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Invoking Mary Magdalene: Accessing the Wisdom of the Divine Feminine [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   105
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6.75" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2006
Publisher   Sounds True, Incorporated
ISBN  1591794226  
EAN  9781591794226  
UPC  600835099981  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Recent discoveries of sacred texts such as the Gospel of Mary of Magdala and the Gospel of Thomas tell us that Mary Magdalene was independent, insightful, and courageous-a woman so inspirational that her voice can still be heard across the ages. In Invoking Mary Magdalene, religious scholar Siobhan Houston invites you to develop your own personal relationship with one of Jesus' closest disciples, as she instructs you in a daily devotional practice of prayers, meditations, and visualizations from around the world. With the exercises in this book and on the accompanying CD, Houston offers step-by-step guidance for accessing the wisdom of the Divine Feminine that Mary Magdalene represents, as you explore: Novenas, rosaries, and seasonal rituals from the Gnostic, Kabbalistic, and Grail traditions, How to connect to Mary Magdalene in her Dark Goddess aspect to unleash your own fierce power-the energy that turns fear and illusion into healing and renewal, "Reveling in bliss": realizing a euphoric adoration of the Divine that eclipses all earthly concerns, and much more.

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More About Siobhan Houston

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Siobhan Houston (Colorado) is the author of Invoking Mary Magdalene: Accessing the Wisdom of the Divine Feminine. Houston holds a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in education from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Her writing has appeared in many periodicals, including Gnosis and Parabola.

Siobhan Houston currently resides in Boulder, in the state of Colorado.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Creative approach to Magdalene spiritual practices  Jul 20, 2007
I loved this book! I found it accessible and based on good scholarship (the author graduated from Harvard Divinity School). In my view, the book is an open-hearted meditation on different aspects of Mary Magdalene in history, legend, and myth. Each chapter covers a different aspect, such as Magdalene as healer, the Gnostic Magdalene, relating to the Magdalene as the Beloved/Friend, and Magdalene as the Dark Goddess (including possible connections to the European Black Madonnas). Houston is very clear that she is offering ideas and possibilities for readers to use and modify for their own practices. She also concludes that any relationship with the Magdalene and (indeed the Divine in general) is best self-defined. While she talks about her spiritual relationship to Mary Magdalene, she never prescribes a certain way for others to approach the Magdalene. No doctrine, no dogma, no proscribed rituals, no clergy, no authorities to submit to.
The book is very consciously written for both men and women. In fact, Houston specifically addresses her readers as "women and men." Just because the subject of the book is the Magdalene and the divine feminine does not automatically exclude men, a fact that the author takes care to note.
As for the "rewritten" prayers, the fact is that many prayers and epithets of the divine descend to us from ancient times, and often have pagan roots. For example, many titles of the Virgin Mary derive from names for pagan goddesses; the Virgin Mary is often called "Stella Maris" (Star of the Sea), a title originally given to the Egyptian goddess Isis. The only "rewritten" prayer in the book is the Gnostic Rosary (the rosary, by the way, also has pagan origins). Some people will enjoy this Gnostic take on the rosary, and of course, some will not. The author lays out a wide variety of ways to relate to Magdalene--she is well aware that not all the practices will fit everyone.
As far as the author's discussion of Magdalene's possible connections to goddess of other cultures, she does so on two levels. First, she looks at the cultural and spiritual significance of the early European legends about Magdalene in light of the pre-existent pagan goddess worship. While Houston doesn't make an historical pronouncements, since good documentation doesn't exist at this time, she points out that Roman colonists established temples to Cybele and Diana (and other gods/goddesses) in England and France, and in addition, the indigenous pagan cultures (for example, the Celts) venerated goddesses of their own. Discussing Magdalene's legendary presence in France and England, and how these legends interacted with the pre-existent goddess worship is a fascinating and completely reasonable subject. Also, much scholarly debate abounds in regard to the Black Madonna statues in Roman Catholic churches, and their possible connection to Roman and Near Eastern goddesses like Isis. Since a high number of these mysterious Black Virgin statues are in regions of France where Magdalene was and still is fervently venerated, talking about Magdalene's connection to these statues is logical.
Secondly, Houston talks about Magdalene on an archetypal and mythological level. This conversation is not meant to be historical, as Houston clearly notes. It falls in the area of depth psychology and cross-cultural anthropology, such as when Houston mentions possible resonances with goddesses of other cultures.
I found this book a great resource and a springboard that helps me think about Mary Magdalene in new ways. My spiritual practice has deepened and I feel a connection with what Houston refers to as "the Magdalene Path," the spontaneous grassroots movement that is demanding the re-inclusion of the divine feminine in the West!
Invoking Mary Magdalene  May 26, 2007
This book is an excellent guide for everyone, from the intellectually curious and to the serious spiritual practitioner. Houston gives us the background on Magdalene and then takes us step by step through many techniques and practices to strengthen our own life and consciousness.
Make a religion kit  Nov 25, 2006
I can't help but feel, after reading this, that there must be a fair number of people, particularly women, who feel alienated by or at least out of sync with traditional religion. That is probably unsurprising since most of the more traditional religions, particularly the three key relatives: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are very paternalistic, male dominated, almost outright misogynistic, and exclusivist. I'm not quite sure a make-a-religion kit is quite the answer, however, and that is what my impression of the book was.

