I love books that retell a story in a way you would never imagine. Want to see every story you’ve ever read about Mary Magdalene turned on its head? Then put judgment aside and read Mary’s Message by Ann Crawford, the re-imagining of what Yeshua’s life would have been like if Mary Magdalen had been his wife. In Mary’s Message, Mary is a priestess of the high temple practiced in the art of love and alchemy (could be why the Bible refers to her as a prostitute), a gifted teacher (could be why the Apostles had a beef with her), an energy healer and medicine woman (had she been born centuries later they would have burned her at the stake), and a positive thinker all wrapped up together in a powerhouse of a package, a woman in control of her thoughts and emotions and hence her reality, a woman worthy of being the mate of Yeshua ben Yosef, more commonly referred to as Jesus. I was entranced by the possible alternatives to the Bible stories and intrigued by how Crawford married the feminine nature to what has until this time been a strictly masculine-defined and patriarchal view of that time period of Yeshua’s life.
The way Crawford describes it — and since none of us were alive at the time, why bother disputing it — Yeshua and Mary Magdalene lived together in the temple where Magdalene lived and taught. When the time came, she went out on the road with him, assisting hm in preaching what would later become the Gospels. They were essential components of each other’s personalities, their marriage the intertwining of the feminine and masculine to form a complete unit through the bonds of matrimony, and as such, they instructed, supported and empowered each other and those around them. They evolved together, becoming stronger through the gestalt of the relationship rather than as separate entities, and the benefits of their union continued long after Yeshua “died” and was “resurrected.”
The story follows along with all the high points of Yeshua’s life as depicted in the Bible, but touchstones for that period in time is where the similarities end and many of the events such as Yeshua’s death are told with a very different spin. Moreover, while Yeshua had the utmost respect for Mary, her abilities, and point of view, the rest of the people alive at the time, and to some degree the Apostles, considered women as little more than chattel. This made the story all the more interesting to read as Mary and Yeshua navigated their interpersonal relationship while still maintaining a place in the larger community with its masculine-dominated mores and opinions.
If your Christianity is of the fundamental variety then Mary’s Message may not be the book for you, especially given the deep metaphysical and eastern religion tenets that run throughout. But if you can put aside preconceived notions and be open to a familiar story told in a brand new way then give Mary’s Message a look.