What Mary Magdalene’s alabaster jars are all about

You might have noticed that artists often portray Mary Magdalene with a jug, or some kind of jar. In this connection, we often talk about an alabaster jar which might not have been one:

“While he (Jesus) was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.” (1)

An alabastron (Greek alabastros), as quoted in the passage from the Bible, can be made of all sorts of materials. It is a high, narrow container without a lid, either sealed or closed with a plug, with two handles on the side for holding it.

Why the alabaster jar is so much worth mentioning

At the time of Mary Magdalene there were the so-called ‘dynastic marriages’ where the bridegroom was anointed by his bride. It is interesting in this respect to know that Mary Magdalene was a member of the Hasmoneans whose family tree goes back to Aaron, the brother of Moses. Jesus’ line of ancestors goes back to King David. This is why he held a high position in society because of his origin.

Once you try to get more detailed information on this topic, you keep coming across the fact that Mary Magdalene was a so-called Hasmonean princess whose social status made her the perfect woman for Jesus to marry.

Only the bride was allowed to anoint the bridegroom

The anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene emphasizes this position, as in those days in society only the bride was allowed to anoint the bridegroom. Married women had a vial with oil round their neck in order to give their husband the last anointment after his death. Everybody can decide for themselves why Mary Magdalene went into Jesus’ tomb, and what she did there.

In visual arts Mary Magdalene’s jar was portrayed as ‘the alabaster jar of Bethania’, containing anointing oil for Jesus, but at the same time it was a symbol for the Holy Grail which supposedly contained Jesus’ blood.

The Holy Grail – Mary Magdalene’s womb?

Jugs, pots and cauldrons have always been female symbols in art. Therefore, the containers Mary Magdalene has been portrayed with, stand for the womb where she kept the blood of Christ. Many writings talk about Mary Magdalene bringing the Sangréal, the Holy Blood in her body to the south of France, meaning Jesus’ descendants.

A provocative thesis? As long as we think of a golden chalice when we hear the word Sangreal, this idea will not find space in our heads and hearts.

(1) Mark 14,3 according to the Greek text in the archives of the Vatican (Codex Vaticanus MS1209)

Mary Magdalene

Ever wondered about Mary Magdalene’s red hair?

I am sure you have noticed that in most paintings Mary Magdalene is shown as having red hair. Have you ever asked yourself why? Is there a deeper meaning or a certain symbolism behind it?

The official portrayal of Mary Magdalene by the church was in the image of a fickle whore, although she was never described in the Bible as such. However, since the Renaissance, mainly ecclesiastical clients, had requested paintings which often showed her naked. This was to hint at her ostensible role as a prostitute.

Many artists of the time knew perfectly well who Mary Magdalene really was. They hid this old lore encrypted in their work, as the traditional church had a very different view of Mary Magdalene.

Therefore, knowing artists took special care to portray Mary Magdalene in their paintings with long red hair, covering her (naked) body. In doing so they could maintain her dignity, and neither her body nor her soul were exposed by her nakedness.

In recent centuries red hair became an important attribute of noble families. They placed great emphasis on artists of the time to expressing this visible sign of their ancestry in paintings.

Of course, Mary Magdalene’s hair colour was no longer known, and yet she used to be portrayed as a woman with red hair. Religious critics see it as an encrypted hint at her aristocratic status. According to the old writings of Jacobus de Voragine (1229-1298) Mary Magdalene’s mother Eucharia was supposed to come from a royal family. Also in an early manuscript she was described as a descendent of the royal house of Israel. (1)

Not only is Mary Magdalene portrayed in old paintings and sculptures with red hair, but also often with extremely long hair. In fine art, this was a symbol that a woman, even if she was naked, was covered with a veil of chastity.

Mary Magdalene’s long red hair expresses metaphorically that nobody managed to steal her dignity, no matter what attempts were made to present her as an insignificant,  suppressed or unworthy woman.

[1]John W. Taylor, The Coming of the Saints, London 1969, Chapter 5, p. 83

 

Mary Magdalene

What the village Priddy in southern England has to do with Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathaea

The small village of Priddy in the Mendip Hills, close to Glastonbury, consists of a few houses, a church, a village school and a pond. Nobody would ever think – not even the villagers themselves – that the village has an indirect connection to Mary Magdalene.

