FAQ The Holy Soul Part III

Foradi, 13 Astrea

sophia (Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom)

As with all the articles on this blog, these writings reflect the beliefs of the Janite Order of Priestesses and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the Greater Deanic Traditions. If you can get through to the end, well, I hope the end surprises you. Honestly, it kind of surprised me. This is such a complex subject, but it came together in the end. Thanks be to Madria Sofia.

Blue text is commentary by ArchMadria Pamela. 

~

As I was researching this article, I found a Deanic doctrine within Gnostic teachings: The motive for the Sophia’s fall was defined according to the Anatolian school to have lain therein, that by Her desire to know what lay beyond the limits of the knowable, She had brought Herself into a state of ignorance and formlessness. Her suffering extends to the whole Pleroma. 

The Myth of Sophia is often synonymous with the story of our souls.

In the above paragraph, we read about why we are here, ‘because we desired to know what lay beyond the limits of the knowable’ and by this, we brought ourselves into limitation, suffering and ignorance. Through this limitation and suffering, our souls will evolve until we desire nothing but Perfect Love. This is exactly what is taught in the longer version of the Madrian Creed.

The Holy Daughter suffered an excruciating Descent down through the Seven Realms. The Divine Sophia/Shekinah also suffered an excruciating Descent down through the Realms. The reason this caused Her immense suffering is because of the greater and greater density of each realm and the further and further away from the Pleroma She descended.

a48_1

The Most Pure Holy Daughter suffered this Descent in order to remain with us, here in exile, reminiscent of the sacrifice of Quan Yin, who chose to remain behind until the last cry of humanity was heard. This is part of the Primary Sacrifice of the Holy Daughter within the JOP, that She sacrificed Her Place in the Pleroma in order to remain intimately bound with us, while we are here, in exile. She remains with us as the Holy Soul.

Some Patriarchal myths diminish the scope of this Holy Sacrifice by stating that this was a punishment or that She (Sophia) was ‘trapped’ here. (Similar to Persephone being trapped in the Underworld for the Winter.). Yet again, these misogynist notions are a continuation of the blaming of the female/Female for the ‘Fall of Humanity’ and the ‘fallen state of Creation’. These outmoded ideas are slowly falling by the wayside (no pun intended) in our modern Age.

(Here is another article concerning Her demotion:  http://www.sophiaandthedragon.com/sophia/soul_of_world.html.)

But here is an example of Her voluntary sacrifice:

It is believed that in man’s fall to a denser, less perfect state of being in the physical, the Shekinah stayed with us as we separated from God or were exiled from the ‘Garden‘.  Thus, the Shekinah, once again, was voluntarily removed from God/En Sof in order for us to have our experience.  She has always stayed with us, wherever we were exiled or isolated or shut out, the Shekinah was always there in exile and isolation with us. http://www.universalkabbalah.net/Shekinah

I just discovered that the Shekinah, like the Holy Daughter in the Deanic Faith, is known as the Moon Who reflects the Divine Light into the World. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shekhinah   🙂

world-soul Goddess Sophia (I love this image, because for Deanics it shows the symbol of the Supernal Sun and the Supernal Moon and the Rainbow colors of the Seven Janati. )

What exactly do we mean by saying that Sophia/Shekinah is the World Soul? Some of a New Age perspective, will state that She is Gaia, others believe the Earth is Her Body. Some say She is Mother Earth.

The following is, what I think the best definition of Sophia as the World Soul as written by an Episcopalian Priest:

As the living centre or Soul of all creatures […] She includes the manifoldness of living souls; She is all of humanity together in one, or the Soul of the World. She is ideal humanity, containing all individual living creatures or souls and uniting them through Herself […]. Her task is to mediate and unify the manifoldness of living creatures, who constitute the actual content of Her life and the absolute unity of God.

She contains all living creatures, She is the unity that binds them, and Her work in the world is to unify outwardly that which is already one in essence—in Her. (Episcopal Priest, Father Matthew Wright.) (1)

And so, She is the Soul of All.

