaks of "my mother, the Holy Spirit." The Acts of Thomas, a product of either early Syriac or Egyptian Christianity, includes hymns or liturgical prayers of invocation to the Holy Spirit addressed to "the compassionate mother ... the Feminine who reveals hidden mysteries ... and darling of the Most High's compassion. In the Gospel of Mani, we find a trinitarian doxology, derived from some ancient Christian group, which praises the power of the Father, the blessing of the Mother and the goodness of the Son.

What ultimately emerges from this conspectus is that, contrary to the generally held view, the religion of the Hebrews and the Jews ( including the first Christians ) was never without the feminine in its God-concept. At times, as in the Tahnudic and even more so in the post-Talmudic periods, the female element in the deity was pushed into the background. At others, as in the Biblical and again in the Kabbalistic eras, it occupied an important place in popular theology, occasionally even to the extent of overshadowing the male deity or the male component of the godhead. Only in the most recent times, after the Kabbalistic upsurge had subsided, was the female element eliminated from the God-concept among Reform, Conservative, and non-Hasidic Orthodox Jews,
 

July 22nd is the feast day of Mary Magdalene. The July full moon is known as The Full Black Moon. Mary Magdalene is revered in France as The Black Madonna. A dark moon is a time to seek the deepest mysteries, unbind oneself from unwanted limits, and release whatever delays you.

May we reflect the light of God's love out to the world, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, with a brilliant pearlescenct glow.

Joining back to the oneness of God will include acknowledging the Female side of God, the dark side of the moon. Appearances has it, that it looks as if there is only a half moon because the darkness renders that side invisible but the moon is always a full circle. Likewise, God is a Family God, a Father and a Mother figure, and that means, all women too are made in the image and likeness of God. The Balance scales will be equal one day, when man acknowledges the importance and value of women though a greater understanding and experience of God.

Jewish mystics and poets, modern and medieval, often perceive the Divine feminine outside the conventions and fears of the Jewish community. They may see the Goddess-and/or God-not only in text but in the trees and the sun and the moon, just as pagans do. They may see her as "dark womb of all," 1 as if She gave birth to the universe (a pagan image Genesis emphatically edited out). Many of us 2 find divinity not only in Jewish texts and prayers about the divine feminine, but in myths of goddesses as well. I too see God in these ways. I want to be a monotheist, but I also want to recognize the godliness in many images of feminine and masculine divinity, and not only those in Jewish text. I want not to edit my moments of contact with the Divine to get rid of any "pagan" influence. I want not to demonize goddess-imagery while thunder-god imagery rolls through the Hebrew Bible without comment or controversy. In short, I want not to be afraid of goddesses. That's why I love this text in the Zohar. 2. "It says in Deuteronomy, '"You shall not plant for yourselves an asherah or any kind of tree beside the altar of the Lord thy God which (asher) you shall make for yourselves." Are we to suppose that anywhere else it is permitted [to plant an Asherah]? [Of course not!] The truth is that the He' [the letter of God's name that represents the feminine Divine] is called Asherah, after the name of its spouse, Asher, and the meaning of the verse is therefore: "You shall not plant another Asherah by the side of the altar which is established upon this [Asherah]." Observe that throughout the Scriptures the worshippers of the sun are called servants of Baal and the worshippers of the moon servants of Asherah; hence the combination "to Baal and Asherah." If this is so (that Asherah is the name of the feminine aspect of God), why is it not used as a sacred name? The reason is that this name brings to mind the words of Leah, "happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy (ishruni)," but this one is not "called happy" by other nations, and another nation is set up in its place. It is written, "all that honored her despise her" (Lam. 1:8). But the real altar is one that is made of earth as it is written, "An altar of earth you shall make for me." That is why it says in Genesis, "dust from the earth." Zohar I, 49a The Jewish mysticism of the Zohar (a twelfth-century mystical document from Spain that influenced the course of all Jewish mysticism after it) is saturated with panentheism, the belief that God is both separate from and embodied in the natural world, i.e., that God "surrounds and fills" the universe. Even so, the passage that appears at the beginning of this article is so shocking that it is hard to decode. The Zohar quotes a classic text from Deuteronomy prohibiting pagan worship: "You shall not set up an asherah or any kind of tree, near the altar…" 3 An asherah, as most scholars agree, based upon excavations as well as other ancient references, is a pillar or tree representing the goddess Asherah. Stone inscriptions show that Israelites may once have worshipped Asherah, a goddess of love and fertility known as "She Who Walks on the Sea," as the female counterpart to the Israelite god we call Adonai. 4 References in Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:17 indicates that Israelite women worshipped the "queen of heaven" by baking cakes-this queen may have been Asherah. In general, the stamping out of Asherah-worship was one of the main concerns of the pure monotheists who established themselves as normative in the days of King Josiah and who are responsible for the composition, according to scholars, of much of the Torah. From those radical monotheists, Judaism evolved. We would expect, then, that all later Jewish references to Asherah would be negative, as indeed most of them are. Yet the Zohar, steeped in multiple personalized, sexualized, gendered images of the deity, chooses to read this passage in a radically different way. The Zohar writers do not equate Asherah with Lilith or another demonic figure, which would be an easy theological move. Instead, they reread the verse. It is not, they say, that the Torah wants to tell us not to plant an asherah by the altar because it is an idolatrous object. If the Torah had wanted to tell us that, it simply would have said: "Do not plant an asherah anywhere." Rather, the Torah wants to tell us that Asherah is a name for the Shekhinah, the feminine Divine presence, already at the altar. An extra Asherah image would be redundant. The Zohar proves this assertion by connecting the name Asherah to the word asher. Ordinarily, this word simply means the word "which." However, in Zohar-speak, many common Hebrew prepositions like asher and et are regarded as names for God. In this case, the Zohar reads Asher as a name for masculine divinity. The Zohar redefines the word Asherah as the feminine form of Asher: the Spouse of Asher, the Spouse of God. The verse now means, in the Zohar's reading, that we must not plant an asherah by the altar because Asherah already resides in the altar in the form of the Shekhinah. We do not need a pillar to remind us of Her. The Zohar does not choose to say that the goddess Asherah is evil or false and that worshipping her is a theological mistake. Rather, it says that the theological mistake would be to assume that Asherah (the tree) is separate from Shekhinah (the altar), when in fact they are one. The Zohar seems to be saying is that the object used to worship (i.e. the altar) God must be single rather than multiple, just as all the faces of the feminine and masculine Divine are ultimately unified. The Zohar then quotes a passage related to the biblical queen Jezebel's worship of other gods, and informs us that the priests of Baal and Asherah (male and female deities) are worshippers of the sun and moon. The sun and moon, the Zohar goes on, are really Tiferet and Malkhut, the Holy One (male divinity) and the Shekhinah (female divinity). Baal and Asherah worshippers, the very people whom the Torah rejects as the worst of pagans, are actually worshippers of the (legitimate) masculine and feminine Divine. The Zohar appears to be saying that pagans and Jews are worshipping the same aspects of divinity by different names. The next question, of course, is: If Asherah is simply the Shekhinah by another name, why is it forbidden to worship her? A standard answer one hears is that idolatry is really about separation-idolatrous practices separate the particular manifestations of God (e.g. the moon/Asherah or the sun/Baal) from the singular godhead, and sees them as different entities. Yet the Zohar does not take this easy approach. Instead, it comes up with a statement even more shocking than the first: The only reason we may not worship the Shekhinah as Asherah is that the name Asherah, as translated by the Zohar, means "happy." (The Zohar proves this by connecting the matriarch Leah, who herself is an image of feminine divinity in the mystical tradition to the root alef-shin-reish, which translates as "happy" or "fortunate.") The Shekhinah is in exile among the enemies of the Jewish people, and therefore we cannot call Her happy. That-not separation and not idolatry-is the error. The Zohar implies that we abstain from using the name Asherah, not out of theological exactness, but out of courtesy: we abstain in order to empathize with the pain of the Shekhinah. The unspoken implication of this is that in the world to come, when the Messiah has arrived, we will be able to call the Shekhinah Asherah. It is only in this imperfect world, where the Shekhinah is exiled, that we are banned from doing so.

ASHERAH Ta'Anith Esther (Israel) Themes: Kindness; Love; Divination; Foresight Symbols: Lion; Lilies; a Tree or Pole About Asherah: Asherah, a Canaanite Goddess of moral strength, offers to lend support and insight when we are faced with inequality or overwhelming odds. In art, she is often depicted simply as an upright post supporting the temple. This is a fitting representation, since her name means "straight."
Among the Hebrews' Phoenician neighbors, tall standing stone pillars signified the numinous presence of a deity, and the asherahs may have been a rustic reflection of these.


 MYRRH Myrrh Tree - [5-15 feet tall and 1 foot in diameter] Historical background and spiritual uses: Even before the baby Jesus received Myrrh as a gift, over 2000 years ago, Myrrh was one of the most desired and most sought after items in the world. It is mentioned in the Bible over 22 times and it was used as incense in religious rituals. It promotes spiritual awareness and is uplifting. Used in embalming, as a cure for cancer, leprosy, and syphilis. Myrrh, mixed with coriander and honey, was used to treat herpes. It was used as an anti-infectous, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent and as a tonic. Because of myrrh's various medicinal uses this gift represents Christ's human nature, the Suffering Savior, the Great Physician, and the Passion. Myrrh is an aromatic gum resin which oozes from gashes cut in the bark of a small desert tree known as Commifera Myrrha or the dindin tree. (The gashes are reminders of the wounds Christ received while being flogged by the Roman soldiers.) The myrrh hardens into tear-dropped shaped chunks and is then powdered or made into ointments or perfumes. Myrrh was an extremely valuable commodity during biblical times and was imported from India and Arabia. The Ishmaelite caravan which carried Joseph to slavery in Egypt also bore myrrh. When Israel sent his sons into Egypt for food he told them to take along some myrrh as a gift for the man in charge. Because myrrh was used in the embalming or anointing of the dead, it came to represent mortality, suffering and sorrow. The Israelites used perfumed ointments of myrrh in their funeral preparations to postpone the decay and alleviate the odors of the deceased. Although less than one pound was normally used in Israelite funerary preparations, Nicodemus brought "a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds" to prepare Jesus's body for burial. Other people burned myrrh as an incense during cremations. The Phoenix was said to build its funeral pyre out of myrrh, frankincense, and other spices. Myrrh has many medicinal uses. In ancient times it was used for cleaning wounds and sores. As late as the 19th century it was given as a treatment for worms, coughs, colds, sore throats, asthma, indigestion, bad breath, gum disease, and gonorrhea. In Pilgrim's Progress, a bundle of myrrh was used to keep Mercy from fainting. Too much myrrh can make one violently sick. Until the invention of morphine and other modern painkillers, myrrh was a common analgesic. In ancient times it was often mixed with wine to make the drink more potent. As was the custom among the Jews, Christ was offered 'wine mingled with myrrh'; to ease the pains of the cross. However, He refused to drink it. Myrrh is named for its bitter taste which, along with its funerary uses, has caused it to be associated with the bitter things of life. St. Cyril applied the bittersweetness of the Passion to Solomon's verse, "I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk." Myrrh has been associated with bitter repentance, mortification of the flesh, and penance. According to Aquinas, myrrh and aloes, by their bitterness, their pleasant perfume, and their preserving qualities, represent the penance by which we preserve our souls from the corruption of sin and the pleasing odor of a good report rising before God. Fingers dripping with myrrh on the handles of a lock are an image of the ability of bitter repentance to unlock the doors of the hardened heart to Christ. During biblical times myrrh was used in expensive perfumes. It was used in powdered form to perfume garments and beds and to make sachets which were worn between the breasts. In liquid form it was used as an Anointing oil or to perfume men's beards. Myrrh was associated with lovemaking and was sometimes used to anoint the door-posts of the bridegroom's house when his bride was delivered to him. Esther received a six month long beauty treatment with oil of myrrh before she was brought in to King Ahasuerus. A woman who had been a great sinner showed her repentance and love of Christ by Anointing his feet with a fragrant oil of myrrh and drying them with her hair. Jesus took this opportunity to point out that those who are forgiven much, love their redeemer more than those who are forgiven little. [Luke 7:36-50] The psalmist portrays Christ as a king upon His wedding day being clothed in garments "scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia." [Psa 45:8] John Wesley believed that these perfumed garments represented the "sweet smelling virtues" of Christ as He walked upon this earth. [Wesley's Notes on the Bible] Augustine wrote that "by His garments are meant His Saints, His elect, His whole Church" which are attracted to Christ by this same sweet savor of peace and virtue. [Expositions on the Book of Psalms] Song 3:6 asks, "Who is this coming out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the merchant's fragrant powders?" Matthew Henry answers that this is the bride of the king who was formerly thought ugly and of little account by the daughters of Jerusalem. She comes forth now 'perfumed with myrrh and frankincense' representative of the sweet fruits of the Holy Spirit. The bride thus accompanied by pillars of sweet incense is a symbol of the Israelites as they approached the Promised land guided by a pillar of smoke. She is also an image of the Church as Christ's Bride sweetly scented with the odors of Christian virtue, righteousness, prayer, and praise approaching her eternal Bridegroom and of 'Jesus returning from the wilderness full of the Holy Ghost.' Insects and vultures are said to be repelled by the burning of myrrh. So also the sweet odor of the Gospel of Christ, which dripped from His lips like liquid myrrh, is an aroma which is pleasing to those willing to be saved but repulsive to those who refuse His offer of peace. So also are the preachers of the Gospel compared to the myrrh-like fragrance of Christ which is to the repentant the "aroma of life to life" and to the wicked the "aroma of death to death." [2 Cor 2:14-16] Wisdom also is said to have a "pleasant odour like the best myrrh..." [Sirach 24:15] When burned as incense, myrrh is a symbol of prayers rising to heaven. Liquid myrrh was used in the making of the holy Anointing oil for the Anointing of the priests and the articles of the Tabernacle. It was forbidden to use this recipe which God gave to Moses for any secular purpose. [Ex 30:23-32] Because myrrh (which is bitter) and frankincense which is sweet) were used in the Temple, Mount Moriah (upon which it stood) was poetically referred to as the "mountain of myrrh" and the "hill of frankincense." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FRANKINCENSE Tree Gum Frankincense was one of the gifts of the Magi. Tradition says that it was presented to the Christ Child by Balthasar, the black king from Ethiopia or Saba, thus fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy that gold and frankincense would be brought from the Gentiles to honor the heavenly king. Frankincense was the purest incense. When burned it produced a white smoke which symbolized the prayers and praises of the faithful ascending to heaven. Because the ancients often burned frankincense during religious rituals, this gift symbolizes sacrifice, Christ's divinity, His sweet savor, and His priestly role. It is also a symbol of the Divine name of God. Frankincense is a sweet smelling gum resin derived from certain Boswellia trees which, at the time of Christ, grew in Arabia, India, and Ethiopia. The frankincense trade was at its height during the days of the Roman Empire. At that time this resin was considered as valuable as gems or precious metals. The Romans burned frankincense on their altars and at cremations. The mythical Phoenix bird was thought to build its funeral pyre out of frankincense and myrrh. The Israelites also used this popular incense. Pillars of frankincense's white smoke, accompanying the Bride as she exits the wilderness, represent the pillar of smoke which led the Israelites to the Promised Land, the sweet savor of Christ, the praises and graces of the Christian Church, and the Holy Spirit accompanying Christ as He returns from His testing in the desert. Frankincense was an ingredient in the sacred incense and holy anointing oil of the Israelites. [Ex 30:34-38] It was burnt with almost every sacrifice offered in Jerusalem's temple. Salt was added to the mixture to produce a fine white smoke. Since frankincense denoted something pleasing and acceptable to God, it was not presented with certain sin or jealousy offerings. A memorial portion of the sacred incense was placed in two gold bowls on a table in the temple on which was placed the twelve loaves known as the bread of the Presence or showbread. This incense was burnt at the end of each week when fresh loaves came to replace the old ones. Wisdom was said to give forth a sweet smell like "the fume of frankincense in the tabernacle." [Sirach 24:15; see also Sirach 39:14] Because of the sweet smells which accompanied the Temple sacrifices, Mount Moriah was called the mountain of myrrh and frankincense. Because he highly prized them, Solomon poetically referred to his beloved's breasts as "the mountain of myrrh" and "the hill of frankincense." [Song 4:6] Some commentators believe the sweet "hill of frankincense" symbolizes Calvary while the bitter "mountain of myrrh" represents the garden tomb. [Jamieson, Fausset, Brown] The combination of myrrh and frankincense found in the Temple represents the bittersweet nature of repentance. Frankincense was associated with prayers and burned on pagan altars in Rome, Persia, Babylon, and Assyria. It was also used in purification ceremonies. Nero burned it by the ton. In ancient Babylon one thousand talents of frankincense was burnt on the altar of Bel during his annual feast. Romans burnt this resin in their homes and on state occasions. Large quantities were burnt along the routes of the Roman triumphs or victory parades. The ancients mixed frankincense with wine and myrrh to create a "strong drink" which eased the pains of the dying, the bitter, and the condemned. [Prov 31:6] In China frankincense was thought to be a treatment for leprosy. Pliny recommended it as an antidote to poison. It was made into perfumes by many peoples. Egyptians used frankincense to make cosmetics, embalm dead bodies, and provide an aromatic warmth on the braziers of their homes in chilly weather. Today frankincense is burnt during church services and funerals to show respect for whatever is symbolized by the objects incensed. (For example - the deceased or an altar.) There are over 52 references to Frankincense in the Bible.

Knowing Nature you know Sophia for She is your Nature. Hence we each are Sophia incarnate for it is She that takes residence as our inner Soul, which is the reason the genitals of women fold inward.they direct us to the Truth.
 

The fish symbol has been used for millennia worldwide as a religious symbol associated with the Great Mother Goddess. It is the outline of her vulva. The fish symbol was often drawn by overlapping two very thin crescent moons. One represented the crescent shortly before the new moon; the other shortly after, when the moon is just visible. The Moon is the heavenly body that has long been associated with the Goddess, just as the sun is a symbol of the God. The link between the Goddess and fish was found in various areas of the ancient world:


The Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple represented the womb. In the Holy of Holies was kept the Ark of the Covenant. Upon the Ark were the Mercy Seat and the two Covering and Annonting Cherbums. The image found in the gospel of Matthew of both Marys standing on either side of the tomb represents the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant, where Christ lay being the mercy seat, and both Marys being angels of the first degree. Likewise, the twin pillars of strength and beauty that stand at the door of the Holy Place are properly female.
The temple of Jerusalem was simultaneously dedicated to Yahweh and to the Queen of Heaven.

The Church preaches her as the Mystical Ark of the Convenant, in whom the Mysteries [Sacramenta] of our reconciliation have achieved their goal [impleta sunt]. When God looks upon her, He will remember His covenant and be mindful of His mercy.
The Church, instructed by the Magisterium of the Holy Spirit, has always professed with filial devotion and affection that Mary is recognized most appropriately as Queen of Heaven and Earth

The Holy Spirit acts only by the Immaculata, his Spouse. This is why she is Mediatrix of all graces given by the Holy Spirit

The anointing is supposed to be symbolic of 'lubrication' - an allusion to the phallic power of kingship. Furthermore, it is interesting that the Jewish law and custom of the time demanded that only a wife was allowed to perform this ceremony.

Hymen: Veil of the Temple; the anatomical definition descended from a concept of the vagina as a sanctuary of Aphrodite, virgin Goddess presiding over defloration. The veil of her temple was 'rent in the midst' (Luke 23:45) by the Passion of her doomed Bridegroom, at the moment when he entered her chthonian womb, and the sun (male principle) was darkened. Hymenaeus was the son of Dionysus and Aphrodite, and was worshiped as the god of weddings. His name is the root of the modern word hymen, because of the ritual connection of the wedding and a woman's loss of virginity. Also known as HYMENAIOS, HYMEN HYMENAEUS: God of Weddings and Getting Married. He's in charge of the wedding procession, the marriage feast,

 

 


The Shekinah, in the everyday tradition of Judaism, denotes the presence of God - the name is derived from the Hebrew word meaning 'to dwell'. She is the dwelling place of God, his presence, and she shines in glory. Although her name is feminine, most mainstream rabbis did not stress this but often identified the community of Israel with her. Sometimes she was understood as God's Holy Spirit. However, in the strong mystical - and for a very long time, secret - tradition within Judaism, named the Kabbalah, the Shekinah assumes her divine female form. She is the central presence in the Tree of Life, she is partner to God, and is the channel of His glory; She is in direct line with ancient Hebrew goddesses. She was understood to be a personified female, she accompanied the dispossessed Jews and mourned with them in their troubles and persecutions, and she is believed to be an intermediary between God and the world. There are many similarities between her and descriptions of Wisdom.


The relation of the Holy Spirit to the Father and Son is not precisely defined in the New Testament. The first Christians were plainly more concerned with God's presence among them than with meticulous theological formulations. Later Church councils defined the Holy Spirit as the third person of the triune God. There is no distinct term for spirit in the languages of the Bible;Recognizing that the renewal of God's people could come only from God, the prophets came to look for a general outpouring of his spirit (Isa- 32.15)- In no case is the fulfillment of this hope ascribed to the mediation of an expected messianic king; but in the portrayal of this figure in the prophecy of *Isaiah, he is to be the permanent bearer of the spirit (Isa. ii.2; 6i.i)-perhaps in contrast to the charismatic leaders of Israel, such as Saul, from whom the spirit departed. The distinctive mark of the messianic era will be the bestowal of God's spirit on all, high and low, old and young, male and female (Joel 2.28). The designation "holy spirit" occurs only in Psalm 51-1 i and Isaiah 63-10-11- The New Testament announces the fulfillment of the eschatological hope of the spirit proclaimed by the prophets. Two elements are emphasized: the coming of the one who is the permanent bearer of the spirit and the outpouring of'the spirit on "all flesh"; and both are linked. Jesus is identified as the promised one on whom the Spirit will remain (John 1-33). This identification took place at his baptism by the visible descent of the Holy Spirit on him in the form of a dove. The story need not imply that the association of the Spirit with Jesus began at his baptism and that he was at that moment adopted as Son of God; John especially saw in the baptism of Jesus the epiphany of the preexisting Son (John 1.'29-34), the one in whom the prophetic hope was fulfilled. According to Luke (4-16-21), Jesus explicitly claimed this identity in his sermon at Nazareth; and it is indicated in the nativity stories, where the emphasis is on the conception by the Holy Spirit rather than on the virginity of Mary (Matt. 1.18; Luke 1.35).


Jesus left to prepare our place in heaven; The Spirit has come to empower us to continue freeing the hearts of others.

The name which best communicates the reality of the Spirit’s relationship to Christians is simply "Mother" because those who know the Spirit know her as the Mother. Those who experience the Trinity in their hearts know that "a family must be complete. We must have a Father, Mother, and Spouse." God [Christ] is even our dear husband, his Father is our dear Father, and the Holy Spirit is our dear Mother, The family-idea, the oldest, the simplest, the most respectable, the most endearing idea among all human ideas, and which is the true biblical idea. This is language that even a child can comprehend. It is the best language to communicate spiritual reality for all people because it does not depend on abstract reasoning or speculation on unfathomable realities.

Certainly one is "born" of a female, not of a male. That is the most potent oversight of the patriarchs & points clearly to the femininity of the Holy Spirit.

The word for "dove" in Greek is peristera, and it carries the feminine gender. ...

The Gospel to the Hebrews likewise has Jesus speak of 'my Mother, the Spirit.' In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus contrasts his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, with his divine Father—the Father of Truth—and his divine Mother, the Holy Spirit... According to the Gospel of Philip, whoever becomes a Christian gains 'both father and mother' for the Spirit (ruah) is 'Mother of many.' ... Besides being the 'first universal creator,' who brings forth all creatures, she also enlightens human beings and makes them wise."

"If the experiences of the Holy Spirit are grasped as being a ‘rebirth’ or a ‘being born anew’, this suggests an image for the Holy Spirit which was quite familiar in the early years of Christianity, especially in Syria, but got lost in the patriarchal empire of Rome: the image of the mother. If believers are ‘born’ of the Holy Spirit, then we have to think of the Spirit as the ‘mother’ of believers, and in this sense as a feminine Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, as the Gospel of John understands the Paraclete to be, then she comforts ‘as a mother comforts’ [cf.. John 14.26 with Isa 66.13). In this case the Spirit is the motherly comforter of her children. Linguistically this brings out the feminine form of Yahweh’s ruach in Hebrew. Spirit is feminine in Hebrew, neuter in Greek, and masculine in Latin and German."
Jurgen Moltmann, The Source of Life (1997) p. 35

There are more pages in the Hebrew scriptures about Sophia than about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Solomon, Isaiah, Sarah, Miriam, Adam, or Noah. But we do not know her. Churches and synagogues insure that children can recite the storeis of Aaron or Joseph, but they never even allude to Sophia. Literature classes in schools and colleges examine the epics of Abraham or Solomon or even the story of Ruth, but Sophia, who stands taller than any of them, is ignored.

Sophia, then, is an eternal Being, which before all creatures, with the Holy Trinity, is eternal, and remains forever in eternity. She is above all the Angels; the eternal wisdom has her root alone in the Godhead itself, and through her Being it reveals itself. Sophia is not a Person outside the Trinity; the spirit of Jesus and the spirit of Sophia are not separate. The eternal Sophia urges men through being reborn to return to completeness in Paradise, to which she will lead them. Sophia leads man back to the wholeness of Paradise. As Wisdom consubtantials with Christ, Sophia is the breath of the spirit within the Scriptures; and we come into contact with her only after we have undergone metanoia. No one is permitted to make the error through reasoning that another were to have written the testimonies found in Scriptures. Since above, one must remember, the spirit of Wisdom and the spirit of Jesus are essentially one, so one comes to one by what was said by the other; and no one may try to separate them. But one ought not to rely only on the letter of the Scripture, for "Wisdom ought not be sought only in letter; and hence not only in written works, without effective struggle and prayer in oneself. One ought not gape after things outside oneself, but rather look toward the inward ground, for there she is first glimpsed, where the will is descended and sunken in her. This looking within brings about the metanoia, or inward regeneration

Pentecost is second only to Calvary in importance to the Christian, for Pentecost is the complement of Calvary. Without Pentecost, Calvary would have been ineffective to redeem lost mankind. It required the dynamic of the Spirit as well as the sacrifice of the Saviour to bring the benefits of salvation to a waiting world, for all Christian experience revolves around the twin centres of Calvary and Pentecost. Calvary opened the fountain from which all the blessings of Pentecost flowed. Pentecost made available to men all that Calvary made possible.

Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, 0 men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, ... and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. ... I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. ... When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men... Now therefore hearken unto me, 0 ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways... For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.


Advocate/Paraclete. "The term occurs in one of the fullest descriptions of the nature and function of the Holy Spirit and is therefore more important than its limited use would suggest. If John was the last gospel written, as was suggested early by Clement of Alexandria (150-215 C.E.), then it is not surprising to find there a fuller expression of the nature of the spirit than was usually present in the OT or the synoptic Gospels (including Acts). In the Gospel and Letters of John, the spirit is described as being sent from the father to be in and with the believers, teaching them, and reminding them of Jesus’ words and deeds (John 14:15-26). The paraclete is identified with Christ (1 John 2:1) and with the spirit (John 14:26), is said to proceed from the father as “the spirit of truth,”

Paraclete comes from the Koine Greek word παράκλητος (paráklētos, that can signify "one who consoles or comforts, one who encourages or uplifts; hence refreshes, and/or one who intercedes on our behalf as an advocate in court").[1] The word for "Paraclete" is passive in form, and etymologically (originally) signified "called to one's side". The active form of the word, parakletor, is not found in the New Testament but is found in Septuagint in Job 16:2 in the plural, and means "comforters", in the saying of Job regarding the "miserable comforters" who failed to rekindle his spirit in his time of distress.

In the New Testament the word seems to appear only in Johannine writings. 'Paraclete' appears in the New Testament in the Gospel of John (14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7) where it may be translated in English as "counselor", "helper", encourager, advocate, or "comforter".[8] The early church identified the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5,1:8,2:4,2:38) and Christians continue to use Paraclete as a title for the Spirit of God. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5 v. 4 Jesus Christ uses the verb παρακληθήσονται, paraclethesontai, traditionally interpreted to signify "to be refreshed, encouraged, or comforted". The text may also be translated as vocative as well as the traditional nominative.[9] Then the meaning of 'paraclethesontai', also informative of the meaning of the name, or noun Paraclete, implicates 'are going to summon' or 'will be breaking off'... The Paraclete may thus mean 'the summoner' or 'the one, who, or that which makes free.

There are two popular spellings of this word, the one parakletos and the other periklytos. Jesus did not use the word Periklytos, but Paracletos/Parakletos as the following citations demonstrate:

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (allon parakleton) to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17

"But the Counselor (de parakletos), the Holy Spirit (pneuma to hagion), whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26

"When the Counselor (ho parakletos) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me." John 15:26

"But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor (ho parakletos) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." John 16:7
 

Furthermore, there is a noun that is related to the word Parakletos, namely paraklesis, that means comfort, consolation, exhortation, and entreaty. It is used on 29 occasions and is translated as "comfort" 20 times.

The verbal form, parakaleo, meaning "to beseech, call for, comfort, desire, exhort, and entreat" is used 107 times and was translated 24 times as to comfort.

The following NT citation helps us see the possible range of meaning these terms have depending upon the context:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort (paraklesis), who comforts (parakaleo) us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort (parakaleo) those in any trouble with the comfort (paraklesis) with which we ourselves are comforted (parakaleo) of God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

It is quite obvious that within this particular context that the only plausible meaning of these two words are "comfort" and "comforter". This point will become essential later on in our rebuttal since this helps us to see that Paracletos, and these other related terms, can have different meanings in different contexts.

As is the case in most pieces of literature, it is dangerous to read any verse or phrase without looking at the context first.

In these four verses, the word "comforter" is translated from the word "Paraclete" ("Ho Parakletos" in Greek). Parakletos in Greek is interpreted as "an advocate", one who pleads the cause of another, one who councils or advises another from deep concern for the other's welfare (Beacon Bible commentary volume VII, p.168). In these verses we are told that once Jesus (pbuh) departs, a Paraclete will come. He will glorify Jesus (pbuh), and he will guide mankind into all truth. This "Paraclete" is identified in John 14:26 as the Holy Ghost.

It must be pointed out that the original Greek manuscripts speak of a "Holy pneuma." The word pneuma {pnyoo'-mah} is the Greek root word for "spirit." There is no separate word for "Ghost" in the Greek manuscripts, of which there are claimed to be over 24,000 today. The translators of the King James Version of the Bible translate this word as "Ghost" to convey their own personal understanding of the text. However, a more accurate translation is "Holy Spirit." More faithful and recent translations of the Bible, such as the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), do indeed now translate it as "Holy Spirit." This is significant, and will be expounded upon shortly.

All Bibles in existence today are compiled from "ancient manuscripts," the most ancient of which being those of the fourth century C.E. Any scholar of the Bible will tell us that no two ancient manuscripts are exactly identical. All Bibles in our possession today are the result of extensive cutting and pasting from these various manuscripts with no single one being the definitive reference.
 

Greek has a complex system of genderizing nouns as male, female or neuter, like German. The noun parakletos is male, while the noun holy spirit is neuter. In European languages it is perfectly understandable to refer to synonyms by their gender, ie in French you have the ‘sea’ which is female, and ‘ocean’ which is male. All pronouns in Greek must agree in gender with the word to which they refer and the pronoun “he” is used when referring to the parakletos. The NT uses the word pneuma, which means “breath” or “spirit,” the Greek equivalent of ruah, the Hebrew word for “spirit” used in the OT. Pneuma is a grammatically neutral word and is always represented by the pronoun “it.”

John 14:26 is the only verse of the Bible which associates the Parakletos with the Holy Spirit. The word parakletos is peculiar in the NT to the Johnannine literature.

The author of John was a Greek master of literature. The "comforter" is a euphemism - a figure of Greek speech and rhetoric. It is a literary device used to defamiliarize the concept of the Holy Spirit; to awaken the reader to look at the concept afresh.

What the translators of the Bible have done when presented with such discrepancies is to do their best to choose the correct version. In other words, since they can not know which "ancient manuscript" is the correct one, they must do a little detective work on the text in order to decide which "version" of a given verse to accept. John 14:26 is just such an example of such selection techniques.

Does the Holy Spirit "speak" or "inspire": The Greek word translated as "hear" in the Biblical verses ("whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak") is the Greek word "akouo" {ak-oo'-o} meaning to perceive sounds. It has, for instance, given us the word "acoustics," the science of sounds. Similarly the verb "to speak" is the Greek verb "laleo" {lal-eh'-o} which has the general meaning "to emit sounds" and the specific meaning "to speak." When we look for the meaning of a word we go to the Semitic source not Greek, and the Hebrew word which is underneath the text of the Greek is "Shma" which actually means to establish something in ones heart by listening and understanding that can only be brought from above. Everyone has an ear but not everyone can understand unless that understanding is granted and the one of the things the Ruach Kadosh (Holy Spirit) does is bring understanding of things in our life.

Furthermore, II Isaiah has many references to the comforting of Israel, so the "comforter" ideology was already prevelent in Isaiah-influenced Jewish thought. The oldest Isaiah manuscript carbon-dates to 200BC. Furthermore, Paul elaborates on Isaiah's comforting in his writings, and these were all written before John's gospel.

Read carefully what the text says, the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because she lives inside you. Ruach Kadosh is the feminine side of Yahweh not masculine. There is the Father the Mother the mama or Ema and the Son. Totally nonsensical hellanistic philosophy of those people who do not know Hebrew culture and thought or the Bible to equate two He's with a one Son when it is perfectly clear to be a family of three.

We must remind ourselves that Christian theology does not believe God to be a person. It believes Him to be such that in Him a trinity of persons is consistent with a unity of Deity.

But, the reader may be wondering, what about Yahweh? Isn't he God the Father? No, "He" isn't, though that is a common misconception. Yahweh is the common mispronunciation of the Ineffable Name given to Moses, YHVH. YHVH is not the Father God, but represents the whole Godhead. El is but one aspect of that Godhead, the chief aspect, the Y. Sometimes he is called Yah, from the YH (first two letters of the tetragrammaton), but that's a rare name for him, hard to find although many mystical Jews today worship him as Yah.

El's Bride, or Consort, Asherah can be seen as the early form of the Goddess, the first H. His Foster-Son, Ba'al, can be seen as the early form of the Son God, the V, who later incarnated as Yeshua. [Again, remember that Ba'al was not necessarily a "fake" or "bad" because the prophets of El beat Ba'al's prophets - they had to beat Ba'al's prophets, because El was the King of the pantheon]. Finally, Ba'al's Sister-Consort, Anat, can be seen as the early form of the Daughter Goddess, the second H. Many similarities exist between the old Canaanite pantheon and the Judeo-Christian pantheon, and fragments of the old worship still exist today. Shekinah is the evolved form of Asherah, just as Matronit contains remnants of Anat. Yeshua does share similarities with Ba'al, including His subordinance to the Father, El, and the fact that he was killed and resurrected in Springtime.

To conclude, El has always been in Judeo-Christianity, but He existed long before that. He was known as El to all three of the patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - and to the twelve sons of Jacob. He was known to the Jews in captivity in Egypt, and to Moses who came to meet the full Godhead - YHVH - on the mountain. And now, El in His original form is known to us today, as the distant but still caring Chief of our Godhead. And we still speak to Him through our Mediatrix - who was known as Asherah to all six of the Israelite matriarchs - Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, and Zilpah - and to Dinah their daughter. Asherah was certainly known to the Jews in captivity in Egypt, and later evolved into Shekinah. Asherah in Her original form is known to us today in yet another incarnation, the form of Mary, our Mediatrix, who takes our prayers before El, King of the Gods.

Since we know the Ruach to be a conscious, living bein g, the manifested power of YHWH capable of leading us, guiding us, and of instructing and teaching us in the Way of all truth; Yochanan 14:26, Luka 12;12; we can determine from the tense of the Hebrew and Aramaic words that the Ruach HaKadosh is feminine tense, and therefore, “female in gender.

Yahushua is the Paraclete (Advocate) in Heaven while the Ruach Kadosh unseen (Holy Spirit) mother or mama is the "helper" or in Hebrew Ezer for us in the earth. It is the mum or mother figure to teach the children at home. The Father is the overpowering figure and the mother is the opposition or balancer at home. The mother in the Bible is described as chokmah (wisdom) spoken of in proverbs 8:1.

Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom [motherly figure] cry out, and understanding lift up her voice?

There is absolutely no contradiction or selective translation. The idea of "Parakletos" mentioned in 1 John 1:2 is also correct since Yahushua is also our advocate in heaven.

The text is clear that the world cannot receive what they cannot see but the Holy Spirit dwells in you meaning that since the Christians or all those who receive the words of Yahushua they also receive the Ruach Kadosh.

This point is entirely lost in the Greek which has no feminine tense for spirit, but only a neuter tense, which is why “Spirit” is always presented as a “He” in the Greek (neuter words are given male attributes in translation), which error has been erroneously transferred over into the English. In the Aramaic the word for Spirit is Feminine as well with the word Ruacha, confirming the Hebrew understanding of the word Ruaah.
In Western Christian tradition Adam and Eve were created in every sense equal, however, Eve became subject to Adam due to the fall. Also in the Western Christian tradition, Christ is a new Adam and Mary a new Eve. If as 'born again'Christians we are to conform to the image of Christ, then are not we called to live in the manner of a new Adam? Would not this mean that we are called again into a condition of equity and equality with the new Eve? Would not this paradisal state be ordained by God, as it was in the beginning?(Matt 10:6) If this is so, then are we not required by Christian conviction to admit a Divine decree of gender equality in the heavens? Does not nature teach us the same? Surely, St. Clare was right to teach the equality of the brothers and sisters in all.

Clearly, for a time in early Christian worship, the Holy Spirit was imaged in feminine terms (symbolized, as it would be later as well, by a dove), and was sometimes referred to as the divine Mother; which mirrors the cultural and biological role of women is seen in the use of bird imagery in the Scriptures. Here God's concern for humanity is expressed in imagery that possibly is drawn from the representation of female goddesses with sheltering wings. The people of Palestine associated El with the title Ia-hu; hence, "Jehovah". Ia-hu , translated "Exalted Dove", seems to have been associated with the Cyprus Dove Goddess; and is the preform of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. However, over time, the Holy Spirit was conceived rather in more general and impersonal terms as a mysterious and numinous power, whose intensity seemed to have radically diminished as time grew more distant from the generation of the first apostles, and whose continuing presence, activity, and authority were lodged chiefly in the institutional Church.


Having become aware of this previously hidden mystery of Eloah, many will wonder about their own personal relationship to Her. The Scriptures naturally provide guidance in this regard.
It is appropriate to pray to Eloah. For example, Job wrote: “My desire is that Shaddai would answer me.” [Job 31:35] “Oh that I might have my request, and that Eloah would grant me the thing that I long for!” [Job 6:8] “He will pray to Eloah who has restored him to favor.” [Job 33:26] “I shall say to Eloah, ‘Do not condemn me; tell me what Your case is against me.” [Job 10:2] My friends scorn me, and my eyes pour out tears unto Eloah. [Job 16:20] “I want to speak to Shaddai; I wish to argue my case in front of El.” [Job 13:3] “Seek El, and plead with Shaddai.” [Job 8:5] “[The Wicked say] ‘What is the point of serving Shaddai? What shall we gain from praying to Her?’” [Job 21:15] “Then Shaddai will be all your delight, and you shall lift your face to Eloah. You will pray and She will hear.” [Job 22:26-27] “I am one who calls on Eloah and expects an answer.” [Job 12:4]
Attributes of the Goddess are signified through Her titles. She is El Shaddai, having many comforting, nourishing spiritual breasts. All who desire can come to Her and suckle and find security and sustenance, just as children, regardless of gender, find comfort at their mother’s breasts. "The Divine power, though exalted far above our nature and inaccessible to all approach, like a tender Mother who joins in the inarticulate utterances of Her babe, gives to our human nature what it is capable of receiving; and thus in the various manifestations of God to humanity, God both adapts to humanity and speaks in human language." [Gregory of Nyssa, late 4th century] The Ruach ha Kodesh [Holy Spirit] trait of Goddess is associated with the breath. The word ruach means ‘breath’ or ‘wind’. We can deliberately increase our breath when we like, or stifle it at will. In a like manner, we can willfully influence the degree to which we fellowship with the Ruach ha Kodesh, or Holy Spirit – and we can also suppress the degree of communion with Her. As breath or wind is normally only noticed when it is in motion, it is common for people to only notice the Holy Spirit when She is moving. When She is still, She cannot be perceived.


The Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia or Holy Wisdom is the mother church of all Eastern Christians of the Byzantine liturgical tradition both Orthodox and Greek Catholic. Early accounts suggest that the site of this, the grandest church in Christendom, in the first millennium had been the site of a pagan temple appropriated for the service of the new religion. Hagia Sophia underwent two phases of construction before attaining its present state. Documents indicate that the first Hagia Sophia was built by Emperor Constantius, son of Emperor Constantinos I, and was opened for services in 360 AD. Although very little is known about this church, it is assumed that it was a basilica-type structure with a rectangular floor plan, circular apse and timbered roof. It was similar to St.Studios, a basilica in Istanbul, the ruins of which still exist. Ancient sources emphasize that the eastern wall was circular. Constantius donated gold and silver as well as religious objects to his church, but these were vandalized by Arians during the Council of 381 AD.

Hagia Sophia was first named "Megale Ekklesia" (The Great Church) as it was the largest church in Constantinople. The historian Socrates indicated that the church was named Sophia during the reign of Emperor Constantius. The name given to the church symbolized the second divine attribute of the Holy Trinity. Originally, Sophia, which means "Holy Wisdom", was a name given to Christ by 4th century theologians. Both names, Megale Ekklesia and Hagia Sophia are used today.


This approach to the Trinity is very old. Some early Christians did in fact countenance the Spirit as Mother. For example, both Origen and Jerome
favorably quoted a passage from a second-century Jewish Christian Gospel (the Gospel of the Hebrews) in which Jesus referred to the
Holy Spirit as his Mother. Up until the fifth century, the Syriac church used the feminine pronoun of the Holy Spirit, regarding her as
"our Mother." The idea of a Father-Mother-Son Trinity was popular enough in the fifth century to draw the criticism of Augustine (De
Trinitate XII.5).

However, the sacred feminine ideal in the early church was not limited to Motherhood. For example, Methodius of Olympus (260 - 312
C.E.) explored Paul's image of the Spirit-indwelled Church as the Bride of Christ, comparing the relationship of Christ and the Spirit with the relationship of Adam and Eve. Using biblical terms, we can actually use sacred feminine language of each of the three "persons" of the Trinity. For example, we can say that the feminine divine is God as Mother and God (Wisdom)-in-Christ, as well as the indwelling God (the Spirit). This expanded Trinitarian formula images each of the three "persons" using feminine metaphors that actually complement masculine metaphors like "Father" and "Son."

Why can't more churches incorporate these biblical terms into their liturgies and worship? Wouldn't it help to restore the rightful place
of women as equal partners with men in the task of building up the Church? Wouldn't it also signal a willingness to consider seriously
the criticism that churches have historically suppressed women? This approach to the divine feminine also holds promise for addressing another difficult Trinitarian question: The humanity and divinity of Christ. Some oversimplify the issue by depicting the divinity of Christ as a doctrine of fourth-century political expedience. But the problem goes deeper than that, since Christ was considered divine long before the fourth-century Council of Nicea. A more profound problem, at least for Christians, is how to recover an appreciation for the humanity of Christ without denying his divinity.

The question is particularly poignant since the Church Councils articulated their ideas in the philosophical language of their day
(neoplatonism), and the ideas and terms they used are all outmoded. Posing the question afresh, what does it mean to say that Jesus was
"human"? The humanity of Jesus is emphasized most vividly by the contention that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. A fully human Jesus could very well have married and fathered children. That many Christians are troubled by the thought arguably reveals a deep-seated reluctance to think of him as truly human.

Nevertheless, again, there are more substantial considerations that force the question of Jesus' humanity even more acutely.
How could a divine being -- the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator of all things, "become" truly human? If "humanity" isn't just
a "substance" but a collection of experiences of uncertainty, limitation, and mortality, how could a divine Jesus truly have been
"human"? Could Jesus have been imperfect? Wrong about anything? Uncertain? If not, he could hardly have been human. And in actual fact, there is a strong tradition in the New Testament that Jesus was human in those very ways. For example, Jesus "grew in wisdom" (Luke 2:52) and "learned obedience" (Hebrews 5:8). He admitted when he was wrong, as illustrated by his encounter with the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-29). But if Jesus was that authentically human, how could he also have been the very incarnation of God?

One compelling answer is, again, that what Jesus incarnated in his life was the Word or Wisdom of God -- that is, the personification of
God's own character. That which was "pre-existent" in Christ was God's Wisdom.

To put the question differently, when John 1:14 states that "the Word became flesh," should we propose that Jesus became flesh, or that the
Word became Jesus? Many Christians tend toward the former notion, but that makes it much more difficult to think of him as truly human. The
latter interpretation, however, could very well accentuate Jesus' humanity. A fully human Jesus who incarnated the very character and love of God could still suffer as we do and sympathize with us, And why do we neglect the fact that the Church of Christ is the 'elect lady'; Heavenly Jerusalem, the 'bride' (Rev 22:17) of the 'bridegroom' which is Christ? Would not the Spirit within the Church and the Spirit within God's people be The same Spirit? And would not this be the Holy Spirit? If God's Wisdom, Kingdom, and People are expressed as female, it can be seen that the Holy Spirit; from which we are spiritually born, is also best represented as a ' female aspect' within the trinity symbol of the Godhead (John 3:6).

In Iranian Sufism, Sophia is Perfect Nature, the object of ecstatic vision. She is also called: the philosopher's Sun, the Daena—the visionary organ of the soul"; personal master and suprasensory guide, sun of the heart, etc. She is the guide in exile, the watcher and shepherd, and paradoxically, the essential individuality and the "pre-terrestrial vision of the celestial world." Perfect Nature was described in an 11th century text as '"the philosopher's angel,' his initiator and tutor, and the object and secret of all philosophy, the dominant figure in the Sage's personal religion. She has been equated with the Purple Archangel of Supreme Illumination in the writings of the Persian Neoplatonists. Socrates declared Perfect Nature to be the sun of the philosopher, the "original root of his being and at the same time the branch springing from him." The philosopher's Angel is the Form of light, the heavenly Sophia "conjoined with his star, which rules him and opens the doors of wisdom for him, teaches him what is difficult, reveals to him what is right, in sleeping as in waking." (Corbin, 1978, 17) : (Thunder Perfect Mind; 2 Sophias, higher & lower—Sophia Achamoth, the generative wisdom of the world).> Alchemy (Sapientia, moon, tree, ogdoad, alchemical salt—the psychic form of the body, the ash remaining that serves to fix the 'volatile' spirit.)

The Holy Spirit is a real person who came to reside within Jesus Christ's true followers after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven (Acts 2). Jesus told His apostles... "I will ask the Father, and She will give you another Helper, that She may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Her or know Her, but you know Her because She abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:16-18) The Holy Spirit is not a vague, ethereal shadow, nor an impersonal force. She is a person equal in every way with God the Father and God the Son. She is considered to be the third member of the Godhead. Jesus said to His apostles... "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:18-20) God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And all the divine attributes ascribed to the Father and the Son are equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit. When a person becomes born again by believing and receiving Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13; John 3:3-21), God resides in that person through the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 3:16). The Holy Spirit has intellect (1Cor. 2:11), emotion (Rom. 15:30), and will (1Cor. 12:11). A primary role of the Holy Spirit is that She bears "witness" of Jesus Christ (John 15:26, 16:14). She tells people's hearts about the truth of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit also acts as a Christian's teacher (1Cor. 2:9-14). She reveals God's will and God's truth to a Christian. Jesus told His disciples... "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, She will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (John 14:26) "When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, She will guide you into all the truth; for She will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever She hears, She will speak; and She will disclose to you what is to come." (John 16:13) The Holy Spirit was given to live inside those who believe in Jesus, in order to produce God's character in the life of a believer. In a way that we cannot do on our own, the Holy Spirit will build into our lives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Rather than trying to be loving, patient, kind, God asks us to rely on Her to produce these qualities in our lives. Thus Christians are told to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25) and be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). And the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to perform ministerial duties that promote spiritual growth among Christians (Rom. 12; 1Cor. 12; Eph. 4). The Holy Spirit also performs a function for non-Christians as well. She convicts people's hearts of God's truth concerning how sinful we are -- needing God's forgiveness; how righteous Jesus is -- She died in our place, for our sins; and God's eventual judgment of the world and those who do not know Her (John 16:8-11). The Holy Spirit tugs on our hearts and minds, asking us to repent and turn to God for forgiveness and a new life.



The idea that the Holy Spirit was female is a basic from the Hebrew language and from Old Testament scriptures. The Holy Spirit or 'Rauch'(rawach) , was feminine in all of Solomon's writings as the divine presence that was feminine, in both Proverbs and other writings of Solomon.

The early Palestinian Jesus movement used this Wisdom theology in its understanding of Jesus. For them, Jesus is Sophia's messenger, and the earliest Christian theology is Sophialogy. This communal understanding is rooted in the biblical writers' understanding of Jesus as the prophet and child of Sophia. The Christian missionary movement, saw Jesus as divine Sophia herself. Jesus as Christ-Sophia, is enthroned as ruler of the whole cosmos, and this is the foundational myth of the Christian community.

Sophia is not derivative or secondary to Yahweh, but rather existed in her own right before creation -- indeed, that Yahweh needed her to begin the creative process. As alternative reading of Proverbs 8:22 ("Yahweh created me") is "Yahweh acquired me," which also hints at her status as an autonomous divine figure. Again, in Wisdom 10, Sophia is depicted as the divine saving figure in history, guiding Noah to safety, calling Abraham, and leading Moses and the Hebrew people to safety through the sea. In fact, Sophia and God seem to be fully interchangeable ..."

It is clear that the life went out of 'Psyche' as Occidental thought moved from myth to philosophy. It is also clear that this movement from myth to philosophy coincided with the rise of Babylon's dualism and Western Christian dogma adopted pneuma as a neuter, never feminine, grace. As a result, rather than investigating the resourceful living imagery of life and nature, the Christian tradition is limited by a 'disassociate' concept for spirit. Yet Daphne is not so easily forgotten or captured, and from the wilderness she whispers, "I am dreams, I am butterfly, I am woman.

The Mother Church of the first century worshiped the Holy Spirit both as female and as part of the Godhead. So the "Holy Spirit," is rediscovered; closely akin to, yet in some characteristics distinct from, the Shiekhina; This concept not entirely unknown even today, and may be discovered within some of the eastern Christian churchs of the Byzintine Empire. Why does the Holy Spirit remain poverty stricken in Her symbolic life within the Church? Unless theology can be reinvested with psychology, in the manner prescribed to Nicodemus, there can be no true spirituality in the Church. Since the Christian religion is pregnant with multi-vocal images of the inner universe of mind, what has hindered this development for so long? Is it because of the orthodox view of a split between our soul and our spirit; Psyche and Pneuma? You cannot separate Humanity from the love of the Creator.

The Spirit is vital, quick, and alive, winged, subtle, and beautiful. She cannot abide a gilded age, no matter how extravagant. This is why the Spirit went out of dogmatic religion after Pentecost If we are to discover paradise we must look within. We must look up from our books of philosophy. We must break the cords of apathy and despair forever and hear the sound of enlightenment; which is the 'Word of God'. If you listen, you can hear it now; the song your spirit has been singing from the moment of your birth. The words of Christ contain the dynamic of the Holy Spirit; they cause upheaval in our habitual preoccupation with apathy and despair. We must allow the words of Christ to accomplish their transforming work. The heart of the universe is still perfect love.

I am my beloved's and his desire is for me.. Song of Songs

So definitely , the Holy Spirit is Female. She moves in mysterious ways.


The image of Mary has inspired some of the loftiest architecture, some of the most moving poetry, some of the most beautiful paintings in the world. She has filled women and men with deep joy and fervent trust; she has been an image of the ideal, inspiring women and men to their noblest emotions of love and awe. In Her will be realized the final glorification of the human community and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, in cooperation with the redemptive work of God in Christ.

As told in the Gospels, Mary was a virgin, probably in her teenage years, when she conceived Jesus through the intercession of the Holy Spirit ( Luke 1:26-35 ). Mary was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel as "full of grace, the Lord is with you." This is a unique phrase, in that it reflects the holiness of the person addressed. This occured just prior to her choosing to accept her mission in Christ's birth. This reveals the pre-existing holiness given to her by the grace of God.

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter one, verse thirty five, we read, 'And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born, will be called the Son of God." Why is God spoken of as Holy Spirit 'and' Highest? Is this dramatic speech by the angel or is it something more? Is it perhaps to be seen as two elements of the Divine, joining in union? What is the meaning of the usage of 'upon' and 'overshadow'? In the ancient Greek, 'come upon' derives from the words epe' erchomai, meaning, upon 'and operating in' a person. The ancient Greek term for overshadow is epe' skiazo, meaning, upon yet over. Is there a deeper implied meaning or nuance within the words 'therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born'? 'Therefore, also' can also be read as 'for that reason'. For what reason? Is it only because of supernatural agency being involved, or is it also because the miracle spoken of was to be seen as a nuptial union, resulting in birth? By understanding the Holy Spirit as female this scripture becomes clear.

By understanding the Holy Spirit as female and operating within her chosen vessel, Mary; we can understand one of the great mysteries of the Church. Namely that, Mary is the mother of Jesus, Jesus is God, therefore She is the Mother of God. As the chosen vessel of a female Holy Spirit this is not an impossibility. It is not blasphemous to speak of Holy Spirit as being the Mother of God; and although Mary is a creature like the rest of God's creatures, and all her dignity comes from God, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Mary is become a second Eve and the spiritual mother of all humanity; and this by the grace of the Spiritual Mother of all creation. And just as Jesus is the image of his Heavenly Father, Mary is the image of her Holy Mother. The Holy Spirit Who is the Love of God, will descend into her, and He that will be born of Her will be the Son of God. If God's wisdom is female cannot God's love be also seen as a mother's love. This is also a theologically correct interpretation of the text.

the Gospel of Philip, a Valentinian writing, says "The Father united with the Virgin who came down (i.e. descended)"; and states that Mary did not conceive *by* the Holy Spirit, since it is feminine as herself, but *in* the Holy Spirit, being part of her own nature..

The idea that the Holy Ghost intervened in Jesus' virgin birth is met with open hostility in the gospel of Phillip, where Phillip the Apostle even says: "when did a woman ever conceive of another woman?", which is a clear reference to the Ruach, or Holy Spirit. This is the one time in the Christian scriptures where the Holy Ghost is refered to clearly and directly as a 'woman'. It is no wonder that Phillip's gospel is excluded from the patriarchal canon, which was organized by the Pauline School. Phillip, who walked with the historical Jesus, was in fact adamantly rejecting the view of the Pauline School and other Christians on the Holy Ghost and the fathering of Jesus by this agent, because Ruach is a female.
The term 'Ruach', which is the word used by Jesus to refer to the Spirit, is a feminine Aramaic term translated as the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost in English, which came through Latin as the Spiritus Sanctus. The (Pauline influenced) Romanization of Christianity brought about the masculinization of the Ruach, whose feminine gender is central to the Christian mystery.

The Gospels of Mary," calls this a reliance on "Peter's story," which he describes as "a line through a male God to a man named Jesus to a man named Peter." In contrast, Gnostic texts and a certain 21st-century novel purport to tell "Mary's story" one in which gender doesn't matter, and sexuality is a natural, even a celebrated, part of life.

In the Secret Gospel of John (Codex II, pages 3 - 5) of the Nag
Hammadi Texts,

 "For the Perfect One beholds itself in the light surrounding it.
This is the spring of the water of life that gives forth all the
worlds of every kind. The Perfect One gazes upon its image, sees it
in the spring of the spirit, and falls in love with the luminous
water. This is the spring of pure, luminous water surrounding the
Perfect One."

"It's Thought became active, and she who appeared in the presence
of the Father in shining light came forth. She is the first power:
she preceded everything, and came forth from the Father's mind as
the Forethought of all. Her light resembles the Father's light; and
the perfect power, she is the image of the perfect and invisible
virtin Spirit. She is the first power, the glory, Barbelo, the
perfect glory among the worlds, the emerging glory."
 
"She glorified and praised the virgin Spirit, for she had come
forth through the Spirit."

It is bad practice to reconstruct the male God of Israel from the biblical texts and the female from archaeological evidence, as this gives the impression that the Lady cannot be found in the written sources. The correspondence between the Great Lady of Ugarit and the lost Lady of Jerusalem is, however, striking, as we shall see that the Lady of Jerusalem was described as a winged sun deity, the mother of the king named the Morning Star, and the Mother of the sons of El i.e. of the angels. The advantage of having archaeological evidence to support a hypothesis constructed from texts is that archaeological evidence is less likely to have been edited, although the archaeological reports from the first half of the last century show that numbers of these figurines were discarded as rubbish, because they had no possible relevance to biblical archaeology.

Many fragments of Isaiah have been found at Qumran, but the Immanuel prophecy in Isaiah 7 only survives in the great Isaiah scroll, in other words, this is the only pre-Christian evidence for the Hebrew text of that prophecy. The present form of the text, even in English, implies that something is missing. Ahaz says he will not ask for a sign from the Lord, yhwh, and Isaiah says he will have a sign from the Lord adonai, (instead), and there follows the prophecy of the birth of the child. The Isaiah scroll here differs from the Masoretic Hebrew by one letter, and reads: ‘Ask a sign from the Mother of the Lord your God, and, when Ahaz refuses, Isaiah says ‘Then the Lord himself will give you a sign… ‘Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel’ (Isa.7.14). This would make very good sense if Jerusalem had had a Great Lady who had been the heavenly Virgin Mother of the earthly king, a king who was himself the sign of God with his people, Immanuel. The promised child then appears: ‘Unto us a child is born’ (Isa.9.6), the song of the angels in the holy of holies as the new king is born as the divine son. The other account of this birth in Psalm 110 includes, in an otherwise unreadable patch of Hebrew, the name ‘The Morning Star’. Isaiah’s contemporary, the prophet Micah, also spoke of an unnamed woman who was about to give birth to the great Shepherd of Israel. The familiar words of this prophecy are: ‘You, Bethlehem Ephrathah… from you shall come forth for me, one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from old, from ancient days’, and the word is ‘olam, eternity, the holy of holies. The lines about his mother are rarely noticed, but this is another text describing the mother and her royal son who is born in the holy of holies and will come forth (Micah 5.1-4). There is also the prophecy in Malachi 4.2, which foretells the return of Elijah before the Day of the Lord, and the gospels identified John the Baptist as Elijah heralding the coming of the Lord (Mark 9.11-13). The other part of Malachi’s prophecy is often overlooked, or mistranslated. When Elijah returns: ‘The Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in her wings’. The sign in heaven in Revelation 12 is the Queen of Heaven in the holy of holies with the ark. She is clothed with the sun and crowned with the stars, and she gives birth to the Messiah. Later she flies with the wings of a great eagle to escape from the serpent. This vision is set exactly in the centre of the Book of Revelation.

Wisdom describes herself in the holy of holies in Proverbs 8. In the temple, this had been constructed as a perfect cube and lined with gold to represent the light and fire of the divine presence (2 Chron.3.8); here in Proverbs 8 it is the state beyond the visible and temporal creation. Wisdom was herself begotten and brought forth in this state (Proverbs 8.24-25), and she was beside the Creator as he established the heavens and marked out the foundations of the earth. She witnessed the creation. She was also the Amon, a rare Hebrew word which probably means craftsman; in the Greek it became harmozousa, the woman who joins together, or the woman who maintains the harmony (Prov.8.30). This Wisdom poem does not describe the visible creation - trees, birds, animals - but only the structures which were established in the invisible state., the ‘engraved things’. She was there when the Creator engraved the circle on the face of the deep, set the engraved mark for the sea which it could not pass, engraved the foundations of the earth (Prov.8.27-29). She was the Creator’s delight, and she danced and played before him. The male and female Creator is familiar from Genesis 1.26-27: ‘Then God (a plural word in Hebrew) said ‘Let us make the human in our image, after our likeness… So God created the human in his image, male and female he created them.’ The female figure also appears in Genesis 1.2: ‘…the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters’ ‘Moving’ here is a feminine form: she was hovering, fluttering over the face of the waters. When Genesis was translated into Aramaic, a version used in Palestine[8], and so one the first Christians would have known, gave the first verse of Genesis as ‘In the beginning with Wisdom the Lord created… People remembered that Wisdom had been present at the creation, and that she was also known as the Spirit.

The woman in the holy of holies, clothed with the sun and giving birth to the Messiah, must have prompted the early Church to tell the story of Mary as the story of Wisdom. The Infancy Gospel of James is not easy to date, but Justin in the mid-second century knew that the birth had taken place in a cave, Clement of Alexandria, at the end of the second century, knew that Mary was a virgin after giving birth, and Origen knew that Joseph had been a widower with other children[9] - all details unique to account. A papyrus of the Infancy Gospel of James, dated to the end of the third century, is the oldest known complete gospel text[10]. The Infancy Gospel of James tells how Mary was given to the temple when she was three years old, like the infant Samuel (1 Sam.1.24). The priest received her and sat her on the third step of the altar, and she danced at his feet in the temple. She was fed by an angel, and grew up in the temple until, at the age of twelve and the onset of puberty, she had to leave. A husband was found for her, Joseph, who was a widower with sons. When a new veil was needed for the temple, seven young women were chosen to spin the wool and to weave. Mary was one of them, and while she was spinning, the angel told her that she would give birth to the Son of God Most High. Mary spinning the red wool as the angel speaks to her became the ikon of the Annunciation. The little girl in the temple, dancing before the high priest, is exactly how Wisdom was described in Proverbs 8: playing and dancing before the Creator. Like Wisdom, Mary is depicted in ikons as seated in the holy of holies, being fed by an angel. She left the holy place to give birth to her child, like the woman clothed with the sun appearing through the opened veil of the holy of holies. Whilst she was weaving the new veil, the symbol of incarnation, she was pregnant with her child, and in ikons, she is shown holding her spindle, the ancient symbol of the Great Lady. The Queen of Heaven and her Son were Mary and her Son, and just as Jesus was proclaimed the Lord, the God of Israel, so Mary was depicted as the Great Lady, his Mother.

The memory of the Holy Spirit as the Mother of Jesus is preserved in the writings of the Hebrew Christians. Origen often quoted from the Gospel of the Hebrews, which is now lost apart from quotations such as his. In this Gospel, Jesus says: ‘Even now did my mother the Holy Spirit take me by one of my hairs and carry me away to the great Mount Tabor’, possibly a reference to Jesus being driven into the desert by the Holy Spirit after his baptism.[11] Jerome, who is the main source of quotations from this Gospel, shows that the voice at Jesus’ baptism was the voice of the Spirit. ‘According to the Gospel written in the Hebrew speech… “It came to pass, when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him and said unto him: My son, in all the prophets I was waiting for thee, that though shouldst come and I might rest in thee. For thou are my rest, thou art my first begotten son that reignest for ever.”[12] The Gospel of Philip preserves another interesting tradition from the Hebrew Christians, for whom Spirit was a feminine noun. They said that the Spirit coming on Mary (Luke 1.35) could not be described as conception; presumably it was creation, as in Genesis 1. ‘Some say Mary conceived by the holy Spirit. They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman?’[13] Jesus spoke of the children of Wisdom (Luke 7.35.)

*

According to the refugees who argued with Jeremiah, the Queen of Heaven had been worshipped with incense, libations of wine and bread which represented her. Exactly the same was prescribed for the table in the temple for the shewbread. It was a table of gold on which were put ‘Plates and dishes for incense, flagons and bowls for libations, and the bread of the Presence (Exod.25.29). One of the few things known about the bread of the Presence is that it had to be baked in a special mould; the shape of this mould was never revealed, although it is depicted having upward curling ends. The process of baking the bread of the Presence was the family secret of the house of Garmu and they kept their secret[14].. The bread of the Presence was the only cereal offering taken into the temple itself., and the Mishnah records how this was done at the end of the second temple period. There were two tables in the porch of the temple and ‘On the table of marble they laid the bread of the Presence when it was brought in and on the table of gold when it was brought out, since what is holy must be raised and not brought down’.[15]Since gold was used for the most holy things, we conclude that the bread had acquired holiness whilst it was in the temple. The Targum described the bread of the Presence as the most sacred of all the offerings[16]. It was described as the most holy portion for the high priests, meaning that it imparted holiness to them (Lev.24.9)[17], and it was eaten by them each Sabbath, when the new loaves were taken into the temple. When the desert tabernacle was prepared for travelling, the furnishings had to be wrapped in two covers, to prevent any but the high priests from seeing them. The ark and the table, however, had have three coverings (Num. 4. 5-8).

How did the bread acquire this holiness and special status? The bread of the Presence, like other cereal offerings, was described as an `azkarah, usually translated ‘a memorial offering’. The text in Leviticus could imply that the incense was the `azkarah but the Targums show that it was the bread itself. We have already met another form of this ambiguous word `azkarah: did it mean remember or invoke? Did the Levites remember or invoke the Lord, was Moses told to remember the Lord by the newly revealed Name, or to invoke him? Here, the bread of the Presence is likely to have been not a memorial offering but an invocation offering, as this would explain its extreme holiness. Psalm 38 was to be sung with this type of offering, and includes the lines: ‘My God be not far from me, Make haste to help me’ (Ps.38.21-22). Psalm 70 was also for the `azkarah: ‘O Lord make haste to help me… O Lord do not tarry.’ (Ps.70.1,5). These are invocations. The bread of the Presence must have been a means of the Lord’s presence in the temple. If the words of institution at the Last Supper had been spoken in Hebrew or Aramaic, anamnesis would have represented `azkarah, invocation offering, and so the bread could have been the bread of the Presence. (Luke 22.19; 1 Cor.11.24)

Presence (panim which literally means faces, hence the prosopa of later Trinitarian language), must have been a reverent circumlocution. There are many places in the Greek Old Testament where panim is understood as adding emphasis, and not as ‘presence’ in any special sense. Thus ‘My Presence will go with you’ - the Lord’s promise to Moses (Exod.33.14), became in Greek ‘I myself (autos) will go with you.’ ‘The Angel of his Presence saved them’ (Isa. 63.9) became in Greek ‘Not an ambassador nor an angel but he himself saved them.’ The Angel of the Presence was the Lord, and so the bread of the Presence must have been the bread of the divine Presence. It would be interesting to know what was said to the priests as they received their piece of bread each Sabbath.

Wisdom invited her devotees to her table. ‘Come eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave simpleness and live, and walk in the way of discernment. (Prov.9.5-6). Wisdom presided at a table where bread and wine were taken, and by taking her bread and wine her devotees acquired Life and Wisdom. Later writers knew that Wisdom gave herself in her bread: ‘Those who eat me will hunger for more’ (Ben Sira 24.21). The Genesis Rabbah, the traditional Jewish commentary on Genesis, says that the bread which Melchizedek brought to Abraham was the bread of the Presence, and there follows a reference to this passage in Proverbs 9 about Wisdom’s table.[18] Those who participated in the Eucharist described in the Didache gave thanks for knowledge and eternal life, and Bishop Serapion in fourth century Egypt prayed at the Eucharist that his people might become living and wise. And what might have been the background to the Western text of Luke 22, where Jesus takes the bread and says ‘This is my Body.’

On of the problems at the beginning of the second temple period, according to the prophet Malachi, was that the bread set on the table was polluted[19]. ‘With such a gift he will not lift up his Presence upon you’ (Mal 1.9). The Lord could not be present with polluted bread, and what follows came to be regarded by the Church as a prophecy of the Eucharist. ‘From the rising of the sun to its setting, my Name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my Name and a pure cereal offering’ (Mal.1.11)[20] By implication, the Eucharist restored the bread of the Presence. Enoch too complained about the polluted bread in the second temple (1 Enoch 89.73).

Epiphanius, a bishop writing in the middle of the fourth century, described how women in Arabia (where the disaffected priests in the time of Josiah had settled) offered a small loaf of bread to Mary, and he linked this custom to the worship of the Queen of Heaven described in Jeremiah. Epiphanius dismissed the whole idea as ridiculous, but did describe how they used to decorate a chair or square stool, and covered it with cloth. They put out bread there and offered it in Mary’s name. Then the women ate the bread[21]. This is clearly a garbled account, but very interesting. It seems as though a loaf of bread was enthroned before it was eaten. Bread to represent her, perhaps.

*

Ezekiel, who was a priest in the first temple and was deported to Babylon, described how the Lady left the temple. In his two visions of the chariot throne, the one as it left the temple and the other as it appeared to him on the banks of the River Chebar in Babylon, he described a male and female figure. Most English versions of these chapters (Ezek.1 and 10) attempt to cope with the confusing Hebrew by smoothing over the evidence for what Ezekiel was actually describing[22]. There are four (feminine) Living Ones in human form (Ezek.1.5), and they had four faces/presences, wings and hands. In the midst of the Living Ones was fire, and she/they were in the midst of a wheel within a wheel, and the rings were full of points of light/eyes. Wherever the Spirit went, the wheels went, because the Spirit of the Living One, (feminine singular) was in the wheels (Ezek.1.20). Over the heads (plural) of the Living One (fem. singular) there was the likeness of the firmament, like the gleam of terrible ice/crystal, and above this there was a throne on which was a human form, the likeness of the glory of the Lord (Ezek.1.28). Immediately after this vision, Ezekiel was given a scroll and told to eat it (Ezek.3.1-2). Since Ezekiel was describing the heavenly throne, this must have been how he imagined the Holy of holies; the throne, and beneath it the gleaming firmament, and beneath that, a fourfold fiery, female figure with wings and hands. Ezekiel heard a sound ‘like the voice of Shaddai’, which must have been the name of the Living One (Ezek.1.24; 10.5). There is a similar description in chapter 10, where he described the Glory leaving the temple: ‘As for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel’ (Ezek.10.10 AV); ‘All their body (singular body, plural suffix) was full of points of light’ (Ezek.10.12); ‘She is the Living One that I saw by the River Chebar (Ezek.10.15); ‘She is the Living One I saw beneath the God of Israel by the River Chebar’ (Ezek.10.20). One very obscure verse (Ezek.10.12) seems to say that all flesh, that is, all created things, were the points of light within the wheels. This was the Lady as Ezekiel knew her, leaving the temple. We are accustomed to translating the plural form elohim as God, singular; it is likely that the Living One was also described in singular and plural forms.

What Ezekiel saw was a wheel within a wheel, (or a ring within a ring), and those rings were full of points of light. In the midst of the rings was a fourfold fiery female figure, the Living One, with hands and wings. Overhead was the firmament, gleaming like ice, and above this, the heavenly throne. Ezekiel was then given a scroll. The Living One whom Ezekiel saw leaving the temple must have been the Queen of Heaven, Wisdom. It is remarkable how many details of Ezekiel’s vision appear in the ikon of the Holy Wisdom.

Elsewhere (Ezek.28. 12-19), Ezekiel described an anointed guardian cherub, full of Wisdom and perfect in beauty, who was driven out of the Garden of Eden. The cherub was the seal, and must have been the high priest, because the Greek version of the list of twelve gemstones worn by the cherub is an exact description of the high priest’s breastplate (Ezek.28. 13; Exod.28. 17-20). Fire came forth from the midst of the cherub - who must have been a fiery being - and consumed the holy place. What is remarkable is that the anointed guardian cherub high priest was female. In its present form the oracle concerns the king of Tyre, but Tyre and Zion are very similar words in Hebrew, and the Hebrew text has already been distorted to conceal the gems of the high priest’s breastplate. Only the Greek has the full list. Ben Sira, writing some four centuries after Ezekiel’s vision, described Wisdom as the one who served in the temple of Zion. She was the high priest (Ben Sira 24.10).

*

The other great symbol of wisdom was the Tree of Life. ‘She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her, those who hold fast to her are called happy.’ (Prov.3.18). ‘Happy’ here is the Hebrew word asher, which may be word play on her name Asheratah. Ben Sira, writing in Jerusalem about 200BCE has Wisdom compare herself to all manner of trees: ‘I grew tall like a cedar in Lebanon, like a cypress in the height s of Hermon, I grew tall like a palm tree in Engedi, like rose plants in Jericho, like a beautiful plane tree I grew tall’ (Ben Sira 24.13-14). Enoch reveals more about the Great Tree. On his visionary journey in heaven, he saw a great tree by the throne, ‘whose fragrance was beyond all fragrance, and whose leaves and blossoms and wood never wither or rot (1 Enoch 24.4). No mortal could touch the tree until after the great judgement, when its fruit would be given to the chosen ones, and the tree itself transplanted again into the temple. The fruit of the tree was sometimes compared to the clusters on a palm (thus here) or to grapes. The tree is fully described in a text which was part of a small Christian library, hidden in a cave in Egypt in the fourth century and rediscovered in 1945. The text is usually identified as Gnostic, but texts such as these are full of temple imagery and traditions, and labels such as Gnostic (and therefore heretical) should not be applied with too much confidence. ‘The colour of the tree of life is like the sun, and its branches are beautiful. Its leaves are like those of the cypress, its fruit is like a bunch of white grapes.’ Enoch reveals something more about this tree; it is the place where the Lord rests when he is in Paradise. ‘I saw Paradise, and in the midst, the tree of life, at that place where the Lord takes his rest when he goes (up) to Paradise… That tree is indescribable for pleasantness and fragrance, and more beautiful than any created thing. its appearance is gold and crimson and with the form of fire’ (2 Enoch 8.4).

In an account of the life of Adam and Eve written at the end of the second temple period, when God returns to Paradise, the chariot throne rests at the tree of life and all the flowers come into bloom.[23] The synagogue at Dura Europas depicts a king enthroned in a tree. The tree was inseparable from the throne itself. Reigning from the tree became a Christian theme, and the subject of controversy with Jews. Justin claimed that the they had removed words from Psalm 96.10, which were important for Christians The verse had originally been: ‘Say among the nations “The Lord reigns from the tree”’, but, he claimed, ‘from the tree’ had been removed[24]. The Letter of Barnabas hints at this longer reading by saying that the royal kingdom of Jesus was founded on a tree[25], and the longer version of Psalm 96 was known to several early Christian writers. ‘From the tree’ does not appear in any version presently known, but the tree of life and what it represented was a point of contention between Jews and Christians. In the Book of Revelation, faithful Christians were promised that they would eat the fruit of the tree of life (Rev.2.7; 22.14), which stood by the throne of God-and-the-Lamb, watered by the river of life.

