Deanic Interpretations of Songs #1 – Road to Paradise by Jordin Sparks

Astraea 23

Dear friends,

Because Deanism is such a small faith, we do not have many ‘official’ hymns or devotional songs we can use in our worship etc. However, I find myself finding Deanic meaning in all kinds of music… from Catholic hymns to Disney soundtracks to contemporary pop songs. I actually have a Spotify playlist with all of these songs, so I wanted to start a little blog entry series about them.

This first one is from one of the Tinkerbell movies. Interestingly enough, sister Rebekah made a post a while ago about her Deanic interpretation of the first movie, and I definitely feel like they teach some beautiful and Deanist messages about nature, friendship, magic, etc. I was listening to the soundtracks and I was blown away by how many of the songs reminded me of my faith in Dea! This first one is by Jordin Sparks. The italic text is my commentary.


Road to Paradise by Jordin Sparks (From Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure)

[VERSE 1]
Yeah yeah yeah
Handshake
Try to keep them steady
Won’t break
You’ve been getting ready
Here we go
It’s time to say goodbye (say goodbye)
(This verse reminds me of us saying goodbye to our Heavenly Mother when we decided to descend in to matter in order to learn of good and evil and grow spiritually.)

You’ve got a lot up on your shoulders
Not quite sure just where you’re going
But you know it’s gone be quite a ride
You know with every twist, turn, crash and burn
That you’re gonna reach the other side
(Our faith teaches that separation from our Mother is temporary, and in the end all souls will be redeemed and returned to Oneness with Her. The ‘Other Side’ to me represents the golden realm of the Mother beyond the veil- or Heaven/Paradise. No matter how riven with kear we become, no matter what mistakes we make, no matter where our journeys take us, we will return to Her.)

[CHORUS]
You will do things you never dreamed of
You’re gonna find a few new friends
Get to explore the worlds of wonder
Where the magic never ends
Time to go out and make your moment
Make a few memories on the way
Life is unfolding it’s happening right before your eyes
On the road to paradise
Road to paradise
Oh, yeah, yeah
(The road to Paradise is every life that we live before eventual re-unification with our Mother. In the chorus I can almost hear our Mother’s voice before we left Her, telling us not to be afraid, for the worlds she has prepared for us are full of wonder, lessons to learn, adventures to embark on. She wants us to enjoy the journey back to Her, rather than lamenting that we are not still One with Her. )

[VERSE 2]
Inside you feel the fire blazing
Outside you are so amazing
Take a breath and soak in all the sides
Mmmmmm
Danger and fear are gonna test you
Still you are coming to the rescue
Rain or shine you won’t give up the fight
It doesn’t matter how long how far
There are miracles along the way
(The road back home may be a long one, but as the song says, there are miracles along the way! We will feel Dea’s love always, and with Her love we can find the strength within ourselves to carry on when we feel hopeless and afraid. We are on a ‘heroes journey’, and heroes are confronted with multiple battles and hardships before they get their happy ending and reward.)

[CHORUS]

[VERSE 3]
Might be surprised
by the strength you’re gonna find
Inside your heart
(The bride speaks for itself, I think. I have been surprised at the strength I have found inside myself when I was suicidal. At the worst moments in my life I was able to dust off my shoulders and rise.) 

[CHORUS]


 

I am not currently in education, but for years I would analyse poems and prose in my English and Creative Writing classes, and this may be where this idea has come from. It may seem silly to some, but I think Dea’s message can be found anywhere. Especially in children’s media, for children’s hearts are full of innocence, wonder and magic, and I think ours should be, too.

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