We are a people of faith. We celebrate the Divine Feminine, the Cosmic Vulva, the creative force of the Goddess present in each and every woman and the respect and love for the Divine feminine that resides in men. We see the Goddess present in all of Her creations; we see the world itself as an extension of the Goddess and therefore divine, a place to be treasured, stewarded and nurtured, not conquered and exploited without thought. As a group, we seek the wild places of earth. We gather amidst trees and plants, at the bases of mountains, upon their crags, by lakes, streams. We celebrate the mysticism as well as the sensuality of the feminine. Both Women and Men are welcomed to our worship. Our family consists of all of those who truly seek and honour the Divine Feminine.
It is the Community as a whole that makes us both a family and a faith. We share our joys, our sorrows, our desire to honour the Goddess and our requests for Her assistance in our lives. Our door, our hearts and our celebrations are open to all who wish to participate for all of the people of the Earth are the Children of the Mother. Without the energy of the Community of the People of the Goddess as a whole, without the broader experiences and diversity of all of the components of our family we are incomplete.
The Community of the People of the Goddess are all of those who chose
to dedicate their lives to the honour and work of the Goddess. There is
no one aspect or role that is of more or less importance than another.
The role of the Priestesses in residence at the Phrygianum, the roles of
the Priestesses living away from the Phrygianum, the roles of the Community
at large who honour the Goddess in their hearts and spirits not only through
their private devotions but in living a life that reflects the love of
the Mother for all of her children are all vital and indispensable.
For centuries the Community of the People of the Goddess were scattered,
hidden and silent. With the coming of Pagan Reconstruction, the voices
are awakened again ,the Children of the Mother have picked up the frame
drum of our sisters of the past and through scholarship restored our faith
Pagan reconstruction is a scholarly religious movement whose purpose it is to carefully and painstakingly explore ancient sources of information in philosophy, archeology, humour, music, art and religion to obtain an accurate picture of the Pagan practices of our forebearers. That knowledge is put into action in the form of the resumption of Pagan faith and ritual. The goal is to do so accurately so that a member of the Community of the People of the Goddess of ancient times would find the practices of the faith currently recognizable. This means a return to those rules, prayers, songs, celebrations, life style and ultimately dress of our long-gone sisters as well as the actual structure of the faith and community
The rituals of the Community are conducted by a priestess known as a Mellisea or Galla. Much of the ritual for an occasion may be drawn up by a member of the Novitiate and in fact conducted by her, but requires a Priestess's direction and supervision. The preparation of a ritual is part of the education of a Novice as well as part of her journey toward a life dedicated to the Goddess. The participation of the entire Community as a family is critical for the development of the Priestess or Novice, for the Community ministers to the celebrant as vitally as the celebrant ministers to the community during the ritual.
The rituals are imbued with a uniquely female sense in practice, they are a warm and loving expression of the family, of the sisterhood of the daughters of the Goddess, and kinship with our brothers, those sons who remember and honour the Mother of all.
The Initiates are all of those who have a deep love for the Goddess as Mother and dedicate themselves to honouring Her not only in the practice of their faith alone or in group ritual, but also in how they live their day to day lives.
The Novitiates are women or gallae who have made a serious commitment to the study of the faith and practicing it in their daily lives and have previously been initiated to the faith. Novitiates commit to a formal path of instruction, religious growth and personal growth under the direction of the Battakes. A Novitiate may never lose site of the fact that it is the Community of the People of the Goddess as a whole who make up the faith and that the calling that she is pursuing is one of service to our greater family.
A Galla is a transsexual who combines her journey towards the unity
of a female mind with a biologically female body with her journey towards
closeness to the Goddess through the discovery of the Divine Feminine.
The Gallae have been part of our community for at least eight millennia.
The Priestesshood is similar to that of many mystery religions. It is composed of those women, the Mellissae and the Gallae, who through scholarship, challenge and dedication have shown a calling to the Priestesshood and passed through the Novitiate to the Priestesshood. Those so called invariably think of themselves as Priestesses first in defining themselves, whatever their secular occupation. As with most mystery religions, it's ritual practices are known only to those admitted to the Inner Court.
The Battakes presides over the Inner Court as prima inter pares amongst the Priestesses, first amongst equals as well as presiding over the Community as a whole as far as the tenets of our faith. She acts as a mother to all of the Children of Cybele in terms of guidance and support. The rites of initiation, the welcoming and blessing of novices, the ordination of Mellissae and Gallae is performed by the Battakes. The Battakes designates the Priestess who will preside at a given ritual, as well as the Novice conducting it, if any. She designates another Priestess as a sort of confidant and advisor to provide reflective influences. With the advice of all of her priestesses she decides upon issues of the faith, including a candidate's readiness to enter Novitiate, the course of instruction given, the instructors assigned and sits as an appeals court in conflict situations or may appoint one of the priestesses to act in her stead. Serving her, in addition to her confidant, is her Censor and her Novitiate Supervisor.
The Censor should be an individual of a reflective nature, a mystic in the sense of being able to reach to the Goddess for guidance. It is the Censor who looks after the devotion of the modern Priestesses to the practices and goals that the faith held in the past. The Censor may convene the Priestesses to examine and debate a theological issue or practice. In such a gathering, all viewpoints on a matter ought to be presented and considered, as well as being evaluated in terms of the nature of the faith and the practices of the past.
The Censor may take actions with the concurrence of the Priestesses
in Conclave and with the approval of the Battakes on a issue, usually in
the form of education and instruction to deepen understanding of the purpose
of practices of the Priestesshood and the faith as a whole. The Censor,
with the approval of the Battakes and the unanimous consent of the Priestesses
in Conclave may remove an initiate or a novice for disruptive behaviours
that affect the practice of the faith. In an extreme circumstance a Priestess
may be removed for practices knowingly and sustainedly inconsistent with
the faith or it's traditions that are resistant to education or correction,
or that are perceived as an affront of the Goddess. To date, the only example
of such an action is the re-evaluation of the initiate status of Elagabulus,
and the removal of that status for serious religious violations and lack
of serious intent.
The Novitiate Supervisor is the link between the Initiates and Novices
and the Battakes or may be the Battakes herself should she prefer. She
supervises the spiritual and personal growth of both sets of candidates.
She is personally involved with their training, particularly attuning them
to hearing the call of the Divine in the world around them. Tasks assigned
to the Initiates and Novitiates are also overseen by her.
All Priestesses act as instructors to the Initiates and Novices
when called upon by the Battakes. They act in unison, keeping in mind the
feelings and opinions of their sisters. They strive for accord in the Priestesshood
and recognize and treasure the unique family that they have been chosen
by the Goddess to be part of. The Mellissae and Gallae also act as counselors,
healers and ministers to the community of faith as a whole and individually.
The Phrygianum is the residence of the Priestesses and Novitiates. On a case by case basis Initiates may also be admitted to live at the Phrygianum full time. The Common areas of the Phrygianum are the living room, library, conference room, kitchen and dining areas of the first floor, the bathrooms of the first and second floor.
The Battakes acts as house mother in many respects, including chore
assignments, settling disagreements or designating a Priestess to do so.
The Priestesses all participate in the functioning of the Phrygianum along
side of the Initiates and Novices. The Phrygianum is a family home to a
unique and blessed family.
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