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I hope everyone had a happy Feast of Divine Life/Cuivanya/Mabon/Autumnal Equinox this past weekend! While most Filyanis celebrated the Feast of Divine Life on the 21st of September, I held my celebration yesterday on the 22nd due to work schedule conflicts. Today I will be discussing my thoughts of the Feast of Divine Life, its personal meaning and significance for me, and how I celebrated it.
The Feast of Divine Life is a celebration of both life and death simultaneously in the Filianic tradition. As a harvest festival, the symbol of this holiday is the sickle or scythe, and its spiritual significance is explained in the passage below from the Chapel of Our Mother God:
“The central symbol of Cuivanya (Feast of Divine Life), the autumnal equinox Harvest Festival, is the scythe or sickle. This is a symbol that represents both life and death. It symbolizes the harvest and the abundance of the earth, the coming to fruition of all the good things that have been planted and tended, both materially and spiritually. At the same time it represents cutting-down and death. The death of the individual, and ultimately the death of the cosmos itself, when all creation is in-breathed back into Absolute Deity, the Dark Mother who out-breathed the cosmos in the beginning.”
The Feast of Divine Life is also a time of year that we can give thanks to Our Mother for the food we have on our tables. However, unlike many modern ideas focusing solely on the materialistic meaning behind a harvest festival, Filyanis see the harvest as a physical reflection of a higher spiritual order. As also stated on the Chapel of Our Mother God:
“Again, the idea of a Harvest Festival is often seen by modern people in purely materialistic terms. It is seen as “primitive” people, dependent on agriculture, giving thanks for their material survival and for the harvest that will permit them to eat. They then (so the “evolutionist” narrative imagines) invent “gods” (or for the first many millennia “goddesses”) as a sort of imaginary addendum to the physical realities of life. In fact the reverse is true. Our honored Ancestresses lived far closer to the Spirit than we do. Everything they did was spiritual first and physical second. The transition to agriculture was fundamentally a spiritual phenomenon. It was a part of the increasing materialization of maid: her becoming more and more a creature living on the physical plane.”
On a microcosmic, personal level, during this past year I parted ways with my old life in favour of a better one. I still struggle with following my inner true self over my false self, but I have come to at least the awareness of having a true and false self and can therefore correct myself when I find that I am gravitating toward the false and away from the true. In this way, I ended a period of many years in my life of blindly following my passions without any regard for their fundamental truths (or in most cases, lack thereof). With every ending comes a new beginning, and this is true on a personal as well as universal level. I feel that the Feast of Divine Life is a time of endings as well as new beginnings.
I celebrated the Feast of Divine Life yesterday by reconsecrating my altar and imagery of Dea, as I had felt a lack of spiritual energy around my altar in recent days and wanted to rededicate myself to Her. I then made a batch of honey cakes (which turned into a disaster when the batter rose and overflowed the muffin tins onto the bottom of the oven, where it burned and charred), apple fritters, and a dish of sauteed chicken, assorted vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, etc.), and rice. Below I have included the recipe I used for the apple fritters. This recipe can also be done with pears, which were also ripe in my area this time of year.
-1 egg, beaten
-1/2 cup milk
-2 tsp. sugar
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup self-rising flour
-3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced horizontally, about 1/4-inch thick
-oil for frying
-powdered sugar, optional
Combine in bowl the beaten egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and sour cream. Mix well and add flour. Dip apples in batter and carefully place in hot oil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove fritters and drain. May sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm.
I also performed the Rite of Sacrifice and prayed the Filianic Rosary, as is customary on Holy Days. I ended my celebrations by asking Dea for spiritual direction through a Celtic cross tarot divination done with the question of my spiritual progression over the course of the next quarter (til Nativity and the beginning of winter). Below I have included some ideas if you want to start planning for next year’s festival!
Ideas for Celebrating the Feast of Divine Life
-Prepare a feast! Traditional foods include apples, cider, and seed cake. Fruits and vegetables that have ripened at this time of year are also appropriate. Don’t forget to thank Dea for the food on your table and all the many blessings She has given you!
-Decorate your shrine with the fruits of the season, especially apples, as they represent the golden apples of Avala! A brief summary of he symbolic significance of the apple and Avala is given below:
Avala is the Earthly Paradise, for although beyond this physical world, it is still below the level of pure Spirit as the resting place for spiritually awakened but still imperfect souls. The Tree of Life, at its centre, bears the golden apples of life eternal. The word “paradise” comes from a root-word meaning “orchard”. Avala and Elysium both mean “apple-land”. In many traditions, from the Sumerian and Greek to the Aztec, this paradise has been pictured as a mountain-top orchard which, in all earlier and most later accounts, belongs to a “goddess”. Thus the Sacred Mountain is Her mountain; the golden apples Her apples, for Hers is the gift of eternal life.
-Perform the Rite of Sacrifice
-Pray the Filianic Rosary
-Read passages from the Filianic Scriptures. The scripture passage for the Feast of Divine Life is found in The Crystal Tablet, Verses 12-29, as given below from the Lux Madrian version:
12. Life is the life of the spirit-the first principle; beyond being and unbeing. Life was before existence. Life is the cause of existence. 13. How shall the soul live in Life? 14. Let her realise the truth of herself and the Truth of the Absolute. Let her know that her life is beyond even her existence, that the Absolute Life, the Life of the Goddess, is beyond all existence. 15. Let her not be held from herself or her Goddess by anything that exists, for all the things that are have come from nothing and to nothing shall return. But the Divine Life, and her life within it, Was ever and ever shall Be, though time itself shall only last a space. 16. Let her not trust the ground her feet are set upon and doubt the Ground upon which that ground stands. Rather, let her doubt the sea, the sky, the fingers of her hand, and the breath of her mouth; for all these things may be illusions, as in some sense they are. 17. But let her know Life Divine as the Truth beyond truth and the Faith beyond faith and doubt. 18. Life is pure force, or energy, or delight. It is the joy of the Goddess, and Her breath and Spirit. 19. Light is the outpouring of Life into existence. All things that exist come from Life; they are made and sustained by Light. 20. Though an existing thing appear never so solid, yet its body is made of light. All material things are but consolidated force; and the vibration of force is the whole of their being. 21. Yet material things are far from the Source of Light. They have become subject to consolidation and restriction. 22. Pure light knows no bounds, but is perfect joy, and breathes its own perfection. 23. How shall the soul approach to Light? 24. Let her make her every act a resplendent creation, and let every outpouring of her energy be a well-made gift for her Lady. Let her not fall into dullness, but be ever creating herself anew in the delight of her energy. 25. Let her not seek for reward, but only for her own perfection; thus shall the action itself become perfect. Let her turn from the transient and find delight in the Eternal. 26. For every earthly action is the shadow of some higher form; and the soul must choose whether in her act she shall approach that form, or sink from it into deeper shadows and the morass of illusion. 27. She who rejects the light of the Spirit in this world shall, beyond death, be plunged into darkness and the confusion of bodiless echoes. 28. But every act that is performed in dedication to the Mother is an expression of the soul’s true self, and loosens the chains of her bondage. 29. If the soul live in Light, no thing shall be impossible to her, for her will shall become one with the will of our Lady.
You can also add other passages to read as well, if you feel called to do so.