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Source: (consider it) Thread: The sacred feminine
the Pookah
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Well I went to the library & checked the archeologist William S. Dever book "Did God Have a Wife"

He says Asherah worship went underground in post-Exilic Judaism. It surfaced in magic & obsessions with the demon Lilith & finally

burst out publically with the Zohar. Kabbalism The Shekinah is lauded as God's consort, the Bride, with erotic imagery of coition.

So Asherah worship led to Jews having the Matronit, Shekinah & Christians Mary.

hope this is uselful, very fascinating,
the Pookah

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Mikethealtarboy
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One thing I've found peculiar about the "Sacred Feminine" issue, is that is seems to miss the dynamic of the Christian myth. It presumes that the divine *should* be expressed as male/female. His point, with his sex-rite, seemed to be not that sex *can* reflect the divine, but rather that the divine reflects sex!

This is not *completely* thought out, but as a gay man, I just don't see that to be the case. I feel like I embody the masculine/feminine just fine within myself, and don't need a "complement" in the opposite gender to complete me or bring about fruitfulness. I don't think "God" does either. The dicotomy that *is* expressed in Christianity is parent/child, or as Jungians would say, "senex/puer". I see them as genderless. They get the "masculine" term, because it's gramatically inclusive. (As in spanish, when "los padres" means dad *and* mom - not multiple dads!)

Or maybe I'm completely off base! I'm just throwing it out there. [Yipee]

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universalist
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Re/ The Sacred Feminine...

My feeling regarding this is that the Sacred Feminine should be valued and loved in every female, as so ought the Sacred Male. Diversity working in Unity...perfect balance.

Dan Brown's moral point is just this...due to our cultures and religions we have lost much of the Sacred Female in favor of a male-dominated hierarchy model.

Augustine and a part of the early church began this out-of-balance trek with a distorted version of the creation story. The first "sin" was committed by woman and she now deserves to be "ruled over" by her husband. Sin is transmitted genetically through the woman unto every generation. Such doctrines as the immaculate conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary were erected to keep Mary from the "stain" of "original sin". Such would be laughable, were it not for the pain that such teachings has inflicted uncessarily on women over the centuries.

Even St Paul had not ridden himself of such distorted belief, commanding women to "keep silence in the churches"

The Church in Exile (Spong) values women eqully with men, their intuitive gifts and ability to wield authority without dominance or power...

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noelper
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universalist:
quote:
....intuitive gifts and ability to wield authority without dominance or power...
The intuitive qualities of the female have been recognised, but what on earth is authority without dominance or power - other than a figment or unrealistic ideal ? ?

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Nil, nada, rien

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madteawoman
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quote:
Originally posted by universalist:
Re/ The Sacred Feminine...

Dan Brown's moral point is just this...due to our cultures and religions we have lost much of the Sacred Female in favor of a male-dominated hierarchy model.


Where on earth in the DVC does Brown give us an alternative to this model? Oh that's right, when he 'allows' Mary to be a good little woman who gets married and has children.

And noelper, I'm with you on the authority/dominance question. Seems to me that is the kicker in the gospel story that is continualy overlooked: the idea of servant leadership. I always thought if the churches took that seriously there would be no problem with women in leadership. [Roll Eyes]

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Listen carefully to my words, and let this be your consolation.
Bear with me, and I will speak; then after I have spoken, mock on.


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Choirboy
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quote:
Originally posted by universalist:
Augustine and a part of the early church began this out-of-balance trek with a distorted version of the creation story. The first "sin" was committed by woman and she now deserves to be "ruled over" by her husband.

I think you'd have trouble pulling this out of Augustine's writings. But feel free to quote something to prove me wrong. I am willing to learn.
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noelper
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Dunno about Augustine, but Eve's misdemeanour in the garden and subsequently 'deserved' punishment of subservience, was taught to me as Sunday School fodder.

