Apple Pomanders for the Holiday Season by Sorella Shoshana

Reblogged from

And from Sorella Shoshana, guest writer, we have this timely article on the spiritual symbolism of making an apple pomander. Though written for the Iremian Order of contemplative priestesses and sister-hood, I think it will be of interest to all.

Apple Pomanders for the Holiday Season

by Sorella Shoshana

I will be doing a series of posts on this pertaining to the Holidays. Since I am Jewish and Janite, I celebrate two Holidays combined, both dealing with the wonder and beauty of light. But, I will be focusing my articles more on the practices of the Janite faith. As many people are during this time of year; I am decorating, preparing a Holiday menu, and preparing gifts for friends and loved ones for the Holidays. This act alone can be a form of worship for the Iremian Order. A big part of this Order is that everything flows naturally. With every act, a simple prayer of thanks can be said.First, lets talk about apple pomander decorations together.

I prefer to make things and since I live with parrots who are sneaky little creatures who enjoy getting into everything, I use natural items around my home that are safe for them. I still have to be cautious, however. That’s life with parrots, I suppose.

As we make our apple pomanders, we can imagine the 5 pointed star in the middle when we cut through the wide center in the middle of the top and bottom of the apple (Don’t do this for making an apple pomander. But, we may if we’d like to see the star. I’d suggest later using the apple that has been cut into to eat, bake with, cut up to garnish some dish, or make homemade applesauce with afterwards) and what it represents. In the Janite Tradition, this star represents the Daughter’s gentle light, which we can look upon. Think of how we cannot look upon the sun easily. But, we can look at the moon without any problem. A gentler reflection of our sun’s light.

Within each seed is the stuff to make a tree, which makes an apple with seeds inside. Now, the tree’s roots can represent the Great Mother. She is unseen. The sturdy trunk is the Mother. The branches are like the realm of the soul/mind. Apples and leaves off of those branches are creation and within creation is the Daughter. She is NOT creation Herself. But, She is what lies within it. Within Her is Her Mother.

Many traditions use light in some form this time of year. This is due to the winter solstice being the shortest time of the year. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we need the hope that light will return. Now, lets not fool ourselves here. We know it will and the days WILL, in fact, get longer again. But, our world is an imperfect physical reflection of what is going on in other realms. Going off of the sun and moon analogy above, our physical existence is like the moon’s light upon the water…an imperfect reflection of the moon. We are constantly experiencing the same things in a cycle and these cycles occur at different lengths…..but, in a slightly different manner each time. Thus, a spiral becomes a better representation. This leads to how we can place our dried whole cloves along the apple.


unnamed-2  Photo by Sorella Shoshana

Start placing the cloves at the top. When we hang our pomanders, this should be the stillest part of the apple as it may occasionally spin once hung and if we choose not to hang them in this way, we can still see this analogy by holding the apple pomander up by the string or ribbon in our hand. The still center at the top and bottom of the apple is Dea. Now, place each clove spiraling out to the point that is furthest from Dea. This furthest point can also be creation or physical existence. Next, we will start to bring the spiral back inward, towards the bottom. This represents a return back to the stillness of Dea. Because the cloves are radiating out from the apple, it can be seen as radiating Dea’s light (the star seed in the middle of the apple) out into the world.

unnamed-3  Photo by Sorella Shoshana

Now, hang the apple pomander. I would suggest doing so in an area we may walk past often throughout the day. Every time we walk by and we smell the sweet smell of clove and apple, we will remember all this beautiful imagery. That sweet smell alone can represent the sweetness of our Mother’s Love. I liken this to flowers. They’re pretty similar in this way; a sweet beautiful item of creation reminding us of Her Love. All the beauty that we get to experience in this world are love letters to us from our Mother.

orange-pomanders-2 orange-pomanders

Citrus fruit pomanders – found on the internet

Another great place to hang them is right inside the main doorway to our homes. Our homes are supposed to be like our own sanctuaries. What a beautiful way to represent our homes being a sanctuary from the outside world by immediately smelling apple pomander once we enter our homes provoking such lovely imagery.

unnamed-4 Photo by Sorella Shoshana

That’s it for now. There will be other posts on celebrating the Holidays for the Iremian Order.

Until next time. Dea Bless!


Scripture: Title 3, Chapter 8, The Way of Simplicity

Scripture: Title 3, Chapter 8, The Way of Simplicity


Thanks to River S of

Free download:
(with thanks to Glenn King)

July 2012
The Filianic Scriptures, New Celestial Union
Version (Second Edition, Third Update)

27 Verses
Title 3, Chapter 8
Filianic Texts, or the collected sayings of the Daughter of Thea

Teachings of Di-Jana

This text is a collection of practical spiritual and moral teachings for everyday living.

The Way of Simplicity

1. Unless your souls are simple as the running deers, My children, and your hearts as little children filled with wonder, how shall you attain liberation? 2. Let your ways be gentle as the milk-white dove, and graceful as the gliding of the swallow. 3. For there are ways and rhythms in the course of life, of day and night, of seasons and the moon, by which all life, all thought, all work are governed, 4. and these movements are the breath of the Divine, reflected in the highest spheres and every living thing.

5. All nature is a vast and subtle music to which the innocent soul is closely at tuned. 6. The profane attempts to sever themselves from this music, making new laws of gain and self-advantage against the law of universal love. 7. Honour in all things the times and the seasons, keeping fast in times of fast with diligence and care; rejoicing in times of feast with generous outpouring. 8. No tree may blossom out of season, nor any flower greet springtime with austerity, likewise a child lacking inward control is broken from the rhythm. 9. For them there shall be neither warmth nor cold, neither light nor darkness.

10. Harmonic life is danced within the music of eternity, and the pattern of the dance is wholeness. 11. But without control the dance shall be destroyed; without discipline the rhythm is shattered in a host of discordant fragments. 12. The perfect child has perfect chastity of mind, of body and of soul; and they who are ready to follow Me upon the mountain shall aspire to this perfection.

13. Yet those whose union is an expression of the love of souls shall be counted chaste in My name for the sake of that love. 14. But the highest love is the love of pure Spirit, and blessing is upon those whose love is chaste for My sake.

15. You do not know in this world the final truth of chastity, for it is a mystery known on the highest spheres, beyond all physical existence; 16. and there it is seen that an act of chastity is not an act of avoidance, but of creation.

17. For the chaste child builds within themself a higher power and a supernatural beauty. 18. Without chastity of mind and soul, the bodily observance is barren, yet to suffer temptation is not to fall, and to transcend it is an act of creation. 19. And what gifts but the creations of the soul may be laid at the feet of her Lady? 20. For whatever is the nature of their inmost self, that a child shall become.

