Who is Mary Magdalene? The figure we meet in the gospels is commonly understood as a repentant whore, redeemed by her devotion to a male saviour. She is sometimes imagined as the consort of Jesus, or the beloved disciple. But in all cases she remains a woman, defined by her sexuality and her relationships.
To understand the true power of Mary Magdalene, we need to put all these images away, and understand her as a figure symbolic of our deepest inner abilities.
Mary Magdalene symbolises your ability to bring the stillness and silence of Divine Presence, and the creative power of the universe, to Earth. You yourself are rooted in the Divine and have the latent capacity to bring Divine Presence, and the abundant creativity that flows from it, into the physical world. (From the teachings in Patterns of Creation Axis Mundi Books 2012)
Divinity is Beyond Gender
Before we go any further, it is esential to understand that the Hebrew names of God – or Divine attributes – that are given in the Bible are beyond gender. We have been misled for thousands of years by the patriarchal mindset that interprets the Divine as masculine.
Here are a few of the most commonly used Hebrew names of God, with their meanings:
Ehieh – I AM;
Jahveh – To be-Presence – Fullness of Life;
Elohim – Absolute life, source of every living thing;
Shekinah – Presence.
All these Hebrew names denote the formless essence and unity of life, containing the potential of both Feminine and Masculine.
Elohim appears in the first verse of Genesis as the creator of Heaven and Earth. The stillness of Divine Presence continually gives birth to the creative spiritual universe, which is the formless beginning of space-time. Creation is not a past event: it is the ever-present here – now. From out of this formless creative movement comes all the form and matter of the cosmos.
Artistic depiction of the Creator as Goddess; the Divine Feminine – art collection, Musee d’Orsay, Paris
To the unconscious mind matter appears fixed and solid. Through spiritual awakening, we begin to see the depths of the heavenly universe that underlies the material world. In other words – “the Kingdom of Heaven is here now.” Mary Magdalene represents the awakening of this realisation within us.
Mary as the Triple Goddess
In the Gospels Mary is a re-working of Isis the triple Goddess: her aspects are Bride, Mother, and Grandmother – wisdom keeper, and guardian of the natural world.
Mary as Mother: “The Hebrew name Miriam (Mary) can be translated in various ways, but the letters taken as Hebrew ciphers mean; the flow of creative mutable power, containing as principles, the seeds of absolute life; Creative Presence in Space – as Space, which allows life to take form, and become all that we experience as the physical world, the Earth and the Cosmos. It is for this reason she is called the Divine Mother, the Womb of Space, and the Great fertile Ocean.” (From the Book – Patterns of Creation.)
Mary as Bride: As the Bride she is called Mary Magdalene: In Hebrew Migdal means “tower,” “fortress:” that is, a deepening awareness of inner creative strength and conscious presence that exists as your core or essence. In Aramaic (spoken Hebrew), “Magdala” means “tower” and “elevation, to grow great, and magnificence.” This means to grow great and to elevate consciousness in the spiritual sense.
Magdalene symbolizes an elevated place of consciousness where you can see with clarity of vision, and the power and strength to hold space, in which creativity can take place in each moment.
Magdalene represents the central conduit of consciousness within the six directions of space, connecting I AM – presence with spirit (the formless), soul (form), and matter (the body).
Mary Magdalene as Connectivity
Mary Magdalene represents your initiation into higher awareness. This often comes as a result of changes taking place in your life that are not always comfortable. However such changes are necessary as they open the way to the realization of a greater consciousness than the mind, and deepening awareness of the universal creative powers of life flowing through you. She is the path, or way, of honesty spoken about in various biblical stories.
Magdalene is the stillness behind all movement; supporting all life. When you silence the mind, you begin to notice that all movement continually emerges out of this stillness: the creative powers of the universe expressing themselves continuously through the diversity of all life. Through the conscious breath, you begin to feel that you are intimately connected to the whole of life. (From the teachings in Patterns of Creation)
Entering the Cave of the Magdalene
Mary the Wisdom Keeper – The Gospel of Mary
Little known until recently is the Gospel according to Mary (Magdalene), fragments of which were found in the Nag Hammadi manuscripts and also some later texts, circa fifth century, belonging to the Coptic Church.
Her teachings focus on the dissolution of thought forms in which we are entrapped, the end of the illusions of separation from the One and the Good.
The teachings of Mary Magdalene do not ask you to believe in anything. Instead you are asked to become the Magdalene, which means to awaken in yourself the ability to still and silence your mind, and realize the creative space that exists within you now, and that is accessible to you now. (From Patterns of Creation)
This is to be a conscious human being, taking responsibility for your inner world and what you do and say in the outer world.
You awaken from the dream of identification with form, and are no longer dominated by the unconscious mind; your own or that of anybody else.
Mary as spiritually evolving humanity.
In her story Mary Magdalene is referred to as someone who prostitutes herself. Although our sexuality and our creative spiritual life are one, it is not simply the sexual aspect of our creativity that the stories refer to.
What Mary prostitutes as a young – which means unaware and inexperienced – woman are her creative powers. This is the condition of all spiritually unconscious humans – men as well as women.
When we are unconscious – spiritually – we identify ourselves with our unobserved thoughts. We then become possessed by emotionally charged thought forms.
This is the root all our anxieties and fears and all our egotistical behavior. Whilst we are in this unconscious state we give away our inner powers to those who would use us or take advantage of us.
The Feminine Face of the Christ
Mary becomes aware of Jesus and then the Christ in herself, not as a separate person but as her own inner creative spirit and Being.
This is the end of a subject – object relationship with life; knower and known are realized as One.
Christ contains the essence of both female and male. Christ is a state of consciousness – the realisation of your own Being.
Jesus (Greek) Joshua (Hebrew) is the personification of the creative spirit of every human being.
Mary as bride is the feminine aspect of the Christ, and her inner marriage, is to be an enlightened human being.
As you yourself realize this you no longer give away or lose your creative powers, but contain, and use them with awareness. As a spiritually conscious human being you can no longer be used or manipulated by your own ego, or the unconscious egocentric people around you. You are then able to help others find this ability in themselves.
This is the realization of what Magdalene symbolizes and points to within you.
As an awakened human being you are aware of the world of forms in which you move. At the same time, there is increased awareness of the formless creative presence out of which all form continually emerges, and into which it continually dissolves.
At your core is the source of all consciousness, which the Greek texts of the gospels call the Christos, the Eternal Presence within humanity that gives space in which creative life unfolds.