Why Isis?

Recently there have been some comments on my old post “Why Isis?” I think these might of interest to a few so I thought that I would reblog the post.

Glenn

Aset Maryam

While I began worshipping the Goddess in the late 1980’s,  Isis became the center of my devotion and worship only after the turn of the century. It was after  a decade of exploring the classical goddesses of the ancient world, the Hindu Goddesses, the esoteric Sophia tradition of Christianity, the Shekinah tradition of the Kabbalah in fact all  the traditions of the goddess of which I was aware that my attention and prayers increasingly centered on Isis.

Why Isis as opposed to some other goddess? Why Isis as opposed to Sophia, the Shekinah or some other form of the feminine divine in the Western monotheistic religions. My movement toward Isis worship was  based on  a group of theological, historical, and spiritual experiential  variables. Let me start with the theological. I am not a polytheist. I believe that there is a unified spiritual origin of all reality called God, Goddess, Tao…

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Beautiful Images of Our Virgin Lady

These come from Carmilla Karnstein’s independent Filianic blog. I think they are beautiful.
Glenn

Goddess of 10,000 Names

One of the members of a Filianic group I belong to shared some beautiful images of the Virgin Mary in Her many Divine Attributes, which I would like to share again here with my readers. These are just a few of the many attributes and apparitions of Mary venerated by worshipers around the world. I hope you find them as beautiful and inspiring as I did.

Nuestra Señora, la Divina Pastora (Our Lady, the Divine Pastor)

la pastora

Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope)

la senora esperanza

Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepcion (Our Lady of Pure Conception)

purisima concepcion

Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage)

la paz y buen viaje

Nuestra Señora de la Rosa Mystica (Our Lady of the Mystic Rose)

la rosa mystica

Nuesta Señora, Reina de las Islas Filipinas (Our Lady, Queen of the Philippines)

reina de islas filipinas

La Niña Immaculada (Immaculate Child)

la nina imaculada

Dulce Nombre de la Niña Maria (Sweet Name of…

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Finding Holy Spirit Mother

Most of  the persons, of whom I am aware, who advocate the restoration of the Divine Feminine to Christianity believe that Jesus was a worshiper of the Feminine Divine either in the form of Asherah, Sophia or even Isis the Egyptian goddess. I do believe that it is possible that Jesus may have had a relationship to the divine feminine in the form of Wisdom / Hokhma. However regarding the other two?  The worship of Asherah had been suppressed about 500 years earlier when the Jewish people became monotheistic. Isis? It is hardly worth discussing. Suffice it to say that no temples to pagan gods existed in First century Judea / Palestine.

The Holy Spirit has also been suggested as another possibility. After all the word for “spirit”  in Hebrew is “ruah” which because of its ending is grammatically feminine. Since verbs and adjectives in Hebrew also have grammatical gender these are also feminine when used in relation to the spirit / ruah. Note. Aramaic a language closely linked to Hebrew was the daily language of Jews in biblical Palestine and Syria. However in spite of these facts, I have always had some reservations regarding  the possibility that Jesus may have envisioned the Holy Spirit as both Feminine and Mother. One problem for me  has always been based on my lack of knowledge regarding the significance of grammatically  gender in language. In English most nouns words have  no gender and  verbs and adjectives certainly do not. So I tend to not understand the feeling / meaning of words in a language in which grammatical gender is important.

The other problem I have had with the idea that the Holy Spirit is a female divine being is that most of the ways the “spirit” as used in our Bibles seem to be impersonal in nature and often seems in fact to be just another way of verbalizing God’s force or power. That for instance is how the Holy Spirit is expressed in the bibles of the Jehovah’s Witness church and their interpretation has always seemed fairly credible to me.

Well some days ago I started rereading a little booklet called Finding Holy Spirit Mother by Ally Kateusz, a graduate student at the University of Missouri, and the primary writer for the Divine Balance blog. I initially read it when it was shared  here several months ago  by an occasional poster Mary Ann Beavis. I read it then and was  impressed. On rereading it, I am even more impressed. I think that Ally Kateusz makes the best argument of which I am aware that Jesus may in fact have regarded the Holy Spirit as being both female and  as his Divine Mother. To do this she cites from several sources. Among these are those often cited from the Gnostic gospels of Philip and Thomas.

What is unusual, however, is that in addition to these sources, she adds evidence from the writings of the early Syriac Church, the church of Syria in which Judea was a part. The language of the Syriac Church was  Aramaic the language that Jesus actually spoke and the language of the earliest church churches. Kateusz cites scholars of the early Syrian church such as Sebastian Brock, who basing their findings on their studies of the ancient  baptism liturgy and of the other ch literature of Syriac church during its first four centuries, believe that in this time period the Holy Spirit was almost always envisioned as feminine.