21. Therefore, the value of an act is not its outward form, but its inward quality; and the child who will become one with the rhythm of eternity shall first become the mistress/master of their thoughts. 22. For thought is the creator of the body and the sculptor of the soul, and they who holds the reins of their thought and ceases to be its servant, that child is near to the heaven of the archangels.

23. Harmony is the key of life, and innocence the key of harmony. 24. They who are in harmony shall be marked
by gentleness, by meekness of spirit and by the pure light of abundant joy shining forth from the inmost recesses of their being.

25. My children, you shall walk upon the world, yet you are the children of heaven; therefore live by the light of the Spirit and not by the light of the world. 26. For the wisdom of innocence shall the profane world call mere folly, and the law of love move the lips of the sullen to laughter. 27. But the wisdom of the world is folly in the light of the eternal. 28. Do not covet the riches of the world, but give forth freely of them.

29. Do not seek more than that shall maintain your body, or give your life to the pursuit of wealth; 30. for the wealth of this world shall vanish as the wealth of dreams, but the wealth of the soul shall be manifest a thousand fold in the worlds to come. 31. Who shall envy the mighty of this world that are the captains of a sinking vessel? The simple heart is heir to wealth beyond all knowing.

32. Love every soul as you love your own self, and give forth freely of all good things of body and of soul. 33. The perfect child keeps nothing for their own, giving forth all they have; yet the more they are emptied, the fuller they become, 34. for the way of harmony is the way of eternal abundance. 35. But they who pursues earthly riches prepares for themselves the path of poverty; for only the poor can be rich, and only the chaste know ecstasy.  36. What a child gains, that she/he loses, but what she/he gives freely, that she/he gains in perfection. 37. And all this is mere folly to the world.

38. Therefore walk in simplicity in the world, and let your heart be as the heart of a little child. 39. And if the world laughs at you, count it an honour, that they scorn you, count it a blessing. 40. For yours is the higher wisdom, and in the innermost centre of their hearts, the profane also knows it to be true. 41. Within their laughter lies fear of chastity; within their scorn of meekness and indifference to possessions lies a true terror. 42. For those who shelter in the darkness fear before all things the messengers of light. 43. It is not possible that a flute should play at once two tunes; neither may any child pursue at once true wisdom and the false.  44. Therefore be attuned to the music of eternity, and dance within the rhythm of the mysteries and the seasons.

45. Let your soul be simple, so that it may be the mirror of pure love.
46. For the truth is such that a child may understand it, yet the sage, if she/he has not simplicity and love, may struggle for it all her/his life and in the end have nothing.  47. What is your truth if it cannot be shared with a child?  48. For in the eyes of eternity, how little is the space between an infant and the wisest of the world?

her with gender neutral their, they, them and themself
maid/maiden with gender neutral child
him, master to become gender neutral

Verses 12-18 We must keep in mind when reading The Way of Simplicity, that chastity does not mean physical chastity in the sense of abstinence from intimate relations, rather it encourages us to return to purity of thought, soul and intention.
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides

Sacred Month of Samhain October 31st – November 27th Feast of Simovane

Sacred Month of Samhain October 31st – November 27th

For my predecessors in the Deanic Faith this month was also named Samhain (pronounced Sa-Win or Sow-in).

Arch Matrona Georgia Cobb has mentioned that another pronunciation for Samhain (usually pronounced Sow-en) is also Shah-vin. And I have found this here: (

It is also the Irish for November. We use the older word Simovane which is pronounced Shim-o-vane, very similar to the short Sha-vin. Thank you, Arch Matrona Georgia.

From The Tale of Thirteen Months copy write of Arch Madria (Bishop) Pamela Lanides

Samhain’s magick’s in the wind.
The supper is served and the veil has thinned.
The luminous Darkfire shadows the hill,
where runes divine the Great One’s Will.


The Madrian1’s later named it the month of Werde, or Fate.

From The Tale of Thirteen Months copy write of Arch Madria (Bishop) Pamela Lanides

Werde ends Summer’s Noontide fate,
spinning the threads of Dia-Janna’s Gate.
Lady Werde’, the soul’s destiny winds,
but with Our Lady’s Grace, it need not bind.


There were 2 groups of Madrians, 1 the publicity seeking, lesbian separatists and 2 the more secretive gender inclusive group from which Clan Jana originates. So in future I will number the source Madrian1 and Madrian2.

Feast of Simovane

Notes from Madria Olga transcribed by Arch Matrona Georgia

The fire-festival of late Autumn is a festival of transformation, fire being the element of transformation and death, the agent of the transformation of the soul’s state of being. The fire also symbolizes purgation and purification which many souls experience during the process of change which begins with physical death.

Samhain is strictly a three-day festival, although the main celebration is usually on the first day. The souls of the dead are made expressly welcome at the Rite of the day, and offerings of “soul cakes’ or candles may be in memory of friends and relatives for aid and comfort.

The festival is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks, and with ritual games such as Duck-Apple and Snap-Apple. The apple as symbol of eternal life, is closely bound up with the meaning of the festival; baked and toffee apples and cyder are seasonal foods, together with baked potatoes, parkin and popped corn. It is a time when the worlds are close and discarnate souls may return to their earthly habitations.


This world shall dissolve and its splendors be vanished; its pains and its sorrows shall pass like the summer rain. Life is not long, death is swift in the coming, and the ninety and nine thousand things shall be gone, but the Truth shall remain.


Originally 3 days at the beginning of the month.

1 Simovane older form of Samhain, pronounced Shimm oh vian, which means Summer’s End. (Note, the Celtic lands generally had two seasons, Winter and Summer.) / October 31st: Feast of Ancestors.

The apple is also considered one of the foods of the dead, so they are often piled high on Samhain altars, for Samhain (Simovane) is sometimes known as the Feast of the Apples.

2 Simovane / November 1st: Feast of Harvest’s End. Third Harvest Festival.

3 Simovane / November 2nd: Feast of Darkfire. (Celebrating the luminous Dark Light of the Great Mother). Cross Quarter Day.) Third Fire Festival.

In the Janite Deanic tradition formally Clan Jana, only the Feast of Ancestors is held, in consideration of time constraint.




As noted in a previous article, Simovane (Shim-o-vane) is an older Celtic word for Samhain (Sow-en). In our modern day parlance, Simovane/Samhain is the spiritual aspect of Halloween; Halloween being the holiday (a word derived from holy day), Simovane being the holy day.


Simovane is a three day festival. In Clan Jana, we begin with the Feast of Ancestors on the eve of 1 Simovane/Oct. 31. This is followed by the third and final Harvest festival of the year which takes place on 2 Simovane/Nov. 1 which, in turn, is followed by the Feast of Darkfire on 3 Simovane/Nov. 3. Darkfire is celebrated in honor of the Dark or Great Mother.


