The following is the Janite understanding of the priestesshood in contrast with the mainstream Christian view of the priesthood.
A priest is understood to be the holder of a divinely-instituted office who served as God’s direct representative on earth and, as such, uniquely held the powers of 1) transubstantiation, 2) hearing confession, 3) imposing penances, 4) absolving sins 5) the power of blessing 6) the power over the sacraments.
Janites take a vastly different view of the priestesshood:
We believe that we are called by Dea to serve Her by serving Her children. In humbly serving others, we are serving Her.
We believe that we are called to be Her Face and Hands upon the Earth, in the service of others.
We believe that through the proper Initiation into Priestesshood, that our priestesses become open, focused channels of the Grace of Our Lady, Our Heavenly Queen, Our High Priestess, She Who is the Holy Daughter, Déa Filia.
Janite priestesses are called to be humble servants of the Children of Dea and do not aspire to fill all roles for all people such as psychiatrist, sociologist, marriage counselor and so forth.
We are primarily called to teach others about Déa and to dispense the Blessings and Graces of Déa to Her children.
We hold no authority or power over the lives of others.
We do not believe in the RCC style of confession. A general absolution occurs during our liturgy.
Penance, the very idea of imposing penance or exacting obedience would never be considered by our priestesses.
We do not believe that priestesses have the right to become involved in or have authority over a person’s life or life’s decisions. We treat people as adults. We are here to present the teachings of Dea and the system of Her worship. We are here to be the Face and Hands of Compassion, Herself. We are here to become living channels of Her Grace.
And, finally, we do not believe in Transubstantiation in the manner of the Roman Catholic Church. Rather, we believe that there is a Transmission of Divine Grace from the Hands of Our High Priestess in Heaven, through the hands of Her priestesses on Earth.
In our liturgy, we face Her in the East, as She enters Her Heavenly Temple and stands at Her altar before us, facing us. And through the Transmission of Her Grace, the white wine becomes Transfused with Her Grace through which we share in Her Spirit. We believe that this is possible through Her Sacrificial Descent and voluntarily remaining with us as the World Soul or Holy Soul of the World. The Rosa Mundi. The Rose of the World.
The bread also becomes Transfused with Her Grace and is a sharing of Her Soul, again, through Her becoming the World Soul.
This is different than the teaching of the RCC that the bread and wine each literally become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ through His Sacrifice on the Cross. (The idea that the RCC believes that the wine literally becomes just the Blood of Jesus and the bread His Body is incorrect. Catholics believe that when they receive the Bread and/or the Wine, they are receiving the Risen Jesus in His entirety.)
In our liturgy, the Priestess is instructed that the sermon last no longer than 15 minutes. During that time, she is never to ‘preach at’ the people. Ideally, she will share devotions, contemplation, meditations, readings, poetry, psalms, etc.
The idea of the Janite priestess is that they are, in reality, more contemplative/private in nature, while serving the Children of Dea through devotion and through the Janite sacraments. They will not be ‘running parishes’ in the manner of mainstream churches and places of worship.
In the Janite priestesshood, we have three initiation levels of Madrina (Guardian/GodMother Deaconess), Madria, (meaning Mother Priestess) and ArchMadria in the Janite, (meaning High Mother Priestess or ArchPriestess).
In the past, we have likened these three Orders of the Priestesshood to Deaconess, Priest and Bishop, respectively. But given the differences between the Christian priestly vocations as it is understood in Roman Catholicism in contrast with the vocation of priestess as it is understood by the Janites/Reginites, we feel that it is no longer advisable to do so.
Those who are initiated in Reiki will understand the three levels of initiation and how that energy is channeled into your chakras. And once you have it, it never goes away; it does not die with disuse, although it may take a while to reach full potential. It is the same with the priestesshood.
The ArchMadria or high mother priestess is the open channel, like the Reiki Master, for her high mother priestess duties. This Grace, this Energy, comes from the Holy Daughter, Herself. The priestess, in turn, becomes an open channel of the Holy Daughter, Our High Priestess, for her mother priestess duties.
In summary, Janite priestesses are not necessarily the feminine counterpart of the Roman Catholic priesthood. Nor are we similar to ‘parish’ priests. We are private priestesses who serve the Children of Déa through worship, devotion, contemplation, meditation, the practice of the 21 Virtues, teaching and dispensing Her Graces and Blessings.
Let us bless the Holy One,
Blessed is She.
Let us thank the Seven Janati of Dea.
Thanks be to the Janati of Dea
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides.