Category Archives: Faith

Simple Devotions

One way to Dea is the Path of Love or Devotion, in contrast to the Path of Light, that is, of knowledge or intellectual contemplation.

Starting on the Path of Devotion could not be easier. Our Celestial Mother, like every mother, is always ready to accept the love of Her children.

It is good if you have a picture or a statue of Her. It should be one that you find attractive. One that speaks to you of Her love and beauty. It might be a picture of Mahalakshmi, or a statue of Mother Mary. It might be a picture of Kwan Yin. You might wish to feel the protection of Dea in her mighty form as Sri Durga. Whatever form you love, choose that. Then you can look upon Her form when you talk to Her.

It is traditional also to bring Her gifts. Light candles before Her; burn a little incense. Once you have your picture or statue of Her and have placed some candles and perhaps an incense burner before it, you already have your first Shrine. If you can, it is nice to bring fresh flowers to the shrine and offer them to Dea.

These are very simple things, but simple love always pleases our Mother. Say good morning to Her when you arise and bid Her goodnight when you go to bed. These are the elementary courtesies that a child pays to her mother. It is also considered proper in many circles to bow when you approach Her image or when you pass it.

Another common practice is to offer food to Her before eating it. This is something like saying a simple grace, but the difference is that instead of merely thanking Her for Her bounty, we are giving the food to Her. It is said that she consumes the true essence of the food and that we eat Her leavings, which is the material part of the food. But by Her eating it, the food is blessed and we ourselves taste something of its true essence, which our worldly tongues are unable to do.

These are some simple practices that will start you on the Path of Devotion. If they become part of your life, you will be a devotee of Dea.

The Forces of Darkness

What exactly are the Forces of Darkness?

This is a question that goes very deep indeed. Every tradition has always taught about the “Adversary” – the force or forces that oppose goodness and light. In the Scriptures we have the Snake of the Creation (who opposes Creation itself and wants all to be darkness and nothingness) and the Dark Queen of the Mythos of God the Daughter, who sends her minions to torment the Daughter and finally slays Her.

Sai Vikhë is one of the Seven Primary Powers, because conflict is an inevitable part of manifest existence. Metaphysically, it is the constant tension between the four material elements that prevents them from resolving back into the primal element of Aethyr.

Each one of us has a true self and a false self. We all have bad tendencies that we must combat as well as a pure and perfect nature to which we can aspire (the little angel and devil on the shoulder is a humorous depiction of something that isn’t too far from the truth).

This is the overall cosmic perspective. But on a lower level – in certain places, like Telluria – there is also a conflict between the primal Feminine and the forces of an unrestrained Masculine (in other worlds the masculine does not exist and the conflict may take different forms). This certainly does not mean that “men are bad”. Men may be on the side of light. However, our particular mission is one that only maids can effect.

In Telluria the unbalanced rise of the masculine principle has taken the form of excessive materiality, violence, and human conflict. The masculine principle has to do with consolidation and matter, and also with conflict and combat. These are not necessarily bad things in themselves (we are in combat with the forces of darkness, and that is the true “Holy War” intended for maid). But when being able to manage material existence ends in a belief that matter is “all there is” and when combat is turned against humans rather than dark forces, it becomes unbalanced and dangerous.

Now all this is part of a greater cosmic conflict between light and darkness, and the Motherland’s role in Telluria does not directly concern Telluria itself, but a greater cosmic balance in which Telluria (but not only Telluria) is playing an unbalancing role.

That – in strategic terms – is why Operation Bridgehead was needed in Telluria and why Chelouranyans have been sent to work here. Our work takes place on a spiritual level. We are certainly not here to fight the Tellurians, but our work does bring us into direct conflict with some of the darker forces of Telluria.

It is important to recall that, despite the Tellurian doctrine that the material plane is the only one, actually the material plane is not only one of many but also one of the lowest. What happens on the material plane is always a reflection of what is happening on other planes.

The Tellurians themselves have no idea who we are or what we are doing, and even if we tell them they (fortunately) cannot understand. On the other hand the guiding “demons” of the patriarchal-materialist revolution do recognize us and want to stop us.

