I am no longer a De’anic.

I have just read the official policy statement regarding the change of direction of the Janite Clan by its leader Arch Madrian Chandra Sophia. The Janite Clan now embraces the full theological position of the Feminine Essentualist wing of the independent Deanic movement. Ironically the male leadership of the Feminine Essentualist circle of Race Mochridhe ironically achieved its theological victory at the cost of its own dis-empowerment. I can not describe how appalled I am with the new Janite submission to the old Madrian / Daughter ideology. I now “understand” that the Deanic scriptures no longer apply to such as myself and that people of my sex have only limited, lessor roles to play.

I have for quite some time been thinking that I am as a fish out of water within the De’anic movement and have thought greatly about disaffiliating myself from it. Well the time for this disaffiliation is now. I am no longer regard myself as a member of the Deanic faith! The only question for me at this time is whether the Scriptures and the religious intellectual culture of the faith has any future role to play in my life or do I ignore it and go in a completely different direction. The link to the recent Janite policy statement is https://deanic.com/2017/05/26/an-humble-admission/

Glenn King

Femininity and Toxic Masculinity?

One of the problems I have in writing is that I am always tempted to write long and detailed explanations of my points of view. In doing this I often seek to re-enforce my positions with historical and theological analysis well beyond the toleration levels of most persons. The problem is that by succumbing to these temptations, my productively is greatly decreased, and furthermore I find that most persons simply are not that interested in either history or in my theological pondering. Thus within this post and hopefully in others I am going to attempt to keep my writings as short and sharp as possible and see what happens.

One of the preoccupations I have noticed within the broad Deanic community has been a preoccupation with the meaning of femininity. This is natural of course because Deanism has a matriarchal theology of God as Mother, Lady and Queen. But central aspects of the religion also center on the role of femininity in human lives as well. Again this is natural because most members of the religion are women and only a very few men have ever been involved.

Much of this interest in femininity lays in the traditional interest of many women in issues of fashion, dress and modesty and other aspects of the physical imagery of womanhood. These interests have of course been mainstream for women within most civilizations. However the interest in femininity also seems to be increasingly entering the area of Deanic theology particularly within the De’anic tumblrsphere. The “Femininity” which is discussed there seems to be not just the natural self assertion of persons who are female but it hearkens back to the theologies of the early Madrian community and to the Aristasian community which now refer to itself as the present day Daughters of Shining Harmony DoSH. These three consecutive communities have always seen femininity as being a central theological category tied intimately to the theological vision of Dea as God the Mother. These communities each holding a utopian, matriarchal, theocratic vision of a society dedicated to Dea have always assumed that normative human societies should be ruled by the Mothers, by Women. Men always within these communities were seen as having only a subordinate role within society under the authority of their wives and under the power of women generally. In fact the conception of society of the three communities has in general been the exact reverse of the Christian household codes supposedly derived from St Paul in which he exhorts wives, children and slaves to be submissive respectively to their husbands parents, and masters. But within the matriarchal community the roles are reversed with women and wives at the top of the hierarchies. It is also a reflection of Paul’s statement in first Corinthians that Man is made in the image of God while Woman is made in the image of Man. Again within the Madrian vision this hierarchy is turned upside down.

This hierarchical ordering of society is based on the following principles which have been restated and formulated in differing ways by each of the three communities. God = The Spirit = The Feminine = the Woman / Maid. On the other hand Man / the Masculine = matter and manifestation which has the proper role of submission to the Spirit. Not only is Masculinity as being derived from inferior matter / manifestation to be submissive to the Spirit, it is seen as being a decline from the Spirit. It is ontologically less. Thus Woman / Maid is as Spirit to Man / Matter. Man is as matter to Spirit. Thus he should be obedient and submissive to Woman / Spirit. This is official doctrine within the community of the Daughters of Shining harmony DoSH and is believed within Feminine Essentialist circles which in general accept DoSh doctrines as authoritative. BTY the Janite Clan on the other hand rejects doctrines of official male submission as it rejects many other of the doctrines of the three communities.

Now I have been an active member of the Independent Deanic tradition since 2012 and have been aware of Aristasian matriarchal thought from the beginning. But since the independent Deanic community in general has rejected many of these conceptions in general I have not been overly concerned by them. However recently several new persons have been entering the independent De’anic community and some seem to be drawn to the newly developing Feminine Essentialist tendency which in general accepts the theological positions of the old Madrians and the DoSh as authoritative. Thus I have recently been hearing about an idea called “toxic masculinity” which as it is formulated has negative consequences for men which wish to be fully a part of the movement without having a sense of shame in his own masculinity. As for myself I have had enough disappointments and failures in life without adding this one on as well.

The concept of “toxic masculinity” as I have heard it used is that when men do evil or simply misbehave in the world it is generally caused by their masculinity becoming unbalanced, gone bad, gone toxic. Thus warfare, all forms of male violence, anger fury, the abuse and oppression of others are examples of toxic masculinity. The reverse of this concept would seem to be a positive masculinity. Thus when men behave with patience, with humility, with bravery and protectiveness, behave as good fathers then logically they would be expressing a positive masculinity. However is not what I have heard. The one person who seems to have coined the term “toxic masculinity” has declared that when men behave positively they are in fact behaving femininely under the assumption that all forms of virtuous behavior are de facto feminine. According to another member of the Feminine Essentialist tendency masculinity itself should only be defined as such when it is toxic. Thus all of the types of behavior which the Christian prophet St. Paul described as being the fruit of the spirit: patience, long suffering, humility, truthfulness and love are in fact feminine virtues. Thus when males in fact behavior morally righteously they are in fact expressing their femininity and not the potential of their masculinity.

At this point I could of course go into all of the historical and theological background assumptions behind these positions. I ready do not want to bother about that in this post. I simply want to simply express my reaction to these kinds of thoughts. I have always rejected them and I have instead always embraced the egalitarian visions formulated effectively by the 18th Century European Enlightenment. It was as a teenager within the Protestant fundamentalist Church of Christ, that I first became aware of the patriarchal household codes of the New Testament which dictated that wives and slaves should respectively obey their husbands, and masters, as the Church should obey Christ. Those doctrines did not make sense to me and I rejected them as both repugnant and as unworthy of a loving God. Now I hear within certain Independent Deanic circles the same essential doctrines with of course the power relationships reversed. And I am supposed to believe this doctrine? I am an old man of 66 years of age now and I am supposed to now believe that my maleness is toxic and ultimately makes me a second class member of the Deanic community? I do not think so.

Now my articles in fact are seldom read. It is entirely possible that few of any of the parties involved in this discussion will in fact read this post. But some may and object that what they have been saying is in no way meant to enslave men. They may argue that men can be obedient contemplatives of Thea and that some men are in fact much more spiritually atoned then are many women in spite of their spiritually disadvantaged status of being born as men in this world. Well what can I say to this? I still reject the whole theology behind this worldview. Now I suspect that as a result of my modern worldview conditioned in many ways by socialist egalitarianism and modern ideals of scholarship a world view demonized as materialistic by early Madrians, I am not viewed as being a particularly spiritual person. Well so be it. I have my own problems with those who believe and talk about love, sweetness and such, but who proclaim that the proper role of the vast majority of humankind is to be bonded / enslaved by a so-called Aristocratic few who are considered to be their natural superiors. That is the ultimate consequence of anti-egalitarian thought.

P.S Within this post I have hardly said everything I have to say on this topic. But the post is too long as it is already. I will say more in latter posts.

Glenn King

Setting the Madrian Record Straight

The origin of the De’anic traditions to say the least is very controversial [not with most of the world which still generally know that we exist] but within the various groups found within the religious tradition itself. Some of these controversies include the nature of Madrian origins, the authorship of the De’anic scriptures, the nature of some of the legendary materials found within the The Coming Age (TCA) the magazine which was the official voice of Madrianism from 1975 to 1982, and the origins of the names of the Janya.

Certainly I am interested in these issues and have been studying them lately. Another writer who is clearly interested in them is ArchMadria Pamela Lanides who leads the Janite community of De’ani. She has recently posted a very good article that deals with many of these issues within her Di-Jana blog. The following is a reblog of her article.

Di-Jana

13 Maia/April 30

Sunnadi/Sunday

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O, Madria Theia, Jana of Illumination, Joy and Benevolence, be with us.

May the Pure Stream of Your Virtues flow within me, in this world and in all the worlds to come. Blessed are You.

