The Murder of Mary Magdalene and the Hidden Encryption in Art
by Dan Green
The mysterious biblical figure of Mary Magdalene received a high profile boost to the uninitiated courtesy of Dan Brown’s blockbuster ‘The Da Vinci Code’, elevating her status even higher than when in 1969 the Catholic Church decided to pronounce her a Saint – quite an improvement from their previous character assassination that had assured her image for the previous centuries as being that of a harlot. In Brown’s book and movie Mary was the partner of the biblical Jesus and bore him a child, Sarah, thus the dawning of a royal bloodline. The search for her remains and evidence of this alternative historical and religious account soon became a blurred concoction, a cocktail of mixed fact and fiction.
Whereas the fictional element placed her under a pyramid at the Louvre, more realistic accounts of Mary’s final resting place varied from Jerusalem, Ephesus, Vezalay, St Maximin, and a site in Kashmir, not to mention the legends that she resides buried somewhere in the vicinity of Rennes-le-Chateau.
My own investigation of the Rennes mystery, an involvement dating back to 1985, led me via the controversial Parchments allegedly found in her small church there, coupled with numerous other clues strewn about, surprisingly, to Lincoln, England and its admired Gothic Cathedral where connected clues and my discovered ‘Lincoln Cathedral Code’ concluded at a precise location opposite the South East corner of this great structure with the suggestion that it is here that the Magdalene and her secrets remain hidden having arrived en route from Rennes-le-Chateau and the Templars Preceptory at Temple Bruer, twelve miles South of the Cathedral. Most of the unfolding adventure is explained at length in my 2010 USA movie-documentary the disturbingly and grisly titled ‘The Murder of Mary Magdalene; Genocide of the Holy Bloodline,’ (Excerpt on Youtube under same title) for I had gone where no other investigator had dare, an unwelcome twist suggesting a pregnant Mary had not conceived a child for she had been the unfortunate victim of an unthinkable homicide, and by announcing this hypothesis I knew immediately that I was swimming against the tide, the tide being the many thousands of devotees to this great figure who were content in the preferred and woolly romantic belief that Mary had lived out her life peacefully as the wife of Christ and that a holy bloodline might still be intact.
Now cast into the role of a Hercule Poirot style forensic detective, I will try to explain how the evidence began to unfold.
A portrayal of Mary Magdalene
We owe our unacceptable origin of violence directed towards women to the misguided historical view of female being viewed as male property, the gender role an expectant to be subservient to the male, to be dominated and discriminated against and primarily to prevent the full advancement and potential of woman. Domestic, State, and Mob violence are three forms of it with sexual slavery thrown into the bargain, much if not all of this stemming from the bigotry and fear exemplified by the early male church and St Peter. In recent times we have had to witness the political assassination of numerous powerful women, Indira Gandhi at the hands of her own bodyguards, prominent Afghan feminist Meena Keshwar Kamal, gunned down, the first female prime minister of Rwanda Agathe Uwilingiyimana, also killed by her own guards, Konca Kuris, the Turkish feminist leader abducted, tortured and killed by Hizbollah, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh, stabbed, Aqila al-Hashimi Iraq Foreign Minister, shot, Russian journalist and activist Anna Politkovskaya, outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, shot, and most recently Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation, shot in 2007. Add to this list other demised female luminaries either killed outright or involved in conspiracies such as the Grecian Hypatia, the first female mathematician, killed by fanatical Christian monks, Jean of Arc, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana. If the alternative story of Mary Magdalene is that she was a most powerful and influential political woman allocated the task of carrying on Christ’s Ministry in his absence and with his blessing and being his partner to boot, given that there is always a prevalent male opposition to significant female figures, are we to believe that her life was not going to be in danger, an unrealistic view that she was exempt from such underhand machinations?
Mourners at the tomb of the assassinated Benazir Bhutto
In 2007 I shared where much evidence suggests is the hidden remains of the Magdalene and her secrets once guarded by the Knights Templar, and was quite content to leave it at that after failing to secure a GPR scan for the location that was originally considered to be no problem by Lincoln Cathedral but who later reneged on granting permission. (A rogue investigator and his geophysics accomplice took it upon themselves to conduct their own scan at my site in 2010 and it revealed objects at exactly where expected.)
