Images and Symbolism of Our Lady of Grace

Images and Symbolism
of Our Lady of Grace

I was not raised in any religion, but I have always been fascinated by images: prayer cards, statues and stained glass of the Virgin Mary.

The Filianic Scriptures: Creation Title 1 Chapter 3 Verse 1-2

1. As the rain fell, the light came again, and a rainbow appeared in the sky, shedding its light upon all things. 2. And whereas all things had been silver, now they took on every hue and colour, and the world was beautiful; but it was not so beautiful as it had formerly been.

These verses symbolise the start of gradual journeying away from the Spirit: the Centre: Dea, into more consolidated planes of existence. Therefore because of the rainbow coloured light rays, I think of this image as Di Jana in all the manifest planes of existence.

MotherMary......

 

These are the more traditional images:

These are all modern artworks:

Divine Mother Mary by Patrick Hoenderkamp

Divine Mother Mary by Patrick Hoenderkamp

Mother Mary Above Ural by Tatiana F. Light

Mother Mary Above Ural by Tatiana F. Light

Mother Mary Nebula by Tara Rieke

Mother Mary Nebula by Tara Rieke

Detail of Our Lady of Grace, Trompe L'oeil Mural by Michela Mansuino

Detail of Our Lady of Grace, Trompe L’oeil Mural by Michela Mansuino

All of these images portray the Virgin Mary with arms positioned next to her body (like a triangle) with palms flat and open radiating the light of Divine Graces (Energies) downwards.

What does that gesture signify? I could not find any mention of this in Christianity on the internet apart from the brief observation: “…The outstretched hands of Mary are full of all graces and gifts with which she desires to endow people…”

“Gesture of Charity”
(varada) This gesture is also called “Gift bestowing Gesture of Compassion” or “conferring boon” or “grace” mudra. The arm is extended all way down with palm facing outwards. You can find varadamudrâ sometimes also as a left-hand gesture. This is
the mudra of Dhyani Buddha Ratnasamhava, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and (sometimes) standing Buddha Shakyamuni.
http://www.buddhas-online.com/mudras.html

Our Lady of Grace, Title Origins

Q: What is the origin of the name of my parish: “Our Lady of Grace”?

A: The name of your particular parish may derive from various sources: a special devotion of the founding pastor, his own creation, so to speak, without reference to a specific title or sanctuary; the wish of immigrants to perpetuate the parish of their old country, etc. You may want to do some research along those lines.

In general, the expression Our Lady of Grace is of medieval origin, especially well known in France, connected frequently with the Marian sanctuary of Cambrai, France. However, the roots of this title are much older. They are of biblical origin where Mary is called kecharitomene: the fully-graced one, the all-graced one (Lk 1:28). The Eastern tradition calls Mary Panhagia (the all-holy one).

The first meaning of Our Lady of Grace refers to her own holiness. But very early on, Mary was invoked as the uniquely blessed one (see the Sub tuum praesidium, fourth century) and as the mother of mercy (see the acathist hymn, perhaps around 530). She is also the one who intercedes for us with God to obtain his grace.
https://udayton.edu/imri/mary/o/our-lady-of-grace-title-origins.php

 

 

The Significance of Psalms?

The Significance of Psalms?

13th-century_painters_-_Amesbury_Psalter_-_WGA15754

Amesbury Psalter, Wiltshire (Donated in 18th Century by Dr Daniel Lysons to The Coderington Library, All Souls College, Oxford). Unknown Miniaturist, English (active in the 1240s).
A touching example occurs in the Amesbury Psalter where a nun, probably the owner of the book, is seen at the feet of the Madonna who suckles her Child.
The Amesbury Psalter Madonna and Child Thesis by Doreen Nalos, University of British Columbia 1973

https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/831/items/1.0093772

Reblogged from https://theahaus.wordpress.com/2013/05/

Over the past year I have been periodically posting from a group of medieval 13th century psalms from The Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What is the significance of these psalms in particular and of  psalms such of those of the Bible in general? Are psalms just pretty poetry, full of metaphors, exaggerations, and imaginative language not to be taken too seriously? Are they just of entertainment value as most of us today take poetry? Well the biblical psalms and the medieval Marian psalms are certainly beautiful. However that is not all that they are.

To look at the question of the significance of psalms we first have to look at their significance in the history of religion. To do that we must look at some aspects of what they do. Enclosed are two Marian psalms to help in this.

