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topbanner3.gif - 35581 Bytes  "An unstoppable celebration of beauty, rhythm, enthusiasm, movement, color, and joy that at least once a year gets to boil over and energize the community."

by Jay Kinney

Hereís a strange rhetorical question forDownload you: What do SF Carnaval and The Da Vinci Code have in common? In case youíve been sleeping under the covers for the last year, The Da Vinci Code is the blockbuster novel thatís been at the top of the Bestseller list for months and has sold something like six million copies.

Among other things, it is about a fanciful French secret society, the Priory of Sion, whose task it has been to guard the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. You see, they had children and their descendents have had to play hide and seek with the Church, as the Church is none too thrilled with having their power and the official storyline threatened.

If youíve not read the book, I wonít give the plot away, but one of its assumptions is that Mary Magdalene Ė often identified as the fallen woman who repents and follows Jesus Ė is actually a symbol for the Divine Feminine. So what is the Divine Feminine and what does that have to do with Carnaval? Patience, my friend, weíre getting there.

The Divine Feminine is simply a name for the aspects of God, the Universe, and the Earth that manifest to us as feminine qualities: fertile, merciful, nurturing, wise, and sensuous. Of course, as Feminism has been telling us for the last thirty-some years, traditionally identified feminine or masculine qualities are not the exclusive possession of either gender. But thatís beside the point here. The Divine Feminine is a spiritual force, for want of a better word, that has had to take the back seat to the masculine characterization of God the Father, which has been the primary way of looking at the Divine for the past two millennia.


'This is not merely another liberal "revision." It is nothing less than the claim that Christianity has been a deliberate fraud almost from its beginning, that the true story of Jesus was suppressed, and that only now are we finally learning what it was all about.'
By Dr. James Hitchcock
the Arlington Catholic Herald

Visit more new age thinking
s-o-PHI-e = 1.618

Once upon a time, in traditional societies, (and even in the present in polytheistic religions such as Hinduism or Vodoun, Macumba, or Yoruba), there were both gods and goddesses, both feminine and masculine representations of universal qualities. This exuberant spiritual panoply has always seemed a trifle, oh, unruly, to the monolithic powers that be. And thatís where Carnaval comes in.

Carnaval represents the unstoppable celebration of beauty, rhythm, enthusiasm, movement, color, and joy that at least once a year gets to boil over and energize the community. Both men and women and boys and girls of all ages get to participate and dress up in fantastic plumage and bright scanty costumes. No offense to the Father, but Carnaval sure seems like a celebration of the Divine Feminine, a feast for the senses, and a surrender to the beat.

2004ís Carnaval theme is ďAll Life Moves in Rhythm,Ē and what better illustration of the energies Iíve been speaking of than the Carnaval logo of a mermaid at the top of a drum with drummers circling? If you give Astrology any credence, youíve probably heard of the notion that we are on the cusp between two ages, the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius. The mermaid archetype serves as a bridge between the ages, and not entirely coincidentally, also works as a symbol for the Divine Feminine. (Think of Imanja, the Goddess of the Waters, as yet another example.) Click for movie

In these dark days, when it often seems like the reigning god of the moment is Mars, God of War, it does us good to remember that there are other energies out there besides anger and aggression. Carnaval represents another way, a recognition of the interconnectedness of all life: the rhythms, cycles, the steady pulse of blood in our veins, and the recurring tides of the ocean.

Move in rhythm and surprising things can happen. When the Bay Area celebrates Carnaval, the day is devoted to a collective groove, a psychic unity that can unleash positive energy to help heal the wounds that our so-called leaders cause.

Looking at Leonardo Da Vinci's painting of the Last Supper, Brown proposes that the figure on Jesus' right, the "beloved disciple," is Mary Magdala, whoDownload married Jesus, bore him a child, and was Jesus' real choice to succeed him as leader. Moreover what she represents (the goddess, the eternal feminine, sexuality) is the "Holy Grail," the real quest of every heart.
While the Church does not refute the importance of Mary and no longer refers to her as a saved prostitute it joins most scholars in rejecting the idea that Jesus was married to her and they had a child together. click pic for more
'The once hallowed act of Hieros Gamos--the natural sexual union between man and woman through which each became spiritually whole--had been recast as a shameful act. Holy men who had once required sexual union with their female counterparts to commune with God now fated their natural sexual urges as the work of the devil, collaboration with his favorite accomplice ...woman'
The Da Vince Code pg 125 par 3
more about Hieros Gamos or Sacred Union: the 5500 year old Sumarian ritual

Hieros Gamos according to wikipedia  is an ancient ritual in which participants believed that they could gain profound religious experience through sexual intercourse. Participants assumed characteristics of deities, often channeling the deities in question, and by their union provided symbolic and literal fertility for themselves, the land, and their people. This was often done by the monarch and hierodule of the dominant religion.


 The daily news is full of suffering caused by those who are clearly out of rhythm and out of tune. Carnaval is our chance to introduce a counter-beat that can help energize us to find a way out of the quagmire.

The King and Queen of Carnaval, like the King and Queen of alchemical symbology, represent the union of opposites, a balancing of yin and yang. The Divine Feminine emerges, not to seize one-sided power, but to meet and balance out the Masculine. It takes two to Tango, and in 2004 it is clearly time to dance.


DownloadJay Kinney has been a resident of the Mission District for 25 years. He was publisher and editor in chief of GNOSIS Magazine from 1985-1999 (http://www.gnosismagazine.com), and co-author of Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions (Arkana/Penguin). An anthology that he has edited, The Inner West: An Introduction to the Hidden Wisdom of the West (Tarcher/Penguin) is being published in June 2004.
Web www.carnaval.com
www.sfmission.com www.carnivalcities.com