The first documented reference of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute was not until 594 C.E in a sermon by Pope Gregory. The Catholic Church has since, in 1969, officially repealed this declaration.
Mary’s gospel has been found, though a few pages are missing. Those are the pages that explain her teachings. We know that her teachings were of transforming powerful emotions (we know the what, but not the how).
The story line of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute is pervasive throughout our culture. If we have that one major detail wrong, imagine what else we are missing.
Did you know the way this would unfold?
Know before knowing how your story would be disguised?
Did you step into the circle, hands splayed in supplication,
ready to receive gifts of wisdom
in exchange for your dignity and your truth?
Or did they blindside you with
blasphemy and lies?
Was your spirit assaulted in the
twisting and reshaping of your story?
the sharp-edged words of Gregory’s sermon
piercing your spiritual flesh, nailing you to a cross
no one would witness
Do you weep?
longing for a time and place lost
to the translations of today,
when your feet walked dusty paths
alongside compassion and grace
when you were Mary of Magdala,
a woman of her own right, without context to man
How did this all end?
Had you called him when he came to you?
marched willingly into the depths of the underworld
to retrieve his spirit and bring him
again to the light,
an eternal remembrance
of his teaching,
an alchemy of sacred knowledge and love,
Did you mean to honor him for
the rest of history, or revive his soul
for the sake of your own?
Was it for love of us, or love of him?
Or did he come to you of his own desire?
Lay his legacy at your feet,
ask of you the responsibility of remembrance
Did you at first put up your hands in rejection,
back away in fear and suggest the burden
of truth was too great for you to carry?
Yet you braved the world
carried the resuscitation of his spirit
with your words,
faced mockery and disbelief and lies,
a defamation of historical carnage!
shamed before a congregation of millennia!
girls shriveling under the judgment of a thousand moons,
lining church walls and confessional prisons
desperately seeking through the pages and the lore
for anyone who
may look like them,
their sisters and aunties, their mothers and grandmothers
enslaved by existential sufferings,
misconstrued sexuality and stultified awakenings
Do you call to them from across the ether?
whisper your humanity into their ears,
sing for them the melody of your own gospel
come to them in dreams and
light the path of transformation –
of subjugation into strength,
grief into wisdom, fear into action
Do you build for them a step upon which to stand?
bury your wisdom into their bones,
infuse the truth of your own story into their cells so
when they are faced with the option of either
virgin or whore
these awakening women know,
they can be both – and everything in between.
Anne Fricke is a poet, author, storyteller, podcast host, wife, and mother. She lives in far Northern California, writes daily, and travels when she can. Raised by a strong, outspoken, agnostic mother in the Bible Belt, Anne was gratefully able to find her way to the Divine Feminine as a young woman, with little baggage attached. You can read more of her work at annefricke.com.