Day of Our Sovereign Lady

5th of Columbina – Lunadi

Today is Lady Day; the fifth day following Eastre where we honour Zoe Anna as our Sovereign Princess of the World.

“And She reigned over all the earth, bringing all nature back to life, and all life back to the true law and rhythm of nature. And the whole world knew Her as its Princess.

And the children of the earth were filled with love for Her, and gathered about Her with tears of joy, touching Her robes and giving themselves to Her in their hearts.”

–Mythos 7:2-3

As our Princess, it is Anna who rules the Thamë of the cosmos. Thamë being the sacred law and harmony of Déa. There are no strict commandments or clear guidelines of this law. It is not about following things ‘by the book’ in the literal sense. But the Recital tells us how to judge when something is in tune with Thamë; that being Love. The Jana stream of Déa, Agyia Thema, is often depicted playing an instrument as well as holding the scales of justice. This is because Our Lady’s law is often compared to a perfect melody. When Thamë is disrupted, when love is cut off by hate and ignorance, the melody is broken and the song disturbed. When we move in love, in compassion and wisdom, it is as though we are in a band playing harmoniously with Agyia Thema and Our Lady. Or joining with Her in a dance or in song. It is a delight to live under Her rule and by Her sacred law.

Hail to the most beautiful Princess. Blessed is She.

Before I go, I’d like to help plug some new books by our sister, Lady Brythwen Sinclair, who continues to gift the Ekklesia with her original works, some of which I can see would be very helpful for new Filianists as well as old. These are both availaible as e-books which is very handy for sisters like myself who currently lack the storage space for physical copies.

The first is a handbook of Filianic rituals, particularly for those who come from a Wiccan or Neo-Pagan background and are familiar with that structure of practice:

The second is the latest edition of Lady Brythwen’s prayer book:

I pray that Our Lady’s spirit will continue to move in and inspire our sister, as well as others in the Ekklesia, to share their creations dedicated to Déa. Personally I am currently doing what I can to help archive the Madrian-Filianic resources, as mentioned in my previous post.

May everyone have a blessed day.

Glory to Déa.

Advertisements

Happy Eastre!

Demeter and Persephone by Arbetta

Image credit: ‘Demeter and Persephone’ by Arbetta

1st of Columbina – Stelladi

“Lift up your voices in song and laughter,
For the Princess of the World was dead,
And is alive again,
Was broken and is whole;
And there is no place whereto 
Her joyous rule does not extend!

Give praise to the Mother of All Things,
And praise to Her Daughter!

Rejoice, for the world is renewed!”
– Mythos 6:21-23 (ECE)

Happy New Year to my fellow Filianists!

This Moura has been a difficult one for me. My discipline to reduce my screen-time often felt secondary to the other tests which the winds of wherde decided to throw my way. For the first week, I had a terrible cold, which I endured as best I could while others at work called in sick, leading to me to do six day weeks for most of the month. My depression and anxiety spiked all over the place. Med Moura, as well as a lovely birthday provided mostly by my beloved sister, brought well-appreciated relief and joy. Then we also had a few dear members of the Ekklesia leave, some due to losing their faith. One of those was a much respected scholar and researcher who contributed much of his time and effort into compiling the history and scriptures of Madrian-Filianism. His presence will be greatly missed but also to which we are eternally grateful. I pray that he finds happiness in whatever his future soul path may be. Then to conclude the tests of Moura; my dog is very unwell and the vet has yet to discover what exactly is wrong with her, which is all the more worrying.

A lot of tests of strength, heart and faith came my way but I suppose that is the whole point of Moura. It is about the testing and tempering of the soul, just as the gatekeepers tested Our Lady as She descended, in asking Her to sacrifice each symbol of Her divine sovereignty in order to proceed. There is no suffering like to Her suffering; as it’s the suffering of all maids. I know that in all my trembles and tears, my Lady was beside me with each and every step. Her tears were my tears and Her courage was my courage.

However there were some small victories over this Moura that I felt improved my discipline, by Lady Rhea’s assistance. One was getting into the habit of reciting a morning and evening Chaplet prayer, as found in Lady Brythwen Sinclair’s latest book; ‘Garlands of Grace’. I still haven’t managed to come across a proper rosary, but the small rose quartz bracelet I have with the floral pentacle works just as well for now. Staying away from social media was more of a struggle. While I managed not to post for the most part, habit still prompted me to keep checking updates all too often. However, it has made me appreciate more the friends and contacts I have through those networks, and how trying to cut myself off from them when I needed to talk did not feel beneficial.

