Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What skull, or whose skull?

There was a time when skulls were popular. There was a time when the wisdom was thought to reside in the head, even after a persons death. There was a time when some people knew how to retrieve that information.

There are some severed heads which have made their mark in history. We know the story of the head of John the Baptist. What if he wasn't simply executed, but his head was thought of as a powerful political tool? What if the wife, Herodias, knew exactly what she was asking her daughter to request, and that it's revelation would ruin Herod's career?

What if the Knights Templar really had a head in their possession? What if they knew how to make it speak? What if the rituals reserved for their highest initiates contained knowledge inconceivable to us now?

The skull of Mary Magdalene is claimed to exist and is on display at her cathedral in St.Maxime-de-la-Baume, in the town dedicated to the holy balm in the alabaster jar. I have been there. It feels remarkably authentic.

I can't imagine anybody separating her head from the body, out of a grave. Maybe at the time of the relics, her body parts got distributed between the churches that claim to have a bone of her? It's just that, very few of them do. Except for this one in Provence, where her brother was bishop.
Was her head prepared to hold her wisdom for future generations to tap into? What did they do in Ephesus, where they worked with oracles? What is an oracle anyway?

As you can tell, I have more question than answers. But, at least, I'm willing to ask the questions.


No comments: