Shambhala Review

Mysteries of the Bridechamber


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Mysteries of the Bridechamber: Author's Commentary

According to the Zohar, the marriage of the supernal King and Queen (i.e. God and his consort, the Matronit) “could not be celebrated until Solomon had built the temple at Jerusalem , which was to serve as their wedding chamber, and thereafter their bedroom.” (Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, p. 128).

“The Lord did all things by means of a mystery: baptism, chrism, eucharist, ransome and bridal chamber.” (Gospel of Philip, Saying 60).

On the subject of fasting, Jesus said: “How can the sons of the Marriage Chamber mourn while the Bridegroom is with them? The time will come when the Bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” And again he said: “What is the sin that I have committed, or wherein have I been defeated? But when the Bridegroom leaves the bridal chamber then let them fast and pray.” (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 104).

“He who is anointed possesses the All. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the cross, the Holy Spirit. As the Father gave him this in the bride chamber, such a one received it.” (Gospel of Philip, Saying 96).

Mysteries of the Bridechamber by Victoria LePageIn most traditional societies in antiquity, as in the early Christian faith laid down by Jesus, the path of transcendence lay in the uniting of the archetypal male and female principles within the seeker’s soul. This was a high initiatory experience – the highest and most secret of  the three grades of initiation possible in the early Christian movement - and involved a sacrament called the Bridechamber rite. In this secret ceremony a marriage of Bridegroom and Bride was ritually effected, which raised the postulant’s consciousness to a new spiritual level. Therein he or she received what Christian Gnostics called the Gnosis of the Heart, or heart-knowledge, or prophecy.  Such higher spiritual knowledge was the basis of the miraculous deeds of healing and empowerment for which Christians were once famous; but because it bypassed the authority of the bishops it soon became unpopular in official circles. The original three-grade system of initiation was therefore abandoned by the Church, the Bridechamber sacrament was suppressed and eventually outlawed, and  Gnostic worship was in general anathematised.

When the Bridechamber mysteries were excised from mainstream Christianity the very heart of the religion was torn out. Christendom was cut off from its living participation in the great spiritual traditions of antiquity. As a consequence, In many respects, Christians have been left with little more than a system of tribal superstition, the mere shell of a religion in which the high path of transcendence has been long forgotten. What the West now celebrates as its official faith is not the Christ Mystery that Jesus brought but its pallid similacrum.

Copyright Victoria LePage 2007