The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and North America, and is one of the ten largest churches in the world.
It is the nation’s pre-eminent Marian Shrine, dedicated to the patroness of the United States—the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of the Immaculate Conception.
The National Shrine is designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a National Sanctuary of Prayer and Pilgrimage. Though it resides in the Archdiocese of Washington, it is neither a cathedral (the seat of the local bishop/diocese) nor is it a parish church.
“It has no parish community of its own; but rather counts every American Catholic among its numbers. No single bishop claims it as his cathedral; rather, it is the church of all the nation’s bishops. Its work is not supported by a single group or organization, but is carried out through the cooperation of people throughout the country. In every way, the National Shrine is America’s Catholic Church.” America’s Church ©1990
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is neither imitative nor duplicative of any other church in the world. Its unique architecture and art are a blending of ancient and new. Byzantine-Romanesque in style, it is constructed entirely of stone, brick, tile and mortar—without steel structural beams, framework or columns. It boasts the largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art in the world, including the largest mosaic of Christ in Majesty in the world. The National Shrine is distinctly American, yet is comparable to and rivals the great sanctuaries of Europe.
Over 70 chapels and oratories have been added to the National Shrine, dedicated by various ethnic groups and religious communities. From the beginning, the Shrine was envisioned as a gift from all American Catholics to represent the devotion to Mary of many kinds of peoples, cultures, traditions and ethnic backgrounds. The various chapels and oratories are filial in that they relate to the mother shrine in the country of origin or the particular religious community to which they are affiliated. Offering the same graces and indulgences, individuals and groups can make a pilgrimage to many of the great Marian Shrines of the world at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
It is the largest church in the Western Hemisphere and seventh-largest religious structure in the world . Millions of pilgrims from around the country and the world visit the basilica each year. The basilica is located on Michigan Avenue in the northeast quadrant of Washington on land donated by The Catholic University of America. The church began to be built in 1920 and opened in 1959. It is designated as a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Basilica is the Patronal Catholic Church of the United States, honoring Mary, Mother of God, under the title Immaculate Conception. It is not the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle serves as church of the Archdiocese.
Since the United States does not have an official state religion, the Basilica is often confused with being the official church of the United States, which it is not.
The Basilica is sometimes confused with the Washington National Cathedral, also a National Historic Landmark, which is an Episcopal church chartered by Congress as the National House of Prayer.
The Basilica does not have its own parish community, but it serves the adjacent University, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (located down the street), and hosts numerous Masses for organizations in the American Church. It houses tens of chapels and numerous domes, decorated in mosaics, uniquely American but featuring traditional Catholic images.
The diameter of the main (Trinity) dome of the Basilica is very close to that of the United States Capitol.
In 1792, John Carroll, the bishop of Baltimore and America's first Roman Catholic bishop, consecrated the newly-created United States under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of The Immaculate Conception. In 1847, Pope Pius IX formalized Carroll's acclamation, proclaiming the Immaculate Conception as the Patroness of the United States. In subsequent years, a few priests imagined an elaborate shrine in honor of their country's patroness.
Bishop Thomas J. Shahan, the fourth rector of the Catholic University of America proposed the construction of a national shrine to commemorate the Immaculate Conception in the country's capital. Bishop Shahan took his appeal to Pope Pius X on August 15, 1913. Shahan received the pope's enthusiastic support and his personal contribution of $400. Shahan returned to the United States and persuaded the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America to donate land at the southwest corner of the campus for his shrine.
Papal Tiara of Pope Paul VI (on display on the crypt level of the Basilica) mlast one ever used.
The Tiara of Pope Paul VI was the last papal tiara worn to date. It was donated by the see of Milan when its cardinal, Giovanni Montini, was elected Pope Paul VI in the 1963 papal conclave. It was this tiara that was used to crown Pope Paul VI in 1963, which was the last papal coronation to date. Previously, the Palatine Tiara had been used in coronations since 1877.
Pope Paul's tiara was distinctive in many ways. As with some other papal tiaras, it was made of a solid silver exterior over a felt lay. Unlike other tiaras it was almost totally devoid of jewels, with the three crowns represented by three rings that ran around the tiara, on which sat a handful of small jewels in isolation.
Though lacking in jewels, Pope Paul's tiara weighed 10 lb (4.5 kg) in contrast to the 2 lb (0.9 kg) weight of the previously-used Palatine Tiara.
Pope Paul "surrenders" his papal tiara in November 1963 Pope Paul wore his tiara a number of times in 1963, before, in a dramatic act in November 1963, laying it on the altar of St. Peter's Basilica in a gesture of humility to symbolise the papacy's surrender of any claim to temporal power. He never wore it again. It was announced that the tiara would be sold and the proceeds of the sale given to charity. However Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York intervened and arranged instead for the tiara to be bought by the Catholic Church in the United States in 1968.
The crypt has displayed the Papal Tiara of Pope Paul VI since 1968. In 1990, Pope John Paul II named the national shrine as the U.S.'s 36th minor basilica. In August 2006, work was completed on a mosaic covering the Redemption Dome in the Upper Church. This is the first new work to be done in many years and was part of the original architectural plans. Future plans include finishing the intended mosiacs for the Incarnation Dome and the largest of the domes, the Trinity Dome. Presently, a small chapel is also being constructed near the Crypt Church to honor Our Lady of Vietnam.
The Redemption Dome
Located in the heart of the nave, the brilliant Redemption Dome depicts in beautiful mosaic, the four redemptive acts of Jesus: the Temptation in the Desert, the Crucifixion, the Descent into Hell, and the Resurrection from the Dead.
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
The Knights of Columbus Incarnation Dome
Located in the south nave, the same size as the Redemption Dome, The Knights of Columbus Incarnation Dome depicts the incarnation or manifestation of Jesus through: the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Wedding Feast at Cana, and the Transfiguration. The encircling text of the dome reads: “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. And we saw his glory—glory as of the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth.” John 1:14 The Incarnation Dome mosaic bears the name of the Knights of Columbus, the fraternal order that contributed $1 million toward its creation and installation. The dome mosaic was dedicated on November 17, 2007 at a Mass celebrated by The Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.
Sennacherib king of Assyria-(king that plundered the babylonian palace of Marduk-apla-iddina II who had seized the throne of Babylon and gathered an alliance supported by Chaldeans, Aramaeans, and Elamites)
This is the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.
18 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the countries, and their land,
19 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.
20 Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD, even Thou only.