On the Feast of the Ancestors, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, we remember our loved ones who have passed beyond the veil. In many cultures, there is a tradition of offering the ‘Dumb Supper’ or as it is now being referred to, the Silent Supper, where a place is set at the table for the ancestors. It is called the dumb or silent supper because the supper is eaten in silence in honor of those who have passed beyond the veil.


The practice of the Silent Supper in honor of those who have died spans many cultures.


Around the time of Sukkot, a fall festival of Judaism, when Jews build their Sukkahs, (booths, shelters for the festival of Sukkot), they put a table and one chair for each family member, plus an extra chair. This extra chair is for a “guest”, which is thought to be an ancestor. A prayer is said to invite them in to dine with the family under the sukkah. (1)


A custom and belief within the Catholic Church, that is no longer well known, is practically a universal folk belief that the souls in Purgatory are allowed to return to earth on All Souls Day. In Austria, they are said to wander the forests, praying for release. In Poland, they are said to visit their parish churches at midnight, where a light can be seen because of their presence. Afterward, they visit their families, and to make them welcome, a door or window is left open. In many places, a place is set for the dead at supper, or food is otherwise left out for them. (2)



In Mexico, there is the Festival of the Days of the Dead. This festival is over 3,000 years old, but now has Christian over-tones. (3)


The more we research, the more we discover that many, if not most, indigenous cultures had some type of feast day which honored those who died with a food offering.


The Dumb Supper was not originally part of the old Celtic tradition of Samhain, which dates back to the fifth century B.C.E. Samhain was originally called Trenae Samma and was the Celtic celebration of the end of the harvest. For three days, the Celts would feast, dance and make merry. Gradually, remembrance of those who had passed on during the previous 12 months came to be included. It was believed that for one night that signified the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, the dead could return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, tribe or clan. (4)



Some practice the Silent Supper by shrouding everything in black, the table, chairs and so forth. The meal is eaten in a solemn manner. Others simply offer a plate of goodies and drink either on a table especially set up for the occasion or on the home altar. I practice the latter. I have an enclosed porch and so I prepare a tray of feast foods and drink and leave it on a table with candles. I sit by it for a while, in order to ‘greet my guests’. I have felt my father’s presence on more than one Simovane.


When we think of our ancestors, “we are reminded how human lovers tend to appreciate a blend of respect, passion, kindness, and quality time with each other. Plants enjoy a nice balance of sun, moisture, and healthy soil. The Buddha seems to have a taste for incense while the love goddesses may favor honey, flowers, and all things sweet. Just as we feed our human relationships with particular kinds of attention, engagement, and gifts, so can relationships with the ancestors be fed through the practice of making intentional offerings. Acts of ritual feeding may underscore a request we are making of our ancestors, convey gratitude for support already received, or just be a way of sustaining the intimacy of ongoing relationship.

As a general progression, it’s a good idea to first determine what kind of offering is called for. Then present the offering along with your intention, after which you may inquire as to whether the offering has been received well. Finally stay open to guidance or ripple effects such as intuitive communications, messages in dreams, or other signs from the ancestors. Physical offerings may include food, drink, coins, cloth, tobacco, ash, tears, stones and other found objects, flowers, fire, and creations made with our hands. Offerings to the ancestors may also take less physical forms such as song, dance, prayer, practices of healing and forgiveness, release of a pattern or relationship that no longer serves, and commitments undertaken for personal or collective good.

One specific practice that expresses the importance of making offerings is that of the spirit feast or ritual meal shared with the ancestors. After you have identified where you will share this meal with your beloved dead (e.g., a special place in nature, your ancestor shrine, at a cemetery) and what type of food and drink offerings they would enjoy from you, you are then ready to call them to be present. Again, the only “right way” to invoke your ancestors is whatever works for you. (5)


Another common practice on this night is divination, whether through the tarot, runes, pendulum or other forms.



My favorite prayer to end the Silent Supper is an haunting, consoling and beautiful prayer written by Silver Ravenwolf which may be found in a ritual from her book, Halloween. I keep my list of those who have died nearby so that I may recite their names at the proper time:

By the threads that still connect us,

by the silver cord unbroken,

by the love that is eternal

now (name list of loved ones who have passed beyond the veil), I will call you.

As the Western Gate stands open

to that land of golden sunsets.

In that peace that is unending

in that life that is eternal.

On this night of ancient wonder

where our souls can join together,

I’ll close my eyes and see you smiling

as I slowly reach to touch you,

in that land beyond the dawning

where your journey never ended

where the pathway still leads upward

on that circle laid through time.

May the moonlight guide your footsteps,

may the starlight be your pathway,

as we journey to the center

on this ancient night together.

When our souls can be united,

when our worlds are now the closest,

when the silence choirs our love

when the circle is unbroken.

By the mystery all surrounding

with this breath by which I call you,

in the flickering of the firelight,

I say your name(s) within my heart.

It echoes down through time unending

in the protection of this evening.

May your presences wash through me

and together we are one.

You, who have passed to another plane

(read names, again)

I remember you. (6)


Let us bless the Queen of Heaven.

Blessed is She.

Let us thank the Seven Great Geniae.

Thanks be to the Seven Genaie.


ArchMadria Pamela Lanides

1) Thank you to Shoshanna Marie Woods.




5) (thanks to Sophia Ruth).

6) Silver Ravenwolf, in her book, Halloween, Customs, Recipes and Spells published by Llewellyn.



Important thealogy of the scary imagery


Oil Lamp Beauty by  forsakenraptor

All of the frightening images of goblins, witches, the use of the color black, ghosts etc. symbolizes the darkness of ignorance and being spiritually lost. It symbolizes the unknown which is illuminated by the light of the lanterns and the bonnie fire. Fire on Earth is directly linked to Spirit and the Holy Mother Mari as the supernal Sun. The lantern guides us along the pathway to our Divine Mother and Eternal Life.

Here is a nice list of symbolism, many of which also occur in our Faith.


One of our members, Sophia Ruth, has graciously shared with us many wonderful Simovane (Samhain) traditions of the British Isles. Thank you so much, Sophia Ruth, for this invaluable article.



There are many wonderful traditional foods for the Feast of the Ancestors. The caramel apples of New England are known as toffee apples in the British Isles. Both cultures share the traditions of apple dunking, the apple being the symbol of Eternal Life. The British game of snap apple is equivalent to the hanging donuts game of the U.S., and both cultures share the tradition of bobbing for apples. Many of our members place an apple on the home shrine or altar because it is a symbol for eternal life. Popcorn, candied corn, pumpkin cookies and pretty much pumpkin anything along with apple cider may round out the fare.


