Accepting Change

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5th Werde – Candredi*

Tamala has come and gone. We’re now into that rather ominous space that lies between the ‘death’ of Summer and the celebrations of Winter. I find it rather fitting how in Filianism, ‘Samhain’ isn’t just a day but rather a whole month (or at the very least a three day festival) commemorating the passing of souls to the other side and the memories of those who have left this world. Astrea – and with it Nativity – is my favourite month and when both my anxiety and joy start to rise again. November, I find, is a very sombre month but in a different way to say, Moura.

I’ve started to feel my age a lot more recently. Next year I’ll be thirty and I know there are friends who read this blog who are much older and probably rolling their eyes at how that is hardly old at all. Thing is, when I was a kid in the 90’s growing up watching Friends, thirty did always seem like the year when you were officially an adult. I expected to have it all sorted out by then; good job, place of my own, maybe even someone to live my life with. But no, I’m still living at home, I’m still struggling with a heap of mental health problems, I work over forty hours a week and yet have no hope of being able to move out any time soon unless I win the lottery as there is zero affordable accommodation in my town (and no, moving would not be an option for me). And to add to that, I’m becoming more aware of just how fragile everything around me is, including the people who help support me.

There haven’t been any recent tragedies or big changes to affect me. Yet. But I’m becoming more aware with every day that passes they are inevitable. Someone I love will die. Someone I love will get sick and need help. I might get sick. I might lose my job or have to leave (there is some drama at the moment I won’t go into). Anything could happen and it’s a struggle between trying to plan for the worse so I have a safety net and not letting the worry tie me down to the point that I’m paralysed with fear. That’s usually how my anxiety affects me when it’s at its worse. It’s like a black mist goes over my eyes and I can’t see my own hand in front of my face, let alone try to work out a plan to think something gone wrong. And my whole body is stuck in tar and I can’t move.

The majority of my strength at the moment to get through this comes from Déa. The acceptance of change, of bad things happening, has always been something in religion I’ve found oddly comforting. Back when I first left Christianity, the teachings of suffering as inevitable initially drew me to Buddhism. I definitely see some Buddhist influence in the Filianic Scriptures, in particular the Clew of the Horse:

All things, once gained, must pass into the darkness; all things, once built, must crumble into dust. Sickness, old age and death must come to all maids; what thing within this life should’st thou pursue? Thy fairest hopes undone bring desolation, or else, fulfilled, shall vanish in a day. Life is a passing dream; of all its treasures, there is no thing among them shall endure.”

Teachings 1:2:18-21

What I appreciate about Filianism is that, though we are reminded about the impermanence of this life and what we have in this world, we are not told to detach ourselves completely or to fall into nihilism. Everything we experience in this world is a reflection of Déa, however cracked or distorted. If we become too attached to the point that we are unable to overcome grief then we only cause ourselves to suffer more. But that does not mean we cannot feel love or joy or gain wisdom from those experiences while they are here.

On Tamala I lit some candles and sent good wishes to both my grandparents, to my aunt and to my dog as well as other pets I’ve lost in the past. I remember the warmth they shared with me and continue to bring whenever I remember them but I know not to let my mind linger on them for too long. Part of me wonders if doing so causes them as much harm as it does us? If remembering a soul passed on helps them stay close to us, what if being too obsessed to the point the grief is crippling that it also ties them to this world, though they are still unable to properly comfort us? It’s a rather terrifying thought, even though it’s just a theory, it helps me to avoid falling into such a state. Because I know it would cause those who loved me as much pain to see me suffering over them. They would want me to live. They would want me to be happy.

This is going to be a tough month but I will hold fast to my faith in Déa that She will guide me through to the other side, so that when Astrea comes around I will be ready and buzzed to hang up the decorations and sing carols to welcome the coming of the little Lady Janah; our Princess Divine!

