On this page you will find a basic explanation of the major feast days of the Janite Tradition.
The Meanings of Our Feast Days
Our Major Feast Days, as found in the prayer book, are as follows:
Eastre: March 20th, Anima Mundi: This feast day celebrates the Holy Daughter becoming the World Soul. From the Sequence of Sophia, “I will never fall asleep upon the green grass, while the Earth rings with the cries of the exiles.”
I am that supreme and fiery force that sends forth all living sparks. Death hath no part in me, yet I bestow death, wherefore I am girt about with Wisdom as with wings. I am that living and fiery essence of the divine substance that glows in the beauty of the fields, and in the shining water, and in the burning sun and the moon and the stars, and in the force of the invisible wind, the breath of all living things, I breathe in the green grass and the flowers, and in the living waters…Hildegarde.
Indeed, the Shekinah is the Soul of Man, what Kabbalists call the Neshamah, for She has given a portion of Herself in order for each human to come into being in this world. In giving of Herself to humans, in this state of physical density and isolation, the World Soul becomes shattered. This shattering can be metaphorically grasped in considering what might happen to a glass alembic or flask when too much pressure is put upon in the alchemical works. Thus, the Shekinah represents the ultimate archetype of selfless sacrifice. All Her sacrifices have been for the benefit of creation so that humankind may experience this life in order to fulfill its destiny and purpose. (1)
Coronam: 14 Maia/May 1. The Coronation of the Holy Daughter as the Queen of Heaven. (Queen of Heaven is a pre-Christian title.)
Floralia: 10 Flora/May 25. The Feast of Flowers. Floralia was a Roman festival in honor of the Goddess, Flora. While originally a chaste feast day, over time, it became a bit debauched. I am heartened to see that there is a modern Floralia which celebrates the true nature of the feast day. (2)
In the Deanic Faith, Floralia or Flori-Maia in its original form, is the celebration of one of Dea’s greatest works of art: flowers. (There will be an upcoming post on the Shekinah/Sophia’s role in Creation which supports Deanic teaching of the Divine Feminine Creatrix.)
Rosalia: 9 Rosa/June 21. The Feast of Assumpta and the Feast of Roses. Rosalia was the ancient Feast of Roses which usually took place during the month of May. One part of this festival often included states of deities that were crowned with roses. Rosalia honors the Celestial Mother as the Fiery Rose of Heaven Who is the Assumption of our souls. We crown Her statue or lay a crown at ‘Her feet’ so to speak, beneath a painting or icon. Thus, during our liturgical year, both the Mother and Daughter are crowned as High Queen and Queen of Heaven.
Cerealia: 21 Ceres/Aug. 1. The Feast of Grains. This was originally a seven day Roman festival of the Goddess, Ceres, Who is equated with Demeter, the Greek Divine Mother and there-fore, is recognized as an image of the Divine Mother. (Much like Our Lady of Mercy is an image of the Blessed Mother.) In Classical times, it is believed that this festival took place in April. For Janites, this festival is most appropriate for the time of early harvest, Ceres/August. As an image of form of the Divine Mother, Demeter/Ceres may also be honored on this day.
Matronalia: In our Faith, holy day, also called the Feast of Divine Life, is the celebration of the Divine Feminine Trinity. (3)
Shimovane: Older Celtic word for Samhain. The Feast of the Dead. (This was the precursor to the Christian feast day of All Souls.)
Divalia: Beginning after the appearance of the first star on the night of the Winter Solstice. The inner meaning of Divalia is that Divinity “breaks through”/is established on our earthly plane. This is the opening that reveals the Holy Daughter on the Feast of Adorai. It happens at the time when the Gates of Heaven are wide open – as they are at the Solstices.
Adorai: The Appearance of the Holy Daughter as She proceeds (emanates) from the Celestial Mother. (In the Mythos, Lower/Daughter Sophia emanates from Higher Sophia; and in some teachings, Lower/Daughter Shekinah emanates from Higher Shekinah. (5)
In many Sophian schools of thought and in certain Kabbalistic Traditions, Sophia is seen in both Her Higher/Transcendent (Mother) Form and Her Lower/Immanent Form. This is exactly how we understand the Celestial Mother and the Holy Daughter in the Deanic Faith. The Celestial Mother is Transcendent, the Holy Daughter is Immanent.
Hestalia: 6 Hestia/ Dec. 31. This name is taken from Vestalia, an ancient Roman festival in honor of the Goddess, Vesta, equal to the Greek Hestia. We have chosen the Greek version of the name as our hestias, which means of the hearth, are our sacred homes which have been blessed and consecrated to Dea. 6 Hestia is the day we bless and consecrate our homes, each year and light the sacred fire.
It is important to remember that in the Deanic Faith, our day begins and ends with dawn. A new day does not begin in the middle of the night. So, 6 Hestia does not end at midnight of Dec. 31, but rather it ends on the dawn of Jan. 1.
