Early Madrian Motifs/Symbols Part 1

Early Madrian Motifs/Symbols Part 1

We know some of the earliest motifs of the Madrian Faith.
In The Coming Age Issue 1, 1975, Page 13:

the-coming-age-issue-1-page-13-work-in-progress-crafts

Labrys
or double headed axe has multiple meanings.

One

swamper-axe-left-and-double-bit-michigan-pattern-felling-axe-right
Swamper axe (left) and double-bit Michigan Pattern felling axe (right)

“The double-bitted axe remains a forestry tool to this day,[2] and the labrys certainly functioned as a tool and hewing axe[3] before it was invested with symbolic function.[4]”

Used for clearing woods for temples (Sorella – Sister – Sophia Ruth)

“Once a tree was on the ground, a different crew of men called “swampers” would remove limbs from the tree so it could be cut into lengths.  The swampers were also responsible for clearing underbrush before a tree was felled and also constructed logging roads in the pineries.  (Because, swamping required less skill than felling, swampers were paid less than fellers.)  A Swamping Pattern axe was different than that used by fellers.  The bit on a “swamping” axe had a different profile than a felling axe.  Designed for limbing, the bit was usually wider and more rounded than a felling axe of similar size and weight.” http://midmichigannatureandscience.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/logging-tools-part-1-axe-and-saw.html

Read this article: Celtic Tree and Plant Worship
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/rac/rac16.htm

“If we go back far enough in time, early Britain was covered with forests. Back then trees must have seemed as plentiful as blades of grass are now. The sort of concrete jungle we have transformed our world into, must have been unimaginable to our early ancestors, who could scarcely have thought of a world as soulless as ours. Though, sadly, this did not stop several tribes using slash-and-burn farming techniques, which deforested large areas and turned them into moorlands.

From a purely practical point of view, trees played (and continue to play) a vital role in human survival. The old tribes built their houses from wood, depending on trees for firewood, the materials with which to build boats, make tools, carve religious statuary, harvest fruit for themselves and food for their animals. It can scarcely be any wonder that those people viewed trees as holy things.”
https://druidnetwork.org/what-is-druidry/learning-resources/polytheist/lesson-fifteen/

“Regardless of any metaphysical connections, there exists a special relationship between trees and humans, as we both produce the gasses that enable the other to exist: They produce the oxygen that we need to breathe, and we  produce carbon dioxide which trees breathe.”
http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/treelore.htm

Notes:
[2] Representative collections of modern double axeheads are conserved in the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, and elsewhere.
[3] The functions of Neolithic stone axeheads are discussed by Marija Gimbutas, “Battle axe or cult axe?”, Man 53 (April 1953:51-54).
[4] “Just as the bishop’s crozier is derived from the functional shepherd’s crook,” according to A. Trevor Hodge, “The Labrys: Why Was the Double Axe Double?” American Journal of Archaeology 89.2 (April 1985:307–308), p. 307.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys

~~

Two
“In Crete, the symbol of the double-axe always accompanies goddesses, and it seems that it was the symbol of the beginning (arche) of the creation.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys

~

Three

macedonian-labrys
Triple Bronze double axes. Hanging from a wooden sceptre, these objects declared the hieratic office of their owner, a priestess. (10th-8th century BC)

The Double Axe has a fascinating association with a Priestesses wand depicting a Butterfly Goddess in Minoan civilisation.
“The Labyris (labyris – labris – labrus) is an ancient Minoan symbol that looks like a double axe and was quite common on the island of Crete. Scholars have reason to believe that the symbol actually represents a butterfly, a symbol of transformation.
This symbol was most likely the one at the end of a wand that was supposedly used by a goddess (Circe, Athena).”
http://www.amazonation.com/BattleAxe.html

Read this informative article: Labyris – the Double Axe (and the Butterfly Goddess)
http://potnia.theladyofthelabyrinth.com/symbols-of-the-minoan-goddess-religion/

