The Queen Who Is Hidden in the Gospels, Part III

 As I discussed in the previous blog, that rather humorous passage about the Queen of Heaven in Jeremiah. . . but Kate Gladstone chides me for not knowing that that passage is not in the current calendar of haftarot. Perhaps it may have been back then, but . . . Anyway, “Queen of Heaven” was a title used for many goddesses in the Hellenistic world. Could there still have been any genuine belief in a Queen of Heaven in the Judea of Jesus’ time? Any awareness of Her as still being Yahweh’s wife and … [Read more...]

The Queen Who Is Hidden in the Gospels, Part II

At the end of Part I, I asked, Would the people in Jesus’ time have known who the Queen of Heaven was? Yes, they certainly would have, but to see why, we must look at how the state religion of the Kingdom of Judah (which therefore came to be called Judaism) was founded and at the career of the prophet Jeremiah. The full history of the founding of Judaism can become a very long story, which I will save for another time. Here I want to touch upon only the details relevant for answering that q … [Read more...]

The Queen Who Is Hidden in the Gospels, Part I

I discovered Her by accident. Given my predilection for Goddesses since age 14, I obviously hope She is truly there, but I think (or at least hope) that I can be objective enough not to engage in special pleading or distort the evidence.The birth of my oldest daughter Maeve Adair in January 1973 forced me to begin growing up a little more. A few months later, Alta asked me, as we were sitting at a red light in Berkeley, if I had thought more about the possibility of going to the Graduate … [Read more...]

Grateful Thoughts for Peter Dybing

I am quite grateful for Peter Dybing’s praise for my writing in a comment he left a day or so ago. Considering his immense service to Paganism and to humanity in general, and the stage of (current) burnout he has reached because of (I assume) rampant ingratitude, I find his goodwill toward me very special. His focusing on how I “process” in my writing, rather than merely present conclusions, seemed, well, unexpected; at least, “process” was not a term that would have occurred to me, but I think I … [Read more...]

On Gnosticism, the Book of Shadows, and Sex

I received a few days ago my monthly statistical report from Patheos on how many hits I received last month, total, per day, per blog, etc. My total has been running just under 5,000. If I get up to 12,500, I start getting paid (hint, hint). It was interesting to see that the greatest number of hits were on two blogs: “On Jesus as a Gnostic” and “Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows.” I suppose I might garner some more hits if I expand upon those particular topics. I also see I’ve written somew … [Read more...]

On Jesus as a Gnostic

 Why write about him at all? Because, like it or not, he is the protagonist in the story of Western civilization. You know about him; you have a theory about him, even if it’s that you should ignore him. But, as with most topics, it’s better to be well-informed than to be ignorant.Before 1945, the few people interested in the Gnostics generally thought they were heretical interlopers whose teachings had nothing to do with the genuine Christian message. The Nag Hammadi documents, which iclude … [Read more...]

On the Necessity of Awakening

The Castle Frankenstein poem I posted as a blog records an experience that set me on a Gnostic path. It think it must be significant that I recovered my memory of it during a strange, dark prelude—maybe calling it “existential despair”is not too inaccurate—to my 1963 Awakening experience, of which I have not yet posted a full description, although my long History poem was one attempt to describe it.My experience in 1954 had been an Awakening also. Afterward I knew many things; in that sense I … [Read more...]

Knowledge Rather Than Faith

What serves as my religion was formed in an instant when I was 14. Ever since, I have searched for adequate vehicles to express it in practical ways. What I know from that experience is how the Divine felt to me. That knowledge is a foundation, primordial relative to all specific religions. It enables me to be aware of the presence of the divine in almost any context, Christian or Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist or Pagan, as long as I remember to pay attention, which I sometimes don’t, at least not at … [Read more...]

A Request and Previews

Our intrepid Managing editor for the Patheos Pagan Channel, Dr. Christine Hoff Kraemer, has suggested to me that, in order to avoid burnout, it might be wise not to try to make a major contribution to world literature, theology, and philosophy with every blog. I can see that. It's okay just to chat once in a while.Now, I do have a request. If those among my readers who are college teachers or who otherwise hold a prestigious position that might impress our Dean might be so kind as to post a … [Read more...]

On Being Outside All the Boxes

Having been working (for a long time) on a novel about the same alternative universe as in my Goddess Murder, I have been looking for books on Mary Magdalene, the Gnostics, and suchlike. Recently I found Secrets of Mary Magdalene. Don’t be put off by the title. It is a well-balanced anthology of interviews with and essays by the leading scholars, largely women, of Gnosticism, early Christianity, and related fields, and by women novelists, not the hack writers whose forgettable novels clutter l … [Read more...]


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