The Seven Virgins/Female Angels and the Tower Part II

26 Hestia/Jan. 20

In Part I, we discussed the Seven Virgins of Aseneth who are connected to a Tower in the early Christian text, the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth. (A) Part II examines the Seven Women around the Tower as found in the Shepherd of Hermas, (B) once considered a canonical text. (1 and 2).

Important to remember, as discussed in Part I, that the later part of the text may be a forgery: So, what was the motive of the later forgery to the Shepherd of Hermas?  In the first four visions Hermas encounters a female angel, whom he mistakes for the oracle of the Sibyl.  It is explained that this female angel represents the church.  In the ninth parable, it is explained that the female angel really was not a woman, but rather the Son of God.  This is an obvious gloss.  Whoever added this forged section, had a problem with female teachers in the church.  This actually was an issue of the second century church, and it was suppressed by the male majority. 

http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-shepherd-of-hermas-and-swedenborg.html

Moving on to Part II:

While Aseneth must leave Her Seven Virgins behind in her Tower, thereby leaving behind her Pagan past, so that she may marry the Divine Joseph; the Shepherd of Hermas, in his vision, is told that the Seven Women (female angels) support the Tower and must be served.

(3[11]:3 The tower, which thou seest building, is myself, the Church, which was seen of thee both now and aforetime. Ask, therefore, what thou willest concerning the tower, and I will reveal it unto thee, that thou mayest rejoice with the saints.”

8[16]:2 She looked upon me, and smiled, and she saith to me, “Seest thou seven women round the tower?” “I see them, lady,” say I. “This tower is supported by them by commandment of the Lord.

8[16]:8 Whosoever therefore shall serve these women, and shall have strength to master their works, shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God.”

While in Joseph and Aseneth, the Tower represents the Pagan priestesshood of Artemis, in early Christianity, Mary Magdalene has always been associated with a Tower. Magdal-eder means Tower of the Flock. (4)

Mary Magdalene is said to have been a Pagan high priestess. Later, She was to become the first Apostle to the Apostles. A spiritual leader of whom Peter was jealous. Some believe that she actually founded Her own Church. And while it is very possible that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were, indeed, married, others believe that their relationship was more spiritual.

The following article from Time Mag (warning: page has unwanted audio and a lot of popups), presents a different view of Mary Magdalene. Not one where she is the spouse of Jesus, but where she is a spiritual leader, a view held by many Gnostic Christians, as well. This flows well with the recent findings of the imagery of female priests (and Mary as a bishop) in the earliest known iconography of the Church, (see previous post), and other known factors of early female Christian clergy.

http://time.com/5210705/mary-magdalene-controversial/ .

And so, while in the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth, the Tower represents the Pagan priestesshood of Aseneth, while in the Shepherd of Hermas, the Tower represents the Church. In his visions, the Shepherd sees an Aged Lady, a female angel, who explains to him that She is the Church, which is represented by the Tower and that all the bricks of the Tower symbolize the faithful. (The Blessed Virgin Mary also typifies the Church and the Church as Bride).

At one point, the Aged Lady shows him the Seven Women of the Tower:

8[16]:2 She looked upon me, and smiled, and she saith to me, “Seest thou seven women round the tower?” “I see them, lady,” say I. “This tower is supported by them by commandment of the Lord.

8[16]:3 Hear now their employments. The first of them, the woman with the strong hands, is called Faith; through her are saved the elect of God.

8[16]:4 And the second, that is girded about and looketh like a man, is called Continence; she is the daughter of Faith. Whosoever then shall follow her, becometh happy in his life, for he shall refrain from all evil deeds, believing that, if he refrain from every evil desire, he shall inherit eternal life.”

8[16]:5 “And the others, lady, who be they?” “They are daughters one of the other. The name of the one is Simplicity, of the next, Knowledge, of the next, Guilelessness, of the next, Reverence, of the next, Love. When then thou shalt do all the works of their mother, thou canst live.”

8[16]:6 “I would fain know, lady,” I say, “what power each of them possesseth.” “Listen then,” saith she, “to the powers which they have.

8[16]:7 Their powers are mastered each by the other, and they follow each other, in the order in which they were born. From Faith is born Continence, from Continence Simplicity, from Simplicity Guilelessness, from Guilelessness Reverence, from Reverence Knowledge, from Knowledge Love. Their works then are pure and reverent and divine.