 

One of the oldest recorded accounts of the World-Tree is of Babylonian origin and stems from about 3000 - 4000 BC. This tree stood at the centre of the Universe, which was thought to be somewhere near the ancient city of Eridu at the mouth of the river Euphrates. Its white crystal roots penetrated the primordial waters of the abyss, which were guarded by an amphibious God of wisdom called Ea. He was the source of the waters of life that made the plains fertile. The foliage of the sacred tree was the seat of Zikum, the Goddess of the heavens, while its stem was the holy abode of the Earth-Goddess Davkina and her son Tammuz. Echoes of this imagery can be found in all the mythologies of ancient Mesopotamia.

Writing in the 12th century, the Icelandic scholar, poet, historian and politician Snorri Sturlunson described the Norse version of this cosmic tree in his epic poem known as 'the Edda'. It is hard to tell how much of the symbolism is derived from actual oral accounts of ancient Norse mythology and how much of it is based on the authors' prosaic fancy. The World-Tree of the Eddas seems at any rate to be a compilation of mythic imagery drawn from various sources. The story has been re-told many times, variously embroidered with more or less fancy details, but essentially it goes like this:

Somewhere, in a space beyond space and a time beyond time grows a magnificent, huge tree, who's branches embrace and uphold the heavens, and who's roots reach deep into the Underworld - it is known as the World-Tree Yggdrasil.

Yggdrasil bridges the three great realms of existence: In its midst lies Asgard, the mountainous domain of the Gods, pierced by the stem of the sacred tree. Yggdrasil has three gigantic roots that stretch to all the realms of existence. One reaches into Asa, the second into the realm of the frost giants and the third into Niflheim, the underworld realm of the dead.
Three sacred springs gush forth from beneath the three great roots: From the first flows the spring of wisdom and knowledge, jealously guarded by the hermit Mimir. From the second, springs the well of destiny, guarded by the three Norns, the sisters of fate: Uror (fate), Veroandi (being) and Sculd (necessity) who govern the destinies of human beings. They take care of the tree, water its roots every day, purifying and keeping it alive with the holy waters and the white clay of the sacred spring. The well of destiny is also where the Gods meet for their daily assembly, to settle their differences and decide on their actions. From beneath the third root flows the river of life. Its waters carry the souls of the dead back to be reborn into their next incarnations. But this microcosm what not be complete without the serpent and the eagle, signifying the polarised opposites between the creative and the destructive forces of the Universe. At the very base of the tree lurked the serpent Niddhogg who constantly gnawed away at its roots. Its destructive powers were only kept at bay by an eagle, symbol of the sun, who lived in the upper branchesof the tree from where he continuously warded off the serpent's assaults. Thus, the forces of life and death are kept in equilibrium and the essential life-force of the tree is never damaged.

The image of the World-Tree illustrates the interconnectedness between nature, humans and Gods and forms the basis of an integrated cosmology in which the Gods manifest in nature and humans communicate directly with them through their outer forms. It represents the 'axis-mundi', the immovable central pole of the universe around which all life revolves. In this cosmology, humans and Gods essentially share the same dimension, though on somewhat different levels.

According to the ancient hermetic doctrine 'As Above - So Below', the microcosmic world of human affairs is but a reflection of the macrocosmic world of the Gods. To our ancestors the inherent fertility of nature represented an awesome mystery. The recurrent cycle of the seasons - of blossoming, fruiting, decay - and miraculous rebirth, as seemingly dead branches burst back to life each spring, was seen as a reflection of the regenerative powers of the cosmos itself. Elaborate rituals and ceremonies were held not only to ensure the continued fertility of the land but also to partake spiritually in the cosmic process of regeneration. Trees, with their extremely long lifespan and apparently inexhaustible vigour became the central symbol of such nature based mystery religions. Many fragments of this archaic symbolism have miraculously survived all attempts of eradication and they can still be found in modern religions, customs and folklore, although their original meanings have become much distorted.

The images of the World-Tree and the Tree of Life are closely related and often merge. Sometimes they are replaced by the image of a cosmic mountain, which is also located at the centre of the universe and which likewise generates and sustains all life. All these images symbolically combine the male and female creative powers of the Universe. The obviously phallic connotations of the tree or mountain are identified with the male life-giving, creative force, while the chthonic underworld amidst the roots of the tree or within the crystal cave of the mountain represent the female transformational and regenerative power of the earth womb. Both aspects fused together represent the 'ursymbol' of life, the essence of cyclic existence and eternal self-regeneration.

In Hindu tradition the World-Tree is conceived as being rooted in the heavens and bearing its fruit on earth. All the gods and goddesses, all the elements and cosmic principles are its branches, but each and every one is rooted in Brahman, who is identified with the stem of the sacred tree itself. Perhaps the Banyan tree, one of the most sacred trees of India inspired this concept. The Banyan (Ficus bengalensis) is a truly awe inspiring tree, which spreads over huge areas by sending aerial roots down from its branches. When the arial roots touch the ground they themselves take root and develop into stems. A single tree can comprise a whole forest. Walking among the stems of an old tree is like being in an awesome natural cathedral. The appearance and growing habit of this tree easily suggests the image of a tree rooted in the heavens. It also perfectly symbolizes the idea of multiple Gods and spirits in all their localized aspects essentially all being aspects of the one ultimate source.

It is astounding how similarly the mythological imagery of widely separated cultures expresses the same themes: A creation myth of the Maoris tells of a world-tree, which was the first thing to be formed at the center of the still void universe. It sprouted from an energy vortex, known as the cosmic navel. From the myriad buds of the all-encompassing tree all creation emerged.

Similarly, in Mayan cosmology the World-Tree is a unifying symbol that represents the origin of all existence. It is usually stylised as a maize plant, since maize is the all important staff of life in Maya culture. Other sources however suggest that originally the World-Tree, known as Yax-cheel-cab was identified with the great Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra), a magnificent species which, when mature, truly seems to reach the heavens. Great buttress-roots at the base of the stem easily suggest the entrance of the Mayan underworld known as Xibalba. Prominent examples of these incredible sacred trees can still be found at practically all ancient Maya sites.

According to a myth from the lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, the World Tree is the progenitor of the manifest universe. At the beginning of time, a great tree stood at the center of the still void Cosmos. It impregnated itself and bore on its branches a multitude of fruits, one for each thing known to humankind: animals, plants, clouds, stars, stones, lightening and even time itself.

Eventually all the fruits became so heavy that the tree could no longer carry them. One by one they fell to the ground and scattered their seeds. Underneath the protective canopy of the tree, they germinated, took root and grew. The Mayans still offer incense and prayers to these ancestral spirits and thus ensure the continued fertility of the land.

A surprisingly similar myth comes from Persia. Here we find references to a 'Tree of all Seeds', which stood at the center of a magical garden known as Pairidaeza, the Persian paradise. This garden was originally associated with the Virgin Goddess Pairidaeza who represented the eternal regenerative womb from which all life proceeds. In her garden the 'Tree of all seeds' grew next to the Tree of Knowledge. One day two birds came to visit the tree, but as one of them attempted to settle in its canopy a thousand branches went crashing to the ground and thus a thousand seeds were scattered. The other bird swiftly gathered up all the seeds and distributed them in various fertile places all over the earth. All the plants and animals with which we share our planet today issued from these seeds.

The Cosmic Tree is commonly described as the source of a special divine substance, a sacred nectar of immortality and ambrosia of the Gods. The ancient holy scriptures known as the 'Rig Vedas' (Indus Valley) refer to this mythical substance as 'Amrita' or 'Soma'. In Persia it was known as Haoma, while the Eddas describe it as 'golden apples stored in Valhalla', which restore the youthfulness of the Gods. The descriptions in the various sacred texts all seem to imply some kind of psychotropic agent and there has been much speculation and debate among scholars and Ethnobotanists regarding the possible botanical identity of this mysterious substance. Numerous theories have been put forward, some believing it to be Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria), others proposing Syrian Rue (Peganum harmala) and various other species as the lost identity of the sacred fruits of the Tree of Life. It is difficult to judge the validity of such hypotheses given that the evidence rests on mythological sources. It is certainly possible that once upon a time one or the other or several different psychotropic plants were indeed identified with these mythical fruits just as the sacred tree itself was variously identified with an actual tree species. Yet tree and fruit need not necessarily share the botanical identity, as their association was perhaps more of a metaphorical nature. So far, despite fervent research, there has been no conclusive result to the inquiry as none of the known hallucinogenic plants satisfactorily complies with the ancient descriptions. Although the question of botanical identity represents an interesting riddle for modern researchers, it seems less important for the spiritual inquirer. The essence of the fruit's esoteric meaning lies just as much in its symbolic significance. Its ultimate spiritual potential is immortal and will be eternally renewed by each and every seeker.

It is interesting to note, that in Mayan as well as in Greek mythology there are references to the Tree of Life or World Tree amidst the signs of the Zodiac, although astronomically there is no such constellation. The mystery is only revealed if one takes into consideration the appearance of the actual night sky itself, which in pre-classical times looked quite different to what can be observed today. Due to a phenomenon known as the 'precession of the equinoxes', caused by the 'wobble' of the earth's path around the sun, the sign of the vernal equinox up to about 4000 BC was Taurus. At the spring equinox, the milky way would appear almost vertical above the observers head, like a giant tree clad in a magnificent cloak of star-flowers, crowned by the sign of Leo and at its root the sign of Aquarius, the Waterbearer. The other constellations were seen as the branches of the World-Tree, and the stars and planets as its fruits. Amidst its roots gushed forth the constellation of Eridanos, the cosmic spring, bearing the waters of life.

The same image is repeated in other mythologies, in which the World Tree is often described as the place where disembodied souls dwell prior to their reincarnation. Underneath the roots of the tree that grows at the centre of the paradisiacal garden, flows the sacred river that carries the waters of life. When their time has come the river of life will carry these souls back to their new incarnations.

In our microcosmic world the same symbolism is often repeated in old churchyards where one can find ancient trees (usually Yews) planted next to a sacred spring. (see Spirit of the Earth - Trees and Fertility, May 2002)

Similarly, in Siberian shamanism the World-Tree represents a cosmic ladder along which spirits and Gods descend or, conversely, along which the shaman can either ascend to the spirit world or climb down into the Underworld. The shaman's drum, which serves as a spirit horse, is made from the wood of the sacred tree. Furthermore, the tree is regarded as a nursery that nurtures the souls of the young shamans until they mature sufficiently to manifest in human form. In the words of the Tungus Shaman Semyonov Semyon:

Up above there is a certain tree where the souls of the shamans are reared, before they attain their powers. And on the boughs of this tree are nests in which the souls lie and are attended. The name of the tree is 'Tuuru. The higher the nest in this tree, the stronger will the shaman be who is raised in it, the more he will know, and the farther he will see. The rim of the shaman's drum is cut from a living larch. The larch is left alive and standing in recollection and honour of the tree Turuu, where the soul of the shaman was raised. Furthermore, in memory of the great tree Tuuru, at each séance the shaman plants a tree with one or more cross-sticks in the tent where the ceremony takes place, and this tree too is called Tuuru. According to our belief, the soul of the shaman climbs up this tree to God when he shamanises. For the tree grows during the rite and invisibly reaches the summit of heaven. (Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology)
The Tree of Life or World Tree represents one of the most deeply rooted archetypes of the human psyche and its symbolism still surfaces in the imagery of modern psychotherapy. In terms of Jungian psychology the World-Tree or axis mundi represents the personal 'meridian', the psychological umbilical cord, which connects each individual not only to the divine source (realm of the Gods) but also to the vaults of the unconscious (Underworld). The quest of the mythological hero, who embarks on an adventure to search for the World-Tree, or a sacred mountain at the centre of Universe, is a metaphor for the quest of psychological realignment with one's own inner center and spiritual source. The task of the hero/seeker is to sublimate the cosmic energy that enters his or her being through the realignment with the 'axis mundi'. The journey is usually beset with peril and impending danger for it is a quest of transformation that requires the sacrifice of the ego. In the words of Micea Eliade it is 'a rite of passage, from the illusory to the eternal, from the profane to the sacred and from chaos to cosmos' (Eliade, Myth Of Eternal Return). Thus, the World-Tree is also a symbol of initiation and transcendence. When the hero reaches this centre of the Universe, s/he arrives at the sacred centre of his or her own being.

Footnotes

"The miracle of this flow may be represented in physical terms as a circulation of food substance, dynamically as a streaming of energy, or spiritually as a manifestation of grace. Such varieties of image alternate easily, representing three degrees of condensation of the one life force. An abundant harvest is the sign of God's grace, Gods grace is the food of the soul, the lightening bolt is the harbinger of fertilizing rain and at the same time the manifestation of the released energy of God. Grace, food substance, energy, these pour into the living world and where ever they fail life decomposes into death. The torrent pours from an invisible source the point of entry being the center of the symbolic circle of the universe, the immovable spot of the Buddha legend around which the world may be said to revolve. Beneath this spot is the earth supporting head of the cosmic serpent, the dragon, symbolical of the waters of the abyss, which are the divine life-creative energy and substance of the demiurge, the world generative aspect of immortal being. The Tree of Life, i.e. the universe itself grows from this point."
Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces)

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TREES AND THE SACRED
From the earliest times, trees have been the focus of religious life for many peoples around the world. As the largest plant on earth, the tree has been a major source of stimulation to the mythic imagination. Trees have been invested in all cultures with a dignity unique to their own nature, and tree cults, in which a single tree or a grove of trees is worshipped, have flourished at different times almost everywhere. Even today there are sacred woods in India and Japan, just as there were in pre-Christian Europe. An elaborate mythology of trees exists across a broad range of ancient cultures.

There is little evidence in the archaeological record of tree worship in the prehistoric world, though the existence of totems carved from wood that may have held a sacred significance is suggested by the pole topped with a bird's body and head which appears next to the bird-headed, ithyphallic male figure in the so-called well scene at Lascaux.

In the early historical period, however, there is considerable evidence that trees held a special significance in the cultures of the ancient world. In Ancient Egypt, several types of trees appear in Egyptian mythology and art, although the hieroglyph written to signify tree appears to represent the sycamore (nehet) in particular. The sycamore carried special mythical significance. According to the Book of Dead, twin sycamores stood at the eastern gate of heaven from which the sun god Re emerged each morning. The sycamore was also regarded as a manifestation of the goddesses Nut, Isis, and especially of Hathor, who was given the epithet Lady of the Sycamore. Sycamores were often planted near tombs, and burial in coffins made of sycamore wood returned the dead person to the womb of the mother tree goddess.

The ished, which may be identified as the Persea, a fruit-bearing deciduous tree (and which, incidentally, Pausanias [ V, 14. 4 - see BIBLIOGRAPHY] describes as a tree that loves no water but the water of the Nile) had a solar significance. Another tree, the willow (tcheret) was sacred to Osiris; it was the willow which sheltered his body after he was killed. Many towns in Egypt with tombs in which a part of the dismembered Osiris was believed to be buried had groves of willows associated with them.

The terraces of the Funerary Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-bahari (c. 1480 BCE) were planted with myrrh trees [1. the Temple of Hatshepsut]. While the inner sanctuary is located inside the cliff [cf. The Sacred Cave], the temple's outer sanctuary of terraced gardens recreated the Paradise of Amon, an earthly palace for the Sun-god in imitation of the myrrh terraces of Punt, which was the legendary homeland of the gods. A special expedition to Punt -- probably at the southern end of the Red Sea -- was organized by Hatshepsut's architect and councillor, Senmut, to get the myrrh trees. Besides the terraced gardens of myrrh trees, two sacred Persea trees stood before the now vanished portal in the wall of the entrance forecourt, while palm trees were planted inside the first court [see Earl Baldwin Smith in the BIBLIOGRAPHY].

In perhaps a similar fashion, it is believed the ramped terraces of the Mesopotamian ziggurats [cf. The Sacred Mountain] were also planted with trees, and sacred trees were the principal feature of the so-called Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world.

In the desert environments of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia trees, and especially fruit trees, assumed a special importance. The head dress worn by one of the women buried in the tomb of Queen Pu'abi at the Sumerian site of Ur (c. 2500 BCE) includes in the elaborate decoration clusters of gold pomegranates, three fruits hanging together shielded by their leaves, together with the branches of some other tree with golden stems and fruit or pods of gold and carnelian. [see P. R. S. Moorey in the BIBLIOGRAPHY]

In Egypt, the evergreen date palm was a sacred tree, and a palm branch was the symbol of the god Heh, the personification of eternity. For later cultures, the palm branch also served as an emblem of fecundity and victory. For Christians, the palm branch is a symbol of Christ's victory over death. It also signified immortality and divine blessings and is often seen as an attribute of Christian martyrs. It also denotes particular Christian saints such Paul the Hermit and Christopher, as well as the Archangel Michael. The palm tree is also a symbol of the garden of paradise.

Trees also figure prominently in the culture and mythology of Ancient Greece. Pausanias [see BIBLIOGRAPHY] describes the sacred groves of Aesculapius at Epidaurus (II, 27. 1), of Argus in Laconia (III, 4. 1), and a sacred grove of plane-trees at Lerna (II, 38, 1, 2, 8). In the land of Colophon in Ionia was a grove of ash-trees sacred to Apollo (VII, 5. 10), and a sacred grove at Lycosura included an olive-tree and an evergreen oak growing from the same root (VIII, 37. 10). Perhaps the most famous grove, of plane-trees, was that sacred to Zeus, known as the Altis, at Olympia (V, 27. 1, 11).

The oak tree was also sacred to Zeus, especially the tree at the sanctuary of Zeus in Dodona which also served as an oracle; it would seem the rustling of the leaves was regarded as the voice of Zeus and the sounds interpreted by priestesses. The oak was also sacred to Pan [see Pausanias BIBLIOGRAPHY], while the myrtle-tree was sacred to Aphrodite. In the Pandrosium near the temple known as the Erechtheum (421-405 BCE) on the Athenian Acropolis, besides many other signs and remains of Athens' mythical past -- a salt-water well [cf. Water and the Sacred] and a mark in the shape of Poseidon's trident in a rock -- could also be seen a living olive tree sacred to the goddess Athena.



An olive tree growing today outside the Erechtheum

In several Greek myths, women and men are frequently transformed into trees: Atys into a pine tree, Smilax into a yew, and Daphne into the laurel, which was sacred to Apollo.

In numerous cases the spirit of trees is personified, usually in female form. In Ancient Greece, the Alseids were nymphs associated with groves (alsos, grove), while the Dryads were forest nymphs who guarded the trees. Sometimes armed with an axe, Dryads would punish anyone harming the trees. Crowned with oak-leaves, they would dance around the sacred oaks. The Hamadryads were even more closely associated with trees, forming an integral part of them. In India, tree nymphs appear in the form of the voluptuous Vrikshaka.

In Ancient Rome, a fig-tree sacred to Romulus grew near the Forum, and a sacred cornel-tree grew of the slope of the Palatine Hill. Sacred groves were also found in the city of Rome. In Book 8 of The Aeneid, Virgil relates that:

Next after this he shows the spacious grove
Which fiery Romulus the Refuge named,
And 'neath its cool cliff called the Lupercal
By Arcad custom of Lycaean Pan,
Points too to sacred Argiletum's grove
[and on the Capitoline Hill...]
The place with its dread sanctity was wont
To awe the frightened rustics; even then
They trembled at its wood and at its rock
This grove, said he, this hill with leafy crest
A god inhabits -- who that god may be,
Is all in doubt; Arcadians believe
That they themselves Jove oftentimes have seen...

According to the Roman authors Lucan and Pomponius Mela, the Celts of Gaul worshipped in groves of trees, a practice which Tacitus and Dio Cassius say was also found among the Celts in Britain. The Romans used the Celtic word nemeton for these sacred groves. A sacred oak grove in Galatia (Asia Minor), for example, was called Drunemeton (Strabo, Geographica, XII, 5, 1). The word was also incorporated into many of the names of towns and forts, such as Vernemeton near Leicester in England.

The names of certain Celtic tribes in Gaul reflect the veneration of trees, such as Euburones (the Yew tribe), and the Lemovices (the people of the elm). A tree trunk or a whole tree was frequently included among the votive offerings placed in ritual pits or shafts dug into the ground. Others shafts had a wooden pole placed at the bottom. The Celts believed trees to be sources of sacred wisdom, and the hazel in particular was associated with wisdom by the Druids.

Perhaps not surprisingly, trees appear at the foundations of many of the world's religions. Because of their relative rarity in the Near East, trees are regarded in the Bible as something almost sacred and are used to symbolize longevity, strength, and pride. Elements of pagan tree cults and worship have survived into Judeo-Christian theology. In Genesis, two trees -- the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil -- grow at the centre of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). Scriptural and apocryphal traditions regarding the Tree of Life later merge in Christianity with the cult of the cross [cf. Sacred Shapes and Symbols] to produce the Tree of the Cross. The fantastic Story of the True Cross identifies the wood used for the cross in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as being ultimately from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. Other stories claim that Adam was buried at Jerusalem and three trees grew out of his mouth to mark the centre of the earth [see F. Kampers in the BIBLIOGRAPHY].

In the Old Testament, trees are also associated with the ancient Canaanite religion devoted to the mother goddess Asherah which the Israelites, intent on establishing their monotheistic cult of Yahweh, saught to suppress and replace. The cult Asherah and her consort Baal was evidently celebrated in high places, on the tops of hills and mountains [cf. The Sacred Mountain], where altars dedicated to Baal and carved wooden poles or statues of Asherah (or the Asherahs; in the past Asherah has also been translated as grove, or wood, or tree) were evidently located. In Deuteronomy 12:2, the Israelites are directed to "to destroy all the places, wherein the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains and upon the hills and under every green tree; you shall tear down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire."

In Ancient Assyria, contemporary with the ziggurats, trees, fruit trees especially, were associated with fertility. The significance of trees in Ancient Assyria is shown in the numerous reliefs of winged deities watering or protecting sacred trees. Sacred trees, or trees of life, were associated in Ancient Assyria with the worship of the god Enlil.

Some trees become sacred through what may have occurred in their proximity. It was under a pipal tree that Siddhartha Gautama (born 566 BCE) meditated until he attained enlightenment (Nirvana) and became the Buddha. The Bodhi or Bo (Enlightenment) tree is now the centre of a major Buddhist sacred shrine known as Bodh Gaya.

For the ancient Celts, the Yew tree was a symbol of immortality, and holy trees elsewhere functioned as symbols of renewal [see Brosse in the BIBLIOGRAPHY]. A tree scarred by lightning was identified as a tree of life, and, according to Pliny [see BIBLIOGRAPHY] the Celtic Druids believed that mistletoe grew in places which had been struck by lightning. The Druids performed rituals and ceremonies in groves of sacred oak trees, and believed that the interior of the oak was the abode of the dead. In India, it is believed that the Brahma Daitya, the ghosts of brahmans, live in the fig trees, the pipal (ficus religiosa), or the banyan (ficus indica), awaiting liberation or reincarnarnation. Among the eight or so species of tree considered sacred in India, these two varieties of fig are the most highly venerated.

The identification of sacred trees as symbols of renewal is widespread. In China, the Tree of Life, the Kien-Luen, grows on the slopes of Kuen-Luen, while the Moslem Lote tree marks the boundary between the human and the divine. From the four boughs of the Buddhist Tree of Wisdom flow the rivers of life. The great ash tree Yggdrasil of Nordic myth connects with its roots and boughs the underworld and heaven.

In Japan, trees such as the cryptomeria are venerated at Shinto shrines. Especially sacred is the sakaki, a branch from which stuck upright in the ground is represented by the shin-no-mihashira, or sacred central post, over and around which the wooden Shrines at Ise are built. The shin-no-mihashira is both the sakaki branch and the pillar confirmed in the nethermost ground, like the heaven-tree in many Japanese legends.

Sacred forests still exist in India and in Bali, Indonesia. The holy forests in Bali are annexed to temples that may or may not be enclosed in it, such as the Holy Forest at Sangeh [see Vannucci in the BIBLIOGRAPHY]. The general feeling of respect and veneration for trees in India has produced a great variety of tree myths and traditions.

One of the Five Trees in Indra's paradise (svarga-loka), which is located at the centre of the earth, is the mythic abundance-granting kalpa-vriksha. An image of the kalpa-vriksha carved in sandstone in Besnagar in Central India may originally have stood as an emblem capital on top of a monolithic pillar or stambha, possibly one of the 36 or so pillars erected by the Buddhist emperor Asoka (268-232 BCE). The pillars has been interpreted as replicas of the axis mundi [see John Irwin in the BIBLIOGRAPHY]. The stone kalpa-vriksha capping the pillar may therefore be identified as the Cosmic Tree or world-tree, an emblematic variation of the symbolism of the stambha as axis mundi [see Jan Pieper in the BIBLIOGRAPHY].

Single pillars made of tree trunks called Irmensul ('giant column') representing the 'tree of the universe' were set up on hilltops by some German tribes. A highly venerated Irmensul in what is now Westphalia was cut down by the Christianizing Charlemagne in 772.

With the encouragement of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in the 6th century CE, a common practice among proselytizing Christians was to graft Christian theology onto pre-existing pagan rites and sacred places [see Flint in the BIBLIOGRAPHY]. In the case of pagan tree cults, this may initially involve the destruction of the sacred grove or the cutting down of a sacred tree. However, it would appear that frequently a church would be built on the same site, thereby co-opting it in the service of Christian conversion. The process effectively Christianized the sacred powers or energies of the original site. Examples of this include the medieval Gothic cathedral of Chartres, which was built on a site which was once sacred to the Celtic Druids (acorns, oak twigs, and tree idols in the scultural decorations on the South Portal of the cathedral may allude to the original Druidic oak grove: [see Anderson in the BIBLIOGRAPHY]). And before the Druids, during the Neolithic period, the same site may have been a sacred burial mound.

Trees and Architecture

The Egyptian temple was conceived essentially as a stone model of the creation landscape. The orders of columns, however, were designed not as direct representations of plant life (the palm, lotus, and papyrus bundle), but as stone reproductions of idealized landscape features.
 



In the time of Jesus, the veneration of the Lady and her tree was not just a distant memory. Juvenal, the Roman satirist writing early in the second century CE, described a poor Jewish woman, possibly a refugee, as a fortune teller ‘an interpreter of the laws of Jerusalem, a high priestess of the tree, a reliable mediator with highest heaven.’[26] In a section of the Mishnah dealing with idolatry, there are prohibitions which must have been directed against the cult of the Lady. ‘If a man finds an object on which there is a figure of the sun, a figure of the moon or a figure of the dragon (c.f. Rev.12), he must throw them into the Dead Sea’[27]. ‘If a tree was planted from the first for idolatry, it was forbidden. If it was chopped and trimmed for idolatry, and it sprouted afresh, one need only take away what had sprouted afresh; but if a Gentile set up an idol under the tree and then desecrated it, the tree was permitted’[28]. Even to walk under such a tree made one unclean. Bread baked with wood taken from the Asherah was unclean, any garment woven with a shuttle made from Asherah wood was unclean. Branches from an Asherah or from an apostate city could not be used in Tabernacles processions [29]. This is an interesting list: the sun, the moon, and a dragon is reminiscent of the Lady in Revelation 12: bread and weaving are associated with the Lady, apostate cities show that this was not a matter of pagan practice but a dispute within the Hebrew community; and a shaped tree immediately suggests the menorah, which was a stylised almond tree (Exod. 25.31-37).

In the time of the Messiah five things were to be restored to the temple; the fire, the ark, the Spirit, the cherubim and the menorah. Since the asherah was remembered as a stylised tree, the older English translations of the Bible, made before the discoveries at Ugarit revealed the existence of the goddess Athirat, translated asherah as ‘grove’, following the Greek. It was forbidden to plant a grove of trees near any altar of the Lord (Deut 16.21 King James Version); Jezebel had 400 prophets of the groves (1 Kgs 18.19, KJV). The asherah removed by Josiah would have been a stylised tree, and the only stylised tree associated with the temple was the menorah, the tree of fire which was the tree of life, and therefore a symbol of the Lady who was being removed. This menorah was remembered as the true menorah. There as a seven branched lamp in the second temple - it is depicted on the arch of Titus among the loot from the temple which was taken to Rome - yet people still looked for the restoration of the true menorah in the time of the Messiah.

The Lady’s tree of fire appears in another story, where her demise is the preface to the story of Moses and the Exodus. The burning bush was her tree of fire. The story of Moses learning the new name for God at the burning bush is recognised by scholars as the point at which the compilers of the Pentateuch joined together the two traditions. Abraham, Melchizedek and the patriarchs were joined to Moses and the Exodus, and the God of the Patriarchs was renamed. At the burning bush a voice said that the name to be used in future was yhwh (Exod.3.15). Later, we read: ‘God said to Moses: I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as El Shaddai, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them (Exod.6.3). Ezekiel had described the voice of the Living One as the voice of Shaddai. Now Shaddai has been translated in various ways, most often by Almighty, but the usual meaning of this Hebrew word is breasts, suggesting that El Shaddai had a female aspect. In the stories of the patriarchs, El Shaddai was associated with the gift of fertility: ‘May El Shaddai bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you (Gen.28.3); ‘I am El Shaddai; be fruitful and multiply… kings shall spring from you (Gen. 35.11); ‘El Shaddai… who will bless you with the blessings of the breast and of the womb… (Gen.49.25). If the story of the burning bush does represent the transition from the older religion to that of the Deuteronomists, then we should have an explanation for the later Christian custom of representing Mary by the burning bush. This fiery tree had been the ancient symbol of the Mother of the Lord; sometimes Mary is depicted literally within the burning bush, sometimes there is simply a fiery tree named ‘the Mother of God’, and sometimes the burning bush ikon depicts Mother and Son surrounded by the angels of the weathers, that is, the angels of Day One in the Holy of Holies.

The oil which anointed royal high priest and made him the Lord, the child of Wisdom, the Son of God, was perfumed oil from the tree of life. Wisdom was described by Ben Sira as the oil itself: a sweet perfume of myrrh, cinnamon and olive oil (Ben Sira 24.15) as prescribed in the instructions for the tabernacle (Exod. 30.23-25). Enoch described the experience of being anointed with this oil as he stood before the throne: ‘The Lord said to Michael: “Go and take Enoch from his earthly clothing (from his mortal body) and put on his the clothes of my glory (his resurrection body). And so Michael did just as the Lord commanded him. He anointed me and he clothed me, and the appearance of that oil is greater than the greatest light, and its ointment is like sweet dew (the symbol of resurrection) and its fragrance is myrrh, and it is like the rays of the glittering sun. And I looked at myself and I had become like one of the glorious ones”’ Enoch then saw the vision of the six days of creation [30]. The myrrh oil as the sacrament of apotheosis was mentioned by Pope Leo the Great in one of his Epiphany sermons: ‘He offers myrrh who believes that God’s only begotten son united to himself man’s true nature.’[31]

The perfumed anointing oil was kept in the holy of holies, and when the royal high priest was anointed, he received the gift of Wisdom herself: resurrection life, vision, knowledge and true wealth. The high priest was anointed on his head and between his eyelids - a curious detail which must have symbolised the opening of his eyes. When the oil was hidden away in the time of Josiah, Enoch said that the priests lost their vision. This is the context of the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 11: The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of Wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord.’ The text continues, translating literally: ‘His fragrance shall be the fear of the Lord.’

Memories of the gift of Wisdom in the fragrant myrrh oil appear in a variety of texts from the early Christian period. John wrote in his first letter: ‘You have the chrism from the Holy One and you know all things... you have no need for anyone to teach you anything (1 John 2.20,27). In the Clementine Recognitions, Clement attributed to Peter this explanation of the word Christ: ‘The Son of God, the Beginning of all things, became Man. He was the first whom God anointed with oil taken from the wood of the tree of life’ Peter said Christ would in turn anoint those who entered the Kingdom. Peter continued, ‘Aaron the first high priest was anointed with a composition of chrism which was made after the pattern of the spiritual ointment’ and if this earthly copy was so powerful, how much greater, he argued, was that chrism extracted from a branch of the tree of life.[32] A collection of early Christian hymns known as The Odes of Solomon includes lines such as: ‘My eyes were enlightened and my face received the dew, and my soul was refreshed with the pleasant fragrance of the Lord’ and ‘He anointed me with his perfection and I became as one of those who are near him.’[33] Paul wrote to the Corinthians about ‘the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ… a fragrance from life to life’ (2 Cor.2.14,16), meaning a fragrance from the tree of life which leads to life. Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land used to bring back little flasks of oil inscribed: ‘Oil from the tree of life.[34]’

The Lady was never really lost. Throughout the Bible and related texts, there is a whole network of symbolism through which the characteristic Wisdom theology was transmitted. Much of this is now more familiar as imagery associated with Mary. It appears, for example, in Akathist Hymn, where Mary is described as the Queen and Mother, the fiery throne, the dwelling place of the light, the lampstand, the fiery chariot of the Word, the food that replaced the manna, the tree of glorious fruit from which believers are nourished, the scent of Christ’s fragrance, and the unburned Bush. The roots of all this imagery lie in the first temple, which had been the house of Wisdom, the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of the Lord. In view of her importance, it is not surprising that the great churches were dedicated to the Holy Wisdom.
 



During the early centuries scholars and believers already understood Mary, the mother of Yesu, to be a saint of very special character. As a woman and human being in first century Palestine, to be chosen and called by God to be the one woman on earth fit to bring the Saviour into the world - to give birth to this boy, to suckle him and dry his bottom, to care for him physically and care after his education, to sit with him nights and tell him stories and impart motherly wisdom.

God chose Mary in the beginning to bring forth are Redeemer (Gen. 3:15). Mary mother of Jesus gave us a picture of holiness in her obedience to the Lord. Mary was the first Christian to say yes to Jesus, and he loved Mary as his mother and as one of his special children. Mary, a beautiful humble child of God, bore the perfect gift to mankind. She was Mary the mother of Jesus our Lord. She was a humble servant that God gave a special task to do. Our Father God trusted Mary enough to bring his only Son into the world and to raise him. Mary nurtured are Lord from birth and had a big influence on him. Mary held a unique place in the early Christian Church. God came into Mary not once, but twice. God came into Mary the first time when the Holy Spirit created Jesus Christ in her (Luke 1:35). God came into Mary the second time at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit filled her with the Spirit along with all her Christian brothers and sisters (Acts 2:1–4). Jesus loves his mother, Mary, with a special love, and she is are sister in Christ. The Scriptures say that she’s blessed. I am sure that she holds a high place in the Kingdom of Heaven, because she is the King’s mother. Moses and the profits gave us the Word in the OT. The desciples wrote the Word in the NT. Mary gave us Jesus, the True Word of God.

Woman was created in the image of God along with man. Women are baptized with the Holy Spirit as well as men. The revolt of woman against her inequalities with man is at bottom a protest against the restraints of a culture without faith, one that has chained her God given talents. One of the most beautiful lessons in the world emerges from the Annunciation, namely, the vocation of woman to supreme religious values.

 Jesus is quoted at the wedding at Cana and also at his crucifixtion as referring to his mother as "Woman". This is parallel to referring to himself as the "son of man"; and implies 'Genesis 3:15' in which God promised salvation through the woman's offspring.

Mary seemed to be the hostess at the marriage party, the one in charge, the one responsible for the entertainment of the guests. It was she who recognized the need for more wine, who sought to replenish the supply, who directed the servants to follow whatever instructions Jesus gave. Considering the customs of the day, it is a virtual certainty that one of Mary's children was being married.....Jesus also had a close personal interest in and connection with the marriage and the subsequent festivities which attended it. He and apparently at least five of his disciples (John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathaneal) were "called" to attend. Since the short age of wine occurred near the close of the festivities, and since these commonly lasted from seven to fourteen days, it is apparent that Jesus' party was remaining for the entire celebration. Seemingly, also, he had some personal responsibility for entertaining the guests and felt an obligation to supply them with added refreshments.

For a Jewish feast wine was essential and hospitality in the East is a sacred duty. For the provisions to fail at a wedding would be a terrible humiliation for the bride and bridegroom. So Mary came to tell Jesus that it was so. The Authorized Version of the translation of Jesus's reply makes it sound discourteous. It makes him say: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" That is indeed a translation of the words but it does not in any way provide the tone of those words. The phrase, "What have I to do with thee?" was a common conversational phrase.

This phrase is also the question, "Who am I? addressed from God to Woman universally. To us the word 'Woman' sounds to us as a very rough and abrupt way to address one's mother. However, it is the same word as Jesus used on the cross to address Mary as he left her in the care of John. (John 19:26) In Homer it is the title by which Odysseus addresses Penelope, his well loved wife. It is also the title by which Augustus, the Roman Emperor, addressed Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian Queen. In all cases this title represents the divine feminine; one religiously, one mythically, and one to a queen revered as a goddess by her royal birth
 

A civilization that does not kneel before God in reverence is also a civilization that has denounced the dignity of woman; she struggles as the most beautiful of unfinished symphonies, contending for spiritual understanding and human recognition. 

It is a terrible thing for individuals, either male or female not to know their own image as made in the image of God. We pay lip service to being above the limitations of words when it comes to speaking of the sex of God; but are we? Do we not rather continue our prejudes by enslaving people with words? This is tyranny and ungodly blasphemy. It is a historical fact, that whenever the world has been in danger of collapse, there has been re-emphasis of devotion to the Woman. Calvary was the greatest crisis the world has ever known, and women did not fail. May not She also be the strength of heart we need so desperatly today? VeriIy,I tell you She is! 

Christian are fond of telling unbelievers that, "there are no atheists in a fox hole." Will we also admit that the last word's on nealy every soldiers lips is love and devotion to wife or mother? In the sanctuary of her arms life takes its first breath, and in her arms is the sanctuary where life wants to flee in death. In the arms of our angel. 

Equity goes beyond equality by claiming superiority in certian aspects of life. Equity is the perfection of equality and should be the basis of feminine claims. She is also the protector and defender of all life. Our lady of Equity. The choice before women today is whether to equate themselves with men in rigid exactness or to rally to equity, to mercy and love; giving light, life, and grace in a cruel and lawless world. This liberty is something that a sterile equality can never truely achieve. 
 


In Catholicism there is a tradition that Mary is the Mediatrix, who takes prayers before Yeshua and El. This continues an ancient tradition, 


Theologically, Mary is the personification of the Church, the New Israel, the hope of mankind. Her true essence as the Church cannot be found in its earthly institution but must be sought in the spiritual life. This takes place in the heart; for it is within the Heart that Christ reveals Himself. Thus, it is within Her, the Holy Church, { that is in truth and spirit } that heaven and earth meet and communion with God begins. 

In the first century Church, the idea of Mary and the Saints as mediators expressed a Christian concept of the solidarity of the Church as community. Salvation was mediated by relation of Christ to God, and by Christians' relationship to one another. The community created a 'cloud of witnesses,' not only among the living, but also with those of past generations, who are in solidarity with one another and us in communicating grace. In this manner the Church extends from the Saints in Heaven down to the faithful here on earth. As the representative of humanity in its original goodness, Mary becomes the anticipation of its restoration and fulfillment at the end of history. 
 

 

 


Cultural influences also might explain why the Arch Angel Gabriel was historically seen as female, yet is now seen as sexless or male. Gabri-el is the ruler of the Cherubim. Gabri-el is unique amongst an otherwise male or androgynous host, for it is certain that this great Archangel is female. She is the only angel mentioned in the Old Testament by name, except for Michael, and is said to sit on the left hand side of God which is further evidence of her being female.



[Gabriel's] attributes are a lily and a scroll inscribed with "Ave Maria Gratia Plena." She is sometimes shown with a scepter or an olive branch as a symbol of peace on earth.

In Judeo-Christian lore she is the Angel of the Annunciation, Resurrection, Mercy, Revelation and Death. As ruler of the first heaven, she is closest to Man. According to the testimony of Joan of Arc it was Gabri-el who persuaded the Maid of Orleans to help the Dauphin. Gabriel appears to Daniel in order to explain the prophet's, awesome vision of the fight between the rain and the he-goat (the oracle of the Persians being overthrown by the Greeks). She appears again to Daniel to tell him of the coming of a messiah, a message which half a millennium later she repeats to Mary in the Annunciation.

So then God's angel is also female, and is it curious that she should appear at conceptions. Before Mary she had just announced to Zacharias the coining of John the Baptist.

To Mohammedans, Jibril/ Gabriel is considered the angel of Truth.

Although devout Moslems will hardly agree to her female sex, sufi Ruzbehan Bagli spoke of a vision in which he says, "In the first rank I saw Gabriel, like a maiden, or like the moon among the stars. His hair was like a woman's, falling in long tresses... the most beautiful of angels.

Sophias presence is also found in Islam. Fatimah is a prominent female in the Islamic tradition. Muhammad revered Fatimah as if she were a divine being, saying "Allah, The Most High; is pleased when Fatimah is pleased. He is angered; whenever Fatimah is angered!" Whenever Fatimah would go to the house of Muhammad, he would stand up out of respect for her and honour her by giving her a special place to seat herself in his house. He regarded her as a sort of primordial woman, a symbol of divine womanhood giving her many holy names, such as: Siddiqah; The Honest, The Righteous; Al-Batool, Pure Virgin; Al-Mubarakah, The Blessed One; .Al-Tahirah, The Virtuous, The Pure, Al-Zakiyah ;The Chaste, The Unblemished ;Al-Radhiatul Mardhiah, She who is gratified and who shall be satisfied; Al-Muhaddathah, A person other than a Prophet, that the angels speak to; Al-Zahra, The Splendid; Al-Zahirah, The Luminous.

Shias revere the person of Fatimah, Muhammad's daughter and mother of the line of inspired imams who embodied the divine truth for their generation. As such, Fatimah is associated with Sophia, the divine wisdom, which gives birth to all knowledge of God.

Sunni Islam has also drawn inspiration from the female. The philosopher Muid ad-Din ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240) saw a young girl in Mecca surrounded by light and realised that, for him, she was an incarnation of the divine Sophia. He believed that women were the most potent icons of the sacred, because they inspired a love in men which must ultimately be directed to God, the only true object of love.

Even more surprising is the Koran’s reverence for Mary, mother of Christ. Muhammad (and also in later Islamic theological scriptures) regarded Mary as the most marvellous of all women, a high adept and living example of the pure and holy life. Later Koranic c ommentaries describe Mary as an intervening force between God (Allah) and humanity. This intervening force is characterised by Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, sweetness and humility- the embodiment of Allah’s love for creation.

Rev 14:4 - virgins--spiritually (Mat_25:1); in contrast to the apostate Church, Babylon (Rev_14:8), spiritually "a harlot" (Rev_17:1-5; Isa_1:21; contrast 2Co_11:2; Eph_5:25-27). Their not being defiled with women means they were not led astray from Christian faithfulness by the tempters who jointly constitute the spiritual "harlot."

Rev 14:4 - These are they which were not defiled with women,.... With the whore of Rome, and her harlots, she is the mother of; while the kings and inhabitants of the earth were drunk with the wine of their fornication, or committed idolatry with them, which is spiritual fornication, and is here meant by being defiled with them, these were free from such pollutions, or idolatrous practices: for they are virgins; for their beauty and comeliness in Christ, chastity, sincerity of their love, uncorruptness in doctrine and worship, and for the uprightness of conversation; See Mat_25:1;

Mary occupies ten times as much of Our Lord's life then do the other apostles. The years of subjection young Jesus lived honoring his mother are associated with his growth "in wisdom and favor with God." The very fact that He makes himself subject endows Her with the power of the Spirit.

Nowhere is the gulf which divides Christian church's wider than on the subject of Mary. Those who in principle balk at a serious consideration of Marian doctrines are inconsistent, for example, in accepting the doctrine of the Trinity, a word which nowhere appears in the Bible and the very concept of which is by no means obvious there. The strong anti-Marian reaction of the Reformation period has frozen later Protestants into a permanent state of aversion to taking Mary seriously, except in marginal ways. Thus the fear of exaggerating Mary's importance causes her to be denied even an ordinary mothers recognition. A major obstacle to Marian devotion for Fundamentalists is the idea that devotion to Mary "competes" with devotion to Jesus. Once we realize that Mary is the Mother given to us by the Holy Trinity and that we turn to her as we would to an earthly mother without "competing" with the worship we owe to God, many of the Fundamentalist misconceptions problems would evaporate. And once we realize that Jesus honors Mary as His mother we who are His followers can do no less.

Why do some think that any reverence paid to the Mother of Jesus detracts from His Divinity? Mary does not prevent our honoring Our Lord, and nothing is more cruel of false than to say She takes souls away from Christ. The less we think of Him, the less we think of Her; the more we adore His Divinity, the more we venerate Her. Never will it be found that anyone who really loves Our Lord as a Divine Savior dislikes Mary. Those who dislike any devotion to Mary are those who deny His Divinity or find fault with Our Lord because of what he says about life, equality and liberty. Coldness toward Mary is a consequence of indifference to Christ. Any objection to calling her the Mother of God is fundamentally an objection to the Deity of Christ.

This idea of the Goddess or maternal womb is embedded in history. It was and is symbolized by the ceremonial bowl. When used in the Egyptian temples as the temple basin it was called the shi. In Biblical times it became the brass sea in Solomon's temple (1 Kings 7:23-26). Such bowls or vassals were used for illustrations, baptisms and various purification ceremonies. Although the Christians often fail to disclose that the holy water fount still symbolizes the womb. This symbolically is true since the water is to bestow blessings or grace upon the one which it is sprinkled upon, or who sprinkles it upon himself, and this grace supposedly comes from Jesus Christ who came from the womb of Mary.
Although, in the ancient maternal temples this womb-vessel was very much respected for its inherent fertile power. Its holy waters were revered as they were considered spiritual representing the birth-giving energy of the Goddess.
Throughout the history of Goddess worship, witchcraft, and currently in Neo-pagan witchcraft the cauldon has been a feminine symbol associated with the womb of the Mother Goddess.
All Christian sects have not thought of God as just masculine. This is especially true of the Gnostics. It is in the Apocryphon of John one sees the apostle John grieving after the crucifixion. John was in a "great grief" during which he experienced a mystical vision of the Trinity:
the [heavens were opened and the whole] creation [which
is] under heaven shone and [the world] trembled. [And I
was afraid, and I] saw in the light...a likeness with multiple
forms...and the likeness had three forms.
To John's question of the vision came this answer: "He said to me, 'John, Jo[h]n, why do you doubt, and why are you afraid?...I am the one who [is with you] always. I [am the Father]; I am the Mother; I am the Son.'"
To many this description of the Trinity is shocking, but it need not be. What so many forget, or do not realized is that the New Testament was written in Greek; whereas, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word meaning spirit is ruah having a feminine gender, but the Greek word for spirit is pneuma having a neuter gender. Thus the Greek language, or to be more specific a change in language when writing the New Testament, virtually made the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, asexual. It also, when accepted by the orthodox Christian Church, eliminated any femininity concept of God. Also Mary is held to have remained a virgin by Catholics and some Christians because Matthew in his gospel used the Greek word parthenos, meaning "virgin," instead of almah when referring to the virgin birth of Jesus.

The term 'Theotokos' Mother of God, contains the whole mystery of the Incarnation. The mystery of the incarnation begins with God's asking a woman freely to give him a body; showing that the particular person whom he chose to consult was a woman. Woman gave Our Lord His human nature that he might give us a rebirth in freedom and love. It was through Her that He became the bridge between the Divine and the Human. No one, therefore, who thinks logically about Christ can divide Son and Mother. The relation of Mary to Christ extends beyond Bethlehem and Calvary even to His Mystical Body the Church. Since Mary is the mother of Christ, She is also the Mother of everyone whom Christ redeemed. Born of the virgin Mary; this is a true statement not only of Christ but also of every Christian who is 'born again'. In virtue of Our common Baptism did we become children of Mary. If Christ is a Mediator between God and humanity; Mary is the Mediatrix between Christ and us. In this one Woman are virginity and motherhood united, as if God willed to show us that both are necessary for the world. Things seperated in other creatures are united in Her; and so are we united to God in Her. The love of God would so inflame her heart , her body, her soul that when Jesus was born the world could say of Him; "This is a child of Love." Mary is here recapturing woman's vocation from the beginning, namely, to be to humanity the bearer of the Divine; every mother is this when she gives birth to a child. The mother in the order of the creation brings the spirit that issues from the Hand of God to the cradle of the earth. Can religion do without motherhood? It certainly does not do without fatherhood. She is the image of the eternal within the temporial for she is the giver of life. She thus becomes co-worker with Divinity; she bears what God alone can give.

And to those who would discount the labour of Mary's womb, it should be pointed out that without the labour of Mary's hands, there would be no blessed Saviour, either.

ary's last recorded words in the Gospels are at a wedding in Cana, where Jesus performs his first miracle. She said, "Do whatever he tells you." This is a statement of complete faith in the ability of Jesus to perform miracles, and shows her to be his first true disciple. The human race became incorporated to the first Adam by being born of the flesh; incorporation to the new Adam, Christ, is by being born of the Spirit. This spiritual birth is symbolized in Christ's life by a virgin birth. This is also symbolic of the pristine earth in the spring when she brings forth new life. Mary, the woman, presided at the three great moments of life: at a birth on the occasion of the Visitation, at a marriage at the Marriage Feast of Cana, and a Death, or surrender of Life, at the Crucifiction of Her Divine Son.

Father, Mother and Child (often a Savior-Son) is an ancient trinity, naturally reflected in the world around us. Just as Mary is strongly linked to Isis, so the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, is linked to the trinity of Osiris, Isis and Horus. In Christianizing the pagan world, this family trinity was familiar and, therefore, effective in encouraging conversion to a religion that seemed so similar to native worship In the process of the Hellenistic world's adoption of Christianity, many essential features of the pagan mystery religions now found successful expression in the Christian religion: the belief in a savior deity whose death and rebirth brought immortality to man, the themes of illumination and regeneration, the ritual initiation with a community of worshipers into the salvational knowledge of cosmic truths, while some of the mystery religions emphasized the evil imprisonment of matter, which only initiates could transcend, early Christianity heralded Christ as inaugurating the redemption of even the material world. Jesus Christ was not a mythical figure but an actual historical person who fulfilled the Judaic messianic prophecies and brought the new revelation to a universal audience, with potentially all of mankind as the new initiates rather than a select few. What was to the pagan mysteries an esoteric mythological process-the death-rebirth mystery-had in Christ become concrete historical reality, enacted for all humanity to witness and openly participate in, with a consequent transformation of the entire movement of history.

From this viewpoint, the pagan mysteries were not so much an impediment to the growth of Christianity as they were the soil from which it could more readily spring. But unlike the mystery religions, Christianity was proclaimed and recognized as the exclusively authentic source of salvation, superseding all previous mysteries and religions, alone bestowing the true knowledge of the universe and a true basis for ethics. Such a claim was decisive in the triumph of Christianity in the late classical world.

Now let's address your questions on the Biblical support of the Trinity. You are right in stating there is no one verse that explicitly defines the Trinity. However, in order to consistently interpret the Bible, the Trinity is the only logical solution. We can build this argument on three bases: the Bile's claim to who God is, what God's attributes are, and what our actions toward God should be.


This means that Jesus incarnated both his "Father" (God) and his "Mother" (Wisdom) in his own person (cf. also Luke 7:35). If we add to this the fact that God's Wisdom and God's Spirit are closely linked or even equated in biblical literature (cf. Wisdom 7:22ff) and the fact that the Spirit is an archetypal image of the feminine divine, we may think of the Spirit as (in a sense) Jesus' Mother.

While there is no explicit statement in the Old Testament affirming the Triunity, we can confidently say that the Old Testament not only allows for the Triunity, but also implies that God is a triune Being in a number of ways:

(1) The name Elohim, translated God, is the plural form of El. While this is what is called a plural of plenitude pointing to the power and majesty of God, it certainly allows for the New Testament revelation of the Triunity of God.

(2) There are many instances where God uses the plural pronoun to describe Himself (see Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa. 6:8).

(3) In the creation account, both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are seen in the work of creation. It is stated that God created heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1), but that it was the Holy Spirit who moved over the earth to infuse it with life in the sense of protecting and participating in the work of creation (Gen. 1:2).

(4) Writing about the Messiah, Isaiah reveals Him to be equal with God, calling Him the “Mighty God” and “Eternal Father” (Isa. 9:6).

(5) Several passages reveal a distinction of Persons within the Godhead.

In Psalm 110:1, David demonstrates there is a distinction of Persons between “LORD,” the one speaking, and the one addressed called by David, “my Lord.” David was indicating the Messiah was no ordinary king, but his own Lord, Adoni (my Lord), one who was God Himself. So God the first Person addresses God the second Person. This is precisely Peter’s point when He quotes this Psalm to show the resurrection of the Messiah was anticipated in the Old Testament.
The Redeemer (who must be divine, Isa. 7:14; 9:6) is distinguished from the Lord (Isa. 59:20).
The Lord is distinguished from the Lord in Hosea 1:6-7. The one speaking here is Yahweh, the Lord, yet, note the statement in verse 7, “I will have compassion … and deliver them by the Lord their God.”
The Spirit is distinguished from the Lord in a number of passages (Isa. 48:16; 59:21; 63:9-10).
(6) In the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, God made it clear that the One who would be born of the virgin would also be Immanuel, God with us.

(7) Two other passages which imply the Trinity are Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1. In Isaiah 48:16 all three Persons are mentioned and yet seen as distinct from each other. See also Gen. 22:15-16.

New Testament Scriptures
The case for the Triunity of God is even stronger in the New Testament. Here it can be unequivocally demonstrated the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Furthermore, the New Testament teaches us that these three names are not synonymous, but speak of three distinct and equal Persons.

(1) The Father is called God (John 6:27; 20:17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; Phil. 2:11; 1 Pet. 1:2).

(2) Jesus Christ, the Son is declared to be God. His deity is proven by the divine names given to Him, by His works that only God could do (upholding all things, Col. 1:17; creation, Col. 1:16, John 1:3; and future judgment, John 5:27), by His divine attributes (eternality, John 17:5; omnipresence, Matt. 28:20; omnipotence, Heb. 1:3; omniscience, Matt. 9:4), and by explicit statements declaring His deity (John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8).

(3) The Holy Spirit is recognized as God. By comparing Peter’s comments in Acts 5:3 and 4, we see that in lying to the Holy Spirit (vs. 3), Ananias was lying to God (vs. 4). He has the attributes which only God can possess like omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10) and omnipresence (1 Cor. 6:19), and He regenerates people to new life (John 3:5-6, 8; Tit. 3:5), which must of necessity be a work of God for only God has the power of life. Finally, His deity is evident by the divine names used for the Spirit as “the Spirit of our God,” (1 Cor. 6:11), which should be understood as “the Spirit, who is our God.”

Ryrie writes: “Matthew 28:19 best states both the oneness and threeness by associating equally the three Persons and uniting them in one singular name. Other passages like Matthew 3:16-17 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 associate equally the three Persons but do not contain the strong emphasis on unity as does Matthew 28:19.”18

The New Bible Dictionary, adds to this the following evidence:

The evidence of the NT writings, apart from the Gospels, is sufficient to show that Christ had instructed his disciples on this doctrine to a greater extent than is recorded by any of the four Evangelists. They whole-heartedly proclaim the doctrine of the Trinity as the threefold source of redemption. The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost brought the personality of the Spirit into greater prominence and at the same time shed light anew from the Spirit upon the Son. Peter, in explaining the phenomenon of Pentecost, represents it as the activity of the Trinity: ‘This Jesus … being … exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear’ (Acts 2:32-33). So the church of Pentecost was founded on the doctrine of the Trinity.

In 1 Cor. there is mention of the gifts of the Spirit, the varieties of service for the same Lord and the inspiration of the same God for the work (1 Cor. 12:4-6).

Peter traces salvation to the same triunal source: ‘destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ’ (1 Pet. 1:2). The apostolic benediction: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’ (2 Cor. 13:14), not only sums up the apostolic teaching, but interprets the deeper meaning of the Trinity in Christian experience, the saving grace of the Son giving access to the love of the Father and to the communion of the Spirit.

What is amazing, however, is that this confession of God as One in Three took place without struggle and without controversy by a people indoctrinated for centuries in the faith of the one God, and that in entering the Christian church they were not conscious of any break with their ancient faith.19

From the above evidence, it should be clear that the Scripture teaches God is one and three.



The most difficult thing about the Trinity is that there is no way to adequately explain it. The Trinity is a concept that is impossible for any human being to fully understand, let alone explain. God is infinitely greater than we are, therefore we should not expect to be able to fully understand Him. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches that there is only one God.

Some have tried to give human illustrations for the Trinity, such as H2O being water, ice and steam (all different forms, but all are H2O). Another illustration is an egg having a shell, egg yolk and egg white, but this egg illustration shows that there would be "parts" to God, which isn't the case. God the Son (Jesus) is fully, completely God. God the Father is fully, completely God. And God the Holy Spirit is fully, completely God. Yet there is only one God. In our world, with our limited human experience, it's tough to understand the Trinity. But from the beginning we see God this way in Scripture. Notice the plural pronouns "us" and "our" in Genesis 1:26 -- Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Though we can understand some facts about the relationship of the different persons of the Godhead to one another, ultimately, it is incomprehensible to the human mind. However, this does not mean it is not true. Keep in mind when studying this subject that the word "Trinity" is not used in Scripture. This is a term that is used to attempt to describe the triune God, the fact that there are 3 coexistent, co-eternal persons that make up God. Understand that this is NOT in anyway suggesting 3 Gods. The Trinity is 1 God made up of 3 persons. There is nothing wrong with using the term "Trinity". It is shorter to say the word "Trinity" than to say "3 coexistent, co-eternal persons making up 1 God." If this presents a problem to you, consider this: the word grandfather is not used in the Bible either. Yet, we know there were grandfathers in the Bible. Abraham was the grandfather of Jacob. So don't get hung up on the term itself. What should be of real importance is that the concept that is REPRESENTED by the word "Trinity" does exist in Scripture. With the introduction out of the way, verses will be given in discussion of the Trinity. 1) There is one God: Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5. 2) The Godhead consists of three Persons: Genesis 1:1; 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; 48:16; 61:1; Matthew 3:16-17; Matt 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14. In the passages in the Old Testament, a knowledge of Hebrew is helpful. In Genesis 1:1, the plural noun "Elohim" is used. In Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7 and Isaiah 6:8, the plural pronoun for "us" is used. That "Elohim" and "us" refer to more than two is WITHOUT question. In English, you only have two forms, singular and plural. In Hebrew, you have three forms: singular, dual, and plural. Dual is for two ONLY. In Hebrew, the dual form is used for things that come in pairs like eyes, ears, and hands. The word "Elohim" and the pronoun "us" are plural forms - definitely more than two - and must be referring to three or more (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). In Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1, the Son is speaking while making reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Compare Isaiah 61:1 to Luke 4:14-19 to see that it is the Son speaking. Matthew 3:16-17 describes the event of Jesus' baptism. Seen in this is God the Holy Spirit descending on God the Son while God the Father proclaims His pleasure in the Son. Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 are examples of 3 distinct persons in the Godhead. 3) The members of the Godhead are distinguished one from another in various passages: In the Old Testament, "LORD" is distinguished from "Lord" (Genesis 19:24; Hosea 1:4). The "Lord" has a "Son" (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:2-4). Spirit is distinguished from the "LORD" (Numbers 27:18) and from "God" (Psalm 51:10-12). God the Son is distinguished from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9). In the New Testament, John 14:16-17 is where Jesus speaks to the Father about sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit. This shows that Jesus did not consider Himself to be the Father or the Holy Spirit. Consider also all of the other times in the Gospels where Jesus speaks to the Father. Was He speaking to Himself? No. He spoke to another person in the Godhead - the Father. 4) Each member of the Godhead is God: The Father is God: John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2. The Son is God: John 1:1, 14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20. The Holy Spirit is God: Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16 (The One who indwells is the Holy Spirit - Romans 8:9; John 14:16-17; Acts 2:1-4). 5) The subordination within the Godhead: Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father. This is an internal relationship, and does not deny the deity of any person of the Godhead. This is simply an area which our finite minds cannot understand concerning the infinite God. Concerning the Son see: Luke 22:42; John 5:36; John 20:21; 1 John 4:14. Concerning the Holy Spirit see: John 14:16; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7 and especially John 16:13-14. 6) The tasks of the individual members of the Godhead: The Father is the ultimate source or cause of: 1) the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11); 2) divine revelation (Revelation 1:1); 3) salvation (John 3:16-17); and 4) Jesus' human works (John 5:17; 14:10). The Father INITIATES all of these things. The Son is the agent through whom the Father does the following works: 1) the creation and maintenance of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17); 2) divine revelation (John 1:1; Matthew 11:27; John 16:12-15; Revelation 1:1); and 3) salvation (2 Corinthians 5:19; Matthew 1:21; John 4:42). The Father does all these things through the Son, who functions as His agent. The Holy Spirit is the means by whom the Father does the following works: 1) creation and maintenance of the universe (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30); 2) divine revelation (John 16:12-15; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21); 3) salvation (John 3:6; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2); and 4) Jesus' works (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 10:38). Thus the Father does all these things by the power of the Holy Spirit. None of the popular illustrations are completely accurate descriptions of the Trinity. The egg (or apple) fails in that the shell, white, and yoke are parts of the egg, not the egg in themselves. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not parts of God, each of them is God. The water illustration is somewhat better but still fails to adequately describe the Trinity. Liquid, vapor, and ice are forms of water. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not forms of God, each of them is God. So, while these illustrations may give us a picture of the Trinity, the picture is not entirely accurate. An infinite God cannot be fully described by a finite illustration. Instead of focusing on the Trinity, try to focus on the fact of God's greatness and infinitely higher nature than our own. "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" (Rom 11:33-34)
Definition of the
Trinity (Triunity) of God
Trinity: Webster’s dictionary gives the following definition of trinity: “The union of three divine persons (or hypostases), the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one divinity, so that all the three are one God as to substance, but three Persons (or hypostases as to individuality).” Synonyms sometimes used are triunity, trine, triality. The term “trinity” is formed from “tri,” three, and “nity,” unity. Triunity is a better term than “trinity” because it better expresses the idea of three in one. God is three in one. Hypostases is the plural of hypostasis which means “the substance, the underlying reality, or essence.”

The three Persons are the same in substance, i.e., in essence or in their essential nature, but distinct in subsistence which describes God’s mode or quality of existence in three Persons. By mode of existence we do not mean one God acting in three different ways, but one Divine Being existing in three distinct Persons within one Divine Substance or Essence. Again, this is not exactly three individuals as we think of three personal individuals, but one Divine Being who acts and thinks as one within a three-fold personality. This is incomprehensible to our finite and limited minds, but it is the teaching of the Scripture. “In the Being of God there are not three individuals, but only three personal self distinctions within the one Divine Essence.”
(5) 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 “Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

(6) Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

Church doctrine regards the Holy Spirit as a person, not a force like magnetism. The writings of the Catholic fathers, in fact, preserve the vision of the Spirit encapsulating the "peoplehood of Christ" as the Bride or as the "Mother Church." Both are feminine aspects of the Divine. In the Eastern Church, Spirit was always considered to have a feminine nature. She was the life -bearer of the faith. Clement of Alexandria states that "she" is an indwelling Bride.

Amongst the Eastern Church communities there is none more clear about the feminine aspect of the Holy Spirit as the corpus of the Coptic-Gnostics. One such document records that Jesus says, "Even so did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away to the great mountain Tabor [in Galilee]."

The 3rd century scroll of mystical Coptic Christianity, The Acts of Thomas, gives a graphic account of the Apostle Thomas' travels to India, and contains prayers invoking the Holy Spirit as "the Mother of all creation" and "compassionate mother," among other titles. The most profound Coptic Christian writings definitely link the "spirit of Spirit" manifested by Christ to all believers as the "Spirit of the Divine Mother." Most significant are the new manuscript discoveries of recent decades which have demonstrated that more early Christians than previously thought regarded the Holy Spirit as the Mother of Jesus.

According to Professor Neil Q. Hamilton at Drew University School of Theology, the Gospel of John shows us how "the Holy Spirit begins to perform a mothering role for us that is unconditional acceptance, love and caring." God then begins to parent us in father and mother modes.

A Catholic scholar, Franz Mayr, a philosophy professor at the University of Portland, also favors the recognition of the Holy Spirit as feminine. He contends that the traditional unity of God would not have to be watered down in order for scholars to accept the feminine side of God . Mayr, who studied under the renown German theologian Karl Rahner, said he came to his view during his study of the writings of St. Augustine (AD 354-430) who saw that a significant number of early Christians must have accepted a feminine aspect of the Holy Spirit such that the influential church father of North Africa castigated this view.

It is often suggested that the Egyptian triad was the model for the Christian, though the Christian concept of a total unity does not correspond to the Egyptian concept.
The concept of the Christian Trinity is not defined from the New Testament, rather it belongs to the times of the first Christians. Its background was the troubled disunity of a God acting on earth as a distinct figure without God's omnipotence (i.e. Jesus) and a third emanation of God, a spirit acting within the community of the first Christians (i.e. Holy Spirit). Still, the concept of the Trinity would take centuries to develop, and with many controversies.
Before arriving at the final definition of trinity, the early church went through a numer of development stages. The need to safeguard monotheism was the main motive in the debates. One early explanation of the three emanations was to define Jesus as subordinate to God. A second theory was to define the three as modes of the disclosure of God, all being part of the same being.
It was first late in the 4th century, that the final definition of trinity was set down. At the Council of Nicaea in 325 a hard-to-get definition of Jesus made him both distinct from God, yet of the same substance. At this time, the Holy Spirit still came out as little defined. A long process involving Athanasius and the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus) would eventually come to define trinity as it ever since has been understood.
Christianity has a second trinity, which is weaker in its formulation, yet important with many cults: Jesus, and his mother Mary and father Joseph. The latter, rarely plays much of a role, but the link between Mary and Jesus has many interesting similarities with Isis and Horus of Ancient Egyptian religion. In both religions, the father is a detached figure, Joseph appears not very different from Osiris in many ways.

Sophia, one of humanity’s oldest deities, is often described as the Threefold Goddess--the Maiden, Mother, and Crone--who represents three phases of women’s spiritual power: independence, creativity, and wisdom. It was Her Divine guidance that was invoked when life-altering decisions were to be made. Sophia is the archetypal Divine Feminine wisdom of the past brought into the present to direct and manifest the future.

Thus, Holy Wisdom is a female image for the whole of the “triune” God—for “[the eternal] Mother, her beloved Child, and the Spirit of their mutual love”; she is Wisdom’s transcendent Vitality, Wisdom’s immanent Word, and Wisdom’s radiating Energy. So, Mother-Sophia, Child-Sophia, and Spirit-Sophia; Wisdom’s Transcendent Depth, Wisdom’s Immanent Word, and Wisdom’s Radiating Energy. When spoken of in these ways, the symbol of the “triune” God is depicted in a female metaphor as “a threefold reality [that is] hidden in the fullness of her power, eternally uttering the distinct word of herself, and pouring forth her personal love.” (Ibid., p. 215) So, People of God! Let us: “Laud and magnify God, the everlasting Wisdom, the holy, undivided … Trinity[, worthy of adoration].…” (Sayers, p. 114) Let us pray: O Holy Wisdom, Triune God, You are Sacred Three and Blessed One. We pray to You, O Mother-Sophia, that we may give forth new life. We pray to You, O Christ-Sophia, that we may be rooted deeply in this life. We pray to You, O Spirit-Sophia, that we may soar beyond all present possibilities. To You, O Holy Wisdom, Triune God, be all honor and glory, now and forevermore. Amen.


There are three fundamental ways in which Ultimate Reality is defined: personal being (a personal and loving God), impersonal being (as origin and target of all personal beings) or an eternal truth or principle that governs the universe. Are these three possibilities mere manifestations of the same Ultimate Reality?


In Buddhism, we take refuge in Three Jewels -- Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. These refuges are a very deep practice. They are the Buddhist trinity:
I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life. I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love. I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness.


The three gods-Brahma, Vishnu and Siva together form the Hindu Trinity. Brahma creates the world, Vishnu sustains it and Siva destroys it. Hindus are divided into three main groups based on the deity they worship. The worshippers of Siva are known as Saivas, worshippers of Sakti (consort of Siva) as Saktas and worshippers of Vishnu as Vaishnavas. Each of these gods has a consort, and the gods and their consorts have many manifestations. Each god also has a vehicle on which they ride, and a symbol. Brahma Brahma, the creator, from the cosmological point of view is the Golden Embryo (Hiranyagarbha), the ball of fire, from which the universe develops. The icon of Brahma has four heads facing the four quarters and they represent the four Vedas, the four Yugas (epochs of time), and the four Varnas (divisions of society based on nature, nurture and vocation). There are four arms holding different objects and in different poses. The objects usually shown are Aksamala (rosary), Kurca ( a bunch of Kusa grass), Sruk (ladle), Sruva (spoon), Kamandalu (water pot) and Pustaka (book). The rosary represents time, and the water pot; the casual water, from which all creation has sprung. The Kusa grass, the ladle and the spoon being sacrificial implements, represent the system of sacrifice which means to be adopted by the various creatures to sustain one another. The book represents knowledge, sacred and secular. The poses of the hand (Mudras) are Abhaya (assuring protection) and Varada (granting boons). Saraswati is his consort. She is the goddess of knowledge and music. Hamsa (goose/swan) is his vehicle. The temples dedicated to Brahma are rare. One of them is at Puskar in Rajasthan. Vishnu Vishnu is also known as Mahavishnu, represents Sattvaguna and is the centripetal force as it were responsible for sustenance, protection and maintenance of the created Universe. Another name of Vishnu is Narayana. Vishnu is always described as Nialamegahasyana, of a dark blue hue like than of the rain-bearing cloud.The icon of Vishnu has one face and four arms each one holding Sankha (conch), Chakra (discus), Gada (mace), Padma (lotus) and wears a necklace with the famous gem Kaustubha dangling on the lock of hair Srivatsa, on the left chest. He also wears a garland (of gems or fragrant flowers) Vaijayanti by name. The Sankha represents the five elements like the earth, water etc; chakra stands for the cosmic mind, Gada indicates the cosmic intellect and the Padma points to the evolving world. The curl of hair, Srivatsa, represents all objects of enjoyment, the products of nature. The gem Kaustubha, resting on it, stands for the enjoyer. The garland Vaijayanti is symbolical of the subtle elements. Vishnu's consort is the beautiful Lakshmi, who came from the sea and is the goddess of wealth, prosperity, honour and love. Vishnu's vehicle is the half man, half-eagle known as the Garuda. Vishnu is supposed to have 10 incarnations (Dasavatara). SIVA Siva, last deity of the Trinity is responsible for the dissolution of the Universe. Literally, Siva is one in whom the Universe 'sleeps' after destruction before the next cycle of creation. Iconographically Siva may have two, three, four, eight, ten or even thirty-two hands. Some of the various objects shown in the hands are :Trisula (trident), Chakra (discus), Parasu (battle axe), Damaru (drum), Aksamaba (rosary), Mrga (deer), Pasa (noose), Danda (staff), Pinaka or Ajagava (bow), Khatvanga (magic wand), Pasupata (spear), Padma (lotus), Kapala (skull-cap), Darpana (mirror), Khadga (sword) and soon. The icon of Siva is never worshipped as the Mulamurti (original, installed in the sanctum sanctorum), but only as an Utsavamurti (the icon used during festivals for taking out in a procession). Lord Siva is a great master of dance (Nataraja). It is believed that all the 108 modes of dancing known to the treatises on dancing have come from him. Siva's consort is Parvati (also known as Uma, Sati, Kali and Durga). His vehicle is bull (Nandi). Ganapati and Subrahmanya are his son's.


Will anybody who believes in Jesus as divine and also the story of the virgin birth deny that Jesus was born by Mary through faith? When the female Holy Spirit indwelt in Mary it was the substance of Mary's faith. It is the very image of the Divine Feminine. And from this the word is made flesh.
If Jesus was born by Mary's faith what does that make Mary? It makes her the God bearer as well Christ bearer.. and Mediatrix,, and co-redemptrix

Jesus hints at the Holy Ghost's gender when he refers to his 'mother' in heaven, and compares her in the Nag Hammadi gospels to his earthly mother, saying his earthly mother gave him death but his heavenly mother gave him life. He also mentions that his followers are to be born again of the Ruach or Anima, and he speaks of baptism as a ritual of rebirthing, where we are born again of the water. Everyone knows there is no birth without a womb, without a mother. Jesus explains this so that the gender of the Ruach is not only incidental, but central and crucial to the mystery of baptism, and the one being baptised is reborn as a child of the Holy Ghost, he or she is born again of the Holy Ghost, a son of the Goddess. I have presented all these facts to conclude that Jesus, and his rabbi John the Baptist, both of whom were Essenes, were beyond a shadow of a doubt teaching a form of Goddess spirituality and a Goddess mystery tradition within Judaism, and that the Ruach's status as a Divine woman was central to the true mystery and meaning of baptism.

Like all initiations, in the baptism performed by John the Baptist and the Essenes, the old self must die and one is reborn again. The Gospel of Phillip sheds light on this mystery when it teaches us that 'a horse can only beget a horse, a man can only beget a human, and a god can only beget a god'. This further illuminates what it means to be 'born of the Ruach'. If the Ruach is spirit, then one reborn from Her becomes spirit and shares her divine, immortal nature, and receives the Holy Ghost as his mother. This new relationship between humans and the Ruach is one of the things that identifies the new Christian community and Christian mysticism.

The mystery of baptism is clearly a Goddess mystery, where the sacred waters grant us new life just as they did in Genesis. In fact, the creation myth that we find in Genesis is based on an earlier, Sumerian myth where the Sumerian Father God (El) and Mother Goddess (Asherah) copulate at the beginning of creation. We know of the identity between the God of Abraham and the Heavenly King in Sumerian myth from the name: El. Most prophets and angels in Jewish traditions have names that end in -el, such as Daniel, Gabriel, Mikael, etc. This is a reference to El, the Sumerian God, with whom Abraham believed to have made a pact or covenant that extended to all his descendants. Abraham came from Ur, where El was the main God, even if one among many.

We also know of the identity between the Holy Ghost and the Asherah because both are the waters of life. Lady Wisdom, in the Bible, says that She existed before creation and witnessed it, which means that She is non-created, and therefore her nature is divine. In the Sumerian myth, the spirit of El is hovering over the Asherah, and they are copulating. In the Genesis myth, the waters of life are no longer personified, and we see a plain sea where the Sumerians saw a watery primal Goddess. But the myth, otherwise, is almost identical. Asherah is the consort of the God of Abraham, the co-Creator, and this must have been the reason why Jewish women used to commit transgresions against the prophets' warnings and pray to Her during early Judaism, because they saw their pagan cousins and neighbors praying to her alongside their more familiar God, and they knew that they had a spiritual Mother who had been stolen from them by patriarchal Jewish religious authorities.