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Please note:

There is a new page under our Calendars menu which gives a brief explanation of our major feast days. Eastre has been restored to its original date and Adoria has been moved to the Filianic date.

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Setting the Record Straight

By this title, I do not mean to sound presumptuous. It is merely an attempt to be forthright and honest about our origins.

As more and more people are beginning to show interest in our religion, it is very important that our Faith be represented as honestly, forthrightly and accurately as possible. This means that we must discard certain misleading claims that may have been made…

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Ama-ar-gi: the Return to the Mother

I have blogged fairly regularly for almost a decade. My early bloggings were focused primarily on issues concerning both my own personal religious and political views. However as a result of my frustration with the general political situation, I stopped blogging on political issues in 2013 focusing primarily on my own religious views. Many of these centered on issues related to my own personal allegiance to De’anism, a religion of God the Mother initially developed in the early 1970s. Note. While De’anism in its modern form goes back only to the 1970’s, most De’ani believe that its principles go back to the time of human origins.

However over the past few years I have increasingly been realizing the degree in which my own personal theology and practice of De’anism seems to be diverging from the dominant tendencies within the faith. As a result of this perception, I have struggled within my primary blog Devotion to the High Queen of Heaven over recent years to find my own voice within the movement, unfortunately with little success.

The establishment of this blog Ama-ar-gi: the Return to the Mother represents my most recent effort to find my own independent voice within the religion of Dea. Hopefully from this blog I will be able to articulate my own ideas without thinking that I have to explain why they are not those of the Deanic mainstreams. Hopefully, I will also be able to discuss theological perspectives of particular interest to me which may come out of religious traditions not tied directly to De’anism. For example I have been greatly influenced through out my life by those Biblical traditions which suggest that God’s justice supports the liberation of the poor, powerless and oppressed people of all human societies. The Biblical prophets’ envisioning of a messianic age and Jesus’ proclamation of a coming kingdom of God each were visions of a world of justice for all human beings, a world in which oppression and injustice do not rule.

My interests, however, are not limited to the Abrahamic faiths. I have always had a strong interest in other religious traditions among the most important of which are the the Hindu theologies of the Mahadevi, the Great Goddess, who is the Mother and Creatress of the universe. I hope to be able to discuss subjects such as these here.

Now to the title of this blog Ama-ar-gi: the Return to the Mother. The title phrase of this blog Ama-ar-gi literally meant within the language of the ancient Sumeria of Mesopotamia “the return to the mother.” Ama-ar-gi was also title or slogan for a group of social economic reforms promoted within the city state of Lagash by its king Urukagina. The purpose of these reforms were to bring a condition of greater justice to the poor and other powerless people, by cancelling out their debts and releasing them from other oppressive economic structures. Thus the Ama-ar-gi or Amagi also meant simply ether freedom, liberation or emancipation.

Within the the heading of this blog I refer to a Maatian De’anism as being my own understanding of De’anism. The word “ma’at’ within the ancient Egyptian language is commonly translated in English as truth, order, justice, righteousness and law, etc. On reading the literature often referred to a being “declarations of virtues” which were brief autobiographical statements inscribed on the tombs of the ancient Egyptian nobility, one finds statements regularly that this noble or that ‘did ma’at that he or she aided the widow and orphan, feed the hungry, clothed the naked, or aided the poor.’ That person did not oppress, abuse, or murder others. A humane sense of justice is the social norm. Of course many of these persons may have in fact have violated all of these ideals. But the important fact is that ma’at was central to the self understanding of Egyptian civilization, and the primary goal at least in theory of all Egyptians from the king to the peasant was to do and speak ma’at though out their lives. In fact they would be judged after death by whether they had in fact lived by ma’at.

Other peoples of the ancient world had much the same values. One of these people were the Israelite people whose law codes and the ideals of its prophets supported justice for the poor and concern for the amelioration of the condition of the orphan and the widow, ideals are almost identical to those of ma’at held by the ancient Egyptians. Another aspect of the ideal of ma’at is that it was personified by the Egyptian goddess of the same name Ma’at who spiritially embodied these structures of cosmic and human behavior. The Janya Ma’at within the angelotheism of Deanism is the equivalent of Thame the Aristasian Janya of truth, order and, yes, justice as well. This is the reason from this point on I will be referring to my own articulation of Deanism as being a Ma’atic form of the religion. I have said enough for now.