Sophia herself is but a reflex of the “Mother of all living” and is therefore also called “Mother.” She is the formatrix of heaven and earth, for as much as mere matter can only receive form through the light which, coming down from above has interpenetrated the dark waters of the hylē; but she is also at the same time the spiritual principle of life in creation, or, as the world-soul the representative of all that is truly pneumatic in this lower world: her fates and experiences represent typically those of the pneumatic soul which has sunk down into chaos. (Rather, She shares with us, as is said about the Shekinah, everything that we experience.)

Invoking Shekinah Invoking the Shekinah by /Shiloh Sophia

Invoking Shekinah

Here again, the Shekinah plays a very special and multi-faceted role in the Kabbalistic teachings.  For, it is the Shekinah that is ascribed by Kabbalists to be the Middle Pillar of Balance that unites the opposites, just as the soul allows for the opposites of body and spirit to unite, so too does the Shekinah play this role for us.  Indeed, the Shekinah is the Soul of Humanity, what Kabbalists call the Neshamah, for She has given a portion of Herself in order for each human to come into being in this world.  In giving of Herself to humans, in this state of physical density and isolation, the World Soul becomes shattered. This shattering can be metaphorically grasped in considering what might happen to a glass alembic or flask when too much pressure is put upon in the alchemical works.  Thus, the Shekinah represents the ultimate archetype of selfless sacrifice.  All Her sacrifices have been for the benefit of creation so that humankind may experience this life in order to fulfill its destiny and purpose.  Kabbalists, therefore, pay great respect and gratitude to the Shekinah for Her sacrifice and service by taking up the mantle or the quest to reunite the Shekinah with the Creator.

http://www.universalkabbalah.net/Shekinah

From Russian religious thought we read: Sophia splintered Her Divine Light and placed one spark of it into each human being, thereby Herself becoming the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World. Here, it is voluntary.

In summary:

From the above descriptions of the Holy or World Soul, we do not see the New Age or neo-Pagan idea of our sister, the Earth as being Mother Goddess or the Body of Sophia. Rather, we see Sophia/Shekinah, as the Holy Soul, intimately intertwined with every single one of us, every single soul, like a giant mandala of souls that has One Still Centre Point.

After the suffering of Descent and Her voluntary exile here to remain with us, the Holy Daughter gave of Herself to us to the point where She, Herself was Shattered. Through the Shattering came the scattering of Her Divine Sparks, which now reside in the hidden chamber of our hearts, and a sharing of a Portion of Her Soul, with all of us. With Her children. 

Sophia and humanity are so unified through Soul and through Spirit, that the tale of the Soul became the Tale of Sophia. She will never leave us until all of Her Divine Sparks are gathered and restored to the Pleroma.  There is no greater Love than this. Blessed is She.

~

ArchMadria Candra Sophia

 

 

As coming from above, she is herself of pneumatic essence, the mētēr phōteinē (Epiph. 40, 2) or the anō dynamis (Epiph. 39, 2) from which all pneumatic souls draw their origin.

 

 

(1) This presents a Christian view of Sophia: http://contemplativejournal.com/2015/02/sophia-mother-god/

2)https://books.google.com/books?id=AqwGUM4tFoEC&pg=PA59&lpg=PA59&dq=sophia+was+fragmented+into+divine+sparks&source=bl&ots=E8v0ZLXafY&sig=ddjdQoMfcOHXP08JG-ZSgNTu8ng&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj-qfyr8erQAhWBJcAKHQvWAlgQ6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=sophia%20was%20fragmented%20into%20divine%20sparks&f=false

 

The Holy Soul FAQ Part II

Foradi/Sat.

13 Astrea/Dec. 10

CroneGoddess

O, Madria Rhea, Jana of Steadfastness, Temperance and Self-restraint, be with us.

May the Pure Stream of Your Virtues flow within me, in this world and in all the worlds to come.

~

sophia2

Yesterday, in Part I of FAQ/Soul/Spirit,  I explained some of the reasons why the Janite Order of Priestesses has chosen the Divine Sophia (and, in part, the Holy Shekinah) as Images/Forms for the Most Pure Daughter rather than the goddess Inanna. Today, we will also show that in our scriptures and liturgy, Persephone was also used as an Image/Form of the Holy Daughter. In exploring the further Deanic significance of the Divine Name, Kore, a name for Persephone before She was married to Hades, it will be demonstrated that there is a tie between Sophia as Form/Image of the Daughter and the Divine Maid.