That began to change only in the fourth and fifth centuries after a converted Roman Empire began to suppress the so called Christian “heresies.” At that time the femaleness of the Holy Spirit began to be edited out of the texts. This finding is particularly important because the Syriac Church may have contained traditions that predate even Paul’s letters. The fact that the Syriac Church envisioned the Holy Spirit as both female and mother and believed that Jesus did as well is powerful evidence that perhaps he did.

The same process that occurred in the Syrian church occurred in some of the most important apocryphal  Christian texts as well. For example in the earliest version of the Acts of Thomas that  the Holy Spirits was viewed both as feminine and mother. As an example within it, Thomas ends a prayer with ” We glorify and praise thee and thine invisible Father and thine Holy Spirit the Mother of all creation.” During the 4th and 5th centuries these references are all edited out of the book.

The same process seems to have occurred in the Acts of Philip in which the earliest protagonists were apparently Philip and Mary Magdalene. Within the book Mary preached “You are guilty of having forgotten your origins your Father in heaven and your spiritual Mother. If you wake up, however you will receive illumination.” In the latter orthodox version of the book Mary and the offensive passages are edited out. Mary is replaced by the safely conventional Peter.

Ally Kateusz ends her book with a discussion of the Biblical gospels. She examines each of the four gospels and notes the number of times Jesus uses the language of the Father as opposed to the times he uses the language of the Holy Spirit. Thus in the Gospel of Mark both the Holy Spirit and the Father are each mentioned  four times. In Luke a strong balance between Spirit language and Father language also occurs. There are 11 verses each containing references to the Holy Spirit and to the Father. However in Matthew the situation changes. Here the references to the Father occur 44 times and to the Holy Spirit only 12 times. In John the change is even more radical. Within this book Jesus refers to his Father 110 times and to the Holy Spirit only four times.

Thus it is clear that each of the gospel writers had very clear differences regarding Jesus’ use of language in referring to God. Both Mark and Luke seem to suggest that the Holy Spirit was as important to Jesus as was the Father. In both Matthew and John in contrast Jesus relates primarily to the Father and only quite secondarily to the Holy Spirit. This perhaps explains why we tend to think that Jesus’ primary spiritual relationship was with his intimate Father and that he was only secondarily connected to an  impersonal ( and to us abstract) Holy Spirit.

These are just a few of the intriguing things that I found in Ally Kateusz’ book. There are more that may be just as significant. Finding Holy Spirit Mother is only of 31 pages long and I would strongly suggest that those interested in these issues to read it. The link to the booklet is http://divinebalance.org/ebooks/Finding%20Holy%20Spirit%20Mother.pdf

Glenn King

early medieval fresco of Trinity

early medieval fresco of Trinity

Ama-ar- gi (Return to the Mother)

Devotion to the High Queen of Heaven

While I am deeply alienated by the patriarchal nature of the patriarchal God that is worshiped within the western monotheistic religions, there is one element of those religions which I have always cherished. That element is the insistence that God is committed to economic and social justice for the oppressed, the poor, the victimized. Another corresponding aspect to those faiths is a belief in the day of Yahweh or the kingdom of God in which a final triumph of justice for all peoples will triumph in the world.

Of course that concern for the oppressed and the poor is not unique to the Hebrew scriptures. Both Mesopotamian and Egyptian religions among others also advocated a strong commitment to justice for the oppressed. However since those religions are essentially no longer living faiths in the modern world we no longer are aware of their very positive attitudes toward justice in this…

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The Significance of Psalms

13th-century_painters_-_Amesbury_Psalter_-_WGA15754Over the past year I have been periodically posting from a group of medieval 13th century psalms from The Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What is the significance of these psalms in particular and of  psalms such of those of the Bible in general? Are psalms just pretty poetry, full of metaphors, exaggerations, and imaginative language not to be taken too seriously? Are they just of entertainment value as most of us today take poetry? Well the biblical psalms and the medieval Marian psalms are certainly beautiful. However that is not all that they are.

To look at the question of the significance of psalms we first have to look at their significance in the history of religion. To do that we must look at some aspects of what they do. Enclosed are two Marian psalms to help in this.

Wound my Heart – psalm 82

O my Lady, who shall be like unto thee ? In grace and glory you surpass all.

As the heavens are above the earth: so are you high above all, and exceedingly exalted.

Wound my heart with your love: make me worthy of your grace and your gifts.

May my heart melt in thy fear: and may the desire of thee inkindle my soul.

