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#21 Sun 6th Dec 2009 05:59 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

Changing the Spiritual Story of Our Times

Spiritual stories create culture and guide the psychology of an era.. In the long, long span of time spiritual stories evolve to encompass the changing ideas of who we think we are in relation to the sacred world. The spiritual stories of our time  have generally become too rigid and codified, grown into rule systems that have lost life. You know what I mean. At first the stories were inspirational, moving people to improve themselves and their lives. Then the formality takes over. Maybe at that point people have learned all there is to learn from those particular spiritual ideas. Our brains are built to continually want to reach for the MORE of us, and that reaching will always come from deep within us in response to rigid religious systems. I'm sure Jesus was frustrating to alot of people with his parables and  the way he directed people to "within".  Not much for rigid systems.  It's from the Mystery of "within" that new spiritual stories develop and that's what's happening now with the Sacred Feminine as Mary Magdalene.  And that's what Magdalene Circles are for. Yes, we have some very basic misconceptions about "Mary, called Magdalene"  to straighten out, and yes, we have some of her legends to bring back to life, but we are also divinely charged with "allowing" newness to come bubbling up from within. In a small group, or in our individual study and contemplation, we are allowing the Sacred Feminine to come alive again. And we know she's interested in Sacred Union because the feminine is a master of relationships.
                                     
Magdalene Circles that I'm aware of are engaging in the  new curiosity and love of Mary Magdalene in all kinds of different ways, and that's a very good thing.   In my own circle we always told a piece of Magdalene's story and talked about the sad loss of it to the history of Christianity, and maybe got mad about it too, but then we also spent plenty of time listening to each other's current revelations through dreams, artwork, high intuition, and synchronicities.  It's not church.  We need to LET HER IN and that happens from inside each of us, from the Mystery realms.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/Connie1947/prayhealearth.jpg



We are the ones revitalizing the spiritual story which will serve us into the coming age where the values of the feminine had better be in more prominence. There's plenty of Magdalene to go around, for all people to find their own unique relationship to her and to her sacred marriage.

Here's a heartening tale from the recent HerChurch conference.  A friend of Margaret Starbird's, Bishop John Beverley Butcher of the Episcopal Church, has written a book about the sacred partnership of Jesus and Mary Magdalene and has begun creating rituals to introduce people to this idea. He is now convinced apparently that the "Mary of Magdala" is a false story and that Margaret's research on that subject is correct in stating that there was no "Magdala" in that location at that time. It was a town called Taricheae. Mary Magdalene is "Mary of Bethany" of course.  Rev.  Butcher had a wonderful icon commissioned for the cover of his book and has given me permission to share it with you here. It's  copyrighted art and is available from Trinity Stores online , but I thought you'd like to see it. http://www.trinitystores.com/

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/Connie1947/JesusandMaryMagdaleneicon.jpg



We have an abundance of symbols which tell us that Mary Magdalene was thought of as Goddess/the Magnificent One/Sacred Bride/Holy Feminine but it seems that the "Mary of Magdala" story keeps sticking to her as though it's the gospel truth. Actually, as we know, the Gospel called her "Mary, called Magdalene".  I think most women can relate very well to the idea of "mistaken identity"  and to the experience of people not knowing who you really are. The job of restoring her rightful title and name and dispelling the "of Magdala" myth is Lesson 2 in 14 Steps To Awaken the Sacred Feminine: Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene  and we're going to be talking about it on the Magdalene Circle online this coming Tuesday November 24, 2009.  Cynthia Jordan and Lerin Winter and doing such a wonderful job of creating a global Magdalene Circle reach, and they've made a new website for easy call-in access.  You can listen live from their website in whichever time zone you're in. Call in and chat with us.....it's easy. Click here to access the online Magdalene Circle show http://spirituallyspeaking.webs.com/mag … ircles.htm

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/Connie1947/14steps_book_cover.jpg



Healing the Wasteland one heart at a time.

from http://blog.marymagdalenewithin.com/200 … times.aspx

some of the comments left at Joan's blog

Ariadne Green wrote:
Lovely icon that Bishop John Beverly Butcher commissioned expressing the true nature of the Grail as arising out of the union between sacred bride and bridegroom. It's time for more of their true legacy to be revealed.
Blessings,
Ariadne

Fran wrote:
*sigh.* Mistaken identity is how we went into collective self-esteem meltdown in the first place. Instead of being told who and what we are (beautiful manifestations of The Bride), we were forced to wear the labels of worthlessness.
There's a women's music catalog, Ladyslipper, that indexes the artists under their first names instead of last--because so many of us bear patrilineal last names.
P.S.--Swan and Iris is coming along well-just need to make one more connection for an interview and some graphics and it will be ready to go. Joan, thanks again for letting me serve the Magdalene by interviewing you!
Reply to this

   1. 11/23/2009 4:05 PM Joan Norton wrote:
      Hi Fran, Thanks for your comment, so very well expressed. Maybe the *sigh* says it all. That's interesting about the Ladyslipper catalog indexing by first names. Maybe the soul does it the same way.  A wonderful spiritual teacher of mine years ago, a Presbyterian minister's daughter named Grace Wittenberger, introduced me to channeling and she always asked for the first name only about someone we were talking about from the soul perspective. Last names were not necessary to identify the person from the soul's perspective.  I guess we're all on a first name basis with each other "over there". 
      Love to you, Joan

