19 Moura/March 10
We all feel it. We all know what it’s like to belong to a religion that is virtually unknown and unrecognized. It’s a lonely place to be, that is for sure. Lonely and not so lonely, because we have each other; we have the Janati surrounding us, always, and we have Dea, Our Divine Mother. We are never alone.
Some people poke fun at ‘online religious communities’. Our religion began on-the-ground, in England, in the 1970’s. Ours is but one latter expression of it.
Many religions began as a small, relatively unknown band or group of people who shared certain beliefs. Perhaps they started out being called by G-d Who spoke to their prophet through a fiery bush or maybe the Son of the Father incarnated to dwell amongst them. Other religions may have begun with an charismatic prophet who attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree or from sacred texts older than historical time. One way or another, through the preaching of prophets, the performance of miracles, sacred writings or through just plain word of mouth, these religions all grew over the years, the decades, the centuries. Some were controlled and promulgated by governments, others were not. They were all fostered and subsequently flourished on the ground, in the material world not by ‘ instant mass media’ in cyber space.
The Deanic Faith began with a group of highly educated Oxford women who came to understand that we have a Divine Mother God. These scholars were quick to point out that She is not a goddess, a superhuman, semi-divine or angelic being but She is God, Herself. Supreme Being. Supreme Being is the same way that same way that Jews and Christians understand the Father to be God and so we understand Dea to be God in the same way that Jews and Christians understand the Father to be God. Supreme Being.
These women further intuited that Dea is God in Her Own Right. She is complete within Herself. And they discovered that the religion of the Divine Mother is the oldest religion in the world.
The only religion still in existence who never forgot their Mother; who never allowed their Living Stream to dry up, is Hinduism, especially in the Shakti denomination. Other religions demoted Her.
It is hard to over-estimate the brilliance of this thinking which took place an half a century before our own day when the Holy Spirit, the Divine Sophia and the Shekinah are coming to be recognized as part of the Godhead in Their Own Right.
These women came up with a perfect system of worship for Her, for Dea Madria, Our Mother God. It was to be a very Feminine system of worship, the sum of which exists in perfect harmony with its parts. And, the gift of the scriptures, though perhaps interpreted in slightly different ways, has proven to be foundational to the over-all inner strength and spirit of the Faith.
They gave us the Five Sacred Symbols, the Five Mysteries, the perfect Five Seasons,the Feminine 28 day calendar, the understanding of the Janati and so much more. And though these things may be little understood by those not of our Faith, they are our greatest treasures. They are our way of understanding, honoring and worshiping the Divine Feminine in this realm. They are our mindset and our heartset.
The women from Oxford shared similar beliefs. They spread the Faith through magazines and printed publications. They formed small communities.
Today, we of the greater Deanic religion share similar beliefs. In today’s world, the internet is the fastest way to ‘spread the word’, so to speak and it also connects believers from diverse parts of the world who would otherwise never come to know of each other.
This relatively obscure religion is growing, growing all the time. I see it with my own eyes. I believe it has a future because so many want to worship the Divine Mother, but they don’t know how.
Even those mainstream denominations who are coming to believe in Holy Sophia or the Feminine Holy Spirit or Holy Sophia, these churches might have some Divine Feminine hymns; they might have some Sophian prayers, but they don’t have an outright worship of Dea. They have yet to understand Her as being God in Her Own Right. We do. We are so fortunate.
I know it’s hard when we don’t know how to respond to people when they ask us about our religion/spirituality. It’s hard because we are unable to respond with something that is immediately identifiable like Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or Pagan. We can’t even say that we are of a ‘goddess religion’ because, as previously explained, there is a difference between goddess and God. I believe that one day, the term Deanic will be identifiable, but right now, it is not.
After we are asked about our religious affiliation, the thought that goes through our heads is, ok, they’ve never heard of Deanism so how on Earth am I going to put this in a nutshell? I can’t just say I worship Mother God, because mainstream people will either have no idea what I’m talking about, or they will immediately think I’m an heretic or that I’m making it all up. Or, they will assume that I am Wiccan or Pagan, which I am neither.
Next thought: Ok, there would be too much to explain in too little time and so I’m just going to say that I’m (and then name the nearest spirituality to Deanism).
This is a tough situation for us and sometimes can make us feel a bit alienated from the world because our religion is so unique.
We cannot identify as being a part of any of the Abrahamic Faiths, although we model Dea on Sophia/Shekinah.
