Art by Norman E. Masters
In large part the *basic* reason is faulty translation of their own scriptures. The translators (presumeably with their own already-indoctrinated patriarchal biases) *eliminated* the feminine endings to Wisdom/Hokmah/Sophia -- changing the feminine to male or neuter; they *hid* the fact (or did not *recognize* such by the nature of what *their* teachers taught) that "Elohim" has a feminine ending, in the original (more accurately translated as "The Goddesses" according to some, or "the Sons of Goddess"). It is a similar mistranslation of this nature that calls the Holy Spirit "he" in The Gospel According To John. Sophia is dubbed "workman" instead of "workwoman" (Prov. 8:30, RSV) (which intrinsically reveals the patriarchal bias & the process at work in these translations).
In similar fashion, El Shaddai, used six times in Genesis (17:1, 28:3, 35:11, 43:14, 48:3, and 49:25), is more accurately translated "the breasted God" or "God with breasts" -- which would evoke an androgynous image -- with feminine characteristics -- rather than a strictly masculine mental image (and what Jesus taught in Thomas 22 might have some bearing on this).
Mainstream Christianity is focussed on their interpretation of a Holy Book, which fundamentalism has turned into an idol; some idolize specific (very *fallible*) human translations -- like the 1611 King James translation. This happens because they know *not* thru the Holy Spirit *directly*. In ongoing union with Her Holy Spirit one *needs* no scriptures. Once one has "the pearl of great price" (which is Sophia, the Comforter, direct Divine Wisdom) the others (with their intrinsic flaws of seeing "thru a glass darkly") can be disposed of. Thus mainstream Christianity has largely ignored the Divine Feminine because they have *lacked* the Holy Spirit. To have ignored the Divine Feminine intrinsically *proves* that -- to any with eyes to see! Those who truly *have* that "direct contact", that wholly communion -- bring forth the New Wine of the Spirit -- which fundamentalism then "demonizes", little realizing that that spiritual blindness, itself, intrinsically reveals the forces working thru them.
So, in largest part, mainstream Christianity is *ignorant* of the Divine Feminine because they are ignorant of the serious shortcomings of the translations they are using & believing -- which boils down, simply, to lack of education & an indoctrination in traditions that have taught falsehood. In similar fashion, very "gnostic" words in the Epistles of Paul (like "hypostasis" & "aeons") have meanings being pointed to in the Greek that are translated utterly *out of existence* in their transformation to the English.
"Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live" is mistranslated into English as "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".
The translations have *changed* the Original Meanings! (& most everybody has their personal agenda as to what they *want* those "original meanings" to *be*! ;) )
What *became* "mainstream Christianity" (thru Josef Stalin-like tactics in the 4th century CE -- & on up thru the Renaissance -- ie: *wipe-out* the "Gnostic" & other heretics, etc. & *burn* all those further scriptures, making it an offense punishable by *death* to be caught having a copy of such) was based upon *power* politics, the tactics of terrorism -- & *not* the Holy Spirit! How *could* those whose main focus is centered upon "the Church's" *worldly* power have communion with the authentic Holy Spirit?
We learn from Luke 1:1 that "many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us". How did the "many" become only *four*?!
Jerome (340-420), who translated the Scriptures into Latin, writing in the period when the Biblical Canon was established, says the following about the Apocrypha: They "were read for edification, but not for confirming the authority of church doctrine."
That lets the "cat out of the bag" relative to canonicity -- and all the *other* gospels excluded from the "Authorized" canon. The Biblical canon was chosen *not* for Divine Truth -- but, rather, "for confirming the authority of church doctrine". If any Divine Truth *undercut* the "authority of church doctrine" it was made "heretical"! And *those* books were not allowed in! Thus the Church that abides by the canon (established by sectarian *human* authority -- & never by genuine Divine Authority) has *excluded* Her *Living* Holy Spirit in the very act of adopting & advocating their canon. Thru the canon the Christian Pharisees took control of the church -- & their interpretations of "the letter of the law" has deceived believers ever since.
