A recent comment from a Devotee:
Congratulations on the addition to your family! I hope mother & child are healthy and happy.
I can hardly contain myself for the posts on Advent & Nativity! It seems so wonderful and exciting to me this year. I’ve already begun putting up decorations, nearly a full week earlier than my family has done in years, and taking slightly larger steps to adding more pieces – such as Advent Candles – into the house this year.
I have seen it mentioned in several places today – the Sun Wheel and the Silver Tree. What are those? Or should I wait until your posts on them?
Dear Rebekah, thank you so much! Grandchildren are truly a joy! I am now blessed with six grandchildren!!! Both mother and son are doing great, thank you. And thank you for your contagious enthusiasm about the upcoming Holy Season!
Spiritually, we have one of the holiest months of the year ahead of us during which we celebrate the emanation of the Holy Daughter from the Celestial Mother.
Our scriptures use the traditional story of a Divine Birth on the Cosmic level in order to describe the eternal emanation of the Daughter from the Mother. This emanation is similar to the emanation of Sophia from the Barbelo, aka, Higher Sophia and this is also similar to Lower Shekinah emanating from Higher Shekinah.
The Holy Daughter emanates from the Celestial Mother in order to be here, with us. She is immanent, with us and She clothes, covers and protects our spirits with our souls. This is what makes our life here on Earth possible.
There can be no more intimate relationship with Deity than that of the Holy Daughter sharing Her very Soul with us. (This thealogy is taken from authentic teachings.)
And so, this coming feast of Daughter’s Day, the day of Yule, is a source of great joy for Janite Deanists. The Holy Daughter is our North Star of Hope. She separates from the Divine Mother in order to be here, in union with us. It was not the Mother’s Will to allow us to dwell in complete exile and so, She sent Her Holy Daughter to us.
The Daughter is our bridge to the Divine Mother and at the end of our incarnations, we, our spirits and souls, will be assumed, along with the Holy Daughter, into full reunion/communion with Our Divine Mother God, where we will abide with Her in everlasting Bliss. This is what we are celebrating on Daughter’s Day, which some call the Nativity of the Holy Daughter.
During the month of Astrea, we also look forward to the feast of Madria Sofia, Jana of Wisdom, which takes place on 1 Astrea/Nov. 28. Next, on 7 Astrea/Dec. 4, we light our first candle of the Sunwheel, which is the Green candle of Wisdom. This Sacred Month culminates with the lovely celebration of the Star Maiden on 28 Astrea/Dec. 25th. This works well for those who practice a dual Path of both Deanism and Christianity.
(Please note: some of our devotees practice a dual Path. Some are Jews and Christians for whom the Deanic Faith is the “Mother God side of religion”. Others are Pagans or Druids who also incorporate the Deanic Faith, although our belief system is different than that of neo-Paganism. And, of course, for many devotees, the Deanic Faith is their sole religion similar to the Shakti Tradition of Hinduism.)
Now that I have laid the basic thealogical foundation of the upcoming feast days, I will be writing weekly updates on the lighting of the Sunwheel. For now, I will offer a basic explanation of the Deanic Sunwheel and the Janite Tradition of the Silver Tree.
The Sunwheel, a beautiful tradition which was incorporated into the Deanic Faith by ArchMatrona Georgia Cobb of the Lady of Light Chantry, is very much like an Advent Wreath (which has pre-Christian origins), except we use different colored candles which represent our main Five Symbols.
An actual Advent Wreath may be used and the fifth candle placed in the center; you may purchase a five candle Advent wreath as shown above, or you may simply buy five pillar-style candles and place them in a circle and decorate the circle as you please. In the footnote below is an amazing array of five candle advent wreaths that are available as well as examples of home-made wreaths. (see footnote 1).
Beginning with the first Sunnadi (Sun day)/Sunday on 28 Samhain/Nov. 27th: the Green candle of Wisdom is lit. This is symbolic of Dea Madria or Mother God as the Apple of Wisdom.
The second Sunnadi on 7 Astrea/Dec. 4: we light the Yellow candle of Hope. This is symbolic of Dea Filia or Daughter God as the (North) Star of Hope.
