My mentor and my bishop, ArchMatrona Ghrian, studied under a Madrian priestess and was a devout Orthodox Filianic before founding her own Lady of Light Chantry, a Tradition which, while staunchly Deanic, is based upon the Nordic culture of her ancestral mothers. And so, we have a clear understanding of what the Deanic/Filianic religion is and what it is not.
In the past, I probably should have left the Filianic religion if I couldn’t accept the religion for what it was. But for some reason, I could not bring myself to do that. There was too much about it that I loved. .
When I found the Chapel, I not only found Our Divine Mother God, I also found the inherent celebration of femininity within the religion and within the scriptures; a femininity that has been so crushed since the Eclipse. I found values similar to my own. And so, despite my misgivings about certain aspects of the Faith, I knew I was home. But, I wanted to ‘re-decorate’ my new religious home… drastically… to make it fit in with what I thought it should be.
As I stated in my Humble Admission post, I had no right. This was a religion that was not of my design and creation. The scriptures were not mine to re-write. The authors of the scriptures are still alive. They have chosen to remain anonymous so that the scriptures might speak for themselves. And the way the religion was created is perfect. Each part blends beautifully with the rest.
Each religion has its own inherent culture. Catholicism, the denominations of Orthodox Christianity, Judiasm, Hinduism, Buddhism, all have their own underlying culture. A religious culture is what helps to make a religion strong, vital and meaningful to their devotees. A religious culture is only wrong when it is forced upon those who do not wish to participate or when it is harmful to others.
We have, within Filianism and within our own sister Traditions of Janites and Luciennes, our own culture. Part of that culture is a celebration of femininity and all that is feminine. We realize this culture is not for everyone and that’s fine. But, that does not mean that we have to change or police our own culture because others find it to be objectionable.
We are certainly not all 50’s era wives and many of our devotees would take great exception to being put under that umbrella. Some of us have traditional marriages, yes. Others are in lesbian or intermorph relationships. Still others might be in more unconventional relationships or marriages. However, if a devotee is a 50’s era wife, that is her choice and we uphold her right to that choice. It is one that is respected and honored by us just as all relationships should be respected and honored.This personal relationship style should be a threat to no-one.
If we choose to share about our marriages or our relationships with others of our female community, we have a right to do so without being disparaged by others. We try to create a safe online community where we may feel free to be ourselves.
As both feminist and non-feminist members of the JOP, those of our Tradition believe that we do not have to sacrifice our femininity in order to have equal rights with men.
The bottom line is, as I have learned the hard way: we do not have to change who we are, nor do we have to change our religion or our scriptures in order to please everyone else. I have tried to do that in the past and it did not work for me. Others have tried it and it did not work for them.
And yes, our customs include dressing in a feminine manner, with dignity and modesty. (Not meaning people have to wear skirts to their ankles.) We celebrate femininity and beauty and gentleness and politeness. The Lucienne and Janite traditions include the custom of veiling (wearing a head scarf, mantilla or hat), for symbolic reasons, during our rites. These are our own ways and we do not expect those outside of our Traditions, to follow them.
No-one is being prevented from starting their own Deanic religion. And, there are those who have. There are different forms of a Deanic religion. A Deanic religion simply means a religion that recognizes the Divine Feminine as Supreme Being. Shaktism and Dianic Wicca immediately come to mind.
But, a Deanic religion that is based upon our scriptures, our Creed, and the teachings of the Madrians and Filianists means certain things.
What really surprises me, I think more than anything, is that those who have been the most wrathful about our decisions for the Janite Tradition do not now, nor have they ever, belonged to the Janite community. Not a single one of them.
The Janites are who we are. The Luciennes are who they are. The Filianists are who they are. The Madrians were who they were. If someone wants to start a Deanic religion where men may be clergy or where femininity is not an aspect of their custom and culture more power to them, but that is not who we are.
So, in summary: with our desire to have a feminine only clergy, it is not because we believe males to be spiritually inferior, it is because:
1) As Janites, we believe that females best channel the Divine Feminine in a feminine religion. We believe that our communion rite is a Feminine Mystery.
This is similar to many Wiccan religions who have the female priestess channel the Great Goddess while the male priest channels the God (including those Traditions where there is a communion rite rather than a symbolic fertility rite).
There have been some Goddess Christian groups where there are male and female priests: the female priest(ess) channels the Divine Feminine and the male priest channels the Divine Masculine during the communion rite.
We understand that many won’t agree with this belief either, but they don’t have to. This isn’t about the beliefs of others; it is about our beliefs. We are not asking anyone outside of Janite Tradition to accept them.
2) We agree with the following statements as found on the Chapel website: “In Western societies there is a tendency, if power is not placed firmly in feminine hands, for a feminine devotion to become very patriarchal and to end up as a power-game for male egos.
But the Feminine Congregation of Dea will always be very important to us. Our personal spirituality is inherently a feminine spirituality.
For us and for many women, past, present and future, that will always be so. www.mother-god.com/feminine-spirituality.html. End of Quote.
What we believe should be of no concern to those who are not Janites. We speak for ourselves and for no-one else. We understand that our Tradition, our culture, our customs and a feminine religion are not for everyone, nor are they intended to be.
But, to those who find value in it, no matter what gender they may be, that is wonderful, as long as it is clearly understood that this is an inherently feminine religion.
We hope that we have made our position clear.
ArchMadria Candra Sophia
107. Who shall celebrate the Sacrifice?
The spiritual head of household shall celebrate the Sacrifice.
108. Who is the spiritual head of the household?
Either the mother, or else the temporal matriarch, or any other maid who has made a solemn undertaking to act as spiritual head of her household.
109. Who shall celebrate if she is absent?
Either her eldest daughter, or any other maid whom she has chosen to act as her surrogate. (The Madrian edition of the catechism.)
(Here maid means female member of the hestia.)