Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Blessed Virgin Mary: The Goddess of the Piscean Age


While the Goddess has been dismissed from most of western consciousness for the past 500 years or so, young Catholic girls are still encouraged to love Mother Mary in all her forms.  Elementary school age girls dream of crowning the May Queen--Mary as Virgin.  Young girls and teens love the story of Christmas, imagining that we, like Mary the Mother, hold Baby Jesus to our hearts.  And as women grow older, we look to the Sorrowing Mother, Mary as Crone, who holds her son's wounded body and weeps over it. 

Michelangelo's  Pieta

The Virgin Mary is called the Blessed Mother by Roman Catholics.  And while many women searching for the Goddess believe she is nothing more than the patriarchal image of the perfect mother and obedient servant, she is really much more.  When Christianity banished the Great Goddess from western consciousness, it left us Mary, who has taken on the role of the ancient triple goddess.  As Maiden, Mary is the Virgin who is chosen to give birth to the Savior; as Mother, she is the archetypal caregiver and nurturer; as Crone, she knows the sorrows and grief of Life and accepts them.  She is filled with Wisdom.  She is an incarnation of Sophia, Lady Wisdom.

During the Piscean Age (1CE-2100CE) Mary became the symbol of the Divine Mother, the Comforter and Mediator between Heaven and Earth.  For 2000 years, Mary the Queen of Heaven was considered the co-redemptress along with her Son, and serves as a mediator between God and humanity.  
 
Mary is: Deathless, pure and by inference, without sin of any kind; at home in the courts of heaven; no mere spirit but body and soul complete; an ever-active intercessor and comforter; a friend of individual mortals, close at hand in their earthly pilgrimage…  (Geoffrey Ashe, The Virgin, p.161.)

The Great Mother is an archetype within all of us—and while we are very well acquainted with the archetypal negative mother and witch because of patriarchy, we often forget the Good Mother, who is kind and compassionate.   This is the Mother who listens, who forgives, who comforts, who guides, who nourishes, who understands and who accepts us for who we are.   

Rennslechateau Moon Madonna

As the most patriarchal culture in the world, the United States of America has a very deep negative mother complex.  So many Americans are insecure and depressed because we are so separated from our souls.  In Latin countries and in Europe, they have the Blessed Mother as a feminine icon and so love and respect some aspects of the Feminine Spirit.  For the most part, Americans are Protestants, who do not recognize the divinity of Mary and so only have a 'jealous' God and sacrificed Son to worship.    

The Virgin Mary is the merciful and sorrowing Mother of Humanity.  She is most like the Crone, the Spiritual Mother and Virgin who mediates between life and death.  And perhaps that is her role--the Wise One who has been sheltering us as we go through the lessons of the Piscean Age--lessons of dissolution, death and spiritual rebirth. 

Among the many aspects of the Goddess that she symbolizes, Mary has been associated with the image of the Divine Feminine who comes at the changing of the ages:  a Woman, clothed with the Sun, standing on the Moon, crowned with Stars, in labor, giving birth to the Savior.  This is the image of Sophia I was drawn to after I had a BIG dream while studying at the Jung Institute.  

Woman Clothed with the Sun

In the dream there is a wounded Lion (I am a Pluto in Leo Baby-Boomer) and I am making sure my children are safe.  I go out to find it.  Suddenly I am sitting in a buckboard wagon at a triple crossroads.  I look up and see a waning Moon and then see a mighty wave rushing toward me.  I think, "This is it.  This is death."  Then suddenly the wave has passed through and I look up again and see a beautiful crescent Moon in the sky and I hear a voice say, "You will be the Mother of a Savior."

Jung would have loved this dream!  My first thought was, 'No way can I be the mother of a savior. I can't do that to my children.'  Then I thought, 'Maybe it's about me?'  So I searched until I found the image of the Woman  of Revelations, and discovered that she is Lady Wisdom/Sophia/Mary.  And I knew that the revelation was about all women.

The Woman Clothed with the Sun is the Image of the Divine Mother who is returning to us now, at the changing of the Ages, not as a father’s daughter, but as Woman in her fully divine nature.   And she is calling to women to become her daughters, to grow into ourselves as spiritual women and to be the Wisdom Speakers for our culture at this moment of great cultural evolution.

