Friday, July 22, 2016

Card XVI The Changemaker, The Magdalen

'scarlet woman, penitent sinner, Sister-Bride,
whore, Black Madonna, High Priestess of Isis,
Mistress of the Elements,
beloved wife of Jesus, favoured disciple,
Mary of Bethany,
Miriam of Magdala, Magdal-eder, the tower-stronghold,
Daughter of Sion  .......
- extracted from Hymn to the Eternal Feminine by Teilhard de Chardin

In the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck The Magdalen is the Tower 
in the Major Arcana suit. 
The tower is often seen as a bolt of lightning
coming down from the sky, and I suppose by inference,
from the 'God in Heaven'.

Here is Mary Magdalene, the woman from
Magdal-elder, the tower-stronghold,
Daughter of Sion seen as the embodiment of
the Immaculate Conception of Wisdom and the Changemaker.

She wears the halo of the Immaculate Conception and 
the closed book of the Mystery in her hand.
At her feet is the skull, another symbol of Wisdom
and the ability to overcome the fear of death.
In the right hand corner she is depicted as the consort
of Jesus and her sacred oil and jar is displayed
as a reminder of her role as the woman who
anointed the King.

The iconography of Mary Magdalene is part of the Gnostic
tradition, amongst others.  The Gnostic religion has
virtually been stamped out by the dominant Roman
Catholic Church of the time, but the past sixty years or so, the
hidden wisdom has been coming to light once again.
These symbols of Mary the Magdalene speaks loudly and
clearly of her role in the history of humanity's psyche and
consciousness and our understanding of the role of 
organised religion as opposed to the religion of the soul,
or the inner way.

The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck is based on the Path of Love,
the hidden inner way which is not always that obvious.
To connect with one's own inner way and to embody the
Immaculate Conception of Love within the self, many ivory towers
will have to come tumbling down within the personality
and its mindset and attitudes.

The tower represents the principle of "living in one's own tower"
This symbol is often used in fairytales, think of Rapunzel and her tower and
also in the story in the Bible of the Tower of Babel.
In both these cases, the tower separates one from the communion of
others;  it places you 'above' it all and it highlights the differences 
between you and others.  It also implies
that you are not safe and obviously intensifies the
fear that you are not safe in this world.
 What might have started out as a good idea,
soon becomes a problem.  The tower is a stronghold, a structure of
defense and protection.  You can see this in the personality. 
One develops certain traits of your personality to protect you 
from emotional and psychic harm, but at the same time you
separate yourself from others and from the experiences of the heart,
that is, you create an inner stronghold which keeps painful
experiences out.  This aspect of The Magdalen card can be seen
in the red heart that she holds in her hand on the right hand side
of the shrine.

This keeping out and defensive attitude is not limited to
personal relationships.  It will permeate all layers of your
being and mind and for those on a spiritual path, it will
affect the way that you relate to the idea of God and Goddess
and the sacred inner authority.

Your soul will allow this stronghold to exist as long as it is necessary
and then you will be given many opportunities to let go of those
attitudes and outlooks which uphold this ivory tower.
And when you do not heed the many opportunities, then
a bolt of lightning will bring your tower down and the
stubborn, fearful inner child will come tumbling down,
safely into the lap of Wisdom.

The path of Wisdom is not always pleasant and comfy, but
she does promise change and rebirth into a new consciousness
and new enlivening circumstances.

In the same way The Magdalen is bringing change in our own
religious structures and she is bringing enlivening in the way that
the old mythical gods are seen and understood.  She also highlights
the equality of both the masculine and feminine, both within the psyche
and within the world of knowledge and structure.

When you draw this card in a reading, you can be certain that
change is finding its way to you.  And not gradual slow change,
but an unexpected disruption of the state of affairs;  a shock to
the system and an overthrow of the current status quo.

Our Lady Mary Magdalene is overseeing this change in your life
and you will not be lost, but a new you will be found.

In celebration of the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene

Feast Day of Blessed Mary Magdalene

Queen of Vessels :  The Mystery of the Bridechamber
A tantric ritual, the anointing of the Bridegroom

'The Coptic Gospel of Mary, found in the fifth-century papyrus codex,
is the only known gospel to have been written under a woman's name, that
of Mary'.*  There are those that interpret this Gospel to have been
written by Mary Magdalene, others say it is Mary, the mother of Jesus.

'As a controversial saint now emerging for the first time from the
shadows of Church history, the Magdalene has become today even
more important as one of Jesus' closest disciples and arguably
the most magnetic and yet problematic character in the whole of the
Christian story.  It is becoming apparent that her importance
to the development of early Christianity's mysterious bridechamber
sacrament has been greatly underrated.'

