About Helen



​I was brought up with the stories of Christian tradition. I loved them but when explanations and interpretations by ministers and teachers failed to satisfy my longing for meaning, I headed off as a truth seeker into other spiritualities.

Like other women I have struggled to discover who I am in a male-dominated culture. I have joined female friends in workshops and learning circles aimed at rediscovering the divine feminine. Here women, often for the first time, speak of a ‘core wound of the feminine’ that goes back to ancient times when the patriarchy stormed in and suppressed the priestesses, oracles, healers and wisdom teachers, and demoted the key mothering role of women.

Meanwhile I studied art and dance and gained a BA, majoring in English, history and philosophy. My early career involved performing, teaching in schools and as an artsworker in diverse populations including the disabled. Much of this took place while I was raising my two children.

The spiritual realms are real to me and I owe much of my deepening knowledge and experience of the inner Christ, the I AM, to my teacher, Mario Schoenmaker (1929 –1997) – a most unorthodox priest and seer in touch with the eternal. I entered a modern mystery school with a yearning heart and Mario helped unlock the secret chambers of the gospel (‘good tidings’, from Anglo-Saxon ‘god-spell’) in which Mary Magdalene played a vital role.

This led to the years I spent teaching a range of metaphysical courses. In the always expanding study of the spirit I also value the extensive esoteric teachings of Austrian spiritual philosopher Rudolf Steiner, made readily available by the world-wide Anthroposophical Society. And life with my beloved husband Stephen Cugley has been a true blessing, not least because of his biblical knowledge informed by spiritual science that avoids traditional religion’s limits. We enjoy many lively discussions around the breakfast table.   

I began writing seriously around 2000 and have three published books: Sheila Florance – On the Inside, a biography; Prodigal Daughters – a New Vision of Spirituality and the Inner Histories of the Arts; and my novel about Mary called Marriages of the Magdalene.    

A major part of my life now involves teaching and writing on metaphysical and spiritual subjects. Much of this I do online. 


Helen is a herald of a new consciousness. She offers a renewed vision of the divine feminine because our times demand it. Erudite scholarship and research are the foundation on which Helen adds her own intuitive insight. Mary Magdalene has been an enigmatic and wrongly maligned figure. Helen reveals the Magdalene in a new light that can assist all of us in restoring balance and bringing healing and insight to the world. Helen teaches us out of a lifetime of devotion to the truth and teaches as only an empowered woman can do, with nurturing grace, and gentle authority.

Kenneth Killeen – Steiner teacher and founder of the Johannine community, Castlemaine, Vic.

I have had the privilege of attending many workshops run by Helen Martineau for over the past 20 years and have always come away full of inspirational thoughts and ideas. Her most recent talks were at a Castlemaine Summer School 2020. The theme was The Divine Feminine and Helen shared with us her research on Mary Magdalene. Helen’s breadth of knowledge and devotion to this topic is stimulating and invigorating. I have definitely learnt a lot from Helen’s wisdom around the power of the feminine face of God. Thank you sincerely Helen.

Diane Thompson – artist and co-founder of the Castlemaine Johannine community.