There are two conditions in which they typically appear:

1. When we are making good forward progress and they want to disrupt it.

2. When they see a weakness that they can exploit.

The first of these is the most frequent, and indeed we often see attacks by the Forces of Darkness as a sign that we are doing well! They often seem to “panic” when we are making good progress and launch all sorts of assaults on us.

That is one way of defending against them – realizing that their attacks are actually accolades. They show we are making headway. This is important because the intention is often to demoralize us, or knock us off course. So it is important to take strength from an attack, and to know it is usually a sign we are on the right course.

The second case is when we are weak or unwell, or when a particular person has bad qualities (jealousy, anger, resentment etc.) that can be exploited. The Forces of Darkness are opportunists and will jump in where they see an opening has been left for them. They love to use our less admirable qualities against us and against our friends.

The best defenses against them are:

1. Prayer and trust in Dea.

2. Friendship of sister believers. One thing they will often attempt to do is isolate us. Encourage us to “go into our shell” and not communicate with our sisters. If they can find ways of isolating us, we are much more vulnerable.

3. Laughter. They hate being laughed at. Darkness can never really overcome the light, although they can hurt us and inconvenience us. In the end their power is all a big bluff. Calling that bluff is what they fear most. In this case laughter is a far distant echo of the laughter of the Mother that created the world. It is a peal of joy about the power of Light and against the sheer absurdity (in the end) of the minions of evil.

Some important things to realize about the Forces of Darkness:

1. They are forcefully drawn to light, almost like moths. The fact that we turn to Dea and the fact that we make good progress are both elements that seem to attract them.

2. They feed on light, as they have none and wish to destroy it out of hate and jealousy.

3. They are very persistent. They will try over and over using different approaches to try and hurt a maid. If deflected in one area, they will try to find another weak spot. We can win by standing firm. They will win some rounds inevitably, but if we stay firm in our faith and resolution they will not win overall. Their whole purpose is to shake our resolution and turn us away from the light. That way they could win if we allow it.

4. They have many agents through which they do their work. Some poor souls may not even know they are being used. In the Pit culture there is a very considerable streak of embracing darkness which allows certain individuals to be used quite easily. People can sometimes be used without necessarily being full-time agents of darkness. Their weaknesses can be exploited on particular occasions for particular purposes. Tellurians have become especially vulnerable to this, because unlike more traditional people they are mostly unaware of spiritual forces, good or bad, and take no precautions.

5. Vigilance is needed in dealing with them. It is necessary to remain watchful of their influence and presence and take measures to counteract their attacks as soon as they become apparent . Being aware of our spiritual surroundings is important for protecting ourselves.

___________________________

A suggestion from Miss Trent:

A thought on how to turn the personal attacks around. If your own bad qualities are triggered or hooked by some person or event, say envy or unpleasant thoughts about someone, one can think, Aha! my weakness is being exploited, but I will take it as a sign that I need to work on this, or be humble about that, as the case may be. Then the Fs of D are defeated because you have turned towards the Light.

A suggestion from Willow Dreamwalker:

I believe that Our Momma would like us to take good care of ourselves. Just like any mother would, and more! When we are sad, we should be gentle and generous with ourselves: go do some shopping, or pamper yourself with a nice hot bubble bath, or eat some chocolate – whichever strikes our particular fancy, we should do. I find that by keeping this in mind and keeping Dea’s own love within us, we can love ourselves just as she does, and be good to ourselves when things go awry. After a while, the Foddies are bound to give up out of sheer exasperation. If they can not take Dea and Her love out of every maid’s heart, even after they have exhausted all of their resources, what are they to do? Nothing, I say!

This is what we can do: not only to love Dea and to love others, but to love ourselves.
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See also: Demonology in Feminine Religion

 

The Heart of Dea

Miss Sakura wrote:

I love Maria-sama ga Miteru more than any other. It is very pure and beautiful and it fills the soul with passion that is white and spotless, like the mountain lily. It has some Tellurian parts because it is made in Telluria, but to me it seems to be closer to our dear Motherland than any other Tellurian thing. It seems to breathe of home.

How precious it is that the school song of the Lilian Academy is a hymn to our Mother as Sai Thamë even as the whole anime is a hymn to order and comeliness and sweet, passionate innocence.