However I remained troubled by one piece of evidence that had unexpectedly presented itself along the way, originally noticed by an ex-BBC correspondent. A curious document dated 1917, the year that the Rennes-le-Chateau parish priest Berenger Sauniere died, deposited in a file at Grantham Library, Lincolnshire, called ‘The Quest’, handwritten, illustrated and claiming to be the work of Victor Hugo, France’s most famous novelist and allegedly the second last Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, was brought to my attention.
The mysterious dossier ‘The Quest,’ kept at Grantham Library, Lincolnshire.
Although not genuinely by Hugo, It is extra curious in that the library who have been custodians of the dossier for as long as they can remember, do not know who originally filed it with them or when. The Library itself is located within the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre with his statue facing it outside, Newton himself, like Hugo, a cited grand Master of the Priory of Sion, from 1691! Some thirty pages in total, the first five pages tells of a search for ‘a lost cathedral and city of Wyville’, as opposed to the actual small, obscure hamlet of Wyville where the quest starts, and which is situated SW of Grantham in the Lincolnshire/Leicestershire border not too far away from a Knights Templar Preceptory once existing at South Witham. My deductions learned me that this ‘lost cathedral’ is in fact Lincoln Cathedral, which, various times in the year, will simply vanish from sight when enshrouded in mist…it becomes ‘lost’.
‘The Quest’ leads us to a ‘Wyville’ in the respect of a Masonic punning on the word becoming the phonetic ‘Wife Hill,’ the hill where it is intimated we find Mary Magdalene the wife of Jesus, and it is the same spot my deductions led me via ‘The Lincoln Cathedral Code’ plus confirmatory clues placed in the church at Rennes-le-Chateau. The troubling aspect is that the first illustration that appears alongside the dossier text is that of a dagger. This tallied with the placing of one of my key clues in the Code for it was hidden at the Misericords choir stalls within Lincoln Cathedral, for the word ‘misericord’ from the Latin word for ‘mercy’ means a dagger used in medieval times to deliver the death stroke. Associated with the Rennes Parchments, and according to some a keyword in its encryption, are the two French words ‘Mort Epee’. This translates as ‘Death sword’, and a dagger is a small sword. Another strange find within the Cathedral at the St Hugh Choir is a wooden carving for which they have no explanation for. It is of a frog incising itself in the side with a dagger! As a ‘dagger frog’ is a term to describe the leather that suspends from a belt to secure a dagger or its scabbard, the carving therefore is simply a surreal pictorial of a dagger.
The dagger incising frog at St Hugh’s Choir.
It gets even more surprising when we learn that Lincoln Cathedral, when viewed from the air, is in the shape of the original Templar emblem of the Cross of Lorraine, known also as ’The double cross’ and ‘double dagger’ (additionally, a symbol for poison). How can we have found so many dagger associations without any explanation? Some might argue there was a noticeable association, and for it we must turn to Da Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’ where we see a disembodied hand wielding a knife-like object. Close by we see the menacing gesture made by Peter, a slicing motion across the throat of the figure many now accept as Mary Magdalene. Is Da Vinci’s painting concealing a threat that was actually carried out…a dagger attack on Mary Magdalene ? I think this may be so, but the attack was not aimed at the throat. I recalled how Jesus was wounded in the side whilst hanging on the cross. If Mary had been his partner, maybe she too has suffered a similar wound?
What were all these dagger associations implying in conjunction with the Magdalene? Has she been demised by a dagger? Those who believe the theory of a bloodline say that she bore a female girl called Sarah. It was at this point I was beginning to see an entirely different picture, and perhaps the real secret of Rennes-le-Chateau. What if that secret is not that Jesus and Mary had a child but that a bloodline was terminated with the death of Mary from a dagger strike? Is this what all the symbology was telling us? Is her mythical daughter Sarah just a memory to conceal the word that indicated the point of her incision…the lower abdomen, or viscera – ‘VIS-SARAH?
