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Edgar Cayce readings 5749-7 and 5749-8 contain important information about Mary and the preparation she went through in the Essene community. Both readings are reproduced below entirely. They explain the Immaculate Conception, and give a beautiful account on how Mary was chosen on the temple steps (reading 5749-8, par.25). Reading 5749-8 also indicates that Jesus and Mary were twin souls (par.13 and 15).

Another reading, 5749-15, continues this story. But because it focuses on the birth of Jesus and His life, saying little about Mary, it is not included here.

As we know, both Mary and Joseph were Essenes, a Jewish sect originally founded at Mount Carmel. It is also called the "School of Prophets" in the Cayce readings. Edgar Cayce gave much information about the Essenes. Since they played a key role in the coming of the Messiah, we quote part of reading 254-109, given in 1941 on this particular topic. It mentions the Essene wedding of Mary and Joseph.

Indeed, more information may be found in other readings, as well as in books on the subject. One of them is Edgar Cayce’s Story of Jesus, by Jeffrey Furst.


  • Reading 5749-7 (entire reading)



This Psychic Reading given by Edgar Cayce at his home on Arctic Crescent, Virginia Beach, Va., this 27th day of June, 1937, in accordance with request made by the self - Mr. Thomas Sugrue, Active Member of the Ass'n for Research & Enlightenment, Inc.


Edgar Cayce; Gertrude Cayce, Conductor; Gladys Davis, Steno.

Tom and Mary Sugrue, and Hugh Lynn Cayce.


Time of Reading 302 W. 12th St.,

11:35 to 12:05 A. M. Eastern Standard Time. New York City.

1. GC: You will have before you the entity Thomas Sugrue, present in this room, seeking the life of the Master and its history in the material world. Then you will answer the questions he submits, as I ask them.

2. EC: Yes, we have the entity, Thomas Sugrue; the desires, the purposes for the desire to know the material history of the life of the Master in the material world.

3. Much might be given as to how or why and when there were the purposes that brought about the materialization of Jesus in the flesh.

4. In giving then the history: There were those in the faith of the fathers to whom the promises were given that these would be fulfilled as from the beginning of man's record.

5. Hence there was the continued preparation and dedication of those who might be the channels through which this chosen vessel might enter - through choice - into materiality.

6. Thus in Carmel - where there were the priests of this faith - there were the maidens chosen that were dedicated to this purpose, this office, this service.

7. Among them was Mary, the beloved, the chosen one; and she, as had been foretold, was chosen as the channel. Thus she was separated and kept in the closer associations with and in the care or charge of this office.

8. That was the beginning, that was the foundation of what ye term the Church.

9. Then, when the days were fulfilled that the prophecy might come that had been given by Isaiah, Malachi, Joel and those of old, she - Mary, espoused to Joseph - a chosen vessel for the office among those of the priests, the sect or group who had separated and dedicated themselves in body, in mind, in spirit for this coming became with child.

10. Then, as the record is given, that is the common knowledge of most, there was born in Bethlehem of Judea that entity, that soul, Jesus.

11. There was the period of purification according to the law, and then the days in the temple and the blessing by Anna and by the high priest.

12. And these made for those days of the beginning of the entity called Jesus - who becomes the Christ, the Master of Masters - in the days when there was the return to Nazareth and then the edict that sent them into Egypt that the prophecy was fulfilled, "My son shall be called from Egypt."

13. There five years were spent, as ye term time - by the mother, Joseph, and the child.

14. Then there was the return to Judea and to Capernaum, where dwelt many of those who were later the closer companions of the Master.

15. Here, after the period again of presentation at the temple, when there were those questionings among the groups of the leaders, the entity then was sent first - again - into Egypt for only a short period, and then into India, and then into what is now Persia.

16. Hence in all the ways of the teachers the entity was trained.

17. From Persia he was called to Judea at the death of Joseph, and then into Egypt for the completion of the preparation as a teacher.

18. He was with John, the messenger, during the portion of the training there in Egypt.

19. Then to Capernaum, Cana, and those periods of the first preparation in the land of the nativity.

20. The rest ye have according to Mark, John, Matthew and Luke; these in their order record most of the material experiences of the Master.

21. Many of details may be given in the varied fields of the preparation, but these were the experiences

22. Ready for questions.

23. (Q) Explain the immaculate conception.

