Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, self-actualization, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation, women

New Online Course: The Secret Teachings of the Holy Bride in Exile

The Secret Teachings of

The Holy Bride in Exile

Permission and support for those called to a more interior way of sacred living

Click on the image to learn more and register.

6 Lessons online and at your own pace: 

Mary Magdalene as the Bride in Exile

The Holy Bride in Exile in Mythology and Folklore

The Shekinah as The Bride in Exile

Personal Power Gained through Exile

The Promise of Provision in Exile

Creating and Being Your Own Temple

Learn more and register HERE. 

 

Genesis of this Course

The Holy Bride in Exile course has come about in both a logical and an illogical way. The logical includes almost thirty years of intensive study of the Magdalene, my own education and experience in scripture study, theology, religious history, human development, psychology, Christian and Jewish mysticism, etc. etc. etc.  Also logical are all the courses I’ve developed and facilitated including the Magdalene Priesthood training, the Order of Melchizedek Alchemist training, and my most recent courses on the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Mary Magdalene and the Path of the Holy Bride.  All of this work, and my own integration of these studies provided the framework out of which exploration of the Bride in Exile became possible.

The illogical is the lightening bolt that pierced through me while reading Raphael Patai’s The Hebrew Goddess. When I came upon Patai’s words, “The Holy Bride in Exile,” the whole world turned on its axis, everything stopped, and the downloads began.  It literally felt as if the top of my head had been opened up and someone/something was pouring awareness and knowledge into me. If this wasn’t exciting (terrifying) enough, what was being shown to me validated and affirmed a calling that has likely been present within me my whole life, but now had become increasingly urgent:

The call to a more interior way of sacred living.

 It is because I know I am not alone in this calling that I share this course with you.  This, I believe, is so much more than a course, it is:

Permission and Support

 for a way of living that has been lost in our society – one that was once valued (more on that later), but with the advent of the patriarchy, and more recently of capitalism, interior living has been cast aside as ridiculous, or at the very least, counter-cultural.

 

“Only crazy or morbidly depressed people would want to spend most of their time in solitary contemplation and study, moving slowly and gently upon this earth.”

 

The Holy Bride in Exile says otherwise.  Not only is the Holy Bride in Exile an ancient archetype, it is, I believe, a critical stage in the Soul development of those who are either called to exile as a way of living, or who find themselves in temporary states of exile as part of their Soul’s journey of unfolding.  Society needs its hermits for reasons that we will uncover in this course.

My greatest heart desire in sharing this journey with you is that you feel validated and affirmed in your own unique calling and that you discover the empowerment that is inherent in our times of exile.  Additionally, I hope that through this support you can harness the courage and strength to boldly live your interior life knowing that by doing so you are offering a powerful gift not only to yourself, but also to the world.

 

Learn more and register HERE. 

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, priestess training

I Don’t Just Teach ABOUT the Magdalene…

For nearly 30 years I have been involved in the study of and the work of the Magdalene.  The longer I do this work, the more people I see out there laying claim to the Magdalene.  While every voice is important, there is a marked difference between what I am doing and what I am seeing in the work of others. Here is the distinction:

Magdalene is not a place name, neither is it Mary’s surname.  Magdalene is a title and a designation that was awarded to Mary, called Magdalene for accomplishing the task of becoming anthropos – fully human and fully Divine.  Mary completed the journey of awakening to her true Divine self and then allowing that Divinity to live through her fully.  She became Divine Embodiment.  This is the task that earned her the designation and title of Magdalene – beacon and tower of the flock. The title of Magdalene is similar to the title of Christ earned by Jesus for accomplishing the same task. 

Mary Magdalene, Magdalene and Easter, Mary Magdalene and Jesus, Mary Magdalene and women's ordination

THIS is the work I have been researching and then sharing with you through my online courses, weekly lessons, newsletters, etc.  I don’t just teach about the Magdalene, I share with you tools and resources that help to support you in your own journey of becoming anthropos – giving you the tools to Embody your true Divine Self and to live that Divinity freely in our world.  This embodiment empowers to use your own unique gifts to be a vessel of transformation and love in a world in great need of your gifts.  