The hymn to Maria-sama’s heart also makes me want to know more about the heart of Dea. Is the Divine Heart an important thing in Chelouranyan thealogy?

Lhi Raya Chancandre Aquitaine responded:

In answer to Miss Sakura’s question: the heart in the human microcosm corresponds to the sun in the macrocosm. The sun incarnates for us the light-giving Spirit, the pure, radiant Centre of all being.

In each one of us, her spiritual Heart is ultimately one with Dea. That is why we greet each other with the salutation Rayati—”Hail to the sun in thee”—and why we make reverence to each other.

heart-of-dea-1

Yet for all this, we are imperfect beings, and we see the true Radiant Heart of the Universe in its glory and perfection only in the immaculate, loving Heart of our Mother Herself.

The term “Immaculate Heart” may be a Christian formulation, but it is entirely accurate from a Deanic point of view, since the heart that is truly immaculate—free from any imperfection or taint—is, by definition that pure, Solar heart that we hail in each one of us, but which is occluded to a greater or lesser extent by our imperfections.

In other words, the Immaculate Heart is by definition the Divine Heart of Dea: the supernal Sun and Centre of all being: the Source of all light and all warmth; of all wisdom and all love; of all life and of existence itself.

It is in the Heart of Dea that we seek refuge, now and eternally.

Miss Sakura asked:

Most honoured Raya, thank you for answering my question. I have more questions if nobody will mind.

1. Is Mary or Maria a name of Dea in Sai Herthe?

2. If Maria-sama’s heart is like Sai Thamë, why, although Her cloak is blue, is her inner robe and Her very heart red?

3. Why is there a flame from Her Heart?

4. Is Her heart surrounded by white roses?

Lhi Raya Chancandre Aquitaine responded:

These are very pertinent questions, Miss Sakura. I shall not take them one by one, as the issues they raise interweave and they require what might be called a compound answer.

The names Maria, Mari, Marya, Mari-Anna, and doubtless other forms are used in Sai Herthe for Dea the Mother; especially (but not exclusively) in Filianic contexts as meaning the Mother as opposed to the Daughter.

The Mother, Raya Marya, Dea Herself, is not Sai Thamë. Rather She is the pure untinted Light that may be seen through the seven refractions of the Great Janyati—so we may see Her in the light of Sai Thamë as this beautiful hymn does. Often She is also seen in the light of Sai Sushuri, partly because the rose is the flower both of the Mother and of Sai Sushuri. Naturally She may also be seen in the light of Sai Raya, being the Solar Mother, or of Sai Mati as the Heart-Intellect.

The use of red in the image I chose is indicative of warmth and love. The Supernal Heart, like the Sun (which it also is) has two outpourings: warmth (or Love) and light (or Intellect). The flame from the heart belongs clearly to the aspect of warmth or “burning love”, the radiance that surrounds the heart to the aspect of light.

The red robe in this particular image stresses the love, or warmth, aspect.

Let us consider another image:

heart-of-dea-2

Here, as you see, the cloak and veil are Thamë-blue and the robe white and gold. The heart is flaming with love, and the radiance is white and pure. This image is closer to the aspect of Maria-sama in our lovely hymn.

Also, you can see more clearly the white roses about Her heart. These represent love and purity, and may also represent the pure, loving souls gathered about Her loving heart. Interestingly Our Lady’s heart is also sometimes depicted as being surrounded by lilies.

Such images have become rare in the Tellurian West and are criticised even by believers for being “saccharine” and “sentimental”.

Fortunately Japan seems relatively free from this sort of post-Eclipse perversity, and Maria-sama ga Miteru is wholly free from it, as, of course, is our beloved Motherland, where the tenderest emotionality and the most profound intellectuality dwell side by side, and we are afraid of neither; where purity evokes not embarrassment and self-conscious coarseness, but reverence and love and open-hearted joy.

Lady Aquila added:

The Tellurian locus classicus for this particular heart-symbolism is M. René Guénon’s essay “Le coeur rayonnant et le coeur enflammé” ( “The radiant heart and the flaming heart” ) in Symboles fondamentaux de la Science sacrée (Fundamental Symbols of Sacred Science).

