In this lesson, we hear about The Maiden, the young Goddess, one who, I think, is often trusting and adventurous - such dangerous combinations!
The tragic story of Jesus strikes me as being true to that of a child of a very young girl, who appears to have little support at a desperate time in her life. When pregnant, she visits a cousin. One wonders where were her siblings, parents and close family at the time when she appears so alone and vulnerable and lacking confidence, support and protection!
I have a fascination for Mary Magdelene and was an early reader of the Holy Blood and Holy Grail and have read around this topic for many years. Perhaps she was a priestess, from a pagan land, who blessed his feet with her perfumed oil prior to his trial and death. New excavations in the Holy Land and historical investigations, provide new thinking about the title 'magdala' which means 'tower'. The Magdalene provided the disciples with money, and was first to visit the tomb after the burial of Jesus, so therefore, she had a privileged position within the family that would have been granted to only those women who washed and prepared the body of the deceased.
I believe Jesus was a rightful king, with royalty on both sides of his family, and that this was recognised at the crucifixion when the persecutors placed a crown of thorns on his head and a placard, INRI 'King of the Jews' on the cross itself. It has been suggested that the Aramaic word for 'carpenter' can also mean 'architect'. Many of the disciples were not poor, for instance, Peter was a fisherman who had his own boat, so would have been considered a rich man of his time. I read in 'Jesus the Magician' by Morton Smith, that there is an ancient story about a Roman soldier who raped Mary to humiliate the Jews and prevent Mary from bearing the future King. It is said the Roman solider was from Gaul and had red hair; Jesus is often shown with red hair in the earliest paintings. What a story!
Link to information about this book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_the_Magician
The Roman Catholic Church maligned Mary Magdalene, by saying she was a prostitute. There is nothing in the New Testament to suggest this! All we know is that Jesus cast out seven demons from her, and it is wrong for the church fathers to assume her demons related to something sinful or sexual.
Jesus surely had a normal mother, from what we can surmise, and that she had sex in the normal way with the father of Jesus, whose name we are told in the gospels, was Joseph. Mary was a virgin when they met, as she was a young girl, perhaps 14 years old. Why the Church implies that she remained a virgin, even after having a baby, is strangely manipulative. Many other religions of their day had Gods that were born miraculously of a virgin. However, these are myths, a fantasy, and the Christian church does an injustice by insisting on this as dogma and doctrine. There is huge exageration of the need for women's sexuality to be hidden, oppressed, denied, in their teachings, which is appalling for an all male hierarchy, to see women from this prejudiced viewpoint. What could they know of women's issues, or in what way does their teaching demonstrate that they care about pregnancy, prostitution and other matters that relate exclusively to women?
The course begins with a section about Christianity and Mary, Mother of Jesus as a Maiden, certainly she was a young girl when she was betrothed to Joseph when she got pregnant by an 'angel'. Was she raped, I wonder? Is there a parallel with Kore, raped by her uncle Hades. In 'The Missing Family of Jesus' by Tobias Churton, Mary is described as a 'temple slave'.
Christianity is an interesting place to start with me, as for many generations my ancestors devoted their life to Roman Catholicism and I honour them in their beliefs. I think this religion is corrupt and exploitative of the very poorest. The Pope appears to me as a Roman Emperor exploiting the poor through fear and oppression. Their priests take vows of celibacy that they know they cannot honour, yet maintain a "holier than thou" image that is a lie. They are known for abusing children, especially choir and altar boys. They have homosexual relationships with each other, and they have been known to target married women for private sexual liasons, so that any child will be brought up as though it is legitimate. And they have the audacity to insist on being called 'father'! They live in the best house in the village and a housekeeper does their shopping and cooking and cleaning, as though a grown man with little responsibilities cannot do this for themselves. They often smoke, drink and gamble, and have very little duties, beyond marriage and christening parties and funeral wakes. It is scandalous! The patriarchs are narcissistic, power hungry, grandiose, and they have used their position to cause fear and terror in the minds of ignorant people for two thousand years. One aspect their teaching was that babies who died without baptism, would be buried at the crossroads alongside criminals. Consider for a moment the distress of the parent, who, for numerable reasons could not organise a baptism, perhaps due to illness. Thinking their child, their brother or sister, would not be allowed in Heaven was both sadistic and a lie. Their role in receiving 'confession' gives them an immensely powerful position with everyone who attends the church and is open to huge abuse. It is evil that these roles of great privilege are exploited. This is not to say that many Roman Catholic people are not caring and devoted to all kinds of kindness and compassion. I think it would be a good idea for Roman Catholics to read the Bible, and in this way become aware of the manner in which their religion oppresses adherents. Their dreadful misogny is clearly apparant!
The course text raises good questions about Christian saints and the Goddess.
Of course, motherhood and fatherhood are the greatest role that anyone can have in life. Parenthood is a privilege. However, I am aware that our planet is becoming over populated with human beings, as for every human being a huge pollution problem arrives, and other species are dying out as our species increases.
Innana/Astarte are Goddess figurines found in Israel. We know Jesus spent many years in Egypt and in Israel where non Jewish beliefs were popular, even highly sexualised religions. Even today, young girls are sexualised, and maligned by boys. Sexualised videos of pop stars that young girls idolise are made by business men because sex sells and girls are used to make money for large corportations.
The Universe is a place of mostly space, dark matter, a few rocks and gasses, our very own Milky Way galaxy, has at its centre, a Black Hole. Our Universe might be limitless, eternal, and maybe there are an inifinte number of universes, but I know our unique planet Earth, that we depend on for food, water and air, is finite. I believe in both good and evil and between those polarities, a great grey area between. If you go far enough in one direction, you end up in its opposite position.
As a whole, is the human being a predator that will lie, steal, kill and destroy, or is it a caring and sharing species? I often wonder!
For more information about this course, visit: www.goddess-pages.co.uk