Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Maiden of the Temple

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for months (as you will see).  I have more to say on this topic, but I'm not sure what yet.  I think it will have to come out in story form.  Something about how girls are sent to initiation to acquire that aunts/sisters/grandmother's Hekate going underground to take Leto's place, or Artemis taking Persephone's place at Demeter's side...  I don't quite know how it goes yet.

Today, the 21st of November, is the Feast of Theotokos Entering the Temple.  I think this is a story little know outside of the Old Church; it's not clear to me that Catholics or Protestants have much legend about Mary before Jesus is born.  It casts Mary as a powerful priestess in her own right, and highlights Jesus's role as an inheritor of the line of Sarai, not just the line of Abraham.

Like me, Mary was a "miracle baby".  Her mother, Anna, and father, Joachim, had long attempted to have children, but Anna's body betrayed her, and she could not bring a child to term.  She prayed, and conceived Mary, and bore her.  In the fall of her third year,  Mary was taken to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where her great uncle (Anna's mother's brother) was the high priest.  There, she was almost immediately recognized as special; the Presence hung on her and she shone.  She studied there for 9 years, until she came of age.

Sarai, too, in my personal mythology, was entered into the Temple as a young girl.  I dreamt once, of going to the Great Temple, to tell my great uncle of a powerful dream, and to demand the blessing that assured my entry into the mysteries.

There is a small chapel on the summit of the hill of Eleusis.  It opens only for the Festival of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos Entering the Temple on Novemeber 21st.  One day, I very much wish to be there for this festival.

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