The idea of the thinning of the veil at this time of year pervades many cultures. As noted in the previous article, in Catholic Culture it was believed that the souls of purgatory were allowed out to visit their descendants on All Souls day. (2) Though in many cultures, it was not only good souls that we able to cross the veil and so these cultures had traditions in place which would protect against the evil spirits.


One such custom was the carving of white turnips in order to make them look like skulls. This was intended to scare away evil spirits and is the equivalent of our Jack O’ Lanterns carved from pumpkins.


[ During my childhood we did not have pumpkins. My mother would carve the biggest turnips from the garden. It was very hard flesh and needed a very sharp knife. As children we would draw a frightful face each and mother would carve that for us on our vegetable.
A small tea light candle would be lit inside them and they would be placed on the front garden wall if it was not too windy (otherwise on the front windowsill).

Turnip Carving: Carved pumpkins are a Halloween classic, but before these squashes came to Britain from America, the Scottish were carving turnips into lanterns. The story of Jack O’Lantern may have grown out of the practice of carving turnips into faces and placing candles inside, or vice-versa. The original idea was probably to frighten evil spirits away from the home. A bone-white turnip with its resemblance to a human skull would certainly look more frightening than the big orange pumpkins we carve today.


2016 autumn in Britain became tropical with pineapple carved lanterns.

We played apple games:
Apple ducking or bobbing

“The game is played by filling a tub or a large basin with water and putting apples in the water. Because apples are less dense than water, they will float at the surface. Players (usually children) then try to catch one with their teeth. Use of arms is not allowed.”
The person who catches an apple can either take it to bed and place it under their pillow, hoping to dream of their future best friend or if older their romantic partner. Or they could peal and eat it, the skin ribbon was circled 3 times sunwise around the head and thrown behind. Guess the initial of the alphabet and take a look. The initial of their future best friend or if older their romantic partner. As children we played this version, so that we could eat the apples!

Snap Apple

Either the washing line or rope suspended between two trees has apples suspended from it. The people are blindfolded and the first full bite meant that you could keep the apple.  We also played this version.
But not the following one.
“Today, some parents may keep their kids away from the tub of apples for fear of spreading germs, but bobbing for apples is a comparatively safe tradition when compared to another old apple-centric Halloween pastime: Snap Apple. In the game of Snap Apple, an apple was speared on one end of a stick while a lit candle was fixed at the other end. The stick was spun around, and the participants’ goal was to take a bite of the apple, avoiding a face full of hot candle wax—definitely not a game to play with kids!”

Snap apple night, or Halloween or Colcannon night.

Sophia Ruth]


“Until recently trick or treat was unknown in Scotland. Instead children here dressed up in old clothes, or pretended to be evil spirits and went guising. The custom traces back to a time when it was thought that by disguising children in this way they would blend in with the spirits that went abroad that night. Any such child who approached a house would be given an offering to ward off evil. These days children who knock on their neighbours doors have to sing for their supper. Or tell stories for a gift of sweets or money.”
In other areas of the British Isles, children were dressed in ragged old jumpers and jackets with strips of material hand sewn on. They would enact a little play on the doorstep about a good person saving someone from a ghost or monster for a biscuit or sweets!
“In parts of Scotland it was customary to throw a silver coin through the front door of the house on the morning of November the 1st. The coin had to remain hidden where it had fallen to bring luck in money matters concerning the house.”
We may incubate ancestral dreams. Simply create a question or statement like, “Ancestors, please share a message with me in my dreams.”
Or “Ancestors, please tell me a story about Grandma.” Or “Ancestors, how can I heal

_____ part of my life?”
Prayers of Gratitude:
“One does not evolve spiritually in a vacuum. The strength of one’s spiritual House depends on the integrity of one’s lineage. By this, I mean being in right relationship with our ancestors. This is attained by honoring them regularly, rightly, and well. One’s ancestors and the vaettir of our world can assist us in our journey and in our spiritual Work. We can learn much from them but only if we empower them to act with us. A brick house requires many separate bricks to be built. Bricks cannot be secured without mortar. Paying homage to one’s ancestors and the spirits of the land is the mortar and clay from which those bricks are formed. We begin in the physical because we are physical beings. Our own physicality, the sense of touch, of sight, sound, smell, and hearing are the primary filters through which we experience our world. The first step in growing strong and whole and heal in this tradition, is honoring those who have struggled to do exactly that before us. This process is helped by the fact that many spirits choose to stay as guides/watchers and protectors.”
Seed Scattering Charm for the Ancestors:
“This simple charm is designed to honour the Spirit of those who have passed onto the Summerland. The seeds you scatter will grow in memory, a gift of remembrance to the Earth.

You will need:

A packet of seeds of your choice

A small dish

A small white candle in a suitable holder

A pouch or bag for your seeds

The night before your Seed Scattering Charm, pop the seeds into the dish and light the candle. Think about the person or people you wish to honour and remember, and as you do so say ‘gone from sight but not from the heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.’ Or you can use your own words. Leave the seeds in the dish overnight and let the candle burn down completely – always taking safety precautions. When you are ready place the seeds in your pouch and hold the pouch in your right hand on the way to a place of your choosing. On arrival take the seeds and scatter them, saying ‘You are remembered and held in my heart’. Repeat three times.

Where to do this? You can go to a favourite special place of your choice, a place that holds fond memories of the people you are honouring, or even your own garden – the idea of watching the seeds germinating and growing in honour of people you love is very special.

The charm works just as well if you plant the seeds in a small pot.
Charm donated with generous heart by the Counter Enchantress.”
“The Ivy Leaf:
Each member of the family places a perfect ivy leaf into a cup of water and it is then left undisturbed overnight. If, in the morning, a leaf is still perfect and has not developed any spots then the person who placed the leaf in the cup can be sure of 12 months health until the following Halloween. If not….. ”
The Acorn is the seed of the great Oak, representing wisdom, longevity, rebirth – a promise of strength to come. An acorn in your pocket is an amulet of good fortune to come.”


May Dea’s Face shine upon those who have passed beyond the veil.

We wish our ancestors who visit us this night, Hail and Welcome. We remember you, always.



