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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Diaspora: the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland (Merriam-Webster).
When we speak of Mary Magdalene and the feminine diaspora, we are identifying the intentional and deliberate removal of the feminine principle in Christianity and by association, the extraction of and demonizing of the feminine in Western culture. To put it succinctly, as soon as Jesus left the building, the disciples discarded the women Jesus had invited as their equals along with the egalitarian framework Jesus modeled with his beloved Mary, called Magdalene. Selling out to the patriarchal norm, Mary Magdalene, and all women with her were set aside as “less than” and their former authority disregarded as the ravings of madness:
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. (Luke 24: 9-11)
Then Andrew began to speak, and said to his brothers, “Tell me, what do you think of these things she (Mary Magdalene) has been telling us? As for me, I do not believe that the Teacher (Jesus) would speak like this. These ideas are too difference from those we have known.” And Peter added, “How is it possible that the Teacher talked in this manner with a women about secrets of which we ourselves are ignorant? Must we change our customs and listen to this woman? Did he really choose her, and prefer her to us!?” (Gospel of Mary Magdalene Page 17)
Unlike the male disciples who benefited from the patriarchal, hierarchical norm, Mary Magdalene and the other women did not. Instead, until they came into Jesus’ company, these women were prisoners of the cultural norm which valued them as less than cattle – and single, unmarried women even less so. Jesus changed this by inviting women to walk beside him, learn from him and minister beside him. Jesus did not place himself in the position of perceived outside authority as would have been normative for a Jewish Rabbi. Instead, he empowered the women to find their own inner authority in union with the Divine within.
This message of Union was the core of Jesus’ teachings and the women got it. As scripture and tradition proves, few of the men did. They simply could not move beyond their male privilege and the benefits it afforded them. The women, on the other hand, had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Mary Magdalene got it; as did the other women in Jesus’ company. Sadly, however, the feminine principle honored by Jesus and empowered through his women disciples could not defend itself against the tide of the patriarchy, so it retreated into the background.
As history continues to bear out, however, the feminine principle cannot be destroyed. As it relates to the Christian tradition, it remained in the mystical and contemplative practices and teachings of “the church” (small c – meaning people….not institution). It remains in the figure of Mother Mary who presides as Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Co-Redemptrix – treated by Catholics as almost a Goddess in her own right. She has remained in the Wisdom traditions of Christianity as Sophia, The Bride, and The New Jerusalem. The feminine principle has also remained intact in the women and men who have come forward as mystics and prophets – forever holding the feet of the Institution to the coals and holding it accountable to the truth of Love while challenging it for its love of power. Holy people like Hildegard of Bingen, Teresa of Avila, Clare and Francis of Assisi, John of the Cross, Catherine of Siena, Gertrude Stein, and Dorothy Day.
And the feminine principle remains in Mary Magdalene and the re-emergence of her story along with the renewed knowledge of her critical role in the Jesus story and the ongoing story of humanity’s evolution. With the rediscovery of the gnostic texts in which Mary plays a central role and the advent of authentic scriptural scholarship, we now understand that Mary was not the “sinful woman” the patriarchal Church would have us believe. Instead, we see her as co-equal with Jesus in sharing the mission and message of love in support of the ongoing healing and transformation of what separates us as human beings. It is only in healing this separation that we can ever know peace in our world and healing that separation begins by bringing the feminine diaspora home and making a place for her in our hearts and in our lives.
The Magdalene Priestess training, created and facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby, provides the framework and the tools for our own journey of self-actualization. Here we restore the Magdalene to her proper place within the story of human evolution and, like Mary, come to know the truth of who we are while piercing through the unhealed wounds, unacknowledged fears and societal conditioning that would prevent us from being anything less than free:
I have spent my lifetime coming to know myself. As an educator and counselor, writing has always come easy, but art has come as a great surprise.