In case you are a stickler for credentials, this is another difference in what I am offering in comparison to others.  My education speaks for itself, but more importantly are the resources I draw from.  All of my Magdalene offerings draw from original source materials.  I draw from Hebrew and Christian scripture.  I draw from non-canonical scripture (somewhat inaccurately called “gnostic”).  I draw from the original source materials of the Kabbalah – the Jewish branch of mysticism.  Approaching these ancient texts through the lens of contemplative prayer has helped me to discern the truths hidden behind the dogma and doctrine that often clouds our understanding of scripture and helps me to eek out the original writings from later redactions.  When in doubt, I turn to modern scripture scholarship for confirmation. In short, I have untangled the strings of ancient knowledge and rewoven them into something we can approach and digest in our modern era.  The Word was not meant to remain stagnant within a specific time or place, it is meant to be alive and drawing forth truth in every generation.  This is what I have done while also assisting you in doing the same.

I am eternally humbled and grateful to be doing this work.  I trust you will find it helpful and supportive of your own desire to be and live as your most authentic self!

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS
Authentic Freedom Academy/Order of the Magdalene
www.authenticfreedom.love

Learn more about our Magdalene Trainings by clicking on the icons below.

Magdalene Resurrection CourseMagdalene Priestess Training Course

Posted in Mary Magdalene

Last Chance for Early Registration Discount

Live online course 

13 Lessons starting January 13, 2021*

Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm central time

Created and facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

Live gatherings are held on ZOOM and lessons are recorded for later viewing by those who are unable to attend the live gathering,

 

Mary Magdalene and the Path of the Holy Bride provides an opportunity to discover, learn and embody the path completed by Mary Magdalene in becoming the Holy Bride.** The Holy Bride is the fulfillment of the journey of merging with and embodying the Divine – both for our own sake and in service to the betterment of the world.

Explored through the lens of the Divine Feminine and gathering from traditional and gnostic scripture in partnership with the Jewish mystical tradition of the Kabbalah, you will learn the path that Mary Magdalene followed in becoming the Holy Bride.  Like Mary, you will discover the deepest secrets hidden within these sacred texts of becoming The Holy Bride and you will be given the resources, tools and support to need to grow in that journey of becoming.

 

Course Outline:

Week One:                Introduction to the Course

Week Two:                 Mother of the Living

Week Three:             The Sophian Mysteries

Week Four:               Immaculately Conceived

Week Five:                Logos

Week Six:                  Full of Grace

Week Seven:             The Fierce Mother

Week Eight:              The Holy of Holies

Week Nine:               The Bridal Chamber

Week Ten:                 The Dark Mother

Week Eleven:            The Shekinah

Week Twelve:           The Holy Bride

Week Thirteen:        Putting on the Red

*Scheduled dates for 2021:  1/13, 1/20, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21.  Week Thirteen is completed on your own.

**Contrary to popular belief, the Holy Bride has nothing do with the human construct of marriage or sexual union.

Final Day for Early Registration Discount is 12/15/20.

Regularly priced at $325.00.

Register by 12/15/20 and pay: $260.00

Register for the discounted price of $260.00 HERE. 

or register for the discounted payment plan:  4 monthly payments of $70.00 each HERE.  

 

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is a Priestess of the Magdalene and the founder of both the Order of the Magdalene and the Temple of the Magdalene.  Lauri has been a dedicated student of the Magdalene since first experiencing her portrayal in the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar in 1978.  Lauri has since studied every scholarly work that has been made available on the Magdalene, and many works of fiction.  Lauri has come to believe that Mary Magdalene was indeed Jesus’ closest disciple, possibly his wife, and that it was Mary who was ordained to continue Jesus’ mission of transforming the world from fear into love.  Rejected by the patriarchy, the Magdalene influence has flourished in the mystical traditions of Christianity, though few would acknowledge this. The Magdalene has been a profound influence in Lauri’s own mission and has been the inspiration for Lauri’s writings, books, teachings and online courses all available through Authentic Freedom Academy.

Lauri Ann Lumby has her BBA in Marketing, a master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology and has certificates in Pastoral Ministry and Spiritual Direction.  She is a Reiki Master in both the Usui and Karuna traditions and is an ordained interfaith minister.

Learn more about Lauri at www.authenticfreedom.love.

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, women

Guest Post: Is There No King in You?

