A De’anic Community?

Over the past two months I have done little writing here. Instead I have been doing work which I had hoped would benefit what I have euphemistically been calling the De’anic community for the past two years. This recent work has achieved few results. Not only that but at this time due to certain problems which have developed I feel that my relationship with the “De’anic community” has basically ended. I do hope to maintain my relationships with a few individuals of the De’anic faith but in general I will try break from any hope that I will have any role in the creation of a “De’anic community.” Neither do I feel that such a community exists in any solid sense or that I am a part of such a community.

I need to get real here. What I have been referring to as the De’anic community or sometimes the Independent De’anic community has never been more than a very small number of persons who made contact with a very small religious tradition which came out of the 1970’s, a religion which for most of its history was a sort of civic religion of a secretive, small group of women who at various times referred to themselves as the Madrians, the Aristasians, and finally as the Daughters of Shining Harmony in 2013. During its initial Madrian stage the development of a Dea-centric religion was initially a very important important project of this community as witnessed by its publication for several years of a magazine called “The Coming Age.” When that magazine ended in the early ’80’s within a few years the group adopted its Aristasian identity and focused primarily on creating and publicizing its uniquely Aristasian mythology. During this same period until the Operation Bridgehead changes circa 2003, 2004 etc the religion itself almost completely disappeared from any public view, though It probably did serve as a strictly private religion for certain members of the group. As a result of Operation Bridgehead in 2005 the religion again became an important focus of the group. A website called A Chapel of Our Mother God was formed which over the years has been visited by many.

The impact of the “Chapel” has been two fold. One effect has no doubt been that certain women (males were never allowed to join the Aristasian community) not only studied the articles contained within the Chapel but communicated with members of the community itself. Some joined it. This of course is no doubt the result hoped for when the Chapel was created. The other result was less desirable from the Aristasian and now Daughters’ perspective. Other women read the Chapel literature and some even made some significant contacts with the Aristasian community for various periods of time. However these women in spite of being attracted to some aspects of Filianism ultimately rejected other aspects of its religious world view. They instead decided to use the knowledge and inspiration that they had received from Filianism to create their own version of it which they hoped would be more relevant to their own spiritual lives and to the conditions of the modern world. This is the origin of what has generally been called the independent Deanic movement or simply the De’anic movement. Needless to say it was not only women who found certain of the teachings of the “Chapel of Our Mother God” to be of interest; some men have as well.

Unfortunately, however, the attempt to build an alternative De’anic community has never been very successful. The fact of the matter is that the total “community” has never numbered more that perhaps ten persons at the most. For any new religious community to take root in the modern world at a minimum it would have to start out with some fairly tight knit local groups of very enthusiastic members deep dedicated to the religion. The collection of individuals called the De’anic community has always been a particularly loose collection of individuals each of whom often having very different ideas of what De’anism should actually be.

To Summarize Deanism still plays a central role in my life. I still believe in Dea and offer daily worship to her. I still worship her in the form of her angels. I still read and study her scriptures. Thus for me a De’anic tradition is still alive even as is any other intellectual current of thought or spirituality which may be followed by only a very few. Therefore I do plan to continue to post articles in which the scriptures and other valuable elements of the tradition will be discussed. But is future articles I plan to keep references to a De’anic community to a minimum.


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