Posted in Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene – More than Jesus’ Wife

Suddenly it seems everyone wants to get on the Mary Magdalene bandwagon. This is good news in the sense that it is getting Mary Magdalene’s name out there and attention is being drawn to the first woman of the Jesus movement. For the first time in two thousand years, we are beginning to grasp the truth that Mary Magdalene was not the repentant whore – but was the first witness to the resurrection.  Much of what I have seen beyond that, however is limited in scope and does not even begin to scratch the surface of who Mary Magdalene was and what she represents, not only to Christianity, and not only to women, but for the world.  Mary Magdalene wasn’t just the first witness to the resurrection and she wasn’t just Jesus’ wife (as Dan Brown et. al. would have us believe).

To understand who Mary Magdalene was and what she represents, we first have to understand Jesus. But to understand Jesus, we first have to take him off the pedestal he was placed on by institutional religion….and then we have to take him off the cross.  Jesus was a man.  He was a man who was uniquely gifted and called to remember his original nature as One with God (Jesus’ God was so much more than the “Old Man in the Sky God” Christianity has given us). In this intimate connection with God, Jesus came to know his Divinity – what he called “the kingdom of God.”  Jesus understood that he was Divine in Human form and in this was able to manifest the fullness of his giftedness which included the gifts of healing, teaching, leading, pastoring, and prophecy.  In having attained this level of self-actualization, Jesus was afforded the title of “High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5, 6, 7).  Not to be confused with the high priests of Jewish temple worship, this designation placed Jesus in the company of the great mystery schools of the primordial tradition.  When Jesus had mastered this within himself, he went out to teach others what he knew and how they too could know “the kingdom of God within” and manifest their own unique giftedness in the world.

As the only one of Jesus’ disciples said to be “healed of seven demons” (symbolic language for the completion of an initiatory process leading to self-actualization), Mary Magdalene embodied the fulfillment of Jesus’ teachings. Like Jesus, Mary came to understand her Oneness with the Divine and allowed that Divinity to find its fulfillment in her Human form.  In this, her own unique gifts were revealed and unleashed, giving her the strength and courage to be with her Beloved through his suffering and death (where the other disciples were not); and to be the first witness to the resurrection. But more important than any of this, in becoming self-actualized (High Priestess in her own right), Mary Magdalene was empowered to go out into the world, leading and teaching others in the truth of Oneness – the same path of salvation that Jesus had taught before her.  Mary is much more than Jesus’ wife.  In teaching and leading us on the path to salvation, like Jesus, Mary Magdalene is Savior.  

Embrace your own Magdalene calling through the Magdalene Priesthood Training:

 

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

The Magdalene Priesthood – In the World

When I first launched the Order of the Magdalene Priesthood Training, I thought it had to do with building a “new church.” I thought it would be the training ground for women and men to come into their fullness and be ordained as priests and priestesses as was originally modeled in the Church.  Very quickly, I learned this was not to be the case and it seems I am learning this truth more and more every day. What is most interesting about this unfolding, however, is that it is turning out exactly according to what I have been saying all along about ordination in the institutional church:

There is no shortage of vocations. There is only a shortage of vision.

For the past many years, the institutional Church has complained about a vocation shortage. In the Catholic Church, especially, there aren’t enough men coming forward as candidates for priesthood.  This is a fact. The Church’s response to this has been to close parishes and to make a single priest responsible for multiple parishes. (Note, there is also a HUGE shortage in people attending church, but that is a whole other story.)

When I was still working in the Church, I would argue, “There is no shortage of vocations. Those who are called are sitting right here in the pews, we simply need to empower them to identify, cultivate and then use their unique gifts.  When we do this, we will never have to ask for the ministries of church to be fulfilled, people will willingly and enthusiastically come forward offering to share their gifts.”  My words fell on deaf ears, but with the Magdalene Priesthood, I am finding the fulfillment of these words.

In the Magdalene Priesthood we are doing just what I described to our priest (and anyone else who would listen) all those years ago. Through the Magdalene Priesthood training (for women and men), participants are given the resources and support they need to:

  • Discover their unique giftedness.
  • Cultivate these gifts.
  • Move through the fears, resistance and societal conditioning that might otherwise hinder them in the use of their gifts.
  • Be empowered in the use of these gifts 1) for the sake of their own fulfillment and 2) in service to the betterment of the world.

In short, the Magdalene Priesthood training supports participants in coming to know themselves and then empowers them to live that truth fully in the world. The end result is a community of self-empowered women and men who are living their unique gifts fully in the world and doing so in a way that is unique to them. With the Magdalene Priesthood, members are living these gifts IN THE WORLD. Graduates of the Magdalene Priesthood are living these gifts in a multitude of ways:

  • Accountants.
  • Massage Therapists.
  • Yoga Instructors.
  • Dance Educators.
  • Teachers.
  • Mothers.
  • Dental Assistants.
  • Office Managers
  • Physicians.
  • Professors.
  • Fathers.
  • Business Owners.
  • Registered Nurses.
  • Clerical Support.
  • Government Employees.

