This blog is now inactive

For any one who have recently observed this blog, it is obvious that it has been inactive for over a year. I am now announcing that it will be closed indefinitely, probably permanently.

This purpose of this blog was to achieve two goals. One of which was to attempt to generate some dialogue regarding the Virgin Mary who I consider the Christian Goddess by both members of Marian Christian and Neopagan circles. The second was to generate interest in Pagan circles in a bhakti / devotional worship of Isis as an inclusive monotheistic Goddess. At the time this blog was developed these were both primary interests of mine. It has been obvious over the years that neither of these goals were realistic. Since I do believe that there are a good number of articles worth reading within this blog, I do plan to keep it open so that these articles can be read by those who are interested.

I am now in the process of developing a purely personal blog which might contain articles on themes which I have initiated within this blog. I will announce this new blog when it is ready.

Glenn King

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To the Lady Ma’at, the Righteous One

Devotion to the High Queen of Heaven

Within most religious traditions there is a concept of divine order. truth, justice, or law which is viewed as central to those religions. Thus within Judaism the Torah is central and plays a equivalent role to that which Jesus plays within Christianity. Within Islam the concept of Islamic law, the Sharia, is second only to the Koran in importance. Within both Hinduism and Buddhism the concept of Dharma is central. Within the Zoroastrian religion a central theological tradition is that of the Seven Bountiful Immortals / Angels. Of these the most important conception is that of Asha / Asa which is divine truth / righteousness / law, etc. Within the Pagan society of ancient Egypt a central role was played by Ma’at. Maat for the ancient Egyptians was both moral ideal and endeavor but also the Goddess who manifested those qualities. These are just some examples of the centrality of…

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Filianism 101

As per my last post here I stated that I planned to post some of my articles from my primary thealogical blog In the Way to Thea. Enclosed is the first one.

Glenn

Devotion to the High Queen of Heaven

What follows is a simple introduction to Filianism a sort of Filianism 101. I would suggest that for persons who wish a more authoritve introduction to Filianism that they should read the excellent introduction to Filianism that exists within the Chapel of Our Mother God site entitled appropriately “What is Filianism?” What I write below comes from some one who while he admires the achievements of Filianism and has incorporated much of Filianic religion into his own life is not an orthodox believer. If authentic Filianism is understood as being the first community’s understanding of the religion then what I describe here and in future articles is not authenic Filianism. However it is an interpretation which makes sense to me.

The Latin word for Daughter is Filia. Thus Filianism is the religion of Filia, the Daughter. The modern religion of Filianism (many of its aspects are premodern) was initiated in…

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Isis and the current situation

I created this blog in 2008 to be a place in which I could discuss my thoughts regarding issues ofblack-madonna4 religion and spirituality. At that time I saw it as being primarily a place in which two discussions could be initiated by my posts. One of these was to be a discussion of the relationship between the Roman Catholic and Neopagan understandings of the Virgin Mary. Along with this blog I also established a decent sized yahoo e-group in hope of developing a Christian Pagan dialogue on Mary while simultaneously searching out the internet to see if any convergence between Pagans and Catholics on Mary was occurring. The contrary in fact was the reality. Within the post-Vatican II era Roman Catholic Church, Marian devotionalism has been downgraded as being offensive to Protestants and as being biblically unsound. Within liberal Catholic circles Marian devotionalism is increasingly unfashionable because traditional stories of Mary are believed to portray unhealthy and sexually repressive role modals for young Catholic girls.. Within the circles of traditionalist Catholicism Mary was still revered. However it soon became obvious to me that the last thing that people in that cultural milieu wanted was for any association to be seen between Mary and Paganism.Thus it soon became clear that the discussion which I wanted to initiate within this blog would never happen. . As the years have passed and my last flicker of interest in Christianity burned out in 2011 so has much of my interest in Mary.Even though; I still love many of the beautiful icons and statues of Mary and I still see her as the closest thing that Christianity will ever have to a goddess.