Prior to our modern era, the Church had enjoyed peaceful possession of the same truth. It seems to have generated little or no controversy. The Eastern and Western Fathers and Doctors of the Church had amassed a veritable Mariological treasure in regard to these sublime Marian roles, and in doing so already prepared the groundwork for the later invocation of Mary under the more technical term "Coredemptrix."

And along with his wife..

Mary the Magdalene.. who is one with Jesus through marriage and being the chief prophetess and apostle to the apostles.. who is also a "Coredemptrix." and a bodhisattva (like Kaun Yin)..

These two Mary's are the twin pillars on the right and on the left..

1Ki 7:21 - And he set up the pillars in the (l) porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof (m) Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof (n) Boaz.

(l) Which was in the inner court between the temple and the oracle.

(m) That is, he will stablish, that is, his promise toward this house.

(n) That is, in strength: meaning the power of it will continue.

These pillars are named.. like an Asherah is named. “Direction” and “Strength.”

t appears to have been the custom among the ancient mid-eastern
people to give names to their sacred and religious objects. It is stated (in
Exodus 17:15), "And Moses built an alter, and called the name of it
Jehovahnissi". This name which Moses endowed upon the alter, when translated
from the ancient Hebrew effectively states "God's Sacred and Holy Vestments".
Thus we can establish the fact that the two pillars were not merely articles
of architectural design and function, but also must have been objects of
blessed sacraments, in relation to the names which were used to adore them.


These two pillars also served as memorials of Gods repeated commitment of
support to His people of Israel and of a vision, which came to David, the
father of King Solomon, where the voice of God proclaimed, (I Kings 9:5)
"Then I will establish the Throne of thy Kingdom upon Israel forever, as I
have promised to David thy father".


But why two pillars, if but one Deity is represented?

This is symbolic of God's presence in his Asherah

Ancient Goddess' could symbolize both love and war.



So these pillars being eminently strong and stable, were types of that strength which was in God, and would be put forth by God for the defending and establishing of his temple and people.



or of the church of God, the pillar and ground of truth; as of Christ himself, and the two natures in him, and of his royal dignity, signified by the crowns or chapiters on them, decorated as they were, whose legs are as pillars of marble, and in whom are righteousness and strength; which is no small encouragement to those who are entering into the church of God the temple was a type of; who, should they fear, being feeble and weak, that they should totter and fall, here stands Jachin, to let them know the Lord will establish and settle them; or that they should never hold out to the end, here is Boaz to direct them to Christ, in whom their strength lies, see Son_4:15.



Jachin and Boaz represent two giant plants or tree whose top is a lotus flower and stem or trunk are that of a palm tree. "The lotus flower was recognized as a love flower anciently and here it signifies God's love.

Thus the two pillars typify Unity and the redeeming power of Love, with the significant suggestion that the redemption results from the Unity. They correspond with the two "bonds," or uniting principles spoken of by St. Paul, "the Unity of the Spirit which is the Bond of Peace," and "Love, which is the Bond of Perfectness."

These two pillars, therefore, stand for the two great spiritual principles that are the basis of all Life: Jachin typifying the Unity resulting from Being, and Boaz typifying the Unity resulting from Love.

To summarize this topic of the two twin pillars, we must learn to open
our minds and hearts to the Spirit. And as
the pillars of Boaz and Jachin do inhabit, the inspirations which are represented by the "Pillar of
fire" and the "Pillar of cloud", should teach us how
the Children of Israel were led through the Red Sea by a miraculous east
wind, so should we ever remember that God promises to watch over us with
grace and love and how He will redeem us into His own house at the end of our
earthly existence.

Son 3:6 Who is this who comes up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all spices of the merchant?


Hebrew anan. As visible heavenly objects, clouds are often associated with supernatural phenomena. God rides upon the clouds (Ps. 104:3). When God becomes manifest on earth, clouds obscure what is happening (Ex. 19-21; Job 22:13; Ex. 19; Lev. 16:2). Angels too manifest themselves as cloud, most famously the pillar of cloud that guided the Children of Israel during the day on the Exodus (Ex. 13:21, 14:19-24).
According to Rabbinic tradition, a cloud is a sign of the Shekhina, the feminine Divine Presence (Gen. R. 1:6; 1:10). Such clouds hovered over the tents of the matriarchs (Gen. R. 60:16). Clouds (called by the Sages "clouds of glory") not only led the Israelites, but actually transported them, surrounding them on all sides and protecting them from the harsh desert environment (Mekhilta Bo 14; Pesik. R. 20; Targum Shir haShirim). These clouds had supernal letters written on them, serving as banners for each tribe. A pillar of cloud became manifest over the altar on Yom Kippur, and its appearance was an augury of the future (Yoma 21b). The presence of these clouds diminished and eventually disappeared due to the accreted sins of Israel. Bar Nifli, "son of a cloud," is a title for the Messiah, who will appear riding one, following the Book of Daniel.


In relation to these two pillars as representing parallels of the Spirit,
we should study the illustration of their ornamental adornments.
The lily, and the retired situation in which it flourishes, teaches us
that we must learn to open our minds and hearts to all of mankind, to retain
the fact, in our compassion, that as one pillar only serves to support the
other,
all of mankind must learn to live in peace and harmony with his brothers and
sisters and with nature; to appreciate the beauties which God has given us to
enjoy, .

we ever strive to attain them
as symbols of charity, relief and brotherly love. These symbolic structures
should become a pathway for all men to tread throughout there earthly
existence.

And he set up the pillars at the hall of the Holy Place, and set up the right pillar, and called its name Jachin, and ... the left...Boaz.” Instead of ההיכל לאוּלם we have in 2Ch_3:15 הבּית לפני, and in 2Ch_3:17 ההיכל על־פּני, “before the house,” “before the Holy Place.” This unquestionably implies that the two brazen pillars stood unconnected in front of the hall, on the right and left sides of it, and not within the hall as supporters of the roof.

Son 3:10 He made its pillars of silver, its bottom of gold, its seat of purple, its midst being paved with love, from the daughters of Jerusalem.
Son 3:11 Go forth, you daughters of Zion, and see king Solomon, with the crown with which his mother has crowned him, in the day of his weddings, in the day of the gladness of his heart.

In the Tree of Life, the left side is often called "feminine" and the right side "masculine". This is based on the giving-receiving aspects of the Sefiroth in either column. Every Sefirah has equal giving and receiving qualities, and therefore are male and female. So God is feminine and masculine but still ONE.

Adam Kadamon is the name given to the first man, who was actually male and female. As in the Bible, God created Adam in their image, as male and female. The creation of Adam is the creation of the Universe. Adam is the reflection of God. This unity became divided into opposites, male and female, good and bad, as shown in the Tree of Life.

The root of the Tree is "Kether" or the "Crown". In the diagram, it is seen as coming from the top of the tree. I wouldn't think of the roots as being in the sky. This is taking it a little too literally. Rather the roots are coming from the inner, and expanding to the outer.

The Crown is "unknowable". Yes Wisdom and Understanding can be seen as a husband and wife. In Christian Qabbalah, the Crown is pictured as Yahweh, the Father. Wisdom is pictured as The Holy Spirit, and Understanding as Sophia. The reason that Understanding is seen as Female is because she receives from Wisdom. The union between this divine couple is the "invisible sefirah" called "Daat" which means "gnosis" as well as "union".


First, you should know that the Creator, called Ein Sof in Kabbalah, is the cause of causes, (The I AM THAT I AM,)One without a second, One that cannot be counted. Change and multiplicty do not apply to It. The word "one" is used metaphorically, since the number one stands on its own and is the beginning of all numbers. Every number is contained within it potentially, while it inheres in every number in actuality.

The Creator is called "One" from this aspect. Ein Sof is present in all things in actuality, while all things are present it potentially. It is the beginning and cause of everything. In this way, oneness has been ascribed to the Creator; nothing can be added to this oneness or taken away from it. Ein Sof is necessary being, just as the number one is nesessary for all numbers, since without it, no number can exist. If the number one were nullified, all numbers would be nullified, whereas if the numbers were nullified, the number one would not. Such is the power of One. All of creation is IN God--but if creation ceased to exist in a moment of time, God (who is the cause and effect of everything) would still BE. So it is with Ein Sof, the Creator of all, the One who acts and sustains existance. If an action were nullified, the actor would not be nullified, since Ein Sof does not need anything. If existance were nullified, the number one would not cease since it does not need space and exists on its own.

So in Cabballistic terms, Ein Sof is the Creator God--the One God spoken of in the scriptures. The I AM THAT I AM.

Furthermore, you should know that Ein Sof emmanated its sefirot, through which its actions are performed. They serve as vessels for the actions deriving from Ein Sof in the world of separation and below. In fact, the world's existence and essence spread through them. The first aspect to come into being is Keter (head or crown) named Eheyeh (in the Christian system this is the Christ who was "with God in the beginning and who was God" Jn. 1:1); Hohkmah (Wisdom) is named Yah; Binah (Understanding) is named YHVH with the vowels of Elohim; Hesed (Love) is named El; Gevurah (Power) is named Elohim; Tif`eret (Beauty) is named YHVH; Netsah (Eternity) is named Tseva`ot; Yesod (Foundation) is named Shaddai or El Hai; Malkhut (Kingdom) is named Adonai.


the High Priestess

The High Priestess (II) in the Rider-Waite-Smith deckThe High Priestess (II) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. In the first tarots with inscriptions, the 18th-century woodcut Marseille Tarot, this figure is crowned with the Papal tiara and labelled "La Papesse", the Popess. For historians or heresiologists, such a figure suggests the female equality practiced among the Cathar perfect, who had been extirpated from Northern Italy and Southern France, where the Tarot first appeared.





The High Priestess (II) in


Description and symbolism
Some frequent keywords are:

Intuition ----- Nonaction ----- Mystery ----- Calmness ----- Silence
Inner voice ----- Deep understanding ----- Discretion ----- Sensitivity
Distance ----- Stability ----- Wisdom ----- Unconscious knowledge
Patience ----- Looking inward ----- Contemplation ----- Subjective mind

In the modern Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck many occultist symbols have been applied to La Papesse (illustration). She now has the lunar crescent at her feet, a horned diadem centering a globe on her head, and a large cross on her breast. The scroll in her hands is inscribed with the word Tora, signifying the Greater Law, the Secret Law and the second sense of the Word. It is partly covered by her mantle, to show that some things are implied and some spoken. She is seated between the white and black pillars—'J' and 'B' for Jachin and Boaz—of the mystic Temple of Solomon, and the veil of the Temple is behind her: it is embroidered with palms and pomegranates. The style is influenced by Art Nouveau.


Interpretation
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Kabbalistic Approach
She has been called occult Science on the threshold of the Sanctuary of Isis, but she is really the Secret Church, the House which is of God and man. She represents also the Second Marriage of the Prince who is no longer of this world; she is the spiritual Bride and Mother, the daughter of the stars and the Higher Garden of Eden. She is, in fine, the Queen of the borrowed light, but this is the light of all. She is the Moon nourished by the milk of the Supernal Mother.


La Papesse in the Marseille Tarot: the originals were coloured by handIn a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself—that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name in bolism is Shekinah—the co-habiting glory. According to Kabalism, there is a Shekinah both above and below. In the superior world it is called Binah, the Supernal Understanding which reflects to the emanations that are beneath. In the lower world it is MaIkuth—that world being, for this purpose, understood as a blessed Kingdom that with which it is made blessed being the Indwelling Glory. Mystically speaking, the Shekinah is the Spiritual Bride of the just man, and when he reads the Law she gives the Divine meaning. There are some respects in which this card is the highest and holiest of the Major Arcana.

(Binah and MaIkuth are two of the sephiroth in the gnostic belief.)

On a more mundane level, the High Priestess is a figure who has passed through most of life. She started as a novice when a child. Now She has grown and governs the convent which is Spiritual Reality. She knows God. She knows what we go through because She has been through it Herself. But She is also very strict. Laws are in place to stop the new set of novices from hurting themselves.


Mythopoetic Approach
Other schools of thought associate the High Priestess with intuitive knowledge. The water that flows from her gown is the collective unconscious, and flows through most of the cards of the Pamela Coleman Smith Tarot.

The bow at her feet explicitly evokes with Artemis. Artemis is not merely the Moon, twin sister of Apollo, the Sun; she may be one of the oldest goddesses in Europe. Her name comes from a root word meaning “bear,” and may be linked to the divinity on the oldest cave paintings we have. It is also connected to Arthur, King of the Britains, the once and future king, marking her as another consort of the divine king.

She is often shown wearing the crown of Isis and Hathor; the waxing, full, and waning moon. This demonstrates one of the ways life survives death; through taking on new forms.

She is often shown sitting between two columns, one black, one white. This represents all dualities, light and dark, good and evil day night, summer and winter. She knows that dualities are useful abstractions but can blind us to the underlying wholeness of reality and the need to integrate them.

In some decks, the columns are labeled “B” and “J.” These letters were inscribed on two columns of Solomon’s Temple. The original meaning is controversial, though there are some who say that on the tarot card, they represent Baal and Jehovah; two paths to wisdom. If that is true, Baal may bring back in the Moon, as he was the spouse of Astarte, the Queen of Heaven, and a moon goddess. Jehovah was a god of light; Baal a lord of the night, another duality the High Priestess stands athwart.

As mentioned above, the High Priestess is Shekhinah, the female indwelling presence of the divine.

The High Priestess is associated with Key 11, Justice and Key 20 Judgement through their cross sums (the sum of the digits). There are those who say that the columns represent Justice and Mercy, reminding us that justice is not merely the imposition of the judgment of the powerful onto conflicts, but must be levied with mercy to deserve the title of Justice.

Typically, the High Priestess holds the Torah on her lap. She is not merely the mistress of hidden wisdom, she has read the words and knows their deeper meaning. Generally, unlike The Magician, she does not explore the world in order to master it, but in order to understand it. That understanding often leads to the temptation of mastery.

She is also associated thematically with The Moon. She can lead to deep wisdom, but can also lead to madness.

The pomegranates associate her with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld and another example of the Dying God whose annual rebirth renews the world. From time to time, Persephone intercedes on the part of visitors to the Underworld, embodying Mercy.

Note that the motif that hangs behind the High Priestess’s throne, veiling what ever mysteries she guards, is suggested in the pattern of The Empress’ gown. The two are sisters, one bringing life into the world, the other inviting the living to the esoteric mysteries.

When she appears in a spread, she typically counsels the Querent to seek new paths and hidden paths to wisdom. She can also be a warning to interrogate the lessons of the unconscious. It does not always lead us to wisdom.

She also warns the Querent to question how he or she has divided up the world; to test the judgments made in the past against the world as we have come to know it.



 

If we can call God "our Father", then we can call the Holy Spirit, "our Mother." As she who is Mary formed Jesus in her body, so She who is Holy Spirit forms Jesus in our souls. As Eden was the Paradise of Creation, Mary is the Paradise of the Incarnation. Through Mary we entered once again into possession of the Tree of Life. Since all creation is in perfect balance, Mary was the co-mediator, the Second Eve, and the reconciler between woman and God. It does not take anything away from Christ. If you stop to think about what Mary must have gone through, it's mind boggling. Knowing she had served the Lord every moment of her life and then to watch her child suffer and be nailed to a cross - knowing his spirit was free and yet she was appointed to continue living. Can you imagine a loving mother that wouldn't plead to die in her child's place or one that would want to continue living after suffering that kind of loss? Jesus shed his blood as an atonement for our sins, but it was also a sacrifice for Mary, as well as God, who each gave up their son for the world's sake.

Holy Spirit, Holy Breath, becomes the Mother of God, the theotokos, The meaning of the Word { almighty FATHER MOTHER GOD (El-Shaddai) } in Genesis as "Our." LET US MAKE THEM IN OUR IMAGE!


he Holy Spirit is the breath of God’s life, the flame of his glory, and the stream of his love. In Her elusiveness She is God’s mystery. In Her liveliness, beauty, and grace, She is God’s poetry. In Her compassion She is God’s comfort. Through Her we come to know God most intimately. In the Holy Spirit of love we learn that the heart of God is Infinite Joy. From the Holy Spirit we come to understand that all of Creation springs from this Divine Joy. It is the celebration of sharing God’s interior happiness, or as it used to be called, beatitude. It is She who begins to interpret for us what Jesus did; and does in us subjectively all that Jesus Christ did for us objectively.
 


The "Godhead" has always been understood by Christian theologians to refer to the divine Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit: one God manifest in three Persons. The Greek word itself does not mean "trinity," but simply "Godhood"--the nature of God: God as He has revealed Himself. But that is the point; He has revealed Himself as a triune God. He is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19), yet not as the ineffable, unapproachable unitary God of the Muslims but as invisible omnipresent Father and as visible , approachable Son, and also as indwelling, guiding Spirit. This remarkable structure of God, like His eternal power, is clearly reflected in His physical creation, which could almost be said to be a model of the Godhead. That is, the created universe is actually a tri-universe of space, matter and time, with each permeating and representing the whole. However, the universe is not partly composed of space, partly of matter, partly of time (like, for example, the three sides of a triangle). A trinity is not a trio or a triad, but a tri-unity, with each part comprising the whole, yet all three are requ ired to make the whole. Thus, the universe is all space, all time, and all matter (including energy as a form of matter); in fact, scientists speak of it as a space-matter-time continuum. Furthermore, note the parallels between the tri-universe and the divine Trinity in terms of the logical order of the three components. Space (like the Father) is the invisible, omnipresent background of everything. Matter (like the Son) reveals the univer se (like the Godhead) in visible, understandable form. Time (like the Spirit) is the entity by which the universe (like the Godhead) becomes applicable and understandable in events and experience. But that is not all. Space is a tri-unity comprised of thr ee dimensions, with each dimension permeating all space. The reality of any portion of space is obtained by multiplying the three dimensions together (the "mathematics of the Trinity" is not 1 + 1 + 1 = 1, but rather 1 x 1 x 1 = 1). Further, space is identified in one dimension, seen in the second dimension, experienced in the third dimension. Similarly, time is future, present and past. The future is the unseen source of time, manifest moment-by-moment in the present, experienced and understood in the pa st. Finally, matter is unseen, omnipresent energy, manifesting itself in various forms of measurable motion, then experienced in corresponding phenomena. For example, light energy generates light waves which are experienced in the seeing of light. Sound energy generates sound waves which we experience when we hear sound. Thus the physical universe is a great "Trinity of trinities," with the inner relationships of each element beautifully modeling the relationships of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All of this does not prove that God is a Trinity, but it certainly is a re markable fact. It is an amazing effect which can be explained on the assumption that God is a triune God, and has made His creation to reflect Himself, but it is very hard to explain any other way.
In Mary it becomes quite clear to us that God reverses this world's scale of values. The proud, the mighty, the violent are scattered, deposed from their thrones, made ineffective. The lowly--to whom Mary belongs--the poor, the powerless who expect everything from God are raised to high places, becoming a blessing for others. That is why the Church should open herself to the might God has shown, and reject pride, vanity. Thus, in a world of so much violence and oppression, she can be a sign of hope for the poor, for those who are powerless, oppressed and persecuted. Mary stands for the hungry who, in the poverty and barrenness of life, long for God's promise, for his peace, his word and his salvation. The promise that God gives every good thing to the hungry is fulfilled in her. It is fulfilled in us too if we do not have a satiated heart, but are hungry and thirsty for God's justice; if, in a world of hunger, we seek to relieve the bodily hunger of those in need and their hunger for God's promises. Mary is linked with Abraham, the forefather of Israel, the father of the promise. In the coming of the Messiah, in Jesus Christ, God's faithfulness is sealed conclusively and in an unparalleled way. The Mother of the Savior becomes the sign of the Lord's faithfulness. The People of God can depend on their God. In hope, calmness and fearlessness they can rest assured in the company of his Son on life's path. Mary's very existence points to God and to her Son. In her response to God's initiative, through her faith, she sets the pace for the Church, for the faithful. That is how Mary's song, the Magnificat, becomes the song of the Church, our song.

In the beginning of Christ's misson on earth Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit. Thirty-three years later the Mystical Body of Christ, His Church, will be filled with the Holy Spirit, as Mary too, will be in the midst of the Apostles abiding in prayer.

To pray for her Heavenly intercession with Our Lord Jesus Christ dates back to the earliest day of Christianity. In some of the earliest catacombs going back to the very first Century, we find images of Mary and inscriptions pleading her intercession for the souls of the dead.

Christianity has always been suffused with the old ways, especially in England and France. In England the old ways are still present in superstitions, sayings and beliefs. People still believe in fairys and magic, there is heresy, but fusion. Many people believe that God is a woman and that she was the Virgin Mary and that the Virgin is the Bride of God


The biblical image of Mary expressed as Goddess can be found in Revelations 12: 1-17
A woman, whose dress was the sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head...
 

 The presence of Mary in the Woman clothed with the Sun

A reflective analysis of Revelation 12:1 and following versicles can come upon certain deductions: The woman is a mother for she is about to give birth. The fact that she is clothed with the sun, symbol of light, warmth and life, can very well represent her divine essence. What other visions contained in the Bible concede these attributes to another person? The moon beneath her feet could very well indicate the triple goddess and that she has conquered and surpassed the seven spheres of the planets like Christ overcame the world. And as a crown upon her head, twelve stars that can symbolize both : The twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles of Jesus.

 Further, much of the poetical rhetoric of the scripture about Sophia was applied quite early to Mother Mary.


'''The spirit of Wisdom is intelligent and holy. She is of one nature but reveals herself in many ways. She is not made of any material substance, and She moves about freely. She is clear, clean, and confident; She cannot be harmed. She loves what is good. She is sharp and unconquerable, 23 kind, and a friend of humanity. She is dependable and sure, and has no worries. She has power over everything, and sees everything. She penetrates every spirit that is intelligent and pure, no matter how delicate its substance may be. 24 Wisdom moves more easily than motion itself; she is so pure that she penetrates everything. 25 She is a breath of God's power-a pure and radiant stream of glory from the Almighty. Nothing that is defiled can ever steal its way into Wisdom. 26 She is a reflection of eternal light, a perfect mirror of God's activity and goodness. 27 Even though Wisdom acts alone, she can do anything. She makes everything new, although she herself never changes. From generation to generation she enters the souls of holy people, and makes them God's friends and prophets. 28 There is nothing that God loves more than people who are at home with Wisdom. 29 Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun and all the constellations. She is better than light itself, 30 because night always follows day, but evil never overcomes Wisdom. Her great power reaches into every part of the world, and she sets everything in useful order. ''''


Wisdom of Solomon: 7;22-30, 8;1


 You were given the most understanding, the most self-sacrificing, the most loving of mothers. God created in her heart a love for us of infinite tenderness, of undying devotion, and of profound affection. Her mother's heart is merciful, understanding, vigilant, and unchanging in its love for each of us. Of all the children of Eve, our Blessed Lady most perfectly fulfills the function of motherhood. Thus when we call Mary, "Mother"-in a very true sense we have said everything that can be said to her! She is physical mother of Christ and spiritual mother of all Christians. She mothers spiritually all men called to share in the life that her Son came to pour out so abundantly. What should your response be to the truth of Mary's spiritual motherhood? You should approach her with the heart and spirit of a child. The humility, the spirit of confident trustfulness, the dependence (here in the spiritual realm) of a child should characterize our love. Each of her children will express his love in accord with his nature, of course, but the interior love must be there. This devotedness should be a persistent and habitual thing. Mary is not our spiritual mother now and then - she is ALWAYS our spiritual mother. True devotion to our Blessed Mother is more than an occasional "Hail Mary." It's not just rattling off a prayer in times of a spiritual or temporal crisis. True devotion to Our Blessed Mother means a permanent state of mind and an habitual manner of acting. It's something that fills every hour of every day - just like a child's relationship to his mother! You should turn to her always, depend on her with confidence, and lean on her wise guidance. The words of the great Apostle St. Paul sum up perfectly the function of Our Blessed Lady in your life. He said: "My little children, for whom I am in labor until Christ be formed in you." If this be so true of the Apostle Paul, how much more true it is of the Mother of Christ. She is in constant and perpetual labor, as it were, to bring forth even more perfectly, the likeness of Christ, her divine Son in our hearts and lives. St. Bernard sums up the great spiritual advantage of true devotedness to our Blessed Mother in the following consoling sentences:'

"By following her, you will not go astray.
By praying to her you will not despair.
By thinking of her you will not make a mistake.
Supported by her, you will not fail.
Under her protection, you will no longer be afraid.
Guided by her, you will never grow weary.
Having her benevolence, you are assured of salvation."

~~*~~
The nativity of our Lord is a picture of the resurrection of Christ. Everything is arranged in the providence of God. No one could have cunningly devised such a "fable." It was all in the good providence of God! What is the account of the birth of our Lord? And how does this story anticipate the resurrection of Jesus from death? The nativity of Jesus is a story about a miracle. Here is a Child who is coming forth from the womb of a virgin, a womb where "no man had lain." This Child comes forth from the womb of a virgin. What child ever came forth, could ever come forth from the womb of a virgin? It could never happen in the natural world. A womb where no man had lain! And so they took that Child, when He was born, and they wrapped Him in swaddling bands. They wrap His body up entire in swaddling clothes. And they laid him in a manger. Now to see what the manger represents you have to understand that mangers in the ancient Orient were made of hollowed out limestone block. They weren't the wooden mangers that we see in our manger scenes. They were hollowed out limestone. So Mary and Joseph took this Baby and wrapped Him up like a mummy and set Him in this hollowed out stone box. What does that look like to the eyes of faith? And consider the story. Who is it that's doing that? This is a story about a Mary and a Joseph. Mary of Galilee and Joseph of Bethlehem care for this Baby is such a manner, just before He must receive the bloody wound of circumcision. Moreover, the nativity story is the account of those who come from the East, the Magi, who bring gifts of frankincense and myrrh, the spices and oils that represent death. Why death at a time of birth and celebration? And it is a time when the angels come to earth and they celebrate God's goodness in giving this Son. They teach us to sing for joy for the news that the Son of God has been born into the world. What is God intending in this story of the nativity of Christ?
"""he first statue I saw of the Virgin Mary was on the campus of Fordham University in New York. I was startled that a college would have a statue, not of Einstein or Newton or Plato, but, instead, of a robed figure, half-child, half-woman, doing nothing except extending her palms upward in a gesture of receptivity. As I got to know Catholic men, I was amazed at the attachment they had for the mysterious Mary. My godfather could not pass a picture of Mary without tears filling his eyes. Tough Catholic boys carried rosaries in the frayed pockets of their jeans next to their knives. Why? Reflecting on the words of the rosary prayer, ". . . blessed is the fruit of your womb .... holy Mary, mother of God ... pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death . . . , " I came to understand that man, who has no womb, was yet born from a womb and ever seeks the protective warmth of the feminine. He turns to the women in his life and to his heavenly mother to heal the wounds the world has inflicted on him. The feminine teaches him to put love before the competitiveness he falls into in pursuing his role as provider. The figure of the heavenly mother on the altar draws him out of weariness into the hope of the promises of the kingdom where there will be for all, women and men, no more toil and tears, only joyl Paintings of Mary have played a crucial role in my life. I love the famous Botticelli Annunciation, where the angel starts the dance and Mary bends backwards in ecstasy. I love the flaming Grunewald Madonna, with her flowing blondish-red hair, in a brilliant red velvet gown, her eyes gazing down in utterly peaceful joy at the gift of God held in her long slender hands. Most of all, I love the unfinished sepia-colored Da Vinci Nativity. 1, an untamed sensual girl, first discovered the beauty of purity upon gazing at the simple, girlish outline of this virgin Madonna in a museum in Florence, Italy, and shed the tears that began the cleansing of my heart. At Fordham University, Father Donceel, the well-known Jesuit theologian- philosopher, used to begin the class with the Our Father followed by the phrase, "Seat of Wisdom, pray for us." I was perplexed. What was the seat of wisdom? Oh, that woman, Mary. How could a village girl with no graduate degrees be the seat of wisdom?l Then I learned about contemplation. I had never heard of the word before. I was told that the lyrical, poetic side of me, with its luminous images hidden deep in my heart, this soft blissful innerme, counted as much, if not more, than the me who churned out term paper after term paper of well-organized concepts. Deep within me was the source of wisdom. joy, joy, Joyl Your title Our Lady, Star of the Sea also attracted me. I have rarely been at sea, but the name Our Lady, Star of the Sea on churches in beach towns has always moved me: the contrast between the raging waves and the still, silent woman -the image of strong men in small boats rowing towards the harbor, towards the waiting woman, glowing in the darkness, hands outstretched in welcome. The feminine is the refuge. This universal need for refuge and comfort, is She to be scomed as weak, whining self-pity? I think not. Self-pity is nurtured in lonely brooding. The one who acknowledges her vulnerability and fear and feels reassured in the fact that there are mothers to tend her wounds, is far less prone to whining. I resented She when the often sentimental statues of Mary were pitched out of the churches, to be replaced by jagged, triangular glass shapes, coldly beautiful, but chilling for the child in man. Then Mother Mary came back to me personally in the form of the women of the prayer groups, encircling the heaving, battered forms of each other with embraces of compassion. I became mother over and over again kissing the cheeks of women whose tears had smeared away their cosmetic masks and of men whose stoicism cracked at the miraculous touch of sisters and brothers who were unafraid to be tender. Soothed, they were ready to join us in the circle to rescue the next supplicant. I thought at the time: Oh, I wish we had a queen. And so we do in you, Mary. "To the queen of hearts is the ace of sorrows," goes the ballad. And so I wonder what I would have seen in your face and form as you were crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth. Would there be some sorrow lingering in your eyes still, souvenirs of old wars? A compassion and a depth that would draw the beholder? Are you different as queen than you were as girl, as bride, as woman of sorrows? I would like to paint you if I could, or bring you flowers on a rainy day. I would stand a long time on a corner to see you smile and wave your hand. Why is feminine power so beautiful? Liquid grace and ease and warmth, freedom and flow, earth, air, and fire reflected on the water that is woman. The water mirrors them all - light and movement, buoyancy, containment, floating, floating- all the sea's movement and power evoke the queenly hand. No wonder we hasten to call you Star of the Sea, fire reflecting on water. I read that our ancestor's pre-ancestors came from the sea, that the fluid in our veins has the same salts as those in the seas. When I look at the sea and throw to her my confusion and fear, she takes them as my mother and hides them in her faithful ebb and tide which soothes me with its receding roar. The sea is queen, and I am strengthened by bathing in the reflection of her waters. Are you, as Queen of Heaven, the sea become person; are you the waters from above become separate for the waters below? I am comforted that you are my queen and mother; like the sea, you will not fail. I, too, will not fail, but endure all the tides and seasons, all the elements of earth, air, fire, and water, for as you were made of heaven and for heaven and brought full circle crowned with sorrow and with glory, so I am made not only of sea salts, but made of heaven, for heaven. "Our life, our sweetness and our hope," we sing in the Salve moaning over the "0 mild, 0 devout, 0 sweet Virgin Mary." Oh, we who are in the valley of tears are pulled from its darkness by the thought of you who passed through the dark, help me to know to whom I pledge my loyalties, whom I serve, whose colors I wear.

Let me bow down before the glory of the feminine, willing to wear her liquid graces.

Reign, O Mother and Queen, by showing us the path of holiness, and by guiding and assisting us that we may never stray from it.

In the heights of Heaven, thou doth exercise thy primacy over the choirs of Angels, who acclaim thee as their sovereign, and over the legions of Saints who delight in beholding thy radiant beauty. """"

~~*~~



Much of Judeo-Christian theology is actually based on the Divine Feminine. Divine Harmony, Wisdom and Truth. The Divine Feminine archetype is also related to the process of purification, transformation and illumination of matter. By its very essence, this archetype is the printing and the implementation of spiritual ideas in the material world. The Christ-Sophia (principle of love-wisdom and masculine-feminine) the divine feminine in balance with the divine masculine The divine eternal feminine took the shape of woman. Just like the Verb of God (Christ/Sophia) became flesh in Jesus, the Divinity could also adopt, in order to manifest its feminine side, the shape of a woman, blessed amongst all women of all times, and "full of grace". Those words belong to Gabriel, one of the High spirits that assist God, according to the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:28 and 30).

Maybe it serves to transcribe here a surprising version of how Mary was seen by the early followers of Jesus: "At this time the mother of Jesus died and was buried in the same place were He had been crucified, and a stone was erected on the site. On that stone, the relatives of Jesus wrote these words: "Behold that here is a ladder erected upon the land that reaches heaven, and upon She the angels of God ascend and descend, and the Mother rejoices here with Her children". (Memoirs of Heggesipus quoted by Eusebius/Acts of the Nazarites by Julius Africanus)

The word matter comes from the same word as mother... parts of a document called the "Gospel of the Hebrews" has been quoted by the Church Fathers Origen and Jerome, writing in the 3rd and 4th centuries CE. This document explicitly identifies Mary with the Holy Spirit. This strongly suggests that the Christian sect which accepted this early Gospel believed that
Mary was divine, and part of a Trinity.


As the result of new findings in the Dead Sea Scriptures, the Coptic Nag Hammadi and intertestamental texts of Jewish mystics found side-by-side the writings of the early Christian church, scholars are recognizing the Holy Spirit as the "female vehicle" for the outpouring of higher teaching and spiritual rebirth.

The Holy Spirit plays varied roles in Judeo-Christian traditions: acting in Creation, imparting wisdom, and inspiring Old Testament prophets. In the New Testament She is the presence of God in the world and a power in the birth and life of Jesus.

The Eastern Church places the Holy Spirit as the Second Person of the Trinity with Christ as the Third, whereas the Western Church places the Son before the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls the Holy Spirit was known as the Ruach or Ruach Ha Kodesh (Psalm 51:11). In the New Testament as Pneuma (Romans 8:9). The Holy Spirit was not rendered as "Holy Ghost" until the appearance of the 1611 Protestant King James Version of the Bible.

Ruach Ha Kodesh was considered a voice sent from on high to speak to the Prophet. Thus, in the Old Testament language of the prophets, She is the Divine Spirit of indwelling sanctification and creativity and is considered as having a feminine power. "He" as a reference to Spirit has been used in theology to match the pronoun for God, yet the Hebrew word ruach is a noun of feminine gender. Thus, referring to the Holy Spirit as "she" has some linguistic justification. Denoting Spirit as a feminine principle, the creative principle of life, makes sense when considering the Trinity aspect where Father plus Spirit leads to the Divine Extension of Divine Sonship.


It is becoming clear in re-examining the first 100 years of Christianity that an earlier Christianity was closer to the "Feminine Spirit" of the Old Testament, the Ruach or the beloved Shekinah. The Shekinah, distinct from the Ruach, was seen as the indwelling Divine Presence that activated the "birth of miracles" or the anointed self. Accordingly, the growth of traditional Christianity made alternative adjustments of the original position of the "birth of gifts" as Christendom compromised for the privilege of becoming an establishment.

The new directions of spiritual and scientific studies are showing that it is now possible that the Holy Spirit, Ruach Ha Kodesh, can be portrayed as feminine as the indwelling presence of God, the Shekinah, nurturing and bringing to birth souls for the kingdom.

The Keys of Enoch tell us that the Divine Trinity is beyond the anthropo-morphic forms of male and female. Here our own masculine or feminine natures are only symbols of the Divine and our Life's manifestation in the Universe. And herein we understand who we really are, as we both male and female make our own preparation for the rebirth of our "Christed Overself," unified as the peoplehood of Light, the "Bride," for the coming of the "Bridegroom"- - the Christ.


minerva of peace, goddess of wisdom

Minerva (Etruscan: Menrva) was the Roman goddess whom Romans from the 2nd century BC onwards equated with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva", which symbolizes her ties to wisdom.
 

Minerva was an ancient Roman goddess of wisdom and reason, of warfare for a good cause, protector of handicrafts, arts, schools and sciences. She was the daughter of Jupiter, the king of the gods. She corresponds to the ancient Greek goddess Athena, daughter of Zeus. Born shining with beauty and completely armed from the head of her father, her name is related to the mind and memory, wisdom and reason. Her likeness is present in sculptures and statues, coats of arms, medals of bravery, seals, etc.

Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswa 'She who measures', the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwa, thereby calling her Menrva. Extrapolating from her Roman nature, it is assumed that in Etruscan mythology, Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva was born from the head of her father, Jupiter (Greek Zeus). It is possible that such a goddess was "imported" to both Greece and Italy from beliefs originating in the Near East during the extreme antiquity. The very few extant Lemnian inscriptions suggest that the Etruscans may have originated in Asia Minor, in which case subsequent syncretism between Greek Athena and Italic Minerva may have been all the easier.

By a process of folk etymology, the Romans could have confused the phones of her foreign name with those of the root men- in Latin words such as mens meaning "mind", perhaps because one of her aspects as goddess pertained to the intellectual. The word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- 'mind' (linked with memory as in Greek Mnemosyne/µ??µ?s??? and mnestis/µ??st??: memory, remembrance, recollection (Muse) ).

Minerva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter.

Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom and handcrafts, medicine, music and war. The daughter of Jupiter and Metis, Ovid called Minerva the “goddess of a thousand works”.

As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. As Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Luceria in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple.

A head of "Sulis-Minerva" found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath
In Fasti III, Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works." Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, though only in Rome did she take on the warlike character shared by Athena. Her worship was also taken out to the empire — in Britain, for example, she was conflated with the local wisdom goddess Sulis.

The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans' holiday . A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, who were particularly useful to religion. In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus. The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic.

Minerva was worshipped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno, at the Temple of Minerva Medica, and at the "Delubrum Minervae" a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva facing the present-day Piazza della Minerva.

She is often depicted wearing a coat of mail, carrying a spear and sometimes accompanied by her sacred creature, the owl, symbolizing her ties with wisdom.

In Greek mythology, Athena shares similar roles. As a goddess of wisdom she is often depicted as an owl. Among other symbols related to Minerva are a house (the first goddess who built a house), a spire and helmet (as a goddess of war for a good purpose), an olive tree (a symbol of peace, wisdom and victory), a butterfly (a symbol of life, happiness and prosperity) and others.





Within the analytical tradition of Carl Jung and the work of mythologists such as Joseph Campbell, there is much evidence to support the existence of the feminine principle (anima) within the human psyche alongside that of the male principle (animus). Jung's definition of spiritual growth within the individual in large part relates to the development and integration of those male and female components of the human psyche.

We must create and express a vision of connectedness in order to move beyond the unequal power relations that are tearing our world apart. Yet the symbol systems with which we understand reality are often essentially patriarchal. We lack alternative images with which to transform ourselves and creation. In too many cases the great religions of the world have built up rather than dismantled our vision of inequality and disconnection. The angry father God in heaven raining down punishment upon disobedient children reinforces destructive human behavior. But traditional religion still exerts a great influence on many hearts and minds. "Sophia bridges the gap between feminist spirituality's need for transforming images and the demand of the biblical traditions that such images be congruent with their history and experience. Sophia can serve as the image, the "role model" a the heart of feminist spirituality, symbolizing as she does the connectedness between all beings.
 

The God and the Goddess represent two aspects of our identity, regardless of whether or not we are male or female."
Perhaps most surprising, however, is that the stories of women we thought we knew well are changing in dramatic ways. 
 

I am that Goddess. I am the force of the universe in the shape of a woman. Nothing exists that is not me, and nothing but me exists. All women are but manifestations of me. And I am the manifestation of all women.
  The evolution of a new feminist spirituality stands at the heart of the process of human transformation.

The Eastern religious traditions have for millennia observed that if you fail to show respect to the female principle within and without, the results can be awesomely destructive.

The collective name for the countries of the eastern shore of the Mediterranean sea is the Levant; these include those countries from Egypt to Turkey and are specifically those countries within the geographical area of the ancient Persian Empire of Mesopotamia. The plains of Mesopotamia were inhabited by races of like origin. The great commercial roads followed the course of the two rivers flowing into the Persian Gulf or cut across the desert; and ever since the Captivity, constant religious relations had existed between Judaism and the great religious metropolis, Babylon. At the birth of Christianity they manifested themselves in the rise of ‘Gnostic’ sects in which the Semitic mythology formed strange combinations with Jewish and Greek ideas and furnished the foundation for extravagant philosophies. Gnosticism borrowed much of its philosophy and religion from Mithraism, oriental mysticism, astrology, magic, and Plato. It considered matter to be evil and in opposition to Deity, relied heavily on visions, and sought salvation through knowledge. Some of the early Christian fathers believed the
Gnosticism to be 'identical to all intents and purposes with Greek polytheism. Gnosticism had a mixed influence on the early
Christian writers: like the pendulum on a clock, some were influenced by Gnostic thought, while others swung to the opposite extreme.


Gnosticism comes from the Greek word " gnosis", which means knowledge. The Gnostics were a group of people who believed they possessed superior spiritual knowledge. While modern Gnostics claim that Gnoticism is the teaching based on Gnosis, the knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of interior, intuitive means. If this was the case there would be no difference between the religion of the mystic and the gnostic.. It would then be nearer the truth to say that Gnosticism expresses a specific religious experience, an experience that does not lend itself to the language of theology or philosophy, but which is instead closely affinitized to, and expresses itself through, the medium of myth. Where Judaism and Christianity emphasize the role of faith and works in salvation, and salvation of both body and spirit, gnostics taught that the soul's salvation depended on the individual possessing quasi-intuitive knowledge (gnosis) of the mysteries of the universe and of magic formulas. Most Gnostic scriptures take the forms of myths. The term “myth” should not here be taken to mean “stories that are not true”, but rather, that the truths embodied in these myths are of a different order from the dogmas of theology or the statements of philosophy.

However, early Gnostics believed that special and secret knowledge was necessary for salvation, they also believed that all flesh is evil and that only spirit is good. Because they believed that, they didn't believe that Jesus really came in the flesh - they believed his flesh was an illusion. They also believed that because sin had to do with our flesh, there really wasn't sin - sin was also just an Illusion. (That's similar to people today who believe sickness is an illusion.) The church in Ephesus was filled with people who not only didn't believe Christ came in the flesh, they didn't believe sin was real. Gnosticism fundamentally rejected Jewish theology about the goodness of creation, and especially the idea that all the nations could be blessed through Abraham and his faith. When the church accepted the Hebrew Scriptures, it implicitly rejected Gnosticism before it had a chance to get started. Thus we are already at a watershed moment in the development of early Christianity, one that could not allow Gnosticism to ever be regarded as a legitimate development of the Christian faith.


Jesus was a Jew from the tribe of Judah. He called himself the Son of God and acknowledged his role as the Christ, {#Mt 16:15-17} and the Messiah. {#Joh 4:25-26} His message was one of love, righteousness, and salvation, and he despised the religious dogma of tradition. What a contrast from the proceedings of the Council of Nicea and the murders that followed! He gave the good news of his coming kingdom to the poor and meek: the lowly of this world. He did not require dogmatic creeds that had to be believed to the word, but rather said, 'Follow me'.{# Mt 9:9} There can be no doubt: Jesus was a stranger to all sides of the political proceedings in Nicea. He never claimed to be God, but was content to be God's son. His creed was not of words that must be followed to the letter, but rather of spirit: 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God'.{# Mt 4:8} He did not require wealthy and learned bishops to mingle philosophy and pagan polytheism with his simple truth, but blessed the 'poor' and the 'meek'.{# Mt 4:1-12

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life" (I John 1:1). In other words, John is establishing that he was an eyewitness to the fact that Jesus truly did come in the flesh. He did this to convince the Gnostics that Jesus was not an illusion.

Gnosticism was not one philosophy or religion. The chief common feature was an intense emphasis on the contrast of matter and spirit, sin and virtue, darkness and light. The Persian religion was largely responsible for this: but Greek philosophy in Plato, late Egyptian mysticism, and Buddhism which reached Egypt and Asia, if not Greece, had the same dualism. The flesh was a contamination of the spirit which had to live in it for a time. Sin was a defilement for which the soul had to be purified and redeemed. Baptism (by water, blood, fire, or spirit), anointings, lustrations, and thrillingly esoteric rites, not to be revealed to the mob, helped. The world was full of evil spirits and good spirits (as the Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians taught), and you could exorcise these by mystic formulae or even calling them by name. Paul's religion suited these mystics and ascetics. His contempt of the flesh and glorification of the spirit were common to them all. His gospel of a redeemer from sin was real "good tidings" to them. There was obviously a great deal of truth in the new religion. It might appeal to the poor and to slaves by its denunciation of wealth and its communism, but it also came to appeal to these "intellectuals." Christianity spread through this esoteric world, and it set out to answer the questions which Paul and the gospel writers had left open. The gnostics so hated and despised matter that they did not believe that God had created it. The Old Testament, which said that he had, was abandoned. Matter was eternal, in a chaotic state, as the Babylonians had said. But why did God have anything to do with the putrid stuff? Gnostics held that a number of finite but divine things had emanated from God. One of these Æons, as they were called, had "fallen" from grace. God sent a great Æon, the Demiurgos, to put order into the chaos of matter or "create" the world as we know it. This was the Yehouah of the Jews. Then he sent an Æon of the highest rank, Soter (Redeemer or Saviour), to save the fallen Æon and rescue the elements of light, the souls of men, from their contamination with darkness. This was Christos. But how could an Æon of supreme rank take flesh, with all its horrors? Most of them said that he merely used a phantasmal body, not real flesh. The gospel story was an allegory, they said, from beginning to end. Christos abandoned his ethereal body before it was crucified, and most assuredly there was no resurrection of it, and there would be no resurrection of the flesh for any man. Some men of great ability rose in the Gnostic world, and for a hundred years there was a mighty struggle. The Church won but it caught the Gnostic virus. Ascetical practices like fasting were fostered by these haters of the flesh. Ritual and sacramental features were adopted. Baptism became more important and the passage was added at the end of Matthew during the Gnostic struggle.

Dualism and monism
Typically, Gnostic systems are loosely described as being 'dualistic' in nature. Within this definition, they run the gamut from the 'extreme' or 'radical dualist' systems of Manicheanism to the 'weak' or 'mitigated dualism' of classic gnostic movements; Valentinian developments arguably approach a form of monism, expressed in terms previously used in a dualistic manner.

Radical Dualism - or absolute Dualism which posits two co-equal divine forces. Manichaeism conceives of two previously coexistent realms of light and darkness which become embroiled in conflict, owing to the chaotic actions of the latter. Subsequently, certain elements of the light became entrapped within darkness; the purpose of material creation is to enact the slow process of extraction of these individual elements, at the end of which the kingdom of light will prevail over darkness. Manicheanism likely inherits this dualistic mythology from Zoroastrianism, in which the eternal spirit Ahura Mazda is opposed by his antithesis, Angra Mainyu; the two are engaged in a cosmic struggle, the conclusion of which will likewise see Ahura Mazda triumphant.
The Mandaean creation myth witnesses the progressive emanations of Supreme Being of Light, with each emanation bringing about a progressive corruption resulting in the eventual emergence of Ptahil, the god of darkness who had a hand in creating and henceforward rules the material realm.
Additionally, general Gnostic thought (specifically to be found in Iranian sects; for instance, see 'The Hymn of the Pearl') commonly included the belief that the material world corresponds to some sort of malevolent intoxication brought about by the powers of darkness to keep elements of the light trapped inside it, or literally to keep them 'in the dark', or ignorant; in a state of drunken distraction.

Gnosticism is a term created by modern scholars to describe a collection of religious groups, many of which thought of themselves as Christians, which were active in the first few centuries AD There has been considerable scholarly controversy about exactly which groups to describe with this term. There is dispute among scholars on the extent to which early groups may have described themselves using the term "gnostikoi".

Actually there are many kinds of Gnostics, positive as well as negative, and various types in between. Many in this group may be Gnostics without realizing it. One of the simplest definitions of a Gnostic is "One who has acquired some degree of gnosis or who is an aspirant seeking direct gnosis--hence, one who knows or seeks to know through direct spiritual or mystical experience. Specifically, one who seeks enlightenment and liberation through a conscious unification with God.

Also it might be noted at this point that modern pagans are not the same as their ancient counterpart, Indeed they would hardly recognize each other! Pagan gods were still the gods of the state, and the Roman government was very superstitious. All calamities were considered the displeasure of the gods. When the dissolute Roman government began to crumble, it was not seen as a result of corruption within, but as the anger of the gods; and thus there were strong persecutions against Christians to placate these gods.In such a time was Christianity born. On one side were persecutions; on the other the seduction of philosophy. To remain faithful to the belief of Jesus Christ meant hardship and ridicule. It was only for the simple poor and the rich in faith. It was a hard time to convert to Christianity from the relatively safer paganism. In the desire to grow, the Church compromised truth, which resulted in confusion as pagans became Christians and intermingled beliefs and traditions. In his Emergence of Catholic Tradition, Pelikan discusses the conflict in the Church after AD 70 and the decline of Judaic influence within Christianity. As more and more pagans came into Christianity, they found the Judaic influence offensive. Some even went so far as to reject the Old Testament

The Babylonians, in their popular religion, supremely worshipped a Goddess Mother and a Son, who was represented in pictures and in images as an infant or child in his mother's arms. From Babylon, this worship of the Mother and the Child spread to the ends of the earth. In Egypt, the Mother and the Child were worshipped under the names of Isis and Osiris. * In India, even to this day, as Isi and Iswara; ** in Asia, as Cybele and Deoius; in Pagan Rome, as Fortuna and Jupiter-puer, or Jupiter, the boy; in Greece, as Ceres, the Great Mother, with the babe at her breast, or as Irene, the goddess of Peace, with the boy Plutus in her arms; and even in Thibet, in China, and Japan, the Jesuit missionaries were astronished to find the counterpart of Madonna and her child as devoutly worshipped as in Papal Rome itself; Shing Moo, the Holy Mother in China, being represented with a child in her arms, and a glory around her, exactly as if a Roman Catholic artist had been employed to set her up.

Although the Divine Sophia is central to so many Gnostic movements she is by no means a figure unique to Gnosticism. Sophia as 'the Wisdom of God' appears in the Bible in the Book Of Proverbs - in particular 8.22-31 in which the Sophia speaks as if an entity in her own right - as well as in the Psalms and New Testament. In Judiasm the Sophia appears alongside the Shekinah, 'the Glory of God', a figure who plays a key role in the cosmology of the Kaballists as an expression of the feminine aspect of God. Like the Gnostic Sophia, the Shekinah has a double role as placed side by side with God while also exiled to the world of matter, the Malkuth.

This coincided with a gradual paradigm shift in which Satan was increasingly seen as the antagonist of God, instead of the prosecuting ‘dark’ angel of the ( E-lo-im ), or divine beings of early Hebrew mythologies. During the decline of the Roman empire, it was Babylon again from which emanated Mithraism, and hence, Manicheanism, the last form of Idolatry received in the Latin world. At this time, the early Christian church was culturally influenced by way of its chief competitor during the final age of the Roman Empire. This competitor was the Persian religion, Mithraism. Of all Oriental religions the Persian cult was the last to reach the Romans. Through this Persia introduced dualism or ‘polar opposites’ as a fundamental principle in religion. Perhaps this came into being from the fact that the Babylonians were astronomers and recognized the basic physical premise of Newton’s ‘equal and opposite reaction’ principle. It was this dualism incorporation that distinguished Mithraism from other sects and inspired its dogmatic theology and ethics. To be sure there were influences of dualism at a considerably earlier period in Greek philosophy, but what distinguished the doctrine of Babylon’s Mithra religion from earlier ideas was the fact that it deified the ‘Evil Principle’, set it up as a rival to the supreme deity, and taught that both had to be worshipped.

At the time, this system offered an apparently simple solution to the problem and mystery of evil, the stumbling block of theologies, and it attracted the masses, to whom it offered an explanation of their sufferings. From that time dates the appearance in literature of the anti-gods, under the command of the powers of darkness. At about this same time in Jewish literature, a collection of ‘culturally based’ angelic fables known as ‘The Watchers” was published in which human corruption was metaphorically associated with ‘fallen angels’. The Book of the Watchers may date from the third century BCE. Parts of its text have been identified on several copies from Qumran cave 4; the earliest fragmentary manuscript. Hence, it is the result of Judaism, endorsing Persian demonology and dualism that resulted in the confused but elaborate theology of Satan as a vying adversary of God. And it began from the alliance of certain Jewish doctrines with the mysteries of Mithra that the early Christian church shortly thereafter, was regretfully influenced.

The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. Includes a large number of primary Gnostic scriptures -- texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" -- scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth

Because of the cultural association of Judaism with Babylon’s mystery religions, it can be seen that beginning in the later books of the Hebrew Bible and continuing through the New Testament, there is a general decline in the value of sexuality and a tendency for preoccupation with its sinfulness. And this coincided with the developing notion that ‘Evil’ rivals ‘God’.

The Devil has been used throughout the distant past to justify the most incredible cruelty including the execution of the women of Salem, Mass. as witches. It is an idea that entered Judaism during the Babylonian Exile in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C.E.

Again, this was largely the result of living within middle-eastern culture at that time. However, this same theological error was made a classic of western culture in the middle ages, in Milton’s epic poem, ‘Paradise Lost’. In contrast, the Gospels as well as the Paradise myth declare that evil is not in a position to rival God, That marriage is to be prized, and suffering is the result of separation from the Divine.

The word “gnosis” derives from a concept that originally meant ‘insight’; however, became associated with all manner of theological theories.

The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means knowledge, and is perhaps directly alluded to only one time in 1 Timothy 6:20-21: "O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"—which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith." The doctrine of gnosticism had many variations and involved widely diversified sects. The main emphasis, however, as the name implies, was a claim to knowledge that ordinary believers did not have. They regarded their special knowledge and enlightenment as superior to the faith of others and the result of rituals and secret societies.

The majority of Gnostics, because they associated matter with evil, sought a way to create a philosophical system in which God as Spirit could be freed form association with evil and in which man could be related on the spiritual side of his nature to the Deity. One way it sought to do this was by synthesizing Christianity and Hellenistic dualism. This was the beginning of the theological error of opposition of God and Nature in Christianity.

Clement of Alexandria (c.150-220) was from the 'Catechetical School' of Alexandria. His views were influenced by Gnosticism Clement insists that philosophy came from God and was given to the Greeks as a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ as the law was a schoolmaster for the Hebrews' Clement considered 'God the Father revealed in the Old Testament' separate and distinct from the 'Son of God incarnate in Christ,' with whom he identified the Logos. Wwith Clement the philosophic spirit enters into the service of Christian doctrine, and with it begins... the theological science of the future' However, it was his student, Origen, who 'achieved the union of Greek philosophy and Christianity' Origen (c.185-253) is the 'founder of theology', one of the greatest scholars of the early church and the greatest theologian of the East. With [Origen]
Christianity became a full-fledged philosophy, buttressed with scripture but proudly resting on reason. Origen was a brilliant man. At 18 he succeeded Clement as president of the Alexandrian school. Over 800 titles were attributed to him by Jerome. He traveled extensively and started a new school in Cesarea. In Origen we find an important link in the changing view of God.
Origen was the 'teacher of such orthodox stalwarts as the Cappadocian Fathers' but also the 'teacher of Arius' and the 'originator of many heresies. Centuries after his death, he was condemned by councils at least five times; however, both Athanasius and Eusebius had great respect for him. As he tried to reckon the 'incomprehensible God' with both Stoic and
Platonic philosophy, Origen presented views that could support both sides of the Trinity argument. He believed the Father and Son were separate 'in respect of hypostasis' (substance), but 'one by harmony and concord and identity of will' He claimed
the Son was the image of God. In the way in which, according to the bible story, we say that Seth is the image of his father, Adam. For thus it is written: 'And Adam begot Seth according to his own image and likeness.' Image, in this
sense, implies that the Father and the Son have the same nature and substance. As Greek influence and Gnosticism became introduced into the Eastern church, it became more mystical and philosophical. The simple doctrines that Jesus taught to the uneducated gave way to the complex and sophisticated arguments of Origen. As Clement and Origen represented theological development in the East, so Tertullian had tremendous influence in the West. The West, centered in Rome, gave greater credence to the traditional role of faith than to philosophy, and was more apt to expound on scripture.

It was Tertullian (c.160-230) who first coined the term trinitas from which the English word 'trinity' is derived. He clarifies thus the 'mystery of the divine economy... which of the unity makes a trinity, placing the three in order not of quality but of sequence, different not in substance but in aspect, not in power but in manifestation' (qtd. in Lonergan 46). At other times he used other images to show his point, such as the monarchy: '... If he who is the monarch has a son, and if the son is given a share in the monarchy, this does not mean that the monarchy is automatically divided, ceasing to be a monarchy. Again, Tertullian explains the concept of being brought forth: 'As the root brings forth the shoot, as the spring brings forth the stream, as the sun brings forth the beam'. Tertullian did not consider the Father and Son co-eternal: 'There was a time when there was neither sin to make God a judge, nor a son to make God a Father; nor did he consider them co-equal: 'For the Father is the whole substance, whereas the Son is something derived from it. In Tertullian we find a groundwork upon which a trinity concept can be founded, but it has not yet evolved into that trinity of the Nicene Creed.

The world around the early Church was changing. The Roman empire began to crumble and Constantine came to power. He wished to unify the Empire, and chose Christianity to do so. But Christianity was far from unified. Constantine invited the bishops from East and West to join him in the small seaside village of Nicea for a council to unify the church. Three main groups were present at this council: Eusebius of Nicomedia presenting the Arian view of the Trinity, Alexander of Alexandria presenting the Athanasian version, and a very large 'middle party' led by Eusebius of Cesarea whose various theological opinions did not interfere with their desire for peace. Eusebius of Nicomedia submitted the Arian creed first and it was rejected. Then Eusebius of Cesarea submitted the Cesarean baptismal creed. Instead of submitting a creed of their own, the
anti-Arians modified Eusebius', thereby compelling him to sign it and completely shutting the Arians out. Those Arians who did not sign were deposed and exiled.

Thus Constantine had his unified Church which was not very unified. Eusebius of Cesarea was not altogether
satisfied with the creed because it was too close to Sabellianism (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three aspects of one God). Eusebius was uncomfortable enough with the Nicene creed that he felt it expedient to justify himself to his own people in a long letter in which he states that he 'resisted even to the last minute' until the words were examined and it was explained that the words 'did not mean all they seemed to mean but were intended simply to assert the real deity of the Son...' a 'double interpretation [was authorized by the leaders] in order to win Eusebius and his followers.

Eusebius took exception to as the words were explained. 'Out of the Father's substance' was now interpreted to show that the Son is 'out of the Father', but 'not part of the Father's substance.' 'Born not made' because 'made' refers to all other creatures 'which come into being through the Son', and 'consubstantial' really means that the Son comes out of the Father and is like him. It is clear that the council strongly lacked unity of thought. The language of debate on the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son has made many people think that the 'Church at Nicea had abandoned the genuine Christian doctrine, which was religious through and through, in order to embrace some sort of hellenistic ontology' (128). He concludes that the Nicene dogma marked the 'transition from the prophetic Oracle of Yahweh... to Catholic dogma.



There is an unfortunate side to the whole Athanasian/Arian debate. There no parallel in medieval nor modern times in the intensity of debate. Historically, this 'doctrine of God' has proved to be a bloody doctrine that has no relation to the true God
of love, nor His Son Jesus Christ. 'Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome. Thus they perverted the teachings of Christ: 'Love thy neighbor as thyself',{# Mt 19:19} and of his apostles: 'If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us'.{# 1Jo 4:12}

As each of the creeds became more wordy and convoluted, the simple, pure faith of the Apostolic church became lost in a haze. Even more interesting is the fact that as the creeds became more specific (and less scriptural) the adherence to them became stricter, and the penalty for disbelief harsher.
 

Manichaeism, was an outgrowth of Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. Manicheanism was a religion founded by Mani, (216-276) who was born near the site of Baghdad, of Persian parents. Mani had a vision in his early youth, and for many years wandered as a meditative ascetic. After this he came forward claiming to be the inspired prophet of a new religion, something not uncommonly done in his day. He was expelled by the Zoroastrians as a heretic. The doctrine that was to become Manichaeism was a great synthesis of elements from Gnosticism, particularly from the teachings of Marcion, Zoroastrianism, and other Persian religions, and as much of the beliefs of Christianity that suited his purpose. Mithraism entered into many doctrines of Manichean Christianity. Basic to the doctrine of Manichaeism was the conflicting dualism between the realm of God, represented by light and spiritual enlightenment, and the realm of Satan, symbolized by darkness and material things. Manicheanism laid so much stress on the ascetic life that it looked on the sex instinct as evil and emphasized the unmarried state. The ‘elect’ rejected darkness by leading a life of strict celibacy and austerity and women were considered part of the forces of Satan, seducing man.

St. Augustine, who was destined to exert, through his theological and philosophical works, a decisive influence on the cultural development of the Western world, was in his youth a Manichee. The Manichean dualism with its principle of eternal strife between the powers of light and darkness had the greatest appeal for Augustine. Even after the seeds of Christian life were planted in Augustine, he continued as a member of the sect of the Manicheans; he went to their meetings and used his Manichean friends when they could help him in his career. Indeed, because some resemblances between Christianity and Mithraism were so close, Augustine declared the priests of Mithra worshipped the same deity that he did. After his journey to Rome from Africa, Augustine became obsessed with the problem of the origin of evil and the unspoken mystery of the unconscious mind.

At this time in his life Augustine was ripe for a larger philosophical basis upon which to base his intellectual life. Augustine owed his final disengagement from the material world to the writings of the neo-platonists. It is from this source that the world-view of the identification of spirit and incorporeality originated. Greek philosophy also taught that an ethical antagonism or dualism between virtue and the sensuous impulse required a parallel distinction between knowledge and sensuous ideas. These two elements of dualism, Levant and Greek, dovetailed neatly together in Agustine’s world-picture. The neoplatonic version of the ‘logos’, taught him to except truth as not embodied in matter. That divine knowledge was outside the physical realm; and that ‘disembodied ecstasy’ was the highest state one could enjoy in this life.. It was through neo-platonism that Augustine conceived of spirit as being immaterial and evil as being a phantasmal substance. It was Augustine who promoted the Idea of ‘Original Sin’ as inherited and carried forward as a result of human sexuality; and it was through Augustine that a manichean type neo-platonism became firmly joined to Christianity.

In his conversion to Christianity, he perceived the will of the Divine as an extreme opposition to his life of worldly and natural cravings, and manifest this in the opposite pole of celibacy and monastic discipline Thereafter, he lived as a philosopher who had turned his back on the world “to enjoy the bliss of pure thought”. In the early centuries of the Christian era, spiritual trends were largely determined by the thoughts and deeds of the saints; and Augustine’s theological essays with all their pagan colorings, assumed an immediate dogmatic importance for all Christianity. It has been said that Augustine’s influence on Christianity is second only to St. Paul; and theologians, Roman Catholic and Protestants alike, look upon him as the founder of theology. However, while many see his historical acts as defending the Christian faith, Augustine is largely responsible for uniting Christianity with Babylon’s mystery religions.

To be fair, it must be said that toward the end of Augustine’s life his philosophy became, more and more, life centered. In his theological ‘maturity’ Augustine attempted to contemplate the whole of reality as a universal, richly endowed history, guided and blessed by God throughout. In fact, it may even be said that he came to see the beauty of this world as a reflection of the supreme goodness of God. In the Confessions St. Augustine, with the most sincere humility and contrition, lay open the errors of his conduct; in his seventy-second year he began to do the like for his judgment. In this work, his Retractions, he reviewed his writings, which were very numerous, and attempted to correct with candor and severity the mistakes he had made, without seeking the least gloss or excuse to qualify them. Still, although the thinkers of the middle ages, by and large, considered themselves to be disciples of Augustine, they showed little commitment to, or understanding of, the life centered motif of Augustine’s latter, mature thought.

To give an example of just how mistaken The middle ages became in confusing the inspirational sources of their doctrine, and how it still effects the Christian Church today, take the fact that ‘Lucifer’ is not the name of the Devil.

The title Lucifer, which is Latin for ‘morning star’ comes form only one passage in the Bible, found in the book of Isaiah, chapter 14; verse 12. This title was given to the kings of Babylon, as tribute in the royal court by the public in attendance.

The Lucifer entry in Isa 14:12 is completely wrong... not to mention it doesn't make any sense. The Hebrew words there are in fact “helel ben shachar”. Helel means shining, in some interpretations, “star”. Most scholars agree that Shachar is from the Babylonian “Shahar”. In Babylonian mythology Shahar was known as the God of the Dawn and he had a son, his name was HELEL, which is sometimes associated with the planet Venus (one of the brightest stars[sic] in the night sky). It should properly read, “Helel son of Shahar!”

The name "Lucifer" is latin for "light-bringer" and has been used as a mistranslation for both the Hebrew heliel, or day-star (by Jerome in the Latin Vulgate bible) and the Greek Eosphoros (Dawn-star). The name Lucifer is often linked in the bible to the King of Babylon, in the book of Isaiah. Here, the King is referred to as the "Bright Morning star, who has fallen from the the heavens, and that the Lord will destroy Babylon" (Isaiah 14: 12-15) It is from this reference that the name "Lucifer" became associated with the Devil. This cannot be further from the truth, since Lucifer is a latin word, not a Hebrew word.

The Italian/Strega Lucifer is better known as Dianus---Diana's consort. She was goddess of the moon, and he was god of the sun----he went on to also be known as Janus. He was not the Devil.

The matching of Lucifer with the morning star rises not from the Hebrew bible but from classical mythology, a fount of bitter water not intended by God as our "fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 17:13). Reference works concede that the switch is based on ".. .classical mythology for the planet Venus." Just because Satan has convinced the heathen world to connect him with Venus, the morning star, is no basis for the repetition of that "myth" by Christian scholars.

This title was not ascribed to Satan until over two thousand years later. Further, Lucifer, in ancient mythologies, was never a beautiful and perfect angel in Heaven who rebelled against God. This distortion of the Bible came from juxtaposing the book of Ezekiel's reference to the king of Trye ( 28:12) with Isaiah's reference to the king of Babylon. Perhaps even more surprising is that in the book of Revelations the ‘Morning Star’ is a name of Jesus Christ. (Rev 22:16),see also (2 Peter 1:19) It is also interesting to note that in Isaiah 45:7 it is written, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things”.

In modern and late Medieval Christian thought, Lucifer is a fallen angel commonly associated with Satan, the embodiment of evil and enemy of God. Lucifer is generally considered, based on the influence of Christian literature and legend, to have been a prominent archangel in heaven (although some contexts say he was a cherub or a seraph), prior to having been motivated by pride to rebel against God. When the rebellion failed, Lucifer was cast out of heaven, along with a third of the heavenly host, and came to reside on the world.

Lucifer is a Latin word meaning "light-bearer" (from lux, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), a Roman astrological term for the "Morning Star", the planet Venus. The word Lucifer was the direct translation of the Greek eosphorus ("dawn-bearer"; cf. Greek phosphorus, "light-bearer") used by Jerome in the Vulgate. In that passage, Isaiah 14:12, it referred to one of the popular honorific titles of a Babylonian king; however, later interpretations of the text, and the influence of embellishments in works such as Dante's The Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost, led to the common idea in Christian mythology and folklore that Lucifer was a poetic appellation of Satan.

Roman poetic appellation

A 2nd-century sculpture of the moon goddess Selene accompanied by Hesperus and Phosphorus: the Morning star was later Latinized as "Lucifer".Lucifer is a poetic name for the "morning star", a close translation of the Greek eosphoros, the "dawn-bringer", which appears in the Odyssey and in Hesiod's Theogony.

A classic Roman use of "Lucifer" appears in Virgil's Georgics (III, 324-5):

Luciferi primo cum sidere frigida rura
carpamus, dum mane novum, dum gramina canent"
"Let us hasten, when first the Morning Star appears,
To the cool pastures, while the day is new, while the grass is dewy"
And similarly, in Ovid's Metamorphoses:

"Aurora, watchful in the reddening dawn, threw wide her crimson doors and rose-filled halls; the Stars took flight, in marshalled order set by Lucifer, who left his station last."
A more effusive poet, like Statius, can expand this trope into a brief but profuse allegory, though still this is a poetical personification of the Light-Bearer, not a mythology:

"And now Aurora, rising from her Mygdonian resting-place, had scattered the cold shadows from the high heaven, and, shaking the dew-drops from her hair, blushed deep in the sun's pursuing beams; toward her through the clouds, rosy Lucifer turns his late fires, and with slow steed leaves an alien world, until the fiery father's orb be full replenished and he forbid his sister to usurp his rays."
Statius, Thebaid 2.134


A 2nd-century sculpture of the moon goddess Selene accompanied by Hesperus and Phosphorus: the Morning star was later Latinized as "Lucifer".



In tracing the roots of Roman Catholic (Western Christian ) mythology, it can be seen that a considerable part or the more or less orthodox beliefs and visions that gave the middle ages their nightmare of hell and the devil; came from Persia by two channels through the decaying Roman Empire: on the one hand was the tainted Judeo-Christian literature, (non-biblical) and on the other, the remnants of the Mithra cult and the various sects of Manicheism that continued to preach the doctrines of dualism and demonology. It was from these religions that nature began to be viewed as entirely corrupt. Moreover, Mithra, the ancient spirit of light, became the God of truth and justice in the religion of Zoroaster. This religion is governed throughout by ideas of purity and impurity. Indeed, no religion on earth has ever been so completely dominated by an ideal of purification. This perfect purity distinguishes the mysteries of Mithra from all other Oriental gods. Where all other Syrian gods are coupled with a spouse; Mithra lives alone. Mithra is chaste, and for the veneration of fertility he substitutes a reverence for self-restraint From this followed the practice of asceticism, The rejection of the world and bodily pleasures through sustained self-denial and self-mortification. And although asceticism was not uncommon in Judaism, it was considered, sacred, by Zoroastrians and Manicheanism.

In the ancient world this was in stark contrast to earlier Syrian religions; and was largely a relief from devastating rioting and excess. For in no other country was sacred prostitution so developed as it was in Syria, and immorality was nowhere so flagrant as in the temples of Astarte, ‘also originally a principle of ( E-lo-im )’ whose female servants were continuously compelled into sexual activities. Also, these Semitic religions practiced human sacrifice longer than any other known religion, sacrificing children as well as grown men in order to please the gods. No doubt sexuality was seen to be associated with a total lack of moral character due to this behavior.

As we know the Church came out of Judaism as a reform movement led by Jesus, a liberal Pharisee. The first thing to say here in the Jewish world, celibacy, the voluntary renunciation of marriage is an utterly foreign concept. This is so obvious that we need not discuss it. "Be fruitful and multiply" was a duty particularly in a world where longevity was not known. Judaism, however, like many movements of antiquity was radically affected by the dualism of Greek culture. From Pythagoras (6th c. BCE) to Plato (d. 347 BCE), the body is suspect while the soul is elevated and noble. We know Plato had a huge influence on Christianity with its distrust of matter and the body. We shall see this in the writings of the Church fathers later. Historian Joseph Swain tells us that, "a wave of asceticism swept over the whole Greek world in the first century BCE." Philosophical schools like the Epicureans and Stoics promulgated celibacy. Stoicism, the greatest school of ancient philosophy, had its most profound impact from 300 BCE to 250 CE. Stoicism naturally lauded celibacy over marriage. A true Stoic like Seneca
(d. 65 CE) could write that one "resists the assault of passions and does not allow himself to be swept into the marital act." Pliny the Elder (d. 79 CE) praised the elephant for mating only every two years! All over the Mediterranean pagan priests observed purity laws, denying themselves sexual intercourse before the sacred ablutions were performed. The Vestal Virgins were honoured in Rome and the largest mystery cult of that time, that of Mithras, championed the unmarried state.

The negative assessment of sexual pleasure in the two centuries after Christ was further strengthened by the invasion of pessimism...which came out of the east...and would prove to be the most dangerous competition for Christianity. This we
know as gnosticism." The latter movement greatly exacerbated the distrust of the senses and the hatred of the body which so infected the new religion. The only worthy part of the human is the spark of light from another world, the soul. The body was "the grave you carry around with you." A further departure from God's good creation you could not find --and Gnosticism's
denigration of corporality had a deadly effect. Marcion, a Christian gnostic leader (c. 140 CE) identified sex with evil matter. For Marcion, Jesus could not have been born through the sex act and probably floated down from heaven. He himself was celibate and demanded the same of his followers. Though he had a large impact on the early Church, Marcion's extreme sexual asceticism got him bounced from the Church of Rome in 144 CE. In the desert area of Syria the Encratites held sway and they too deeply influenced the early Church. For them marriage was "polluted and a foul way of life."

Although the Church rejected the most extreme of these teachings, there is no doubt that she was radically influenced by them. By the year 180 CE the powerful life-affirming and positive influence of Judaism had begun to wane, and the dualism and pessimism of the Hellenic world became dominant within Christianity especially in the areas of marriage and sexuality. Looking back we see nothing in the apostolic community which wedded celibacy to the essentials of Christianity. The earliest witness Paul says he received nothing from the Lord on this matter. The canonical Gospels do not raise the issue. The first apostles and leaders were all married. We know nothing of Jesus marital state and the fact that nothing is said in the gospels about his traditional single state probably indicates that he more than likely was married. The writers assuredly would have commented on an itinerant Jewish rabbi who was unmarried.



Perhaps most important, the Goddess is revealed in Eros, in that most powerful of earthly urges. For heavenly Gods and transcendent philosophies, Eros frequently appears as the great enemy. We must be rid of desire: Buddhism, Upanishadic Hinduism, and many forms of Christianity agree on that. Eros leads us into illusion, breaks up the patriarchal family, pollutes the mind. To the Goddess, however, Eros is not the enemy but her child, her driving power. The earth continues to restore and replenish itself through Eros. Eros must be ritualized and controlled, the way psychedelic drugs are, but it is finally the gift of the Goddess and must be revered as such. Most biblical scholars love to speak of the Goddess's so-called "fertility cult" as the reason for prophetic denunciation, and there may be some truth in that. Certainly, representatives of the cult of Yahweh repeatedly attacked what they saw as the erotic dimension of Goddess worship. Sacred prostitution by both sexes and seasonal orgiastic celebrations were roundly excoriated.

Within modern culture these roles of Goddess and Mother are seen to be reemerging. While the psychanalyst Sigmund Freud saw the emergence devotion to the Goddess as infantile desires to be reunited with the mother, his theory was challenged by C.J. Jung who described this emergence devotion as "a potent force of the unconscious."