It is truly important to have a fundamental understanding of Sophia in order to understand The Holy Daughter, Kore, as the Holy Soul. There is so much to say about Sophia, if we strip away the Patriarchal elements, but even Patriarchy could not conceal the entire truth about Her!

She has appeared, in great visions, to Russian and Russian Orthodox philosophers who identified Her as Wisdom, the Lady Wisdom.

xindian-triple-goddess-jpg-pagespeed-ic-lkf2hhnywj

Outside of Shaktism, which is one of the four main Traditions of Hinduism and whose worship is centered upon the Divine Feminine Trinity as Supreme, only Sophia/Shekinah is credited with all of the following (and so much more): She is called the Primordial Light of Creation and the Cosmic Womb. She is said to have created the Cosmos. “She is the formatrix of heaven and earth.” She is placed over the Seven Planetary Powers; She is the Mother of the Seven HousesShe is both Mother and Daughter (Barbelo/Sophia, Higher/Lower Sophia, Higher/Lower Shekinah, Mother Sige and Daughter Sophia) and She is also Trinity: Mother, Daughter and Holy Soul. She is said to be the Matrix and the Ground of All Being. (Yes, this latter is said of Sophia/Shekinah.) In modern times She is known as the ‘Goddess of Re-Birth’. 

We must always remember that when Wisdom is personified in the bible, the word Wisdom translates into the Greek, Sophia. (The Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Latin for Wisdom is Sapientia.) We must also keep in mind that some of the Hebrew Scriptures have teachings that were adapted from the Zoroastrians and the Egyptians. The NT also contains both Egyptian and Jewish teachings. And, most people are aware that much of Christianity incorporated elements from Classical and Celtic Paganism. In other words, every religion incorporates from that which preceded them. That is why there is a Sacred Thread, a Core Truth, that runs through all religions. 

Furthermore, as the Perfect Image/Form of the Holy Daughter,  Sophia is said to be the Daughter of Light. She is Wisdom and the Daughter of Wisdom.  In Proverbs, She offers us the Wine She has mixed and the Bread She has made and so She is acting as High Priestess. She descended through the Seven Realms and is said to sustain all of Creation. She takes on rarefied Form. She is said to be of God-Nature. She is said to be the Divine Maid. She is said to sustain all of Creation. She is said to be the Divine Spark within us and that She suffered through a painful Descent through the Seven Realms in order to remain with us. From Her, we receive our souls. She is said to be the World Soul or the Holy Soul. 

 There is so, so much more to be said of the Divine Sophia/Shekinah, Who else, in our Age, is more Perfect as the Image and Form of the Most Pure Holy Daughter?

What separates us from modern neo-Paganism, though we have more of a Pagan culture, is that we understand the Divine Feminine Trinity to be God, not a goddess. In our era, there is a difference between the two. And, this is what the Deanic Faith has always taught: Dea is God. She is our Mother God. 

In returning to Sophia, we have to remember that we have every right to divorce Sophia from Patriarchal demotion and to restore Her to Her True place, just as our fore-mothers in the Faith did with their Forms and Images of Dea.

The Deanic Faith worships the Divine Feminine as being God in Her Own right. She is not God because She is the Spouse of the Father, She is God because She is Primary, She is Source, She is Supreme, She is the Ground of All Being, She is Primordial and She is of God-Nature. She is God because She is God. Pure and Simple. 

But, there is one more upon whom the Holy Daughter is modeled in our Faith from whence the Janites take the Name, Kore.

In addition to the goddess, Inanna, the Mythos and the original Madrian liturgy also modeled the Holy Daughter on Persephone, who, before being forced into marriage by Hades, was known as Kore, which was the Greek for Maid or Maiden. The title of Her Mythos in our scriptures is the Mythos of the Divine Maid, meaning in translation of the word, maid: the Mythos of the Divine Kore. Some of the Persephonian (so to speak) verses in Her Mythos are to be found in the Communion Rite of both the original Madrian and in the Janite liturgy.

