Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mary Magdalene Has A Lot of Symbols

All languages of the world today are dialects of the same language, words and letters. A language so restrictive that it erases eons of knowledge, history, art, and our greatest heroes, tragedies, and triumphs.

Symbols are a language of allegory, created long before the lettered words we are imprisoned by today. As an art historian my job is to interpret the inspiration for a artists’ creations, such as symbols. The cliche “A picture tells a thousand words”, my father would say when I was growing up in Australia, perfectly describes the language of symbols.

The human thought process is so complex that computer scientists have yet to match it. Combined with oral tradition, symbols are just as effective at containing and recalling information as any computer, possibly more so. Of all the saints Mary Magdalene has the most number of symbols that I’ve encountered during 7 years research of religious art history.  

At the current count I have found 80 symbols relating to Mary Magdalene. Each symbol with multiple versions and interpretations and interconnecting relationships and histories, created, preserved, and handed down through millennia.  That many symbols for one purportedly such as Mary Magdalene living 2,000 years ago is a mind opener.

No other woman has that many symbols, not even Mary mother of Jesus. It means that Mary Magdalene was a lot more important than an impoverished Jewish prostitute who met Jesus for only 15 minutes of fame.   So much information is generated from the symbols of Mary Magdalene, that they begin to color in many gray areas and fill in totally blank areas of history.  

Symbol tracking is the same as tracking animals that would get lost on our farm in
Australia. The trail is never always clear nor easy to find. A broken twig or half a paragraph here, a bent blade of grass or the etymology of part of a word there, a small tuft of hair on a branch or the photo of part of a broken artifact over yonder.   

Soon we start to see the symbols repeated in modern artifacts as decorative motifs, such as on ornaments and houses. The designer unknowing of their original meanings. By tracking her symbols, Mary Magdalene’s story and forgotten tracts of history can be found in the most surprising places. For example in the art, curiosities, and old Victorian houses and Art Deco or older buildings and furniture.

Photos taken in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, 2016.

Excerpt from upcoming article in Andrew Gough's Heretic Magazine and a new book I'm currently writing on the symbols of Mary Magdalene.

Check out my new multimedia digital book on Coded Architecture of Haight Ashbury San Francisco that tells some of the secrets of the Holy Grail legends @ Help raise awareness to stop the beautiful Victorians being torn down by developers who don't understand their historic and cultural value.