8[16]:8 Whosoever therefore shall serve these women, and shall have strength to master their works, shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God.” (5)

Like the Deanic Janati or Janae and similar to the Seven Spirits around the Throne, Who, many Christians believe are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Seven Female Angels as seen by the Shepherd of Hermas are the gateways of Primordial Divine Virtue.

Let us Bless the Queen of Heaven,

Blessed is She.

A. M. Pamela Lanides.

A) The Lost Gospel, Decoding the Ancient Text by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Gospel-Decoding-Marriage-Magdalene/dp/1605988871

B) The Shepherd of Hermas in an updated language form by Daniel Robinson: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016CD4AA4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shepherd_of_Hermas
  2.  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html
  3. http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-shepherd-of-hermas-and-swedenborg.html
  4. http://www.margaretstarbird.net/mary_called_magdalene.html
  5. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

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Blessing the Home.

The Full Blessing Moon

Supermoon Rising

The Full Moon occurs shortly after midnight on 27 Hestia/Jan. 21. For those who have not, as yet, blessed their homes for the coming year, tonight and tomorrow are perfect times to do so!

The annual blessing of the homes is a practice that may also be found in Orthodox Christianity. Each year, during the month of January, our Russian priest, together with other members of the parish, would follow the altar boys into the homes of the each parishioner for the blessing of the home.

What followed was a beautiful, incense-filled ceremony as we chanted ancient prayers back and forth with the priest, witnessing the asperging (sprinkling) of each and every wall with holy water in the name of the Trinity.

The Deanic Christian system of home blessing is as follows:

Have on hand, holy water, blessed holy oil, a good quality incense and either a blessing wand or a fresh evergreen branch that has been found on the ground. (The branch should be returned to the Earth after the ceremony.)

Light home altar or home shrine candles.

Bless yourself with holy water, anoint your forehead with the oil and hold your hands over the incense and say a prayer in your own words before beginning.

Please note that the Sign of the Cross may be traced according to your own Tradition. The most common method amongst Goddess Christians is the trace the equi-distant cross as follows:

Touch forehead and say: in the Name of the Father; touch heart chakra and say: and of the Mother; touch right shoulder and say: and of the Son; touch left shoulder and say: and of the Daughter. Amen.

Those who do not include the Holy Daughter in their Tradition will end by touching the right shoulder while saying: and of; and then the left shoulder while saying: the Son. 

There are other ways to make a Deanic Christian sign of the cross as well, which will be discussed in a future article.

Please feel free to adapt the following ceremony according to your own needs or inclinations. This is a guideline to the most complete form of blessing. Others may prefer a more simplified ceremony.

If there are family/home members present, they may softly chant or sing prayers and/or hymns.

The Blessing Ceremony

Take up the bowl of holy water and either the blessing wand or evergreen branch.

In each and every room, beginning in the East, dip the wand/branch in the holy water and then sprinkle it three times on each wall, each window, each doorway and in each corner all the while saying, each time you sprinkle the three times: this home is blessed in the Name of the Father, and of the Mother, and of the Son and of the Daughter or whatever is the blessing formula for your own Tradition.

Go outside and perform the sprinkling on the outside doors.

Optional: Sprinkle in the four Cardinal Directions over your land.

This ends the Blessing of the House. For those who are so inclined and for whom the smoke of incense is not a problem, the ceremony continues with the consecration of the home.

Return inside and take up the incense, whether in a bowl with charcoal, a swinging censor or a good stick incense, being careful of any sparks, and perform the same ceremony as with the holy water. Take the incense and trace the sign of the cross in the air, in the direction of each wall, corner, window and doorway. (Or, towards each wall for the simpler form.) While doing so, say, this house is consecrated in the Name of the Father, and of the Mother, and of the Son, and of the Holy Daughter. 

Finally, for the long form of the ceremony, dip finger in holy oil and trace the sign of the cross above the outside and the inside of the main doorways of the home while saying, this house is anointed in the Name of the Father, and of the Mother, and of the Son, and of the Holy Daughter. Amen.

Earliest Christian Art Forms Depict Female Clergy.

Posted on goddesschristians@yahoogroups.com and esotericchristians@yahoogroups.com.