Wound my Heart – psalm 82

O my Lady, who shall be like unto thee ? In grace and glory you surpass all.

As the heavens are above the earth: so are you high above all, and exceedingly exalted.

Wound my heart with your love: make me worthy of your grace and your gifts.

May my heart melt in thy fear: and may the desire of thee inkindle my soul.

Make me desire your honor and your glory: that I may be received by you .

The Foundation of Life – psalm 86

The foundation of life in the soul of the just is to persevere in love unto the end.

Your grace raises up the poor man in adversity: and the invocation of your name inspires him with confidence.

Paradise is filled with thy mercies: and by the fear of thee the infernal enemy is confounded.

He who hopes in thee, will find treasures of peace:

And he who invokes you not in this life, will not attain to your kingdom.

Grant, O Lady, that we may live in the grace of the Holy Spirit: and lead our souls to a good end.

~

On viewing both of these psalms / poems / hymns it becomes clear that praise of the Deity  lies at their center. “Wound my Heart” begins its first line with “O Lady who shall be like unto you? ” It continues with ” As the heavens are above the earth so are you above all.” Within “The Foundation of Life” the spirit of praise is not  so direct. However it is implicit in the text. By citing the Lady’s achievement and actions “Your grace raises up the poor man,” “Paradise is filled with your mercies.” the praise is still very much there. In the centrality of praise both of these hymns are very typical of psalms in general.

The second primary aspect of the psalms is that they address the Deity in the form of petition. Historically peoples and individuals have tended to pray for concrete things such as good harvests, help in personal troubles, help in war, etc. The Marian and Biblical psalms  are some what different for in them more spiritual gifts are often requested. Thus the saint asks that he or she be brought closer to the Lady by “having her heart wounded by the Lady’s love,” that ” we be made worthy of her gifts and grace,” that we may live by the grace of the holy spirit.” Of course in other hymns other things are asked for such as deliverance from enemies, sins, or illness.

In all these things the Biblical and Marian hymns are not exceptional. They do for certain religious communities i.e. the Jewish national community and the monastic communities of the Medieval period what all religious communities have done, that is to address the Deity(s) in praise and thanksgiving and to petition the deity for the good things of life. Certainly the hymns and writings of the monotheistic faiths of the West, of Christianity, Judaism and Islam are full of both praise and petition. The hymns and sacred songs  of Hinduism, Sikhism, and other world religions often do much the same.

The ancient pagan religions of ancient Egypt, Greece, Sumeria, etc were no exception to this. The ancient peoples all regularly sang hymns of praise and petitions to their gods and goddesses. Unfortunately because these religions were ultimately eradicated by a triumphal Christianity, their psalms generally preserved orally by religious priesthoods have generally been eliminated. Ask yourself a question.  How many songs of praise do we still have for Athena, Demeter, the Celtic Bridget?  The fact that we have so few is not because they did not exist. They were eliminated.

The significance of psalms? While some may not feel any loss, I and, I  suspect,  many others have felt great loss. I  feel loss in the fact that almost all of the beautiful devotional psalms and songs that are now used in worship are used  only in masculined religions to a masculine God. The songs that exist are to Jesus , the Father, the King and Lord and never to the Queen of Heaven and Earth. It is a misfortune that almost all communal worship in this society is addressed only to a Father and Lord and never to a Mother and Lady. This is at least part of what the monopolization of religion by both Christianity and Islam has done to us.

However fortunately the Queen of Heaven in her mercy in Christianity at least has revealed herself in the form of the Virgin Mary and by inspiring her psalms and other devotions has given us songs of praise by which we may praise her name.

Glenn King

https://theahaus.wordpress.com/2013/05/

Virtues: Faith, Hope, Love: Grace the Divine’s blessing

Virtues: Faith, Hope, Love:
Grace the Divine’s blessing

Like our friends the Catholics, the traits of faith, hope, and love are holy virtues that are well enshrined within the Filianist’s heart. Similar to their perspective, we also believe that these three traits are special Graces bestowed by the Divine.

stainedglassfaithhopelove

stained glass window depicting the virtues of faith, hope and love

Faith in Dea (in all manifestations), Her actions (as described in the Scriptures), and in Her ability to hear our cries and respond to them forms the core of a Filianist’s understanding of their relationship to Dea. Faith is a virtue that is bestowed upon us by the Divine and also a choice that we make regularly.

It is an especially challenging virtue to maintain during times of difficulty. The person who keeps the light of faith burning within their breast moves through life with the sister virtues easily within reach. Equally challenging to to maintain in times of travail is the virtue of hope. Hope shares many traits with faith and could be described as faith’s twin sister.

