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.

 

Advertisements

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

Mother Night

altar

23rd Astrea – Pomedi

Is it Madria Nocte already?

This advent season has passed all too quickly for me. It seems barely five minutes ago I wrote my previous post at the beginning of Astrea. It seems work really does make time pass quicker as I’ve been working so much overtime on the run up to the holidays. And still some more to go. At least I have Christmas / Adoria Eve and Day off.

Above is a picture to share of my altar as it currently stands. As anyone who has seen my previous posts knows I usually place a vase of flowers as a gift for my Lady on the altar. I switched it up this year after finding a tiny nativity tree that gives it a lovely wintery look. See also that my Aphrodite statue has been joined by a beautiful angel state which I found at a New Age fete that showed up in my town recently. I had to glue her wing back on after she fell off the table and at first contemplated if she might look more like the Daughter with both wings removed…but I couldn’t bear to take away both of them. As they stand now, I’m not sure who is supposed to represent who. Aphrodite, being linked to Agyia Grace, would typically be an image of the Daughter. But the smaller Angel feels more like the Daughter Sophia. Or perhaps she could be a Jana, such as the one who stood outside the Mother’s cave as the children awaited the birth of the Holy Princess.

Either way, they both fill me with a warm presence as I pray before the altar and feel closer to Déa. Tonight I lit all my candles, the closest to the Sun Wheel as I could manage, and thanked Our Mother for never forsaking us or cursing us, but instead always giving us Her grace and blessings, the most important of which is Her gift of the Holy Daughter; Our Lady Zoe Anna. For without Her we would have no way to bridge the chasm of kear and we would be forever lost from Her. Mari Sophia so loves us that it’s Her love which is given form as Our Lady and who becomes Our Saviour.

I will keep the purple candle for the Daughter burning into midnight, as a symbol of the star which shone above the Mother’s cave.

For those reading this; I wish you all a Happy Holidays, however you are celebrating.

May Déa bless and keep you now and all the worlds to come!

Blessed is She.

Concord and Conception

Related image

10th Astrea – Columbadi

Just wanted to make a quick post to apologise for lack of posts recently. Most of my religious blogging comes in quick, short bursts on Tumblr or through chatting on various Discord servers. I haven’t had the inspiration in a while to make a long-winded post discussing various beliefs.

I will say however how touched I am by those who have been in touch recently who found Déanism via this blog and wished to learn more. It’s always enriching to see more and more people embracing Our Mother into their hearts. I know there is some panic on various sites at the moment, in particularly Tumblr, due to certain rule changes and people worrying if people are going to disappear onto different sites. For the record; I don’t plan on going anywhere, either here or Tumblr or Discord.

Again, if anyone is interested in chatting to other Déanists and Filianists, please feel free to contact me and I can share a link with you. The reason we don’t publish invite links openly is to avoid trolls and we also like to make sure someone wanting an invite understands fully what Déanism is and the sort of environment you’re coming into:

  • The Ekklesia ‘Concord’ server is strictly for people over 16 years of age.
  • You must be a Déanist or interested in becoming one in order to enter. Déanism is simply the belief and devotion to a transcendent and exclusively feminine God. One can technically be a Déanist and believe there are male ‘gods’ or spirits who exist beneath Her as expressions of Her, but never equal to Her.
  • We ask that someone has a basic knowledge of Déanism and MDF (Madrian-Filianic-Déanic) religions before entering, more so that they don’t find themselves completely lost by the words thrown around by those of us who have been there a while. I advise people to take a quick read of The Clear Recital (ECE 3rd edition at the moment) as well as the Chapel of Mother God or The Kore Di-Jana Ekklesia site. After that, we are welcome to answer any further questions newcomers have.
  • You do NOT need to be a Filianist to join. We are, undoubtedly, an MDF leaning community for the most part; which includes many traditions stemming from Madrian teachings. We are also open to other non-MDF religions so long as they believe that God the Mother is the Sole Creatrix, without a male consort or father god equal to Her (those that believe in male gods who are lesser emanations of Déa are welcome).
  • We are a Thamëlic community, meaning we try our best to treat each other with kindness, consideration and to keep a harmonious server. Debates and discussions are allowed so long as it doesn’t descend into name-calling or insults on any side. If it seems a debate is upsetting people, even without intent, we kindly ask it to stop and to be taken into private messages if need be. We’re not perfect and haven’t been without our fair share of drama in the year we’ve been active – but we are trying our best to learn and improve.
  • Adding on that last point; this is first and foremost a place for like-minded maids to gather and share their love of Mother God and (for most) Our Lady, Her Daughter. It is not an online church, as such, but is considered – at least by myself – a second home for some of us. We are all of different shape, size, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, backgrounds and traditions. All are Déa’s children. So come in, make yourself comfy and relax. 🙂

In other news; we are now into Astrea and the advent of Our Lady’s upcoming birth. I don’t have the space for a Sun Wheel but I have placed a purple candle on my shrine in honour of Kyria Zoe Anna’s royalty. Either today or tomorrow, according to differing sources, is the Feast of Conception; a date not recognised on the Janite calendar. This is when, scripture tells us, Our Mother Mari brooded upon the waters after maidkind had turned from Her, and conceived within Herself the Most Holy Daughter:

And She stood in contemplation upon the waters of the first darkness; like a great Dove upon the waters She brooded. And She became absorbed within Her and communed with Her own Self; and Her light ceased to shine forth from Her, and yet Her light grew greater. And She fell to Her knees. And the surface of the waters became turbulent, and the great waves curled over Her, and their white foam could not be seen in all that darkness.

And when the waters became calm again, the Mistress of All Things rose to Her feet. For She had conceived a Daughter that was not separate from Her, but one with Her, and the Child of Her Light.

– Mythos of the Divine Maid 1:3-7

I know some will argue, even in the case of a divine being, how the Daughter can be born without a father. Firstly, if one really wished to have a comparison to material creation, one can look to parthenogenesis; that of asexual reproduction without the need for fertilisation or a co-parent. The comparison is very apt, as the Daughter is in many ways a ‘clone’ of the Mother, created so that She can explore the realms which the Mother Herself cannot since creation could no longer look upon Her. Our Lady, Zoe Anna, is the culmination of Perfect Love gathered within the Mother’s womb and then brought forth for all the world to know. Secondly; She’s God!

Indeed, this scene of the Conception is one of the most fascinating mysteries in the Mythos. Why does Our Mother choose to brood over the waters? Why do they become so turbulent around Her? Water is a recurring theme in the scriptures. In the Creation, the first daughter created in the image of the Mother rose up from the waters. The Snake then attempts to call to the waters, while the first daughter rests, in order to flood the earth and destroy the Mother’s creation. Mari then throws the waters into the sky before they can do the Snake’s bidding and creates the first rain. There is also a chapter in the First Book of Teachings, the Heart of Water, which celebrates the serenity and strength of a fluid, compassionate heart over a hard, icy one. Water seems to be a rather ambiguous but beautiful force according to the Recital. To me the water seems symbolic of all the forces of the Universe, both order and chaos, beautiful yet terrifying. To imagine all the powers of this Universe, both material and supernal, colliding together in fear around the Conception, only to be stilled in peaceful submission when the ritual is complete, is a rather incredible image and a sign of Our Lady’s influence on the world before She’s even been ‘born’.

If I don’t manage to make another post before the end of the month, I pray everyone has a most Blessed Adoria / Nativity and wish good will to all Maids.

Blessed is the Most Holy Mother and Child,

Blessed is She.

Dancing with the Dark Lady

Related image

16th of Abolan – Themadi

We are but hours away from Matralia: the Feast of Divine Life (also called Cuivanya). For Janites, this second of the three Harvest feasts is a time for honouring the Trinity and, specifically, the Dark Mother. Because, in truth, the Dark Mother is both one aspect of the Trinity yet at the same time to the sum of the other two parts. She is the eternal Source and formless energy from which all things, both rarefied and corporeal, are born. While the Bright Mother is the active Creatrix, like a parent post-birth giving constant nurture and support to her offspring, the Dark Mother is as a pregnant woman, eternally cradling the cosmos and all other realms in Her womb. The reaping of the harvest also reminds us of all living beings unavoidable fate; death and the doorway to new life.

The Janite tradition contains (or rather used to contain) a sub-group of priestesses known as the Iremian Order. The following quote is a brief description from one of their old posts explaining the duties of an Iremian priestess:

“Priestesses of Iremia. Iremia is Greek for stillness. In the Janite Faith, this word means the Still Centre of Being, which is represented by the center of the Fora. An Iremian priestess is a contemplative priestess. She may or may not serve a formal liturgy nor have a formal form of worship. She tends towards a self-expressed form of worship and ritual with the exception of the Communion Rite, which must not be changed.

The Iremian priestesses are the Hands and (Veiled) Face of the Great Mother because as the Great Mother resides in the Still Centre of Being, the Iremian priestess resides in stillness and quiet contemplation. She may or may not serve the Faith Community in other ways, as well.”

Being dedicated in particular to the Dark Mother aspect of Déa, the matron Jana for the Iremian Order is Agyia Rhea. In some sects of Filianism, devotees are advised against working closely with Agyia Rhea / Sai Rhave, particularly Westerners. I don’t think this is to say anything negative against Agyia Rhea Herself, more so the misconception about who She is and what Her purpose is. Much the same misunderstanding tends to occur, especially with those new to Filianism, in first hearing about the Dark Mother.