I always find it amusing that America has Thanksgiving as a nice transitional feast between Halloween and Christmas. Meanwhile here in Britain we have Guy Fawkes Night where we celebrate the failed plot to blow up Parliament. Given the state of our government at the moment, I’m almost surprised Fawkes isn’t seen as an unsung hero (I joke, obviously). I haven’t attended a bonfire night in years but we constantly have fireworks being set off around town, much to the chagrin of my dogs. A shame, honestly, as I do enjoy watching a bonfire. There is something incredibly symbolic after Tamala about watching a cleansing fire destroy the old to make way for the new, as well as the rather cosy and friendly atmosphere of friends and family huddling together for warmth as the nights draw in. Fire and destruction are associated with Sai Vikhe and Sai Rhave; not as ‘evil’ forces but in order to bring about the inevitable change for the good. As I spoke of in a previous post, darkness must sometimes enter first in order to make way for the light.

I pray that the Winter months are not too cold or turbulent for my followers and that the souls of your loved ones hold you close.

Blessed is Our Mother God and Her Holy Daughter,

Blessed is She.

 

*Eagle-eyed followers of my blog may notice that I’ve started using the ‘Orthodox’ terminology when it comes to Filianic names for months and days of the week. This isn’t a sign of me becoming more in line with Orthodox or Chapel ethics or tradition, rather it’s just become habit from hanging around other Chapel-leaning Filianists in the Discord as well as guidebooks from authors such as Lady Sinclair using the Orthodox calendar.

 

Question Time: Is the Dark Queen the same as the Snake?

Veiled Witch's Mirror

Miss R. Stephens asked the following question in a community that we’re both part of.

As a newbie to Filianism, I may have made a connection that is either totally preposterous and misguided or really super obvious to the rest of the faith that I just haven’t caught onto before, and I’d like some input! A few nights ago, I was reading through the Scriptures again, and it struck me that first daughter of the Mother embraced the ‘snake’ or the darkness that was before things were created, and the outpouring of her energy/creative power gave this darkness a shape, a body ‘like hers.’ In at least one version of the Scriptures, I know the Snake is written as ‘he.’ But here I wondered – a body like the daughter’s. Wouldn’t that mean a female body? And then as I read further along, and went through the story of the…

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Scripture Study: Cry Marya Verses 7 – 10

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7.The Awakened seeth not things, but seeth only the spirit My Mother, for no thing is outside Her, and all things are nothing save She.

8.The unawakened is she who seeth but fragments: who seeth the waves, but not the sea; who heareth the voice, but not the word; who seeth the light, but not the sun.

9. These fragments, contradictory, impossible, these are the severed substances of the world. How should the Awakened see these?
Gospel of Our Mother GodThe Filianic Sutras:
Cry Marya Verses 7 – 9

Some of the language here is difficult. The use of the false archaic ‘seeth’ in place of ‘sees’ makes today’s verses difficult to read. This can be seen in the use of ‘heareth’ as well. If we replace the with ‘sees’ and ‘hears’, these verses read much easier. Also, the femme-centric language is a little difficult…

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‘Let It Go’ – Being My Own Filianist

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“Here I stand, in the Light of Day…”

21st Vois – Stelladi

One of my favourite teachings in the Recital comes from the first chapter of the second book of teachings; ‘The Light’. The parable of the Maids in the Cave is supposedly influenced from Plato’s allegory of ‘the Cave’, reworked into Filianic themes of true light vs false light and what are are comfortable with knowing as truth and what really lies beyond. For me the parable is a teaching of bravery and compassion, exemplified by the heroic maid who journeys away from the cave and the light she has known, to find the freedom and light outside, then descending back out of a desire to share it with her sisters. Considering there are some who believe it is best to shun all ‘dark’ influences and people we encounter and just focus on the good and our own, I find this parable interesting as it teaches us that sometimes, to find what is best for us or for those we love, we have to take a step into the unknown and take a risk in order to show compassion. We cannot stay in our own echo chambers forever, especially when we are secretly unhappy, merely for the sake of conformity and keeping the masses happy. Or going with what we have told is best for us when our hearts are calling for something else.