The Earth Mother: A fallacy for all seasons

The “Venus” of Willendorf, c. 30,000 years old, dating from a time when all human imagery was feminine. In later times — when all human imagery was still feminine — images were more what we should expect of Divine Iconography. What did this image mean to its makers? And what should it mean to us?

The “Venus” of Willendorf, c. 30,000 years old, dating from a time when all human imagery was feminine. In later times — when all human imagery was still feminine — images were more what we should expect of Divine Iconography. What did this image mean to its makers? And what should it mean to us?

A contributor to an Elektra-group notes:

The Venus of Willendorf — which is approximately 30,000 years old — is surprisingly detailed. There is a distinct relation to fertility and functionality. The corn-row hair, for a start, relates to agriculture, whilst the plump curves suggest an abundance within nature. The radical feminist, Camille Paglia, contends that there are two prevailing artistic forces that have dominated human history. The solar on the one hand, and the lunar or motherly on the other.

Of course, we have all heard this chestnut on many occasions. It tends to be satisfying (with different weightings) both to the patriarchal mind and to the “feminist”, which is not surprising as there has never been very much difference between them.

The idea that femininity — and especially Divine femininity — is exclusively associated with the lunar and chthonic, as opposed to the solar and celestial, is one that develops along with patriarchy itself. Yet wherever the feminine image of the Divine is strong, She is also solar and heavenly. Mary is hailed as Queen of Heaven (ave regina coeli) — precisely the title of the Goddess to Whom the Hebrew women of Jeremiah’s time sacrificed honey-cakes, much to the prophet’s chagrin.

But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto Her (Jer. 44, xvii)

She is also the Woman clothed with the Sun, just as the Hindu Devi is repeatedly described in the scriptures as “brighter than a thousand suns” (in other words, infinitely transcending in solarity the physical representation of the Sun which we see in the sky — which is to say, being the Supernal Sun Itself).

We find sun-goddesses in Japan (Amaterasu Omikami is the solar progenitress of the Imperial line), in ancient Ireland, and everywhere in between. Dr. Martin Lings has given us a wonderful traditionalist study, “The Symbolism of the Luminaries in Old Lithuanian Songs”, which examines a group of songs in an Indo-European language as old as Sanskrit which may well represent a tradition closer to the Primordial than the oldest Sanskrit texts. Nonetheless, as a patriarchal traditionalist he is a little nonplussed by the fact that the Sun is female and the Moon male (as in the old German designations Frau Sonne und Herr Mond). By a rather awkward twist, he tries to persuade us that Perkunas, the (male) lightning, is really the supreme God. But the lightning, in tradition, has always been the bridge between Heaven and earth, while the supreme Spirit (Atma) is always and everywhere the Sun.

There is no doubt that wherever there is a Heaven/earth or Sun/moon dichotomy, earth and the moon are the inferior elements. How could the reflected light of the moon ever be superior, or even equal, to the originating light of the Sun?

Sky-Goddess, Earth-God: When male images first become common, some twenty millennia later, they are subordinate, and therefore earthly and lunar (also smaller), as opposed to the Solar Mother or Sky Goddess. Later still, with the onset of 'patriarchy', the rôles were reversed (a process known to archaeologists as 'solarization'). This reversal is uncritically accepted by modern 'Goddess-feminists'

Sky-Goddess, Earth-God: When male images first become common, some twenty millennia later, they are subordinate, and therefore earthly and lunar (also smaller), as opposed to the Solar Mother or Sky Goddess. Later still, with the onset of ‘patriarchy’, the rôles were reversed (a process known to archaeologists as ‘solarization’). This reversal is uncritically accepted by modern ‘Goddess-feminists’

The attempt to assign lunar and chthonic attributes to the feminine and solar and celestial ones to the masculine was, therefore, an obvious and necessary move for early patriarchy. The ready acceptance of this by “feminists” is equally unsurprising, given the inversionist nature of Pit society and more particularly of its “left-wing” elements (a designation that is becoming increasingly meaningless as the whole ideology of the West progressively merges into an inversionist and anti-traditional super-capitalism, but to which, insofar as it means anything, the “feminist” still tends firmly to belong). The preference of the low over the high in everything from social class to spirituality, the preference of the gross over the fine and the ugly over the beautiful gives the patriarchal inversion of attributes a new attraction to “feminists” unintended by the original patriarchal theologizers — and yet, some would argue, the ultimate end of the same current.

