At the center of the New York best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code is the mysterious term "heiros gamos" translated as sacred marriage. In The Da Vinci Code, the sacred marriage is discovered to be made up of Jesus as the bridegroom and Mary Magdalene as the bride. This story is very provocative offering an alternative theory that instead of a single male deity, a divine couple holds the central role in the major ideals and iconography of Christian history.
The erotic depiction of an intimate union between Jesus and Mary is what has captured the fascination of the readers of The Da Vinci Code. However, what strikes a deeper cord is the symbolism it can fundamentally mean to us.
As a student of the Bible for over 30 years, I was inspired by the ideas raised in Dan Brown's book as it resonated with my own feelings, experiences and further studies. For me there was still something more to be discovered in the stories of this powerful ancient literature that I had read and pondered throughout the past three decades.
The provocative questions that arose for me based on the books storyline were:
If Jesus were married, what kind of marriage would he have had?
As a divine person, who would Jesus have been as a lover and how would he have expressed love?
How would Jesus and Mary Magdalene have created and celebrated their union?
What came to mind was the ancient rooted practice of Sacred Love, synonymous with the term heiros gamos from The Da Vinci Code which I have studied, enjoyed and taught over the last 15 years. Sacred Love, with principles from the east and west, consists of techniques, exercises and rituals to honor the divine in one another and celebrate and deepen the experience of devoted partnership.
Based on the ideas and practices of Sacred Love, I imagined that Jesus could have been a lover and husband who would have honored and celebrated the divine in his lover, who would have expressed love effortlessly and delved into the deep exploration of intimate union with free-spirited and thoughtful abandonment.
I imagined Jesus and Mary Magdalene having a marriage of mutual interest, affection, respect and love; a marriage that was based on equality and true partnership. I also envisioned them cherishing each moment of their relationship.
I also visualized Jesus and Mary Magdalene creating a beautiful, sacred sanctuary together under the moon and stars for expressing and sharing deep union with one another and performing mystical rituals for bringing the divine into their lovemaking.
And last, I envisioned Jesus and Mary as the embodiment of Sacred Love co- creating a dynamic harmony and wholeness between the masculine and feminine.
Is it possible that this coupling of Jesus and Mary Magdalene provides a paradigm in western spirituality of imagining the divine as partners? Or could this compelling story found in The Da Vinci Code simply inspire us to create the love that we desire in our lives and remind us that the mystery of sacred union can become our own reality?
Learn more about the art of sacred love and its founder Karinna Kittles.