Hope in Dea’s love, mercy, and regard helps a Filianic believer to persevere despite the challenges that beset them. Hope in the Daughter’s redemption of the Universe helps a Filianist endure the metaphysical horror of Hiatus. Hope in reunion with the Mother in the end of all things helps a Filianist to endure the perceived distance that comes during what St. John of the Cross described as the Dark Night of the Soul. Where the Christian version of the ‘dark night’ speaks of the struggles of renouncing the world and the times of spiritual crisis, a Filianist has a similar challenge, wherein they renounce the illusory aspect of reality.

Love is, as the Christian Apostle Paul is attributed with writing, the greatest of virtues. Much has been written about this most holy virtue. Indeed, if one takes a moment to review what this Christian man had written, one finds a very deep and accurate picture of love. Love that abides in the heart of a Filianist is a reflection of the love that abides in the heart of Dea. It is a grace that is given to all, regardless of their station or background. It can be found in all places, for the Daughter has brought this ‘light’ of the Mother into all things. It is also the very fabric of reality that is sustained by the Mother’s hand, breath, and nature.

Much of the mysticism of the Filianic faith is rooted in an understanding and direct experience of these three virtues. They are the warp upon which the systems of belief and practice are woven. They are our direct ‘line’ to Dea that serves to both tether us to Her and sustain us regardless of the difficulties that we weather in life. There are times, however, where we falter in our practice of these virtues.

The faithful may suffer a lapse in their faith. The hopeful may despair. The lovers may turn indifferent. In these times where we struggle to maintain these virtues, it is good to continue to perform the exercises wherein we express them, as hollow as it may feel. The exercises of prayers of gratitude and acts of charity serves to act as a guide for the soul to find her1 way back to security in the virtues. In the next post, I will describe prayerful acts that serve to support and nourish the soul during times of difficulty. It is good to remember that even when we falter in our expression of these virtues, they do not completely vanish when we do not express them.

The seed of these traits lay within all. It is by way of the Divine’s blessing (also known as Grace) that this potential can be found in all that is. The temple of the heart, spoken of in the Filianic sutra of the same name, is the residing place of these ‘seeds’. They blossom forth by way of Divine will and our effort to nurture them with prayer, contemplation, and action. All who believe in the Divine in it’s multifaceted, independently experienced splendor are the fruit of these ‘seeds’ regardless of the religion or spiritual practice they adhere to. Indeed, one could argue that all who believe are kin because of the fact that they believe.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
1. The gendered term of ‘her’ is used for the sake of convention, not out of an argument that the soul is of a specific gender. It is the author’s understanding that the soul is something that is independent of gender or gender-fluid.

http://veiledwitch.blogspot.com/2014/06/virtues-faith-hope-love.html

The Moons of Grace 1st Grace / 16th May – 28th Grace / June 12th 2016

The Moons of Grace 1st Grace / 16th May – 28th Grace / June 12th 2016

Crowned moon with relief by Jakeukalane

Grace:

May 21st: Grace Moon. (For the Celestial Mother).

June 5th: Dark Moon. (For the Great Mother).

June 9th: (4 days after the Dark Moon): Crescent Moon. (For the Holy Daughter).

http://www.calendar-uk.co.uk/lunar-calendar/may/2016/
http://www.calendar-uk.co.uk/lunar-calendar/june/2016/

Sacred Month of Grace May 16 – June 12

Sacred Month of Grace May 16 – June 12

For my predecessors in the Deanic Faith this month was named Hera. Its sacred meaning of the Heroine Month, or Saint Month.

This is based upon one etymology among several.
There were 2 groups of Madrians, 1 the publicity seeking, lesbian separatists and 2 the more secretive gendar inclusive group from which Clan Jana originates. So in future I will number the source Madrian1 and Madrian2.

“Hera as being someone who ultimately has achieved their Sacred Moments. They no longer need to incarnate and they are assumed and Transformed into Pure Love and live in Perfect Union with the Holy One, Our Divine Mother God. Though a person has achieved enlightenment, that does not necessarily mean that they have been assumed into the Supernal Realm. We can think of Quan Yin as an example. I also don’t necessarily equate achieving enlightenment, or what I call Gnosis with being Transformed into Perfect Love. I don’t really think miracles are necessary. That is more of a Catholic requirement.”
ArchMadria Pamela of Clan Jana

“Just because a Hera is able to perform miracles, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we need proof of them.”
Madria Kathi

In the Madria Olga Lotar Documents, the definition of an Hera is: “A spiritually advanced soul, who has gained enlightenment or Realization and is able to perform miracles.” (Madrian2).