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/Connie1947/PeaceAngel.jpg


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#22 Sat 9th Jan 2010 12:50 pm

11eagle11
Member
Registered: Sun 27th Jan 2008

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

Hi SW...wanted to bring this over here since we are on the Lightbook topic again...very relevant to your Wonderful Female Quest for the Holy Grail:

http://www.nobledreams.co.uk/viewtopic. … 3&p=14

From post #329:

Jesus was exceptional and seemed perfect for the task; but in spite of his family, in spite of his education, he got “a little crazy??? and started saying the opposite of what he was supposed to teach. Some masters started wondering if Jesus was really the right guy, but when they saw all his miracles, they were nevertheless convinced that only a half god, that is to say a descendant of the purest dragon bloodline could do the things Jesus did.
In fact, with Jesus they could kill two birds with one stone; the religion of the masters was getting weaker and weaker and Jesus, through his miracles, revived the secret religion a lot. The fact that Jesus went a little crazy in their eyes disturbed the masters of the world a lot of course. To prevent things from getting too bad, the “Concile de NicÈe??? decided in the year 325 to rewrite the Bible, that is to say the New Testament, and censure all the writings that witnessed Jesus’ “mistakes???. Like this, the problem was resolved, all the things Jesus had done that were disturbing for the secret dragon religion were taken out and lost forever for us normal mortal humans.

When Jesus was crucified, Maria Magdalena left the country with her two children she had with Jesus. She went to France and one of their children stayed in France. This child had children who had themselves children and very quickly a marriage with the royal line was organized. What we call the  “Frankish Kings??? were the direct descendants of Jesus who was himself considered to be a descendant from the purest dragon bloodline. France was thus controlled by the purest family.


From post #326:

The masters of this planet consider the rest of humanity as inferior because we do not have extra-terrestrial blood in our veins. We are not like them, we are nothing and we deserve nothing.

Around four or five thousand years ago, things were very difficult for the Dragons and they were very unhappy with the half humans in charge of the planet. In order to have a better control of the Earth, they created the Bible, that is to say, the Old Testament to be more precise. The masters knew perfectly well how much time they had in front of themselves. After around 2000 years, it was time to create something really strong to prepare the human race for the next harvest. For this, they needed a perfect half human descendant from the purest dragon bloodline. The best choice, according to their calculations, was Joseph, the future father of Jesus.  That is why Jesus’ entire family tree is written down in the Bible. This new Messiah was supposed to be on Earth to create a new wave of power on this planet to prepare the next harvest.

Jesus was exceptional and seemed perfect for the task; but in spite of his family, in spite of his education, he got “a little crazy??? and started saying the opposite of what he was supposed to teach. Some masters started wondering if Jesus was really the right guy, but when they saw all his miracles, they were nevertheless convinced that only a half god, that is to say a descendant of the purest dragon bloodline could do the things Jesus did.
In fact, with Jesus they could kill two birds with one stone; the religion of the masters was getting weaker and weaker and Jesus, through his miracles, revived the secret religion a lot. The fact that Jesus went a little crazy in their eyes disturbed the masters of the world a lot of course. To prevent things from getting too bad, the “Concile de NicÈe??? decided in the year 325 to rewrite the Bible, that is to say the New Testament, and censure all the writings that witnessed Jesus’ “mistakes???. Like this, the problem was resolved, all the things Jesus had done that were disturbing for the secret dragon religion were taken out and lost forever for us normal mortal humans.

When Jesus was crucified, Maria Magdalena left the country with her two children she had with Jesus. She went to France and one of their children stayed in France. This child had children who had themselves children and very quickly a marriage with the royal line was organised. What we call the  “Frankish Kings??? were the direct descendants of Jesus who was himself considered to be a descendant from the purest dragon bloodline. France was thus controlled by the purest family.

...
You will find more of the story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the Lightbook, SW.
I will put more pertinent parts of the story here when I find them...I will make some time later to do this if You do not find them first.


Lightbook thread:
http://www.nobledreams.co.uk/viewtopic.php?id=848


"Let Your Spirit Soar!"

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#23 Fri 19th Feb 2010 09:44 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/Connie1947/darkage3-2.gif



What is the "light of the world"? What does that mean to you? To me it is a wonderful upwelling in my entire being that vibrates inside of me with pure joy. It feels crystalline and perfect. And shines with the light of a million suns. Like a diamond. And diamonds are made from coal. Deep in the darkest places of the earth. Dark black and sooty. Dirty.

So many stories want you to see evil in Masonry and Freemasons and the KTs. Why? And are they? Do your own homework. I did.

Here's a little

The Heroines of Jericho


GOD, A GENERAL, A PROSTITUTE, A SAVIOUR



The above title and sub-title, are indicative of what the Heroines of Jerich Degree is all about, and as we study the four (4) components listed, hopefully, we will be able to connect them in an orderly manner.

We ask that you open your ears and hear; open your mouths and ask questions; open your hearts to receive the answers; implore your hands and feet to do the will of He that caused us to be here.

GOD

Genesis 1:1,2,3 - In the beginning, God...: There is only one way to describe the Grand Master of the Universe, and that is, GOD IS! We have no record of how, when or where He was created so He is not a Past Tense God; He Is! He was not created; He Is! He does not deal in TIME, He deals in Eternities, and where He came from we do not know; where He is, we do not know; where He will be, we do not know. Yet, in His infinite wisdom, He is established in our lives, and we should seek to learn of Him, for in Him, we move and have our being.

