Goddess Sophia  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Sophia Cover
NAME: SOPHIA which is the Greek version of Her name, other names and titles are Hohkma (Hebrew), Sapienta (Latin), Mother-Of-All (Gnostic), Holy Spirit (very early Christians), Wisdom (what the other names mean).

SYMBOLS: A cup, the crescent moon, a dove, a tree.
USUAL IMAGE: A red winged woman, crowned with seven stars, at Her feet lies the World, She carries a golden cup. She is also often shown wearing a red gown, and pregnant.

HOLY DAYS: November 28th is the Day of Sophia.

HOLY BOOKS: The Trattato Gnostico. The Clementine Homilies. The Gospel According to Mary.

PLACES OF WORSHIP: Temples, but also places of learning.

RELATIVES: Yahway (ex-husband), Adam, Eve, Lilith, angels (children), Jesus Christ (step-son).

SYNODIETIES: Isis (Egyptian), Juno (Roman), Hera (Greek), Frigga (Norse) Spider Grandmother (Native American), Inanna (Sumerian), Tara (Tibetan) Yemaya (African-Caribbean), Amaterasu (Japanese), Pachamama (Incan), Estsanatlehi, Changing Woman (Navajo and Apache), Danu (Celtic).

DETAILS: Sophia, or Hohkma or Sapienta etc... is the primary female figure of Judeo-Christianity, She was once very important, but because of the efforts of men who had a very serious problem with the female force in nature and themselfs She has all but been exsponged from modern Bibles. She was the veiled holy spirit of wisdom, pregnant with knowledge and inviting us to drink deeply from Her cup. Old Jewish literature tells of Her role as God's co-creator, "She reaches out from one end of the earth to the other with full strength and orders all things well...Herself unchanging, she makes all things anew." without Her God is powerless. She shares God's throne, and is his creative breath. The Shakers recognized her in the rhyme: "Wisdom holds the Mother's seat, and is the Father's helper-meet." Yes, it's time that Mrs God got Her due!

Gnostics And Sophia


Gnosticism (Gnost = knowledge) was one of the very earlyist forms of Christianity being some what older then what became the Roman Catholic Church, and one of it's chief rivals during the first part of the first millennium. They sought communion with Sige (Silence) who dwelt at the beginning of all things and gave birth to Sophia (Wisdom or Knowledge), The Gnostic Great Mother, who was both spouse and mother of God. (Hey! it's how they thought back then, read your Joseph Campbell.)

What became the orthodox church especially hated the Gnostic feminine imagery. Followers of Paul denounced the Gnostics as the spawn of Satan and ravening wolves in human form, and both devil worshipers AND atheists, and other insults Christians used against other Christians of a diffrent type in those times, and for that matter today against other religions that they don't like today.

Starting mainly in the 4th and going through the 8th the Paulist church persecuted any Gnostic minorities that they could find, killing them in the thousands.

Church fathers of the Paulist type were very upset and angry by the Gnostics admiting women to ecclesiastical rank. Tertullian reported with horror that "All initiates, men and women alike...might be elected to serve as priest, bishop, or prophet. Beyond that the women teach, engage in discussion; they exorcise; they cure. They even baptize and in all way have equally, they pray equally -- even Pagans, if any happen to come...They also share the kiss of peace with all who come."

Some sects of Gnosticism even went so far as to say that there were twelve female apostles lead by the beloved of Jesus Mary Magdalene, and that while Jesus was the real God made flesh, Mary Magdalene was the real Goddess also made flesh, most of their gospels pertaining to this were destroyed by the eary Paulist, though some have survived.

In return for what the other Christians had to say about them the Gnostics said that the God of the Roman church was not the real God but was a devilish demiurge who only wanted to entrap human souls in lies, illusion, and evil.

But what about some of these differences that are to be found between the Gnostics who had a Yahway AND Sophia, and the Paulist who had only Jehovah and Jesus? Lets take a short look at the Gnostic version of the Garden of Eden myth next.

The Gnostics said that Sophia was born from the primordial female power Sige (Silence). And that she }Sophia{ was God's mother, "the great revered Virgin in whom the Father was concealed from the begining before He had created anything.Sophia gave birth to a male spirit, Christ, (who only much later came to earth in human form) and a female spirit Achamoth (who later came to earth as Mary Magdalene). These two gave birth to the elements and the terrestrial world, then brought forth a new god named Jehovah, Son of Darkness, along with five planetary spirits later regarded as emanations of Jehovah: Iao, Sabaoth, Adonai, Eloi, annd Uraeus. These spirits produced archangels, angels, and finally men and women.

Jehovah forbade men to eat the fruit of knowledge, but his mother Achamoth sent her own spirit to earth in the form of the serpent Ophis to teach menkind to disobey the jealous god. The serpent was also called Christ, who taught Adam to eat the fruit of knowledge despite Jehovah's prohibition.

...later

Sophia sent Christ again to earth in the shape of one of Her totems the dove, to enter the man Jesus at his baptism in Jordan. After Jesus died, Christ left his body and returned to heaven to help collect souls.

But not all of Sophia was taken out of the final version of the Bible by the Paulist, some was able to slip past i.e. from the 8th and 9th chapters Proverbs we see the early conflict between followers of Sophia and those of God. Maybe the divorce was going on at this time?:

Doth not Sophia cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in of the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand Sophia: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things... for Sophia is better then rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to Her. I Sophia dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions... Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and and nobles, even all judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me... I lead the way into righteousness, jin the midst of the paths of judgment: that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures... Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For who so findeth me findeth life... But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. Then we get:

Sophia hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: she hath killed her beasts: she hath mingled her wine: she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city. Who so is simple, let him turn in hither; as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled...(but) the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me (God) thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased... a foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high place of the city, (temples) to call passengers who go right on their ways: who so is simple, let him turn in hither... But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and her guests are in the depths of hell.