Judaism considers the Book of Jeremiah part of its canon, and regards Jeremiah as the second of the major prophets. Islam also considers Jeremiah a prophet, and he is listed as a prophet in all the collections of Stories of the Prophets. Christianity also regards Jeremiah as a prophet and he is quoted in the New Testament. It has been interpreted that Jeremiah “spiritualized and individualized religion and insisted upon the primacy of the individual’s relationship with God.”
About a year after King Josiah of Judah had turned the nation toward repentance from the widespread idolatrous practices of his father and grandfather. Jeremiah’s job was to reveal the sins of the people and explain the reason for the impending disaster (destruction by the Babylonian army and captivity), “And when your people say, 'Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?' you shall say to them, 'As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.'"
Micah describes the sins of the people, and especially of their leaders and judges, "who make crooked all that is straight." He has harsh words for the judges that can be bribed and the priests that can be hired, saying to themselves, "Evil cannot befall us." If they continued in their evil way, the prophet warned, "Zion shall be ploughed up like a field, and Jerusalem shall become ruinous heaps, and the mount of the Beth-Hamikdosh forest-covered heights!"
The prophet enters into an argument with his people, in which he describes G-d's great deeds for Israel, but Israel's neglect of Him. These are G-d's words, coming through his lips:
"My people, what I have done unto thee? Testify against Me! Have I not brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery! And I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you. Oh, My people, do but remember what Balak, the king of Moab, resolved, and what Balaam, the son of Beor, answered him, and what happened from #tim unto Gilgal; in order that you may know the righteousness of G-d!"
What does G-d expect from Israel? G-d's demands are clear and simple: "He has told thee, man, what is good, and what G-d requires of thee: only to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy G-d."
You can see the connection between this prophecy, which is the theme of the Haphtorah, and the Sidrahs Chukkath-Balak to which the Haphtorah is attached. Like Isaiah, Micah also proclaims Israel's final triumph among the nations of the world, when Messiah will come to deliver our people and rebuild the Beth-Hamikdosh.
"Then shall every man sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with none to make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken. Though all the peoples walk each one in the name of his god, we shall walk in the name of G-d, our G-d, for ever and ever."
Pharaoh's daughter Hagar had become acquainted with Sarah when she was in her father's palace. Sarah had made such a great impression on Hagar, that she readily left her royal home to become a maidservant to Sarah. Sarah treated Hagar with respect and consideration. And when other princesses would come to visit Sarah, she would say to them: "Go and greet Hagar, the Egyptian princess, also. I don't want her to feel slighted or shamed."
Sarah was exceedingly grieved that she had been unable to become a mother, She decided to make a supreme sacrifice and offer Hagar to Abraham to be his second wife, to give him a child.
Abraham accepted Sarah's suggestion. Soon, when Hagar felt that she was going to bear Abraham's child, she began to assume an air of superiority and failed to give her mistress the respect due to her. When Hagar's behavior became unbearable, Sarah finally decided it was time to show Hagar who is mistress and who is maid. Hagar was now too proud to accept her position as Sarah's servant, and fled. An angel came and told Hagar to return to Sarah, for her own sake, as well as for the sake of the child she was bearing. For she would bear a son and, though he would be a wild man, he would become the father of a mighty nation, because he was Abraham's son.
When Ishmael was born, Abraham thought that Ishmael would be his heir and from him would come the great Jewish nation that G-d had promised. But G-d told Abraham that not Ishmael but his son that Sarah would bear him, would be his heir, and only from him (and not from any other son of Abraham) the Jewish people would descend.
Mary Memorial Altar in the Crypt Church—This freestanding altar is dedicated to our Lady of the Catacombs. It is made of translucent golden Algerian onyx. More than 30,000 women who held “even a remote kinship with the name Mary” contributed to this altar. The names of all these women are sealed within the altar.
Christ in Majesty
Above the baldachin over the main altar, the mosaic Christ in Majesty dominates the north apse and the Great Upper Church. The largest mosaic of Christ in Majesty in the world, it was completed in 1959 and was the gift of an anonymous donor. Modeled in the Byzantine tradition, it depicts Christ in glory and majesty seated upon a rainbow throne, symbolic of pardon and reconciliation.
This is the Apocalyptic Christ who comes as the absolute reproving Lord and final judge (raised right brow) and with the love and compassion of the Good Shepherd (relaxed left brow). The jeweled halo symbolizes the divinity of Christ; the cross of fire is the presence and glory of God. The scarlet cloak signifies Christ as Redeemer. His outstretched arms (with signs of the stigmata visible in the palms of His hands and in His side) reach out to rule the universe and embrace the world.
The text in the arch above this great mosaic reads: “Christ Conquers, Christ Reigns, Christ Rules, Eternal Victor, Eternal King, Eternal Master. His Power Is An Everlasting Power That Shall Not Be Taken Away.” On the day of the dedication, this mosaic was the only interior ornamentation of the Great Upper Church.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a prominent Roman Catholic basilica located in Washington, D.C., honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the United States. It is the largest Catholic church in the United States, the eighth largest religious structure in the world, and the tallest building in Washington, D.C.
The Great Dome— The Great Dome is a hallmark of the Basilica. Its diameter is more than twice that of the central dome of St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy.
It features five Marian symbols:
Fleur de lis: a type of lily symbolic of purity and royalty; it signifies Mary as the Queen of Heaven.
Cedar of Lebanon: a stately majestic tree symbolizing incorruptibility. Treasured as a source of wealth, its timber was used to build the Temple of Solomon. It is a symbol of both Mary and Jesus.
Tower of Ivory: an architectural symbol of virginity and vigilance; ivory symbolizes purity and moral fortitude. In Christian art, the Tower of Ivory symbolizes the Immaculate Conception.
Star of the Sea: the most popular interpretation of the Hebrew name Miryam.
Intertwining Monograms of A and M: the first letter of the words Ave and Maria, the greeting of the Archangel to Mary at the Annunciation.
In terms of the architectural style, we observe another indication of the universality of the Church. The overall style of the shrine is Romanesque-Byzantine with a modern twist. Its eclecticism is the key to seeing it as a symbol for universality. The Romanesque style was the art form that prevailed during the early Middle Ages in what had formerly been the Western Roman Empire, with art historians disagreeing whether it began in the sixth century, the tenth or somewhere in between; and its reign lasted until the Gothic style took over in the thirteenth century.
Though the Romanesque was, in its beginnings, heavily influenced by the Byzantine style of the Eastern side of the Empire, both styles seem to have parted ways after the tragic schism of 1054. The Romanesque, then, became the architectonic style of the Western Church, while the Byzantine remained that of the Eastern Church. And so, it is significant that the Shrine was built as a combination of these styles, bringing together, at least in stone, the East and the West.