(A) As flesh is the activity of the mental being (or the spiritual self and mental being) pushing itself into matter, and as spirit - as He gave - is neither male nor female, they are then both - or one.

And when man had reached that period of the full separation from Creative Forces in the spirit, then flesh as man knows it today became in material plane a reality.

Then, the immaculate conception is the physical and mental so attuned to spirit as to be quickened by same.

Hence the spirit, the soul of the Master then was brought into being through the accord of the Mother in materiality that ye know in the earth as conception.

24. (Q) Explain the relationship of the Wise Men and Jesus' birth?

(A) As indicated by the travels of the Master during the periods of preparation, the whole earth, the whole world looked for, sought the closer understanding. Hence through the efforts of the students of the various phases of experiences of man in the earth, as may be literally interpreted from the first chapters of Genesis, ye find that those that subdued - not that were ruled by, but subdued the understandings of that in the earth - were considered, or were in the position of the wise, or the sages, or the ones that were holy; in body and mind, in accord with purposes.

Hence we find the Wise Men as those that were seekers for the truth, for this happening; and in and through the application of those forces - as ye would term today psychic - we find them coming to the place "where the child was." Or they were drawn as those that were giving the thanks for this Gift, this expression of a soul seeking to show wayward man back to God.

So they represent in the metaphysical sense the three phases of man's experience in materiality; gold, the material; frankincense, the ether or ethereal; myrrh, the healing force as brought with same; or body, mind, soul.

These were the positions then of the Wise Men in their relationship, or to put into the parlance of the day - they were the encouragement needed for the Mother and those that had nourished, that had cherished this event in the experience of mankind.

They came during the days of purification, but to be sure only after she was purified were they presented to the Child.

25. (Q) What relation did they have with the later travels of Jesus?

(A) As has just been indicated, they represented then the three phases of man's experience as well as the three phases of the teacher from Egypt, from Persia, from India.


26. (Q) Did Mary and Joseph have any other children?

(A) James, Jude, and the daughter.


27. (Q) Does the immaculate conception, as explained, concern the coming of Mary to Anne, or Jesus to Mary?

(A) Of Jesus to Mary.

28. (Q) Was Mary immaculately conceived?

(A) Mary was immaculately conceived. [See 2067-11, Par. 9-A.]

29. (Q) How long was the preparation in progress before Mary was chosen?

(A) Three years.

30. (Q) In what manner was she chosen?

(A) As they walked up the steps!

31. (Q) Was there any appearance of the angel Gabriel in the home?

(A) In the temple when she was chosen, in the home of Elizabeth when she was made aware of the presence by being again in the presence of the messenger or forerunner.

Again to Joseph at the time of their union. Again (by Michael) at the time when the edict was given.

32. We are through for the present.

33. We would continue.


  • Reading 5749-8 (entire reading)



This psychic reading given by Edgar Cayce at his home on Arctic Crescent, Virginia Beach, Virginia, this 27th day of June, 1937, in accordance with request made by the self Mr. Thomas Sugrue, Active Member of the Ass'n for Research & Enlightenment, Inc.


Edgar Cayce; Gertrude Cayce, Conductor; Gladys Davis, Steno.

Thomas Sugrue and Hugh Lynn Cayce.


Time of Reading

4:15 to 4:50 P.M.

1. GC: You will have before you the entity, Thomas Sugrue, present in this room. You will now continue with the information on the life and history of the Master, beginning now with detail information on the group which was preparing for the coming of the Christ, giving name of group, names of members who figured prominently in the active preparation; relating the signs, symbols and visions which indicated to this group that the time was at hand. You will then answer the questions that may be asked:

2. EC: Yes, we have the entity here, Thomas Sugrue, with the desire and the purpose for the understanding and knowledge of the physical experience of the Master's in the earth.

3. In those days when there had been more and more of the leaders of the peoples in Carmel - the original place where the school of prophets was established during Elijah's time, Samuel - these were called then Essenes; and those that were students of what ye would call astrology, numerology, phrenology, and those phases of that study of the return of individuals - or incarnation.

4. These were then the reasons that there had been a proclaiming that certain periods were a cycle; and these had been the studies then of Arestole, Enos, Mathias, Judas, and those that were in the care or supervision of the school - as you would term.