I thought that if Da Vinci had intimated the dangerous secret in a work then maybe some other master painters or sculptors had too, obviously not all being privy, for how many even knew of it or had the courage to hint at it? I also considered the strong possibility that some couldn’t help revealing it unconsciously, the truth seeping through them as an unwitting and innocent human agency of the Collective Unconscious, that reservoir of all accurate accounts, rather than a secret kept alive through ‘secret societies’. It was time for me to take a trawl through depictions of Mary Magdalene – was there any tell-tale clues?
‘The Death of the Virgin’, Mary Magdalene weeping in the foreground, Caravaggio 1606
First though, I paid attention to Caravaggio’s controversial 1606, canvass ‘The Death of the Virgin’, painted at a time when the assumption of the Virgin was not accepted. It shows her looking far younger than the 50 or so she was supposed to be, and bereft at her death in the foreground is a weeping Mary Magdalene her face covered in her hands. I have a suspicion that here the artist has transposed both women and the weeping Magdalene is telling us it is herself who is the central object of demise surrounded by the grieving male company, the red drape in the background emphasising the colour of the sacred feminine, as she witnesses her own death. Another indication is that Caravaggio deliberately modelled a prostitute, the tainted title given to the Magdalene by the church, as the Virgin. My search for a consistent wound concealed in works of art concerning Mary Magdalene was worthwhile, made all the more convincing by the constant and consistent concealed appearance of a wound or scar tissue in the same place, the left abdomen.
There is some evidence that before, at, and after the time of the Cathars who were exterminated for their belief in Mary carrying a child of Jesus, the impending Grail legend had either originated (as Wolfram Von Eshenbach thought) in Spain or had found its way there. It is therefore no surprise that the person responsible for a graphic cryptic presentation of the demise of the Magdalene by dagger happened to be Spain’s first female sculptor, Luisa Roldan (1652-1706). In her evocative ‘The Death of Mary Magdalene’ we can interpret a demised Magdalene wounded in her left abdomen, the culprit dagger naturally expectant as a crucifix is now held by an aghast angel to her left.
‘The death of Mary Magdalene’, Luisa Roldan. The small cherub at the front looks at the dagger wound at the left abdomen.
By route of the Collective Unconscious, Luisa was afforded the nickname ‘Sheave’, for the identically sounding ‘shiv’ related from Scottish ‘schive’, meaning ‘to slice’, originates from the Romany word ‘shiv’, a slang term for a knife-like weapon as seen held by the disembodied hand in ‘The Last Supper’. The secret that could be kept no longer seem to have been retained throughout the family, for Pedro Roldan, Luisa’s father, studied with Alonso de Mena, in turn father of Pedro de Mena who in 1664 sculpted the polychrome wood ‘Mary Magdalene in Penance’. In this beautiful life-like sculpture we see the Magdalene with her left foot thrust out drawing attention to her left side, the word ‘thrust’ meaning to stab, to pierce in a sudden or violent movement forward, her lips are open not to show she is breathing through her mouth, but taking her last breath. Upon her left abdomen area we see a ‘dagger’ knot tied on her sash, the very same knot we see worn by Jesus high up above the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus at the Judgement Porch at Lincoln Cathedral, except it is not the Virgin but instead Mary Magdalene holding her child.
‘Mary Magdalene in Penance’ – clue to a dagger aiming at the left abdomen?
‘The Penitent Magdalene’ by Francesco Hayez, 1833, cryptically shows the dagger incision along the left abdomen comfortably and casually masquerading as folded flesh.
‘The Penitent Magdalene’, 1833. A cryptic clue to a dagger wound disguised as folding flesh?
The Crypt of Mary Magdalene, at le Carol, Baulou, France, shows a doleful Mary holding a cross into her waist, closer inspection showing it to be more like a dagger incising an open wound at her left abdomen.
The Crypt of Mary Magdalene, le Carol. A dagger in a wound?
An unusual life size 16th century wooden statue of Mary Magdalene by Gregor Erhart can be found in and purchased by the Louvre in 1902 from the German market. A wound at the same lower left abdomen appears to go unnoticed by all who admire it, perhaps perceived as her hair, for who is even looking for let alone expect a wound?
