Mary Magdalene in the Land of Isis

     On the  beads of Margaret Starbird 's  Magdalene Rosary,  the Seven Legendary Stories of Mary Magdalene,as Bride in Exile, start this way, "Mary travels with Joseph of Arimathea to safety in Egypt", and then "Mary gives birth to her daughter Sarah".  During this Christmas season I felt  preoccupied with the images these simple lines provide.  I'm  always in love with Christmas images of the manger and the gentle animals  and I think about instinct (the animals) being the best nurturing force of "the birth of the new" inside us all.  Births can take place in all kinds of ways in "the mythic mind", which is our religious mind.  Athena's mother was swallowed by a jealous father and she was born out of his head. That's the pattern of birth for "father's daughters", always looking for the nurturing ground of the mother who was swallowed up by patriarchy.   When I pray the Magdalene Mysteries Rosary and I say "hail Mary, love Incarnate, show us the way of the heart", I know I'm not praying about a father's daughter  because I'm told that she went to Egypt to give birth to her baby daughter Sarah and Egypt was the  land of The Great Mother Goddess.  Mary Magdalene gave birth in the realm of the Goddess, bringing forth the lineage  and heritage of  feminine spirituality into the Christian story.   Isis and the land of the Goddess thus becomes a kind of grandmother in our story, the spiritual grandmother who lent her land and her people to the Bride and Beloved of Christianity.  Isis is a spiritual grandmother  who was called by these many wonderful names, "goddess of the tree of life, goddess of the primeval waters, star goddess, bird goddess of the skies, pig goddess of fertility, caring mother goddess, goddess of the underworld, goddess of the throne, and goddess of  words of power.
   When we pray and contemplate the simple words "Mary travels to Egypt with Joseph of Arimathea and Mary gives birth to her daughter Sarah"  we claim the heritage of the Goddess in all ways and we can know that it was intended that She travel onward through Mary Magdalene and Sarah.  To me, that's an image of giving birth in a manger with the animals, because it's women's instinct to connect with our  earth -based, body -based spirituality.  To me, the birth story of "born in Egypt" is coming true today as we claim Mary Magdalene and her Sacred Union  as our current  story of the Goddess, our current incarnation of  the God/Goddess which
Margaret Starbird calls "Godde".
     I have to confess that I can't see the genre of paintings  of the "Flight To Egypt"  anymore  without thinking of Mary Magdalene's flight to Egypt. I wonder about the red dress peeking out of David's painting from 1510? And the earthy basket vessel?

This change inside me is how religions last a very, very long time in stable civilizations. They change with people's perceptions of them, now one part of the myth/religion coming to the fore of worship, and now another.  Violent, patriarchal civilizations don't tend to last long but ones which worship a goddess do last long. I hope this is happening with Christianity through our changing awarenesses of  the role Mary Magdalene and Sacred Union  played.   Spiritually, she focuses our attention on the Earth, where it belongs right now.
     She gave birth  "within the Mother"  in the land of the Goddess and then she continued to "carry the good news"  of life,birth,death,and life again  across the seas, guided only by faith and fate, to a new land. And she had her daughter with much better could that be?

You can see the Margaret Starbird Rosaries and Chaplet  by clicking here

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  • 12/27/2008 10:01 AM Loretta Kemsley wrote:
    Bringing forth the importance of the mothers during this spiritual season seems so natural and wise. Mother Mary brought forth, nurtured, educated and guided her esteemed son (and his siblings) through all the days of his life. Mary Magdalene joined their mission, bringing forth her wisdom, love and children, enhancing this already notable family.

    When we view them as a family, we see them in a new light. James loving his brother enough to step into his role after their loss. Mary Magdalene continuing their teachings, honoring him in the best way she could. Mother Mary as devoted grandmother is an image I value.

    All of which bring us back to Isis. When we compare the two mythologies, it is apparent the two are intimately linked. Years ago, before I'd given much thought to Mary Magdalene, I was gifted with a vision of her and Mother Mary in Egypt in front of a beautiful temple. Mary Magdalene was dressed in white with gold braid wrapped around her tunic. It was apparent both were women of authority, and Mary Magdalene was a priestess. It seemed as if Mother Mary was content to hand off her prior commitments to Mary Magdalene, whom she loved.