Carl Gustav Jung, was not an astrologer. He was a Swiss psychiatrist
and psychologist, born in 1875, who devoted much of his work to dream analysis, the
study of mythical symbols, and the introduction of ‘archetypes’(derived from Greek,
archien -beginning, typos - form). All of these unconscious images, he believed, had a
direct and meaningful relationship to man’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

Jung maintained that dreams and myth were linked, but while dreams were personal and
their meaning difficult to fathom, myths, on the other hand, were an impersonal,
communal projection which arise from a collective, instinctual wisdom which is inherent
in mankind’s psyche. Jung claimed that myths give us this universal connection, as the
stories from differing cultures, time periods, and regions of the earth, were startlingly
similar.

This controversial psychologist whose work explored mythology’s loss to the modern
world, claimed myths sprang from the primitive tribes’ mentality as a living religion;
the savage did not invent myths, but that it experienced myth constantly in its physical
and spiritual form. The so-called savage lived myth at a broader social, communal and
political level as well as experiencing it on a deeply personal and spiritual level. Can we
say the same of our belief systems today?

Jung believed so strongly in the power of myth he claimed that man’s drift away from
the need to incorporate myth into our lives is much more responsible for modern
neuroses, than the more popular belief of his time in Freudian theories of sexual
maladjustment.


Jung theorized that "the feminine principle as a universal archetype, a primordial, instinctual pattern of behavior deeply imprinted on the human psyche, brought the Goddess once more into popular imagination."
The basis of Jung's theory rested on religious symbolism extending from prehistoric to current times. His archetypical concept is that it is not "an inherited idea, but an inherited mode of psychic functioning, corresponding to that inborn 'way' according to which the chick emerges from the egg; the bird builds its nest;...and eels find their way to the Bermudas."
The biological evidence of Jung's archetypical concept indicates the psychological meaning. Although the psychological meaning cannot always be as objectively demonstrated as the biological one, it often is as important or even more important than the biological one. It lies deep within the levels of personalities, and can elicit responses not possible by mere abstract thinking. These responses energize and deeply effect persons. "Jung believed all religions rest on archetypical foundations."
This does not necessarily mean that all or every religion originated from an archetype, but rather the archetype on which most, if not all, religions were and are based is the deep felt (italics are the author's) need within the people for their particular religion. This need is what brought forth the religion. There are various views on the causes this need arouse, but "Jungians have espoused the Mother Goddess as an archetype, a loadstone in the collective consciousness of both men and women to be minded of psychological wholeness."
Many men have expressed the need to return to the Goddess, indicating that this is not only a woman's search or desire. "English therapist John Rowan believes that every man in Western culture also needs this vital connection to the vital female principle in nature and urges men to turn to the Goddess. In this way men will be able to relate to human women on more equal terms, not fearful of resentful of female power. Perhaps this is how it was in prehistoric times when men and women coexisted peacefully under the hegemony of the Goddess."

 

When one studies the Bible in English, only, and when an individual is limited to what preachers and rabbis teach, it seems that there is no ‘real’ goddess for the People of the Covenant to worship. Centuries of cultural bias have resulted in a modern exodus of those feeling the call of Goddess in their spiritual lives. Those who study the Bible can easily discover that other people worshipped goddesses, and that God’s prophets condemned such practices. But it was not the worship of the true Goddess of Israel that was condemned, but the worship of other goddesses – just as the worship of other gods is forbidden.
This has left people who have felt drawn to relate to Goddess in quite a dilemma. If they have a Scripture-based spiritual background, it would seem that their worship of the Goddess is incompatible with the very Scripture on which they base their faith. If they voice their feelings to a pastor, they are almost universally discouraged. The reason is that most priests, pastors, and rabbis are graduates of theological seminaries that teach that there is no rightful Goddess in the Bible. The doctrine of churches and synagogues is deeply influenced by denominational dogma, by culture, and by the pressure of committees within their congregations. Therefore, congregants who inquire about a Divine Feminine are usually dismissed out of hand, and are dissuaded from pursuing Her. As the result, the majority of those who became seekers of the Divine Feminine feel compelled to exit Judaism or Christianity in order to pursue their quest. Many in the present are being drawn away from their spiritual heritage and millennia of tradition, attracted to the pantheon of gods and goddesses found in Wicca, or related Neo-pagan religions, because it seemed to them that the belief in Goddess was contrary to Christianity or Judaism.


If traditional interpretations have neglected female imagery for God, they have also neglected females, Similarly, the sacrifice of the daughter of Jephthah documents the powerlessness and abuse of a child in the days of the judges (Judg. 11). No interpretation can save her from the holocaust or mitigate the foolish vow of her father. But we can move through the indictment of the father to claim sisterhood with the daughter. Retelling her story, we emphasize the daughters of Israel to whom she reaches out in the last days of her life (Judg. 11:37). Thus, we underscore the postscript, discovering in the process an alternative translation.Traditionally, the ending has read, "She [the daughter] had never known man. And it became a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year" (11:40). Since the verb become, however, is a feminine form (Hebrew has no neuter), another reading is likely: "Although she had never known a man, nevertheless she became a tradition [custom] in Israel. From year to year the
daughters of Israel went to mourn the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite, four days in the year." By virtue of this translation, we
can understand the ancient story in a new way. The unnamed virgin child becomes a tradition in Israel because the women with whom she chooses to spend her last days do not let her pass into oblivion; they establish a living memorial. Interpreting such stories of terror on behalf of women is surely, then, another way of challenging the patriarchy of Scripture
 



~*~

Other women appear in later literature as well. One of the most famous woman apostles was Thecla, a virgin-martyr converted by Paul. She cut her hair, donned men's clothing, and took up the duties of a missionary apostle. Threatened with rape, prostitution, and twice put in the ring as a martyr, she persevered in her faith and her chastity. Her lively and somewhat fabulous story is recorded in the second century Acts of Thecla. From very early, an order of women who were widows served formal roles of ministry in some churches (I Timothy 5:9-10). The most numerous clear cases of women's leadership, however, are offered by prophets: Mary Magdalene, the Corinthian women, Philip's daughters, Ammia of Philadelphia, Philumene, the visionary martyr Perpetua, Maximilla, Priscilla (Prisca), and Quintilla. There were many others whose names are lost to us. The African church father Tertullian, for example, describes an unnamed woman prophet in his congregation who not only had ecstatic visions during church services, but who also served as a counselor and healer (On the Soul 9.4). A remarkable collection of oracles from another unnamed woman prophet was discovered in Egypt in 1945. She speaks in the first person as the feminine voice of God: Thunder, Perfect Mind. The prophets Prisca and Quintilla inspired a Christian movement in second century Asia Minor (called the New Prophecy or Montanism) that spread around the Mediterranean and lasted for at least four centuries. Their oracles were collected and published, including the account of a vision in which Christ appeared to the prophet in the form of a woman and "put wisdom" in her ( Epiphanius, Panarion 49.1). Montanist Christians ordained women as presbyters and bishops, and women held the title of prophet. The third century African bishop Cyprian also tells of an ecstatic woman prophet from Asia Minor who celebrated the eucharist and performed baptisms (Epistle 74.10). In the early second century, the Roman governor Pliny tells of two slave women he tortured who were decons (Letter to Trajan 10.96). Other women were ordained as priests in fifth century Italy and Sicily (Gelasius, Epistle 14.26).

Bishop Irenaeus (ca. 140 - 203 AD) noted that women especially were attracted to Gnostic groups. ‘Even in our own district of the Rhone valley,’ he said, the gnostic teacher Marcus had attracted ‘many foolish women’ from his own congregation, including the wife of one of Irenaeus’ own deacons. Professing himself to be at a loss to account for the attraction that Marcus’ group held, he offered only one explanation: that Marcus himself was a diabolically clever seducer, a magician who compounded special aphrodisiacs to ‘deceive, victimize, and defile’ his prey. Whether his accusations have any factual basis no one knows. But when he describes Marcus’ techniques of seduction, Irenaeus indicates that he is speaking metaphorically. For, he says, Marcus ‘addresses them in such seductive words’ as his prayers to Grace, ‘She who is before all things ‘, and to Wisdom and Silence, the feminine element of the divine being. Second, he says, Marcus seduced women ‘by telling them to prophesy’ - which they were strictly forbidden to do in the orthodox church. When he initiated a woman, Marcus concluded the initiation prayer with the words ‘Behold, Grace has come upon you; open your mouth, and prophesy.’ Then, as the bishop indignantly describes it, Marcus’ ‘deluded victim ... impudently.utters some nonsense’, and ‘henceforth considers herself to be a prophet!’ Worst of all, from Irenaeus’ viewpoint, Marcus invited women to act as priests in celebrating the eucharist with him: he ‘hands the cups to women’ . to offer up the eucharistic prayer, and to pronounce the words of consecration.

Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, Book I, ch. 13, § 1 - 7; Hippolytus, Refutationis Omnium Haeresium, 6.35

Anoher gnostic leader, Marcion, appointed women on an equal basis with men as priests and bishops. The gnostic teacher Marcellina traveled to Rome to represent the Carpocratian group, which claimed to have received secret teaching from Mary, Salome, and Martha. The Montanists, a radical prophetic circle, honored two women, Prisca and Maximilla, as founders of the movement. Among such gnostic groups as the Valentinians, women were considered equal to men; some were revered as prophets; others acted as teachers, traveling evangelists, healers, priests, perhaps even bishops. It is more than likely that Mary Magdalen was hailed as a model for such feminine ministers.


The [Montanist] movement was conservative, claiming to return, to what were the practices and beliefs of the primitive Church, and also asserting that a new or at least renewed dispensation of the Spirit had arrived. At his baptism the Holy Spirit spoke through Montanus in tongues, thus reviving the charismatic emotionalism and practices of such churches as that of New Testament Corinth and reacting against the coldness and formalism which were creeping into contemporary Christianity

Their movement fell as the result of a few wicked men securing power and spreading heresies, at which time some unknown author spoke against women speaking in the church and altered Paul's epistle to the Corinthians.

Women were also prominent as martyrs and suffered violently from torture and painful execution by wild animals and paid gladiators. In fact, the earliest writing definitely by a woman is the prison diary of Perpetua, a relatively wealthy matron and nursing mother who was put to death in Carthage at the beginning of the third century on the charge of being a Christian. In it, she records her testimony before the local Roman ruler and her defiance of her father's pleas that she recant. She tells of the support and fellowship among the confessors in prison, including other women. But above all, she records her prophetic visions. Through them, she was not merely reconciled passively to her fate, but claimed the power to define the meaning of her own death. In a situation where Romans sought to use their violence against her body as a witness to their power and justice, and where the Christian editor of her story sought to turn her death into a witness to the truth of Christianity, her own writing lets us see the human being caught up in these political struggles. She actively relinquishes her female roles as mother, daughter, and sister in favor of defining her identity solely in spiritual terms. However horrifying or heroic her behavior may seem, her brief diary offers an intimate look at one early Christian woman's spiritual journey.

Sibylline Oracles were "a collection of oracular prophecies in which Jewish or Christian doctrines were allegedly confirmed by a sibyl (legendary Greek prophetess); In the Oracles the sibyl proved her reliability by first 'predicting' events that had actually recently occurred; she then predicted future events and set forth doctrines peculiar to Hellenistic Judaism or Christianity. The Jewish apologist Josephus and certain Christian apologists thought the works were the genuine prophecy of the sibyls and were greatly impressed by the way in which their doctrines were confirmed by external testimony. Both Theophilus of Antioch and Clement of Alexandria, 2nd-century Christian theologians, referred to the sibyl as a prophetess apparently no less inspired than the Old Testament prophets."
"Scholars are unsure if there ever really was a 'Sibyl' who inaugurated this tradition. Collections of 'Sibylline' oracles appeared in a variety of centers in the ancient world. These collections enjoyed considerable prestige in the Roman Empire and allowed Jews and Christians to communicate their religious views....The collection...now makes up part of the Pseudepigrapha."



Study of works by and about women is making it possible to begin to reconstruct some of the theological views of early Christian women. Although they are a diverse group, certain reoccurring elements appear to be common to women's theology-making. By placing the teaching of the Gospel of Mary side-by-side with the theology of the Corinthian women prophets, the Montanist women's oracles, Thunder Perfect Mind, and Perpetua's prison diary, it is possible to discern shared views about teaching and practice that may exemplify some of the contents of women's theology:
Jesus was understood primarily as a teacher and mediator of wisdom rather than as ruler and judge.
Theological reflection centered on the experience of the person of the risen Christ more than the crucified savior. Interestingly enough, this is true even in the case of the martyr Perpetua. One might expect her to identify with the suffering Christ, but it is the risen Christ she encounters in her vision.
Direct access to God is possible for all through receiving the Spirit.
In Christian community, the unity, power, and perfection of the Spirit are present now, not just in some future time.
Those who are more spiritually advanced give what they have freely to all without claim to a fixed, hierarchical ordering of power.
An ethics of freedom and spiritual development is emphasized over an ethics of order and control.
A woman's identity and spirituality could be developed apart from her roles as wife and mother ( or slave), whether she actually withdrew from those roles or not. Gender is itself contested as a "natural" category in the face of the power of God's Spirit at work in the community and the world. This meant that potentially women (and men) could exercise leadership on the basis of spiritual achievement apart from gender status and without conformity to established social gender roles.
Overcoming social injustice and human suffering are seen to be integral to spiritual life. Women were also actively engaged in reinterpreting the texts of their tradition. For example, another new text, the Hypostasis of the Archons, contains a retelling of the Genesis story ascribed to Eve's daughter Norea, in which her mother Eve appears as the instructor of Adam and his healer. The new texts also contain an unexpected wealth of Christian imagination of the divine as feminine. The long version of the Apocryphon of John, for example, concludes with a hymn about the descent of divine Wisdom, a feminine figure here called the Pronoia of God. She enters into the lower world and the body in order to awaken the innermost spiritual being of the soul to the truth of its power and freedom, to awaken the spiritual power it needs to escape the counterfeit powers that enslave the soul in ignorance, poverty, and the drunken sleep of spiritual deadness, and to overcome illegitimate political and sexual domination. The oracle collection Thunder Perfect Mind also adds crucial evidence to women's prophetic theology-making. This prophet speaks powerfully to women, emphasizing the presence of women in her audience and insisting upon their identity with the feminine voice of the Divine. Her speech lets the hearers transverse the distance between political exploitation and empowerment, between the experience of degradation and the knowledge of infinite self-worth, between despair and peace. It overcomes the fragmentation of the self by naming it, cherishing it, insisting upon the multiplicity of self-hood and experience.
These elements may not be unique to women's religious thought or always result in women's leadership, but as a constellation they point toward one type of theologizing that was meaningful to some early Christian women, that had a place for women's legitimate exercise of leadership, and to whose construction women contributed. If we look to these elements, we are able to discern important contributions of women to early Christian theology and praxis. These elements also provide an important location for discussing some aspects of early Christian women's spiritual lives: their exercise of leadership, their ideals, their attraction to Christianity, and what gave meaning to their self-identity as Christians.

Women's prominence did not, however, go unchallenged. Every variety of ancient Christianity that advocated the legitimacy of women's leadership was eventually declared heretical, and evidence of women's early leadership roles was erased or suppressed.
This erasure has taken many forms. Collections of prophetic oracles were destroyed. Texts were changed. For example, at least one woman's place in history was obscured by turning her into a man! In Romans 16:7, the apostle Paul sends greetings to a woman named Junia. He says of her and her male partner Andronicus that they are "my kin and my fellow prisoners, prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me." Concluding that women could not be apostles, textual editors and translators transformed Junia into Junias, a man.

1 and 2 Timothy and Titus were definitely pseudonymous (written by a unknown person, passing the writings off as Paul's.) They were written 35 to 85 years after Paul's death. Although such a writer would be considered a forger today, the practice was quite common in the 1st century CE, and was considered acceptable behavior.

What can clearly be ascribed to Paul's hand is his praise of Timothy's Mother Eunice and Grandmother Lois, both referred to as women of unfeigned faith.

Certain episodes in the Acts of Paul, such as the 'Journeys of Paul and Thecla', exist in a number of Greek manuscripts and in half a dozen ancient versions. Thecla was a noble-born virgin from Iconium and an enthusiastic follower of the Apostle; she preached like a missionary and administered baptism. It was the administration of baptism by a woman that scandalized Tertullian and led him to condemn the entire book.

Theodora, Episcopa
Perhaps the most accessible example of female apostolic succession is an ancient mosaic still visible in the Church of St. Praxedis in Rome. This ninth century portrait honors four women leaders who pastored the community, beginning with Mary of Nazareth who was often venerated by early Christians as the first apostolic woman leader. St. Praxedis and St. Pudentiana (on whose ancestral land the Church is thought to have been built) were endangered female leaders of house churches before Christianity was legalized in 313 AD. While these two and Mary have round halos in the mosaic, the fourth woman, Theodora, has a square halo showing that she was alive when the portrait was made. Inscribed above Theodora is the word Episcopa, with the feminine ending, meaning a bishop who is a woman. Just as contemporary churches, cathedral offices and seminaries frequently display photographs of previous pastors, bishops and rectors; the mosaic at St. Praxedis reveals the succession of female pastors and bishops from Mary of Nazareth though Praxedis and Pudentiana to Theodora. Like her predecessor, St. Praxidis 700 years earlier, Theodora wears an episcopal cross attesting to her service as bishop of the titular church of St. Praxedis.

In addition to Theodora and Praxedis, Ute Eisen believes: “Other Latin inscriptions from Italy and Dalmatia make it probable that women were active there as bishops in the fifth and sixth centuries. This is supported by the epigraphically attested women presbyters of the fourth to sixth centuries in the West, as well as by literary evidence from a later period that attacks, and thereby confirms, the sacerdotal activity of women. [Eisen p. 208]



Sofia, the Deacon.
In 1903 bible scholars found a fourth century tombstone on the mount of Olives with a Greek inscription which read: “Here lies the minister and bride of Christ, Sofia the deacon, a second Phoebe. She fell asleep in peace on the 21st of month of March...” The Christian community in Jerusalem understood Sofia’s ministry to be part of a three hundred year old tradition dating back to the Phoebe of Romans 16 which was validated by none other than the apostle Paul who said: “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae” Notable is the fact that for both Phoebe and Sofia, the Greek word diaconos is used a masculine ending with the feminine article. Diaconos is the same word Paul used to describe his own ministry. Clearly, the Jerusalem community saw Sofia’s ministry in apostolic succession to that of Phoebe. There is ample evidence of other female deacons who ministered from the first to the sixth centuries in Palestine, Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia, Rome and France.



About Evidence for Women Priests

Formerly, archeologists and scholars took references to female priests, deacons and bishops to be honorary titles for the wives of these officeholders, rather than a female title for the office. Recent scholarship rejects this interpretation. In the ancient world, titles were legal identification since no system of family surnames yet existed. If a woman is described by a title such as presbytera (woman priest) it means that she held that office herself. If her husband had the office, the title is attached to his name (not hers) and she is named as his wife without a title. As Dorothy Irvin points out: “The word presbytera is not the word that was used for a woman priest of any Greek or Roman religious cult. Presbyter, a Greek word meaning “elder” was one of the New Testament designations of ministry that became normative, together with deacon and bishop. In the Latin -speaking areas of the early church, a feminine ending was added to form the title of women holding this office.” In English the word was shortened to “prester” and eventually to “priest” [Irvin calendar 2003 (July-Aug)].

Ute Eisen’s careful study of tombstone inscriptions and literary attestations reveals widespread evidence for women priests and presiders (presbytera, presbytides, presbiterissa) who functioned in both the eastern and western churches from the third to the ninth centuries.



What about young women casting of their first faith? ( 1 Tim 5:12 )What does this passage really mean in respect to serving God?
What about young men burning with youthful lust? These statements cannot be ascribed to the Church houses started by the first Christians. These additions come from a desire to provide rules for established monastic brotherhoods.("taken into the number.") How did this statement about rules governing monastic brotherhoods and some woman's particular bad habit of gossip enter into the question of serving God? This passage should be understood as referring to the goodness of marriage and perhaps as a blessing in disguise for young women by discouraging a life lived in monastic orders, while still maintaining an opening for devote widows. We must never, never, forget factors of place, time, and culture when examining these statements about social order.

For example, in the past women were often dumped in convents by families who did not want to care for them. Martin Luther, in his lifetime, rescued dozens of such women from cloisters and arranged for their marriages. During eras when dowries were mandatory, Christian charity stepped in where families failed, wishing to spare these women spinsterhood.

During the 4th and 5th century, the Christian church gradually extinguished women's access to positions of power in the church: Council of Laodicea (352 CE): Women were forbidden from the priesthood. They also were prohibited from presiding over churches. They decided that "One ought not to establish in the church the women called overseers (presbutidas)....women must not approach the altar." (Forbidding something implies a practice already in use--this prohibition tells us there were female priests at that time and the CATHOLIC church removed and subjugated them! Fourth Synod of Carthage (398 CE) "A woman, however learned and holy, may not presume to teach men in an assembly...A woman may not baptize." Obviously holy women were teaching and baptizing at that time. Council of Chalcedon (451 CE). Canon #15 of the Council states: "No woman under 40 years of age is to be ordained a deacon, and then only after close scrutiny." Apparently, the council wanted to start restricting the ordination of deaconesses, which must have been a common practice at the time. And, of course, anyone ordained to the Holy Order of Deacon would be eligible for later ordination to the priesthood as well. Younger women in their midst might tempt the brethren to lust and to sin against God--rather than addressing the problem by telling these men to repent and get victory over their flesh, they instead forbid younger women with a call on their lives to fulfill that call--t hus compounding the transgression against both their sister co-workers and God.

There were many women recorded in the Bible who exhibited religious leadership. Their stories appear in both the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and Christian Scriptures (New Testament): *Exodus 15:24: Miriam, the daughter of Aaron was a prophet and one of the triad of leaders of Israel during the Exodus from Egypt. * Judges 4 & 5: Deborah, a prophet-judge, headed the army of ancient Israel. * 2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22 Huldah, a prophet, verified the authenticity of the "Book of the Law of the Lord given through Moses" - the Book of Deuteronomy. Like Miriam, she triggered a religious renewal. * Luke 2:3638- Anna, a prophetess who recognized the Messiah on sight when he was brought into the temple to be dedicated to the Lord. She glorified God and blessed Jesus- -and prophesied over him to all that were in the temple. *Acts 9:36 The author of Luke referred to a female disciple of Jesus by her Aramaic name Tabitha, who was also known by her Greek name Dorcas. She became sick had died; St. Peter brought her back to life. *Acts 21:8: Philip the evangelist had four unmarried daughters who were prophets. *Philippians 4:2: Paul refers to two women, Euodia and Syntyche, as his co-workers who were active evangelicals, spreading the gospel. *Romans 16:1: Paul refers to Phoebe as a minister or deacon of the church at Cenchrea. The Greek word which describes her function is "diakonos" which means literally "official servant." She is the only deacon in the Bible to be identified by name. Some translations say deaconess; others try to obscure her position by mistranslating the Greek as a simple "servant" or "helper". Paul later refers to Phoebe as a woman, calling her "our sister." This prevented later church leaders from hiding her gender as they did with Junia in Romans 16:7 below - by changing her name and implying that she was a man. * Romans 16:3: Paul refers to Priscilla as another of his "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (NIV) Other translations refer to her as a "co-worker". But other translations attempt to downgrade her status by calling her a "helper". The original Greek word is "synergoi", which literally means "fellow worker" or "colleague." 1 It is worth noting that Paul refers to Priscilla and her husband as "Priscilla and Aquila" in this passage and as "Aquila and Priscilla" in 1 Corinthians 16:19. It would appear that the order is not important to Paul. As in Galatians 3:28, he apparently believed that there is no distinction among those who have been baptized into Christ between male and female. *Romans 16:7: Paul refers to a male apostle, Andronicus, and a female apostle, Junia, as "outstanding among the apostles" (NIV) Every Greek and Latin church Father until Giles of Rome (circa 1000 CE) acknowledged that Junia was a woman. 2,3 After that time, various writers and translators of the Bible resorted to deceptions in order to suppress her gender. For example: The Amplified Bible translates this passage as "They are men held in high esteem among the apostles" The Revised Standard Version shows it as "they are men of note among the apostles". The reference to them both being men does not appear in the original Greek text. The word "men" was simply inserted by the translators, apparently because the translators' minds recoiled from the concept of a female apostle.

*Many translations, including the Amplified Bible, Rheims New Testament, New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version simply picked the letter "s" out of thin air, and converted the original "Junia" (a woman's name) into "Junias" (a man's). Again, it was probably inconceivable to the translators that Paul would recognize a woman as an apostle.

Female Leaders Mentioned in Early Christian Writings

There are many Gospels and other early Christian writings that never made it into the official canon. Some shed light of the role of women in various early Christian groups: The Christian Gnostic tradition represented one of the three main forms of early Christianity - the others being Jewish Christianity and Pauline Christianity. Gnostic texts show that women held senior roles as teachers, prophets and missionaries. They conducted rituals such as baptism and the Eucharist. They performed exorcisms. The Gospel of Philip, was widely used among early Christian congregations. It portrayed Mary Magdalene as the companion of Jesus, in a position of very high authority within the early Christian movement. The Gospel of Mary described Mary Magdalene as a leader of Jesus' disciples. She is seen delivering a passionate sermon to the disciples after his resurrection. This raised their spirits and inspired them to evangelize the known world. Philoumene, a woman, headed a Christian theological school in Rome during the second century CE.

Examples of Female Christian Leaders from the Archeological Record

"Archaelogical Discoveries" cites:

*An ancient mosaic which shows four female figures. One is identified as Bishop Theodora. The feminine form for bishop (episcopa) is used. *A 3rd or 4th century burial site on the Greek island of Thera contains an epitaph referring to Epiktas, a "presbytis" (priest or presbyter). Epiktas is a woman's name. *A 2nd or 3rd century Christian inscription in Egypt for Artemidoras, whose mother is described as "Paniskianes, being an elder" (presbytera) *A memorial from the 3rd century for Ammion the elder (presbytera) *A 4th or 5th century Sicilian inscription referring to Kale the elder. (presbytis) Prohibition of Women from Positions of Power by the Early Church During the 4th and 5th century, the Christian church gradually extinguished women's access to positions of power in the church: Council of Laodicea (352 CE): Women were forbidden from the priesthood. They also were prohibited from presiding over churches. They decided that "One ought not to establish in the church the women called overseers (presbutidas).... women must not approach the altar." (Forbidding something implies a practice already in use-- this prohibition tells us there were female priests at that time and the CATHOLIC church removed and subjagated them! Have we forgotten the many women ministers who spread the truth in the early days of the Pentecostal revival??) Fourth Synod of Carthage (398 CE) "A woman, however learned and holy, may not presume to teach men in an assembly...A woman may not baptize." Obviously holy women were teaching and baptizing at that time. Council of Chalcedon (451 CE). Canon #15 of the Council states: "No woman under 40 years of age is to be ordained a deacon, and then only after close scrutiny." Apparently, the council wanted to start restricting the ordination of deaconesses, which must have been a common practice at the time. And, of course, anyone ordained to the Holy Order of Deacon would be eligible for later ordination to the priesthood as well. Younger women in their midst might tempt the brethren to lust and to sin against God--rather than addressing the problem by telling these men to repent and get victory over their flesh, they instead forbid younger women with a call on their lives to fulfill that call--thus compounding the transgression against both their sister co-workers and God. Islam solved the problem by circumcising women and thereby depriving them of meaningful sexuality for life--and then by enclosing them in the voluminous robes of the Chador. The first removed the lust of the flesh--the second the lust of the eye and lifted responsiblity for their own actions and thoughts from the shoulders of men and placed them on the backs of women.

Jesus said, "Come to me all ye who are heavily laden; Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden light" .... shouldn't the men who claim to represent Him stop piling their burdens on the backs of the women God intended for them to protect, cherish, and provide for?

In claiming church tradition doesn't allow women to be ordained priests, Vatican and Catholic officials would do well to consider the history of their tradition. The traditional Christian church had women priests and the archaeological evidence of this is preserved for us to see today.
In the Church of St. Praxedis in Rome there's a mosaic depicting four women leaders. One woman, Theodora (ca. 820 A.D.), has the title Episcopa above her head, which means a bishop who is a woman.

In a cathedral at Annaba, in what is now Algeria, is a mosaic covering the tomb of a woman. Along with her name, Guilia Runa, is her title "presbiterissa," which means female priest. The same title is on women's tombs in Rome. Two read, "Veronica presbitera daughter of Josetis" and "Faustina presbitera."

Additionally, a fourth-century fresco in Rome's Catacomb of Priscilla shows a woman being ordained. She's wearing an alb under her chasuble, which is first worn at ordination. Only priests and higher church leaders could wear it. Next to her, with his right hand on her shoulder, is a bishop, identified by his chair and his pallium, also worn during ordination.

Although tradition is a key argument used to oppose women's ordination, another cites the fact the 12 disciples were all male. It contends if Christ wanted women to be church leaders, some of his twelve would have been women.

While initially convincing, the rationalization crumbles when another pivotal distinction of the day is considered: ethnicity. The disciples were also all Jewish. Does this mean when we choose church leaders today, only those with primary Jewish ancestry can be considered candidates?

Every argument the Vatican and other denominational officials give to block women's ordination can be biblically and theologically challenged. Saying "no" to women priests and pastors is nothing more than the "good old boy" system at work in a sacred institution, and remnant survivalism of the sub-Christian thought that leached into the early church influencing the way men and women were perceived.

Some elements of ancient gnostic and ancient pagan thought systems saw women as flawed, problematic, and more susceptible to malfeasance than men. The early church failed to adequately challenge and eradicate these permeating cultural distortions and in time scripture was interpreted through the contaminated lens of women's ontological inferiority.

This is reflected in the statements of great early church leaders such as Thomas Aquinas, "Woman is defective and misbegotten"; Gratian, "Woman is not made in God's image"; and St. Augustine, "What is the difference wither it is in a wife or a mother; it is still Eve the temptress that we must be aware of in any woman.... I fail to see what use women can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children."

While the inferiority argument is considered heretical in the church today, the unbiblical prejudicial constructs it upheld still exist. Replaced and repackaged with expressions like "equal in essence, but unequal in function" and "different roles," the dismissal and diminishment of women has a modern home in the modern church.

Very early church tradition had women serving in all areas of ministry. Women's restriction in the church did not derive from tradition, but from the gradual importation of sub-Christian thought from outside the church, into the church.

Until the Vatican and other denominational leaders acknowledge women's call to full discipleship and reinstitute the tradition of women's ordination, they will continue to perpetuate constructs of the heretical thought that diminished and dismissed half the redeemed based on an innate fleshly distinction: femaleness

What is different in what we have been taught, is the banishment of the Goddess/Sacred Feminine and the confusion about the importance of the Female Aspect in the Bible Story.



Women were ordained just like men in the ancient church, were leaders of communities, were called elders (presbyterae), and fulfilled the duties of preaching, directing, and teaching.




"And there was Anna, a prophetess . . . which departed not from the temple, but
served God with fastings and prayers night and day" (Luke 2:36, 37).
No doubt by praying we learn to pray, and the more we pray the oftener we can
pray, and the better we can pray. He who prays in fits and starts is never
likely to attain to that effectual, fervent prayer which availeth much.
Great power in prayer is within our reach, but we must go to work to obtain it.
Let us never imagine that Abraham could have interceded so successfully for
Sodom if he had not been all his lifetime in the practice of communion with God.
Jacob's all-night at Peniel was not the first occasion upon which he had met his
God. We may even look upon our Lord's most choice and wonderful prayer with his
disciples before His Passion as the flower and fruit of His many nights of
devotion, and of His often rising up a great while before day to pray.
If a man dreams that he can become mighty in prayer just as he pleases, he
labors under a great mistake. The prayer of Elias which shut up heaven and
afterwards opened its floodgates, was one of long series of mighty prevailings
with God. Oh, that Christian men would remember this! Perseverance in prayer is
necessary to prevalence in prayer.
Those great intercessors, who are not so often mentioned as they ought to be in
connection with confessors and martyrs, were nevertheless the grandest
benefactors of the Church; but it was only by abiding at the mercy-seat that
they attained to be such channels of mercy to men. We must pray to pray, and
continue in prayer that our prayers may continue.

 


The New Testament Gospels, written toward the last quarter of the first century CE, acknowledge that women were among Jesus' earliest followers. From the beginning, Jewish women disciples, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna, had accompanied Jesus during his ministry and supported him out of their private means (Luke 8:1-3). He spoke to women both in public and private. Certainly he learned his mother's wisdom, and according to the Gospel story, an unnamed Gentile woman persuaded Jesus to declare that the ministry of God is not limited to particular groups and persons, but belongs to all who have faith (Mark 7:24-30; Matthew 15:21-28). Jesus was a frequent visitor at the home of Mary and Martha, and was in the habit of teaching and eating meals with women as well as men. When Jesus was arrested, women remained firm, even when his male disciples fled, and women accompanied him to the foot of the cross. It was women who were reported as the first witnesses to the resurrection, chief among them, Mary Magdalene. It is certain that God created Man and Woman as companions and equals from the beginning; Yet, two thousand years after the birth of Christ the Southern Baptist Convention voted to add a clause to the denomination's statement of beliefs affirming that a wife is to submit herself to the leadership of her husband; and the Vatican warned that those Catholics who continue to argue in favor of woman's ordination would be subject to penalty. Why is this so? What does the Bible say about the roles of men and women?

Time and again Jesus demonstrated his respect for women as persons, not possessions. In the Judean society of Jesus' day a man was not to speak with a woman in public; sometimes even is she was a wife or daughter, and never to converse with a Gentile woman. Nor was a man to touch any woman other than his wife or daughter, however innocent the purpose. Certainly a man was not to teach women. Nonetheless, Jesus defied every one of these rules! The genealogy of Jesus as reported in Matthew is remarkable because it includes references to several female ancestors, something not done in Jewish genealogies at the time. Not only are five women mentioned, but all of these women are associated with some form of less then ideal sexual behavior. Jesus, for his time and place, was notably unsexist. In Samaria, when he talked with the woman at the well—this is the longest personal exchange he has with anyone in the Bible—his disciples “marveled”; a Jewish man did not, in public, speak to a woman unrelated to him. In another episode, in Luke, Jesus is dining with Simon the Pharisee when a “woman in the city,” a “sinner”enters the house, washes Jesus’ feet with her tears, dries them with her hair, kisses them, and then anoints them with balm from a jar. Simon says to Christ that if he can accept that tribute from such a person then he is surely not a prophet. Christ answers that the “sinner” has shown him more love than Simon has.

What is the Christian view on a woman's conduct or place? Is it what the Pope says it is? Is it what Billy Graham says it is? Is it what Al Sharpton says it is? Or Jerry Falwell or James Kennedy or Robert Schuler? You see when we pose the issue this way, we discover that there is no consensus, and when the various defenders of Christianity discover that, when each defines what he or she believes Christianity to be, there is no consensus. There are some who believe that the way is only found in the New Testament. There are those who believe the same of the Old. Some hold that if the New has no word on a particular subject then the word of the Old stands. Still other believe that where the Old and New conflict, the New supercedes the Old. This is just a few of the variations. You know what, all of them are each convinced that their way is the 'right' one. If you add to that the fact that the Bible is composed of various writings of people from all walks of life and from all points of view, you soon realize that it is not strictly a literal account, but the interpretation of the facts by the individual writers. Lets look at the way Jesus spent his time here and the values he lived his life by. He spent time with sinners. He was kind, understanding, gentle, forgiving in most cases. The few things he did get angry about were issues that still hold true today. He was tolerant of those who did not follow his way, and his love was not in any way conditional on belief in him. He tried to better the lot of those he touched, irrespective of their belief. He never made conversion a condition of healing - he simply did his mission and let others come to him if they felt him in their hearts by their own free will. I believe that a true Christian would try and emulate the values of his Saviour.

Even as the epistles exist in the Bible today they were once sentiments that even a feminist would hail in the ancient world of gentile patriarchy. Careful consideration of the teachings which concern women in the epistles show that the early Christian Church was in fact pro-feminist struggling within a culture that wasn't. The tensions became only more acute as Christianity became part of a Greco-Roman world, whose underlying gender template defined women.

This may become clearer if one considers that women were not treated much better then cattle in the dark ages of Europe and that a man could murder his wife without consequence in China until 1950; nearly two thousand years later.


Does the Bible in fact say that God cares equally for men and women and that they have equal responsibilities under Christ's authority; And 'that it is all worth nothing without love'? What part did Jewish women have in the movement that grew up around Jesus of Nazareth? Is there any evidence that Jesus married Mary Magdalene? How do we know what the earliest Christians really believed about these questions? What are The Gospel of Philip and The Gospel of Mary Magdalene? 


Since the Gospels do not leave these women anonymous but identify them by name, it is obvious that they must have played an important role in the Christian movement in Palestine. Their leader appears to have been Mary of Magdala. All four Gospels transmit her name, whereas the names of the other women vary. She has, moreover, a position equaling that of Peter in the apocryphal gospel literature. Thus, according to the Gospel traditions, women were the primary apostolic witnesses for the fundamental events of the early Christian preaching: they were witnesses of Jesus' ministry, his suffering and death, his burial and his resurrection. They were moreover, sent to proclaim the message of the resurrection. Not only does Paul repeatedly mention the prophets directly after the apostles but he even values the gift of prophecy higher than that of speaking in tongues. Luke asserts that the Spirit of prophecy is given to women as well as to men (Acts 2:17). He specifically mentions the four daughters of Philip as renowned Christian prophets (Acts 21:9). Paul takes it for granted that women prophesy and have liturgical functions:


Chief among these is Mary Magdalene, a woman infamous in Western Christianity as an adulteress and repentant whore. Discoveries of new texts from the dry sands of Egypt, along with sharpened critical insight, have now proven that this portrait of Mary is entirely inaccurate. She was indeed an influential figure, but as a prominent disciple and leader of one wing of the early Christian movement that promoted women's leadership.

There have been many stories about the importance of Mary Magdalene that have persisted over the centuries and keep re-emerging in spite of the insistence of the church that they are heresies:
•Mary took her child(ren) by Jesus, fled to Egypt and then on to Southern France where she died and was buried.
•She visited Glastonbury with Joseph of Aramathia where they founded a true version of the teachings.
•She is associated with the Black Madonnas, which keep appearing in Southern Europe.
•She was core to the true message of Jesus as Christ.

 

Perhaps the most commonly associated artifact with Mary Magdalene is the Alabaster Jar in which she carried the spikenard and myrrh with which she anointed Jesus. The second artifact is the Holy Grail or San Greal with which she became associated in the stories of the Knights Templar, and the Cathars

Christianity was the next major cultural wave of systemic, systematic Western airbrushing of History. Just as the Male Shamans - High Priests - of the Jews hid the reality of Yahweh's other, feminine half - so the Male Shamans of Christianity were laying the foundations of Male Power in Western societies. They have achieved an almost complete cover-up of the Feminine, illustrated so well in the airbrushing of Mary Magdalene, whose true identity was not just hidden, but cleverly presented as its opposite.

We may pause here to ask if this did not happen to Eve - and Lilith before her? Are these "Goddesses" the real place to begin the story of Jewish and Christian history-tampering around Feminine Power? For both Eve and Lilith belong in some form or other to the Sumerian legends which are agreed now to be the origins of the Jewish Bible - the Torah that Christians like to appropriate by calling the "Old Testament".

However, for the moment, let us look at Mary Magdalene. This Mary was not only clearly an intellectual woman to whom Jesus confided knowledge he withheld from his jealous male disciples, but she was likely his wife just as Asherah was the wife of Jehovah...The persecution of the Gnostic tradition in convulsive, repeating cycles of Christian history up until the mass extermination of the Cathars in the 13th century A.D. was aimed at many heresies, but chief among them was the persistent reverence for Mary Magdalene, the understanding of the sacred marriage of Jesus and Mary and "the Magdalene's" status as a divinely inspired, indeed divinely appointed, teacher.

The non-biblical image of Magdalene as a repentant prostitute is an image that had been officially sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in the sixth century. And it's that image that has been perpetuated by dozens of Christian paintings and movies ever since. The misreading of Mary Magdalene, is almost as ancient as the Gospels of the New Testament themselves, if only because there are up to five Marys in the Gospels and seven in the New Testament as a whole. Mary, Mother of Jesus Mary of Magdala Mary, mother of James and Joses Mary, wife of Clopas Mary of Bethany Mary, mother of John Mark Mary, of church at Rome. 1 Six Marys 1 Six Marys are to be distinguished in the N.T.: (1) the mother of Jesus; always clearly identified by the context. (2) Mary Magdalene, a woman of Magdala, " out of whom went seven demons" Luke 8:2 She is never mentioned apart from the identifying word "Magdalene." (3) The mother of James (called "the less," Mark 15:40) and Joses, the apostles. A comparison of ; John 19:25; Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40 establishes the inference that this Mary, the mother of James the less, and of Joses was the wife of Alphaeus (called also Cleophas), John 19:25 and a sister of Mary the mother of Jesus. Except in ; Matthew 27:61; 28:1 where she is called "the other Mary (i.e. "other" than her sister, Mary the Virgin); and John 19:25 where she is called "of Cleophas," she is mentioned only in connection with one or both of her sons. (4) Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus, mentioned by name only in Luke 10:39-42; John 11:1,2,19,20,28,31,32,45; 12:3 but referred to in ; Matthew 26:7; Mark 14:3-9. (5) The mother of John Mark and sister of Barnabas Acts 12:12. (6) A helper of Paul in Rome Romans 16:6. 2 of whom was born 2 The changed expression here is important. It is no longer, "who begat," but, "Mary, of whom was born Jesus." Jesus was not begotten of natural generation. However, in reality there are only two Mary's in the gospel story, and three at the cross, the Mother and the Magdalene and Mary (Jerusalem)Salome.


The Jesus group did not accept the values and institutions of their Jewish society and milieu but often stood in opposition to them. Jesus and his disciples, for example, did not live an ascetic life-style like John the Baptist and his followers. The Jesus group rejected the religious purity laws and attracted the outcasts of their society as well as those who were for various reasons ostracized from their religious community. In distinction to the community at Qumran or the Pharisees, the Jesus movement in Palestine was not an exclusive but an inclusive group. Woman were prominent among the people who made up much of Jesus's circle. Jesus defied oppressive customs concerning women. 


The New Testament gospels tell us that Mary was a Jewish woman who followed Jesus of Nazareth. Apparently of independent means, she accompanied Jesus during his ministry and supported him out of her own resources (Mark 15:40-41; Matthew 27:55-56; Luke 8:1-3; John 19:25). Now if Mary was a prostitute, how is it that she supported Jesus?
 

Many scholars have documented the fact that Jesus was supported by political zealots who wished to overthrow the Romans and put a Son of David on the throne in Jerusalem. (Numerous Biblical passages also suggest this.) In fact, it is much more likely that Jesus was crucified, not for blasphemy (which was no offense to the Romans), but for sedition. Crucification was the common punishment for insurrectionists, hence the title over his cross, "Jesus Christ, King of the Jews" (B,F *).
 


In seeking to unravel the mystery of the Marys in the New Testament, it is important to note at the outset that the Gospels were a later-recording of an oral history. In fact recent scholarship confirms that it is unlikely that any of the New Testament writers actually knew the historical Jesus (B,C,D *). The earliest New Testament records, Paul's Epistles, were written circa 51-57 CE, and the other books were written nearer to the end of the century. Many of the Biblical accounts of Mother Mary and Mary Magdalen were written 50 years or more after the death of Jesus of Nazareth (B,C,D *). In addition, it is quite clear that the existing Bible today underwent additions, deletions, and translation changes over the centuries. In fact, the Bible as we know it today was not even compiled until the 4th Century CE, and no known manuscripts of the New Testament are older than the 4th Century. What exist are copies of copies (B,C,D *). However, many other Gospels were written that were not included in the official cannon. Among them are the Gnostic Gospels. Surviving copies of the Gnostic Gospels predate the surviving Biblical manuscripts by 200 years (A,B,C,D *).

Why is it important to establish that the written record is based on oral history? What was once commonly understood as symbolic in the original version easily transmutes into the literal, and meanings are lost or change. While this is true of written records, it is especially true of oral histories (where it is impossible to examine the original version). It is important, therefore, to look to the cultural/historical context of the gospel stories when seeking to understand what the early Christians understood.

The Goddess in Jerusalem

Herod Antipas became ruler of the land through the ancient "Sacred Marriage" with the High Queen Mariamne, a priestess of the Triple Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar who was popularly worshiped at the time of Christ (B,C,D,E *). This Goddess was noted for her triple-towered temple or "magdala." It is important to note that much of the imagery in the Gospels, especially regarding the Marys, corresponds to the worship of this Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar (B,C,D,E *). This will be explored in more detail in the following sections.
 

The Divine Mother and her Consort/Savior Son is a strong theme in World Goddess Myth, making Virgin Mary/Mary Magdalen a likely composite. As noted on the Virgin page, the title of Virgin was often bestowed upon sexually active Goddesses. Sacred Temple Prostitutes were often called Virgins (D). In addition, children of The Sacred Marriage, a ritual union of a temple priestess and a king willing to die for his people, were often called "virgin born" or "divine children," just as Christ was (C). As noted on the Virgin page, it is possible that Mother Mary was dedicated to a Goddess temple when she was a child. Perhaps Mother Mary was a temple priestess, thus making Jesus (or Yeshua) a divine child (E). There is even stronger evidence that Mary Magdalen was a temple priestess, so perhaps this is the true connection between Mother Mary and Mary Magdalen.

Four pieces of Gospel evidence strongly point to Mary Magdalen as a temple priestess of the Goddess. The first is her title "Magdalen," almost identical to "Magdala," noted earlier to be the name of the triple-towered temple of the Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar (D). Literally, "Mary of the Magdala" signifies "Mary of the Goddess Temple." Christian tradition has said that Mary is of the town "Magdala" or "Migdal," which was known as "The Village of Doves," a place where sacred doves were bred for the Goddess temple (F). In either case, two threads of strong symbolism link the name Magdalen to contemporary Goddess worship.

Next, Mary is known as a prostitute, just as the Goddess priestesses were titled "Sacred Prostitutes," although a more recent and accurate translation titles them "Sacred Women" or "hierodulae" (B, p. 29). Such prostitutes were considered evil by Jewish leaders of the time. That Jesus/Yeshua would associate with such a woman would indeed invoke the scorn of his disciples, as is recorded in the New Testament.

Thirdly, Mary Magdalen is identified in Mark and Luke as the woman who was possessed by seven demons, which Yeshua cast out of her. The seven demons were a symbolic part of a temple ritual known as "The Descent of Inanna," one of the most ancient ceremonies known, recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh (G). This ritual was known to be practiced in the Jerusalem temple of Mari-Anna-Ishtar (D,E,F *).

The last, and perhaps strongest, piece of evidence is the anointing of Yeshua with the sacred oil, an event which (uncharacteristically) was recorded in all four New Testament Gospels, pointing to its significance. The anointing of the Jesus' head with oil (as described in Mark 14:3-4) is an unmistakable symbol of The Sacred Marriage, a ceremony performed by temple priestesses (B).
 

Anointing the head with oil had Biblical precedent in announcing kingship and was well known to be symbolic of the Sacred Marriage ceremony (B,D *). When Mary anointed Yeshua's head with sacred oil, he foretold his own death: "She has come beforehand to anoint my body for burial. . . . What this woman has done will be told as a memorial to her" (Mark 14:8-9). Immediately afterwards, Judas Iscariot (whose name means "zealot") went out to betray him, for he understood that Jesus was going to sacrifice his life, not rule as king (B). The Sacred Marriage was a ceremony to renew the land, at times was followed by the death of the redeemer/king who was called upon to sacrifice his blood for the people. (See G) "Mari-Ishtar . . . anointed--or christened--her doomed god when he went into the underworld, whence he would rise again at her bidding. That is, she made him a Christ. Her priestess raised the lament for him when he died. . . . In the Epic of Gilgamesh, victims were told She 'who anointed you with fragrant oil laments for you now' " (D, p. 615).
 

 

When we read the Bible, we need to look at the context in which each book was written. If we don't do that, it's easy to misinterpret what a particular book or chapter is really saying. When that happens, we can easily come to wrong conclusions, which can then cause a lot of misunderstanding about the work of Christ on our behalf. One example of this is that many people believe that although their sins have been forgiven prior to salvation, after salvation it is up to them to obtain forgiveness through their confession. Others believe that all their sins have been forgiven at the cross, however, they cannot experience forgiveness unless they confess each time they sin. The verse both parties use to defend their belief is I John 1:9. Let's read the first chapter of 1 John, and keep in mind two important questions: "Who was John's audience?" and 'What was he trying to accomplish in this letter?" The audience was a confused church in Asia. The pastor there asked John to write a letter to help clear up some major doctrinal heresy called "Gnosticism."

The Synoptic Gospels (Mt, Mk, Lk)describe Mary Magdalene as a woman of Galilee who assisted our Lord and his disciples and who was present at the crucifixion and burial of our Lord. The Gospel of St. John records that Mary Magdalene as the first witness of the Risen Lord Himself. St. Luke records that “seven demons had gone out of her” and just prior to this note is the account of the sinful woman who tenderly anointed our Lord with her tears and dried them with her hair. While Luke does not make an explicit connection between these two figures, from Patristic times until the present there is a strong tradition of associating Mary of Magdalene with the sinful woman who anointed our Lord: 

7:36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table. 7:37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 7:38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner." 7:40 And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?" 7:41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 7:42 When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?" 7:43 Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." 7:44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? ed your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 7:45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 7:46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." 7:48 And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 7:49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" 
 The few details told us of the encounter between Mary Magdalene and our Lord in the Garden seen of the Resurrection inclines one to imagine that this may be the same woman, who was so grateful for having been set free of sin and who once again weeping and sought to touch our Lord: 

20:11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; 20:12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 20:13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." 20:14 Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 20:15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." 20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rab-bo'ni!" (which means Teacher). 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." 20:18 Mary Mag'dalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her. (John) 

Beyond associating Mary Magdalene with the unnamed sinner who anointed Jesus, there is a tradition going back to the Patristics which associates her with Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus. Such a link is suggested by the other anointing episode which occurred at Bethany by Mary, as described in Mt, Mk, and John: 

12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz'arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 12:2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz'arus was one of those at table with him. 12:3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 12:5 "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 12:7 Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 12:8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." 

Those who hold that this is Mary Magdalene regard the episode of anointing with tears as an earlier foreshadowing of this more perfect anointing more immediately associated with the burial of Christ, by the same woman. 


 ere is a fact that few people seem to know: The Bible never explicitly says that Mary Magdalene was ever a prostitute at any point in her life. By comparison with the other women in Jesus'following, Mary Madalene "alone stands out undefined by a designation attaching her to some male as wife, mother, or daughter and she is the only one to be identifiable by her place of birth". 

It is, however, that in the gospel of John, that Mary Magdalen appears as one of the several women of faith, and Unequivocally as the first witness of the Empty Tomib and of the Risen Christ, the cornerstone of Christian belief the first recipient of all apostolic commission, she becomes not only the herald of the "New Life," but also the first apostle. 

"And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance." The Greek version says "them" inferring the 12 were also supported by the women 

They are also referred to in Mark (I 5:40) "There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. 

When Martha had complained for serving help Jesus indicates she has a pivotal role to play Luke 10:41: " Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." This could be interest in his teachings, but sounds also like the role of partner. 

In the ancient world nearly everyone had two names and often titles or aliases as well. Greek was the universal language and nealy everyone had a name in his 'or her' own native tounge. Thomas was the Aramaic and Didymus the Greek for 'a twin'. Tabitha was the Aramic and Dorcas the Greek for 'a gazelle'. When Jesus saw Simon, as he was then called, he said to him; "Your name is Simon; but you are going to be called Cephas, which means a rock." Peter and Cephas are not different names; rather, the same name in a different language. In the Old Testament names were given by God and a change of name often denoted a change in relationship to God. For example, Abram became Abraham , Jacob became Israel. Sarai became Sarah, which means princess; for "She shall be a mother of nations, kings of people shall be of her." Also, James and John became the "Sons of thunder", so named by Jesus. Daniel became also Belteshazzar, so named by the king of babylon. Saul became Paul. All of these people are called by their various names at different times and places throughout the scriptures. The name Magdalene means 'tower of the flock'. Mary of Bethany, Mary the sister of Martha, and Mary Magdalene are the same woman. Further, this woman is the Samaritian woman Jesus met at the well of Jacob and the woman with the alabaster jar which annonted the Messiah. 'Messiah' means 'the annointed one' and Mary knew something of the Lord's coming temptation in the final week which the other disciples seemed ignorant of.

"Mary Magdalene had her surname of Magdala, a castle, and was born of right noble lineage and parents, which were descended of the lineage of kings. And her father was named Cyrus, and her mother Eucharis. She with her brother Lazarus, and her sister Martha, possessed the castle of Magdalo, which is two miles from Nazareth, and Bethany, the castle which is nigh to Jerusalem, and also a great part of Jerusalem, which, all these things they departed among them." - Legenda Aurea (published in Genoa in 1275) 


 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; ans she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some there that had indignation within themselves, and said, "Why was this waste of ointment made?" For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor, and they murmered against her. And Jesus said, "Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrougth a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good; but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could.; she is come aforehand to annoint my body to the burying. Verily, I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." 

This anointing of Jesus is, 'by an express command of Jesus', to be recorded whenever the gospel is preached [Mt 26:13]. Therefore, because the only anointing Luke records is the one by that "woman of the city," we must conclude that this is the same anointing as we see recorded in the other gospels. Note what the other accounts add: The anointing is in the house of Simon the leper of Bethany and the box contained "very precious" ointment [Mt 26:6-13]. This anointing of Jesus is followed by Judas betraying Jesus, implying a direct link between the anointing and Judas' decision [Mt 26:14-15]. Mark adds the fact that this ointment in Simon's house was of a very precious substance called "Spikenard"; but someone complains, "Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more then 300 pence."[Mk 14:3-5] That equals a YEAR'S WAGES in those days, or several thousand dollars in modern terms, such as oil used to anoint someone KING. John, at last, completes the story: The woman who anoints Jesus is none other than Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. So the woman was named Mary after all. And because she and her sister are supposed to serve guests in this house, a house we can now identify as the house of Simon the Pharisee, a "leper", Simon perhaps is Cyrus the father of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, or perhaps Simon is Lazarus. Now it becomes clear why these three siblings are living in the same house; it is a family estate. We know that Lazarus is wealthy when we are told of the huge crowds that gather when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives; prime real estate. Simon is a wealthy man who owns choice property near Jerusalem with a house big enough to sleep several adult men and women. It is his daughter who anoints Jesus with royal ointment, and his daughter who helps support Jesus and his apostles out of her means as Mary Magdalene.


 Further, the names of Mary and the Apostles, and Lazarus and/or Simon, may have been changed to protect the innocent and the royal house of David. The Scriptures never said that Jesus was not married; we have seen from history that the physical danger to his family and followers would have been reason enough to remove Jesus' marriage from the record. The Mother Church had been lost with Jerusalem and the latter destruction of Israel itself. The Jewish Christian Church disappeared as the Jewish people were killed or sold into slavery. After Jesus's death, the messianic political revolutionary movements led by the Zealot party continued among the Jews against the Romans, reaching a critical peak a generation later in a widespread Palestinian revolt. In the ensuing war, Roman troops crushed the rebellion, captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the Jewish Temple (70 A.D.). The Christian community in Jerusalem and Palestine was thereby dispersed, and the closest link of the Christian religion to Judaism-maintained and symbolized by the Jerusalem Christians-was severed. Christianity thereafter was more a Hellenistic than a Palestinian phenomenon. From Paul, at the start of Christianity, to Augustine, its most influential protagonist at the end of the classical era, the character and aspirations of the new religion were decisively molded by its Greco-Roman context. How many records were lost or censored? The physical documents avalible to us today date 'several' years after the life of Jesus. Early doucments speak of Jesus' relation to Mary as romantic and her being most devoted of his disciples. Romantic Love was killed by the established traditions of Patriarchy; and dismissed when the church became an arm of Rome. Suffice it to remember that his beloved sat at his feet drinking in his every word (Luke 10: 39) and that she anointed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair (John 12:3). 

In John, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus is portrayed in a different light. She lives in Bethany of Judea and she calls on Jesus to return there to save her brother: 1 1:1 "Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha."saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." Jesus delays ceremonially for two days. Lazarus dies and is 'stinking'. Martha goes out to meet him. In almost ritual style Jesus has Martha declare 1 1:27 "Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." 

"And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him." This term is used again by Magdalene at the burial - Rabboni. 

Sarah also called her husband Lord.; Sitting Shiva ( an ancient engagement custom ) explains the mystery of why she waited before coming quickly. 

When Jesus Calls on Lazarus, he groans. This very act of 'miracle work' with well known associates, sets the stage for his own demise, a life for a life, because the priests plot because of this miracle, that he should become the sacrifice ; Did they know he was the atonement king? 

"Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." John then tells a story in which the foot anointing leads to Jesus'demise: 12:2 "There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 

Then saith ... Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? ... Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this ." Mary is thus acclaimed by Jesus as the only one who has foreknowledge of the inner mystery that is about to take place, unlike his disciples.
 There are in each gospel three women attending the crucifixion the consistency, despite variation of the characters, suggests that the three women are part of the sacred drama: Mark 15:40 has them as follows: "There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem 

Matthew 27:55 has: "And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children." Luke 23:49 is less specific at the Crucifixion "And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.", but reverts to the three-fold pattern at the tomb. 

John 19:25 has a slightly different set of muses: "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." The only satisfactory explanation of two'sisters' being Mary is that they are sisters in law, but this idea was developed later. It is extremely unlikely these repeated motifs concerning the Marys and the women would have been included in all four gospels, given the already established patriarchal heritage that followed Paul, had not it had a basis in history and a truth to be discovered in the Gospel. 

From his controversial sermon at Galilee, we note that mother Mary is'the mother of James and Joses': Mark 6:3 "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him." And in each of,the gospels it was the women, and particularly Mary Magdelene who were first to see the risen Christ, for which she receives the title Apostola Apostolorum - apostle of apostles: Mark 16:9 "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils." Now unfortunately this section of Mark is missing from the Codex Sinaiticus recovered from St. Catherine's monastery and is thus beilived to be a later addition, however Luke 24:1 0 confirms "It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles." and of course they are not believed "And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. There is an earthquake and angels everywhere. Discounting the angel and the earthquake, we still however have these two female participants. 27:61 "And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre." : 28:1 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow." In John 20:1 it is Mary Magdalene who calls [the risen] Jesus'Rabboni'and who afterwards utters the exhaltation to the others: "Thefirst day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. When she goes to get Peter the disciples did not understand the Resurrection John 20:8 "Then cometh Simon Peter ... then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw [the empty napkins] and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead." They depart but Mary waits. Mary then utters the searching cry : 20:13 "And they say unto her, 'Woman, why weepest thou? 'She saith unto them,'Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him'." Compare with the Song of Songs "I opened to my beloved-, but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him". 

Immediately she turns and he is there! 20:15: "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, "do not cling to me; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:" In Greek this reads 'Do not continue embracing me'." Jesus then tells her to tell his "brethren," "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."" ' Are the few accounts in the gospels tell is all we can claim to know about Mary Magdalene? 

The woman in the passage is called "O Magdal-eder, watchtower of the flock" and the title "Magdalene" is like saying "the great" or "elevated, magnificent." She was "First Lady." 

Mary Magdalen was said to have been the Bride of Christ. Many of the Gnostic Gospels (revered early on in the Christian Church and later thrown out of the cannon) portray Mary Magdalen as Christ's Most Beloved Disciple, reporting that Jesus often kissed her on the mouth and called her "Woman Who Knows All." Other disciples went to her for Christ's teachings after he died (A). She is portrayed as sitting at Jesus' feet to listen to his teachings (Luke 10:38-42) and also as anointing his feet with oil and drying them with her hair (John 11:2, 12:3). Three of the New Testament Gospels report that Mary Magdalen was at the foot of the cross, and all four Gospels note she was present at the tomb. The Gospel of John notes that after the resurrection, Christ appeared to Mary Magdalen first. Mary Magdalen is mentioned in the New Testament more often by far that Mother Mary.

The whole "priestess"/harlot idea was imputed to her because of the similarities with ancient rites of the bridegroom/King with the Gospel anointing, passion and resurrection stories.... but that doesn't mean that this Mary was a "priestess." Anointing had ancient associations with marriage thoughout the region...and identified her as Bride. Since it was the prerogative of the Bride to anoint and to meet the King resurrected in the garden, she can be easily identified as Mary "called Magdalene" by these actions, although John identifies her as Mary, the sister of Lazarus (John 11:2 and 12:3). Mary and Jesus EMBODIED the ancient mythology of the archetypal Bride and Bridegroom -- they weren't just doing a ritual--they were living it! 

Mary Magdalene in The Dialogue of the Savior 

The Dialogue of the Savior, also written in the second century A.D., is a dialogue between the Savior (never called Jesus or Christ) and some of his disciples, including Mary. The disciples ask questions about esoteric religious things, and Jesus gives equally esoteric answers. Although Mary is one of the frequent interrogators of the Savior, at one point she makes an observation. The text explains, "This word she spoke as a woman who knew the All" (Section 139, trans. Harold Attridge). In other words, Mary has special knowledge of spiritual reality. 


The Pistis Sophia is a Gnostic gospel and is a revelation of Christ in which Mary plays a prominent role, asking the majority of the questions about all measure of esoteric matters. 

Mary is praised in The Pistis Sophia as one "whose heart is more directed to the Kingdom of Heaven than all [her] brothers" (Chapter 17, trans. Carl Schmidt and Violet MacDermott). Jesus says that she is "blessed beyond all women upon the earth, because [she shall be] the pleroma of all Pleromas and the completion of all completions" (section 19). In other words, Mary will have the fullness of knowledge and therefore spiritual life within her. So impressed is Jesus with Mary's spiritual excellence that he promises not to conceal anything from her, but to reveal everything to her "with certainty and openly" (section 25). She is the blessed one who will "inherit the whole Kingdom of the Light" (section 61).

The Gospel of Mary, written in the second century, goes even further than The Pistis Sophia in portraying Mary as a source of secret revelation because of her close relationship to the Savior. At one point Peter asks, "Sister, We know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of women. Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember--which you know but we do not nor have we heard them" (section 10, trans. George W. MacRae and R. McL. Wilson). So Mary reveals what the Lord made known to her in a vision. 

The Gospel of Mary reports that several of the disciples were none too impressed by Mary's purported insights into heavenly things. Andrew responded to her revelation by saying "I at least do not believe that the Savior said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas" (section 17). Then Peter asked, "Did he really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?" But Levi speaks up for Mary, "Peter, you have always been hot-tempered. Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior knows her very well. That is why he loved her more than us" (section 18). 

She is the recipient of his secret revelations and private speeches. The Savior, who is not called Jesus in The Gospel of Mary, even preferred Mary to the other disciples, loving her more than them. Mary's relationship with Jesus has clearly entered a new dimension we have not seen before. 


Finally we come to The Gospel of Philip, the last of the extra-biblical gospels to mention Mary Magdalene, and the one that excites proponents of her marriage to Jesus more than any other ancient document. The Gospel of Philip is one of the latest of the non-canonical gospels, The first of these passages reads, "There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary his mother and her sister and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion" (section 59). The second passage in The Gospel of Philip that concerns Mary is the most suggestive: "And the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, 'Why do you love her more than all of us?' The Savior answered and said to them, 'Why do I not love you like her?' When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. Then the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness" (sections 63-63).
Although it is barely mentioned in the Bible, Magdala was among the larger of the cities around the Sea of Galilee at the time of Jesus. According to Jewish historian Josephus Flavius it had a population of 40,000 at the time of the first Jewish revolt (66-70 AD)


Magdalene; this name was coined by Christ's disciples after Pentecost, as it makes reference literally to "migdal," which means tower, and to In other words, it was their wish to express that Magdalene is the one who has been magnified,


The Fourth Gospel was authored by an anonymous follower of Jesus referred to within the Gospel text as the Beloved Disciple. In the Fourth Gospel's community, the now "anonymous" Beloved Disciple was known to be Mary Magdalene. 

Mary Magdalene is the author of the Fourth Gospel in the sense in which antiquity defined authorship The author is the person whose ideas the book expresses, not necessarily the person who set pen to papyrus The Gospel went through several phases of modification. The end result of these modifications was the eventual suppression of her role as author of this Gospel and leader of their community. 

One fact is very clear: For some reason, the writer of the Gospel of John wanted to keep the identity of the Beloved Disciple a secret. This disciple was obviously an extremely important figure in the history of their community. Why, then, is the name of this disciple concealed? Was the goal to protect this disciple from persecution? Is it possible that the writer of the final draft had forgotten the name of their beloved founder? Not very likely. This is, indeed, an interesting mystery. 

Mary Magdalene remains a most elusive and mysterious figure. Speculation about her role in the development of early Christianity is not new. . this woman who is cited by all four Gospels as being present at both the Crucifixion of Jesus and the Empty Tomb on the morning of the Resurrection. 

The identification of Mary Magdalene as the disciple whom Jesus loved is reflected in the Gnostic Christian writings of Nag Hammadi -- e.g., the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Mary. 

The evidence which links authorship of the Fourth Gospel to Mary Magdalene is found in the Gnostic writings of the Nag Hammadi Library. Of particular interest are the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Mary (referring to Magdalene). 

These manuscripts belonged to Gnostic Christians. Most scholars cite the mid-second century as the earliest plausible date of composition for these documents. However, a few of the documents are said by some to have been written as early as the late first century -- making them contemporary with the New Testament Gospels 

Let's look at excerpts from the Nag Hammadi Library. This first passage comes to us from the Gospel of Philip: 
** And the companion of the [Savior is] Mary Magdalene. [But Christ loved] her more than [all] the disciples [and used to] kiss her [often] on her [mouth]. 
Another passage from the Gospel of Philip reads as follows: 
**There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary his mother and her sister and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. each a Mary 
 

Orthodox Tradition teaches us that the Holy Virgin Mary was the only child of Saints Joakhim and Anna, but at John 19:25 we read, "Standing near the Cross of Jesus was His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary of Klopas, and Mary magdala." If our Church history is correct, how could Mary have had a sister? The first clue to our answer is that both women are named Mary. ! No family has two daughters and gives them both the same name! Therefore it is evident that the relationship between the two women has to be something different than our modern English concept of "sister". 

The Gospel of Mary (referring to the Magdalene) says the following: 
**Peter said to Mary, "Sister, we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of women. Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember 
Clearly, these passages establish as indisputable fact that, at least in some ancient gnostic communities, Mary Magdalene was thought of as having been the "Beloved Disciple" and the companion of the Lord. She is repeatedly singled out as the disciple whom Jesus loved the most. This would seem to contradict the assertion in the Fourth Gospel that the male founder of the Johannine Community is "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23). How can there be two strong traditions each identifying two different people as the disciple whom Jesus loved the most? This begins to make sense if we explore the possibility that, in reality, both of these traditions are referring to the juxtaposition of John and Mary as one and the same disciple. 

There is no doubt that the Beloved Disciple in the canonical version of the Fourth Gospel is an anonymous male disciple. Yet, as we have seen, the writings of the Nag Hammadi Library reflect a strong tradition repeatedly naming Mary Magdalene as the disciple whom Jesus loved. How do we explain this contradiction? They made references in the text to a "Beloved Disciple," but turned the disciple into an anonymous male. In two passages of the text, the Beloved Disciple and Mary Magdalene seem to be two different individuals by having them appear together in the same scenes. Perhaps they did this because they knew that the Greek-Roman gentile church leaders would not accept the authenticity of a Gospel written by a woman. 

The Gospel apparently chose not to confuse or to offend its readers, to arouse suspicions or to strengthen prejudices, by explicitly identifying the witness behind the Gospel as female and by unreservedly presenting female disciples. Instead, it chose to leave both anonymous, making them male, in order to be able to present the thoughts and stories of Mary Magdalene, as the one behind the Gospel, in an acceptable manner. 

The Gospel of Mary was discovered in 1896 by a man named Dr. Carl Reinhardt. Due to a series of unfortunate events, a translation wasn't published until 1955, when it appeared first in German. It first appeared in English along with the texts from the Nag Hammadi Library in 1977.

The Gospel of Mary is, sadly, missing several pages, so our understanding of the text is somewhat incomplete. Enough survives, however, to draw the conclusion that at least one sect of early Christianity, sometimes classified as "gnostic," held Mary Magdalene in high esteem as a visionary, apostle, and leader.


 There is "abundant evidence of familiarity with Johannine ideas" in the Gnostic writings of Nag Hammadi. Enough to show that there was obviously much contact between the Johannine Community and Gnostic groups very early on. Therefore, it cannot be mere coincidence that Mary Magdalene is cited in the Gnostic writings as the "disciple whom Jesus loved" in much the same way as the anonymous male disciple is cited as such in the Fourth Gospel. 

The passage from the Fourth Gospel which has Mary Magdalene and the Beloved Disciple together at the foot of the Cross reads as follows: 

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said... (John 19:25ff)** 

The Gospel of Philip makes reference to the same group of women that are standing by the Cross in the Fourth Gospel. However, the Gospel of Philip clearly cites Mary Magdalene as the "companion" of Jesus. 

When did Mary Magdalene return to the tomb? There is a broken trail in the travels of Mary Magdalene from one place to another Mary Magdalene is abruptly portrayed as remaining behind weeping at the tomb. However, there is no account of her returning to the tomb in this scene after telling Peter and the "other disciple" that the body of Jesus was missing.the account of Peter and the Beloved Disciple running to the tomb together is "sandwiched between" Mary Magdalene's initial discovery of the Empty Tomb and her first encounter with the Risen Jesus. This "contrivance" let the Gospel retain the tradition that Mary Magdalene was the first to discover the Empty Tomb while still giving the Beloved Disciple prominence as the first person to reach the Empty Tomb and believe that Jesus has risen 

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) (John 20:8-9) 

The contrast between "he saw and believed" in v. 8 and "they still did not understand" in v. 9 is peculiar. Verse 9 is clearly making reference to verse 8. However, the reference is contradictory. This appears to be an attempt to blend two different traditions: one in which the disciples did not immediately understand, or believe in, the Resurrection (Matthew 28:17; Mark 16:11,13; Luke 24:11), and another in which Mary Magdalene, changed here to the "other disciple," instantly perceives the truth (Matthew 28:1,8; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:10). 
 

If anonymity in the case of the disciple Jesus loved was so important to the author of John, would indeed the use of masculine gender not guarantee the anonymity in a better way than the use of feminine gender, which would obviously reveal to the readers at least one important feature of the disciple, namely that she is a woman? 
a woman being referred to as male perhaps was not so strange at the time, as it would be to us now. spirituality in early Christianity gradually became identified with maleness. She gives several examples of the fact that ‘women whose spirituality was beyond question were described as honorary males’. With regard to Mary Magdalene there is a tradition which speaks of her maleness. In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus promises Peter that he will lead Mary Magdalene in order to make her male ‘so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.’ In the Acts of Philip the Savior praises Mary Magdalene for her manly character. Because of this he gives her the task of joining the weaker Philip on his mission journey. But she is not to join him as a woman. ‘As for you, Mary,’ he says, ‘change your clothing and your outward appearance: reject everything which from the outside suggests a woman.’ 



this leaves open the possibility that this figure could be a woman, in spite of the masculine grammar. Perhaps the final proof that the disciple must be male, is not the grammar, but the circumstance that the disciple is called ‘son’? However, John’s Jesus does not address the disciple as ‘son’, and uses no other masculine address, which would have completed the parallelism: He said to his mother: ‘Woman, behold your son.’ Then he said to the disciple ‘behold your mother.’ By leaving out any masculine address, and by only saying ‘Behold your mother’, he instead declares the disciple to represent him as a son; both John and Mary were at the cross. This kind of representation does not necessarily mean that the disciple has to be only a male. A woman may fulfill the function of a son to a mother as clearly seen from the story of Ruth and Naomi. The female neighbors praise the way Ruth cared for her mother-in-law, by mentioning her to Naomi as: ‘she, who has been more to you than seven sons’ (Ruth 4,15). Moreover, the word ‘son’ in John 19,26 does not in any way primarily refer to the disciple Jesus loved, but rather refers to Jesus himself. For the reader who does not know the flow of the story beforehand, the word ‘son’ directed to the mother of Jesus designates her own son: the dying crucified Jesus. The reader thoroughly relates with Mary when hearing Jesus’ words towards her: ‘Woman, behold your son.’ It is only after Jesus’ words to the disciple ‘behold your mother’ that the reader suddenly turns to this second person and begins to grasp that Jesus is inviting his mother to understand the meaning of his death and to join his followers. Turning to the disciple Jesus loved, and hearing those words ‘behold your mother’ the reader is reminded of earlier farewell words of Jesus: 

I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. /He who has heard my commandments and keeps them, /he it is who loves me; and /he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love /him and manifest myself to /him. (14,18-21) 

This reference to both Marys is to Both the Mother and the Holy Spirit. It is in fact, addressed to both the Spirit and the Bride.
 Obviously, after Jesus died, he can be found in those who keep his words and as a consequence are loved by him. His father and he himself will come to them and live in them (14,23). The ultimate importance of the scene in 19,26-27 lies in Jesus’ invitation to his mother to look away from her dying son to find him, alive, in the disciple he loved. At the same time Jesus’ words are a solemn declaration to this disciple: he or she may act on Jesus’ behalf, as if he or she were Jesus himself. To the reader, who remembers Jesus’ prayer to his Father for all those who followed him, and who in their turn will attract new followers - ‘... that the love with which thou has loved me, may be in them, and I in them…’ (17,26) -, the disciple Jesus loved is the first of a vast number of those disciples yet to come. Both Jesus’ mother and the disciple react to Jesus’ words. The disciple by taking Jesus’ mother to him (or her) and the mother by accepting this. Jesus’ words to his mother and the disciple he loved, together with their reaction to them, constitute the beginning of the growing ‘koinonia’ of those who follow Jesus. In this interpretation of 19,26-27 the word ‘son’ in 19,26 does not say anything about the gender of the disciple Jesus loved. The ‘son’ is the dying Jesus, who, alive, can be found in the disciple he loved as the one who may represent him. 

