of A New Culture"
Almost my entire life I have detested the culture I was born into. Wasn't it Western society responsible for all misery in the world after all? It started with Christianity, which destroyed our roots - "Heaven and earth" - in favor of their greed for power. Ever since, the covenant of evil - the church, economic exploitation and military oppression - became the curse of the entire globe. Thus in the first part of my life I desperately tried to find other references for leading a meaningful life. Eventually, thanks to the spiritual Self-realization I did not rely on what is called a "cultural identity" anymore. The former having been always been very fulfilling. Until I discovered, that not only the Essence, but also the personality is longing for being rooted. In order to be a whole person, all aspects of life have to be integrated in some kind of context. It is what I have called "To be rooted in Heaven, earth and the community". It was only after I started taking the feminine principle seriously, that an entire new perspective was unfolding itself. During my quest I realized, how privileged I was (am) to live in the context of the European culture. The reason? Despite all patriarchal distortions, hardly any culture is so embedded in a matriarchal e.g. feminine matrix.
The quest for wholeness consists of integrating both masculine and feminine aspects into the Whole. Since the former has played - and still plays - the dominant role, temporary emphasis has to be put on the feminine, in order to (eventually) achieve a dynamic balance between the two. It starts with the recognition of the Great Mother as the Ultimate Reality. The origins can be traced back in Africa, Egypt, the Middle East and Central Europe, all fusing together in one common context. We have seen the entire evolutionary drama unfolding itself before our eyes. Through insight in the stages of development, we are able to trace back our spiritual/cultural heritage to its very roots. Our cultural autobiography appears to be an open book - an open university - through which we may reclaim our original wholeness. Yes, the feminine is the core of our existence. It is confirmed by history, mythology, art, etymology, spirituality, religion as well as in physics. The process by which the Mother devaluated into goddesses, after the latter were subsequently transformed into male gods, has been described elsewhere. The aim of this page is to focus on some great examples, concrete manifestations of the feminine, in order to give support to re-establishing the latter as the foundation of our culture.
Let me talk about Mary Magdalene. She is my sister, my dearest spiritual friend. There is hardly someone in Western tradition, who has been so misunderstood, nay abused like her. She embodied everything the "young Church" detested. And above all: she was dangerous. First of all, she was one of the last representatives of the old MotherGoddess religion; secondly she was a woman e.g. the lover/wife of Jesus, while thirdly being a fully Realized One. While the Church had to promote Jesus, not only as the Son of God, but as God himself, every weakening of that position was intolerable. In the Churches' concept a woman as the heiress of Jesus' teachings was totally unacceptable. Therefore, even during Jesus' lifetime clashes between the patriarchal hard core of the apostles and Mary took place. It is the reason, that while Jesus always had been very outspoken about equal position of women, the apostles, after Jesus' death, immediately started a campaign to curb women's freedom, equality and activities. So why did they hate her?
Being a priestess of the ancient Great Mother (Astarte) religion1), initiate in the seven stages of mystery religion (hence her "seven sins"), and in line with other great women of the Old Testament, she initiated ("anointed") Jesus into the mysteries of the Eternal Feminine. While officially addressing himself to the "Father", which - seen in the context of the Jewish culture - was inevitable, the entire life of Jesus is a testimony of being a messenger of the Mother. He was very conscious of the role he had to perform - that of the matriarchal hero - including death and resurrection - in order to comply with the myth of the ancient "vegetation god" or priest-king. Not surprisingly thus, that Jesus was an outspoken defender of women, not only on a personal level, but also politically, as the challenger of the patriarchal system. Mary Magdalene, in her turn, was the mentor and wife of Jesus.
In the Gnostic Gospels it is said, that "Jesus loved her more than the other disciples", yes he even kissed her on the mouth, which - in the Jewish context - would certainly not have been possible, without being intimate lovers. The question, whether they also have been husband and wife, cannot be easily answered. In that case kissing each other, even in public would not have roused so much fuss. Being lovers, because of their joint commitment to the Great Mother is more likely and would be a sign of great courage.You may say, both were an example of a "hieros gamos" or holy marriage, in which Mary initiated Jesus in the secrets of sacred sexuality. The fact, that only women attended his dying on the cross, plus, that he stayed in the grave for three days - the holy three days of the New Moon in the Old Tradition - plus, that it was Mary Magdalene who saw him first after his resurrexion, are signs of the same secret: Jesus as the "hero" of the Great Mother religion.
What was exactly the nature of her teaching? As said above, the essence of the MotherGoddes tradition was "death and rebirth". For hundreds of thousands of years, people believed that all life died in the Cosmic Womb, while continuously being born out of it. It is reflected in the unique text "Descent of Inanna into the Underworld". Inanna, the GoddessQueen of Sumer was searching for her deceased husband Dumuzi (symbolizing the vegetation god). She descended into the Underworld, where she had to go through the Seven Gates, progessively being stripped off of various layers of her personality. Ultimately, she stood naked before the Ultimate, experiencing spiritual rebirth. Ever since, "dearth and resurrexion" had been the spiritual ideal of the cultures of the Middle East. In Hellenism, it was the core of the mystery religions. It was exactly this initiation, that Mary Magdalene had been teaching Jesus. It would become his inner guideline - his mission - something he committed himself to until the bitter end.*
* Spiritual resurrexion doesn't necessarily include physical death. It is likely, that Jesus pursued the spiritual ideal only. However, after having been arrested for political uprising, he reconciled himself with his fate, strengthened by his inner knowledge.
