Resurrecting the Magdalene
Here we work together to resurrect the Magdalene from 2000 years of dismissal. Together we invite Mary Magdalene to rise from the dead – the death that was accomplished at the hands of a patriarchal and hierarchical world that could not imagine a woman as equal to the man they made into a god.
Through a re-reading of scripture, input, discussion and prayerful contemplation, we will take Mary off the cross upon which she suffered her death and restore her to her rightful place as co-equal with Christ. Like Jesus, Mary became fully self-actualized, living by and for the purpose of Love, and is now showing us how to do the same.
Read Part I HERE.
Scripture/Meditation Exercise I
Again, the following scripture is often referred to as having pre-figured Jesus – a male only God bringing forth a son/god who would redeem the world. Here, we re-envision this passage as also referring to Mary, called Magdalene and the feminine principle that her resurrection helps to restore. Prayerfully read through the passage below as it pertains to the Magdalene. Then, re-read it as if the passage is referring to you. Record your thoughts and reflections in a journal or notebook.
Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The MOTHER called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb She gave me my name.
She made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of Her arm.
She made me a polished arrow,
in Her quiver She hid me.
You are my servant, She said to me,
The Great Tower (Magdalene), through whom I show my glory.
Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the DIVINE,
my recompense is with my Creator.
For now the MOTHER has spoken
who formed me as Her servant from the womb,
That Zilpah, Bilhah, Leah and Rachael might be brought back to Her
and all their children gathered to Her;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the MOTHER,
and my Creator is now my strength!
It is too little, She says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of your ancestors,
and restore the survivors of all my children;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
IS 49: 1-6
Scripture/Meditation Exercise II
In the passage below, Jesus predicts the betrayal and denial he will suffer at the hands of his closest disciples. In the Gospel written in her name, Mary Magdalene is doubly betrayed by many of the male disciples, especially Peter. The Gospel of Mary (Magdalene) unfolds the story of Peter’s jealousy of Mary and resistance to the “secret teachings” Jesus gave to her, but not to him. He also challenges the post-resurrection experiences Mary has with Jesus as “the ravings of a mad woman.” Reflect on how women’s voices and women’s ways of knowing have been ignored, silenced, condemned, even demonized throughout history. Reflect on the women who have been condemned as “mad” or executed for “consorting with the Devil” for speaking the truths they had come to know in intuitive or mystical experiences (Joan of Arc for example). If you feel so-called, write a “Manifesto of Truth Speaking” on behalf of all women who have been silenced, including an invitation for all women today to be empowered to speak their truth.
Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” JN 13: 21
Peter said to him,
“Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times.” JN 13: 36-38
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is the founder of the Temple of the Magdalene and a modern Magdalene Priestess.