The Importance of Holidays

I recently read a discussion about Epiphany as a celebration of Light.  In that discussion, there was a comment that every day was a celebration of Light.  It is an interesting comment that I have heard in many places, and certainly every day is a celebration of Light in a certain sense.  On the other hand, I think that holiday celebrations are quite important.

vlcsnap-2015-01-06-19h54m52s212In the Filianic tradition, we celebrate holidays in accordance with the Wheel of the Year.  Other traditions have other cycles and other holidays, and they are no less valid. We celebrate Nativity at the same time as Christmas, and our day of Epiphany is the same day as the Christian Epiphany.  Nativity and Epiphany are both far older than Christianity and speak to Universal Truth rather than a set of historical, factual events that may or may not have happened 2,000 years ago in the Middle East, see the True Meaning of Christmas.

By celebrating holidays, we bring ourselves into harmony with the Music of the Spheres.  The original function of astrologers was not to give guidance to individuals in the form of prediction or personality analysis, but to read the heavens in order to set the appropriate time for religious festivals and other earthly activities.  Just as a musical score would be rather dull if it played the same note all the time, our lives would be similarly bereft if every day was exactly the same.

Actually, there was a time* in which there were no seasons or holidays.  In the Filianic tradition, we speak of the Golden Time, when we laughed and danced with the Mother.  The Judeo-Christian speaks of Eden and the time before the Fall.  All traditions have a similar story. We are no longer able to celebrate and worship constantly.  In the Filianic Creation Mythos, the Mother tells us, “I shall not live as close to you as before, but still I shall pour blessings upon you, and you may bring Me gifts–not in every moment as before, for you have learned to tire, but My light shall give you signs in this matter.”

As Unenlightened beings, we are not able to celebrate all of the time.  We do tire.  I needed a few days to recover after the Nativity Eve dinner, and to be honest, the decorations that were exciting during Advent and the beginning of Christmas were starting to feel a bit old and stale by the end of the twelve days.  If we were to attempt to celebrate every day, we would not be able to really enjoy any celebration.

My grandmother gave me a set of plates that belonged to my great grandmother.  When she gave them to me, she said that she wanted me to use them for everyday use. There were no more daughters or granddaughters to pass them down to, and she wanted them to be used.  At first, I tried to honor that request, and I did use them every day.  The problem with that was that they lost their specialness by doing that.  So, I stopped using them every day, and I now take them out for holidays and other times that seem special (like when I cooked my first successful roast).  This seemed a good compromise.  The plates are used…often enough so that they do get used, but not all the time, so that they are still special.

Every day is indeed a celebration of Light, and each day is a microcosm of the year.  Sunrise corresponds to the Spring Equinox or Eastre, noon corresponds to Midsummer or Rosa Mundi, sunset corresponds to the Fall Equinox or Cuivanya, and midnight corresponds to Midwinter or Christmas/Nativity.  Yet, just as we need periods of activity and periods of rest every day, we also need periods of activity and rest throughout the year.

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*The use of the term “time” is not quite accurate, because it was the time before and beyond time; however, English does not quite have words to express this concept (at least to my knowledge).

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Are Scary Stories Good?

*Is* this a good way to spend an evening?

*Is* this a good way to spend an evening?

Are horror stories or films acceptable reading or viewing for Filianists? Let us look first at what we mean by “horror”. Horror as a genre began with Gothic literature in the 18th century, at the latter end of the “Age of Enlightenment”. It could not have begun before that because it relies on the existence of the fantastical where it should not be. Before this rationalist revolution, the idea of the supernatural as separate from the natural world, and therefore of the supernatural being a great surprise, simply did not exist. Ann Radcliffe, one of the definers of the aesthetic of Gothic literature, defined horror not as a genre but as a feeling. Horror and terror are two distinct forms of fear; terror is the fear of the unknown darkness, horror is the fear and revulsion caused when the darkness is revealed in a definite form.

When literature or film uses grotesqueness to cause the sensation of horror, we know that it is not good for us, because it is by nature coarse, and will coarsen our souls. What, then of that which is chilling and frightening, without the grotesque? By describing terrifying things in art and literature and by then absorbing them, Maid gives form to the darkness. On the one hand, this is not something she can truly avoid doing. In the Gospel, when the Maid embraces the Serpent and gives it form, that is Myth – the description of a thing that cannot not be. As Myth, it does not happen in time – Maid did not embrace the Serpent once long ago and then never again. It is a thing that happens outside of time and thus Maid has done it and is doing it and will do it. The only real choice Maid is given is the form she gives the darkness. And that is where we must be very, very careful.

It isn’t only velveteen rabbits that become Real when you cuddle them close and stroke their ears.