In 49 A.D. Joseph of Arimathaea travelled with his nephew Jesus II (also known as Jesus Justus) to England. According to the established church this Jesus II never existed, because we are talking about none other than one of the two sons of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. However, all those of you who are open to new information that has been hidden away from the public for so long, the existence of this son is not to be ignored.

In the ancient traditions of southern England, and in William Baker’s renowned song Jerusalemwe can see that Joseph of Arimathaea lived and worked with ‘young Jesus’ in the area around today’s Glastonbury.

For a long time, people assumed this young Jesus, who was talked about in legends and manuscripts, was Jesus himself in his younger years. But recent historical research has revealed that Joseph of Arimathaea was Jesus’ brother, not his uncle.In other words, this young Jesus was his nephew, Jesus II, one of the sons of Mary Magdalene and Jesus – and not Jesus himself.

Jesus II or: it cannot be what may not be…

I am aware that many readers cannot and do not want to accept this interpretation. Therefore, of course, you can choose to accept or reject this explanation, or simply keep an open mind – it’s up to you.

Joseph of Arimathaea and Jesus II were walking along the coast of Exmoor until they reached Mendip Hills, where they settled down. Already in Roman times different metals were mined in this area. Today this hilly landscape is a popular place for hiking, climbing and visiting caves.

According to ancient traditions dating back to Gildas the Wise, Joseph of Arimathaea was a Decurio.This describes leading figures in a community who often ran a metal mine as well. He was said to be tin trader with a wide knowledge of mining and processing of metals which he shipped from the south of England to Jerusalem.

Memorial stone for Mary Magdalene and Jesus at Glastonbury

In the southern wall of the Lady Chapel in Glastonbury there is a ‘Mary-Jesus-stone’. Most interpretations relate the stone to Mother Mary and Jesus, but there is another meaning which has become clearer in the last decades.

This stone, which dates back to the first century, could be a memorial stone laid by Jesus II, in memory of his parents Jesus and Mary (Magdalene) and engraved with their names. He and his uncle Joseph of Arimathaea started to build the first chapel/church in Glastonbury in 63 A.D., immediately after Mary Magdalene’s death in the south of France.

Historical records (1) hint at the idea that young Jesus dedicated this chapel/church to the memory of his parents. If this is true, he therefore dedicated it to his mother Mary Magdalene and not Mother Mary, as mistakenly assumed. Thus this Lady Chapel would be another St. Mary’s Church which was originally dedicated to Mary Magdalene and not Mother Mary, such as many Notre-Dame-churches in France and other countries in Europe.

The present time reveals more and more information about Mary Magdalene, previously kept from the public, or deliberately manipulated. I am confident that, in the future new findings and research will continue to alter the traditional unbiased view of Mary Magdalene. At least for those of us who are sensitive, and possessed of an open mind. As the saying goes, “Who has an ear, let him hear!”

P.S.: In the picture gallery you can see photos of Priddy and the Mendip Hills, below photos of the Lady Chapel with the Mary-Jesus-Stone in Glastonbury.

 

 

(1) the most important chronicles concerning Glastonbury are: William of Malmesbury (1090-1143), De Antiquitate Glastoniensis Eclesiae, and John of Glastonbury, Cronica sive Antiquitates Glastoniensis Ecclesie (about 1400), Woodbridge 1985

Mary Magdalene

Why Mary Magdalene was called a ‚prostitute‘?

We come across the wildest stories about Mary Magdalene. One story goes that she was possessed by seven demons, another one calls her a prostitute. This stigma has persistently followed her over thousands of years, although even the Bible does not mention it.

How has this allegation come about?

Of course, 2000 years after Mary Magdalene’s life with Jesus and the apostles, it is impossible to come up with any proof about why she was labelled a prostitute. Religious scholars assume, however, that it goes back to a misinterpretation of the Gospel of Luke.

It is down to the story about Jesus’ anointment in Bethany by the woman with the alabaster jar. However, the writer of the Gospel of Luke only recorded this story 50 years after the actual event. The woman referred to is none other than Mary Magdalene.

An old ritual of the priestesses of the temple

The anointment of a man by a woman is similar to a well-known ritual which was reserved by the holy priestesses in the Roman Empire. They were called hierodules.

