Thoughts on the Divine Shattering

14 Astraea

“She was scared
Unprepared.
Lost in the dark.
Falling Apart,
I can survive,
With you by my side.
We’re gonna be alright.
This is what happens when two worlds collide.”
– Two Worlds Collide by Demi Lovato, a cheesy pop song from my tween years, about friendship.

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I am writing this with tears in my eyes. Tears of happiness, sadness, and raw spiritual emotion.

I was just reading through ArchMadria Pamela’s most recent post about the Holy Daughter as the Mother of our souls, and found myself understanding deeply every single word. Because what she spoke of in that article, I have experienced.

The post talks about the beautiful implications of the thealogy of the Holy Daughter. Until the work done by the Janite Order of Priestesses to uncover and explain what I call ‘the Divine Shattering’, I understood the Holy Daughter in a way more similar to the goddess Inanna or Jesus Christ- a deity who corrects a wrong by descending, dying and resurrecting. While I still see the value in this understanding, I much prefer the understanding of the Daughter from the Janite perspective: that the Daughter descended, shattered her own perfect Soul in to pieces to save us, which causes a lot of pain for Her. She experiences every heartbreak, every illness, every affliction with us. She understands us on a level beyond human comprehension. Kwan Yin, a Bodhisattva of some Buddhist traditions, is known as ‘She who hears the cries of the world’. Those words say it all.

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Something else, something rather unorthodox, helped me better understand this thealogy.

Now, I am a huge nerd. I have also mentioned in the past about how sci-fi (particularly space opera) and fantasy is often a boon for my faith, and vice versa. An unlikely pair, but the two are deeply intertwined for me. These genres have heroes, overcoming odds, liberation, and often the characters will cite their belief in God(s) or other forces of the Universe as the reason for their strength.

My favourite video game, Mass Effect, is a space opera role playing game centred around a space commander named Shepard and his/her crew, who go against odds to fight dark forces at play in the Milky Way Galaxy. It has aliens, love, and, at least in my head, religious allegories. Spoiler alert! In the end of the video game trilogy, the Commander is given three choices on how to deal with the threat to the galaxy, a race of sentient machines called Reapers, who seek to destroy all advanced life. Shepard can choose to a) take control of the Reapers, essentially stealing their power and using it for good and watch over the galaxy from afar (her physical body dying in the process), b) destroy the Reapers but also destroy friendly AI in the process, or c) break down her own essence and have it be used as a catalyst for a new formula, in which organic beings and machines live in harmony (her physical body dying in the process).

The way I saw it, these three endings could each represent a ‘saviour’ deity. Control option represents Inanna. In the classic Inanna myth, she takes control of the powers of Hell, stealing them from her sister Ereshkigal, the Dark Queen. Quote from this ending: “Your corporeal form will be dissolved. But your thoughts and even your memories will continue. You will no longer be organic. Your connection to your kind will be lost. Although you will remain aware of their existence.” The Destroy option doesn’t really have a religious counterpart, but I would compare it to how Christians view the second coming of Christ: he will, point blank, put an end to the forces of darkness once and for all. However, the Synthesis ending, to me, represents our understanding of the Holy Daughter. Shepard gives her own essence and that is used to create a new framework in which organic beings and synthetic beings become one. This reminded me of how Dea, in the form of the Holy Daughter, gave us Her own soul so that while we remain mortal, we each share in Her divinity, as well. Quote from this ending: “Your organic energy. The essence of who and what you are, will be broken down and then dispersed.” I feel like the Inanna understanding is similar to the Control ending, while the Janite Deanic and my Deanic understanding is similar to the Synthesis ending. We are synthesised with the Daughter and with one another.

But I digress. The point is, that we believe the Holy Daughter is imminent not because She is the Earth like may Pagans believe, but because we literally share a soul with Her. And so, not only is She the Mother of our Souls, the Queen of Heaven and our Saviour, She is also the perfect best friend.

As most of you reading this will be well aware of by now, I suffer from clinical depression, anxiety and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have also recently developed a condition called Labyrinthitis which affects my balance, and I can not walk a short distance without feeling dizzy and having to sit down.  This was particularly awful tonight, and combined one of my typical depressive episodes, and feelings of extreme loneliness and isolation, I felt extremely low.

A common sentiment amongst people with depression is a feeling that nobody understands us. I have often felt frustrated that I couldn’t put in to words how I was feeling when talking about it to other people, because they don’t know the inner workings of my mind and heart. Yet, Dea Filia does, because everything we ‘go through’, she goes through with us. This makes Her the perfect ‘best friend’. Many a time I have prayed to Her using not so many words. Rather than explaining to Her exactly how I feel in words, I say ‘Most Holy Anna, I know you know what I’m going through, so please just give me the strength to fight another day, and hold me.” And, just like that, I can feel Her arms around me, comforting me.

Any time we need a hug, any time we need to be reminded that we are not alone, and that our feelings are valid and understood, we can call on Her. A God that is not only a Mother and a Queen but a Best Friend, is one that I am SO proud and so blessed to worship.

