The Rule of Love

 Dear Reader,

There is a simple rule that we are called to follow within Filianism. That rule is to love others. From there flows the entire set of precepts that guide our faith as outlined in the wisdom text called The Crystal Tablet. Love is very simple, though it may feel complicated. It can be difficult to express and to hold in your heart. 

As a person who grew up in an abusive household and lived through many traumas, I know how difficult it can be to love the person(s) who have harmed you. Love does not require forgiveness or for you to remain in connection with the person(s) who have harmed you. It is a healthy love of yourself that allows you to set limits and boundaries that are healthy for you, and to enforce them. This love of yourself is encouraged by Déa because you are a child of hers that deserves to be loved, cherished, and safe.

One can love others from a distance. The beloved may or may not know that they are the object of your affection. It does not diminish your love for them. Indeed, distance can make love grow stronger and more potent as we cultivate it within ourselves for those who are far from us. Mutual affection is a fine thing, but it is not required for us to love others. One can love a person who loathes them, would do them harm, and is spiteful. It is possible to love such people from a distance that is safe and in silence. Because the affection in our hearts do not need to be spoken. Déa is aware of it and cherishes us for our capacity to love under any conditions.

We, who have survived trauma, are often told ‘you must love yourself before you’ll be loved by some one else.’ This is a lie. We can be loved by others even as we struggle with self-loathing and hatred. We must not be ashamed of this struggle. Self-loathing and self-hatred are an inversion of love, not the opposite. It is love turned in the wrong direction and in need of a course correction. It takes time to make that course correction, but it can be done. It is easy to love others when you are in this state of inversion because you see they are worthy of love. The key to correcting the inversion of love that causes the state of self-loathing and self-hatred is seeing that you are worthy of love as well. 

This is different from forgiveness, though many mistake it for it. Acceptance of one as they are and loving them as they are is a radical act. I would argue that it is one of the most radical acts of compassion that you can do. It is also one of the most empowering ones that you can do for yourself. We are all flawed in some fashion even as we are all magnificent in some fashion. To accept ourselves fully (flaws and all) is the first step in truly loving ourselves. It is also the first step in seeing the reflection of Déa that resides deep within our hearts.

Forgiveness is the restoration of harmony. It is, however, but one part of the process. Forgiveness can only be given once the damage that has been done is repaired. A wound left open will fester and grow purulent if it is not mended and treated with proper care. The reparation of damage is the mending of the spiritual wounds evidenced when harmony is broken. Forgiveness is the acknowledgement of the completion of the mending of wounds. If the wound is not fully treated, will it not continue to get worse? It must be fully treated before we can forgive and move forward anew.

Acts of love are how we restore harmony when it is broken. When the person who has caused harm acts to make reparations and resolve the broken harmony between the injured party, this is an act of love. There are times, however, when harmony remains broken between parties. This is where acceptance of ourselves is an act of healing, thus an act of love. 

Grace lies in all acts of love. If they are acts of service, kind words, or passionate embraces, there is love there. There are many forms of love. Déa has blessed us mightily in that respect for there are as many ways to love as there are stars in the sky. In all things, we are called to remember we must act with love and then all shall be well.

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A series of Rosary meditations for Moura

Dear Reader, 

If you happen to have a copy of my book Garlands of Grace, then you may be aware of this series of meditations. This is performed whilst reciting the Catholic style rosary. It leads us deeper into the mysteries of Moura, Kala, and the entire Eastre cycle. I present this with the hope that you might join me in my contemplation of these mysteries.

Decade 1: The Temptation of the Daughter

The focus of this decade is the fear and the struggle that Our Lady had when faced with the demons of temptation and suffering. A special emphasis is placed upon her response to their prophecy of how she will be received in the realm of the Dark Queen. This mystery, when meditated upon regularly, encourages faith in the face of temptation. It also fills one with empathy for others who are suffering with temptation to abandon faith.

Decade 2: The Abasement of the Daughter

The focus of this decade is how the Daughter is stripped of her signs of power and authority as Princess of the World; how she is divested of the signs of her protection from her Mother; and her loss of the outward signs of her dignity on her journey through the realm of the Dark Queen. This mystery is one that bestows humility upon the one who meditates on it regularly. It reminds us of how far we have fallen from Déa and how far the Daughter must journey to bring her light into the whole of creation. This mystery engenders in us a sense of compassion for others who are suffering a loss of their own dignity and security.

