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A recent question came up in The Elegant Lady Feminine Seminary by Miss Brythwen Sinclair regarding the issue of gender that the Filianic community, and especially myself, has been grappling with for some time now. Some key points she makes that I would like to share in part here are:
If all that is comes from Dea’s hand and serves as a vision of Her in miniature, the masculine gender is some how woven into the great Whole….I struggle with this. I do not see what reason there is to dismiss the masculine half of the species. All are children of Dea, regardless of gender, race, or species. Do not all children resemble their parent? The physical world, does it not bear the hallmarks of the spiritual in all places? If so, then simple logic would have it that the masculine has a place in the cosmos. If that was not so, then the masculine would not exist.
I agree entirely with the above sentiments, and they echo my own thoughts on the Filianic answer on the gender question. I must confess that my on faith in Filianism has been wavering to the point that I am not sure if I can continue claiming Filianism as my religion.
Several issues on the gender question in Filianism trouble me. First, Filianism and intermorphic beliefs as espoused by the Aristasians/Cheoluranyans seem nearly inseparable at times. Apologist explanations attempting to maintain consistency between the Filianic belief that the material world reflects the spiritual world and the denial of masculine spiritual nature fall back on these intermorphic cosmic perspectives. As Bishop Georgia says:
The Filianic view of the Aristasians, Madrians, and Daughters of Shining Harmony is consistent (neither contradictory or misguided) within a Cosmic perspective in which the two materially manifested genders are both “feminine”, ie. chelani and melani. “As above” (the spirit or soul) is “Feminine” and “so below” (the material forms) are “feminine”. That is the perspective from which the Filianic Scriptures is written.
I am a perrenialist and believe that all traditional religions lead to Truth. My own personal perspective of Filianism of being one of many paths to the Divine leads me to conclude that worship of Our Mother is my personal bhakti, the way in which I best worship God. I don’t discredit religions or people who feel the need to worship God as only Father or worship God as Mother and Father. My own personal beliefs are not threatened in any way by theirs. In the perennial sense, no religion is universal or the one and only path to God, but I find that explanations justifying the Filianic Scriptual and metaphysical perspective seem to advocate the superiority of intermorphic cosmology and beliefs, leave out those of us who do not identify as intermorphs, and limit Filianism’s validity to the confines of an alternative, intermorphic universe.
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.
These teachings would not be problematic if one wished to divorce Filianism from its earlier Madrian roots, but even in the Scriptures themselves that we hold dear, verses such as the ones I will share below from the Heart of Water only serve to further reinforce Filianic misandry:
32. Let the brother obey the sister, and the younger sister obey the elder. Let the child obey the mother and the husband the wife.
I came to Filianism out of desire to worship Our Mother in a beautiful, pure, traditional manner, but my increasing frustration with the Filianic answer to the gender question pushes me further and further away from the faith. Can I trust the Filianic Scriptures in their entirety as infallible spiritual guidance, given that the only mention of the male gender in the entire Scripture is to direct men to obey women? Can I pick and choose the verses and teachings we like and leave behind the rest? Can I leave behind the intermorphic cosmology and principles of Filianism while remaining true to the faith? I don’t know anymore. All I know is that I will continue to worship my Heavenly Mother, in the context of Filianism or outside of it, one way or another.
The Sacred Myths and Rites of the Madrians, edited by Phillip P. Jackson