This is why the JOP has chosen the name Kore for the Holy Daughter. It was felt that it was the most fitting Name for the Most Pure Daughter as She is the Divine Maid.

(As an aside: The beginning of the following article is interesting and shows that the use of the term, Mistress in our scriptures is right and proper and is equated with Persephone: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potnia.)

Today, I will begin to explain the Holy Daughter as the Holy Soul and we must always keep in mind that Sophia is ultimately pre-Christian and Her worship is pan-religious. One does not have to be Christian in order to worship Her. She is also believed, by many to be Isis (Isis-Sophia.) 

Sophia-Goddess-of-Wisdom-with-chalice (Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom with Chalice.)

We (the Janite Order) probably do not understand the Holy Daughter to be a sacrificial saviouress in the same manner as the scriptures might seem to indicate. Nor is She a savior in the sense that Christians consider Jesus to be. We are not saved from a Primordial fault or from a type of original sin, or of a will-full turning away from the Holy Mother. (Please see the long form of the Creed which was discovered in the original liturgy. It may be found under our Prayers and Rites section of the menu.) The Catechism describes this as an evil act, on our part. We reject this thealogy and that part of the Catechism has been removed.

There has been enough suffering of females over the last 2-3,000 years, as a result of blaming a first female for the Fall of humankind. When the Gnostic Christians tried to blame Sophia for creating the demi-urge, it was a re-blaming of the Female all over again, just like they blamed the Mother of all the Living, Eve, for ‘original sin’ and for causing the ‘male to sin’. How different the notion of the ‘Fallen Sophia” is than this Gnostic text: Sophia was born from the Primordial Female Power, Sige (or Silence, the Gnostic Goddess Sige) and that She was God’s Mother, ‘the Great revered Virgin in Whom the Father was concealed from the beginning.’ 

The JOP categorically rejects any notion of original sin no matter under what mythos it is couched or how it is ultimately explained. And we further reject any Patriarchal idea of a Fallen Sophia Who needed a male savior.

Thankfully, in our Age, many are discarding the outdated notion of the Fallen Sophia. Many understand Her to be Mother/Daughter and Holy Soul; the Christian Holy Spirit; or that She incarnated as Jesus or Mary Magdalene, or  She is understood as the Divine Goddess of Wisdom. There is a long-standing Tradition in Russian Orthodoxy that Mary of Nazareth was the incarnation of Sophia. And, yet, many others see Her as we do, in Her Primary/Primordial Form of being Divine in Her Own Right.

How does all of this relate to the Holy Daughter as Soul and our souls?

We, our True Selves, chose to come here in order to learn life and soul lessons that we could not learn as pure spirits. As the long form of the Madrian Creed indicates, we had a desire to learn what lay outside of Perfection. Our Divine Mother, through Her Sovereign Will, honored our sovereign will and so created manifested reality for us. The problem is, we forget why we are here. We forget who we really are. We have forgotten our True Home and so, as in the Hymn of the Pearl, we must remember and find our way back Home. We must also evolve our souls into perfect love so that we may eternally abide in Perfect Love.

While our spirits are created from the Breath of the Holy Mother, it is the Most Pure Daughter Who gives us our souls.

Sophia is therefore the highest ruler over the visible universe, and at the same time, the Mediatrix between the upper and the lower realms. She shapes this mundane universe after the heavenly prototypes, and forms the seven star-circles with their Archons (we believe Janati) under whose dominion are placed, according to the astrological conceptions of antiquity, the fates of all earthly things, and more especially of humanity. She is “the Mother” or “the Mother of the living.” (Epiph. Haer. 26, 10). As coming from above, She is Herself of pneumatic essence, the mētēr phōteinē (Epiph. 40, 2) or the anō dynamis (Epiph. 39, 2) from which all pneumatic souls draw their origin. (Wiki)

She is also often crowned with Seven Stars. She is known to have Seven Spirits, Seven Faces and Seven Pillars. (Wisdom 9-1. Wisdom means Sophia.) She is known as the Mother of the Seven Houses.

Wisdom hath builded her house, She hath hewn out her seven pillars:

These seven pillars being interpreted of the planetary heavens.

