The Star Fairy and Apple Pomander Articles.

19 Astrea/Dec. 16

Columbadi/Friday

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O, Madria Grace, Jana of Compassion, Love and Mercy, be with us.

May the Pure Stream of Your Virtues flow within me, in this world and in all the worlds to come.

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Sorella Sophia has written some wonderful articles about the Star Fairy and associated traditions. (Scroll down below the Janite Faith Open to All article): https://mydevotionstodea.wordpress.com/.

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And from Sorella Shoshana, guest authoress, we have this timely article on the spiritual symbolism of making an apple pomander. Though written for the Iremian Order of contemplative priestesses and sister-hood, I think it will be of interest to all.

Thank you both, Sorella Sophia and Sorella Shoshana, for your wonderful contributions to the celebration of the Astrean Season.

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Apple Pomanders for the Holiday Season by Sorella Shoshana.
I will be doing a series of posts on this pertaining to the Holidays. Since I am Jewish and Janite, I celebrate two Holidays combined, both dealing with the wonder and beauty of light. But, I will be focusing my articles more on the practices of the Janite faith.As many people are during this time of year; I am decorating, preparing a Holiday menu, and preparing gifts for friends and loved ones for the Holidays. This act alone can be a form of worship for the Iremian Order. A big part of this Order is that everything flows naturally. With every act, a simple prayer of thanks can be said.

First, lets talk about apple pomander decorations together.

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I prefer to make things and since I live with parrots who are sneaky little creatures who enjoy getting into everything, I use natural items around my home that are safe for them. I still have to be cautious, however. That’s life with parrots, I suppose.

As we make our apple pomanders, we can imagine the 5 pointed star in the middle when we cut through the wide center in the middle of the top and bottom of the apple (Don’t do this for making an apple pomander. But, we may if we’d like to see the star. I’d suggest later using the apple that has been cut into to eat, bake with, cut up to garnish some dish, or make homemade applesauce with afterwards) and what it represents. In the Janite Tradition, this star represents the Daughter’s gentle light, which we can look upon. Think of how we cannot look upon the sun easily. But, we can look at the moon without any problem. A gentler reflection of our sun’s light.

Within each seed is the stuff to make a tree, which makes an apple with seeds inside. Now, the tree’s roots can represent the Great Mother. She is unseen. The sturdy trunk is the Mother. The branches are like the realm of the soul/mind. Apples and leaves off of those branches are creation and within creation is the Daughter. She is NOT creation Herself. But, She is what lies within it. Within Her is Her Mother.

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Many traditions use light in some form this time of year. This is due to the winter solstice being the shortest time of the year. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we need the hope that light will return. Now, lets not fool ourselves here. We know it will and the days WILL, in fact, get longer again. But, our world is an imperfect physical reflection of what is going on in other realms. Going off of the sun and moon analogy above, our physical existence is like the moon’s light upon the water…an imperfect reflection of the moon. We are constantly experiencing the same things in a cycle and these cycles occur at different lengths…..but, in a slightly different manner each time. Thus, a spiral becomes a better representation. This leads to how we can place our dried whole cloves along the apple.

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Start placing the cloves at the top. When we hang our pomanders, this should be the stillest part of the apple as it may occasionally spin once hung and if we choose not to hang them in this way, we can still see this analogy by holding the apple pomander up by the string or ribbon in our hand. The still center at the top and bottom of the apple is Dea. Now, place each clove spiraling out to the point that is furthest from Dea. This furthest point can also be creation or physical existence. Next, we will start to bring the spiral back inward, towards the bottom. This represents a return back to the stillness of Dea. Because the cloves are radiating out from the apple, it can be seen as radiating Dea’s light (the star seed in the middle of the apple) out into the world.

Now, hang the apple pomander. I would suggest doing so in an area we may walk past often throughout the day. Every time we walk by and we smell the sweet smell of clove and apple, we will remember all this beautiful imagery. That sweet smell alone can represent the sweetness of our Mother’s Love. I liken this to flowers. They’re pretty similar in this way; a sweet beautiful item of creation reminding us of Her Love. All the beauty that we get to experience in this world are love letters to us from our Mother.

Another great place to hang them is right inside the main doorway to our homes. Our homes are supposed to be like our own sanctuaries. What a beautiful way to represent our homes being a sanctuary from the outside world by immediately smelling apple pomander once we enter our homes provoking such lovely imagery.