Today’s post comes from one of the amazing women who are currently participating in my Live/online course, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene.  The following came forth through a meditation activity I invited the participants to enter into with a scripture reading from the prophet Micah.  I share Louisa’s beautiful (passionate) response to Micah’s question followed by the scripture itself.  Thank you Louisa for this passionate and truthful response!  A note to the reader:  Read this sharing in the voice of a passionate and perhaps a bit angry and frustrated woman! (You know, we’ve all been there!) Selah!

 

In Response to Micah: 

 

“Is there no King in you?”

 

There is a visceral reaction to these words.  Words that value my courage, my tenacity, my worth, based on the internalized masculine.

 

There is no King in me.

He would only get in my way and obstruct me with his ridiculous rules, his lust for power, his striving in ignorance to feed his insatiable ego.

 

There is no King in me.

He would slow me down with his mansplaining and denial of the emotions that are woven through me and make me juicy and complex.

 

If there were a King here,

My labor would stall.  I would be expected to birth in silence, suppressing my creative needs, and bringing forth only that which he deemed worthy.

 

Without my inner King,

I am fierce. I bring forth life. I connect the fertile Earth beneath me with the Celestial Majesty above.

 

Unlike him,

I don’t live on the Earth, squeezing every resource I can from her for my own self- aggrandizement.  I live of the Earth, in the Earth, from the Earth, and by the Earth.

 

No, there is no King in me.

I don’t have that kind of time to waste.

 

So, tell me instead,

“Is there no Queen in you?”

 

Louisa Foster

09.12.20

Micah 4: 8-13

And you, O tower of the flock,
hill of daughter Zion,
to you it shall come,
the former dominion shall come,
the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

Now why do you cry aloud?
Is there no king in you?
Has your counselor perished,

that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor?
Writhe and groan,O daughter Zion,
like a woman in labor;
for now you shall go forth from the city
and camp in the open country;
you shall go to Babylon.

There you shall be rescued,
there the Lord will redeem you
from the hands of your enemies.

Now many nations
are assembled against you,
saying, “Let her be profaned,
and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
But they do not know
the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
Arise and thresh,
O daughter Zion,
for I will make your horn iron
and your hoofs bronze;
you shall beat in pieces many peoples,
and shall devote their gain to the Lord,
their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene

The Magdalene as the Holy Bride – Resources

Below is the list of resources that were consulted in the creation and development of our upcoming live course, Mary Magdalene and the Path of the Holy Bride.  Click on the image below to learn more and register for the course.

Mary Magdalene and the Path of the Holy Bride

Resources

 

Begg, Ean, The Cult of the Black Virgin, Chiron Publications, 2006.

 

Bourgeault, Cynthia, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene – Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, Shambhala Publications, 2010.

 

Case, Paul Foster, The Tarot – A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages, Jeremy Tarcher, 1947.

 

Douglas-Klotz, Neil, The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus, Quest Books, 1999.

 

Douglas-Klotz, Neil, Prayers of the Cosmos, Harper One 1993.

 

Eisler, Riane, The Chalice and the Blade, Harper Collins, 1987.

 

Eisler, Riane, Sacred Pleasure, Harper Collins, 1995.

 

Ellis, Normanci, Awakening Osiris – The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Phanes Press, 1988.

 

Epstein, Perle, Kabbalah – the Way of the Jewish Mystic, Shambhala, 1988.

 

Ericco, Rocco A. Setting a Trap for God: The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus, Unity Books, 1997.

 

Fortune, Dion The Mystical Qabalah, Weiser Books. 1935

 

Harvey, Andrew, Son of Man – The Mystical Path to Christ, Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1998.

 

Haskins, Susan, Mary Magdalene – Myth and Metaphor, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993.

 

Hauck, Dennis William, The Emerald Tablet – Alchemy for Personal Transformation, Penguin Compass, 1999.

 

Hoeller, Stephan, Gnosticism – New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing, Quest Books, 2002.

 

Kaplan, Aryeh, The Bahir Illumination- Translation, Introduction and Commentary, Samuel Weiser, Inc,, 1979.

 

Kaplan, Aryeh, Meditation and Kabbalah, Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1982.

 

Kaplan, Aryeh, Sepher Yetzirah – the Book of Creation in Theory and Practice, Weiser Books, 1997.

 

King, Karen, L., The Gospel of Mary of Magdala – Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, Polebridge Press, 2003.

