While Filyanis of today differ in many ways from the original Madrians who first brought Our Faith to the modern world, and I certainly disagree very strongly with several of the points made in this Catechism, I believe it is important to at least know of the history of Filianism and how our ideas have evolved over time.
The following is an excerpt taken from the now out-of-print book “The Sacred Myths and Rites of the Madrians”. I am ever grateful to my dear friend Matrona Pamela for sending me my own personal copy of this invaluable book of the Madrians and their beliefs, as it was already out of print when I first started learning about Filianism. I have faithfully transcribed this Catechism word for word as it originally appeared in the Madrian Catechism and hope that it is a help to those who are interested in learning more about the beliefs of our foremothers in Faith.
THE CATECHISM OF THE CHILDREN OF THE GODDESS
I. THE ORIGIN OF THE SOUL
1. From whence do you come and where is your first origin?
I was created from before the beginning of time by the Goddess out of the overflowing of Her divine love.
2. What manner of creature are you?
I am the reflection of a fragment of Her eternal Spirit.
3. What have been your actions since the beginning of time?
I have passed through many states of existence and many forms of life (although I can remember but a little).
4. How came you upon this wheel of countless existences?
In the beginning, my soul turned from the love of the Goddess and so fell into exile from her natural state.
5. What is the natural state of your soul?
The natural state of my soul is Perfect Union with the Goddess, which is the state of pure delight.
6. What is the first cause of existence?
The Goddess is the first cause of existence, for She created the manifest universe.
7. What is the Goddess?
The Goddess is the one Spirit of the universe, complete in Herself, uncreated, and infinite in potency, perception and perfection.
8. What is the Mystery of the Divine Trinity?
That there is only one Goddess, yet She is three Persons.
9. What is a Mystery?
A Mystery is a truth beyond the grasp of reason which the Goddess has nonetheless revealed to us.
10. Who are the three Persons of the Trinity?
Our Celestial Mother, Her Divine Daughter, and the Dark Mother who is Absolute Deity.
11. Who is our Celestial Mother?
The Mother is the Creator of the world and the Ground of all being.
12. What is Her Nature?
She is pure Life, pure Light, and pure energy.
13. What are Her Acts?
All life, all action, and all thought flor from Her.
14. Who is Her Daughter?
Her Daughter is Princess of the World, Priestess of the World, and Queen of Heaven.
15. What is Her Nature?
She is pure love.
16. What are Her Acts?
As Princess of the World, She governs all the cycles of life and nature; as Priestess of the World, She gives us Communion with Her Mother; as Queen of Heaven, she shall bring us at last to the Celestial Throne.
17. Who is the Dark Mother?
She is Absolute Deity, Who existed before the beginning of existence and is beyond being and unbeing.
18. What is Her Nature?
She is outside space and time; She is all that is and all that is not.
19. What are Her Acts?
The exhalation of Her breath or Spirit is our Mother, the Creator of the world. Of Her other Acts, our minds cannot conceive.
20. Does Trinity last only for the period of manifest creation?
No, Trinity is the eternal Nature of Deity.
The Nature of Deity
21. Had the Goddess any beginning?
The Goddess had no beginning and will have no end.
22. When did the Goddess create the world?
She creates it now and in every moment; if She ceased to create it, it would cease to exist.
23. Where is the Goddess?
She is in every place at all times.
24. What is the name of the Goddess?
She has been given many names by many different peoples.
25. Yet are there many Goddesses?
No, there is only one Goddess.
26. Are there other deities?
There are no other Deities.
27. Who are those others that some worship as Deities?
Some are Geniae and creatures of the higher spheres; others are keres or mere creatures of illusion (see Note)
28. Could the Goddess have a special relationship with one or more of these higher creatures?
She could have no special relationship.
29. What is the reason of this?
Firstly, She alone is uncreated; all other beings are of Her creation, therefore none can exist on Her own level. Secondly, the highest relationship between creature and Deity is that of Perfect Union; this is the final aim of every soul, and no special relationship can be higher than this.
30. What are the powers of the Goddess?
The powers of the Goddess are infinite; no thing is impossible to Her.
31. What is the knowledge of the Goddess?
The knowledge of the Goddess is infinte; she know all that is, all that has been, and all that is to come.
III. GOOD AND EVIL
32. What is a moral decision?
A moral decision is a decision between good and evil.
33. What is Absolute Good?
The Goddess is Absolute Good.
34. What is relative good?
Relative good is a state of moving closer to the Goddess.
35. What is relative evil?
Relative evil is a state of moving further from the Goddess.
36. What is absolute evil?
Absolute evil is the complete absence of the Goddess.
37. Can absolute evil exist?
Absolute evil cannot exist, for the Goddess is the essence of existence; therefore a thing comepletley without Her would have no existence.
38. What is the highest good of all creatures?
The highest good of all creatures is Perfect Union with the Goddess.