That’s it for now. There will be other posts on celebrating the Holidays for the Iremian Order. Until next time. Dea Bless!

 

 

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More Bits and Pieces

Stelladi/Wed.

3 Astrea/Nov. 30

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O, Madria Sofia, Jana of Intelligence, Intuition and Wisdom, be with us.

May the Pure Stream of Your Virtues flow within me, in this world and in all the worlds to come.

sunwheel-ideas-elfs-archmatrona-georgia (Courtesy of the Elegant Lady Feminine Seminary.)

I am starting a FAQ page. It will be on the menu, above. I will keep the names of the questioners, private. If you have any questions or concerns, please write to me at Deanicfaith at gmail.com and we will be happy to address them. Thank you.

I encourage our readers and members to regularly check out the other Deanic blogs and Tumblr posts that may be found in our links section. There are many beautifully written and inspiring posts out there. It’s wonderful to see how this Faith is beginning to bud and blossom through multi-hued expressions and perspectives!

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There are a few posts that I would like to mention:

On the Lady of Light Chantry, ArchMatrona Georgia has written about the Lucienne Tradition of the Ringing of the Silver Branch. I think this is a beautiful tradition and I would like to recommend it, especially for those who do not have a silver tree.

Please note that the Lucienne Tradition uses the Ostara Cycle in the lighting of the Sunwheel while the Janite Tradition uses the Divine Life Cycle, but the basic meaning is the same. https://deamatronablog.wordpress.com/blog/

634ef73c85ca8422f1291c13084dbb37  (I just love this icon with the Fora on the Protective Mantle. If anyone knows where this icon may be obtained, please let us know!)

Hymns: some of our priestesses and devotees are beginning to work on Deanic hymns. This is a much needed area in our religion. In the meantime, there are many beautiful Marian hymns that may be adapted for our Faith. A list of them may be found here: https://www.fisheaters.com/hymns.html. Also, listed on this site is Holy God, We Praise Thy Name. I always sing the first section of this hymn during liturgy. I sing it as Holy Dea, We Praise Thy Name. The first section of the Salve Regina is one I sing at the end of every liturgy. It was always one of my favorites.

More Marian hymns, which may be adapted for Dea, may be found here and the music to almost all Marian hymns may be found online: https://www.songandpraise.org/catholic-hymns.htm

Wikipedia has a more complete list. I’m sure they can be found in a search. Scroll down to “List of Roman Catholic Hymns” and you will see the Marian hymns listed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymns_to_Mary

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Madria Erin discovered this hauntingly beautiful hymn to the Star Maiden: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KQhg2jU2fgo.

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cosmic_and_sacred_dance (Sophia’s Sanctuary).

Other areas of artistic development that I would like to see pursued for the Deanic Faith would be the areas of Sacred, Lyrical Dance and Iconography.

One way to gather a Faith Community together would be to learn Sacred Dance together. (Please check out Lyrical Dancing and you will understand that this form of dance, in its slow movement form, would be wonderful for Western Sacred Dance.).

Years ago, I would have questioned the placement of dance within liturgy, but a friend of mine, who converted to Judaism, explained to me about Davidic dancing. I have never seen it, but her joy and enthusiasm made me realize that sacred dance has been part of worship since the dawn of time.

A few years ago, I attended an Episcopal Church that had a magnificent choir. During liturgy, a sacred dance was performed by a group of young girls who belonged to the parish. Their costumes were tasteful and flowing and the dance was so reverent, I left realizing that dance has a place in liturgy, if it is done the right way. It was uplifting.

Sacred dance and hymns are a form of prayer and worship in and of themselves.

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I think that’s all the Bits and Pieces for now!

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May Our Lady Bless you,

Blessed is She.

 

On the Sunwheel and the Silver Tree

22 Samhain/Nov. 21

Lunadi/Monday

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O, Madria Candra, Jana of Reflection, Reason and Purity, be with us.

May the Pure Stream of Your Virtues flow within me, in this world and in all the worlds to come.

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A recent comment from a Devotee:

Congratulations on the addition to your family! I hope mother & child are healthy and happy.