With respect to the second sense, it is sufficient to walk around for a few minutes to realize why the shrine successfully teaches us about the Church’s universality. Lining the sides of both the Upper Church and the Crypt are chapels dedicated to the various invocations of the Virgin Mary throughout the world. However, there is more to the universality of the Church than the multiplicity of nationalities.
Being an engineer, I tend to see things in mathematical terms so I think of the universality of the Church in terms of a two-dimensional plane where one axis represents the different nationalities and cultures and the other the different ages of human history. Not coincidentally, these two axes intersect and form a Cross. The Church, therefore, picks up and embraces this Cross and with it all of humanity from all nations and tongues, from the past, the present and the future. The National Shrine, in its structure and art, as well as in its history, reflects this fact.
East Transept/The Creation Mosaic—The mosaic vault of the east transept depicts the six days of The Creation as recorded in the Book of Genesis and the relationship of science to this miracle of God. At the center of the mosaic are the hand of the Divine creator and the figures of Adam and Eve. Below them, enclosed in an earth mountain, symbolizing the clay from which God formed Adam, is a human fetus. Among the upper levels of “the Void” are symbols of DNA.
Extinct plants and armored fish progress into whales, manta rays and polar bears. Volcanoes produce a flowering earth; dinosaurs and animals—wild and domestic—are also visible. Skies with whirling nebulae replicate the idea of space and the future. The mosaic design is by Mary Reardon
The Jewish mystics of the Cabbala practiced the "messianic mystery of awakening" which for them was akin to the Great Work of Alchemy. For them, a woman was a “door of G-d, through which one enters into G-d." The “coming’ of the Messiah, they believed, happened in a purely personal, rather than on a collective level, and could be occasioned via sexual union – the ultimate perversion.
Salvation was not some external condition granted by a gracious Saviour, but occurred only through a direct “experience” of God based on personal Gnosis. Talmudic Cabbalists believed that direct knowledge of God exempted them from strict adherence to Mosaic Law.
Personal Gnosis could be gained only through engaging in sex, the union with man's "other half" – woman, and the dirtier the better. Thereby plunging man into degeneracy and lust, enabling subtle control of the individual through gradual demonization – the key to it all! The Interlaced Triangles of the Hexagram, is the ultimate representation of Sex and Religion as being one.
Therefore all sex-acts become a “Divine Union” between God and Man. The Orgasm therefore becomes holy absolution, a form of “Atonement” with God. A sick, deliberate and satanic counterfeit of the pure Love of God!
The sacred whore appears in the earliest records, integral to society when humans were first gathering in cities and learning to write. The major work of the oldest known author, the Sumerian priestess Enheduanna, is a paean to the hierodule (sacred whore) of heaven, the goddess Inanna, Wendy Mulford writes in Love Poems by Women. In Babylon, center of the Akkadian civilization that adopted Sumer's customs after conquering it, women prostituted themselves to all comers for the glory of Ishtar, a later cognate of Inanna. Still later, in ancient Greece and Rome, temple prostitution flourished. Cultures from Japan to Africa have honored the sacred whore.
Triple Goddess (Neopaganism), a concept in Wicca and other Neopagan belief systems: sometimes a universal, global, "Great Goddess" who is threefold; sometimes a single goddess as maiden, matron and crone; and sometimes three sisters.
Saint Brigid was named after one of the
most powerful goddesses of the Pagan religion
"Probably the clearest example
of the survival of an early goddess
into Christian times is Brigid,
the great triple goddess of the
Celtic Irish. Bridget took religious vows,
...and was canonized after her death
by her adoptive church, which allowed
the saint a curious list of attributes,
coincidentally identical to those of
the earlier goddess."
-Exerpt from Goddess & Heroines
by Patricia Monaghan
St. Brigid's Prayer for a Heavenly Feast
I wish I had a great lake of ale for the King of kings,
and the family of heaven to drink it through time eternal.
I wish I had the meats of belief and genuine piety,
the flails of penance, and the men of heaven in my house.
I would like keeves of peace to be at their disposal,
vessels of charity for distribution,
caves of mercy for their company,
and cheerfulness to be in their drinking.
I would want Jesus also to be in their midst,
together with the three Marys of illustrious renown,
and the pople of heaven from all parts.
I would like to be a tenant to the Lord,
so if I should suffer distress,
he would confer on me a blessing. Amen.
The Written Record
In seeking to unravel the mystery of the Marys in the New Testament, it is important to note at the outset that the Gospels were a later-recording of an oral history. In fact recent scholarship confirms that it is unlikely that any of the New Testament writers actually knew the historical Jesus (B,C,D *).
The earliest New Testament records, Paul's Epistles, were written circa 51-57 CE, and the other books were written nearer to the end of the century. Many of the Biblical accounts of Mother Mary and Mary Magdalen were written 50 years or more after the death of Jesus of Nazareth (B,C,D *). In addition, it is quite clear that the existing Bible today underwent additions, deletions, and translation changes over the centuries.
In fact, the Bible as we know it today was not even compiled until the 4th Century CE, and no known manuscripts of the New Testament are older than the 4th Century. What exist are copies of copies (B,C,D *). However, many other Gospels were written that were not included in the official CHURCH canon. Among them are the Gnostic Gospels. Surviving copies of the Gnostic Gospels predate the surviving Biblical manuscripts by 200 years (A,B,C,D *).
Why is it important to establish that the written record is based on oral history? What was once commonly understood as symbolic in the original version easily transmutes into the literal, and meanings are lost or change. While this is true of written records, it is especially true of oral histories (where it is impossible to examine the original version). It is important, therefore, to look to the cultural/historical context of the gospel stories when seeking to understand what the early Christians understood.
The Goddess in Jerusalem
Herod Antipas became ruler of the land through the ancient "Sacred Marriage" with the High Queen Mariamne, a priestess of the Triple Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar who was popularly worshiped at the time of Christ (B,C,D,E *). This Goddess was noted for her triple-towered temple or "magdala." It is important to note that much of the imagery in the Gospels, especially regarding the Marys, corresponds to the worship of this Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar (B,C,D,E *).
Mary As Goddess:
Mary Magdalen Magdalen as Temple Priestess
Magdalen as the Bride of Christ
Worship of the Magdalen
The Black Madonna
Mother and Magdalen as One
"I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter."