Very recently, in the age of the Internet, someone altered a photograph to create a new monster, chilling and terrifying. They told its story as though it were a genuine urban legend, although it was only the creation of their own mind. Their audience treated it as a genuine urban legend, creating more altered photographs and tales of people in the photographs going missing, as well as a very unsettling false documentary in which it “appeared”. In other words, they took a thing they all knew was fiction and did their very best to will it into existence – and succeeded. Within the past week, two girls were induced to commit violence at its command. The details have been withheld because they are disturbing – this is absolutely factual and an example, if an extreme one, of what happens when people are not careful about what form they give the darkness.

A more manageable form.

A more manageable form.

What would be a better form? Well, one of the most fearless demon-hunters this writer knows regularly sees the demons she banishes as small and goblin-like, with the demeanor of naughty children. She wins many more battles than she loses, partially due to her skills and calling, but in no small part because she sees the darkness in a form she knows she can vanquish, and so she does.

So we see, to remain on safe ground, the scary things in our stories must not be allowed to win; they must certainly never be too big to defeat. Even if they do manage to win on the earthly plane (as in some stories they do) there must be great care taken to show that they do not and cannot win beyond it. If you will take scary stories into your soul, only take the ones that in the end show the triumph of the light over the darkness.

A Productive Day

Yesterday was the second day of our new year, and I am rather pleased that it turned out to be quite a productive day.

My spouse and I started the day by packing up the car with boxed up and indexed files from my former business to take to storage.  We had just enough room in the car for all of the boxes, so we were able to manage to take them in one trip!  The drive to the storage locker was a rather long one, as it is near my former office location, so we went out to breakfast before the drive.

SAMSUNGAside from bringing the old files to storage, I wanted to take an rough inventory of what was in storage.  I have to admit it was a bit overwhelming, and the inventory ended up being an acknowledgment that it was a mess.  Still, almost as a reward for taking the step of bring files to storage, I found some exciting things.  One of which was a book that I knew I had, but had been missing for a long time.  I had been looking for it for over a year, and lo and behold, it was in one of the boxes in storage.  The book was an astrology text by Ibn Ezra, The Beginning of Wisdom.  I am not sure how it found its way to storage, but, I between moving my home and my office in the past few years, and it must have accidentally gotten in one of the boxes that went to storage.  I also found a lovely lamp in storage that I am now using as a bedside table lamp.

SAMSUNGAfter the storage locker, we did some shopping.  I started to get the urge to find a physical calendar/date book.  Now that I am no longer in my former business, which required me to keep close track of the American calendar, I am sensing that it is time to start becoming more attuned with the calendar of my religion.  I had looked online for blank, adaptable electronic calendars, but I was not able to find any.  I did set my Google calendar to Japanese, but that is still not the same.  The only options for the starting day of the week were Saturday (Rhavedi), Sunday (Rayadi), and Monday (Candredi).  None of these options work for this year, as the starting day of the week for us is now Friday (Sucridi), for the Year of Sai Sushuri.

SAMSUNGI was able to find a beautiful personal organizer at the office store that was adaptable enough for my purpose.  The calendar pages are blank with respect to the months and the days.  They do have the days of the week set, but they are not too obtrusive so I can cross them out without looking too messy, and overwrite them with the Janyatic glyphs for the appropriate day of the week.  I had considered using the Japanese kanji for the weekdays.  I decided against that for a couple of reasons.  One of the reasons is that I am not as comfortable handwriting the kanji.  I felt slightly guilty about that, until it occurred to me as an astrologer, it is good for me to frequently look at the Janyatic (and planetary) glyphs.

The personal organizer has a section for a monthly view, which only had room for twelve months, and the Filianic calendar is thirteen months.  On the other hand, it occurred to me that Moura is not truly a thirteenth month in the calendar, but is a month out of time.  Hiatus, of course, is truly out of time, but there is a quality of separation to the month (and season) of Moura as well.  So, our calendar is not truly 13 months, but 12 months + 1 month.

SAMSUNGOf course, on a practical level, the month of Moura is still in time, so I will need to keep track of dates during that time, but the organizer does have weekly pages as well, which I will likely be using much more for day to day planning.  I am going to include the planetary locations on the calendar as well, as I will need to be more aware of the location of the planets on a daily basis now than I had been.

???????????????????On a less serious note, my spouse found a lovely flower tape dispenser to help decorate my home office for my new business.  It might be a little silly, but I do like it!

SAMSUNGOverall, I think that this was a wonderful start to a new year!

Happy Year of Sai Sushuri

Sri LakshmiGood morning, dear readers!

For Filianists, this is Eastre and the first day of our New Year!  This is when we celebrate the Daughter’s resurrection and the return of all life!