I can hardly contain myself for the posts on Advent & Nativity! It seems so wonderful and exciting to me this year. I’ve already begun putting up decorations, nearly a full week earlier than my family has done in years, and taking slightly larger steps to adding more pieces – such as Advent Candles – into the house this year.

I have seen it mentioned in several places today – the Sun Wheel and the Silver Tree. What are those? Or should I wait until your posts on them?

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Dear Rebekah, thank you so much! Grandchildren are truly a joy! I am now blessed with six grandchildren!!! Both mother and son are doing great, thank you. And thank you for your contagious enthusiasm about the upcoming Holy Season!

We are excited about the coming month on so many levels both spiritually and within our Ekklesia.

Within our Ekklesia, we are happy to announce that one of our priestesses, Madria Kathi, will be elevated to ArchMadria during the holy month of Astrea and another member is preparing to become a Madrina (deaconess) after the Winter season!

(Janites have three levels of clergy: 1) Madrina, which means god or guardian mother, for the office of deaconess. This office is symbolic of the Holy Daughter. 2) Madria, which means mother, for the office of priestess, symbolic of the Celestial Mother. And, 3) ArchMadria, for the office of high priestess or bishop, symbolic of the Great Mother.)

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Spiritually, we have one of the holiest months of the year ahead of us during which we celebrate the emanation of the Holy Daughter from the Celestial Mother.

Our scriptures use the traditional story of a Divine Birth on the Cosmic level in order to describe the eternal emanation of the Daughter from the Mother. This emanation is similar to the emanation of Sophia from the Barbelo, aka, Higher Sophia and this is also similar to Lower Shekinah emanating from Higher Shekinah.

The Holy Daughter emanates from the Celestial Mother in order to be here, with us. She is immanent, with us and She clothes, covers and protects our spirits with our souls. This is what makes our life here on Earth possible.

There can be no more intimate relationship with Deity than that of the Holy Daughter sharing Her very Soul with us. (This thealogy is taken from authentic teachings.)

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And so, this coming feast of Daughter’s Day, the day of Yule, is a source of great joy for Janite Deanists. The Holy Daughter is our North Star of Hope. She separates from the Divine Mother in order to be here, in union with us. It was not the Mother’s Will to allow us to dwell in complete exile and so, She sent Her Holy Daughter to us.

The Daughter is our bridge to the Divine Mother and at the end of our incarnations, we, our spirits and souls, will be assumed, along with the Holy Daughter, into full reunion/communion with Our Divine Mother God, where we will abide with Her in everlasting Bliss. This is what we are celebrating on Daughter’s Day, which some call the Nativity of the Holy Daughter.

During the month of Astrea, we also look forward to the feast of Madria Sofia, Jana of Wisdom, which takes place on 1 Astrea/Nov. 28. Next, on 7 Astrea/Dec. 4, we light our first candle of the Sunwheel, which is the Green candle of Wisdom. This Sacred Month culminates with the lovely celebration of the Star Maiden on 28 Astrea/Dec. 25th. This works well for those who practice a dual Path of both Deanism and Christianity.

(Please note: some of our devotees practice a dual Path. Some are Jews and Christians for whom the Deanic Faith is the “Mother God side of religion”. Others are Pagans or Druids who also incorporate the Deanic Faith, although our belief system is different than that of neo-Paganism. And, of course, for many devotees, the Deanic Faith is their sole religion similar to the Shakti Tradition of Hinduism.)

Now that I have laid the basic thealogical foundation of the upcoming feast days, I will be writing weekly updates on the lighting of the Sunwheel.  For now, I will offer a basic explanation of the Deanic Sunwheel and the Janite Tradition of the Silver Tree.

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The Sunwheel, a beautiful tradition which was incorporated into the Deanic Faith by ArchMatrona Georgia Cobb of the Lady of Light Chantry,  is very much like an Advent Wreath (which has pre-Christian origins), except we use different colored candles which represent our main Five Symbols.

An actual Advent Wreath may be used and the fifth candle placed in the center; you may purchase a five candle Advent wreath as shown above,  or you may simply buy five pillar-style candles and place them in a circle and decorate the circle as you please. In the footnote below is an amazing array of five candle advent wreaths that are available as well as examples of home-made wreaths.  (see footnote 1).