The Western world in particular has been conditioned to associate Darkness with evil. The colour black, complete silence and symbols of death often invoke fear and dread, some of which is only natural, while others are definitely brought about through nurture rather than nature. We can tell this by observing how other cultures may treat the subject of death or view certain symbols as holy where we have been told they invoke bad luck or demons. And when you do sometimes have a person who is drawn to the ‘dark’ from this Western view, it seems to be commonly driven by a need for rebellion, to seek the morbid and macabre as a form of catharsis. I know, I was once an ‘Emo’, back in my teens, coming into witchcraft firstly out of a desire to have a weapon to use against the rest of the world, and being drawn to the image of ‘dark gods/goddesses’ as a way of channelling my anger, rather than bothering to do any real research on them and simply attracted to the terrifying aesthetic.

But much like many deities of the world mistaken for evil or demonic (Hekate, Kali, Hades, Lucifer etc), the Dark Mother, and by association Agyia Rhea, is mistaken to be wicked or evil, when She is everything but. Nor is She chaotic or ‘destructive’ as we think of the word. She is not angry or domineering. She is the exact opposite; She is Stillness, the escape from the traps of ego. As the Clew of the Horse describes, Heaven is the central immovable point, while the World is the ever revolving rim around Her. In fairness, Filianism itself might hold its hands up to some of the confusion, as the villain of our Mythos – Irkalla – is given the title; the Dark Queen. There are also instances in the Recital where darkness is used in a negative, warning context. This may simply be a result of Déa’s revelation communicating with us in how She knows our khear-riven minds understand, as is with many a scripture. Many at first assume the Dark Mother and the Dark Queen are one in the same and it’s plain to see why. But Irkalla, or the Fallen Queen as I often call her, desired death of Love itself, and to revel in the grief and sorrow Our Lady’s demise would bring about. The Dark Mother, however, is Life. And with that; Light and Love are Her descendants.

Now, She has been compared to Shiva, the Destroyer aspect of the Brahman trinity, but again we have been conditioned to hear the word ‘destroy’ and see images of explosions, executions and a blood-thirsty apocalypse. We forget that destruction is simply the end; a destination. Any violence that takes place before is part of the journey itself, not the conclusion. I’ve witnessed death in person, of someone I loved, twice so far. Both were pets; one was my cat who was hit by a car and died in my arms before I could get him to a vet (it probably wouldn’t have saved him but he may have had some pain relief if nothing else). The other was putting my dog to sleep after we discovered she had a tumour in her chest. One death was violent and painful. The other was quick and peaceful. Both led to the same result. All of us and everything in this universe is heading for that same end, when we shed the bodies of matter and return back to one with the Dark Mother – whether the events leading up to that are serene or chaotic is not due to Her but to the khear of existence. Déa, in any of Her forms, would never desire pain upon Her children. The Dark Mother is no different. Dying may or may not be a terrible experience, but Death itself is merely letting go and collapsing back into the arms of She Who Is, until we are born again.

In Filianism, we do not have images depicting the Dark Mother (if they are, they normally depict Her as abstract or an incomplete picture). When an Iremian devotee calls upon Her, they follow it with; “I Shield My Eyes” as none can see Her. Her title of ‘Dark’ is not due to any connection to evil, but to the Unknown. The Bright Mother illuminates the cosmos and gives form to all, and so She Herself has many forms, as does the Daughter. But the Dark Mother is She before and beyond all form, but that does mean She is alien to us, or that we cannot know Her love. Just as an unborn child cannot see her mother from inside the womb, she is still ever aware of her warmth, her being, sometimes even her voice – though the baby cannot understand her words, she might still be comforted by the soft, loving words and song.

And what of Agyia Rhea?

Well, for the past year, since my conversion to the Déanic faith, I’ve been attempting to connect with the Janati and try to live by the example of their virtues. I try my best to summon each one in my heart when I feel I’m in need of their strength and guidance. I wasn’t sure if I would find a matron Jana who I connected to most. Of all the ones I expected to be drawn to, Agyia Rhea was the one I least suspected. Yet, I found myself calling upon her more so than the other six, a few months passing by before I realised I was doing so. I’ve suffered with anxiety ever since I was a young teen, maybe even before. A lot of it stemmed from school bullying and pressure from my teachers (I was one of those “she is gifted but doesn’t try hard enough” students). Many times my mother would drive me to the school gates and I would start vomiting, only to feel fine as soon as she got me home and I knew I didn’t have to go in. I’ve improved a lot since then, I’m able to be out in public and even become a manager at my job, yet it’s still deeply affected me and I’m terrible at making friends or talking to people outside of work.

