Part II

 Continued from previous post:
    Many modern people outside of Christianity think it is terrible that Mary is known as the Queen of Heaven (again, because in Christianity, she is the Mother of the King and her son crowned her as Queen when she got to Heaven), but to be fair, there were quite a few goddesses who were known as the Queen of Heaven. So, again, there is a difference between borrowing titles and applying them to someone else, as the Christians did with Mary, and taking a person completely out of her own religious and cultural context as the F/M did with images of Mary in her glorified state and calling her Mari.
    So, in a nutshell, the F/M took Mary, the Mary who was now a glorified saint in Heaven, took her away from her Son, divorced her from her husband, Joseph, separated her from Her Jewish God and completely changed her story.
    They kind of did the same thing with Inanna. They took her name and the story of her descent, where she was descending to take over her sister’s domain and they divorced her from her husband and turned her into a sacrificial Daughter unless there is something here that I am missing.
   Anyway, this is all why, over the last few months, I have begun to wonder if it is right to worship a Goddess outside of Her cultural and mythological heritage.
   I think of Wicca. Some Wiccan Trads honor one cultural pantheon while other Trads mix and match gods and goddesses from different pantheons.  But never-the-less,  though Wiccans believe that all goddesses are the One Great Goddess and all gods are the One Great God, I have never seen them divorce their deities from their native cultures or from their original myths and try to fit them into a new culture and a new myth. They remain true to the original myths. 
     And in thinking of the native culture and myth…..while I have always taught that Dea is God in Her Own Right, in my heart, I have always believed in Sacred Balance and I did teach that, while trying to stay within the confines of Deanism. To me, Our Divine Mother God is God in Her Own Right because that is Her Eternal Nature. It is Her Nature to be God just as it is our nature to be human. But for me, that does not mean that She cannot also be Bride.
    Recently, I have been studying the Shekinah/Sophia/Lady Wisdom/Holy Spirit all of whom stem from Judaism and all of Whom are One. I won’t go into all of this so, if anyone has questions, I will be happy to provide links to books written by scholars on this subject. Now, it finally make sense to me as to why the stories of Sophia and the Kabbalistic Shekinah are nearly identical (of course, there is Jewish Gnosticism, too) and there is an Earthly (Daughter) Shekinah who is the World Soul, as well as the Soul of the Jews and Earthly (Daughter) Sophia and Heavenly Shekinah and Heavenly Sophia.
    My point is, both the Shekinah and Sophia are said to be Mother, Daughter, Sister and Bride. I think that is very beautiful and it is deeply meaningful to me. But I understand that this is a long way from how Dea is understood in F/M.
   In the past, trying to be Deanic, I was separating Mary from her son and her husband (Joseph) and her father (Joachim) and her God (Adonai). I was also separating Sophia from Her Consort, Her Syzygy, Her Twin Soul and I was ignoring the fact that one of Her most important aspects is that of Bride as it is with the Shekinah and there is nothing wrong with that. But with Deanism, it made me feel that there was something wrong with that. Like there is something wrong with Divine Husbands and Divine Fathers. It is one thing to say, I primarily worship Mother God because I have issues with the Father due to my formal religion or an abusive human father, ect. It is a different story to say He doesn’t exist.
     My point is, why is it necessary to separate goddesses from their Divine Consorts or their Fathers? Why separate the Planetary Powers from their syzygies, their Twin Flames, Twin Souls? If this is a part of their story, then why must we edit them out? Is that being faithful to their stories? To who they are?
     Maybe for a Divine Feminine religion that excludes the Male, where they have their own names for the Mother and Daughter…Mari and Anna and they have their own mythology for them along with their own rites and devotions for them, why not use their own unique images for them just as every other religion has their own unique images for their goddesses? Why do they have to borrow from everyone else? I have never understood this.
   There are so many gorgeous Mother Goddess pieces of artwork nowadays that are not tied in with a specific cultural goddess just as there are many female angelic paintings of non-specific angels. In recent years, in thinking about all of these things, I have often thought about how if I was a goddess, I would not want to be separated from my husband.
   I have thought it important to have separate worship for Our Mother and Our Father ..the Mother primarily in the home. But to deny the Father as if He did not exist, to deny the Divine Marriage of Father and Mother, the Bridegroom and the Bride as if being a Sacred Bride is somehow beneath Our Mother God and therefore, casts an aspersion on brides here on Earth, this is not for me. 
   I am and have always been a traditional, deeply conservative woman. I am a traditional wife to my husband and a traditional home-maker. I have conservative values and I have long realized that this places me outside the Deanic community. I tried and tried and tried to conform, but this is not who I am. 