Going forward, I plan to try to keep a good balance, rather than going digital cold turkey or completely addicted. With our dear friend’s departure from the Ekklesia, it is now down to those of us willing to carry on his work the best we can. I have been typing up old Madrian articles for ArchMadria Sophia of the Janite tradition, which I’ve found incredibly interesting to read as I type. While we don’t agree with everything our foremothers in the early days did, it is thought provoking to read their insights on many topics. The continuing and growing archive of Madrian-Déanic-Filianic resources can now be found here.

As well as personal troubles, there has been rather a lot of dreadful world news lately. My prayers go out to all the victims and their families of the Christchurch terrorist attack. Meanwhile, over here, we have a parliament squabbling over Brexit like a playground of five year olds. We also have parents campaigning against same-sex relationships being taught in schools; because Déa forbid that a child be taught that a friend who has two daddies or two mummies, or if they grow up to fall in love with another boy or another girl themselves, is okay. One man tried to claim it was not homophobia “just as not believing in Islam is not Islamaphobic” – true, but teaching your children Islam is bad IS Islamaphobic, which is exactly how it is homophobic to say gays and lesbians are sinful – if that’s what you believe, fine, but allow your children to hear a different viewpoint. We teach tolerance for difference of religion in school, let us teach tolerance for different families as well. And that’s my soapbox rant.

There is too much hatred in the world. No one can deny this. Yes, love exists and lovely people exist, but we need more. We have to take time to sit down and listen and TRY to understand those that are different from us. Our Lady did not sacrifice Herself so that we could continue to drown in our own kear-moira. We need to rise with Her and embrace Our Mother as one people; one spirit.

“For I have conquered death and kear, and I bring you to my conquest.”
– 1:8:17 (ECE)

Hail to the Princess of the World,
Hail to the Queen of Heaven!

Blessed is She.

Our Lady’s Respite

Image result for anne hathaway fantine

14th Moura – Rosadi

Preface: I couldn’t find any scriptural basis behind Med Moura, the day when maids are allowed to take a break from their disciplines of the month and indulge whilst giving thanks to Déa for Her mercy. I decided to write a little something for that, like a missing section from Our Lady’s descent into Hell (in other words, religious fanfic)

Image depicting the Daughter is of Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserables (2012).

By the time Lady Anna had passed through the seventh gate of Hell, the daughters of the Fallen Queen had taken almost everything from Her. They had left Her without Her Moon-Axe, without Her clothes, even without Her hair. When She walked bare-footed between the seventh gate and the throne room of the Dark One, there was little to distinguish Her from the countless other lost souls who had descended into the pit.

The desperate souls of this realm trembled and wept in the shadows. Time had lost all its meaning for these maids. And the memories of the sunrise brought only anguished tears for what they had left behind.

Above these children swarmed the keres and imps who were born from their Queen’s hate and revelled in spreading misery. They waved their trophies like flags of victory; Our Lady’s belongings. Her circlet was snapped in two. Her blue cloak was shredded. Her white linen headdress was crumpled into the dirt.

“Hope is dead!” They laughed as before. And how easy it was to believe them.

One of the keres took hold of the Moon-Axe and used it to taunt the prisoners of Hell. The weapon which the Princess had taken up as a symbol of Her sacrifice was now theirs to use on the ones She loved.

Anna dashed between the keres and the maids, raising Her hand in defiance and grasping the crescent blade.

She no longer held the appearance of a princess. Her skin was pale, almost translucent, while her face was lined and heavy with unrest. Welts and scars marked her bare arms and shoulders from where the demons had assaulted her. She was without any indication of her regal stature. To those She defended, She resembled yet another poor, lost creature in the dark.

Her once serene and gentle face now scowled with the ferocity of a lioness. And She spoke in a horse whisper. Yet it caused all the forces of chaos to still in one, single moment.

“These are the children of My Mother; the Mistress of All Things. And they are under my protection. Go your ways and leave them be, for I have come to take their suffering upon myself. Never again shall a soul be lost from My Mother, not even a single blade of grass.”

The keres screeched and spat at Her, yet they retreated.