In honoring Mary, we honor a woman rather than a Goddess, who was so in touch with Divine Spirit that she became wholly herself and realized her own divinity.  Like the Woman of Revelations, Mary incarnated her goddess-nature through her ability to stand consciously (Sun) in the (Moon) lunar tides of life while centering herself in her spiritual (Stars) awareness.   

And in this new age, the Divine Mother is giving way to the archetype of the Divine Partner—the Sophia (Wisdom) who is married to the Christ (spiritual consciousness).  The Gnostics believed that there was not only a man of light (Jesus) but also a woman of Light (Mary Magdalene) who were co-redeemers or partners in the work of salvation.  Mother Mary was the archetypal energy of this redemption for the Piscean Age.  


August 15th: The Feast of the Assumption of Mary

August 15th is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, a celebration of the belief that Mary, like her son Jesus, rose into heaven.  Taken symbolically, this is the day that the Church finally acknowledged that Mary is indeed the Goddess.

                                                     Assumta: Titian

 
The Roman Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."  The Eastern Orthodox Church believes in the Dormition of the Theotokos (the falling asleep of the God-Bearer).   

This is the story of Mary's last days on Earth. 

While we know little of Mary's life from the Gospels, according to legend, Mary spent her life after Pentecost supporting and serving the early Church.  She was living in the house of the Apostle John, in Jerusalem, when the Archangel Gabriel came to her and revealed that her death would occur three days later. 

The apostles were scattered throughout the world, but they were miraculously transported to be at her side when she died. The sole exception was Thomas, who was in India and so was delayed. He arrived three days after Mary's death in a cloud above her tomb.  There he saw her body ascending to heaven. He asked her "Where are you going, O Holy One?" In reply, she took off her girdle and gave it to him and said "Receive this my friend" before she disappeared.  (The Life of the Virgin Mary,The Theotokos.)  

Thomas was taken to his fellow Apostles and asked to see Mary's grave so that he could bid her goodbye. Mary had been buried in Gethsemane, according to her wishes. When the Apostles arrived at the grave, her body was gone, leaving only a sweet fragrance. An apparition is said to have confirmed that Christ had taken her body to heaven after three days to be reunited with her soul.



                                            Rubens: The Assumption of Mary



The earliest traditions all locate the end of Mary's life in Jerusalem.  In some versions of the story the event is said to have taken place in Ephesus, where the Eleusian Mysteries were celebrated for over 2000 years—dedicated to Demeter and Persephone.  In the House of the Virgin Mary outside Ephesus, at the shrine there is a particular "wishing wall" which pilgrims have used by tying their personal intentions on paper or fabric.  There is also a sacred spring there, which is believed to have healing properties.

In the 7th century, Theothekno, bishop of Palestine, preached a homily on the feast of Mary's Assumption, August 15: 


"Rejoice with the Mother of God,
with angels and saints,
and celebrate this great feast:
the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
"On earth she was a fruitful virgin,
in heaven she intercedes for all;
through this blessed woman,
the Spirit's gifts still flow upon us,
and her words teach gentle wisdom.
"At her assent the earth blossomed;
she sought good things for the poor.
Now in heaven her care is undiminished,
near her Son she seeks the good of us all."
 

What does it mean for our earthly body to be taken up into the heavens (the spiritual realms)? " The Assumption proclaims the Mystery of the century, the return of Mother Earth to the Heavens and the end, therefore, of the split between Earth and Heaven and all the divisions, such as between flesh and spirit, that flowed from that. It heralded the unity of the universe and the unity of human personality." (Eugene Cullen Kennedy: http://ncronline.org/blogs)  

May it be so! 

 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gemini New Moon, 2014

This week's Gemini New Moon offers us a chance to change our perceptions and open our minds to new ways of seeing and experiencing the world.   You can read more about the Gemini New Moon at: www.wisdom-of-astrology.com
Just scroll down to the New Moon link.



Mindful -- Mary Oliver

Mindful

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

~ Mary Oliver ~

(Why I Wake Early)