5. These having been persecuted by those of the leaders, this first caused that as ye have an interpretation of as the Sadducees, or "There is no resurrection," or there is no incarnation, which is what it meant in those periods.

6. In the lead of these, with those changes that had been as the promptings from the positions of the stars - that stand as it were in the dividing of the ways between the universal, that is the common vision of the solar system of the sun, and those from without the spheres - or as the common name, the North Star, as its variation made for those cycles that would be incoordinant with those changes that had been determined by some - this began the preparation - for the three hundred years, as has been given, in this period.

7. Those in charge at the time were Mathias, Enos, Judas.

8. In these signs then was the new cycle, that as was then - as we have in the astrological - the beginning of the Piscean age, or that position of the Polar Star or North Star as related to the southern clouds. These made for the signs, these made for the symbols; as would be the sign as used, the manner of the sign's approach and the like.

9. These then were the beginnings, and these were those that were made a part of the studies during that period.

10. Then there were again those soundings - that is, the approach of that which had been handed down and had been the experiences from the sages of old - that an angel was to speak. As this occurred when there was the choosing of the mate that had - as in only the thought of those so close - been immaculately conceived, these brought to the focal point the preparation of the mother.

11. Then when there were those periods when there was the dumbness to the priest and he, Zacharias, was slain for his repeating of same in the hearing of those of his own school, these made for those fears that made the necessary preparations for the wedding, the preparations for the birth, the preparations for those activities for the preservation (physically) of the child; or the flight into Egypt.

12. Ready for questions.

13. (Q) Is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that Mary was without original sin from the moment of her conception in the womb of Ann, correct?

(A) It would be correct in ANY case. Correct more in this. For, as for the material teachings of that just referred to, you see: In the beginning Mary was the twin-soul of the Master in the entrance into the earth!

14. (Q) Was Ann prepared for her part in the drama as mother of Mary?

(A) Only as in the general, not as specific as Mary after Mary being pointed out.

See, there was no belief in the fact that Ann proclaimed that the child was without father. It's like many proclaiming today that the Master was immaculately conceived; they say "Impossible!" They say that it isn't in compliance with the natural law. It IS a natural law, as has been indicated by the projection of mind into matter and thus making of itself a separation to become encased in same - as man did.

Then, that there has been an encasement was a beginning. Then there must be an end when this must be or may be broken; and this began at that particular period. Not the only - this particular period with Ann and then the Master AS the son; but the ONLY begotten of the Father in the flesh AS a son OF an immaculately conceived daughter! [See 5749-8, Par. R1.]

15. (Q) Neither Mary nor Jesus, then, had a human father?

(A) Neither Mary nor Jesus had a human father. They were one SOUL so far as the earth is concerned; because [else] she would not be incarnated in flesh, you see. [See 2067-11, Par. 9-A.]

16. (Q) How were the maidens selected and by whom?

(A) By all of those who chose to give those that were perfect in body and in mind for the service; and as Ann - or Anna - gave the same, and in the presentation could not be refused because of the perfectness of body, though many questioned and produced a division because she proclaimed it had been conceived without knowing a man.

Thus came the division, yet the others were chosen - each as a representative of the twelve in the various phases that had been or that had made up Israel - or man.

17. (Q) How old was Mary at the time she was chosen?

(A) Four; and, as ye would call, between twelve and thirteen when designated as the one chosen by the angel on the stair.

18. (Q) Describe the training and preparation of the group of maidens.

(A) Trained as to physical exercise first, trained as to mental exercises as related to chastity, purity, love, patience, endurance. All of these by what would be termed by many in the present as persecutions, but as tests for physical and mental strength; and this under the supervision of those that cared for the nourishments by the protection in the food values. These were the manners and the way they were trained, directed, protected.

19. (Q) Were they put on special diet?

(A) No wine, no fermented drink ever given. Special foods, yes. These were kept balanced according to that which had been first set by Aran [Aaron? See Leviticus 10:9 and 11:1--47] and Ra Ta.

20. (Q) In what manner was Joseph informed of his part in the birth of Jesus?

(A) First by Mathias or Judah. Then as this did not coincide with his own feelings, first in a dream and then the direct voice.

And whenever the voice, this always is accompanied with odors as well as lights; and oft the description of the lights is the vision, see?

