As a priestess of the Magdalene, having an altar dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene plays an important role in my daily devotional and magical practice. While there are no hard and fast rules for creating an altar to the Magdalene, here are a few guidelines that I have found to be helpful:
Everything in Twos: The magic of Mary Magdalene includes support for the call to Beloved Partnership. As the Beloved of Jesus, Mary enjoyed the fruits of true divine partnership. For those called to this kind of partnership, Mary is a model and a source of support. It is therefore appropriate for those called to Beloved Partnership to set their altar to Mary Magdalene in complementary pairs.
Images of Mary Magdalene: This needs no explanation.
Images of Jesus: There is no Mary Magdalene without her Beloved partner, Jesus. While Jesus supported and guided Mary in her journey of self-actualization, Mary soon became his equal and co-ministered with him. Mary accompanied Jesus in his ministry and supported him in his trial, crucifixion and death. She bore witness to (and likely facilitated) Jesus’ resurrection and was ordained by the Christ to continue the mission of Love in his stead. For those raised in Western culture, Jesus represents the Divine Masculine to Mary’s Divine Feminine, providing representation of the balance we so desperately need in our broken world.
The Holy Grail (represented by Chalice and Paten): Mary Magdalene is the Holy Grail. She is the container of all Jesus knew and taught- the only one of Jesus’ disciples who “got it.” She continues to bear the mantle of his truth and is bringing it forth in our world today through the rise of the Divine Feminine, especially among those women called to reawaken the world to Mary’s role in the mission of Love.
Anointing Oils and Sprays: Mary Magdalene is the anointer. She anointed Jesus for his mission, in anticipation of the consummation of their marriage, in preparation for his death and after his death in preparing his body for burial. Mary is the “woman with the alabaster jar,” and all that symbolizes in our call to continue her healing and anointing work in the world. Additionally, Mary represents the true Apostolic Succession and as such, is the one to ordain those called to work on behalf of the mission of Love.
Traditional Tools of Magic: Jesus was called a High Priest according to the Order of Melchizedek. Mary Magdalene was similarly empowered. As the High Priestess of the Western Tradition, Mary symbolizes the forgotten arts of Christian Magic – not the Hoc est enim corpus meum of the Catholic priesthood, but the primordial magic of union. In support of the ritual practices which draw us into oneness with the Divine, an altar to Mary Magdalene should include stones and amulets, a dagger, candles, your favorite Tarot or oracle deck, feathers, and objects that represent the five elements (earth, air, water, fire, spirit).
Holy Water: As a human embodiment of the Goddess and one who bears the Hebrew name meaning water (Miriam), holy water would be an important addition to an altar to the Magdalene. Holy water can be that which you have blessed yourself, or that which you have collected from any number of sacred wells and springs dedicated to the Magdalene. My collection includes water from Chalice Well and the shrine of the Magdalene within the cave at St. Baume (France.)
Intuition and Imagination: These are perhaps the most important “objects” for your altar to Mary Magdalene. Again, when it comes to the Magdalene, there are no rules, only that which we discover in our own intimate relationship with Mary Magdalene. As she has guided me in the creation of my altar, so shall she do for you. Allow her magic to flow through you while enjoying the fruits of a diligent and devoted altar practice.