Mary Magdalene by Gregor Erhart, the Louvre. A left abdomen horizontal wound masquerades as hair.
Da Vinci made an unexpected reappearance in my murder theory when in 2002 an interesting development came to light in the art world continuing the theme that Leonardo may have been attempting to convey a message. A previously unseen Da Vinci turned up in a private Swiss collection, a portrait of Mary Magdalene on a wooden panel authenticated as being completed by him with help from one of his pupils around 1515, shortly before his death. The painting shows Mary dressed in a red cape and holding a veil over her lower left stomach. The veil is simply to tell us that here she is ‘veiling’ something and, under enlargement and looking through the film at the level immediately above the crumpled garb she holds with her left hand, we will see what can be interpreted as a faint stretch of scar tissue over her left lower abdomen, the same point of incision as found in the other studied works of art. The dark folds contained within the piece of red cloth she grasps even resembles a dagger-like shape.
Da Vinci’s lost ‘Mary Magdalene’ – scar tissue under the veil?
If Mary Magdalene did die from a dagger assault it is natural for us to ask who might have carried out the callous attack. I fear this is a question we will never really have the answer to, despite knowing that a fleeing married Magdalene carrying child will almost certainly have been pursued by antagonistic Roman authority wanting to stamp out any liable contribution to a Holy Bloodline. It is just as possible that the deed was the handiwork of the occasional double-dealing Jewish assassins the Sicarii, the trademark weapon of these rebels being a small dagger, the sicae. The Sicarii where an extremist splinter group of zealots who were equally opposed to both Romans and Jewish groups that raided Jewish habitations and killed those they considered apostate. They would often negotiate deals with the Romans by way of kidnap and bribery to bring about released prisoners. Did a disgruntled Sicarii member do a deal with the equally unsatisfied Simon Peter, allegedly a disciple close to Jesus and who despised the Magdelene figure, to enact the ‘double cross’, the secret of Lincoln Cathedral as seen from the air? Was she murdered by a treacherous close ally in the same way that both Indira Gandhi and Agathe Uwilingiyimana were betrayed by their own bodyguards? I doubt we will ever know for sure.
In March this year Margaret Starbird, author of seven books concerning the Magdalene, told me that last summer she was in Saint Baume, the cave where Mary was supposed to have died after living for thirty years as a hermitess. The monk custodian told her, ‘We’re not sure she was here back then, but we know she’s here now!’ Margaret went on to describe me of a lecture she was arranging about the Magdalene, ‘Woman and Archetype’, continuing: ‘I think that’s where my heart lies, showing people how she manifests qualities of ideal womanhood and embodies the ‘heroine’s journey’…the ‘Isis’ of Christianity.’ I applaud Margaret’s stance and agree with her candid sentiment, perhaps this is all we need to do – promote the ideal and archetype of the remarkable female Mary Magdalene. My only worry with that is that as an archetype of woman, she too will have suffered at the hands of that historical and resurfacing male streak of violence preventing the advancement of the potential of her gender, in this instance a hand that held a dagger.
Lincoln Cathedral in the shape of the double dagger and Cross of Lorraine
Copyright Dan Green 2012
Presented with permission of the author
Callum Jensen (Dan Green) is the author of ‘The Lincoln Da Vinci Code’ and ‘The Lincoln Da Vinci Code and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau’
More articles by the author:
- The Ultimate Secret of Lincoln Cathedral
- The Grail and the Canine Conundrum
- The Biblical ‘Abomination of Desolation’ Prophecy Enacted at Lincoln Cathedral?
- Lincoln, England – the New Jerusalem ?
- Lincoln Cathedral, Starry Guardian of the Chateau at Rennes
- Glastonbury Tor – Did a Portal Open on 26/02/07
PS Last Supper
An early sketch by Leonardo daVinci for “The Last Supper” did not have feminine figure seen in the final version of the mural painting (considered by some to represent Mary Magdalene)
- List of works by Leonardo da Vinci
- Leonardo Da Vinci – The Complete Works