Last Update and Link Check: August 29, 2003
As with our first page of Sophia Links, sufficient quotes from the WebSites (being pointed to)
are provided to give *you* an inkling of what is to be found thereupon.
Art by Norman E. Masters
"I loved Sophia and sought her out from my youth, and I sought to take her for my bride, and I became enamored of her beauty... I find rest with her. ...converse with her has no bitterness, and to live with her has no pain, but gladness and joy... And in assiduous communing with her is understanding." ~~Solomon (Wisdom 8:2, 16, 18)
"Let it be known: today the Eternal Feminine|
In an incorruptible body is descending to Earth.
In the unfading light of the new Goddess
Heaven has become one with the depths."
~~Vladimir Soloviev (1853 - 1900)
"Believers from divergent religious backgrounds and members of diverse spiritual traditions may also feel themselves united in Sophia. She has the potential to unite all individuals and peoples as members of one spiritual family in the peace and harmony of Divine Wisdom. For, archetypally, we are one family of homo sapiens, the family of 'wise human beings' (homo = human being; sapiens = wise; Sapientia = Wisdom = Sophia). Awakening consciousness to Sophia will help bring to manifestation the spiritual oneness of humanity, signifying the fulfillment of Sophia's peace-bestowing mission.
"As the Divine Wisdom underlying all true spiritual knowledge, Sophia is to be found in almost all the great religions and spiritual traditions of humanity."
"This is a place for all those who love Sophia, the Divine Wisdom (Philo-Sophia), who was there from the beginning of time and who is the Beloved of the Lord. <...> Come in and drink from her cup of wisdom that overflows; all good gifts come from Wisdom."
~~ wherein, in the "Tractates" -- there are *new* translations of "The Thunder, Perfect Mind," "Trimorphic Protennoia," & "The Tripartite Tractate" -- all *major* ancient Sophianic-oriented spiritual texts. Daniel R. McBride (whose book length thesis is also available on the site -- alongwith some fine poetry, some of it Sophia-oriented) indicates his translation of "The Tripartitie Tractate" diverges considerably from the previous two -- with his explanation of why.
"I will perfect you in all mysteries of the Light and all Gnosis" - Pistis Sophia|
to feel distant Wisdom mine at last
like a storm at sunset beyond this spectral town,
her smile stretched between heaven and earth
"I am the Divine Mother. ...
"I nurture all sexes and religions, every race and blend thereof. I am timeless and ageless. I am present when the sperm and egg unite and the minute you leave your physical body in what you perceive as death. ...
"I am the DIVINE Mother, the creator -- that which is being conceived, formed, developed and restructured. ...
"I am the Nurturing energy of Divinity...
"...connect with your inner core of knowing. ... Come to me; my arms are the cloak of the world."
"In both the Hebrew and Aramaic language the word spirit is in the feminine gender but in the Greek language it is neuter. ...the orthodox church altered the texts to counter various beliefs considered heresies..."
"Why could it be... the second century theologians and translators were blinded to the importance of the femininity of the Holy Spirit?..."
"The gospel of Matthew... attributes the conception of Jesus singularly to the Holy Ghost..."
"In a remarkable saying in the Thomas Gospel, the Savior asserts: 'My mother [bore me], yet [my] true [Mother] gave me life.' (Thomas 101; cf. also 15 & 46)
"... the Spirit does not proceed from the Father either with or without the Son, but rather the Son proceeds (is born) from the Father together with the Spirit"
"The origin of the world is its Mother; recognize the Mother and you recognize the child, embrace the child and you embrace the Mother." -- Lao Tzu, TAO TE CHING 5
"... the Comforter... the Holy Breath... She will teach you more and more.... There are a multitude of things yet to be said; things that this age cannot receive because it cannot comprehend... The Holy Breath will make all mysteries known -- the mysteries of the soul, of life, of death, of immortality. ...And when the Comforter shall come, I need not intercede for you; for you shall stand approved, and God will know you as he knows Me." ~~Jesus in Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ 162: 4 - 11
"Christ didn't say that, 'I am the Destination.' He said, 'I'll send you the Holy Ghost; I'll send you a Comforter; I'll send you a Redeemer; I'll send you a Councilor.'" -- Shri Saddvi Shri Nirmala Devi
"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that (S)he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth (H)er not; neither knoweth H(er); but ye know H(er); for (S)he dwelleth with you and shall be in you." ~~John 14: 16 - 17
"...a new state of being is attained by the grace of the Spirit -- this is the only way of entering the Kingdom of Spirit." -- Dictionary of the Bible p. 393
The Gospel to the Hebrews has Jesus speak of "my Mother the Spirit." -- Elaine Pagels, THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS p. 50
"...'paracletos' unites men to God"...
"Since there is no separateness, we are each Godlike, and God is in each of us. We experience God and God experiences through us. We are literally made up of God energy, therefore we can create whatever we want in life because we are co-creating with the energy of God -- the energy that makes the universe itself." -- Shirley Maclaine, GOING WITHIN, A Guide For Inner Transformation
"Whoever is humble will ultimately cause the Shekinah to dwell upon this Earth.|
Whoever is haughty brings about the defilement of the Earth and the departure of the Shekinah.