Further, there is an ancient tradition that John, Mary Magdalene, and Mother Mary go to Ephesus and live together 

The Johannine attitude toward women was quite different from that attested in other first-century Christian churches. The unique place given to women (as proclaimers) in the Fourth Gospel reflects the history, the theology, and the values of the Johannine community. Mary Magdalene as author of the Fourth Gospel does not challenge its apostolic origin. If Mary Magdalene was the leader and hero of the Fourth Gospel's community, then she was probably recognized as an Apostle within that community. Indeed, in recognition of the fact that she was the first to proclaim the Resurrection of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church has honored her with the title apostola apostolorum which means "the apostle to the apostles."

At the last supper the beloved disciple is reclining on Jesus; is this Mary? (John 13;23 ) 
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 
It is obvious that Peter recognizes the fact that the disciple Jesus loved is closer to Jesus than he himself (13,23-24 and 21,7.20-23). In the Synoptics there is no disciple closer to Jesus than Peter. In the later non-canonical sources, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and Pistis Sophia, Peter and Mary Magdalene appear together, Peter denying rather than recognizing Mary Magdalene’s closeness to Jesus. [59] In these writings Mary Magdalene indeed has a special position. In the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Mary she is the only person to whom the other disciples refer to as the one loved by Jesus more than the others and as the one who has a greater insight. [60] In the Gospel of John the two are held in balance, Peter receiving the authority to care for Jesus’ followers in a pastoral way (21,15-19), [61] whereas Mary Magdalene receives and understands the crucial message of the Gospel (20,17; cf. 1,12). At the ressurection Mary and Jesus are reunited lovers. This is the best of all love stories; a story of love reaching beyond death. 

It has always been thought to be a high distinction when God has called a man by his name. When he spoke and said, “Moses, Moses;” then it was a sign that he had found favor in his sight. When Jesus said “Mary,” I can imagine that the word brought up all her history before her mind; her bad days, when her distracted mind was tossed on fiery billows; her happy days, when she sat at her Master’s feet and caught his blessed words; the times when she had seen his miracles amid wondered; when she had given him of her substance, and been too glad to minister unto him. If we love Jesus much, and cannot be content without him, we too may expect to hear him in the secret of our soul, calling us by our name. He will say, “I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine.” Then Mary Magdalene had such a manifestation of Christ’s glory us no other woman ever had. 

Mary Magdalene, then, is the beloved disciple and the prototype of the perfected soul because, through her favored and unique relationship with Christ, she has entered into the perfect of Adam/Eve, then by becoming a perfected human being, Mary becomes, like Christ, androgynous, a true spiritual being. The Magdalene myth recapitulates the fall of both Sophia and Helen; and in rediscovering her divinity, she becomes a model for the soul who seeks to do the same. Mary Magdalene is the true founder and hero of what has come to be known as the Johannine Community (i.e., Mary Magdalene was one of the original apostolic founders and leaders of the early Christian church).The Fourth Gospel (the Gospel of John) in the New Testament was composed in the Mother Church in Jerusalem and written in Ephesus. This gospel was penned by the disciples of Mary Magdalene and Mother Mary with the Co-authorship of John and the other Apostles. 


In many societies a man is not considered to be fully adult until he is married. He would be excluded from full participation in "adult" institutions such as tribal or village councils. This has caused many problems for Catholic missionary priests both past and present. In fact, the Catholic Church in Canada has several times unsuccessfully petitioned the Pope for an exemption from the rule of priestly celibacy for those priests serving in the far North. The Jewish attitude at the time of Jesus was similar and is dramatically summarized by the first century rabbi, Eliezar Ben-Asai, who wrote "Whoever renounces marriage violates the commandment to increase and multiply; he is to be looked upon as a murderer who lessens the number of beings created in the image of God." These are strong words indeed! Of the several hundred rabbis known to us from that time only one is known to have been unmarried. More correctly this rabbi had been married, lost his wife and refused to remarry. He was severely criticized for this by his fellow rabbis. It is also worth noting that the anti-sex, anti-female pro virginity attitude that quickly developed in the Gentile branch of the early church was the product of the strong influence of Greek philosophy and not the result of any authentic teaching of Jesus himself. The Jewish tradition, then and now, is strongly family centered and has even been described as somewhat "earthy". Of course the traditional presumption has been that Jesus was unmarried. This really is a presumption since, of course, the Bible says nothing definite whatsoever one way or the other on the issue. However, considering the very strong views the Jews held on marriage, it is strange indeed that there is no record that he was ever criticized or questioned on this account. He was accused of being a glutton and a wine biber and of associating with low life. Why not an accusation regarding his unmarried state. The very silence of the Bible on this point is, in my view, highly suggestive that perhaps he was married. We also know that there were a number of female disciples of Jesus - Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, the sisters Mary and Martha, Joanna, Susanna and Salome are all named. Whenever the female disciples are mentioned in the Bible, Mary Magdalene is always the first named. In the literary tradition of the time the first named is always the most important. Mary Magdalene is even named ahead of Mary his mother. Even the name Mary Magdalene may be informative. Mary "of Magdala" seems not to be correct since there is no solid historical or archaeological evidence that there ever was such a town. Another possible interpretation of the word "Magdalene" is that it is derived from an Aramaic word meaning roughly "the most important". Early Christian writers have sometimes referred to her as "Mary the Great". Why should such importance be attached to this woman? Christian, particularly Catholic tradition, has been very unkind to Mary Magdalene. She has been variously identified as the woman taken in adultery or the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair or possibly both. She is portrayed as a great sinner who became a great saint. The Gospel of John says that Jesus cast seven demons from her. Some might jump to the conclusion that demonic possession is indicated here. However, we must examine this in the context of the times. Scripture does indicate that she should be ranked on a level with the apostles among the disciples of Jesus. She was the first to the tomb to do what a wife was expected to do for a deceased husband. When she encountered the risen Jesus and finally recognized him, she called him "Rabboni" and "Lord". "Rabboni" is the familiar or affectionate form of "Rabbi", and "Lord" or "Master" is how a Jewish wife would have addressed her husband in that very patriarchal age. Many people believe that the Bible says Jesus also warned her "do not embrace me". However, this is totally inaccurate and in fact, the original Bible text quotes Jesus as saying" "do not continue embracing me." All this is certainly suggestive of a close relationship between the two but stops short of anything definitive.

It is obvious that Peter recognizes the fact that the disciple Jesus loved is closer to Jesus than he himself (13,23-24 and 21,7.20-23). In the Synoptics there is no disciple closer to Jesus than Peter. In the later non-canonical sources, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and Pistis Sophia, Peter and Mary Magdalene appear together, Peter denying rather than recognizing Mary Magdalene’s closeness to Jesus. [59] In these writings Mary Magdalene indeed has a special position. In the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Mary she is the only person to whom the other disciples refer to as the one loved by Jesus more than the others and as the one who has a greater insight. [60] In the Gospel of John the two are held in balance, Peter receiving the authority to care for Jesus’ followers in a pastoral way (21,15-19), [61] whereas Mary Magdalene receives and understands the crucial message of the Gospel (20,17; cf. 1,12). At the resurrection Mary and Jesus are reunited lovers. This is the best of all love stories; a story of love reaching beyond death. 
 

 

 


It has always been thought to be a high distinction when God has called a man by his name. When he spoke and said, “Moses, Moses;” then it was a sign that he had found favor in his sight. When Jesus said “Mary,” I can imagine that the word brought up all her history before her mind, when her distracted mind was tossed on fiery billows; her happy days, when she sat at her Master’s feet and caught his blessed words; the times when she had seen his miracles amid wondered; when she had given him of her substance, and been too glad to minister unto him. If we love Jesus much, and cannot be content without him, we too may expect to hear him in the secret of our soul, calling us by our name. He will say, “I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine.” Then Mary Magdalene had such a manifestation of Christ’s glory us no other woman ever had. 

Mary Magdalene, then, is the beloved disciple and the prototype of the perfected soul because, through her favored and unique relationship with Christ, she has entered into the perfect of Adam/Eve, then by becoming a perfected human being, Mary becomes, like Christ, androgynous, a true spiritual being. The Magdalene myth recapitulates the fall of both Sophia and Helen; and in rediscovering her divinity, she becomes a model for the soul who seeks to do the same. It is Mary who performed the opening rites of Heiros Gamos by publicly annointing Jesus before His followers. Mary Magdalene is the true founder and hero of what has come to be known as the Johannine Community (i.e., Mary Magdalene was one of the original apostolic founders and leaders of the early Christian church).The Fourth Gospel (the Gospel of John) in the New Testament was composed in the Mother Church in Jerusalem and written in Ephesus. This gospel was penned by the disciples of Mary Magdalene and Mother Mary with the Co-authorship of John and the other Apostles. 

The State Church renamed the Gospel of Mary to the Gospel of John. So the exploits of John was in fact the exploits of Mary Magdelene. Another Gnostic Gospel called Pistis Sophia (Sophia was the Goddess of wisdom) is about a dialogue between Jesus and Mary Magdelene whom he calls, "dearly beloved. In one dialogue Peter complained to Jesus that Mary Magdelene dominated the conversation with Jesus but Jesus rebukes him. In another Gnostics text called "Dialogue of the Saviour" she is portrayed as a very wise Woman who understood Jesus completely unlike the rest of Jesus's disciples. So it seems that Mary Magdelene was a very important member of early Christianity. To the degree that some modern scholars have suggested that She and Jesus were married. It is assumed by most Christians that Jesus was a follower of the Jewish faith at the time. But if one of his closest and important followers was a priestess who were hated so much by the priests of Israel. To the degree she could of been murdered if she was discovered.


The Tetragrammaton, or the four-lettered Name of God, written thus ????, is pronounce Jehovah.
The first letter is ?, Yod, the Germ, the Life, the Flame, the Cause, the One, and the most fundamental of the Jewish phallic emblems. Its numerical value is 10, and it is to be considered as the 1 containing the 10.
In the Qabbalah it is declared that the a Yod is in reality three Yods, of which the first is the beginning, the second is the center, and the third is the end. Its throne is the Sephira Chochmah (according to Ibn Gebirol, Kether), from which it goes forth to impregnate Binah,
which is the first ?, He. The result of this union is Tiphereth, which is the ? Vau, whose power is 6 and which symbolizes the six members of the Lesser Adam. The final ?, He, is Malchuth, the Inferior Mother, partaking in part of the potencies of the Divine Mother, the first He.
3444. yeshuw'ah, yesh-oo'-aw; fem. pass. part. of H3467; something saved, i.e. (abstr.) deliverance; hence aid, victory, prosperity:--deliverance, health, help (-ing), salvation, save, saving (health), welfare.

In the unfolding of the Lord's sacred name which is YHWH, Yod-He-Vau-He, the First Yod was masculine meaning God the Father, . The second He was the Holy Spirit and female which is the point of this post..... While the third letter Vau represents the Son and of course is Jesus the Messiah which makes the Trinity, yet all are one, the three are one. But the Lord is not complete without the Bride , the people that love the Lord with all their heart and soul, and mind. These comprise the last /He, and she becomes ONE with the Trinity (John 16, Revealtions, Isaiah, etc. etc.) and the Holy Family and Holy Name is complete. This is called the unspeakable and holy TETRAGRAMMATON, which could only be spoken out loud by the High Priest once a year inside the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, for the hoped for remssion of all sins of the people for the whole year.
Y - God the Father (Supreme YHWH:Creator Gen 1:1, Ex 13:21)
H - Goddess the Mother (Supreme Holy Spirit/Shekinah-Sophia:Creatrix Pro 8:30-31)
W - Lord the Son (The Christ:Savior/Messiah/Jesus Jn 1:34)
H - Lady the Daughter (The Holy Spirit:Lover/Spouse/Counselor-Pro 5:17,8:1, Jn 14:26)
"Originally, these four consonants [in YHWH] represented the four members of the Heavenly Family: 
Y represented El the Father; 
H was Asherah the Mother; 
W corresponded to He the Son; and 
H was the Daughter Anath.

In accordance with the royal traditions of the time and region, God's mysterious bride, the Matronit, was also reckoned to be his sister. In the Jewish cult of the Cabbala God's dual male-female image was perpetuated. Meanwhile other sects perceived the Shekinah or Matronit as the female presence of God on Earth. The divine marital chamber was the sanctuary of the Jerusalem Temple, but from the moment the Temple was destroyed, the Matronit was destined to roam the Earth while the male aspect of Jehovah was left to rule the heavens alone.
It must continually be emphasized that the Sephiroth and the properties assigned to them, like the tetractys of the Pythagoreans, are merely symbols of the cosmic system with its multitude of parts. The truer and fuller meaning of these emblems may not be revealed by writing or by word of mouth, but must be divined as the result of study and meditation. In the Sepher ha Zohar it is written that there is a garment--the written doctrine-which every man may see. Those with understanding do not look upon the garment but at the body beneath it--the intellectual and philosophical code. The wisest of all, however, the servants of the Heavenly King, look at nothing save the soul--the spiritual doctrine--which is the eternal and ever-springing root of the law


It is written that Mary went to the tomb to anoint Jesus with aloes and spices, this very act was a traditional custom assigned only to mothers, or wives, it was never allowed in those days, indeed, even today in that same part of the world, it is still not allowed, and women today die from honour killing, for talking with a man who is not a relative, so in those days, she would not have been allowed to be part of Jesus' entourage, only wives, and relatives or the wives and relatives of the other apostles. 

The Hebrew shâkhan is a root that translates into words such as abide, reside, or dwell. Some examples from Exodus — [24: 16] And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai... [25: 8] And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. [29: 45] And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. [40: 35] And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Numbers — [9: 17,18] And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of <st1:country-region Israel journeyed; and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. At the commandment of the Lord the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the Lord they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents. [35: 34] Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel «» That root term, with a Divine Name appended, becomes Shekhinah — the Presence of God. In Jewish tradition, whenever God is immanent (perceptible as present) rather than utterly transcendant, this is the Shekhinah. The Shekhinah is characterized as feminine. According to much rabbinical commentary, the Shekhinah dwells inherently in a woman; but in a man, only through marriage — his enjoyment of the Divine Presence depends upon his relationship with a woman. And the Torah specified that a man could function as a Priest only if he was married.

Jewish tradition points out that although God started Creation, it was left to mankind to finish it, to produce a kingdom of priests, and that Abraham was the first to really sense this, covenanting with God to that end. But that co–creative (procreative) aspect can be overemphasized, to the neglect of other considerations. The traditional Christian notion that procreation is the only valid purpose for sexual relations is a concept alien to the scriptures. The Torah requires that a husband cater to the sexual gratification of his wife, with his failure to do so constituting grounds for divorce. That obligation is distinct from his duty to reproduce. Jewish tradition regards the passion of a sacred bond as holy and meritorious in its own right. From a process viewpoint, that makes considerable sense: God delights in the prehension of intense, harmonious feeling. Promoting such unity of feeling is God’s work, and contributes to God’s Glory. In a very real Eternal sense, priesthood might be best used to describe the glory inherent in the Eternal bond of man and woman. The common spirit through which they act and feel greatly magnifies the character of their being, far beyond simply the sum of the two. Considering the wealth of feeling, and consequent glory, that can derive from a sacred marriage bond, the dynamics of such a holy union of genders is something that God would want to validate with Eternal Life. It could be argued that, given God’s nature, God might necessarily do so. Should degree of “exaltation” be equated with degree of procreative success? Might it be that qualitative factors are of equal, if not greater ultimate value than the quantitative?

Although Hebrew scripture and Jewish tradition may support some unique concepts of marriage, they do not support blatant antifeminism and repressive patriarchalism, errors which are common to most fundamentalist religious groups. Perhaps the notion that a woman can pass through the veil, into the Presence of God, only if she is escorted by a man should be reconsidered, with a twist — for it might well be that a man cannot pass through the veil, into the Presence of God, unless accompanied by a woman.


 he is Christ's helper! She is the one who sought to comfort Jesus before his tribulations; without being concern with her own glory as the other apostles were. She is the one who loved most; She is the one who chose wisdom, She is the one who remained in the garden searching for Her beloved Jesus, She is the one to which our risen Lord first said, "Go tell...". this truth needs to be maintained!


The Greek original is better represented by a translation of 'cease from holding on to me',

The Song of Songs, the most popular love poem at the time of Christ and for centuries afterwards, was strongly associated with Mary Magdalen, believed to be the bride in the poem, and Yeshua the bridegroom. Attributed to Solomon, the Song of Songs has remained part of the official cannon, despite its unmistakably erotic imagery. The Roman Catholic church traditionally reads from the Song of Songs on Mary Magdalen's feast day (B).

There is strong evidence that Mary Magdalen was worshiped (somewhat secretly) right along side the Virgin Mary up until the Albigensian campaigns. Afterwards her worship was forced even further underground (B). In 1781, the last temple dedicated to her was destroyed (D). Numerous landmarks attest to her cult in the South of France. Among many other examples, "a Christian magic ring, now in the London museum, bears the legend, 'Holy Mary Magdalen pray for me' " (D, p. 615).

Of the many cathedrals dedicated to Our Lady, Notre Dame, in the middle ages, it is unclear which "Our Lady" they were dedicated to, especially since many of the cathedrals were funded by the Knights Templar, champions of Mary Magdalen (B). In the 14th Century, the church made a concerted effort to clarify that the only Our Lady was Mother Mary. In doing so, they made Mother Mary "The Bride of Christ," although they emphasized it was a spiritual union only (B,C).


In the ancient world of the Middle East it was the Goddess who descended through the seven nether spheres to revive God. This was common to myths describing what is known as the mystical year or the death and rebirth of nature annually. 

From earliest times, people have been fascinated by the moon. They realized the vital connection between a woman's monthly menstrual (from mensis, Latin for "moon") cycle, and the waxing and waning of the moon. They also recognized that the moon controls the tides, whose ebb and flow parallels the organic rhythms of female fluids. Because of these connections, the moon has been universally associated with femininity and women's procreative power. In popular ancient Israelite belief, too, the moon was thought to influence fertility; the women wore moon-shaped pendants, as discovered in archaeological finds and as mentioned by Isaiah in his admonition: "On that day, my Lord will strip off the finery of the anklets, the fillets, and the crescents."

Jewish woman have long celebrated the special female symbolism of the moon. From the talmudic period to our day, Rosh Hodesh, the minor festival of the New Moon, has been especially sacred to Jewish women. According to legend, the women in the wilderness refused to contribute their jewelry to make the Golden Calf, and were rewarded for their faithfulness by being granted the New Moon as a day off from work. For many centuries, Jewish women refrained from doing heavy work on this day. 

Among the Kabbalists, the moon has traditionally represented the Shekhinah, God's feminine aspect, whose exile is symbolized by the moon's monthly waning. Thus, for them, the blessing of the new moon and the anticipation of Rosh Hodesh, marking the moon's return, came to symbolize the renewal of hope in the restoration of Divine Unity. In a contemporary reading of this midrash, Jewish women will acquire full equality within the tradition. "In this orientation," "Rosh Hodesh becomes a renewal both of God's presence in the world — the Shekhinah, a female aspect of God — and of the female side of the human race and the human soul." 

The moon is exactly the same size as the sun in appearance in the heavens; It is 400 times smaller in its diameter and 400 times closer in proximity to the earth than the sun is. In an eclipse they are perfectly matched, there is no scientific explanation for this. It is the moon goddess that descends through the seven orbits in the heavens; the triple goddess of the ancients. It is the moon that weds the sun in the mythologies, nature and God! She is the Pearl! Jesus and Mary are this myth embodied and this dream come true! 

Her very body commits her to the drama of existence and links her with the rhytm of the Cosmos. In relation to Mary's receptive aspect, the Church was viewed as the "bride of Christ," to be united in Sacred Marriage with Christ when humanity would receive the full divine influx at the end of the age.

Here is a mystery; an ancient Hebrew legend speaks of pearls as being the tears Eve wept upon being banished from the Garden; a Medieval Christian tradition saw the pearl as a sign of hidden wisdom; what color are the pearls the sea has given to princess Anima?" How is it that we seem to have forgotten these things only to replace them with the destructive dualism of Babylon. 

And why is it that thousands of years later, Helen's story still has the power to haunt us? Is it not that we long to believe that beauty could really do that; That there really might be someone worth launching a thousand ships to regain and someone willing, out of passionate love, to launch those ships? 

The reason we identify with fairy tales in some deep part of us is that they rest on the true that the hero or heroine really does have a heart of gold and the beloved really does possess hidden beauty. 

“The three Water signs stand like signposts in the Wheel of the Zodiac, signalling our
personal birth (Cancer) and death (Scorpio) and the closing of the cycle of creation to
start anew (Pisces).”

This connection between the water signs and the cycle of life is reflected in the Greek
mythological figures from Greece known as the The Moirae or The Fates. In this myth,
the three sisters jointly determine the lifespan of all humans. The Three Fates consist of
Klotho, the youngest sister, who presides over the moment of birth, holding the distaff
and spinning out the threads of life. She resembles Cancer who presides over childbirth
and the mother, whose nurturing influences our instinctive patterns and unconscious
habits- the stuff we are made of.

The second sister, Lachesis, measures and grants each year of life a portion of joy and
woe, hope, fear, peace and strife. She is an allegory for Scorpio, whose quiet nature
masks an understanding of both the light and the dark sides of human nature.

And the third sister, Atropos, who clips the thread when life is done, separating us from
the physical and propelling us towards the Great Unknown. Part of the Piscean wisdom
is to know when to hold on, and when to let go, and so the symbolic connection to
Atropos seems obvious.


Jesus' Feminine Complement As the first human to witness the resurrection of Christ, Mary Magdalene clearly occupies the pivotal position at the very origin of Christianity. Just as Jesus was the Bridegroom, Magdalene is the true bride of the Church - the feminine physical principle which complements the transcendental Christ. It is to her if anyone that the chruch should turn as a physical embodiment of the Shekina in history. Her time of penitence is ended. 

The name Mary wether it is Mary the mother, or Mary the wife, or Mary Jerusalem; whensoever it is employed in the Bible is the name of those who bore the image of our (Female Holy Spirit) 'Goddess' expressing Herself through humanity. 

Did you notice Mary (Sophia) in this picture?

A Jewish priest was required to marry. If Jesus fulfilled all the law as the Bible says, he must have married. It is more probable that Jesus was married then not; and that this information was not recorded in the Gentile church, for if Jesus was not married, this information would most likely have been used to uphold monastisism and patriarchy. As it was, the information was either removed or ignored, by monastisism and patriarchy. 

Beyond the speculation though, what evidence do we have of either the celibate or married Christ? And why can't Jews accept that the Messiah could be excluded from the commandment to wed? To the Jews, their human Saviour, would be an embodiment of the laws of God, he would typify them rather than being exempt from them. Just as Jesus was baptized "to fulfill all righteousness", and said that he had not "come to destroy," the law, "but to fulfill" it (Matt. 3:15, 5:17). They also expected a married Messiah, because the prophets of their Tanach (the Hebrew Bible) predicted his marital state as a feature of his life: In speaking of Israel's expectant deliverer in a passage Paul identifies as referring to Jesus, David wrote, "Kings daughters were among thy honourable women", or wives as the 1599 version of the Geneva Bible, and a 1636 Church of England Bible puts it (Ps. 45:6, see Heb. 1:8) Of him having children, Isaiah predicts, "he shall see his seed", and asks, "Who shall declare his generation?" (Isa. 53:8, see Luke 23:27-28 & Isa 53:10, see Acts 8:33 and Heb. 2:16)

Some Christian readers may be troubled by the implication of David's prophesy of the Messiah having several "honourable wives," as one of the features of pagan Roman religion that remained after its adoption of Christianity was that of monogamy, and the laws restricting one woman to one man. The Old Testament however contains many examples of righteous prophets who lived in such manner, such as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and David. The father of the Protestant movement, Martin Luther, declared that "for a man to have two wives at once" was not "contrary to the divine law" and himself authorised a nobleman (Philip the Landgrave of Hesse) to marry a second wife, and is recorded as stating, "The Gospel hath neither recalled nor forbid what was permitted in the law of Moses with respect to marriage." (Thelyphthora 1:212, Rev. Martin Madan)

Of course other interpretations have been made of references to Jesus in the role of father, husband, and some have supposed the Church was his symbolic bride, and that its members are his `children', as he is the `father' of their salvation. Indeed, the Catholic Church marries it's Nuns to Jesus, representing their lifelong commitment to him. Whilst such concepts have great meaning to those who believe in them, they neither rule out the possibility of Jesus being married nor explain every passage in the Old and New Testaments that seem to suggest he was. In fact, it is the four Gospels themselves that may hold the answers to whether, when, where, and who Jesus married.

Some deny that Jesus was married based upon the supposed silence of the Scriptures and doctrinal problems which were inconsistent with the Church's dogma (e.g. a celibate priesthood, the ritual defilement of seminal emissions, etc.). Yet, it much more reasonable to assume that Jesus, like the overwhelming majority of other males that have ever lived, had female companionship and children. To assume otherwise is to assume the exceptional without any correspondingly exceptional evidence. One might as well assume, with an equal absence of evidence, that Jesus was lactose intolerant. There was a 2nd Century tradition among various heretical sects which taught that Jesus was married. In their dispute with Augustine, the Celtic Pelagians argued that the Atonement of Christ cancelled Original Sin. If Original Sin was, as Augustine argued, a sexually transmitted disease of the soul, then Christ has reversed the process and made it a transmitter of healing, health, and virtue.

Like walking in an enchanted fog. The fog breaks for a moment; you see the moon or a girls face, you feel an unnamed gravity. The fog comes down again and leaves you groping for something, you don't quite know what.

The ancient Hebrews used the same word for 'knowing' and 'erotic union': ie. "Now Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived..." (Genesis 4:1). They understood that human emotion and human biology were not entirely separate from human intellect. Indeed, they 'knew' that the heart has it's reasons of which the mind 'knows' little. Adam knew Eve and she concieved (Gen 4:1) The reason ot does this is in order to show how close a husband and wife should be. True love is a religious act. If I love you as God wills that I love you, it is the highest expression of love. Since the very beginning, love was spoken of as making man and woman "two in one flesh". One soul passes into another soul, and the body follows the soul to such unity as it can achieve.

In the fiercest extravagant love is the tangible source of all wisdom! In the sprint of your exquisite flesh is evinced the awesome recklessness of God's mercy!

It is here that we approach the mystery of love, where the constant action of spontaneous experiencing is found to be the basis from which love and its expressions arise. At it's essence, this spontaneity is the will of the Creator which governs the uprising of all life. To honor this within one's life is a gift one gives to oneself as well as to the beloved. In this open and ungrasping state of awareness, the beloved, the other, is not possessed but rather is received into oneself with all the abundance and splendor of joyful surprise. In this then, the mysterious and unsought uprising of love, the experience of complete joyous relationship with another, is the transforming vision; not only of the beloved, but of the entire world and life.. This may seem irreverent, or just claiming to much, to those unwilling to feel it completely, refusing to see anything mystical or divine in the moment of life's origin. Yet it is just in treating this moment as only a instinct, that we reveal our vast separation from, and indifference to, the gift of life. Now God is the creator of beauty; and if we are indifferent to beauty, we will not posses beauty.


Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. ....... Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. . ..( Ephesians 5: 17, 32).

The height of harmonious, lyrical, erotic love, coming upon us of itself, is one of the most total experiences of communion with another of which we are capable. Only indoctrination, prejudice, and insensitivity have prevented us from seeing that in any other circumstance such rapture would be called mystical ecstasy. For what lovers feel for each other in this moment is no other than adoration in its full religious sense, and its climax the literally felt pouring of their lives into each other. Such adoration, which is due only to God, would indeed be misplaced were it not that in that moment love takes away the illusion and shows the beloved for what he or she is in truth; the naturally divine soul of love.

She is the way every woman wants to command respect and love because of the beauty of her goodness. And this Ideal and Essence is truly our Goddess whom God loved before the world was made. She is the one whom every man loves when he loves a woman; wether he knows it or not.

That ideal love we see beyond all other loves, is the same love that God has in his heart for the Lady who is own his desire and completion; our Goddess, Wisdom and Holiness, and their daughter New Jerusalem. She is the woman whom every man marries in ideal when he takes a spouse. This Dream Woman before women were, is the one of whom every heart can say in its depth of depths; 'She is the woman I love!"

Then I was by him as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.PROV 8:30-31

It is an understanding that if you have God, you have everything. And so it is written, "let 'us' make man in 'our' image" (Genesis 1:26).

And within this bond you are touching the core of reality; for the Divine love is felt to be everywhere. It imparts an intuitive understanding of the Creators love for the creation.

And this is a true celibate, not physically, but theologically; the celibacy of one who is in reality two, two who are in reality one, given entirely to God, and who is now totally open to the presence of God and in love with the whole world. And this is because the person has participated in an experience similar to the Beatific Vision; or God in all things, and all things in God. For God 'is' love. Authentic Christian celibacy, then, is not a rejection of sexuality or a devaluation of marriage. It's the expression on earth of its ultimate purpose and meaning!

This person does not love the beloved only as a means to God. The process is more intuitive, and this cannot be explained. It is an experience of God at the heart of all creation. He/She loves this being and God at the same time. There is no moving of the mind from this to that, but in their vision they see at one and the same time the created being and the infinite love of God who created this being and gives it to them as a gift. They find the gift and the Giver in the same look.

The more a woman is holy; the more she is a woman; just as the more a man is holy, the more he is a man. Woman was made for the sacred. She is heaven's instrument on earth. Mary the Mother and Mary the Lover are the Archetypes, the every-woman who fulfills in herself the deepest aspirations of every daughter of She who is God's Wisdom.

hen viewed against this background, the sexual imagery of the union between God and the Sabbath, or between God the King and his consort, the Shekhina-Matrom't-or, for that matter, between the Matrortit and man; appear neither offensive nor fantastic. The two-thousand-year-old jewish tradition of viewing the relationship between God and man as one between husband and wife was, in the course of time, repeatedly transmuted, transformed, expanded, reapplied, and refined. What remained unchanged was the basic approach underlying it all: to view both the physical cosmos and the metaphysical world of the divine in human terms, which inevitably centered on the sexual reference,

There was nothing unusual about resorting to the symbolism of coitus in speaking of certain cosmic and divine events. Thus, for instance, in the cosmic realm the conjunction of the sun and the moon-that is, the appearance of these two luminaries close to each other in the sky-was described verbally and visualiy as a man and a woman in sexual embrace.

Our Creator who made the sun, also made the moon. The moon does not take away the life giving light of the sun, rather, The moon reveals the sun still with us, even at midnight.

 

Jewish customs of Jesus' day required married Rabbis. Unmarried men were considered a curse to Jewish society. Jesus would not have had much credibility as a leader had He not been married. Although Jesus was a non-conformist and had many conflicts with Jewish tradition, His parents, Joseph and Mary, were not. The Bible says that they were careful to perfectly obey the laws of their people. It also says that Jesus was "subject unto them". Since Jewish culture practiced arranged marriages and early marriage, as well (a Jewish boy was marriageable at age 16), it is reasonable to assume that Jesus' parents would have performed their parental duties faithfully and arranged a bride for the young Jesus. There are 18 silent years in His life (12 - 30). The Gospel of John tells us that there were many other things which Jesus did which have not been recorded. Given the cultural milieu in which Jesus lived and the supporting Biblical evidence, the burden of proof lies with those who do not believe Jesus was married. They must show why Jesus and His parents would have been derelict in their civic responsibilities and not contracted a marriage. According to Josephus, descendants of the House of David felt a moral obligation to perpetuate their line, never knowing which one among their descendants would be the chosen Messiah. Jesus may or may not have known who He was, but regardless, He lived as a normal person until called by the ministry of John the Baptist. Hippolytus, a Christian leader from the late 2nd Century, was followed by Origen in the 3rd Century in saying that the Song of Solomon was a prophecy of a marital union between Christ and Mary Magdalene. Although they believed Mary was symbolic of the Church, nevertheless, the notion presupposed a real, marriage between Mary and Jesus. There are hints scattered in the Gospels of a special relationship between Jesus and Mary. If she is the same Mary of Bethany in John 11, then we can explain why Martha arose to greet Jesus and not Mary. Some scholars say she was sitting sheva according to Jewish custom. "Sheva" was when a woman was in mourning. Married women were not allowed to break-off from their mourning unless called by their husbands. In this story, Mary does not come to Jesus, until He calls her. At the Resurrection, when Mary meets Jesus in the Garden, there is a degree of intimacy (see the Aramaic here) which one would expect between lovers, not friends. The Greek word for "woman" and "wife" is the same. Translators must rely upon the context in deciding how to translate it. Sometimes, the translation is arbitrary. When Mary is referred to as a "woman" who followed Jesus, it can just as easily be translated as "wife". The story of Mary with the alabaster jar anointing the feet of Jesus is cited by some scholars as the most direct witness to their marriage. It is in all four Gospels and was a story in which Jesus gave express command that it be preserved. This ceremony was an ancient one among many royal houses in the ancient world, which sealed the marital union between the king and his priestess spouse. We find it mentioned briefly in the Song of Solomon. Although we may not understand its significance, Jesus and Mary knew exactly what they were doing. To be the valid Messiah, He had to be anointed first by the Bride. They were by-passing the corrupt Jewish establishment. It was the custom among the Jews for their young men to marry at an early age, generally between the years of sixteen and eighteen. "Men married at sixteen or seventeen years of age, almost never later than twenty: and women at a somewhat younger age, often when not older than fourteen. The Bible teaches that the enemies of Christ spent their time: "Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him" (Luke 11:54). It is almost universally agreed among all scholars and denominations that Jesus Christ did not begin his ministry until his early 30's. If Christ were unmarried at this age, then his enemies could have proven that he did not obey the laws and customs of his day

The Samaritans are unique among the many religious groups described in the Bible apart from traditional Judaism and Christianity: the others have long passed into oblivion, but the Samaritans still survive in our own day, as a community preserving its ancient rites on its holy site, Mount Gerizim, near the ancient site of Shechem and the modern city of Nablus. Samaria occupies the geographical center of the Holy Land. On the west, the mountains of Samaria descend to the Plain of Sharon, "I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys." (Song of Songs 2;1 ) 

Shechem, which has been called "the uncrowned queen of Palestine," lies in almost the exact center of the land. A broad valley here separates the twin limestone massifs of Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal One day, while camped at Shechem, Abraham, the ancestor of the people of Israel, knew that he was in the presence of the Lord. During this transcendent experience he heard the divine promise, never to be forgotten, "To your descendants I will give this land" (Genesis 12:7). 

Jewish pilgrims from Galilee on their way to Jerusalem for the annual festivals usually avoided the direct route through Samaria and detoured by way of the far side of the Jordan. Jesus, however, used the road through Samaria at least three times (Luke 9:52; 17:11; John 4:4). As has already been mentioned, on one occasion he conversed at length with a Samaritan woman and dealt with the chief problem dividing Jews from Samaritans. This conversation took place at Jacob's well at Sychar not far from the site of ancient Shechem. According to the Fourth Gospel, "many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony" (John 4:39). 

Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well, and It was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Sama'ria to draw water. Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat) 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria said unto him, How is It that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samalria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Sa-marl-tans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her. It thou knewest the gift of God, and who it Is that saith to thee, Give me to drink thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou bast nothing to draw with, and the well Is deep: from whence then bast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thrist again But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall nev er thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water sp up Into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast Is not thy husband, In that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet 20 Our fathers worshipped In this mountain; and ye say, that In Jerusalem Is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither In this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now Is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father In spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship hhn in spirit and In truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Mes-silas cometh, which is called Christ: when he Is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. 27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the wonmw yet no man said, VVhat seekest thou? or. Why talkest thou with her? 28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ? 30 'Men they went out of the city, and came unto him 31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them. I have meat to eat that ye lmow not of. 33 'Iberefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat Is to do the will of him that sent me. and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein Is that saying true. One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour- other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them and he abode there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this Is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. 

In chapter three of the gospel of John, just prior to this report about Jesus and the woman at the well, John is speaking of himself as the friend of the Bridegroom (John 3:29)Jesus then has a conversation with a Samaritian woman and their conversation turns to her marital status. 

Point blank; Jesus tells this woman what he has not confessed openly to anyone else! That he is the Messiah. This is similar to Mary later having the wisdom to anniont his head with oil before his crucifiction; a knowledge that none of the male apostles knew. 

Further; this is the longest discourse by Jesus to another person in the Gospels. She immediately proceeds to enter in to the Lord's labour of harvesting souls; And many believed her (John 4:29-42), while the male apostles are still asking about bread. This is similar to Mary remaining in the garden seeking the Lord while the others did not and then being the first to say she found the risen saviour. 


 The woman speaks of "our father Jacob"; the Samaritians claimed that they were descended from Joseph, the son of Jacob, by way of Ephraim and Manasseh. The Jews of course have strenuously denied that Jacob was the father of the Samaritans. Samaritan women were the only other ethnic group of people a Jewish priest could choose a wife from. This is a suprising fact due to what it says about the relation of the Samaritains to the Jews.The well was a gathering place for women.;the symbol of marriage and woman in the Bible. Abraham, Issac, Jacob, recieved the first covenant as well as their wives at a well. Moses found his wife at a well. All these women were distant relatives to the men, very similar to the relationship between the Jews and The Samaritians. The well and water is Archetype of woman. Further, this is not only the longest discourse by Jesus in the Bible; it is also the giving of the second covenant. 

The Jews had another way of using the word water. They often spoke of the thirst of the soul for God. The Rabbis identified this living water with Wisdom and the Holy Spirit, both female. All Jewish pictorial religious language was full of the idea of the thirst of the soul which could be quenched only with this living water which was the gift of God. The promise is that the chosen people would draw water with joy from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3) The summons was that every one who was thirsty should come tho the waters and freely drink. (Isaiah 55:1) It is the Lord who is the fountian of living water. (Jeremiah 17:13) When Jesus spoke about bringing the water which quenches thirst forever, he was doing no less than stating that he was the Anointed One of God who was to bring in the new age. To worship God in spirit and in truth is the heart of the Gospel; hence, the New Testament, and is the Second Covenant. We all feel the longing for eternity that God has put in every persons soul. There is a thirst which only the Holy Spirit can satisfy. This is God speaking to His Church. The five husbands mentioned make this story not only an incident but also an allegory. The original people of Samaria were exiled and transported to Media, people from five other places were brought in. These five different people brought in their own gods. ( 2 kings 17:29 ) The womans five husbands are like the five false gods to whom the samaritans, as it were, married themselves. The sixth husband stands for the true God, but, they worship him not truly, but in ignorance; and therefore they are not married to him at all. Being married to God in truth, is the seventh husband; and is Jesus! 
 

There is a tradition in many eastern European countries that links Mary to a red egg which is exchanged at Easter and seen by some as the origin of Easter Egg.  It is worthy of note here that the egg was part of the fertility rites for the Goddess Astarte who was worshipped in Canaan. (other names include Ishstar, Isis, Asherah, Ashtaroth and Ashtoreth). The cult of Astarte spread as far north as Britain where she was called Oestre. The Christian holiday of Easter and the Wiccan holiday of Ostara are named after her.
 

the Temple to Astarte at Ephesus. This temple was still in use well into the first centuries of the Christian church.
•There is a strong tradition that Mary the mother of Jesus retired to live her last years in the hills just above this temple.
•Along with their link to Mary Magdalene, Black Madonnas are also associated with Astarte.


The chief city of Samaria was noted for its towers. Magdalene means tower of the flock. If Jesus married a Samaritan princess priestess, many prophicies of the uniting of the north and south kingdoms of Judah and Israel ascribed to the coming Messiah would be fulfilled. Also in this manner, Jesus not only fulfills the Hebrew prophicies, but also fulfills the Archetype of the ancient myths of the mystical years king and queen. Jubilee is seven years and pagan religions had a annual marraige of priestesses to celebrate the mystical year. 

Jesus, then, was not just a man, nor even a great prophet, but was the Messiah himself, the Son of God, ( Psalms 45 ) the long awaited divine savior whose passion and death had inaugurated the world's redemption and the birth of a new aeon. The Judaic biblical prophecies could now be properly understood: The Messiah was not a mundane king but a spiritual one, and God's Kingdom not a political victory for Israel but a divine redemption for humanity, bringing a new life suffused with God's Spirit. Thus the bitterly disappointing event of their leader's crucifixion was mysteriously transformed in the minds of his disciples into the basis for a seemingly unlimited faith in the ultimate salvation of mankind, and an extraordinarily dynamic impulse to propagate that faith. Jesus had challenged his fellow Jews to accept God's saving activity in history, an activity visible in his own person and ministry.
"primitive" Christianity found in the Nag Hammadi scrolls, has led many to the supposition that the chief disciple of Jesus, as far as Jesus himself was concerned, was Mary Magdalene, not only his wife and mother of his children (or child), but also called by him to head a far more feminist church than what was eventually manifested as "Christianity."
Mary Magdalene is associated in many old paintings and church iconography with towers partly because the town she's from, "Magdala" or Migdala," means "tower" in Hebrew, but of course this has taken on religious connotation as well, as the watch tower of the faith from which shines the beacon of hope].
Why do you think they ignore the Anointing part of the Anointed One's story? Surely the Messiah would have to be anointed at least one time in his
life, or how else could he hold the title? Why in the heck is this never pointed out to us?

Imagine if they had not ignored it, and if, as it oft appears, women had held the spiritual center of the new religion. It could be we would be approaching equality from a far different reality.



This ‘life’ was extremely influential in shaping medieval devotion to Mary Magdalen. In 1260 Jacobus de Voragine, an Italian dominican, wrote a standard legendarium, the Legenda Aurea. The genre of these hagiographical compendia was not new, but the order that Jacobus brought to the large number of rival vitae and legends that had up to then been haphazardly available, that order was certainly new. The hunger for storytelling will certainly have contributed to the great success of this legendarium. In the Legenda Aurea, as in the other legendaria, elite sources and popular stories are welded together and theological speculations about Mary Magdalen are reconciled with popular devotional practices.‘The literary and the iconographic image of Mary Magdalen’ by R. Baert, Alma Mater Magazine.
“Mary Magdalene has the name Magdalene which was originally a fortress (Magdalum). She was of noble birth, in fact of royalty. Her father's name was Syrus, her mother's Eucharia. She, her brother Lazarus and her sister Martha owned the castle two miles from the Sea Genezareth as well as the village of Bethany near Jerusalem, plus a considerable part of the city of Jerusalem, but they distributed their treasures so that Mary Magdalene owned the castle which also appears in her name while Lazarus owned part of Jerusalem and Martha Bethany.
When Christ preached in the country she came—by God's providence—into the house of Simon the leper for she had heard that Christ was going to eat there. Not daring to sit among the just because she was a sinner she walked straight up to the Lord, washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and anointed them, for it was the custom that the people used ointments for the heat of the sun was great. Simon the Pharisee thought 'If this were a prophet he would scarcely allow himself to be touched by a sinner.' But the Lord punished him because of the superficiality of his justice and forgave the woman for all her sins.”
“This is the Mary Magdalene upon whom God bestowed such great grace and to whom he made evident so many signs of love. He expelled seven evil spirits (wraths) from her and inspired in her the love for Him. He made her a special friend, a great hostess and a help on His road. He excused her at all times with great love, defended her against the Pharisee who had called her impure, against her sister who had accused her of idleness, and against Judas who had called her a spendthrift. And whenever He saw her weeping He wept, too. The Lord loved her so much that He awakened her brother from death even though he had been in the grave for four days, and He cured her sister Martha of hemorrhages that had made her suffer for seven years. Out of love for her He blessed Martilla, the maiden of her sister that she raised her voice and said the sweet words of St. Luke 11, 27 'Blessed is the womb that bare thee and the paps which thou has sucked.' For when Ambrose spoke the hemorrhaging woman was Martha and the woman who spoke these words was her servant. However, Magdalene was the woman who washed the Lord's feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and anointed them with ointment. In the time of grace she did her first penitence. She elected the best part, she sat at the feet of the Lord to hear His word, she anointed His head, she stood near the cross when He died, she prepared the ointment for His corpse, she did not leave the grave when the disciples did leave the grave. She was the one to whom the Lord appeared first when He was resurrected and she was the woman whom the Lord made the Apostle of the Apostles.”
“When our Lord ascended to heaven after His sufferings in the fourteenth year, when Stephanus had long before been stoned by the Jews and the other disciples had been expelled from Judea, the disciples went into many lands in order to spread the word of God. With these apostles was Maximinus, one of the Lord's seventy--two disciples to whose guardianship St. Peter had commended Mary Magdalene. When the disciples were scattered St. Maximinus, Mary Magdalene, her brother Lazarus, her sister Martha with her servant Martilla and Cedonius (who was born blind but who had been cured by the Lord) and many other Christians were gathered on a ship by the heathens which was then pushed into the ocean so that they would all perish. By God's providence, however, they arrived in Massilia. They found no one who wanted to give them hospitality and therefore remained in the vestibule of the heathens’ temple.”
The Legenda Aurea then tells us how Mary Magdalene induced a prince to put them up in his house; how she made it possible for the wife of the prince to become the mother of a son; how the princely couple made a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem; how the princess died on the ship while her son was born, and how the dead princess was returned alive to the prince and his son by the miraculous help of Mary Magdalene. Then the Legend continues:
“Mary Magdalene desired meditation and went into the forest wilderness where she lived incognito for thirty years in a place prepared for her by the hands of angels. In this place there were neither fountains nor trees nor grass. This indicates that our Lord did not want to sustain her with earthly food but with heavenly nourishment. Every day she was led to the heavens by the angels—seven times for the seven hours of prayer—and with her own ears she heard the chants of the heavenly hosts. And every day she was taken back to earth with this sweet nourishment so that she never needed earthly food.”
According to this legend Mary Magdalene died in Aix in Southern France and was buried there by the Bishop Maximinus. Some of her remains later were taken to the French monastery of Vezelay, the church of which carried her name. The Legend continues
“In the time of Charlemagne, approximately in 769, there was in Burgundy a Duke called Gerhard. His wife bore him no son. He therefore gave all his belongings to the poor and built many churches and monasteries. When he founded the monastery of Vezelay he and the abbot sent a monk with a worthy following to Aix and commissioned him to bring the remains of St. Mary Magdalene to Vezelay. The monk found that Aix had been completely destroyed by the heathen. However, he found a tomb hewn entirely from marble and the tombstone indicated that St. Mary Magdalene was buried there, and in fact her history could be read because it was chiselled into the stone. When night came he opened the grave, took the remains and brought them to the place where he stayed. And it was then that Mary Magdalene appeared to him that same night saying to him that he should not be afraid but should complete the work which he had started. The monk started home but one mile before he had reached the monastery it seemed that the remains became so heavy that he could no longer carry them. Then the abbot with the monks of the monastery appeared in solemn procession and they all took St. Mary Magdalene's remains to their domicile with the greatest of honors.”
According to the Legend,the adoration of St. Mary Magdalene in the French monastery of Vezelay was accompanied by many miracles. She is supposed to have awakened a dead knight to life, to have aided the sailors, to have returned vision to a blind pilgrim when he had asked her for help in front of the church of Vezelay. She is supposed to have released a prisoner from chains and to have shown the path of virtue to a sinful priest. No wonder, then, that a Saint so generally worshipped was offered many patronages. The cities of France in particular, such as Antun, Marseilles and Vezelay, looked upon her as their patron saint. In fact the whole Provence respects her as such. She is also the patron of the coiffeurs, gardeners, winegrowers, sawers and weavers. Mothers turn to her when they pray for their children who find it difficult to learn how to walk. Above all, of course, she serves as the great model for all sinners eager to convert to virtue.


The gardener metaphorically is God's son, Adam. Just as Inanna's descent and the resurrection of Attis took three days, so did that of Jesus, following on from Jonah: Matt 12:40 "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." "St Paul says that Christ' descended into the lower parts of the earth' (Eph. 4:9). St Peter writes that Christ' preached unto the spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19) and also that' the gospel was preached to them that are dead' (1 Pet. 4:6). The Apostles' Creed states explicitly that Christ' descended into hell"' 

"There is still the question of why it was to her Christ appeared after his resurrection, and why, if a fundamental part of the Christian kerygma (preaching) is based on the witness of Mary Magdalene and other women, its importance and meaning has been played down in the Christian tradition" 

Although other information about her is more fantastic, she is repeatedly portrayed as a visionary and leader of the early movement.( Mark 16:1-9; Matthew 28:1-10; Luke24:1-10; John 20:1, 11-18; Gospel of Peter ). In the Gospel of John, the risen Jesus gives her special teaching and commissions her as an apostle to the apostles to bring them the good news. She obeys and is thus the first to announce the resurrection and to play the role of an apostle, although the term is not specifically used of her. Later tradition, however, will herald her as "the apostle to the apostles." The strength of this literary tradition makes it possible to suggest that historically Mary was a prophetic visionary and leader within one sector of the early Christian movement after the death of Jesus. The newly discovered Egyptian writings elaborate this portrait of Mary as a favored disciple. Her role as "apostle to the apostles" is frequently explored, especially in considering her faith in contrast to that of the male disciples who refuse to believe her testimony. She is most often portrayed in texts that claim to record dialogues of Jesus with his disciples, both before and after the resurrection. In the Dialogue of the Savior, for example, Mary is named along with Judas (Thomas) and Matthew in the course of an extended dialogue with Jesus. During the discussion, Mary addresses several questions to the Savior as a representative of the disciples as a group. She thus appears as a prominent member of the disciple group and is the only woman named. Moreover, in response to a particularly insightful question, the Lord says of her, "´You make clear the abundance of the revealer!'" (140.17-19). At another point, after Mary has spoken, the narrator states, "She uttered this as a woman who had understood completely"(139.11-13). These affirmations make it clear that Mary is to be counted among the disciples who fully comprehended the Lord's teaching (142.11-13). In another text, the Sophia of Jesus Christ, Mary also plays a clear role among those whom Jesus teaches. She is one of the seven women and twelve men gathered to hear the Savior after the resurrection, but before his ascension. Of these only five are named and speak, including Mary. At the end of his discourse, he tells them, "I have given you authority over all things as children of light," and they go forth in joy to preach the gospel. Here again Mary is included among those special disciples to whom Jesus entrusted his most elevated teaching, and she takes a role in the preaching of the gospel. In the Gospel of Philip, Mary Magdalene is mentioned as one of three Marys " who always walked with the Lord" and as his companion (59.6-11). The work also says that Lord loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often (63.34-36). The importance of this portrayal is that yet again the work affirms the special relationship of Mary Magdalene to Jesus based on her spiritual perfection. In the Pistis Sophia, Mary again is preeminent among them.
 

 

The woman who anointed Jesus in the days before the crucifixion was actually Mary Magdalene, and she was re-enacting an old fertility ritual called the hieros gamos, or "sacred marriage." In older sacred marriage rituals, a woman who represented the "goddess" and the land was wedded to the king. Their union symbolized many things, depending on the time and place such a ritual was practiced, including the blessing of ongoing fertility, the rejuvination of the land and the community soul, and the connection between humans and the Divine. Some of these old ceremonies included a ritualistic slaying of the king, either symbolically or literally, after he was married to the priestess/goddess. In the symbolic slayings, he would then rise again in a mystical resurrection echoing the cycles of death and rebirth evident in nature. the Gospel accounts of the anointing and the events that follow reflect hieros gamos-like practices. If Mary Magdalene was the woman who performed the anointing, she would have been the woman filling the symbolic role of priestess/goddess, and therefore would have been married to Jesus.


It was Mary Magdalene who anointed Jesus as the Messiah, an action whose symbolism was lost on the men of the group but that moved our Lord to say, "Wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her." This sacred anointing was directed by God; and beware if you as a Christian preach that it was not! It places Mary on a greater or equal basis with the most noteworthy of Old Testament Prophets. What right does such a one have to be compared to the high priest. Only the high priest, the holiest man in Israel, can look behind the veil and then only to see the type, not the reality. But Mary is enabled to see the reality, the fullness, the Ark of the Covenant! Don't you see, the tomb is the reality that the Ark of the Covenant foreshadowed. It is in the tomb, that place of corruption, where our Lord Christ reigns over death. The Ark had represented the throne of God. So it is in the tomb where our Lord reigns over death and hell. This is the vision that is given to Mary. What a love, what an honor and a grace that is put upon her! That would be enough honor, wouldn't it? Just to see the reality of what all the priests of Israel had anticipated if in faithfulness they had entered behind that veil. For Mary to see that would be sufficient honor. 

Mary the apostle, prophet, and teacher had become Mary the repentant whore. This fiction was invented at least in part to undermine her influence and with it the appeal to her apostolic authority to support women in roles of leadership 

It is clear from the four canonical Gospels that Mary Magdalen enjoyed special precedence in the community of believers, since she was the first person to see and speak to Jesus on Easter Sunday, having hurried to his tomb at first light to perform embalming rites for his dead body. There are seven lists in the four Gospels that name the women who accompanied Jesus. In six of the seven, the name of Mary Magdalen is given first--ahead of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and ahead of the other women mentioned. The Gospel writers, beginning with Mark, are most likely reflecting the status of the Magdalen in the Christian community--that of First Lady.

Jesus' lineage and marriage were concealed from all but a select circle of royalist leaders. To protect the royal bloodline, this marriage would have been kept secret from the Romans and the Herodian tetrarchs, and after the crucifixion of Jesus, the protection of his wife and family would have been a sacred trust for those few who knew their identity. All reference to the marriage of Jesus would have been deliberately obscured, edited, or eradicated. Yet the pregnant wife of the anointed Son of David would have been the bearer of the hope of Israel--the bearer of the Sangraal, the royal bloodline. It is probable that the original references to Mary Magdalen in the oral tradition, the "pericopes" of the New Testament, were misunderstood before they were ever committed to writing. I suspect that the epithet "Magdaleri" was meant to be an allusion to the "Magdaleder" found in Micah, the promise of the restoration of Sion following her exile. Perhaps the earliest verbal references attaching the epithet "Magdala" to Mary of Bethany's name had nothing to do with an obscure town in Galilee, as is suggested, but were deliberate references to these lines in Micah, to the "watchtower" or "stronghold" of the Daughter of Sion who was forced into political exile. The place name Magdal-eder literally means "tower of the flock," in the sense of a high place used by a shepherd as a vantage point from which to watch over his sheep. In Hebrew, the epithet Magdala literally means "tower" or "elevated, great, magnificent.."2 This meaning has particular relevance if the Mary so named was in fact the wife of the Messiah. It would have been the Hebrew equivalent of calling her "Mary the Great," while at the same time referring to the prophesied return of dominion to "the daughter of Jerusalem" (Mic. 4:8).

 

 

 

 

Seven was a favourite number with the Jews, implying frequently, with them, something perfect, completed, filled up, for such is the proper import of the Hebrew word שוע sheva or shevang: nearly allied in sound to our seven. And perhaps this meaning of it refers to the seventh day, when God rested from his work, having filled up, or completed the whole of his creative design.

 Sevens abound in the Bible and throughout Jewish life. The world was created in seven days, and marriage is a seven days a week act of creation. There are also seven wedding blessings. The seven wedding blessings or 'sheva b'rachot' mention the beginning of time in Eden, when life was wholeness, and the end of days when that wholeness will be restored. Since Eden the world has been in exile from the experience of unfragmented existence, an exile that extends from earth to heaven. The Garden was lost, the Temple destroyed, even God was not whole. Shekhinah, God's feminine self, wanders the earth, cut off, bereaved. God and Shekinah are reunited on Sabbath, the day that offers a taste of paradise, as bridegroom and bride. Both heaven and earth long for redemption from this exile, a restoration to Edenic harmony to the whole of creation. Since Judaism has no concept of individual redemption, the wedding provides the whole community with a glimpse into the blessing of the wholeness that was once and is to come again. 

The ancients counted seven planets, thus arranged; the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. There were seven heavens and seven spheres of these planets; these corrospond to the seven lamps of the golden candelabrum in the temple. To return to its source in the Infinite, the human soul, the ancients held, had to ascend as it had descended, through the seven spheres. From Egypt and Persia the new Platonists borrowed the idea, and the Gnostics recieved it from them, that man, in his terrestrial career, is successively under the influence of the Moon, of Mercury, of Venus, of the Sun, of Mars, of Jupiter, and of Saturn, until he finally reaches the Elysian Feilds; an idea again symbolized in the Seven Seals. And circling is thought of as the way the bride enters the groom's s'ferot; the mystical spheres of his soul that correspond to the seven lower attributes of God. In the ancient world these orbits correspond to the seven spheres in the heavens and likewise are reflected in the seven nether spheres of the sea. The two most famous divisions of the Heavens, by seven, which is that of the planets, and bv twelve, which is that of the signs, are found on the religious monuments of all the people of the ancient world. There is no more striking proof of the universal adoration paid the stars and constellations,than the arrangement of the Hebrew camp in the Desert, and the allegory in regard to the twelve Tribes of Israel, Joseph in a dream associated twelve stars to the patriarchs; and the twelve tribes bore the twelve signs of the Hebrew zodiac on their standards. Heavenly Hosts" includes not only the counsellors and emissaries of Jehovah, but also the celestial. luminaries; and the stars. Seven Heavens, in the East to be animated intelligences, presiding over human weal and woe, were identified with the more distinctly impersonated messengers or angels, who execute the Divine Justice and in each of which were certain Powers that opposed the souls return to Heaven, and often drove them back to earth, when not sufficiently purified. ( Luke 11:26 ) The last of these Powers, nearest the luminous abode of souls, was a serpent or dragon. 

Mari is associated with seven nether spirits of the ocean. The person who anoints Jesus' feet is a 'sinner' reminiscent of the'seven devils'of Magdalene associated the descent of Inanna: Also the Seven Bridal Orbits and the Seven deadly sins. 
 

When she is first mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, she is described as a woman 'out of whom went seven devils'. It is generally assumed that this phrase refers to a species of exorcism on Jesus's part, implying the Magdalene was 'possessed'. But the phrase may equally refer to some sort of conversion and/or ritual initiation. The cult of Ishtar or Astarte - the Mother Goddess and 'Queen of Heaven' - involved, for example, a seven-stage initiation [the seven veils]. Prior to her affiliation with Jesus, the Magdalene may well have been associated with such a cult. Migdal, or Magdala, was the 'Village of Doves', and there is some evidence that sacrificial doves were in fact bred there. And the dove was the sacred symbol of Astarte.

There are three versions of the myth of the descent of Ishtar/Inanna, two Semitic and one Sumerian. One Semitic version came from the library of Assurbanipal at NinevehAssyria). The Ninevah text is the latest of the three, dating to around 650 BCE. The other Semetic text came from Assur (Ashur) and is older, around 1000 BCE. The Sumerian text is the oldest, dating to around 1750 BCE. The three texts were discovered in reverse chronological order, the Nineveh text first and the Sumerian text last. The Semitic versions are shorter than the Sumerian version, only about 140 lines. They end with instructions for a ritual which may have taken place in the month of Tammuz (June/July) and featured the bathing, anointing, and lying-in-state in Nineveh of a cult statue of Tammuz.
 

In the Babylonian pantheon, she "was the divine personification of the planet Venus"

the shadows cast by Venus rising in the east as the Morning Star, Eastern Star or Shekinah. In temples oriented to the rising of Venus in the 40-year Venus cycle, these shadows would be cast by either the doorways or pillars erected outside the doorways. Often the light of Venus penetrating the interior of the Holy of Holies on it’s 40-year Venus cycle was taken as an omen of the feminine form of the Deity joining the male form in the marriage bed of the Holy of Holies. This penetration of the Holy of Holies was often taken as indicative of the presence of God with the nation and could be a portent of an important event such as the birth of a Messiah who might be named "God is with us" or victory over an enemy. The Bible is thick with cycles of 40, be it days or years.

The mythology of Venus is ancient with roots in Neolithic Greece. She was called Eurynome, which means "wide wandering one". She was born of primal Chaos, dancing on the water. Eurynome transformed the North Wind into a serpent named Ophion. The serpent coiled himself around her, impregnated her and she gave birth to the Cosmic Egg. Ophion wrapped himself around the egg seven times and stayed until it hatched Creation.

As Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, she is rich in mythology, Homer wrote of her in his verses calling her the beautiful, golden goddess.

The story of Aphrodite/Venus is much like the story of the Sumerian goddess Ishtar, Queen of Love. She descended into the underworld to find the soul of her dead lover, Tammuz. As she journeys through the underworld, she is stripped of her glory by the guardians of Hell. When she comes before the Queen of the Dead, she is hung on a meat hook and left for dead. Eventually she is rescued by the will of the gods and made the Queen of Heaven.

The myth correlates to Venus as it travels through the heavens. As the morning star, Venus runs ahead to the sun as it goes through its earlier degrees of longitude. As it moves through superior conjunction with the Sun it becomes invisible (correlates to the underworld). Then Venus reappears as the Evening Star, moving through a later degree of zodiacal longitude than the sun.

As the goddess for love, Venus delighted in many sexual exploits. It must be remembered; however, that Venus and Mars were having an extramarital affair. Venus was not faithful to her lovers and she enjoyed the act of falling in love, but once a love relationship was established, the ability to maintain the relationship eluded her.


Venus exudes raw sensuality, whose sole purpose is to enjoy the abundant earthiness of the physical world represented by nature and the body. Thus, she was sometimes known as Aphrodite Panderos, the patroness of common love. Prostitutes worshipped her as one of themselves under the name Aphrodite Porne or Aphrodite Hetaira.

When mortals began talking about Psyche, whose beauty they said rivaled Aphrodite, the goddess condemned her to death. Psyche was rescued by Eros, Aphrodite's son. the Aphrodite/Eros/Psyche story is told in the Snow White fairy tale: Snow White is condemned to death by the queen when Snow White began to rival the queen for beauty. The handsome prince rescues her from death and they marry and live happily ever after. Eros and Psyche married and lived happily. Their union signifies the displacement of the mother as the most important female in a son's life with the elevation of the wife.


The myth of Aphrodite/Venus and Adonis (Ishtar's Descent) is important because it represents a psychological process in a relationship. As the morning star, Venus is concerned with the love, the infatuation, rather than the relationship itself. These people, with prominent Venus tend to be impulsive and fall in love quickly. As we grow psychologically though the life experience process, maturity evolves. The evening star represents greater maturity. Maturity and the evening star are both more highly reflective. Maturity is more cautious and more aware of love's transformative process and in this state more able to keep a relationship together.

It is Venus, the goddess of love, who is the guide to the deepest layers of the unconscious, the collective mind or world soul.

There is another point that needs to be considered. The number seven in Scripture often refers to completeness. For example, the creation of the world occurred in six days with God resting upon the seventh. Consequently, Israel was told to work for six days and to rest on the seventh because this was the pattern set by creation. 

Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work-you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it (Exodus 20:9-11). 

Seven days completes the creation and work week. In the same manner the reference to the seven Spirit refers to the completeness of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit 

The number seven appears in a variety of international mythologies. In Ishtar's decent to the underworld she needs to go through seven gates, here she donates seven pieces of her apparel to the gate keeper.

The Judeao-Christian Bible is in fact a rework of prior Summerian/Babylonian creation stories. It is interesting how the patriarchal Israelites modified the stories to reflect the paternalistic society from the previously more egalitarian or female goddess centred myths. The myth of Sophia is a more complex development of the earlier Ishtar myth , which sees her lost in the underworld where she yearns to return home .The Gnostic Christians where hated by the main stream literalist traditions. Their interpretation of creation was far more connected to perennial ideas of the beginning of the universe. The goddess Sophia is the Gnostic virgin mother /consort/ god being. She is the womb that generates being. She is an expression of Shekina, the feminine soul of god which separated during the creation of the universe .kabbalist believe that this disconnection from the feminine soul of god, is what has created evil in the world. When Ishtar /Innana looses the connection with the light the divine feminine aspect is lost the material world suffers as a result.



In the case of Sophia she longs to return to the world of spirit or the unmanifested dimension of infinite potential , but a curtain like barrier prevents her from coming back. Sophia as Passion creates matter, yearning soul. The Sumerian underworld is expressive of the tragic human experience when it is cut off from the divine world, from its source. Consciousness,-Soul is a the luminescent spark of humanity . In the transcendent role of the pleroma, soul seeks to escapes from chaos. We human beings intuitively feel that there is a dimension where there is no sadness when we connect the idea of this we feel hope and happiness. The Sumerian mythology is an expression of awareness of the plight of human consciousness. Within the suffering is the light the dark moon will soon become the light moon true to its lunar character.

In the Sophia's exile from the light or pleroma from which we all once originated we see how this older Sumerian myth the world of the dead and human existence has evolved. The earth now is the underworld of the Babylonians to the Gnostics and kabbalists this world is created of an evil god compared to an entombment. Deep down we all crave the connection back to the source but we have forgotten our way. This is reflected in the profound statement by Jesus follow me and let the dead bury their dead'. The Split of light and darkness as symbolised in lunar myths informs us about the connectedness of all experience. It is a temporary illusion in relation to human consciousness and the fragmented human psyche. Religion like all creation on the material plane is contaminated and impure. It is not the creation of the pleroma but the darkened condition of the soul.



In the Babylonian ,as well as almost all pagan and mainstream religions is the expression of sacrifice. In Christianity it is the crucifixion ,paganism blood sacrifice , Islam Hillal killing of meat and so on. In the Babylonian philosophy we see a Relation of sex, death and sacrifice. Sexuality and death are of course linked and Hindu gods and goddess such as Kali express this.
The ancient Babylonian temples would initiate sacred weddings' (similar to the Celts at Tara in Ireland). The rites were linked to the grain harvest. Like the grain, humans lived through fertilization, birth, death and regeneration. These dramatic recreations of the processes of nature would be expressed as a re-enacting of the marriage of the goddess of love and fertility with her lover, the young, virile vegetation god. Certainly the duties of the hierodule often included celebrating the sacred marriage - Heiros Gamos. These may have been performed from 6500 BCE. Qualls-Corbett writes - "The sacred marriage, symbolizing the union of opposites, represents the need for wholeness, on the level of the individual psyche and also, we may hazard, on that of the group. It brings together in equal status the masculine and feminine; it grounds spirit and spiritualizes earth." In sacred marriage a ranking man (e.g. a king) and woman's intercourse makes by an act of sympathetic magic, land and animals fertile and abundant. Sacred texts indicate that when Ishtar descends to the Netherworld all sexual activity ceases everywhere on earth.




Babylon is a symbol of debauchery and sin in the Christian religion. But is also a denial of earlier religions and myths that encompassed it. Like politics, religion seeks to rubbish the opposing group's to gain support for themselves.
. As we celebrate our individuality we realise we are really all the same, we are bound by by one universal web. The virgin and the whore, the dark and the light ,angel and the devil , manifest and un-manifest are all part of one reality.

Death is a cessation of physical perception. Goddess's like Kali link death after life and rebirth into a holistic reality . The myth of Ishtar and Tammuz explains the nature of death, life, sterility and fertility,- heaven and hell. Religious concepts and ideas are frequently anthrophomorphised into divine beings and archetypal events. Buddhism warns against having faith in the illusory nature of the material world. Paganism encourages a connection with the rest of nature. When we loose the connection with the multitude of phenomena we do live in hell. Our path to the light involves doing the spiritual work to lead us through the gates to enlightenment. The myth of Ishtar and other deities show us we can ascend from the hell of our own making.
 

Inanna was also associated with rain and storms and with the planet Venus, the morning and evening star; as was the Greco-Roman goddess Aphrodite or Venus.
 

Inanna's name is commonly taken from Nin-anna "Queen of Heaven"

After its dedication to Inanna the temple seems to have housed priestesses of the goddess. The high priestess would choose for her bed a young man who represented the shepherd Dumuzid, consort of Inanna, in a hieros gamos or sacred marriage, celebrated during the annual Akitu (New Year) ceremony, at the spring Equinox. According to Samuel Noah Kramer in The Sacred Marriage Rite, in late Sumerian history (end of the third millennium) kings established their legitimacy by taking the place of Dumuzi in the temple for one night on the tenth day of the New Year festival.

Inanna was associated with the celestial planet, Venus. There are hymns to Inanna as her astral manifestation. It is also believed that in many myths about Inanna, including Inanna's Descent to the Underworld and Inanna and Shukaletuda, her movements correspond with the movements of Venus in the sky. Also, because of its positioning so close to Earth, Venus moves rather irregularly across the sky, and never travels all the way across the dome of the sky like most celestial bodies, instead, Venus rises in the East and the West in both the morning and evening.[12] Because of Venus's erratic movements (it disappears behind the sun from 90– 3 days at a time and then reappears on the other horizon),

Inanna's Descent to the Underworld explains how Inanna is able to, unlike any other god, descend into the netherworld and return to the heavens. The planet Venus appears to make a similar descent, setting in the West and then rising again in the East.


Ishtar decides to go to the Land of the Dead, where her sister Ereshkigal is queen. No reason is given, but the fact that we later learn that her lover Tammuz is there may be meant to give us her motive. (In the Sumerian version, "The Descent of Inanna," the goddess wishes to attend the funeral of the husband of Ereshkigal.) She encounters seven gates, at each of which the gatekeeper requires her to give up an article of clothing or jewelry, each of which may symbolize or be the source of one of her powers. When she is finally brought before her sister, Ereshkigal has her locked up and sends miseries upon her. Back in the upper world, sex has stopped. The gods become worried, and send someone to the Land of the Dead to get Ishtar back. She is sprinkled with the waters of life and is able to return to the world above. Tammuz is also returned to life.

The myth of Ishtar provides a framework for the Legend of the Descent: A goddess goes to the land of the dead. There are guardians. They challenge her. She must leave her possessions behind. She is punished there. Then she is released.


There is much more to the Legend, however. Not only does it describe the victory of life over death, it describes how this came to be. It was through the intervention of the Goddess, who brings birth, that rebirth was made possible.

The moment of the origin of rebirth is not specified. The God implies that it already existed, when he answers the Goddess' challenge, but the explanation of the commentary at the end of the Legend is quite clear that it comes from love, and therefore should not have come into being until the Goddess came to the Land of the Dead.

She is herself the very personification of fate, and yet by her bold actions and her sacred presence she points to a way to escape fate. For part of fate, if is considered properly, is not merely death but also rebirth. The cyclical nature of this is a common thread within Neo-Paganism.

The similarities between the Legend of the Descent and the Christian doctrine of Atonement go deep, then. Not only is the Legend, like the Atonement, the explanation of the victory of life over death; it may also be seen as the defining statement of the beliefs of its religion.




“From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below.”


In the myth, she abandoned heaven and earth to descend to the underworld, her office of holy priestess, her temples in the seven principal cities where she was worshipped. She gave up her earthly powers and possessions -- an essential willingness required of any soul undertaking such a journey, of any soul following such a path of initiation.

Inanna also recognized the need to protect herself. She gathered together seven of The Me, attributes of civilization which she transformed into such feminine allure as crown, jewelry, and a royal robe. These were intended serve as her protections. They included her crown, earrings of small lapis beads, a double strand of beads about her neck, her breastplate called “Come, man, come”, her golden hip girdle, the lapis measuring rod and line, and her royal breechcloth.

Each of these adornments were worn at the level of each Kundalini chakra!

Finally, she instructed her faithful servant, Ninshubur, what to do in case she did not return -- to lament her loss, beat the drum for her, and go to the cities -- to the temples where Enlil (her father’s father), Nanna (her father) and Enki (her mother’s father) were, and ask for their help.

In this story, before leaving Inanna instructed her minister and servant Ninshubur to plead with the gods Enlil, Nanna, and Enki to save her if anything went amiss. The attested laws of the underworld dictate that, with the exception of appointed messengers, those who enter it could never leave.

Ninshubur

Ninshubur’s name means “Queen of the East” -- she was handmaid or vizier to Inanna. Other myths, such as “Inanna and the God of Wisdom” (Enki), also describe Ninshubur as she comes to the rescue of Inanna, warding off the fierce emissaries sent by Enki. There Inanna describes Ninshubur as: Once Queen of the East, now faithful servant of the holy shrine of Uruk, “Water has not touched your hand, water has not touched your foot. My sukkal who gives me wise advice, My warrior who fights by my side.”

As Inanna's “faithful servant”, “she seems to embody that small part of us that stays above ground while the soul descends, the still conscious and functioning aspect of the psyche which can witness the events below and above and feel concern for the fate of the soul.” Ninshubur may be a “model of woman's deepest reflective-of-the-Self, priestess function, one which operates as simple executrix of the Self's commands, often when the soul is most threatened.” [1] Ninshubur seems to have no life of her own, no specificity beyond her capacity to serve. No ego, she simply carries out precisely and competently whatever Inanna asks of her. And yet it is Ninshubur who saves Inanna’s life. Ultimately, initiation and/or descending into the underworld is not something to be undertaken without divine guidance and support.

Ereshkigal’s reaction to Inanna's intended visit
 

Inanna passes through a total of seven gates, at each one removing a piece of clothing or jewelry she had been wearing at the start of her journey, thus stripping her of her power.

When she arrives in front of her sister, she is naked. "After she had crouched down and had her clothes removed, they were carried away. Then she made her sister Erec-ki-gala rise from her throne, and instead she sat on her throne. The Anna, the seven judges, rendered their decision against her. They looked at her -- it was the look of death. They spoke to her -- it was the speech of anger. They shouted at her -- it was the shout of heavy guilt. The afflicted woman was turned into a corpse. And the corpse was hung on a hook."

When Neti described Inanna at the outer gate -- in all her glory and wearing the garments of her power, light, and movement -- as well as her wish to enter the underworld, Ereshkigal is not at all pleased. Inasmuch as Inanna’s light, glory, and movement had been, to some extent, achieved at Ereshkigal’s expense, the Queen on the Underworld is enraged at Inanna’s appearance.

The Queen of the Underworld can be thought of as the neglected side of Inanna, that part of Inanna that was unloving, unloved, abandoned, instinctual, and full of rage, greed, and desperate loneliness. Ereshkigal’s one great craving was for her own sexual satisfaction, and which was not being fulfilled.

Ereshkigal “is paradoxical: both the vessel and the stake. She is the [kundalini] root of all, where energy is inert and consciousness coiled asleep. She is the place where potential life lies motionless -- but in the pangs of birth; beneath all language and its distinction, yet judging and acting.” [1]

In the Descent myth, “Ereshkigal is described first as enraged, due to Inanna’s invasion of her realm; secondly, as actively destructive; third, as suffering; and finally as grateful and generous.” “There is a quality of primal rage about her. She is full of fury, greed, the fear of loss, and even of self spite.” “And she sends her gatekeeper to deal with the intruder, a male to defend her.” “These images suggest that chaotic defensive furies, such as rage, greed, and even the unleashing of the animus, are inevitable aspects of the archetypal underworld. They are the ways the unconscious reacts to unwelcome visitation.” [1]

Ereshkigal, in some respects, is Lilith. “She ruthlessly destroys all that is not our true individuality or appropriate life path. She will not lead us to our goal by revealing what it is but rather by eliminating everything that it is not. The black aspect of Lilith closes all the wrong doors that face us.” “The black Lilith in us will accept nothing less than our true individuality, not in the sense of separateness, but in the sense of who we intrinsically are. When we are secure in acknowledging and expressing our true self, we don’t falsify ourselves in order to be accepted by others.” [2]

Ereshkigal'‘ instructions to Neti represent the fact that she wants Inanna to experience what it is to be rejected, to enter the royal chamber “bowed low”.