21. (Q) Why was he disturbed when Mary became with child while yet a virgin?

(A) Owing to his natural surroundings and because of his advanced age to that of the virgin when she was given; or as would be termed in the present, because of what people say. Yet when assured, you see, that this was the divine, not only by his brethren but by the voice and by those experiences, he knew. For you see there was from the time of the first promise, while she was still yet in training from the choice, there was a period of some three to four years; yet when he went to claim her as the bride, at the period of - or between sixteen and seventeen, she was found with child.

22. (Q) How old was Joseph at the time of the marriage?

(A) Thirty-six.

23. (Q) How old was Mary at the time of the marriage?

(A) Sixteen.

24. (Q) At what time after the birth of Jesus did Mary and Joseph take up the normal life of a married couple, and bring forth the issue called James?

(A) Ten years. Then they came in succession; James, the daughter, Jude.

25. (Q) Give a detailed description for literary purposes, of the choosing of Mary on the temple steps.

(A) The temple steps - or those that led to the altar, these were called the temple steps. These were those upon which the sun shone as it arose of a morning when there were the first periods of the chosen maidens going to the altar for prayer; as well as for the burning of the incense.

On this day, as they mounted the steps all were bathed in the morning sun; which not only made a beautiful picture but clothed all as in purple and gold.

As Mary reached the top step, then, then there were the thunder and lightning, and the angel led the way, taking the child by the hand before the altar. This was the manner of choice, this was the showing of the way; for she led the others on THIS particular day.

26. (Q) Was this the orthodox Jewish temple or the Essene temple?

(A) The Essenes, to be sure.

Because of the adherence to those visions as proclaimed by Zacharias in the orthodox temple, he (Zacharias) was slain even with his hands upon the horns of the altar.

Hence these as were being here protected were in Carmel, while Zacharias was in the temple of Jerusalem.

27. (Q) Was Mary REQUIRED to wait ten years before knowing Joseph?

(A) Only, you see, until Jesus went to be taught by others did the normal or natural associations come; not required - it was a choice of them both because of their OWN feelings.

But when He was from without the roof and under the protection of those who were the guides (that is, the priests), these associations began then as normal experiences.

28. (Q) Were the parents of John the messenger members of the band which prepared for Jesus?

(A) As has just been indicated, Zacharias at first was a member of what you would term the orthodox priesthood. Mary and Elizabeth were members of the Essenes, you see; and for this very reason Zacharias kept Elizabeth in the mountains and in the hills. Yet when there was the announcing of the birth and Zacharias proclaimed his belief, the murder, the death took place.

29. (Q) Where was the wedding performed? of Mary and Joseph?

(A) In the temple there at Carmel.

30. (Q) Where did the couple live during the pregnancy?

(A) Mary spent the most of the time in the hills of Judea, portion of the time with Joseph in Nazareth. From there they went to Bethlehem to be taxed, or to register - as ye would term

31. (Q) Who assisted as midwife?

(A) This has been touched upon through these sources; and as the daughter of the Innkeeper and those about assisted and aided, these have seen the glory, much, in their experiences.

32. (Q) Do we celebrate Christmas at approximately the right time?

(A) Not a great variation, for there having been the many changes in the accounting of time, or accounting for the periods from the various times when time is counted - not far wrong - twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth of December, as ye have your time now.

33. (Q) Who were the parents of Joseph?

(A) That as recorded by Matthew, as is given, you see; one side recorded by Matthew, the other by Luke - these on various sides but of the house of David, as was also Mary of the house of David.

34. (Q) Were Mary and Joseph known to each other socially before the choosing for them to be man and wife?

(A) As would be chosen in a lodge, not as ye would term of visitations; neither as only chosen by the sect or the families. In those periods most of the Jewish families, the arrangements were made by the parents of the contracting parties, you see; while in this - these were not as contracting parties from their families. For Ann and her daughter were questioned as to belonging to any, you see! Then it was not a choice altogether as that they were appointed by the leaders of the sect or of the group or of the lodge or of the church; for this is the church that is called the Catholic now - and is the closest.

These were kept then in that way of choice between them, and choice as pointed out by the divine forces.

35. We are through for the present.


  • Reading 254-109 (excerpt)

7. (Q) What is the correct meaning of the term "Essene"?