The glow of lovers is a reflection of her presence
She is the shining jewel of the Torah and the Holy Queen of the Kabbalah
She is the ancient one and the Holy Apple Orchard
She is the immanent indwelling presence of the living God
She is the animating life force of the Earth"
"It is as if the Divine Mother said to the human mind|
in confidence, with a sign from Her eye,
'Go and enjoy the world.' ...
"The Divine Mother is always playful and sportive.
This universe is Her play. She is self-willed and must always
have her own way. She is full of bliss. She gives freedom
to one out of a hundred thousand."
"I say to the Divine Mother:
'...I am the house and Thou art the indweller;
...It is all Thou! It is all Thou!'"
The focus, in these next four links, is upon Nuit -- who, to the Olde Hermit's view, is *one* of the Faces of Sophia. Daniel Kemp's WebSite is one of *exquisite* writing and sheer artistic *beauty*; these five links lead to some truly *special* material:
"In fields of vibrant twilight|
I sit and praise our Lady
drawing strength from the subtle changes
in the atmosphere our Lady brings..."
"...for the eyes of the infinite gaze upon the body of the infinite. And we are but the dying embers of that first initial flame.....
"And as the starred eyes of the infinite spread, encompassing Her body, the body of the dark, some of them became closed. Upon these smaller, even more transient, eyes opened. They could not see the body of the dark in all of Her magnificence. They could only perceive the closed lid, and that which danced upon and within it. ...but a slight spark was left of the original dance. ..."
"The new universe is coalescing from the old, all the while shedding it like a snake will shed its skin."
"Two watchers oversee Her emerging dispersal. For they are entwined within the eternal dance, and Her body is but the motion of that dance."
"As long as I can remember is forever to me. I have always been eternal, present, I am a bright, dancing flame - the crest of all love. I am desire unabated. The fleeting, lingering sensation of love asunder."
"I lounge about in the courts of men, inciting desire yet baffling their pleasure. I bring a greater joy. A fleeting feeling of absorption in beauty, snatched up in ecstasy."
~~Daniel Kemp. from The Book of Night
"All of my children, my extrusions, my afterbirths... These all spring from a common source. All are my thoughts, my extensions, if you will, into the space of the physical.
"All reside within my body, all reside within the whirlings of my thought. All are here for a purpose."
"...the soul is a flame. It is that which burns, eternally. The only thing we can rely upon, when rational thought has been stripped away. It is our core. That which is wordless.
"...It is unpredictable, which goes against rational thought, relying upon intuition, which is inexplicable. It is our truth, which often conflicts with the truth of others, which is as it should be. For all facets of the universe are different, similar only in their ultimate origin.
"It is our inspiration, enabling us to share with each other... And in this way, perhaps... it may be the only thing that enables us to wake up to the fact that we are all each other..."
*Fully* as Special is the exquisite artwork of A. Andrew Gonzalez. *Especially* don't miss "Aura Gloriae," "Golden Dakini," "Passion," & "Visitation," which are especially Sophianic:
"Primarily a figurative artist, my images explore the Sophianic (wisdom) mysteries of the body. And through the inspiration of Western and Eastern esoteric symbolic imagery, the figures are sublimated by transfigurative energies, exalted in glory and destiny, made transparent to the transcendent by the dramatic union of the sensual and celestial." ~~A. Andrew Gonzalez
Don't miss out on some of Jonathon's insightful essays:
"At every scale of observation, from the atomic to the galactic, the universe reveals itself to consist entirely of archetypal forms (like the active periphery forever revolving around the still center) or Meta-Patterns: inexplicable relations which bind the bewildering diversity of existence - time and space, matter and energy, eternal law and temporal nature, religion and science, woman and man - into a knowable, yet ever inscrutable Unity. I believe the prevalence of these universal Meta-Patterns is meant to serve some guiding purpose, and thus, everything means something." ~~Jonathon Earl Bowser
"To realize the awesome magic and beauty of the universe, and love the infinite mystery and potential manifest in all things is to transcend the changeless destiny nature granted us at birth. For most of us, when we walk the Eternal Dreamscape, drink from the Holy Grail, and touch the Noumenal Truth that dwells in the heart of the Unknown Continent of the human psyche, we awaken as though we are leaving a theatre where the make-believe world is left behind. But there are a privileged few who get their treasure past the dragon who guards the gates, and return to the land of consciousness still aware of - still communicating with - that primordial Will that generates the Eternal Dreamworld." ~~Jonathon Earl Bowser
"The Feminine Face of the Divine has been left out of Christianity for too long. This mandala balances masculine and feminine energies of the Divine. Sophia is not an abstraction; She is a real personage in the Bible, Co-Creator of the Cosmos; and Christ is Wisdom incarnate. Sophia appears in diverse spiritualities around the world; Her manifestations are truly myriad."