Sounds like the nasty sort of thing that goes on in a lot of divorces to me. Or at least a heated PR battle.

Lets say that the campaign to bring Sophia (or Sapienta or Hohkma or Goddess which ever) is a success, what are some of the effects that it might have? I mean other then the religious aspects, I mean also the political or more mundane aspects, because as it is now while women make up the majority of those that DO anything in the churchs the power is in the hands of men, well, with Sophia back thinks would have to loosen up more then a little bit, so what are some of the changes that could take place?......:

Catholicism


Sure they have nuns, but that does not count because even they have to have a Priest that is over them (I think I'm really not sure about the details). So with the return of Sophia we could see also the Catholic Priestess who would have her very on sacraments and everything (see following message) and to be sure they could also become bishops and cardinals I understand that such things were quite common way back when.

And Pope? There was Pope Joan, but she had to be in disguise to do that. And all that Pope stuff did not start till well after the last of the Sophiaist had been offed.

But I know the perfect compromise, there is a lot of controversy in the Roman Catholic church right now between people who think that Priest should be able to marry, and those that think things should stay just as they are. But if you let Priest marry who knows what would happen! After all nobody can understand anybody else's choices in books or mates, and if you're Catholic what would you do if Father Dan showed up one day married to a Yahway's Witness or a nice Jewish girl?! You know what gossips church people can be, well here's the solution, let them get married, but only to Priestesses, sure that cuts down the field a lot but hey! that's tough, it comes with the territory.

Protestantism


Now here's a group that needs some work, ever seen some of the more hard-core groups with the men in their Penta-Pimp suits and the poofyed up hair-dos and their drab mousey wifes who never seem to say anything? (not to try and get anybody mad or upset, but if I do...I try) I think there is more then room for a little loosening up to be done there, and in the more avereage protestant churchs too.

Along with the minister have a wominister, yeah that would work, maybe having another power would help cut down on the power tripping that often takes place. And just think, one more person to gossip about!

Judaism


Sorry, I really don't know enough about Judaism to talk about changes that might take place with the return of a Goddess figure, but I'm sure it would have to mean something...right?

All Judeo-Christianity


One thing that is to be found in all Christian religious groups is the male-force version of the leader, no matter if he is called Priest, minister or what, who is let's face it more matter how you might like to not look at it, is for the most part a political figure, somebody in charge, so that you have a lot of religion but very, very little if any real spirituality.

Perhaps that could be fixed with the return of Sophia because with the return of a Female element to a religion you open up the door to the possibility of the Christian Shaman, something that the world has yet to see, this person could be ether male or female and..well I think this needs it's own message.

Even if you are not Catholic yourself I am sure that you are at least somewhat familiar with each of the seven sacraments that a priest can perform as part of his office. Just for the record they are listed below.

The seven sacraments that a priest of the Roman Catholic church can perform are:

1. Baptism 2. Communion (eucharist) 3. Confirmation 4. Marriage 5. Priesthood 6. Sacrament of the Sick (formerly known as 'last rites') 7. Reconciliation (confession)

Now, what would be the case if a campaign to return Sophia to Judeo-Christianity were to succeed? There would be no need to take anything away from the priests, or even for them to share the seven sacraments for that matter, I think that the priestess would have plenty to do with the seven sacraments of the

Priestesshood:


1. Pre-Baptism (sacred midwifery) To atend in a number of ways to the spiritual and physical needs of pregnant women, blessing the child, doing some rite at the birth etc...

2. Blessing the Cup. Rite by which a cup of milk or water is imbued with the essence of Sophia.

3. Bake the Love in. Rite in which an entire meal is imbued with the essence of Sophia.

4. Match-Making. Something that is badly needed before the Priest can do the marriage bit. a number of ways in which the compatibility is tested between two people, also the aiding of finding a suitable match. ("Nu! have I got a girl for you!")

5. Nag. Sort of like confession, only while one is told to the priest this one is told to you by the priestess, sort of like naging...but in a good way, a way of pointing out where some improvement could be made, all under the influence of Sophia and not the good Mother herself `nach. Maybe it could start out by the Priestess saying something like "Watch it buster, for you have sinned" or something like that.

6. Tidy-Up. Rite to "clean-up" the spiritual "being" of the person in question, sort of like all that aura cleaning that the New Agers do.

7. Make-Over. Training that lets the Priestess note changes that would be helpful if they were made in an individual, sort of like that Hail Mary thing, only the Priestess would assign things of a more tangible form. Like giving me one week with no beer drinking, or such like.

The White Goddess. Robert Graves.
Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity. (2 vols.) Francis Legge.
The Gnostic Religion. Hans Jonas.
Venus in Sackcloth. Marjorie Malvern.
Myths to Live By. Joseph Campbell.
The Gnostic Gospels. Elaine Pagels.
When God Was a Woman. Merlin Stone.
The Lady Was a Bishop. Joan Morris.
Spiral Dance. Starhawk.
The Book of Goddesses and Heroines. Patricia Monagham.
The Goddesses and the Tree. Ellen Cannon Reed.
Urban Shaman. Serge Kahili King.
Growing the Tree Within. William Gray.
The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. Barbara G. Walker.

Many of these books are to be found at the library.. And there is a new one out called Sophia the Black Goddess I believe but I'm not sure and I don't know the authors name.....sorry.

By Terry J. McCombs



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