Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Queen of Heaven

Today, the designation 'Queen of Heaven' is often associated with the Virgin Mary.  Historically, the designation has been associated with Isis and Astarte.

In regards to the so-called 'Marian apparitions', it seems to me that the Catholics who claim to have seen the Lady assume she is Mary.  In the accounts that I have read about her, she either refers to herself  as something like 'Lady of the Rosary', or she may not introduce herself at all.  So if she does not specifically introduce herself as the mother of Jesus, why should we assume that she is?

I am not denying that Mary existed; nor am I denying that she gave birth to Jesus.  I'm not denying that she was a virgin either.  The question in my mind is whether or not these so-called Marian apparitions are actually visitations by the spirit of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

What if these apparitions have been appearing for much longer than previously thought?  Could it be that this entity or spirit - whatever you prefer to call her - is the same as Isis?  It's long been thought by mainstream historians that Isis, along with all the other pagan gods and goddesses, is a myth.  Some of the more open minded ones may consider that these ancient pantheons of gods and goddesses were once based on real people that had stories about themselves fabricated or were perhaps fabricated over time.  Fringe historians have suggested that some of the gods and goddesses were aliens or some other type of non-human intelligences.  I tend to think that the gods and goddesses may have once been based on real people, but I can't discount the possibility that the stories are entirely fictional.  But I'm also not closed to the possibility that the pagan gods and goddesses were some sort of aliens, or non-human intelligences - perhaps something akin to angels or fallen angels.  It could be that the pagan pantheons consisted of a combination of any or all three of these viewpoints.

So with that in mind, I can't help but wonder if these apparitions are some sort of non-human intelligent being who has been visiting people for thousands of years.  Maybe she just adapts to the audience.   To the Egyptians, she let them think she was Isis.  To modern Catholics, she lets them think she is Mary.  Mac Tonnies suggested a possibility that the 'aliens' people claim to see today have merely adapted to our cultural expectations.  In the past (and still today, actually), people may have observed such phenomena as gods, angels, fairies, or something else.  Perhaps the aliens are not the scientists with advanced technologies that they are assumed to be; maybe it's just a facade to fit our modern expectations.  The aliens may be something else entirely.  So could it be that this 'Queen of Heaven' (translatable as Queen of the Sky) is doing the same thing?  Does this 'lady' just try to fit the appearance that the viewer(s) would expect?

Catholic traditions that grant Mary her Queen title and divine status come later in history.  The Bible never says that she ascended to heaven and it doesn't say she remained a virgin throughout her lifetime.  In fact, the Bible even makes reference to Mary having other children.  The Catholic version of Mary more closely resembles a pagan goddess than the Mary depicted in the New Testament.   Pagan goddesses of the past were often known by many names and titles, and the alleged apparitions of Mary have many titles too (Lady of the Rosary, Lady of the Pillar, Lady of the Snow, etc).  So the question in my mind remains; are the so-called Marian apparitions actually appearances by Mary?  Or is the apparition actually someone else - perhaps a pagan 'goddess' from the past?  I'm not aware of her ever specifically introducing herself as Mary, but she doesn't deny being Mary either; so does she want people to think she is Mary?  Or does she just not care who they think she is?  Is she content just being called 'Our Lady'?

Of course, skeptics say these apparitions are just hallucinations or hoaxes.  Maybe they are.  But if they are real, I wonder if she is who she is assumed to be.  If she isn't who she is assumed to be, then who - and what - is she?

4 comments:

  1. Well, if you look at the images Euro-Americans have of Jesus, you can see he looks nothing like a man from his region or time. We tend to design such symbols in our own image. The image of Mary coming to people in different forms would make sense. Remember the book/movie "Contact"? The alien appeared to Jodie Foster's character in a form she could understand. That makes sense to me. To a Catholic, the image comes as the usual shrouded Mary. To others, she might be seen as an "Angel of Mercy" or "Lady in White," et cetera. Very good conversation you have going here. I can always count on you to look at things from a diagonal instead of straight on, which means you're illuminating the parts otherwise in the dark. Keep it up!

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  2. The Virgin Mary appeared last December over several churches in Cairo, Egypt. Several thousand people, Muslims & Orthodox Christians, witnessed the appiritions. Similar to her appiritions in Zeitoun,Cairo in 1968, she knelt infront of the cross on the dome of the church, or had the cross on top of her head. You can search YouTube for some clips of her appearance above Warraq, Cairo. Your hypothesis is interesting, but unless the aliens are christians, why appear kneeling to a cross, and only above churches? Another interpretation would be that she is the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Heaven.

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  3. Well the appearances are not always at a church. And it's possible she may just kneel at a cross to fit the expectation the viewer(s), or it may be an attempt to influence the viewers(s).

    But I'm not claiming that I am right about this. I'm just throwing some ideas out there.

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  4. Very interesting article! There has been numerous Marian apparitions over the centuries with the numbers picking up at an alarming rate starting in the 1980s. Almost all of these have proven to be false. However, it may be of interest to you to further research Marian apparitions that have actually been approved by the Catholic Church as being authentic. The Church is the biggest skeptic of all and has rigorous standards in investigating and approving any miraculous event. Off the top of my head, the ones you may find of most interest are Fatima, Portugual; La Salette, France; Lourdes, France; Akita, Japan; Beauraing, Belgium; and Guadalupe, Mexico. The apparitions at Garanbandal, Spain had secular scientist performing tests on the children during some of the apparitions with fascinating results.
    Mary has appeared mostly to children and uneducated "peasants" with no or little formal catechetical training. She speaks to these people and they in turn pass the messages to officials, usually a priest or bishop. These messages contain some pretty heavy theological ideas. I think it is her way of letting the priest or bishops know it is really her. The children and people wouldn't know, let alone be able to makeup some of the things she is telling them. Also, I think she appears to children and more humble people because they are innocent in a way to not manipulate the situation.
    I believe these approved apparitions are actually the Blessed Mother of Christ and not "a pagan goddess from the past" simply because her messages are about her Son, Jesus and for the people to turn back to Him. To repent, to pray, to turn your hearts towards God. Those would seem odd topics of conversations of an extraterrestrial being.
    There seems to be some confusion over the many titles Catholics have for the Virgin Mary. A short but informative article to better explain the titles used for Mary can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blessed_Virgin_Mary.
    One last thought, it is a common misconception that Catholics worship Mary. The fact is Catholics do not, in any way, worship Mary. This would be idolatry which is a serious and grave sin. Catholics venerate, or honor, Mary in prayer and song. Some people mistake prayer and veneration for worship, but to Catholics, they aren‘t the same thing. Prayer is simply entering into communication with a holy spirit. Veneration is giving special honor to a saint. Worship is for God alone, and Catholics worship only God through the mass.
    Thank you for peaking my curiosity of the unexplained with your website. I look forward to your future articles.

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