The Seven Planetary Powers were placed under Her. 

There is so much more we could speak about, here, but let us move on to Sophia/Shekinah as the Holy Soul.

 

 

  1. http://anaiyasophia.com/holy-bride/lady-of-radiant-darkness

FAQ: Spirit/Soul Part I

Columbadi/Fri.

12 Astrea/Dec. 9

Lady Tethys

O, Madria Grace, Jana of Compassion, Love and Mercy, be with us.

May the Pure Stream of Your Virtues flow within me, in this world and it all the worlds to come.

~

Jacqueline asks: One thing I have long been curious about I think is alluded to here- that the Celestial Mother manifested our individual spirits, and that the Daughter “covers our spirits with souls so that we are able to enter manifest existence.” What is the distinction here between souls and spirits? If we originally emanated from Dea, then what is the purpose of the Daughter’s sacrifice and our resulting souls? I hope this makes sense.

And, further,

I guess the quote itself states that the purpose of the Daughter giving us souls is so that we can “enter manifest existence,” but I think that is the piece that I am unclear on; I don’t really know what that means.

~~~

Dear Jacqueline,

Thank you for these important, fundamental questions.

I think it might help if I first explain why our teaching concerning the sacrifice of the Daughter is a bit different than that found in our scriptures. The Mythos of the Daughter bases the Passion and Death of the Holy Daughter on the myth of the goddess Inanna. In fact, in the Madrian edition of the scriptures, you will find that the Holy Daughter is actually named Inanna. It was later shortened to Anna.

When I first entered the Faith, I was troubled by the fact that the goddess Inanna was a married and promiscuous goddess of sex and war, and did not die for altruistic reasons. I was also bothered by the fact that the goddess Inanna is not a Living Stream goddess. So, for these reasons, it was hard for me to accept her as an appropriate Form or Image for the Most Pure Daughter.

My other area of concern was that I truly struggled with the idea that Daughter God could die if She had not incarnated into material manifestation.

While the myth of Inanna, in part, might be an illustration of the suffering the Holy Daughter endures as She descends down through the Seven Realms, the literal death of the Daughter did not make sense for me. If the Holy Daughter did not incarnate as an human being with a flesh and blood body, and where She is God, how could She actually die?

God cannot die, the soul cannot die and the spirit cannot die. God is eternal. Once God dies, God is no longer eternal and is therefore, not God. And so it follows that if the Holy Daughter had truly died, then She was not eternal. If She was not eternal, then, it stands to reason, that She was not God. I couldn’t find any way around this conundrum.

One explanation that was presented to me was that the Holy Daughter gave Her Essence to Her Mother before descending through the realms. Ok, well, again, the more I thought about it, the more it did not make sense to me. If the Daughter emptied Herself of Her Essence, which is Her God-Nature, Her God-Spirit, Her Spirit Energy, then, what was left of Her? Was it empty Form? Without Her Essence, was the Form still the Holy Daughter? This and many more questions arose in my mind.

Another area of confusion for me was exactly why the Daughter had to actually die in order to sustain Creation. Exactly how did the Daughter’s Death lead to the sustaining of all Creation? The explanations offered to me did not satisfy me on a thealogical level.

I’m not implying that the scriptures are wrong. The Mythos is not meant to be taken literally. The Mythos is a story that is meant to point us to an unknowable Reality. But I felt that it made more sense to me, that rather than modeling the Holy Daughter on the Goddess Inanna and her descent and death,  the Holy Daughter should be modeled on the True Divine Feminine of our Age and Her Descent as the Holy Soul.

In our Age, the ending of the Age of Pisces and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, the Divine Feminine God would be the Hindu and Buddhist goddesses, the Shekinah, the Divine Sophia and many would include Isis. These are Living Stream Images/Forms of Dea. The Hindu Goddesses, The Shekinah and the Divine Sophia are considered to be God or having the Nature of God. There are valid reasons for the Deanic mandate that Images/Faces/Forms of Dea should be Living Stream Images. Living Stream Images are those Whose worship has never been broken.