This year The Feast of Ancestors was especially relevant, as my human birth Mother passed between the veils this Summer. I set up my altar early with her Italian Millefiori Micro Mosaic flower brooch, also the enamel 5 petaled flower pendant ( I think of as a dianthus flower for our Great Mother) which I wore to my Mom’s Life Celebration Service and Party. The ear of barley is from a walk my Dad and I took on Father’s Day before we knew that Mom was in the last days of life. This is the first altar setting that I have had with all the 5 sacred symbol pendants of our Janite Deanic faith. The altar cloth is a commission from Rosalind of in Haverfordwest, Wales. I conducted my silent supper early too. On the actual day I was on a 2 stage journey to visit my Dad. My bonnie fire (good fire) was as usual in England around November 5th / 4th Samhain, it came via a delightful invitation, from one of the married couple who run the nursing home, that my Mom lived in. The bonnie fire (good fire) was on the grass lawn surrounded by specimen broad leaf trees. It was wonderful to be surrounded by the carers and their grandchildren. Sharing and making happy memories.


I later purchased my Dea candle stick and Janati candle stick to add to my altar.

style-of-walther-sohne-pink-heart-shaped-1930s-candlestick bagley-amber-angel-wing-shaped-1930s-candlestick

In the style of Walther & Sohne pink glass heart shaped 1930s candlestick

Bagley amber glass angel wing shaped 1930s candlestick

Janite Deanic Altar Instructions

Images of Dea and the Janati may be pictures, icons or statues. Devotees may have one image or many according to desire.

The altar is placed in the East or as close as possible to the East. The devotee or priestess should be facing East when facing the altar.

Two main altar candles are placed at the back of the altar. These may be in the form of oil lamps or candle lamps.


A central candle for Dea is placed in the middle of the altar. One Janati candle should be placed in something silver. I use the silver tree sold by Yankee Candle as shown above. It can also be a simple silver candle holder or it can have other forms that might be symbolic of the Janati. The Janati candle is placed to the right of the altar.

On the altar should be a bowl of holy water, a vial of holy oil and incense (unless one is allergic to incense.)

The altar cloth is always the Elemental color of the Season. In the Deanic Faith, the color for Fall is Green, for Earth. Priestesses will accent their white dresses/robes with the liturgical colors which are the colors of the Jana of the Season. For Fall, the liturgical colors are blue and purple for Madria Thema. So, a priestess might wear a sash, shawl or scarf/mantilla/chapel veil in either purple or blue colors or both.

During liturgy or ritual, the ‘patene’ or sacred plate of bread, which is placed to the right and the chalice of white wine, on the left.

Apple Seed Star Blessing Gesture

Apple Seed Star Blessing Gesture

Visualise a glowing green light

(Top Seed [of Seed Star])
solar plexus up to forehead and back to solar plexis
in a circle
? Ground of All Being

(Left Seed [of Seed Star])
solar plexus up to left shoulder and back to solar plexis
in a circle

(Left Bottom Seed [of Seed Star])
solar plexus down to left hip and back to solar plexis
in a circle
? Abundance of Manifestation lived in Spirit

(Right Bottom Seed [of Seed Star])
solar plexus down to right hip and back to solar plexis
in a circle
? Avala

(Right Top Seed [of Seed Star])
solar plexus up to right shoulder and back to solar plexis
in a circle
? or Re-Union

Hand on heart


Apple Dolls

Apple Dolls

Peel an apple (Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples work well), cutting away any bruises (some people say to core the apple, others say not to. Experiment for yourself). Carve as life-like a face as possible into the apple (don’t cut too deeply so as to avoid rotting). Don’t forget the little things that make a face so human — the little lines running from nose to mouth, the hollows of the eyes, the depressions caused by cheekbones, etc. Depending on the “skin” tone desired, soak the carved apple for about 45 minutes in a mixture of lemon juice (or cider vinegar) and water (the longer you soak, the lighter the “skin” tone will be).

Hang the apple up in the dryest, darkest room of your home. Come back in 3 to 4 weeks to see what you have! (Hallowe’en would be perfect time for the unveiling!) It should have shrunk by about two thirds its original size, darkened some, and show the wizened features of an old woman or man. When thoroughly dry, decorate using very diluted food colorings for rouge; corn silk, cotton, or yarn for hair; cloves or food colorings for eyes; fabric triangles for scarves, etc. Secure onto a “body” made of a bottle, styrofoam cone, wooden dowel, etc., and make clothes as desired.


One of my earliest childhood memories is of two dried apple head dolls my mum had displayed on a shelf in the living room. They were so special and interesting to look at. Last year I decided to try making one for myself and actually took some photos of the work-in-progress. So I thought I’d share them here. Smiley

I peeled an apple and carved in some facial features with a parring knife. I hung it by the stem to dry.

It really started to look interesting as it dried!

After about 2 1/2 weeks it felt thoroughly dry, so it was time to put the doll together.

She’s got a little trinket box for a base so she stands nice and steady, and the rest of her body is just some waded up fabric held together with tape. Her dress is an old wool sock, and her shawl came from an old cushion that was beyond repair which belonged to my grandma. She’s got a pipe cleaner arm to hold her cane. I shoved two pins in her head for eyes and her hair is some cotton stuffing from inside the cushion. Smiley

What’s really neat about this project is that the apple continues to dry out and the doll ages! She looks older today than when I took these photos a year ago.

Poem and Apple Star Printing Blocks

Who would think an apple,
Red, gold, green and round,
Would have a secret deep inside,
When cut it can be found!

I thought this secret only shone,
In deep and darkest night,
But when I cut my apple,
It shines with five points bright!

And now you know the secret,
Where shining stars are found,
In every crunchy apple,
Red, gold, green and round.

Apple Secrets :: Betty Jones

A lovely activity to accompany this story and time of year is of course apple stamping. We cut the cheeks off the apple for snacks or apple and blackberry pie and then cut the core ‘block’ through the middle and reveal the ‘stars’. The ‘blocks’ then make handy little ‘stamps’ to create beautiful ‘starry night’ scenes.


The Story of the Apple Star

The Story of the Apple Star

Years ago at a fall festival,  I remember a story teller telling a really cute story about the star that you see when you cut into an apple.  When the kids and I came home from apple picking at the orchard today, I thought it would be a fun time to share the little legend.  However, although I remember the basic premise, I couldn’t remember any of the details.  Googling led me to several versions of  “The Little Red House with No Windows, No Doors, and a Star Inside” but I couldn’t find the story I’d heard.  Finally, I came across this version on a site for Girl Scouts
( ) It was short, but was the closest to the one I’d heard a long time ago.  I decided to elaborate on it a little bit and make my own version.  It was a big hit with my kids and I like how it includes a little lesson on how hard work and patience can bring you rewards.

Check it out…

how did the star get in the apple story

Click HERE or on the story below for a printable PDF version!

And here’s my son after I read the story and I cut into his apple to reveal the star…

Definitely check out the version that inspired me HERE (she also has a cute dried apple wreath project to go with it).

The Little Round House :: An Autumn story.

The Little Round House :: An Autumn story.

