Temple of Delight
Mary Magdalene continued, “As I mentioned before, I began training into the path of mystery of the God/Goddess, at an early age. In our time however, this was completely normal and it is a shame that the ensuing culture chose to wipe out that knowledge completely.
Nonetheless, in the time we lived, there were still temples devoted to the Goddess, as there were temples devoted to the God. There were temples that venerated both, and this was where I found myself. The training was still separate, as each gender, which are different energies, needs to cultivate its own power for the magic (the effect of your intention) to be effective. The practice of gender separation is often misunderstood in your time and land. It has been used as a means to split, discredit and dis-empower women. But in ours, this was well understood.
Women spent time in the temple devoted to the Goddess, the Sacred Feminine form of the all-creative universal Source. Men devoted time in their temple, which we will not spend much time discussing. The remnants are written about elsewhere and still in great evidence today.
The Temple we shared was a delight. The building was made of earth: rounded, smooth, and golden like the sun. Its thick walls kept us cool in hot weather and warm from fire in the cooler times. Benches were carved out of the walls with gemstones embedded in the cornices and around the windows. By the light of candles and oil lamps, the stones shimmered and sparkled with radiant light. Around the perimeter were hand-molded niches, cozy sitting spots for private contemplation. Light tubes were in the roof, to bring in light and vent air and fumes—a simple mechanism to keep out foul weather. This was a beautiful and hallowed place, and women came here for generations.
The closest your time has come to understanding this is in the book The Red Tent, though ours was not a tent but an actual women’s temple: blessed, holy space. We gathered at sacred times of wisdom, the seasonal quarters of the year and cycles of the moon for prayer and devotion. Whether one was dedicated to the path of Spirit, as I was to be, or devoted to home and family, as were most, women came during the time of their monthly moon-blood flow to center on ourselves.
We knew that during this time, women needed to rest and recuperate to rebalance from the usual caring concerns for others. It is a monthly period (literally) of gathering to naturally withdraw and re-align with our inner being, and with the creator Goddess who is like us.
You may feel this innately, as many do. You live in a culture that has lost this wisdom, and as a result drives women as hard as men. You have products designed to minimize this holy time. You are encouraged to stamp it from awareness or existence, if at all possible.
During the moon flow days, as the women would re-center themselves, the village community would naturally refocus as well. In smaller groups, women would generally bleed in cycle with the moon together, though not all did. Just being in the company of our sisters, those bleeding out of cycle would come into rhythm. There are biological, practical, and spiritual reasons for this, which are interconnected for us. There were women in the village who participated in life as usual. But most of us were together.
This meant that throughout this time, the men and children had a break, too! Rules and practices for prayer, child-rearing, and housekeeping were relaxed. Life was looser and moved in a different time-frame. (Though, in general, time then was much different than we observe now.)
Those who were past bleeding —our wise women—would often join us in the Temple, as this was a time for all to convene. Women are community. We do things as a tribe or in a group. Look at the teenage girls; they are always in a huddle together. Do you not notice that, even now, among your women friends? When you can, you do things together. Tasks and activities were meant to be shared. “Many hands make light work,” as the saying goes.
This is practical wisdom, born of biology. We see this sorely lacking in your culture. You become more and more isolated in your separate homes and lives. The issues and diseases of your time are largely all functions of disconnection—with Self, Soul, Source, and sisters.
Rituals of Life
Our “moon time,” if you will, is time for us to deeply connect and care for ourselves and each other. It is then that we remember, beyond the busyness (and business) of our daily lives, what really matters and what needs attention. From here we are able to tend and minister to our heart and Soul needs—for ourselves and each other. This is profound nourishment. We see little evidence of this practice of innate care for self and sister in your land. This spiritual act is practical and biological as our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits are united.
There were many rituals and practices of the Temple that were part of our monthly and seasonal cycles. We would come together for these. We also had many traditions that were part of our daily life, which we will share with you. Some are already incorporated in your life and teaching, so you will find them oddly familiar. There are reasons you have been drawn to this path, your calling. The skills you have acquired are no accident, as they are a part of your history throughout your lifeline.
One of these daily practices is the tracking of your hormonal or blood cycle. This one is a key. It is amazing to notice how few women of your day and culture have any awareness of their own bodily rhythms. Tracking your cycle is tremendously empowering, to learn to be aware of your biology and how it relates to mood. This is a potent tool for managing conception and pregnancy—wisdom that has been almost entirely lost. How ironic that this knowledge now seems like quaint folklore, yet in truth it is a key to women’s empowerment.
As I digested this experience, I recalled our previous dialogues. I realized that we continued almost exactly where we were previously. With a few reminders, a little bit of overlap, and some embellishment. The repetition was validating and somehow made it feel more real. I felt light, clear, serene, and yet energized by what transpired. I was amazed that it was happening. Our communication also felt totally natural and normal. It felt really right, even destined. Thus we began, yet again.
© Claire Sierra 2014 The Magdalene Path MagdalenePath.com