(Please see previous post on upcoming events in the Holy Month of Flora).
Disclaimer: Please note that Janites are not Gnostic, nor do we accept all Gnostic schools of thought or teachings. We are Deanic and so, for the most part, we base our Tradition on the Clear Recital.
Janites accept all true Living Stream Forms for Dea such as Tara, the Hindu Goddesses, Quan Yin, etc. For the Janite Tradition in particular, our Form for Dea is the Divine Sophia.
We had been working on Sophian Deanic thealogy for a number of years before I discovered the work of Sorella Roselyn of https://priestessofholywisdom.wordpress.com/ . I was simply amazed that an whole other dimension of Sophian Deanic thealogy opened up through her work. And so, with her work and mine taken together, we continue to explore the correlations of our Recital scriptures with the Mythos of Sophia.
In Part I, we saw how, similar to the Celestial Mother in the Creation Mythos, Sophia is both God and Creatrix. We have also shown how the Supernal Eve, i. e., Zoe-Eve, is the first of Her Daughters or First Daughter. Both the First Daughter of the Creation Mythos and Zoe-Eve were created through the use or metaphor of water. (See verses 9-10 in the Creation Mythos).
In On the Origin of the World, in which we do not find a Sophia Who is identified with fallen and imprisoned souls as She would later come to be depicted, Mother Sophia sends forth a light-drop upon the water (113-23) which is the conception and birth of Eve, who is the First Daughter of Sophia. Eve took on bodily form in the Image of the Divine Mother, Sophia.
It is important to note that similar to the Recital Mythos which focuses on only the feminine aspects of the classical mythologies, we also focus on the Divine Feminine in the Gnostic texts.
In the earliest texts of many of the Classic Myths, such as that of Demeter and Persephone, Demeter (the Mother ) and Kore-Persephone (the Daughter) only the Goddesses were present and Persephone went to the underworld of Her own free will. These texts were later changed into the myths as we know them, today. So, too, have the earliest Gnostics texts about Sophia become corrupted. (1)
From the creation of the first of Her daughters or the First Daughter, we move onto the mythology of the snake, which we also find in the book of Genesis and earlier texts such as those of Zoroastrianism, for example, Gnosticism presents a different ‘take’ on the snake. We must be very careful with the snake and evil queen story in the Mythos of Creation, because Deanism, in general, does not teach Original Sin. Many have misunderstood Chapter II in the Creation Mythos to be describing an original sin committed by the First Daughter after having been tempted by the snake. [Please see 2)]. In Gnosticism, the snake also makes an appearance, but we accept the teachings of the Mythos as it is told in the Recital.
(I love this image. The book may be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Divine-Sophia-Salvation-Universal/dp/0994007787 (Please note, I have not read this book, but the description alone shows how widely and varied is the modern day worship of Sophia.)
Moving on to the Mythos of the Divine Maid or Holy Daughter, we see Our Lady, the Celestial Mother, brooding upon the Primordial Waters like a Dove. Of course, in Christianity, the Holy Spirit, Who is Feminine, appears in the Form of a Dove, which, at that time, would have been readily recognizable by the people as a symbol of the Goddess, of the Divine Feminine. It would not have been understood as a male symbol, never. Sophia is not just present in the Gnostic Mythos, She is the Holy Spirit of Christianity Who takes the Form of a Dove. We also see Sophia as the Holy Spirit in certain aspects of Judaism. (3)
In Janite Tradition, Mari-Sophia (the Celestial Mother) is the Great Dove of the Waters. Zoe-Sophia (the Holy Daughter) is the Gentle Dove of Peace as well as the Dove of the Sacrifice. Both ‘Great Dove of the Waters’ and ‘Dove of the Sacrifice’ stem from our RoS and Great Liturgy.
As an aside, scholar Rose Horman Arthur, in the Wisdom Goddess, reminds us that speculation on Sophia is very much older than Christianity. She goes on to say that ‘when Philo writes of man’s becoming divine by union with Sophia, he is not to be interpreted as presenting a new theological trend in sophialogy, which was forming already before the book of Proverbs was written.” The worship of Sophia is nothing new and certainly is not limited to, nor is it derived solely from Christianity. Rather, the Gnostic Christians took the pre-Christian Sophia and turned Her into a fallen divinity. They took the Daughter of Wisdom and turned Her into ignorance, folly and passion. (Words they actually used to describe Her.)
Returning to the Mythos of the Holy Daughter, we see that the Divine Mother has conceived and birthed an Holy Daughter. Time does not permit me to share all the Gnostic texts which speak of Sophia as the Holy Mother. So, suffice it to say, that from Mother Sophia or as we know Her, Mari-Sophia is born the Holy Daughter, Zoe-Sophia, She Who is the Daughter of Light.
Next comes one of my favorite scriptures, the story of the Three Princesses. In the story, the Genia or Jana before Whom the princesses lay their gifts, thealogically declare the three main titles of the Holy Daughter.
When the first princess lays her crown of gold at the feet of the Jana, the Jana declares, “the Holy Child shall be Princess of all the World“. (24) The Holy Daughter is Princess of the Cosmos. She is Princess before She is crowned Queen of Heaven upon Her resurrection. It is the same with Daughter Sophia. She, also, will not be crowned as Queen of the Pleroma until after Her resurrection. And so, until She becomes Queen, Daughter Sophia is Princess of the World/Cosmos. In icons, statues and other imagery, she is often shown wearing a crown: https://www.sacredsource.com/Sophia-7-3_4/productinfo/SOF/
When the second princess lays down her silver crown, the Jana states: the Holy Child is the Daughter of Wisdom, Herself. (27) ‘Lower’ or Daughter Sophia is literally the Daughter of Wisdom and that is how She is known.
The above image hangs above my hestian altar and will hopefully hang above all future public Janite altars. (Hestian refers to ‘of the hestia’ which is a home that has been blessed, consecrated and anointed in the Name of Dea. )
Finally, when the third princess lays her crystal crown upon the ground, the great Jana states, the Holy Child shall be Priestess of all the World. In icons and paintings of Sophia, She is depicted as holding a chalice and usually, we read Her words from Proverbs: 9:5, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. (When Wisdom speaks in Proverbs, that is Wisdom Personified… Primordial Wisdom Who is Sophia, Wisdom.) And so, in Proverbs, She acts as our High Priestess.
Before moving on to the next section of the Daughter Mythos, in part III, we shall show how the Seven Jana come from Divine Sophia.
May Our Lady Bless you,
Blessed is She.
2) http://www.mother-god.com/original-sin.html and http://www.mother-god.com/christianity-original-sin.html
3)https://www.beth-elsa.org/Worship/Sermons/Guest_Speakers/Do_Jews_Believe_in_the_Holy_Spirit_01_15_10 (While the article, in its entirety is recommended, please read the last paragraph.)