THE GENERAL

Moses was a deliverer, for he delivered the Children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. However, because of his disobedience and failure to give God the glory, Moses saw the Promised Land, but did not go to it. Instead, God commanded Moses to "take thee Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him (Exodus 27:18)." Therefore, Joshua became a general over the Children of Israel to continue to lead them to the Promised Land. It is fitting for him to be the male figure in the Court of Heroines of Jericho. His was a generalship, for he was chosen by God, with a charge by Moses and confirmed later by God Himself. "Only be thou strong and very courageous...(Joshua 1:7)"

THE PROSTITUTE

In the cyclopedia of the King James version, two descriptions of Rahab are given, one meaning "broad" and the other meaning "pride or arrogance." It may be said that at one time or another, both descriptions fit this heroine. Rahab's life offers to us a two-part woman, with the last description being the first and the first description being the last and the best. Rahab is listed as "an harlot" in Joshua 2:1, and the complete story is shown in the following 23 verses that tell of the various events that caused this Heroine to be listed among the names of the faithful (Hebrew 11:31), a woman of faith with works (James 2:25). All of this because of God's divine will.

A "harlot" in modern language, is a prostitute, one that sells her body for money or favors, and is considered the 'oldest profession' in the world, citing Eve as the first, because she sold her eternal life seeking knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-5). It is encumbent upon all of us to consider our own prices for the things we want in life, rather than what we need. Whatever, it is also said that everyone has a price where they lose their dignity and succumb to the evils of the world. Once again, it is encumbent upon all of us to consider or perhaps, reconsider, our prices. Prostitution is found in many places, by males and females; in various ways: by secular leaders as well as ministers; by children as well as adults. Like Santa Claus, "He's everywhere!"

Ruth was a decendant of Lot, who had a son by an incestous relationship with his oldest daughter, and called his name Moab, thereby making Ruth a Moabitess (Genesis 19:30-37). Because of their idolarty, the Moabites became an abomination unto God, and stayed that way until Ruth met Boaz on the threshing floor in Behlehem. The story of Ruth is found in the Book of Ruth, and is one of the greatest stories that depict love for her mother-in-law, Naomi. Therefore, Bethlehem, capital of Judea, called the "City of David." It was here that Boaz begat Obed of Ruth, and Obed begat Jesse, Jesse begat David, who begat Solomon of Bathsheba (Matthew 1:5-6). Bathsheba was a Hittite and they were children of Heth (Genesis 10:15), who was a son of Caanan, a son of Ham, a son of Noah. Even though TV and the movies show Bathsheba and even the Queen of Sheba with milky white skin, these were people of color, being the children of Ham, who historians say was the father of dark skinned people. I'll buy it! Throughout the Bible, there are many people of color if you for them.

Ruth, a descendant of incest, married Boaz, a son of a prostitute. This a strange combination but, God's way is not our way, especially since we look on the outside rather than the inside like He does. Therefore, when we see Ham, we think of slavery and servitude; when we see Caanan, we think of a curse; when we see Boaz, we think of a son of a prostitute; when we see Ruth, we think of incest; when we see Bathsheba, we think of adultery; when we see David, we think of "born in sin, raised in iniquity." But beneath it all: there is a plan, a divine plan, reflecting a divine will, and it has traversed a rout of dubious reputations to arrive BACK at a little town called Bethlehem, "a place of bread." It was here that Ruth, under orders from her mother-in-law, Naomi, played the part of a prostitute by going to the threshing floor to sleep at Boaz's feet. By seeing her there, Boaz's closest kinsman refused to redeem the land.

A SAVIOUR

Throughout the old testament, there are references of a Saviour. In Genesis 3, the Word is called "an enmity." In Psalms 2, He is affirmed as the "Annointed One (Christ). His birth was predicted in Isaiah 7:14; Fulfilled in Matthew 1:1-18; is in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4); prophecised about in Isaiah 9:6, and in so many other scriptures, but the one I like is Genesis 49:10, where it is said that "the scepter (King's rod) shall not leave thy loins Judah, nor a lawgiver from between thy feet, until Shiloh comes."

Shiloh (Jesus) has come, and is coming back again! But where did he come from? How did He arrive? Let us search the scriptures.

He was the Word come to life, manifested in human form, appearing as any other Israelite, except, his history was a little disturbing. Let us start at Judah, from whose earthly loins he sprang, as in Genesis 49:10. Judah begat Pharez of Tamar (Incest); Pharez begat Hezron; Hezron begat Ram (Ram in the bush); Ram begat Amminadab, who begat Nashon; Nashon begat Salmon (Fish); Salmon begat Boaz of Rahab (Heroine of Jericho); Boaz begat Obed of Ruth (of incest); Obed begat Jesse; Jesse begat David; David begat Solomon of Bathsheba (adultery); Mary begat Jesus of the Holy Ghost (accused of adultery). With a genealogy like that, it's no wonder that Jesus had such an affinity with "outcasts."

John 1:4-5 tells us that "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." Verse 10 says that "He was in the world and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." Verse 11: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Such was the history and the acceptance of the Saviour of men.