“Nor is there any way into the world of light save first you go into the dark. But come a
little into the darkness, for there will be a greater darkness when the fire dies.”Teachings 2:1:45

However, it is worth pointing out, the teaching ends on the note that not everyone in the cave followed the maiden out, others choosing to stay with their own light. Whatever one can imply about what light was true and what was false etc is irrelevant for me, it is merely accepting the choices we all make, how some paths differ and that should be accepted. Some find their light in a cosy fire in the shelter, others find it in the sun out in the open. But all should be free to explore and find the light they seek without forcing that way on another.

“Therefore pray in supplication for the Light Divine that you may make true examination of your heart; but do not pray for knowledge of another.” – Teachings 2:1:15

Something that I’ve come to reconcile with recently is being comfortable taking my own path and no longer trying to cling to shreds of my past traditions or change to conform with another tradition for the sake of having a community.

For instance; I’ve decided to let go (hence the Elsa pic) of my remaining ties to Gnostic Sophian / Christianity. I will always be thankful to Sophia and the Magdalene for guiding my way towards Déa but I no longer feel as though I can try to merge Gnostic theology with Filianism in any way that doesn’t bring about a massive headache for me. I spent a lot of time over the Summer attempting to re-engage with my old Gnostic groups but found that, even within the ones claiming to be the most respectful to the divine feminine, their default use of masculine images and pronouns was too frustrating for me. There is also a lot of baggage in Christian scripture and mythology that I don’t wish to have any influence in my beliefs. Even the myth of Sophia and the legends of the Magdalene, though gift-wrapped as if to present stories of Strong Feminine Heroes, are so tainted by sexist tropes and not making them too over-powered than their male counterparts that I just find myself trying to rewrite my own versions or look to possible, earlier versions which were outvoted by history. While I’m all for women today reclaiming goddesses and heroines from stories where they were made the evil villain for the good guy to slay (my favourite at the moment being Daenerys Targaryen; the one true Queen of Westeros), these revised versions of Sophia and Magdalene and others differ so much from the popular Gnostic views that they may as well be different people entirely.

Merely attempting to use feminine pronouns for God as default rather than masculine ones had me labelled as a ‘troll’ on one forum, even though I explained in my introduction post that as a Filianist I viewed God only as feminine. However, as many Déanists and Filainists encounter, being honest that we do not include the divine masculine leads to us being accused of not having ‘balance’, yet when someone uses masculine as the default for God (despite claiming they are beyond gender) they receive no such accusation.

This leads me to something else I wish to make clear, which is the point of me being a Filianist.

There seems to be a lot of contention in the community lately from people who are upset when they look to Orthodox Filianic sources for advice to be told how they believe or wish to worship is not considered in line with Orthodox belief, yet they still wish to be Filianists. My advice? Do not be Orthodox. Why must you need to be Orthodox?

Filianism is not a monolith religion.

To be a Filianist simply means the following:

  • To love God the Mother AND God the Daughter, the second part being the biggest distinction from just a general Déanist as ‘Filia’ = Daughter.
  • To not pair God the Mother as an equal and opposite to God the Father and, likewise, do not pair God the Daughter beside God the Son. This does not apply to general Déanism which, for some paths, may include the divine masculine in some form, but for a Filianist; the Mother is complete and supreme in Herself and the same is true for the Holy Daughter. They do not require balance with a male counterpart to be ‘whole’.
  • To believe in the Seven Janyati in whatever capacity, whether as lesser goddesses or angels or perhaps merely in the virtues they represent and which are held as sacred for Filianists: Joy, Purity, Courage, Wisdom, Justice, Love and Patience. Whatever names you give them or what relationship you have with them is down to you.
  • To look to the Clear Recital (aka The Filianic Scriptures). Which version? Take your pick. How many editions are there of the Bible? Go with the one that you feel suits your path best. I use the ECE3 as it is the most complete in terms of books (and has a handy epub version for my kindle) but that doesn’t mean I necessarily believe and follow everything to the letter. Again, notice I begin with ‘look to’, as in take for inspiration as inspired by Déa and teaching us the myth and mission of the Holy Daughter. Not to follow word for word or take completely literally or that I agree with everything the scholar of that particular edition does. It is the foundation mythos and teachings for our faith but that doesn’t make them set in stone or not subject to criticism or reinterpreting (to take a leaf out of Reformed Judaism or Liberal Christianity).