(A, p. 55-6)
The Divine Mother and her Consort/Savior Son is a strong theme in World Goddess Myth, making Virgin Mary/Mary Magdalen a likely composite. As noted on the Virgin page, the title of Virgin was often bestowed upon sexually active Goddesses. Sacred Temple Prostitutes were often called Virgins (D). In addition, children of The Sacred Marriage, a ritual union of a temple priestess and a king willing to die for his people, were often called "virgin born" or "divine children," just as Christ was (C).
As noted on the Virgin page, it is possible that Mother Mary was dedicated to a Goddess temple when she was a child. Perhaps Mother Mary was a temple priestess, thus making Jesus (or Yeshua) a divine child (E). There is even stronger evidence that Mary Magdalen was a temple priestess, so perhaps this is the true connection between Mother Mary and Mary Magdalen.
Some feel that Mary the Mother and Mary the Lover were split into two characters--one good, the other evil--because women's sexuality was demonized by the early orthodox church.
Magdalen as Temple Priestess
Four pieces of Gospel evidence strongly point to Mary Magdalen as a temple priestess of the Goddess. The first is her title "Magdalen," almost identical to "Magdala," noted earlier to be the name of the triple-towered temple of the Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar (D). Literally, "Mary of the Magdala" signifies "Mary of the Goddess Temple." Christian tradition has said that Mary is of the town "Magdala" or "Migdal," which was known as "The Village of Doves," a place where sacred doves were bred for the Goddess temple (F). In either case, two threads of strong symbolism link the name Magdalen to contemporary Goddess worship.
Next, Mary is known as a prostitute, just as the Goddess priestesses were titled "Sacred Prostitutes," although a more recent and accurate translation titles them "Sacred Women" or "hierodulae" (B, p. 29). Such prostitutes were considered evil by Jewish leaders of the time. That Jesus/Yeshua would associate with such a woman would indeed invoke the scorn of his disciples, as is recorded in the New Testament.
Thirdly, Mary Magdalen is identified in Mark and Luke as the woman who was possessed by seven demons, which Yeshua cast out of her. The seven demons were a symbolic part of a temple ritual known as "The Descent of Inanna," one of the most ancient ceremonies known, recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh (G). This ritual was known to be practiced in the Jerusalem temple of Mari-Anna-Ishtar (D,E,F *).
The last, and perhaps strongest, piece of evidence is the anointing of Yeshua with the sacred oil, an event which (uncharacteristically) was recorded in all four New Testament Gospels, pointing to its significance. The anointing of the Jesus' head with oil (as described in Mark 14:3-4) is an unmistakable symbol of The Sacred Marriage, a ceremony performed by temple priestesses (B).
Many scholars have documented the fact that Jesus was supported by political zealots who wished to overthrow the Romans and put a Son of David on the throne in Jerusalem. (Numerous Biblical passages also suggest this.) In fact, it is much more likely that Jesus was crucified, not for blasphemy (which was no offense to the Romans), but for sedition. Crucification was the common punishment for insurrectionists, hence the title over his cross, "Jesus Christ, King of the Jews" (B,F *).
If indeed a strong faction of zealots wished to see Yeshua on the throne, he certainly would have been married to a suitable bride. Starbird suggests that the Wedding of Canna, where Jesus turned the water into wine, was actually the symbolic story of his own marriage to Mary of Bethany. "Cana" is the root for "zealot," and the water into wine may represent the new covenant for the people of Jerusalem. (B)
Worship of the Magdalen
A French legend recorded in the 4th Century CE says that Mary Magdalen (along with Lazarus and Martha) fled to the South of France (via Egypt) bearing "the earthen vessel that held the blood of Christ." While legends of the Holy Grail took on a life of their own centuries later, merging with other legends, many believe that Mary Magdalen was herself the earthen vessel bearing Christ's child, the sacred bloodline of David. Starbird provides convincing evidence that this was indeed what many early Christians, including the Cathars, believed. In the South of France, the Cult of the Magdalen flourished until it was all but wiped out in the Albigensian campaigns by the Roman Catholic church in the late 13th Century. (B,D,E,F *)
The Song of Songs, the most popular love poem at the time of Christ and for centuries afterwards, was strongly associated with Mary Magdalen, believed to be the bride in the poem, and Yeshua the bridegroom. Attributed to Solomon, the Song of Songs has remained part of the official cannon, despite its unmistakably erotic imagery. The Roman Catholic church traditionally reads from the Song of Songs on Mary Magdalen's feast day (B).
The Great Rift (Triple Goddess a.k.a. Great Mother) gives birth to herself, thus the "Immaculate Conception" representatives throughout religious history. She's Tara to the Tibetans and Nu Kua to the Chinese. She's Lakshmi to the Hindus and Cybele to the ancient Turks. In Christianity she is partly represented as Mother Mary.
When Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean 2,000 years ago, Diana had a very large following and was the most revered Great Mother in the region. The Ephesus temple in Turkey was dedicated to Diana. Di-Anna was soon turned to Anna, the grandmother of Jesus, and Mary was now the Virgin, Nurturing, mother of God on Earth, The Son.
This narrative originally goes back to Hathor, who was loved by the Egyptians and was the Heavenly Cow (might not want to use that line with your wife) that produced the Milky Way and who daily gives birth to the Sun God, Horus, her "Golden Calf."
The Triple Goddess: Refers to the “maiden,” “mother”
and “wise woman” goddess patterns within us achieved by midlife.
Mary, Jesus’ mother, embodies the Triple Goddess...the immaculately conceived Virgin, Mother of Jesus, and the grieving Mother of Jesus crucified, or the Crone.
“Maiden” = Persephone
“Mother” = Demeter These three converge into Hecate at midlife.
“Wise Woman” = Hera
-----(Triple Goddess a.k.a. Great Mother) gives birth to herself
-----The Ouroboros (snake eating its tail) represents the cyclical nature of time. This Ouroboros symbol has appeared inside of the Pyramids in Egypt and on the entrance to several Mayan sites. They've also been found in ancient China and India.
The ancients understood how time really worked. The stars were a large astrological clock that every generation understood. The Maya understood this better than any civilization ever has. We didn't know that our solar system was going to line-up with the Dark Rift (the Triple Goddess) in 2012 until the Maya carved it in stone for us to eventually find.
I. True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true.
[ This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. ]
II. That which is below is like that which is above, and that which is above is like that which is below, to accomplish the miracles of One Thing; and as all things have proceeded from One, by the meditation of One, so all things are born from this One Thing, by adaptation.