Epiphania: 12 Hestia/Jan. 6. The Feast of the Divine Princess.
Moura: The Month of Moura contains the holy day of Tenebrae when we observe the day of the Descent and Passion Suffering and Shattering) of the Holy Daughter. But, it is also the Time of the Great Mother Who is Absolute Deity. Where the Celestial Mother and the Holy Daughter have individual feast days, the entire Month of Moura is conducted in honor of the Great Mother.
And see: http://www.universalkabbalah.net/Shekinah scroll down and read paragraphs beginning with: The Shekinah plays another very important role in the story of creation, and in particular in the Great Plan of humankind and then scroll down one more paragraph to: Here again, the Shekinah plays a very special and multi-faceted role in the Kabbalistic teachings. These are the same teachings as had been taught by one of my own mentors and which may be found elsewhere. (In Arizal’s system of Kabbalah, there are Ten Vessels that are shattered and it continues from there.)
2) Modern Floralia: When I was still living at my Parent’s home fresh cut large purple Lilacs filled our home with the most wonderful scent around the time of the Floralia! Flowers, from my Mother’s garden and also from the florist, were given to other family members, friends and placed on the graves of my ancestors. Beginning with Juno, Matronalia, on the kalends of March and honoring the Spring Goddesses such as Venus Mater, to whom I was dedicated, and Ceres, we continued our Spring celebrations honoring Flora. Floralia was special to my mother and we would honor Flora with ritual and offerings of milk and honey every May 1st – the month of my mother’s birth- and have a mini- Floralia with family and friends the Sunday afterwards. I continue this tradition today – and like my Father I also incorporated chocolate animals and eggs (which we also got on “Eastre”, sometimes getting a jump on Floralia, so we would not feel so different from others – and on May 1st we would attend a “flower dance” and a Maypole celebration if one was available. This tradition of attending public “flower dances” I have occasionally continued after moving to the south, however when I was on business in Europe there were no lack of “flower dances” and Maypole celebrations. The main feast was held on the first Sunday of Floralia and included roasted Lamb, homemade breads, fresh and roasted spring vegetables, fruits, nuts and a variety of delicious pastries – although now more often than not we go to a restaurant. http://www.novaroma.org/nr/Floralia
3) Both the Shekinah and Sophia are known as Higher/Lower or Mother/Daughter Deities. According to modern theologians such as Robert Powell, Florensky, Steiner, Goddess Christians among others, Sophia is a Trinity of Mother/Daughter and Holy Spirit. Deanics are closer to Shaktism in that we believe the Divine Feminine Trinity begins with Absolute Deity (whom Janites and Luciennes refer to as the Great Mother or Dea Matrona.).
Moreover, the dative plural form matrebo, ‘to the mothers’ is known from two Gallo-Greek inscriptions from Nîmes (Gard) and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (Glanum, Bouches-du-Rhône). These two inscriptions are of great interest, for they honour the divine mothers of those respective cities. The dedication from Nîmes is engraved on a pedestal, which used to be surmounted by a statue: [-]αρταρ[ος ι]λλανουιακος δεδε / ματρεβο ναμαυσικαβο βρατουδε[…], ‘(?)artaros son of Illianus offered (this) to the Mothers of Nîmes, in gratitude (?), on accomplishment of a vow’ (fig. 3).109It was found in 1740 on the site of the temple dedicated to the god Nemausus, known as ‘Temple of the Fountain’. Michel Lejeune asserts that the dating of this inscription cannot be earlier than the middle of the 2nd c. AD, because of the shape of some of the letters.110 Lambert, however, indicates that the Gallo-Greek inscriptions from Narbonese Gaul generally date from the end of the 3rd c. BC to the 1st c. BC.111 It is significant that the father of the dedicator bears a Celtic name: Illianus, the meaning of which is unknown.112 We thus have here a dedicator of Celtic stock, paying homage to divine mothers in the Gaulish language, which is of great significance.
Similarly, the votive altar from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, found in 1954 near the Fanum* of Hercules, offers an inscription bearing the form matrebo ‘to the Mothers’: ματρεβο / γλανεικαβο / βρατουδε- / καντεν, ‘To the Mothers of Glanum, in gratitude (?), on accomplishment of a vow’.113 Henry Rolland suggests that the few epigraphic particularities of this inscription allow us to date the votive stone from the first half of the 1st c. BC, which is previous to the usage of Latin script, appearing in the second half of the 1st c. BC in Glanum.114 http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/getpart.php?id=lyon2.2009.beck_n&part=159089
5) The Holy Shekinah is Binah-Understanding and Malkut-Sovereignty (or Kingdom); the Upper and Lower Shekinah, the Mother (Imma) and Daughter (Nukva), respectively. http://www.sophian.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1206