The Madrian1 definition: “A hera is someone who has attained spiritual perfection and freed herself from the wheel of birth and death. They are concerned with helping others to follow them and may take human form”.

Etymology
“The name of Hera admits a variety of mutually exclusive etymologies; one possibility is to connect it with Greek ὥρα hōra, season, and to interpret it as ripe for marriage and according to Plato ἐρατή eratē, “beloved”[4] as Zeus is said to have married her for love.[5] According to Plutarch, Hera was an allegorical name and an anagram of aēr (ἀήρ, “air”).[6] So begins the section on Hera in Walter Burkert’s Greek Religion.[7] In a note, he records other scholars’ arguments “for the meaning Mistress as a feminine to Heros, Master.” John Chadwick, a decipherer of Linear B, remarks “her name may be connected with hērōs, ἥρως, ‘hero’, but that is no help, since it too is etymologically obscure.”[8] A. J. van Windekens,[9] offers “young cow, heifer”, which is consonant with Hera’s common epithet βοῶπις (boōpis, “cow-eyed”). R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin.[10] Her name is attested in Mycenaean Greek written in the Linear B syllabic script as 𐀁𐀨, e-ra, appearing on tablets found in Pylos and Thebes.[11]”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hera

HERA was the Queen of the gods, and goddess of the sky, women and marriage.
Her Greek myths http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/HeraMyths.html

Hera

The polos is the only attribute of the Queen of Heaven
“Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a high cylindrical crown worn by several of the Great Goddesses)…”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hera

Negatives:
Revenge on Zeus
Hera was a very jealous and vengeful wife. She wanted Zeus all to herself, but Zeus cheated on her constantly with other goddesses and with mortal women. Hera often took out her revenge on the women who Zeus loved and the children they had with Zeus.

Heracles
One example of Hera’s revenge is the story of the hero Heracles who was Zeus’s son by the mortal woman Alcmene. Hera first tried to kill Heracles as a baby by sending two serpents to his bed, but this failed when Heracles killed the serpents. She later caused Heracles to go mad and kill his wife and children. As punishment for killing his family, Heracles was forced to perform the Twelve Labors. Hera made these labors as difficult as possible, hoping that Heracles would be killed.

Some of the women and goddesses that Hera exacted revenge on included Callisto, Semele, Io, and Lamia.

A nymph named Echo was given the job of distracting Hera from Zeus’s affairs. When Hera discovered what Echo was doing, she cursed Echo into only repeating the last few words that others said to her (this is where the modern word “echo” comes from).”
http://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_greece/hera.php

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This name was chosen to replace the Roman month of Juno/June.

Etymology
“The name Juno was also once thought to be connected to Iove (Jove), originally as Diuno and Diove from *Diovona.[4] At the beginning of the 20th century, a derivation was proposed from iuven- (as in Latin iuvenis, “youth”), through a syncopated form iūn- (as in iūnix, “heifer”, and iūnior, “younger”). This etymology became widely accepted after it was endorsed by Georg Wissowa.[5]”

Iuuen- is related to Latin aevum and Greek aion (αιών) through a common Indo-European root referring to a concept of vital energy or “fertile time”.[6] The iuvenis is he who has the fullness of vital force.[7] In some inscriptions Jupiter himself is called Iuuntus, and one of the epithets of Jupiter is Ioviste, a superlative form of iuuen- meaning “the youngest”.[8] Iuventas, “Youth”, was one of two deities who “refused” to leave the Capitol when the building of the new Temple of Capitoline Jove required the exauguration of deities who already occupied the site.[9] Juno is the equivalent to Hera, the Greek goddess for love and marriage. Juno is the Roman goddess of love and marriage. Ancient etymologies associated Juno’s name with iuvare, “to aid, benefit”, and iuvenescendo, “rejuvenate”, sometimes connecting it to the renewal of the new and waxing moon, perhaps implying the idea of a moon goddess.[10]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_(mythology)

hera1

Deanic Etymology

“Some etymologists would prefer to assume Juno’s name is derived from a word meaning “youth” as in “juvenile”, and that Juno is a personification of the “youthful” or “new” moon. In my mind, this assumption is a clear case of Patriarchal “solarization” of all things masculine and “lunation” of all things feminine. To me, Ju-no, like Ju-peter are the feminine and masculine forms of the same title. The initial syllible Ju/Deju from “deiywu” means “divine” literally “shining”, “daylight sky”, (not “moonlight night”). The second syllables ”no” or “peter” designate the gender of the person as feminine/queen/mother or masculine/king/father. So Ju-no means Divine/Shining-Queen Mother as Ju-peter means Divine/Shining-King/Father.”
ArchMatrona Georgia

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Cults of Juno were well established in the Italic states surrounding Rome from antiquity. She was the principle deity of many towns, representing rulership and strength.