[ That which is above is the Divine. What is below is the creation. The Divine is like the creation; and the creation is like the Divine. This is so because the Divine is the creation and the creation is the Divine. Everything is part of the creation and the creation is the Divine. As above, so below. ]
III. The Sun is the Father thereof. The Moon is its Mother.
[ The Sun represents the masculine aspect of the Divine and the Moon the feminine. The Sun represents Father God and the Element of Fire. The Moon represents Mother God and the Element of Water. Fire or the masculine aspect of the Divine is the Father of Creation. Water or the feminine aspect of the Divine is the Mother of Creation. ]
[ The Sun is a symbol for the Element of Fire and Fire represents intentions, aspirations, goals and plans, passions and desires. The Moon is a symbol for the Element of Water and Water represents love and caring, friendships, partnerships, romance, inner feelings and emotions. ]
IV. The Wind carried it in its belly. The Earth is its Nurse.
[ The Wind is the Element of Air and it represents thought, ideas, attitudes and awareness. To carry something in your belly is to conceive it. The Wind conceived the whole of creation. Creation is an idea in the Mind of the Divine. This is the first great secret revealed by the Emerald Tablet. ]
[ The Creation was carried out by the masculine (Fire = Father) and feminine (Water = Mother) aspects of the Divine. Thus we have the Creator, Father and Mother aspect of the Divine. This is the first triad, the first trinity. In some religions this trinity is referred to as Father, Mother, Creator God. Inn others different names are used to convey the same meaning. ]
[ The Earth represents the Element of Earth which is the manifestation, the physical reality in which we live. Everything we need to become who and what we want to become is here in this physical reality. The Earth is our nurse. It is here for us to use as we will in order to transform ourselves into the being we want to become. ]
X. Therefore I am called Hermes Trismegistus. For I hold three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. That which I had to say concerning the operation of the Sun is completed.
[ Hermes Trismegistus (usually pronounced try' - muh - jis' - tuhs) was probably an initiatic title bestowed upon spiritual alchemists who completed their work. The name Trismegistus translates roughly into three-times honored person. This refers to the three alchemical marriages wherein each marriage is an honor. These three alchemical marriages are the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. ]
[ The first alchemical marriage is called The Awakening or The Confirmation and it occurs when we pierce the first veil, the Veil of Ignorance. The second alchemical marriage is called The Resurrection and it occurs when we pierce the second veil, the Veil of Ignorance. The third alchemical marriage is called The Ascension and it occurs when we pierce the third veil, the Veil of Reflection. ]
[ This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The Sun is the Father aspect of the Divine and all of us. Each of us creates our own life with the blessing of the Divine just as the Divine first created us. As above, so below. ]
Was the man "Iesous" truly illegitimate (Heb. MAMZER: "born of an illicit union") as the Talmud would later suggest, the offspring of a Roman Soldier named Joseph ben Pantera whose grave in Syria (he died around AD 25 and had been posted in the Galilee between BC 12 to AD 6) was found recently?
(Or does the Talmud speak of another �Yeshu�, since there were so many Messiah�s running around at the time organizing armed revolts against Rome�including JUDAH THE GALILEAN)
Is the fact that �Iesous� may have been illegitimate the reason why he seemed to �fixated� on a �Father Figure� image, as Freud was so fond of pointing out , since according to Freud�s logic, �Jesus may have had no biological father� to call his own and so used the word ABBA to pray (lit. �Daddy!�) as a father-substitute�.?
It gets WORSE.
In Matthew's version of the lineage of the Messiah (Christ) �Iesous� was descended from a list of male ancestors, oddly, with 5 females mentioned along with the men�very odd in a Jewish geneaology.
The issue is highly curious to some who have studied this text closely, because ALL FIVE OF THE WOMEN MENTIONED IN MATTHEW�S GOSPEL HAVE ISSUES OF SEXUAL PROMISCUITY CONNECTED WITH EACH ONE OF THEM !!
The five women included were: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.
l. Tamar: Genesis 38:6-30
Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah. A childless widow, she was given to her brother-in-law after her husband's death. Such a union was later called a Leverite marriage (Deut 25:5-6).
Tamar's brother-in-law refused to have proper intercourse with her and for this �Elohim killed him�.
Yehudah/Judah would not give Tamar to any of his other sons soTamar disguised herself as a harlot and seduced Judah, became pregnant with his son Perez.
Rahab: Joshua 2:1-24 (which Matthew spells RACHAB for some reason)
Rahab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho. She hid the spies of Joshua. Because of this, the Israelites spared her life when they conquered Jericho. She later became the wife of Salmon, and the mother of Boaz.
Rahab's faith, despite her occupation as a professional whore, was later commended by the writer of Heb 11:30-31.
Ruth: Ruth 1:1-4:22
Ruth was a Moabitess, an enemy of Israel (�no Moabite shall ever enter into the Congregation of Israel, not even beyond the 10th generation! . but had married a Judaean named Mahlon. . Her mother-in-law, Naomi, lived in Moab, and the language used to describe their relationship bordered on what we would call �Lesbian�.
Ruth, the Moabitess, was later married to Boaz, one of Naomi's relatives.
The (Gentile) Moabetess Ruth later became the mother of Obed, the grandfather of David.
Bathsheba: 2 Samuel 11:1-27
Bathsheba was the Jebusite Princess Bath-Shebiti (�Daughter of the 7 gods of Jebus�) and wife of Uriah the Hittite (the Jebusites and Hititites were blood related and inter-married) , a soldier in the professional standing Hittite (i.e. foreign) army of David, who allegedly seduced her on a rooftop.
When David discovered Bathsheba (Bath-Shebiti) was pregnant, sent Uriah back into battle, with orders that Uriah should be slain, so that David could marry Bathsheba who later became the mother of Jedidiah nicknamed "Solomon" (peaceful).
The fifth and last in the long line of promiscuous Females in the Genealogy is Miryam/Mary, the very pregnant bride to be of Joseph, and mother of said �Iesous".
One could make a case that even though there was sexual misconduct going on in all of these cases, eventually this women gave birth to heroes or famous men in some form, so it seems to be the point of the writer to suggest that even if Mary was pregnant, there is ample history to show that �God�s Plan of Salvation� can still be worked out�in other words, �he works in mysterious ways, and not to judge by appearances...�
As Professor Barrett used to ask us: �What exactly is the writer of Matthew trying to tell us?�
This also begs the Question: If Jesus has no earthly father why do BOTH his genealogies trace their bloodlines through Joseph?
Arguments in favour of �legal� genealogy fall on their face when the prophecies about the Messiah BEING OF THE SEED OF DAVID do not make any mention of legalisms.