Make me desire your honor and your glory: that I may be received by you .

The Foundation of Life – psalm 86

The foundation of life in the soul of the just is to persevere in love unto the end.

Your grace raises up the poor man in adversity: and the invocation of your name inspires him with confidence.

Paradise is filled with thy mercies: and by the fear of thee the infernal enemy is confounded.

He who hopes in thee, will find treasures of peace:

And he who invokes you not in this life, will not attain to your kingdom.

Grant, O Lady, that we may live in the grace of the Holy Spirit: and lead our souls to a good end.

On viewing both of these psalms / poems / hymns it becomes clear that praise of the Deity  lies at their center. “Wound my Heart” begins its first line with “O Lady who shall be like unto you? ” It continues with ” As the heavens are above the earth so are you above all.” Within “The Foundation of Life” the spirit of praise is not  so direct. However it is implicit in the text. By citing the Lady’s achievement and actions “Your grace raises up the poor man,” “Paradise is filled with your mercies.” the praise is still very much there. In the centrality of praise both of these hymns are very typical of psalms in general.

The second primary aspect of the psalms is that they address the Deity in the form of petition. Historically peoples and individuals have tended to pray for concrete things such as good harvests, help in personal troubles, help in war, etc. The Marian and Biblical psalms  are some what different for in them more spiritual gifts are often requested. Thus the saint asks that he or she be brought closer to the Lady by “having her heart wounded by the [Lady’s] love,” that ” we be made worthy of her gifts and grace,” that we may live by the grace of the holy spirit.” Of course in other hymns other things are asked for such as deliverance from enemies, sins, or illness.

In all these things the Biblical and Marian hymns are not exceptional. They do for certain religious communities i.e. the Jewish national community and the monastic communities of the Medieval period what all religious communities have done, that is to address the Deity(s) in praise and thanksgiving and to petition the deity for the good things of life. Certainly the hymns and writings of the monotheistic faiths of the West, of Christianity, Judaism and Islam are full of both praise and petition. The hymns and sacred songs  of Hinduism, Sikhism, and other world religions often do much the same.

The ancient pagan religions of ancient Egypt, Greece, Sumeria, etc were no exception to this. The ancient peoples all regularly sang hymns of praise and petitions to their gods and goddesses. Unfortunately because these religions were ultimately eradicated by a triumphal Christianity, their psalms generally preserved orally by religious priesthoods have generally been eliminated. Ask yourself a question.  How many songs of praise do we still have for Athena, Demeter, the Celtic Bridget?  The fact that we have so few is not because they did not exist. They were eliminated.

The significance of psalms? While some may not feel any loss, I and, I  suspect,  many others have felt great loss. I  feel loss in the fact that almost all of the beautiful devotional psalms and songs that are now used in worship are used  only in masculined religions to a masculine God. The songs that exist are to Jesus , the Father, the King and Lord and never to the Queen of Heaven and Earth. It is a misfortune that almost all communal worship in this society is addressed only to a Father and Lord and never to a Mother and Lady. This is at least part of what the monopolization of religion by both Christianity and Islam has done to us.

However fortunately the Queen of Heaven in her mercy in Christianity at least has revealed herself in the form of the Virgin Mary and by inspiring her psalms and other devotions has given us songs of praise by which we may praise her name.

Glenn King

Filianism: An excellent presentation

Devotion to the High Queen of Heaven

Enclosed is a very good article on “A Chapel of Our Mother God” called “God as Mother: Some basic questions on Feminine Monotheism.”  I believe that the article provides an excellent presentation of Filianic beliefs and of how Filianism deals with important issues such as the relationship of Filianism and other religions.

The article link is http://www.mother-god.com/god-as-mother.html

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The Setting & Rising of the Temple of Isis

Another exellent post by Isidora Forrest.

Isiopolis

The forced closing of the Temple of Isis at Philae during the reign of the Byzantine Christian Emperor Justinian (527-565 CE) is generally considered to mark the end of Egyptian religion.

Yet you and I are evidence that, though Isis’ Egyptian temples could no longer be places of worship, Her spiritual temples could never really be closed—and today flourish once more, not only in our hearts, but physically as well, in many of our homes. It is an interesting coincidence that the UNESCO project to move Isis’ flooded temple from Philae to the higher ground of the island of Agilkia began in the 1960s, a period that also marked the rise of second-wave feminism and the most recent upwelling of Goddess religion.

Or perhaps, it’s more of a synchronicity than a coincidence.

At any rate, today’s story is about the last days of ancient Philae, the beautiful Ptolemaic-built temple of…

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