39. When we speak of moving closer to the Goddess, do we speak of the material plane or of the spiritual pkane?
Of the spiritual plane.
40. What do you mean by moving closer to the Goddess on the spiritual plane?
I mean that I become more like my true self and more in harmony with Her.
41. What do you mean by moving further from the Goddess on the spiritual plane?
I mean that I become more unlike my true self and more out of harmony with Her.
42. What is your true self?
My true self is the perfect expression of a facet of Deity.
43. What is the general nature of your true self?
My true self is a creature of infinite beauty, existing in a state of perfect happiness and complete harmony with the Goddess, and subject to no limitations of any kind.
44. What is the particular name of your true self?
Every facet of Deity is utterly unique, so also are the creatures which express them.
Imperfect Existence: matter and limitation
45. What was your first moral action?
My first moral action was to turn from the Goddess at the beginning of time.
46. Was this act good or evil?
It was the primal act of evil.
47. Did you alone perform this act?
Many creatures performed it.
48. What was the nature of things before this act?
Before this act all things were Perfect Forms or Divine Ideas.
49. What was the nature of all things after this act?
After this act all things became matter that they might have existence apart from the Goddess.
50. What is matter?
All things below the level of pure spirit are material.
51. Is matter purely physical?
No, matter is both physical and non-physical
52. Is matter evil?
Insofar as matter reflects Divine Ideas it is good; insofar as it is but a broken and imperfect reflection of them, it is evil.
53. What are the three chief parts of the material or non-spirital existence which affect us in this world?
The physical, the emotional, and the mental.
54. What is the characteristic of imperfect existence which is absent from perfect existence?
55. What is limitation?
Limitation is the inability of the soul to accomplish her will (on the lowest planes it is the manifest of the scarcity of material resources); it is the source of suffering and of all other evils.
56. What is the source of the evil of limitation?
Separation from the Goddess is the source of limitation, for the Goddess is unlimited and so also are all souls in harmony with Her.
The Foundations of Good Action
57. Since your first moral act, have you committed others?
Almost every act committed since that time has had a moral character.
58. What is the moral character of a material act?
It is its spiritual quality of good or evil.
59. How is that determined?
It is determined bu whether the act is in accordance with the three Primary Virtues.
60. What are the Three Primary Virtues?
They are Life, or Wholeness; Light, or Energy; and Love, or Harmony.
61. Where can we learn of these virtues?
In the book called the Crystal Tablet.
62. What are the five Rules of Life by which we may achieve these virtues?
1. To love the Goddess.
2. To love all Her Creatures.
3. To love my true self.
4. To seek to make my every act a perfect gift to Her, and to offer to Her all my happiness and all my suffering.
5. To seek to bring all souls closer to Her.
IV. THE QUEST OF THE SOUL
63. Have you lived before this life?
I have lived before.
64. How long have you lived?
I have lived since the beginning of time.
65. Of this, how much can you remember?
I can rememer only a little.
66. How long shall you live?
I shall live forever.
67. What will happen when you die?
If I have lived as a good Madrian, I shall go after death into the paradise of the Daughter, called Avala, to rest in happiness.
68. Shall you then inhabit a body?
No, I shall be all soul.
69. What is a soul?
Soul is the spiritual creature which is the real ‘I‘.
70. Are souls both female and male?
No, all spiritual creatures are female, for maleness is a thing of the material world.
71. Do male creatures have souls?
Yes, male creatures have female souls.
72. Shall all creatures become pure soul after death?
No, those who in life have rejected the spiritual shall retain strong emotional and manetal materiality.
73. Shall they keep their material bodies?
No, and having lost them, they shall flounder in darkness and confusion.
74. Shall this state last forever?
No, eventually they shall continue on their journey; either furhter from the Mother, or else turning again to Her.
75. Shall any soul be lost forever?
No, in the fullness of time, every soul shall realise the full horror of evil and shall turn to the Good.
76. Shall you remain forever in Avala?
No, eventually I shall continue my journey toward the Mother.
77. Can your soul approach directly to the Mother?
78. Why is this?
Because, having turned from Her at the beginning of time, I am not absolutley good. Therefore my soul cannot exist in Her presence.
79. In what way then can you approach Deity?
I can approach Her Daughter.
80. How is this so?
Because seeing the plight of humanity, She has severed Herself from Her Mother in order that we may come to Her.
81. By what means did She do this?
By her descent into the under world and Her Death.
82. Did She rise from that death?
Yes, and as She rose, so shall we rise, that we may come to the Mother.
83. And shall the Daughter guide you on your way from Avala?
She is always guiding the soul that turns to Her.
V. EKKLESIA MADRIANA
84. What is Ekklesia?
Ekklesia is the body of all souls who are in communion with the Goddess.
85. Is Ekklesia of this world only?
No, Ekklesia exists on every plane of being.