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Nil, nada, rien

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the Pookah
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A good example of feminine power would be Deborah,the prophetesss in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Judaism has it better than Christianity in that respect, Eve wasn't responsible, they both were. Sex isn't sinful but a positive Mitzvah - a blessing.
As for God being genderless, well Mike I agree you are complete as you are. I think of myself also as having male & female qualities but in reality God is always depicted as guy & it's very tiresome for women to be totally written out of religion.
I once saw a pic of an interreligious conference in a Buddhist magazine; it consisted solely of men; was I depressed....it's pretty appalling to be 1/2 of the human race and just insvisible.
the Pookah

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Mikethealtarboy
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I'd like to point out that Augustine didn't start male dominance- Patriarchy did. And it'd been going on a few thousand years before him. ;-)

And whether or not Original Sin is transmitted by a woman or otherwise, I don't think it's either laughable or painful, simply a statement of the way of things. It's not much different that the eastern notion of Maya, or Illusion.

The Pookah - Or Judith!
I've been thinking about this in terms of Inclusive Language too. It seems to me the only way to really balance it back out is to simply only use one set of pronouns, like the Finnish do. Hes and Shes are all refered to the same.

I'm certainly sorry for the way woman have been excluded for so long from so many areas. I hope we can bring back some honest balance during our time here.

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les@BALM
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Whoever she is, she sounds good to me [Biased]

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il sole d'Italia mi è rimasto nel cure
Italia campioni del mondo ****

Tiggs the cat.

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noneen
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quote:
Dan Brown's moral point is just this...due to our cultures and religions we have lost much of the Sacred Female in favor of a male-dominated hierarchy model.
The idea of the holy grail being a womb is not unique to Mary of Magdelene - it was first applied to Mary, mother of Jesus.

Catholic theology speaks of Marys womb as the 'holy of holies' - the dwelling place of God, the new ark of the new Covenant. Hence many older cathedrals are named in her honour(Our Lady, Mary etc), since the cathedral holds the body of Christ (Eucharist) as Mary did. She is even referred to in some old literature as the true grail - her womb being the grail or cup that held the blood of Christ.
Mary of Magdelene might well have been a woman who married Jesus. However if you were looking for an image of the sacred feminine, surely the woman who choose to say 'yes', and whose womb carried and birthed God would be at least equally as vital and engaging, as the woman that married God and carried the seed of God.

So - I'm wondering if our conversations about DVC and the 'sacred feminine' are about woman power or about men and women united in sex.
- What is the difference between those two understandings.
- Is the image of Mary saying yes, not more empowering for womens understanding of themselves as sacred, than the image of Mary of Magdelene becoming important through her marriage to an important man?

... am genuinely curious to hear opinions on this !!!

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... 'but Father, Jesus drank wine at Cana and danced' ... 'Not in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, he didn't', Father replied

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noneen
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sorry to double post - missed edit window.
just wanted to edit so i didn't sound like i thought the hero-worship of Mary is OK - it drives me mad!!! however, the truth behind the gaudiness is at least as convincing as the Magdelene stuff!!

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... 'but Father, Jesus drank wine at Cana and danced' ... 'Not in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, he didn't', Father replied

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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by SteveTom:
The Church elevated Mary to the role of a virtual goddess, the mother of God, the bearer of Christ, mediator between God and man, an object of prayer and worship, the Queen of Heaven.

quote:
Originally posted by noneen:
The idea of the holy grail being a womb is not unique to Mary of Magdelene - it was first applied to Mary, mother of Jesus.

Catholic theology speaks of Marys womb as the 'holy of holies' - the dwelling place of God, the new ark of the new Covenant. Hence many older cathedrals are named in her honour(Our Lady, Mary etc), since the cathedral holds the body of Christ (Eucharist) as Mary did. She is even referred to in some old literature as the true grail - her womb being the grail or cup that held the blood of Christ.

One thing which struck me about the book was the absence of Our Lady. The only reference is to French minstrels singing lays about `Our Lady' but that is taken to be about Mary Magdalene!

I found the whole `sacred feminine' (and divine goddess -- as opposed to the undivine goddess?) stuff tedious and not at all liberating. When he was describing the role of sex being that in reaching orgasm men's minds go blank and so they can see God, I was thinking, so what about women? I'm more than just a useful tool for seeing God. I also feel that seeing sex as a way to God actually devalues what sex is because it stops it being about the two people expressing their love and commitment and makes it about something else.