 

Krafchow, Dovid, Kabbalistic Tarot – Hebraic Wisdom in the Major and Minor Arcana, Inner Traditions, 2002.

 

Kushner, Lawrence, The Book of Letters, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1975.

 

Kushner, Lawrence, Honey from the Rock – an Introduction to Jewish Mysticism, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000.

 

Kushner, Lawrence, Kabbalah – a Love Story, Broadway Press, 2006.

 

Leloup, Jean-Yves, Judas and Jesus – Two Faces of a Single Revelation, Inner Traditions, 2006.

 

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Inner Traditions, 2002.

 

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Gospel of Philip, Inner Traditions, 2003.

 

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Gospel of Thomas, Inner Traditions, 2005.

 

Leloup, Jean-Yves, The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary – The Sexual Mystery at the Heart of the Christian Tradition, Inner Traditions, 2005.

 

MacDermot, Violet, The Fall of Sophia – A Gnostic Text on the Redemption of Universal Consciousness, Lindisfarne Books, 2001.

 

Malachi, Tau, The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas – Meditations on the Mystical Teachings, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2004.

 

Malachi, Tau, Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ – a Gnostic Christian Kabbalah, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2005.

 

Malachi, Tau, Living Gnosis – A Practical Guide to Gnostic Christianity, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2005.

 

Malachi, Tau, St. Mary Magdalene – The Gnostic Tradition of the Holy Bride, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006.

 

Marion, Jim, Putting on the Mind of Christ – The Inner Work of Christian Spirituality, Hampton Roads, 2000.

 

Matt, Daniel C., The Essential Kabbalah, Harper Collins, 1995.

 

Meehan, Bridget Mary, Delighting in the Feminine Divine, Sheed and Ward, 1994.

 

Meehan, Bridget Mary, Exploring the Feminine Face of God, Sheed and Ward, 1991.

 

Munk, Michael L., The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, Mesorah Publications, 1983.

 

Pagels, Elaine, Beyond Belief – The Secret Gospel of Thomas, Random House, 2003.

 

Prakash, Prem, The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion – a Modern Translations of the Narada Bhakti Sutras, Inner Traditions, 1998.

 

Silva, Freddy, the Lost Art of Resurrection, Inner Traditions, 2014.

 

Starbird, Margaret, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, Bear & Company, 1993.

 

Starbird, Margaret, The Goddess in the Gospels – Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine, Bear & Company, 1998.

 

Starbird, Margaret, Mary Magdalene – Bride in Exile, Bear & Company, 2005.

 

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot – a Journey into Christian Hermeticism, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam Press, 1985.

 

Winter, Miriam Therese, WomanWitness – a Feminist Lectionary and Psalter – Women of the New Testament, Crossroad Publishing, 1991.

 

Winter, Miriam Therese, WomanWord – a Feminist Lectionary and Psalter, Crossroad Publishing, 1990.

 

Early Registration Discount if enrolled before December 15, 2020. 

Learn more HERE. 

 

 

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene

Early Registration Discount

Mary Magdalene and the Path of the Holy Bride

(it’s not what you think!)

Live online course

Created and facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

 

13 Lessons starting January 13, 2021*

Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm central time

 

Live gatherings are held on ZOOM and lessons are recorded for later viewing by those who are unable to attend the live gathering,

Early Registration Discount – 20% off the regular course tuition.  Enroll HERE. 

Mary Magdalene and the Path of the Holy Bride provides an opportunity to discover, learn and embody the path completed by Mary Magdalene in becoming the Holy Bride.** The Holy Bride is the fulfillment of the journey of merging with and embodying the Divine – both for our own sake and in service to the betterment of the world.

Explored through the lens of the Divine Feminine and gathering from traditional and gnostic scripture in partnership with the Jewish mystical tradition of the Kabbalah, you will learn the path that Mary Magdalene followed in becoming the Holy Bride.  Like Mary, you will discover the deepest secrets hidden within these sacred texts of becoming The Holy Bride and you will be given the resources, tools and support to need to grow in that journey of becoming.