Third Sunnadi on 14 Astrea/Dec. 11: the Violet candle of Faith is lit. This is symbolic of Dea Matrona or Great Mother God as the Fora of Faith.
Fourth Sunnadi on: we light the Blue candle of Peace. This is symbolic of Dea Filia, Daughter God as the Dove of Peace.
On Yule Eve, Rosadi (Rose day)/Tuesday 23 Astrea/Dec. 20: we light the Red candle of Joy. This is symbolic of Dea Madria, Mother God, as the Rose of Joy.
These candles not only represent the Five Sacred Symbols, but also the Five Holy Mysteries of our Faith of which the Symbols are, well, symbolic!
As the Apple of Wisdom, the Celestial Mother is the Ground and Matrix of All Being.
As the Star of Hope, the Holy Daughter comes to us as our Soteria (Saviouress in that She is here with us, gives us our souls and guides us back to the Divine Mother).
(Known as the Celtic North Star, this is what we call the Fora, the main symbol of our Faith. This pendant is available from Silver Insanity, Etsy and Amazon. Wheel of Being Celtic Knot Northstar and Genuine Amethyst Sterling Silver Pendant 18″ Necklace.)
As the Violet Fora of Faith, the Great Mother is the Primordial Source of the All.
As the Blue Dove of Peace, the Holy Daughter renews all life.
As the Red Rose of Joy, the Celestial Mother is our assumption into the inner Heavenly realm which we call the Real or the Pleroma (as opposed to the outer realm which our Tradition calls Avalon.) [Avala]
Each week, I will be listing appropriate scriptures to be read after lighting the candle (s), along with a brief devotional prayer. Devotees may also pray in their own words.
Very similar to the use of the Christian Advent wreath, each candle is first lit on a Sunnadi/Sunday and then each night thereafter during dinner time. It is extinguished after dinner. For Janites, Yule Eve, according to certain pre-Christian European Traditions, is Mother’s Night. Yule, according to the same Tradition, is Daughter’s Day and so you see that the Sunwheel culminates on the night before the Solstice, on Mother’s Night. In the Deanic Faith, the Celestial Mother is known as the Supernal Sun; the Holy Daughter is the Supernal Moon. In our Tradition, Supernal means both Heavenly and Primordial.
The Silver Tree is in honor of our Creation Story, where it is said that the original Creation was silver. The Silver Tree is also in honor of the Janati as their color is said to have been silver before they emanated from Dea Madria, Mother God, into the Seven Living Streams of Virtue.
Silver is said to contain all the colors of the rainbow. And so, for Janites, Silver is considered to be a sacred color, containing within all the potentialities of not only the Janati, but of Creation, itself.
I use the above Silver Tree that may be obtained from Yankee candle. (2) I tend to keep mine on my altar all year long. Others keep it solely as an Astrean (during the month of Astrea) tradition.
Some devotees actually use a silver Nativity tree and decorate it all in silver moons, suns, stars and fairies. This is my goal, as well. Each year, I hope to obtain more of these decorations until my tree is filled with them. Moons for Daughter God, Suns for Mother God, Stars for Great Mother God and fairies because we honor them along with the Fairie Queen Aine.
Thank you for your comment and question, Rebekah! May Our Lady bless you!
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides
2) Madria Kathi mentioned that sadly, the Silver Tree mentioned in the previous article is no longer available from the Yankee Candle website, but is still available via Amazon in the U. S. If you live near a Yankee Candle store, they might still carry them. Thank you, Madria, for this information.
Silver Fir Tree
Further thealogical thoughts from Sophia Ruth
The Silver Tree/Fir Tree is symbolic of the World Tree/Axis. It is situated at the central point of the universe whilst stretching out to the far corners. Just like Dea as the still point (transcendent Mother) and as the Sacred Essence in all creation (immanent Daughter).
The World Tree/Axis links Heaven, the manifest middle worlds / planes and the under world. It reflects the sacred role of our Holy Daughter.
It also reflects the sacred seasonal mysteries of the solstices / Gates of Heaven.
1. Feast of Divine Daughter, Stella Caeli – Star of Heaven, Yule, 24 Astrea / 21st December
The Daughter’s manifestation down into the dense planes of existence. To axial beings symbolised by the Star of hope.