"Invoking Mary Magdalene" presents the reader with an introduction that is very tantalizing, because it presents the theme that literary texts and traditions associated with Jesus and Mary Magdalene have been suppressed through time by the powers-that-be in the Roman Catholic Church and also by the more jealous of the disciples of Jesus. This is very topical now, since the book and film "The De Vinci Code," which dealt with this same topic, appeared on the scene to raise public consciousness about alternative religion.

Unfortunately, Ms Houston does not stick to the literary documents and information about the subject but wanders from these facts into discussions about the divine feminine, Hecate, Sekhmet, Isis, Astarte, Ashtoreth, Aphrodite, etc. It struck me as a feminist's attempt to creat a religon by for and managed by women. But with this she has gone beyond the concept of the historic relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene to an archaic pantheon that is well past its shelf date and was ultimately passed over by the ancients themselves as unfulfilling.

I was particularly put off by the borrowed and rewritten prayers and meditations, like the Lord's Prayer and the Nicean Creed among others. Prayers and meditations arise from the spirituality of the writer and the community the reader feels with that spirituality. If it doesn't matter where they come from, one might as well recite King Akhenaton's Hymn to the Aton or solar disk.

While I could believe that a mystery religion of the type Ms Houston suggests may well have existed at the time of Christ, I'm not sure that resurrecting it will in any way improve ones spiritual life today. Certainly there were a number of mystery religions that arose to fill the needs of the civilized world during the period of the 1st century BC and that of the 1 century AD: The rituals of Demeter and Persephone for women, of Artemis of Ephesus probably also for women, those of Mithraism for military men, of Zorothustra for both genders, and probably others of which I am not even aware. All of these and Christianity as well, arose as the growth of civilization--and of education--spread more widely and left the individual of the time with a sense that both the pantheon of deities and the large body of philosophical traditions failed to meet the psychological and emotional needs--let alone the quest for answers to eternal questions like "why are we here," and "what is the meaning of life"--at the time. As one of my classics professors once said, it was a time where, if a man named Jesus Christ had not existed, a man like Jesus Christ would have arisen. The time was just right.

Maybe this could be said of Mary Magdalene and our own time, but I don't think that inner peace or answers to philosophical questions can occur just by saying the right formula of words or performing a set of rituals selected ad hoc from a book. It takes reading and contemplation, probably things the author has herself done in order to write the book. But so far as I'm aware, there is no way to achieve spirituality but by hard work and personal growth. If this book helps you do that, fine, go for it. It didn't do anything for me.

A spiritual book and audio CD guide to invoking the sacredness of Mary Magdalene  Sep 2, 2006
Invoking Mary Magdalene: Accessing The Wisdom Of The Divine Feminine is a spiritual book and audio CD guide to invoking the sacredness of Mary Magdalene, who is mentioned in the New Testament more than any other woman. Chapters include a Magdalene litany for turning oneself over to become a vessel for Divine Feminine grace, teachings on enlightenment Jesus is said to have imparted to Magdalene alone, a guide to creating one's personal shrine to Mary Magdalene, and much more. Written by a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Invoking Mary Magdalene is a profound, reverent, and respectful guide to expressing faith and paying homage. The sessions on the accompanying CD are Guided Visualization to the Cave of Baume (11:45), The Holy Gnostic Rosary (31:37), Union with the Holy Bride (13:00), Magdalene as Grail Guardian and Queen of Shadows Meditation (9:47), and Prayer of Archangelic Protection (0:52).
I loved this book, but...  Aug 23, 2006
This book contains some very solid, practical ways of starting up a spiritual practice devoted to the Magdalene. Unfortunately I could not get past the whole "let's throw Kali, Sekhmet, Hecate, and the Magdalene into a blender!" concept that she tries to sell. None of these goddesses have a thing in common with the Magdalene except maybe their gender. I would've loved to have seen some genuine cross comparisons and rituals between her and very similar goddesses who are equally as popular, and would've made far more sense to include: Isis, Astarte, Aphrodite, Ishtar, and Inanna are just a few I can rattle off the top of my head. I think that she is trying to market this book for the type of person who would be much happier picking up a book on Teen Wicca. Nonetheless, this book has a lot of excellent ideas in it and I found that the information included was just what I was looking for--when I ignored all of the "dark godddess" nonsense, that is.

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