of Isis and Mary Magdalene
There is a theory that Mary Magdalene’s story is very much the retelling and embroidering of the tale of Isis. I know I find Mary’s story every bit as compelling as that of my mother Isis. If I had had access to Gnostic Christianity, I’m not sure I would have become Pagan as my leaving Christianity was due to the fact that women have no place other than under the feet of the men.
Which is why I found it so ironic when I started studying Zeus due to some divination. I then saw him as the epitome of the Church I left, only with the sexy bits left in. I came to love Zeus, in whatever form he showed me (which has varied greatly from the white haired modern concept, to a close cropped Sean Connery sort to a dark haired close cropped goatee Haides sort, to a wild dark long curly haired divinity covered in Nile mud…to the same in modern clothing). I studied his myths and moved on to his epithets at his direction. I shamefully spurned meditation which I find so difficult in favor of books. I found myself falling into habits from Christianity only with him in its place. I asked him to help me find a strong female divinity to balance him out. I was led on a merry “adventure” until I was ready to claim the goddess who I promised myself to as a child. Isis.
Uhh in some ways fundies are right about fantasy shows leading their children astray. I watched the show Isis as a child. At some point I remember telling the goddess something to the effect that I wanted her in my life but now wasn’t the time because it would upset my mother. I promised that I would become hers…or something to that effect. As I left the path of my youth, it was a long trip to find Mother Isis again…a lot of that was probably childish resistance for reasons I cannot understand. Maybe embarrassment that I hadn’t followed my heart when I found it. I was always wounded that no other female divinity “wanted” me (though several worked with me for a time) but that was because I was already claimed/promised, I only had to remember and accept.
Last night at work I was shelf reading (a dreadfully boring task of check shelves to verify they have been shelved correctly). I kept getting distracted by titles (as one isn’t allow to read on the job…sob!). I one point I was overwhelmed by feeling of love. I can’t say if it poured out of my heart first or if it was poured into me then overflowed from me. So I started paying a bit more attention to the titles and pulled out a couple to read at home. One of the books was The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine by Margaret Starbird, the same author of Woman and the Alabaster Jar, that was one of the books that kept my search going when I floundered.
So this long explanation is the lead up to a quote that made everything clear for me: “She represents the direct personal encounter of the soul with its eternal “spouse”–the Beloved. She is the model of mystics and of Gnostics, who “know” God through the “moist” tradition of direct experience–through intuition and inspiration–rather than by indoctrination from the “dry” legalistic tradition…including the memorization of …rules and catechisms.” Wow if that doesn’t describe fundamentalism in any religion, I don’t know what does. I’ve pulled away from a lot of the polytheist and pagan communities for that very reason. It should be done this way. Pound, pound, POUND. It is dry and often uninspiring. One gets caught up in the shoulds and forgets to just experience, live in the moment from the heart.
Isis as a goddess honored under many names, in many cultures, in many ways. She transcends the shoulds, the musts, the one-way-isms. With her active in my life, it gave me the courage to pull away from that which doesn’t work for me, doesn’t sound right or just down right angers me. Too much “dry” results in a harsh environment where very little grows. Too much “moist” and there is no firm footing. Balance, young grasshoper, balance.
“On a symbolic level, the repudiated Bride of Jesus is an earthly counterpart to the great queens of heaven–the goddesses Inanna, Isis, Cybele, and Venus–reflected in the image of the dark Madonna. This anciently honored Goddess image is being recognized at last, not just as the “Virgin Mary”, but as the feminine face of God–Holy Wisdom–despised, scorned, rejected, and bound for more than two thousand years. When the beloved Miriam is at last restored to her place besides Jesus, their sacred reunion–the hieros gamous–will reinstate an ancient pattern for wholeness and partnership that has the power to restore balance on Earth.”