"Purpose: Welcome to our chat and prayer circle. The purpose of this list is to discuss: avenues for expressing the Divine Feminine in Spirituality -- Gender and Archetypal Psychology in Religion, Culture and Politics -- Feminine Archetypal and Spiritual Psychology -- Sociology for Global Transformation and World Peace -- Education and Educational Reform -- Homeschooling -- Women's Mysteries -- Earth Centered Economics -- Ecology and Economics for Global Tranformation and World Peace -- Tarot/Astrology/Divination -- Shamanism -- Dreams and Dreamtime Realities --Spiritual Sight -- Earth Centered Spiritualities -- Mother Earth -- Women's Mysteries -- Animal Spirits -- Herbal Remedies -- Angels and Spiritual Guides -- Higher Self -- Inner Divine -- Ritual -- World Religions -- Poetry --Myth -- MetaPhysics and Quantum Physics -- Magic Through Imagining -- Dreams and Dreamtime Realities -- Kabbalah -- Astrology -- World Religions and Sacred Texts -- Sacred Marriage -- Shekinah as Hebrew Goddess -- Sophia in all Her various guises -- Mary Magdalene as Sophia Incarnate, Bride of Christ, and Holy Grail -- Mother Goddess -- Father God -- Personal Wisdom -- Historical Jesus and Cosmic Christ. The goal of this list is to be an active place for discussions to flower and thrive, spiritually. Together we are Thea Poetica -- a Divinely Inspired Body of Participants in Divine Poetic Creativity. This is intended to be a constructive energy atmosphere. Let's share in Wisdom together -- Let's Celebrate Sophia and Mother Wit in all Her various guises. Please enter this Circle with Reverence in your Heart. Let's honor the Sacred Feminine."
"'And the Earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit moved out over the face of the Waters.'"
"This verse is primarily written in the feminine gender. The Waters and the Deep refer to the feminine Tehom, while the original term for Spirit was the feminine Ruach and ultimately identified with the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding or Sophia.
"The symbol for this Ruach became the dove, which is carried forth into modern days as the symbol for the Holy Spirit. This dove was also the symbolic representation of Goddess throughout the ancient world such as the Sumerian Inanna.
"In Christianity, it was this Ruach that was identified as the Wisdom of God and personified as Christ (the Word made flesh as per John: 1:14). Indeed, in the original Greek translations of the Bible, Paul refers to Jesus as the Sophia of God. He is She. ...
"...I am a lover of Sophia, and it is for Her body that I most yearn. When I feel myself united as one with the Divine Wisdom, I feel whole.
"It is not in the dogmas that we find God. It is in the kiss of the Beloved. Loving God is a sensuous act and embraces all relationships. God is, at once, our Lover, Mother, Father and Child. God embraces all. Should we not do the same in our quest for wholeness?"
Art by Norman E. Masters
"She is also a transformational image who gives to humans an experience not only of the material but also of the spiritual world. ... What happens when humans are not connected with Her? ...The loss of her brings disintegration, anger and murder.
"She is the meaning of life... saviour of both human and animal nature... an interpreter of dreams; the giver of understanding, wisdom and consciousness; the giver of eternal life..."
*Also* from a Roman Catholic perspective:
"Sophia bridges the gap between feminist spirituality's need for transforming images and the demand of the biblical traditions that such images be congruent with their history and experience. Sophia can serve as the image, the 'role model' at the heart of feminist spirituality, symbolizing as she does the connectedness between all things."
"Sophia is the Hebrew 'consort' of Yahweh, and probably predates him, her origins going back to Inanna and Isis. She is the 'woman clothed with the sun,' who brings the blazing light of knowledge. <...> Sophia is the deepest part of ourselves -- that part that can grasp in an instant the mysteries of the ages." www.lunaea.com/
"Goddess spirituality addresses directly the problems of our own world now. Its work of healing, blessing, celebration will never become fixed because of the spontaneous presence of Sophia in its midst. The liturgies and practices of orthodox religions which offer children stones instead of bread... will find themselves rapidly displaced unless they invite the invigorating presence of Sophia within them."
An anti-Sophia report from theologically locked-in fundamentalist Presbyterians, but *fun*! And you can see pictures of some of the participants in the legendary "ReImagining Conference":
"...Sophia, the goddess of wisdom... emerges when women reveal their inner selves... 'I found God in myself, and I loved her. I loved her fiercely...'"
"So who is Jesus Christ? Heyward credited Jesus as 'a window into the ongoing presence of the holy in our lives.' But she cautioned her audience not to make too much of his uniqueness..."
"Central to his teaching was the understanding that the feminine aspect of God, God the Mother, was the means by which self-realisation and spiritual evolution to god-awareness occurred. Christ venerated the Divine Mother as the Holy Spirit. It is this power, described in the East as residing in the human being as the Kundalini, that is the last vestige of the Goddess-tradition in the Christian West."
