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 Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater



Welcome the the home page of the Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater!

The first version of this webpage appeared almost 15 years ago.  Since that time it underwent one name change, a tonnes of additions and today we find that we badly need to reconstruct it so that new seekers and old can more easily access the essential elements and still be able to delve deeply if the spirit moves.  Hi, I'm Cathryn Platine, the principle founder of the Cybeline Revival.  When I first started our revival in 1997 there were precious few references to Cybele at all outside a few scholarly works with limited access, two websites by Laura Seabrook and Laura Lansberry and a few scattered essays from magazines almost no one ever encountered.  Cybele was not on the radar of neo-paganism at all.  A lot has changed since then and since we held our first public ritual back on March 24, 1999 several other groups have sprung up honouring the Mother Goddess as Cybele, Magna Mater.  Laura Lansberry died many years ago and her website is still maintained by one of her partners, Julia.  Laura Seabrook came to the Phrygianum (our Convent home) in 2006, underwent the mysteries and is one of our priestesses.


Our theology starts from the simplest basis:  That the Divine Feminine principle is the basis of the universe.  That all of us, all that we encounter is Her in the aggregate.  We are all the Great Mother learning about Herself.  From this simple beginning springs our organizational models, our rituals, the principles of what we call Wholistic Feminism, our mission of charitable outreach and indeed the way we, as Cybelines, live our lives.  We are sometimes called the "scholarly Cybelines" because we have invested many years of strict historical research in order to embrace the essence of what proved to be literally the oldest surviving religion in the world.  We embraced the essence and then stepped away from "Pagan Reconstructism" by bringing those essences into the modern world.  We re-introduced to the world a model for Pagan Monasticism.  We've recovered long believed lost principles, our drumming patterns, ritual practices and corrected history.  The world centre of our Religion is in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York at the foot of the Kaaterskill Clove.  Unlike many neo-Pagan groups, we have a "horizontal" organization, our Priestesses all considered equals but also expected to live our religion, dedicate themselves to a live of charitable works and ministry to others according to their strengths.  We welcome all to our services and to visit our first Phrygianum of the modern era.  We do not require anyone to renounce anything to join us.

  The section on the Phrygianum contains basic information about our organizational models, The Rule of the Women of Cybele and about our physical home.  The Theology section contains our Cybeline Exegesis and basic ritual information.  The events section contains our current and future events along with some pictures of past events as well.  The history section contains past and current essays on our history.  The links sections contain, well, links.

We have traced Cybele back as far as approximately 10,000 BCE to Central Anatolia or Turkey.  It has been personally exciting to watch mainline historians begin to confirm things I have been writing and lecturing about for two decades now as well as see others discover Cybele.  Our next generation of scholars are being trained, we aim to be around a long time and seek no less than to change the primary worldview to one of Goddess Awareness from the current patriarchal thinking that has taken the world to the brink of destruction..  Hundreds of thousands have read the older versions of this website.  Join us.  Support our efforts for we do all our work, maintain our Phrygianum on a shoestring budget.  We are incoporated and a 501 (c)3 religious charity so all donations are fully tax deductable.

Maetreum means literally "Home of the  Mother" so our name is translated as the Home of the Great Mother Cybele.  In Roman times this was the official name of the various temples to Cybele and most specifically the one located on the Palatine hill in Rome itself.  Phrygianum translates as "Home of the Phrygians".  The Romans considered Phrygia the source of the Cybeline religion and the home of the Phrgyians was the complex that was the Convent home of the Cybeline Priestesses.  In Rome that was located across the Tiber on the Vatican hill.  The modern primary Phrgyianum is our Catskills location, while it is the first such in the modern era, it will not remain the only one long.

A special word from the Maetreum to Goddess oriented women

Look around, the American dream is now dead and the social experiment started in the fifties has failed..  We at the Maetreum are attempting to create a new model of living, a community of spiritual women working together cooperatively.  We have room for several women to move here.  We have a ceramics studio set up already and are acquiring the tools to spin and weave our own fabrics.  We are planting fruit trees and gardens and grape arbors.  We hope to add laying hens and  dairy goats this year.  But in order to succeed in this we need  Goddess women willing to join us in our efforts.  If your life is falling apart because of the economy, consider a visit to see if you can join us.  We need you and I suspect, many of you need us.  We welcome all genders to our services, celebrations and for visits.