These are the main points to which I find all those who wish to call themselves ‘Filianists’ agree on. Yes, there is a Catechism on the Chapel website, which is mostly a longer version of the above but there are also points on there I feel might only apply to one particular group or tradition. Yes, there were Madrians, there are Aristasians and there are Orthodox, as well as other groups who may or may not wish to be called Filianists but merely Déanic; which is entirely within their right. My main point of this post is more of a comfort and reassurance to those who new to Filianism who are under the impression that, to be a Filianist, means you align with a particular set of beliefs and ethics which a particular group holds to be the truth; even though these are not seen anywhere crystal clear in the Scriptures themselves nor that Déa has yet to appear and say which group is ‘the right one’.

I look to Lady Brythwen Sinclair as my main inspiration these days. Lady Sinclair is an independent Filianist who has written many wonderful guidebooks, prayer books and journals based around her faith with Déa which have been as enlightening to me as what I’ve read from those claiming to be Orthodox authoritarians or priests. What is most fascinating about Sinclair is that, while she leans towards Orthodox Filianic sources, she herself is a polytheist who includes the worship of male gods (though as far as I’m aware, not as co-creators to Déa), as well as being a skilled witch. When she is asked about how she reconciles this, she responds that her path is no one’s but her own and that she is under no need to justify it or for people to believe she is a ‘true Filianist’ for how her own path differs. This has given me so much courage to follow my own heart and not be concerned if I am ‘doing it right’ in the eyes of others.

All that matters in my faith is my own relationship with Déa. I do not impose that faith on anyone else unless they are interested in hearing about it. I still very much have a community on Discord and email groups with other Déanists to discuss all things Déanic and Filianic but instead we delight in how our paths are different instead of trying to fit into a particular box.

I try to keep my faith as simple as possible these days. I love Déa, I love the Holy Daughter (who I now call simply ‘Janah’ or ‘Kyria’), I love the Janati who I vary on what names I use for them depending on what comes to me, they all mean the same thing. I try to read the scriptures when I can and meditate on them while also gaining inspiration from fellow Filianists and Déanists. I pray, I write and I just try the best I can each day to be a bearer of Our Lady’s light. That’s all I can do.

Questions which lead to so much discourse between certain groups such as ‘what is the afterlife?’ / ‘are all souls the same gender?’ / ‘what will happen when we become one with Déa?’ / ‘question about morality and Déa and existence etc’ – my answer to these will always be; I DON’T KNOW. And I will never claim to know. I won’t know until my soul passes on, if I am even still aware enough to take that knowledge in. I understand that for many faithful these questions are the most troubling and they require an answer but I always challenge them to ask; “how do I know what this person says is the right answer? or is it just the answer I want to hear?” If it is the case that you just want to go with the answer that is most comforting, of course go with that! But someone else may differ and for those of us who don’t care, admitting we don’t know is not a failure. It’s honesty; a virtue of Lady Candre.

This is just something I’ve wished to affirm, mostly to myself, for a while. I am no ordained priestess or scholar or Gnostic; I am just a Filianist. My own Filianist. Simple and not-so-pure but trying my best.

Amadéa, Blessed is She.