    It strikes me now, looking back, that this was one generation ready to move forward into her next stage and happily relieved that the next generation was there, competent and able to take up the mantle that needed carrying forward.

    Rather a peaceful thought. That knowing. That trust. That love.
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    1. 12/27/2008 6:31 PM Joan Norton wrote:
         What a beautiful visionary experience ! I'm so pleased you shared it with everyone.  When I hear your vision I feel assured all over again that the sacred feminine began it's rise  in our time inside the intuitive experiences of  sensitive women. LIke you said, you weren't even thinking about Mary Magdalene much and there she was. Margaret describes the same thing, and mine was that way too.  She just came knocking on our hearts, didn't she?  And yes, I agree with you that the Mother Mary was probably relieved to have Mary Magdalene as a daughter-in-law who had the capacity for love and wisdom and authority.  I always feel upset at talk about "Magdalene women" wanting to displace the Beloved Mother Mary. I don't think it's that way at all and I picture them as loving each other very deeply.
      Thanks for your insights, Lore....Joan
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  • 12/28/2008 8:03 AM Jennifer Reif wrote:
    Hi Joan
    I was very drawn to your words, " about instinct (the animals) [ie. nativity scene], being the best nurturing force of "the birth of the new" inside us all."

    I like your idea about the "instinct of the animals." We are living in a body and we do have instincts that can guide us to new ways of living and to ways of renewing ourselves.

    For me, the harder the challenge the more I need to rely on Her Instinct, a part of the Wisdom of the Mother. It sort of feels like....'don't think out a solution, just open up and feel and sense your way through.'

    Love Jennifer
    Jennifer Reif
    "The Holy Book of Mary Magdalene"
    Reply to this
    1. 12/28/2008 6:53 PM Joan Norton wrote:
        Hi Jennifer,
        Thank you for your comment, I like the way you express the idea of "not thinking" the solution to something. Hard to do sometimes, isn't it? When you say "open up and feel and sense your way through"   it feels so feminine in the Ariadne way of following the thread.  I guess everybody's instincts have a unique expression. Some sense a "yes" or "no" energetically, some get a "I'm unhappy" or "I'm happy"  feeling, some people feel the answers in their stomach. I think I've got a little twinge-y place on my neck right now which is giving me direction in the sense of "too much stress that way" or "that's a more relaxed way to go".   I have a favorite blog writer, Robert Shapiro  at The Explorer Race  who talks alot about the idea of benevolence as a guidance factor. We're all trying to live more benevolent lives and transform our planet in that direction , I think we have a instinct towards peace.  When I ask myself which choice is the more benevolent one I feel I'm following my better instincts.
      Thanks for sharing, xoJoan
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  • 1/16/2009 1:00 PM Jen wrote:
    Such a beautiful post! Ever since reading Woman with the Alabaster Jar, I've enjoyed looking for messages in old art. Over the last couple of days, I'm gaining more clarity in my love of the Magdalene. It's no longer just about the marriage, but about the revolutionary way in which Jesus honored this Beloved Disciple. But it also is joining my love of the Feminine Sacred with this story and it's no longer abstract, but more concrete and encompassing. And I feel I have so much yet to learn, as if I'm in kindergarten again!
    Reply to this
    1. 1/17/2009 9:01 AM Joan Norton wrote:
      Hi,  I know what you mean about "kindergarten".  When I was given the visionary experience with Mary Magdalene in 1996 I knew nothing , and I mean nothing, about her.  I've been learning and growing with her and through sacred union, ever since.  I think it's so helpful to have eye opening experiences through recognizing the  symbolic content of the old artwork, of Mary Magdalene because it shows  that her story  can never really be hidden. Not then, not now.  It was in the psyches of the artists and it's in our psyches  now. It will always come out in dreams, synchronicities, artwork, writing, channeling.....all forms of creativity.  Our eyes are opened now.
         I like how Margaret Starbird says that her work is "not about sex in the 1st century", which is how some interpret the recognition of the Sacred Marriage at the center of the Christian story.  The pattern of  unity of all things is what the symbolism is of sacred marriage means, and that's why we need it. Through the symbol of  unity in love we have a model for loving energies between "all creatures great and small" and   all everything great and small.
        Thanks so much for your comments! xoJoan
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