The Butterfly Goddess (which Sorella Shoshana touched upon in her head piece symbolism article: https://mydevotionstodea.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/the-spiritual-significance-of-head-wear-through-the-ages-by-sorella-shoshana/ “Butterflies represent change, beauty emerging from the ugly…”), is actually I believe about human life.

butterfly-life-cycle
Butterfly Life Cycle

The egg being the incarnation into the manifest planes, the caterpillar being a human centred pleasure seeking-pain avoiding existence. Transformed within the awareness of the Mantle of Dea (chrysalis) and by Her Grace into a life directed towards Dea, moving upwards perfecting ourselves in preparation of assumption. The glorious patterns and colours of a butterfly symbolising Dea Creator.

I have just discovered “Marija Gimbutas believed that the labyris was a symbol of the Goddess as butterfly.
The various stages of the life cycle of this insect can be seen as representing the cycle of life, death and rebirth – or resurrection.”
http://potnia.theladyofthelabyrinth.com/symbols-of-the-minoan-goddess-religion/

bronze-age-etruscan-double-sided-axe-from-etruscan-colony-knossos-crete
Bronze age Etruscan double sided axe from Etruscan colony Knossos, Crete

“The labrys symbol has been found widely in the Bronze Age archaeological recovery at the Palace of Knossos on Crete.[15] This double-axe was used specifically by Minoan priestesses for ceremonial uses and any woman seen with one was thought to have a high status in the society.[16] Sometimes the double-axe is combined with the sacral-knot which seems that was a symbol of holiness. Such symbols have been found in Crete, and also on some goldrings from Mycenae.[17]”

Notes:
[15] C. Michael Hogan, Knossos fieldnotes, Modern Antiquarian (2007)
http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/10854/knossos.html#fieldnotes
[16] Raphael, Melissa (2000). Introducing Thealogy : Discourse on the Goddess. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim.
[17] F.Schachermeyer:Die Minoische Kultur des alten Kreta”. p.163, 164 W.Kohlhammer Verlag Stuttgart
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys

Divine Kisses

angel-in-the-wings-of-a-butterfly
Angel in the wings of a butterfly

God was making butterflies,
An angel pleaded with the Most High ~
She wished to come to earth
To be close to flowers ~ with each
Kiss the butterflies receive from flowers,
The angel wished the kisses to suffering souls.
God made a bargain with the angel: “If you bless
Everyone, not just the suffering, I will grant your request.”
“Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, Most Gracious,
I accept your conditions”, the angel replied as she flew off on butterflies’ wings ~

A stunningly beautiful Poem

by

http://palestinerose.wordpress.com
from https://endlesslightandlove.com/2013/04/20/devine-kisses/

~~

Four


The Madrian explanation.
The Coming Age, Issue 10, Moura 1979
Symbolism: The Heart and the Moon-Axe

“The Labrys was taken from our Lady at the first gate of Hell, and when Her body was hung upon the pillar of the world, “above Her head they hung the great Moon-Axe, in symbol of the greatness of the deed.” (Mythos V, 19).

…moon-axe (or labrys) was… widespread. It was the emblem of the divine authority of the priestess-queen in the Cretan Empire. …It was widely used amongst the… Lydians, Lycians and Etruscans, and in… Rome.

It is painted on the temple-walls of the recently excavated 10,000 year old city of Catal Huyuk in Turkey, and carved into the sacred stones of pre-Celtic Stonehenge.

The Labrys… is a dual figure being lunar and psychic… it operates on the level of the manifestation, rather than on that of the Principle whence all manifestation proceeds and whereto it must return. The two moon-blades of the labrys, one crescent (waxing) and the other decrescent (waning) , correspond respectively to all the oppositions and complementarities which are the necessary condition of manifest existence: life and death, summer and winter, pleasure and pain, activity and rest, day and night, etc. The labrys is strictly equivalent to the far-eastern yin-yang symbol, itself a device of matriarchal origin.

