Carmilla De Rosa and I were having a conversation recently. She asked me my thoughts upon the matter of the role of courtship and marriage within Filianism. I have spent almost a week meditating upon this question. I have consulted my copy of the Gospel of Our Mother God. I have prayed and sought answers by way of oracle tools that I am proficient in the use of. I also threw myself into researching the thoughts of others both from the Aristasian perspective and from the Daughters of Shining Harmony perspective. (Both are quite similar but I have found subtle variations between the two.)
The one thing that continually presented itself was a very simple statement:
Love is Holy.
Let us consider the role of love between Dea and humanity. It is generally understood to be a maternal love that is unconditional. It is more then this, however, for there are ecstatic mystics who have experienced Dea's love as that of one who is their amorous partner. While we are most familiar with the maternal frame of reference with respect to love of Dea (and the divine), the experience of love is more then that narrow definition. Indeed if we examine all of the ways that love manifests in the world, we find that what changes is the focus but the emotion remains the same.
If this is true, if the emotion of love remains the same despite if the focus is that of the parent, child, or lover, then we must accept that all forms of love are valid. Additionally, we must accept that all forms of love are holy for love is a gift of Dea and a manifestation of her blessings. Indeed, it is far more then that, but let us limit ourselves to this comprehension of the concept for the purpose of this discussion. Dea is the most persistent of lovers for she is always expressing that love at all times.
It is in imitation of Dea that we engage in courtship rituals then. For we are expressing our love and desire for union (in spirit, body, or some other form) in our actions as people who are courting another. It is an expression of love and desire for union that the Daughter becomes manifest, takes on her fate, dies, and resurrects. The Daughter, as a face of Dea, is her hand reaching out to us to draw us close. This could be argued as an act of courtship, if we define courtship as an expression of love and desire for union with another.
Love and courtship are a reflection of Dea. Love is a reflection of her love for all existence. Courtship is a reflection of her reaching for us. Marriage, by logical extension, would be a reflection of our coming into communion with her.
Now, some would wonder what of the controversial matters of homosexual relationships and non-monogamous relationships. If we consider that in Dea's eyes, we are all equal and that we are all loved, there is no grounds to deny the validity of these relationships. They are but different petals upon the same rose known as love and should be delighted in as part of that fragrant, blessed flower, not shunned because they are not identical to another petal.