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The Da Vinci Code: The Sacred Feminine

In Dan Brown's novel, he makes the now contentious claim that the Holy Grail was not a physical chalice, but rather a woman, namely Mary Magdalene. Indeed, the story reveals that she was pregnant at the time of Jesus' crucifixion, eventually giving birth to a baby girl (Sarah) and escaping to France, where the bloodline carried on in secret, only to be known by the clandestine brotherhood of the Priory of Sion, who would later become the Knights Templar.

Why was the fact that Jesus and Mary had a child kept a secret for so long? According to the Code, this was the result of a conspiratorial effort on behalf of the Catholic Church to suppress any indication of Jesus' physical relationship with Mary, and more specifically, her unique status as an apostle, and even as Jesus' equal.

Brown says the Church sought to suppress these facts because it might ignite a revival in the ancient (pagan) belief of the Divine Feminine, or the idea that God has both male and female elements. According to this doctrine, the ancient Goddesses of Isis (of Egypt), Ishtar (Babylon) and Asherah (Old Testament) were all representations of the Divine Feminine; while centuries later, esoteric and Gnostic circles would revere Mary Magdalene.

According to Brown's account, the Church feared that revealing the power of the sacred feminine would challenge the supremacy of Jesus' apostle Simon Peter. In order to conceal this, they asserted that canonical references to a prostitute washing the feet of Jesus with her hair was, in fact, the same Mary Magdalene who appears by Jesus' side both during his crucifixion and, even more remarkably, at his resurrection. The Church portrayed her as a repentant sinner (although none of the four New Testament Gospels make any direct reference to this effect), and her devotion to Jesus as a reflection of his unwavering humility.

To embody his esoteric premise of Grail Lore, Brown uses the character of Sophie Neveu, the granddaughter of Jacques Sauniere, a Louvre curator whose secret life Sophie herself is unaware of, until his death prompts her to take a journey through code and conspiracy. Finally, with the help of Professor Langdon, she discovers that her grandfather was actually the headmaster of the secret brotherhood of the Priory of Sion, who in his final moments, reveals to Sophie the secret of the Holy Grail. And it is this secret that becomes the biggest shock of all.

It turns out that the grandfather's childhood nickname for Sophie, "Princess," meant more than he'd let on. The Grail, she finds, is not a chalice, but the bloodline of Mary Magdalene, and more specifically, her. As it turns out, Sophie herself is a descendant of the biblical figure. The Holy Grail and moreover, the Sacred Feminine, both lie within her.

Jesus of Nazareth Mary Magdalene: Mariamne Early Christianity
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