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April 17, 2014 at 9:54 pm #763
Honored Princess Pureheart attempted to post this in the journal but had a little trouble. As the Journal is not our main venue I am posting it here for her instead:
I suppose that, being rather new to the Filianic faith, perhaps it is good to recount the path that took me here.
I was raised in a very cruel home. My mother was a materialist, militant atheist, who still views femininity as “weak” and “inferior”. Despite recognising the wickedness of patriarchy, she also sadly seems to fit right in with them. I was an uber-feminine little girl brought up in the late 1980s and early 1990s; I hated wearing pants and blue-jeans, wanted to wear nothing at all but ruffly dresses trimmed with bows and ribbons, loved teddy bears and tea parties and princesses, and wanted to be a ballet dancer by day & a mermaid by night.
Oh, but I will say this, I DID have some lovely, positive influences. Being as I have lived in Pennsylvania for most of my life, I spent much time among the Amish and Mennonites growing up. Despite a different view of God and other doctrinal things, I found that the Amish and Mennonites were the closest to “home” that ever I felt. At multiple points in my twenties I nearly joined, but that is a subject for another time.
In high school I became familiar with feminist paganism, thealogy, and new age systems of belief. While the idea of the Supreme Being as female appealed to me deeply, and many of the aspects of Feminine Divine appealed to me, there seemed to be a drastic disconnect between those beliefs and the reality I faced in that community. I was bullied for dressing modestly, for being a fanatic of Disney Princesses, for wearing feminine clothing, for not being “tough enough”, for preferring homemaking and cleaning and cooking and home decor over beer and pool and the like, for actually owning anything pink, lace trimmed or glittery. It also became difficult as I had little interest in dating–certainly not boys!–and that I wanted to spend my life with a lady. I sought a true love, a Disney Princess, a pure and innocent love; lust and manipulation were all that my peers sought.
My preference for traditional femininity led me to a brief stint in patriarchal Christianity, which oddly felt more at-home half of the time. But alas, it wasn’t enough; so while I kept my “Biblical Womanhood” tomes and my denim jumpers, blouses with “countenance-accenting” huge collars and ankle-length skirts, I couldn’t stay among such company, and left.
I did marry a young man eventually, and was free of my mother’s abuse once and for all. The Filianic faith was a suggestion by a dear sister in upstate New York, and I realised:
I have always believed this.
I will post more later. For now, much love and good night!
April 18, 2014 at 9:18 am #770
Honored Princess Pureheart,
I am glad that you found your way here. Thank you for sharing a bit of your Tellurian history. Your experience in Telluria is not uncommon. My own Tellurian history contains similar themes. I was not as brave as you, and I allowed the bullying to make me give up and hide my love for dresses and pretty things. I became quite deracinated I am afraid. Heee…it is funny to use the word *I* for this, as now those memories feel like they belong to a different maid.
I had not been looking for a spiritual community when I came here; I was mostly looking for a place where it was safe to be blonde. At the time, I had just joined a Quaker community. I am no longer officially a member of that community, but my spouse is, and I still attend Meetings every now and then with her. I studied the Filianic faith out of curiosity after coming here, and like you said I found that this is what I had always believed without having the vocabulary for it.
Interesting some branches of Quakers follow the practice of “plain dress,” which mean different things depending on the branch. “Plain dress” of Conservative Quakers is probably closest to your experience of “plain dress.” There is a person who attends my spouse’s Meeting that is of the Conservative Branch of Quakers, and strangely enough, this is the person who I can communicate with the best! This person has a different spiritual economy; however, he often understands the concepts I talk about, even if he uses different language for the same concepts.
Heee…I was tempted by “plain dress,” but alas, I am a bit too vain for that! I love bright colors, frills, and sparkle too much. It is interesting, though, because when I was researching “plain dress,” and when I was researching the Chelouranya Philosophy of Dress, many of the same topics were addressed. The Quakers came to a different conclusion about it in practice, although Conservative Plain Dress is most certainly quite racinated, but the discussion was very similar.
