‘Queen of Heaven’ is a title that has been given to many figures throughout history. During antiquity in the Middle East, we see the title used for a number of goddesses: Inanna, Anat, Nut, Isis, Ishtar, Astarte, and possibly Asherah (in the Book of Jeremiah). In the West, we see the title used for Hera, Juno, and most familiar to modern people, Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Far East, the title belongs to Doumu Of Chinese and Taoist religion, Mazu, a Chinese sea goddess graced with the title, and the Queen Mother of the West: Xiwangmu in Chinese sources, Seiōbo in Japan, Seowangmo in Korea, and Tây Vương Mẫu in Vietnam.
The Lodge chose the Queen of Heaven as our patron, to allow the members of the lodge to conceive of her in whatever vision they so desire. A fan of Margaret Barker’s temple theology may desire to conceive of the Queen of Heaven as Asherah, a feminine deity worshiped in the temple of Jerusalem alongside El, the male creator God. Another member may be deeply devoted to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and focus on the wide body of literature and spiritual writings relating to that Queen of Heaven. Still another may focus on the Taoist Doumu, and her associations with the red infant Dao enshrined in the human body. This ability to be varied but also united as a group is one of the main aspects of the Friary, and one the Lodge sought to embody when choosing a patron.