Because though they had taken all Her treasures, there was one they could not claim. This was the silver light which trembled from within Her. The light which She had kindled within Her soul and promised to carry into the farthest depths of Hell. This tiny, flickering light was stronger than all the weapons of the cosmos.

And the demons were terrified. They scuttered away to warn their Queen of She who was coming.

It was then that Anna, spent from Her unimaginable ordeal, fell to Her knees as soon as the threat against Her people had fled. The children of Hell rushed to catch their Lady, each hand somehow managing to cradle a portion of Her, so many offering their tears and kisses to Her. They offered Her water to quench Her thirst and tend to the blisters on Her feet. The little ones offered up to Her their sweetest, saddest songs. And they prayed with Her to the Mother that She may have the strength to carry out Her mission.

Our Lady wept with gratitude, for being reminded of the love She felt for maids, and that which we return to Her. The little light grew ever brighter as She joined in their sombre hymns and clung to them almost as much as they did to Her.

When it was time for Her to walk on, She took the time to embrace each lost soul, passing on Her light to another. And then another.

Some pleaded with Her not to go on. That maids were not worth such trouble for the Daughter of Light.

“We make this journey together.” Anna reminded them. “There is no I and maids. We are one Spirit. I cannot and will not be free of the darkness without you.”

Their newfound hope was Hers.

And though the Princess of the World was without Her hair, Her cloak or Her circlet; the maids had never seen anything so beautiful in all the world and beyond.

 

Moura Eve

mythos318

28th Brighid – Rosadi

We’ve reached the end of Winter. This day sprung up rather suddenly for me as February seems to be rushing by. It also throws me off that the Christian Lent-Easter festivals begin later this year while Moura is always fixed for Filianists.

Last year I gave up chocolate and sweet foods for the month. This year, while also attempting to reduce my sugar in take, I am taking a break from social media and reducing my time on screens. I’m going to be absent from Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, not checking in until Med Moura. I’m going to glance in on the Concord group at least once a day, being a mod, but otherwise I’ll be relatively silent. Preferably I’d have liked to pull myself away completely, going back to only using my phone for calls and messages (including my work Watsap group), and fill my spare time with reading hard copies of books. But I’m still in a current living situation where I have very little storage so instead I have a dozen books on my Kindle I’ve been meaning to read so I’m going to focus on getting through them. I used to read so much when I was a kid and I’ve fallen behind terribly.

I’m also going to be trying to pray more, perhaps using some of the novenas in Lady Brythwen Sinclair’s latest book on Filianic rosary prayers. There is a beautiful red pentacle rosary I found on Etsy that I’m tempted to order. For now I’m using a small rose quartz bracelet with a petal flora that suffices pretty nicely, but I would love a full decade one for my shrine.

Before signing off, I wish to share a contemplation that came to me while I was creating the graphic for the image above.

When Our Lady, Zoe Anna, takes the fate of the descent upon Herself, Her Mother Mari removes the divine light from Her, so that She may be sent forth and enter the nether regions where the light of Déa cannot shine. Just like Maids who have turned from Her, Anna is unable to look upon Her Mother’s brightness. At this moment, She becomes one with us and is thus vulnerable to the temptations, trials and tribulations of our fallen existence. Before She begins Her mission, She goes to pray by Herself, and the trembling light of Her own divinity is ignited within Her. The angels all delight in this light which is not as powerful or overwhelming as that of the Mother but still so beautiful. It’s this light which is carried into Hell itself and becomes the beacon that infiltrates the darkness; allowing the Mother to follow Her daughter and rescue Her.

When we pray, we are kindling the light of the Daughter within ourselves. In the Janite tradition and in other Sophian paths, the Daughter is the Holy Soul of the world. When our own spiritual devotion ignites the light within us, we are strengthening our link to the Holy Daughter. This is the power of prayer. Not to gain desires of the flesh or to utter empty praises to Déa, but to keep the flame of Our Lady lit within us. Through praying with love and good wishes for others as well as ourselves, we are opening our spirits to the gifts of the Janati. We all carry our own divinity within us, only that divinity is not exclusive or separate from that which was held within the Daughter. It is all the very same light. In descending to our level, by removing all Her regalia and transcendence, She became one with us so that She may co-labour with us to return to the Mother.

Give praise to the Lady who loves us and have a meaningful Moura,

Blessed is She.