 

Scripture Study: The Pillar of Light Verses 20 – 23

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20.Fix then your will upon the Truth and your heart on the Spirit My Mother, for by your love shall the world be redeemed, even to the last blade of grass.

21.In thy work praise Her and in thy resting, in thy speech and in thy silence.22.For thou wert made one with Her, and this is thy true estate. It is good for a maid to till the soil, but it is better to live with her Lady. It is good to build and to weave, but it is better to live with her Lady. It is good to serve maids in every way, but it is better to live with her Lady.

23.She that liveth wholly with her Lady is the servant of all the world; no labour is so great as this, nor so greatly to be honoured.

The Gospel of Our Mother…

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A Morning Chaplet

This is the version of the chaplet rosary I pray each morning, rather than the full Filianic rosary which I usually only pray on holy days or in times of great need. I have a small bracelet which I’ve managed to work to fit this style.

On the Pendant (which is a five pointed flower on my beads):

O Silver Star of the Waters,
Who hath laughed all the world into being,
Beyond all splendour is the knowledge of your Love.
I pray that you enfold my spirit within your mantle,
And may the pure stream of your grace flow within me,
In this world and in all the worlds to come,
Thus may it be.

Followed by the Glory Be:

Glory be to the Mother,
And to the Daughter,
And to the Absolute Deity,
Blessed is Her Name.

On the next three beads:

Hail Déa, Blessed Mother of All,

Hail Déa, Blessed Daughter of the Most Holy Mother,

Hail Déa, Blessed Dark Mother Mysteria.

Then recite my brief Filianic Creed:

I believe in Déa,
The Mother Mari,
The Daughter Janah,
And Déa Mysteria.
Three who are One and have no equal.

I believe in the Seven Janati,
The Seven Great Powers of Déa.

I believe I was created in the Beginning,
And that I turned from Grace to seek Knowledge.

I believe that the Virgin Daughter,
Born of Her Virgin Mother,
Lived and Suffered unto the Shattering of Her Spirit,
And that She rose again by Her Mother’s Love.

I believe the Holy Daughter shall unite all souls,
And lead them home to Our Mother.

I believe in Déa.

On the first introductory / first ‘quarter’ bead:

Hail Janah,
Full of Love,
Blessed are you and blessed is your Mother, Mari.
Kyria Janah,
Daughter God,
Save us now and in the our of our death,
Blessed are you.

On each of the next seven beads:

Shining Raya, guide me through the day.

Purest Candre, guide me through the day.

Brave Vikhe, guide me through the day.

Wise Mati, guide me through the day.

Just Thame, guide me through the day.

Loving Sushuri, guide me through the day.

Patient Rhave, guide me through the day.

On the first quarter bead, repeat the Hail Janah, then the seven Janati prayer beads.

Repeat on all three points around the chaplet until back at the introduction bead:

Most Holy Déa,
Please guide me through this day and help me to live a Thamelic life.

On the Pendant:

By the Mother, the Daughter and the Absolute Deity,
May all your blessings Be.

Self-Anointing

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14th Ceres – Rosadi

There doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus in the Déanic community on how one should bless oneself in ritual or prayer. I’m referring mostly to when someone blesses in the name of the Trinity. Some Déanists and Filianists prefer the Pentacle as a symbol, while others use the Fora.

Neither of these have resonated with me for this practice, even though I adore using both symbols for other purposes, such as I’m still on the hunt for a pentacle rosary. But using a five-pointed symbol when invoking the Trinity doesn’t flow for me, and the use of the Fora feels a bit too…Christian, for my liking.

Instead, what I’ve found myself doing, and this is purely by chance, is the following:

(Touching my forehead) “In the name of the Mother.”

(Touching my chest over my heart) “And of the Daughter.”

(Form a circle between the two points, resting back on the heart) “And of the Absolute Deity/Dark Mother/Mysteria.”

This doesn’t form any clear symbol necessarily, other than a rather simple circle of two halves, but the points and motion of anointing fit with my connection to what the Trinity represents to me.