When asked by a friend if I could do any kind of art, what would it be. The answer was easy: ICONS! If you came to my home you would understand why. My walls are plastered with sacred images of holy (and not so holy) people. I collect religious icons and the icon-esque work of Kelly Rae Roberts. I also have a collection of tarot and oracle decks – one of my favorites featuring the art of Robert M. Place and another with the iconography of Shiloh Sophia McCloud,
After responding to my friend’s collection, I suddenly found myself “writing” icons. But these were different – spiritual art with a universal message transcending the perceived separation of religion and belief.
Thanks to a butt kicking from a couple dear friends, I am now making my sacred art available to the public in a wide range of media – greeting cards, prints, apparel, journals, mugs and more. My art comes from my heart and has its own message for those for whom the message is intended.
Images below available as prints, on canvas, t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, laptop and cellphone skins, journal covers, and more!
Beyond the trappings of pop-culture commercialization, the Kabbalah is an ancient and sacred system of mysticism firmly rooted in Judaism, whose origins may truly precede the culture which embraced and then formalized it. Like the mystical beliefs and contemplative practices of Christianity, the Kabbalah has been guarded for centuries by those who could comprehend and responsibly employ her teachings and practices. The Kabbalah is at once a theology (a study of and discussion about the Divine), a cosmology (an articulation of how the universe is ordered), and a developmental psychology (the study of human nature and how to support its development). The purpose of the Kabbalah is to support us in coming to know ourselves through our intimate understanding of and relationship with the Divine and to support us in becoming our most authentic selves. In this, the Kabbalah is at once a guide and a tool.
Unfortunately, human beings have twisted the meaning of the Kabbalah as something to use for their own personal gain – to get what they want by using the Kabbalah as a tool of magic. This was and has never been the intention of the Kabbalah. While the Kabbalah can be thought of as a system of and for the purpose of magic, this is true only when we understand how magic is defined in the authentic Kabbalistic system. The magic brought about through the proper study of and engagement with the Kabbalah is Union – Union with the Divine, Union with ourselves, Union with each other and Union with all of creation. In this, our true Divine nature becomes fully embodied and fully engaged in our human form. The earthly goal of the Kabbalah is Malkuth – what Jesus referred to as “the Kingdom of God.”
Kingdom of God, however, is an error in translation. Being feminine in form, Malkuth can more accurately be described as the Queendom of God – or more accurately, The Bride. The fulfillment of the Kabbalah is the revelation of the ineffable Source (Keter) through The Bride (Malkuth). It is only in knowing and embodying The Bride that the Source can be known and fulfilled. In the passion play lived out through Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Jesus was the Son (Tiferet) and Mary Magdalene was the Bride.
Mary Magdalene and her beloved Jesus provide the archetypal examples of the fulfillment of the Kabbalah. Through diligent study of the Kabbalah and applying its principles in their lives, they ascended beyond the ignorance of the human condition to discover their true, Divine nature. They then brought that Divine nature into their human experience through the process of descent. Through the process of descent, they faced their demons, unhealed wounds, past traumas, unacknowledged fears and societal conditioning so that they could fully embody LOVE, thereby fulfilling the mission and purpose of their Soul. Mary Magdalene and Jesus both became fully Divine and fully Human which is the goal of the Kabbalistic process.
To learn more about the Kabbalah and it’s connect with the Magdalene/Christ story, check out The Order of Melchizedek Alchemist Training created and facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby.
“Tell me what you think about the possibility that Mary Magdalene was the actual author of the Gospel attributed to John (and thereby the other writings attributed to John)?”
I love this question because it is quite possible that the writings that made it into canonical scripture were in fact written by Mary Magdalene, or at the very least were penned by one of the members of her community. Of course there is no possible way of researching, let alone proving, this theory. And yet, there is circumstantial evidence to support its possibility:
The gospel attributed to John:
Is unique among the gospels in the way it presents the Jesus story, offering stories and teachings that are not present within any of the other canonical scriptures. Rather than a semi-historical narration of the life and teachings of Jesus, John represents a reflective history, one clearly based in a deeply intimate and mystical experience of Jesus and the Christ.
