Mary Magdalene and the Sacred FeminineThis is a featured page

Mary Magdalene represents the entire Tree of Life. Her initial M symbolizes the two pillars of the Tree... with V shaped female chevron hanging between the pillars, just as it does on the Tree of Life. This V represents the Sacred Feminine as Yoni, the source of all forms in life. This part of the tree is represented by 3 numbers and three forms of woman: #3 Mother #2 Sister and #6 daughter. ... more later

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Mary Magdalene was a remarkable woman. As noted above, she was the first person to witness Christ's resurrection; a special honor indeed. In addition, she carried that message back to the male disciples who were hiding in fear. Because of this, the early church fathers christened her, "The apostle to the apostles." The Catholics made her a saint, built cathedrals in her honor, commissioned countless works of art and have celebrated her feast days for almost twenty centuries. Does that sound like they were conducting a smear campaign against Mary? Confusing her with the prostitute mentioned in the gospels was not a malicious act, intended to ruin her reputation.

In todays post-Christian society, what many don't understand about the Christian faith is that what a person was before coming to Christ isn't terribly important. If anything, the worse you were, the more celebrated you are after. It's viewed as a greater miracle of God's grace. The Apostle Paul wrote two-thirds of the books in the New Testament, but referred to himself as the "chief of sinners" because he had killed and imprisoned the followers of Christ at one time. Is the idea of Mary Magdalene being a prostitute any less offensive than the fact that she had seven unclean spirits cast out of her by Jesus; a reference commonly associated with mental illness by many Bible scholars? No, but it doesn't matter in the least. The important thing is what she was after encountering Jesus. She became one of the most amazing women who ever lived, which is exactly how the Catholics have viewed her down through the centuries. I have not seen a single quote by any Christian going back two thousand years that supports the accusation that she was looked down upon.

As for the marriage question, if you re-read the passage from The Gospel of Philip at the top of the page, you'll find it actually contradicts the idea that she and Jesus were married. It says the other disciples were offended at the special affection Mary received and wanted to be loved in the same way she was. However, if she was Jesus' wife, such a request becomes ludicrous. Did Peter, James and John want Jesus to start kissing them on the mouth and marry them as well? How could he ever love friends in the same way he loved a marriage partner? Imagine what your best friend would say if the next time you pick her up to go someplace, you get irate when she kisses her husband goodbye and begin demanding that she love you the same as she loves him! She would think you've lost your senses.

Another problem with the Gospel of Philip is that it was written in Egypt at least two centuries after Christ, by someone who admitted he was "not the original Philip". So how would he know intimate first-hand details like the ones in the above passage? In addition, there are many holes in the manuscript and 30% of the words are missing. In reality, the all-important sentence in question actually reads:

......................................................... " He used to kiss her [ __ ] on the [ __ ] " .....................................................................

For all we know, it said: "He used to kiss her gently on the cheek (or forehead)". If you find these things of interest, there is much, much more on the website: , including overwhelming evidence that Mary Magdalene is not in The Last Supper. This is where we find out if it's really true that The Da Vinci Code stimulates open discussion and has people searching these important questions. In my experience, there are an awful lot of DVC aficionado's who only want to hear one side of the story. However, that's not living up to Mary Magdalene's courageous legacy.


Mary Magdalene- prostitute?She is perhaps best known in history as a prostitute. But was she ever a prostitute? Did Jesus simply forgive her, and did she simply repent and change her ways--to illustrate traditional Christian principles about sin, forgiveness, penance, and redemption? Or was she not a prostitute at all, but a wealthy financial patron and supporter of the Jesus movement who was later declared by Pope Gregory in the sixth century to be identical to a different Mary in the gospels who was, indeed, a prostitute? And when Pope Gregory conflated three different Marys in the gospels into one, did he do this deliberately to brand Mary Magdalene with the stigma of prostitution? Was it an honest mistake of interpretation in a dark age when few original documents were in hand and biblical language was a mélange of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin? Did the church need to simplify and codify the Gospels and to play up the themes of sin, penance, and redemption? Or was it a far more Machiavellian stratagem (a millennium before Machiavelli) to ruin Mary Magdalenes reputation in history and, by doing so, destroy the last vestiges of the influences of pagan goddess cults and the sacred feminine on early Christianity, to undermine the role of women in the church and bury the more humanistic side of Christian faith?