 

Course Outline:

 

Week One:                Introduction to the Course

 

Week Two:                 Mother of the Living

 

Week Three:             The Sophian Mysteries

 

Week Four:               Immaculately Conceived

 

Week Five:                Logos

 

Week Six:                  Full of Grace

 

Week Seven:             The Fierce Mother

 

Week Eight:              The Holy of Holies

 

Week Nine:               The Bridal Chamber

 

Week Ten:                 The Dark Mother

 

Week Eleven:            The Shekinah

 

Week Twelve:           The Holy Bride

 

Week Thirteen:        Putting on the Red

 

 

*Scheduled dates for 2021:  1/13, 1/20, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21.  Week Thirteen is completed on your own.

 

**Contrary to popular belief, the Holy Bride has nothing do with the human construct of marriage or sexual union.

 

 

Tuition:  $325.00 paid in full or in four installments of $88.00 each.

 

Early Registration Discount: 20% off the regular price 

Enroll HERE. 

Posted in Mary Magdalene

From the Magdalene: a Dialogue Regarding the Heart

In last week’s Gospel of Mary Magdalene online course, each participant was charged with an opportunity to be open to the Magdalene speaking to them directly.  I invited those who feel so-called to share their findings.  This is the first (of hopefully) several more to come.  Thank you Dr. Louisa Foster for sharing this dialogue regarding the heart!

A Dialogue Regarding the Heart

My Voice:

My heart moves.  It opens.  It widens further still.

All of the suffering, I embrace and bring into myself.

There is no pain that is unknown to me for,

To know being Human, is to know the tapestry of pain.

 

We are not without skill, without weapon.

Our heart is our weapon, and it can vanquish

The most persistent and obstinate contender.

 

Her Voice:

The heart must open.

 

Open beyond the brambles and thorns of everyday life,

Past the brutal, icy winds of isolation and despair.

Grief, loss and pain, are but the experience of this Human embodiment.

They are fleeting and cannot touch your True Nature,

That deep, sacred well of being Human.

 

In the stillness, you will hear the heart as it opens,

As it lets in more light, as its chambers grow wider and more spacious,

And the room for pity and self-doubt narrows,

Until they are squeezed out of existence.

 

Do not dismay.

Do not be deceived by the deceivers.

Do not allow your gaze to leave the path.

For this is the path to truth,

And to the path that your heart must play in illuminating the World.

 

Rejoice and listen.

Go forth and lead.

Go forth and teach.

I have sent you all that is needed.

I have sent you your heart.

 

                                                                        21.10.20  Dr, Louisa Foster

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene

We are the Magdalenes

We are the Magdalenes. We live and walk and work among you. We come from all walks of life, from every tribe of the human race.   We are those who have completed the task of Love.  We have been supported in applying the original teachings of LOVE offered by and modeled by Jesus (and all other great spiritual teachers like him) – the teachings on Love which were then fulfilled through Mary, called Magdalene, and which has continued to show itself throughout history through those who have seen beyond the veil to the love concealed within.  

Mary Magdalene at the Tomb by Lauri Ann Lumby

We have come to know the Love that we are in our Oneness within ourselves, with the God of our understanding, with each other and with all of creation.  In being open to this Love, we know no separation.  Love transcends all beliefs, all creeds, all nationalities, all genders, etc.  In this Love, there is no race but the human race.  There is no sexual orientation but love.  There is no nation, only one world.  There is no religion – only love. Love is all there is and Love is all we work to see and to know. Any perceived division is only a temporary veil over the love that has not yet been fully realized.  When division arises, we seek out the wound that is at its core, and support the healing of that wound wherever possible, as Jesus and Mary, called Magdalene, did before us.  

For two thousand years we have been concealed among you, waiting.   At this critical juncture in human evolution, we come forth to be seen and to be known so that you might find hope in a world that is dying and faith in a new world that is seeking to be born.  

We are your teachers, your guides, your mirror.  Through our eyes you are seen as Love and in our eyes, you see that Love.  From this Love you will either turn away in fear, or, come forward in Love.  Either way, we love you for who you are and for the path you have chosen, for we have come to know that even when we choose fear, this too is a choice for Love.  As the prophet once said, “In you, darkness and light are but one.”  Of course, we hope that your choice will be for Love, because we have seen the fruits of this Love.

In this Love, we have found our unique purpose through our Divine gifts, which we then utilize for the sake of our own fulfillment and then in service to the betterment of the world. In this, you will find us using our gifts in all walks of life whether we are mother, father, teacher, minister, physician, healer, counselor, businessperson, athlete, entertainer, artist, banker, accountant, educator, administrator, etc. etc. etc.  There are no limits as to how or where we can apply the Love that we know, for this Love is infinite and universal.  It is this life of meaning and purpose that too shall be yours when you make the choice for Love. 