"Why did the Churches suppress these true Christian traditions? Partly because they are patriarchal institutions based on the questionable dogma of Paul who perceived women (and therefore the feminine principle) as inferior entities. Partly also because spirituality which focused on the Divine Feminine would also focus on the redemptive power of God the Mother and on Her role as the grantor and matriarch of mystical experience. This kind of understanding, like all mystics and mysticism, defies organisation, dogmatic hierarchies and institutions preferring the role of individual experience, revelation and progressive growth toward divine awareness.
"The Holy Ghost, then, threatened to neutralise the fear-oriented dogma which the Churches have used, in the name of Christ and Spiritual Truth, to maintain their secular power and wealth."
"...we will embrace a spiritual path that gives us hope of a non-dual union with the Divine, that teaches that S/he is within us, only to be re-membered."
"We sing that Sophia is within us and we are in Sophia."
"When we step into that Oneness, our vision is enhanced. We view the totality and know... that balance exists because Sophia prevails. Through experiencing Her, we learn to trust and take one more step away from self-protection and fear toward compassion and service."
"Sophia was not only a force for unity within Judaism. She also established continuity between Judaism and Christianity. And her fusion with Christ offers contemporary Christians a way to understand their Savior as a union of male and female. As Mollenkott explains, 'the combination of Wisdom/Christ leads to a healthy blend of male and female imagery that empowers everyone and works beautifully to symbolize the One God who is neither male nor female yet both male and female' (Mollenkott 104). Similarly Johnson writes that through the filter of the Sophia metaphor, 'new ways of appreciating Christ can be formed, less associated with patriarchal control and more in tune with women's daily life and collective wisdom, so often discounted as a source of insight' (Johnson 106). In light of this feminist revival of the Sophia figure, some Christian women have begun to speak of the 'Sophia-God of Jesus' and of 'Jesus Sophia'."
"The physical mother of Jesus was an external image of manifestation of the Virgin Sophia -- the word 'Sophia' stemming from 'Sophos,' wisdom."
"The feminine principle is formative in its nature, consequently the Virgin becomes, through an Immaculate Conception, the mother of a new and higher ideal called the Christ in the Christian world, and known by various names in other religions."
"Some esoteric writers call the Gnostic Sophia or 'Wisdom' the Holy Ghost and creator of all, as in the ancient systems, where the 'Father' was a much later concept. The earliest manifested Logos was female everywhere -- the Mother of the seven planetary powers. All the higher gods of antiquity were called 'sons of the Mother' before they became those of the 'Father'."
"Two concepts in their spiritual significance are the nature of the Virgin Sophia, or the purified astral body, and the nature of the Holy Spirit. At the moment of illumination this cleansed, purified, astral body retains none of the impure impressions of the physical world, but only the organs of perception of the spiritual world, and is then called in esoteric Christianity the 'pure, chaste, wise Virgin Sophia.' When the person thus illuminated has received the Holy Spirit unto himself, he speaks forthwith in a different manner, expressing not his own opinion, but permitting the voice of Spirit to speak through him. He lays aside personal views and opinions. The inner being is opened fully to the spiritual world of the Higher Self."
"The Aeons and angels who populate the heavens exist in harmony; you are the flesh of Sophia, one half of an earthly unit as she is one half of an immortal unit. You embody the work of Zoe, the daughter who was sent to kindle the flame of wisdom in each of us."
"...May we always remember to exchange our garments of darkness for a vestment of shining light as we journey toward the Eternal."
"...Your brothers were asleep as the task of Sophia was worked. But you stayed awake in the darkest night, with the song of perseverance on your tongue and your consort in your deepest soul."
"O Gentle, O Kind, O Blessed Sophia,|
Thy children on earth call to thee.
We pray thee, Beloved Mother, to cast forth
Thy net of woven starlight,
Fling it wide across the ocean of the universe
And gather us home to the realms of Light."
The esoteric doctrines for which the Eastern lotus stands have been perpetuated in modern Europe under the form of the rose. The rose and the lotus are yonic emblems, signifying primarily the maternal creative mystery while the fatherly lily is considered to be phallic. In the rites of Isis and the Christian Mary the rose stands for chastity, virginity and a love that is free from all carnal associations, The Virgin Mary is sometimes called "mystic rose," an expression that also occurs in the writings of Rosicrucians, Kabalists, and alchemists.
The blossom of a flower is really the reproductive system of the plant and is therefore singularly appropriate as a symbol of sexual purity-- an absolute requisite of the ancient Mysteries. Thus the flower signifies this ideal of beauty and regeneration which must ultimately take the place of lust and degeneracy.
In mythology, Mary is a development of the goddesses: Isis, Hathor, Ishtar, Aphrodite among others as depicted in the works of Plutarch. Her left the foot on land and the other in water to show her dominion over earth and sea. She is shown as the naked goddess with all her usual halo of stars, one breast was a moon, which figure was repeated on her pubis. Her right breast was a star, or sun pouring blessings on the world.
