The Seven Virgins/Female Angels and the Tower Part II

 

In Part I, we discussed the Seven Virgins of Aseneth who are connected to a Tower in the early Christian text, the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth. (A) Part II examines the Seven Women around the Tower as found in the Shepherd of Hermas, (B) once considered a canonical text. (1 and 2).

Important to remember, as discussed in Part I, that the later part of the text may be a forgery: So, what was the motive of the later forgery to the Shepherd of Hermas?  In the first four visions Hermas encounters a female angel, whom he mistakes for the oracle of the Sibyl.  It is explained that this female angel represents the church.  In the ninth parable, it is explained that the female angel really was not a woman, but rather the Son of God.  This is an obvious gloss.  Whoever added this forged section, had a problem with female teachers in the church.  This actually was an issue of the second century church, and it was suppressed by the male majority. 

http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-shepherd-of-hermas-and-swedenborg.html

Moving on to Part II:

While Aseneth must leave Her Seven Virgins behind in her Tower, thereby leaving behind her Pagan past, so that she may marry the Divine Joseph; the Shepherd of Hermas, in his vision, is told that the Seven Women (female angels) support the Tower and must be served.

(3[11]:3 The tower, which thou seest building, is myself, the Church, which was seen of thee both now and aforetime. Ask, therefore, what thou willest concerning the tower, and I will reveal it unto thee, that thou mayest rejoice with the saints.”

8[16]:2 She looked upon me, and smiled, and she saith to me, “Seest thou seven women round the tower?” “I see them, lady,” say I. “This tower is supported by them by commandment of the Lord.

8[16]:8 Whosoever therefore shall serve these women, and shall have strength to master their works, shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God.”

While in Joseph and Aseneth, the Tower represents the Pagan priestesshood of Artemis, in early Christianity, Mary Magdalene has always been associated with a Tower. Magdal-eder means Tower of the Flock. (4)

Mary Magdalene is said to have been a Pagan high priestess. Later, She was to become the first Apostle to the Apostles. A spiritual leader of whom Peter was jealous. Some believe that she actually founded Her own Church. And while it is very possible that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were, indeed, married, others believe that their relationship was more spiritual.

The following article from Time Mag (warning: page has unwanted audio and a lot of popups), presents a different view of Mary Magdalene. One where she is a spiritual leader, a view held by many Gnostic Christians, as well. This flows well with the recent findings of the imagery of female priests (and Mary as a bishop) in the earliest known iconography of the Church, (see previous post), and other known factors of early female Christian clergy.

http://time.com/5210705/mary-magdalene-controversial/ .

And so, while in the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth, the Tower represents the Pagan priestesshood of Aseneth, while in the Shepherd of Hermas, the Tower represents the Church. In his visions, the Shepherd sees an Aged Lady, a female angel, who explains to him that She is the Church, which is represented by the Tower and that all the bricks of the Tower symbolize the faithful. (The Blessed Virgin Mary also typifies the Church and the Church as Bride).

At one point, the Aged Lady shows him the Seven Women of the Tower:

8[16]:2 She looked upon me, and smiled, and she saith to me, “Seest thou seven women round the tower?” “I see them, lady,” say I. “This tower is supported by them by commandment of the Lord.

8[16]:3 Hear now their employments. The first of them, the woman with the strong hands, is called Faith; through her are saved the elect of God.

8[16]:4 And the second, that is girded about and looketh like a man, is called Continence; she is the daughter of Faith. Whosoever then shall follow her, becometh happy in his life, for he shall refrain from all evil deeds, believing that, if he refrain from every evil desire, he shall inherit eternal life.”

8[16]:5 “And the others, lady, who be they?” “They are daughters one of the other. The name of the one is Simplicity, of the next, Knowledge, of the next, Guilelessness, of the next, Reverence, of the next, Love. When then thou shalt do all the works of their mother, thou canst live.”

8[16]:6 “I would fain know, lady,” I say, “what power each of them possesseth.” “Listen then,” saith she, “to the powers which they have.

8[16]:7 Their powers are mastered each by the other, and they follow each other, in the order in which they were born. From Faith is born Continence, from Continence Simplicity, from Simplicity Guilelessness, from Guilelessness Reverence, from Reverence Knowledge, from Knowledge Love. Their works then are pure and reverent and divine.

8[16]:8 Whosoever therefore shall serve these women, and shall have strength to master their works, shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God.” (5)

 

Let us Bless the Queen of Heaven,

Blessed is She.

Rev. Pamela Lanides.

A) The Lost Gospel, Decoding the Ancient Text by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Gospel-Decoding-Marriage-Magdalene/dp/1605988871

B) The Shepherd of Hermas in an updated language form by Daniel Robinson: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016CD4AA4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shepherd_of_Hermas
  2.  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html
  3. http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-shepherd-of-hermas-and-swedenborg.html
  4. http://www.margaretstarbird.net/mary_called_magdalene.html
  5. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

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