The Question is: Did the Church make up the VIRGIN BIRTH story out of Isaiah 7:14 in order to cover up some of these inconsistencies and make a "physical negative" into a "spiritual positive" for the man they proclaimed as Messiah, such as they did with the way he died?
At any rate, the Hebrew word ALMAH in Isaiah 7:14 does NOT mean VIRGIN anyway:
ALMAH merely means �a young woman of marriageable age.�
It was the Greek translation (the LXX Septuaginta) which chose the word PARTHENOS (�virgin� or �young girl�) which could be construed either way. But the phrase in Isaiah was NOT messianic originally. It only grew that way over time (read the Dead Sea Scrolls for a taste of what they did with certain passages in the Hebrew Bible!)
Why did both Matthew and Luke go to such obscene lengths to twist the meaning of Isaiah 7:14 into something more like the birth of a pagan god like Hercules or even Alexander the Great who was also thought to have been descended from the gods, and �partheno-theodikos� i.e. �a god born of a virgin�?
In the English use of the word, a child neither born nor begotten in lawful wedlock; an illegitimate child. There is no Hebrew word of like meaning. The mamzer, rendered "bastard" in the A. V., is something worse than an illegitimate child. He is the offspring of a father and mother between whom there could be in law no binding betrothal: issuing either from adultery between a married woman and a man other than her husband, or from incest within the forbidden degrees of kinship or affinity defined in Lev. xviii. and xx.
The child of a marriage simply forbidden, as that between a cohen and a divorced woman, is legitimate but "profane"; that is, a son can not officiate as a priest, a daughter is not eligible to marry a priest. But a mamzer, according to Deut. xxiii. 3, must not "enter the congregation of the Lord," that is, marry an Israelite woman, "nor shall his tenth generation enter," etc., which includes also the female mamzer (Ḳid. iii. 12; Mak. iii. 1). The older Halakah, however, was more rigorous, Akiba declaring any child of a forbidden connection a mamzer (Yeb. iv. 12, 13; Yer. ib. 6b; Bab. ib. 44a, 49a).
Anyhow, it seems there are really two basic historical explanations for Mary's
1) Jesus was indeed a mamzer, which raises a whole series of other questions
because other traditions about Jesus seem discordant with that idea. If he was
indeed a mamzer (i.e., illegitimate), and this was well known among his
opponents, it would be highly unlikely that the family would dare advance a
claim of Davidic descent.
A mamzer would have been expected to adhere to Jewish
law but would have effectively lived life as a "second class" member of the
national of Israel. He could only marry other "mamzerettes" (I am not sure what
the technical term is for the female offspring of an illegal union) and only his
grandchildren could marry an "untainted" Israelite. The social stigma would be
I cannot think, offhand, of any Jewish sage who was said to be a mamzer
or the son of a mamzer. Shepherds, sure, mamzers, no. But I could be wrong.
2) Jesus was not a mamzer, and he (or at least his family after him) claimed
Davidic descent, whether rightly or not.
Personally, I am inclined to think the
mamzer accusations were made to discredit Jesus in response to claims by Jesus
or his family that he possessed Davidic ancestry, and that the later gentile
"Christian" movement (as opposed to Jesus' original messianic movement) simply
conceded it as a tactic to remove the taint of rebellion that such a dynastic
claim carried (reducing it to a prophetic symbol from its previous status as a
political threat), and to advance their rehabilitated understanding of Jesus as
a kind of divine man/savior.
Now in TJD you bring up the story, related by Julius Africanus, with relation to
the Gospel genealogies, but what you do not say is that Julius was actually
trying to explain how there could be *two* valid genealogies of Jesus. He
justifies his solution by referring to a beef the "desposyni" (Jesus' family)
had with the memory of Herod the Great, in which they accuse Herod the Great of
destroying the "official" genealogical records in an attempt to hide the "fact"
that he was himself not properly Jewish (by implying that Herod was no more than
a temple slave from Ascalon who came to Idumea as a war captive).
Now, this sounds a bit like a counter charge made by the family to counter
challenges to the validity of the claim that Jesus was a member of the Davidic
family. In other words, whether or not one of the genealogies (probably Luke's)
preserves a genealogy published by Jesus or his family, somebody questioned the
family's version, and they diverted the criticism by laying blame for the use of
private records on Herod's lap.
The purpose of the plot
A king of the house of David had not ruled over Judah since Zedekiah in 586 BC when the Jews were defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and forced into captivity in Babylon. By the time Jesus Christ (Yehoshua ben Yosef) had reached his thirtieth birthday, it was over six hundred years since a Davidic monarch had sat on the throne in Jerusalem.
The true story of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with religion. It was actually an elaborate plot to resurrect the Davidic monarchy, to bring the lost line of kings back to power.
Every Jew wanted nothing more than to find a new David. They wanted to be free of the Roman occupation, they wanted the southern kingdom of Judah to be reunited with the northern kingdom of Israel, to form the united ancient kingdom of Israel, as it was in the time of David.
The people longed for it, prayed for it, and were certain that their God would deliver it to them. One day, the Messiah would come and restore everything to Israel that had been lost. The Temple would become more glorious than ever. They would bathe in the favour of Yahweh. And the more they watched the Romans tramping through their streets, abusing them and flaunting pagan gods, the more they dreamt of the Saviour.
But how could the power of Rome, the greatest empire on earth, a savage military machine, be overcome? Only the direct intervention of Yahweh could defeat such a power. In the time of Joshua, the priests of the Jews had carried into battle the Ark of the Covenant – the holy vessel that, in a very real sense, contained Yahweh himself – to vanquish the enemies of Israel. But the Ark was lost long ago.
The importance of the Ark cannot be stressed enough. It enabled the Shekinah – the earthly presence of Yahweh – to live amongst the Jews. The Chosen People had their Chosen God in their midst.
The Jews quite literally believed that they, through their high priests, could converse directly with God. You didn’t merely pray to God, you had a two-way conversation with him. No god ever had greater resonance for a people.
(As to why the Creator of the Universe would choose to inhabit a box carried around by a human tribe that lived in dusty, ancient Israel thousands of years ago, and lead them into savage battle, well, you’ll need to ask him.)
To have a Davidic king on the throne, the Roman occupation of the province of Judea would have to be made so militarily costly to the Romans that they would cut their losses and leave. The whole nation would have to rise up to drive them out. But what could inspire an entire nation to risk their lives for freedom from Rome, to re-establish the rule of the Davidic kings? The recovery of the Ark would certainly do it, but that wasn’t going to happen.
