Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Heart of Water

The Heart of Water is a Filianic idea that I find useful in many different ways. Before I talk about the way this idea helps me with things, let me first explain what it is. The heart of water is a receptive state wherein the person who attains it sees the whole of existence as their kin. The person who possesses the heart of water is described in the following ways by the scripture:
  • Gentle
  • Meek
  • Forgiving
  • Possessing natural authority1
  • Obedient to those of authority
There is another element to the heart of water that is not directly expressed, but rather implied. The heart of water is responsive to the situations that arise. It is 'fluid' enough to adapt to circumstances and to respond to threats that arise. Where the heart of ice is brittle and static, the heart of water is freely moving, strong enough to absorb most energy, and resilient. The traits of the element of Water are indeed those of fluidity, resilience, and motion. In several western magical systems, Water is considered to be more mutable than Earth but less so than Air (which is in turn less mutable than Fire). The Filianic cosmological system places Water as one of the three foundational elements of existence2.

It is, in fact, the first one mentioned directly in the scriptures. As a foundational element of the cosmos, Water is something that would naturally be a significant part of the theology3. The heart of water in many ways returns the practitioner to that formative time in the history of existence4. By maintaining a focus upon retaining the qualities of the heart of water, the practitioner is consciously realigning themselves towards the thamë of their existence5. They also will find that it is easier for them to access the states of grace that comes from their natural connection with Dea.

In my personal practices, working to maintain a heart of water is such that I find myself treating myself with greater compassion and love. I also find myself with greater compassion and understanding for the world around me. It also strengthens my connection with Dea and the world of the spirits. Some may argue that qualities such as gentleness and being meek don't mesh with the other deities I follow. I would offer the following rebuttal:

1. Gentleness is a choice that demonstrates considerable control over one's personal power and strength. It could even be described as a form of strength. A strength of will, if you would, that the individual exercises to retain control over themselves in the face of situations where they would otherwise be moved to be harsh. I would also contend that gentleness does not preclude one from taking measures to defend themselves or others.

2. Meek is not the same thing as being a proverbial doormat. Meek is another way to describe humility. True humility is guided by intense and intimate knowledge of oneself and their abilities. The humble need not boast to attain their fame. Their deeds speak for them. Where others may make exaggerated declarations to self-aggrandize, the humble makes simple statements of what they will accomplish. They do not embellish their tales but rather allow the facts to be as they are.

I believe that the pride that the text I linked to above is warning against is not the healthy natural pride that encourages one to be filled with self-respect and dignity. I believe it is the level of pride that leads one to bravado and foolishness. In short, arrogance and hubris.

1. Authority is something of a state of grace that is derived from Dea. The classical Filianic view upon society is that it is a pyramidal structure like an absolute monarchy, when in it's 'correct' orientation. The vision of society that is presented by Filianism is of a benevolent absolute monarchy that is ultimately ruled by Dea herself, within the Daughter as Princess of the World. The priestess of Dea are placed as those of greater authority than the more worldly people of higher society, though ultimately the priestess and overlord (overlady? I'm not sure what is the most orthodox phrasing here.) share their duties and submission to Dea.

As a heterodox Filyani, my views upon authority are a bit different. I recognize societies are built upon social contracts. Ultimately, authority can be found within the individual. When societies develop their social contracts, I understand this particular section of the scriptures calling us to honor our obligations both as people who are submitting to the authority of others and as people who assume authority. In another post, I may discuss how I view the interplay between faith, social contracts, and politics.

2. The Filianic cosmological system is another interesting thing that falls outside the scope of this piece. It is something that is very much an implied set of things, as the texts vary rarely will define things in concrete terms. Still, there is an organized system for viewing the whole of existence and the relationships between all things within it.

3. I use the term theology as a gender neutral term. I know that others within the Filianic/Déanic community would prefer the term thealogy. I, however, struggle with the use of it. I ask that those who are disinclined towards the term theology in use discussing Filianic matters please understand this is not intended as a slight.

4. The Golden Age is a mytho-historic period wherein all of existence is in union with Dea, as per the Filianic scriptures and mythos. It is not a point of history but something that is suspended outside of our concept of time because said concept of time did not exist prior to the descent of the First Daughter into incarnation.

5. In my consideration of the matter of thamë and its implications, I have come to the conclusion that there are a few different ways that harmony with the celestial order of existence comes into play. First is that of personal thamë wherein an individual is true to their inner nature. Second is interpersonal thamë wherein all parties strive to maintain a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship. Third is collective thamë, whereby societies work to be maintained in a harmonious and mutually beneficial way. Finally, there is global thamë where the different societies of the world work towards said goals. There are some additional nuances to this, but this my rough theory.

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