Participants and graduates of the Magdalene Priesthood Training are women and men from all walks of life. We are not locked away in an ivory tower or sequestered in a monastery.  Instead, we are IN THE WORLD doing every day jobs (even I am working part time as Office Manager for a local arts academy).  The difference is that we are no longer bringing our broken, wounded, fragmented selves to these jobs, we are bringing our WHOLE selves and in doing so, transforming the work we are doing, our workplace and even the people around us.  In completing the work of the Magdalene Priesthood Training, we are bringing the fullness of love into the very heart of where it is needed the most – in our broken and fragmented world.

This is what Mary Magdalene did. This is what Jesus did before her.  Jesus was not “in” the temple.  He was not a priest of the temple.  He, like any other rabbi, sometimes spoke within the temple grounds and at synagogue, but he was not a priest in the clerical sense of the word.  He served at table – but over ordinary meals.  He performed ritual – but they were not the rituals in the temple – they were the homey, earthy rituals that were part of everyday Jewish life.  The same was likely true of Mary Magdalene.  She was a woman of the world, ministering IN the world through her own unique calling and her own unique gifts – not in a temple, not in a church, but in the midst of the people wherever and however she was called.

Learn more about the Magdalene Priesthood Training by clicking on the icon below:

Posted in Mary Magdalene

The Magdalene Priesthood Training- Returning to Ourselves

For the past several years I have welcome over 100 women and men into the Order of the Magdalene Priesthood Training.  Below are the words of two recent graduates of the full 1 year program.  Thank you Maria and Rebecca for your beautiful words and for the work of love you are performing in our world!

In looking back over the time it has taken me to complete this course, I can’t believe where I am now.
The gifts (magic ) I have to offer from my Spirit.
The Freedom of authenticity that is flowing from me.
The integration and depth of the Spirit that comes forth.

The fearlessness and contentment of living in this new found Freedom.

I have learned through this program to come back and return…return to myself.
Everytime I struggled with something occurring in my life,
I would do a lesson in the program and reflect…go inward.

Not seek outward for help, like the old me would do.
But connect to the training …to the Magdalene…to me!

It was a blessing in so many ways.
The Magdalene Priestess Training ultimately allowed me to stand unto myself.
To find dominion in me.
Thank you Lauri…so very much.

Maria G. USA

 

What is so amazing to me is in this journey and through each course it has helped to heal my relationship with religion.  In the sense that I don’t need to follow any one direction of spirituality.  It has given me a completely different outlook on scripture and the characters in scripture but also on those who have translated and handed down these teachings.  To stop and consider what personal agendas may have been at stake in recording and passing them on based on the author at the time.  It has taught me to lead through my heart.  How to recognize myself in others both my poor and positive traits and how those are reflecting in those around me. I have to admit that my relationship to Christ has very much been strengthened during this time, and in doing that my sacred feminine feels even more powerful.  I seem to have a very strong relationship to Mother Mary as well, and it may be due to the fact of being in the throws of motherhood now.  I definitely do not feel like the same person from almost 2 years ago.  Now I feel strong in my faith combined with my witchy ways.  You don’t have to choose one or the other.  It’s empowering and wonderful!

Rebecca USA

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene

Meet the Magdalenes – Deb Sommerhalder

The Magdalenes are women and men who have completed the Authentic Freedom Leadership training or the Magdalene Priest/ess Training. The Magdalenes are called and empowered through their own unique giftedness and within their own circle of influence to be a vessel through which Divine Love is brought forth into this world.  I am honored and humbled to be in the company of this amazingly powerful community! This blog series features the Magdalenes and all the great work they are doing in the world.

Magdalenes, Meet the Magdalenes, Deb Sommerhalder, Inner Sun Yoga StudioDeb Sommerhalder, OM, E-RYT, CYT, CPT  

Deb Sommerhalder is the founder and owner of Inner Sun Yoga Studio in Oshkosh, WI. With a 20 year background in the fitness industry teaching aerobics and prenatal classes Deb went on to become certified to teach yoga and is a member of the Yoga Alliance.  In January 2004, Deb founded and opened Inner Sun Yoga in Oshkosh. Beyond traditional Hatha Yoga, Deb is certified to teach and offer Aerial Yoga, the Roll Model Method, Aromatherapy, Thai Massage bodywork, Christouch energy healing and most recently, Aromatouch and Sound Massage.  As a graduate of the full Magdalene Priest/ess Training, Deb incorporates her training into all of her yoga and healing offerings.  You can learn more about Deb and her studio at www.innersunyogastudio.com.

Deb has been my yoga teacher for the past 10+ years.  We first met “by chance” at a wellness events for the local Boys & Girls Club where Deb and I were both facilitators.  Deb then invited me to facilitate Spirit Dance at her studio and about  a year later I traded in my YMCA membership for a Yoga membership at Inner Sun.  I am deeply grateful for Deb’s vision and approach to yoga as it is solidly grounded in the ultimate goal of yoga which is spiritual.  Deb’s studio is a warm and welcoming space and over the course of the past 10 years, it has become my “church.”  Deb’s gifts of hospitality and pastoring are visible as she has birthed a yoga space that fosters true community.  I am humbled and honored to have had Deb and her amazing teachers as guides and for the privilege of serving Deb and the members of her studio through my own unique gifts.  It is a true partnership for which I am eternally grateful!  Thank you Deb!

Begin your journey of embracing your own Magdalene calling:

Resurrecting the Magdalene