Seven stages of the Descent

The removal of Inanna’s crown, the first of her protective Me -- symbolically deprives her of her godhood, her connection with heaven. The small lapis beads from her ears -- her sense of magic and ability to manifest. The double strand of beads about her neck -- her rapture of illumination. Her golden breastplate called “Come, man, come!” -- her emotional heart. Her ringed hip girdle -- her ego. From her hand the lapis measuring rod and line -- her will. Her garment of ladyship (breechcloth) -- her sex role. Each represents, in order, the Kundalini chakras. Inanna is thus forced to give up her earthly attributes, her roles as queen, holy priestess, and woman. Her royal power, her priestly office, her sexual powers are of no avail in the underworld.

Naked and bowed low, Innana entered the throne room.

The Annuna, the judges of the underworld, surround her and pass judgment against her, the judgment of the external against each of us. Ereshkigal then fastens on Inanna the eye of death, speaks against her the word of wrath, and utters against her the cry of guilt. She strikes her. “Inanna was turned into a corpse, a piece of rotting meat, and was hung from a hook on the wall.” Obviously, on our own, even with preparations, we’re dead meat!

Ninshubur seeks help.

Ninshubur waits three days. Inanna was considered to be daughter of the moon -- thus these three days may be the “Dark of the Moon”. Ninshubur set up a public lament, beating the drum, circling the temples, tearing at her eyes, mouth and thighs, and dressing in sackcloth. Grief expressed! She pleads before Inanna’s paternal grandfather, Enlil, and Inanna’s father, Nanna. She cries that they not let their bright silver be covered with dust, their precious lapis broken into stone, and their fragrant boxwood cut into wood.

They reply angrily, that Inanna “got what she deserved!” And that she could not return, that the rules of the underworld could not be broken. Both are angry their daughter should pursue a different direction from theirs. Each in turn, refused to help.

But in pleading before Enki, Inanna’s mother’s father and the God of Wisdom, there is a different response. Enki has compassion for his daughter who is in difficulty. Not only does the God of Wisdom value the journey Inanna has undertaken, but he does not forget that his grand daughter’s existence is vital to humankind. In reacting to what has happened, Enki moves with feeling. He improvises to create what the moment needs. He empathizes with Inanna.

Enki’s plan

Enki knows the nature of the underworld and its rule by a jealous, anguished Ereshkigal. He also has the power to create and facilitate. He creates from the dirt under his fingernails the kurgarra and galatur -- instinctual, asexual creatures who Enki endows with the artistic and empathetic talent of being professional mourners, capable of mirroring the lonely queen’s emotions. “They are humble, nonheroic creatures, without definition or even the need to be separately defined, without any sense of what we would call ego-needs. These little asexual creatures represent the attitude necessary to draw a blessing from the dark goddess.” [1]

Enki also instructs his creations on how to enter the underworld and how to deal with Ereshkigal. He tells them how to recover Inanna from death.

The Rescue

When the kurgarra and galatur arrive, Ereshkigal is moaning “with the cries of a woman about to give birth.” She complains both for her “inside” and her “outside”. Having willed Inanna’s death, she can scarcely bear it, for Inanna is the other side of herself. Ereshkigal was also needing rebirth from the night time aspects of the feminine -- the powerful, raging sexuality and the deep wounds accumulated from life’s rejections -- and which sought solace in physical union only.

The kurgarra and galatur moan with Ereshkigal, appeasing her anguish by the echo of their concern. “They affirm her in her suffering. They have been taught by Enki to trust the life force even when it sounds its misery. Complaining is one voice of the dark goddess. It is a way of expressing life, valid and deep in the feminine soul. It does not, first and foremost, seek alleviation, but simply to state the existence of things as they are felt to be to a sensitive and vulnerable being. It is one of the bases of the feeling function, not to be seen and judged from the stoic-heroic superego perspective as foolish and passive whining, but just as autonomous fact -- ‘that’s the way it is.’ Enki’s wisdom teaches us that suffering is part of reverencing.” [1]

Ereshkigal is so touched by the attention they offer to her in her pain that she extends herself and offers gifts of fertility and growth. Following Enki’s instructions, however, the creatures refuse these gifts and ultimately ask for Ereshkigal most wants to give and that which is most difficult for her to give. They ask her to release part of her personal anguish, her despair and anger, which is embodied in the glorious Goddess of Love. They ask for the rotting body of Inanna.

When Ereshkigal agrees to release her nemesis, and thus part of her pain, the kurgarra and galatur sprinkle the food and water of life on Inanna’s corpse. And Inanna arose.

Ascending from the Underworld

The Annuna must maintain the rules of the underworld, but they must also deal with the fact that Inanna has been reborn in the underworld. Their tactic is to tell Inanna that she must provide someone in her place. In essence, Inanna cannot be allowed to again forget her neglected, abandoned “sister” -- that part of herself that is Ereshkigal. A passageway has been created from the Great Above, the conscious, to the Great Below, the unconscious, and it must be kept open. Thus the galla, the demons of the underworld, those who cannot be bribed, are assigned to accompany Inanna as she leaves.

The Replacement

Inanna is resorted to active life, but returns demonic, surrounded by the galla. “She has met Ereshkigal and knows the abysmal reality: that all changes and life demand sacrifice.” This is knowledge that few would not flee from. “Inanna comes up loathsome and claiming her right to survive.” The same fearsome characteristic of any woman coming out of hiding and ready to stand her ground. [1]

Meanwhile, Ninshubur and Inanna’s sons, Shara and Lulal, had abandoned the routine of their daily lives and gone into mourning for Inanna. When Inanna returns from the underworld and meets each of them in turn, the galla are ready and willing to take them in Inanna’s place. But Inanna knows that each cared deeply for her and had mourned her death. She does not choose them.

However, Dumuzi, Inanna’s consort and the shepherd she had installed as King of Sumer, has gone on with life as if nothing had happened. He had grown so attached to and identified with his high position that he had neither wept for his lost wife, nor ran to greet her when she returned. While Inanna had ventured into the unknown, Dumuzi had turned his attentions to earthly achievement. But Dumuzi is the logical candidate, as well, in that only her best beloved consort is equal to Inanna. Furthermore, Dumuzi had dared intimacy with the goddess and that entails a price, the price of initiation.

“Inanna challenges her equal to make the same descent she endured -- perhaps to claim the same strength and wisdom.” [1] Dumuzi’s attempts at scapegoating or taking flight betray “his need to descend into the underworld himself, his need to find a relationship to an inner feminine whom he can accept nondefensively and revere as equal.” Thus is the stage set when Inanna tells her consort to go to hell and makes it stick!

The galla seized him and beat him, until Dumuzi preys to Utu, the God of Justice and brother to Inanna. Utu mercifully turned Dumuzi into a snake, so that he could escape the galla. At the same time Dumuzi gains the serpent wisdom: that nothing in the Great Round dies, that life’s forms are not lost but renewed. “Utu, the sun god, is the balance of Ereshkigal. He -- like Enki -- is outside the patriarchal Logos modes, not adversary but complement of the feminine. The solar god and the dark goddess are the pillars of the esoteric temple with its wisdom of change. There is no lysis that we would find stable in this myth, no resolution except that profound wisdom.” [1]

The Dream of Dumuzi

Dumuzi had been king, but the qualities of understanding, compassion, devotion, and belonging to others, he had lacked. He had turned to the feminine wisdom of his younger sister But even in the dream, there was a portent of hope -- for just as Ninshubur, at Inanna’s request, had wept for Inanna and saved her life, so it was to be that Geshtianna would take up Dumuzi’s spirit and not let it die. Dumuzi’s friend betrays him for material profit, but his sister is true to the end. And even with Dumuzi being transformed into a snake and then a gazelle, he is still unable to escape the galla.

The Return

With the dye cast, the realization that Dumuzi is no longer welcome on earth, Inanna, Dumuzi’s mother and sister begin to weep for his fate. Inanna has been denied her beloved consort, even if by her own willful act. But the “very nature of earth’s life, and of the goddess herself, prevents the possibility of her having an undying, single partner.” [1] Geshtinanna, who is also mortal, is even more grief stricken.

Being very close to Dumuzi, Geshtianna offers to take his place in the underworld. This is not the grand gesture of a Christ on the cross, but much more personal and deeply feminine. “He gave his life for all men, a grand gesture. She offers herself, courageously accepting her own destiny, for one man she cares for, her brother.” “Her motivation is human passion -- love and grief.” [1]

Geshtianna, whose name means “vine of heaven”, is thought of in the myths as a “wise woman”. In service to the human dimension, she does what she can to redeem the one lost to the underworld. “She acquiesces to her own cutting down.” “She does not flee from her fate, nor does she denigrate the goddess of fate as do Gilgamesh and the patriarchy. She volunteers. And in this courageous, conscious acquiescing, she ends the pattern of scapegoating by choosing to confront the underworld herself.” [1]

Geshtianna “is the result of, and an embodiment of, the whole initiation process.” “She feels personally and can be lovingly related as partner of the masculine. She is also willing to serve both the light and dark aspects of her own depths and of the goddess.” [1] She has not yet made the descent, but there is no struggle “between her instincts to relate to her beloved, and her instinct to stand alone and for her own depths.”

Geshtianna’s offer moves Inanna as the two sides of the feminine meet -- passion and compassion, willfulness and feeling. It is the presence of her earthly sister, Geshtianna, that completes Inanna’s journey on earth, and reconnects her to Dumuzi, an other, and so to all of life.

Inanna decrees that each will spend half the year in the underworld. At Arali, a stopping place on the way to the Great Below, Inanna blesses the brother and sister with both eternal life and death. Dumuzi is thus married to the composite goddess Inanna-Ereshkigal, and as such is to experience all of the woman. Not only is he to know the love goddess, but the goddess of death as well.

In the end, Ereshkigal is praised.

Inanna’s reasons for making the descent

“She turned her ear to the Great Below"“-- (1) Seeking wisdom and understanding.

When Inanna approached the outer gate of the underworld and announced herself, she said she was on her way to the East. This phrase survives into modern day Freemasonry, where a candidate for initiation is warned that he will never return from his quest -- and then passes inward to the Ordeal which is the real initiation.

“It is a story of an initiation process into the mysteries.” “Inanna shows us the way, and she is the first to sacrifice herself for a deep feminine wisdom and for atonement. She descends, submits and dies. This openness to being acted upon is the essence of the experience of the human soul faced with the transpersonal. It is not based upon passivity, but upon an active willingness to receive.” [1] A feminine, boundary penetration quality, letting another exert influence upon itself, “analogous to the soul’s penetration by the divine.”

(2) Because of my older sister, Ereshkigal -- Perhaps she heard the pain and anguish of Ereshkigal, her denied and dark side, and wanted to meet and acknowledge all of her denied feelings: abandonment, guilt, etc. Inanna was facing her dark side!

It is also approaching the dark forces of earthly reality and the unconscious; slowly peeling away defenses and ego-identifications -- particularly after “the conscious ideal of the personality has been wounded by being cut off from its roots by the devaluation of matter and the feminine.” [1]

Ereshkigal was moaning for both her “inside” and “outside” -- as if she had gone into labor, needing to be reborn -- It was this labor or call that Inanna had heard in the Great Above and to which she responded.

In an earlier myth, Inanna, as an adolescent, had been frightened by Lilith, the neglected side of Inanna -- the powerful, raging sexuality and the deep wounds accumulated from life’s rejections. The powerful Lilith had to be sent away so Inanna’s life-exploring talents could be developed. But now she deals with them.

“Inanna’s suffering, disrobing, humiliation, flagellation and death, the stations of her descent, her crucifixion on the underworld peg, and her resurrection, all prefigure Christ's passion and represent perhaps the first known archetypal image of the dying divinity whose sacrifice redeems the wasteland earth. Not for humankind’s sins did Inanna sacrifice herself, but for earth’s need for life and renewal. She is concerned more with life than with good and evil.”


 

 

Three days and three nights passed, and Ninshubur, following instructions, went to Enlil, Nanna, and Enki's temples, and demanded they save Inanna. The first two gods refused, saying it was her own doing, but Enki was deeply troubled and agreed to help. He created two asexual figures named gala-tura and the kur-jara from the dirt under the fingernails of the gods. He instructed them to appease Ereškigal; and when asked what they wanted, they were to ask for Inanna's corpse and sprinkle it with the food and water of life. However, when they come before Ereshkigal, she is in agony like a woman giving birth, and she offers them what they want, including life-giving rivers of water and fields of grain, if they can relieve her; nonetheless they take only the corpse.

Things went as Enki said, and the gala-tura and the kur-jara were able to revive Inanna. Demons of Ereškigal's followed (or accompanied) Inanna out of the underworld, and insisted that she wasn’t free to go until someone took her place. They first came upon Ninshubur and attempted to take her. Inanna refused, as Ninshubur was her loyal servant who had rightly mourned her while she was in the underworld. They next came upon Cara, Inanna's beautician, still in mourning. The demons said they would take him, but Inanna refused, as he too had mourned her. They next came upon Lulal, also in mourning. The demons offered to take him, but Inanna refused.

They next came upon Dumuzi, Inanna's husband. Despite Inanna's fate, and in contrast to the other individuals who were properly mourning Inanna, Dumuzi was lavishly clothed and resting beneath a tree. Inanna, displeased, decrees that the demons shall take him, using language which echoes the speech Ereshkigal gave while condemning her. Dumuzi is then taken to the underworld.

In other recensions of the story, Dumuzi tries to escape his fate, and is capable of fleeing the demons for a time, as the gods intervene and disguise him in a variety of forms. He is eventually found. However, Dumuzi's sister, out of love for him, begged to be allowed to take his place. It was then decreed that Dumuzi spent half the year in the underworld, and his sister take the other half. Inanna, displaying her typically capricious behavior, mourns his time in the underworld, and her own powers, notably those connected with fertility, subsequently wane, to return in full when he returns from the netherworld each six months. This cycle then approximates the shift of seasons.

 

It can also be interpreted as being about the psychological power of a descent into the unconscious, realizing one's own strength through an episode of seeming powerlessness, and/or an acceptance of one's own negative qualities,

Inanna, the Queen of Heaven and Earth travels to the underworld to attend the funeral of her sister’s husband. Rather than being greeted with honor and appreciation, Inanna is progressively stripped of identity, unceremoniously murdered, and left on a peg to rot. Reading this myth evoked the cold and horrifying shudder of recognition

Inanna and Ereshkigal are sister goddesses presiding over very different lands. Inanna is Queen of the Heaven and Earth; Ereshkigal is Queen of the Underworld. As the story unfolds, we find Ereshkigal, deep in grief, planning the funeral of her recently killed husband, Gugalanna.

Ereshkigal represents that part of the feminine – the archetypal earth goddess - that has been repeatedly raped, devalued, and dismissed by the dominant patriarchy ever since warrior tribes invaded Old Europe some 6300 years ago. Residing deep in the collective unconscious, she bears the rage, humiliation, and suffering of her repeated betrayal. For women, the myth may symbolize and guide the psychotherapeutic journey to recover feminine qualities suppressed by the patriarchy (Perera, 1981). As a story dating to the earliest agrarian civilizations, it is furthermore one of many archetypal depictions of goddess-as-nature in her seasonal round of death and rebirt

it feels as if I had been tricked into attending my own funeral.

Reaching the first gate to the Underworld, Inanna is asked to identify herself by Neti, the chief gatekeeper of the netherworld. After learning of her intentions, Neti returns to Queen Ereshkigal to describe this strange yet powerful visitor and request instructions. Furious, the Queen demands that her younger sister obey all the decrees and rites pertaining to one entering her realm, specifically, she must remove one piece of her formal regalia at each of the seven gates until she is stripped naked. Inanna consents and the ritual of descent proceeds. At each gate, she is told to be silent, reminded that the decrees of the nether world were perfect, and then another part of her upper world identity was removed: crown, lapis beads, sparkling stones, breastplate, gold ring, lapis measuring rod, and royal robe. Arriving naked, Inanna bows low before Ereshkigal seated on her throne. Her welcome, however, is this: she is condemned by the Anunnaki (seven judges), “fastened upon by the eye of death”, murdered, and her corpse hung on a peg to rot.


I was not the same person. A dark, ominous shadow moved across my life.

I was stripped of my identity, its story, my community, and my place in the world.

Ninshubur represented my own observing ego that stayed above ground, knew I needed help, and secured it from the god of water and wisdom, a wonderful metaphor for the psychotherapist. Though I had first consulted the wrong gods – the patriarchal sky gods of clinical medicine – I now entrusted myself to the god of the unconscious depths.

like Dante’s Beatrice, she accompanied me throughout the underworld journey.

And, lastly, the feminine presence came from myself - my own capacity to listen, love, bear, and nourish my shattered soul.

Inanna returns to the upperworld through the same seven gates, each time reclaiming the parts of her royal regalia she had surrendered.

All three women in this myth – Ereshkigal, Inanna, and Geshtinanna – voluntarily entered the underworld out of concern and compassion for others. In striking contrast, the two men residing in the underworld - Gugalanna and Dumuzi – were sent there as punishment. This distinction marks a powerful difference between feminine and masculine approaches to justice, that is, between compassion and punishment.

For women, the story depicts the exile of the feminine to the collective unconscious and encourages them to heal this split by restoring the deep feminine to their lives. But just as importantly, this story challenges men and the patriarchy to welcome the anima-as-goddess into their interior for the sake of personal and social transformation. If the consciousness of the goddess were to join the deep masculine in the male psyche, what a different world this world be!

she could bring her light into the abyss, transforming my interior with its sacred consciousness.

While the Myth of Inanna contains many archetypal themes, it is most certainly a story of initiation into the mysteries of death and rebirth, for the heroine must die to her identity, authority, and life in order to awaken renewed, perhaps even transformed.

As physically and spiritually challenging as any vision quest, yet there had been no spiritual preparation or community container to guide and bless my descent or welcome me back as a “life bringer.” It was, in short, a rite of passage without the rite.

One by one the resistances are broken. (The Hero) must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty, and life, and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable

“When a summit of life is reached, when the bud unfolds and from the lesser the greater emerges, then, as Nietzsche says, ‘One becomes Two,’ and the greater figure, which one always was but which remained invisible, appears to the lesser personality with the force of a revelation”

I now sense the awakening of the anima-goddess inside – for she is the substitute I chose – and look forward to the transformation of consciousness that comes when a man invites the goddess into his heart.


The Descent into Hades as a Psychological Tool

“All descents provide entry into different levels of consciousness and can enhance life creatively. All of them imply suffering. All of them can serve as initiations. Meditation and dreaming and active imaginations are modes of descent. So too are depressions, anxiety attacks, and experiences with hallucinogenic drugs.” [1]

Letting go of illusions and old outworn patterns -- “Ereshkigal is like Kali, who through time and suffering pitilessly grinds down... all distinctions... in her undiscriminating fires -- and yet heaves forth new life.” [1] It is an adherence to a pre-ethical natural law! It is an acknowledgment that life is inconstant, that there are cycles. It is not pathological to wrap the partner in an active loving and caring embrace (Inanna), and then back down, being disinterested, alone and even cold (Ereshkigal).

(4) Finding pure gold and enlightenment. Hades as the “Bringer of all Good Things”. Demeter’s Eleusian Mysteries -- “Beautiful indeed is the Mystery given us by the blessed gods: death is for mortals no longer an evil, but a blessing.” -- Inscription at Eleusis. [2]

“Not caring first and foremost about relatedness to an outer other, nor to a collective gestalt or imperative. Seeing this way -- which is initially so frightening because it cannot be validated by the collective -- can provide what Logos consciousness fears as mere chaos, with the possibilities of a totally fresh perception, a new pattern, a creative perspective, a never ending exploration. Such seeing is radical and dangerously innovative, but not necessarily evil.” It may feel monstrous or ugly, “for it shears us of our defenses and entails a sacrifice of easy collective understandings and of the hopes and expectations of looking good and safely belonging.” “This knowledge implies that destruction and transformation into something even radically new are part of the cycle of reality. Such knowledge is hard to endure. But knowing this basic reality permits a woman to give up trying to be agreeable to parental and animus imperatives and ideals. It is like hitting rock bottom, from where they are irrelevant.” [1]

“The major difference in masculine development is that until recently -- and then only in the second half of life -- most men have not needed to go down into the repressed depths once they have initially freed themselves from their childhood and identified with the ideals of the culture, for they have been supported by the outside world without inner dissonance. Increasingly, as there is no adequate masculine wholeness pattern that is collectively sanctioned to form a model of masculine ego development, and as the heroic ego ideal is also found inadequate, more and more are men forced to relate differently to their own depths, and to dare the individual descents that permit them to reclaim repressed instinct and image patterns.” [1]

“Men who have not made peace with Medusa in themselves will see feminine sexuality as something that fascinates them, but also as the source of their self-undoing. As they try to protect themselves against its frightening power by destroying the monster, they will unconsciously incite the Medusa woman in their lives to retaliate by castrating them physically and psychologically. A man who desires a positive relationship to women’s dark moon sexuality must make the descent into his unconscious, listen to the wailing agony of his decapitated Medusa, reach out in sympathy to her pain, heal the wounds of her rejection, and return whole-within-himself to the upper world. After the hero has proved his separation from his mother, he must reestablish a loving relationship to his inner dark feminine. Until he can do this he will remain trapped in a web of destructive sexual relationships.” [2]

Differences from Later Patriarchal Myths

Original Earth Goddess as the predecessor of Inanna. Fertility and ample bodies versus Inanna’s beauty and Goddess of Love status. Inanna, as goddess, living within the domain of masculine power. Inanna’s myths are not purely matriarchal, but reflect growing male power

Inanna’s myths as a process of growth. Initially, to have her throne and bed -- her sovereignty and sexuality. Then to be Queen in deed as well as pomp -- bring home The Me. Then to have a consort, who can then be King. To be wife and mother. Then to become whole by accepting her darker half!

In terms of the Dance of the Seven Veils:

1. Inanna “has met Ereshkigal and knows the abysmal reality: that all changes and life demand sacrifice. That is exactly the knowledge that patriarchal morality and the fathers’ eternally maiden daughters have fled from, wanting to do things right in order to avoid the pain of bearing their own renewal, their own separate being and uniqueness. Inanna comes up loathsome and claiming her right to survive. She is not a beautiful maid, daughter of the fathers, but ugly, selfish, ruthless, willing to be very negative, willing not to care. We know this demonic return of the repressed power shadow. Although it stands ultimately for life, it often erupts in birth and takes a lot of taming. It may be a ‘rough beast’, or it may, indeed, merely feel fearsome when a woman comes out of hiding to stand her ground -- to herself and/or to those around her. We see this demonic form of the returning goddess in much of the early women’s liberation fury. For the most part that stage in the movement has passed, but each individual woman initiate may have to go through it.” [1]

2. Dumuzi “embodies the life-death bipolarity of the eternal process of change. That frightens and disgusts the side of us that, like Gilgamesh, wants eternity and stasis. But as the goddess is also matter, there is no stasis and no eternity of form possible for material life. We must gain our eternity in another way, not by clinging to the embodied identities we call heroic ideals. We must go beyond Gilgamesh’s and the patriarchal ego’s denigration of the goddess as fickle and learn to serve her rather as inconstant. This is the primary psychological task to which our age is called.” [1] The price is willing acceptance.

3. The “self-experience of soul through subjective and personal feeling and intuiting in relation to the concrete here and now. What is valued is the feel of this moment in joy and pain, not the abstract ideas or remote heavens of unending, peaceful perfection to which the patriarchy was wont to aspire. Patriarchy repressed the magical stratum, the fairy-world. In this global awareness, life and death were the peak and valley of one wave. Emotional oneness was experienced with group, clan, nature, and blood. Life was known through instinctual tides and rhythms, ESP communication, and yielding openness to whatever came along.” “The new femininity is to establish the value of inwardness, and of affirmation (but also conscious clarification and differentiation) of whatever is. It is open to -- and able to integrate -- woundedness, pain, and ugliness, as well as joy and beauty. The sensuous is to be valued no less than the spiritual; the intangible no less than the concrete.” “The archetypal role of the new femininity is to stand as a priestess of the fullness of life as it is, with its unpredictable pitfalls and unfathomable depths, richness and deprivation, risks and errors, joys and pains. She insists on personal experiencing and personal response to the needs of the human situation.” The idea is to transform the chaotic power of the abysmal Yin, the Medusa, into the play of life, to mediate the terrifying face of the Gorgon into the helpful one of Athena. “Life is to be lived and savored for its own sake, in sensitive interplay with earth and cosmos as living organisms, rather than as dead objects of exploitation for the sake of economic or technological ‘progress’.” There is needed the awareness that hurts can heal us, “receiving into consciousness and clarifying feelings, fantasies, and desires regardless of their moral or esthetic implications. It also means separating emotion and motivation from action.” The challenge is “to think and feel through everything that may present itself, and wait for its hidden symbolic message, rather than to act out or sweep things under the rugs and let sleeping dogs lie. The new woman (or the anima in a man) will have to champion and protect the need to live through and experience everything that (lest it threaten established order with chaos) has been repressed by the patriarchy.” The key is to avoid the temptation to deny, repress the experience, and do something instead! The idea is to be.

4. Pain is “a valid part of life’s process -- no one’s fault, just a fact of existence. This takes it out of the patriarchal-adversary-scapegoating perspective that blames someone or something and wants it removed, wants something actively done with it.” Instead, we must trust “the participation mystique of the deepest levels of consciousness as a process of the goddess, sometimes even when it feels painful and seems to aim towards death and depression, and makes us feel keenly our own inadequacy to bring about change. There we wait with patience, going deeper and waiting together until the goddess as Time is ready to ‘decree a kind fate’.
[1]

5. The neofeminism consciousness “is like instinct, in being unified, direct, immediate, full of feeling, sympathetic, and vital. But it is also like the intelligence, or masculinism, in being alert to distinction, capable of discursive and indirect reasoning, disinterested, and controlled. And it has a new quality of its own in its penetrating vision, the holistic insight that comprehends many experiences in one meaning.” “It is a reunion in dynamic harmony of our own multiplicity and unity.” It is ego death -- a shift toward a consciousness of the interconnectedness of life; a shift from the individual, analytic consciousness to a holistic mode, brought about by training the intuitive side of ourselves. (B. Bruteau)

6. “The implication for modern women is that only after the full, even demonic, range of affects and objectivity of the dark feminine is felt and claimed can a true, soul-met, passionate and individual comradeship be possible between woman and man as equals. Inanna is joined to and separated from her dark ancestress-sister, the repressed feminine. And that, with Ninshubur’s and Enki’s and Dumuzi’s help, brings forth Geshtinanna -- a model of one who can take her stand, hold her own value, and be lovingly related to the masculine as well as directly to her own depths; a model of one who is willing to suffer humanly, personally, the full spectrum that is the goddess.” [1]

7. “To the goddess it is no shame for a woman to be submissive. But as von Franz has pointed out, such willing service is not always the way to gain what is necessary from the goddess of nature. Sometimes she must be approached with active, heroic courage rather than heroic submission. Gretel had to push the dark goddess into the oven of transformation. Sometimes she must be endured or avoided or cleverly fled from. It seems to depend on the conscious personality of the visitor and what qualities are to be gained from the dark side of the instinct and image pattern. For the high goddess Inanna, proud and passionate and active, submissive sacrifice, humility, and passive mirroring are the compensatory ways to set her free.”


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There are numerous well-known myths from ancient times which describe a heroine or hero’s descent into the underworld. One of the more significant is the story of Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess, who hearing the call, made her own eventful journey and return.

Inanna’s story is also known as the Babylonian Ishtar’s Descent, but whereas Ishtar’s tale is told with only 145 lines, the original story from which it was copied, Inanna’s Descent, is told with 415 lines. The difference is attributed to the patriarchy, as it steadily eroded the power and significance of the Goddess during the second millenium BC.

Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld is both a fascinating story and a prime archetype of spiritual initiation.

The ancient Sumerian myth of Inanna and her descent into the Underworld reveals a series of profound psychological and contemporary messages.

In their original inception they were pre-patriarchal myths. But by the time they were written down, the myths showed the incursions of the patriarchy, Inanna’s gradual dispossession, and eventual loss of status.

Inanna’s most important myth begins with the great goddess opening “her ear to the Great Below”. She abandons her temples in the seven cities of her worship, abandons, in fact, all of the glories of heaven and earth, and prepares to make the journey “from which no traveler returns”. She gathers together seven attributes of civilization, which she transforms into such feminine allure as her crown, gold jewelry, and royal robe to serve as her protection. She also instructs her faithful servant, Ninshubur, what to do in case of her return -- to seek out her fathers, urging them not to let their daughter die.

Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld is a particularly profound myth, taking her far beyond the symbolism of the mythological Genesis of the world, explaining the seasons (Dumuzi and Geshtianna alternating in their half-year sojourns in the underworld), or the establishment of kingship. For this myth describes her evolvement after she has become queen, wife, mother, and accomplished great heroic feats. Her descent is, in fact, a description of her spiritual initiation.

In the myth, for example, she abandons her office of holy priestess and her temples in the seven principles cities where she is worshipped, thereby giving up her status and power in the mundane world. She literally abandons heaven and earth, giving up her earthly possessions and everything that might be considered of value in ordinary life. This willingness to voluntarily let go of the mundane values of the world is an essential requirement of any soul undertaking such a journey, and for anyone who expects to follow such a path of initiation.

At the same time, she recognizes the need to protect herself, to not “go quietly into that dark night” without preparing herself first. She adorns herself with those attributes of civilization that will serve her best. And when they are taken from her at the seven gates of the underworld (see below), their removal is all the more significant. She also instructs her faithful servant on what to do in case she does not return.

Her “faithful servant”, Ninshubur, is a critical component in the myth. She was considered as handmaid or vizier to Inanna. In Inanna and the God of Wisdom (Enki), Ninshubur comes to the rescue of Inanna, warding off the fierce emissaries sent to prevent Inanna from bringing the attributes of civilization to humanity. Inanna describes her as: “Once Queen of the East, now faithful servant of the holy shrine of Uruk, water has not touched your hand, water has not touched your foot. My sukkal who gives me wise advice, my warrior who fights by my side.”

Ninshubur seems to have no life of her own, no specificity beyond her capacity to serve. No ego, she simply carries out precisely and competently whatever Inanna asks of her. Perera [2] describes her as a “model of woman’s deepest reflective-of-the-Self, priestess function, one which operates as simple executrix of the Self’s commands, often when the soul is most threatened.” “She seems to embody that small part of us that stays above ground while the soul descends, the still conscious and functioning aspect of the psyche which can witness the events below and above and feel concern for the fate of the soul.”


Ninshubur’s name means “Queen of the East”.

The seven stages of Inanna’s descent, the seven gates of the underworld, can be thought of as an early “Dance of the Seven Veils”, wherein we give up our fundamental illusions about life. In Inanna’s case, the removal of each of her royal garments constitutes a symbolic loss, and each represents, in order, the kundalini chakras. For example:

Her crown -- her godhood, her connection to heaven, the crown chakra.

The small lapis beads earrings -- her sense of magic and ability to manifest, her third eye.

Double strand of beads necklace -- her rapture of illumination, her throat chakra.

Breastplate called “Come, man, come” -- her emotional heart, her heart chakra.

Golden hip girdle -- her ego, her solar plexus.

Lapis measuring rod and line in her hand -- her will, at the level of her genitals.

Garment of ladyship, breechcloth -- her sex role, her root chakra.

Inanna had initially prepared for her descent by giving up her worldly possessions and status, but this was not enough. Making the descent into Hades requires evenmore.

Upon entering the underworld, judgment is passed against Inanna (the inevitable judgment of the external world against each of us), wrath and guilt are hurled at her, and she is physically struck by her dark side. Completing the first critical stage of her initiation, she is “turned into a corpse, a piece of rotting meat, and [is] hung from a hook on the wall.”
The implication is that without our own, even elaborate, preparations, we’re dead meat!

But Inanna had relied on her Higher Self and divine intervention. After three days (the time traditionally viewed as the “Dark of the Moon” period -- Inanna was considered to be the “first daughter of the moon”), Ninshubur sets up a public lament, beating the drum, circling the temples, tearing at her eyes, mouth, and thighs, and dressing in sackcloth (a symbol of mourning). She pleads before Enlil, Inanna’s paternal grandfather, and Nanna, Inanna’s father, but both in turn are angered by the different direction Inanna has taken from their own. In a classic patriarchal response, they reply that Inanna “got what she deserved”, and that they were not about to break the rules in order to save her.

In pleading before Enki, Inanna’s maternal grandfather and God of Wisdom, Ninshubur gets a quite different response. Enki understands the value of the journey Inanna has undertaken, has compassion for her difficulty, and does not forget that she is vital to humanity. In reacting, he moves with feeling, empathizing with Inanna, and improvising to create what the moment needs.

Enki knows the nature of the underworld and its rule by a jealous, anguished Ereshkigal. He also has the power to create and facilitate. From the dirt under his fingernails, he creates the kurgarra and galatur -- instinctual, asexual creatures who their creator endows with the artistic and empathic talent of being professional mourners, capable of mirroring the lonely queen’s emotions. “They are humble, nonheroic creatures, without definition or even the need to be separately defined -- without any sense of what we would call ego-needs. These little asexual creatures represent the attitude necessary to draw a blessing from the dark goddess.” [2]

When the kurgarra and galatur arrive, slipping into the underworld disguised as flies (the lowest of creatures), Ereshkigal is moaning “with the cries of a woman about to give birth”. Her need is rebirth from “the nighttime aspects of the feminine -- the powerful, raging, sexuality and the deep wounds accumulated from life’s rejections -- and which sought solace in physical union only.” [1] Ereshkigal complains both for her “inside” and her “outside”. Having willed Inanna’s death, she can scarcely bear it, for Inanna is her other side.

The kurgarra and galatur moan with Ereshkigal, appeasing her anguish by the echo of their concern, affirming her in her suffering. Enki has understood that complaining is one voice of the dark goddess, a way of expressing life -- valid and deep in the feminine soul. Such complaining does not seek alleviation as much as it is to simply state the existence of things as they are felt to a sensitive and vulnerable being. There is no need for a stoic-heroic superego perspective of judging it as foolish and passive whining, but rather it should be viewed as autonomous fact -- “that's the way it is.” Suffering is seen as part of reverencing.

Ereshkigal is so touched by the attention they offer her in her pain that she extends herself and offers gifts of fertility and growth. Following Enki’s instructions, however, the kurgarra and galatur refuse these gifts and ask for what Ereshkigal most wants to give and that which is most difficult for her to give: They ask her to release part of her personal anguish, her despair and anger which is embodied in the glorious goddess of love. They ask for the rotting body of Inanna. When Ereshkigal is able to release her nemesis, and thus part of her pain, the kurgarra and galatur sprinkle the food and water of life on Inanna’s corpse, and she is reborn.

Inanna is restored to active life, but returns demonic, surrounded by the galla.

Inanna is also descending into the underworld “because... of my older sister, Ereshkigal.” This symbolism suggests that Inanna had perhaps heard the pain and anguish of her denied and dark side, and was willing to acknowledge the feelings of abandonment and guilt. This takes on the significance of Inanna facing her dark side. It is also a form of approaching the dark forces of earthly reality and the unconscious; a slow process of peeling away ego-identifications and defenses -- particularly after “the conscious ideal of the personality has been wounded by being cut off from its roots

But there is also the sense of the death of the old ways prior to their rebirth. Just as Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld, astrologically symbolizes Death and Rebirth, so Inanna must accept death before she can be reborn.

Inanna's suffering, disrobing, humiliation, flagellation and death, the stations of her descent, her ‘crucifixion’ on the underworld peg, and her resurrection, all prefigure Christ’s passion and represent perhaps the first known archetypal image of the dying divinity whose sacrifice redeems the wasteland earth. [However] Not for humankind’s sins did Inanna sacrifice herself, but for earth’s need for life and renewal.

All descents provide entry into different levels of consciousness and can enhance life creatively. All of them imply suffering. All of them can serve as initiations. Meditation and dreaming and active imaginations are modes of descent. So too are depressions, anxiety attacks, and experiences with hallucinogenic drugs.”

A fundamental aspect of such descents is the letting go of illusions and old outworn patterns of mundane life. Ereshkigal’s realm is like the undiscriminating fires of Kali, which combined with time and suffering grinds away all distinctions and ego before yielding new life. It is an adherence to some pre-ethical natural law, an acknowledgment that life is inconstant and cyclical.

In an inscription found at Eleusis, the site of Demeter’s Eleusian Mysteries (wherein latter day Greeks made their own ritualized descent), the end result of a descent into Hades is lauded: “Beautiful indeed is the Mystery given us by the blessed gods: death is for mortals no longer an evil, but a blessing.”

Ultimately, the purpose of descending into Hades, of undertaking the journey of spiritual initiation, is for self-empowerment. Preparing oneself, relying on divine assistance, and beginning “The Fool’s Journey” by stepping off the precipice, psychologically removes the deadwood, the irrelevant artifacts of modern life whose value is illusionary at best. Whether we eliminate from our lives our most fundamental identities at each of seven gates, or whether we process the same death and rebirth on a daily, less dramatic basis, we still make our descent into our psyche, and at the bottom find pure gold and enlightenment. For when one has nothing to lose, when there’s nothing they can take from you, when even death is no longer feared; that is when the possibilities become unlimited and one can be truly empowered.

As the Chinese I Ching notes, the symbols for chaos and opportunity are the same. The ancient “Dance of the Seven Veils” is a symbolic shedding of illusions.

THE MYSTERY OF SEVEN; SEVEN FOR EVIL, SEVEN FOR GOOD

(REVELATIONS 15:1) AND I SAW ANOTHER SIGN IN HEAVEN, GREAT AND MARVELLOUS, SEVEN ANGELS HAVING THE SEVEN LAST PLAUGES; FOR IN THEM IS FILLED UP THE WRATH OF GOD. 


NOTES: [1] This story is the sixteenth tablet of a series called the "Evil Demon Series," of which we have an Assyrian with a parallel Sumerian text. Presumably, therefore, it was a very ancient legend. [2] The Imkhullu appears also in the Creation Epic. [3] Adad is god of storm, Anu of heaven, Enlil of storm, Sin of the Moon, Shamash of the Sun, and Ishtar of love and fruitfulness. The meaning of Massu is unknown; but Ea was long the chief ruler. [4] The evil gods darken the moon by an eclipse, Shamash helping them by withdrawing his light from the moon, and Adad by sending cloudy weather. [5] A name for Ea. 

Son of a prince, the gleaming Sin has been sadly darkened in heaven, His darkening is seen in the heavens, The seven evil gods, death-dealing, fearless are they, The seven evil gods, like a flood, rush on, the land they fall upon, do they, Against the land, like a storm, they rise, do they, Before the gleaming Sin, they set themselves angrily; The mighty Shamash, Adad the warrior, they brought on their side." 

DESCRIPTIONS OF "THE SEVEN" 

I Destructive storms and evil winds are they, A storm of evil, presaging the baneful storm, A storm of evil, forerunner of the baneful storm. Mighty children, mightv sons are they, Messengers of Namtar are they, Throne-bearers of Ereshkigal. [1] The flood driving through the land are they. Seven gods of the wide heavens, Seven gods of the broad earth, Seven robber-gods are they. Seven gods of universal sway, Seven evil gods, Seven evil demons, Seven evil and violent demons, Seven in heaven, seven on earth. 

SATURN = KRONOS = TIME = DEVOUR = DRAGON = SATURN AS 7 TH SHPERE = DRAGON GUARDIAN OF SEVENTH SPHERE (Ancient Mythologies) 

Seven Judges of the Underworld or more commonly known as the Seven Jinn Kings or the Seven Sons of Iblis

(MATTHEW 12:22-45) "Then it goes out and brings seven other spirits even worse". 
(REVELATIONS 12:3:) There was a huge red dragon with seven heads.. Saturn, "The hidden one," so, whatever other aspect this name had, as applied to the father of the gods, it is to Satan, the Hidden Lord of hell, ultimately that all came at last to be traced back; for the different myths about Saturn, when carefully examined, show that he was at once the Devil, 

Also.. there are.. The Seven deadly sins...

A Different View of Adam and Eve

William Blake, the Gnostic poet of the early nineteenth century, wrote of the differences between his view and the mainstream view of holy writ: 'Both read the Bible day and night; but you read black where I read white." The same words could have been uttered by Gnostic Christians and their orthodox opponents in the first three or four centuries A.D.

The orthodox view then regarded most of the Bible, particularly Genesis, as history with a moral. Adam and Eve were considered to be historical figures, the literal ancestors of our species. From the story of their transgression, orthodox teachers deduced specific moral consequences, chiefly the "fall" of the human race due to original sin. Another consequence was the lowly and morally ambivalent status of women, who were regarded as Eve's co-conspirators in the fateful deed of disobedience in paradise. Tertullian, a sworn enemy of the Gnostics, wrote to the female members of the Christian community thusly:

. . . you are the devil's gateway. . . you are she who persuaded him whom the devil did not dare attack. . . . Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on your sex lives on in this age; the guilt, necessarily, lives on too.

The Gnostic Christians who authored the Nag Hammadi scriptures did not read Genesis as history with a moral, but as a myth with a meaning. To them, Adam and Eve were not actual historical figures, but representatives of two intrapsychic principles within every human being. Adam was the dramatic embodiment of psyche, or soul, while Eve stood for the pneuma, or spirit. Soul, to the Gnostics, meant the embodiment of the emotional and thinking functions of the personality, while spirit represented the human capacity for spiritual consciousness. The former was the lesser self (the ego of depth psychology), the latter the transcendental function, or the "higher self," as it is sometimes known. Obviously, Eve, then, is by nature superior to Adam, rather than his inferior as implied by orthodoxy.

Nowhere is Eve's numinous power more evident than in her role as Adam's awakener. Adam is in a deep sleep, from which Eve's liberating call arouses him. While the orthodox version has Eve physically emerge from Adam's body, the Gnostic rendering has the spiritual principle known as Eve emerging from the unconscious depths of the somnolent Adam. Before she thus emerges into liberating consciousness, Eve calls forth to the sleeping Adam in the following manner, as stated by the Gnostic Apocryphon of John:

I entered into the midst of the dungeon which is the prison of the body. And I spoke thus: "He who hears, let him arise from the deep sleep." And then he (Adam) wept and shed tears. After he wiped away his bitter tears he spoke, asking: "Who is it that calls my name, and whence has this hope come unto me, while I am in the chains of this prison?" And I spoke thus: "I am the Pronoia of the pure light; I am the thought of the undefiled spirit. . . . Arise and remember . . . and follow your root, which is I . . . and beware of the deep sleep."

In another scripture from the same collection, entitled On the Origin of the World, we find further amplification of this theme. Here Eve whose mystical name is Zoe, meaning life, is shown as the daughter and messenger of the Divine Sophia, the feminine hypostasis of the supreme Godhead:

Sophia sent Zoe, her daughter, who is called "Eve," as an instructor in order that she might raise up Adam, in whom there is no spiritual soul so that those whom he could beget might also become vessels of light. When Eve saw her companion, who was so much like her, in his cast down condition she pitied him, and she exclaimed: "Adam, live! Rise up upon the earth!" Immediately her words produced a result for when Adam rose up, right away he opened his eyes. When he saw her, he said: "You will be called 'mother of the living', because you are the one who gave me life."

In the same scripture, the creator and his companions whisper to each other while Adam sleeps: "Let us teach him in his sleep as though she (Eve) came to be from his rib so that the woman will serve and he will be lord over her." The demeaning tale of Adam's rib is thus revealed as a propagandistic device intended to advance an attitude of male superiority. It goes without saying that such an attitude would have been more difficult among the Gnostics, who held that man was indebted to woman for bringing him to life and to consciousness.

The Western theologian Paul Tillich interpreted this scripture as the Gnostics did, declaring that "the Fall" was a symbol for the human situation, not a story of an event that happened "once upon a time." Tillich said that the Fall represented "a fall from the state of dreaming innocence" in psychological terms, an awakening from potentiality to actuality. Tillich's view was that this "fall" was necessary to the development of humankind.


WHAT HAPPENED TO STEVEN, (ACTS: 6; TO 8; 1-5) LEADER OF THE SEVEN  (FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WISDOM (ACTS: 6;3); HAPPENED TO THE ORIGINAL GODDESS BELIEVING CHURCH; AND PAUL STOOD BY AND CONSENTED ; JUST AS ROME'S CHRISTIANS WOULD DO WITH THE GODDESS BELIEVING JEWISH CHRISTIAN CHURCH AT THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM, AND AT THE START OF THE INQUISITION IN SOUTHERN FRANCE, AND CONTINUE TO DO.


The confrontation of Mary with Peter, a scenario also found in The Gospel of Thomas, Pistis Sophia, and The Gospel of the Egyptians, reflects some of the tensions in second-century Christianity. Peter and Andrew represent orthodox positions that deny the validity of esoteric revelation and reject the authority of women to teach. The Gospel of Mary attacks both of these positions head-on through its portrayal of Mary Magdalene. She is the Savior's beloved, possessed of knowledge and teaching superior to that of the public apostolic tradition. Her superiority is based on vision and private revelation and is demonstrated in her capacity to strengthen the wavering disciples and turn them toward the Good. 

The early Christian church became fragmented in the years following Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Gnostics were one of these fragments. The word Gnostic derives from the word gnosis, meaning “mystical knowledge.” Mary Magdalene is exalted in Gnostic texts; they saw her as the embodiment of wisdom and the Sacred Feminine, or Divine Feminine.


The Gnostic cosmology held that the Earth is the center of the universe, surrounded by air and seven concentric heavenly spheres (the moon and six of the planets). Beyond Saturn, the last of the concentric spheres, resides Leviathan -- a snake coiled in a single circle, devouring its own tail. Beyond the spheres which are inhabited by the demonic entities called archons and beyond Leviathan lies Paradise, with the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil at its center.
The Divine Feminine--Sophia, the Goddess who presides over the sacred convergence of time and space, destiny and choice, spirit and nature--stands watch. 

Sophia, one of humanity’s oldest deities, is often described as the Threefold Goddess--the Maiden, Mother, and Crone--who represents three phases of women’s spiritual power: independence, creativity, and wisdom.

The Descent of Inanna is a wonderful exercise in exploring this culture’s view of life and
death through myth. To see the story as a symbolic representation of the three Water
signs is an added bonus. The myth makes little sense without an introduction to the
three major figures and their possible links to archetypes in the zodiac. The connection
between goddess and water sign is further explored after the story is told.
 

The third part of the Cycle of Inanna is the Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi. There, we meet the young goddess as the Lover and Beloved united as one. The Courtship deals with Inanna and Dumuzi as they meet and fall in love with each other to become one of the most passionate and vibrant couples in world myth and religion. Perhaps only Solomon and Sheba in the Song of Songs can approach the Sumerian spontaneity and exuberance of Inanna and Dumuzi, and it is very likely that the Sumerian composition is the inspiration for Solomon´s Song of Songs. There are more than twenty-plus compositions celebrating Inanna and Dumuzi, it preceeds the Song of Songs and The Courtship can be said to be the most beloved and well-known love story of ancient Mesopotamia, therefore known to Jewish sages and poets. Thus, we can assume thus with a degree of certainty that it was the source for Solomon´s love song to Sheba. In what follows, we will review in brief the main stages of the ourtship for your delight:
 

Again, we have Inanna as a maiden, lovingly initiated by her close family members, as befitted to any girl (and boy) who is loved and well cared for her (his) family.

c) The first encounters - From the moment Inanna and Dumuzi first meet and fall for each other, the lovers enter a world of senses and feelings that explodes in color and emotions around them. What they experience is a world that is vibrant and alive, full of meaning in which they totally engage themselves. This process is described in verses that speak of simple things the lovers do together, like drinking, eating, churning, dancing, singing, tasting, smelling, everyday acts whereby both open up to each other, willing to share everything and everywhere in all worlds they thread upon.

As Inanna and Dumuzi meet and experience their own world in the world, the similarities with Solomon's and Sheba´s Song of Songs become more startling in structure and meaning. This is not surprising: Jewish sages probably found inspiration to write their Song of Songs in the Courtship. Numbers speak for themselves: the Song of Songs is the only romantic-erotic piece in the Old Testament Bible, whereas we have hundreds of clay tablets in cuneiform with songs of divine love preceeding the Song of Songs by a couple of centuries at least.

d) The Consecration of the Sacred King - after the close complicity of the night spent with Dumuzi, Inanna decrees the fate of her chosen consort and priest-king, because because "in all ways" She found him " fit" and "Inanna holds you dear". It must be pointed out that in South Mesopotamia, after kingship descended from the avens to Eridu, it is Inanna and Enlil who descend to Earth to choose and crown the king, as described in the myth of Etana. It is Inanna (or her earthly representative, the High Priestess of Uruk/the land) again in the Courtship that decrees the fate of the king/Dumuzi. This is a very strong evidence that at least the High Priestess was equal in status to the king, once he had to be first accepted by her to rule the land as her consort. The words that consecrate the king spoken by Inanna are the following:

'In battle, I am your leader
In combat, I am your armour-bearer
In the assembly, I am your advocate
n the campaign, I am your inspiration
You, the chosen shepherd of the holy shrine
You, the king, the faithful provider of Uruk,
You, the light of An's great shrine
In all ways you are fit
To hold your head high on the lofty dais
To sit on the lapis lazuli throne
To cover your head with the holy crown
To wear long clothes on your body
To bind yourself with the garment of kingship
To race on the road with the holy sceptre in your hand
And the holy sandals on you feet
You, the sprinter, the chosen shepherd
In all ways I find you fit
May your heart enjoy long days.
That which An determined for you - may it not be altered
That which Enlil has granted - may it not be altered
You are the favourite of Ningal
Inanna holds you dear.'

Then comes Ninshubur, Inanna´s main advisor, who in this context represents the people´s acknowledgement of Dumuzi´s sacred kingship conferred by Inanna. She takes Dumuzi by the hand and together they go to Inanna. Ninshubur says:

'My queen, here is the choice of your heart
The king, your beloved bridegroom
May he spend long days in the sweetness of your holy loins

Give him a favourable and glorious reign!
O my Queen of Heaven and Earth
Queen of all the Universe
May he enjoy long days in the sweetness of your holy loins!

Give him a favorable and glorious reign,
Grant him the king´s throne, firm in its foundations.
Grant him the shepherd´s staff of judgement,
Grant him the enduring crown with the radiant and noble diadem.

From where the sun rises to where the sun sets,
From South to North
From the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea,
From the land of the hulupu tree to the land of the cedar,
Let his shepherd´s staff protect all of Sumer and Akkad..."

e) The final verses of the Courtship tell us of the delight the couple found in each other, and I will leave you with the words of Inanna:

Inanna spoke:
" My beloved, the delight of my eyes, met me.
We rejoiced together.
He took his pleasure of me.
He brought me into his house.
He laid me down on the fragrant honey-bed,
My sweet love, leying by my heart,
Tongue-playing, one by one,
My fair Dumuzi did so fifty times."...

he sacred marriage expressed a close bond between King and goddess. Through Inanna, their divine partner, the kings of Sumer stepped closer to the world of divinity, reinforcing the king´s status and highlighting his superiority. The king, standing above the rest of humanity, was the first step on the staircase to the gods. The next step higher was Inanna. The goddess, unencumbered and fundamentally unattached, marginal to the family structure and power hierarchy o fthe gods, was available and eager to be the intimate of the kings of Sumer. She was the liminal deity, who transcended all boundaries and could bond with the king. She was the divine link to the world of the gods, and when She took the king as a lover, teh conjugal pair was a bridge between the people and the gods. The powerful gods who determined the people´s survival were much less remote than the king, the people´s representative, was initimate with them. Over this bridge to the gods, blessings could flow. The kings received blessings on their reign, success in politics and victory in war. The people achieved peace-through-triumph, security and prosperity. The songs of the sacred marriage celebrate the royal power as they sing of the blessings which Inanna bestows on the king after the union, blessings of a long and successful reign.

The key to the ability of the king to reach intimacy with Inanna was erotic attraction. In the sacred marriage, the king was no ordinary mortal worshipper. He came in pride and dignity, for he was the special beloved of Inanna. This infinitelly alluring goddess - HerSelf the essence of sexual desire and attractiveness, the hili of the whole cosmos, of the earth and its people- looked upon the king who came to Her in splendor as the embodiment to her of sexuality. The king is the object of Inanna´s sexual delight, and She actively craves his attentions.

As the goddess´ sexual partner, the king had a unique status. He was the counterpart of Dumuzi, celebrated in Sumerian song as the husband of Inanna. The king was ritually transformed into this husband of Inanna, and the sacred marriage texts call him "the king who is the god" or simply Amaushumgalanna (a byname of Dumuzi). In this ritual transformation, the king is touched by divinity and attains suprahuman approval of his powers. The festive ritual procession in which the king was borne publicly to the temple also reinforced the special status of the king. Through his marriage to the goddess Inanna the king achieved intimacy with the divine in a way that was not attainable by other humans. The sacred marriage ritual, performed yearly during the New Year´s festival, annually reinforced the divinity and authority of the king.

To be a bridge to the gods, the king had to be superior in his very essence to ordinary people. The early kings were crucial to the development and survival of Sumerian civilization, able as they were to coordinate and motivate the cooperative labor and accumulation of surplus to support a more diversified cultural profile and a greater density of population. They could also expand trade horizons to foreign areas and engage in warfare with other emerging city-states. Kingship was so important in Sumerian times that the Sumerian King List records "that kingship came down from haven". Crucial as they were to state formation, these earliest kings had to finda way to legitimate their power. As they had to weight of historical precedence to buttress their idea of rule, no dynastic principle to assure the rights of a successor, they had to demonstrate that they were greater than the rest of the populace.

The divine world provided the means to elevate the king. Throughout Sumerian history, kings are portrayed as gods, as sons of gods and goddesses, and husbands of the goddess Inanna. The divine character of Sumerian kingship starts with the very first kings, who ruled at the dawn of history (the Early Dynastic Period). Writing was just beginning, and there are no original inscriptions from their reign, but later Sumerian tradititions remembered and celebrated the kings of this early heroic age. In these laer traditions, the early kings of Sumer were gods and demgods. Even Gigalmesh, son of Ninsun and Lugalbanda, who is portrayed in the Old Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic as Everyman, the representative of the existencial dilemma of humanity, is also considered a god, one of the judges of the Netherworld. We do not know what these early kings of Uruk said about themselves, but it is clear that the later Sumerian considered them divine. Did the Sumerians that these early heroes achieved divine status because of their greatness? Or was there a legend that at the beginnin of time, gods came to rule on earth? In the final analysis, it doesn´t really matter. In the eyes of the Sumerians, gods sat on the throne of Uruk in the early days: the kings at the dawn of history were gode-men.

This claim of godhead alternates with another divine attribute of the kings, that of son of the gods. The kings of the first fully historical period claim in their records that they are the sons of gods. The royal inscriptions of early historical Sumer show us the entire world of the gods attending to, instructing, and bestowing gifts on the newly-born royal scion.

The very human god-kings had to find a way to associate the king closely with the gods, ideologically and psychologically, in their own and in their own and the public´s eye. To do this, yet another paradigm of divine-human relationships was developed, the metaphor of spouse, the Beloved of the goddess Inanna/Ishtar. This paradigm was developed fairly early. The early king Eannatum of Lagash called himself dam-kiága-dingirInanna, beloved husband of Inanna, and the early kings of Lagash also entitled themselves "called in the heart of Inanna", another epithet which indicates the love of Inanna for the king. King Naram-Sin of Akkad, whose inscriptions are in the Akkadian language, called himself "spouse of Inanna". By this metaphor, the king moved beyond the realm of humanity into the social world of the gods.

Mesopotamian worldview was centered on wholeness, i.e. the king should emulate the gods and the people should emulate the king, whereas Judeo-Christiam reasoning and philosophy is based on irreconcilable pairs of opposites, god vs evil, dark vs light,

Secondly and fundamental to capture the depth of this great myth is to understand the complex character of Ereshkigal. As twin sister of Enki, the God of Magic, Wisdom and the Sweet Waters, Ereshkigal is both Enkips and Inanna´s Complement. What Enki knows in the Outer, Ereshkigal knows in the Inner, as well as Ereshkigal means the Inner Knowing of Death and Rebirth Inanna still has to conquer to become wholer. Inanna, on the other hand, brings the Lust and Enthusiasm for Life Ereshkigal should retrieve after being so long on her own in the bowels of the earth. Therefore, Inanna and Ereshkigal are bonded to each other, and their confrontation epitomizes the search for wholeness and integration of the conflicting aspects of the Self. Only Inanna can bring the riches of the Worlds Above to Ereshkigal, and only Ereshkigal can give Inanna the trials and experiences that will provide her with the Inner Realities that Sustain Life and Restore Balances lost in all levels.

b) Initiation - Ereshkigal allows Inanna's entrance to her domain on the condition that at each of the seven gates of the Underworld Inanna leaves one of her heavenly and earthly powers. Seven are the classical planets, seven are the degrees of initiation that Inanna must relinquish so that She can be reborn. Inanna first protests, but then bows heroically to the designs of the Underworld. She surrendered her role of Queen, Priestess and Lover, for only bowed low and naked Inanna could enter Eternity and face her darker Self and sister Ereshkigal. Ereshkigal strikes Inanna dead. Inanna is then left to rot hanging on the wall.

This is one of the highlights of this great myth. The Descent is the only account where a divine being experiments death as dissolution and decay to be reborn afterwards. Nevertheless, Inanna's death means that She is reborn in Ereshkigal. While Inanna rots hanged on the wall, Ereshkigal moans as a woman in labour. Thus, Inanna is both Ereshkigal's kinswoman, daughter and healer, so much as Ereshkigal is Inanna's Older, Wiser Self, Mother, Challenger and Initiator.

ntegrity is basically made of the innumerable elements that compose the whole. It comprises a set of characteristics, amongst them we can quote standing tall, being untouched even when involved by not losing one´s sense of Self, staying intact, honesty, continuity, sincerity, obedience to one´s code of conduct and inner values, conscience, prudence, constancy, amiability, and holiness. For the purposes of this article, I will put aside the equation of integrity to purity and innocence, the quality of the sexually untouched, because of the obvious Judeo-Christian bias. We favour instead the terms that define integrity as the embodiment of the whole, simply because the definition of integrity or integritas is the entire. But there is more to integrity than this, because from it stems the action to integrate and the accomplished act of making whole, integration, all originated from the same Latin root as integrity. Integrate means to combine all the disparate elements into one harmonious entity. This is what the Goddess Inanna/Ishtar really does and fundamentally what many cannot grasp as they assume Inanna´s nature is contradictory or dual. In actual fact, Inanna´s character is better understood in terms of conciliation of opposites, which is the labor of integration as an act of renewing and restoring integrity into a whole.

Thus, we return again to the planetary correspondences that since the dawn of consciousness in Mesopotamia equated Inanna/Ishtar to the Morning and Evening Star. The metaphor is clear. The Morning Star announces the coming of the day, whereas the Evening Star the eternal return of the night, in a perfect circle and cycle. In Greek and Medieval Alchemy, the Morning and Evening Star is also identified with Hermes/Mercury, the Guide of Souls and Messenger of the Gods, the God that enables transformations, ever youthful, cunning and resourceful. But in Mesopotamia, preceeding Hermes/Mercury by two millennia of recorded history, Inanna shows HerSelf as resourceful, dynamic, witty and straigth-forward in her actions without abusing of trickery. This can be seen as one of the possible meanings for the metaphor of the Morning and Evening Star, when circle is only then complete as intended the Ancient Mesopotamians.

Wisdom, as put so well by Caitlin Mathews in her book Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom (1991), is the craft of life, the process of acquiring insight and knowledge through experience, which is tempered by common sense, practicality and compassion and applied in one´s daily routine. Wisdom is therefore never maternal, but stimulates change and transformation through inspiration and deep insight. Thus, Inanna is never static, neither maternal, nor all-forgiving to those who transgress. The process of becoming wise is equally never static nor unconditional in love for the lazy in the heart, mind, body and soul. To become wise one needs to cross of inner and outer thresholds, to trespass of inner and outer boundaries to come back to one´s own Self by integrating the parts that need to be put together and reshaped anew, by confronting the painful aspects that should be overcome. Thus, wisdom is about change and evolution, another metaphor that is embedded in the symbolism of the Morning and Evening Star. One of Inanna´s epithet as sahiratu means "the one who roams about", just like the Star of Daylight and Nightfall through the cycle of the year.

Inanna´s integrity thus challenges us to go beyond our limits to search for our own inner wholeness. Most importantly, lack of understanding of what integrity is makes it very difficult the search for the Divine. Without integrity, the search for the sacred and the Divine cannot be unified. Why so? Because the Search for the Divine is ultimately about Transcendence, or Trespassing Boundaries so that the Reconciliation of all Dichotomies into a harmonious whole can take place. This was the Ancient Mesopotamian mystical view of the Dynamic Non-Maternal Feminine, where Love/Connection and Energy/Libido could apprehend the full spectrum of being and becoming, thus including as well War and Aggression. For to understand Inanna/Ishtar as an image of integrity requires the acknowledgement of the Shadow, the occult side we all have and that must be brought to light and integrated into our True Selves. The dark, unlived side of the personality should be acknowledged and integrated, because there is enormous power and healing in knowing one´s limitations... exactly not to feel limited by what one finds. Inanna accepted her beligerant Other in Saltu, or the Agushaya Hymn, and Enki then transformed the occasion into a collective festival. This is the best fight with the Dark Self I have come across in world mythology, another Mesopotamian first, where the Divine Non-Maternal Feminine emerges with the Triumphant gift of Grace without starting a war or blood bath.

A third clue to understand Inanna is that She shows transcendent humanity in Her acts especially when She apparently "fails" or surrenders to the will of the Universe. Inanna DIES in the Underworld and is REBORN. The alchemical name for holding shame with integrity is mortificatio, the rot of human chemicals in a closed container--truly a mortifying experience. In this myth, Inanna shows us that spiritual survival has to do with enduring and transcending obstacles, which is facilitated by the flame of hope, the bedrock of faith, a strong sense of self, and integrity.

According to Jung's psychology of rebirth, man goes through a spring ritual of loss and rediscovery that contributes to his psychic and spiritual growth.

The psychology of rebirth is evident in many folk rites of spring.These spring rituals usually consist of two parts: a) the dissolution of winter, personified by minor deities and b) the welcoming of spring personified by a young girl holding a green branch. Such ritualistic farewells signal a decided transformation of the individual from fragmentation to wholeness, loss to renewal.

Jung sees this transformation as a necessary part of individuation, the process of psychic and spiritual growth in man. He himself was paralyzed by depression when, out of inner necessity, he made a professional departure from Freud. He was able, however, to work himself out of his depression through the rituals of rebirth: mandalas, dreams and the rediscovered self.

Jung sees mandalas as literally “birth-places,” giving form to something that does not yet exist. Creating circular, intricate mandalas, he finds in each a cryptogram of his inner state. Allowing himself to be carried by the current and relinquishing all desire for control, he eventually comes to realize that all paths lead to the centre, the mid-point of the mandala. The psychology of rebirth is a consistent process of discovery and rediscovery. Only by experiencing loss can the individual constellate his rebirth in the centre -- a new beginning and a new self.

Rebirth, Spring Rituals and Dreams

Man’s discovery of a wider meaning to his existence is made possible by attention to dreams. The total dream life of an individual points the way to an undiscovered self, a stranger buried deep within the layers of the psyche. By observing his dream life, man can detect a pattern that leads inevitably to the lost dimensions of the soul.
 

modern man is stifled to such an extent by the demands of contemporary society he is incapable of birthing his own truth. Self-knowledge has been displaced by State Knowledge and the stranger self, so vital for insight and rebirth, has been exiled to the margin.

It was Her Divine guidance that was invoked when life-altering decisions were to be made. Sophia is the archetypal Divine Feminine wisdom of the past brought into the present to direct and manifest the future. 

During Biblical times is was still customary, as it had been for thousands of years before in Sumar, Babylon and Canaan, for many women to live within the temple complex, in earliest times the very core of the community.
 

the temple was communal, held in common. For thousands of years before, not only priestesses, but women with no husbands, children or aging parents to care for, were welcome within the house of the Mother, where they could live useful, happy lives in her service and that of the whole community. This practice endured through Biblical times, when temples still owned their land and herds. They stored vast inventories of olive oil and wine, grain, dried dates and figs, produced by themselves and the outlying community against the threat of famine. They traded the fine wool, cotton and linen they produced for a wealth of gold, silver and brass from the endless caravan of traders.”


In the dominant Western religions--Christianity, Judaism, and Islam--the Divine is exclusively male, served by male prophets and clergy who interpret the will of a Father/Son God. And biblical dogma is both source of and reinforcement for the exploitation of the earth and the oppression of women--from Eve’s responsibility for the "downfall" of humanity to the murderous Witch craze ordered by Pope Innocent VIII in the Malleus Malifacraum, which condemns women as tools of the Devil, liars, filled with carnal lust, and in constant need of male supervision because 
"When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil." 

The three biblical religions also share a common transcendental theology in which God created the world, but is not present in it. Two thousand years of Western civilization have been built on the conviction that the Divine is absent from the world in which we live.

In other words it is a theism completely divorced from pantheism and denying the biblical truth of pan 'en' theism.

This existential separation of humanity from divinity is the most profound condition of alienation imaginable. It is a deep wound at the heart of Western culture and it is precisely why our social crises so precisely parallel the self-destructive behavior of neglected children, particularly in terms of violence and addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex, and rampant materialism--all intended but unable to fill our spiritual emptiness. 

But a new vision is emerging, springing from feminism’s challenge to patriarchal religions. Women will never be completely free as long as a culture's image of the Divine is exclusively male. At the crossroads, women have found a home in the ancient religions of the Goddess. Retrieving and recreating the spirituality of their foremothers, women have rediscovered Sophia. 
Perhaps Her greatest gift to us at this crucial moment is Her role as a shamanic guide through the three realms of divine reality--the "underworld" of ancestors and spirits (the past or unconscious), the "middle world" of daily life (the present moment of choice or ego), and the "upper world" of divinity (our future and our spirituality). Only Sophia has the power to travel between all three realms of being, and it is She who guides our collective journey from an underworld of greed, destruction, and death, to a world of rebirth and divine revelation. 

Ancient and modern Goddess religions--particularly that of Sophia--incorporate shamanic practices that enable us to experience direct, personal, ecstatic communion with the Divine, to discover the sacred within ourselves and to see it manifest in the world around us. All of the practices, the arts of Sophia, are varieties of active meditations conducted in the presence of nature, enabling us to transform and empower ourselves through our connection to this sacred source of being. Among these techniques are ritual, meditation, (similar to prayer), energy raising, dancing, visualization, and journeying. These are all means of enabling us to experience all aspects of creation as embodiments of Divine energy, and to experience the interconnection and oneness of life created by that energy. 

The world is a paradise that we have never left. With the shamanic practices and insights of Old, we can transform our culture by restoring the lost feminine. Sophia is the magic of the moment--the infinite made visible in the miracle of life--the Divine presence whose wisdom and magic await us at the crossroads, guiding our choice.

Mary is linked to ancient Triple Goddesses through much of the symbolism associated with her. The Protoevangelium of James, which describes Mary's girlhood, portrays Mary as spinning in the Temple. This links her with the triple Fates, the three Goddesses known as the Moerae or "Marys" who spun out the destinies of those on earth. Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Coptic Discourse, linked the three Marys at the foot of the Cross (Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Mary Salome) with these same triple Fates. A striking similarity occurs in Nordic mythology where the three Fates stand at the foot of Odin's tree of sacrifice. Welsh mythology links Mary with their triple White Goddess, Brigit. Even today, Mary is called The White Mary 

The concept of the Triple Goddess is found in many cultures and belief systems. In fact, this triple-goddess has appeared in the history of virtually every known culture around the globe. 

As a Maiden (whole unto herself-symbolized by the moon), (The Seventh Sphere) Saturn appears in our astrological chart for the first time. Saturn returns to our natal chart when we are around thirty-two years old to signal the commencement of the second season, Mother (creatix-full moon). And like the waning of the moon, the third Saturn return occurs around the age of fifty-five, ushering in the time of the Crone (knower of mysteries). (SEE REV 12;1-9) 

In all religions of antiquity the number twelve, which applies to the twelve signs of the zodiac, are reproduced in all kinds and sorts of forms. For instance, such are the twelve great gods; the twelve apostles or Osiris; the twelve apostles of Jesus; the twelve sons of Jacob; the twelve tribes; the twelve altars of James; the twelve labors of Mars; the twelve brothers of Arvaux; the twelve gods Consents; the twelve governors in the Manichean System; the adectyas of the East Indies; the twelve asses of the Scandinavians; the city of the twelve gates in the Apocalypse; the twelve wards of the city; the twelve sacred cushions, on which the Creator sits in the cosmogony of the Japanese; the twelve precious stones of the rational, or the ornament worn by the high priest of the Jews, etc. The Jews of Syria and Judea were the direct precursors of Gnosticism; and in their doctrines were ample oriental elements. These Jews had had with the Orient, at two different periods, close relations, familiarezing them with the doctrines of Asia, and especially of Chaldea and Persia. The prophet Daniel was Chief of the college of the Magi at Babylon. 


 "Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne. (Rev 1:4 ) can also be translated ' the sevenfold spirit'. 

In Revelations 1:12-15; we see Jesus standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks holding seven stars in his hand. Scripture makes it very clear that these seven candlesticks represent seven church's which Jesus walks among, and the seven stars the angels of the seven church's which Jesus holds in his hand. Scripture always refers to the Church in the feminine gender. The number seven is associated with Christ's Bride!
 

The ancient Hebrews aligned their calendar reckonings with the phases of the moon, attributing to each month and its phases with the powers and teachings of animals, plants, and spirits. But the moon herself was Mari. 

Before the calendar measured time, we marked the year by observing the planets in their stately parade across the night sky. We noted the tides and the moon's phases and the length of days. We attuned ourselves to the seasons. We did not grow angry when there was snow in winter or rain in summer. We recognized that nature is more powerful than we are, and we honored her strength. Now we live indoors, our lights shine at night; we mark the days and weeks and seasons on our dayminders and calendars. We have lost the sense of connection to the currents of time as they flow through our world. In the process, we have lost our sense of connection to that world. Honoring the lunar goddess was a daily part of ancient tradition in Ireland and Scotland, where bowing to the full moon and praising her beauty was a monthly ritual. Even when we do not see her, the moon still pulls the tides; she pulls as well on our inner tides, drawing forth .womanly blood as she moves through her own phases. To honor the moon is to honor the primal connection between womanhood and nature's feminine force. 

She was worshipped by the Semites as Mari-Anath; in consort as an Elohim, Mari-El. "Is the Moon named Miriam among you?" "The moon has many names among our poets." 

Her blue robe and pearly necklace were classic symbols of Maria "the Seas", edged with pearly foam.. She appears prophetically as the "water of life" in Revelation 22:1. 

the Latin word for ocean ("mar") is nearly identical to "Mary". In English we might miss the connection, but in the romance languages of Spanish, French, or Italian, the connection is obvious. Coincidence? 

 

Notre Dame," is French meaning "Our Lady


Myth is built on metaphor so what is the metaphor of the Jesus story? What are the similes between this story and other stories and situations that this group may have wanted to send down the stream of time? Taking this thought experiment to its logical conclusion we must begin top speculate on what is similar and metaphorical about the myth. First off there is the metaphor of the son and the sun. Jesus in Hebrew means Jesse or 'Fire'. Let us -- for a moment assume that instead of 'son' they are referring to the 'sun'. Then let us consider the twelve apostles. Do they represent more than just twelve men? For a moment let us consider that this actually refers to the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Now for a moment let us consider Jesus' mother Mary. Mary in Hebrew means sea or seawater, she is also associated with a crescent moon. It is well known that the moon controls the tides and therefore seawater. Is it possible that Mary is a metaphor for the moon? So let us consider what we have here. We have Jesus, or Fire, moves through the twelve men or signs. Just as our sun moves through the twelve signs of the zodiac. What is the missing astrological element? The moon of course. And along comes Mary to fill this void. Does this mean that the story of Jesus, Mary and his band of disciples is the story of some kind of astrological situation? Is it possible that this is what is happening -- at least on a metaphorical level? I think so. This is what I mean by re-thinking these myths in a metaphorical way. This is in no way meant to denigrate the Christian religion or anyone's belief in Jesus, Mary and the disciples as real men. The point that is being made is that there are metaphorical links to this story that are just as important as the human links. The names, and the numbers of their names, of these people involved in this story are important. Actually they are too important to be ignored -- for it was within the names and the numbers inside the structure of these myths that a true understanding of what they are about can actually occur. 
 

For thousands of years the fertility rituals of the region included the Sacred Marriage which both honoured the Goddess, brought plenty to the land, and gave the blessing of the Goddess to the new King. As a major part of this ritual the King is sacrificed (at first actually and later symbolically), comes back to life after three days, having been found by the High Priestess who has acted for the Goddess in these ceremonies.


The gospels provide evidence that Jesus preached a new/renewed approach, which would again integrate the Divine Feminine and provide balance; his was a message of peace, tolerance, equality and appreciation of the Divine Within. A critical aspect of his message was displayed in his relationship with Mary the WatchTower. Mary represented, with him, the balance required for the world to be whole.


The parallels between the Divine Marriage ritual and the story of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus are compelling


"In Proverbs 9, Wisdom sends out her handmaids to invite everyone to her feast of wisdom. These seven virgins, inherited perhaps from Manichaean cosmology, are the assessors of Wisdom. The Middle Ages transformed them into the daughters of Sophia, the Sophianic examining board of the Seven Liberal Arts. It was the English cleric Alcuin (735-804) who associated Wisdom's house with seven pillars as analogous to the Seven Liberal Arts. These consisted of the trivium: Rhetoric; Dialectic (logical thought) and Grammar, and the quadrivium; Music; Arithmetic; Astronomy and Geometry. These formed the basis for Western academic education up until the sixteenth century. These handmaidens of Sophia are depicted on the right hand doorway of the Portail Royal at Chartres. The central image is of the Black Virgin, copied from the original pagan statue in the crypt, for according to Albert the Great (1200-1280), Mary herself was the possessor of the Seven Liberal Arts. As Black Virgin of Wisdom, Mary is surrounded by seven female figures representing the Liberal Arts who are accompanied by seven historical exponents of each art: This is the Classical Klimax Heptapulos, the seven-fold ladder which underlay the Mysteries of Mithras, and the many Gnostic sects, elements of which passed into alchemical usage. The purification of the soul through the seven planetary experiences was common to many cultures and traditions. This spiritual journey became a mundane study; an ascent through the seven academic studies necessary for complete wisdom." 