This story floats around the internet and is told by many a Waldorf or Steiner teacher with differing elements and details, however the core message and essence of the story is always the same.

It incorporates so gently and beautifully the ‘hunting’ , ‘seeking’ and ‘searching’ theme of the time.

The story is told with story puppets and hand gestures as the simple verse explaining the treasure is sung. The ‘treasure’ is an apple and the apple is cut through the middle by the ‘Mother’ at the end of the story. If you are in a home setting and only have two children, or one child and yourself, then you can eat the apple halves as a snack at the end of story, nibbling away around the star in the centre.
When you’ve finished your snack, it’s always very magical for the children to place their ‘apple stars’ on the windowsill in the evening and find the stars ‘taken up into the sky’ in the morning, with a sprinkling of ‘stardust’ (silver or gold glitter) left in the place where they’d placed their apple stars the night before!

Once upon a time

there was a little girl called Anna. One morning Anna woke and asked her mother what they were doing today. “Well I thought you’d like to go on a treasure hunt” said Anna’s mother. Anna’s eyes widened, she loved to go treasure hunting – each year they always had a treasure hunt at her birthday party and it was so much fun.

. “What kind of treasure am I hunting for” asked Anna.
Her mother sung;
“It’s a little round house that you’ve seen before,
(make round gesture with hands)
It has a chimney this big, and no more,
(with thumb and pointer finger, indicate the length of an apple stem and then at ‘no more’ wave hand back and
forth in ‘no more’ gesture)
It has no windows, it has no doors,
(circle pointer finger around the ‘outside’ shape of an apple and shake head gently)
But there’s a staaaar in-siiiiiide”
(gently ‘shimmer’ all fingers of outstretched hands)
“Gosh” said Anna “That sounds like a beautiful house, but Mumma where will I find it?” – “Well sweetheart, that’s half the fun isn’t it – hunting for the treasure! You’ll discover where to go.”
Anna set off on her day. A soft breeze was blowing so Anna put on her light cardigan and wrapped a scarf around her neck. She kissed her mother and off she went. Down the garden path she skipped, opening the gate and closing it behind her.
She walked along the country lane where they lived and passed Farmer Thomas
(you can insert here the name of a Farmer you personally know, it’s always nice to personalise the story for the children).
“Good Morning Farmer Thomas” called Anna.
“Oh Good Morning Anna” called back Farmer Thomas.
“What are you up to today?” asked the Farmer.
“Well, mother has sent me off to find a house” replied Anna.
“What kind of house?” asked Farmer Thomas, a little puzzled.
Anna sung…
(include the hand gestures here)
“It’s a little round house that I’ve seen before,
It has a chimney this big, and no more,

It has no windows, it has no doors….

But there’s a staaaar insiiiiiide”

“My, my” said Farmer Thomas, “That sounds like a wonderful house, but I’m afraid I’ve no idea where you might look for it. Why don’t you ask Grandma, she’s very wise, and always seems to know everything – she’s bound to have an idea.”
“Thank you” said Anna, and off she skipped, around the back of the orchard and down past the goats and pigs that Farmer Thomas raised. Anna always liked to enjoy some roast pork that Farmer Thomas gave them, with the apple sauce she made in the Autumn time with Mumma.
Anna came around the back of the farm and saw the smoke coming out of Grandma’s cottage chimney, “the wood-stove must be on” thought Anna. Grandma was sitting on the porch in her rocking chair, knitting Anna a new pair of woollen socks. Grandma had just finished spinning the wool from the alpacas she kept on her farm, but she didn’t dare tell Anna the socks were for her.
“Good Morning Grandma Thomas” said Anna.
“Oh Anna, my dear child, how are you today?” asked Grandma warmly.
“Well, I’m OK said Anna, but I’m looking for a house….”
Anna trailed off as she looked around.
“Well, what kind of house my dear?” asked Grandma in her kind, gentle way.
Anna sung…
(include the hand gestures here)
“It’s a little round house that I’ve seen before,
It has a chimney this big, and no more,
It has no windows, it has no doors….
But there’s a staaaar insiiiiiide”
“Oh golly” said Grandma, “That does sound like a very fine house indeed. But unfortunately I’m not entirely sure where you’d find it.” Grandma had an inkling of an idea what house Anna was looking for and she suggested “Why don’t you go and ask Brother Wind, for if anybody is going to know where to find that house, it is going to be Brother Wind”.
“Thank you Grandma Thomas” said Anna and she smelt the warm air coming
from Grandma Thomas’ house as she smiled and said … “Mmmmmm delicious”. Grandma Thomas smiled and said “Why don’t you come back this afternoon and bring some cream from your cows, I think that apple and blackberry pie should be just about ready by then and we’ll enjoy it together with a nice cup of rose-hip tea.
“I will” said Anna excitedly as she ran off down the cottage path and around to the bottom of the hill beside Grandma Thomas’ house.
If there was one place best to talk to Brother Wind from, it was definitely at the top of
the hill.
It wasn’t a steep hill, but it took Anna a good few minutes to climb it and she really had to try hard to keep on keep on walking to the top. When she arrived at the top she smiled as she stopped to rest under the big old fruit tree that her and her mother came to pick in the Autumn. Grandma and Farmer Thomas always said it was more fruit than they could ever need, so Anna and her mother enjoyed to cook the fruit into jams and sauces.
Anna stood up straight, cupped her hands around her mouth and called “Brother Wind, Brother Wind”
(it’s nice to gesture this as you tell it and cup your hands around your mouth, gently ‘calling’ to Brother Wind. It’s also nice to encourage the children to gently ‘call’ the wind with you).
(a soft, gentle ‘blowing’ noise is what is indicated here)
came Brother Wind’s reply.
“I’m looking for a little house” said Anna.
Now, Brother Wind didn’t speak the same language as the little girl, but he could always understand what she was saying. Brother Wind replied “Whooooooo”, and Anna knew he was asking what kind of house she was looking for. Anna sung…
(include the hand gestures here)
“It’s a little round house that I’ve seen before,
It has a chimney this big, and no more,
It has no windows, it has no doors….

