During the last few months I have been dealing with a lot of issues, both religious and otherwise. Therefore I have not been writing nearly as much as usual. However I have in fact made several attempts to write articles for this blog. The problem is that in each case I have either decided not to finish the work or not to publish. The fact is that generally I have had problems determining where I want to go with my writings and additional problems determining how to approach the goals that I do set. These problems are not literary in nature but instead are based primarily on my shifting religious perspectives. Increasingly I have had problems determining where I want to go in my own personal religious life and certainly in how to express my concerns.
Well new developments within what I used to call the Independent Filianic / De’anic movement have made
things easier. The movement has basically ceased to exist. Some background. The movement if it could ever have been called one was never more than a handful of individuals whose spirituality was strongly influenced by the teachings of the Filianic faith as represented within the writings contained within the Chapel of Our Mother God website. The most prominent aspects of the religion of Filianism are:
(1) An inclusive monotheistic and devotional / Bhakti relationship with Dea, God the Mother
(2 ) A devotional belief in God the Daughter the savioress who plays a mediating role between God the Mother and humanity and the universe
(3) A group of scriptural writings variously known as the Filianic, Deanic, or Madrian scriptures which were authored anonymously in the 1970’s
(4) A highly developed angelology i.e. doctrine of the Janya,
(5) A fully developed sacred calender.
Of those element which have been of most importance to me personally have been Filianism’s basically monotheistic thealogy, its scriptures and its doctrine of the Janya. De’anism has been from the beginning the major alternative to the full thealogical system of Filianism within the Aristasian community. While it shares many of the above elements it differs most seriously from Filianism in not sharing the full Filianic doctrine of the Daughter. It may as a result reject aspect of the scriptures and calendar which emphasize doctrines in which the Daughter plays a dominating role.
Since its origins in the 1970’s the Filianic / Deanic faith has been almost unknown to the public. It instead served primarily as the sort of civic religion of the Aristasian community an alternative all female community which also grew out of the 1970s. The exact relationship between the development of Filianism / Deanism and the Aristasian community is complicated and not certain. For example another
community developed in the 1970s called the Madrian community which early on may have had much more importance in the development of Filianism than did the Aristasian community. However the Madrian
community dispersed in the early 1980s and has not been a serious factor since.
In 2013 the Aristasians renamed themselves the Daughters of Shining Harmony. The Filianic scriptures and the religion of Filianism was initially made public in 2007 with creation of the Chapel of Our Mother God website. While it is clear that one of the reasons the website was developed was to attract spiritually minded women into the Aristasian community, an important side effect of the site was that
small numbers of women from outside of the community became involved and were able to read about Filianic doctrines from the many excellent articles posted within A Chapel for Our Mother God. The
scriptures were also made available in 2008 along with alternative versions coming from outside of the community. The women who did came into a connection with the community for varying periods of time
found much within the faith which resonated deeply to their spiritual needs. Men also of course discovered both the Filianic scriptures and the website. However given the particular thealogy of Filianism and the nature of Aristasianism, they could never become members of that community even develop an ongoing relationship to it. Thus they could never have as intimate an understanding of certain aspects of Filianic doctrine as did the women. To some up what happened, while several of these women from the outside found some of the elements of the faith to be very attractive and meaningful, other aspects particularly certain beliefs and practices of the Aristasian community were incompatible with their own ideals and beliefs. Therefore women such as Sarah Amy Morrigan and Pamela Lanides upon ending their connections with the Aristasians attempted to set up independent forms of
Filianism /Deanism which might better meet their own spiritual needs and that of others.
Well what is clear now is that these attempts to develop alternative Filianims / Deanism as of this time have ended. Miss Morrigan ended her efforts to formulate an alternative form of Filianism last year. Very recently Pamela Lanides has decided to end her efforts to create her Kyrian tradition which
she until very recently discribed as a De’anic tradition as opposed to a Filianic tradition. She has now combined what remains of the Kyrian Community with Bishop Georgia Cobb’s Matronite Chantry. That combined religious body will have no publicly acknowledged Filianic or Deanic identity. Neither will it be based on elements of mythology nor the Filianic or any other scriptures. Thus I think that it is safe to believe that the Kyrian tradition has now fully completed its journey on path of separation from the Filianism / Deanism of the Shining Daughters on which it has been for some time now
So where does all of this leave me? Some facts. First I am still impressed by much of Filianic / Deanic thealogy. I still feel that the Deanic /Filianic scriptures to a significant degree is divinely inspired – note I do not believe the De’anic scriptures are perfect as no other scriptural
tradition is perfect. And the fact is that while I do receive religious inspiration from other scriptural traditions I do feel that my religious identity is still primarily De’anic even if it is a heterodox De’anism.
However I am also realistic and have to take into consideration that the Orthedox Filianic community of the Daughters believe that certain alternative interpretations of De’anism such as mine are incompatible with the faith. It also believes that because it coined the word “De’anism” that it should have the exclusive control of how the word is defined. While I do not agree with this position, I am not prepared to go against the Orthodox community’s position on this issue.
However there is a related word which I am prepared to apply to myself and any others who might some day share my spiritual orientation. That is the term Theanism / Theanic, etc which is the Greek equivalent of the Latin derived word “De’anism.” In the most recent post by the Daughters on the subject of De’anism it has been suggested that “Theanism” is sometimes used as an equivalent word to that of De’anism. However this is the first time in which I have aware that the Daughters have utilized that word. In fact I believe that I myself am the first person to utilize the word Theanism in any relationship at all to the ideas of the Deanic / Filianic tradition. The fact is when I initiated this blog in 2012, I coined the term “Theanism” as a self identity for those who while being strongly influenced by Filianic and Deanic beliefs could not be considered Orthodox Filiani nor Deani. I am
of course aware that a very few groups and individuals over recent years have identified their belief systems as being Theanic. However these groups and individuals no longer have any organizational
presence. What is certain that the Aristasians have never routinely identified their non Filianic
members as being “Theanic.” The term is not theirs and they did not coin it.
Therefore I do feel to claim the “Theanic” identity for myself while at thesame time I accept that others may also choose to self identify as “Theanic” in the future for their own reasons. But why is all of this important? Why have a religious or ideological self identity which expresses the
uniqueness of ones own or ones group identity as opposed to that of others. I have pondered this often and have never been entirely sure. Clearly part of it lays in the desire to disassociate ones self or
group with what one believes one is not. What I am sure of is that I am not a member of any of the Abrahamic Faiths. I am not a Hindu or a member of an Eastern religion. I am not a member of the New Age movement I am not a Wiccan or Neopagan. While I do share some beliefs in common with most of these traditions the differences which I have with each clearly places me on the outside of each. This is how I feel on the subject. On the other hand I did believe that De’anism and now believe that Theanism does describe my self identity in spite of the fact that some may disagree. I feel very good about “Theanism.” even if it represents only a little known tradition or community. It still makes me
feel that I am a part of something greater than myself even if unacknowledged by the rest of the world.