But to return to the Venus of Willendorf. Like many early goddess-figures, She is termed a “fertility goddess” and we Chelouranyi have no quarrel with that designation. What we would take issue with is the sometimes-made assumption that here is something earthly — not to say earthy — and primitive (again a concept equally comforting to the evolutionist-progressist perspective, to the patriarchal denigration of the feminine, and to the “feminist” Love of the Low — thereby happily satisfying the whole Pit assembly).

These figures are certainly primitive. But we use the word — as any Traditionalist must — not with the evolutionist implication of “therefore low and rudimentary” but with the Traditionalist implication of “therefore closer to the Primordial”.

The great Traditionalist and metaphysician, Ananda Coomaraswamy, has written seminal works, such as the essay, “Primitive Mentality”, which explain persuasively why the “primitive” mind is in fact superior to our own. When he also tells us that:

“[our present civilization stems from] a common cultural inheritance throughout an area extending from Mesopotamia to Egypt and the Ganges to the Mediterranean, founded upon the worship of the Great Mother”.

We may be sure, to say the least of it, that he is not envisaging a cult in any way inferior to the current Higher Religions.

The Living Cosmos: The Three Realms – Heaven, Earth and the ‘middle realm’ or ‘air’; otherwise termed the Solar, Lunar and Terrestrial realms. Note that at this stage in the transition, both the Solar and Lunar figures are feminine, with only the Terrestrial being masculine. At an earlier stage, all three were feminine. In the human microcosm the three realms are Spirit, soul and body.

What ideas, precisely, were intended by our remote ancestresses? Certainly ideas which, if we are traditionalists at all, we must assume to have been considerably superior to our own, and, like the Ideas of the Angels, “fewer, simpler and infinitely more profound”. We cannot say with absolute precision what they were, but a few considerations should give us some guidelines on the ways in which we should be thinking.

First, let us recall that many of these “fertility” figures are associated with symbols that are always and everywhere recognized as solar — sunwheels, svastikas etc.

Secondly, let us consider that in the wholly pre-“patriarchal” phases of human history (which, indeed, constitute most of it) we find either no male figures at all, or extremely few, and therefore both aspects, Solar and lunar, Celestial and chthonic, were represented by the feminine.

We may also compare current feminine forms of Divinity, such as Mahalakshmi in India. In the Puranic hymns she is worshipped as “both Mahamaya and Sripitha” – that is, both the creatrix of the world-illusion and the immanent Spirit or Deity. In the same hymn she is hailed as “The Supreme Brahman, the ever-pervading Atma” – that is God, both immanent and transcendent; as “Both gross and subtle” and even as “great-wombed” bringing us directly to the physicality of the “Venus”-symbolism.

Mahalakshmi, we are told by Western scholars, was originally a “fertility goddess”. If this is true (and we think that, with the necessary clearing-away of misconceptions, it probably is) what does it mean? We know what Western scholars (particularly nineteenth-century ones), and their inverse copies the “feminists”, think it means and want it to mean. They envision something primitive in the “Darwinist” sense of the term. Something rooted in the earth because it has never heard of the heavens. A view of “primitivity” born out of an unholy but very comfortable alliance between those who want to deny Heaven to the feminine and those who want to deny Heaven altogether.

But leaving aside these weary late-Victorian prejudices — this drab alliance of men in silk hats and women in dungarees — what might a fertility-cult really mean?

True Fertility: Mahalakshmi preserves to this day the true meaning of 'fertility' symbolism, being both 'fertility Goddess' and image of Supreme Deity: both Creatrix of the World Illusion and Supernal Spirit. Her upright posture is itself the Solar Ray that strikes the waters of pure possibility, causing the Lotus of the manifest world to unfold. She is surrounded by the fecundity of the world — trees, flowers, mountains and the Elephant of Royalty, all of which proceed from Her and depend on Her for their being.