Ishtar is the Babylonian Mary, called Mother of the Fruitful Breast, Queen of Heaven, Creator of People, Guide of Humanity. Ishtar was worshiped in Jerusalem where priests staged the time honored death and resurrection of her Sun-god lover Tammuz, Innana and Dammuzzi in Sumerian, whose Syrian name was Adonis. Ezekiel 8:14 Her breast offering pose suggested her function as the goddess of all nourishment. Eventually Christian writers belittled her Holy sexual character by calling her the "Whore of Babylon and Mother of Harlots" (Revelation 17:5)
This book chronicles the replacement of an original Christianity which was diverse and Gnostic in character by an orthodox pseudo-theology defined by a narrow set of doctrines quite different in scope and spirit. ... it lifts the curtain on a profoundly different "original" Christianity -- a rich set of doctrines in the Gnostic tradition defined across many sects existing at Christianity's very earliest beginnings including even the communities and teachings of St. Paul and the Nazorean community at Jerusalem, and including doctrines of reincarnation, the origins of evil in a class of beings called "archons," the preexistence of souls, the divine spark in each, therefore the divinity of each -- all befitting the universalist character Jesus in fact had. And it chronicles the grim, often political and ultimately violent destruction of this diversity and these doctrines by the end of the fourth century, their replacement by a stark orthodoxy of distorted and narrowed dogmas, the destruction or suppression of the many gospels by an arbitrary and edited canon of four, and the concomitant establishment of a power structure set in a hierarchy which moved increasingly to the denial of freedom of belief and its final alliance with the power of the state.
THE GREAT MOTHER.
Hecate- is the Great Mother or Life of the universe, the Magna Mater, or Mother of the Gods and all creatures.
She is the Spouse of Mind, and simultaneously Mother and Spouse of Mind of Mind; she is, therefore, said to be centered between them.
But why, it may be asked, does the great Life-stream come forth from the Mother's right side? The fragments we possess do not tell us; but the original presumably contained some description of the Mother-Body, for we are told:
On the left side of Hecate- is a Fountain of Virtue, remaining entirely within, not sending forth its pure virginity.
(K. 28; C. 187)
We have thus to think out the symbolism in a far more vital mode than the figurative expressions naturally suggest. And again:
And from her back, on either side the Goddess, boundless Nature hangs.
(K. 29; C. 141)
This suggests that Nature is the Garment or Mantle of the Goddess-Mother. The Byzantine commentators ascribe to every Limb of the Mother the power of life-giving; every Limb and Organ was a fountain of life. Her hair, her temples, the top of her head, her sides or flanks, were all so regarded; and even her dress, the coverings or veilings of her head, and her girdle. Whether they had full authority for this in the original text we do not know. Kroll considers this "fraus aperta" (K. 29); but the Mother of Life must be A1l-Life, one would have naturally thought, and one verse still preserved to us reads:
Her hair seems like a Mane of Light a-bristle piercingly.
(K. 29; C. 128)
Damascius speaks of her crown; this may possibly have been figured as the wall-crown or turreted diadem of Cybele- (Rhea), in which case it might have typified the "Walls of Fire" of Stoic tradition.
Her girdle seems to have been figured as a serpent of fire.
The Great Mother is also called Rhea in the Oracles, as the following three verses inform us:
Rhea, in sooth, is both the Fountain and the Flood of the blest Knowing Ones; for she it is who first receives the Father's Powers into her countless Bosoms, and poureth forth on every thing birth [- and-death] that spins like to a wheel.
(K. 30; C. 59)
For Simon expressly speaks of this in the "Revelation" after this manner: "To you, then, I address the things which I speak, and (to you) I write what I write. The writing is this: there are two offshoots from all the Aeons, having neither beginning nor end, from one root. And this is a power, viz., Sige, (who is) invisible (and) incomprehensible. And one of these (offshoots) appears from above, which constitutes a great power, (the creative) Mind of the universe, which manages all things, (and is) a male. The other (offshoot), however, is from below, (and constitutes) a great Intelligence, and is a female which produces all things. From whence, ranged in pairs opposite each other, they undergo conjugal union, and manifest an intermediate interval, namely, an incomprehensible air, which has neither beginning nor end. But in this is a father who sustains all things, and nourishes things that have beginning and end. This is he who stood, stands, and will stand, being an hermaphrodite power according to the pre-existent indefinite power, which has neither beginning nor end. Now this (power) exists in isolation. For Intelligence, (that subsists) in unity, proceeded forth from this (power), (and) became two. And that (father) was one, for having in himself this (power) he was isolated, and, however, He was not primal though pre-existent; but being rendered manifest to himself from himself, he passed into a state of duality. But neither was he denominated father before this (power) would style him father. As, therefore, he himself, bringing forward himself by means of himself, manifested unto himself his own peculiar intelligence, so also the intelligence, when it was manifested, did not exercise the function of creation. But beholding him, she concealed the Father within herself, that is, the power; and it is an hermaphrodite power, and an intelligence. And hence it is that they are ranged in pairs, one opposite the other; for power is in no wise different from intelligence, inasmuch as they are one. For from those things that are above is discovered power; and from those below, intelligence. So it is, therefore, that likewise what is manifested from these, being unity, is discovered (to be) duality, an hermaphrodite having the female in itself. This, (therefore,) is Mind (subsisting) in Intelligence; and these are separable one from the other, (though both taken together) are one, (and) are discovered in a state of duality."