But there’s a staaaar insiiiiiide”

Well, Brother Wind certainly knew what kind of house Anna was looking for, so he blew “Whooooooo”
(encourage the children to blow with you through these three ‘blows’)
and he blew “Whooooooo”
(each ‘blow’ gets a little stronger, but still with gentleness to it)
and he BLEW “Whooooooo” ….
And down from the tops of those heavily laden branches above Anna fell a beautiful, delicious looking, little, round house!
It fell “Plop” on the ground, right beside Anna.
(Have an apple in your hands that tumbles down through the air in your hands
and arrives beside the child puppet/figure in the story)
Well Anna smiled when she saw it and she picked it up and said…
“It’s a little round house that I’ve seen before,
(hold the apple out on a flat hand)
It has a chimney this big, and no more,
(make sure your apple has a stalk and point to the stalk)
It has no windows, it has no doors….
(run your finger around the outside of the apple and make a ‘no’ gesture with hands)
But I wonder” said Anna “if there is a star inside?”
Anna ran with the treasure, down the hill, past Grandma Thomas’ cottage, past the pigs and goats, back past the orchard, waved to Farmer Thomas on his tractor at the gate and came to the garden gate of her family’s home.
Through the gate she went, and straight into the kitchen where she found mother. “Mumma, Mumma” said Anna
“I think I found the house” she cried, quite out of breath from all her running!
“Let me see” said mother kindly.
“Hmmmm…. It’s a little round house that you’ve seen before,
It has a chimney this big, and no more,
It has no windows, it has no doors….
(mother ‘looks’ all around apple)
Do you think there’s a star inside?” asked her mother.
“I don’t know” said Anna. Mother went to the kitchen draw and took out her knife. She carefully cut the apple in half around the middle and then she opened it up. Would you believe it, but there in the middle was two perfect stars shining back at them.
Anna’s face was wide with excitement “It does, it does!” said Anna.
Anna and her mother sat and ate one half of the apple each, being careful to nibble around the star and keep the little baby star safe in it’s little apple cradle.
“Do you know” said mother, “that if we put these on the window sill tonight,
then when the stars shine bright tonight, they may just come down and pick up these two new baby stars to shine bright in the night sky above.”
Anna liked the idea of helping the sky be filled with more beautiful stars, so
she put her apple star onto the window sill to await the magic that night.
And in the evening, once the family was tucked up tight in bed, the stars did come to collect those two new baby stars. They picked them up 1 – 2
(make a gentle little ‘throwing up’ gesture with your thumb, pointer and
middle finger grouped together).

Scripture: Title 3, Chapter 5, The Sermon of the Apple Seed

Scripture: Title 3, Chapter 5, The Sermon of the Apple Seed



Free download:
(with thanks to Glenn King)

July 2012
The Filianic Scriptures, New Celestial Union
Version (Second Edition, Third Update)

27 Verses
Title 3, Chapter 5
Filianic Texts, or the collected sayings of the Daughter of Thea

Teachings of Di-Jana

The Sermon of the Apple Seed

In my opinion teaches us this:

And it is interesting that against this wisdom of the world, this worldliness, She sets child-like way. But rather than being full of independence (Independence is such a watch-word of modern society), instead of being independent we should be children who look to Our Mother to sustain us, and feed us, and show us what to do from day to day, so that we are not wordly creatures, we are children of the Mother.

The Five Rules of Life (from The Catechism)

1. To love Dea.

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.

The Sermon of the Apple Seed

1. From the branch of a tree Kore plucked an apple, and She split the apple in two halves, so that the five-pointed star formed by its seeds might be seen. 2. Then She removed the seed representing the topmost point, and held it in the palm of Her hand. And She spoke, saying:

3. “Like to this apple seed is all the teaching I have given and shall give to you. 4. Like to the full apple is all the knowledge relative to your sphere of being, 5. Like to all the other apples of the tree is the knowledge relative to all the numberless spheres.

6. But behind these spheres lies a deeper reality; changeless, beyond the impermanent flux of time. 7. For even as the apple turns from bud to bloom, from blossom to the fruit, ripens, matures, decays and is reborn; 8. so also shall the spheres and galaxies, the subtle realms, the sure and solid earth; so shall all these in their season pass away, and in their season be reborn again. 9. Thus has it been ten thousand times before, and countless times again, thus shall it be.

10. But knowledge of the truth beyond this flux is like to knowledge of the tree itself, which does not change while the fruit is born and dies. 11. Like to the spreading boughs is the love that sustains all creation which is fallen from pure Spirit. 12. Like to the trunk is that Spirit Herself, from whom all creation flows. 13. And still beneath the branches and the trunk lie the roots in darkness, like unto She that is beyond both being and unbeing; 14. and even as the tree’s roots are not seen, so can there be no knowledge of the Absolute; for to know is to have passed beyond knowledge.

15. And from this tree of all knowledge and of the boundaries beyond which knowledge cannot pass, I have given to you but the seed of one apple.

16. For I have come that you may have deliverance. 17. There are many questions concerning the nature of things and of being whose answers you may know, or partly know; and many whose answers lie beyond the understanding possible to you.

18. But I am not sent to discourse with you upon these matters, but to lead you to deliverance in perfection. 19. And all the knowledge that shall bring you to deliverance is contained within the seed of an apple.

20. Yet within the seed is the essence of the tree, and from the seed the whole tree may unfold.
21. So from essential truth unfolds all other knowledge as the music of the spheres unfolds from a single note.

22. Therefore when you think upon the questions of life, of time or of the spheres, contemplate first the seed of truth, and let your thoughts unfold from that seed. 23. Let the pure and single note of truth attune your soul. Then your mind shall rise up into soul, and soul breathe the breath of Spirit.

24. Do this, and your thoughts shall be in harmony with the universal music of eternity. 25. But let your thoughts grow from lower or from lesser or from merely accidental things, and they shall wax rank and dissonant; 26. For it cannot be that the tree of life shall grow from a nettle.

27. If her thoughts are bound to accidental thing, the soul cannot attain liberation. 28. Dissonant and jarring with eternal harmony, the little sphere is severed from the great.

29. Seek not for certainty in anything beyond the seed of truth. 30. That the sky is above you and the earth below; that you breathe and eat and move; to these and to many things must you give your assent that the life of the world may proceed. 31. Yet even of these there is no certainty, for the world is but a dream from which you must some day awaken.

32. Within the world you may be certain only of that truth which my Mother has given from beyond the world. 33. Therefore know well the sacred mythos and the words that I reveal to you, 34. and let your knowledge dwell not only on the surface, but go deep into the inner soul; and let this knowledge be the seed of all your knowing. 35. For the sacred word does not cry in the marketplace, but whispers in the heart of every soul that truth which she alone may understand.

36. It is not necessary that you should seek knowledge of the highest things outside the sacred mythos and My words. 37. For I have revealed to you all that is necessary that you should attain liberation; and what I have not revealed, that is not needed.

38. But if you shall discourse on that which is unnecessary, I give to you three words. Let you not become forgetful of them:
39. that there can be no certainty beyond the seed of truth, therefore you may speak of likelihood only;
40. that you shall let your speculation be in harmony with the seed of truth, for speculation that is dissonant does not give knowledge, but leads to the abyss of those that have rejected truth;
41. and you who have care of My children, do not let them become confounded by dissonant thought and work.