Yet the crucial point of the labrys is not the axe-head, but the central haft that passes through it. This haft represents the world-axis that passes through the centre of the cosmos, and upon which maid, the “central” being on her own plane of existence, takes her station (provided she is true to her own nature, or thamë).

This is made abundantly clear by the fact that in the Mythos the Axe is hung upon the Pillar of Hell, which is in truth the lowest section of the world-axis. In iconographic the axe-haft is always shown parallel to the pillar.

The haft, therefore, represents maid [humanity], or psyche (soul) as the mediatrix between earth and Heaven and between all the dualities of manifest existence. It also represents Our Lady as perfect Maid and perfect Mediatrix; the Priestess and Princess of the world, Who has said: “I am between the ripple and the water; I am between the breathing and the breath; between the lightest word of greeting and the thought from which it flows”.

The upper part of the haft, above the blades, represents the transcendent “shaft of Sunlight”: the permanent Essences or Divine Ideas that are manifested through the impermanent and dualistic “play” of matter. This shaft of Solar, Essential Light, descending from above, is represented only by a short section of the haft, indicating its “point of descent”. This is because the moon-axe represents the cosmos seen from “below” – that is from a human and psychic rather than a transcendent and Spiritual point of view.

Nevertheless, it is a vital element in the symbolism, for psyche (or maid) [human], in a higher sense, mediates between the transient flux of matter itself and the eternal Essence which it imperfectly expresses. At the same time, being on the Axis, she is a continuation of the Essential light, just as the lower portion of the haft is a continuation of the upper, while the blades represent a development (or “world”) at one particular level of existence (the material in this case), branching off the haft at one particular point. That is why psyche alone (whether Inanna as Perfect Soul, or maid as Her regent) can redeem material creation.

The Axis descends through every level of being, both above and below the material as we know it, and countless “worlds”, both super-physical and sub-physical, branch off it at the different planes. The labrys, however, simply gives us a concise picture of our own particular level of being, its situation in psychic and spiritual “space”, and our place within it.

From a slightly different perspective, we may take the parallel symbols of the heart and the labrys as symbols of the contemplative life and the active life respectively. The heart represents the mystical heuresis, the return of the soul to the Mother. The labrys is an image of life in thamë, with maid acting in accordance with her true nature as mediatrix and princess regent of the world.

It is for this reason that the labrys was the emblem of the divine authority of the royal house of Crete and other matriarchal states: for a princess is supremely a mediatrix, and rules not according to her own wishes, but wholly in obedience to the law of thamë.”

Note:

Çatalhöyük was not matriarchal, but egalitarian.

“Also confirming the description of earlier Neolithic cultures in The Chalice and the Blade is Ian Hodder, the archeologist excavating Çatalhöyük, one of the largest Neolithic sites found to date. In his 2004 Scientific American article Hodder wrote: “Even analyses of isotopes in bones give no indication of divergence in lifestyle translating into differences in status and power between women and men.” He further noted that this points to “a society in which sex is relatively unimportant in assigning social roles, with neither burials nor space in houses suggesting gender inequality.” In short, Hodder explicitly confirms that gender equity was a key part of a more partnership-oriented social configuration in this more generally equitable early farming site where there are no signs of destruction through warfare for over 1,000 years.”
Hoddard, I. (2004). Women and men at Catalhoyuk. Scientific American. January, pp. 77-83.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chalice_and_the_Blade#Subsequent_Findings_Supporting_The_Chalice_and_the_Blade

Video: Ian Hodder: “Origins of Settled Life; Göbekli and Çatalhöyük”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKwSg7OyvoE

See the gallery depicting female figurines/goddess figures and houses:
http://potnia.theladyofthelabyrinth.com/catal-hoyuk-gallery/