The concept of the Triple Goddess associated with the Seventh Spheres found in the Virgin Mother can be seen in our Lady of Sorrows

Mary has been worshiped as Our Lady of Sorrows since or before the 3rd Century although the Catholic Church did not formalize this as one of Mary's titles until the 14th Century. The Church has formally recognized The Seven Sorrows of Mary as: 1. The prophecy of Simeon that her heart would be pierced with swords (Luke 2:34-35); 2. The Flight into Egypt when her infant son's life was threatened by Herod (Matthew 2:13-21); 3. The Loss of Jesus for Three Days when he was a twelve-year-old boy (Luke 2:41-50); 4. Jesus' Ascent to Calvary bearing the cross (John 19:17); 5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:18-30); 6. Jesus Taken Down from the Cross (John 19:39-40); 7. Jesus Laid in the Tomb (John 19:39-42). However, people (especially women) around the world throughout the ages have been happy to share their sorrow with Mary and to identify their sorrow with hers. 

 

 

Then there is the possibility that Mary was a harlot of sorts in that she was a Samaritan who had been married to other men and was currently living with a man outside of marriage when she meet Jesus. This could easily be associated with seven devils to the Hebrews. If Jesus married such a woman it would be enough to send Judas to the high priest and good reason not to include it in the gospel stories. But it is exactly what God was saying throughout the Old Testament about his relationship with City Zion. This is illustrated in the book of Amos where God commands Hosea to take a harlot for his wife. 


A portion of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene describes a soul's journey after death and the challenges it overcomes. These passages are much like The Tibetan Book of the Dead which reveals the Peaceful and Wrathful Dieties a soul encounters during its journey after it has separated from the body at death. This is very similiar to this portion of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, " When the soul had overcome the third power, it went upwards and saw the fourth power, (which) took seven forms. The first form is darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven {powers} of wrath." 

Seven in reference to Mary Magdalene means that rather then being just a lost nobody once riddled with demons; She is at once both the historically fallen and now redeemed Church (Bride), without spot or blemish and in fact complete in perfection and full of grace, she is Apostle to the Apostles and the true Bride!She is Queen! 

Wisdom hath builded Her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars. PROV 9:1 CHRIST CASTS OUT THE SEVEN DEMONS OF ISRAEL(THE PHARISEES) BY WISDOM/WOMAN AND CASTS OUT THE SEVEN DEVILS FROM THE CHURCH/WOMAN (LUKE 8:2) If Jesus cast out the seven unclean spirits then the one unclean spirit is cast out, hence this is a statement of Mary's attaining to a pure state.(MATTHEW 12:22-45, LUKE11;26) 
MARY TRANSCENDS THE SEVEN SPHERES TO PERFECTION THROUGH CHRIST/SOPHIA (filled with wisdom and grace  (MARY HAS CHOSEN THE BETTER PART; LUKE 10:42, PROVERBS 9:1)) THROUGH THE SEVEN BRIDAL ORBITS (Matthew: 26;13, Mark: 14;9 John 12;3) OF THE S'FEROT OR MYSTICAL SHPERES OF THE SOUL THAT CORRESPOND TO THE SEVEN ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. (JEREMIAH 31:22) 
ALSO SEVEN IS USED IN REFERENCE TO BRIDES OR GROOMS


The Seven Spirits of God
The interpretation of the "seven Spirits" in the book of Revelation is a reference to the Holy Spirit. John refers to the "seven Spirits" in Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5 and 5:6. The Jews "talked of the seven angels of the presence," 1 Enoch 90:21. John refers to seven angels of the seven churches (1:20). The reference to the "seven Spirits" is a reference to seven holy angels before the throne of God. Since seven is often used as a number of completion, or perfection, in the Bible (and in the book of Revelation in particular) it is thought that the "seven" churches are representative of all churches, each of which has a share in God's Holy Spirit in order to carry out its ministry to the world. 

Isaiah 11:2. The Greek translation of this verse in the Septuagint reads: "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and piety; by this spirit He shall be filled with the fear of God." In this view, the "seven Spirits" of Revelation refer to this sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit, particularly evidenced in the life of Jesus. 

The Seven Archangels In postbiblical Judaism -- especially in apocalyptic literature, which describes God's dramatic intervention in history -- seven angels, sometimes called archangels, lead the heavenly hosts that in the Talmud (an authoritative compendium of Jewish law, lore, and commentary) are viewed as countless. These seven, noted in the noncanonical First Book of Enoch (chapter 20), are: Uriel (leader of the heavenly hosts and guardian of sheol, the underworld); Raphael (guardian of human spirits); Raguel (avenger of God against the world of lights); Michael (guardian of Israel); Sariel (avenger of the spirits, "who sin in the spirit"); Gabriel (ruler of paradise, the seraphim, and the cherubim); and Remiel, also called Jeremiel (guardian of the souls in sheol). Of these, two (Michael and Gabriel) are mentioned in the Old Testament and two others (Raphael and Uriel) in the Apocrypha, a collection of noncanonical works... 


REVELATIONS 8:1 WHEN THE LAMB BROKE OPEN THE SEVENTH SEAL THERE WAS SILENCE IN HEAVEN FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR. THEN I SAW THE SEVEN ANGELS WHO STAND BEFORE GOD, AND THEY WERE GIVEN SEVEN TRUMPETS.

THE SEVEN SORROWS OF MARY (PROVERBS: 9;1 WISDOM HAS BUILT HER HOUSE, SHE HAS HEWN OUT HER SEVEN PILLARS;


REVELATIONS 1:20 "AS FOR THE MYSTERY OF THE SEVEN STARS WHICH YOU SAW IN MY RIGHT HAND, AND THE SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS: THE SEVEN STARS ARE THE SEVEN ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES, AND THE SEEN LAMPSTANDS ARE THE SEVEN CHURCHES.
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;
Revelation 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

LUKE 17:4 "AND IF HE SINS AGAINST YOU SEVEN TIMES A DAY AND RETURNS TO YOU SEVEN TIMES, SAYING, 'I REPENT,' FORGIVE HIM." 

HEALING WITH THE FAIRIES


 Thirdly, Mary Magdalen is identified in Mark and Luke as the woman who was possessed by seven demons, which Yeshua cast out of her. The seven demons were a symbolic part of a temple ritual known as "The Descent of Inanna," one of the most ancient ceremonies known, recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh (G). This ritual was known to be practiced in the Jerusalem temple of Mari-Anna-Ishtar (D,E,F *).

The last, and perhaps strongest, piece of evidence is the anointing of Yeshua with the sacred oil, an event which (uncharacteristically) was recorded in all four New Testament Gospels, pointing to its significance. The anointing of the Jesus' head with oil (as described in Mark 14:3-4) is an unmistakable symbol of The Sacred Marriage, a ceremony performed by temple priestesses (B).


THE SECRET OF SABBATH 
The Secret of Sabbath: She is Sabbath! United in the secret of One to draw down upon Her the secret of One. The prayer for the entrance of Sabbath: The holy Throne of Glory is united in the secret of One, prepared for the High Holy King to rest upon Her. When Sabbath enters She is alone, separated from the Other Side, all judgments removed from Her. Basking in the oneness of holy light, She is crowned over and over to face the Holy King. All powers of wrath and masters of judgment flee from Her. Her face shines with a light from beyond; She is crowned below by the holy people, and all of them are crowned with new souls. Then the beginning of prayer to bless Her with joy and beaming faces: Barekbu ET YHVH* ha-Mevorakh, "Bless ET YHVH, the-Blessed One," ET YHVH, blessing Her first. 


Revelation talks about the seven Spirits of God in four places. These are found in Rev.1:4, 3:1, 4:5, and in 5:6. One of the places it speaks of the Seven Spirits is in the 4th Chapter the 5th verse. tells us that the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne are the seven Spirits of God. Then in the 5th chapter the 6th verse the seven horns and seven eyes on Jesus, who is portrayed as a lamb, are the seven Spirits of God. 

God is referred to as a Spirit many times in the Old Testament. The power of God to replicate himself as Seven Spirits or Eyes that "go forth into the Earth" as stated in Rev 5:6 (the last mention of the 7 Spirits) comes straight from the Book of Zechariah ... 

"This is The Word of the LORD to Zerub'babel ... Not by might, nor by Power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts ... These Seven are the Eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth" (Zech 4:6,10). Seven spirits = seven lamps = seven eyes. The only other biblical text where seven lamps, seven eyes and the Spirit are connected is Zechariah 4! Revelation 11 provides evidence that John knows this passage and has appropriated the symbolism of the two olive trees. This strengthens the consideration that John might be alluding to Zechariah 4 when he mentions the seven spirits. What is John's description of the Holy Spirit as seven spirits trying to tell us? First of all, seven is the number of fullness in Scripture. Thus, John may be referring to the fullness of the Spirit at work. But he actually wants to say more than that. He wants to lead his readers to consider Zechariah 4 as the proper context for the understanding of their current situation. Zechariah 4 is well-known to many readers because of the famous quote: "not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit" (v. 6).

7 GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


Isaiah 11:2: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 

Isaiah 11:2 - Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. 

1st Cor 12:8 - Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miraculous Powers, Prophecy, Discernment, Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. 

Proverbs 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. 

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 

other biblical references also include : the spirit of grace, the spirit of supplications, the spirit of judgment, the spirit of holiness, the Spirit of adoption, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of faith, the spirit of power, the spirit of love, the spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of glory, the spirit of truth, the spirit of prophecy. 

These are the seven facets or manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life: 

1. The Spirit of Justification: "...you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." We are all justified because of God's grace and by our faith, and it is the Spirit of God who draws us and empowers us to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior (1 Corinthians 12:3). This is the first work of the Spirit when one is born again. 

2. The Spirit of Sanctification: 2 Thessalonians 2:13, "...God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth." Sanctification is the process of God's grace by which the believer is separated from sin, purified by life lived in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16, 25 and Romans 8:1-14) The fruit of the Spirit will begin to manifest as we yield to the process of sanctification. 

3. The Spirit of Life: Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." This is the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15) which makes us the sons of God (Romans 8:16-19). We can now live in the resurrection power of Christ where the operation of the gifts of the Spirit cause our lives to become supernatural. The Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies. Healing and strength will come into our bodies of flesh (Romans 8:11) as well as giving us a glorified body in that day. 

4. The Spirit of Truth: John 14:17 "The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." The truth will set us free. The truth will bring revelation knowledge as we are taught by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of truth will reveal Jesus to us (John 15:26). Vision will be given to lead us into all truth and reveal the kingdom to us. Deception will be removed, and the lies destroyed. 

5. The Spirit of Wisdom: Ephesians 1:17, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him." Not only will the Spirit give us a knowledge of Jesus, but it will give us insight into His mind and what He is doing (1 Corinthians 2:6-16). The Holy Spirit is our teacher (John 14:26). 

6. The Spirit of Deliverance: Matthew 12:28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you." It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are delivered from sin and by that same Spirit demons are cast out and the powers of darkness are defeated. 

7. The Spirit of Prayer: Romans 8:26, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Ephesians 6:18 tells us that all prayer should be done in the Spirit. 

Seven Spirits of the Lord – Expressions of the Anointing Isaiah 11 1There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. A branch shall grow out of his roots. Spirit of the Lord (1) Spirit of wisdom (2) and understanding (3) Spirit of counsel (4) and might (5) Spirit of knowledge (6) and fear of the Lord (7) 7 Spirits of God: Revelation 1 4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne... Revelation 4 5And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. These seven spirits of God describe the different kinds of expression of the anointing. We as believers, who have the anointing upon us by the Spirit of God, should be expressing that anointing in all of these ways. As described in John 7:38, there are different rivers of the anointing that flow out from us, represented by the spirits of God which flow out from the throne of God. We need to let each of these expressions flow out of our lives to others: Spirit of the LORD The breath of life of the LORD. Represents the total authority and rule of God, and the very life of God, the essence of who God is. We need to express God and pour out the life of God by the anointing, with the authority he has given us Wisdom An ability to discern by the Spirit of God. An understanding of the right course of action. Skill in carrying that action out. We can discern the ways of God and the actions He desires and perform them with His skill. Understanding A thorough acquaintance with the ways of God. Expertness in the practice of God’s works. We can be totally familiar with the way God operates and be able to cooperate expertly in that operation because we know it and are familiar with it. Counsel Having consulted with God, knowing His plan of action, and having the ability to give right advice to others concerning it. We can, by the anointing, be so thoroughly understanding of God’s character and ways, that we can correctly instruct and advise others on plans of action. We also can receive God’s counsel on issues in our own lives. Might Strength, boldness, intensity, energy. The power, authority, and resources of God. Also, skill in battle. Believers by the anointing have as a tool of the Spirit the might of God to accomplish God’s desires. The Holy Ghost is a man of war, and believers can be skilful in spiritual battle, exercising the might of the Spirit. Knowledge Knowledge, perception, skill. Knowing God and His ways with familiarity gained through experience. We as anointed believers can know the things and secrets of God. We can have an intimate, familiar knowing of Him through His word and by His Spirit. Fear of the LORD Awesome respect and reverence of the person of God. We as believers by the anointing will develop a profound adoring awed respect for God, and instill that in others through the expression of the anointing Make him of quick understanding Isaiah 11: 3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. A. Quickens the mind by the anointing By the anointing our minds are made sharp and discerning B. Not judge after eyes By the anointing we will be able to rightly judge and discern with God’s wisdom, even when the facts are difficult or deceptive. C. Not reproving after hearing of the ears By the anointing we can lovingly correct, not being judgmental or critical from what we’ve heard from others, but knowing God’s heart for each person. D. With righteousness shall he judge the poor By the anointing we will have a right attitude toward those experiencing hardship. E. Reprove with equity By the anointing we will be able to discern and act according to God’s law of justice, free from bias or favoritism of the flesh – judging rightly with the mind of God. D. Seeing and Hearing by the Spirit John 5 30I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. Jesus did not go by what he heard and saw in the natural (Isaiah 11:3). He was motivated and supplied by the anointing to know what God desired to do, desire to do it, and carry out that work effectively in the power of God. He heard and saw what God wanted to do, and did it. So should we. We need to exercise the seeing of the Spirit, and the hearing of the Spirit, in our lives. We can hear from God, know what He wants to do, know how He wants us to do it, and be confident to carry it out. E. Feeling the Anointing John 8 48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" These Jews had no feeling for the anointing – they could not even tell the difference between the Spirit of God and the devil. We can feel after the anointing, and know and discern the presence and the direction of God. As a result of the anointing: Isaiah 11 5Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist. As a result of the anointing, we will live lives that are right before God. We will be faithful to all His desires and ways. We will be Spirit-filled and Spirit-taught! We can express the anointing of God in every one of these areas! 


The Seven Healings We hear in the Gospels about many healings, indeed, of crowds of the sick and needy gathering to receive Jesus' healing touch or glance.(2) Only with Mary Magdalene do we hear of seven demons ejected from one person. Usually people have concluded, "She sinned more deeply, so she had more demons to eject." We have a different point of view. The number seven gives the clue. Since ancient times, spiritual science has understood that human beings have seven energy centers through the body. These "wheels of energy" are called "chakras" in Sanskrit. One can trace this understanding from the earliest teachings in India, into the cultures of Babylon and Assyria, then into the culture of Egypt. From thence, it came through the traditions of the Hebrews -- one can see many references to the seven-fold structure of spiritual worlds in Hebrew scriptures and thought, which they picked up from their captivities in Babylon and Egypt.(3) "Wisdom (Sophia) has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars" (Proverbs 9) refers directly to the seven-fold foundations of our being. Today this awareness is the focus of the spiritual science of various healers who work with the seven chakras and seven levels.(4) You can see this notion of the seven levels in the Hebrew menorah, where the six arms of the candle-holders come up and around the central light of spirit. The fact that Mary Magdalene was released of seven devils makes her unique in Christian lore. Yet, how was this fact dealt with? With suspicion, fear, and scorn. The stigmata of her past -- having had seven devils in her -- became more important than her cleansed state. And she seemed to gather up the sins of other women named in the Bible, i.e., Luke's 'sinner' and the woman accused of adultery. Around the year 600, Pope Gregory "the Great" declared that Mary Magdalene was the same as the unnamed prostitute in the Bible, therefore one ought to hold her as the penitent whore. In his Homily 33, similar to the Executive Orders used by Presidents to define policy, he stated: She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark. And what did these seven devils signify, if not all the vices?... It is clear, brothers, that the woman previously used the unguent to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts.(5) In this he designated Mary Magdalene the whore, which he amended to become the "penitent whore," the woman in tears seeking forgiveness for her sins. This designation has shrouded her in a cloak of shame, and kept her wisdom hidden from us. However, a strong case can be made about the value her "repentance" has had through the centuries in inspiring women (and men) to find hope when they were truly down and out. Note that the Greek word interpreted as "sinner" in this Gospel was "harmartolos". It can be translated to mean one who has transgressed or placed herself outside the law-or quite simply, one who was not Jewish. And it was used in that manner elsewhere in the scriptures. The word itself does not imply a street walker or a prostitute. One of the first big realizations to occur when researching this story is that there is no direct reference anywhere in the Bible to Magdalene as a prostitute. Only in 1969 did the Catholic Church officially repeal Gregory's labeling as "whore," admitting their error, though Mary Magdalene as the penitent whore has remained in public teachings of all Christian sects. Like a small error notice in the back pages of a newspaper, the Church's correction goes unnoticed, while the initial and incorrect article continues to influence the readers. But let us remember that she was healed by Jesus Christ of the seven demons, the aspects that cloud our vision and energy at each of our seven centers. Presumably, she no longer had the seven deadly sins -- pride, lust, envy, anger, covetousness, gluttony, and sloth. In their place she had the corresponding virtues.(6) She had cleared the way for "the seven virgins of light."(7) This purification makes her the most thoroughly sanctified person mentioned in the New Testament. Imagine this for a moment: completely cleansed of prejudice and old grudges, fogs of illusion, hereditary obstacles to health, all desires.... If she had tears after these healings it was because she could now truly see the spiritual truth that worked in all things. She could see the barbarity of other human beings, as well as the transcendent beauty of Jesus Christ's healings and teachings. In modern terms, her "heart was open." Mary's elevated state may explain why she took on such a strong role in the early century texts of the Nag Hammadi library, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Pistis Sophia. The latter text was found in Egypt, where the secret teachings of Mary Magdalene took refuge from the political decisions being made about the form of the Christian Church. According to that doctrine, in the forty-days teaching after the resurrection, Magdalene took the lead in the conversations with the risen Christ. Indeed, at one point, she alone follows Christ's questions, while the others have fallen into a stupor, overwhelmed by the power of the spiritual teachings being given. There exists a remarkable similarity between Ancient Egyptian theology and the text of the Pistis Sophia. Perhaps there is more to the mystery of her identity than meets the eye. The alabaster jar and the anointing of Jesus' head and feet "As he sat at table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke it open and poured the perfume on his head." (Mark 14:3) Our naïve reporter would look at this scene and might wonder, "How is it that someone whose audience is sought by so many lets this woman into his presence? What is she doing? Oh well, he teaches about sinning, so let's go on to the next words of Jesus." Yet in this act, Mary Magdalene shows much about her identity. The first key has to do with the substance alabaster. These vessels were carved from a soft form of calcium carbonate from old ocean deposits. Typically white and partly translucent, these jars were costly, as it takes time to carve the interior of a stone jar. They were used in the funerary rites of Egypt for hundreds of years to carry unguents as well as the organs of the high priests and royalty. The Gospel of Thomas supplements that of Mark to help fill in some of the blanks. Jesus Christ makes it very clear that, in this act of anointing, Mary Magdalene "helps prepare me for my burial."(8) From this we begin to see a pattern emerge -- an integration with the funerary practices that had become highly developed in Egypt, especially in the mystery centers of Heliopolis and Alexandria, which were quite active at the time of Jesus Christ. [Recall he had spent his childhood in Egypt, and some say he studied in Heliopolis.(9)] There was then a science of anointing with special substances to assist the spirits of true kings to pass through the seven veils of death to the Father-Ground. Indeed, these included seven (and sometimes fourteen, or twice seven) ointments to assist in this transition. In the case of Mary Magdalene, we see in the surviving gospels only two of these, once at Simeon's house and also what she carries to the tomb on the morning of Resurrection. How can it be that Christians have ignored the fact that the word "Christ" means "anointed one," and have pushed the female minister of this rite into a dark corner? Interestingly, in Mark 14:9, Jesus remarks, "Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, what she has done here will be told in remembrance of her." How is it that all Christians do not hold and revere this memorial, so clearly marked by their Teacher? Why do most people know her as the reformed prostitute, rather than for her deep understanding of the thresholds of the spirit world? And the following question must also rise to the surface: By what authority did she have the right to anoint him? Modern Christians will find it strange to consider that Mary Magdalene may have acted within the tradition of the priestesses of Isis, who for centuries had assisted in the passages from spirit into life through birth and back into spirit through death. Might the gold, frankincense, and myrrh brought to Jesus' birth have come from this tradition? Might the spikenard have been one of these substances meant to smooth the transition to death? The Isis tradition was alive and well at this time in Palestine, as was that of the Hebrew forms of the divine feminine, in the form of Asherah and Ishtar.(10) Look also at the importance of healing oil in modern Christian practice, which picks up on the older traditions which have funneled through it. Jesus Christ taught how to make and use these oils, and this continues today in various denominations of Christianity.(11) Oils are well known to receive and carry the impress of special aromas, and, in the case of healing oils, the impress of healing thoughts

The concept of the Triple Goddess associated with the Seventh Spheres found in the Virgin Mother can be seen in our Lady of Sorrows

Mary is equivalent to the Virgin daughter of the Father, in other words, the Higher Sophia. The other aspect is the Lower Sophia or redeemed prostitute/sister as embodied by Mary Magdalen, the beloved disciple. 

Mary has been worshiped as Our Lady of Sorrows since or before the 3rd Century although the Catholic Church did not formalize this as one of Mary's titles until the 14th Century. The Church has formally recognized The Seven Sorrows of Mary as: 1. The prophecy of Simeon that her heart would be pierced with swords (Luke 2:34-35); 2. The Flight into Egypt when her infant son's life was threatened by Herod (Matthew 2:13-21); 3. The Loss of Jesus for Three Days when he was a twelve-year-old boy (Luke 2:41-50); 4. Jesus' Ascent to Calvary bearing the cross (John 19:17); 5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:18-30); 6. Jesus Taken Down from the Cross (John 19:39-40); 7. Jesus Laid in the Tomb (John 19:39-42). However, people (especially women) around the world throughout the ages have been happy to share their sorrow with Mary and to identify their sorrow with hers. 

Some of the Black Madonnas were originally statues of Isis, such as The Black Virgin of Notre Dame du Puy, whose replica is shown here (H). Indeed Mary Magdalen is linked to Isis in other ways, such as mourning the dead god Osiris. The cult of Isis was very popular at the time of Christ (B,D *). In Catholic countries, black is associated with magic. "Black Madonnas are considered especially wonder-working, as the possessors of hermetic knowledge and power" (C, p.275).

Some have suggested that black represents a face of the universal Goddess not positively acknowledged in Christianity: the face of the Crone, the Death Mother, the Shadow Self. Some Black Madonnas are also seen as "wounded," such as Our Lady of Czestochowa with the scars on her cheek (H). There has been a revival of interest in the Black Madonna. One modern devotee has this to say about her:

"Through the Black Madonna's interaction in my life, I am finally able to say, 'Enough pain, enough wounding. It's over, the hurting is over.

Seven in reference to Mary Magdalene means that rather then being just a lost nobody once riddled with demons; She is at once both the historically fallen and now redeemed Church (Bride), without spot or blemish and in fact complete in perfection and full of grace, she is Apostle to the Apostles and the true Bride! She is Queen! 

Thus “Miriam of Magdala” (Mary Magdalene) was either the queen herself or a high priestess, representing the Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar.

The cult of Ishtar or Astarte - the Mother Goddess and 'Queen of Heaven' - involved, or example, a seven-stage initiation [the seven veils]. Prior to her affiliation with Jesus, the Magdalene may well have been associated with such a cult. Migdal, or Magdala, was the 'Village of Doves', and there is some evidence that sacrificial doves were in fact bred there. And the dove was the sacred symbol of Astarte.


Through her redemption from sin and her unique knowledge of the Risen Christ, she was regarded by the occult initiates of the Middle Ages as a medium of secret revelation.

the planet Venus as her symbol in the cosmos.


Long ago her name was Isis, Queen of the benevolent springs, Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give your the rest.. Others knew her as Magdalene with the celebrated vase full of healing balm. The initiated know her to be Notre Dame Des Cross.
- Le Serpent Rouge

Mary Magdalene had her surname of Magdala, a castle, and was born of right noble lineage and parents, which were descended of the lineage of kings. And her father was named Cyrus, and her mother Eucharis. She with her brother Lazarus, and her sister Martha, possessed the castle of Magdalo, which is two miles from Nazareth, and Bethany, the castle which is nigh to Jerusalem, and also a great part of Jerusalem, which, all these things they departed among them.
- Legenda Aurea (published in Genoa in 1275)

 The idea of the two Marys fitted in well with the pagan way of thinking. The image of Jesus being followed by the two Marys is strongly reminiscent of Dionysus being followed by Demeter and Persephone.


She was also high priestess of the Temple of Ishtar at Magdala, and as such she would have been the keeper of the doves. She is linked with Benjamite, the tribe which was ostracized because they were of the line of Cain. So too was Hiram Abiff, architect of the Temple of Solomon.

There are many variations of this myth, but its importance lies in the love affair between Dumuzi-Tammuz, who comes to represent the annual dying and regenerated vegetative cycle, and Inanna-Ishtar, the embodiment of the generative force in nature. In their intercourse she fecundates the growth cycle of spring, and this came to be ritualized in an annual ceremony in which the king (representing Dumuzi-Tammuz) entered into a hieros gamos or "sacred marriage" with a temple prostitute, representing Inanna-Ishtar, and thus sympathetically brought regeneration to the land. The popularity and geographical spread of this myth and its ritualization are attested in Ezekiel 8:14 where the prophet condemns the practice followed by some Jerusalem women lamenting the "death of Tammuz"

Again, it is helpful to point out the differences between the Christian belief in the death / resurrection of Christ, and the "mystery religions":

on "death" : none of the so-called "savior-gods" died for someone else; Jesus Christ the Son of God died in place of His creatures (1 Cor 15:3-4; Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Tim 2:4-6) which is unique to Christianity;
only Jesus died on the cross for sin, the pagan gods are never claimed to die for sins; they were not crucified (there are in fact NO "crucified saviors" other than Jesus) but died violently by other means (self-emasculation; hunting accident; ripped apart by wild boars or the Titans or crazed women or jealous brothers; etc);
Jesus died once for all (Heb 7:27; 9:25-28; 10:10-14); many of the pagan gods were vegetation deities whose repeated death and "rebirth" depicted the annual cycle of nature; it is a mythical drama with no historical ties;
the early Christian church believed its proclamation of Jesus' one-time death upon the cross and bodily resurrection is grounded upon what actually happened in history ("we are witnesses of these things" cf. Acts 1:1-4; 1:8; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39-41; Luke 1:1-4; 24:48; 1 John 1:1-3; 2 Peter 1:16).
unlike the pagan gods, Jesus dies voluntarily (John 10:10-18; Phil 2:5-11);
Jesus' death was not a defeat but a triumph (1 Cor 15:54-58; Col 2:14-15; 2 Tim 1:10).
on "resurrection" : central to the mysteries was the annual vegetation cycle where life is renewed each spring and died each fall; the cults found symbolic and spiritual significance in the natural process of growth, death, decay, and rebirth;
many mystery religions involved secret ceremonies, sometimes in connection with an initiation rite, with esoteric knowledge revealed to the participant;
a basic element was a myth in which the deity dies or "disappears" (and then "returns" or "revives" or "reappears" or is "restored") and otherwise triumphs over enemies;
unlike the early Christians, the mysteries had little use for correct doctrine, dogma, or belief; they were primarily concerned with the emotional state of their followers and appealed to the imagination;
the immediate goal was a mystical or religious experience in order to achieve union with their god, or otherwise some kind of "salvation" of the soul or immortality or deification;

A very large corpus of Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform literature is extant in which Inanna-Ishtar is prominent. The primary image that emerges from these texts, in addition to her as the embodiment of Venus, is that of a goddess of love and sexuality,

There are several hymns to Inanna-Ishtar, including one in which she praises herself as queen of the heavens and omnipotent among the gods. Another, the Hymnal Prayer of Enheduanna, addresses Inanna as "queen of the divine decrees, radiant light, life-giving woman, beloved of heaven and earth, supreme one." This remarkable hymn, reputedly written by the daughter of Sargon the Great, touches on virtually every aspect of Inanna

Ishtar is elevated by the experience; she is rebirthing herself and also the rest of creation. If we are to evolve we must transcend our primitive nature and see beyond the desires of the ego and connect our shard of divinity with divine consciousness.

 

Another image of her—featured with the egg icon—seems confusing at first. It shows strength, resolve, and what about the egg? An obvious fertility symbol?

If you remember the Easter Bunny and dyeing Easter eggs, then you had a clue all along, it turns out—and the resurrection is tied up in that too. There was a pagan festival for Eostre/Ishtar, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring (whose symbol is the rabbit), which celebrates the end of winter and the start of spring. The tradition of hard-boiling eggs and painting them symbolizes new hope and dates back to 4000 B.C.
 

Mary’s identification as a prostitute stems from Pope Gregory I’s Homily 33, delivered in 591 C.E. (a symbol equivalent to A.D. which means ‘common era,’ and one which is used more frequently, along with B.C.E, which means ‘before common era.’). Pope Gregory I declared: “She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark. And what did these seven devils signify, if not all the vices? … It is clear, brothers, that the woman previously used the unguent [ointment, balm] to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts.” Only in 1969 did the Catholic Church officially repeal Gregory’s labeling of Mary as a whore, but as many scholars note, that information was not preached much, if at all, from the pulpit.

Goddess priestesses were titled "Sacred Prostitutes," although a more recent and accurate translation titles them "Sacred Women" or "hierodulae" (B, p. 29). Such prostitutes were considered evil by Jewish leaders of the time. That Jesus/Yeshua would associate with such a woman would indeed invoke the scorn of his disciples, as is recorded in the New Testament.

IF IT SEEMS OUTRAGEOUS TO CLAIM THAT JESUS THE KING SHOULD MARRY A USED WOMAN, REMEMBER THAT THE POINT IS NOT WHAT MAN DESIRES BUT WHAT GOD HAS SUFFERED IN RELATION TO HIS BRIDE THE CHURCH.

So then Mary is both the fallen and redeemed church; the apple of God's eye. 

Wisdom hath builded Her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars. PROV 9:1

 

THE BLACK MADONNA.

The most sacred icons of the Catholic Church are the Black Madonna and Christ child, which are found in Europe's most venerated shrines and cathedrals. Each year, hundreds of thousands of European pilgrims ritually humble themselves before the image of Black Mary and her child Jesus at Black Madonna sites throughout France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and other Catholic countries. Many Black Madonna statues have the black paint literally kissed off of their hands and feet.

It appears that the festival of the Black Princess, Sara Kali, is in honor of this same symbolically black child. It is likely that those in later centuries who knew this legend and the identity of the Magdalen as the wife of Jesus equated her with the black bride from Canticles. She was the Sister-Bride and the Beloved. Her "blackness" would have been symbolic of her hidden state; she was the unknown queen--unacknowledged, repudiated, and vilified by the church through the centuries in an attempt to deny the legitimate bloodline and to maintain its own doctrines of the divinity and celibacy of Jesus. Her blackness is also a direct reference to the deposed Davidic princes of Jerusalem: "Brighter than snow were her princes, whiter than milk . . . now their appearance is blacker than soot, they are unrecognized on the streets" (Lam. 4:8). Fossils of truth remain buried in our symbols, our proper names of persons and places, our rituals and folk tales. This understood, it is plausible that the flight into Egypt was taken by the "other Joseph," Joseph of Arimathea, and the "other Mary," Mary Magdalen, to protect the unborn child of Jesus from the Romans and the sons of Herod after the crucifixion. The discrepancies in the story and the obvious generation gap can easily be understood in light of the danger to the bloodline--which required the utmost secrecy as to their whereabouts--and in light of the time that elapsed before the story was committed to writing. This seems to be another case of a myth being formed because the truth was too dangerous to be told. In summary, the two royal refugees from Israle, mother and daughter, might logically be represented in early European art as a dark-skinned mother and child, the hidden ones. The Black Madonnas of the early shrines in Europe (fifth to twelfth centuries) might then have been venerated as symbolic of this other Mary and her child, the Sangraal, which Joseph of Arimathea brought in safety to the coast of France. The symbol for a male of the royal house of David would be a flowering or budding staff, but the symbol for a woman would be the chalice--a cup or vessel contianing the royal blood of Jesus. And that is exactly what the Holy Grail is said to have been!

One prominent theory is briefly summarized by: "the Black Madonna is the ancient earth-goddess converted to Christianity." many goddesses were pictured as black, among them Artemis of Ephesus, Isis, Ceres, and others. Ceres, the Roman goddess of agricultural fertility is particularly important. Her Greek equivalent, Demeter, derives from Ge-meter or Earth Mother. The best fertile soil is black in color and the blacker it is, the more suited it is for agriculture.

In the journey to acquire gnosis of the Sacred Feminine and understanding of Sophia, according to many masters of the tradition, one must begin by seeking to know the Black Mother and Bride; hence the Dark aspects of the Divine Feminine.

Interestingly enough the word for "black" in Hebrew is the same as it is in the Hindu language: Kali. Thus, the name of the Dark Mother in our tradition is Kali Imma, and the name for the Dark Bride is Kali Kallah. The distinction between the Mother and Bride, in general, is the collective or transpersonal and the individual or personal, respectively - the Daughter or Bride is the individual manifestation and experience of that greater principle represented by the Mother. Thus, in truth, everything we might say about the Mother is equally true of the Daughter, and everything we might say of the Daughter is true of the Mother also - they are not truly separate at all.

The Black Mother is not easily understood - she is, perhaps, the most veiled or concealed aspect of Sophia. She is at the very heart of the creative process, and while she may be clearly experienced in the body and life process, yet she may also be experienced as completely disembodied rather than incarnate - completely transcendental. She is the primordial manifestation of the Divine Feminine - the Deep of the Void and Chaos from which all things arise and come into being. In her essence and nature she is unthinkable - completely inconceivable and incomprehensible; and yet she is the very primordial ground from which all being-consciousness-force emerges.

Although transcendental, and such things as beauty and horror are one and the same to her; yet, she is brooding and immanent, ever present in our experience of a constantly changing reality - and as the motivator of constant change or transformation, her immense power goes without saying. Equally, the Dark Mother is the Great Virgin, completely self-contained and hidden in herself, and though the very principle of change, often called 'Destruction,' which is the power behind all Creation, yet is she, in her essence and nature, never changed.

Chaotic and unpredictable, uncertainty and unknowing, dread and terrible - these are words that describe her; yet, so also are words such as sweet and all-giving, liberating and uplifting, and illuminating. She is the core of the Creative Process - the journey into Void and Chaos and Destruction from which a New Creation arise: Mother of the Apocalypse!

If
there is a God, we expect Him to be good, and this is difficult to
verify by experience



Instead, the second verse of the Torah is an apt
description of affairs: "And the land was chaos and desolation, and
darkness over the surface of the depths, and the spirit of God
hovering over the surface of the waters."

Anguish has ever been the lot of man, with pain,
frustration, and doubt, the spiritual components of relentless
entropy. The Talmud states that no man leaves this world with even
half of his desires fulfilled.

Instinctively, we protest: Not true! Life is meant to be
wonderful! We consider satisfaction our right, and looking around
us, we think we see it in others, or just beyond our reach. In fact,
this is an expression of man's religious nature, but life's
experience often brings disillusionment.

We must recognize our reality so we may come to terms with
it and achieve peace and satisfaction. Ignoring our situation
condemns us to remaining as we are.

We are
denied even the small comfort of resignation, and must respond to
this "divine" prodding by taking up the quest. Serious religion, and
especially Kabbalism, are (guided) explorations of reality in quest
of connection to God, and the accompanying harmonious meaning.
Mystical contemplation soon brings the discovery that chaos
and desolation are not limited to impingement on us by the world
outside of us. Within us, the stark, unbearable emptiness and utter
disarray are more profound, generally, than extrinsic disharmony.
One must go beyond conception to consciousness, refraining from
thoughts that divert one from clear, accurate perception. Not
meditating on anything, one merely dwells, at length, on what is
there, inside. Exploring one's inner world perceptively, determined
to learn the truth, one discovers this reality.
This process can be unbearable. The intensity of the void,
the anguish of the emptiness, unleashes profound, fiery, wild
emotions. Unable to resist this intensity, we are driven to find
refuge, solace, and means of containing and expressing this
overwhelming spiritual energy. It must not remain in the chaotic,
desolate state in which we discover it. Our isolation provokes
poignant desperation. Unable to cope with this extent of being
alone, we instinctively reach out beyond, for Something to give
meaning, goodness, purpose and order.
Merely knowing, in this manner, intuitively, that God must
be there is existentially unsatisfying. We require verification.
Therefore, if we are courageous, and the pain is intense, we take up
the quest to find God, to come to terms with the infinite and
ungraspable.
This is the deeper significance of the end of this
verse: "and the spirit of God hovers over the waters," present
despite, indeed, because of the chaos, but beyond reach. Creation is
not mere chaos and desolation; it is chaos and desolation impelling
us to search for God, for meaning. God is present, implicitly, in
the universe.

The sages implied this idea when
they said that in the beginning, the potential for everything was
created, and the continuation of creation merely expressed that
potential. Chaotic desolation, created at the beginning, was the
potential for faith and confidence in God, and, as we shall see,
with God's help, their positive expression, which is the entirety of
life.

Despite its root, deep in the soul, this connection to God
may not permeate one's being with trust in God, and the concomitant
confidence. Instead, faith may function only as a theoretical basis
for proceeding with life with greater confidence and energy.
Moreover, faith may be very general. Life is too complex
for this general fact to suffice. The specifics of the task of
refining the soul, to achieve mystical, intellectual, and emotional
harmony with God and His creation, remain. In fact, confidence may
only strengthen impulses and drives whose direct expression lead to
conflict, whereas doubt preserves, at least, superficial harmony
with one's surroundings. One is forced to refine one's approach, to
attain wholehearted, intellectual, emotional, and mystical
integration.
A problem confronts the soul. It is religious, knowing its
existence to depend on God, but it does not experience, nor express
Godliness. This remains implicit.
One discovers the reason for this through contemplation:
the soul is composed of a duality. Psalm 148 alludes to
it: "Hallelujah! Praise God from the heavens; praise Him from the
heights.... Let them praise God, for He commanded, and they came
into being." This higher, more spiritual aspect of soul
spontaneously experiences God and its dependence on Him.
A second, more mundane level of soul, feels that God is far
above it, inaccessible: "Praise* God from the land.... They shall
praise the name of God, for His name is exalted and alone. His glory
is above earth and heaven." The Godly level is too lofty to be
expressed directly, here. Rather, this second, less Godly level of
soul must deliberately mediate between dimly perceived, and
therefore, chaotic, spontaneous impulses of the Godly, and their
expression. This second level experiences a certain independence of
its Creator.
(Footnote: The praise comes with refinement of the soul.)
For most people, the aspect of soul which feels independent
of God and spirituality dominates. It has free will. Worldly
considerations influence it much more than spiritual ones. This is
disturbing. It is a state of golus, (of exile). Clinging to God, the
source of all good, through faith, we endure golus. However, if we
can not express this good practically, we remain spiritually
uncomfortable. The exile of the Shekhina (the Divine Presence) is
felt most intensely when all sense of good and spirituality have
withdrawn from the world, receding to a remote, inner point of
faith.
This point must be the base for extending outward, to bring
the creation into the rof the Godly. To permeate one's being, each
aspect of soul must become a vehicle for the Shekhina in its own,
unique manner, thereby bringing the Shekhina out of exile, and
extending the Divine Presence into the mundane creation.

The perspective that material is not the absolute standard
of reality yields the knowledge that it is created. Moreover, since
material does not exist absolutely, creation must be perpetual.
Reality is always new.

A mystic regards the basis of morality quite differently
from a rationalist. Relying on pure faith, the rationalist might
assert that God would not create us with intellect and free choice
without communicating what He wants us to do. We require values.
The mystic takes an experiential approach. How do we know
that murder is morally wrong, for example? For the mystic, this is a
God-given reality, emerging from objective contemplation, requiring
no other justification. This is not blind faith. Rather, it is in
the spiritual experience, issuing from the objectivity of
contemplation. Human beings simply have intrinsic value and sanctity.

The uncritical objectivity we are describing in
contemplation is an objectivity of the heart, not only of the brain.
To the extent it is perfected, one has achieved true harmony with
the creation; one's perceptions and actions are perfectly
appropriate in every situation. This does not mean that one is
always placid or happy. Rather, one responds selflessly and
spontaneously to good with pleasure, and to evil with loathing.

One's spontaneous emotional involvement with life, however,
generally does not express this inner reality.
On a slightly higher level, one is disturbed that inner
spiritual perception is not reflected in emotion and action. In that
case, the inner spirituality at least influences the outer level of
personality and emotion. However the influence is ind, not a direct
expression of the inner spirituality. It is the state of duality to
which we alluded.
The aspect of the soul which does not perceive or react to
spirituality naturally, does respond to contemplation. During
meditation, it feels forlorn and empty, instead of being totally
engrossed in materiality. This emptiness is the state of inner chaos
with which we began our essay, whereas the natural harmony of
spiritual perception, in the higher level of soul, directly reflects
the spirit of God hovering over the waters.
The forlorn feeling, as we said, is a response to
contemplation. Presented with spirituality, the natural (second
level of) soul feels its great distance from God, from spirituality,
and from the ideal of the first level. Feeling this weakens the hold
of materiality on the soul; physicality is no longer satisfying
enough to rivet the soul's attention.
However, the soul still can not attain the spontaneous,
harmonious expression of Godliness it craves. The result is
desolation, a passive, immobile state.
The first step to elevate desolation to harmony is to yearn
for connection with God. This fiery longing is true emotion. It does
not merely lodge in the inner recesses of the heart. Rather, it
mobilizes the body to do something about the unreachable distance.
This energy needs to be harnessed and directed, but the personality,
meanwhile, is unable to do



Yeshua says, "One must be reborn of the Holy Spirit to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." This, in truth, is a mystical death - passing back into the womb of the Deep of Void and Chaos, those Bitter Waters (Marah), to arise as a child of Light. As any woman can bear witness, the fullness of the womb leads to an explosive and chaotic event of giving birth, so that with birth both mother and child pass through a great ordeal - in this the Black Mother is perfectly known by women. Indeed! She is innately known by women within their own deep and unspoken but natural and instinctual qualities.

Here, of course, we speak of the Dark Night of the Soul and the Cloud of Unknowing - which leads to the realization of the True Light. Yet, until there is a mystical death, and the embrace of the depth of Darkness, how shall the Bright Mother, the Queen of Heaven or Enlightement be known? "Those who say they know the Bright Mother, never having embraced her Dark Splendor, do not know her, and cannot unite with her in full until they are willing to the Darkness."
Rather than being a negative event, the dark night is believed by mystics and others to be a blessing in disguise where the individual is trained to grow from vocal and mental prayer, to a deeper contemplative prayer of the soul. Particularly in Christianity, it is seen as a severe test of one's faith.

Jam 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jam 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

A mystic crosses the abyss of the collective unconsciousness and the formless matrix/matter to discover God/dess is a mystery and not really a monolith. The Elohim is plural and transcendent. The communion is ONE. The Kingdom of Heaven and the Angelic host is Elohim.

Kali Imma is black to those who do not know her, who gaze at a distance, but to her lovers she is white brilliance – the all-consuming Holy Fire that devours all that is not like unto the Divine, it is at one and the same time the Light of Divine Illumination? Sophia is Sophia, bright or dark; just as the nature of mind is the same, whether unenlightened or enlightened.

She is the Partzuf of the dark phase of the moon’s cycle; yes, death and rebirth, and passage through in-betweens, yet also presiding over initiation into deep mysteries of being and consciousness, and bearing a capacity to heal, regenerate and renew. She holds the keys to wild gnosis, my friend, with all her unpredictability, transcendental insight, and great passionate force.

Consider, perhaps, the Black Madonna and the many people who flock to her for comfort and healing.

Yes, she bears the attributes of the outcast, but then it is she who is swift to deliver the outcast from injustice and to receive and accept them as they are, though certainly seeking their enlightenment and liberation.

She is metadimensional and, yes, she is wild – no doubt she can be awesome and terrible, but also sweet and passionately loving. Who is looking?

She brings into Union.

She may reveal delights of the senses, yet also the error of grasping at them; she can guide through unseen spaces, revealing deep secrets, and lead us into new horizons; she can heal and nurture, and she can cut straight through our deepest delusions and shatter the bonds of our self-grasping – she becomes so many things to us, and yet she is none of them, for she is the Great Void itself! Can you separate out the new moon from the full moon? “She is repose in motion!” Indeed! She is the Supreme Trickster, operating quite outside of the confines of conventional wisdom and the dullness of unenlightened society – but how can one not love her ultimate ends, for her outcome is the perfect delight of liberation!


No explanation quite captures her, and she will not be bound by our concepts – she is pure experience at the primal core of being. It is on an experiential level that we must know and understand her, and here in this world she is quite immanent in our experience, though, indeed, we attempt to avoid her or ignore her in our culture and society. Kali Imma and Kali Kallah are not well accepted in our society and culture - rather they are ignored and avoided, demonized, as it were, because they cannot be defined and packaged by finite and linear reason, or controlled when invoked. Few women truly embrace her, and even fewer men - yet, it is she who brings about a true and full metanoia (spiritual transformation or conversion).

The difficulty is this - she is the honest truth of life, much of which is deemed unacceptible or undesirable. You see, the Black Mother/Bride is enigmatic, for while she brings into the Light, she also is among monstrous, horrific and demonic things. She is present in everything without exception, and empowers the entire play of cosmic forces - divine, admixed and demonic. There are two actions of both the Mother and Bride - purification and consecration, corresponding to the Dark and Bright aspects of Sophia. Purification implies the removal of all that distorts, perverts, corrupts, hinders or obstructs; consecration implies a dedication, something brought into alignment and harmony wih the Divine will and kingdom. Thus, purification precedes consecration, the two going hand in hand together.

I'm reminded of the truth that action of creation is at one and the same time the action of destruction. This is reflected in the transition of the Maiden to the Mother, for example. The state of the Maiden is shattered as she comes into being as the Mother - that which was passing away as that which shall be comes into being. This is the reality of the present moment, always. This seems directly connected to the twofold action of purification and consecration.

Indeed, it does seem that the Holy Bride is the Mother of the Apocalypse-Revelation; she who gives birth to the Second Coming - at least from a Sophian point of view. So then, She is the left hand of the Goddess.

"Life Is..."

Life is happening, love it.
Life is love, feel it.
Life is spirit, nurture it.
Life is laughter, enjoy it.
Life is happiness, strive for it.
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is people, protect it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is life, just love it.
-- John Ahem

BABA YAGA THE BLACK GODDESS


The story of Baba Yaga is prime among many images of the Black Goddess. The Black Goddess is at the heart of all creative processes and cannot be so easily viewed. Men and women rarely approach her, except in fear. Women are learning of her through the strength and boldness of elder women who are not afraid to unveil her many faces.

Sophia as wisdom lies waiting to be discovered within the Black Goddess who is her mirror image. Knowing that, until we make that important recognition, we are going to have to face the hidden and rejected images of ourselves again and again.

As women, we are confronted throughout our lives with unavoidable body messages regarding the uniqueness of our form and the inevitable changes that characterize aging and the passage of time. Although aging presents difficult challenges for both men and women, women confront some specific difficulties because of their gender. In traditional narratives, the end of biological fertility has relegated women to the status of "Old Women" who are stereotypically viewed as poor, powerless, and pitiful in our sexist and youth oriented culture. Baba Yaga, often referred to as the Black Goddess, and Vasalisa, often representing Sophia are intrinsic to the psyche of girls and women because they shows us that the illusion of form can hide wonderful qualities within.

One of the cruelest of stereotypes that older women face is the "Menopausal Woman." These are accentuated by the very fact that younger women are often rejecting or distancing to older women in society, unwilling to identify with women older than themselves. These experiences are painful confirmations that the aging woman no longer meets the social criteria of a physically and securely attractive woman. The common result for most women is the activation of shame as if becoming/looking older means that something is deeply and truly wrong with oneself.

Conscious femininity is a cyclic process and involves an awakened awareness of the triple form of the Goddess Mother, Virgin and Crone and how she exists simultaneously and continuously in all of our psyches, each taking center stage in awareness at different moments.

These archetypal patterns are considered intrapsychic modes of consciousness in the individual, and the primordial image of a powerful and integrated woman, crowned with wisdom gleaned through real experience, is again reemerging through both the individual and collective psyches of humanity. First, however, women must learn to embrace, respect and honor their changing bodies, abilities, capacities and WISDOM. We can learn a lot from Baba Yaga!

An archetype is a universal symbol, an inherited mental image to which humankind responds, and which is often acted upon as an unconscious reaction to human experience. These stories are no different and the story of Baba Yaga exemplify this phenomena. The female experience is symbolized by and archetypally corresponds with the ancient Triple Goddess as the creator and destroyer of all life "the ancient and venerable female divinity embodying the whole of female experience as Virgin, Mother, Crone" The archetypal figure representing the end of a woman's childbearing years, or the "Third Age" for women, is the third aspect of the Triple Goddess, the Crone.

At the climacteric or menopause, women are often forced to stand precipitously between the culmination of past experiences, to realize that youth is left behind, and prepare a new space within whereby a fresh image will coalesce as she envisions her future. This is real labor. The traditional constructs that are available to women are largely influenced by patriarchal standards of youth and beauty and we need fresh constructs that honor the diversity of life in all of its forms.

When a culture's language has no word to connote "Wise Elder Woman," what happens to the women who carry the "Grandmother" consciousness for the collective? Prejudicial (prejudged) attacks throughout history against older women symbolized patriarchy's feminization of fear the ultimate fear of annihilation, to be nonexistent. Centuries-long indoctrination limits our imagination so that we see this ancient aspect of the feminine only in her negative forms. We see her as the one who brings death to our old way of being, to our lives as we have known them, and to our embodied selves.

Our fear of the unconscious makes the Crone or Baba into an image of evil. The prevalence of paranoid masochism finds its expression through feminine perversion. Kristeva (1986) writes from "Stabat Matar" that "Feminine perversion is coiled up in the desire for law as desire for reproduction and continuity, it promotes feminine masochism to the rank of structure stabilizer"

Structure stabilizer! Natural death is to be feared, hidden away, certainly not recognized as part of the natural rhythm of cycles of birth, death and rebirth? Only when death becomes projected does it become a monster to be feared. There is an unconscious belief that a woman who has outlived her husband has somehow used up his life force. Walker (1985) claims that the secret hidden in the depths of men's minds is that images of women are often identified with death. Women have also bought into this mindset largely because of lost connection with their own spirituality and the natural cycles of nature!

To be sent to Baba Yaga was tantamount to being sent to one's death, but Vasalisa was actually helped by Baba Yaga. By facing her own worst fear death itself, Vasalisa became liberated from her previous situation and immaturity.

The myths of our society tell us much about the attitudes and world view of the myth-owners, and these attitudes are the products of women's roles within the wider society. Myth arises out of the collective level of humankind's experience, which is presented through images and symbols that resonate within our psyche. It is something we inherit from our ancestors and it is expressed through our genetic, racial memory.

The symbol of the Crone is unique to a feminine worldview where the face of the Virgin and the fecund Mother, the Virgin Mother Mary, was absorbed in Western tradition into Judeo-Christian imagery. Likewise, we see the image of Vasalisa embodied as this innocence. The Crone has retained much of her pre-patriarchial character where she has haunted the fringes of Western culture, largely ignored, unacknowledged and rejected one that often strikes fear into the hearts of men and some women because she has tremendous power and cannot be confined, literally seen as having the power of life and death. They symbolized maturity, authority, attuned to nature and instinct. They were women whom men could not bind by making pregnant.

That aspect of life that men would most like to control but against which they are powerless death. The Crone was healer, seer, medicine woman and, when death arrived with inexorable certainty, she was the mid-wife for the transition to another life

Over time, and in recent history the Crone became associated with the dark side of the feminine the withered old hag, the witch. Ironically, the word "Hag" used to mean "Holy One" from the Greek hadia, as in hagiolatry, "Worship of Saints."

In deconstructing these familiar images of the older aging woman, we must first identify their symbolic roots and challenge them in order to allow for potent, vital images that energize women's potential creative spiritual evolution. In this quest it is crucial to find valued female images that present creative and spiritual power, that offer a paradigm of ongoing formation and integration. If we do not do so, we risk encountering images of women that reinforce stereotypical models and moreover, can only alienate us from our own truest selves.

The Crone is a figure who incorporates both dark and light, life and death, creation and destruction, form and dissolution. The doll [Vasalisa's doll, given to her by her dying mother] becomes the symbol of the Sibyl, a figure of inspiration and intuition. She acts as a guide through the great passages of life, leading a woman into her own inner knowing.

In the story of Vasalisa and Baba Yaga, the innocence of the maiden coming of age through a series of tasks. Baba Yaga forces Vasalisa to look within through intuition (the doll) and she awakens to the illuminating light that is carried in her heart. Within the simple limits of a folk story, the interactions of Sophia (Vasalisa) and the Black Goddess (Baba Yaga) are demonstrated Baba Yaga or the Crone also embodies the inner archetype of Sophia, feminine wisdom.

Sophia is a Wise Woman, one who epitomizes feminine thought. This thought is of a particular kind. It is 'Gestalt' or whole perception. it synthesizes and looks at the overall pattern, it is logical but empathetic and combines acute observation with intuition. It is relational, taking account of the past in order to project forward into the future, and it arises out of care and concern for man and womankind. It uses both the left and right brain modes of thought. It is creative and concerned with vision and solutions attributes which are an integral part of the Wise Woman

Sophia plays, hides, adepts, disguises, and brings justice. Interestingly, we see these very same qualities attributed to the wise woman as being Vasalisa's, only not fully formed. Thus affirming the feminist perspective of the Goddess in all of her aspects and that all ways to wisdom are valid paths. Girls and women are encouraged to rely on their own subjective experience or on the communal experience of other women This is a very important point!

From a feminist perspective, the entry into the third phase of women's life is seen as a time of spiritual questing, renewal and self-development. It is a time where women are encouraged to explore themselves through interaction with other females who are providers of friendship, support, love, even sexual satisfaction, rather than a woman's family.

Likewise, the young girl growing into maidenhood needs the guidance and wisdom that elder women can provide. She must receive the gifts that the wise ones can give her. Baba Yaga may appear as a witch, yet she is instrumental in folk traditions. She aids heroes to find weapons, simplifying tasks and quests when she is treated with courtesy. Her transposed reflection is none other than Vasilisa the fair the young righteous maiden who defeats her opposite aspect by truth and integrity.

The older woman is the keeper of the wisdom and tradition in her family, clan, tribe, and community. She is the keeper of relations, whether they be interpersonal or with all of nature. Every issue is an issue of relationship. It is assumed that she has a deep understanding of the two great mysteries, birth and death.

Another quality is the ability to be mediator between the world of spirit and earth. She is emancipated from traditional female roles of mothering and is free to make a commitment to the greater community. As a result of this freedom, there is an abundance of creativity unleashed in this phase of life, often expressed through art, poetry, song, dance, and crafts and through her sexuality as she celebrates her joy.

This elder time must again become a stage of life revered and honored by others and used powerfully in service by women themselves. The elder "Wise-Woman" can represent precisely the kind of power women so desperately need today, and do not have the power to force the hand of the ruling elite to do what is right, for the benefit of future generations and of the earth itself.

Like Baba Yaga, the Crone must help us by her example and "Admonish us to revere all peoples and all circles of life upon this earth, not only important for the dignity and self-esteem of each woman, but vital for the countenance of life on our sweet Mother Earth".

Since men define power as the capacity to destroy, the Destroying Mother Crone must be the most powerful female image for them, therefore, the only one likely to force them (us) in any new direction.

A woman who denies her life process at any time in her development, clinging desperately to outmoded images, myths and rituals of her past, obscures her connection with Self, the Divine, and therefore, with her spiritual heritage, the natural universe. The same holds true for our daughters, maidens who are coming of age. There is a kind of internal balance and sense of holiness available to us when we accept ourselves as part of a world that honors cycles, changes, decay and rebirth. It is time for women to reflect and give form to the authentic self in its evolving, formative process.

The woman who is willing to make that change must become pregnant with herself, at last. She must bear herself, her third self, her old age with labor. There are not many who will help her with that birth. To Crone is to birth oneself as "Wise-Woman," and see the world through new eyes.

We have not had the safety valve of feminine metaphor in our spiritual understanding, consequently, the Feminine, both Divine and human, have appeared monstrously contorted, threatening and uncontrollable.

The Black Goddess lies at the basis of Spiritual knowing, which is why her image continuously appears within many traditions as the Veiled Goddess, the Black Virgin, the Outcast Daughter, the Wailing Widow, the Dark Woman of Knowledge.

The way of Sophia is the way of personal experience. It takes us into the realm of "Magickal Reality," those areas of our lives where extraordinary vocational and creative skills are called upon to manifest. Those treasures of Baba Yaga and Vasalisa lie deep within each of us, waiting to be discovered.

The female principle outlines an emerging movement during the Gothic Renaissance. In France, in the 12th century, there is a religious and knightly order surrounded by mysteries. The Order of the Priorate of Our Lady of Sion. It is passionately interested in the cult of the Goddess Mothers, now already in the Christianised figure of the Black Madonna. Her most important historical contribution was an amazing precedent in the struggle for the equal rights of women.

The Black Madonna became consistently present after the Crusades. Especially the Knight Templars, who brought to their countries small statues of black Virgins which were considered exotic pagan representations. The great celebration of the Knight Templars was Pentecost, day of the Holy Ghost and, as we have seen, the Dove belongs to Mother Earth as the Holy Ghost belongs to Mary.

The Black Madonna is a form of the Christian Virgin Mary, having deep roots into the pre-Christian religions of Europe. Some scholars trace her all the way back to black Artemis of Ephesus, located in present day Turkey.

The Black Madonna is symbol of all of the above and much more. She is Mary as Goddess and she is Eve, she is the prima materia and the black lands, she is alchemy and she is the mother of all of human creation. From the depths of the darkest of space and the from the primal blackness of the mud of the earth she was formed. Manifesting into all colors and realms she casts her light of compassion, love and forgiveness into the very being of humanity. She is what makes the spirit rise out of the animal form. She is the being who represents all of the aspects of nature which are rising up out of creation. She is the being who symbolizes the transcendent nature of all of life. It is through her suffering, her desire, her compassion and her willingness to teach that the human race can reach towards a less mundane role. She is all that is and all that shall ever be. Mary is the true manifestation of all that is good in humanity. She is the woman that lives inside all of women. She is the true being of worship for it is only through her ultimate martyrship that we as men can grow.

Pentecost was also the great Arthurian celebration of the Holy Grail, object of the sacred search which appears at this time.

The Knight Templars became part of history as the Grail's guardians. The Holy Grail protected the earth, nourished it and granted it fertility, powers similar to those of the Mother Earth and the Black Madonna.

The Templars brought with them the devotion to the Black Madonna from Ethiopia. The colors of their order was black and red symbolizing light and sacrifice. They even wore a double black and red cord around their necks that represented this and their flag also had black, white and red colors. For them, the Black Madonna also reminded them of the Queen of Sheba and her son Menelik, the first Emperor of Ethiopia when they were the guards of the Ark of the Covenant under Emperor St. Lalibela who developed the stone cross Churches of Lasta Province. But the Templars were devoted to the Mother of God specifically under her titles of "Our Lady of Light" and "Ark of the Covenant." For this reason, which is quite in keeping with the Eastern Church's theology and iconography, the Templar Madonnas were Black.

the images were darkened to illustrate a text from the Song of Songs: I am black but beautiful [Negra sum sed formosa]. In support of this theory, note that many of the black madonnas exist in France and date from around the time of the crusades, when Bernard of Clairvaux wrote numerous commentaries on the Canticles, comparing the soul to the bride, as well as many on Our Lady. He was also known to have visited several shrines of the Black Madonna, for example: Chatillon and Affligem. In the Gothic period texts explicitly interpreted the Bride in Canticles as referring especially to Mary. Once artistic precedent had been set, subsequent black madonnas may be explained by artistic convention rather than theological motivation. Based on historical correlations, Ean Begg speculates that the genre developed from an esoteric popular religion common among the Templars and Cathars, perhaps as a complement to the impetus from Bernard.

The first gentile baptized a Christian in the Bible is a man from Ethiopia, having great authority under Canddace, queen of the Ethiopians. Acts:8;26-40

The female principle is revealed in the Grail, as was also the cult to the worship of Love practiced by the Troubadours through their total dedication to the Lady.

Flower imagery from the scriptures and nature was applied to Mary in the writings of the Church Fathers and in the liturgy, providing the foundation in Tradition for the subsequent naming of hundreds of flowers for Mary's life, mysteries, virtues, excellences and divine prerogatives in the popular religious folk traditions of the medieval countrysides - as recorded by botanists, folklorists and lexicographers

Just as nuns wed Christ, so monks and priests wed Mary. Hopeful knights were known to place a ring on Mary's finger. If the statue gripped the ring firmly, the knight considered himself her Bridegroom and entered a religious order. In Greece, men who worshiped Venus performed the same ritual. Venus was also known to firmly grip the rings of the men she loved. One Friar, Alain de la Roche, claimed that many saints and angels witnessed his wedding to Mary who placed on his finger a ring made of her woven hair (a common love custom at that time.)

The 14th century, however, sets the end of the flourishing of this femininity with the first fires of the Inquisition, which burned for 500 years. This great fire burns and defames the Knight Templars and heads the "witch hunting", in an attempt to eliminate the female principle of pleasure, freedom and peace of Mother Earth.

The witches' pyres were only extinguished at the Age of Reason. Although they apparently did not correspond to the ideal of the Age of Reason, the small Black Madonna appeared as a symbol of a Formidable Strength, older and more powerful than any king or Pope.

They are a source of elementary and uncontrollable source of life as is freedom. They have their own spirit and wisdom: they did not submit themselves to any nationalist organization or law. The return of the female part of God lifts popular enthusiasm and mankind experiences the sacred directly through the apparitions of the Virgin of Lourdes and of the La Salete in the 19th century.

Learning to Live with a Broken Heart

"Beyond this place, there be dragons!"

THESE words, found on every map more than five hundred years ago, are what the mapmakers wrote at the place where their worlds stopped. It is the place beyond that lures every adventurer, every dreamer who lives out the lure, every missioner, everyone who searches for God.

In view of this it would appear that the *tertium quid* mediating between, good and evil, or Micheal and the Dragonis the Mercurious which is at once both Micheal and the Dragon and also a figure in its own right. Indeed, the Mercurious immediately points to what I call the "Hermetic function," the endopsychic intuition, the psychlogical function that is an embarrassment to reasonable men, if not their nemesis. Mercurius is the alchemist's Spirit of Matter, while the Dragon is the God's Spirit of Matter. But you may be right in saying that the Mercurius could be interpreted as the grand conjunctive symbol of the Dragon and Micheal, of spirit and matter. Since Micheal is the matter of the spirit (or body of the spirit) while the Dragon is the spirit of matter, the Mercurius cold very well mean the unified spirit and matter. But this needs a little digging to be established. Then he would be the real symbol of the Self (Jung´s concept). Concerning your concept of the "Hermetic function" - this sounds interesting. This would be a gateway between the unconscious and conscious. Something very wonderful, and controversial. The freeing of the spirit from the >Prima Materia then, is nothing other than taking up an interest in >that which is not material, like dream interpretation, hard work, >intellectual understanding, contributions to society by work. The nailing of the snake to the tree mimics the crucifixion of Jesus. But is the latter, quite to the contrary, a freeing of the spirit from the mother? St. Augustine notes: "Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his chamber, he went out with a presage of his nuptials into the field of the world. He came to the marriage bed of the cross, and there, in mounting it, he consumated his marriage. And when he perceived the sighs of the creature, he lovingly gave himself in place of his bride, and he joined himself to the woman forever." (from his *Sermo Suppositus*) one of the definitions of Eve's name, as well as being life (Hawah), is heart. Adam means red clay, or living earth. Eve ultimately is the Soul, the heart of Adam. Being taken out of the rib shows She was there all along, in potential.

Eve is the potential for evolutionary development within Adam. She ultimately is his inner world. Indeed, this is why she is the one that leads him to biting the apple. The serpent is used as the enticer for he is thought. A thought is a wave and moves like a serpent. One of the definitions to Mary's name, Mariam, is rebel. To evolve is to rebel. Just as Eve created a rebellion and led Adam into self-awareness, Mary gave birth to a Son that was destined to turn the world upside down. She was virgin because She was pure, without any thought. This is the meditative Mind or Soul. Again, as Goethe wrote in Faust, "The eternal Feminine draws us onward." Be it Eve (the Mind in thought) or Mary (the Virgin Mind) Woman is the avenue of evolutionary development, the container of potential.

This relation of Mary to Eve is revealed in the following hymn:

Hail Bright Star of Ocean (Mary means Ocean) (Ave Maris Stella)
God's own Mother blest
Ever sinless Virgin
Gate of Heavenly Bliss
Taking the sweet Ave (Ave is an inversion of Eva)
Which from Gabriel came (Gabriel is associated by some with Hermes/the Word)
Peace (Jerusalem) confirms within us
Changing Eva's name.

Mary is ultimately Eva. Eva is the Soul's fall into duality; Mary is the return to unity. Both are mothers of evolutionary development and should not be seen as separate. The same Soul that thinks is the same Soul that becomes still.

The male genitals jut outwards and the female fold inward. In our extreme patriarchy, denying the female has led to an outward orientation. Behind this movement we have the likes of our current politicians who are hell bent on controlling others and have absolutely no insight. This is the consequence of denying the feminine. If you attend to those cultures that strongly deny the feminine and are abusive towards women, you will find creative thought also suppressed. The inward orientation is just an avenue for rebellion. The powers-that-be can't have that...its dangerous Why else would you abuse them if you weren't scared? Hence, abuse is revealed as fear for the extreme patriarch is scared to death of the death of creative power. This is why Lord Jesus is taken into hiding by His Mother and why the Woman with 12 stars has to hide Her child in Heaven. These are not two stories.. They are also our story for the Divine Child in hiding is our own creative potential....our rebel.


What is different in our evolutionary development is the female. Women have periods instead of going into heat. This allows for intercourse for reasons other than procreation. The same with the way the genitals are thrust forward, allowing for intercourse face-to-face. Again, Woman is the Mother of evolutionary development. She leads us to love. It appears in meditating on the woman's body that we are meant to be intimate. Our (women and men) purpose is Love. Based on the current political and social climate, have we totally missed the mark? This is what sin means. "To miss the mark."


It goes beyond learning a positive from a negative
wherein it takes into account the necessity to work with both aspects,
the
idea
being to balance or reconcile them and then to eventually grow beyond
them
in a spiritual vein. Alchemy is about transmutation, not exactly
transformation, it is not changing one thing into another thing but
bringing about a
conscious re-birthing, as it were, first by going so deeply within, and
this could
mean alot of things on some individual basis, like having first go
through
hell to bring about heaven





I have been part of hell, and I have touched heaven. And heaven has
touched me back. I have found both living within me. It seems I went through hell to bring about heaven within
me, though hell is still in me too. I have made progress in turning my dark side into a friend
(without giving it control). I learned that my dark side is a frightened child who wants
to be mean and domineering so people can't ever hurt me again. I learned to
identify the spark of love (desire to protect self) that this rage is built of.
I learned to give this frightened child respect for the love, even while
saying no to the urge to control others. I promised my fearful side that I will
always be open to that part of me warning of what might threaten me,

everything is made of love, and without love no
thing would exist. I say yes to love and no to hate, while saying yes to the
kernel of love behind the meanest feeling. This is my personal alchemy lately.
When we think upper and lower, good and bad, sin free
and sin filled, we ultimately must come to despise part of our world
and part of our self.

We dislike parts of ourselves, and meanness from others. However, we can be OK with this.
Being able to say no and mean it can feel good, and enables you to feel more passion
whenever you say yes to love.

Good and evil are in all people, so it is not a question of
dividing your world into good people and bad people. It is a question of discernment
of behavior and intentions, not of judgment.

Called Emperor of the Realm of Woe, Dante’s Satan is far from being the ruler in any way of God’s Hell, seeing that, though his eternally defeated spirit everywhere pervades it, he is in reality its greatest prisoner, fixed immovably in the ice of his own making, with only freedom enough to enable his wings to be the freezing source of woe, and his mouths to be the symbols of the punishment of the three guiltiest of traitors. If Milton’s Satan be the poetical hero of the Paradise Lost, Dante’s Dis is, as he should be, the reverse. As Dante describes him he stands for the eternal failure of the Rebellion of Intellectual Might against the sovereignty of Spiritual Right.


So the tertiary spirit leaves the primitive wholeness and flies away, higher and higher, and develops his understanding to become a beautiful blue dragon. So the breaking free of the spirit from Prima Materia means that a part of it, "the hopeless one", - the black, wingless dragon - must stay behind and be enclosed so he cannot run around freely, creating projections, lures and temptations for the mind. So this is why "freedom of the spirit" is achieved by enclosing (or brazing) the primitive Spiritus Mercurius. But if a wholeness is to be achieved, the tertiary spirit, fully developed, must return and again unite with the dark spirit in the vessel to achieve the quaternity wholeness. This time it will not be a primitive black Urobourous as in the beginning. The differentiated tertiary spirit of the Godhead is the Holy Trinity. It broke free from its´ primitive conjunction with the Dragon when he was cast into the abyss. But a wholeness must again be achieved, so God must descend from his lofty height of supreme wisdom and again unite with the left behind dark force. He descends with his body Jesus Christ and undergoes the conjunction in the vessel of the grave





"Before Christ and the Bible the satanic accusation was always victorious by virtue of the violent contagion that imprisoned human beings within systems of myth and ritual. The Crucifixion reduces mythology to powerlessness by exposing violent contagion, which is so effective in the myths that it prevents communities from ever finding out the truth, namely, the innocence of their victims....
"This is why Dante, in his Inferno, represented Satan as nailed to the Cross. When the single victim mechanism is correctly nailed to the Cross, its ultimately banal, insignificant basis appears in broad daylight, and everything based on it gradually loses its prestige, grows more and more feeble, and finally disappears....

It is interesting that Both Christ and Satan have each been equated as 'Rex Mundi', meaning 'King of the World. an archetype of the Grail Legends. I saw how the archetype of the Wounded King was an aspect of Rex Mundi, the King of the World who is crucified on the cross of matter in the earthly perspective, but suspended from a cross of light in the more universal context

The esoteric figure of Rex Mundi both masks and contains within it,
the universal dynamic of AWAKENING in the human being to his/her PURE GEM
body, which is the complete hologram of gnosis contained within all
substance and being in the universes created through the El’ohim.



In this context as ‘Rex Mundi’, both the Twin Flame Light Bearers (Christ
and Lucifer) are combined in a non-dualistic whole cosmology of Perfection
and Light, suspended upon the cross of immolation in the Flame of Burning
Love, offering eternal regeneration of the light geometries, as they become
more and more brilliant in the Fire of Love. This is the greatest act of the
Phoenix

Rex Mundi, the King of the World, is also the Bearer of the Cup of
Transfiguration, in which the human being moves through stages of his own
duality until he reaches a platform in which he assumes in a specific and
dedicated way, the “Wound of the World.” Through this embodiment, he becomes the
“Wounded King / Healer” of Grail lore, whose wound is born for the world.
Through his glorious act of crucifixion and transfiguration upon the cross of
this gnosis which has become his Bodhisattva vow. We grow out of the mud and bloom into the lotus.

S/He heals others who touch his wounds of Light. It
is then that the Wounded Healer is transformed into Rex Mundi, for he has now
overcome his own creation (the world) to be exalted in the Phoenix Flame of pure
Illumination. What sets him free? His becoming (with complete presence) the
gnosis that all wounds are only love longing to be illumined in the heart. The cosmic / world dynamic of Rex Mundi is an important aspect of the “Solar
Mysteries”.

"Christ does not achieve this victory through violence. He obtains it through a renunciation of violence so complete that violence can rage to its heart's content without realizing that by so doing, it reveals what it must conceal, without suspecting that its fury will turn back against it this time because it will be recorded and represented with exactness in the Passion narratives....

"The Gospels themselves draw our attention to the loss of mythic unanimity everywhere Jesus comes and intervenes. John in particular points out on numerous occasions how the witnesses become divided after Jesus speaks and acts. Each time, the people around him quarrel, and far from unifying them, his message precipitates disharmony and division. In the Crucifixion especially, this division plays a primary role. Without it there would not be a Gospel revelation...."




We are baptized into his death, that the life of Christ might be manifested in our mortal body.
As the body is sacrificed along with the understanding of it.
All things become new and all things are of God.
For this mortal must put on immortality, and the body clothed upon from heaven.
Christ came in the body under the law, to redeem us from the law.
For the law was only a shadow of the true...that the book was only in the understanding of man.
God have something else for us.. that is a heavenly...another understanding given to us by God.
That God might be in all and every seed the same and the body one.
That every seed unified in love.. and the perfecting of it.



THE SACRED MARRIAGE MYTHOS IN PRESERVED IN THE THE FAIRYTALE AND THEATER;

Sleeping Beauty. The Beauty and the Beast, Ladyehawk, A mid summers night dream, and others.

We all have our own tales, our own Love stories.

