May Day is Mary Day

May Day! May Day!

How did that come to be a call of distress? Most recently in the early 1900s May 1 has been a day of protests, supporting worker’s rights and unions.

That’s curious, because prior to that May Day was Mary Day, in honor of the Blessed Mother.

And  perhaps to secretly to honor the other Mary, the Magdalene, as the leader and “Apostle to the Apostles” she was known to be.

This holiday was pasted on top of the Celtic celebration of the blooming of Spring called Beltane. (Think maypoles and maidens.)

What is blossoming in you?

An Uprising of Hearts in Consciousness

Creating this more beautiful world our hearts know is possible apparently takes more of our input and energy than we previously realized!  Almost daily I’m assaulted with potentially life destroying changes being attempted by the US government than I ever thought possible.

It’s exhausting but it’s heartening, too. So much good and beauty are emerging: a blooming of consciousness, which we no longer take for granted.

As we wake up and get involved, it’s rewarding to see. Spiritual growth now is not only in our meditation/prayers but also within our communities.

So on this Mary Day I’m reflecting about the Magdalene and Madonna. They lived in dire times, too. They faced tyrannical political systems. And knew from their training as priestesses that they were called to something that was a radical departure from the fundamentalist mainstream traditions of their times. (Sound familiar?)

But they were riding a deeper current and inviting others along. Some joined the journey and lives were changed, other resisted and brought it to a tragic (though not surprising), end that became a beginning which rocked our world.

Unpacking Deeper Messages of the Madonna & Magdalene

In spite of my Irish/Italian Catholic upbringing, I see Mother Mary as the quintessential Maiden and Mother Goddess. Mary is part of a long lineage sweeping back in time. We know little of her as the Crone–the wise woman–though she lived out her wisdom years after JC in Ephesus, which was a goddess temple center in the middle East. (Did you know that?)

Maiden, mother, crone: the traditional goddess triad. But I always have felt—perhaps because I am not a mother—it was misleading and incomplete. (Think of the four moon phases that these archetypes are associated with: New, Waning, Full, Waxing.)

There’s a fourth archetype, and she’s been hidden—the priestess. But we see her in daily life: healing people, running meetings, creating things, and managing others.

While Mother Mary, the Madonna, certainly could represent this, that’s not the role we know her in. Alas her story has not been fully or completely told.

Mary Magdalene—which means the tower and leader of the flock—now there is a priestess. Which is why, I suspect, she is getting so much attention lately.

As Women Rise, the Priestess Leads

Priestesses have been written out of our spiritual heritage for quite some time. Why is that? Are the male power structures afraid of women at the helm?

Magdalene embodies the unseen, the misunderstood, misrepresented power of the Sacred that I call Feminine Soul. She’s the leader we want to be, but often are not heard, chosen or acknowledged for.

She represents an embodied, sensual (even, dare we say, sexual) woman of power. That’s been perceived as dangerous (and hence we’ve not seen much of) for several thousand years.

Instead she was maligned as a prostitute—something that is not in the Bible, but contrived by a 4th C. pope) yet continues to this day. (Despite the the Roman Catholic church revision in 1969 and again, last year when her sainthood was elevated.)

When women are shamed as sexually we are effectively marginalized and eliminated as voices of authority. With Magdalene silenced, we lost our voice and power spiritually, not to mention the damage to our sexuality.

Enter the Archetype of Priestess

Repressing women has had devastating consequences, not just in religious leadership, but on our planet and society. We’ve been tipping into extreme unbalance. Our health has suffered: look at the epidemic levels of chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress and insomnia that we’re accommodating as women.

We’re in a time where the world needs the wisdom of women. Women are speaking up and letting their voices be heard, even when it’s scary, inconvenient and unpopular. Hence the Climate Change and Women’s Marches—largest peaceful political gatherings in the U.S.—and women running for local/state offices in record number.

It’s time for the priestess in you to emerge as a leader of your tribe. (However you may define it.) While that may mean leading rituals, or a congregation, like a priest, more likely you may heal and weave your magic in other ways.

Perhaps it’s the main focus of your work (as a massage therapist, coach or acupuncturist) or an aspect of your duties (as a manager, friend, mother, spouse.) As an everyday priestess, the work you may be less obvious, but no less important or effective.

When we look deeper, Madonna & Magdalene show us the way, with compassionate leadership and infinite patience. It’s time to unveil and receive their Truth and archetypal wisdom—it’s hiding in plain sight. As we accept and embody their message, we uncover this potent magic in ourselves.

They’re pointing the way. What we each do with it is part of the journey.

I’ll see you there,


PS Writing this inspires me to offer a Madonna & Magdalene Mysteries experience in  early June. Explore the deeper mysteries about these 2 powerful women, their messages and what they mean for you. We’ll use meditation, art & guided activities to enhance your experiential embodiment. Now vote: In Person or Virtual? half, full or 2 days? Email me and let me know

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About the Author:

Claire Sierra, MA, LFT, is the author of The Magdalene Path – Awaken the Power of Your Feminine Soul ©. An Arts Therapist and True Purpose™ Master Coach, Claire has guided thousands of women who feel lost & confused about their purpose, to use creative arts to connect to their divine guidance for clarity & confidence about their true path. She’s led creative soul-centered workshops, retreats and private sessions for over 2 decades. To support greater re-connection she and her husband recently became proprietors of the Balch Hotel, a boutique destination retreat in the Columbia River Gorge, in Oregon. (visit www.BalchHotel.com) For free resources on your path, go to: www.MagdalenePath.com for sample chapters, meditations, audio interviews and more.

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