Over the past year I have often been intrigued by a website called “A Chapel of Our Mother God” and by the religion which it represents variously called Deanism, the religion of Dea (Dea is Latin for goddess) or Filianism, the religion of the Daughter (Filia in Latin). During the past week I have spend a lot of time trying to develop a post to show the why? of my fascination with this site. However what I have produced so far is excessively long and no doubt gives way more information about the history and ideas of Filianism than most people would want to read. So I am attempting to cut it short and simply will say what I find attractive about the website and the religious faith which it represents.
So the question is why do I believe that the Filianic faith is so significant? I will start by explaining that I do not buy hook, line, and sinker into all the elements of the Filianic faith. There are aspects of Filianism of which I am quite critical. However in spite of this, there is much about the Filianic faith which I deeply admire.
I will start with the fact that in contrast with many modern alternative New Age faiths and a some forms of Neopaganism, Filianism does not stress esoteric forms of knowledge revealed to a chosen few, complicated mysteries, new ideas interwoven with ideas of modern popular phychology or ideas of modern enlightenment. The religion of Mother God instead emphasizes the role of traditional forms of worship, religious devotion, love of God, and simple obedience to her will as the means to approach God the Mother. It emphasizes a bhakti / devotional approach to Dea, who is ultimately very personal. She is not an abstract impersonal force, energy, or cosmic consciousness as she is in so many modern spiritualities. While she may have those aspects she is more importantly personal and loving, and powerful. Personality trumps abstract energy in the Filianic world view.
Another aspect that attracts me to the Filianic faith is the fact that as Pamela Lanides who is one of the founders of “The Hestian Temple” an offshoot of Filianism has stated Filianism allowed her to see the Goddess “as fully God and Divine on her own right.” So often in modern “divine balance” theologies the Mother God / Goddess is inevitably seen as a part of a couple / a collective / a party of two. Thus one feels that one can not worship her fully and completely with out looking over ones shoulder at a disapproving jealous male deity. This is particularly true for some of us who have attempted to combine a goddess spirituality within the Judeo Christian context. This is not the case in Filianism in which one can unabashedly worship the Mother, the Lady with ones full heart, mind, and soul.
Other aspects of Filianism? Well I find the religious writers on the Chapel of the Mother God to be simply interesting and insightful religious thinkers. For example the Filianics have taken great care to create a Filianic calendar which sees the wheel of the year as reflecting the divine drama of the Mother and Daughter and of the soul’s spiritual quest for the Mother God. This does help enable me to find a sacramental meaning for the annual cycle of the time, a meaning that the patriarchal cycle of time of the Christian church does not provide for me. Another aspect of Filianism in which I see great value is in the doctrine of angels or Janyati in Aristasian terms. While Filianism tends to be critical of modern neopaganism, its doctrine of “angelotheism” of the seven “Great Angels / Janyati” helps resolve the thealogical issue of the many vs. the one in a monotheistic context. It integrates a good amount of pagan diversity back into a living faith. Another aspect of the Filianic faith that I admire lays in its willingness to go against against the grain of many of cultural / intellectual tends of secular modernity.
Finally while I do not buy into the totality of the religion of Dea. Even when I read articles on the Chapel of the Mother God with which I disagree, I usually find insights and thoughts expressed there which may in fact contain much truth and are certainly thought provoking,
A last thing. I want to end this by stating that in a world dominated by religions that are patriarchal at least on the symbolic theological level. [Even the most liberal of Christian religious communities visualize God as ultimately masculine] , It is a wonderful thing that a religion exists, even if it is a very small that unabashedly worships the Divine Mother
The link to “A Chapel of Our Mother God” is http://www.mother-god.com/