While the idea of female clergy in early Christianity comes as no surprise to Goddess, Esoteric and Gnostic Christians, the following discovery is nothing short of stunning.

From the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research http://www.wijngaardsinstitute.com/

Dear Linda

We have selected the following article from our printed newsletter ‘Communion’ for you.

Ally Kateusz PhD (pictured above) is a historian
with a particular interest in the roles of women in early
Christianity, and is Research Associate at the Wijngaards
Institute for Catholic Research

I have been working on several projects this year related to early Christian women clergy, and recently I realized I had missed something important. What I realized is that there does not appear to be any surviving Christian art up to at least the middle of the sixth century that depicts a Christian man at the altar in a real church without a woman also with him. There are, however, two artifacts that depict men and women flanking the altar in parallel, and these are the two very oldest surviving iconographic artifacts to depict people at the altar in a real church.
Both of these artifacts are sculptures usually dated to the decades around 430 CE. One is a large sarcophagus front, which depicts the sanctuary of the second Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, and the other is the Pola ivory reliquary box, which depicts the sanctuary of Old Saint Peter’s in Rome. Both sculptors portrayed a liturgical scene with men and women flanking the altar in parallel, with men on the left and women on the right.

I published my research about these two artifacts in the Spring 2017 Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, which won the March 2018 Feminae article of the month. Not only are these two the very oldest surviving artifacts to depict people at the altar in a real  church, they apparently survived only because they were buried. The ivory reliquary box was buried below an altar in Roman era church near modern Pola, Croatia, and the sarcophagus in a hypogeum adjacent the Theodosian walls in Istanbul. Both were excavated in the twentieth century. From this sample of two we can surmise that other similar artifacts must have existed, but none above ground survived, suggesting that thisgender parallel liturgy may have been censored later.

The idea that the gender parallel liturgy was censored is not far-fetched given the evidence of censorship of early liturgical manuscripts, which was even more pervasive than with literary manuscripts. According to Paul Bradshaw at the beginning of his magisterial The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, almost no liturgical manuscripts, neither Christian nor Jewish, have survived from the first seven centuries CE. Instead, almost all of the oldest liturgical manuscripts date to the early eighth century, and are written on similar writing materials in similar scripts, an apparent attempt to legitimize the liturgical practices of that day by presenting them as from an older tradition.

The biggest revelation for me, however, came during dinner with Miriam Duignan, Wijngaards Institute Communications Director, who asked whether there was evidence in art of women clergy officiating without men. In fact, the very oldest surviving artifact to depict Christians of only one sex at the altar of a real church depicts only women. This scene is on an ivory pyx dated to the 500s, which today is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Most scholars agree it depicts the altar in the rotunda or basilica of the Anastasis Church in Jerusalem, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, although other scholars suggest perhaps some other church in Palestine.

The round shape of the pyx evokes the famous rotunda church, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York titles it “Pyx with the Women at Christ’s Tomb,” suggesting this identification. Other art depicts the two Marys approaching the shrine over Christ’s tomb, which was inside the rotunda.  The pyx, however, does not depict the tomb. It depicts five women in what appears to be a liturgical procession to the altar table, a book set upon it, a lamp hanging above it, and a ciborium with twisted columns and curtains arching over it.The two women closest to the altar carry censers; the three others have raised arms.

A search of the Princeton Index of Christian Art indicates that a church mosaic in Qasr el Lebya that depicts a woman with a censer dated 539–540CE is the very oldest dated representation in art of a Christian with a censer. The ivory pyx, which cannot be dated more closely than the 500s, is the oldest to depict a Christian with a censer at an altar. In addition, it is by far the oldest to depict the liturgy in what was probably the Anastasis in Jerusalem – or for that matter, in any church in  Palestine.

We thus see early Christian artists portraying women in the very oldest surviving art that depicts anyone at the Christian altar. We see women in the liturgy both paralleled with men and without men. We see these women inside the sanctuaries of some of the most important orthodox basilicas in Christendom. To my knowledge these artifacts are older than any surviving art to depict a Christian man alone at an altar in a real church.

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Starting Anew

26 Hestia/Jan. 20

Our new About Page:

Deanic: of Dea, Our Divine Mother God.

Divina Reginae: Our Divine Queen.