But even more than meaning and purpose, the promise of Love is peace.  In the depths of the Love that we are, we know a deep and abiding peace. This is “the peace that surpasses all understanding,” and which allows us to navigate the twists and turns, ups and downs, joys and sufferings of the human condition.  While fear is always present as a consequence of choosing the human condition, Love provides the key to finding our way through that fear.  It is here that we come to know the “kingdom of God within” that Jesus promised – not in some heaven light years away, but right here, in the midst of the human experience.  It is for the sake of this purpose that we are here, to help you know what those “who have eyes to see” have come to known – the Love that has been here all along!

We are the Magdalenes. Our mission and purpose is Love – the Love that is YOU!  

Magdalene Resurrection Course

Posted in Death, Mary Magdalene

Being a Priestess of Death

There is a popular theme in classical art which depicts Mary Magdalene holding or gazing at a skull.  I have never really understood this image.  If Jesus was truly raised from the death, then the skull cannot be his.  If it’s not Jesus’ skull, then whose is it?  Is the former owner of the skull even relevant or is the presence of the skull merely symbolic?  Why was this a popular theme among classical artists and why does it not persist today?

For years I have pondered the meaning of these paintings.  What is up with Mary Magdalene and the skull?  After the events of this past week and the spiritual experiences I have borne related to these events, now I get it.

Magdalene with Smoking Flame by George de la Tour. Public Domain.

The Events of the Week:

This week, Oshkosh experienced its first school shooting.  A hurting and troubled teen attacked the school’s Resource (police) Officer with a knife.  In the struggle the officer’s gun was discharged, injuring the officer.  The gun was discharged a second time and the student was also shot.  Following active shooter protocol, the school was evacuated while the offer and student were tended to.  Fortunately, both the officer and the student survived and are recovering from their wounds (if you can ever really recover from such a traumatic event).  The students, staff, their families, and the entire community are now grieving, trying to make sense of the trauma and (hopefully) examining what can be done (if anything) to prevent future incidents.

These kinds of incidents place us in the position of feeling helpless, confused and lost.  First, we suffer shock.  Then after the shock wears off, we grieve.  For some, the grief comes out as anger.  For others disbelief (denial).  Others try to come up with all the things that could have/should have been done to prevent the tragedy (bargaining).  There are those who do not know what to do with the energy of their grief, so they find ways to stay busy (creating distractions). Finally, there are those who will recognize the deep loss that comes in tragedies such as these and they cry.  They weep for the loss of innocence.  They weep for the hurting child and their family.  They cry for the students and parents who were terrified.  They wail over their own fear and the feeling of helplessness that arrives in the stark truth that we cannot always protect our children and over the brokenness of our world that drives a child to want to fatally harm another human being(s).

How it Unfolded Within Me:

As unofficial Pastor of Oshkosh, acknowledged empath, and ordained Priestess of the Magdalene, this is what unfolded in me relating to the above events and why I now understand the imagery of the Magdalene with the skull.

On Sunday, December 1st – two days before the incident at Oshkosh West High School, I got hit by an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.  I immediately knew the anxiety was not mine, but it was powerful enough that I took a Lorazepam to stave off the impending panic attack.  Then I checked in with my empath friends and Magdalene sisters.  They were all in agreement – they too had been hit by powerful anxiety accompanied by overwhelming grief.  We all wondered what was happening or soon to happen in the world that we were feeling it this hard.  We had no idea that the anxiety and griefr we were feeling was the preview of what would soon be happening in our own backyard.

The news of the event came out via social media as parents and students began informing the community of what was happening.  Without knowing who or how, I immediately “saw” an image of the officer and the boy.  I knew who the officer was (without knowing) and I knew the boy was white.  I then simultaneously went into prayer/empath mode while reaching out to leaders I know in the community to gain information beyond social media reactions.

While praying, holding and processing the energy of the trauma through my body (as empaths do), I was also fielding phone calls, text messages, etc. from parents and friends who were somehow involved in the incident.  Listening.  Holding Space.  Offering counsel and comfort.  As an empath/unofficial pastor, I was being called upon to be with them in their fear, confusion, and grief.

