O, Sai Vikhe, (which means Victory), may Your Shield of Protection cover us and our loved ones. Blessed are You.
Janites have a tradition of praying three times a day, during Aurora (Morning Prayer), Noon-tide and Evensong (Evening prayer). During these times, devotees either pray in their own words, take inspiration from one of our three daily rituals, read scripture, meditate, say a brief, Hail, Dea or pray the rosary.
Rosary: from the Latin Rosarium, meaning ‘rose garden’ or ‘garland of roses’. It is a set of prayer beads which combines vocal or silent prayer and meditation.
The rosary is a garland of roses which we offer to Our Lady and which may be prayed anywhere and at any time. During the Sacred Season of Winter, for example, when I have to leave for work well before sunrise, I will usually pray the Janae rosary of the day while I am driving. I prefer to pray my Mysteries Rosary during Evensong, before an image of Our Lady at my home altar where I will light candles and incense.
The history of the rosary goes back many thousands of years, the oldest being the Hindu mala rosary. The Hindu rosary is used as an aid to meditation, to keep the mind from wandering in order to make it concentrate, without distractions, on the meaning of the prayer being recited. Recitation is usually murmured, or silent. (1) This basic statement may be applied to all forms of the rosary including the Catholic and Deanic rosaries. Various forms of a rosary style form of prayer are also found in the Orthodox, Episcopalian, Buddhist, Lutheran and Islamic Traditions.
In the Traditional Catholic Church, the rosary is said to be the devotion par excellence and that after the liturgy, it is considered to be the most powerful form of prayer. Indeed, an apparition where the Blessed Virgin Mary has not either asked the faithful to recite the daily rosary or when she has not been holding or wearing the rosary is quite rare. For many, many centuries, the rosary has been the major form of devotion to the Blessed Mother. It is a chain of roses which connects us to Our Lady.
One of the reasons why the rosary is so powerful is because, while we are chanting the prayers, we are meditating upon the central Cosmic Drama of our salvation. This is why the rosary is divided up into ‘Mysteries”.
Where the Madrian rosary was modeled after the Catholic rosary, let’s take a brief look at it. Some of the Mysteries in our rosary are actually the same as the Catholic, (highlighted in blue) but have different meanings. The Traditional Catholic rosary is divided into fifteen decades which are divided up into three sets of Mysteries, the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious. (A decade consists of ten small beads). Each decade represents a Mystery in the life of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
These Mysteries are:
Joyful: (Usually said on Mondays and Thursdays), the Joyful Mysteries follow the events leading up to, including and immediately after the birth of Jesus: The Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity and Presentation.
Sorrowful: (Usually said on Tuesdays and Fridays), The Sorrowful Mysteries concern the Passion of Jesus:
The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion. (In the Madrian rosary it is the Passion of the Daughter.)
Glorious: (Usually said on Wednesdays and Saturdays, (which was always the day of Our Lady in the Catholic Church. These Mysteries concentrated on the events during and after the Resurrection of Jesus and includes the Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.)
The Resurrection, The Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin.
The Mysteries to be recited on Sunday were dependent upon the liturgical season.
The Madrian and Catholic are five decades. The Janite models its main rosary (the Janite Rosary) on the Anglican, where there are seven beads in honor of the Seven Janati so our ‘decades’ are called septads and there are five of them (the Anglican has four septads.)
There are three main ways to pray the rosary… simply concentrating on the words of the prayers; concentrating on an image and Presence of Our Lady and meditating on the Mysteries.
There are also three main forms of praying the rosary and that is reciting the prayers out loud; reciting the prayers silently though moving the lips, eyes may be opened or closed in inner concentration.
The Five Mysteries in Janite Tradition:
- Terra: The Ground of All Being. (Celestial Mother. See question 11 of the Catechism.)
2) Adoria: The Nativity/Emanation of the Holy Daughter.
3) Dolora: The Passion of the Daughter.
4) Rosa Mundi: The Holy Daughter becomes the World Soul.
5) Rosa Caeli: The Assumption of the Daughter (and Our Lady as our Assumption).
So, when we are praying each of the decades or, in the case of Janites, the septads, we are meditating upon the Cosmic Drama while chanting the sacred prayers. The correspondences to each Mystery aid in contemplation. This is why they are listed after each Mystery.