The Northern Gateway. Lowest Gate of Heaven. Earth subtle element of Air.
Our Soteria (saviour) is immanent / with us which is joyous. The Quest is to realise that we in every life in the manifest planes have a portion of Holy Spirit (Mother) and Holy Soul (Daughter) which we as children of Dea (axial beings) have descended with to experience and learn all for our education. We must magnifying the Good Loving Light Divinity within, to ascend up back to our Celestial Mother.
2. Feast of Rose of Heaven, Rosa Caeli, 8th Rosa / 20th June
The Daughter’s return to the highest point on the world axis and the restoration of Her sovereignty over Creation, reunited with the Mother.
The Southern Gateway. Highest Gate of Heaven. Earth subtle element of Fire.
The Quest by which each person individually, and all humans collectively, strive to follow our Holy Soul Daughter. This Quest is conceived as being interior — a Quest to raise the soul from its sleep.
The Celestial Mother Mari as the Assumption of our souls in the manifest planes.
(The Druids Cal.) “The use of fir trees, holly, ivy, and bay all go back to druidic practices”.
Evergreen plants, symbolising the Eternal Divine Spirit of Holy Mother and Eternal Divine Soul of Holy Daughter in each child of Dea. We have existed eternally, before time and space, only our human body is mortal. [Sophia Ruth’s thought].
Why Light the Candles on Sunnadi?
Is there a particular reason behind lighting them on Sundays (sun days)/Sunnadis, and not on Mondays (moon days)/Lunadis leading up to the birth of the Daughter?
That is a good question, especially where Lunadi is the day of the Moon and the Holy Daughter is our Supernal Moon. So, in that way, the first lighting of the candles on Lunadi would make sense and I return to this idea at the end of this post.
As we know, in Christianity, each candle of the Advent Wreath is lit for the first time on a Sunday. Of course, Sunday is their holy day of the week and these candles are being lit in anticipation of the birth of the Divine Son.
For us, we weren’t sure, at first, which day would be our holy day of the week. Traditionally, Sat. has always been “Our Lady’s Day” in the Catholic Church and I liked that idea, but we seem to have gravitated towards Sunnadi/Sunday as being our Holy Day. This is the day when Janite priestesses tend to serve The Great Liturgy.
Another reason why Sunnadi has become our holy day is because it is the day of Madria Theia. She is the Jana Who represents the Divine Mother, the Supernal Sun. Her Name means Brilliant Light and She is the Jana of Illumination, all having to do with the Sun. The Sun is Her Symbol and Sunnadi is the day of the Sun. Candles, of course, are of the Element of Fire and are symbolic of the Sun.
Janites do not call this season Advent, rather, it is the Astrean Season which culminates on the Feast of the Star Maiden which is 28 Astrea/Dec. 25.
Advent, in the Christian Church, was originally a time of penance in preparation for the birth of the Son. In the Catholic Church, this is no longer a time of fasting, but in Orthodox Christianity, it is still a time of a strict fast.
For Janites and for the Lucienne Tradition (Lady of Light Chantry), rather than being a somber time of penance, the entire Season is a time of Joy. Our Sunwheel is Joy. Madria Theia is also the Jana of Joy. For Janites, the last lighting of the Sunwheel ends on Yule Eve, Mother’s Night, which symbolically signals the end of the Mother time of the year and the beginning of the Daughter time of the year.
So, the basic theme of the Sunwheel revolves around the Sun, of which the Supernal Moon is a gentle reflection. And we light it on Sunnadis not only because of the reasons mentioned above, but also because Sunnadi is our holy day in honor of the Supernal Sun, Herself.
We light them in the same way as the Advent Wreath in that we light the Green Candle of Wisdom, first. We will continue to light that candle during dinner time or early evening every night for the following week. On the next Sunnadi, we light the Yellow Candle of Hope and so two candles will be lit. This continues until all four candles are lit each night until Mother’s Night.
I hope this makes sense to you and answers your question. But, truly, if you find lighting the first candle on Lunnadi in anticipation of the birth of the Holy Daughter to be more appropriate, I would certainly support that as a valid Tradition considering the fact that we are anticipating the Appearance of the Supernal Moon!!!!
May Our Lady bless you,