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(An Excerpt from "From the Gold to the Goddess - The True Story of the Restoration of Chivalry and The Return of The Knights Templar," by Michael Henry Dunn, copyright 2018, all rights reserved)

In the years I spent researching the ‘lost history’ surrounding the Shakespeare authorship controversy, I had learned a corollary to Churchill’s famous dictum that “history is written by the victors.” Yes, the losing side in any war is subsequently depicted in histories (largely funded by the victors) as wrong, flawed, guilty, or downright evil aggressors. In addition, however, subsequent generations of historians then pile on to the accepted wisdom of the previous generation’s bias, and a century or two may pass before it is politically safe to question the ‘official version,’ by which time historians are in the habit of quoting earlier historians, rather than going back to primary sources to determine with fresh eyes the ‘real truth’ of what took place.

So it is with the story of Mary Magdalene and the Knights Templar. She hovers hauntingly over the tragic arc of the rise and fall of the Order, over their brotherhood with the Cathars, their inheritance of the original Christian Essene spirituality of the Apostles, their discovery of the sacred manuscripts beneath the Temple, and the coded symbolism by which they veiled their devotion to her in forms acceptable to the Church.

Called by St. Augustine the “Apostle to the Apostles,” the truth of the Magdalene’s role as the closest disciple, the beloved companion, the most loyal, the one who “provided for the Lord from her purse,” who stayed with Him through the crucifixion, and was the first to behold Him after the Resurrection – this truth is now at last gaining wide acceptance, both among the faithful and by scholars. Pope Francis recently elevated the Church’s celebration of the Magdalen to a “Feast Day” – a special category reserved only for saints of an Apostolic level – calling her “this woman who showed great love for Christ and was much loved by Christ…”

As I began to meet other Templars of the restored Order – especially those women spiritual leaders and teachers who are perhaps the Templars’ greatest strength today – I would hear of many who felt especially guided by the spirit of Mary Magdalene, or who had experienced profound mystical communion with her.

Then, as now, Templars believe that she is the Order’s Protectress and guide – so long as we remain faithful to the Code of Chivalry, and the life of prayer.

Prince Matthew made the following observation of this sacred tradition on the Order’s webpage on Mary Magdalene:

"The Temple Rule of 1129 AD features a key reference emphasizing “Our Lady of God” in equal balance with Jesus, using the unique Old French word “Damedieu”, which specifically represents the feminine aspect of God (Rule 2). A related reference in the original Latin identifies “Our Lady” as the “Saint” Mary (and not the “Virgin” or “Mother”), highlighting Saint Mary Magdalene as a Gnostic Apostle of Jesus (Rule 16). It specifically declares that the Templar Priests of the Order serve by “the authority of Our Lady of God” (Rule 64), thereby dedicating the Order to Mary Magdalene. Accordingly, preserving the tradition of Mary Magdalene remains one of the fundamental historical missions which is carried by the modern Templar Order."

As I worked more closely with Prince Matthew, I began to glimpse the astonishing range of skills, disciplines, and talents which he brought to bear in his role as the first duly elected Grand Master of the Knights Templar since the death of Jacques de Molay. He is an accomplished linguist and translator, as well as an archaeologist, international lawyer and judge, and, due to his extremely high-functioning Asperger’s autism, has a super-computer capacity to process information.

These skills, when applied to a new translation of the Temple Rule – the original Charter of the Order, composed under the supervision of St. Bernard de Clairvaux – revealed ‘lost history’ regarding the Templar devotion to Mary Magdalene, which had been hiding in plain sight for centuries.

Under the 2nd Grand Master, Robert de Crayon, the Temple Rule was translated from Latin into Old French near the year 1138 AD. Prince Matthew authored an authoritative English translation directly from the scholarly translation from the original Latin into Old French by Henry de Curzon in 1886 AD. Prince Matthew notes that his translation was made “with reference to the original Latin manuscripts as preserved by La Société de L’Histoire de France in the Librairie Renouard in Paris.”

Regarding Mary Magdalene, a mistranslation of a key passage in the Temple Rule had found its way into wide acceptance over the centuries. Early on in the Rule, the Templars assert (in the traditional translation) that “the spirit of God works strongly with us.” Prince Matthew found that, in fact, the original old French used a unique phrase Damedieu, or literally “Our Lady of God,” and that the actual passage should read “the good works of Our Lady of God are with us, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

Thus, in their founding document the Templars asserted near the very beginning of their Charter, that the Order is dedicated to “the love of Justice…and to defend the poor, widows, orphans, and the church” in the spirit of their beloved Protectress, Mary Magdalene, whom they name in the same breath as Jesus, as their Damedieu…their “Lady of God.”

Thus did the Templars emphasize their devotion to the Feminine Face of God, to the Divine as Holy Wisdom, not in contradistinction to Christ, but in unified alchemical balance with the Sacred Masculine.

Each soul may be said to be feminine in relation to the Divine Masculine in the aspect of the Prime Mover, the Uncaused Cause, but in pursuit of divine perfection (as Scripture notes, “be you therefore perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect”), the soul is essentially genderless while seeking to balance the qualities of Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine within itself.

Over the course of incarnations in both masculine and feminine bodies, the soul gradually rises to ecstatic reunion with Source, neither male nor female, but transcendently expressing both in perfect balance.

Devotion to Mary Magdalene came naturally to me, as I had been raised in a Catholic home where the Blessed Mother’s presence was often invoked and where nightly prayers included the Hail Mary as well as the Our Father. In later life, when I began to practice meditation, the Divine Feminine became my natural focus. Others are naturally drawn to their own preferred paths, in accord with their own cultural or personal predilections, to seek the Divine as Father, or as the Impersonal Light, or even (as in India) as the Romantic Beloved, or as Child, or as Mother.

And here, again, the spiritual and the geopolitical intersected, as the essential Templar mission of preserving and promoting the underlying mystical foundations of the great religions serves as the desperately needed corrective to the deliberately fomented divisions, hatreds, and bloodshed which fuels the profits of the war machine – the systematic violations of laws both human and divine by which the ruling elite maintains control.

If we were to pursue that mission effectively, it would soon become time to go public, to raise the Templar banner openly – and to stick our necks out perhaps a tad too far, a tad too soon.

If we were to pursue that mission effectively, it would soon become time to go public, to raise the Templar banner openly – and to stick our necks out perhaps a tad too far, a tad too soon.

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