According to Simon, therefore, there exists that which is blessed and incorruptible in a latent condition in every one-(that is,) potentially, not actually; and that this is He who stood, stands,26 and is to stand.27 He has stood above in unbegotten power. He stands below, when in the stream of waters He was begotten in a likeness. He is to stand above, beside the blessed indefinite power, if He be fashioned into an image. For, he says, there are three who have stood; and except there were three Aeons who have stood, the unbegotten one is not adorned. (Now the unbegotten one) is, according to them, wafted over the water, and is re-made, according to the similitude (of an eternal nature), a perfect celestial (being), in no (quality of) intelligence formed inferior to the unbegotten power: that is what they say-I and you, one; you, before me; I, that which is after you. This, he says, is one power divided above (and) below, generating itself, making itself grow, seeking itself, finding itself, being mother of itself, father of itself, sister of itself, spouse of itself, daughter of itself, son of itself, mother, father, a unit, being a root of the entire circle of existence.
And that, he says, the originating principle of the generation of things begotten is from fire, he discerns after some such method as the following. Of all things, (i.e.) of whatsoever there is a generation, the beginning of the desire of the generation is from fire. Wherefore the desire after mutable generation is denominated "to be inflamed." For when the fire is one, it admits of two conversions. For, he says, blood in the man being both warm and yellow, is converted as a figured flame into seed; but in the woman this same blood is converted into milk. And the conversion of the male becomes generation, but the conversion of the female nourishment for the foetus. This, he says, is "the flaming sword, which turned to guard the way of the tree of life."28 For the blood is converted into seed and milk, and this power becomes mother and father-father of those things that are in process of generation, and the augmentation of those things that are being nourished; (and this power is) without further want, (and) self-sufficient. And, he says, the tree of life is guarded, as we have stated, by the brandished flaming sword. And it is the seventh power, that which (is produced) from itself, (and) which contains all (powers, and) which reposes in the six powers. For if the flaming sword be not brandished, that good tree will be destroyed, and perish. If, however, these be converted into seed and milk, the principle that resides in these potentially, and is in possession of a proper position, in which is evolved a principle of souls, (such a principle,) beginning, as it were, from a very small spark, will be altogether magnified, and will increase and become a power indefinite (and) unalterable, (equal and similar) to an unalterable age, which no longer passes into the indefinite age.
1. O Fire, O strong one, as master thou unitest us with all things and art kindled high in the seat of revelation; do thou bring to us the Riches.
2. Join together, speak one word, let your minds arrive at one knowledge even as the ancient gods arriving at one knowledge partake each of his own portion.
3. Common Mantra have all these, a common gathering to union, one mind common to all, they are together in one knowledge; I pronounce for you a common Mantra, I do sacrifice for you with a common offering.
4. One and common be your aspiration, united your hearts, common to you be your mind, -- so that close companionship may be yours.
"The Deva or Godhead is both the original cause and the final result. Divine Existent, builder of the worlds, lord and begetter of all things, Male and Female, Being and Consciousness, Father and Mother of the Worlds and their inhabitants, he is also their Son and ours: for he is the Divine Child born into the Worlds who manifests himself in the growth of the creature. He is Rudra and Vishnu, Prajapati and Hiranyagarbha, Surya, Agni, Indra, Vayu, Soma, Brihaspati, -- Varuna and Mitra and Bhaga and Aryaman, all the gods. He is the wise, mighty and liberating Son born from our works and our sacrifice, the Hero in our warfare and Seer of our knowledge, the White Steed in the front of our days who gallops towards the upper Ocean.
"But where are these worlds and whence are they created? Here we have one of the profoundest ideas of the Vedic sages. Man dwells in the bosom of the Earth-Mother and is aware of this world of mortality only; but there is a superconscient high beyond where the divine worlds are seated in a luminous secrecy; there is a subconscient or inconscient below his surface waking impressions and from that pregnant Night the worlds as he sees them are born. And these other worlds between the luminous upper and the tenebrous lower ocean? They are here. Man draws from the life-world his vital being, from the mind-world his mentality; he is ever in secret communication with them; he can consciously enter into them, be born into them, if he will. Even into the solar worlds of the Truth he can rise, enter the portals of the Superconscient, cross the threshold of the Supreme. The divine doors shall swing open to his increasing soul.