Let us take one of our Mysteries as an example from a Janite perspective.
(An example of a Celtic Knot Fora.)
We begin our prayers by tracing the Fora. We stopped using the Pentacle a few years back because, as we are not neo-Pagan and the Fora is the main symbol of our Tradition, we felt that tracing the Fora was a more appropriate choice for Janites.
The First Mystery is a meditation upon the Celestial Mother as the Ground of All Being. The Madrian catechism states that it is Dea Madria, the Celestial Mother, Who is both the Ground of All Being and the Creatrix.
The accompanying scripture is: Let her not trust the ground her feet are set upon and doubt the Ground upon which that ground stands.
In addition to the scriptural references on the Chapel page, there are others which we may find relevant to the Mystery, as well. For example, the Sermon of the Apple Seed would also be a source of scripture for the First Mystery as the Symbol of the First Mystery is the Apple. In the Janite Rite, the Celestial Mother is known as the Apple of Wisdom.
Correspondences for the First Mystery: Jana: Sai Thema. Element: Earth. Symbol: Apple. Elemental Color: Green. Liturgical colors: Blue and Purple. Direction: West. Time of Day: Twilight. Season: Autumn/Fall. And for us, the Celestial Mother is the Apple of Wisdom (a symbol of Her as Ground of All Being) and She is the Great Dove of the Waters (as Creatrix).
These basic correspondences and the scriptural verses help to foster a deep meditation of the Mystery. As we chant the prayers, we think of the Celestial Mother as the sure Ground of All Being.
Or, again, we might meditate on the deep symbolism of the Apple as found in The Sermon of the Apple Seed in the Deanic Scriptures. We may ponder Our Lady as being Wisdom, Herself. We might think of how She is our Mother and what that means to us. We might imagine Her creating the Cosmos in Her sheer delight, scattering the stars across the sky or how She is Our True Mother and how much She loves us. If we pray the rosary with love, attention and reverence, we are transported into the Cosmic Drama, itself with all its many connecting streams. And this is why Janites consider each Season to be sacred…. because each Season encompasses a Mystery of the Divine Cosmic Drama of Dea.
This is why the rosary is so powerful, because through it, we enter the very Life and Mysteries of the Trinity. We walk along the Cosmic road with Our Lady Oftentimes, we receive enlightening insights.
Let us look at one more Mystery, the Second Mystery which is Adoria/the Nativity.
For She had conceived a Daughter that was not separate from Her, but one with Her, and the Child of Her Light. (See Chapel rosary page for further verses.)
The Correspondences in the Janite Tradition:
Jana: Sai Mati Sage/ Element: Air. Symbol: the North Star. Elemental Color: yellow. Liturgical color: yellow. Direction: North. Time of Day: Midnight. Season: Winter.
The Holy Daughter is the Star of Hope, the Midnight Star of Wonder and the Guiding North Star.
It is so easy to imagine that first visible Gentle Light of Our Kyria, Our Lady, as She emanates from the Bright Light of the Celestial Mother. I love to think of Her image as the Three Stars. As She begins Her Journey towards Fate, She becomes Our Star of Hope. We first see Her appear at Midnight, so She is the Midnight Star Who fills us with wonder and awe. And, She is ever, ever, for every moment, every second of our lives, Our True Guiding Star.
This is one of the reasons why the Janite Rite uses the North Star rather than the Pentacle as the Star Symbol for this Mystery. As the North Star guides sailors to safe the port of harbor, Our Guiding Star guides our souls to the safe portal of Our Divine Mother.
I also love to meditate on the story of the Three Princesses. As a priestess, this story is very meaningful to me.
There are several versions of a Divine Feminine Our Father prayer within Goddess Christianity. On a personal level, I’ve never been comfortable with them. When I first prayed the Silver Star of the Waters prayer, I fell in love with it. This is the primary prayer of the Janites and it quite naturally fell into the place of the Our Father bead on the Janite rosary.
The rosary is a powerful, enlightening and protective form of prayer. It keeps us close to Our Lady and it truly enfolds us beneath Her Mantle.
It is the never-ending Chant of the Children of the Earth that is prayed, in one form or another, all around the world.
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides