Knitted With Love

Astraea 19

spiritual_healing

I think the reason Lady Grace is my matron Jana is because if there is one thing that inspires me want to be a better person, it’s witnessing other people perform acts of unconditional love and selflessness.

My mother works in a children’s hospital. Today, she came home with three bin bags full of knitwear for babies. They’d been knitted and donated to the hospital for the babies, but the hospital can’t use them because of health and safety regulations, so they were going to throw them all away. My mother was baffled at this and rescued the knitwear. We went through it all when she got in. I was so blown away by the artistry. Hats, blankets and cardigans all beautifully knitted with pastel colours and patterns and frilled edges. But it wasn’t their beauty that made me so emotional. As strange as it seems, I felt like I could sense the love, care and joy that had gone in to making them. Each item seemed to radiate love and care. These women (and possibly some men) had made this items and donated them to the hospital purely because they wanted to help babies. They had nothing to gain from doing so other than temporary entertainment from a hobby. They just wanted to help people. And although the knitwear won’t be going to the babies they’d originally intended it to go to, I asked a sweet lady from my old church where she’d recommend donating them to, and they’ll be going to a refugee camp in Greece.

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Recently, I have been angered and discussed at the genocide currently taking place in Aleppo. Men, women and children are begging for help on social media, and their pleas are falling on deaf ears. This is one of the worst atrocities I have witnessed in my lifetime. It is so tempting for me to fall in to the nihilistic slump I often fall in to when I hit a low with my depression. But…

Human beings aren’t as awful as we sometimes say we are. Yes, humanity commits many evil acts daily, but we also act as Lady Grace’s assistants daily by our good works and our selfless love for one another. There is so much goodness in this world. Just by sorting through bags of tiny cardigans and hats today, my faith in human kindness has been restored.

And just as the knitwear was created with so much love and care, our Mother creates so much for us with more love and care than we can even fathom. Each delicate flower, each intricate butterfly wing, each rose gold sunset, was laughed in to existence and hand painted by Her to make this existence a little more bearable for us. To remind us of our true nature: beauty, peace, love and innocence.

Please, if you have money to spare (which I know is a long shot at this time of year), please considering donating to help those currently under attack in Aleppo. If you can’t, that’s okay! There are so many little selfless things we can all do to make this world a better place. Help someone with their grocery bags. Offer to babysit for a struggling family you know. Offer a nonjudgmental ear and a shoulder to cry on for those going through hard times. This time of year is a time for giving, but that doesn’t have to mean physical things. Sometimes, the best gift you can give someone is the gift of friendship. We are all siblings. Let’s start acting like it, and loving each other as Dea loves us.

Madria Erin

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

The Conception of the Daughter

Astraea 11

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In the Deanic Daughterist/Filianist calendar, today is the day we celebrate the Mother becoming ‘pregnant’ (in a metaphysical sense) with the Holy Daughter, who is Her Heavenly Daughter and yet remains fully One with Her.

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.

– Daughter Mythos 1:3-7

This low feast is the last festival, low or high, in the Mother half of the Deanic year. It marks the beginning of the second and larger part of Advent. It is a very exciting low feast indeed, for in this act the Daughter is coming to save us, to guide us back to our Mother.

This act of parthenogenesis has deeper implications that my friend Jacqueline touched on here, that involves the Great Mother as well as the Bright Mother. Usually, when I use the phrase ‘Heavenly Mother’, I am referring to Mari, while the ‘Great Mother’ or ‘Dark Mother’ is Mysteria- the darkness that existed before the light. This thealogy of this feast can be interpreted as the Bright Mother communing with Herself in the form of the Dark Mother to create Anna, the Heavenly Daughter. This, to me, is a lovely interpretation and makes a lot of sense.

Blessings, and let us rejoice!

Madria Erin

 

Coming in 2017 – The Auroran Tradition

Astraea 6

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

Trinitarian-Deanic Godhead Diagram

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I’ve seen diagrams like this for religions with non-polytheistic but complex Godheads such as Gnosticism, and I thought it was a really good way of explaining things. I tried to make one for trinitarian Deanism/Filianism, at least how I understand it. I do not speak for all Deanists.

The names for the Janati are names I came up with myself. Of course, any appropriate names for them can be used.

THEALOGY

Madria Erin