209px-Isis_-_ViennaThe other aspiration I had for this blog was for it to be a place in which discussions on development of a religion devoted to Isis could be developed. I had hoped that a religion based on Isis devotionalism centered on the worship and devotion to Isis as the Goddess / God / creatrix of the universe might develop. After all a widespread at least superficial interest in Isis exists throughout much of the culture of Neopaganism. She is mentioned on many websites and many e-groups seem to be dedicated to her. I saw Isis at the time and still see her as essentially a monotheistic Goddess in which all other goddesses and gods are aspects. I saw her as the supreme deity and not just as one aspect of the Great Goddess of modern Neopaganism. This vision of Isis as supreme and universal Goddess for me is inspired by the theological vision of Isis as universal Goddess which for at least five centuries, 300 BCE to about 200 CE, inspired educated followers such as Apuleius and Isidorus within the Graeco-Roman world.

That goal was also doomed to failure for several reasons. First in spite of the fact that a belief in a functionally monotheistic Great Mother / Goddess may exist within modern Paganism, it increasingly seems to me that the real energy in Paganism is focused on its polytheistic features. Most pagans with whom I have had contact over the years seem much more fascinated by the many various particular gods and goddesses of the Pagan pantheons than they are in the Source or Ultimate from which these come.

Two. To the degree that modern Paganism does have an interest in the Great Goddess, she has in general been conceptualized primarily by the modern ideas of the theologians of modern Neopaganism. Thus she is often is connected to Jungian archetypes, the celebration of modern female sexuality or woman’s empowerment concerns which are quite modern in character. She is not tied particularly closely to the conceptions of the universal Goddess which might have been held by an Apuleius, a Plutarch, or an Isidorus. To the extent that moderns are interested in the real ancient Isis they seem to be drawn more to the Kemetic vision of the particular Goddess of the Isis / Osirus / Horus mythos. Within this mythos however Isis is simply one of the several significant goddesses of Ancient Egpyt and hardly the supreme deity of the Graeco-Roman period.

Three. Modern alternative religions such as the New Age Movement and Neopaganism seem to have an aversion to any religion which is focused primarily on the worship, praise and devotion of a single Deity. The ideal of an ongoing obedience or submission to the divine will of a particular Deity no matter how compassionate or just that will is smacks of the monotheisms of the Abrahamic faiths and no doubt is seen as a violation of the freedom of free spirits.

Certainly this suspicion of anything that smacks of monotheism and its many forms of moralism is understandable. All of the Abrahamic faiths to greater and lessor extent though out their histories have embraced systems of oppression in the name of submission to the will of God. They have all impeded legitimate aspects of human freedom.

However the concepts of divine law and obedience to practices that bring one closer to the Divine or which bring greater justice and love into the world is legitimate and to be desired. Concepts of divine law not only exist within the Abrahamic faiths, they also exist within Hinduism, Buddhism and even within faiths such as Taoism. It is a traditional teaching of vital importance. Without the concepts of Divine Law, Dharma, Torah, Ma’at, or the Way human beings are left subject only to their immediate passions, impulses and habits by which to live. Without divine law and strong vital religious traditions the human person is left alone without the knowledge of the body of wisdom which has developed though out the history of human existence.

A corollary to this is the emphasis on magic within neopaganism which seems in general to cause any emphases on the worship or adoration of the Deity to be deemphasised. I have of course run into persons who clearly do have a strong love of Isis or some other goddess or god of one of the ancient pagan religions. However these seem to me to be the exception to the rule. Look at any bookstore under the Pagan / Wicca / New Age sections. How many books will one find on how to do magic? How many in which hymns or psalms to a deity play a part? The answer to these questions in general enables one to see the trend.

Four. A final reason for the failure for a new and vital Isian faith to develop in the modern world seems based on the simple lack of theological resources on which to develop a mature Isian devotional theology. The fact is that there is a paucity of ancient theological literature regarding Isis from the ancient world which can usefully serve that purpose. For example within most of the ancient Kemetic literature Isis plays an important role as the mother of Horus the representative God of the Egyptian monarchy and as the wife of Osirus who would ultimately have the role of the King over the realm of the Dead. She basically played the role of the Queen Mother of the important terrestial Gods. However she did not play the most significant role within Kemetic religion the most important position of which was held by Amen Ra the God of the sun and the Creator. Further more both Osirus and Horus have much greater roles within the most of the sacred literature of ancient Egypt. Examples of this are found within the Pyramid texts and the various Books of the Dead. This literature does not provide much support for a modern religion of Isis