The Reginites are a Deanic Christian Order ministering to all Deanic, Goddess, Sophian, Esoteric and Divine Family Christians.

Deanic Christianity, first founded by ArchMadra Pamela Lanides, is a Blended Path which combines an adapted form of the Deanic/Filianic system of worship of Our Divine Mother God alongside the Christian worship of the True Father and His Divine Son. And though we offer our own teachings and thealogy/theology, we are interdenominational.

Jewish devotees have also been known to adapt this system in honor of the Holy Shekinah.

We believe that it is vital for the soul to experience Dea (Our Divine Mother) as being God in Her Own Right and is therefore, important to understand that Her Godhood is not dependent upon the Father. In other words, She is not God because She is the Spouse of the Father, She is God or because that is Her Nature, Her very Being. She has God-Nature just as we have human nature.  She is Eternal. She is Our Divine Mother God.

We do not use the word, goddess in describing Our Divine Mother, because there is a difference between the nature of a goddess and the Nature of God. For this reason, we do not worship or honor Pagan goddesses.

It is very difficult to truly experience Dea as being God in Her Own right without Her Own separate, Feminine/feminine system of worship, otherwise, as time has consistently shown, the Divine Masculine quickly subsumes and overshadows the Divine Feminine. This is especially so after 2,000 years of a Male God-only religion which took over so much of the globe.

From the Deanic/Filianic religion [Mother/Daughter God religion (1)], we learn the importance of using Living Stream Images/Forms for Dea. Living Stream indicates a ‘goddess’ who has had an unbroken lineage of devotion  unto the present day. For those of the Mother God religion (as opposed to Deanic Christianity), these Living Stream Forms/Images include the Hindu Goddesses, Quan Yin, Tara, Amaterasu, and Mother Mary.

Christians have their own Forms/Images for Dea. While Reginites are devoted to Mother/Daughter Sophia as our Image/Form for Dea, other Christians are devoted to Dea as the Mother Spirit; the Holy Mother Spirit; the Heavenly Mother; the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Daughter and Mary Magdalene. These are our Images/Forms for the Divine Feminine. We also honor Eve and Norea as avatars of Holy Sophia. [Please note, we do not accept the mythology of the ‘Fallen’ Sophia, which was a later interpolation of the original Mythos. (A)]

The Deanic/Filianic system of worship was first developed in the 1970’s, by students at Oxford, as a Divine Feminine-only religion. It would later grow into the religious groups known as the Madrians [(of which there were several Orders, now defunct) and the present-day Filianists (1 & 2)].

Having taken inspiration from the study and practice of the Deanic religion for over eight years, ArchMadra Pamela, founder of Deanic Christianity, (beginning with the former Kyrians) and founder of the present-day Janite Order of Priestesses and Sisterhood 3), is pleased to present the Reginites as a teaching Order of Deanic Christianity.

For more information, please contact ArchMadra Pamela at rosewaterlilies@yahoo.com.

This site is currently under construction. Thank you for your patience.

May Our Lady bless you,

Blessed is She.

A) The Wisdom Goddess: Feminie Motifs in Eight Nag Hammadi Documents by Rose Harmon Arthur.

  1. http://www.mother-god.com/
  2. https://filianismorigins.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/filianic-scriptures-origin/
  3. https://deanic.com/

The Seven Virgins/Female Angels and the Tower Part I

19 Hestia/Jan. 13

Deanists believe in the Seven Janati. (1) In Deanic thealogy, the Seven Janati (also known as the Janae), are the Seven Living  Streams of Intelligence which emanate from Dea. We believe that these Living Streams take on (or incarnate as) a rarefied, angelic Form. They are the Sources of the Seven Rivers of Life which are based upon the 21 Virtues.

 (Joseph Stephens, Genesis II).

The word, Janae is plural for Jana, which means gate. (It also means Moon). The Janae or the Janati are the gateways and generators of the 21 Divine Virtues and the Seven Rivers of Life which originate in Dea, Our Divine Mother God.

Janati, comes from the Sanskrit meaning to be born, to produce, to generate. (2) The Seven Janati generate the Seven Streams of Divine Virtue and all which that entails.

These Divine Seven are also the Seven Planetary Powers. They may  be known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom/Sophia, and the Seven Virgins of Wisdom/Sophia.