Did it go even further? When Pope Gregory placed the scarlet letter of prostitution on Mary Magdalene--who would remain officially a reformed prostitute for the next fourteen centuries--was it the beginning of the great cover-up to deny the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene and, ultimately, the royal, sacred bloodline of their offspring?

Did Mary Magdelene and Jesus Have Children?

Jesus and his possible bride, MaryTheir offspring? Well, yes. If Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married or at least had an intimate relationship, there might well have been a child or children. And what did happen to Mary Magdalene after the crucifixion? The Bible is silent, but around the Mediterranean, from Ephesus to Egypt, there is legend and lore suggesting Mary Magdalene, with her child (or children), escaped from Jerusalem and eventually settled down to the life of an evangelist. The most interesting stories have her living out her years in France . . . a theme Dan Brown picks up and makes integral to the plot of The Da Vinci Code.

Representing issues about sin and redemption, the Madonna and the *****, penitence and virtue, the faithful and the fallen, it is no surprise that Mary Magdalene has always been a towering figure in literature and culture. Male churchgoers took to the stage to portray her in the passion plays, the very first theater works produced in Western Europe over a thousand years ago. And she has been a constant figure in church art ever since.

In much more recent times, Dan Brown is not the first author to be fascinated with Mary Magdalene, nor the first to play up the issue of her possible marriage to Jesus. Nikos Kazantzakis posited a romantic relationship between them in his novel The Last Temptation of Christ more than fifty years ago (well before Martin Scorsese turned it into a movie in the 1980s and raised the issue again). William E. Phipps addressed many of these same issues in his book Was Jesus Married?, more than thirty years ago. The rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, another work that hails from more than thirty years ago, also assumes a romantic relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Given our society’s interest in issues about gender roles, women as leaders, and all the permutations of love, marriage, and sex one can imagine, the new Mary Magdalene fits right in, and The Da Vinci Code is right on time.


Join the Discussion

Share your opinions with us on Mary Magdalene and The Sacred Feminine by starting a discussion thread.


The Unanswered Questions

In the pages of this chapter, some of the worlds leading experts on Mary Magdalene discuss and debate different versions of who she may have been in history, the meaning of her role in the traditional gospels, and how the Gnostic and other alternative Gospels may further augment our ability to understand her today. Some of the experts are interested in teasing out the meaning of only what is in the Bible. Others want to deepen and enrich the debate with new evidence and new interpretations. Still others are focused less on what texts say and much more on the meaning of Mary Magdalene in the context of archetype, myth, and metaphor.

Every issue that could be debated has come into the twenty-first-century debate about Mary Magdalene. Was she from Magdala on the Sea of Galilee and was she therefore likely to be a Jewish woman? Or was she from a similarly named town in Egypt or Ethiopia? Was she fair and auburn-haired as she was often depicted in medieval times or was she a black African woman? Was she an insider to the Holy Lands customs and way of life or was she an outsider, much like Jesus is sometimes portrayed? Was she very wealthy and able to finance Jesus movement from her personal means? How do we know that she was wealthy--because she came from a prosperous fishing town? Because spikenard, the perfume she used to anoint Jesus, was considered an expensive luxury product? Because she appears to have arranged for the food and lodging of Jesus and his followers who had renounced worldly things?

Since she is just one of several women who appear to be patrons of Jesus, what of the other women, several of whom are mentioned by name? Was she descended from the House of Benjamin, as some accounts suggest Jesus was descended from the House of David, and would their marriage have been politically important, bringing these two clans together? Would Jesus have been married in the normal course of events anyway? After all, most of the rabbis of Jewish culture in those days were married, and Jesus is called rabboni by Mary Magdalene and many of his followers in the New Testament. If he was a Jewish rabbi, wouldn’t the expectation be that he would be married? Weren’t Peter and several of the other apostles explicitly referred to as married? Why would Jesus have practiced celibacy when biblical language is so full of the injunctions to be fruitful and to go forth and multiply?

