Saturday, April 04, 2009
MARY MAGDALENE AND THE QUEEN OF SHEBA
When I began researching historical information about Mary Magdalene, little did I know that I was embarking on an odyssey of unraveling strands of history that most of the world does not know or understand. I agree with the statement James Cameron wrote in his Foreword to the book, The Jesus Family Tomb: “As a result of this twelve-year investigation, I have come to realize that history is a consensus hallucination. It is a myth upon which we all agree to agree.”
Mary Magdalene has been an enigma for over two thousand years. In the first four gospels her name is mentioned four times in the Book of Mark, three times in the books of Matthew and John and twice in the Book of Luke. I find it interesting that scores of books have been written about her and each one with the author’s interpretation and who and what she was from these references. In most authors’ interpretations, she has been assumed to be one of the ‘other’ women mentioned in the New Testament. Yet the real Mary Magdalene is unknown and even her background as given by most authors and scholars is based on unfounded suppositions.
Was Mary Magdalene a Hasmonean princess? Was she from the tribe of Benjamin? I have found nothing to indicate that this is true. “It is a myth upon which we all agree to agree.” In other words, if something is repeated over and over, the public accepts it as a truth when in actuality it has no foundation. From my perspective, the current information written about the Magdalene is based on recycled ignorance.
My own background is one of a woven tapestry of experiences. I became an ordained minister of Divine Science in 1981 and have since been a student of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment, an academy of the mind for over twenty years. One of the most important teachings I learned from Ramtha is not to accept his word, but to research and find out for myself.
When I first became interested in Mary Magdalene, I had few clues to go on. I had taken notes on the few tidbits Ramtha had mentioned about her. These were usually one-liners. The clues I had were that she was of royalty, she was Ethiopian, had black skin and red hair, one blue eye and one green eye and she was married to Jesus. They had two children; one a girl named Sarah and a boy named James. He also said she was an initiate; an initiate meaning that at that time she would have had to be in an ancient mystery school. One of the best explanations of a mystery school is from the Foreword in Grace Knoche’s book: The Mystery Schools. A Mystery school is a university of the soul, a school for the study of the mysteries of the inner nature of man and of surrounding nature. By understanding these mysteries, the student perceives his intimate relationship with divinity, and strives through self-discipline and devotion to become at one with his inner god. My quest was to verify this information.
I began reading every book I could find about Mary Magdalene and none of them had any real verification. I also have used the wonderful world of Internet. I learned that there are some Nubians today in Africa that has red hair and that it was not uncommon in the days of Mary Magdalene and Jesus. Several years ago I had a booth at the Los Angles Times Festival of Books and a number of Afro-Americans stopped to peruse and talk about my book, Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls. What I learned from them is that many Afro-Americans have always known Mary Magdalene was of black skin. I also learned that there are some who have the genetics of red hair in their family lineage that do not come from a Caucasian.
I also researched the ancient history of Ethiopia and learned that even today there is a city called Magdala in that country. I learned that the late Emperor Halle Selassie of Ethiopia claimed he was a descendent of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon through their son Menelik I. He also carried the title Lion of Judah and alleged he was a descendent of the same lineage of Jesus. The Ethiopian Kebra Negast also pays great homage to the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon and their son Menelik I. I was beginning to find threads or connections of possibilities that were beginning to coagulate whereas I could find none from the Hasmoneans or Tribe of Benjamin.
It is a reasonable assumption that if the memory of Mary Magdalene had been kept alive throughout the years that there had to be something great about her. It was Pope Gregory I who first labeled her a prostitute and the Catholic Church later recanted this. I realized more than ever that there had been a great omission in historical records and writings. I asked myself, why would memory of her life and deeds be suppressed? Could it be because the males who dominated early Christianity did not want her deeds and equality to Jesus to outshine their version of Christianity? It is a possibility. When I say equality, I am using this in the context of her royal status, her knowledge and perhaps her own ministry. Jesus was not the only initiate to become god-man realized and ascend. Another initiate of that era was Apollonius of Tyana who while in chains before a Roman court dropped his chains and disappeared only to reappear within moments in India. This is on record in old Roman documents.
The Eastern Orthodox Church has a myth that Mary Magdalene attended a banquet with the Emperor Tiberius presiding. He asked her about the resurrection of Jesus because he didn’t believe it to be so. She assured him that Jesus had ascended. Tiberius is said to have picked up a hard-boiled egg and handed it to her saying, “If you can turn this egg red, then I will believe you.” Mary Magdalene held the egg in her hand and gave him back a red egg. All myths are based on facts. Today it is said that the Eastern Orthodox Church reveres the red egg at the celebration of Easter.
In 2001 I went to France and learned even more about Mary Magdalene. I drove through the Languedoc region and in almost every small church, there was a black Madonna and many of the churches were dedicated to Mary Magdalene. When I went to the great cathedral in Chartres, I learned that one of the figures on the outside of the North Porch was the Queen of Sheba flanked on the jamb by King Solomon and Balaam. I asked myself why the Queen of Sheba and Solomon were honored in this way and of course this has led to more research. If one looks closely at the Queen, she is standing on the body of a small black person. I asked myself, could this mean that the Queen ruled over a nation of black-skinned people because she was one also?