42. But beyond all else is this word: that the purpose of speculation is that mind and soul shall grow with the seed of truth, 43. and any discourse that leads away from inward love of truth; be that discourse high and pure, be it even harmonic, yet it is the spawn of kear, and you, My children, shall turn from it.

44 Yet do not be afraid, for the seed of truth shall be your guide and your protector and shall bring you deliverance.
45. And I give to you one word which shall conquer every danger. 46. That word is love, and the humility that flows from love. 47. Receive with love the seed of truth and all things shall be well.

Kear:  A crack or flaw, the chasm or abyss that lies between Dea and each soul which opened when we chose to experience material manifestation.

Verses 1-3 The uppermost seed represents Spirit, Aethyr.
Kore/Jana (whichever name you give to immanent Dea) is teaching us about how the Spirit can be filtered through into the manifest planes, by the Illuminating Light of Dea. Verses 4-5

Verses 6-9 Is the great spiritual truth that Dea in Heaven is THE still centre which is limitless, unrestricted eternity. In exploration every one / thing moves away into the changing, decaying, dying to the manifest worlds existence. Existence on any plane of manifestation is not pure Life, as it is in space and time.

Verses 10-14 Read these insightful articles:
Part 1, the Canopy of Love
Part 2, The Trunk of Light
Part 3, The Roots of Life

Verses 20-27 Consider the Spirit / Perfection / Dea firstly and how the manifest relates to Her.

Verse 28 No thing, no one is an individual, axial beings contain the Spirit of our Celestial Mother and the Soul of our World Soul Daughter, we are divine, connected to our source, our Holy Mother Dea. Every thing and creature, bird, insect reflects Dea’s Holy Qualities. Life in the manifest planes is a choice between moving away from or towards Dea.

Verses 29-31 Life as an illusion is a re occuring theme of Filianic Scripture. Read this article with Scriptural comments.

to be continued/modified

In Islam:

In the Islamic tradition, this is known as the Greater Jihad (not to be confused with the Lesser Jihad, or Holy War, which is the more common understanding of the word’s meaning here in the West). The concept itself is not only limited to Islam, however, but is a universal call of action to people from all faith backgrounds.

According to Mr. John Heit:

Jihad is the effort to purify oneself from within, to purify oneself of selfish appetites–the intention behind the action is important to the action itself…The greater jihad is further divided into three types of struggle:

1) Jihad of the Heart ( the struggle for moral reformation and faith)

2) Jihad of the Tongue (the struggle to proclaim God’s word abroad; right speech)

3) Jihad of the Hand (doing good works in accord with the will of God)

Just a Thought: Apple Trees and the Trinity

Reblogged from

Just a Thought: Apple Trees and the Trinity

Introduction by ArchMadria Pamela

3 Apple Trees in blossom
3 fruiting Apple Trees

ArchMatrona Georgia Cobb of the Lady of Light Chantry, recently sent me an article on the Trinity and the Apple Tree theme. This article compared the Christian Trinity to an apple tree with the very interesting analogy that specifically referred to the the Fuji and Gala apple trees. I think the theology and comparison here are quite sound. How appropriate it would be to apply this article to the Divine Feminine Trinity, as the apple has always represented the Goddess and Wisdom and the apple tree and its seeds are featured in our scriptures under The Seed of Truth.

The idea that the true original tasting apple does not come from the seed, but must come from a grafting from the original tree would equally apply to the Janati. Rather than being separate ‘angels’ or daughter goddesses, the Janati are part of the Original ‘Tree’, the Original Trinity, Herself. They are not the fruit of the tree, nor are they new trees from seeds; they are the original tree in Seven (grafted) Forms. This is why we say that Dea is One and Three and Seven. She is a Unity, a Trinity and a Septet. Like the Trinity, the Janati are One, of One Essence, and yet, Individual. They are our Guardian Mothers as well as being the Seven Planetary Powers or the Seven Spirits of Dea.

ArchMadria Pamela


The Article by Michael – Alexandrian theologian

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out the Trinity.  One of the things that I’ve been wrestling with is the idea of Jesus being of the same substance (homoousios, ὁμοουσιος) as the Father while also being a distinct person (Hypostasis, ὑποστασις) . Likewise for the Holy Spirit.  How can they be of the same substance or essence, but be three distinct persons?  Here is a thought that is completely inadequate in some regards, but may be helpful for understanding how something can be three things but of the same substance.

In horticulture there are several ways of growing plants, most commonly people plant seeds and watch the plant grow, but there is also the technique of cutting.  In cutting, you simply snip off part of the plant and plant the cut piece, allowing it to develop roots.  It could be simple enough to say that the trinity is just like a cutting, producing multiple objects, but from the very same plant or substance (homoousios); however, I would like to take the example a little further and talk about the apple tree.

If you didn’t know this, every Fuji or Gala apple that you have eaten essentially came from the same tree.  I do not mean a single tree that is overworked, or produces an insane amount of apples.  I mean that every Fuji flavored apple tree is a cutting originating back to a single Fuji apple tree.  You cannot take the seeds out of a Fuji apple, plant them, and then get a Fuji apple.  You will most likely get a very bitter, sour-tasting apple.  Apple seeds in their genetic makeup randomize the flavor of the apple; therefore, in order to get the exact same taste you must take a clipping from the original tree.  Only the original tree can produce the Fuji apple.

Now let us bring it back full circle to the trinity.  Imagine that you have three apple trees standing in front of you.  Each has one of those nice little tree placs.  One says Father. The second Son. The third Holy Spirit.   How would you know that they are of the same plant? You would have to taste their fruit.  If all three produced the same apple taste, then you would know that they are indeed of the same original plant or substance (homoousios). Yet, as you stand before them, you notice that what you have just tasted is not a piece from three distinct branches of the same tree, but three distinct trees. They are like the three distinct persons (hypostasis).  They are most certainly three distinct objects, but they are really part of the same tree. Oddly enough, the three plants are actually one plant. In relation to the trinity, there are not three gods (tritheism), but three forms of the same substance!   You are assured that they are one and the same but three by the very fruit that they produce. Each plant is distinctly and exactly the same thing.

I fully recognize that this analogy is lacking in some areas. Indeed, the trinity is a divine mystery. In order for it to be a more adequate representation of the trinity as affirmed in orthodox Christianity, the first tree would be uncreated (eternal) never having a beginning as a seed. Likewise, the second and third trees would could not to have been said as created at a later time, but eternally coexisting with the original tree, having been begotten eternally (a very difficult concept to grasp). So the analogy breaks down, but I do think it helps to capture the idea of three persons in one substance.

Anyway, I hope that this post may help some of you begin or further contemplate the triune god.   Blessings