Dear Sisters and Devotees,
I am not at my home computer, so this will be a bit informal.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post about the place of men in the Deanic religion. Unfortunately, that post needed further clarification.
Our view of the place of men in a matriarchal religion might differ from that of the early Madrians. We believe that both women and men are spiritually equal and that both female and male spirits are eternal. In the latest studies of matriarchal societies, there appears to be no notion of males obeying the females as opposed to the viewpoint that the Madrians may have held. However, in traditional matriarchal societies, it does appear that the females were the spiritual heads of the household.
And so, in a matriarchal religion, the female is the spiritual head of the household while the male may be considered to be the physical head of the household. (Of course, this is not applicable to an all-female household). For a more recent example of a true matriarchal society, please see the society of the Mic Mac or Mi’kmaw Native Tribe of the Canadian maritimes: http://www.muiniskw.org/pgCulture2g.htm
Though both may work outside the home, in our religion, the spiritual vocation of the female is within her hestia, while the spiritual vocation of the male is out in the agora. (More on this principle in the future.)
We believe that every marriage is an equal partnership between two people, one that is based upon mutual respect, trust and cooperation.
Any male may practice the Deanic religion as long as it is recognized that this is a matriarchal religion and that the leadership and priestesshood of the Deanic Faith must always be female. There are many reasons for this stricture, some of which we have examined in the past.
There will always be all-female groups within the Deanic religion such as the Daughters of Shining Harmony; the Janite Order of Priestesses and Sisterhood (JOP); the Elegant Lady Feminine Seminary (ELFS) and the Lady of Light Chantry. But, the Deanic religion itself may be practiced by all members of the family within their hestia and males would be welcome to public liturgy and services. Some groups might choose to hold private liturgies and services for their female members, only.
Finally, we believe there was an initial misunderstanding about the etymology of the word, maid. According to our research, we have found no evidence that the word maid stems from the word ‘may’ meaning one who has a choice. For centuries, maid has been short for maiden referring to an unmarried woman, a virgin or to a young woman. There is evidence that in the 13th century, the word may have been used to refer to a young man as well, but this research seems to indicate that, in this case, the word was used in conjunction with the word, man as in maid-man. In the Deanic Faith, it has come to mean any female devotee of Dea.
Where do not live in the 13th century , we follow the Madrian practice, (as it is known to us), of referring to maids and men rather than using the word maid as a generic term for all humanity; just as we no longer use the term ‘man-kind’ to refer to all of humanity. We are human-kind and in our Faith, we are both maids and men.