In Smashed, Buffy and Spike physically smash each other and their surroundings; metatextually, the episode smashes their illusions about their individual identities as vampire and slayer and their joint identity as a couple. The episode culminates in their sexual union amidst the physical and psychic rubble. In Wrecked, we start to see hints of what will survive and rise like a phoenix out of the rubble and wreckage. The importance of these two episodes when evaluating the potential for true internal change and possible redemption for Spike can’t be emphasized enough.
Spike, long established in the Buffyverse as the teller of uncomfortable truths, keeps reminding us that things have changed. In fact, both episodes are bookended by this notion. Early in Smashed, Spike tells Buffy, “A man can change.” After he finds out that his chip is still functional, he then comments, “It’s about the rules having changed. Everything is different now.” Early in Wrecked, after Buffy tells him their night together was a mistake, Spike tells her, “It was a bloody revelation.” Close to the end of the episode, he comments again that since their night together, “Things have changed.”
So what exactly has changed? Spike has started to make noticeable progress towards putting together his new identity. We saw the problem in Smashed: he’s neither a vampire nor a human. He’s not good nor is he evil. He’s supposed to slay the Slayer, not love the Slayer. Whatever peace of mind Spike showed in Tough Love when he commented to Dawn “Well, I’m not good, and I’m okay” seems to have evaporated to some extent. If he’s not those things, who is he?
In Tabula Rasa, Randy showed us that Spike’s basic instincts lean more towards good than evil. When Randy discovers he has no apparent desire to bite Joan, he decides, “I must be a noble vampire. A good guy. On a mission of redemption. I help the helpless. I’m a vampire with a soul.”
The small problem here is that Spike is not Randy. Spike has life experiences that does not mesh with what Randy thinks is his identity. In fact, what Randy believes is his identity is actually Angel’s identity. When Spike’s life experiences return to him, he can’t realistically assume that identity as his own. Angel’s path of redemption leads him to altruistic expressions of love for humanity. He wants to help the stranger on the street to balance the incredible crimes against humanity that Angelus perpetrated. But Spike has always been something different. He’s a fool for love. Spike’s love is personal, passionate, and specific.
Instead of taking the obvious definition of a fool as someone who is full of hot air or easily deceived, let’s focus on a different definition. In the Tarot, The Fool in the Major Arcana is the risk-taker. The Fool is an innocent, totally at ease with the physical world and ready to start a journey of enlightenment.
Interestingly enough, the Fool corresponds to the Joker in the contemporary pack of playing cards. I’ve read several interesting analyses discussing how Spike (and Buffy) function as jokers in the Buffyverse. They are totally off the radar screen of TPtB. It seems their prophecies, while full of Angel, are remarkably silent on Spike. Buffy dropped off their radar screen after she fulfilled her function as Prophecy Girl. But both Spike and Buffy have had profound effects on the course of events in the Buffyverse; in some cases, extremely unpredictable effects.
Drusilla is looking for a lover. She wants a partner in the way Darla has Angel as her partner. They suggest she sire someone. She says, “I could pick the wisest and bravest knight in all the land – and make him mine forever with a kiss.” In some ways, that’s exactly what Dru did. William was a bloody awful 19th century poet. He was probably steeped in Arthurian lore and the chivalric tradition of courtly love as reinterpreted by Victorian poets like Tennyson. He idealized Cecily through that lens, offering her his poems like a knight offers his lady his service of arms.
In that alley, Spike was born. In order to assume his identity within the ‘gang’ and win his dark lady Dru from her father (Angelus), he begins an unlifelong quest: the hunt for Slayers. He is the darkly twisted chivalric knight, searching out the Holy Grail of vampires. He validates himself in his own eyes and his lovers through this quest. The Holy Grail contained the blood of Christ.
The temptation for Spike after Smashed is to revert to that identity and duplicate the destructive patterns of his relationship with Dru in his new relationship with Buffy. In Smashed, Buffy even taunts Spike that he doesn’t love her, he loves the pain she provides.
But in Wrecked, when Buffy starts doling out the pain, Spike tells Buffy clearly, “I won’t be your whipping boy.” He rejects the pain. He wants the pleasure. That’s what his love is about. He reinforces this at the end of the episode when he tells her that if she continues to play the bitch, he will bite back. He refuses to continue their patterns. He will not attack her, but he will defend himself. He sets boundaries and he lets her know where they are, while at the same time reinforcing that he loves her.

Drusilla makes a strange comment that day. She says, “The King of Cups expects a picnic. But today is not his birthday.” We know that Dru has the Sight. Earlier in FFL, she sees burning baby fishes around William’s head, which sounds much like a prediction about the chip. But what does this prophecy mean?
Who is the King of Cups? In the Tarot, the Minor Arcana has four suits, each associated with a particular element. Cups (the modern day equivalent is Hearts) is associated with Water. The element of Water is associated with moods, dreams, emotions, romance, and fantasy. It’s seasonal correspondence is…summer.
Each court card represents a personality type. The King of Cups is a mature man of wisdom and intuitive insights. He appreciates beauty. He is often thought to be a good husband and father. His trademark is his ability to forgive and empathize with others. When his jealous nature is aroused and his veneer of self-control is breached, he can be fierce.
Dru’s reference to a picnic/birthday party could symbolize a coming of age (growing up) moment that has not yet arrived. It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to suggest that the King of Cups could well be an identity that Spike will eventually assume. This particular confrontation between Angelus and Spike is not ‘the’ confrontation about Spike’s identity.
Wrecked may be the birthday party or at least its harbinger. Spike is now experiencing Summer(s). He’s also fighting again for a woman he loves and his main rival is Angel. This time, he’s fighting Buffy’s memory of Angel, her illusions about Angel, and the damage resulting from her relationship with Angel. References to Angel are all over the morning after scene. Spike claims vampires get Buffy hot and Buffy immediately contrasts the ‘one’ vampire against the ‘convenient’ vampire. Spike takes Buffy’s taunt that he thinks he is God’s gift and claims that’s hardy true because ‘it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.’ Buffy’s sexuality was forged in Angel’s fire as much as Spike’s was in Dru’s. Angel and Dru are part of the ghosts they have to lay to rest in the rubble.
Spike is still a Fool on his journey for love. But now the journey is as much about loving himself as loving others. Let’s look at this new fool for love who is arising from the rubble of Smashed. He appears to have a certain wisdom and maturity characteristic of what a redeemed Spike might display. First, he’s not bad enough to find Rack’s house. Amy can find it. Willow can sense it once Amy points it out and then is able to find it on her own. Spike’s clueless.
Second, despite the sexual tension and bantering that Spike loves, once Buffy mentions Rack, Spike’s mind is immediately on how to help Dawn and Willow. He’s about sex play, sure, but he’s not about irresponsibility.
Third, despite their uncomfortable conversation on the street that leads Buffy to claim she wants Spike out of her life, her work, and her home, Spike points out that life is more complicated than that. She’s already invited him in. He’s involved. She just can’t wish him away with a few words. Things are messy. He shares her work with her and the Scoobies, and he shares the care of Dawn. He also points out how immature it would be for Buffy to risk harm to Dawn just to spite him. He’s advocating responsibility both in this particular situation and in others going forward.
Fourth, Spike demonstrates his caring and nurturing side with Dawn. He strokes her hair, he takes her hand, and he tends to her while Buffy fights the demon. Simply put, he loves Dawn. Clearly, he isn’t just a fool for sexual love. He is capable of non-romantic, non-sexual connections.
But we really already knew that about Spike. What’s new in Wrecked is that Spike is clearly now able to empathize with humans outside the Summers family. It is Spike who stops, moved by Willow’s tears, much as Buffy’s tears in FFL moved him. He has every reason to be as angry on Dawn’s behalf as both Dawn and Buffy are. But he keeps his head. He doesn’t say a word. It’s his compassionate heart that causes Buffy to stop, rethink her anger, and go to her friend. Spike manages to do this despite the fact that he’s never really had anyone extend an empathetic hand to him in quite the same way.
Fifth, this is all combined with the Spike we’ve already seen, who has tremendous and profound insight into others. He knows Buffy felt something. He knows it was a bloody revelation. He senses he’s breached some walls.
Not everything is rosy in Wrecked. Spike does problematically say to Buffy, “If I’m dirt, then you’re the one who loves rolling in it.” It’s unclear whether he believes that about himself or if he’s just trying to use Buffy’s own comments against her. It’s been clear since The Gift that Spike does not believe Buffy can ever love him. But in Wrecked, part of his revelation is that Buffy does feel something for him and when Buffy challenges him that it’s not love, he replies enigmatically, ‘Not yet.’ It’s unclear whether Spike now feels himself worthy of Buffy’s love because he is aspiring to her level of goodness or if it’s because Buffy has now descended to his level.

Spike and Buffy’s roles as ‘jokers in the pack’ Science has attempted to separate "man" from the animals. The fact is all of the traits they thought specific to "man" has been discovered in animals (in lesser degree). Man is toolmaker, for instance. Yet, chimps use tools to to dig out termites. Granted they don't make jet planes...but maybe they don't need to?


"Ultimately, every individual life is at the same time the eternal life of the species. The individual is continuously 'historical' because strictly time-bound; the relation of the type to time, on the other hand , is irrelevant. Since the life of Christ is archetypal to a high degree, it represents to just that degree the life of the archetype. But since the archtetype is the unconscoious precondition of every human life, its life , when revealed, also reveals the hidden, unconscious ground-life of every individual. That is to say, what happens in the life of Christ happens always and everywhere. In the Christian archetype all lives of this kind are prefigured and are expressed over and over again or once and for all." The concept that the mysteries of the universal language might be found within a sacred temple seems to have corroboration also. In The East and the West Pt. IV by Le Comte de Moncharville, he writes of his visit to the Sanctuary of the Dragon that: "What most caught my eye was a collection of indecipherable signs covering the largest part of the granite walls of the 'great work.' Seeing my perplexity, one of the Masters of the Secret hastened to explains to me, to help me understand, that only three symbols were sovereign, and that these formed the unity of all symbols... All the other symbols (letters, numerals, astrological and alchemical signs) - he told me - are only combinations of this trinity." This scene is reminiscent of a line in Le Serpent Rouge which reads: "Not being Hercules with magical power, how do I solve the mysterious symbols engraved by the witnesses of the past? In the sanctuary, however, is the font, fountain of love of those who believe, reminding us of these words: 'By this sign you will conquer.'" The "sign" being referred to here is the Celtic cross - a cross and a circle. This symbol is described elsewhere is the poem, and can be found on the Alain Feral map, formed by a group of important towns, and it points directly towards the spiral temple, acting as a beacon. This is the same as the "Southern Cross" symbol which, according to Vaincre, was the preeminent symbol on Atlantis, and it has been used by a number of groups throughout history, including Otto von Habsburg's Pan Europa, and other European unity movements. It should also be noted that it bears a striking resemblance to the astrological symbol of Venus, the Egyptian Anhk, and the Catholic symbol of the Sacred Heart, which is particularly cherished by the Priory of Sion. And the three symbols described as being seen inside the Sanctuary of the Dragon were the cross, the circle, and the curve, the first two of which would form a Celtic cross. Perhaps there is something about this sign which will allow us to "conquer" the serpent-dragon that is the totality of all symbolism, unravel its coils and finally comprehend its meaning. This is what it means to slay the dragon in mythology, and this is what the line in the Rennes-le-Chateau parchments means which says: "By the cross and this horse of God I destroy this demon guardian at noon." Something about this temple underneath Rennes-le-Chateau may provide the way to unravel each of these mysteries once and for all. It would certainly unveil the mystery of man's past, the untold forgotten eons of history that we have yet to rediscover. Dennis McCarthy's charming "Awakening the Dragon in Children" presents the dragon as a healing figure he encountered over and over in his sand tray work with children. Children stand in awe of the symbol, even though they themselves have created it. The dragon is both fantastic and terrifying, wonderful and hideous, familiar and mysterious very much like life itself. The symbolism of the Black Sun is the subject to fear for the powers of stasis, since it indicates drastic and terminal change. How can it be applied in a sensible way by the Setian, or does it bear positive significance inherently already? The Black Sun symbol can be found in many Babylonian and Assyrian places of worship. They depicted the Black Sun - the godhead's inner light in the form of a cross. All of this is about the reality of magic.. why the unworthy cannot achieve it, and why it is a priceless treasure.. and what is so desperately needed to restore the balance..



Love is God. The two Marys stand at the gateway of death and life, and to return woman her soul through the resurrection of the Goddess is the path returning to Eden and victory over the dragon for us all. God is Love and the balance of faith and works is resolved in Love; the wedding of our King and Queen.

I had no idea where this journey would lead. In my study of evidence from history, art, literature, psychology, and mythology, the Lost Spirit and Bride gradually revealed herself and everywhere I found traces of the lost feminine and the imbalance; Stealing Beauty.

in Pistis Sophia, she who longs to experience higher
wisdom and higher light, is that she experiences condemnation and
oppression from those around her who try to keep her from rising
above them. It is a common reaction of people towards those who seek
to raise their own consciousness (which will also challenge others
who may not be seeking the same challenge to attain higher light yet
still they become jealous) that they will be thought crazy, to have a
superiority complex, not a member of the social clique, and so they
are ostracized and persecuted.

Sophia thinks that perhaps she can rise alone to "Buddha-hood" but
without her consort she cannot make it to the light. Who is her
consort? She is thought to be the bride of Christ, yet to rise
towards the light she must also become a universal being as he is. As
such, then, her consort includes all of mankind. Thus she remains a
Boddhisvatta, returning again and again to attempt to battle the
dragon in attempts to elevate the consciousness of man. Such is the
tension, between being drawn towards the light, yet restrained by the
consciousness of the world, that develops wisdom. It is also likened
to the torture of the cross: the vertical push of the body to
continue to receive air into the lungs so as to not suffocate, (or
light from above so as to not extinguish one's own spirit) against
the horizontal pull of the cross beam, which represents the pull of
the world of matter, and the resistence of darkness.


The saints slay dragons to satisfy and comfort
the people. Archangel Gabriel slays dragons; so does St.
George, and St. Michael. Margaret kills
the dragon with her own hands. Martha, the holy,
walks the dragon on a leash.

Is there anything of merit
worth learning from the dragon-slayers?

The earliest dragons, sea monsters, and flying
sea serpents are honored and named; they bring fertility and death.
Charybdis, the sea monster, could swallow whole
ships.
One ancient dragon-serpent is known as Tiamat.
Chaldean ceramics and inscriptions from 3000
B.C.E. show her as a dragon, though she could
take any form. In one depiction, she stands on
two animal legs and has a feathered body. Tiamat
was the Mesopotamian primeval Mother. She existed
in the time when "the nothing which was above was
not yet named heaven, and the nothing which was
below was not yet named earth." Indeed, Tiamat
was the originator, creator, and birthmother of
the entire universe, Tiamat birthed the earth and the
waters. Tiamat is the queen of dreams and fears,
and the queen of the deep.


Before the world was created, said the
Babylonians, there was only Tiamat, the dragon
woman of bitter waters and sweet springs.

Tiamat births monsters, storms, and beings which
exist only in our dreams. She also bears sons and
gods, and gives them homes in the far corners of
the universe.

The Unsas of
Arabian myth are described without fear, indeed
with a good deal of friendliness, as flying
snakelike women, goddesses, who, when honored and
supplicated, would give advice and assistance and
who had oracular powers.

The following magic
spell from the Nahe Valley, Germany, said to get
rid of unwanted disease, could easily be talking
about what happened to the women:

To the river, so it goes,
Went the dragon with the rose.
The dragon was drowned
And the rose canít be found.

The rose is a metaphor for women's sexuality. The
blood mysteries (dragon) and women's sexuality
(rose) are drowned. They vanish, leaving only a
river of tears behind.

men undergo a journey of recurring
differentiation and integration. This heros
journey, and the dangers which each knight or
saint undergo as they live up to its
ultimate challenges, is illustrated in the myths
of the dragon-slayers. If these knights were to
achieve immortality, we could indeed call these
myths patriarchal, but since the magic blood of
the dragon does not ultimately save them from
death, we also learn that men must ultimately
submit to the life and death-giving powers of the
Goddess.

we must
take care to restore proper masculine
values, leaving the corrupt forms of matriarchy
and patriarchy behind.

Much of dragon lore tells us that dragons were loathsome beasts and evil enemies to humankind. But dragons were born of a time other than men; a time of chaos; a time of creation out of destruction.

As the myth developed in the western world, dragons came to represent the chaos of original matter with the result that with man's awakening conscience a struggle arose, and the created order constantly challenged the dragon's power. This type of dragon was considered by many to be the intermediate stage between a demon and the Devil and as such came into Christian belief.

However, in the Eastern world the dragon adopted a rather different significance. He was essentially benevolent, son of heaven, and controlled the watery elements of the universe.

Some examples of the symbology of the dragon are:

- Gnostics: "The way through all things."

- Alchemy: "A winged dragon - the volatile elements; without wings - the fixed elements."

- Chinese: "The spirit of the way"' bringing eternal change.

- Guardian of the 'Flaming Pearl" symbol of spiritual perfection and powerful amulet of luck.

The early Chinese believed in four magical, spiritual and benevolent animals; the Dragon, the Phoenix, the Tortoise and the Unicorn.

The Dragon was the most revered of all. In it's claws it holds an enormous magical pearl, which has the power to multiply whatever it touches. The ancients believed the "pearl" symbolized the most precious treasure; Wisdom.

Among their earliest forms, dragons were associated with the Great Mother, the water god and the warrior sun god. In these capacities they had the power to be both beneficent and destructive and were all-powerful creatures in the universe.

The dragon's form arose from his particular power of control over the waters of the earth and gave rise to many of the attributes singled out by different peoples as the whole myth developed.

They were believed to live at the bottom of the sea, where they guarded vast treasure hoards, very frequently of pearls.

The significance of the dragon was its control over the destiny of mankind

The Lunar mystery of Anima lies on an inner orbit closer to the true self then the ego does, closer to your heart. Jung believed anima development has four distinct levels. The first is Eve, named for the Christian allegory of Adam and Eve. It deals with the emergence of a male's object of desire, yet simultaneously generalizes all females as evil and powerless. The second is Helen, in allusion to Helen of Troy in Greek mythology. In this phase, women are viewed as capable of worldly success and of being self-reliant, intelligent and insightful, even if not altogether virtuous. This second phase is meant to show a strong schism in external talents (cultivated business and conventional skills) with lacking internal qualities (inability for virtue, lacking faith or imagination). The third phase is Mary, named for the Christian theological understanding of the Virgin Mary (Jesus's mother). At this level, females can now seem to possess virtue by the perceiving male (even if in in an esoteric and dogmatic way), in so much as certain activities deemed consciously unvirtuous cannot be applied to her. As per Ken Wilber's terminology, this third phase seems to represent Up spirituality while the second phase represents Down spirituality. This fourth and final phase of anima development is Sophia, as previously mentioned for the Greek word for wisdom. Proper union and harmony now has taken place which allows females to posses combinations of virtuous and earthly qualities. The most important aspect of this final level is that, as the personification "Wisdom" suggests, the anima is now developed enough that no single object can fully and permanently contain the images related to the anima. As this point as well, this now esoterically understood feminine principle has the potential to be possessed by any person, male or female, although it is not necessarily possessed by any. In broader terms, the entire process of anima development in a male is about the male subject opening up to emotionality, and in that way a broader spirituality by creating a new conscious paradigm that includes intuitive processes, creativity and imagination, and psychic sensitivity towards himself and others where it might not have existed previously.




OUR MYTHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS OF GOD AND SATAN ARE IN REALITY ARCHETYPES, A USER INTERFACE OF A DEEPER SUPER NATURE. Like the Gods in Buddhism not yet Nirvana.. Archetypes are visual symbols or energetic imprints that exist in our psyches. Some are readily understood while others bring subliminal messages that are there to help you trigger your memory of why you are here and the lure behind the illusion of this reality. Archetypes can often convey messages that verbal and written information cannot. Archetypes are found everywhere - as their symbols are a language of the mind - taken to different frequencies of thought and connected to each other by the collective unconsciousness. Dreams and myths are constellations of archetypal images. archetypes are psychoid, that is, "they shape matter (nature) as well as mind (psyche)". In other words, archetypes are elemental forces which play a vital role in the creation of the world and of the human mind itself. The ancients called them elemental spirits. They are not free compositions by an artist who plans them for artistic or informational effects. Dreams and myths happen to human beings. The archetype speaks through us. It is a presence and a possibility of "significance." The ancients called them "gods" and "goddesses." There are individual and universal archetypes. An archetype is a generic, idealized model of a person, object or concept from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned or emulated. You become aware of them in meditation - dreamtime - remote viewing or other out of-body experiences. Modern man fancies that he has escaped the myths through his conscious repudiation of revealed religion in favor of a purely rational natural religion. But consider his theories of human origin. ie.."In the beginning, there was a Big Bang, a cosmic explosion". This is an image from which reason may begin to work, but it is not itself a rational statement. It is a mythical construct. Jung listed four main forms of archetypes:

* The Self
* The Shadow
* The Anima
* The Animus


These are the same characters in the paradise myths or garden of Eden story..



Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden side. In our daily lives we present a controlled, intelligent, attractive image to the world. And so, unknowingly, we push away those qualities that do not fit the image. We avoid feelings that make us uneasy; anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, shame, and those behaviors that are judged as wrong by the culture; laziness, aggression, addiction, dependency, thereby creating the life of the shadow.

Hidden from our awareness, the shadow is not part of our conscious self-image. So it seems to appear out of nowhere, in a variety of behaviors from sarcasm to serious abuse. When it emerges it leaves us ashamed, anxious and disgusted. Whether the shadow takes the form of such self-destructive behaviors as addiction, depression, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders, severe guilt or shame, or whether it takes the form of such destructive behavior toward others as verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, marital affairs, lying, envy, stealing, or betrayal, it brings turmoil and pain.

In addition to the individual shadow we are confronted with the collective shadow. Families have their shadow, as well as worldly and religious organizations. The dark side of human nature is made visible each time we open a newspaper or watch the evening news. In our society we see the impact of shadow excesses everywhere:


in an uncontrolled power drive for domination
in a self-righteous compulsion
in a fast-paced, dehumanized workplace
in maximization of business growth and progress
in materialistic hedonism
in a narcissistic desire to control, exploit, and manipulate others
in our ever-present fear of aging and death

There are the six Black Holes of life: Selfish-pleasing, religious fundamentalist externalism, self-deceit, wrongly placed confidence, a blaming attitude, and cruel attacks upon others.

These are the danger areas where God in his mercy erects a sign that says, "Stop! Listen! Beware!" The Apostle Paul gives us a marvelous explanation of God's dealings with us in this connection. "If we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened, so that we may not be condemned along with the world," (1 Cor 11:31-32 RSV).

The real mystery of the mystery religions is the question posed in the book of Job.. Why does the source of being reveal itself as an ocean of love and beauty.. call you to it.. give wonderful spiritual promises.. and then torture you and act like your enemy? And the more sensitive you become the greater the pain. This seems to actually resist the enlightenment and keep the world covered in a cloud of darkness.

Where Satan does appear in the Bible as a member of God's court, he plays the role of the Accuser, much like a prosecuting attorney for God.

Such a view is found, in the prologue to the Book of Job, where Satan appears, together with other celestial beings or "sons of God," before the Deity, replying to the inquiry of God as to whence he had come, with the words: "From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." Both question and answer, as well as the dialogue which follows, characterize Satan as that member of the divine council who watches over human activity, but with the evil purpose of searching out men's sins and appearing as their accuser. He is, therefore, the celestial prosecutor, lawyer who sees only iniquity; for he persists in his evil opinion of Job even after the man of Uz has passed successfully through his first trial by surrendering to the will of God, whereupon Satan demands another test through physical suffering.

It is also evident from the prologue that Satan has no power of independent action, but requires the permission of God, which he may not transgress. He cannot be regarded, therefore, as an opponent of the Deity; and the doctrine of monotheism is disturbed by his existence no more than by the presence of other beings before the face of God. This view is also retained in Zech. 3:1-2, where Satan is described as the adversary of the high priest Joshua, and of the people of God whose representative the hierarch is; and he there opposes the "angel of the Lord" who bids him be silent in the name of God.

In both of these passages Satan is an accuser who acts only according to the permission of the Deity; but in I Chron. 21:1 he appears as one who is able to provoke David to destroy Israel. The Chronicler (third century B.C.) regards Satan as an independent agent, a view which is the more striking since the source whence he drew his account speaks of God Himself as the one who moved David against the children of Israel. Since the older conception refers all events, whether good or bad, to God alone.

This doesn't mean that God and the Devil are not a war.. they are.. but, they come in on the the same psychic wavelength with the devil calling itself God also.. and God allows it. Why? because God's plans may not be the same as your own exactly or because it isn't the right time or because you are not ready to be God's hands yet, or God is allowing others to take part in the creative work and waits for them, or God is giving space to the wicked for repentance or even to fill up the measure of wrath appointed to them. Whatever the reason, you are being measured for a mansion in heaven.. and visions can't be rushed along.. if you push for a vision of good.. you also create a back draft of evil resisting it.. the way is inch by inch.. and drop by drop.. if you try to go faster you will only hurt yourself. God is very selfish when it comes to Her own plans. She is sometimes cruel to be kind. In the 'cloud of unknowing' and the 'interior castle' God and the devil are spiritual places and spiritual processes. .. Thinking in antropocentric terms is a major problem when thinking about good verses evil.


God and the Devil are rivals, but their rivalry seems to be a vehicle for insights on our individual freedom and progressive religion. The shadow is both the awful thing that needs redemption, and the suffering redeemer who can provide it" If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security." One must have some chaos in ones life in order to give birth to a dancing star.
.

With each person who passes through our lives, we have a connection. Somewhere beyond time in the realm of the Spirit we have made a commitment to that souls to share in our life's journey and soul forging work, a kind of commitment to the evolution or transformation of us as individuals and also to us in conjunction with the whole of our common destiny and communion. Every souls we meet affects us and none of us live only to ourselves or die only to ourselves.

Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan. However, Satan has not been cast out of the heavenly court yet, that happens at this same time God pours out his ''Spirit'' on all flesh. We can learn how to recognize our own rigidity and how to correct it. It takes honesty and courage, but the rewards are immense, new possibilities open up everywhere in our life. Where everything seemed sterile and barren, and there seemed no possible answers, now everything seems possible.

 

Some writers, following an early tradition that Jesus is in a mystical sense the second Adam (again beginning with Paul and continuing with Irenaeus and others), embody this sense with literal parallels: like the first Adam, his bride was taken from his side when he had fallen asleep (died on the cross). In medieval Christian anagogic exegesis, the blood and water which came from his side when he was pierced, was held to represent the bringing forth of the Church with its analogy in the water of baptism and the wine of the new covenant. Thus Christ can be said to already have a wife in the Church;

In Micah 4:8-18 it refers to the Magdal-eder as the Watchtower of the Flock. This is a woman of royal blood needed to activate the Messianic King. She then becomes the bereaved and exiled bride who is reviled.

Let's consider how God made the first woman for the first Adam. This account will tell us something about how God will provide a bride for the last Adam, for Jesus. So how does the Father make the bride? What is the wisdom of God in creating the woman? He takes Adam, who has been made perfect and whole and brings upon him a profound, a deep sleep, a deathlike sleep. Although Adam is still innocent, he has committed no crime, he's broken no law, he is innocent, nonetheless in his innocence he is wounded by Father God. Father God pierces his side and takes from his side that substance with which He creates the bride of Adam's delight. He creates the woman in all of her loveliness and purity and perfection. Then He heals Adam of his wounding, and awakens him to behold his bride in all of her beauty and innocence and loveliness. That is the wisdom of God in creating the woman for man. And in doing that in Eden, Father God was showing His Son in glory, the Son destined to become a man how He would provide a bride for Him. And how does He do that? John tells us that Father God brought the New Adam to a cross. And this New Adam too was innocent, yet He too must be wounded. And Jesus too had to endure the sleep of death and a fearful wounding. And so He willingly surrendered Himself. He knowingly bowed His head in death, lowered His head in death, knowing that after Father God had brought upon Him the sleep of death, His side too must be opened. And out of that wounding will come the water and the blood. Father God will take the blood for the bride's purchase. The water will be for her purity. And God will fashion a community that will be the bride of Christ from the wounding of His innocent Son. And so God will put His Son into a garden again. And He will heal His Son of His wounding. And then He will raise Jesus, the New Adam, to life again in a garden. The first Adam made a garden into a grave but this Adam will make the grave into a garden. And so all of heaven is saying on resurrection morning, "Who is she that will be chosen by Father God to represent the new Eve? Who is the one who for beauty and for purity can represent Eve as a type and an anti-type? Who is it that Father God in His wisdom will select to represent Eve in all of her purity, one made suitable for the New Adam in all His glory? And when the Lord awakens from death, His side, having been healed so that his bride like Eve can recognize Him by His scar, when Jesus awakens from death and comes forth from the earth like Adam of old, the woman that He sees, the one selected to represent the bride of Christ, the new Eve, is Mary Magdalene. And Jesus calls her by that glorious name that Adam had used of Eve when he first saw her. "She shall be called woman," said Adam. And Jesus says, "Woman, why do you weep?" And Mary recognizes Jesus when He calls her by name. And she embraces him and wants to cleave unto him, but it is not yet the appointed time. Our Lord Christ will respect all of the provisions of the law. It is not His wedding day. And it is a spiritual marriage to the entire body of the elect to which He has been given. He looks ahead to that day yet future when all of us have been cleansed of our defilements and, as one great body, one glorious bride, we with Mary will be given by Father God to the hand of His beloved Son, to the nail pierced hand, of our precious Lord. That is the second portrait of Mary, according to the evangelist. Mary is a new Eve. The evangelist has already shown us how Mary is like the high priest by the way the evangelist frames his gospel. Mary is the one who is like the high priest. He likewise frames her portrait again, and she is like the new Eve, like Eve before the fall. Her virginity and her purity have been restored to her, don't you see? In the natural that would be impossible. But the God of the supernatural can accomplish the impossible. What an amazing portrait, two amazing portraits actually, of Mary Magdalene and her role in the history of redemption! But the evangelists' picture of Mary is still not yet finished. There are other frames to show you how they regarded Mary Magdalene. This morning I only have time to share one of them, one final frame. One other picture of Mary Magdalene! And what is that? God in His providence had ordained that the birth of our Lord would pre-figure His resurrection. At the resurrection, at our Lord's new birth, He comes forth from a tomb where "no man had lain." It is a "virgin" tomb. Jesus had been wrapped in the cloth bands of death, the linen wrappings of burial, having received the bloody wound of the cross. This time it is the women who bring Him spices. Our Lord had said to the disciples, "When you see this happening, you will lament and weep like a woman when her labor comes upon her. But then of a sudden your weeping will be turned to joy for delight that a boy is born into the world." That's how our Lord described the sorrow and joy that would attend His death and resurrection. What is the picture at the garden tomb? Consider the account of the tomb on resurrection morning. There are angels announcing good news to men. Here is Christ coming forth from the virgin tomb, laying aside His grave clothes. It is a story of Joseph of Arimathea, most particularly, and of Mary Magdalene. And Mary is bringing spices. And Mary comes in great sorrow. She comes with many tears and with anguish of soul. But then the word of the angels comes to Mary, "Mary, He has no need of spices, and you have no need of tears!" Mary's great sorrow suddenly turns to great joy when she sees her Lord, when she sees her precious Jesus given to her. What a redemption! The Magdalene is the new Mary of Nazareth! Three pictures! These are but three of the pictures drawn by our evangelists to show us various aspects of the role of Mary in the history of redemption. Mary Magdalene is given the honor of the high priest of Israel. That is her place and her privilege. All the defilements of the devil are done. She is made into the image of one who wore on his forehead not the shameless brow of the whore, who had forgotten to blush for shame, but rather "holiness to the Lord!" That is Mary Magdalene! She is given the privilege of representing the bride of Christ for the new Adam. All of this is to speak again of a great purity restored to one who had been greatly defiled. And lastly, she is given the great privilege of being the Galilean Mary who witnesses the new birth of our Lord from the tomb where no man had lain. Once again, speaking of a spiritual virginity that was like Mary before her, and that had, in God's good providence, been restored. That was but some of what Mary Magdalene witnessed on that first Easter morning. These are but three of a number of such frames the Gospel writers use to tell us her story. 


Is the feminine element lacking in our perception of the Divine because we fear so great a beauty? A beauty which so exasperates, as to be overwhelming (Song of So)? Solomon is renowned for the splendor of his reign, his wisdom, the power of the magic of the Key of Solomon, and his appreciation for and understanding of nature. "And Solomon's wisdom excelled all the wisdom of all the children of the east country and all the children of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men ... Solomon's beautiful black bride the Shulamite, ( Song 1:5 ) reflects the Goddess of the mystic darkness at, the fertile garden-paradise of the Oriental kings. "Now when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came in to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king which he did not explain to her. (1 Kings 10:8) "And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of King Solomon. So she turned and went back to her own land, with her servants" (I Kings 10: 1 3).

 

It was Solomon's wives that made him wise. It is no coincidence that Judgment he is most remembered for involved a baby.

1Ki 3:16 Then two loose women of the town came and took their places before the king;
1Ki 3:17 And one of them said, O my lord, I and this woman are living in the same house; and I gave birth to a child by her side in the house.
1Ki 3:18 And three days after the birth of my child, this woman had a child: we were together, no other-person was with us in the house but we two only.
1Ki 3:19 In the night, this woman, sleeping on her child, was the cause of its death.
1Ki 3:20 And she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was sleeping; and she took it in her arms and put her dead child in my arms.
1Ki 3:21 And when I got up to give my child the breast, I saw that it was dead; but in the morning, looking at it with care, I saw that it was not my son.
1Ki 3:22 And the other woman said, No; but the living child is my son and the dead one yours. But the first said, No; the dead child is your son and the living one mine. So they kept on talking before the king.
1Ki 3:23 Then the king said, One says, The living child is my son, and yours is the dead: and the other says, Not so; but your son is the dead one and mine is the living.
1Ki 3:24 Then he said, Get me a sword. So they went and put a sword before the king.
1Ki 3:25 And the king said, Let the living child be cut in two and one half given to one woman and one to the other.
1Ki 3:26 Then the mother of the living child came forward, for her heart went out to her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the child; do not on any account put it to death. But the other woman said, It will not be mine or yours; let it be cut in two.
1Ki 3:27 Then the king made answer and said, Give her the child, and do not put it to death; she is the mother of it.
1Ki 3:28 And news of this decision which the king had made went through all Israel; and they had fear of the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to give decisions.



The song of songs, which is Solomon's. ( So 1:1-7 ) 

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept. Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? 

Observe the sweet titles with which the heavenly Solomon with intense affection addresses His bride (The Church, as the body of Christ -- which mirrors the possession of Wisdom/Shekhina by Yaweh. ) "My sister, one near to me by ties of nature, partaker of the same sympathies. My spouse, nearest and dearest, united to me by the tenderest bands of love; my sweet companion, part of my own self. My sister, by my Incarnation, which makes me bone of thy bone and flesh of thy flesh; my spouse, by heavenly betrothal, in which I have espoused thee unto myself in righteousness. My sister, whom I knew of old, and over whom I watched from her earliest infancy; my spouse, taken from among the daughters, embraced by arms of love, and affianced unto me for ever. " ~ Beautifully paraphrased by Charles Spurgeon See how true it is that our royal Kinsman is not ashamed of us, for He dwells with manifest delight upon this two-fold relationship. We have the word "my" twice in our version; as if Christ dwelt with rapture on His possession of His Church. Wisdom, the Female Presence of God states: "My delights were with the sons of men," (Proverbs 8:31) because those sons of men were His/Her own chosen ones. He, the Shepherd, sought the sheep, because they were His sheep; He has gone about "to seek and to save that which was lost," because that which was lost was His long before it was lost to itself or lost to Him. The church is the exclusive portion of Her Lord; none else may claim a partnership, or pretend to share Her love. Jesus, your church delights to have it so! Let every believing soul drink solace out of these wells. Soul! Christ is near to you in ties of relationship; Christ is dear to you in bonds of marriage union, and you are dear to Him; behold He grasps both of your hands with both His own, saying, "My sister, my spouse." Mark the two sacred holdfasts by which the Lord gets such a double hold of you that He neither can nor will ever let you go. Be not, O beloved, slow to return the hallowed flame of His love. What a beautiful Mystery uncovered--God and His Shekhina; Christ and His Church!
 

bachelorhood was very rare for Jewish males of Jesus' time, being generally regarded as a transgression of the first mitzvah (divine commandment) - "Be fruitful and multiply". It would have been unthinkable for an adult, unmarried Jew to travel about teaching as a rabbi, as Jesus certainly did.


Though there is a scripture stating it's "best" to remain alone ''Paul'' says that is of HIMSELF, not of God.... therefore, it worked for him due to his *gift* of celibacy and it is his opinion. We were created to be married from the beginning. The Bible even refers to us being prepared for Christ as a bride. It is clear that we were created By God, FOR God, to be in relationships with Him and others! It is also clear that this teaching ascribed to Paul was meant for brotherhoods and monastic orders.

In the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew chapter 22 Jesus says, "the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son". If the kingdom of Heaven is a wedding and to be without a wedding garment (MT 22:12-14) is something to be cast out over, how is it that celebicy is considered a badge of merit among the priesthood? Certianly to give up marriage is a great sacrife, however, for most it is also impossible. When Jesus said that "some men are made eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven sake" he was not saying that this was a lifetime sentence placed upon a person by the will of man.




'Paul' clearly states in any matter regarding his opinions on marriage that he has no commands from the Lord. He states that his reasons for declaring not to marry are because the time is short; that was two thousand years ago. Further, no one knows what questions he was replying to!

Church members should help by being personally involved in the lives of singles, through both effectual prayers and thoughtful set-ups. Throughout ecclesiastical history, individuals have stepped in to assist single people where parents failed.

Paul taught that Christian wives could continue to live with their pagan husbands if the husband consented. It was thought that the wife's spirit of obedience would win over the husband. However; the language used (...*...if both parties agree) in the original text does not mean that a believing spouse must be subject to an unbelieving spouse if that spouse chooses to lord it over the spouse and posses the the spouse only as an object of gratification or someone to dominate. Both Peter and Paul preached the obedience of the wife to the husband; but we must remember that the apostles were in no position to change the whole social system. Neither did they preach law, but rather, grace. How much more grace exists when the husband loves the wife as Christ the church; when the two shall be one? We are called to freedom. Love must be nourished or it will die, and the death of love is not God's will. Jesus was very strict on divorce because of the woman's welfare and because of upholding the ideal of a holy and loving marriage.

Many Christian denominations do not allow remarriage, unless it is remarriage to the same spouses that divorced. The reason many churches do not allow remarriage is because of a faulty interpretation of Matthew 19:9: I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." Without studying the cultural background or using some common sense, at first glance, it appears that Jesus is against any form of remarriage, and thus, considers all remarriage to simply be adultery. If that is the case, you can imagine the untold harm that would bring to divorced people. If they are not allowed to remarry, then they might be doomed to a life of loneliness, despair, and sensual temptations. Even the Catholic Church, which interprets the passage as forbidding any remarriage, has been creative in getting around this issue by using the doctrine of "annulment". An annulment is the declaration that a marriage never really existed, or was void from the beginning. Many Catholics, in order to get remarried in the Church, ask for an annulment of their previous marriage. If it is granted, the Catholic Church is free to marry the person because in their view, the previous marriage never really existed in the first place, and thus, the new marriage is considered the first one. Protestants have not been as creative. They usually have gotten stuck with their hard-line interpretation. I have seen ministers that—because of their compassion and desire to see people happy—desperately wanted to marry a couple, but because one of them was previously married, they could not perform the wedding. Often, they send them to me, because they know I will do the wedding. They have even attended the weddings and have congratulated the couples, but, because of their stringent church laws, they could not perform the wedding. Surely, they must think that something is wrong with their church rules, but they don’t know how to answer the objections to remarriage. So, how can we make sense of this passage? The answer is really not as complicated as it first appears. You see remarriage has never been an issue to Jews, and in Jesus' day, any Jew was free to remarry so long as they were legally divorced. The same is true in most modern cultures. So long as both have been legally divorced, the couple is free to get married again. No problem. The trouble Jesus saw in the law of divorce, as in any law, is it doesn’t deal with motives. The law cannot change one’s heart. Jesus let the people know that God never intended for divorce to take place from the beginning, and so He never made provision for divorce. This prompted the Pharisees to question Jesus on it: "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. (Matt 19:7-8) Jesus showed the cause of divorce was the hardness of heart. Jesus made men face their motive for divorce. Why did they want to get divorced in the first place? In Jesus' day, as in our day, many men in order to marry their mistresses often divorced their wives. Adultery was wrong, so the Jews in order to avoid or end adulterous affairs often divorced their wives to marry the "lady in waiting". Jesus was saying that God knew their hearts and motives, and that they were using the law to get their new wives. He was saying that if you marry your mistresses then you still are an adulterer, because no piece of paper could end adultery. They were already adulterers before the divorce, and so the divorce did not end adultery, instead the new marriage was simply the continuation of adultery. Unfortunately, many Bible interpreters mistakenly assume that all remarriage is adultery. They often see Jesus saying, "If you divorce your wives, and later meet someone that you fall in love with, you cannot marry her because that would be adultery." No! Jesus was using divorce and marriage in the same context. The divorce was for the purpose of remarriage. We could phrase the passage correctly in this way: "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, in order to marry another woman commits adultery." This makes much more sense than some legalistic, non-sensible interpretation that keeps divorced people from marrying again. Let's now look at what Paul said about remarriage. Paul uses the words of Jesus in explaining what a Christian should do if she should get a divorce: "But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife" (1 Cor 7:11). Here Paul says that a divorced wife should remain unmarried. (It is interesting to note that Paul fails to give the same injunction to unmarried husbands, although I think it should be assumed he meant the same for the husband.) Now, it is the word "remain" that we need to focus on, since he said "remain" unmarried. The Greek word remain is meno1, and interestingly it is not used in the Bible to necessarily refer to permanency. In that same chapter he says, "Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so" (1 Cor 7:20-21). So even a slave is to "remain" a slave, but not necessarily for a lifetime. He is free to change his status and get freedom. Paul also uses this word for married and unmarried people, "Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to" (1 Cor 7:24). Then he gives an example of what he meant, and in it he directly states that remarriage is not a sin. The passage is in 1 Corinthians 7:27-28: Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned... (KJV, emphasis added) Who has not sinned by getting married? Both the virgin and the person who was loosed from a wife have not sinned. The virgin is the one who has never married; the one loosed from the wife is one who was married but got a divorced. The word "loosed" is the word for "divorced". Paul clearly says that none of them have sinned by getting married. This makes it abundantly clear that Paul never saw remarriage as a sin. Paul was teaching what Jesus taught concerning divorce and remarriage. He was saying that if you divorce, then remain single—that is to make it your state unless God calls you to get married. He was saying, Don’t rush into a new marriage after divorce, instead, be patient and wait until God brings you a spouse. He was also concerned of people’s motives for the divorce. He did not want people to divorce "in order to" marry someone else, because that would be adultery. In summary: the thing God hates is divorce, not marriage. God believes in marriage, even, the marriage of those who have been divorced. It is wrong to ship divorced people to the island of celibacy. Instead, we should rejoice when people get married, no matter the past. God forgives, so why should He hold a past divorce against them? If we really believe that God has forgiven people for their divorces, then why do we still hold it against them by refusing them a church wedding? The problem is a superficial reading of the scripture, and of course, church dogmas add rules that chain people to bondage.

Jesus' proposal of a marriage relation entailing mutual loyalty, emotional support and equality would have brought about great social change. Jesus' second answer and the saying about eunuchs both stress and reaffirm his previous teaching that moves against the traditional stance displayed by his disciples. Jesus' statement, "Not all men can understand this statement," clearly refers to what Jesus previously stated, not to what the disciples said. The point is to comprehend and realize that the type of husband-wife relation that Jesus proposed cannot be produced on the basis of the general code of honor and shame, the traditional role of masculinity, or the male-female relation rooted in the patriarchal system. To understand this teaching and put it into practice, one would have to alter one's mentality in line with the values of the forthcoming kingdom. Such a change of viewpoint would have to be accepted as a gift. "Not all men can understand this statement" refers not only to the saying about divorce, as most commentators believe, but also to all of Jesus' previous teaching about marital relations and their consequences. This is what made the disciples anxious. It should be remembered that eunuchs were without honor. If a male did not comply with the normal behavioral patterns generally expected from a male "as God wills" They were likened to women.

Jesus asks his disciples to relinquish certain behaviors and interactions used to gain honor in the eyes of others. If they did adopt Jesus' views, they would certainly be expelled from their families with a consequent loss of honor and means of subsistence. He did the same in Matthew 6:1-18, where he asks his disciples to carry out works of mercy (prayer, fasting, alms) away from the public gaze. In the face of the social dishonor and stigmatization such behavior entailed, Jesus promised them an increase in honor in the eyes of God. This being the case, Jesus' request of his disciples to adopt an alternative view of marital relations, one which differed from the traditional patriarchal household ("deviating" from social norms), would have ramifications that affect relations with other men as well, It would entail giving up customary interactions of honor, giving up the locales where such interactions took place, and avoiding many of the behavioral patterns needed to achieve honor. All of this represents a stigma, with doubts about a male's virility stemming from the general code of masculinity. As a consequence, it would be no surprise if disciples were called "eunuchs," if, that is, their masculinity was impugned and was symbolically and socially denied to them. However, this was not because they refused to take a wife--nobody called Qumran's men eunuchs, nor were they stigmatized. It was because, at the request of Jesus, they established another kind of marital relationship, one that formed part of this alternative and "shameful" (in the eyes of other men) line of conduct and underlying attitude. Accepting the values befitting the forthcoming Kingdom and the type of relations they entailed meant that, though stigmatized by others, yet they were honored in the eyes of God.

Two types of relationship between men and women are set out in this Matthean passage. The first is the traditional one, represented by the Pharisees, which declares that men have power over women and that the patriarchal household--its structure and survival--is of greater importance than its individual members.... Marriage has existed in one form or another as long as societies have tended toward stability. Marriage chiefly exists to make sure that offspring are cared for, and historically has tried to limit the amount of 'trouble' men could get into, vis-a-vis war, raids, etc. because they were tied down to a family and caring for it. It has been long recognized in many cultures and eras that society is only as stable as its marriages. Witness the breakdown of culture in inner cities, where many young males are not in stable families. Marriages were not in existence for "love"- most of the time they were for bettering family and tribe ties with others. The participants most of the time had no say in the selection of their marriage partners. It was not considered a 'romantic' institution. In fact, in the marriage vows, it is referred to an intitution

The second is the alternative proposed by Jesus, deriving from another set of values characteristic of the forthcoming Kingdom....The Christians did not invent marriage, obviously, but raised a social form to a holy sacrament.

Jesus bases his stance on a reading of Israel's scriptures. His argument is not from the law of Deuteronomy cited by the Pharisees, but from Genesis. In other words, he argues his position, not from norms given at a specific time in Israel's history, but from the record of human origins, from the beginning, from "what has to be." He does not take on the casuistry of the prevailing schools of thought, which shared a common, taken-for-granted starting point: inequality, submission, the power of men over women, and the supremacy of the interests of the patriarchal household over individuals. Rather, Jesus goes to the heart of the matter and criticizes these schools basing his opinion on what he understands as being the intention of the Creator (Genesis). "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife: and the two shall be one flesh" (Matt 19:5). Given the structure of the patriarchal household and the relations involved within it, Jesus' proposal is of a highly subversive nature and would be extremely demanding for men. Leaving one's parents in order to join one's wife means putting her and that relationship before one's duties to parents and lineage.


The Pharisees' question is asked from a male-centered perspective, as it takes only a male's behavior into account and does not mention the possibility of a woman initiating divorce proceedings. Therefore, what is stated here is that a man's relationship with the wife comes before the interests of the patriarchal household. The loyalty that this relationship entails, and to which husband and wife were obliged, is of greater importance than blood ties and patriarchal lineage. The controversy arising from this position promptly appears in Matthew 10:35-36, where the household structure, vertical and hierarchical, produces a cleavage between fathers and sons. The outcome of such behavior would be expulsion from the family and the family home. The result would be a loss of honor in the eyes of others for being expelled and for not abiding by the generally accepted model of masculinity. Jesus encourages a form of behavior that, particularly for men, implied challenging conduct established as honorable so as to adopt another regarded as dishonorable. Jesus asks them to abandon their "honor games" which were won at the expense of others.

The quotes from Genesis chosen by Jesus are of great significance. Although barrenness was one of the clearest motives for divorce, Jesus does not allude to the passage in which procreation appears. In spite of the fact that patriarchal ideology, a good example of which can be found in classical literature, theorizes about the weakness and inferiority of women and the need for them to be submissive to men, Jesus refers to Genesis 1:27, where the equality of both is based on their being created in the image of God. He also alludes to Genesis 2:24, which puts the husband-wife relationship above the interests of the patriarchal household, and thus is of greater importance than bloodlines. The concluding sentence, "what God has joined," underlines this intention of the Creator.

If a man "loves his wife as he loves his own flesh.."as the Bible commands him to do, he will do nothing to harm her in any way, certainly not dehumanize her or subjugate her in selfishness. Likewise, the command, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ has loved the church...." and how is that? Christ laid down His life for the church, surrendered His will so that the church and salvation could come into being. How many women who had a man who would die for her and who would surrender his own will and wishes for her sake, would have a problem with submitting to his requests? For that man would be willing to die for her; even give up his life.

However, the man needs to have courage and the man needs to be able to say no. It is good and proper for a man to be the strength of survival in facing the world. It is the joy of a man's heart to be the bread winner and gain the approval of his family. It is the natural instinct of the male to be leader in this way. This is what is meant by (head) headship in the scriptures. A loving wife naturally understands this need in men. Honor is a gift that the man gives to himself.

How powerful it is to be authentic. How important it is to hold no secrets.



Christian tradition makes Good Friday the day that Jesus died and Mary Magdalene began her mourning. The events leading up to this day, as recorded in the gospels, reveal her to be playing the role of Sacred Bride to his Sacred Bridegroom in Sacred Union. The role of the feminine divine was downplayed after his death to such an extent that Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene were both devalued to mere sexual status--the virgin and the whore. Jesus himself was denied any sexuality at all. None of this leaves room for archetypes representing a healthy and active sexual male, female or relationship. This complete repression of human sexuality is dysfunctional. That dysfunction will erupt in ways that harm society, like sexual assaults and violence in porn.

The function of this image is to reflect the Trinity, "an inscrutable divine communion of [three] Persons" "man became the 'image and likeness' of God not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons which man and woman form right from the beginning." And, the Pope adds, "On all of this, right from 'the beginning,' there descended the blessing of fertility linked with human procreation". The body has a "nuptial meaning" because it reveals man and woman's call to become a gift for one another, a gift fully realized in their "one flesh" union. The body also has a "generative meaning" that (God willing) brings a "third" into the world through their communion. In this way, marriage constitutes a "primordial sacrament" understood as a sign that truly communicates the mystery of God's Trinitarian life and love to husband and wife - and through them to their children, and through the family to the whole world.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve experienced their communion as a real participation in God's own mystery of love. The very sentiment of sexual desire as God created it to be was to love as God loves in the sincere gift of self. Since this call to love is the summary of the Gospel, if we live according to the nuptial meaning of our bodies, we "fulfill the very meaning of [our] being and existence". It is for this reason that a man clings to his wife and they become "one flesh" (see Gn 2:24). In his exegesis of the creation accounts, this original unity of the sexes as flowing out of the human being's experience of original solitude. Man realized in naming the animals that he alone was aware of himself and free to determine his own actions; he alone was a person called to love. It's on the basis of this solitude - an experience common to male and female - that man experiences erotic desire and his longing for union. While among the animals there was no "helper fit for him," upon awaking from his "deep sleep" the man immediately declares: "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Gn 2:23). That is to say, "Finally, a person I can love." How did he know that she too was a person called to love? Her naked body revealed the mystery! Prior to the rupture of body and soul caused by sin, the body enabled them to see and know each other "with all the peace of the interior gaze, which creates... the fullness of the intimacy of persons" . Living in complete accord with the nuptial meaning of their bodies, the experience of original nakedness was untainted by shame (Gn 2:25).

It is time for us to reclaim the Sacred Union and celebrate our sexuality as the sublime, divine, joyful gift it is. Nuptial union is meant to be a sacramental sign of Christ's union with the Church. All of married life constitutes this sign. But nowhere is this sign more dramatically manifested than when husband and wife become "one flesh."

The glory of Jesus' message was to about the wisdom of the heart and the importance of genuine love. He demonstrated this in every way, including his love for Mary Magdalene.

He taught we are children of Divine
Love, bathed in Divine Love and do not need to fear losing Divine
Love because it is eternal.

To ignore the importance of both sacred Bride and sacred Groom is to
ignore the importance of both sacred feminine and sacred masculine.
We cannot achieve balance unless we celebrate both. This does impact
each of us today. Women could never be considered "lesser than" if
the equality of Yeshua's teachings were understood and honored.

Sex it's a communion in "one flesh, sexual union is an icon of the inner-life and love of the Trinity. This "Trinitarian concept of the 'image of God' ...constitutes, perhaps, the deepest theological aspect of all that can be said about man." In strictly human terms, then, all the changing forms of the deity, the attribution to him of sexual qualities and functions, the early veneration of goddesses, their transformation into female divine attributes or manifestations, and their resuscitation at a time when they seemed dead and buried for over a millennium; all this served to safeguard human survival. Goddesses" in that understanding are alive and well and living in our own psyches, though we may give them other names. just comprehending this much might have saved the world from the dreadful iconoclasms of history, in which so much beauty was destroyed.

The human body ...is not only a source of fruitfulness and procreation, ...but includes right 'from the beginning' the 'nuptial' attribute, that is, the capacity of expressing love. The body has a "nuptial meaning" because it reveals man and woman's call to become a gift for one another, a gift fully realized in their "one flesh" union. The body also has a "generative meaning" that (God willing) brings a "third" into the world through their communion. In this way, marriage constitutes a "primordial sacrament" understood as a sign that truly communicates the mystery of God's Trinitarian life and love to husband and wife, and through them to their children, and through the family to the whole world. This is what marital spirituality is all about: participating in God's life and love and sharing it with the world. The body, in fact, is capable of making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and divine. It was created to transfer in the visible reality of the world, the invisible mystery hidden in God from time immemorial, and thus to be a sign of it." The body is sacramental, revelatory of the mystery of creation and the mystery of the Creator. The human body - through the reality of sexual difference and our call to sexual union - possesses a "language" inscribed by God that proclaims his own eternal mystery and makes that mystery present, visible, experiential in our world. What is this mystery hidden in God from all eternity? It's the mystery of God's plan to unite all things in Christ (Eph 1:10), it's God's Trinitarian Love and Life, and his amazing plan for us to share in this Love and Life through Christ as members of the Church. This is what the "great mystery" of the "one flesh" union symbolizes and reveals - the "great mystery" of Christ's union with the Church (see Eph 5: 31-32). Our sexuality reveals something of the mystery of God's inner life and his plan to grant us a share in the divine nature

It is awesome to think that we are truly God's beloved, the bride he is preparing to reveal in all her beauty before the courts of heaven. While here on earth the "beatifying experience" of conjugal union is given as a foretaste of the joys of heaven It's almost too grand. How could something as "earthy" as the body be meant to reveal something so heavenly? But it all comes to light in the embodiment of God himself: the Word made flesh.

"And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days."

In Mark the bridegroom marries the virgins 25:1 "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.... While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the five foolish said unto the five wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut."

In Luke we are reminded to wait on the Lord as a returning bridegroom] 2:35: "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately." Jesus however turns the sacred redeemer into a cosmic Bridegroom to end all bridegrooms "Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."

In John 3:28: the bridegroom is pronounced by John the Baptist, "Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled."

A Christocentric theology of the nuptial union is concerned with protecting the "great mystery" of Creative and Redemptive Love revealed by the "great mystery" of nuptial union. The inner "logic" of the Christian mystery itself is simply unintelligible unless we understand the meaning of sexual difference and our call to nuptial communion.

The thought that God wants our hearts seems to good to be true; our laughter , our tears, our dreams, our fears, our heart of hearts.

How few of us really beieve this. The thought that God wants our heart seems to good to be true.

Lady Julian of Norwich was given a series of revelations into the suffering of Christ and the glory of the gospel. She was taken into the heart of God and upon her return she concluded, quite simply, that we are his lovers.

We are indeed his Betrothed and have already received the first seal of his love in his Spirit that dwells in us.

We remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter but have denied the celebration and honouring of Mary Magdalene, Jesus' beautiful mirror image in the six-pointed Star of David. In the mural at the Russian Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem, she is portrayed holding the egg of fertility. A silent coded image reaching down to us through the ages. Life is created on earth through an equal joining of male and female energies in sexuality but the decisions made about the earth are not being made with the same equality. Within each man and woman there exists this combined energy and we are all disadvantaged if both voices don't have equal representation and an honouring of their wisdom. Two beautiful beings, Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, came to gift the Earth with a model of the Christ Consciousness - Divine Love in expression - not as a religion but as a conscious state of Being that loves and honours all life. In order to birth this consciousness within us, it is necessary to embrace the Christed feminine and masculine within in full chakra union. Now after two thousand years of denial it is time to discover, remember and honour the missing piece of the puzzle, her-story, which has been left out of his-story. Until the inquisition the true teachings of Mary Magdalene and Jesus were honoured and followed by the Gnostics and the Cathars. Mary Magdalene is a representative of the Christed Feminine within us all. As we release the distortions that have surrounded her life and honour her name again, we will remember her not as prostitute but as the beloved bride of Christ. As we love and honour her truth as a sacred priestess of the eternal flame of the Mother, Christed Anointed one, it will set this energy free to flow, and bless and honour the feminine wisdom in us all. In patriarchal times women have felt disempowered; with the denial of the feminine the power of this beautiful egg of the feminine has been split into two circles of light and dark. This has separated spirituality from sexuality and split the sisterhood in two. Without access to the full egg of the feminine creative power our creativity has not flowed; without access to the wisdom of the priestess, the Divine midwife, birth has become a painful experience on this planet. This relates to the birth of babies as well as creative ideas. In patriarchal times the Divine Feminine seemed to disappear as if behind a veil, and seemed less accessible to humankind. The sacred initiations into the feminine wisdom went underground. As the veil is now lifted with the return of the feminine, we move once again into male female balance. It is time to share and celebrate the deep love for the Divine Mother and the wisdom of her Grace. This love, because it has not been celebrated openly, has been felt as a very deep sense of loss in both men and women. As we open our hearts once again to be loved by and to love the Mother Goddess as well as the Father God, deep peace can be experiences in our soul and in the soul of the world. In patriarchal times humanity has forgotten the universal law of the circle, which is: as much as goes out, comes back, in an everflowing circle. Without the honouring of this feminine truth more has been taken from the earth than has been given back. And the denial of this universal law is destroying the delicate ecosystems of the Earth. As we heal the split and reclaim the full circle of the feminine wisdom we restore the role of the priestess of the Divine Feminine. We can then access the Sacred Feminine wisdom and teachings to nurture and heal the earth and ourselves. This allows us to move forward at last, having rather painfully learned the lesson gained from long ages that expressed either the matriarchy or the patriarchy. These energies were never meant to work in isolation but together, drawing on the wisdom of both energies. Let's create a new word for this beautiful new Age of Aquarius: WHOLE-IARCHY and from this union co-create HEAVEN ON EARTH! This Easter let us all join with love in our hearts and ask the Divine Mother to forgive us for so long denying Mary Magdalene, Her beautiful representative of the Christed Feminine. Let us welcome her into our hearts to share the piece of the puzzle she holds about the expression of the Christ love. May we celebrate her life and mission, and reclaim the legacy that she left us. I offer you the poems that I received from Jesus and Mary as I made the flower essences of the Jesus Christ Peace Lily and the Blood Lily. Let these be your Easter lilies. May they help you heal and celebrate this Easter honouring the full expression of the Christ love as expressed in their poems to each other. All is love beloved; every experience in this time dimension can be transformed into knowing through the flame of love. I love the Divine Feminine, the Christ within. Oh Beloved, how I love thee causes the stars to shine, the heavens to smile. The ecstasy of this love enfolds you, protects you, honours and adores you; for you are my home, my hearth, my heart, my compassion, the completion of my wholeness in the one heart of God. I love the Divine Masculine, the Christ within, with every fibre of my being. Deep in my womb I enfold you tenderly. I embrace you with love, passion and compassion, for you are my love, the other half of my wholeness in the one heart of God. As we honour the truth of the legacy that the lives of these two beautiful ones left us we celebrate the Sacred Marriage of the eternal flame of the Divine Masculine and Feminine, forever joined in passionate, heartfelt love, trust, honouring, equality and wholeness.

When this incarnation of the Gospel takes place in us, we see the Church's teaching as the foundation of a liberating ethos, a call to experience the redemption of our bodies, a call to rediscover in what is erotic the original meaning of sexuality which is the very meaning of life. And this is the first step to take in renewing the world. Man and woman's call to form a communion of persons is the deepest substratum of human ethics and culture. Thus, the dignity and balance of human life "depend at every moment of history and at every point of geographical longitude and latitude on 'who' she will be for him and he for her. In short, a culture that does not respect the truth about sexuality is doomed to be a culture that does not respect the truth about life; it's doomed to be a culture of death. At the heart of the new evangelization, at the heart of building a civilization of love and a culture of life, is marriage and the family. And at the heart of marriage and the family is the truth about the body and sexuality.

The Metamorphosis is casting out the seven devils~! This is explained by the 'unjust judge' parable and the 'austere man' parable, also the 'waiting servants' parable... it is an organic process.... Ianna mythology.... story of Job...

It is a spiritual metamorphosis, just like the cells in the body of a butterfly do it; You also do it for something unseen & bigger then yourself~!


A twin flame person... is like an angel.. and you don't always get an angel just because you want her...
A twin flame person... is an anima.. a muse.. both a door to heaven and a genetic memory.. A twin flame person... this world is built from information from the ground up.. heaven only calls.... there is a seperation of heaven and earth here....... A twin flame person... is eternal.. your virgin mother.. your eve & gnosis.. be glad she is alive.. and that you got to see her.. she is the best in all women.. your sophia & sabbath queen.. this is why she reveals the goddess to you...

heaven gives a spark & a calling
moving along unseen lines
as growing in the dark
you push forward along a path of negative entropy and are resisted
every action has an opposing reaction
no good deed goes unpunished
like a mirror
it is a natural 'unseen' process

at the end of your journey
when you let go, and let god

 it is over

and you are reborn

At this point we wish to clarify some apparent contradictions in Christian, indeed all, theologies. We have stated that God is over and above the creation and we have also stated that God is within the creation, being the totality of the creation. God is in fact all of these things, and more.

First, God is above and beyond all concepts and categories; within and throughout creation. Greater then we can imagine; And is the sea of beauty and love. The Source and the Goal of life. at this level it may be easier to view God as Heaven itself, a place rather then an individual.

Second, God/dess the eternal God existing in an eternal heaven of bliss. Wedded.

Third, God(s) is a host, existing in space/time, and as such is not in control of your every motive and move as an individual; only collectively. This aspect of God is also not a singular Super Being, but the mystery and majesty of Nature, the extraordinary process called Life.

It needs to be clearly understood that God/dess operates in a different manner in these different frameworks. However, from our perspective, there is no clear dividing lines to be found between the first, second, and third reference.

All our names for the Divine, whether male or female, are inadequate. All these metaphors are our feeble human
attempts and projections as we try to draw near to the Mysterious One. Probably the only adequate name for the Holy One is that which was written long ago: "I Am Who I Am" (Exodus 3:14).
Destiny is viewed from future to present; what will be and is: Free will is viewed from past to present, what was and is... Both exist in relation to the other.. Both free will and destiny exist in contrast to the other; both exist around a pivot of time we call the present.

All days come from one day, all dreams from someday.
 

The Goddess is to be understood through nature not the law. We rise through the 7 levels of understanding.......

Understanding the 7 levels of God.. descending in omni potent present nescience.......


1.. monopole.. abiding, passive, primary being principle, ocean of love light, nirvana, heaven.. sun

2.. dipole.. becoming, primary active principle, tao te yin yang, not all powerful, but most powerful.. lakes & seas of love light,  gods.. moon

3.. trinity.. mobius strip, general space transformation.. rivers & streams of love light,  angels.. archetypes... stars
spirit becomes material spark..

4.. rose.. vesica pices.. flower of life.. droplets of love light, avatars male & female.. winds clouds.. meteors

5. penta.. spirit guides.. intuition & decrement...

6. hexi... saints..  empathy & endurance..

7. mythologies... morals & ethics (which is the lower level of the goddess wisdom)
....

all set against a background of shadows, dragons, darkness and ignorance
god is not a man or made in the image of man
 

DREAMS WITHIN DREAMS

CYCLES WITHIN CYCLES

LOVING YOU UNTIL LIFE BECOMES A DREAM

 

 


She is the Gift.  
THE SABBATH

 The Sabbath, to which we now turn our attention, is an exceptional figure among the female divinities of Judaism. All the numerous images (Asherah, Astarte, Anath, Lilith, Naamah) were originally either foreign goddesses and demons or had their beginnings in Jewish divine attributes which were conceptualized and personified (Shekhina, Matronit). As against them, the Sabbath is a unique example of a day of the week-or more precisely, the name and idea of such a day-having been developed into a female numen and endowed with the character of virgin, bride, queen, and goddess. 

The Biblical name Sabbath (Shabbar), designating the seventh dav of the week, seems to have had some connection with the Akkadian shabattu or shapartu, the name for the feast of the full moon. Yet neither in Akkadian nor in any other ancient Near Eastern religion was there a weekly feast and day of rest in any manner comparable to the Sabbath. 

Following the end of the evening prayers, the men would return home to be received by their wives-the wife in this instance became for the husband the earthly representative of the Shekhlna, with whom he was about to perform that night the sacred act of cohabitation in imitation of, and in mystical sympathy with, the union between God the King and His wife, the Matronit-Shekhlna-Sabbath. 

Now the husband would approach the table and pick up two bunches of myrtle, each consisting of three twigs, prepared for the bride and the groom, and then circle the table-all rites imitative and symbolic of observances performed at actual weddings-and sing welcomling songs to the two angels of peace who were believed to accompany him home from the synagogue. 

The chanting of Chapter 31 (Verses 10-31) of the Book of Proverbs, which followed, had a double significance. It was meant as a paean to the "woman of valor," the good wife and mother whose very presence in the house, quite apart from all the care she lavished on her family, made it possible for the husband to live a complete Jewish life, in accordance with the teachings of the Kabbala about the blessed state of male-female togetherness. 

Beyond that, however, there was a deeper meaning: the "woman of valor" whose excellence is described in the twenty-two alphabetically arranged verses was interpreted as being none other than the Shekhlna herself, the divine Matronit, whose image thus was mystically merged with that of the man's own wife. 

Next came the recitation of an Aramaic poem containing an invitation addressed to God the King to take part in the festive Sabbath meal. At some time during that meal or following it, the husband chanted another mystical Aramaic poem written by Isaac Luria and describing the union of God the King and his bride, the Sabbath-Shekhina.',' The first six stanzas read as follows: 

Let me sing the praises of Him who enters the gates Of the orchard of apple trees, holy are they. 

Let us invite her now, with a freshly set table, With a goodly lamp which sheds light on tfie heads. 

Right and left, and the bride in between Comes forth in her jewels and sumptuous raiments. 

 hus, for the Jew reared in the great mystical tradition of his faith, the Sabbath was a day whose pleasures, both physical and spiritual, amplv compensated him for the drabness, narrowness, and frequent sorrowfulness of the weekdays. 

With the Sabbath, a queenly visitor entered even the humblest abode, which, due to her presence, was transformed into a royal palace, with the table set, the candles burning, and the wine waiting. The mistress of the house became mysteriously identified with the Queen Sabbath, who was also identical with the Shekhlna, the divine Matronit, God's own consort. 

As for the master of the house, he felt his chest swell and his consciousness expand due to the "additional soul" which came down from on high to inhabit his body for the duration of the Sabbath. All these supernal presences made man and wife feel part of the great spiritual world order in which every act and word was fraught with cosmic significance, and in which the supreme command of the day was "Rejoice!" When midnight came, and the fulfilhnent of the commandment to rejoice on the Sabbath found its most intense expression in the consummation of the marital act, this was done with the fiill awareness not only, of obeying a divine injunction, but also of aiding therebv the divinity himself in achieving a state of male-female togetherness which God is just as much in need of as man. 

The mystically oriented and privately observed celebration of marital sex in honor of the Sabbath, the divine queen and consort of God... is certainly very far removed from the ancient Canaanite mass orgiastic festivals performed in honor of Astarte, the goddess of sexual love and fertility. 


After nearly two thousand years, it is time to set the record straight, to revise and complete the Gospel story of Jesus to include his wife. 

We believe in our King; let us also believe in our Queen! 

There is, unquestionably, a feminine aspect within Elohim, the God of the Hebrews. The Divine Feminine is known as Eloah, El Shaddai, Wisdom [also Hochmah or Sophia], and the Holy Spirit. She is the Goddess ‘concealed’ within the Scriptures. She is part of the One True God [Who is beyond our ability to fully comprehend]. Spiritual Israel has justifiable reason to worship, praise and give honor to Eloah, the Holy Spirit, Who, with the Father and Son, are One God. The People of the Covenant are not permitted to honor other goddesses, such as Ashtoreth or Asherah, but should give praise and worship to El Shaddai – the Goddess of the Scriptures - the Feminine within Elohim.

In the Gospel to the Hebrews, Jesus speaks of "my Mother, the Spirit." Again, in the Gospel of Thomas "Jesus contrasts his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, with his divine Father--the Father of Truth--and his divine Mother, the Holy Spirit." And, in the Gospel of Philip, "whoever becomes a Christian gains 'both father and mother' for the Spirit (rurah) is 'Mother of many.'"
In a writing attributed to Simon Magus it states:
Grant Paradise to be the womb; for Scripture teaches us that this is
a true assumption when it says, "I am He that formed thee in thy mother's
womb" (Isaiah 44:2)...Moses...using the allegory had declared Paradise to
be the womb...and Eden, the placenta...
"The river that flows forth from Eden symbolizes the navel, which nourishes the fetus. Simon claims that the Exodus consequently, signifies the passage out of the womb and the 'the crossing of the Red Sea refers to the blood.'" Sethian gnostics explain that:
heaven and earth have a shape similar to the womb ...and if...anyone wants
to investigate this, let him carefully examine the pregnant womb of any living
creature, and he will discover an image of the heavens and the earth.


In scriptural writings we find standing at the foot of the cross at the time of the crucifixion three Marys: the Virgin Mary, the dearly beloved Mary Magdalene, and a more shadowy or mysterious Mary. "The Coptic 'Gospel of Mary' said they were all one. Even as late as the Renaissance, a trinitarian Mary appeared in the Speculum beatae Mariae as Queen of Heaven (Virgin), Queen of Earth (mother), and Queen of Hell (Crone)."



 

Whatever arguments are brought forward to prove that in Saint Paul's teaching women held a secondary place to men are wiped out by the very clear statement that all who are baptized in Christ are clothed in Christ, and that there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, and that we are all one in Christ. We are all sons of God and we are all spouses of Christ whether we are men or women. If only men may represent Christ, then only women may represent the Church, the Spouse of Christ. These allegorical analogies do not make sense if carried too far. The passage in Galatians regarding no discrimination between the sexes is well known.

An early Christian theology of equality is embodied in the ancient baptismal preserved in Paul's epistle to the Galatians (3:28): "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus". This is the original belief,

The passage from Galatians referring to no discrimination of the sexes comes at the end of the list of the persons not to be discriminated against. In the passage of Colossians of the Old Latin versions, no discrimination between the sexes is placed first on the list. Both passages in the Vulgate and in the Old Latin versions are in contradiction to the interpretation given in I Corinthian 11:7, where men are said to be made in the image of God, but women only as the glory of man. Why is this?

If one examines the evidence there is no doubt that Saint Paul Epistles have suffered by interpolations and in particular in passages regarding women, which must be considered the work of later, monastic, patriarchal, establishment, Greece-Roman scribes.

Throughout the ancient world it was not uncommon for disciples to ascribe their work to a masters name as its author! For example, the 'Tao' and the 'Psalms' are collections under one title and ascribed to singular authorship.

Pauls actions do not coincide with much he is often blamed for. Paul is the first one in the Bible to refer to a woman as an Apostle and he intrusted his most important letter (the letter to the Romans) to a woman to deliver to the church there. Most of his qoutes against women are either taken out of context, mistranslated or taken from "Pauline" texts that are not at all clear that he wrote.

It is clearly a fact that in the epistles ascribed to Paul the most troublesome passages for women were composed long after the original letters written by Paul.

In the Bible: Both Mary and a woman named Junia were apostles before Paul.(Rom:16;6-7) all females throughout existance are part of the Great Goddess Principal energy or side of God. In God, no one is greater than or lesser than another. All have importance and purpose. It may be true, that evidence appears lacking of their marriage, but because the Nag Hammadi documents in Philip's account reveals, Jesus was seen kissing Mary (Bethany, Magdalene) on the lips, is evidence in itself, for Jesus was one to do as He taught others to do, He stated it was wrong for a man to look at a woman sexually other than his own wife, for even looking at a woman sexually was adultery. Now also consider, in this same part of the world this very day, where Jesus walked as in Jordan, women today are killed simply for being suspect to talking to a male who is not a relative. There was scripture on their marriage, but 300 years after Jesus was crucified, the Church refused the doctrines into the Bible, Jesus own hand picked apostles, such as Philip, Thomas, Taddeus, etc. When the Church acknowledges having done this, then Christians will be more informed, God is the Father and Mother of humankind, and the lack of acknowledging the female, opened the way to women being sexually exploited and children being born unwanted and subsequently abused. Omitting the fact that Jesus was married, has no influence on them, whether people believe or not does not dimish their love for each other, nor their presence in our world, but it does reveal that much of Jesus' own teachings were lost or hidden from Christians so that Paul became the voice for God, rather than Christians hear God's own voice as they were entitled to, through the Resurrection and the request of the Comforter or Holy Spirit. That is why I addressed this issue. Personally, no one cares about someone's wife, but in this case, that she was totally devalued and made to appear as a prostitute for almost 2000 years in which the majority of 2 billions Christians still to this day, think of her as a prostitute, when in fact she was the wife of Jesus, reveal corruption not only of the Church but of the Holy Scriptures. There has to be corruption in the Holy Scriptures themselves, for Christians have delayed for 2000 years the return of Jesus, when in fact, He has always been here and He has never left us. Christians do not even understand that He is The Father, He is God, for the Son means, God incarnate.