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“The Virgin Mary was permitted to exist as a kind of bowdlerized version of Isis, resolutely unacquainted with the biological, emotional and spiritual imperatives of real women, a makeshift goddess created by misogynists for misogynists. But it was unlikely that the sexless Virgin Mary would have taken over from Isis without some kind of backlash from her followers. How could the good, but essentially colourless, mother of Jesus fully take the place of the well-rounded Isis – not only Virgin, Mother and Crone, but also sexual iniatrix and controller of men’s destinies? Could it be that the cult of Mary Magdalene, like that of the Black Madonna that is so despised by the Church, actually hides a much older and more complete idea of womanhood?”

Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, The Templar Revelation