Decade 3: The Humiliation of the Daughter

The focus of this decade is how the Daughter, the true sovereign of creation in her own right, is forced to kneel before the Dark Queen and suffer the insults and abuse of her daughters. To the unaware, the forcing of a Royal person to kneel and act as a person of lower station when they are of equal (or higher) rank to you is a grave insult to that person. To add the insults and abuse to the equation makes this humiliation all the more egregious. This mystery bestows endurance in faith during times of hardship when meditated on frequently. It encourages one to have compassion for the Daughter and all others suffering humiliation and abuse.

Decade 4: The Death of the Daughter

The focus of this decade is the absolute death of the Daughter. This is slightly different than the focus of the orthodox Filianic rosary which considers the death of the Daughter from an abstract perspective. Here, we enter into the mystery of mortality and with regular contemplation, we find ourselves more keenly aware of our mortality and frailty. This mystery bestows upon one a greater reliance upon the matters of Spirit and of the world. It encourages us to seek out thamelic ways to draw closer to Déa out of the sheer horror and despair that comes of absolute death.

Decade 5: The Hanging of the Daughter’s Body

The focus of this decade is the desecration of the Daughter’s body at the command of the Dark Queen. It is the Dark Queen’s hubris that has the Daughter’s body and her axe hung upon the world-pillar as an ornament. The pious soul would be rightly horrified by this treatment of the Daughter’s body. For this is the Dark Queen’s declaration of her dominion over the whole of creation. This mystery is cautionary in nature. It warns us of the danger of falling into the hand of the Dark Queen or her servants. Meditation upon this mystery brings one prudence and wisdom in their decisions. It also encourages one to seek out Déa when they encounter temptations and troubles that move them farther on the road towards the Dark Queen’s sway.

This rosary with its sorrowful and painful meditations is proper for the season of Moura. It encourages a penitent mindset. Indeed, this rosary is a good one to offer up as an act of penance for behavior that is athamelic and as an act of contrition for errors that one has committed in thought, word, deed, or neglect. As one prays this rosary, such feelings of repentance and contrition arise naturally with the contemplation of the suffering and sacrifices of the Daughter for our sake. This rosary is especially well suited for the day of Kala, when the Daughter is slain. The sorrowful nature of this set of rosary meditations could have it named the Mournful Rosary.

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Moura Week 1

Dear Reader,

It is the third day of the first week of Moura. I am a little behind on my tasks for the day. As soon as I finish this post I am going to be at work scrubbing the entryway floor in front of my apartment because it’s in rough shape. I’m working in the kitchen primarily this week. I don’t have a big front room that people come into and we basically have a cubby hole for people to put their stuff when they get home. That’s about it for an entryway except for the entrance into the building itself. So, Monday is the day I do a little work in the front entrance, tidy up the cubby hole, and try to get caught up on dishes. Beloved did a lot of work this weekend to help with that, he’s awesome like that.

Tuesday is going to be the day I dust the wall décor and try to get the finger prints off of the appliances. The stove and oven are not too bad off. The fridge, however, is a disaster. Tuesday’s cleaning will also include a swipe at what work needs done to clean under the range top. When last I looked, about 2 weeks ago, it wasn’t in bad shape. Just kinda dusty under the back burners because we don’t use them.

Wednesday is clean out the science experiments day. I am going to try, I can’t promise success, but I am going to try to clean the inside of the fridge. There’s some marks in the crisper drawers that lead me to suspect that they’re actually stains. Given that this fridge is over a decade old, it’s going to have some character that I can’t scrub away.

Thursday will be when I tackle the floor. We’ve got the kids’ legos in the kitchen. I have to find all of them before I can run the sweeper over the floor to get the stuff they’ve dropped. I’m not brave enough to try to put together the new vacuum cleaner that we have. It’s got a lot of bells and whistles. But, I have a sweeper that works on carpeting. (Ages ago when they were getting the apartment sorted out, they put carpeting everywhere, even in the bathroom. It makes keeping the kitchen clean a little challenging.)

Friday is going to be a rest day. Part of the reason why it is a rest day is because I have appointments that day. Also, my kitchen is small and I don’t need to scrub the walls down. (To be honest, I don’t think the paint would survive a real scrubbing anyways.)

I am going to spend 15 minutes on each of these things (well, Wednesday’s work might take a little longer). Aside from this, I just have the daily tasks of stuff like making meals and cleaning up from that. Next week, the cleaning shifts to the much more challenging bathroom. As I am working, I will be meditating on cleansing the miasma of the last year from the apartment and driving out unwholesome spiritual influences. It will help make the work a little less boring, I hope.

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Divination: Making your own Dream Deck

 Dear Reader,

I am in the process of creating my own Oracle deck. You can make one as well. My Oracle deck is based off of images that reoccur in my dreams. Your deck will be different from mine, but it will be more effective for you. A Dream Deck speaks to you with the symbolism of your deep unconscious Self. The images that your mind creates as you dream can provide you with astonishing amounts of information because our unconscious Self is connected to the spiritual realm and will draw information from there that we need to know.

