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Something About MaryJanuary 27, 2005
Published under: Spirituality
Over the past few years there’s been a resurgence of interest in Mary. Her popularity speaks to a stirring deep within our collective unconscious. The soul of our culture is calling for us to rediscover her image and symbology.
Mary represents kindness, loving compassion, and femininity. She’s back to free the feminine aspect within us all — men and women alike.
But, which Mary are we talking about? And, does it really matter?
Further legends have Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and a black (Nubian) Egyptian Mary traveling to the south of France — spreading the teachings of Jesus. Mary appears to have been a very popular name back in those times.
We do know that from about the 4th Century A.D. onward, all of the earlier representations of the divine feminine in the West became eclipsed by the veneration of the Virgin Mary. And, by the Middle Ages, a large “cult of Mary” had spread throughout Europe.
According to Henry Adams, nearly every great church built during the 12th and 13th Centuries –at Paris, Rheims, Amiens, Chartres, etc. — belonged to Mary (Virgin Mary/Mother of God/Queen of Heaven). She was revered for her mercy and forgiveness — as opposed to judgment and retribution.
Fast forward to the current (and recent) best-selling fictional accounts of Mary Magdalene. Although they may be a great read — there seems to be little historical basis for these new revelations about this Mary.
The upside to this popularity of Mary mythology is that it will ultimately lead people to explore the evidence that does exist — especially with regard to Mary Magdalene. She’s often been associated with the “repentant prostitute” image or archetype — however, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In recently published (1955) Coptic editions of important Gnostic texts — which include The Gospel of Mary — one discovers that Mary Magdalene was actually a carrier of the great mystical Gnosis tradition — and a close disciple of Jesus.
It appears that this association ultimately led to her (and these texts) becoming an object of denigration by the orthodox forces in the early Christian church — starting in the 1st Century A.D.
It took about three centuries for the Old Testament/superiority of men over women/faith-based salvation and redemption perspective to gain the upper hand. And, look where its gotten us.
Its time to look at Mary with new eyes and resurrect her true symbology — kindness, compassion, and femininity.
Now more than ever.
You’ve come a long way, baby.
“Mont Saint Michel and Chartres” by Henry Adams. Project Gutenberg offers a free e-book (2003) download.
Also, check out the recently published “The Gnostic Bible.” (2003)
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