 

Our Lady – Saviour and Saved

Image result for cinderella old new

13th Brighid – Lunadi

I hope my readers had a warm and festive Lucidi / Luciad. With all the snow around, Spring seemed very far off for myself on the day itself, but now we have plenty of rain and grey skies which is more apt for early British Spring.

My thoughts have been swirling a lot around the Daughter recently. I wanted to share a contemplation which ties into part of my reasoning lately from distancing my path from the Gnostic Christian roots which my belief in Sophia was found. Without wishing to offend any Gnostic or mystical Christians or Jews, most of it came down to realising that there are uncompromising differences between the Gnostic understanding of the divine feminine and the Déanic/Filianic understanding. I’m also not trying to state that the Filianic outlook is superior, merely why I connect to it more as a devotee of Déa Sophia.

This came about when I posed on a question on the Facebook page of one my old Gnostic groups, confronting an issue which I should have addressed years ago, about why in their tradition; the Daughter aspect of the Godhead (the last ‘Heh’ of YHVH) is referred to primarily as Bride, while the secondary masculine ‘Vah’ is referred to as Son. Far more seemed to be talked about in regards to the bond between the Father and Son, even Mother and Son, but the Bride’s primary relationship was with the Son. There is a connection between her and the Mother but it’s not the same as that of the Father and Son. They are not Mother and Daughter in the same united sense but more Mother an Daughter-in-law. She is married into the divine union through the Son, rather than divinity being Her birthright. One of the Elders responses was just as I predicted; that the word ‘Nuvka’ (Daughter) in their teachings – which is supposedly from Kabbalah but through a ‘Gnostic Christian’ lens ‘ corresponds to the unawakened aspect of the human consciousness. While the Son is already awakened, his awareness restricted personally, the Daughter must unite with him to become the Bride (Kallah), in which the Christ Consciousness joins with the unawakened human consciousness and humanity becomes awakened.

In short; the Son represents the supernal, divine saviour, while the Daughter-Bride is humanity in a fallen state needing to be rescued. Yeshua and Magdalene become the primary avatars of this, as Yeshua is the messiah and Magdalene the fallen until her perfect ‘union’ with Him through marriage – her being a spiritual teacher in her own right is secondary. This is not an analogy unique to Gnosticism. I’ve heard similar metaphors in Sufism and Sikhi and Greek philosophy. My personal issue is not so much the metaphor itself, which seems very apt given how patriarchal religions have been. It’s the fact that traditions are still holding up this analogy as an example of pro-feminism in their religion, mostly stated by the men who don’t understand why this is problematic. “We have feminine imagery in our faith, therefore we are supportive of the feminine.” There’s no regards to what the feminine represents or how demeaning it is for the female to be used as an image of the impure, the fallen, the rescued, and the male as the hero, the divine, the perfect.

A message to all (but especially male) writers, whether it be of religion, philosophy or media: Representation is about quality, not quantity.

I mention media because this is something you also see prop up a lot in fiction where a writer believes that simply by inserting a minority character is enough to win some sort of points with that demographic. This main character has a gay best friend. This group of friends has one girl out of five boys. This side character is black. Never mind that the gay best friend will never have a developed, on screen relationship with a same-sex partner. Never mind that the black character will either be the wise Uncle Tom stereotype or be killed off. Never mind that the girl will be a flat, supporting character until she marries one of the guys. For the writer these characters are props more than people. They have little to no agency of their own; most of which is given to the white, straight, male hero. This was the case for a very long time, and yes we are getting better at decent representation, but people are still making the same old misstep of not realising how harmful it is to taken away the agency from a character who is female, gay, black, disabled etc.

Allow me to draw a quick comparison to one of Disney’s latest live-action remakes; Cinderella. A beautiful film, yes, but one with a glaring flaw that stopped me from loving it past the aesthetic and the few other improvements it made on the original, and that was Cinderella herself. All the hype leading up to this movie upon its 2015 release was that this Cinderella was going to be ‘stronger’, ‘independent’ and more of a role model for young girls. See, even before this movie’s release, there had been somewhat of a backlash to the older Disney Princesses; especially Cinderella. People seemed to be under the impression that the movie’s lesson was “be a doormat and wait around for a man to rescue you”. Not exactly sure why Cinderella got that more so than Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, both of which literally spent the finale lying down doing nothing until their prince awakened them. People also ignored the fact that Cinderella was an abuse victim and that, despite all that, she still showed a lot of personality and bite to her situation, as well as kindness and loyalty to her mouse friends. But regardless of that, what did this new Cinderella bring that was an improvement on the old?