Stonehenge

“Long after the monument was built, when Bronze Age burial mounds rich in grave goods began to be scattered across the plain around Stonehenge, and the archaeological evidence suggests those who could make or trade in metal goods had an almost shamanic status, people carved little images of daggers and axes, many now invisible to the naked eye, into the stones. Scores more have been revealed by the scan, including 71 new axe heads, bringing the total to 115 – doubling the number ever recorded in Britain.”
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2012/oct/09/stonehenge-digital-laser-3d-survey

See also the photos here: https://mikepitts.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/a-short-blog-about-axe-blades-carved-onto-stonehenge-megaliths/

~~~

Five
“The labrys, as a historic goddess movement symbol representing the memory of Pre-patriarchal matristic societies,[30]…”

Note:
[30] Keller, Mara (1988). “Eleusinian Mysteries” (PDF). Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (Vol 4 No 1): 42. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
http://www.ciis.edu/Documents/Keller%20Eleusinian%20Mysteries%201988%20part2_1.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys

~~~

Six

lesbian-pride-rainbow-labrys
Lesbian Pride Rainbow Labrys

“…has also has been used since the 1970s[31][32] as a lesbian,[32] and feminist,[33] symbol said to represent women’s strength and self-sufficiency.[34]”

Notes:
[31] Cottingham, Laura (1996). Lesbians Are So Chic. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9780304337217. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
https://books.google.com/books?id=TWgbAAAAYAAJ
[32] Murphy, Timothy (2013-10-18). Reader’s Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies. Routledge. p. 44ff. ISBN 9781135942342. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
https://books.google.com/books?id=FeWMAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA44
[33] Morrow, Deana F.; Messinger, Lori (2006-04-02). Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice: Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People. Columbia University Press. pp. 476–. ISBN 9780231127295. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
https://books.google.com/books?id=AkyrAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA476
[34] SwadePages “Origin & History of Gay & Lesbian Symbols”
http://www.swade.net/gallery/symbols.html#labrys
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys

~~

Rose-and-Pentacle

One
Directly relates to the previous symbol the labrys.

In section Four

“The labrys is an image of life in thamë, with maid acting in accordance with her true nature as mediatrix and princess regent of the world.”
The Coming Age, Issue 10, Moura 1979
Symbolism: The Heart and the Moon-Axe

I am theorising again from snippets of Madrian information.
The Madrians keep using the incorrect term – pentacle.
The pentagram (five pointed star) can symbolically mean a combined

rosary-rose-2-stars-madrian
Divine Mystery Symbols around the central Rose and Pentagram. Large Pentagram and Madrian Rosary surrounding the central symbol. From Appendix 2 The Rosary in The Catechism of The Goddess. In The Coming Age magazine, Issue 4, Autumn, 1976 states that new editions of the Rite and Catechism have been produced with some illustrations.

Divine Drama:
(drawing the pentagram)
Top point: Moura: Spirit: Fora: Purity and Divine Love of Dea creating our spirit.
Left Lower point: Autumn: Earth: Apple: Choosing to incarnate into matter.
Right Top point: Spring: Water: Dove: Suffering and Sacrifice of Di-Jana’s soul shattering.
Left Top point: Winter: Air: 5 Pointed Star: Di-Jana immanent with us, star of Her Guidance.
Right Lower point: Summer: Fire: 5 Petaled Rose: Di-Jana leading us to through the Divine Fire, we are purged of imperfection and return to our first purity, touching Spirit (Top point) again.
Our personal assumption/re-unification with Dea.

with

human-ages-and-elements-pentagram
Human Ages and Element Symbols around the central Rose and Pentagram. Madrian Rosary surrounding the central symbol with phases of the moon as a border. From The Coming Age magazine, Issue 8, Autumn, 1978.