Now we understand, why the Church turned the Seven Gates (the Seven Initiations of Inanna) into Mary's "seven sins or demons". Through this, they aimed at hitting the Mother tradition in its very heart. They had to conceal at all costs, that Jesus' mission of "death and resurrexion" didn't come from the "Father", but from the Mother. However, this isn't all. Mary Magdalene wasn't "just" an initiate of the Old Tradition, but an Enlightened One as well. This must have been very painful, for none of the apostles "understood him" (Jesus). Among the ignorant followers, Mary was the only one (probably together with Thomas), who had the same level of Realization. The Gnostic Gospels of Nag Hammadi reveal, that Jesus not only was preaching to the crowd, but tried to build an inner circle of spiritual initiates as well. Mary Magdalene as "his first initiate" (and viceversa) created wild jalousy with the rest of the group. They did everything to cross her in her efforts to spreading the message. What would have happened if not them, but she would have become the legitimate successor of Jesus?
The Church thus had every reason to denounce her. And that is exactly what they did. To depict the closest friend of Jesus as "a prostitute" not only testifies of the churches' ruthless cynicism, but tries to denounciate the entire holy temple practices* of the old Mother religion, which has been THE aim of the church ever since. Her beatification as "the saint of the prostitutes" doesn't change this at all. It puts her in a corner, in such a way that her actual glory would never ever return. The campaign against Mary Magdalene is part of the larger crusade of the church to eradicate all the memories of the previous Mother era. In reality Mary Magdalene was an extra-ordinary women, "the woman who knew the All". Not surprisingly thus, that she was called "the apostle of apostles" e.g. the "tower of wisdom" and teacher of the Gnosis2). The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is the only gospel, written or inspired by a woman. Together with the other apocryphal scriptures it has been suppressed.
* In which the priestesses initiated males into sacred sexuality. The later denounciation of this practice can be found everywhere in Church history. An example of this slanging-match is "Whore of Babylon", which should refer to the Great MotherGoddess. The attack on Mary Magdalene is part of the same pattern.
Hence, she is the only legitimate heiress of the teachings of Jesus Christ and had every right to be his successor. That's why I asked her to be foundress of The Mother Church. (chapter "The Foundress"). Something she accepted with joy. Not surprisingly thus, that we feel a deep reverence toward her. Moreover, as Jesus' wife she conceived and raised their common children, her womb symbolizing the Cosmic Womb, something that would later be called the Holy Grail. After her escape to Southern France her second child Joseph continued the "bloodline", which later became the royal dynasty of the Merovings. Contrary to what popular writers try to let us believe, this bloodline has died out. The Original Message therefore had to be transmitted exclusively spiritual, which - as we now know - happened just recently3).
Through the Grace of both my Vision of the Grail3) - in which the chalice symbolizes the Cosmic Womb - and my Threefold Realization4) I know Mary Magdalene from within. She and I are in the same space, nay ultimately we are the selfsame Space Itself. Her life and suffering are my life and suffering. I therefore feel it as an act of Love, to do whatever I can to spread her glory in all directions. Nowadays, the infamous Church, seeing that the truth has come out and that her popularity cannot be stopped anymore, tries to tactically adjust to the new situation. This is totally unacceptable. The Church should never be able to benefit from her in any way. There is only one possibility: rehabilitating Mary Magdalene would mean, that she is going to be acknowledged as the successor of Jesus and that consequently the entire papal lineage is a fraud.
1) The Holy of Holiest in the Temple of Solomon was called "Womb of Astarte".
2) Putting this all together: if Jesus was "a God", Mary Magdalene certainly was "a Goddess".
3) See also "Vision of the Grail"
4) See "Revelation"
NB. See also "The Great Jesus Interview"
2000 © Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
"The Secret of Mount Odilia" of Petra van Cronenburg ("Geheimnis Odilienberg", 1998 Diederichs Verlag).
Beatrijs of Nazareth
Julian of Norwich
Hildegard von Bingen
Birgitta of Sweden
Catherine of Siena
Teresa of Avila
In Teresa of Avila all mystic qualities are coming together.She distinguishes herself through excellence in almost all areas of life: spiritually and worldly, including openness, honesty, insight, subtlety, effectiveness, courage, devotion, humor, compassion and strength. Like almost all the above mentioned Celestial Daughters Teresa was a child of her time and environment though. Logically she had no other choice, than to express herself according to the rules of the Church. In fact, through her Enlightened State she was beyond any system of thought. Her life-long struggle was between "being herSelf" and the requirements of the Institute she was part of. This wasn't particularly easy, since the scourge of the Inquisition went around in all its intensity. Much of her work should therefore be read "between the lines". Other parts consist of more or less open criticism of the Church, the Inquisition, the inferior position of women etc. In particular her practice of "inner prayer" stood under suspicion, because of its "danger to passively identify yourself" with the Divine (condemned as "Illuminism"). This is especially clear through her two (three) versions of the "Way of Perfection". In the first ("Escorial") she still expresses herself (rather) freely; in the second ("Valladolid") many of the open passages have been censured. And then to realize, that with her first version the "supervision" of the Inquisition was already taken into account! This leads us to the (well-accepted) position, that all true mystics are in fact universal. Deep within they don't belong to a particular religion (at all). This is confirmed by the fact, that all mystics "speak the same language", regardless their (forced) membership of a formal religious organization. Look at Eckhart, Suso, Ruusbroec, Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Kabir, Sri Ramakrishna and countless others. Teresa distinguishes herself through getting all these things together marvellously, her way is really an "Integral Way". Hence, we have chosen this outstanding Female Mystic, Realized One (and Doctor of the Church...whom we like to call "Magistra Universalis") as our patroness*.
See "Collected Works of Teresa of Avila", translated by E.Allison Peers.
Still to be completed
© 2003 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema