The Bride is Coming..The Bride is Coming!

   The Magdalene ....the Bride...the Goddess...Spring....begins to slowly return and her return is acknowledged in my house by setting her a place at the table, or baking her a cake, or weaving her a cross of wheat. February 1 and 2nd...and let's just make it the entire the time she comes back from winter's descent and begins to make her way to spring's sacred marriage and rebirth. When the Greek storytellers and scribes of the Jesus stories placed the "hnh" at the end of "Magdal" they directed people to think of her as "Great" and "Exalted" the manner of their diety. They understood the Magdalene as representing the cycles of renewal that the goddesses are within us.The same three letters were sometimes attached to Athena, the Greek diety of wisdom. In the Celtic cultures of great influence at that time she was already Brighid...soon to be called Bride.

     The Magdalene we remember at this time of the year is the maiden Mary, the one who has not yet met her Beloved in the Garden. Our creative, generative energies for the year are just now bubbling up from the deep, from below, from the winter. They are not married to an idea, a pursuit, a creative project. They are not old enough yet to be anointed with the masculine and the marriage. We honor them as they are, tender and beginning to slowly grow. Our perceptions of what we can accomplish or start or grow need to be cared for steadily, like regularly watering new seeds as they peek out. We need to behave with regularity to grow what we want to grow...not in fits and spurts. Feeding regularly and with intention. Often that which has been met in the dark of winter comes slowly to life in spring. That means holding the Grail---the cup of life--with a steady hand.



Rene Barnett and Gloria Amendola are preparing  to take another group in May on a sacred journey to France's Magdalene country, to help support an initiation process into the mystery traditions of the Magdalene. We talked about that on her January 30, 2013 Nightvision radio show.  Scroll down to the January 30 show here

Rene Barnett and Joan Norton on Nightvision radio podcast                                          



Feast Day for Jesus' Grandmother

     Today is Grandmother's Feast Day on the Christian calender. September 1 is the feast day of "Saint Anna the Prophetess" who was with Jesus' family when they brought him to the Temple for a ceremony of renewal for his mother. I doubt that she was a random visionary who just happened to be there to speak out in prophecy that  those looking for redemption in the Jerusalem tribes would look to this baby.
    Anna is the one on the right side of the picture, the one shrouded in mystery with a scroll in her hand. 

              File:Giotto - Scrovegni - -19- - Presentation at the Temple.jpg

 The Gospel of Luke describes her as a wise older woman who had lived her life in service to God. Somewhat of a priestess. Her story describes that she fled to Galilee from her abusive husband Joachim....whose parents legend says came from the Fortingall area of Scotland.
     And that she was of the tribe of Asher, which had been deported from Galilee in 723 B.C. ...and wandered. Galilee is thought  by some---because of the "gl"-- to be "the country of the circle" ....the country of the Gael....the country of a celto-hebraic lineage. A prophet-giving holy  woman would not be unusual to that culture.


    The grandmother speaks out in public to announce the baby, just as it might be today. It is a grandmother who apparently knows the secret of renewal and redemption.The spiritual dimension, the intuitive realm, had spoken  through an angel; but here is the first voice of the Sacred Feminine in the earth dimension telling the story of renewal. A baby represents the continuous cyclic renewal of life on symbolic and physical planes. Cyclic renewal is the philosophy of the Goddess religions that Jesus was in some harmony with. Maybe the genetics of  his grandmother Anna the visionary were strong in him.
  The name of the tribe Asher means happiness, contentment, fulfillment and affirmation. I'll take that as Jesus' maternal lineage from the earth realm.
                                        Feast Day of the Grandmother! 

(My thanks for the research of Barry Dunford in The Vision of Albion, The Key to the Holy Grail)


Click here to order the Magdalene Circle book

Click here to order Magdalene Rosaries

Magdalene: You Can't Hold Her in a Box

     I found a portrait of Mary Magdalene this week hidden in a Google image search for Saint Barbara. Just the same way you find great-great grandmothers with personality and their own individual woman's journey stories hidden in the staid world of the genealogies of men's family names. The portrait is titled "St. Barbara in a Wooded Landscape", painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the early 1500's. It is mentioned in a 1931 issue of The Antiquarian magazine as ,'Lucas Cranach's portrait of a woman represented as the Holy Magdalene', according to its Christie's auction house description. Have a look.

   Pearls, chalice in her left hand (of the feminine path),the bread, long free hair, red dress, the brocade of stature, hand on heart and look of inner knowing. It's her.
    Through us, she's escaping the confines of mis-naming. The man who painted it was friend to Martin Luther and lent his talents to the Reformation. Maybe the public naming of the portrait was necessary in the political climate, but the real name was known enough to show up centuries later.
   Magdalene won't stay mis-named in art and not in religious scripture either. And however a woman wants to claim and feel herself to be the modern expression of the feminine divinity that Mary Magdalene represents is fine. I get nervous when Mary Magdalene starts feeling like the Blessed Mother too much.The one who says don't ask me, ask my son. 
    The spirit of the feminine portrayed in the symbols of this painting point to the future. The chalice holds the mystery of what is to come and the pearls of great price give a woman the nerve to make it happen. Women who feel the spirit of the Magdalene move inside and become curious about her, often end up with an urge to change things in their immediate surroundings.

     Everything in the world needs the spirit of the feminine instinct for connection right now. As I move my fingers one bead to the next on my rosary I'm living that feminine instinct. One prayer to another, one thought to another, I'm sewing my individual world to the greater world and inviting sacred energies to help. Mary Magdalene is a verb, she's the energy of movement and creative action. She's got that look of knowing in her portraits because she does know, and she's quite willing to tell you.

Wedding of Mary Magdalene

     Going towards the wedding and Sacred Union, Magdalene goes towards her own authority. Towards herself as Queen....towards herself as authority over her own lands.
      The Virgin-self has receptivity; the Bride and Beloved has authority.
     We ally with our own religious stories to know these qualities in ourself.  If we reduce Mary Magdalene to First Apostle, she only as authority of the Mind. Her land and body are not espoused. 
     If a woman does not carry her own sense of embodied authority, she can be treated with disrespect and even cruelty. The loss of the Queen to Jesus' King, the Bride to his Bridegroom, has made it so for women. 
To accept the role of First  Apostle is to give up once again the authority over one's own land and the embodied wisdom to govern it. So pale in comparison to "The Magdalene" who claims the wedding as her own; who claims the cross and who claims the cave.

Magdalene and the Red Egg

  I was never satisfied with the Mary Magdalene and the Red Egg story, were you? I knew there was more. That's what we are all doing with and for her right now...finding out the MORE. It might be that the story of Mary Magdalene going to Caesar and using the egg to convince him of Jesus ' resurrection will change and we will be left with  the image of a goddess holding a red egg.


     Five thousand years before Mary Magdalene's story of "holding the egg", there was a temple in Hungary dedicated to regeneration and personal renewal. Along with circles and spirals, there were red eggs painted on the walls. Mary Magdalene's red egg story steps right into  the deep wisdom of  matriarchal religious symbols. The Red Egg is her blood, the blood that is the body's nourishing source of all life. 
     When she holds the red egg she is the goddess herself, the one who giveth and taketh away life. In this story sequence Mary Magdalene is not showing us her relatedness to the masculine principle.... here she stands in the place of all the Great Goddesses who came before her and held the world egg in their hands. Here she represents the hope of renewal within life, the hope that we can slough off old skins and become MORE of our true selves.


     You dye the eggs red using onion skins. Eating them is our act of communion with her. Eating them is our act of communion with the energies of renewal of nature.






The Light Within the Gems

When Sally and I started together to consciously invite in the metaphysical energies of Creation in the 90's I saw her acupuncture skill as "letting in Light". Now I see her rosaries the same way.
The gems have Light, they're made of Spirit and Matter in sacred union. Some have specific consciousness for creating effect on heart and mind, but it's not necessary to know such things. 

       I remember each time I finger the sequence of the seven beads that I am dissolving the vibrational pattern of abuse institutionalized by St. Dominic and his groups of ten beads. Seven is "The Great She", the one who carries the healthy patterns of life within her being.
    Once when Sally and I were channeling together on the consciousness of particular health problems, I saw Tibetan wise men standing with her. They're the ones who first understood that the acupuncture needles let in Light.

   I simplify my reach to expanded consciousness now with these words "Dear Mary Magdalene, love incarnate, sacred vessel, holy grail. Chosen are you with all women and blessed is your union with Jesus. Dearest bride and beloved of Christ, show us the way of the heart."


    You can read more of the story of Margaret Starbird's inspirational Magdalene Rosaries in our book about the inner path of sacred union, 14 Steps to Awaken the Sacred Feminine, Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene. 

      You can see the Heart & Cross Rosary, the Magdalene Rose Amethyst Chaplet, the Gold Roses Magdalene Rosary, the Sea Treasures Rosary, the Celtic Trinity Knot Rosary, the Scarab Rosary Chaplet, the Black and Crystal Rosary and the Silver Heart Magdalene Rosary at Sally's booth at 





Inner Magi

    Who were those colorful Druid Magi philosophers visiting the baby Jesus on Epiphany? What is the factor in the Kingdom within you that supports the new Light, the new inspiration, the new part of yourself ? The old king is sick and needs the water of life but he wants to kill it instead, just as the old ways within never want to give up to a new way. King Herod would surely kill the new baby if he knew where it was. The Druid Magi are in tune with the messages and signs of heaven and so they follow the five pointed star, the one which the Goddess directs.


 In early writings the words Druid and Magi were used interchangeably. Druids were called Magi, Magi is a Latin language equivalent of Druid. They ranked nearly equal with their kings and had the privilege of wearing six colors on their robes, while Celtic kings and queens wore seven. The Druid philosophers of the sacred world were a one-god culture with varied expressions of divinity, who waited for a messiah as part of their trinity. Their name means Servant of the Truth, "Truth Against the World". They apparently anticipated Jesus and were prepared to accept him as the one waited for. He was a "fuller and more perfect revelation" of their own religion and philosophy. They became the Culdee church of the first century in Ireland and Britain.

    They represent a consciousness, an inner attitude that recognizes a revelation from the Mystery world. That recognizes a sacred message in a dream and  that recognizes support is needed for the dream to bring about real change. They represent an inner attitude that follows the feminine spirit, for she is the only one who births the new. The old sick king has no relationship to the Feminine at all.
  The  Druid philosophers were the keepers of the genealogies, the keepers of the sacred memory of the people. They believed in the immortality of the soul as the principal reason for leading a virtuous life. The consciousness within me and within you which will support inspiration and creativity and new paths (the baby) has sacred memory, knows your soul life. It can surely take a lot of strength to support oneself, to stick with it and keep going on the path you know is right for you.

       Doorway blessings are part of the symbolism of Epiphany, the initials of the Magi written in chalk above the door along with the date of the year to come. It's a good way to remember to support oneself within with the qualities of steadfast expectation, knowledge of the sacred language of dreams and stars, and always have your holy grail vessel ready to hold new life.

Good news! Sally has her Magdalene Rosaries back up again on a new website.

Sense Memory of the Sacred Feminine at Christmas

     I know there's a heavenly story about Jesus and who his mother was and who his grandmother was and who his great-grandmother was. I know the metaphysics of their spiritual consciousness is intricate. But I've become preoccupied with thinking about the earthy influence these women would have had on him. Their philosophy of life. Their cooking. Their style of celebrating the festivals.


     Even though he was the Messiah from birth, recognized by world astrologers as the one who would embody the perennial wisdom next, he still would have been influenced by family women.I don't think they shut him off in a room for years, only to come out once to try and teach the rabbis. He was influenced by the Sacred Feminine as it was expressed in the women around him. And that's what lasts.

     The feminine values are passed down through sense memory. They live in our right brains. If Jesus was taken as a youngster with his great-uncle and protector Joseph of Arimathea away to safety in the Celtic lands of his maternal people,  he would have experienced the feminine philosophy of the women there. They had more freedoms than the women in Palestine.

     Celtic people ended up as British, Irish, Scottish but they had been all over those areas we think of as the only home of the holy families. Observers in the 1st century reported that Celtic people wore brightly colored, checked woven wool clothes and that they had the universities that people sent their children to for higher learning. Part of the sense memory that Jesus would have had is the fabric of the women he loved.    And the ways in which they carried the holy festivals of the year's circle. We call it the smells and touch and sights of Christmas now but in his visiting times Jesus would have experienced it as the Light of Winter festival. The food had aroma, the women wore beautiful cloth, prayers were whispered, poems were heard..... the Sacred Feminine was absorbed.