Nothing. If anything they take away what strength and agency the previous animated Cinderella had. Unlike the 50’s version, the new Cinderella doesn’t grow up in her abuse – she is well into being a young adult when her father dies and she’s lived a life being adored and well treated by him. Her grief at losing him and her new family’s treatment of her is sad, but even the villagers remark how she is free to leave whenever she wants, something which the old Cinderella had been conditioned to believe wasn’t possible. The new Cinderella makes an excuse about how she can’t abandon her family’s house, but that gets negated at the end when she does just that. Yes, this Cinderella is kind and courageous to deal with her abuse, which are admirable qualities, but all she does is smile or cry. And at the climax, she does exactly that which people falsely accused the old Cinderella of – she stays locked in her room until someone rescues her. The narrator even talks about how she was content to stay there and starve, singing and dancing to herself, dreaming of her prince. Meanwhile, back in the 50’s, the other Cinderella is banging and shouting and fighting for her freedom, she’s helping guide the animals to save her. And it’s not even the prince who comes to her, but the Duke. Even when the Stepmother thinks she has won by smashing the slipper, Cinderella has the moment of triumph by presenting her own one. The new Cinderella doesn’t have this moment; her animals are the ones that free her, the prince finding her is more down to coincidence, and very little feels earned because by trying to make this Cinderella more flawless, more the image of the ideal kind woman, her agency and struggle has been taken away. Hence why the Prince comes out a much stronger hero than the title character, whereas in the original he barely had any screen-time and people forget why this was a good thing – because he’s not supposed to be the hero; Cinderella is.

Just a quick note to say that the late 90’s movie Ever After remains as the best live-action ‘updated’ version of Cinderella where she quite literally saves herself at the end. But I still stand by that Disney’s original has a much stronger and admirable heroine than people give her credit for.

Taking that back to the archetype of the Holy Daughter; the contrast between these two Cinderellas can be made to that of the difference between the Gnostic idea of the Daughter and the Filianic one. The Gnostic Daughter represents the Saved, the Redeemed, the Fallen. The Daughter in Filianism is both Saviour AND the Saved.

Our Lady Anna undergoes her own hero’s journey. She begins as the sheltered princess at her Mother’s side, pure and holy, before stepping out on Her own mission at Lucidi. Here She vows to spread the light of Déa to every corner of creation. In Her travels, She witnesses for Herself the suffering which maids endure in their separation from the Mother. Weeping for us, Her lost sisters, She vows to do that which is needed so that all might come to return to the Mother again, so that not a single soul may be lost. Her Mother warns Her that to do this would cost Her greatly and cause Herself great suffering. Anna knows this and agrees, regardless. As in so many hero’s journey, She must fall, before She can rise. For there cannot be victory without great sacrifice. Hate cannot be undone without an act of great Love. She is not passive in Her fall, She is willing, and She shows tremendous courage in facing the keres who come to taunt and mock Her.

By descending into Hell, Anna endures the most painful and humiliating torture. Every aspect of Her regalia and dignity is literally torn from Her. In these trials She subjects Herself to every single second of suffering that has been felt by creation in our illusion of separation. From the tiniest paper-cut to the most brutal assault, from the smallest word of insult to the most agonising heartbreak, She endures it all with us. By subjecting Herself to our suffering, She allows us to co-labour with Her, to struggle and learn and grow in Her trembling light. When we fall, we fall with Her. When we are lying cold and broken on the floor, Anna is lying there at our side, Her hand reaching to our own. Even unto that which we fear most in instinct, Death, is confronted by Her. Though She cries and trembles with us, She whispers:

“Be not afraid. For my passion has set down the path which my Mother will follow. She will come for me and for all her daughters. Believe in Her and in Me, for all will be saved.”

Which is exactly what happens. Our Lady descends to rescue us, by becoming the one who requires saving, not by a male hero or a bridegroom – by Her own Mother. By OUR Mother. In shattering Her spirit, Anna united us all in one great body, from the highest to the lowest. Our Mother is the light that finds us, that raises us up from the chasm of khear. Much like the Fairy Godmother who comes to give Cinderella the keys (or slippers) she needs to escape her torment, Our Mother revives the Daughter so She can rise anew. Our Lady carries us all with Her, out of the Hell which is our deepest and darkest experiences of this world and beyond, up and into Heaven; into awakening.