In the scene in the Gospels where Mary Magdalene anoints Jesus with perfumed unguents from an alabaster jar and washes his feet with her tears, drying them with her hair--is this really she or a different Mary? If it is Mary Magdalene, are these actions indicators of ceremonial respect or metaphors for sexual relations? And if sexual relations, is this an allusion to her former life as a prostitute? Is it a clue that Jesus and Mary Magdalene are actually married? Is it a poetic metaphor not just for sexual relations, but specially charged, sacred sexual relations, such as the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) practices that come from even more ancient Greek, Minoan, and Egyptian cultures? Could she be a prostitute in the sense that in some ancient cultures, men engaged in sexual acts with temple prostitutes in order to have ecstatic, divine, mystical, religious experiences? Is the wedding at Cana, described in the New Testament, really a metaphoric description of the wedding of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ and does it, in turn, hearken back to the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament? And don’t these stories, in turn, hearken even further back to what Carl Jung or Joseph Campbell would see as universal archetypes and myths of sacred unity between male and female, of the need for wholeness and the need for love--not just love in the New Testament sense, but love in the full-bodied, erotic, humanistic sense as well?

Are there sacred texts and other kinds of documents that shed light on the true history of what happened in Israel in the time of Christ and what happened between Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and their followers? Could documents and relics referring to these events have been buried under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and become the Holy Grail sought by crusading knights? Could the Knights Templar have found this material, spirited it out of the Holy Land, and taken it to France in medieval days? And if this material is ever found, whether in the cavity under Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland or under the Louvres pyramid, or anywhere else, will it fundamentally change Christian history and belief the way the fragmentary Gnostic Gospels and Dead Sea Scrolls have already proven influential?

Dan Brown's Book Adds to the Debate

Dan Brown has done quite a job in The Da Vinci Code of alluding to many of those questions. In a handful of pages, in the midst of a murder mystery thriller detective story, he manages to refer to all of the key issues above and much more . . . most notably the possibility that Leonardo da Vinci knew and understood the real history of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene and that’s why he painted Mary Magdalene into The Last Supper. Moreover, the image of a leering Peter, slicing his bladelike hand in Mary Magdalene’s direction in the painting, is meant, according to The Da Vinci Code, to suggest the animosity between Peter and Mary Magdalene over the future of the church. In the novel, Sophie Neveu asks her late-night teachers, Teabing and Langdon, You’re saying the Christian Church was to be carried on by a woman? That was the plan, says Teabing. Jesus was the original feminist. He intended for the future of His Church to be in the hands of Mary Magdalene.

Your Contribution to the Debate

One can see why the issues of The Da Vinci Code have people talking, arguing, searching--however improbable some aspects of the plot may be and however rewoven or spun out of whole cloth the religious history may be. Share your perspectives.

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Latest page update: made by LouiseWilkes , Oct 6 2011, 9:39 AM EDT (about this update About This Update LouiseWilkes The Magdalene as Tree of Life - LouiseWilkes

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patriciaenola Not the child of the Magdalene 0 Sep 1 2011, 11:26 PM EDT by patriciaenola
Thread started: Sep 1 2011, 11:26 PM EDT  Watch
It is hardly likely that the Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) is the Child of Mary Magdalene - since she was painted from life, and Mary Magdalene was long dead by a millennium and a half when La Gioconda was painted
The assumption of a connection between the two women - must be beautiful yes - but illusory
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Anonymous a thought 1 Jan 30 2010, 6:44 AM EST by nondenomfaithful1
Thread started: May 12 2008, 9:53 AM EDT  Watch
i looked at the mona lisa many of times, and i just wonder if she is the child of mary magdalene? im not sure of the time line of da vince and mary and child but it is just a thought of that maybe mona lisa is marys child.
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nondenomfaithful1 Mona Lisas smile 0 Jan 30 2010, 6:42 AM EST by nondenomfaithful1
Thread started: Jan 30 2010, 6:42 AM EST  Watch
That is definetly a "with child" smile. Yes ...could it be that she was simply smiling because she is pregnant? Perhaps with a direct decendant of Jesus? Notice how she rests her arm on her stomach and has the swollen features. All moms know that miserable yet pleased "with child" feeling.
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