In my last post I initiated an introduction to the psalms contained within the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I explained some of the stylistic changes which I have made to those psalms which I recite in my daily worship. I also indicated some of the reasons why I believe that these psalms can be seen as being providentially dedicated to Thea / our Mother God. Within this post I want to discuss some of the other adaptations which I have made to some of the psalms which I use in worship and discuss further why I believe that it is legitimate for the Independent Filianic / Deanic community and for Theani to use this literature in their worship of Thea.
For my own devotional use many of the psalms of the Bonaventure Marian Psalter require almost no thealogical editing. Literally interpreted they lend themselves naturally to the worship and adoration of Thea of whom the Virgin Mary is a form. The literal language of these psalms would suggest that the Lady is divine and that she is the Savouress of the universe. The fact that the Saint himself within his conscious mind interpreted them within the lines of Roman Catholic Marian orthodoxy does not change this fact. However the reality is that some of the other psalms which I have utilized are clearly more in line with Christian norms and do not as easily lead themselves to Theanic devotional use. Thus Psalm 23 reads:
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: but thou, O most holy
Mother, reignest with Him forever.
Thou art clothed with glory and beauty: every precious stone is thy
covering and thy clothing.
The brightness of the sun is upon thy head: the beauty of the moon is
beneath thy feet.
Shining orbs adorn thy throne: the morning stars glorify thee forever.
Be mindful of us, O Lady, in thy good pleasure: and make us worthy to
glorify thy name.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
My edited version reads:
PSALM 23 – The Fullness
The fullness of the earth is yours O Lady; You O Mother will reign forever.
You are clothed with glory and beauty:
every precious stone is your adornment & your clothing.
The brightness of the sun is upon your head: the beauty of the moon is beneath your feet.
Shining orbs adorn your throne: the morning stars glorify you.
Be mindful of us, O Lady, in thy good pleasure: and make us worthy to glorify your name.
What can obviously be seen by comparing the two versions is that I changed the theology of Psalm 23 of the Marian Psalter to reflect the fact that within the Theanic understanding the Lady is God / Thea. She is fully God and is in no way subordinated to a male God. Of course as I stated previously there are many psalms within the psalter which do not require this kind of thealogical editing. I could have used only these in developing my own version of the psalms. However I could not resist adding Psalm 23 and some others like it to my personal collection because of the sheer beauty of their images and the spirit of praise found within them.
I want to introduce another psalm from the Marian Psalter. This is Psalm 25
Judge me, O Lady, for I have departed from my innocence: but because I have
hoped in thee I shall not become weak.
Enkindle my heart with the fire of thy love: and with the girdle of
chastity bind my reins.
For thy mercy and thy clemency are before my eyes: and I was delighted in
the voice of thy praise.
O Lady, I have loved the beauty of thy face: and I have revered thy sacred
Praise ye her name, for she is holy: let her wonders be declared forever.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
This is my own version:
PSALM 25 – Judge Me
Judge me, O Lady, for I have departed from your ways:
But because I have hoped in you I shall not become weak.
Enkindle my heart with the fire of your love:
And with the girdle of righteousness bind my heart.
For your mercy and your justice are before my eyes:
And I am delighted with the voice of your praise.
O Lady, I have loved the beauty of your face:
And I have revered your holiness.
Oh praise her name, for she is holy: let her wonders be declared forever.
What I want to show here is that I have made additional changes within some of the psalms within my own collection when I have felt these were appropriate. Furthermore I believe that in many ways some of the changes which I have made have moved the final version of some of the psalms closer to Biblical norms than were the originals. For example within Psalm 25 one finds ideas which reflect medieval monastic norms such as the longing for chastity / virginity, the religious / monastic life, etc. One word which is never used within the Psalter (I do not know why) is the biblical concept of righteousness which of course goes hand to hand with the concept of justice / judgment in the King James version of the Bible. Righteousness and Justice are central Biblical concepts and they are central concepts to my own ideas of God / Thea. Within my free adoptation of the psalms I have felt free to make changes which place a stress on the concepts of righteousness, justice, and mercy as well and have moved some of the Psalms away from an absorbion in monastic values.
