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ARTICLES: 5/22/05


By Bonnie Waters

What is the truth of the Marys? The more I seek to solve the mystery, the more murky things become. There is a segment of a gnostic poem (The Thunder, Perfect Mind) that brings up certain questions:

For I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin....

Does this poem literally mean that the Madonna and the whore are one, or is it simply an effort in general terms toward the uniting of opposites?

From the efforts of Talmudic texts that seem to refer to the lives of Jesus and Mary, but confuse the issue with puns and putdowns, to the efforts of Christians who had their own agendas of what to focus on as doctrine rather than metaphor (Paul), what to leave in and what to take out (The Council of Nicea), and in general, a patriarchal society and religious structure which strove to keep women in a subservient position, we are left with references that blur and confuse these women who were so important in Jesusí life. Why the confusion of Maryís in bible text, the confusion of disciples at the tomb, at the cross? How can there be such attention to detail to avoid the confusing of menís names in the bible, and so little to the women closest to Jesus? Can this be a simple oversight, or was there a concerted effort by different factions to prevent disclosure of the truth?

Some have said that one Mary was divided in two by the church, in order to make the point: no sex - good, sex - bad. (The sexual Mary was a whore, and the immaculate Mary above reproach.) Others have said that there are, indeed, two Maryís, and that Mary Magdalene was, in fact, Jesusí wife, which would also be something that a church based in a celibate priesthood, might wish to keep from being known. At the least, the church has besmirched the reputation of Mary Magdalene, and put The Virgin Mother on a pedestal .

In human terms, motherhood and sexuality cannot be mutually exclusive, at least for your average incarnate human female. It doesnít even make sense to think in those terms. If there were rare instances of immaculate conception, where a woman didnít need a human male to become pregnant (Elizabeth, Mary), how does that apply to women in general? Does the honoring of The Virgin Birth set the standard for women who must become mothers in the usual physical, human way? What is the truth of the standard itself as applied to womankind? It would seem to be an effort to keep women from fully experiencing their sexuality.

How did women lose the power of their own sexuality?

Some would say that the sexual freedom of women was given up by women themselves, who misused their very powerful abilities in previous lifetimes, and now, through karma, had to experience the other side of the coin.

Some would say that it was taken from them by the "powers that be" (men) from the times during and after Yeshuaís lifetime; that it was known that sexuality had the power to connect one to a higher awareness; that women, particularly, had this ability; and that in order to keep the common person (again, women, particularly) under control and "in the dark" it was necessary to cut them off from this gateway to enlightenment through guilt and shame, and laws and customs that would inflict harm on any who went outside the laws of men.

Perhaps the truth is a mixture of both...or perhaps it was simply a necessary exploration into the broad spectrum of duality. Aside from gaining an understanding of the process that has taken place to bring us to this point, I donít think it matters...it is time for women to bring themselves back to wholeness. The dichotomy must be healed. It is time for women to own all of their powers, including sexuality. It is time for women, as well as men, to accept the right, and the sacredness, of their own sexuality. The healing of men also depends on this realization. Let the representation of the Maryís be united once more; whether literally or figuratively speaking, let the Madonna and the whore become one, let us all become whole.

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