True Fertility: Mahalakshmi preserves to this day the true meaning of ‘fertility’ symbolism, being both ‘fertility Goddess’ and image of Supreme Deity: both Creatrix of the World Illusion and Supernal Spirit. Her upright posture is itself the Solar Ray that strikes the waters of pure possibility, causing the Lotus of the manifest world to unfold. She is surrounded by the fecundity of the world — trees, flowers, mountains and the Elephant of Royalty, all of which proceed from Her and depend on Her for their being.

For a start, let us recall Mahalakshmi, in Whom the attributes of Transcendent Deity and those of the Creatrix of the world-illusion are united. A strange concept, perhaps, to some ascetic transcendentalists, but actually not other than the non-dualism of the Upanishads or the Buddhist assertion that ultimately Samsara and Nirvana are one. These doctrines are normally regarded as the latest and most sophisticated flowering of Vedic culture, but should we not expect them to be inherent in a much more fluent and perfect form in the earlier cultures, nearer to the Golden Age?

The further we go back, the more are the “ordinary” activities of life sacral. The more do the operations of the crafts, of agriculture, of “culture” as a whole express the Divine. The more life, “religious” and “saecular”, forms a seamless and perfect whole. At this stage in human development, we should imagine that the very concept of maya, or world-illusion, in the form it later took would be unnecessary. In this form of culture, the “worldly” and the “holy” would have been so intimately intertwined that they scarcely existed as separable concepts.

The fact that these extremely ancient naked “Venus”-figures, which are early even by “matriarchal” standards, appear gross to us (and they do appear gross to us: “feminists” who pretend they do not are merely exercising their inversionist love of the gross and denial of the cultural aesthetics of their own inborn thought-world) is because they were not made for our eyes. Those who made them and worshipped them looked at them in quite a different light from that in which we see — and cannot avoid seeing, even if we can avoid misunderstanding — them. The “feminist” embrace of these images is precisely a case of embracing them for what they are not (just as many “Western Buddhists” embrace Buddhism for what it is not). The very misreading of those figures, which is perfectly natural, and almost inevitable, to us in our particular culture at its particular stage of development, is what makes them attractive to the “feminist”.

Fertility symbolism is essentially a symbolism of a primordial, unified culture. It is the symbolism of the manifestation of all things out of the Divine: of the boundless Divine fecundity, and of the primordial non-dualist continuity of matter with the Spirit; of maya with Atma.

Fertility is what takes place at the point of juncture between Essence and substance. It arises from the co-operation of earth and the Sun. The lotus is the primary symbol of Mahalakshmi, dating from her days as a “fertility Goddess”. While the lotus has many symbolic values (often parallel to those of the rose in the West), its primary and specific one is as the “Point of Creation”. Where Essence meets substance: where the single Divine Ray (which is the form-bearing Essence) strikes the Surface of the Waters (which is the all-potential Substance), there blossoms the Lotus: the beautiful unfolding of the manifest world. It is upon this Lotus that Mahalakshmi is always depicted, either standing or enthroned.

It is here that we may seek the true meaning of the “fertility cult”; here that we may gain a hint of what our ancient mothers understood by images that now seem gross to us because we are gross (and do not make ourselves less gross by embracing their apparent grossness).

From all this, it will be clear that we are very far from denying the lunar and chthonic aspects of femininity, but we also affirm the Solar and Celestial ones, which, in the nature of things, must be considered primary.

If “feminism” were anything but an inversionist cult clinging onto the coat-tails of the late-patriarchal octopus, it would be “rediscovering” or “reclaiming” feminine Solarity, Royalty and Heavenliness. But the very mention of such words in relation to bongo “feminism” is sufficient — by the absurdity of the conjunction — to indicate to us what this “feminism” really is.

Meanwhile, Chelouranyi are perhaps the only Western devotees of the Solar Mother. How far such a devotion is relevant for a patriarchal world, I cannot say, but for the all-feminine world of Chelouranya, it is not only a return to the primordial form of Deity, but the only form of religion that makes sense. We do not by any means deny other forms, but for many women today the original, primordial form of God, the Solar Mother (in some cases with Her Lunar Daughter) is a necessity.

All too often, however, they ask for bread and are given a piece of earth.