I wish to state that I haven’t meant to imply that traditions who use the bride-analogy are wrong in their language or should change it. They are welcome to their own language and metaphors. I only wish that groups today would stop holding this analogy up as one that is empowering of women, especially when so many of these groups still use primarily masculine language and imagery for the Divine, in particular the creator and saviour. Just be upfront and admit that your tradition believes the feminine is that which is weaker or half the worth of the masculine. If you don’t believe that is the case then perhaps changes and revisions should be made because otherwise your tradition has a very contradicting message. “Women you are equal to men, but in this metaphor the daughter is not whole until she becomes a bride and mother while the son is already perfect but lonely.”

For as long I have known the Holy Daughter, She has been my hero and saviour, as much as being connected to my own soul and labouring with me for salvation. She has always been a Virgin, not in the patriarchal sexual or unmarried sense, but in its original usage as independent, with no ties to a consort, male or otherwise. In the same way Her Mother is called Virgin as She reproduced without any need of a husband or father. Again bringing up that image of parthenogenesis, of bringing forth a part of Herself as Her child. To those who still include the Father and Son in their Godhead, I can understand and empathise with that, only I hope that four-part union can be seen without the sexist and hetero-normative metaphors which are so harmful to many believers, even if it’s naive or unintentional. Let the Holy Daughter be celebrated in Her own right, let Her loving bond with the Mother be honoured, let Her bond with the Son be one of twin souls – of brother and sister more so than husband and wife – to have Her be seen as much of a hero as he and magnificent in Her own right. Let women have their divine feminine images be inspiring, not just merely ‘present’ and passive, a damsel for ‘Him’ to save.

May sweet Anna’s kind and courageous love be received by all the world, even to those tangled up in the thickest web of khear. May the tears of Our Mother wash away the moira of our souls and set us free into the Light.

Blessed is She.

Reshuffle and Renew

8th Brighid – Stelladi

This blog is currently under reconstruction.

Long-time followers might notice how many pages have been removed from the menu. This is partly as my current views no longer reflect those I wrote before but also that I’m intended for this blog to be a personal faith journal rather than an attempt to set up my own tradition.

For reasons that I will go into in a later post, I’ve decided to cut of almost all ties I had in my beliefs to Gnostic Christianity that I’ve been trying to blend into Filianism. My primary form of Déa is still Sophia but I’m no longer looking to Gnostic or Christian teachings on Her as much as I used to. Instead I’m labelling myself as a Filianist of the Janite tradition. Due to this I don’t see a reason for having a revised version of the Creed, the Catechism or the Calendar on this site as they mostly align either with the Janite versions or those accepted by Orthodox and Independent Filianists.

I’ve revised my opening / ‘welcome’ page to be an introduction for those new to Filianism and Déanism while I’m also working on a second, personal page to speak more about myself and my own journey from Christian to Wiccan to Gnostic to Filianist.

I’m keeping most of my prayer book list as those are personal edits of prayers I’ve used or original ones I wrote myself. The Journal / Blog will continue as usual, hopefully with more frequent updates.

Thank you for your patience,

Sorella Rose.

Horned Papa

Related image

[poster for ‘Pan’s Labrynth’ by Drew Struzan]

27th Hestia – Lunadi

Just a few quick notes as updates on my spiritual journey as well as something personal I wish to share. Warning; in a couple of paragraphs I will be waxing lyrically about a divine masculine image in my faith which I know for some Filianists is incongruous in our faith so if you’re not interested then don’t feel the need to read.

I’m contemplating either a complete rework of this blog or whether to simply start it a new. The reason for this is that I feel it currently looks more like a page dedicated to setting up my own Déanic tradition, rather than its original intent which was as an online faith journal. There may have been times where I was trying to set up my own tradition and lay out where things stood and what other traditions I connected to, but it was still always a way for me to lay out my beliefs for self-examination as well as to share for anyone interested. The lack of updates is often because I worry they seem too personal when put on a site which lays out like information for those interested in the idea of ‘Sophian Filianism’. Reworking or starting anew as a personal journal on its own I think might allow me to feel more free to write what I wish as I continue my own spiritual path.

