22 Samhain/Nov. 21
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.
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?
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.)
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.)
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.
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!
As the Apple of Wisdom, the Celestial Mother is the Ground and Matrix of All Being.
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).
(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.
As the Blue Dove of Peace, the Holy Daughter renews all life.
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.)
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.
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