The Chartres Cathedral was begun in 1194 and completed twenty-six later, which was a record for those days when they had no high-powered machinery. The architect for this cathedral is not known nor is the names of the artisans known. At the Amiens Cathedral in France there are also figures of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba on the South Portal. This cathedral was constructed beginning in 1218 and completed in 1269. The architect of this cathedral is known.
From my research there is a strong possibility that the Knights Templar were responsible for the creation of Chartres Cathedral using divine geometry and symbols in the forms of statues, carvings and the rose windows. I sensed the architect(s) was leaving a roadmap for those who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
What does this have to do with Mary Magdalene and the Queen of Sheba? When I began to research in earnest upon my return home, it has been similar to pulling Ariadne’s thread through a labyrinth of obscure references, misinformation, misinterpretations and lies. Here we have two powerful women from the Bible with very little information about their backgrounds. One might say that legends have grown up around them and now as we are moving into an age of enlightenment, the time has come for their greatness to be revealed.
One of the most popular verses from the Song of Solomon 1:5, I am black, but comely indicates the Queen of Sheba was of black-skin. There have been scholars who have attempted to learn more about this Queen of Sheba. There is no proof that there was a land of Sheba, so where was Sheba? From this question, my research became even more interesting. I will digress for a moment by saying that the languages of those ancient biblical days were dialects and it has been a challenge for research scholars to interpret the meanings. I went to a book by Kamal Salibi titled: The Bible Came From Arabia. According to his research using the Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Classical Arabic languages, he arrived at his conclusion of evidence that the twelve tribes of Israel had their origins in West Arabia and not Palestine. Heresy? In the eyes of some, yes.
According to Salibi’s comparison of languages, the original Jerusalem was in West Arabia along the Red Sea. This could possibly indicate that King Solomon lived in this area around the Red Sea and in some scholarly books I have read state that King Solomon had built a seaport on the Red Sea of what is now Saudi Arabia. . Therefore, there is a possibility that this is true because when a request was made from the Saudi government to have some archeological work done in the area in question near Mecca, what did the Saudi’s do? They bulldozed the entire area and now it could be eons before proof is unearthed. There is even a potential that Solomon’s Temple was actually located near Mecca. Could this be why the Prophet Mohammed’s sacred city is located at Mecca?
Two of my favorite scholar authors are Immanuel Velikovsky and Ralph Ellis. Velikovsky wrote his books in the 1950’s and had no Internet. His information came from libraries and visiting the sites he wrote about. Ralph Ellis is a present day researcher and he has also traveled the path of Velikovsky in that he went to Egypt and other places to verify his research. I admire their tenacity for research. Using Egyptian historical writings, hieroglyphics and pictures on unearthed tombs, these two men began asking questions and using their knowledge of Egyptian history began comparing it to the Hebrew history. The similarity of the Hebrew and Egyptian history is astounding.
Perhaps I have digressed, however Velikovsky found that kings, queens and pharaohs had a number of different names. There was the birth name, a royal name, and a name they were called in some other country and perhaps other names. This could be very confusing and there is a strong possibility the Queen of Sheba was also known as Bathsheba, Maakhah Tamar II, Maakare, and Mu-Tamhat II according to Ralph Ellis’ research. There is another potential that I will mention later. Apparently in those ancient days royalty and priests had titles and/or other names. It has been noted by a number of scholars that Mary was a title given to females who were given to the Temple for service. Therefore, Mary Magdalene could indicate she was considered of high rank along with Mary of Bethany and of course Mary, the mother of Jesus.
In tracing the name of Mary, Ellis followed a trail back to Egypt and according to his findings learned that these Marys were the holders of a long and illustrious Egyptian heritage. These influential women, who inadvertently and unintentionally founded the new sect of Christianity, not only held the original titles of the Egyptian royalty, they also had the very same name that had been originally used by Queen Hatshepsut-Maakare in the early years of the New Kingdom.
In going further, Sheba is a mystique name because its location has avoided most researchers and writers. Lower Egypt was also known as Seba, which covered Ethiopia, Avaris, and Memphis in addition to Lower Egypt. Sheba in all probability was not a country, but a title. Some of the interpretations have been the number ‘seven,’ or that she came from a ‘land of plenty,’ meaning Egypt/Ethiopia. The writings of the Jewish historian Josephus seem to indicate this was so. Therefore from the chronological evidence presented by Ellis, Velikovsky, Josephus, Manetho and others it would indicate that the Queen of Sheba would have been either a princess or a queen. References in the Old Testament indicate this was so.
The conclusions I reached were that Mary Magdalene was in all probability a descendent of the Queen of Sheba also known as the Queen or Pharaoh Hatshepsut of Egypt/Ethiopia. Does this mean that Jesus and his followers were of dusky skin? What is the connection of Mary of Magdalene and the Queen of Sheba with King Solomon and King David? What are the Old Testament books of the Kings and Chronicles really about? As I continue to pull the threads of history, I am finding out. However, that will have to be revealed in a future article.