Another day in the life of an empath.

After two days of processing with others, the heavy hand of grief fell upon me.  Once again, however, this was not my grief.  Yes, I grieve for those involved and for our community, but what I was experiencing was a grief disproportionate to even that which our community was feeling.  With this also came wave after wave after wave of compassion for the hurting boy and his family and for all the children in our world who are hurting and either not getting the help they need, or who are simply overwhelmed by the current state of our world.  (To our children, the world out there really sucks and they often feel there is little to hope for.  To understand this more, please read HERE and HERE). When the hand of grief came, I set aside the day for prayer and to sending healing (Reiki) to our fragile and broken world.

This brings me to Thursday.  (only two days after the incident).  Thursday brought the presence of Death.  “He” came to me upon waking from a restless sleep and has remained with me since.  This is not the first time Death has come to me, and I have been told that “He” is here to stay.  Death, it seems, is to remain my companion (in fact He’s been here all along) and as “He” explained, “He” is what I have been seeking after all along.

For those new to the language and mystery of death, let me explain.  I’m not suicidal.  Neither am I wishing or praying for death, or even having fantasies as such.  Instead, I have experienced the profound awareness that Death has always been with me and something I do not fear.  Of course, I would hate for my children to preceded me in death (God forbid!).  Yes, my body reacts to life-threatening experiences with fight, flight and/or flee.  Absolutely have I grieved those I have “lost” to death.  But the fact remains, I have never shied away from nor fled death.  Instead, I have been fully present to it in whatever form it has taken in my life – and it has taken many forms.  From the death of every single institution in which I have worked (the deaths strangely beginning to unfold shortly after my arrival), to the death of the university from which I earned my master’s degree, to the death of a marriage, the death of my Church and my relationship with my church, the death of friendships, the death of dear friends who were taken from life much too soon, to innumerable endings (deaths) that have occurred in my life.  The death of dreams.  The death of hopes.  The death of what I once thought my life would be. For as long as I can remember, Death has been my companion and dare I say, “my friend.”

To those who might experience fear in the face of these statements, here’s the thing:  DEATH IS A PART OF LIFE.  In fact, it is out of Darkness that life comes into form and it is Darkness/Death to which we return.  We cannot have life without death – either literally or metaphorically.  As such, it behooves us to get comfortable with death.  As our world becomes increasingly divisive and continues in its race toward death, we best make friends with death SOON!

us government, Donald Trump, Human Rights,

But not everyone is comfortable with Death, neither is everyone called to be a Priestess of Death.  Priest/ess of Death is a unique calling.  Priestess of Death is a calling that requires discipline, persistence, tenacity, immeasurable courage and the ability to stand toe to toe and face to face with that which humanity fears the most.  As a Priestess of Death, we must be willing to DIVE DEEP – first into our own wounds, past traumas and fears and do the really challenging work of transforming these wounds so that our TRUE BEING might emerge.  THEN (concurrently) we have to be willing to Dive into the Darkness around us – being witness to that which is made out of fear, holding and accompanying others in their pain, being the vessel through which the pain and untruths of our world are processed and released for those unable or unwilling to do it for themselves.

It is this final piece that best describes the work of the Priestesses of Death. We are here to bear witness to everything in our world which has been swept under the rug, every lie that has been told, every loss that has not been grieved, every fear that remains, and every trauma that humanity is unable to clear themselves.  Bearing witness, however, is simply not enough.  Our most challenging task is to hold that pain in our bodies and allow it to move through us as it seeks its own healing and release.  If you are a Priestess of Death – you know about which I speak.

This is the meaning of the Magdalene with the skull.  Unlike the other disciples of Jesus, Mary Magdalene embodied the ability to not only be with Death but to hold the space and process the pain and trauma of death that others are not able to do for themselves.  As Priestess of Death, Mary Magdalene did even more than this.  She held space with and for Jesus as he journeyed toward his death and in being with him there, she became Co-Redemptrix – transforming through her own body humanity’s fear.  After Jesus’ death, Mary continued this work and through the Magdalene succession, this work continues through those equally gifted and called to be Priest/esses of Death.

The Magdalene Priestess Training and the Order of Melchizedek Alchemist Training programs, created and facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby provide education, guidance and support for those called to share in the calling of Priestess of Death.