In the Court, men and women, companions (Knights) and Heroines meet, supposedly to learn about this man called the Christ, this man called Jesus (God is salvation), whose name is the same as Jesse, as Joshua, as Jeshua, as the Annointed one, as the Everlasting Father, and Almighty God, a Prince of Peace. He has been called a Comforter; a Lily of the Valley; a Bright and Morning Star; many names have been attributed to him, many titles, but they all add up to one: The Son Of God!

In the three degrees of the Heroines: The Heroine of Jericho the True Kinsman's Degree; the Master Mason's Daughter, we trace what is called The Scarlet Line, a color of prostitution and degradation. We follow it from the twins of Judah, down to Jericho, meeting Rahab; we see it in Bethlehem with Ruth and Boaz; we see it in David and Bathsheba and we see it in Joseph and Mary. It is given to Jesus in the form of a robe, which soldiers later cast lots for, but we see it all come together as an emblem of salvation. It is a color of rejuvenation for the new Christian; a color of zeal for the Royal Arch Mason; a color of salvation for all. It is a color of God, a general, a prostitute and a Saviour.
http://www.arkphagrandlodge.com/hoj.htm
http://www.arkphagrandlodge.com/knowledge.htm

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/Connie1947/marymagdalene-1.jpg

The Scarlet Line, the Rose Line.

Red: Represents the color of prostitution, now Salvation. Also represents Zeal.

White: Represents Innocence and Purity.

Blue: The truest color, representing Friendship, the highest form of love on earth among human beings.


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#24 Thu 4th Mar 2010 06:50 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail



smile

From the Disney version of The Hunch Back of Notre Dame. (Our lady)

Last edited by SW (Thu 4th Mar 2010 06:50 am)


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#25 Mon 29th Mar 2010 08:22 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

Is this the year? It appears that the Catholic Church is becoming the Church of Disgust -

Stories breaking for "Holy Week"

http://cryptogon.com/?p=14503
Pope Failed to Defrock an American Priest Who Molested Hundreds of Deaf Boys
March 25th, 2010

Via: Telegraph:

The sex abuse scandal enveloping the Catholic Church moved closer to Pope Benedict XVI today with revelations that in the 1990s the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from a number of American bishops pleading with him to act.

Internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Ratzinger, warning him and other top Vatican officials that failure to act could embarrass the church, have been unearthed as part of a lawsuit, according to The New York Times.

The case, against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, involves the Reverend Lawrence Murphy, who worked at the St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, from 1950 to 1974, starting as a teacher and rising to director.

He allegedly molested up to 200 pupils, preying on his victims in their dormitories, on class excursions and even at his mother’s country house.

http://cryptogon.com/?p=14557
Vatican Confirms Report of Sexual Abuse and Rape of Nuns by Priests in 23 Countries
March 29th, 2010

Via: Independent:

The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.

The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.

Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.

Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.

The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese.

In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.

The US article was based on five documents, which senior women from religious orders and priests have presented to the Vatican over the past decade. They describe a particularly bad situation in Africa. In a continent devastated by Aids, nuns, along with early adolescent girls, are perceived by some as safe sexual targets. The reports said that the church authorities had done little to tackle the problem.

The Vatican reports cited countless cases of nuns forced to have sex with priests. Some were obliged to take the pill, others became pregnant and were encouraged to have abortions. In one case in which an African sister was forced to have an abortion, she died during the operation and her aggressor led the funeral mass. Another case involved 29 sisters from the same congregation who all became pregnant to priests in the diocese.

The stories are just becoming too many for them to ignore.

And last night I sat reading this with sleepy eyes and brain and feeling that the earthquake in Haiti was the Goddess stomping  and telling the world - ENOUGH!




    To defeat evil, see your own goodness in the mirror it presents.

There is a challenge from Matangi, Haitian voodoo queen of the Shakti Cluster.

http://www.metahistory.org/tantra/lunar … tangi1.php

Haitian Hex

Matangi is the voodoo queen of the Shakti Cluster. Her Haitian name is Erzulie Dantor, a figure loosely associated with the "black virgins" of pre-Christian lore. She is a protector of women, especially mulattos, and avenger of all who have been raped and discarded, cheated and wronged. One of the most potent female figures connected with the loas, the daimonic powers that possess human bodies as a rider seats a horse. She is also famous for being the patron witch of New Orleans.



Oooh Aaaah I feel BIG Magic today.
This is your Haitian Divorce!


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#26 Sun 4th Apr 2010 07:34 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

A Homily for Easter Sunday
by Rev. Steven Marshall

    The Inner Resurrection

    Easter is the major moveable feast of the liturgical year. It may fall on any sunday between March 22nd and April 23rd. The date of Easter accords with the date of the Jewish festival of the Passover which is based upon the old lunar calendar. By this method of calculation the date of Easter is the Sunday nearest the first full moon following the spring equinox. The spring season in which Easter occurs, with its renewal of life following winter, bears out a synchronous relationship with the resurrection theme in the mythic story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We find at this great Christian festival a conjunction between the the cycles of nature and the mythic cycle of the liturgical year, a conjunction between microcosm and macrocosm, a conjunction between the interior, mythic dimension of reality and the outer dimension of the cycles of life. Because of this, many of the symbols that we associate with Easter, such as chicks, Easter eggs and rabbits, are fertility symbols representing the renewal and proliferation of life in spring.