They may be associated with the Seven Gifts of the Sophia in Her Aspect/Form of the Holy Spirit. And finally, the Seven Spirits around the Throne, as mentioned in Rev., are often associated with the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Surprisingly, Seven Virgins are also to be found in early Christian texts. These Seven are especially associated with a Tower  in both the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth (A)and in the Shepherd of Hermes (B)

Both texts are controversial. The Gospel, because it was originally thought that the text centered around the Hebrew Testament of Joseph of Egypt and his wife, Aseneth. And so some considered it to be a Jewish text. But the Gospel contains clear Christian elements, including a beautiful communion rite. And the story line has little resemblance to the scant information available about Aseneth, wife of Joseph of Egypt.

After an initial debunking attempt, wikipedia admits: ] The book contains a new translation by Tony Burke into English based on the oldest manuscript, the Syriac one, along with the first-ever English translation of the two covering letters that place the text in context. This translation used spectral-imaging technology to “see through” smudges and other marks to ascertain the original underlying text.

And we see as we read the article, the Gospel was a compilation of writings, some with very early dating. And the evidence seems to suggest that it is of early Syriac Christianity.

Over time, the common consensus, even amongst members of the Jewish community, appear to concede that it is an early Christian and not a Jewish text.

Simcha Jacobovici, in his book,the Lost Gospel, (3), presents the case that the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth was purposefully written about Jesus and Mary Magdalene. This is highly debated amongst scholars. His case is compelling and many feel that at the very least, in the Gospel, Joseph and Aseneth may certainly typify Jesus and Mary the Magdalene.

St. Mary Magdalene Icon

l raise this issue because Mary is always associated with a Tower. Magdala, her town of origin, is said to mean Tower Town. Migdal, in Hebrew and Magdala, in Aramaic, means Tower. Magdalene is a title, not a surname. So Her name would mean Mary from Tower Town.

(For a lovely list of some of the symbols of Mary Magdalene, see: https://bookstore.nevskys.com/products/st-mary-magdalene)

However, there may be an additional meaning to Her title. Simcha Jacobovici points out that Tower Town is not the only meaning of the Tower title. In the New Testament, Mary is called Mary the Magdalene, not Mary Magdalene.

Mary the Magdalene literally translates to Mary the Tower. Additionally, tradition has it that she had been a Pagan high priestess of Artemis and extremely wealthy, attributes she has in common with the Aseneth of the Gospel.

In addition to the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth, in the early Christian text, the Shepherd of Hermas, which was considered canonical by some of the early church fathers, include Irenaeus, there are found Seven Virgins/angels associated with a Lady and a Tower. In this case, the Tower is said to represent the Church. So in both early Christian texts, we have Seven Supernatural Virgins/Angels associated with a Tower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shepherd_of_Hermas

Though there was a time when it was suspected that The Shepherd of Hermas was a forged text, recent scholarship has shown that the last three parts were later additions. The rest of the text has been found to be authentic.

An example of the forgery may be found here:

“So, what was the motive of the later forgery to the Shepherd of Hermas?  In the first four visions Hermas encounters a female angel, whom he mistakes for the oracle of the Sibyl.  It is explained that this female angel represents the church.  In the ninth parable, it is explained that the female angel really was not a woman, but rather the Son of God.  This is an obvious gloss.  Whoever added this forged section, had a problem with female teachers in the church.  This actually was an issue of the second century church, and it was suppressed by the male majority.”
There was one other other motive of the forgery which is more subtle: it is to suppress the original Christology of the Shepherd of Hermas.  Whereas the original Hermas is not theologically minded, the forger has some theological ideas and wants to “correct” some of the things that Hermas wrote.  One thing that is obvious is that there is a preponderance of the phrase “Son of God” in this forged section which is absent in the earlier Hermas.” 

http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-shepherd-of-hermas-and-swedenborg.html

(My thanks to ArchMadria Kathi of the Shrine of the Gentle Way for bringing my attention to the Shepherd of Hermas.)

  Aseneth, from Joseph, King of Dreams.

In the Gospel of Joseph and Aseneth, Aseneth is described as the Tower Lady as she resides in the Tower of her home. It holds a beautiful golden-domed and jewel-encrusted chapel to the Pagan gods and goddesses whom she worshiped.