   That's how we women do it now so our spirituality will be absorbed and passed down through the generations. 


Sleigh and Reindeer

     I understand now why the most used symbols of Christmas represent northern Europe more than the desert place we're told the story is from. Christ came also from philosophies and ancient wisdom traditions centered in the far northern isle where many world spiritual teachers came from. Buddhist Mongolian lamas apparently credit a Celt druid philosopher named Sucundra with teaching the Buddha from this same northern source stream of spiritual wisdom. These same Celtic philosopher teachers saw in vision and welcomed the Christ Jesus as the new carrier of the ancient spiritual wisdoms.

    The reindeer I see in Macy's Christmas decoration department echo and symbolize the easier reach into spiritual dimensions at this time of year. Northern European shaman put reindeer antlers on their heads in ceremony to express the idea of going into the skyworld and bringing back gifts of the spirit to their community. Like Santa in his sleigh in the sky.

     Jesus's maternal DNA placed him in the northern Holy Land where we still get our  potent and mysterious Christmas symbols.  No wonder Godde speaks in sacred geometric  symbol language in the grain fields of Celtic lands. No wonder we can't help ourselves putting fir trees around the Christmas manger.
   The reason I don't like snowmen as the new commercialized symbol of Christmas is it deteriorates our spiritual teaching story about reaching  to the North Pole with wishes. The North Pole symbolizes the world axis which is the home of high evolutionary spiritual energies....the Godde within. The cold, cold snowman feeds nothing to the soul compared to the sight of the sleigh in the sky.
  Symbols are the food of our own dear Western Mystery Traditions, kept alive by our love of them.

Who Lives in Your Christmas Creche?

 Your Christmas creche tells the story of the maternal bloodline of Christ. Everyone who does their family genealogy knows that we can run into a brick wall when we look for our grandmothers back a few generations. They lose their names and stories easily. Christ's grandmother was Anne, who is said to have fled from her Celtic home in Cornwall to Galilee. There was a lot of trade route travel in those days and her family relative Joseph of Arimathia was familiar with that. He may have been her brother. No wonder it was he who was to protect the pregnant Mary, "called the Magdalene" after Jesus' murder.
      I'm putting Anne in my creche where her daughter gives birth. When women give birth we feel blood kinship with all our family's mothers who've gone before us. 

     Her home area of Cornwall had a  worship community which later became a church with her name. The earliest carriers of Christianity were called Culdees and the churches known as Culdee churches. They were there before the roman church. Jesus's grandmother would have had a family spiritual mentor who believed in three truths; to revere the one Diety, to abstain from evil, and to behave valiantly. "The Truth against the world" was their saying about themselves. Surely Jesus spent time with his grandmother.
     I am also putting Christ's Great-Grandmother in my Christmas creche. She may not have been alive at the time he was born, but I'm very sure she was there in spirit. She was said to have been born at Mount Carmel, which was a Mystery School of that time. The Mystery Schools were connected on the inner planes and were of constant influence to each other. There were many in Britain, including one in Fortingall on a site of early honoring of the Mother Godde Anaitis. Christ's Great-Grandmother is called Emernetia in her stories.An early Celtic Mother Godde is called Arnamentia. Arnamentia is "She of the Healing Waters".

    Here is Christ's Great-Grandmother with her tree and her book of wisdom in a statue from 1515-1530. Emerentia carries a mythic pattern of the Goddess in her story of giving birth to Anne. It was known through vision at the Mystery School at Carmel that her child would be spiritually significant. Emerentia had six lovers with whom nothing was conceived. Seven being the mystical number of cycles and patterns of the Goddess was the one that brought her into harmony with her destiny....and Anne was born.

   Today is December 1 and the little creche is ready to be filled with the spirit of women forever bringing forth new life in all ways creative and physical.


Dunford, Barry, Vision of Albion: The Key to the Holy Grail, 2008
Hill, Isabel Elder, Celt, Druid, and Culdee, 1938
Dunstan, Victor, Did the Virgin Mary Live and Die in England ?, 1985

The Emerentia statue is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, "The Virgin and Child, Saint Anne and Saint Emerentia"