The term hierodule was mistakenly translated as ‘prostitute’, although these women were ‘the Holy Women of the Temple of the Goddess’. They played an important part in everyday life in the classical world.

Mary Magdalene was also one of these temple priestesses. Therefore, she was a hierodule who was mistakenly called a prostitute according to an incorrect translation. Only in the recent past have some scientists made the effort to investigate and discover this misunderstanding. Quite late, one might think, but nevertheless …

Mary Magdalene

What the Mists of Avalon have to do with Mary Magdalene

As I was reading the world bestseller ‘The Mists of Avalon’ 20 years ago, I did not have the slightest idea how important Mary Magdalene would be in my later life. And then, I did not know about the connection between her, Glastonbury and the Queens of Avalon.

Mary Magdalene’s sons in the south of England

Historians discovered that Joseph of Arimathea arrived with his nephew Josephus (the youngest son of Mary Magdalene and Jesus) in the west of England in 63 A.D. The arrivals were treated with suspicion by the locals, but King Arviragus of Siluria gave them, and the twelve missionaries who arrived with them, 580 hectares of land. There they built a small church made of clay. In the course of the centuries it was extended, until eventually the Abbey of Glastonbury developed, whose ruins today still attract thousands of people.

Already in the year 49 Joseph of Arimathea travelled with the twelve-year-old Jesus II (Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ oldest son) to England. The same names for father and son, often cause confusion. This is also the reason why so many people think that Jesus himself was in England.

Glastonbury – the most magical place in England

According to folklore Jesus II had a memorial stone placed into the clay chapel of Glastonbury, in memory of his parents. Supposedly it can be still seen on the southern wall of the Lady Chapel at Glastonbury. It carries the inscription ‘Jesus – Mary’, whereby Mary does not apply to Jesus’ mother, but Mary Magdalene.1

Glastonbury is supposed to be the most magical of all places in England. The hill of Glastonbury Tor is said to have been the island of Avalon which was surrounded by marshes, and thick fog, which only the initiated were able to cross. It was also the centre of the wise Druids, one of King Arthur’s retreats, and the supposed hiding place of the Holy Grail (which I want to look at more closely in another blog).

Avalon – the former kingdom of mists

Numerous ruins and legends are the witnesses of a magical past whose centre is Glastonbury Tor, the highest hill far and wide. On its top a famous ruin reaches up into the sky, a relic of the former church spire of St. Michael.

Glastonbury is a mystical and holy place that attracts numerous people from all over the world. The most important English ley-line runs directly through Glastonbury. It connects Avalon with Saint Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, and also the great stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury. It continues up to the northwest of England. Sensitive people can feel the energies of this power place, knowing that around Avalon and Glastonbury Tor there are special, magical powers.

King Arthur, Morgaine, Viviane and Mary Magdalene

Avalon also plays a big part in the legend concerning King Arthur which developed in the 5thcentury. It says that the healer Morgaine le Fay cured Arthur in Avalon, after he had been gravely injured in battle. But Avalon and Morgaine are more than legendary figures. After years of research, the internationally renowned British historian and genealogist Laurence Gardener worked out the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene from the past, forward to the present.

In doing this he came across names, such as King Arthur, Lancelot or Viviane, who can all be dated back to Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ line of descendants, as well as Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus’ brother. To us, living in the 21stcentury, this might sound weird and unbelievable, but the truth is often just beneath the surface of legends, or Christian traditions, which are meant to distract, or sometimes deliberately mislead us.

 

1 Also Joseph of Arimathea is often simply called ‘Joseph’ which makes people confuse him with Joseph, Mother Mary’s husband. Names like Mary, Joseph, David, etc. were terms for positions within the spiritual societies they belonged to.

Allgemein Mary Magdalene

In the footsteps of Mary Magdalene’s descendants in Scotland

Although I really want to talk about Mary Magdalene’s descendants, I should start with Joseph of Arimathea. It is important to know that Joseph of Arimathea was ‘a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God’ (Mark 15:43), and, at the same time, one of Jesus’ disciples.

Joseph of Arimathea – brother of Jesus

However, historical research has discovered that Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus’ brother. In the 9thcentury, the church declared him to be Jesus’ uncle, probably in order that he could not be connected with the Messianic line of Mary and Joseph, and Jesus.

