Mother or Whore?

By Winter Jade Icely

The church of Saint Sulpice is the beginning of the Roseline, a meridian that runs from Paris to the south of France. St Sulpice is the first sacred site marking the Magdalene mysteries, a cathedral built around a womb. The womb represents the birthing portal of life and our eventual return through the uterine waters to physical death. The Magdalene mysteries document Mary Magdalene’s arrival to these foreign lands with her children after the death of Jesus, her beloved.

The heart of this church holds a statue of Mother Mary standing on a dead snake, the symbol of the devil. In Christian mythology the snake is Lilith, the dark feminine. I first encountered this statue in Ireland last year and it is a significant image highlighting the deep schism between the light and dark feminine in Christianity.

There are two key archetypes of Mary, the mother and the whore. Although I acknowledge both historically as individual women, I feel them as one archetype and place importance on reunifying the parts of each that were fragmented by Christianity. Mary the mother, the virgin, known for her spiritual devotion is cut off from her sexuality and Mary Magdalene the whore and beloved to Jesus is cut off from her wisdom and heart. This split in the archetypes of Mary has created a schism within feminine consciousness and consequently many women (and men/ all genders) harbour this split within their psyche. Thus the polarity of mother and whore, spirituality and sexuality, devotion and desire, heart and sex.

Women are commended for living as devotional mothers, the virtues of sacrificing her needs for others, for her children, partner and society are revered. Alternatively slut shaming which is insidious in our culture denotes the lack of integrity and wisdom in women who follow their sexual desires or exude an appetite for erotic pleasure. The mistress is judged harshly.

The compartmentalisation of Mary (and women) as being either mother or whore suggests that sexuality and spirituality are inharmonious, unable to coexist. This has ruptured the feminine into fragments of either light or dark, pure or immoral, an incongruent duality.

The Acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery.         Galtaians 5:19

The serpent (Lilith) exemplifies the ‘sins’ of the body, the immorality of sexual desire and sensuality. The snake is depicted as cold blooded, hypnotic, acting from primal instincts, disconnected from the warm blood of heart consciousness. Lilith was demonized for her temptress energy, luring Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden thus casting them into the pits of sin; the hell that is the physical world. Lilith’s power lies in her sexuality, in her shameless desires of the flesh, her primal pleasure. Her realm is the shadow, she shines her dark light on all that we hide, that which we shame and deny.

The symbol of the serpent in yogic and tantric traditions is kundalini or life force. The raw energy that connects everything, the power that breathes our bodies into existence. It is the oceanic surges of pleasure dissolving our bodies into orgasmic channels of pure life. The kundalini serpent is coiled up at the base of our spine, the lower chakras, the gateway of our sex centres and root system. This is the power of the dark, dense energies of our body, the energies of the earth. Religious paradigms have actively castrated this power and sexual shame continues to seep like venom into the collective consciousness of humanity today.

You say you desire to reach God- good. But where are standing now? You are standing in sex, you are standing in lust. This is where you live, and it is from this point you will take steps and begin your journey. Osho

Spiritual paradigms place great importance on the transcendence of the body, the gateway to enlightenment is realised through the light and the path of the heart but unless we are able to also acknowledge the holy dark, the purity of the body and our eros as a spiritual gateway we will remain pinched off from our wholeness and integrated power. We will continue to live enmeshed in shame and guilt evoked through lust and desire, our eros will fester in the shadows emerging unconsciously, potentially through destructive or unhealthy expressions.

An integrated spiritual path is one that acknowledges and unites the wisdom of the heart/spirit with the erotic energies of the sex/body. Bowing to the purity contained within both the dark and light, equally. Two holy temples.

It is time to reunify Mary as an integrated archetype whose devotional heart is aligned with her yearning to be fucked open to god.

It is time for the serpent to rise.