The Immaculate Heart of Mary, seen on countless statues and holy pictures, is one of the most fundamental symbols of pure Divinity by which Our Lady Mary is identified as Our Mother God.
In our page on the Goddess Hestia, we have spoken of how the sun in the cosmos, the Hearthfire in the home and the heart in the human body are all manifestations of the same Divine Reality. That reality is the Supernal Sun – not merely the star of a particular solar system, but the Solar Spirit, which every sun incarnates – the radiant Heart of all being.
In each of us, our heart is a little sun. Naturally, we are not referring to the physical organ, any more than the Spiritual Sun refers to the physical star, but the subtle heart in each of us is a tiny reflection of that Supernal Sun. That is why Déanists bow to each other and give the greeting Rayati, meaning "Hail to the Sun (in you)". We are acknowledging and honouring the little sun in each person, which is the microcosm of the great Supernal Sun: the Immaculate Heart of Our Mother God.
The iconography of the Immaculate Heart of Mary beautifully depicts the traditional symbolism of the Divine Heart of being.
In his monumental work, Fundamental Symbols: the Universal Language of Sacred Science, the great metaphysician René Guénon includes an important chapter entitled "The Radiant Heart and the Flaming Heart". He writes:
It is hardly necessary to recall that the correlation of the sun and the heart, insofar as both have a 'central' symbolism, is common to all traditional doctrines of the West as well as of the East
The chapter continues, pointing out that the Sun radiates two qualities, Warmth and Light, and that these two qualities correspond to the Divine Love and the Divine Intelligence or Wisdom (Sophia).
In cultures across the world, these two qualities of the Sun-Heart have been expressed by two images: that of the Flaming Heart (the Heart of Divine Warmth, or Love) and the Radiant Heart (the Heart of Divine Light or Intelligence).
As we can see from the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on this page, Our Lady's Heart combines these two Solar qualities, with light-rays emanating all around it and flames rising from its centre. Thus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the perfect representation of the Divine Sun-Heart, of which our human hearts are little microcosmic reflections.
Naturally, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is commonly regarded as a counterpart to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. What is important to understand here, is that while the attribution of a "consort" to Our Mother God (as has been done in many patriarchal traditions) can be seen as having a certain logic, once one has ceased to regard Her as the sole Supreme Deity; there is absolutely no possibility that a duality of Hearts or of Suns can be part of a Solar or Heart symbolism.
The Heart/Sun is, by definition, the Single Centre of Being. What this means is that the Immaculate Heart of Mary cannot be regarded as a "partner" or "subordinate" to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It must be regarded as an alternative way – the feminine way – of representing the One Divine Sun-Heart of all Being.
The term "Immaculate" is logically not in any way inferior to the term "Sacred" as applied to the Heart of Jesus. The term "Immaculate Heart" may be a Christian formulation, but it is entirely accurate from a Déanist point of view, since the heart that is truly immaculate – free from any imperfection or taint – is, by definition that pure, Solar Heart that we hail in each one of us, but which is occluded to a greater or lesser extent by our imperfections.
Furthermore, the term Immaculate Heart of Mary refers to the doctrine of the Immaculate conception, which, as explained in our main page on Lady Mary, shows Mary to have been unlike all human beings in that She alone did not require redemption: a doctrine that is logically consistent only with Her Divine Nature.
While we of course realise that the Catholic Church does not recognise the Divinity of Mary, these various Images and Formulations apply only to Our Mother God, whose worship is so natural and fundamental to humanity that it reappears in one form or another wherever it is possible for it to do so.
One further consideration in the comparison of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Sacred Heart of Jesus is that while the Heart of Mary is surrounded by roses, signifying Love (and, when the roses are white, Purity), the Heart of Jesus – also both radiant and flaming – is surrounded by thorns, signifying the Divine Sacrifice. It is also often shown bleeding or with a cross emerging from the flames.
Thus, while the Immaculate Heart of Mary represents the most fundamental form of the Radiant and Flaming Heart found in many cultures, the Heart of Jesus combines this with the sacrificial aspect that is not usually combined with it.
However, a related Image, the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, depicts Our Lady's Heart pierced by one, three or seven daggers. Thus, the Radiant Mother and the Sacrificial Daughter are depicted by two distinct Images rather than being combined into one. As you will see in this picture, Our Lady is at once the Sacrificial Saviour and the Queen of Heaven: both aspects of the Daughter as proclaimed in the Filianic Creed.
Naturally the metaphysical doctrine of the Single Heart of Being is not disrupted by this, since the Mother and the Daughter are One, and the Immaculate Heart is the same Heart as the Heart pierced with the daggers of the Daughter's Sacrifice. This is made clear in many Images in which the Heart pierced with daggers has the same Radiant-and-Flaming character as the usual Immaculate Heart of Mary.
But the ancient symbol of the Radiant-and-Flaming heart in its pure and transcendent form is traditionally found only in the Immaculate Heart of Mary rather than the Heart of Jesus.
Are these Images, then, suitable for Déanist worship? Certainly they are. We may adore the Mother-Heart of the Universe or the Daughter-Heart of Infinite Compassion.
In Déanist devotion, the white roses wreathed about the Immaculate Heart of Mary are often likened to Her devotees ourselves, and many Déanists actually refer to themselves as White Roses.
Mother, we give thanks to Your Immaculate Heart that radiates light and warmth into this Dark Age. We cluster like simple white roses about the flame of Your Heart's Love and the pure rays of its Eternal Light.
Maria-sama no Kokoro: A beautiful online video of a hymn to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with Déanic interpretation
The Labrys and the Heart: More on the symbolism of the heart
Creation Myths and the Virgin Mary: What is a Creation Myth? Is it true? And how is Our Lady Mary connected with the primordial Creation Myth?
Choosing a Virgin Mary Statue: A guide for devotees of Our Mother God
Mary Statues as Images of God the Mother: Further important information on statues of the Virgin Mary
The Mother-God Hail Mary MP3: The Hail Mary, as "translated" for devotional use by children of Our Mother God, presented and explained in a sermon given at a Filanic Service
Mary and Eve: Reflections on the original Divine status of Eve as Creatrix and the traditional idea of Mary as "the New Eve"
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