This pretty well summarizes the kinds of changes I have made within the Psalms which I have adopted to my own personal devotional practices. I have gone into such a detailed discussion about the changes that I have made because I do not want to give the false impression to anyone that the version of the Psalms which I use is a literal translation of the original. My developing collection instead is a free adaptation in which I have made as few substantial changes to the original work of the Saint as possible. However I have felt right about making the changes when needed to make the psalms work for me.
I want to end this post by attempting to explain why I have felt justified in adopting a collection of psalms from out of the Marian
Psalter to the worship of Thea in the first place . After all it can be argued that these are quite properly Roman Catholic property and what right do I have to adopt anything from that tradition for my own personal religious use. After all Saint Bonaventure himself would hardly approve of my project. First let me be clear about several things. First I have explained within my last post the relationship of the Virgin Mary has to the Goddess / Thea. I believe that the thealogical reality is that these psalms really are Thea’s and thus her servants have to right to use them within her worship. They are not the Catholic Church’s legally (They are a part of the literary commons) or by moral right.
However again why the need to borrow at all since they do come out of that tradition. Why not create out of ones own spiritual tradition. Believe me, I and other Independent Filianists / Deani have created some of our own literature. A truly beautiful book of original psalms called Rose Petals has been created by Deb Miskell who is of a mixed Filianic Pagan faith. Furthermore while I am not a gifted poet, I have written several prayers / psalms addressed to the angels of the Theani faith which I do use in worship. However the total amount of such literature is limited by the minute size of the Independent Filianic, Matronite, and Theanic communities. Furthermore when I first started to really pay attention to the psalms of the Marian Psalter I was simply amazed and filled with wonder with the providential way many of these psalms seemed designed to fill a need for devotional literature within the religion of Thea.
I must also raise another issue. In 391 EC the Emperor Theodosius of the Roman Empire banned the practise of all forms of Paganism within the Roman Empire. Even before this time many important factions of the Church itself had been banned because they were viewed as heretical by the dominant majority of the Church and the State. From that point of time on for almost 1600 years official forms of Christianity have had an effective religious monopoly over the West. Pagan religions such as that of Isis which might have continued to exist and evolve during the last 1600 years, if allowed to survive, were systematically snuffed out.
Let me be clear about this. I do believe that it is very likely that Christianity would have become the major religion of the West even if this repressive legislation had not been put into place first by the Roman government and then all future Christian states. The fact is that the Christian Church was already the most powerful religious community within the Roman Empire at the time of the suppression of Paganism. However if the repression had not occurred Christianity would have had much more religious opposition and competition through out the centuries. Pagan cults would have evolved and perhaps adopted in ways which would have made them more competitive to Christian orthodoxy.
Furthermore Christianity itself would have developed differently. Many heretical Christian sects such as those of the Montanists and Cathars may have become major churches. Perhaps some of the forms of Gnostic Christianity would have developed over time into major movements. The point is that the Western Civilization would have been different. It would have been freer and much more diverse. The purely patriarchal forms of Christianity which have dominated may well have been challenged by other faiths of a more matriarchal nature such those of the religion of Isis or of the Gnostic Barbeloites.
This is not simply an issue of historic speculation it is an existential issue. My own personal religious life and thus my life in general and that of many others may have been radically different, perhaps better, if the Christian religious monopoly had not been enforced for 1600 years. Perhaps major religious communities would exist today in which I could really feel a part without having to hide my own thoughts or feelings to get along within them. Perhaps communities would exist in which my concerns and those of others would not be trivialized and relegated to the status of unimportance. Perhaps I would not have been raised within the dreary Fundamentalist Protestantism of my youth. Thus what I believe I have done in claiming some of the psalms of the Marian Psalter for my own personal use has simply been to reclaim some of the heritage which has been denied me by the Christian monopolization of religion for the last 1600 years. I am simply restoring a little justice for myself at least, taking back some of what should have been ours all along.