    The name of this festival derives from an Anglo-Saxon fertility Goddess named Oestara. Other related Goddesses are Isis of the Egyptians, Ishtar of the Assyrians, Astarte of the Babylonians and Tara of the Irish. All of these Goddesses have province over the night sky, the moon and the earth. They have both a celestial and starry aspect as well as an earthly aspect.

    Sophia also has a celestial, transcendent aspect and an earthly, immanent aspect. The earthly aspect of Sophia relates to the Holy Spirit which “remains here on earth to guide and care for us.??? She is the Spirit that gives life and sustains the life of all creatures on earth unto their redemption. Sophia also has a celestial, starry and transcendent aspect. She represents the light beyond the stars. In this mode of symbolism, the ancients imagined the night sky to be like a bowl full of holes through which the sea of light beyond shone through as the stars. Sophia as the Light of the Stars becomes the Star-Kindler, the Queen of the Stars, the Queen of Heaven. The Queen of Heaven is a title not only for the aspect of Sophia represented in the Blessed Virgin Mary but also for the historic figures of Isis, Astarte and Ishtar. She is both Earth’s Mother and Heaven’s Queen.

    In the same fashion we must approach the mythic event of the resurrection of Jesus on more than one level. We must not succumb to the easy conclusion that the symbolism of the death and resurrection of Christ, the dying and renewing God, is nothing more than an image of earthly fertility and cyclical life. Because the story of the resurrection comes from the mythic dimension of reality, it transcends in great measure the limitations of earthly cycles and nature; there is indeed a great deal more to it. The cyclical rise and fall of vegetation through the cycle of the seasons, the death and resurrection of Christ, does not have tremendous meaning as the fertility of the earth but has its deeper and more profound meaning in the fertility and creativity of the human spirit.

    Although many of the Gnostic scriptures abound in agricultural allegories, particularly in the Gospel of Philip, Gnostics are not so much concerned with the outer and ongoing cycles of death and renewal in nature but with the inner resurrection of the human spirit, the liberation and rising up of that immortal spark of the divine light within us. However, this inner resurrection is not entirely restricted to the human sphere; like the Buddhists, with their compassion for all forms of sentient life, we, as Gnostics, also look to the liberation and gathering of the sparks of light among all sentient beings, whatever their place on the spiral of manifest life. Yet before we can assist in the liberation of other forms of life, we must ourselves seek liberation and the resurrection while in this flesh. As the Gospel of Philip states in regard to the Resurrection, “If you do not receive it while in this place, you will not receive it in the other place.??? The inner resurrection is the gnosis of the immortal light-spark within us, a conscious recollection of one’s own divine heritage and immortal being.

    Like the other mystery religions, such as those of Eleusis and Sais, the Gnostics had a method for achieving this inner resurrection. As in the mysteries of old, the Gnostic practice of the mysteries gave a conscious realization of one’s immortality. In the mysteries of Eleusis this realization came forth in the vision of the Goddess Kore, in Egypt the vision of the Saitic Isis. Among the Alexandrian Gnostics it accompanied a vision of Sophia and a communion with the Resurrected One.

    Easter represents a mystical experience of death and resurrection, not the celebration of an historical event. Something mysterious and miraculous happened; the disciples and early Gnostic writers experienced something, and yet the actual nature of the outward and historical event is not important to the Gnostic. There has never been, even in the gospel accounts, any agreement as to exactly what happened. We must approach these themes as interior and mystical events that can have meaning and reality for us today. We must ourselves experience this mystical death and resurrection as an interior and timeless reality. The Acts of St John record the mystical words of Jesus, “Understand me then as the slaying of a Word, wound of a Word, hanging of a Word, suffering of a Word, fastening of a Word, death of a Word, resurrection of a Word, and defining this Word, I mean every man!???

    We do not celebrate the death and miraculous animation of the physical body of one man in history but our own apotheosis and resurrection as a reality in this life. Belief in an historical event is not going to change anything in us. The mysteries of Gnosis are not of this world; they are in the world but not of the world. This is nowhere more true than in the mystery of the Resurrection.

    The Gnostics and disciples experienced not a dead Jesus but a Living Jesus, a spiritual not a physical being. The gospel accounts give ample evidence that the resurrected body was not the same as the physical body. In the Gospel of Philip we read, “The Lord rose from the dead. He became as he used to be, but now his body was perfect. He did indeed possess flesh, but this is true flesh. Our flesh is not true, but we possess only an image of the true.??? The canonical gospels indicate that the resurrected Jesus was not recognized as the physical resemblance he bore during his incarnation. In the Gospel of St John Mary Magdalen does not recognize him until he speaks her name. In the Gospel of St Luke the father of James and Jude and another disciple do not recognize Jesus until he breaks bread with them.

    We are dealing here with an interior experience of a transcendent reality. The resurrection story from the Gospel of St Matthew describes two angels at the open tomb. The presence of angels indicates that the teller of the story is recounting a visionary experience, an experience of an alternative reality. The angels say to the women at the tomb, “Why seek ye the living among the dead. He is not here; He has risen, as He said.??? The words of the angels suggest that the Living Jesus is not in an history that is dead and gone. If we look for the resurrection in an historical event we are still seeking the living among the dead.