Mary Magdalene, as priestess of the Mysteries of the
Bridechamber,  re-enacting the tantric ritual of the Bridalchamber
Anointing the King -
'Mary's gospel is an exercise in first-century equality....
Clearly, Mary was a woman of wisdom possessed of many
such occult secrets, and in a time of terrible crisis after the master's
death she showed herself well able to lead the group.  Yet,
as a leader, Mary is handicapped by her gender and must
plead for understanding and acceptance of her fellow male
disciples. Yet, this undeniable female imprisonment has not
always existed, a fact of which spiritual leaders like Jesus, versed
in the doctrines of the Old Religion, must have been well aware.
For almost four thousand years - from about 7000 BCE to 3500 BCE, 
in the depths of the Neolithic age - an advanced culture
complex existed in which women were truly free and responsible
equally with men for the building and creative organisation of their society.'

'With the fall of Jerusalemn, both the Pharisees and the Judaeo-Christians were
freed from political constraints to pursue their own course.  In the same period
Christians launched into the production of both the New Testament gospels
and a large corpus of Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Mary,
the Pistis Sophia, the Gospel of Truth, the Dialogue of the Saviour, and others.
All these apocryphal documents betray Qabalistic themes centred on 
the rite of the sacred marriage and the new role of the feminine
principle as an essential subtext in Christian discourse.
Yet apart from Jesus' occasional references to himself as bridegroom
the sacred marriage theme is noticeably absent from the
Christian scriptures, and the disappearance of the Gnostic texts
themselves for nearly two thousand years has reinforced the 
common assumption that Jesus' embrace of the messianic function
meant that women and tantra had no place in his life.'

The symbols of Mary Magdalene as priestess of the
Mysteries of the Sacred Bridechamber

In the Queen of Vessels (traditionally Cups)
Mary Magdalene is seen dressed in the colours gold
and purple depicting alchemical transformation and
wisdom.  She is surrounded by symbols of alchemy
and the trantic principles of death and rebirth.
In the background is the jar of sacred spikenard oil.
A very rare and precious oil traditionally linked to the ancient
mysteries of anointing the sacrificial King and the tantric ritual
to take place between the King and his Lover in the Sacred Bridal
Mary Magdalene holds a chalice or the Holy Grail which contains
a living fish.  The symbol of the fish was a symbol of the Goddess
which was appropriated by the Christians.  The old religion explains
that we come from the waters and it can be linked to the ancient myths
of when fish grew legs.  This myth is also linked to the story of
Quetzlcoatl and the plumed serpent.  The name Mary can be linked
to Mares, the Ocean or Sea of Consciousness and Existence and
Isis (whom preceded Mary in the Egyptian myths) were depicted to
travel in her boat across the sky.

'The apocryphal texts give full support to Mary Magdalene's role
as Jesus' spiritual partner.  They frequently refer to Mary as
Sophia, Spirit of Wisdom, and claim that Jesus gave her the
title 'Apostle of Apostles' and called her Mary-Lucifer,
the Light-Bringer.'

De Voragine, the Dominican archbishop of Genoa,
called her Illuminant and Illuminatrix, both enlightened and
empowered to bestow enlightenment on others.

Of course there are many discussions, views and paths based on the
interpretation of the Mysteries of the Bridechamber.
The Gnostic gospels with their talk of images, metaphorical
garments, and symbols in general, seem to struggle continually
to make their multileveled and spiritualized worldview comprehensible
to their readers.  In a spiritualised view and understanding the
Hieros Gamos, the sacred mystery of the Bridechamber, takes
place in the inner Bridechamber, in the spiritual self.  It is a coming together
of the masculine and feminine inner self, the ultimate tantra, beyond
physical sexual intercourse.

In the bridechamber, death is annulled.  The true marriage, the living
marriage, is not to be found in this material world where death dwells.
This is the Gnostic teaching of the Sacred Bridechamber Mystery.
It also describes the interior union that is possible between compatible souls
who have been adequately purified. 

In the Gospel of Mary, she points out several times that the Master
has 'proclaimed the child of humanity' - that is, the divine
self-goverining principle - to be the Inner Guide
within each of them.  Here Mary indicates that the disciples
have achieved mastery of the higher cerebrospinal energy
centers critical to the birth of spiritual love.  That is the criterion
of a full individuated human being - that she be one who has
mastered the energic secrets of the higher chakras and no longer
needs the physical sexual act to establish a blissful
psychospiritual union with another human being.
Such a one meets the bridechamber of the heart,
where the true psychic marriage takes place.

blessings on this the feast day of Mary Magdalene, Beloved and Bride


*Extracts from Victoria LePage, Mysteries of the Bridechamber as well as