"There are also female energies; for the Deva is both Male and Female and the gods also are either activising souls or passively executive and methodising energies. Aditi, infinite Mother of the gods, comes first; and there are besides five powers of the Truth-Consciousness, -- Mahi or Bharati, the vast Word that brings us all things out of the divine source; Ila, the strong primal word of the Truth who gives us its active vision; Saraswati, its streaming current and the word of its inspiration; Sarama, the Intuition, hound of heaven who descends into the cavern of the subconscient and finds there the concealed illuminations; Dakshina, whose function is to discern rightly, dispose the action and the offering and distribute in the sacrifice to each godhead its portion. Each god, too, has his female energy.
"All this action and struggle and ascension is supported by Heaven our Father and Earth our Mother, Parents of the Gods, who sustain respectively the purely mental and psychic and the physical consciousness. Their large and free scope is the condition of our achievement."
In this plurality of heavens the Christians believed from the first, for we find Paul teaching of their existence and speaking of a man "caught up to the third heaven" (II Cor. 13). "From these seven angels Ilda-Baoth shut up all that was above him, lest they should know of anything superior to himself."(5) They then created man in the image of their Father,(6) but prone and crawling on the earth like a worm. But the heavenly mother, Prunnikos, wishing to deprive Ilda-Baoth of the power with which she had unwittingly endowed him, infused into man a celestial spark -- the spirit. Immediately man rose upon his feet, soared in mind beyond the limits of the seven spheres, and glorified the Supreme Father, Him that is above Ilda-Baoth. Hence, the latter, full of jealousy, cast down his eyes upon the lowest stratum of matter, and begot a potency in the form of a serpent, whom they (the Ophites) call his son. Eve, obeying him as the son of God, was persuaded to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.
IN THE OPHITE SYSTEM.
The trinity consisted of the Mystery named Sigè, Bythos, Ennoia. These become ONE who is Abrasax, from the Virgin Sophia (or Pneuma), who herself is an emanation of Bythos and the Mystery-god and emanates through them, Christos.
The Gnostic Ophites taught the doctrine of Emanations, so hateful to the defenders of the unity in the trinity, and vice versa. The Unknown Deity with them had no name; but his first female emanation was called Bythos or Depth.(1) It answered to the Shekinah of the kabalists, the "Veil" which conceals the "Wisdom" in the cranium of the highest of the three heads. As the Pythagorean Monad, this nameless Wisdom was the Source of Light, and Ennoia or Mind, is Light itself. The latter was also called the "Primitive Man," like the Adam Kadmon, or ancient Adam of the Kabala. Indeed, if man was created after his likeness and in the image of God, then this God was like his creature in shape and figure -- hence, he is the "Primitive man." The first Manu, the one evolved from Swayambhuva, "he who exists unrevealed in his own glory," is also, in one sense, the primitive man, with the Hindus.
The first scheme -- that of the Ophites -- from the very start, as we have shown, varies from the description given by the Fathers, inasmuch as it makes Bythos or depth, a female emanation, and assigns her a place answering to that of Pleroma, only in a far superior region; whereas, the Fathers assure us that the Gnostics gave the name of Bythos to the First Cause. As in the kabalistic system, it represents the boundless and infinite void within which is concealed in darkness the Unknown Primal motor of all. It envelopes HIM like a veil: in short we recognize again the "Shekinah" of the En-Soph. Alone, the name of Iao marks the upper centre, or rather the presumed spot where the Unknown One may be supposed to dwell. Around the Iao, runs the legend, "The eternal Sun-Abrasax" (the Central Spiritual Sun of all the kabalists, represented in some diagrams of the latter by the circle of Tiphereth).
From this region of unfathomable Depth, issues forth a circle formed of spirals; which, in the language of symbolism, means a grand cycle, composed of smaller ones. Coiled within, so as to follow the spirals, lies the serpent -- emblem of wisdom and eternity -- the Dual Androgyne: the cycle representing Ennoia or the Divine mind, and the Serpent -- the Agathodaimon, Ophis -- the Shadow of the Light. Both were the Logoï of the Ophites; or the unity as Logos manifesting itself as a double principle of good and evil; for, according to their views, these two principles are immutable, and existed from all eternity, as they will ever continue to exist.
This symbol accounts for the adoration by this sect of the Serpent, as the Saviour, coiled either around the Sacramental loaf or a Tau.As a unity, Ennoia and Ophis are the Logos; when separated, one is the Tree of Life (Spiritual); the other, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, we find Ophis urging the first human couple -- the material production of Ilda-Baoth, but which owed its spiritual principle to Sophia-Achamoth -- to eat of the forbidden fruit, although Ophis represents Divine Wisdom.
It is in the religious doctrines of the Gnostics that the real meaning of the Dragon, the Serpent, the Goat, and all those symbols of powers now called Evil, can be seen the best; as it is they who divulged the esoteric nature of the Jewish Substitute for AIN-SOPH in their teachings; of the true meaning of which, while the Rabbins concealed it, the Christians, with a few exceptions, knew nothing. Surely Jesus of Nazareth would have hardly advised his apostles to show themselves as wise as the serpent, had the latter been a symbol of the Evil one; nor would the Ophites, the learned Egyptian Gnostics of "the Brotherhood of the Serpent," have reverenced a living snake in their ceremonies as the emblem of WISDOM, the divine Sophia (and a type of the all-good, not the all-bad), were that reptile so closely connected with Satan. The fact is, that even as a common ophidian it has ever been a dual symbol; and as a Dragon it had never been anything else than a symbol of the manifested Deity in its great Wisdom.