If you have not already read this, you might be interested in this article: The Philosophy of Dress
April 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm #788
Rayati Princess Pureheart,
I am so sorry to hear about the struggles and difficulties you endured during your earlier years in Telluria. I feel that many of us here have faced similar struggles.
I too initially was involved with feminist Goddess worship but left because of the way those feminist thealogians demonised femininity. Like you, I also was involved in Biblical Womanhood groups like Ladies Against Feminism and was an avid follower of Domestic Felicity (a blog by a Jewish homemaker), but the patriarchal religion and family structure advocated by these groups was not what I was looking for. I still read some of their content because they do have some good, wholesome ideas, but I have to examine what is applicable to my own life and what is not.
A pure and innocent love is also what I seek, but I was looking for it in all the wrong places and going about finding it in all the wrong ways. There is certainly a world of difference between love and lust.
Don’t you simply adore the way that Amish and Mennonite ladies dress? Alas, I myself am too vain as well and enjoy makeup and pretty, up-to-date, colourful clothing, but the dresses of the Amish certainly have their own charm as well, and I agree with Miss Rill that they are certainly racinated. I also love the modest way that many Muslim women dress.
In short, I feel we have much in common Princess Pureheart, and I am overjoyed to have you as a member here!
April 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm #801
Rayati Miss Carmilla,
Oh, i still read up on some of the Biblical Womanhood and LAF materials. While at their core there is much patriarchy still to be had, I might note that there is actually a far deeper and more connected sisterhood among them, and depending on which tradition of Christianity you are familiar with, there are echoes of our beloved Mother God everywhere, particularly among the Amish/Mennonites, the Catholics and the LDS churches.
And i do ever adore the Amish and Mennonites! I do not wear plain dress all the time, but at times I feel called by our Mother God to practise headcovering and plain dress. At other times I feel led to my Laura Ashley and Lanz Originals dresses from the 80s–they make me feel very young and darling–and still other times I wear various Victorian era garb. (I also have a darling dress just for light housekeeping, my Cinderella dress–it’s right out of the 1950 film!)
I do pray that one day I can find the beloved princess my heart seeks. Oh confound it all, now I’m going to have the Three Lights song “Nagareboshi He” stuck in my head forever…
April 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm #802
Speaking of religious groups’ dress codes, you may be interested to read this from the basic information page on Filianism:
Filianism is not in any sense an ascetic religion. It does not have proscriptions on eating particular foods or on drinking alcohol. It does not mandate fasting or other ascetic practices. It does, however, encourage mental purity: refraining from ingesting damaging fare into the soul or speaking in a coarse or profane manner. These things are not regarded as “sinful” but simply as harmful and to be avoided.
For many Filianists this also extends to dressing in a manner in keeping with the beauty and dignity of an Axial being. This should not be confused with “modest dress” movement. The issue is not modesty but the inherent beauty and dignity of maidenkind as the “princess regent” of Dea on earth and a pure child of our Heavenly Mother. Of course dressing in a grotesquely immodest or sexualized manner would be out of keeping with that dignity and purity, but a concern with covering the body in the “modesty movement” sense is not the issue here, and most Filianists would agree that, for example, sleeveless dresses or short skirts are acceptable providing they are not undignified or deliberately sexualized.
I don’t know Nagareboshi He, but I must look it up “To the Shooting Star” sounds fascinating!
April 19, 2014 at 10:24 am #804
Lucetta Jane SpurlingParticipant
Honoured Princess Pureheart,
Thank you for sharing your story. I’m very glad you’ve found something that feels like home.
I’m sorry to hear about your difficult childhood. Like the others have said, it’s not an uncommon tale here. I also had a rather cruel upbringing and found myself extremely deracinated by the time I finally stumbled upon some books from then-Aristasia. And it took a long time for those to sink in as well! (And I still have a long way to go.) What drove me to join Chelouranya in the end was, like Rill-san, wanting a safe, real place to be blonde. I’m so glad I did, as these lovely maids have taught me so much and opened my heart to so much Light. The old “me” truly feels like a different person.
I do hope you find your beloved princess. I know I can’t wait to find mine.
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