(A) Expectancy.

8. (Q) Was the main purpose of the Essenes to raise up people who would be fit channels for the birth of the Messiah who later would be sent out into the world to represent their Brotherhood?

(A) The individual preparation was the first purpose. The being sent out into the world was secondary. Only a very few held to the idea of the realization in organization, other than that which would come with the Messiah's pronouncements.

9. (Q) Were the Essenes called at various times and places Nazarites, School of the Prophets, Hasidees, Therapeutae, Nazarenes, and were they a branch of the Great White Brotherhood, starting in Egypt and taking as members Gentiles and Jews alike?

(A) In general, yes. Specifically, not altogether. They were known at times as some of these; or the Nazarites were a branch or a THOUGHT of same, see? Just as in the present one would say that any denomination by name is a branch of the Christian-Protestant faith, see? So were those of the various groups, though their purpose was of the first foundations of the prophets as established, or as understood from the school of prophets, by Elijah; and propagated and studied through the things begun by Samuel. The movement was NOT an Egyptian one, though ADOPTED by those in another period - or an earlier period - and made a part of the whole movement.

They took Jews and Gentiles alike as members, - yes.

10. (Q) Please describe the associate membership of the women in the Essene brotherhood, telling what privileges and restrictions they had, how they joined the Order, and what their life and work was.

(A) This was the beginning of the period where women were considered as equals with the men in their activities, in their abilities to formulate, to live, to be, channels.

They joined by dedication - usually by their parents.

It was a free will thing all the way thorough, but they were restricted only in the matter of certain foods and certain associations in various periods - which referred to the sex, as well as to the food or drink.

11. (Q) How did Mary and Joseph first come in contact with the Essenes and what was their preparation for the coming of Jesus?

(A) As indicated, by being dedicated by their parents.

12. (Q) Please describe the process of selection and training of those set aside as holy women such as Mary, Editha [587], and others as a possible mother for the Christ. How were they chosen, were they mated, and what was their life and work while they waited in the Temple?

(A) They were first dedicated and then there was the choice of the individual through the growths, as to whether they would be merely channels for general services. For, these were chosen for special services at various times; as were the twelve chosen at the time, which may be used as an illustration. Remember, these came down from the periods when the school had begun, you see.

When there were the activities in which there were to be the cleansings through which bodies were to become channels for the new race, or the new preparation, these then were restricted - of course - as to certain associations, developments in associations, activities and the like. We are speaking here of the twelve women, you see - and all of the women from the very beginning who were dedicated as channels for the new race, see?

Hence the group we refer to here as the Essenes, which was the outgrowth of the periods of preparations from the teachings by Melchizedek, as propagated by Elijah and Ilisha and Samuel. These were set aside for preserving themselves in direct line of choice for the offering of themselves as channels through which there might come the new or the divine origin, see?

Their life and work during such periods of preparation were given to alms, good deeds, missionary activities - as would be termed today.

13. (Q) Please tell of the contacts of Thesea [2067], Herod's third wife, with the Essenes, her meeting with one of the Essene Wise Men, and what were the names of the two wives preceding her?

(A) There was the knowledge of same through the giving of information by one of those in the household who had been so set aside for active service. Through the manner and conduct of life of that individual, and the associations and activities, the entity gained knowledge of that group's activities.

14. (Q) Please describe the Essene wedding, in temple, of Mary and Joseph, giving the form of ceremony and customs at that time.

(A) This followed very closely the form outlined in Ruth. It was not in any way a supplanting but a cherishing of the sincerity of purpose in the activities of individuals.

When there was to be the association, or the wedding of Joseph and Mary, - Mary having been chosen as the channel by the activities indicated upon the stair, by the hovering of the angel, the enunciation to Anna and to Judy [1472] and to the rest of those in charge of the preparations at that time, - then there was to be sought out the nearer of kin, though NOT kin in the blood relationships. Thus the lot fell upon Joseph, though he was a much older man compared to the age ordinarily attributed to Mary in the period. Thus there followed the regular ritual in the temple. For, remember, the Jews were not refrained from following their rituals. Those of the other groups, as the Egyptians or the Parthians, were not refrained from following the customs to which they had been trained; which were not carried on in the Jewish temple but rather in the general meeting place of the Essenes as a body-organization.



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