    The Jewish mystical writings of the Zohar describe the resurrection as a spiritual phenomena, the resurrection of bodies of light nourished by the milk of the Holy Spirit.

        “The complete resurrection will begin in Galilee. The resurrection of bodies will be as the uprising of flowers. There will be no more need of eating and drinking, for we shall all be nourished by the Glory of the Shekinah.???

    The Gnostic resurrection is something that can happen while one is in this world. In the Egyptian mysteries Horus, as the initiate into the mysteries, describes the resurrection as being filled with light: “My whole body is filled with light; there is no part of me that is not a god; I am divine in every part.???

    St Paul sums up the inner resurrection in this portion of his First Epistle to the Corinthians.

        “But some will say,  How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, and thou sowest not that body that shall be, but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory????

    At Easter our life and our perception of the world is given the opportunity to change. All things are made new. We arise from a world of periodical death and decay into a timeless and immortal realm of spirit. The permanent and indelible effect of the inner resurrection is that it forever delivers the human consciousness from the fear of bodily death. When you see your soul with your own eyes, when you know who you are and from whence you have come, when you see your star shining immortal in the heavens, then death is surely swallowed up in victory, and we can say with all the Gnostics and knowers of the truth before us, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory????

        -- Rev. Steven Marshall

http://www.gnosis.org/ecclesia/homily_Easter.htm


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#27 Sun 4th Apr 2010 05:04 pm

EerieElle
Eternally Evolving
From: here, now.
Registered: Mon 2nd Nov 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

I really like...

“Understand me then as the slaying of a Word, wound of a Word, hanging of a Word, suffering of a Word, fastening of a Word, death of a Word, resurrection of a Word, and defining this Word, I mean every man!???

I looked online for a copy of this text and found this version, which I think captures the essence of that thought more deeply:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t … sjohn.html

101 Nothing, therefore, of the things which they will say of me have I suffered: nay, that suffering also which I showed unto thee and the rest in the dance, I will that it be called a mystery. For what thou art, thou seest, for I showed it thee; but what I am I alone know, and no man else. Suffer me then to keep that which is mine, and that which is thine behold thou through me, and behold me in truth, that I am, not what I said, but what thou art able to know, because thou art akin thereto. Thou hearest that I suffered, yet did I not suffer; that I suffered not, yet did I suffer; that I was pierced, yet I was not smitten; hanged, and I was not hanged; that blood flowed from me, and it flowed not; and, in a word, what they say of me, that befell me not, but what they say not, that did I suffer. Now what those things are I signify unto thee, for I know that thou wilt understand. Perceive thou therefore in me the praising (al. slaying al. rest) of the (or a) Word (Logos), the piercing of the Word, the blood of the Word, the wound of the Word, the hanging up of the Word, the suffering of the Word, the nailing (fixing) of the Word, the death of the Word. And so speak I, separating off the manhood. Perceive thou therefore in the first place of the Word; then shalt thou perceive the Lord, and in the third place the man, and what he hath suffered.

102 When he had spoken unto me these things, and others which I know not how to say as he would have me, he was taken up, no one of the multitudes having beheld him. And when I went down I laughed them all to scorn, inasmuch as he had told me the things which they have said concerning him; holding fast this one thing in myself, that the Lord contrived all things symbolically and by a dispensation toward men, for their conversion and salvation.

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#28 Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:11 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

http://www.newsweek.com/id/233778


Sharon Begley
West Brain, East Brain

What a difference culture makes.

By now, it should come as no surprise when scientists discover yet another case of experience changing the brain. From the sensory information we absorb to the movements we make, our lives leave footprints on the bumps and fissures of our cortex, so much so that experiences can alter "hard-wired" brain structures. Through rehab, stroke patients can coax a region of the motor cortex on the opposite side of the damaged region to pinch-hit, restoring lost mobility; volunteers who are blindfolded for just five days can reprogram their visual cortex to process sound and touch.

Still, scientists have been surprised at how deeply culture—the language we speak, the values we absorb—shapes the brain, and are rethinking findings derived from studies of Westerners. To take one recent example, a region behind the forehead called the medial prefrontal cortex supposedly represents the self: it is active when we ("we" being the Americans in the study) think of our own identity and traits. But with Chinese volunteers, the results were strikingly different. The "me" circuit hummed not only when they thought whether a particular adjective described themselves, but also when they considered whether it described their mother. The Westerners showed no such overlap between self and mom. Depending whether one lives in a culture that views the self as autonomous and unique or as connected to and part of a larger whole, this neural circuit takes on quite different functions.

"Cultural neuroscience," as this new field is called, is about discovering such differences. Some of the findings, as with the "me/mom" circuit, buttress longstanding notions of cultural differences. For instance, it is a cultural cliché that Westerners focus on individual objects while East Asians pay attention to context and background (another manifestation of the individualism-collectivism split). Sure enough, when shown complex, busy scenes, Asian-Americans and non-Asian--Americans recruited different brain regions. The Asians showed more activity in areas that process figure-ground relations—holistic context—while the Americans showed more activity in regions that recognize objects.

Psychologist Nalini Ambady of Tufts found something similar when she and colleagues showed drawings of people in a submissive pose (head down, shoulders hunched) or a dominant one (arms crossed, face forward) to Japanese and Americans. The brain's dopamine-fueled reward circuit became most active at the sight of the stance—dominant for Americans, submissive for Japanese—that each volunteer's culture most values, they reported in 2009. This raises an obvious chicken-and-egg question, but the smart money is on culture shaping the brain, not vice versa.