Isis only came into her own during the Graeco-Roman period when she fired the vision of the influx of new Greek worshipers who could see in her character that which was lacking within the mythologies of the goddesses of their own pantheons. They saw characteristics which enabled them to see her as the supreme deity from which the other deities precede. Unfortunately in spite of the fact that writers such as Apuleius, Isidorus, and the writer of the Kyme aretalogy may have provided the seeds of a strong devotional theology of Isis, the amount of literature dedicated to Isis is still quite small. Admittedly while much more literature is committed to Isis than is committed for instance to Hera the Queen of the Olympian gods or to Athena the supreme goddess of Athens, it is still extremely limited. We for example have the beautiful hymns dedicated to Isis by Apuleius, and the three hymns committed to her by Isidorus. We have the Kyme and Maronea aretalogies and the hymns from her temple at Philae. This is the bulk of what we have and no consistent theology exists within this literature. Though it is possible that this literature can be used as the initial core for the development of an Isian theology, this has not happened.

In the early part of 2012 I converted to a religion called Filianism based on the theology articulated on a website called the Chapel of Our Mother God. Perhaps converted is too strong a word to use. I did not convert to all of the aspects of that faith. However from that time on, I came decisively under the sway of that faith and increasingly became strongly committed to my own understanding of that faith. I become a member participant in what I call the Independent Filianic community and developed strong working relationships and friendships with some of its most important actors.

One of the consequence of this is that I developed a another blog initially named the Sodality of Thea now named In the Way to Thea. It has become over time my primary theological blog in which issues of Filianism / De’anism are most frequently discussed.One result of this is I no longer have much time to dedicate to this blog and It is not useful for me to divide my writing efforts between these two blogs. On the other hand I do not want to close this blog down or to simply let it hang in the wind in neglect. It has been too important for me for that.

Therefore I plan to begin to regularly reblog most of my writings from In the Way to Thea here. Hopefully readers of this blog will find those articles to be of interest. I also want to say that I in no way believe that such a use of this blog is contrary to the spirit of its original purpose. Isis is still at the center of my spiritual universe. She to me is Thea / God. The De’anic religion to me is most of what I had hoped for from a mature Isianic theology and religion. I also want to say that at some point in time I may continue to post articles here specifically on an Isian theology. Time will tell.

Current Situation

Devotion to the High Queen of Heaven

I will state the obvious. This blog and my other blogs as well have been generally silent for several months now and in fact over the years they have never been very active. This has not been caused by a lack of writing on my part. For a few years now I have had a general goal of writing at least an hour a day. On many days I do achieve that goal. Some days I spend much more than an hour of my time in the effort and on other days due to time restraints I do not write at all. But in general I write regularly.

The issue has not been from a failure to write. The issue has been that most of my writing have been dedicated to the various efforts in which I have been involved either politically or in religion. For example much of the…

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Noah: A Review

images doreOne of the ways by which I judge the quality of a film is by its ability to sweep me away from ordinary life, inspired by the vision and intensity of the film. It also helps if the film does the unexpected, goes against predictable norms. I saw Darren Aronofsky’s Noah this past Monday and by the above standards for me Noah was a great movie. While my expectations for this film had already been fairly positive based on the reviews I had read, the movie experience far exceeded my expectations.

In general I do not like biblical epics. Movies such as the Ten Commandments and most of the various Jesus movies ( Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew being the exceptions) leave me cold. They are predictably designed not to offend the sensitivities of fundamentalist and orthodox Christian base communities, they offer little that is either creative, thoughtful, or new.

Therefore it was a surprise for me when I discovered that Noah was different. It was different first because Aronofsky, the director of such films as The Black Swan and The Wrestler does not in Noah attempt to portray “biblical accuracy.” For example he creates a substantial role for the “watchers” the fallen angels which while they are mentioned only in passing within the book of Genesis, have a much greater role in the books of extra-biblical Jewish literature such as those of Enoch. Furthermore in contrast to the Bible story the intentions of God himself are seen within the movie only through the experiences and perceptions of Noah himself. One gets the impression that Noah himself is only stumbling to an understanding of God’s will as he goes along.