The Seven Virgins (of the Tower), attend the Pagan princess Aseneth, who was a priestess of Artemis. These Seven Virgins were all born on the same day as she.

But in this story, Artemis must leave the Seven Virgins behind, if she is to marry the Divine Joseph, who is Jewish. Jacobovici associates this with the seven daemons (not demons) (4) having been cast out of her.

So, here we have Seven supernatural attendant Virgins who reside in a Tower with a Lady (Aseneth/Mary the Magdalene). Mary the Magdalene is often considered to be the incarnation of Sophia by Goddess Christians.) (5)

In Part II, we shall discuss the Seven Female Angels around the Tower as found in the Shepherd of Hermas, once considered a canonical text.

+++++++

May Our Lady bless you,

Blessed is She.

A. M. Pamela

A) The Lost Gospel, Decoding the Ancient Text by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Gospel-Decoding-Marriage-Magdalene/dp/1605988871

B) The Shepherd of Hermas in an updated language form by Daniel Robinson: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016CD4AA4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

  1. https://deanic.com/the-seven-great-janae/who-are-the-seven-great-janae/

2) http://spokensanskrit.org/index.php?mode=3&script=hk&tran_input=janati&direct=se

3) https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Gospel-Decoding-Marriage-Magdalene/dp/1605988871

4) https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/daemon

(in ancient Greek belief) a divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans.

An inner or attendant spirit or inspiring force.

‘Socrates claimed to have lived his life according to the dictates of his daimon’
5) Goddess Christianity, as founded or co-founded by Rt. Rev. Katia Romanoff in 1999, is the larger umbrella beneath which Deanic Christianity, which holds certain beliefs of its own, resides.)

James and Jewish Christianity

19 Hestia/Jan. 13

I would like to recommend an important book for Deanic Christians. https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Jesus-Lost-Teachings-Christianity/dp/1594770433.

The author of this book is a Lutheran Pastor who holds a PhD. This book is specifically written for lay people and quite honestly, I have hardly been able to put it down.

Mainstream Christianity is largely based upon the teachings of Paul. It has also become known as Pauline Christianity and it’s base was Rome. However, many scholars are of the mind that Pauline Christianity is not the Christianity of Jesus and it was not the Christianity of his brother, James.

It is obvious from the gospels that Jesus was Jewish, thoroughly Jewish. And the first Christians were Jewish. They did not cease to practice their religion after the resurrection, nor did Jesus teach them to stop observing Jewish Law.

We have been taught that Jesus came to found a new church based on the verse, as found in Matt. 16: 18, Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my church. However, many biblical scholars and theologians suspect that this was a later interpolation and was not original to the text.

So, the question could very well be asked: did Jesus come to found a new Church? Did he come here to start a new religion? Or was his a Jewish movement?

With time, Christianity would come to separate itself from Judaism.

There is evidence that the first Bishop/Patriarch (Pope) was James the Just, the brother of Jesus and not Peter. (James the Just is not to be confused with the many other James’ of the bible. James is the Western form of Jacob.) He was the Patriarch of Jerusalem and appeared to hold authority even over Paul, who never met Jesus.

I have always wondered what happened to those first Jewish Christians. Now I have the answer. The Jewish Christianity of Jerusalem was largely destroyed due to the sack of city by the Romans in 70 AD during to the first Jewish revolt. It appears that many Jewish Christians did escape and ended up in the diaspora. And here is one clue found by archaeologists as to where they initially escaped: https://www.rt.com/news/worlds-first-christian-church-found-in-jordan/.

I have to wonder how Christianity would have turned out if this had not happened. If Christianity had remained Jewish-Christian rather than having been taken over by Rome. I have to wonder how the last 2,000 years would have turned out.

Though we might not agree with all of the conclusions of the author, The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity is well worth reading for its research into early Christianity.

A. M. Pamela Lanides

The Brilliant, Part II

11 Hestia/Jan. 5

These messages, Part I and Part II are in response to the current situation within the community.