Cultural neuroscience wouldn't be making waves if it found neurobiological bases only for well-known cultural differences. It is also uncovering the unexpected. For instance, a 2006 study found that native Chinese speakers use a different region of the brain to do simple arithmetic (3 + 4) or decide which number is larger than native English speakers do, even though both use Arabic numerals. The Chinese use the circuits that process visual and spatial information and plan movements (the latter may be related to the use of the abacus). But English speakers use language circuits. It is as if the West conceives numbers as just words, but the East imbues them with symbolic, spatial freight. (Insert cliché about Asian math geniuses.) "One would think that neural processes involving basic mathematical computations are universal," says Ambady, but they "seem to be culture-specific."

Not to be the skunk at this party, but I think it's important to ask whether neuroscience reveals anything more than we already know from, say, anthropology. For instance, it's well known that East Asian cultures prize the collective over the individual, and that Americans do the opposite. Does identifying brain correlates of those values offer any extra insight? After all, it's not as if anyone thought those values are the result of something in the liver.

Ambady thinks cultural neuro-science does advance understanding. Take the me/mom finding, which, she argues, "attests to the strength of the overlap between self and [people close to you] in collectivistic cultures and the separation in individualistic cultures. It is important to push the analysis to the level of the brain." Especially when it shows how fundamental cultural differences are—so fundamental, perhaps, that "universal" notions such as human rights, democracy, and the like may be no such thing.

Depending whether one lives in a culture that views the self as autonomous and unique or as connected to and part of a larger whole, this  [common] neural circuit takes on quite different functions....

The brain's dopamine-fueled reward circuit became most active at the sight of the stance—dominant for Americans, submissive for Japanese—that each volunteer's culture most values, they reported in 2009. This raises an obvious chicken-and-egg question, but the smart money is on culture shaping the brain, not vice versa....

"One would think that neural processes involving basic mathematical computations are universal," says Ambady, but they "seem to be culture-specific."

"....It is important to push the analysis to the level of the brain." Especially when it shows how fundamental cultural differences are — so fundamental, perhaps, that "universal" notions such as human rights, democracy, and the like may be no such thing.

It seems to me that in some situations "universal" notions are no such thing, as the author suggests. However, it is obvious that, at other times, conclusions, such as the answers to mathematics problems, are  universal. The means by which they are reached may be quite different, but the answers are the same. This illustrates that there is some universality to mathematics. If this is true for mathematics, perhaps it is true for sacredness as well. When and how we see sacredness differs, but all cultures recognize it in some form. (Perhaps because there is a common source?)

So, are we all merely responding to some brain phenomenon which requires us to fulfill a biological imperative, i.e. a need to have a sensation of sacredness regardless of whether there's a real cause? Or, are we all using various biological means to reach the same conclusion for a universal "spiritual mathematics" problem, to which a definitive answer really does exist? If the latter, then our differences in seeing "sacredness" are not as important as the fact that we all do see it.

Yes, I believe that there is something that is always sacred. This doesn't mean we can ever know what "it" is, though. Nor can we all experience it in the same way. Our processes for experiencing it are limited because we're human. They vary because we're individuals. Those two factors don't have to mean we aren't experiencing the same source of sacredness, the same universal "spiritual math" answer as it were.

It's rather like the notion of "How do I know if you see the same thing I do when I see the color 'blue'?" The truth is, we don't know and never will because you cannot see through my eyes and I can't see through yours. But we each see something that, every time it appears, we agree to jointly label as "blue." If humans would quit worrying about what is sacred and concentrate on the fact that sacredness, whatever it is, is a concept common to us all, maybe a lot of violent conflict could be avoided.

Put more simply...

is some level of determination of sacredness physically built into us, OR is sacredness always culturally or 'locally' determined?

...Yes, to both.

How do we make the determination that something is sacred?

I think that's entirely up to the individual. The Creator speaks to each of us in the manner that best suits our ability to hear Him/Her/It/Them. It does seem that groups of individuals can have the same notion of what is sacred, but that that can happen for different reasons - similar upbringing, similar experience, or... just because they happen to feel the same way for some unknown reason.

Acknowledging that others, either singly or in groups, feel a common item, idea or act is sacred, one that we ourselves do not see as sacred, is simply a matter of respect. I also happen to acknowledge that many people believing in common  can imbue the object of their belief with spiritual energy, aka power, without necessarily conceding that it is inherently sacred. In a way it is, by definition, since it is accepted as such. But if it is not something the Powers That Be feel to be important, then it lacks a divine "seal of approval," and thus will have some lesser degree of strength to its power than it would otherwise. So many people believing, for example, that jihad against the west is sacred or that converting 3rd world natives to Christianity is sacred, does not necessarily make it so. There's power in those ideas, the result of "strength in numbers" and combined mental energy, but they aren't necessarily approved of by the PTB. Believed to be sacred, but not necessarily true.

