Tip Logo

Tip o’ the Week #93 - The Magdalene

Dear [firstname]

I am working on my eBook tentatively entitled, “Dowsing for the Divine," but I have also been in to something I felt I just had to share with you.


In the piece I wrote in 1999 about Daysigns, I wrote, "They are like dreams, only they happen during the day when we are “awake,” and it is Mother Nature’s way of speaking to those who have ears to hear. I had been working with an old friend, Sue Barnet, to dowse the energy leys of Glastonbury. We had been doing quite well, agreeing with each other most of the time as to how many and where the Energy Leys were; however, when we got to the Tor, it was like we couldn’t agree on anything. It felt like we were walking waist deep in treacle! She found centres here, I found them there. We just couldn’t agree. So we decided to take a daysign walk on the road that goes ‘round the base of the Tor to seek some guidance.

(One thing I need to say about divination is that you don’t always get the answer you seek, but you do get what is most important.)

"There was one plant that continued to capture my attention throughout and actually, ever since… It was “Lords and Ladies”. In Vermont (USA), we call its American cousin “Jack-in-the-Pulpit”. These Lord and Ladies attracted me at many points in our walk – and in particular, I was attracted to some of these plants (about one in ten) whose extended heart-shaped leaves looked like someone had painted them all over with little shiny black tar-like blotches.

Arum maculatum macula   Red Berries
Arum Maculatum with macula   The red light district.
(This is a different sub-species)

Arum maculatum is its Latin name. Arum is the genus, and it tells us that it is in the lily family. Maculatum tells us who this particular species really is... Maculatum. Is there a word in the English language that comes from that? “Macula” are the spots on the Sun. There are other similarly arcane words that came in the English language in the 14th century that speak to “spotted, blotted, besmirched, unclean, dirty.” While I don’t know of a word in common usage today that comes from maculatum, there is one today that means ‘not maculate’: ‘immaculate’.  And just to add to that besmirched image, in her final glory, this plants produces bright red berries symbolising the red light district.  Who was this?

Mary Magdalene

Some say that according to the Medieval Church, women could either aspire to be like the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) and she was the only one who really made it, or they were whores. Good choice, what? It was the same with making babies. Either you conceived them immaculately like the One-and-Only BVM did with the Holy Ghost, or you made them maculately like every one else, by doing something dirty (read: sex). So if the BVM is the Goddess representing immaculatio, who represents the Maculate Goddess, the Besmirched one? (Clue: She has a street named after her in Glastonbury.  It runs along one of the borders of the Abbey.) Answer: Mary Magdalen - the reformed prostitute. This was the major sign that I received from Mother Nature on that walk around the Tor.  She showed me that it is The Magdalen’s energy that surrounds the Tor. The Dark Mother encircles that magnificent high tower. If you are working with daysigns, if someone says, “Oh, that’s just a weed”, pay close attention.

Mary Magdalene

I’m reading a book about her that I am finding fascinating.  It is The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity. It's a revisionist history of the life of Jesus written from an academic point of view by Cynthia Bourgeault, an Episcopalian priest. I said revisionist because she brought the importance of Mary Magdalene to me in important ways I had never heard before.

What you see depends on your perspective. I just hadn't looked before at the time of Jesus and the early Church in the clear way this author presents it. Here in Glastonbury. "Maglin" (read: Magdalene) Street defines the west end of the Glastonbury Abbey grounds. She's here!  And she was much more important in the time of Jesus than the Church would have us believe.

Now, dear reader, you may be starting to think, "Oh no! Sig's not going to try to proselytise me is he?"  Don’t worry, I'm not a proselytute. I'm also not a Christian, but I do have close relationship with Jesus (and a number of other Spiritual teachers as well).

What excited me initially was Bourgeault's interpretation of the role the Magdalene played in Jesus' life and why and how the Early Church went about casting her out.  But it is the author's discussions of the philosophy and techniques that early Gnostics used that has spoken directly to my own eclectic spiritual path.

If you don't know much about this "dark" Goddess, I would encourage you to check Mary Magdalene out.


Works Cited:

Bourgeault, Cynthia. 2010. The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity. Boston, Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1-59030-495-2)


A Reminder:

On Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of July 2011, I'm running Earth Energies 5 BSD Advanced Earth Energies Dowsing weekend: Working with Power Centres and applying Geomantic Design. The venue is the Long Compton Village Hall, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, and is near the Rollrights stone circle where we will be working.

The cost is £149, and includes tea/coffee & lunches. ?For further Information & Booking, call 01684 576969 ?or email <info@britishdowsers.org>



Sig's sig
Sig Lonegren
MAG Webmaster
SunnyBank, 9 Bove Town
Glastonbury, Somerset
England  BA6 8JE
+44 (0)1458 835 818