As long as Joseph was ‘only’ considered to be Jesus’ uncle, and not another son of Mary and Joseph, the tales of Mary’s Immaculate Conception through the Holy Spirit could continue. This becomes a hard thing to believe as soon as you know that Mary gave birth to eight children.

But let’s, for a moment, concentrate on Joseph of Arimathea. Between 63 and 64 A.D he built, together with twelve missionaries who had come to England with him, a little chapel in Glastonbury. It was made of clay, and in later years a monastery was added. But this theme I shall return to in a later article.

Joseph of Arimathea (who, like Jesus, was descended from King David) was married and his bloodline continued down the years. 20 generations, and about 500 years later, the famous King Arthur was descended from this line.

Josephus, son of Mary Magdalene and Jesus

Also Jesus’ and Mary Magdalene’s bloodline started in Britain as their second son Josephus, who came to Glastonbury with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea, married a daughter of Nicodemus. I refer to the man who was said to have helped Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus (John 19,30).

Josephus’ bloodline – and therefore the direct descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene – produce, a few hundred years later, some famous persons, such as Viviane d’Avalon del Acqs, and also Morgaine d’Avalon del Acqs, Lancelot and Parcival.

What has this to do with Scotland? Well, just south of the town of Penrith are the ruins of Pendragon Castle. Legend states that this castle was built by King Arthur’s father. The High History of the Holy Grail emphasises that Arthur’s court was there. This is confirmed by the French Suit de Merlin and the British legend Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle and The Avowing of King Arthur.

King Arthur’s Round Table is a geometrical earth wall in the former royal gardens underneath Stirling Castle. For centuries it has been a mysterious place. Although the present site was established in the 1620s, people assume that its central hill with a flat top is much older. Documents, dating back 600 years, already connect this sight with the legends of King Arthur.

Mary Stuart – a descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus

Last but not least, the Scottish line of the Stuarts is supposed to go back to Joseph of Arimathea; the Breton line, through the so-called ‘Fisher Kings’, from Jesus’ and Mary Magdalene’s youngest son Josephus. The most renowned and vibrant person of this dynasty is most definitely Mary Stuart. For a long time, she was misjudged, and her personality was, deliberately or not, misrepresented. Only recently – such as her ancestor Mary Magdalene – she has been rehabilitated in some way.

The ruins of Loch Leven Castle, an hour north of the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, is still a silent witness to the many captivities Mary Stuart had to suffer during her lifetime.

 

Mary Magdalene

Why shouldn’t Jesus have been married to Mary Magdalene?

People like to point out that there is no mention in the New Testament that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. But equally one can say that there is no mention in the New Testament that he was not married. In the old scripts there is no evidence either that Jesus made an oath or vow to remain unmarried.

To imagine Jesus as a bachelor is both illogical and unbelievable! In those days there were clear laws and rules for men such as Jesus who came from an important bloodline. These rules made it clear that all male descendants had to marry, and have at least two sons. This was also applicable to Jesus of the house of David (1). He was obliged to marry.

In the days of Jesus, Judaism considered marriage to be an important fulfilment of God’s law. Therefore, it was said, “Be fertile and increase.” (2) It is only logical that Jesus also married. If he had remained unmarried, the Pharisees, who were definitely not his friends, could have accused him of a serious lapse, with all its legal consequences.

Why was Mary Magdalene never spoken of

Why was Jesus’s marriage not mentioned throughout the centuries? Why was Mary Magdalene never recorded as his wife?

Would her life have been in danger after Jesus’s crucifixion, if she had lived openly as his wife? It is known that she had to flee to Egypt, from where she set off for the south of France.

Is it the fact that she was only later removed as his wife from the old scripts?

Anyway, it did not, and does not, fit with the sexual morals of the church that Jesus – as ‘Son of God’ – had a physical relationship with a woman!

We shall probably never know exactly why but the consequences continue to be of extreme importance. For the suppression of women and (female) sexuality during the last centuries has had a devastating effect on society. We are shown this fake moral quite clearly these days, where so much sexual suppression and injuries to women are revealed.

(1)Seventeen verses in the New Testament call Jesus ‘the son of David’, also see goo.gl/8zKFd

(2) Luke 2:51-52

(3) Photo: goo.gl/qdJyPx

Mary Magdalene