Further considering "imposed" vs "inherent" sacredness... Is soma itself sacred? Or does it merely aid humans in connecting to that which is sacred? Does appreciation for, even worship of soma, make it inherently sacred? Or is that just a human appellation in response to its usefulness, i.e its imposed sacredness? It's possible the PTB created soma's ingredients, and or taught humans how to combine them effectively, for the express purpose of creating a bond between themselves and humans. In that possible "pre-ordained" case I'd say that yes, it is inherently sacred in and of itself. If it was not pre-ordained, only a possibility that depended on what humans sought out and labeled "important," then it should be honored for its ability to facilitate inherent sacred connections but recognized as a special tool, like the car, that has only a degree of applied sacredness and not an inherent sacred quality of its own.

http://www.answers.com/topic/soma

A term found in the hymns of the Rig-Veda, one of the four sacred scriptures of ancient India  (the others are the Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Artharva Veda). The essential teachings of the Vedas were recast  in the form of the Upanishads, of which there are 108 principal scriptures and a number of minor ones.

The ninth chapter of the Rig-Veda comprises 114 verses in praise of soma, the ambrosia of the gods and the elixir of immortality. It is clear that soma was also an intoxicating drink (possibly made from the milk-weed asclepias acida described in the Yajur Veda as a dark, sour creeper without leaves). This drink was offered by the priests as a libation to the gods, much as wine is used sparingly in the sacraments of the Christian religion for symbolic purposes.

In the twentieth century, several writers, most notably R. Gordon Wasson in his book Soma, Divine Mushroom of Immortality (1968), have speculated that soma was the amanita muscaria (a mushroom with hallucinogenic properties) and that Hindu mysticism arose from intoxication of the priests. This suggestion stemmed from Wasson's research in Mexico, when he discovered a Mazatec Indian religious practice based on the use of a hallucinogenic mushroom.

Wasson's soma theory became attractive during the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s, and it became fashionable to expand upon Wasson's view to assert that transcendental revelation had always been stimulated by the use of psychedelic drugs. Another writer, John M. Allegro, suggested in his book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (1970) that the crucifixion story of Jesus was a symbolic myth of the ecstasy produced by a psychedelic drug.

Intoxicating (as opposed to psychedelic) beverages have certainly been known since ancient times in Egypt, India, Greece, and Rome. Warnings about intoxication abound in ancient writings, notably in the Bible, in the Proverbs of Solomon, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Hosea. In the Christian religion, the apostle Paul complained of drunkenness at the agape, or love feasts, celebrated in common. Novatian, a Church father of the third century, spoke of Christians who, in the morning after fasting, began the day by drinking, pouring wine into their still "empty veins," and were drunk before eating.

In India, the Manava Dharma Shastra (Ordinances of Manu), a code of religious and civil duties, prohibited intoxication on the part of Brahmin priests and made it clear that the soma drink was from a plant, not a mushroom. This plant is sometimes called the "moon plant," and soma was traditionally associated with the moon.

Yoga treatises on meditation suggest that the true soma, or elixir of life, is the union of the twin currents of kundalini energy in the human body, culminating in higher consciousness. Some Hindus believe in kundalini as a latent energy situated at the base of the spine that is activated in normal life in sexual activity, but which may also be drawn upward in subtle channels of the spine to a center in the head, illuminating the consciousness with mystical awareness. The goal of some forms of yoga practice is often referred to as the union of the sun and moon, the fiery and cool kundalini currents in the spinal column. At the junction of these currents, the blissful condition is described as "drinking the soma juice," and the energy flow as "amaravaruni" (wine drinking).

The elaborate symbolism and metaphor of Hindu mysticism has often misled commentators into literal interpretations. While intoxicants and hallucinatory drugs may produce transcendental experiences, throughout history great prophets and mystics, as well as scientists and geniuses, have been inspired by a higher consciousness that owed nothing to intoxication or hallucinogenic mushrooms. The twentieth-century discovery of psychedelic drugs and their power to transform normal consciousness have misled many people into vastly overstating the role of such substances in the history of mystical experiences. Critics of drug use have also complained that the use of drugs for mystical purposes has yet to "produce a single inspiring statement on the philosophy and meaning of life comparable with the wisdom of the prophets and mystics of history."

In the 1960s, several groups were formed in the United States to promote the idea of the religious use of psychedelics, but most of these dissolved following negative court actions. Outside of these circles, as recently as 1988, a short-lived attempt to defend the psychedelic/soma connection was made in the journal ReVision (vol. 10, no. 4, spring 1988). There was little positive response and a strong rebuttal by Gene Kieffer, a follower of Indian teacher Gopi Krishna.

Last edited by SW (Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:33 am)


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#29 Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:41 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

http://centaur.info/female-centaurs-kentaurides.html

Female Centaurs, Kentaurides

Kentaurides, or Centaurides, are female centaurs, and aren’t actually a part of th major centaur mythology. They didn’t really show up in Greco-Roman mythos until much later, and were rarely present in art until around 400 BC. They do eventually appear in literature, however. One particulalry romantic story is of Hylonome and Cyllarus. Hylonome was one of the first mention female centaurs, or Kentaurides, as is the proper name for them. In the infamous, and long war with the Lapith tribes of Thessaly, many centaurs fought, –they were symbols of barbarism against organized society, and civilized behaviour.

http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/Kentaurides.html


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#30 Wed 19th May 2010 06:24 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Female Quest for the Holy Grail

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/ … woman-body


Virtual reality used to transfer men's minds into a woman's body

Researchers projected men's sense of self into a virtual reality woman, changing the way they behaved and thought


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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