Human life:
(round sunwise/clockwise)
Top point: Moura: Darkest Hour before the Dawn: Spirit: Birth/incarnation to learn a spiritual lesson
Right Top point: Spring: Dawn/Sunrise: Water: Childhood
Right Lower point: Summer: Noon: Fire: Youth
Left Lower point: Autumn: Twilight/Sunset: Earth: Maturity
Left Top point: Winter: Midnight: Air: Old Age
return by the gateway of death to Spirit (Top point) again.

Rose (5 petals)

madrian-rosary
Madrian Rosary with Rose and Pentagram From The Coming Age magazine, Issue 2, Moura, 1976

“This Rose has also been seen as a type of the human soul, aspiring for fulfilment in the multifoliate Rose of the Divine, and exemplifying the transcendent virtues of simplicity and humility.
…In the meditation of The Three Roses, each soul is described as a petal of the multifoliate Rose which is the Mother-Heart of the Goddess, retaining its fragrance although scattered. This is particularly the white rose, the rose of pure love which is “unfolding and everlasting, which changes not nor ever will change.” The white rose is also seen as creator and sustainer of the universe, and is thus a symbol of the Mother.”[1]

“As the emblem of perfection, the rose represents the end of all searching and all desire – thus journey’s end, the aim [replacing goal] of the spiritual quest which is pre-eminently symbolised by the Way or faith.

The journey of the soul is the central meaning of all religious practice…”[2]
The aim is personal assumption/re-unification with our Divine Mother – Dea whose unconditional love is “the Rose that is the Flame and the Flame that is a Rose.” [3]
She who is Eternal, Essence, Spirit, Joy, Perfection.

Notes:

[1] Symbolism: Rose and the Ear of Corn from The Coming Age, Issue 3, Summer, 1976
[2] Symbolism: The Rose and the Way from The Coming Age issue 7, Summer, 1978
[3] The Catechism of the Children of the Goddess [Dea] Appendix 1: Making The Pentacle.
The Sacred Myths and Rites of the Madrians, edited by Philip P Jackson

Two
The Rose and Pentagram can mean:
The 5 pointed star (pentagram) representing “the Silver Star of the Waters symbolises the Mother as Creatrix of the world, Whose light shone over the sea before the shaping of Her creatures.” [1]
The 5 petaled rose representing Her creatures, specifically axial beings: humanity. [2]

Notes:
[1] Symbolism article: Star and the Sacred Grove from The Coming Age, Issue 5, (maybe Winter, 1976 unconfirmed as yet)
[2] Previous section: Rose (5 petals) Symbolism: Rose and the Ear of Corn from The Coming Age, Issue 3, Summer, 1976

Three
The Rose and Pentagram can also mean:
The 5 pointed star (pentagram) representing “The Daughter as the Guide of [replaced with:] humanity, is symbolised by the guiding star, the hope of travellers.” [1]
The 5 petaled rose representing “Rose has also been seen as a type of the human soul, aspiring for fulfilment in …the Divine…” [2]

Notes:
[1] Symbolism article: Star and the Sacred Grove from The Coming Age, Issue 5, (maybe Winter, 1976 unconfirmed as yet)
[2] Symbolism: Rose and the Ear of Corn from The Coming Age, Issue 3, Summer, 1976

Four

It could have been inspired by “Pythagoras and his disciples revered Venus and the pentagram was a key symbol in their secret Brotherhood… The Roman …“Rose of Venus… or the medieval Rose Window at Eglise Saint Remi Chapel in Troyes, France.”
https://mydevotionstodea.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/evening-star-venus-the-great-mother/

~~~

Symphia
I cannot find this symbol.
It seems to be Latin which I cannot translate “Symphorianus a symphia fuit enim tamquam vas musicum emittens armoniam virtutum”
http://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/92004/BibliographicResource_2000059192637.html

Also used by American composer Abe Holzmann for his Symphia Waltzes (1902). “Symphia is a newly coined word – Webster would define it to mean “meritorious, worthy, lasting.””
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Holzmann
Sheet music: http://billsaudioreferencelibrary.com/files/Symphia.pdf

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