Mary Magdalene is perhaps one of the most controversial figures in our recent human history, right up there with her partner Jesus.
My own interactions with this woman began when I was a child growing up in a community-based, Christian kids group. My parents aren’t particularly religious, I’d describe them as spiritually curious at best and ambivalent at the least. However, growing up in the early days of my childhood in the Southern Shire of Sydney, Australia, there was a quiet Christian-ness about my life simply by association with the families in our community. I was a member of the local church group called Moonbeams (which as you got older graduated into Sunbeams) predominantly as a social outlet and because they got to do cool stuff like arts & crafts, collecting badges and meeting local celebrities (Vulcan from TV’s Gladiator was my favourite)
There a deeper draw for me, I was, even at this early stage, insatiably curious about God, anything that smelled even remotely sacred and of course, the “meaning of Life”. Experiencing a space where everyone appeared so comfortable and sure of their beliefs was utterly fascinating to me. I remember being one of the only children who sat absolutely silently during sermons, I enthusiastically belted out the hymns and asked questions at every opportunity I got. I must have appeared so keen to learn that I remember being given my first Bible by a member of the congregation as a farewell gift when we moved away.
The tissue-thin paper of the Bible intrigued me, I felt like I had every answer to every question I’d ever had just sitting in my hands waiting to be read! I felt powerful. It didn’t take me long, however, to lose interest and give up. Not only was the language hard to understand as a seven/eight year old, but I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the vindictive and vengeful God I read about… The stories of unconditional love, compassion & forgiveness were always the ones I felt most excited about, the ones I felt myself properly exhale and even though I didn’t have the word for it back then- I could feel the sacred when I read those stories and it excited me. I just couldn’t reconcile myself to a God that would willingly (and cruelly) punish some people while selectively elevating those He judged as being “good”.
I also found it difficult to follow such male-oriented voices, I wanted to feel connected personally to the stories and there were so few perspectives of women that I could find (and the ones that were included were often deemed as “lacking”, “wrong” or “evil”) that I pounced on any that I did come across. This was how I first came in contact with Mary The Mother and Mary Magdalene.
^ Just some of the many interpretations of Mary Magdalene
Having moved away from that community to a completely different part of Sydney, my experiences with the religious became much fewer and far between. I still had questions, I still felt an aching for some form of ritual and worship, but I didn’t have any kind of spiritual leadership and I was busy with the business of growing up. I eventually found myself in a Catholic High School and I experienced a second wave of religious zeal and I actually put myself through the Confirmation process at seventeen years of age! When it came time to choose a confirmation name (the name of a Saint to help guide you spiritually for the rest of your life) I actually chose St Mary Magdalene.
Again, my religious enthusiasm waned as I still hadn’t found that total comfort and surety that everyone else seemed to have and so I continued my own journey of seeking.
Fast-forward to my Initiation (2nd) level of Qoya teacher training in Auckland, New Zealand, in November 2016. I’m walking beside one of my dear friends and Qoya-sisters and out of the blue she asks me whether I would be interested in a book about Mary Magdalene? Something in the bottom of my stomach dropped excitedly and I remember feeling a little breathless. Um, yes please?! I would love to read a book about her, can I borrow it ASAP?
My friend brings me the book The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan the very next day, and over the course of the following week I become completely consumed. The story weaves together a present-tense, action/thriller-like narrative with a luscious journey in time to the “real” life of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, presenting them as husband and wife as well as a partnership of spiritual teachers. It was absolutely revolutionary to me. Not only to present a strong female voice into this well-known story (one that had been unfairly and unjustly maligned for millennia) but to also humanise Jesus as a man who loved in such a visceral way… I felt parts of me that had been so angry with the Church (Jesus, if I’m honest) for so long, simply unravel. Simply through the process of reading a story, long-ago parts of me woke up, cried, released and remembered.
Now, I’m not saying that I 100% believe in everything that Kathleen McGowan portrayed in her series of books. There were definitely parts that I strongly resonated in truth with. However, the most important part of her story was my own reaction to it and the healing I was able to achieve by simply having a story reflected back to me.