Beginning with the first Sunnadi/Sunday on 1 Astrea/Nov. 27th: the Green candle of Wisdom is lit. This is symbolic of Dea Madria or Mother God as the Apple of Wisdom.

The second Sunnadi on 8 Astrea/Dec. 4, we light the Yellow candle of Hope. This is symbolic of Dea Filia or Daughter God as the (North) Star of Hope.

Third Sunnadi on 15 Astrea/Dec. 11: the Violet candle of Faith is lit. This is symbolic of Dea Matrona or Great Mother God as the Fora of Faith.

Fourth Sunnadi on 22 Astrea/Dec.18: we light the Blue candle of Peace. This is symbolic of Dea Filia, Daughter God as the Dove of Peace.

On Yule Eve, 23 Astrea/Dec. 20: we light the Red candle of Joy. This is symbolic of Dea Madria, Mother God, as the Rose of Joy.

These candles not only represent the Five Sacred Symbols, but also the Five Holy Mysteries of our Faith of which the Symbols are, well, symbolic!

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As the Apple of Wisdom, the Celestial Mother is the Ground and Matrix of All Being.

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As the Star of Hope, the Holy Daughter comes to us as our Soteria (Saviouress in that She is here with us, gives us our souls and guides us back to the Divine Mother).

61voi0w7upl-_uy535_ (Known as the Celtic North Star, this is what we call the Fora, the main symbol of our Faith. This pendant is available from Silver Insanity, Etsy and Amazon. Wheel of Being Celtic Knot Northstar and Genuine Amethyst Sterling Silver Pendant 18″ Necklace.)

As the Violet Fora of Faith, the Great Mother is the Primordial Source of the All.

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As the Blue Dove of Peace, the Holy Daughter renews all life.

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As the Red Rose of Joy, the Celestial Mother is our assumption into the inner Heavenly realm which we call the Real or the Pleroma (as opposed to the outer realm which our Tradition calls Avalon.)

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Each week, I will be listing appropriate scriptures to be read after lighting the candle (s), along with a brief devotional prayer. Devotees may also pray in their own words.

Very similar to the use of the Christian Advent wreath, each candle is first lit on a Sunnadi/Sunday and then each night thereafter during dinner time. It is extinguished after dinner. For Janites, Yule Eve, according to certain pre-Christian European Traditions, is Mother’s Night.  Yule, according to the same Tradition, is Daughter’s Day and so you see that the Sunwheel culminates on the night before the Solstice, on Mother’s Night. In the Deanic Faith, the Celestial Mother is known as the Supernal Sun; the Holy Daughter is the Supernal Moon. In our Tradition, Supernal means both Heavenly and Primoridal.

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The Silver Tree is in honor of our Creation Story, where it is said that the original Creation was silver. The Silver Tree is also in honor of the Janati as their color is said to have been silver before they emanated from Dea Madria, Mother God, into the Seven Living Streams of Virtue.

Silver is said to contain all the colors of the rainbow. And so, for Janites, Silver is considered to be a sacred color, containing within all the potentialities of not only the Janati, but of Creation, itself.

I use the above Silver Tree that may be obtained from Yankee candle. (2) I tend to keep mine on my altar all year long. Others keep it solely as an Astrean (during the month of Astrea) tradition.

Some devotees actually use a silver Nativity tree and decorate it all in silver moons, suns, stars and fairies. This is my goal, as well. Each year, I hope to obtain more of these decorations until my tree is filled with them. Moons for Daughter God, Suns for Mother God, Stars for Great Mother God and fairies because we honor them along with the Fairie Queen Aine.

Thank you for your comment and question, Rebekah! May Our Lady bless you!

ArchMadria Pamela Lanides

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1)https://www.google.com/search?q=five+pillar+candle+advent+wreath&safe=active&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS692US692&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWucTEwbrQAhUB_mMKHS7qCioQsAQIXA&biw=1067&bih=624

2) https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/yankee-candle-reg-scentplug-trade-tree-deluxe-base-in-silver/1046726919?skuId=46726919&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_seasonal_&product_id=46726919&adpos=1o3&creative=43742632429&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=Cj0KEQiA08rBBRDUn4qproqwzYMBEiQAqpznsx5FrhpKzyeh5o-2O00lliXD38Wv-URhPuC31oMgQbkaAu5e8P8HAQ