The Brilliant:

  1. The concept of Dea as being God in Her Own Right and that Her Godhood is not dependent upon the Divine Masculine.
  2. The concept of the Janati as out-flowing from Dea, rendering them as being Emanations of Dea, Herself, and placing them above the angels, who are cosmic beings and yet, clothing the Janati with rarefied angelic forms/bodies. We know there are the Seven Divine Feminine Virgins from various sources including from Sophian sources, and from two pre-Nicene Christian texts (more on this in the next post).
  3. The concept of a unique Divine Feminine scriptures/inspired poetry.
  4. The brilliance of the over-all system of worship.
  5. The 13 month/Five Season calendar.
  6. The majority of the holy days based on the Marian devotional cult and that of Persephone/Demeter.
  7. The idea of the Sacrificial Daughter (here we are not speaking of the Pagan goddess, Inanna). The Sacrificial Daughter is not only found in the mythology of Kore/Persephone, but is also found in regards to Lower Shekinah and Lower Sophia. However, Gnostic Christianity demoted Sophia and Her True Role.
  8. The bringing to Her children of Earth the truth of the relationship between the Mother and the Holy Daughter….in a way that is lacking in all other mythology, including that of Sophia.
  9. The idea of the names of the days of the week and the 13 months, thereby making the Tradition unique unto itself.
  10.  The Five Symbols and their representation of the Divine Feminine Mysteries.
  11. The unique symbolism of the Fora.
  12. The Virtues of the Janati and their importance.
  13. The inclusion certain Gnostic and Greek philosophies regarding Primordial Ideas/Forms, etc., and the inclusion of certain theories from quantum physics and, perhaps unintentionally, the holographic universe theory.
  14. The idea of Living Stream Forms, only.
  15. Calling Her, Dea rather than goddess. Though Dea translates as goddess, Latin has become a sacred language and the word, in its current usage in the community, means Mother God. This has become our intimate way of referring to Her.
  16. Dea in Her Triplicity, whether of Three Forms or Three Persons. (Both are acceptable.) (The core of this thealogy is a bit different than the Triple Goddess of Paganism.)
  17. The concept of Avalon. According to NDE’s and other sources such as psychiatrists who have studied life between lives, we do go to our True Home (Avalon) to rest and study in-between incarnations. As our souls evolve, we continue to rise higher as aware sentient beings until we finally reach the Realm of Perfection (Pleroma).
  18. The idea of assigning Life to the Dark Mother/Absolute Deity/Great Mother; Light to the Celestial Mother and Love to the Holy Daughter.
  19. The perfect system of the Cardinal Directions and Elements of the Divine Feminine and its correspondence to the Five Mysteries, the Five Elements and the Seven Janati. Absolute brilliant perfection.
  20. The beautiful liturgy and the RoS.
  21. The Madrian catechism, with only a few exceptions, is excellent.
  22. Assigning a Divine, Cosmic Function to each Person of the Divine Feminine Trinity.
  23. The teaching that the Holy Daughter is Cosmic as opposed to incarnational and historical. This fits perfectly with Sophian thealogy. It was also the belief about Jesus in certain pre-Nicene, texts and Gnostic circles. A number of scholars are of the opinion that Paul did not know of an historical Jesus, but did know of a Cosmic Jesus. They believed that Jesus would appear to them.  I had also read where there were pre-Christian Jewish sects who believed in a Cosmic Son.
  24. Though not divine, over-all, with certain exceptions, the scriptures or perhaps the Recital is the perfect way to describe this inspiring poetry, are beautiful, unique in the world and they do reach us on a soul level, as if it is the Holy Daughter, speaking to us, Herself. Although, as with everything, it is important to have a proper, clear and honest understanding of their origins. Some of the stories are beautiful, as well, such as the Three Princesses and the Resurrection stories. Many are inspiring and comforting. There are many highly revered writings in this world that are not considered divine. That does not mean that they cannot be considered as being primary texts of a religious Tradition.
  25. The correspondences of the Janati. (ArchMatrona Ghrian helped along these lines, as well.)
  26. Our unique prayers including those composed by ArchMatrona Ghrian, others and those which were composed by myself.
  27. Our evolving Customs and Traditions. Which, we should remember includes the importance of femininity and a dignified and respectful manner of dress.
  28. Our religious terms, names, titles and, what is becoming our own, unique, traditional way of speaking.
  29. The beautiful and entirely unique title of Madria for the Holy Mother and for priestesses.
  30. The use of Filia and Dea Filia.
  31. The uniqueness of the title, Sai, which is a derivative of both saint and Sri, both of which means holy.
  32. The fact that it is a complete system of Divine Feminine worship unto itself which may be used alone or in conjunction with a Divine Masculine religion.
  33. The system of the daily/weekly practice/observance of the 21 Virtues of the Janati, as developed by ArchMatrona Georgia and myself, along with other beauties of the religion that are too numerous to mention.

