20 Columbina/April 9, 2018
O, Madria Candra, Jana of Reflection, Reason and Purity, be with us.
It has come to our attention that our priesthood and some of our beliefs and practices are causing confusion and criticism amongst some devotees of Déa, especially amongst those that are new and who are not completely aware of the history of the religion.
First of all, we have never laid claim to being either Madrian or Filianic priestesses. Except for one brief, experimental month last year, our Tradition has always been Independent and my own ordination does not stem from either group.
As far as the Madrian priestesshood is concerned, many do not realize that the complete Madrian catechism allows for two ways to become a Madrian priestess. And those two ways were through sacramental initiation and charisma.
Initiation through Charisma is not unheard of even within Catholicism. But that would be only acceptable under dire circumstances where no priest (for Baptism) or Bishop (for ordination) are available. As soon as a priest/bishop was available, a proper baptism or ordination was to be performed in order to publicly affirm what God had already accomplished though Charisma and to supply for any possible deficiencies.
At one time, Janites recognized Madrian Ordination through Charisma as Madria Olga Lotar, ArchMatrona Ghrian and the former Madria Erin/Gwenevere had become Madrian priestesses through this means. However, we do not, nor have we ever recognized ordination by Charisma for the Janite Tradition.
We understand that in the past, the sacramental initiatory Madrian priestesshood ended due to an excommunication. This is well-known, although I don’t think it has ever been made public. And though the Madrian priestesshood may have ended, that does not mean that there cannot be a valid priesthood of Déa within other Traditions
The Janites have been influenced by two of the Madrian Orders. But, we are not, nor have we ever been Madrian. To our knowledge, no Madrian Order exist, although there are a few devotees.
Our Madrian influence stems from the fact that we have adopted and adapted their system of worship, their Creed, a majority of the original, long-form Madrian catechism (the Filianic is the short form), and many of their basic beliefs for our Tradition.
I have been accused of adding things to the Madrian catechism. The only thing I added was our belief in the Janae. I have deleted some things that we don’t believe in and I changed some words like using Déa instead of Goddess, etc., but other than the Janae, I have added nothing that I can recall. And, I’m pretty sure I indicated which were Janite changes. I will, in all fairness, go over it again. But, the complete Madrian catechism may be found in the Sacred Myths and Rites for an honest comparison.
Our Deanic roots mainly stem from Madrian Orders other than Lux Madriana.
And our liturgy, in its original form, and our Creed, in its original form, came to us from the Madria Olga Lotar materials.
We must remember that much of what the 1970’s Madrians did stemmed from Marian worship, the adoption of Marian holy days, (for example, the recent Déanic Lady Day is the Feast of the Annunciation in the Traditional Catholic Church, it was called Lady Day), Marian iconography and certain Marian dogmas, prayers, customs and apparitions. Even the idea of Déa’s Mantle of Protection came straight out of Marian folk worship. They claimed that Mary was really the Goddess under the guise of Mary.
Madria Olga, herself, continued to attend mass at the Catholic Church in order to worship Mary.
It is also important to understand, especially for those who are not familiar with the Christian Gospels, that much of what is found in the Mythos of the Divine Maid/Holy Daughter came straight out of the Christian gospels, sometimes word for word. If anyone doubts this, I will be happy to point out the verses in question. The verse from Jeremiah 44 is also often quoted. So, all of these things were originally appropriated from the Catholic Church and the scripture of Jeremiah 44/17.
My point is, though I began to refer to the Filianists as being Orthodox about six or seven years ago in order to distinguish them from other Deanic Traditions, in actuality, there really is no such thing because most of their source materials were not original to themselves.
Some of those who had formed the Madrians went on to form Aristasia. They appear to have retained much of the Madrian basics and evolved it into the Filianism that we know, today. And, all in all, beginning with the Madrians, they did a fine job of creating a beautiful system of worship and writing inspiring scriptures. And those of us who found the Sacred Myths and Rites of the Madrians and the Chapel are grateful for this system of worship.
But, we must be clear, this is a system whereby the founders got together, and we know this, there were witnesses who have come forward, and appropriated elements from Wicca, which was growing in popularity in England at the time, and Catholic Christianity, especially all things Marian along with the infancy and Passion Gospels of Jesus Christ. They also included some Gnostic and Greek concepts. They borrowed from the Mythos of Eurynome, the Titans and Inanna all the while leaving out any and all male consorts.
And there is nothing wrong with doing that. Not at all. But, I have always believed in being honest about our sources rather than being vague, coy or deceptive.
Because the Madrian/Filianic Traditions drew from so many different sources in order to piece together their narrative and their beautiful Mythos, I was wrong to assign the label of Orthodox to any of the Traditions because it has since been misconstrued by those who are new.
Additionally, it is hard to hear it stated that the Filianic/Deanic religion has absolutely nothing to do with any of the Abrahamic Faiths when a good portion of it was derived, sometimes almost word for word, along with the iconography, rosary, holy days, etc., from Catholic Christianity!
It would be similar to our adopting the image of Quan Yin for our God and appropriating Buddhist prayers and devotions to Her, and rewriting Buddhist scriptures into our own Mythos, while having the gall to say that our Tradition has no connection and cannot have any connection to Buddhism. This would be an example of misappropriation in the extreme and quite hypocritical on our part. It is important to be honest about our roots.
And, we also must remember that much of what is in the The Coming Age periodical is fiction and has no basis in actual Amazonian history.
As to Janite history:
ArchMatrona Ghrian was ordained as a Bishop through what was then, the Collyridian Filianic Church. She was the bishop who first ordained me as a priestess of Dea. Additionally, I was later ordained by two Gnostic Christian bishops explicitly as a priest of Sophia for my Tradition. I was later elected as a bishop of my Tradition.
Where my beliefs differed from that of other Gnostic Churches, I simply considered myself to be a Deanic priestess as I am most assuredly a priest of Dea under Her Form of Sophia.
Since that time, we have spent years, both as Kyrians and now as Janites, in fully developing our Deanic Sophian thealogy. With the final piece of our thealogical puzzle in place, thanks to the work of Sorella Roselyn of the Priestess of Holy Wisdom blog (please see links section) our thealogical development is fully complete.
It has also been recommended that we return to referring to ourselves as priests rather than priestesses because there is, oftentimes, a difference. This is not too unlike our referring to Dea as God rather than goddess because in modern usage, there can be a difference.
And so, as to our priesthood, we are validly ordained priests of the Divine Sophia in Her Triune Form. Our priesthood is completely independent of either Madrianism or Filianism.
Finally, after nearly a year of discussion, thought and prayer, and due to events both past and present, in addition to certain theological beliefs, we have decided that we are more rightly an Independent Tradition.
We are a Gnostic Déanic priesthood, a new Tradition that we will continue to develop over time and one which does not deny the Divine Masculine.