86. Does Ekklesia include only human souls?
No, Ekklesia includes heras, Geniae, and other souls, both incarnate and disincarnate.
87. What are the three ways by which a human soul may enter Ekklesia?
By Charisma, by Initiation, and by Offering.
88. What is the Charismatic entry?
Charismatic entry occurs when a soul, through her devotion, is received by the Goddess without any earthly Sacrament.
89. What is Initiation?
Initiation is the Sacrament by which Ekklesia receives a mature person.
90. What takes place at this Sacrament?
The initiate dies to the world of matter and is reborn into Ekklesia.
91. What is Offering?
Offering is the tirual by which an infant is offered to the Goddess and is received into the Ekklesia.
92. Is Offering sufficient for a whole lifetime?
No, the child should later receive her own Initiation.
93. What is the reason for Offering?
It allows the child to enjoy the spiritual benefits of being a member of Ekklesia, helps her to draw closer to the Goddess, and makes her a member of Her earthly family from the beginning.
94. What is a Sacrament?
A Sacrament is an act which takes place at once on earth and in the Pleroma.
95. What is the Pleroma?
The Pleroma is the realm of pure Being where alone an action can attain complete reality.
96. What is Communion?
Communion is the Sacrament through which initiates of Ekklesia nourish their souls by union with the Goddess.
97. How often should a Madrian initiate take Communion?
If possible, a Madrian initiate should take Communion regularly. She must take Communion at least on each Major Festival unless prevented by extreme dificulty.
98. Who can celebrate Communion?
Only a priestess can celebrate Communion.
99. What is a priestess?
A priestess is a maid chosen by the Goddess to serve Her earthly children.
100. How does a maid become a priestess?
Either by Charisma or Initiation.
101. Is the Initation of a priestess a Sacrament?
The initiation of a priestess is a Sacrament.
102. What are the two duties of a priestess?
1. To transmit the Power of the Goddess through the Sacraments and other rituals.
2. To have care of the souls of Her children in devotional and other matters.
103. What is the Sacrifice?
The Sacrifice is an act of devotion to the Goddess.
104. Is the Sacrifice a Sacrament?
The Sacrifice is not a Sacrament.
105. How often must a Madrian initiate make Sacrifice?
A Madrian initiate must make Sacrifice or take Communion at least on every nature Rite unless prevented by extreme difficulty.
The Cult Domestic
106. What is the Cult Domestic?
The Cult Domestic is the whole religious life of a Madrian household centering upon a regular domestic Sacrifice.
107. Who shall celebrate the Sacrifice?
The spiritual head of household shall celebrate the Sacrifice.
108. Who is the spiritual head of the household?
Either the mother, or else the temporal matriarch, or any other maid who has made a solemn undertaking to act as spiritual head of her household.
109. Who shall celebrate if she is absent?
Either her eldest daughter, or any other maid whom she has chosen to act as her surrogate.
110. What is a Madrian household?
A Madrian household is any group of Madrians who live together and all who are dear to them.
111. Should the Cult Domestic replace the Communion of Ekklesia?
The Cult Domestic should never replace the Communion of Ekklesia unless there is no practising priestess in the area.
112. How shall you preserve the spiritual health of your soul?
By rejecting the false materialistic values of the world, and seeking to live in gentless, generosity, and innocence.
113. How should you ammend the faults of your soul?
By pentitence and true devotion.
114. What is prayer?
Prayer is a personal communication with the Goddess.
115. What is the importance of prayer?
Prayer is the breath of my spiritual life.
116. When should you pray?
I should pray frequently, but at least each morning and each night.
117. What is morning prayer?
Morning prayer is an offering of the day’s events to the Goddess and asking of Her blessing upon them.
118. What is night prayer?
Night prayer is a return to full contemplation of the Goddess at the end of the day.
119. Should prayer be a mere repeating of words?
No, prayer should be a bringing of the whole being to the Goddess.
120. What are the other chief forms of personal devotion?
Meditation upon the Goddess and Her Mysteries and saying the Rosary.
121. How should you end your devotions?
By saying the Silver Star and making the Pentacle upon myself.
Note: The words “Deity” and “Goddess” are used in their full sense of “the one Creator of the universe”. It follows then that there can be no other. We may, of course, honour the Goddess under many names and honour all the Geniae of different offices—such as Hestia, Genia of the home, or Pallas, Genia of wisdom; or of places—the tutelary Geniae of nations or of temples; Our Lady of particular shrines and sacred places. It is often hard to know whether we honour a higher spirit or an aspect of our Lady; but the distinction is not greatly important, for every soul expresses a facet of the resplendent jewel of Deity, and the more advanced the soul, the more completley is she an expression of our Lady. Thus we may freely speak of the Goddess Athene of the Goddess Hestia without losing the fundamental truth that Deity is One.
“The Sacred Myths and Rites of the Madrians”, edited by Phillip P. Jackson