^ Just a few of the many wonderful resources and interpretations out there
Since that time, I’ve read dozens of stories and interpretations of the story of Yeshua & Mariam. I’ve prayed. I’ve listened to podcast interviews with scholars, historians and mystics. There are stories where Mary was originally a Celt, she was a whore-priestess for Isis, she was the sister of Lazarus, she escapes to the South of France after the crucifixion, Jesus studied in India, Mary studied in Egyptian mystery schools, together they were highly-advanced Tantric practitioners, they had (& didn’t have) children, Mother Mary was a renowned Prophetess, they were all initiates of a celestial order of beings sent to create an energetic matrix of healing for our planet etc etc etc.
And here I come to the crux of what I really wanted to sit down and transmit today- that it isn’t the story that matters so much. That we need to let go of this idea that there is only One Truth and that all of the other versions of this story are wrong.
What truly matters is the transmission of what Jesus and Mary came here to teach:
Unconditional love & compassion,
Understanding our inter-connectedness & Oneness,
Each person’s inherent Divinity & the power of embodying this fully
The individual narratives, characters, times/places, historical “facts” are really just smoke & mirrors.
It is time we see beyond these to the universal truths that lie beneath.
It is time we acknowledge that the more stories there are out there about Jesus and The Magdalene, the more people they appeal to and can reach.
I consider myself at the Stage of ‘Meeting the Magdalene’. I am collecting and reading stories, feeling my way into the different facets that various people have received and transmitted, and most importantly I am using my own intuition and the feelings in my body as a guide to where this path will take me. I am not judging something as “wrong” if it doesn’t feel true to me, I simply let it go and understand that it might feel true for somebody else.
I also like to look at my journey as a dynamic relationship- I regularly pray to them both. I use the power of my words, the invocations I can create through my voice and through the conscious opening of my free-will, to call in their energies, to work with them energetically and to pray for their guidance when I need it. In this way I am collecting my own supply of embodied experiences, developing my own personal relationship with them both which then helps refine my inner-compass so that my truth rings even clearer.
Through my journey with Qoya, and through the remembrance and reclamation of my own Divine Feminine essence (what I lovingly call my Feminine Frequency) I have been particularly drawn to the teachings of Mary Magdalene. I still feel a connection to Jesus/Yeshua/Easa and I will speak to him through prayer, however I currently feel a stronger resonance to and enthusiasm for the teachings of embodiment and the sacred feminine that I feel Mary conveys (kinda self-explanatory given the work I do!)
If you’ve found your way to this article and are perhaps feeling a draw to explore more about Mary the Magdalene, then I encourage you to begin! Allow your curiousity and an open-heart to guide you and trust that you will know, deep in your bones, what is your truth.
And please, let go of the need to label somebody else’s truth as Wrong. Even if you’ve spent decades researching the history of Mary Magdalene, spent hours and hours in solitude and prayer, or even if you’ve read one book and just thought YES THIS IS IT! None of that is justification for disrespecting somebody else’s version of the truth.
We live in an infinite, beautiful, paradoxical Universe. I truly believe that these wise beings never intended for us to squabble about the finer details of their human existence. They wanted their teachings to transcend time. They wanted to reach us now, in this time of great change, through their transmissions of love to help empower and support us.
This is an ongoing journey for me, a relationship that is growing and deepening every day. I will most definitely be writing more about Mary Magdalene and my own connection to her (particularly the work we are doing together). I’d love to hear in the comments if you also have a relationship with The Magdalene, or feel a particular draw to explore this, and if any books/resources have particularly helped you on this path xx
◊ The Magdalene Trilogy by Kathleen McGowan
◊ The Magdalen Rising Series by Elizabeth Cunningham
◊ The Sophia Code by Kaia Ra
◊ Rituals in Sacred Stone by Wencke Johanne Braathen
◊ The Magdalene Voices Podcast Series by Marieastela (her website also offers a free download of The Magdalene Blueprint- ways to tell if you are a Magdalene)
◊ The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, translation & interpretation by Jean-Yves Leloup (see also the Gospels of Phillip & Thomas)
◊ Reveal by Meggan Watterson (+ her Divine Feminine Oracle and upcoming book specifically about Mary Magdalene!)
◊ The Gospel of Love by Lauri Ann Lumby (she’s also written a number of other books about Mary Magdalene)
◊ Anna, Grandmother of Jesus by Claire Heartsong (& the follow up book Anna, The Voice of the Magdalenes)
(* I will keep updating this list as I go on! x)