However, the institutional church (thru all its denominations) has always been the *false* church; the true church has ever been the body of sincere *believers* in Christ -- each individual who intimately *knows* Her Holy Spirit, the Comforter that Jesus promised.
In the tradition of the Levitical priesthood (& the "Pharisees" of the New Testament) orthodox Christianity became a religion of "the letter of the Law" -- making *war* against those who were ongoingly in the Living Spirit. Hunting "heretics" & "witches" comes of the egoic *shadow*, comes of an ideological & theological *idolatry*; such are always *blind* to the Living Spirit.
Of course they excluded the Feminine Divine in reaction *against* the *potency* of the Feminine Mysteries thru what they demonized as "paganism".
When the Holy Spirit would speak thru the women -- challenging the *falsehoods* the patriarchy was disseminating, the patriarchal egos could not *tolerate* that. Thus, in egoic shadow, one of them wrote I Tim. 2: 11-15 & others canonized such as "The Word of God" -- because it served *their* agenda.
*Poisoning* vs. the Feminine Divine (inherent in verses from the Shadow Force like those in Timothy) has infected "mainstream Christianity" ever since.
Within the paradigm of Christian orthodoxy (false as it is, in spiritual *reality*) this can be said in response to I Tim. 2: 11-15 --
"Since male dominance, '...he shall rule over you' (Gen. 3:16), is the direct result of sin, it could be argued that the death and resurrection of Jesus, by conquering sin, restored women as God's representatives on earth. Therefore, when any man tries to 'rule over' any woman he is rejecting the redemption offered by Christ and clinging to his sin instead." -- Robert K. Meyer II
I Tim. 1:20 is another such verse which is *obviously* coming from egoic shadow rather than coming from the Light of the Holy Spirit. Paul (or, more likely, whoever was writing, later, in his name) does not have the *power* to deliver another to "Satan"! But the claim reveals the arrogance of the human ego *behind* that claim! Obviously delivering someone to "Satan" does not enable them to learn "not to blaspheme"; that influence would only teach *more* blasphemy, & the doing of *other* works that are not of the "fruit of the Spirit".
Regardless of their ignoring the Divine Feminine, the "breath of the Spirit" *has* blown thru mainstream Christianity (for many of the devout, coming to the Well of Christianity, have sincerely sought the True Divine). It is only the *Fullness* of Her Spirit that has been lacking. But *such* a lacking! -- for it is thru the *Fullness* of Her Spirit that Paradise becomes the existential *reality* -- rather than the hellishness that orthodox religion has begotten for humanity.
Tho mainstream Christianity has largely *ignored* Her, the Divine Feminine has continued to *work* -- invisibly & hidden & *unrecognized* -- under multiple (Naming's) disguise. (And ultimately, *any* specific-Naming *can* become an ego-attachment of humans "seeing thru a glass darkly" -- thus begetting yet another manifestation of subtle idolatry).
The Name that *She* is called-by, whether masculinized or feminine, *is* (really) irrelevant to *Her*. For Her Essence is *beyond* all human naming. (In like manner, our *own* spiritual essence, as humans, has nothing to do with the temporal Name we are called...)
Her Naming is for *our* benefit; it begets a paradigmal-shift that *frees* us of the limitations (& falsifications) of *other* mental paradigms. It allows us to see -- more fully -- from a different perspective.
Reading a retired Methodist Bishop's denunciation of what he called "The Cult of Sophia" i was fired-up to *respond* to same "In Defense of Sophia". On the edge of awakening from sleep -- to begin writing that particular piece, that morning, Sophia's Voice *did* speak to me, saying, in effect, "There is no need to defend me; I am *already* in charge of it all."
And, of course, She *is*! Our Father has *put* Sophia "in charge of the All"!
Amidst the turmoils of these tides of time we can be assured that it is all evolving -- as it *should* be -- from the Larger View.
But as for *you* -- who have had the patience to read all the way to here! ~~
~~ wynn manners
Saturday, March 3, 2001