But I’ve made peace with that and who I am. Not saying I don’t still seek improvement but I’m no longer hating myself for not being the extrovert the world desires. I’m happy being a modern hermit. I’m happy with my limited human interactions and online, distant but warm relationships. I love my dogs and I love nothing more than walking with them over the fields and woods. I’m content to live a small, humble and quiet life. However, this desire for peace and quiet does often lead to impatience and frustration when I do have to interact with people at work or the odd social gathering. While I try my best to be sensitive and compassionate, I am sometimes prone to spite and not thinking before saying something bitter or aggressive.

Lately, who should appear to rescue me in those moments, but Agyia Rhea? I barely need to call upon her, if not subconsciously, for her to appear when I’m at a moment where my irateness is about to get the better of me. It’s like she suddenly pops up behind me and puts her arms around me, one hand over my mouth, while the other takes my hand. And she holds me still. I feel the tightness of her grip and remember to stop. That extra second is all the difference for me to wait and rethink my actions. Or oftentimes, take no action as the best action.

When I meditate, she comes to me, and the image she takes is one I’ve not been able to shake. Like the picture above, she takes the form of part-woman, part-tree. Worth noting I hadn’t seen that picture before today, I merely did a google search on ‘tree lady’ and found an image which most matched what I saw in my mind’s eye. It’s a good likeness, but she’s taller, her bark more of a black walnut. Her arms and hands are branches, almost like claws, but not sharp, just incredibly firm. And despite being literally rooted to the earth, she is capable of being anywhere, as she exists within all the earth (also worth noting she is said to be close to Agyia Thema). Her face is indeed stern, but never cold. She never says a word, yet I can understand all she means to tell me through her eyes and movements. She rarely smiles but, when she does, it’s so small you would barely notice – but it’s a smile of love and pride.

The reason I bring up the misconceptions about ‘dark’ deities and the Dark Mother before this is because I’ve seen some Filianists write about how Agyia Rhea is a harsh disciplinarian or a cold executioner. The Chapel website advises against her worship as “an unbalanced-rhavic cult of darkness has entered the Western patriarchal psyche over the last century.” I think this does Agyia Rhea a great injustice, similar to how the unbalanced Vikhelic principle has sadly put Agyia Niké in a bad light. Are either of them to blame for how humanity has misunderstood their values and abused their gifts? Isn’t it possible for any of the Janati principles to become unbalanced?

I can’t claim to know the ‘true’ Agyia Rhea moreso than anyone else. All I can testify to is the character of the Holy Jana I keep meeting and enjoy having these moments with. Yes, her lessons can be harsh, but that is due to the reality of this existence and not her personally. She is not the cruel mistress holding the whip, she is the wise sage helping me to accept something has gone wrong and the important thing is how I will deal with it and what lessons will I learn. It’s a mistake to think that the Janati are limited by their core virtues and nothing more. They are all part of Déa and One in Her. Agyia Theia is not pure joy without a serene mind. Agyia Niké is not valour without compassion. And Agyia Rhea is not restriction without also being loving, wise and, yes, even funny. Her humour is dry and quiet but it’s there, in the glint of her eye.

What draws she and I together is our love for the silence and the stillness. To visualise myself leaning against her hard but solid body, her wooden hands upon me, I feel myself connecting to the universe through her roots. She is also my anchor, not just to the reality of the world, but more importantly; to Déa. No matter how turbulent the situation or scattered my mind, I only need call on her to end the storm and take refuge. She helps me find comfort and illumination in that which I used to fear. In that blessed stillness, I’m able to confront feelings of grief, anger, fear and revulsion without giving into them, but learning to understand them. My lady does not force these lessons upon me, but encourages me and gifts me with the space and time to take it in, while keeping me safe and secure.

Sadly there are currently no ordained priestesses in charge of the Janite tradition, so becoming a priestess of the Iremian Order may not be likely at the moment. But I still plan to serve as a devotee of this particular path through what little I know of it, mostly described in this post:

Scriptures for the Iremian Order

Also, from what I’ve seen implied, being an Iremian devotee does not mean becoming strictly monastic, nor does it mean not continuing to invoke the other Janati in day-to-day life, or no longer worshipping the Bright Mother and Holy Daughter. I am as dedicated to those other aspects of Déa as I’ve ever been, forever a daughter of the Bright Mother and disciple of Our Lady. I merely find myself drawn to Agyia Rhea. Or rather, she finds me more than I have to seek her.

Glory to the Dark Lady, Divine Stream of Mysteria,
Glory to She, Stern Princess of the Night,
May the Pillar of Truth remain fixed in Her foundations,
And may all find peace in her gentle shadow.
Blessed is the Holy Jana, Agyia Rhea,
Blessed is She.

 Related image
image source: Laura Sheridan