Thus part of the drama of the plot lays in the fact that Noah interprets the judgment of the flood as being about the destruction of the human life on this earth in its entirety and that the Ark is meant only for the salvation of the “innocent” of animals and of nature not people. This understanding which Noah reluctantly accepts in opposition to his wife and children drives much of the drama of the film. It also corresponds to a modern consciousness of the ecological destruction of global warming and ecocide which is one of the most significant realities of the modern world. In all of these ways the movie Noah is not simplistically “biblical.”

Of course these and other deviations from the purely biblical text is seen imagesZ2R1RFQWnegatively by many as “inaccurate.” However the Bible itself hardly portrays historical accuracy. The historical fact is that there never was a real ark nor a great flood which destroyed all of humanity. The Biblical flood story, a story written by human authors, is based on old Canaanite / Israel traditions that no doubt were originally based on the Babylonian flood epic portrayed in the Legend of Gilgamesh. What the biblical authors attempted to do is to use old stories which were probably believed literally to state certain theological / existential realities about the justice and mercy of Yahweh the God of Israel.

Thus the biblical world they portray is a mythological world in which snakes talk, giants walk the earth, and a great flood destroys the whole earth in accordance to Gods’ will. Furthermore there were no doubt a multitude of flood stories from which the biblical authors could have chosen in order to present their vision of God and God’s justice. They choose some and rejected others. Aronofsky in his film Noah does the same.

Aronofsky uses the biblical Noah story and other stories out the Jewish tradition such as the books of Enoch to recreate the Noah story so that while it correctly reflects the concerns of the biblical authors of about the brutality and violence of the human race, it also reflects the violence of human race against nature itself. Within it Noah is seen as making the case that humanity itself is so flawed that it should not survive.

In contrast Noah’s wife Naamah played by Jennifer Connelly and Ila the pregnant wife of Shem played by Emma Watson come to the conclusion that the young are innocent and mercy should be extended to the human race in the form of Ila’s own newly born daughters. Thus the movie does what much of the literature of the Bible does; it creates a meditation on the reality of God’s justice vs his mercy via a story. In this way I would suggest that Noah the movie is in fact more faithful the spirit of much of the bible in its concern for justice and mercy than it would have been if it had kept safely within the confines of the literal Biblical text.

untitledWhat more can I say? Well the acting in the film is superb. Noah as he is commonly portrayed in popular culture has always been sort of an almost comical figure to me, a sentimental figure from a children’s book. Now I can see him in the image of the bleak, tormented but noble image of Russell Crowe’s Noah. The other characters Noah’s wife Naamah, his sons particularly Ham and Ila all come alive in a real way. Tubal Cain who opposes Noah through out the film,played by Ray Winestone, is one of the notable characters in the film. He is the powerful anti-Noah the brutal and intelligent antithesis to Noah’s ideals and work. He is the articulator of the alternative wisdom of human power / technology, the self deification of humankind, and the bravery of humanity even in opposition to God that is so central to the values of this civilization.

Finally Noah the film is simply wonderful to look at in its bleak beauty – most of it was filmed in Iceland. And of course the movies uses all methods of showing human conflict and the special effects artistry of the best of modern movie directors quite effectively. Noah can hold its place with some of the very few biblically themed or religiously based movies that have attained greatness.

Glenn King

Chelanya and Sacrifice

Originally posted by myself on the Sodality of Thea e-group.

Devotion to the High Queen of Heaven

farmingI originally posted this earlier this month on the Sodalility of Thea Yahoo e-group. It needs to be blogged here as well.

Glenn

The Filianic feast of Chelanya or Regeneration on August 1 has come and passed. Several comments on it have been shared here but I myself have not commented on it. One reason being that I simply have not in a practical way integrated the Filianic wheel of the year calendar into my life. Pamela has shared at least one post on it but no Filianic interpretations were placed on it. Enclosed is a link to an independent Filianic tumblir site called Shrine of the Gentle Way authored  Kathi Bourque. I know little about her that is not on this site. By independent Filianist I mean those Filianists who are not members of the Aristasian community and who thus may have some views independent of the founding community. This is the link. http://aedismitisars.tumblr.com/post/57034739643/festival-of-regeneration

I have also enclosed the…

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