The serpent has ever been the symbol of the adept, and of his powers of immortality and divine knowledge... Every people of antiquity reverenced this symbol, with the exceptions of Christians, who chose to forget the brazen Serpent of Moses, and even the implied acknowledgment of the great wisdom and prudence of the Serpent by Jesus himself, "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
"The Akasa is the eternal divine consciousness which cannot differentiate, have qualities, or act; action belongs to that which is reflected or mirrored from it. The unconditioned and infinite can have no relation with the finite and conditioned. The Astral Light is the Middle Heaven of the Gnostics, in which is Sophia Achamoth, the mother of the seven builders or Spirits of the Earth, which are not necessarily good, and among which the Gnostics placed Jehovah, whom they called Ialdabaoth. (Sophia Achamoth must not be confounded with the divine Sophia.)"
"The principle of the Divine Feminine has endured in traditions worldwide. In Buddhism the 'White Tara' symbolizes the highest form of spiritual transformation through womanhood. Tara is revered as 'she who in the mind of all Yogis leads out of the darkness of bondage,' the primordial force of self-mastery and redemption. On the lower plane she is Shakti, while on the higher she is Tara 'who leads happily across.' Especially venerated in Tibet, she is considered the Mother of Buddhism, leading the soul across the river of samsara to the far shore, which is nirvana."
Return to My arms! Accept Me as your Mother. My body is the trunk of the Tree, and My legs come from where Mana springs. My arms reach through the Ten Heavens and the galaxies are the flowers that are My garland. Yet the smallest bird is My beloved child. Lean back against the Tree itself, arms intertwined with Mine. You will feel the sacred Mana, life-blood of the immortal Deities, rise up within your spine. When you are one with Me you will no longer believe yourselves to be as withering leaves. Your lives will be lovely and without blemish, for you will be rooted in reality. For the flowers and fruit of the Tree of Life are within yourselves.
When you have partaken of heavenly Mana, you are spiritually reborn of My Eternal Body. This joy is known to a hummingbird and butterfly - but lost to humans.
Ephinoia In Valentianian gnosticism, the 1st female manifestation of God. Cf. the Shekinah, also Holy Ghost (the latter being regarded in some sources as the mother of the living, Zoe, hence female). [Rf. Doresse, "The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics", p. 202.]
Shekinah (Hebrew, "shachan", meaning "to reside"--Schechinah, Matrona, etc.) The Shekinah has been identified with the Holy Ghost and the Epinoia of the gnostic Valentinus
~~review of the book by Darlene Viggiano
"The seeker is on the quest in the outer world for what is outside to match what is within. He seeks and finds only what was already his by birthright. ...
"So where does Sophia fit into this story? Where is the wisdom, the divine logos in this erotic, romantic adventure? ... By 'believing in and consciously working with the Divine Influences,' we co-create our own healing and our own destiny."
"...she is the 'vehicle of hidden gestation', the 'First Mother in potentia'."
"She represents... the Second Marriage of the Prince who is no longer of this world; she is the spiritual Bride and Mother, the daughter of the stars and the Higher Garden of Eden. She is the Queen of the borrowed light, but this is the light of all. She is the moon nourished by the milk of the Supernal Mother." -- Waite
"I am the thinking of the virginal Spirit... Arise and remember that it is you who hearkened, and follow your root, which is I... and guard yourself against... all those who ensnare you, and beware of the deep sleep." -- The Apocrophon of John
These next two links (among my personal *favorites* on the Web) are not expressly devoted to Sophia as the Mother of the All -- but Her Wisdom & the Essence of Her Spirit deeply in*forms* these pages:
There is a HiddenNous in the world. This HiddenNous is deep down, much deeper than the level of objective reality. This HiddenNous is reflective of a deeper cosmic dimension. It is an implicate order where everything is connected, where any individual element can reveal information about every other element in the universe. This HiddenNous is like a hologram, full of dense information -- information enfolded into every region of the universe, where even the smallest part will eventually reveal the unfolded form of the entirety.
Conversations with the likes of Richard Bach, Colin Wilson, Patricia Sun, Jean Houston, Matthew Fox, Stephen Levine, Ram Dass, Richard Grossinger, Rupert Sheldrake, Fred Alan Wolf, Pir Vilayet Khan, John Lilly, Claudio Naranjo, John Mack, Terrence McKenna, Fritjof Capra, Theodore Roszak, Houston Smith, Jacob Needleman, Shakti Gawain and lots more!
"The next thousand years belong to the Goddess and Her Wisdom."
Art by Norman E. Masters