But then the leaders of the Davidic royal family in waiting had a stunning thought. What if a person could be a human Ark of the Covenant? That is, what if a specific person were possessed by the Shekinah and walked around as a being of flesh and blood but expressing the voice of Yahweh, expressing the divine will itself?
If the people thought that the divine presence was amongst them once more, they would rise as one. Judea would become ungovernable and the Romans would leave. Then the Davidic king could be restored to the throne.
But how could it be engineered? There was no reason at all to expect Yahweh to help since he had failed to help the House of David for some six hundred years. So, if they wanted to achieve their ambition, they would have to fake it. It would be for the greater good and hence fully morally justified but nevertheless it would be the biggest deception in all history.
British Israelism (also called Anglo-Israelism) is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David. There has never been a single head or organisational structure to the movement. However, various British Israelite organisations were set up across the British Commonwealth and in America from the 1870s, and many continue to exist.
Adherents may hold a diverse set of beliefs and claims that are ancillary to the core genealogical theory, but there are central tenets that all British Israelites follow, including Two House Theology, which is at the core of British Israelism. A central teaching of the British Israelites' Two House Theology is that, while Jews are considered to be Israelites, not all Israelites are considered to be Jews. British Israelites believe that Jews descend only from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin), while the House of Israel gave rise to the British people or Anglo-Saxon-Celtic kindred peoples of northwestern Europe.
OUR GENEALOGY TO ADAM AND EVE AND THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY
Through the research of family members including myself, Richard Steel, and others, this is a genealogy in our family tree of successive generations back to Adam and Eve ultimately, through our direct descendancy from the Scottish Monarchy. Also documented here is a comparison with the British Royal Family genealogy who have a known line to Adam and Eve which you can trace here. Some interesting historical, philosophical, and spiritual questions arise.
Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race:
All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God’s will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one…. the character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods, under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit. (CCC, 830-831).
Fifth Glorious Mystery: THE CORONATION
1. All the glory of the king's daughter is within in golden borders, clothed round about with varieties.
2. After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee.
3. They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: they shall be brought into the temple of the king.
4. The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety.
5. The king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne: and a throne was set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right hand.
6. And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
7. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her.
8. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
9. "Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth.
FREEMASONRY TEACHES MAN IS BECOMING GOD
To the occultist, the triangle is very important. It is used constantly in every conceivable manner. It is used either with the point up or down.
When you see the point down, this represents the Deity and is called the Deity's Triangle or the Water Triangle.
The Earthly Triangle or Pyramid Triangle is what it is called when one point is up. It "symbolizes the PERFECT OR DIVINE MAN." This quote is not from some heinous Black-hooded Satanist, it comes from a 33rd Degree Masonic author named George Steinmetz [Freemasonry: Its Hidden Meaning , New York, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1948, p. 63, repeated on p. 67]
As any person familiar with Scripture will tell you, the Gospel of Jesus Christ tells man boldly and clearly that no person can work themselves up to being "divine;" indeed, all our effort is as "filthy rags" to Jesus Christ. Yet, Freemasonry joins all pagan groups in saying that man can become "divine" or "perfect." In another book, George returns to this theme once again, this time blaspheming an important and familiar Scripture, God's own Words, to be exact. Listen:
"Be still -- and know -- that I am God ... That I AM GOD -- the final recognition of the All in All, the unity of the Self with the Cosmos -- the cognition of the DIVINITY OF THE SELF!" [Emphasis in the original; George H. Steinmetz, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, Richmond, Virginia, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1923, p. 92]
You have just witnessed a Masonic author twist the Words of God in Exodus 3:14. How? He applied them to mankind. This blasphemy is an excellent example to show us why Freemasonry has been so sensitive about any of its secrets ever becoming public knowledge.
By Kenny Smith, Emory University
Unsatisfied with an average lifespan of 70 odd years? Consider the emerging tradition of Transhumanism which seeks to convince traditional religions to open their minds (and souls) to fusion with the technological.
Hoping to attract the attention of “nones” (i.e., the 18% of Americans who have no use for “organized religion”), one chaplain contemplates “disorganized religion… I’d take the Ten Commandments from the Jewish faith, but I might not be able to keep them in their original order. I’d bow toward the east like the Muslims, but I might lean more toward Minot, North Dakota. Like Christians, we’d look for a Second Coming of the Messiah, but we’d hit the snooze button to wait for the second trumpet.” Psychological research links religion with increased levels of self-control. So, does this make the whole disorganized thing more, or less, likely?
In imitation of the sentences appended to the Coats of Arms and seals of the Gilds and other societies, the Freemasons have for different branches of their Order mottoes, which are placed on their banners or put at the head of their documents, which are expressive of the character and design, either of the whole Order or of the particular branch to which the motto belongs.
1395 Ancient Craft-Masonry-Ordo ab Chao-Order out of Chaos
What is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?
by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur on Dec 07, 2011 in Catechesis, Featured, MyChurchParish.com
“I am the Immaculate Conception.” These are the words our Blessed Mother spoke to young Bernadette Soubirous when she appeared at Lourdes in 1858. On December 8th, we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, yet it often seems to leave many people confused. What exactly are we celebrating on this holy day?
Contrary to what many people seem to think, it is not the conception of Jesus. That feast is on March 25th – the Feast of the Annunciation. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception commemorates the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne
The Ram, first zodiac sun sign.
March 21 to April 20 Aries Traits
The spring equinox, March 21, is the beginning of the new zodiacal year and Aries, the first sign, is therefore that of new beginnings. The young ram is adventurous, ambitious, impulsive, enthusiastic and full of energy. The Arian is a pioneer both in thought and action, very open to new ideas and a lover of freedom. They welcome challenges and will not be diverted from their purpose except by their own impatience, which will surface if they don't get quick results
Misconceptions About the Immaculate Conception:
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is the subject of a lot of misconceptions (so to speak). Perhaps the most common one, held even by many Catholics, is that it celebrates the conception of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That the feast occurs only 17 days before Christmas should make the error obvious! We celebrate another feast—the Annunciation of the Lord—on March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas. It was at the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary humbly accepted the honor bestowed on her by God and announced by the angel Gabriel, that the conception of Christ took place.
History of the Feast:
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, in its oldest form, goes back to the seventh century, when churches in the East began celebrating the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne, the mother of Mary. In other words, this feast celebrates the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of Saint Anne; and nine months later, on September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Roman month of September is named for septem, because it was originally the seventh month of the Roman solar year September was sacred to Vulcan (Vvlcan), Roman God of fire
The Roman month of September is named for septem, because it was originally the seventh month of the Roman solar year September was sacred to Vulcan (Vvlcan), Roman God of fire
Homer described the Orion of Greek mythology as being the “tallest and most beautiful of men.” Orion, himself, claimed superiority over every creature on earth, and as punishment for his conceit, the gods sent a scorpion to kill him by stinging him in the heel. It is also recorded that he greatly loved Merope (one of the seven sisters of the Pleiades), and that his love for her caused him great pain and loss, but the god Vulcan restored him.
