On “A Chapel of Our Mother God”

I just posted this on my personal blog Aset Maryam. It  fits in with the themes of the Sodality of Thea as well.

Glenn King

Re: A Chapel of Our Mother God

Posted: April 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Over the past year I have often been intrigued by a website called “A Chapel of Our Mother God” and by the religion which it represents variously called Deanism, the religion of Dea (Dea is Latin for goddess) or Filianism, the religion of the Daughter (Filia in Latin). During the past week I have spend a lot of time trying to develop a post to show the why? of my fascination with this site. However what I have produced so far is excessively long and no doubt gives way more information about the history and ideas of Filianism than most people would want to read. So I am attempting to cut it short and simply will say what I find attractive about the website and the religious faith which it represents.

So the question is why do I believe that the Filianic faith is so significant? I will start by explaining that I do not buy hook, line, and sinker into all the elements of the Filianic faith. There are aspects of Filianism of which I am quite critical. However in spite of this, there is much about the Filianic faith which I deeply admire.

I will start with the fact that in contrast with many modern alternative New Age faiths and a some forms of Neopaganism, Filianism does not stress esoteric forms of knowledge revealed to a chosen few, complicated mysteries, new ideas interwoven with ideas of modern popular phychology or ideas of modern enlightenment. The religion of Mother God instead emphasizes the role of traditional forms of worship, religious devotion, love of God, and simple obedience to her will as the means to approach God the Mother. It emphasizes a bhakti / devotional approach to Dea, who is ultimately very personal. She is not an abstract impersonal force, energy, or cosmic consciousness as she is in so many modern spiritualities. While she may have those aspects she is more importantly personal and loving, and powerful. Personality trumps abstract energy in the Filianic world view.

Another aspect that attracts me to the Filianic faith is the fact that as Pamela Lanides who is one of the founders of “The Hestian Temple” an offshoot of Filianism has stated Filianism allowed her to see the Goddess “as fully God and Divine on her own right.” So often in modern “divine balance” theologies the Mother God / Goddess is inevitably seen as a part of a couple / a collective / a party of two. Thus one feels that one can not worship her fully and completely with out looking over ones shoulder at a disapproving jealous male deity. This is particularly true for some of us who have attempted to combine a goddess spirituality within the Judeo Christian context. This is not the case in Filianism in which one can unabashedly worship the Mother, the Lady with ones full heart, mind, and soul.

Other aspects of Filianism? Well I find the religious writers on the Chapel of the Mother God to be simply interesting and insightful religious thinkers. For example the Filianics have taken great care to create a Filianic calendar which sees the wheel of the year as reflecting the divine drama of the Mother and Daughter and of the soul’s spiritual quest for the Mother God. This does help enable me to find a sacramental meaning for the annual cycle of the time, a meaning that the patriarchal cycle of time of the Christian church does not provide for me. Another aspect of Filianism in which I see great value is in the doctrine of angels or Janyati in Aristasian terms. While Filianism tends to be critical of modern neopaganism, its doctrine of “angelotheism” of the seven “Great Angels / Janyati” helps resolve the thealogical issue of the many vs. the one in a monotheistic context. It integrates a good amount of pagan diversity back into a living faith. Another aspect of the Filianic faith that I admire lays in its willingness to go against against the grain of many of cultural / intellectual tends of secular modernity.

Finally while I do not buy into the totality of the religion of Dea. Even when I read articles on the Chapel of the Mother God with which I disagree, I usually find insights and thoughts expressed there which may in fact contain much truth and are certainly thought provoking,

A last thing. I want to end this by stating that in a world dominated by religions that are patriarchal at least on the symbolic theological level. [Even the most liberal of Christian religious communities visualize God as ultimately masculine] , It is a wonderful thing that a religion exists, even if it is a very small that unabashedly worships the Divine Mother

The link to “A Chapel of Our Mother God” is http://www.mother-god.com/

Glenn

5 thoughts on “On “A Chapel of Our Mother God”

  1. Well Nathan I do not actually theologically disagree with divine balance theology per se. It is just that no contemporary divine balance religious communities really work for me. I inevitably in worship am drawn to the Lady alone. I also disagree with the idea that the world necessarily is in a state of absolute cultural decline. Yes, I do believe that in many ways since the 1960s culture has coarsened. Furthermore in one big way ecologically the world is in an absolute state of crisis and decline. Though that is never discussed in Aristasians circles as far as I know.

    However in some areas great progress has been made. The decline in racism, the increase in gay and lesbian rights, and the decline in the power of patriarchy are all modern achievements. No I do not share the curious Aristasian hatred of feminism even if I am critical of aspects of it as I am of most things. These are a few examples of some of my disagreements. Note. I am aware that in the post I have conflated Filianism and Aristasianism to some degree, but Filianism is still to a strong degree an Aristasian religion.

    Glenn

    • I found Filianism through the Aristasian community, but there are many Filianics, myself included, who are familiar with Aristasia but don’t really buy into it. I made a critical post about it on my own blog. Here’s a link to that article if you are interested in reading it:

      http://maisappho.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/my-issues-with-aristasia/

      The Chapel of Our Mother God is a website made from an Aristasian mindset, and while it’s one of the best websites on Filianism on the web, it doesn’t express the only views on Filianism out there.

  2. Carmilla, thanks for the comments. Yes, I am aware that the Filianic movement extends some what more widely than does the Aristasian group. For example I am aware of Sarah Morrigan’s Sodalitas Chloes International though she does not seem to be doing much on it right now. I am also aware of the Hestian Sisterhood.

    Thanks for the link to your article on the Aristasian movement. I have now read it and I pretty much agree with it and with other comments particularly those from Sarah Morrigan. I can see how the vision of and the sense of participation in an ideal alternative society, Aristasia Pura, even if it is in an alternative realm, could possibly be empowering in this material world. Participation in such a realm if a group keep both feet at times on the ground could help that group keeps from being overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness caused by the powerful forces preventing goodness in this world.

    However to attempt to live in a purely alternative realm as the Aristasians now seem to be doing and to systematically ignore this world seems to me to be a form of escapism. I understand that they claim to be taking orders from the Celestial Empire. But would it not seem logical that such an Empire, if it did represent the forces of goodness, want to impact this world more positively. I am of course aware of how responses to my comments might bring in the subject of the Kali Yuga and other issues. But this is how I tend to see it. Again thanks for your comments. I hope to talk to you again.

    Glenn King

  3. I would to offer an alternative perspective. Aristasia, in the Feminine Universe, was presented as a community that aimed to maintain a pure image sphere. It was not presented as a means of social reformation. I am not competent to evaluate how successful the “Aristasian Experiment” has been, but the criticisms above suggest that we generally have a moral duty to engage in the life of the world. The traditional view is that such a duty depends on ones estate or calling in life (and properly even the active life is properly conducted without attachment). Some people are called to a public life, and some to a contemplative life. Moreover, true contemplatives do have a powerful influence on the world – albeit that influence is properly invisible.

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