The first step in creating a Dream Deck is to make a list of symbols and images that come up frequently in your dreams. With the image and symbols, make a brief note as to their meaning. Summarize the concept with the first word that comes to mind as you are considering the image. You’ll come back to this in the third step in the process. This word is the ‘seed’ of the meaning of the image that you will develop more fully as you meditate upon it. Then take your list and a set of blank note cards. Draw one image per card for your deck with the ‘seed’ word at the base of the image. This serves two purposes. First, it is a verbal cue for your conscious mind to access the unconscious imagery behind the card. The second purpose is to help orient the card in proper directionality for use. You may find that cards have different meanings in different orientations. (This happens pretty commonly in cartomancy.)

Now that you have your cards set up, take each card in turn and deeply contemplate the meaning of the card. Write down the insights that come to you as you are considering your card. Try turning the card into a reversed (upside down) orientation and see if different information comes to you for each card. Remember to keep a record of the insights that come from the cards as you use them. You will find that the Dream Deck will become increasingly detailed and you may be adding new cards to it as time goes on. This is better than making a detailed dream dictionary. (Though building one of those is a good practice.) The Dream Deck allows you to access the symbolism of your personal unconscious mind when you are awake and assess the meanings critically. 

Next week, we’ll talk about how you can use your Dream Deck for divination.

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Are you in the book of Faces?

 Dear Reader,

I now have an author’s page up on Facebook. I’m still working on it, but I will be adding links to works I have out, blog posts, and random stuff that I come up with for that page. Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/ladybrythwensinclair

If you’re on Facebook and want to chat, I try to be on there in the afternoon most days. If anything, there’s a 24 hour turn around time on posts and questions. Starting Monday, I will be posting links to blog posts up there. I am going to be setting up a Pinterest page ‘mood board’ for Filianism. A link to that will be popping up as soon as I get it reasonably settled.

I am in the process of figuring out how to get my own domain name and such. So, progress is happening. I still, kinda, have no idea what I’m doing, but the gods are kind and I know I’ll be shown the way forward.

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Moura Day

 Dear Reader,

Today is the first day of Moura. Moura is the fifth season of the Filianic calendar and the final month of the year. It is set aside from ‘ordinary’ time as a season of purification, prayer, and preparation for the high holiday of Eastre. There are as many different observances of this holy day as there are practitioners of the Fililianic and Déanic faiths. Within the early Madrian tradition, Moura Day was a solemn occasion observed with a full fast and acts of penance.

Within my tradition, it would be set aside for a full fast with exemptions made for children, the ill, and people who are medically unable to fulfill it. The fast begins at sunrise and lasts until sundown. A hearty meal before sunrise and an equally hearty one after sunset would bookend the day. Beverages would not have a restriction upon them (thus if one were to have a ‘meal’ shake to prevent problems from low blood sugar, it is permitted because it is a beverage of sorts).

I am medically unable to keep a full fast. I, however, have been forced by life circumstances into a restricted diet that resembles a partial fast. In this case, one would have smaller meals than usual and give up snacking through out the day. (As an aside, it is the intention that matters more than the act. If you are unable to keep a full fast but you can do a partial fast, you have met the ritual requirement for the day.)

The ritual purpose of the fast is to purify the body by setting aside the ‘bread of tyrants’ for the day. This act of abstinence purges some of the impurity associated with this. Some choose to refrain from sweets and other delights for the purpose of mild mortification of the flesh to force themselves to refocus upon the Spirit. This is a secondary result of fasting and not the primary focus of the fast. The primary focus of the fast is to put aside the transitory things of the world in a symbolic fashion so that we may better attend to the Spirit. (There are multiple ways to accomplish this goal but that moves beyond the scope of this post.)

Moura Day is also the day that I gather together my supplies and tools for deep cleaning my home. I invoke Déa’s blessing upon them and the work that I will be doing to cast out the spiritual miasma that had built up in the home over the course of the year. This is similar to the act of banishing unhealthful spirits and sealing the home against them that is practiced on Sai Herthe’s day. Indeed, such an act of banishment and sealing is proper in the course of cleansing and sanctifying the space.

I also begin what I call my ‘Moura Protocol’. During the time of Moura, I wear dark colors that are associated with Sai Rhavë and the Dark Mother. I dress in a more modest fashion than usual (though my wardrobe is rather modest to begin with so it isn’t much of a departure from usual). I make a point of veiling when ever I go out in public. (I had been veiling all the time but I am beginning to see thinning of my hair and some hair loss due to the fabric rubbing against my scalp. Thus, I only veil when necessary in accordance with my taboos and for the month of Moura.) Every time I wash my hands, wash my face, or otherwise attend to personal grooming, I focus on ritually cleansing myself of miasma that I have picked up and seek Déa’s blessing upon me for it. 

I additionally spend time in meditation and prayer at sunrise and sundown as frequently as my schedule allows me. Ideally, as I am a priestess, I would be observing all the ritual hours of the day. Life has made that difficult because of the other responsibilities that I juggle. I make a point of invoking Déa’s blessing and protection over my family during this month. I usually do this in the evening as I am preparing dinner. 

I use Moura’s time of self-discipline to instill and strengthen good habits. Where others may give things up for Moura, I take things on. This year, I have the spiritual goal of praying the Rosary every day. I have the material goal of improving my physical health. And I have the mental goal of embracing and expressing my creative self more fully. I feel a bit like I’m cheating this year because I started on these goals shortly before Luciad, but if it gets results then it gets results.

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Godspousery: Introduction or ‘how do I know if I’ve been chosen?’

Dear Reader,

In my previous post, I discussed the stages of a godspousery relationship. As I said, it bears a lot in common with typical relationship stages. The difference comes in the expression and how one receives input from the Beloved. This week, I wanted to look at the introduction stage. When the mortal lover introduces themselves to their spiritual intended love, there is the typical stating who you are and your interest in them. When the spiritual lover introduces themselves to their mortal intended love, this is a little different.

In some cases, the spiritual lover will arrive and persist in being present in dreams. They may speak to their intended or give them signs of affection. In other cases, the spiritual lover is assisted in communicating with their mortal intended love by a medium or another spirit-worker who conveys the message. Then there are the particularly intense and less than common experience of ecstatic visions of the spiritual lover professing their intentions.

In the case of dreams or a vision (this is being used to include all forms of psychic input such as auditory), it is wise to seek confirmation and clarification of one’s experience. Seeking out the assistance of a person who is experienced in divination can be very helpful. At the same time, discussing the experience with one’s spiritual advisor can lead to revelation of information about what the spiritual lover is seeking. If it is not possible to consult a diviner or a spiritual advisor, one should do some research into the spiritual lover to see if the information that is received via dreams or vision is consistent with what is known about them.

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Filianic / Déanic confessional practices.

 Dear Reader,

There are various traditions of Filianism and Déanism that practice confession of error as part of their Moura preparations and activities. The number of publically accessible clergy to assist these people in this process has dropped over the last few years for various reasons (most of them being life being problematic). As such, I am offering to provide spiritual counseling and guidance to any Filianist or Déanist who is in search of it. I will keep our discussion confidential, because it is between you and Déa. It is simply my job to facilitate the discussion and provide guidance on how to proceed forward in situations where thamë has been broken.

This offer is free of charge for the period of Moura. Emergency spiritual counseling is always free of charge. Because Moura is a season of introspection, purification, and effort to bring ourselves back into harmony with Déa, I offer my services to assist you in this process. 

If you are interested, please contact me at cydira13(@)yahoo.com with the subject line: Confession.

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Preparing for Moura

Dear Reader, 

I have been busy trying to finish up projects and such before the end of the week. I have pancakes for Moura Eve’s dinner. I will not be partaking of them because of my diabetes, but it’s a little bit of a treat I can give my family. I have been working on cleaning things up so that I will have an easier time doing my deep cleaning over the month of Moura in preparation for Spring.

Despite my cleaning and work, my home is still pretty much a mess. My schedule has been thrown into complete disarray this week because the kids are on break from school. My plans for Amity day got tanked because it was the day that we were out doing stuff. I feel like this presages the month of Moura being full of maddening things and life being a source of frustration because it will be getting in the way of my plans. If this week is any indication of the weeks to come, Moura is going to be challenging this year.

I am adapting FlyLady’s zone cleaning methodology to how I am going to work on my home. The first week will have me focusing on the entryway and the kitchen (zones 1 & 2). The second week will have me focusing on the bathroom and bedrooms (zones 3 & 4). The third week will be focused on the living room and getting the kitchen completely settled (zone 5 & 2). The fourth week of the month is going to be my daily household cleaning and spent in meditation on Déa. 

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Posts are going to be a bit random this week.

 Dear Reader,

I completely forgot that the kids have winter break this week. So, my schedule is in complete disarray and my posts may be a bit random this week. I’ll try to get good quality random content up for you. If I can find my notebook that I planned out my posts in … One of the boys has taken to grabbing random notebooks to sketch out plans for giant robots. If I find a giant robot pic over my notes, I’ll share the artwork because he has gotten quite good at drawing giant robots. But, goodness knows where my notebook has gone.

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