Divorcing Goddesses from their Consorts, Bridegrooms and Fathers Part I

Disclaimer:   These are my own thoughts and to not represent the beliefs of anyone else.
  Within the Deanic/Filianic/Madrian religion, there is a desire to worship a goddess image for Dea, the Divine Mother God, Who has no male Consort or Father because this is a strictly Matriarchal religion wherein God and the entire Universe is considered to be Feminine. In its origins, the religion went so far as to teach than anyone who is male here on Earth, ‘returns to being female upon death’…so in other words, the Madrian catechism, where this teaching is found, does not believe that males are eternal spirits/souls in and of themselves.
   The desire is to have a Mother God Who is God in Her Own Right without Her Godhood being dependent upon being the Bride or Consort of a Male God. I don’t agree with the first paragraph, but I do agree with this last statement. However, you can have a Bride of God Who is also God in Her Own Right as I explain further on.
     It is surprising how difficult it is to find a Pagan Goddess who did not have a consort or a father, although there are some goddesses who are so beyond ancient, their origins and original myths have been lost to time. Hekate immediately springs to mind as does Artemis of Ephesus (who is not the same as the Greek goddess.) 
   I think one thing I have found difficult with the D/F/M religion over the years, which probably has to do with their original beliefs/attitude towards the male race…is that they excluded males when males were not convenient. For example, they used the fictional account of the Titans as the basis for the Janyati….which was fine at the time, but according to the religion, you would never know that Eurynome did not just create by herself, but rather she was impregnated by the Snake she created from the Wind, nor would you realize that in the story, Eurynome created the Seven Planetary Powers (Titans) as male/female pairs or syzygies, just as in Gnosticism, but the male Planetary Powers, in the D/F/M are ignored as if they don’t exist. Again, I understand why this was done, this was supposed to be a strictly feminine religion, but I’m no longer certain it was the right thing to do.
     I have always been a bit confused as to the F/M practice of…well, on the one hand, they created their idea of a Trinity, Mother, Daughter and Absolute. And that is fine. Then they created a Mythos for both Mother and Daughter (even though they borrowed a lot from other sources) and they wrote the beautiful Teachings of the Daughter scriptures. They already had everything they needed. So, what I have been wondering is…why didn’t they just leave it at that? Why didn’t they artistically create their own images for the Mother and Daughter and for the Janyati? Why did they have to borrow Images from Christianity and so many other cultures while at the same time, divorcing those goddesses from their consorts, separating them from their mythologies and families while inserting them into a new story and claiming that the new story was actually the original story? The more I think about it, the more I feel that it really wasn’t necessary. They already had their story.
     I have spoken about this often, but it is relevant to this post. They use so many goddess images from other cultures and mythologies as suggested images for the Janyati, but Mary is not the Planetary Power of the Moon nor was she the Planetary Power of Jupiter. Sophia  and Khokmah are not the Planetary Powers of Mercury. 
    This was not necessary. There are many beautiful pictures non-specific female angels that could be used instead of taking things from other cultures and turning them into something they are not. If a goddess is not considered to be Planetary Powers in their own culture, then, in my opinion, they should not be adapted as one for another religion. One has to ask, how would a Christian feel about Mary being worshiped as and image of the Planetary Power of Jupiter? How would a Jew feel about Khokmah being worshiped as an image of the Planetary Power of Mercury? I can’t answer for Judaism because I have never been Jewish. But I can answer for Christianity. By the way, Powers is one of the angelic choirs and the Planetary Powers are usually angels.
    Anyway, if using Khokmah and Mary as Planetary Powers is not offensive in their cultural religions, then fine, but what if it is? Christians would find this offensive. Because of this, I guess I feel more comfortable with the male and female angelic Powers.
   Even with the “Ascended Mari” as she is called in the DFM….I really had difficulty with that until recently.  A few months ago, I finally understood better what the F/M were teaching about why they were using the Glorified Mary as their Image for the Mother in an All Feminine Trinity, but the more I thought about it, the more I realize that I still have problems with it.
    I know that the Church borrowed imagery and titles from Isis and perhaps Diana and applied them to the Glorified Mary (Mary after her bodily Assumption into Heaven), but what the Church did was different than what the F/M did with Mary.
    (As an aside, Mary never Ascended into Heaven like Jesus did. I’m not certain why the DFM refers to her thusly. Jesus ascended into Heaven. Mary was assumed into Heaven where she was crowned Queen of Heaven by her Son, the King. This is where the Fifth Mystery of the F/M rosary come from, the Assumption of Mary, but the F/M changed the original teaching about it to mean something else.)
   The so-called “Ascended” (Glorified) Mary was not Diana. She was not Isis. They shared titles, that is all. Mary wears a crown of stars with the moon under her feet because that is in the bible…in Revelation, it is not because Christianity was borrowing that from other goddesses.
     The Undivided (the first thousand years of the Catholic/Orthodox) Church never took either Diana or Isis and claimed that they were the Mother of Jesus. Again, Mary was historical. For two thousand years, to the Catholic and Orthodox Christians world-wide, including in many ancient lands like the pre-Muslim Middle East, Syria and Africa,  the Ascended Mary, as the Filianists call her, is the historical Mary after her bodily Assumption into Heaven. After her Assumption, she is in her glorified body just as one day, as Christianity teaches, we will all have a glorified body. So, the attributes they give to Mary are there to show her in her glorified state which will be available to all Christians. New Age people would understand this as being…she is in her high density body because she is now in the Pleroma. Her incarnations are over.
 