Carys

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the Pookah
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Hmm, why do you see yourself as a tool Carys? Sex takes two to be something more than a mere act - Taoists indeed see it as a path of wholeness.

MM is to my mind more important as she was Jesus's chief disciple & in DVC spouse. This mirrors the idea of God having a spouse, whether you call it the Shekinah or Asherah, who indeed is the spouse of YWHW, see my previous post.

So Dan Brown's book hits a nerve as half of spirituality whether you regard it as the Jungian feminine in yourself or your physical femininity is entirely denied in the current Monotheistic religions...
the Pookah

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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by the Pookah:
Hmm, why do you see yourself as a tool Carys? Sex takes two to be something more than a mere act - Taoists indeed see it as a path of wholeness.

I don't. My point was that Brown's description of sex and the sacred feminine came across to me as the woman being merely a tool. I was saying I'm far more than that.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

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the Pookah
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Carys, well the point is - sex makes men see god-dess & women are the Goddess. That's the point that Dan Brown is making & which reverberates so strongly.
The Virgin Mary is more of a 'tool' in the sense that her womb is important but she isn't Jesus's partner or even top follower.
Just contrast this with the Goddess Isis and Horus. Isis is a profoundly important goddess even though she is portrayed as Horus's mother & indeed the Virgin & child statues are based on the Isian prototypes..
If you want to see a true paaen to the Goddess just read Apuleius's "Golden Ass" the section where he has a revelation of Isis. Magnificent.
the Pookah

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by the_raptor:
The sacred feminine bit was the weakest part of the DVC. Having been a pagan it was not shocking or very interesting at all. Mary Magdelene was still presented as being the wife of Jesus, which doesn't make her very central. Dan Brown should have gone one step further and made Mary Magdelene the leader/daughter of God and had Jesus be her husband or just a bloke that knicked her ideas/was the acceptable presentation of those ideas to a patriarchial society.

Now that would have lead to decent burnings of Brown in effigy. ^^

Well, you missed an important point in the book--Mary Magdalene was supposed to lead the Church, not Peter!

And there are plenty of books--both fiction and (supposed?) fact--that explore the other options you mentioned!

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Mikethealtarboy:
One thing I've found peculiar about the "Sacred Feminine" issue, is that is seems to miss the dynamic of the Christian myth. It presumes that the divine *should* be expressed as male/female. His point, with his sex-rite, seemed to be not that sex *can* reflect the divine, but rather that the divine reflects sex!

This is not *completely* thought out, but as a gay man, I just don't see that to be the case. I feel like I embody the masculine/feminine just fine within myself, and don't need a "complement" in the opposite gender to complete me or bring about fruitfulness. I don't think "God" does either. The dicotomy that *is* expressed in Christianity is parent/child, or as Jungians would say, "senex/puer". I see them as genderless. They get the "masculine" term, because it's gramatically inclusive. (As in spanish, when "los padres" means dad *and* mom - not multiple dads!)

Or maybe I'm completely off base! I'm just throwing it out there. [Yipee]

For me, it's really, really important that the Divine includes Feminine. For the past 10-15 years, I've only been able to relate to God as She--and I was heading that way long before.

FWIW, the "grammatically inclusive" terms really aren't. The US has sadly backslidden on non-sexist language...but we knew better for a while.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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mousethief

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GK you might find it interesting to read Bulgakov on the uncreated divine Wisdom, the feminine aspect which IS God, and in some mysterious way ties the 3 persons of the Trinity together (for Bulgakov, anyway). The book I'm thinking of is called The Bride of the Lamb.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Golden Key
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Thanks, MT. I like Sophia stuff, and Shekinah, etc.

[Smile]

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the Pookah
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MT great recommendation;
I love Bulgakov "The Master and Margarita" was gripping. The Russians are sublime on Sophia, in fact if I remember correctly there was a theological movement about it but cannot remember..
And Mary Magdalene is termed "Apostle to the Apostles', the Russians do seem much more holistic in terms of the sacred feminine.
the Pookah

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