For the record; I still consider myself a Filianist of the Janite Tradition (who I acknowledge is a Déanic tradition but with no objections to having devotees identify as Filianist). Recently I’ve found myself using the more popular names for the Mother and Daughter among both Orthodox and Independent Filianists; Mari and Anna. Information passed on by Race, our wonderful MDF scholar, has also revealed possibly more insight to the use of the name Rhiannë, essentially being similar to Anna (properly spelled Jana with a silent or soft J) only with the ‘Rhi’ denoting Her sovereignty. I personally do prefer the ‘name’ of the Daughter to have three syllables, particularly in the Mythos where Her name is announced, as I feel it flows better in the rhythm of the scriptures. Anna was a name I didn’t have much connection with when first coming into Filianism but learning its many meanings has slowly made me comfortable in using it. I especially love how ‘Jana’ with a soft J connects to the Islamic word for paradise; ‘Jannah’. Zoe Anna also has a nice flow to it, which can mean Living Grace, or Living Gateway depending on the wording and translation. Zoe Sophia, as Living Wisdom, will also always have a special meaning in my personal heart temple.

And ‘Mari’ or Mari Sophia will always be my name for the Mother, it simply feels natural as the word Mama or Mum.

There is something else which I still feel links me to the Janite tradition more so than any other which is a topic I don’t like to talk about often in Déanic circles and that’s the involvement of a male deity in my path, even when he is kept completely separate to my worship of Déa. I know for some Janites, namely as well as Déanic Collyridians, that male divinity is seen in Yeshua and the Abrahamic father god who I will refer to as Yahweh (though I’m aware that Yahweh or YHVH more often seen as the Holy Name for God beyond gender, I personally associate it with the father image, going all the way back to his beginnings as Ugarit/Canaanite god El, the consort of Asherah). For many years as a Gnostic Christian, I attempted to rebuild a relationship with Yahweh, or Abba Yahweh as I tried to know him as, after having torn myself away from Christianity as a child when I read the Bible. As much as I tried to take in the parts of the Bible that showed a sweet, loving and nurturing side of Yahweh, I could never fully get that image of a loud, abusive father figure out of my head. And as for Yeshua, while he’ll forever be a respected teacher to me, and a ‘Hera’ who guides me, I haven’t seen him as divine for many years.

For me, the male deity who has stayed with me and I’ve felt most comfortable with is the Horned One from when I was a Wiccan. This is rather funny as I became Wiccan out of a desire to know the Goddess and worship Her, which I did, but I never felt especially connected to any particular Wiccan or Pagan goddess image. It wasn’t until I became a Gnostic and found Sophia that I truly felt I found my Heavenly Mother. But the Horned One was an interesting figure who sort of crept into my heart without me realising. For those unaware; the Horned One is essentially a syncretic male deity based on various horned male deities from Pagan religions around the world such as; Pan, Cernonnus, Herne, the Green Man etc. When converting to Gnostic Christianity I tried to leave the Horned One behind as he didn’t seem to fit into the Christian ‘pantheon’ as it were. And yet he’s always been there, in the background of my worship, never intruding but never abandoning me.

I suppose what draws me to him is that he is the opposite of everything I, personally, knew Yahweh to be. The image of Yahweh in my head has always been a similar one to say Zeus or Odin. Very large, very stern, very traditional ‘masculine’…I suppose very human – as humans, particularly men, were ‘made in His image’. The Horned One, on the other hand, typically has animal features such as fur, hooves, antlers, sometimes not even a human face. Sometimes his body is made of leaves or tree bark as if he’s part of nature itself. Another contrast is how loud and bombastic I always heard Yahweh speak in my head, leaving me trembling with a very uncomfortable feeling of self-deprivation, like being told off by an angry King. The Horned One, on the other hand, has never said a single word to me. He doesn’t need to. His eyes, that seem to have seen everything, say it all, as does his smile. He plays a flute or another wood instrument to express himself, whether in joy or frustration or sadness. And while Yahweh was always so high up in the clouds, always distant and needing others to mediate between him and his children; the Horned One is right here. As close as my own breath.