The Abusive ‘Sacrament’ of Confession

 No parent allowed. 

Having been raised Catholic and afterwards, becoming an Orthodox Christian, I have found that the sacrament of confession, as it is practiced in certain liturgical Christian Churches is highly inappropriate.

Having to confess ones sins to the priest is one of the main ways the Church maintains control over the people. I also feel it is abusive when little 7 year old girls have to confess their sins to a male priest. It is also abusive when any female of any age has to confess her intimate sins to a male priest who were often strangers to them.

The Church thinks it has the right to do this based upon one single verse in the bible, whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:23, KJV.

Pre-Vatican II, we would enter the confessional and the priest would be behind a screen. So, that was bad enough that you had to go into a dark box as a little girl and tell all of your innocent secrets to a strange man. (My father was in the military, so we never really got to know the priests, personally.) Nowadays, a seven or eight year old little boy or girl has to go into a room by themselves and face the strange man…by themselves. Nowadays, who in their right mind should be allowing their children to do this?

 A modern day ‘reconciliation’ room where you can either face the priest or go behind the screen. Can you imagine a young child in there? There are no parents present. The child is alone with the priest. Read what this parent  who was a victim of abuse was told by the priest about this matter. (Read to the end.) These priests have no rights over your children. This is not what Jesus had in mind. A lot of sexual abuse has occurred in the confessional.

In the Orthodox Church, the practice is even more bizarre. The priest stands at the front of the Church (where everyone can see you) and covers you with his stole, like a tent while you confess your sins.

I think the Protestants have the right idea about what Jesus meant in John 20: 23. Other than that, there are liturgical churches where the priest offers a general forgiveness during the liturgy. This would be the most correct manner, in my point of view, of offering the sacrament.

Penance is another form of abuse although in these latter times, rather than the severe penances of centuries gone by, modern penance usually takes on the form of extra prayers in the Catholic Church or an overload of extra prayers and a banning from communion in the Orthodox Church. I remember one time my 10 year old son was banned from communion for six weeks in a Russian Church (not RCOR) because he had listened to a rock and roll tape.

There was another woman in this Church who had been banned for three years from communion. I could not imagine what that poor, obviously faithful and pious woman could have done to deserve such treatment. This was not the Mercy of God that Jesus had promised. This was extreme control and abuse.

A story was told of a canonized saint had appealed to the priest in the confessional that her husband was physically abusing her only to have the priest tell her that she must stay with her husband and that through her suffering and piety, her husband would be converted. This is the reason this woman was canonized, because she stay with an abusive husband. (Canonized married women, in the RCC, are extremely rare.)

The confessional, whether Traditional, where the person at least has some privacy from the priest, or what is even worse, the modern where the penitent has to face the priest, is a place of fear, anxiety for the penitent and extreme over-reach on the part of clergy. They have no right to know the intimate details of a person’s life, especially not those of a member of the opposite sex. Nor do they have the right to listen to the ‘sins’ of little children.

This dangerous and abusive practice must stop,