John is the sole gospel to include the stories of: The Wedding Feast at Cana, the Samaritan Woman at the Well, the Last Supper Discourses, Jesus’ teachings on Oneness, The Resurrection of Lazarus, Mary Anointing Jesus, all of which figure prominently in the archetypal images related to Mary Magdalene “the Bride.”
The Book of Revelation, also attributed to John, is a genre unto itself, presenting an allegorical story of humanity’s journey toward liberation and the key to that inner liberation. Again, Mary Magdalene, (as The Whore of Babylon, The Woman with the crown of 12 stars with the moon under her feet and clothed in the sun, The Bride) plays a symbolic and starring role.
The Letters attributed to John are perhaps the most beautiful exhortations on the profound love of God and the relationship we are invited into the Love of God with Christ as our guide.
Finally, it is John who places Mary Magdalene is the singular, starring role of not only facilitating but also being witness to Jesus’ resurrection, and then being commissioned and ordained by Jesus to carry the good news of the resurrection to the other disciples, and to continue his ministry of love in his stead.
If Mary Magdalene did not pen the writings attributed to John, it is highly likely that their author was very close to Mary and to the ministry she continued after Jesus’ death, for according to the non-canonical Gospel of Mary, she was the one who understood the fullness of Jesus’ teachings, especially his teachings on Oneness.
Don’t take my word for it, however. I invite you to read the writings attributed to John and decide for yourself.
My whole entire life, there is only one thing I have ever wanted from you…and that was to be heard.
To have my needs heard so they could be met.
Not just the basic needs for food, clothing and shelter…
But the deeper needs:
The need to feel loved.
The need to feel safe.
The need to feel seen and accepted for who I really am…..all of me.
The need to feel supported in all I hoped and dreamed for…especially my vision for the world.
To be heard beyond the physical hearing to the deepest levels and to feel held and supported there:
when I was afraid but too afraid to speak it.
when I was feeling alone but dared not admit it.
when I felt abandoned, rejected, condemned but thought I might die for revealing it.
When I was puzzled because I didn’t fit in, for the simple “infraction” of daring to speak the truth.
To be heard beyond that which is carried by sound:
when I felt the excruciating pain of being an outsider and the loneliness of always having to find my place in another new world.
when I was poor and in need of help.
when I was excruciatingly alone in those years of abuse, where I was silenced and scorned …and when it frightened me to death.
during the many nights I cried myself to sleep knowing I was completely and utterly alone with not one soul to help me, but myself.
during the decades of existing in this world only by the sheer force of will.
during the dark days when it took every force of that will to pull myself out of bed to face another dark day.
when I found the courage to choose another path, but was terrified nonetheless.
In those fleeting moments of joy when the world stood still and for just that single moment all was right in the world and I could shout to the world that the words he spoke really were true and that everything was indeed made of love.
During the excruciating heartache and loss that nearly broke me a second time…but which against all odds I survived….and after that loss, having to find a new path with absolutely no map to guide me, in a world that was unable to hear the voice of a woman who spoke only the words given to her which were the words of love.
But now, centuries have past and I find that my desire still remains. In a world that is deaf to the call of love, seeking only words that flatter and praise, in a world that has turned its back on the intuitive sensibilities of women, preferring the warring talk of men, in a world that seeks after the material, condemning anything that might speak of sacrifice so that the needs of all might be met, I find still all I really want is to be heard:
To be heard for who I am.
To be heard for the gifts I bring into the world
And to be heard for the message of love that was once shown to me and that I was asked, in the most painful moment of my life, to carry forth into the world.
Will it be in this lifetime that I am finally heard or will humanity perish because of its inability to hear?
Read more of Mary Magdalene’s secret teachings in my book Only Love. Click on the image below to learn more.