I have uncovered my Shrine and other images of Dea throughout our house, and I have put up the calendar!  It is rather exciting to have time back again.

In the Filianist calendar, the day that begins the New Year becomes the first day of our week, and the Janya of that day is the Janya that governs the entire year.  This year’s Janya is Sai Sushuri, the Janya of Divine Love!

There is also rather exciting news this morning!  The Mother God Chapel has published a new article regarding Filianism, which can be found here.

I apologize for being so brief, but It is a busy morning, with lots and lots to do.  Still, it felt right to at least write a short note for Eastre morning.

To my Filianist readers:  Happy Eastre and Happy New Year!

To everyone else:  Happy Spring!

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Preparing for the End of Days

vlcsnap-2014-03-18-13h30m46s222We are fast approaching the end of Moura, and the end of the Filianic calendar.  Tomorrow will be Kala, or the day that the Daughter is slain by the Dark Queen, and the next day will be Hiatus.  As we believe that the Daughter is the Sustainer of our existence, the day of Hiatus is a day where the world is a Wasteland.  Hiatus is not marked on a calendar.  On Hiatus we avoid any references to the future, and we do our best to refrain from even thinking about the future.  All images of Dea in our homes are covered with dark material or otherwise hidden.

This is the first year that I will be able to fully observe Hiatus since becoming a Filianist.  The last two years, my work required me to be attentive to the Western calendar during parts of the day.  I do not know that excited is an appropriate word, but it feels very good that these barriers have been removed.  I am a little nervous as well.  Hiatus was difficult enough in previous years, when I had short breaks from it.

As I discussed in my previous article, my Moura discipline has been to spend a half an hour every day crocheting altar clothes for the time of Hiatus.  I did manage to complete one more altar cloth, and there is one in progress that will not be finished for this year.  Still, this means that I will be able to continue my Moura discipline through Hiatus.  Last year, I had finished one the day before Hiatus and did not want to start a new one.  This meant my half an hour meditation was in silence with nothing at all to do.

I have been thinking about the past year, and all the changes that have happened.  While this is a difficult time, in a strange way, I am looking forward to the upcoming cleansing of the past year.  There is something freeing about our year ending cleanly, without thinking of any year ahead.

My physical house is not as clean as I would like, but the files from my previous business are packed up in boxes and ready to go to storage.  My home shrine is freshly dusted and cleaned.  I have made arrangements so that I will not have any reason to think about the future on Hiatus, and I have taken down the Western calendar in my home.  I think I am ready for the time ahead.

Med Moura

For those who practice the Filianic faith, tomorrow is Med Moura, the day in the middle of Moura.  Moura is the month in the Filianic calendar devoted to the time that the Daughter descends to the Underworld to bring Light to the places where the Mother’s Light can not reach in the world, and in our hearts. Many of us observe the month of Moura by taking on a spiritual discipline.  Our Moura disciplines may be positive or negative disciplines, taking something on or giving something up.  Many of my sisters in faith have given up sweets for Moura.

On Med Moura, we take a rest from our Moura disciplines.  I hope that those who are giving up sweets for Moura enjoy their day tomorrow with LOTS of delicious, sweet things. This is also the day in the Filianic calendar that we honor our mothers, teachers, and other superiors with gifts of appreciation.

SAMSUNGThis year, as last year, I have taken on a project that only seems appropriate during Med Moura.  As part of our faith, many of us have home shrines.  My home shrine is in my bedroom.  As you can see, Our Lady is also watching over one of my cats today.

At the end of Moura, we observe Hiatus, or the day (or days) outside of time.  During Hiatus, the Daughter has been slain by the Dark Queen, and the world has become a Wasteland.  During this time, we avoid talking about or even thinking about the future.  As much as we can, we act like the future does not exist.  During this time we also cover all images of Our Lady with a dark cloth.

From last year's Med Moura discipline

From last year’s Med Moura discipline

As I am able to knit and crochet, I thought it would be nice to make dark clothes by hand for the time of Hiatus.  It seems right that these clothes should be made in silent prayer and contemplation, and it also does not seem right do work on them at other times of the year.  Last year, I did start them after Sai Herthe day, but I started working on them on a regular, daily basis during Moura.  This year, for Moura, I have been trying to spend a half an hour a day in silent prayer and meditation while crocheting the dark altar clothes.  As my shrine has multiple levels, I need multiple clothes.  I have two finished from last year, and I think I will manage to have a third one finished by the end of Moura this year.

I wish all who are observing Moura a lovely day tomorrow relaxing from your Moura disciplines.  I also wish special blessings upon those who are mothers or who are acting as teachers or mentors for others.