Most of us love weddings because they are an affirmation of love not only of two people but the love of family and an affirmation of community as well. I just returned from the south of France where my family was privileged to share the festivities of a country wedding at a 16th century chateau in the Aveyron region, a less known but absolutely lovely area northwest of Provence. This wedding was truly a demonstration of our rising global connectedness. The bride was from Rodez, the groom was from San Diego and now they live and work in New York City. All their friends were from diverse backgrounds and in similarly multi-national relationships. We are finding partners everywhere on this planet.
My husband and I took a side journey to a small hilltop town in the foothills of the Pyrenees called Rennes-le-Chateau which is steeped in mystery and made famous by the Da Vinci Code. After following a tree lined road along the Aude River, we drove several miles up a narrow winding path to the village and explored the Tour de Magdala and the tiny museum. The whole area south of Toulouse, called Languedoc, was the seat of the Cathars whose Gnostic beliefs made them the first target of the inquisition. The controversy over the origins of a line of kings, called the Merovingians, who claimed their bloodline through the child of Mary and Jesus resurfaced in the 21st century. Apparently this heresy was so dangerous that it warranted wholesale slaughter of Cathar families in the thirteenth century.
What interests me about the possibility that Mary was not only Jesus' most important disciple but also his partner is that it gives us a perspective on the nature of true partnership. Unfortunately, we'll never know the truth of it, but I choose to believe that this couple lived, taught and had a child together because it makes more sense. Celibacy was not acceptable in the Jewish culture, especially for rabbis. Sexual activity only became maligned by the church as a disgraceful necessity in marriage, somewhere in the 4th century C.E. (If you want to read more about this perspective on Mary Magdalene, check out The Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird.)
By returning Mary Magdalene to her rightful place in history; as a partner to Jesus and an important teacher in her own right, who continued to teach while she lived in France after his death, it offers women a powerful archetype, that of a strong spiritual leader capable of all the roles women play: career woman, spouse and mother.
It also elevates sexuality between loving partners to the highest level: the joining of the spiritual and the erotic. I spoke in my last blog about the three possible expressions of Sacred Marriage: a sacred ritual between representatives of God and Goddess, a blending of the masculine and feminine within the self, and finally a long-term committed relationship founded on a unique loving, erotic and co-equal partnership. This true partnership is an emerging model in our consciousness and it may take a lifetime to achieve but the journey is well worth it.
In the next blogs, I'll explore ways to heal old wounds and bad habits that hinder this co-equal partnership and also diminish our sexual relating. I will offer some wisdom from my years of experience to help you embrace ways that honor the Sacred Marriage, within yourself and with your partner.
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