Juno was also widely connected with women’s issues. In Latium and Rome, she was the goddess of childbirth in her guise of Juno Lucina. To Ovid, the name ‘Lucina’ is derived from lux or in the plural form luces- the latin for ‘light’, particularly daylight.

Cicero , on the other hand associated it with lucere ‘to shine,’ specifically the moon at night and attributed the name to Juno because of this connection between the moon and the length of pregnancy.

June: The Month of Juno?

As Rome’s Queen of the gods, Juno’s transformation was complete. ‘I love no nation more’ says the Juno of Ovid’s Fasti.

But did the Roman’s love their chief goddess enough to name the month of June after her?

The Ovid’s Juno certainly believed this was the case. “Why call me regina ‘queen’ and princeps goddess, why place the golden sceptre in my hand? Shall days or luces make a month and title me ‘lucina’ and I draw no month’s name?” says the goddess.

But in the Fasti, other dieties appear to argue against Juno’s belief. The goddess Juventas claims that June is named – like Juno herself – from the iuventas, the young people, one of the two age specific groups Romulus divided the roman people into.

The Goddess Concordia attributes the month’s name to an event from the same era but this time referring to iunctus-the joining of the Roman and Sabine communities.

But interestingly, according to Macrobius’s Saturnalia , the month of June was known as Junonius or ‘of juno’ by the Latins of Aricia and Praeneste (1.12.30), suggesting the Roman’s may have inherited the name of the month along with the goddess.

The jury is out on whether the Romans named June after their queen of the gods. But she is certainly the goddess we most associate with the month today.

http://decodedpast.com/roman-goddess-juno-month-of-june/10241
About Natasha Sheldon
Natasha Sheldon studied ancient history and archaeology at Leicester and Bristol Universities in the UK. She was awarded the Arnold Wycombe Gomme prize for Ancient History and holds a BA honours in ancient history and archaeology and a MA in ancient history and historiography.
Natasha researches and writes mainly on the subjects of ancient history and archaeology. Her specialist area is Roman history. Both of her dissertations in the field of magic and religion in the Roman Empire have been published. They are: The Origins and Meaning of Roman Witchcraft and Roman Magic and Religion in Late Antiquity. Natasha is currently involved in further research in this area.

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Given Name LUCINA
GENDER: Feminine
PRONOUNCED: loo-SEEN-ə (English)   [key]
Meaning & History
Derived from Latin lucus meaning “grove”, but later associated with lux “light”. This was the name of a Roman goddess of childbirth.

All about Juno
https://witchesofthecraft.com/2014/06/21/deity-of-the-day-for-june-21-is-juno-goddess-of-marriage/

Hera and Juno – the similarities and differences

“Most of the people thought that Juno was just a counterpart of Hera, and the only difference between them is the country their myths came from, but now we know that Juno and Hera were not just similar in every way but different in some ways also. Hera was the goddess who was famous for her jealousy of her husband’s, Zeus’s, girlfriends and her vengeful nature while Juno wasn’t. She was more of the protective calm mother. Juno was associated with the moon, and was called the moon goddess, but Hera had nothing to do with moons.”
http://myths.e2bn.org/mythsandlegends/userstory20445-hera-vs-juno.html

“Juno’s own warlike aspect among the Romans is apparent in her attire. She often appeared sitting pictured with a peacock[3] armed and wearing a goatskin cloak. The traditional depiction of this warlike aspect was assimilated from the Greek goddess Hera, whose goatskin was called the ‘aegis’.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_(mythology)

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Clan Jana – Charis [KAR-is] meaning Grace.

Joseph H. Thayer made some significant observations concerning the meaning of charis: “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness…good-will, loving-kindness, favor… charis is used pre-eminently of that kindness by which God [Dea] bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ [Di Jana].”
https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts/index.cgi?a=30