We cannot identify as being Buddhist or Hindu (although we might be considered a type of Western Shaktism).
We cannot identify as being Wiccan, Heathen or Pagan. Pagans and Heathens are polytheistic, we are monotheastic. Pagans believe in gods that are superhuman. We believe in God that is Supreme Being.
As an aside, this is why Janites are very careful to only use Living Stream ‘goddesses’ as Forms for Dea rather than Pagan goddesses. A Pagan goddess is not Supreme Being and therefore is not a suitable Form for Dea just as Zeus is not a Form of the Father God of Jews and Christians. They are not the same!
Our religion is unique, brilliantly conceived, complex, beautiful and relatively unknown. If we are asked about our Faith, we, as Her devotees, Her priestesses, Her daughters, should be honest. This is hard, even for me because I don’t want to have to give a quick answer, leaving the querent with the wrong impression of our Faith. I want the person to have a correct understanding of our Faith. But, that is over-whelming because no-one’s ever heard of us and there’s too much to tell!!!!!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, lately. Only a couple of people at my work know that I am a priest (ess) of the Divine Mother. But, as a priestess, I need to be ready to answer for my beliefs, for my calling.
ArchMatrona Georgia has explained the Faith to many and has been very well received. When asked, we should strive to follow her example. We can keep it very simple. I am Deanic. It’s a religion which honors our Divine Mother. And we can leave it at that. If someone is truly interested, they can be referred to our websites and future publications. (We NEED to print up some basic brochures in addition to the prayer book that is still in progress.)
Finally, we should never feel alone. It’s wonderful that we have the internet. It is the fastest way to spread information. It is a modern vehicle of long-distance community. I always have a sense of our sisters and brothers in the Faith. I feel like we are always spiritually together. I think of all of us when I serve the liturgy, pray or write an article. I think of all of us when I am walking down the road or driving to work. We might not live near each other. We might not have on-the-ground communities because we worship in our hestias, but I feel that our spiritual bond and our instant and sometimes daily communications, teachings, posts, our sharing and our caring, though it takes place through the cyber realm, is just as real as if we attended church service together.
Let us remember the words of our liturgy, “Madria Dea, we have come before Your Earthly altar within Ekklesia, in union with the Great Janati Who stand before Your Celestial Altar in Heaven. May we be one in Spirit with all Your children, everywhere who are gathered together in Your Name.
And further: For we know that Ekklesia transcends this world, even as this sacred altar transcends the earthly stuff of which its parts are made. For we know that as we stand before this altar within Ekklesia, we stand at once before Your Celestial Altar, which is both in Heaven and in every place where Your children come together in Your Name. 1)
We are always one in Spirit and one in Ekklesia. We are always bound together in Dea. Always together in Spirit, out of time, out of space, which is more real than the material illusion around us.
This is why Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism teaches that the church, or more specifically, the liturgy is heaven on Earth or the meeting place between Heaven and Earth. This is due to the Power of what takes place during the liturgy. This is why, in most Orthodox and Traditional Catholic churches/chapels, people still dress in their Sunday best for liturgy. This same Power which brings Heaven down to Earth during the liturgy, is the same Power which binds us together as a community in Her Love, Her Spirit and beneath the enfolding shelter of Her Mantle. And we all share in the Daughter’s Soul.
We have so much for which to be grateful with this beautiful Faith. And though it can be hard for us when the mainstream people all around us, even those who aren’t so ‘main-stream’, do not know of our religion let alone understand it; we still have to be those beacons filled with light. We need to pray to Madria Vicka for the courage we need and we need to ask Madria Sofia to guide us in all Wisdom.
We may keep our answers simple and we must use discernment in what we say to whom, but we must not be afraid though our religion is little known by the mainstream. Someday, our religion will be known.
Guiding Light of the faithful soul, fill the deepest caverns of our spirit with the exhilaration of Your love. Send us forth upon the world as torchbearers of Your delight and grant us strength in You and in ourselves that we may value all things, rightly, regardless of the consuming weight of the profane and the frailty of all that is beautiful.
Let us bless the Holy One,
Blessed is She.
Let us thank the Seven Janati of Power.
Thanks be to the Seven Janati.
ArchMadria Candra Sophia
*Our thanks to Madrina Rosalie for her assistance in the proper pronunciation.
- The Great Liturgy of Dea, Janite Edition.
- Silver Light of the Forests from the Great Liturgy of Dea, Janite Edition.