If the religion is propagated in an honest, clear and ethical manner, it has tremendous potential for the future and it already growing, not only in this community, but also in the Christian community, from which many of its aspects were adopted.

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Like others before me, from the time I first found the religion, I realized its origins and the origins of its scriptures were not divinely revealed, but I found the perfection of the system of worship, along with much of its foundational thealogy, teachings and basic understanding of Dea to be nothing short of Brilliant, Right and True.

As an ordained priestess of Holy Sophia, I found that this would be a perfect system of worship with Her as our Living Stream Form for Dea.

My faith in Dea is certainly not shaken now that the origins have been made clear. Rather, perhaps it is strengthened. I already believed in Her. She is Dea Sophia to me. I was simply using this amazing system of worship to honor Her, in Her Triple Form.

And though we take Dea Sophia’s Names from Gnosticism, She is not the Gnostic Sophia, per se. She is not limited to any one religion or to any one idea of Her. Like the True Father, She is Universal, for all Her children of the Earth, and each religious expression is but the cultural lens through which She is seen and understood.

For those of us who have fallen in love with the religion and its system of worship, we need not throw the baby out with the bath water. We may reject that which we know is false and truly appreciate that which is true and beautiful.

The Founders may have made some mistakes, but that is nothing new in the field of thealogy and religion, nor in any other field. But what they did create and accomplish was nothing short of Brilliant and desperately needed in our times. As one of our sorellas recently mentioned, the religion and its sacred writings are unique in the world. There is nothing else like it.

Brave pioneers have introduced the concept of the Goddess and the Quarternity. Bishop Katia Romanoff began her Mystery Schools and Goddess Christian ministry and church back in the late 1990’s. That, too, has greatly evolved. Her many, many students have gone on to become Goddess Christian priests and ministers. Her thousands of Goddess Christian devotees found a home with her teachings.

More and more, I am hearing of Christian churches and parishes speak of the Quarternity, a term that Bishop Katia coined for the True YHVH, Mother, Father, Daughter and Son, through Her Mystery school, many years ago.

It is people of courage like Bishop Katia, who, at a time when the Goddess of Christianity was unheard-of and considered entirely heretical, brought forth the true origins of Christianity into the 21st century. This was an early Christianity where women participated equally, fully and side by side with men in clerical and ekklesiastical duties. And more evidence continually surfaces that this was, indeed, the case. Especially at the Temple on the Island of Elephantine where some scholars believe that Jesus was trained.

I believe that the Brilliance of this system of worship lends itself to three possible ways of practice, as I have taught from the beginning:

As a complete religion in and of itself.

As the Mother God system of worship to be practiced side by side with the Divine Masculine mainstream worship.

As the Mother God system of worship for those who believe in the Divine Masculine, but who are primarily devoted to Dea and to Her service.

I would rather build on truth, clarity and transparency than on wishful or fanciful thinking. A religion is stronger when it is presented in a true, clear and honest manner. Truth is a strong foundation that cannot crumble.

I will read the Recital with new eyes, grateful for the truth that we have long sought. I think the new transparency and honesty will help me to have a renewed respect for the beauty and depth of the verses, while feeling free to reject that which I do not believe is true.

I will continue to move forward on my own unique Soul Path.

One which focuses on serving Dea Sophia through this system of worship.

One which believes in the True Father and the Divine Son.

One which understands the Absolute to be the Supreme Divine Feminine from Whom emanates the Celestial Mother and the True Father. (Although the Absolute might also be considered to be genderless by some Goddess Christians.)

One which believes the Holy Daughter, Zoe Sophia (aka Jana Sophia), emanates from the Celestial Mother and that I may see Sophia, not just through various Christian ideas of Her, but also through Deanic eyes.

And one which includes sensing Dea Filia, the Immanence of the Holy Daughter, through Nature.

And where the Janites are doing great with the loving leadership of Prima Madria Sophia, I will focus my ministry on Deanic Christians and those who also believe in the Divine Masculine.

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A. M. Pamela Lanides

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Truth and Transparency are the only way forward.