That may be to do with the other main difference I suppose in how I see them; Yahweh is all powerful and transcendent for his believers, the Horned One is – simply – not. He has power and strength, yes. He is the protector of wildlife and little children, a champion of the earth and guide to lost souls. But he makes no claim to omnipotence or omniscience or any of these almighty terms we give to great deities. That is how he fits into my faith; he is not Déa’s equal or anywhere on Her level. He is her child, as are all spirits, but not on the same level as the Daughter; Our Lady. He is not even on the same celestial plane as the Janati. This may be why I refer to him as the ‘Horned One’ instead of the ‘Horned God’ as I’m hesitant to even assign the G-word to him. I personally view all the gods and goddesses of hard polytheism as children of Déa and shattered fragments of Her image, whether female or male or androgynous (as described the Creation Mythos). While I worship Déa with every aspect of my soul, I don’t ‘worship’ the Horned One as such – nor does he wish for me to. Similar I suppose to how Catholics have a relationship with their patron saint, I see myself praying with the Horned One to Déa. I love him and respect him as a guardian and spiritual father image, but I am not devoted to him as I am Our Lady or Her Mother.

I’m aware that the Horned One is most commonly known as a deity of sexual energies. This is possibly the only aspect of him I don’t connect with. To speak personally for a moment; I have very little sexual interest myself and that which I do is, as a lesbian, focused on women. So very little of what the Horned One physically represents is relevant to me other than that which is connected to the animals we both care for. Honestly the depiction of The Faun in Pan’s Labrynth, as shown above in the header image, or Mr. Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia, fit with how I envision the Horned One in everything except his speech. Very asexual, platonic, but wise and tender. As a Wiccan I often felt uncomfortable that it seemed how many liked to project rather toxic masculine elements onto the Horned One; aggression, lust, control, stoicism etc. This wasn’t the Horned One I’ve known, but one who is the ideal caring father, the patient friend, the brave guardian, the wise teacher, the just leader, the joyful bard, the chaste guru….Oh look, I’ve just described the virtues of the Janati and how they can relate to men as much as women, but sadly we still live in a world where many of those virtues are derided. As far I’m concerned we are all Maid, female or male, and are all called to balance the seven planetary energies within us to live a life in Thame.

So how do I include the Horned One in my faith? To be honest, I don’t. At least, not practically. I have a Herne pendant I sometimes wear which I’ve had since I was thirteen. I’ll often envision him on my walks through the wood, I’ll hear him playing or see him strolling beside me, always mute. But I don’t really offer anything to him or pray to him, though I may ask him sometimes to pray with me to Déa. Sometimes I’ll invite him to visit my heart temple and there are other times I might visit his. I call him Papa, out of affection, though it is not to equate him next to the Mother who truly created both of us. I know the issue of blending polytheism with Déanism is often debated in the Ekklesia. One of my favourite Filianic authors, Lady Brythwen Sinclair, is herself both a Filianist and a hard polytheist. Now I wouldn’t consider myself a polytheist but more a monoist. The Spirit is One and Déa is that Spirit, as am I, as is everyone within their heart temple, which is confirmed in scripture itself.

So it’s for that, as well as some other reasons, I still feel the Janite path is for me as the divine male images are accepted, even if not every Janite wishes to worship them, while I think that Orthodox Filianism believes that ‘male’ is purely a material image and all souls are, in truth, female. Now there is an element to that I may agree with, part of me does feel like the soul is beyond our human understanding of ‘gender’, and as we are all from Déa who is ‘feminine’, then our souls would be feminine in a sense as well. It’s difficult to explain and more so to even understand myself where I fall on the subject. But I know that there are spirits and beings and ‘deities’ out there who present a male image for some of us, namely those who do feel a connection to masculine gods or god. Is this Déa wearing a different appearance or are they Her sons who are distant reflections of Her? I can’t say that I know and I don’t wish to be the one who needs to know the truth.

All I know is that the Horned One is there for me and he always will be. I feel I can welcome him into my faith journey now, as Sophia is no longer bound by her place in the Gnostic pantheon as ‘daughter of’ or ‘bride of’ God – but rather the Mother of All ‘Gods’. Like Sophia, the Horned One is pan-cultural.

And I know he loves and serves Déa and Her children, as I wish to follow his example. He is not my ‘Lord’ nor my ‘Father’, but he is my Papa.

Your life, so much sorrow
Let me take one moment of your pain
You have died a million times over
Who would comprehend the mystery of life’s game
So come, let’s share of life’s treasures
We’ll live a life of passion undisturbed by shame
What you require, I offer with pleasure
Let’s fall laughing, tumbling in vermillion rain.
Come into my life
My Prince of Shadows
– ‘Prince of Shadows’ by Inkubus Sukkubus