Blessing on you all,

Rev. Mother Cathryn Platine

Catskill is appealing our win

On  Nov. 21, 2013 New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Dept. handed down a decision that fully recognizes the religious nature of the Maetreum's property.


Below is a press release on the current situation

The Maetreum of Cybele has been forced to put all our planned projects for this year on hold because the Town of Catskill has appealed our appellate level unanimous three judge win in our court case for equal treatment under the New York property tax laws.

The chairman of the Board of Catskill once vowed they would never give up their fight against what he called an illegitimate religion and Catskill is keeping that promise by appealing our victory to the highest court in New York once again forcing us to raise a large amount of money for a legal defense.  This past winter, despite reducing our electric usage by solar and wind generation and all our lighting done by LED lights, the electric company doubled their rates mid winter and sapped our resources.  We recently got a license to construct a low powered community FM radio station, this is one of the projects we now have to put on hold along with a food pantry for our community because of this senseless war being waged against us using taxpayer money by the Town of Catskill.

We need help and once again turn to those who would not see us spent out of our victory and be allowed to do our work for our community and charity free of the endless need to pay lawyers just for the right to be treated equally under the law.  We are incorporated as a church under New York Religious corporation law and fully IRS recognized as a 501(c)(3) church and religious charity but Catskill insists we are not legitimate even in opposition to Federal law.

Please consider a fully tax deductible donation towards our legal defense fund.  We raised the majority of the money in the past from our own friends and members but we are pretty much tapped out at this point which has been the strategy of the Town all along.  We need to raise 15 thousand dollars for this final appeal.  Our appelate level win made Forbes magazine as a significant victory for minority religious rights, don't let Catskill spend us out of this major win.

Donations can be mailed directly to:
The Maetreum of Cybele
3312 Route 23A
Palenville, NY 12463


 Our Women's coffee/tea gatherings take place every Saturday at the Phrygianum in the Bell Book and Candle Cafe from 1pm -4pm  The first Saturday of the Month is our Goddess Meetup Group at 5pm.  The second Saturday of the Month is our Feminist Meetup Group at 5pm.


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You can order the book about the Cybeline Revival here, all proceeds go to the Maetreum


Some debate and misunderstandings about our status has emerged recently.  The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater Inc.  is incorporated under New York Religious Incorporation Law and is fully IRS recognized as both a church and religious charitable organization under IRS 501 (c)(3) regulations.  The property is deeded to the Maetreum of Cybele, not any individual.  The Maetreum of Cybele has no paid staff, everything is done on a volunteer basis.  The Maetreum of Cybele is not a housing cooperative for gender variant people.  We are inclusive of all genders but we are Goddess women who's priestesses must be femaled bodied and woman identified.  This means that post corrected women born transsexed may become priestesses, not that they are, in fact the majority of our priestesses are not those born transsexed.   This was also true in the ancient world.  There were transsexed priestesses but most of the priestesses of Cybele came from the matrons of Rome, wives of Roman citizens.  As in the ancient world, our priestesses administer to the congregants of all genders who are all those who come to worship and participate in ritual and celebration.  All as in everyone who wishes to do so, not just our priestesses.   We have followers all over the world, many who plan future pilgrimages here, many who have done so already.  We have a priestess in Canada and one in Australia.

We are once again at risk of losing our property to back taxes under a corrupt local system that does not allow for payment plans, installment payments or anything other than immediate payment in full.  We are a poor order and spent all our money fighting the Town of Catskill in court. 

Previous Updates on our legal battle with the Town of Catskill--




Last update:4/23/14


copyright 2002--2014, Cathryn Platine  Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater.  All rights reserved.  These pages may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any electronic or print media without the express written permission of the copyright holder.
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