Mary Magdalene at Notre Dame in Paris: See Me!
"See me! See me!" Mary Magdalene spoke into my thoughts as I stood outside the western door of the great Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris two weeks ago. Having just completed our Sacred France tour ‘Rediscovering the Magdalene,’ I was steeped in the legends of her living and teaching in France, mysteries of the bloodline, and the suppression of her importance by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Wife of Jesus?
Traditionally held beliefs and gnostic Christian teachings in southern France say that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus. After the crucifixion she and her entourage arrived by boat to the village now named Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. She was pregnant and some believe may have had her and Jesus’s older children with her. Stories say that Mary Magdalene spread the pure teachings of Jesus in the Languedoc area, sometimes making her home in caves. There was an Order of Templars who pledged themselves to protect Magdalene and the bloodline and to keep the truth alive. The Church wiped out the Cathars, a Christian sect who presumably followed those early teachings in the 1100 and 1200’s. No wonder Magdalene had to be hidden.
In the early Christian church Magdalene was seen as a special partner to Jesus. In 400 A.D. Saint Augustine called her the ‘Apostle to the Apostles.' But this all shifted about 400 years later when Pope Gregory confused Mary Magdalene with another Mary in the Bible, the sinner who washed Jesus's feet. From then on the church saw her as a repentant prostitute. Interestingly, the Orthodox Church never made this mistake, and has always venerated Magdalene as a saint.
Writers such as Kathleen McGowan have said that the name ‘Notre Dame,’ literally 'Our Lady' is actually referring to Mary Magdalene; though the Catholic Church says it is Mother Mary who is ‘Our Lady.’ Magdalene symbology and esoteric teachings are hidden in the magnificent French Gothic cathedrals. Seven of France's ten greatest cathedrals are called ‘Notre Dame,’ attesting to the importance of the Feminine. She will not be pushed aside.
Hidden Symbols of Mary Madgalene
To keep the truth of Mary Magdalene alive the Templars and architects of the great cathedrals hid her in the symbology and art; or under the guise of Virgin Mary. Knowing this, I stood outside the main entrance of Notre Dame de Paris; Mary Magdalene beseeching "See me!" into my mind.
As I look, the clearest representation of Mary Magdalene as a partner to Jesus is in the overall architecture of the massive twin towers of Notre Dame. Magdalene doesn't just mean ‘from Magdala,’ it means ‘tower.’ Here the two towers stand forth against the sky announcing their truth to ‘those with eyes to see and ears to hear’ that both Jesus and Mary are towers.
The Portal of Virgin Mary...Or Mary Magdalene?
The left door of the main or western facade is known as the ‘Portal of Virgin Mary.’ But is it? Could the woman reposing dead, surrounded by the Apostles and Jesus actually be Mary Magdalene? Following the progression of the story upward we see an enthroned Mary and Jesus.
Jesus wears a crown and is giving a scepter to Mary. Angels above are crowning Mary. But which Mary is it? Jesus and Mary crowned and enthroned, look to me like king and queen, husband and wife, equals, Jesus and Magdalene.
The Devine Feminine
The story moves to the right, to the large statue on the tympanum. This time I knew it was Her. A crowned woman holds a banner and a chalice. Magdalene is most often portrayed as holding a vessel of anointing oils. What indicates to me that this represents Mary Magdalene is that a money pouch hangs from her belt. This was used in medieval art to indicate that Mary Magdalene was a financial supporter of Jesus and his work. Above her are buildings—towers? This crowned sculpture is Mary Magdalene as she was— a powerful, regal, Divine Feminine.
The Last Judgement
Above the main door is a sculpted scene of the Last Judgment. Souls being weighed— a storyline right out of ancient Egypt. The souls that are saved are under the heavenly protection of the angels. The damned, are roped together and led off by devils. Straining my eyes for any hints of the ‘Magdalene heresy’ in the artists’ details, it does seem to me that one of the souls being led off to hell has on a king’s crown, and another wears a hat very similar to that worn by popes. Hmmm…
Again the story moves to the right. I see Her. This sculpted image has haunted me ever since that moment. It is this image that moves my pen now.
It must be Mary Magdalene. Towers are above her. She is wearing the same robes as the magnificent crowned Magdalene to the left. Her money pouch is gone. Her pendant is gone. Her crown has fallen to the ground. Her banner is broken. The top of the banner is a spear. Could it represent the spear the Roman soldier used to pierce Christ’s side on the cross? Perhaps it is a hidden reminder of the injury done to an enlightened one by a Roman— the Roman Church?
This Magdalene is downcast, powerless. She's blindfolded. But the blindfold isn't a strip of cloth—it's a serpent! The snake’s head languishes as if dead on her head. The serpent in mystical traditions represents wisdom, the guardian of the doorways to greater knowing. In Egyptian symbology the live serpent would be projecting from her third eye, the ureas—the symbol of enlightenment. In the small church in Rene le Chateau, made famous by the stories in ‘DaVince Code,’ Magdalene’s skirt folds represent a serpent— a symbol of the Isis lineage of priestesses.
Is this downtrodden statue telling us that the Church’s spear killed the serpent of wisdom? Killed the power of Mary Magdalene? Blindfolded the Divine Feminine?
Have others seen her?
I couldn’t wait to do an internet search to find if others had seen Magdalene here, especially in the two statues on either side of the main door— one in her power, and the other blindfolded and repressed.
I found nothing. Officially the female images represent Ecclesia and Synagoga, common representations in medieval art. Ecclesia represents the victorious Christian Church. Synagoga represents the defeated Jewish religion. She is blindfolded because she didn’t ‘see’ Jesus as the Messiah.
Perhaps Magdalene’s message from the great door of Notre Dame is that we have all been blindfolded. She asks us to choose for ourselves. Do we stand tall, crowned, awake to wisdom and the Divine Feminine? Or, do we stand blindfolded and defeated?
Now a caveat: I know nothing about Christian art, Gothic architecture or what experts say. I may be all wrong. I only know what I saw on a sunny spring day in Paris as I looked for Mary Magdalene—Our Lady.
Jonette is a spiritual adventurer and modern-day shaman who leads spiritual tours to power places around the globe. She is a gifted channel, oracle, and author of the internationally best-selling books “The Eagle and the Condor” and “Soul Body Fusion®.” She is the founder of the Soul Body Fusion® method for healing and beyond. With her guide “Mark” she teaches people to reach multi-dimensional and quantum states of consciousness.
Visit us at: www.JonetteCrowley.com or