Bright Mind, Bright Mother

I touch my forehead for the Bright Mother to signify where Her light enters my body, through my mind. Insight, knowledge, the gift to imagine and rationalise – these are all blessings from Our Heavenly Mother. There are many pseudo-feminist mystic groups today that teach that it’s the Father who is the great intelligence, while the Mother is love. That it’s He who is transcendent and all-powerful while She is closer to creation but weakened. That it’s the Father who must ‘liberate’ or ‘redeem’ the Mother, via the Son to the Daughter, rescuing Her like a lost bride for Her to be whole again. It’s sexist stereotypes such as this which are so incredibly tone deaf that pushed me away from Gnosticism in particular where they heavily persist.

In Filianism, it is the Bright Mother who is the transcendent Creator, but this by no means lessens Her compassion or love for Her children. She is also as much the giver of gifts of the mind as well as the heart and soul. She reaches down to us from above and the first place Her light reaches is our heads, so of course our brains would be the doorway to which Her grace enters, to where our minds can grow in knowledge and awareness of Her. In Sikhi, the head or mind is known as the Dasam Duar, meaning ‘Tenth Gate’, which Sikh’s believe is where the soul connects to God and experiences Enlightenment.

The mind is part of our inner temple and should not be taken for granted. Scripture reminds us that it is not eternal, as it passes away with our bodies upon death, but the lessons we take in remain with our spirit, which is immortal. It’s important to grant your mind the blessing of Déa, Our Mother. It’s important to question, to doubt, to meditate, to study and be creative. Déa is the great intelligence and She delights in Her daughters who wish to be as clever as they can be.

Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hearts

The second needs little explaining. While Our Mother is the fountain of all love, that Love takes form in Her Daughter, Our Lady. I touch my heart to remind myself that She is the heartbeat of the Universe. The energies and forces of nature, the orbit of planets and the cycle of seasons, all follow Her footsteps. It is Her love which keeps the universe in working order instead of falling into blind chaos.

Lady Janah lives in the heart of every Maid, even those who do not know Her. As a Christian I was told you must ‘welcome Jesus into your heart to save you’, but Janah needs no such invitation. Her sacrifice which took place before and beyond time ensured that She is with every living thing, from her first breath to her last and then to her next life. She has guaranteed our salvation. Being truly divine, She does require worship or ritual or sacrifice in return for Her aid. She lives in the darkest corner of every heart and works to help us dispel the ugly desires that might take us and lead us further into khear. She never gives up, not even on the most ‘evil’ of souls, always praying and urging them towards redemption.

If the Bright Mother is She who is reaching down with Her light to help us, it is the Holy Daughter who raises us up from within to meet Her. The same mystic schools who would characterise the Mother as dim-witted also portray the Daughter, the Holy Soul, as passive and weeping, in need of rescue – but it is She who carries us up in Her arms. By touching and blessing my heart, I remember that She is always with me and has as much faith in me as I do in Her, if not more.

Dark Mother, Circle of Life

The Circle I form with my fingers, from the Daughter to the Mother and back to the Daughter, honour the Great Mysteria; the Dark Mother. Barbelo. Sige. She Who Is.

The Bright Mother and Holy Daughter are both emanated from Her and yet also form the whole; the absolute Goddess. The circle represents Her eternal and cyclical nature as well as Her being the womb which creates and contains all of Creation within Her, even when the illusion of separation blinds us from Her. It helps to remind me that everything and everyone I see is a part of Déa and precious in Her eyes, no matter how certain people or things might frustrate or confuse me. To quote The Lion King II; “we are one”.

I finish back on my heart as means to continue my journey with the Saviour; Lady Janah, raising myself higher on the ladder towards reuniting with the Bright Mother – Déa Volente.

May the light of the our most beautiful Kyria be ignited in us all,
Blessed is She.