This is easily a corruption of that oldest of all promises —
the one given by God that His Son would love His bride so much that He would suffer for her and be obedient even to death, the death foretold in the Seed Prophecy in Genesis 3:15
THE PROMISE OF A SEED
The first prophecy of a coming Messiah was not made to either the man or the woman, but to the serpent.
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel." (Genesis 3:15).
The promise is found in Genesis 3:15. The first seed was to be the seed of the serpent. It was the seed of rebellion. It was the seed of sin. It was made up of all who walked in the way of Adam in turning against God.
But there is also a second seed promised. It is the seed of the woman. This second seed is set over against the first seed. The two seeds are at war with one another. And God has decreed that the second seed shall ultimately win.
But the story does not stop there. Noah has three sons. And one of them performs an evil deed which demonstrates that he is of the spiritual seed of the serpent. He and his descendants through Canaan are cursed (the impact of this was not missed on the Israelites to whom Moses wrote the book of Genesis). Noah's other son, Shem, is given the promise of blessing. The Babel Rebellion is an account of men trying to make a SHEM for themselves (Shem is the Hebrew word for "name"). They are dispersed among the nations.
But one is called out to be a blessing to the nations. His name is Abraham. He has two sons. One is seen to be the seed of the serpent - he is cast out. The other is of the spiritual seed of God. He is Isaac.
Serpent seed, dual seed or two-seedline is a controversial doctrine according to which the serpent in the Garden of Eden mated with Eve, and the offspring of their union was Cain. This belief is still held by some adherents of Christian Identity, who claim that the Jews, as descendants of Cain, are also descended from the serpent.
The Serpent Seed idea appears in a 9th century book called Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi David Max Eichhorn, in his book Cain: Son of the Serpent, traces the idea back through early Jewish Midrashic texts and identifies many rabbis who taught that Cain was the son of the union between the serpent and Eve.
Some Kabbalist rabbis also believe that Cain and Abel were of a different genetic background than Seth. This is known among Kabbalists as "The Theory of Origins". The theory teaches that God created two "Adams"(Adam means MAN in Hebrew). To one he gave a soul and to the other he did not give a soul. The one without a soul is the creature known in Christianity as the serpent. The Kabbalists call the serpent Nahash (meaning serpent in Hebrew). This is recorded in the Zohar:
"Two beings [Adam and Nachash] had intercourse with Eve, and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents, and their spirits parted, one to this side and one to the other, and similarly their characters. On the side of Cain are all the haunts of the evil species; from the side of Abel comes a more merciful class, yet not wholly beneficial -- good wine mixed with bad."(Zohar 136)
Chthonic serpents and sacred trees
In many myths the chthonic serpent (sometimes a pair) lives in or is coiled around a Tree of Life situated in a divine garden. In the Genesis story of the Torah and Biblical Old Testament, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is situated in the Garden of Eden together with the tree of life and the Serpent. In Greek mythology Ladon coiled around the tree in the garden of the Hesperides protecting the entheogenic golden apples.
Níðhöggr gnaws the roots of Yggdrasil in this illustration from a 17th century Icelandic manuscript.
Similarly Níðhöggr (Nidhogg Nagar) the dragon of Norse mythology eats from the roots of the Yggdrasil, the World Tree.
Under yet another Tree (the Bodhi tree of Enlightenment), the Buddha sat in ecstatic meditation. When a storm arose, the mighty serpent king Mucalinda rose up from his place beneath the earth and enveloped the Buddha in seven coils for seven days, not to break his ecstatic state.
The Vision Serpent was also a symbol of rebirth in Mayan mythology, fueling some cross-Atlantic cultural contexts favored in pseudoarchaeology. The Vision Serpent goes back to earlier Maya conceptions, and lies at the center of the world as the Mayans conceived it. "It is in the center axis atop the World Tree. Essentially the World Tree and the Vision Serpent, representing the king, created the center axis which communicates between the spiritual and the earthly worlds or planes. It is through ritual that the king could bring the center axis into existence in the temples and create a doorway to the spiritual world, and with it power". (Schele and Friedel, 1990: 68)
The Sumerian deity, Ningizzida, is accompanied by two gryphons Mushussu; it is the oldest known image of two snakes coiling around an axial rod, dating from before 2000 BCE.
Sometimes the Tree of Life is represented (in a combination with similar concepts such as the World Tree and Axis mundi or "World Axis") by a staff such as those used by shamans. Examples of such staffs featuring coiled snakes in mythology are the caduceus of Hermes, the Rod of Asclepius, the staff of Moses, and the papyrus reeds and deity poles entwined by a single serpent Wadjet, dating to earlier than 3000 BCE.
The oldest known representation of two snakes entwined around a rod is that of the Sumerian fertility god Ningizzida. Ningizzida was sometimes depicted as a serpent with a human head, eventually becoming a god of healing and magic.
Ningizzida has been popularised in the 20th C. by Raku Kei Reiki (a.k.a. "The Way of the Fire Dragon") where "Nin Giz Zida" is believed to be a fire serpent of Tibetan rather than Sumerian origin. Nin Giz Zida is another name for the ancient Hindu concept of Kundalini, a Sanskrit word meaning either "coiled up" or "coiling like a snake".
In Ancient Egypt, where the earliest written cultural records exist, the serpent appears from the beginning to the end of their mythology. Ra and Atum ("he who completes or perfects") became the same god, Atum, the "counter-Ra," was associated with earth animals, including the serpent: Nehebkau ("he who harnesses the souls") was the two headed serpent deity who guarded the entrance to the underworld.
He is often seen as the son of the snake goddess Renenutet. She often was confused with (and later was absorbed by) their primal snake goddess Wadjet, the Egyptian cobra, who from the earliest of records was the patron and protector of the country, all other deities, and the pharaohs. Hers is the first known oracle. She was depicted as the crown of Egypt, entwined around the staff of papyrus and the pole that indicated the status of all other deities, as well as having the all-seeing eye of wisdom and vengeance. She never lost her position in the Egyptian pantheon.
Originally posted by BIHOTZ
I present to you the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception ...
Originally posted by BIHOTZ
I don't know why I am even bothering with this thread.