In the name of the Heavenly Mother, the Holy Daughter, and the Great Mother, thus may it remain.

Madria Erin

Coming in 2017 – The Auroran Tradition

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Dear siblings in faith,

I’ve received a couple of messages about the ‘Auroran Tradition’ that ArchMadria Pamela has mentioned I belong to. I haven’t formally developed or announced this tradition yet, but it will be a sister tradition to the Janite tradition lead by ArchMadria Pamela, and the Lucienne tradition lead by ArchMatronia Georgia.

My decision to begin formally developing this tradition took root after a discussion with ArchMadria Pamela about different types of Priesthood. She wrote a post on it which you can read here.

The Auroran Tradition will be aimed more towards younger people (aged roughly 13-30) but anyone is free to be a member. We will be committed to maintaining tradition, while also incorporating modernity. We will focus on building a relationship with Dea through many different means: including prayer, dance, song, creative writing, art, charity work, etc.

We will be ‘daughter focused’ or Filianic, as we believe the Daughter is bringing us in to a new age in which the Divine Feminine will be worshipped openly, people will be kinder, and there will be a fresh understanding of peace and harmony between the disparate groups of today’s world. This ties in with the name of the tradition. ‘Aurora’ is the name of the Roman goddess of the Dawn. The Dawn symbolises youth, new beginnings, and hope- all things the Auroran Tradition represents. Aurorans will be working to build a better future in Dea’s name, spreading Her message of peace and love.

I haven’t developped an actual name for the tradition yet, ‘the Auroran tradition’ is just what we’re calling it for the mean time.

In 2017, I will launch some kind of website for the tradition, whether it be a blog or a Wix website, and begin taking membership applications.

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Blessings!

Madria Erin

Daily Spiritual Practices

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Hello,

In our very busy day-to-day lives, it can be hard to make time for Dea. Most Deanists will say a little prayer at night and perhaps in the morning, but understandably, we often fail to pray, listen to Her or call on Her any other time of the day (other than on feast days). I am awful for this. Some days I’m even too busy and stressed that I feel like I don’t have the energy to pray, but ironically, those are the days I need Dea the most.

Many Deanists have written prayers that are to be said multiple times a day, facing certain directions, calling on various mysteries, etc. I would love to be able to do that, but for some people a system like that just isn’t possible. So, I’m in the process of coming up with little spiritual practices that can be done throughout the day without taking up too much time and getting us in trouble with our bosses etc.

  • Morning Prayer: In the morning, welcome in the dawn with light ring of a bell. This will clear negative energies from your aura and help you call in the Spirit. Make the pentacle or fora or another holy symbol upon yourself. Morning prayer may just be petitioning Dea to help you walk through the day as She would, being a mirror of Her grace and love, and thanking Her for the new day.
  • Grace Before Meals: When in public, praying before meals can cause feelings of anxiety. In this day and age doing so may make those around you view you as some sort of ‘religious nut’ and they may make assumptions about you and what you believe. A Mormon missionary once told me that when in public around non-Mormons, he does what he calls a ‘migraine prayer’, crossing your hands over his slightly bowed head to silently thank God for his meal. I like this approach a lot.
  • Images of Dea: I can’t remember where I read this but I know one Deanic website (possibly Mother-G0d) suggests bowing before statues of Mary etc as they are representations of Dea. I ADORE this, but for the reasons I touched on above, this can be hard to do for many people. Instead, consider bowing your head and greeting Her silently to yourself, or simply put your fingers to your lips and extend your hand towards her, as a symbol of reverent love.
  • Head Covering: Many Pagans, Goddess worshippers and a few Deanists cover their heads as a sign of devotion to the Divine. I cover during ritual and the month of Moura. Head covering doesn’t have to be a large veil covering all of the hair, it can simply be a wide headband or a hat.
  • Listening: Most of us are familiar with the concept of prayer. It’s when you talk to Dea. But when was the last time you listened to Her? Sometimes we get so caught up in the world around us that we forget that through the Daughter, Dea is an imminent and active force in our lives. In the silence, through music, by reading scriptures, we can hear Her voice. She can give us counsel, comfort, and advise us on day to day issues.
  • Daily Scripture: Not all Deanists use the Filianic/Madrian scriptures, but for those that do, simply reading a passage a day and meditating on it is a great spiritual practice. Simply pick one at random and think about what it means to you as you go about your day. Deanic Christians may use the Bible, Gnostic Deanists may use the Nag Hammadi scriptures, etc.
  • Night Time prayer: Unless we have had a particularly busy day, night time may be a time we can spend a little longer communing with Dea. Light candles at your altar, say longer prayers, pray the rosary. I like to stand at my altar, light candles, pray and then sit in the silence and take deep breaths, letting Her calm me before I sleep. I imagine Her singing me to sleep and wrapping me in a warm blanket like an earthly mother would with her little child. I find this helps a lot with my insomnia.

I really hope this helps, and I’d love to hear about your spiritual, every day practices!

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Madria Erin