So, for the Janite Order, the Holy Daughter, in keeping with the Living Stream mandate, is modeled on Shekinah (as in the True Sabbath Queen, She is not just the Presence of the Father) and Sophia. In other words, for the Janite Order, the Divine Sophia and the Holy Shekinah are the Images/Forms which we use for the Holy Daughter.  The Divine Sophia is not limited to Christianity. She is worshiped across a wide-range of spiritualities, Traditions and religious denominations.

Both the Holy Shekinah and the Divine Sophia are known as the World Soul or the Holy Soul. {The Title, Divine Sophia, is here used to differentiate the non-Fallen Sophia, the Primordial Sophia from the Gnostic fallen Sophia who was in need of a saviour. (Typical demotion of a goddess.)}

Before we get into the Holy Shekinah and Sophia as the World Soul/Holy Soul and what that means, first we need to answer the question as to what is the distinction between souls and spirits:

We can say that we emanated from Dea, yes, but it is probably more accurate to say that She created our spirits from the Breathe of Her own Spirit. And, there is a difference between soul and spirit.

   The spirit is our essence, our essential selves. It is our light energy selves. I like this definition: The spirit is that part of you which is the direct creation of God. Your spirit is the highest aspect of who and what you are. It is a direct fragment of the Divine Life of God.

In studies of life between lives undertaken by certain psychologists  and as reported by those who have had NDE’s, after we die, we often appear as pure light energy, almost like brilliant balls of light energy. If true, this is what I think of when I think of our spirits, our energy selves. We can also take soul-form.

But, what about the soul? For human beings on this planet, in this realm, our souls are that part of us which has human character and which links with the human experience. And so, because it links with the human experience, it is necessary to have a soul in order to enter manifest creation. And so our spirit and our rarefied soul forms are our True Selves or Higher Selves.

The soul is a rarefied or ethereal or energy body. Many believe that the soul is where our personality and our emotions reside.

I like the following Kabbalistic definition of soul: People are really made in the image of God, which means that each of us are essentially divine beings. Each soul is a miniature version of God, like a fragmented holographic image. (Remember, Sophia’s Soul was ‘shattered’ so to speak, into myriad ‘fragments’.)

    We are not victims of original sin, but rather are covered up with ‘shells’ that need to be removed so that the original spark may be uncovered. Salvation comes when we are enlightened, when we remember the truth of what and who we really are. (Gnosis.) The Fall of Man is really a metaphor of our pre-existent soul wanting to descend in order to re-ascend. (Which is what the long version of our Creed essentially teaches.) (1)

We live in a state of ignorance and limitation. When we clear out the obstructions which cloud and obscure the Divine Spark within us, when we continuously choose to move towards Dea rather than away from Her (as our scriptures teach), then our souls evolve, the obscurity melts away and the Divine Spark within shines, again. It’s like our souls, which are the temple of spirit, are diamonds in the rough that must be refined and polished in order for the True Light to shine from within.

Plato taught that our souls pre-existed in the ideal Realm of Forms before we entered manifest creation and forgot from whence we truly originate. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which is echoed in our scriptures as the story of the of the race of maids who lived in the cave as told in, The Light, (Madrian edition title), along with  the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl, aka, the Robe of Glory, illustrate that we must attain Gnosis, we must awaken to our True Selves, in order to return Home.

Our Lady guides us to this awakening. Some Gnostics teach that the Divine Sophia is the Divine Spark who resides within a secret chamber of our hearts (similar to the scriptural teaching of Dea residing in the Temple of our Hearts). She continuously strives to uncover the Divine Spark hidden within us.

A final note: The Deanic Faith is based, in part, on Platonic and Gnostic concepts, especially in the areas of Divine Forms, Primordial Ideas and the Pleroma. There are many forms of Gnosticism. Some older than others. We must remember when we are researching or referring to Gnostic Christianity, a latter form of Gnosticism, that Sophia was by then, demoted and in need of a male savior. Again, I refer you to the articles by Max Dashu which are found in our links section.

Tomorrow, we will continue with Our Lady as the Holy Soul and Her connection with our souls.

For now, I leave you with this lovely painting and prayer to Our Lady of the Divine Spark: http://www.shilohsophiashop.com/f/Our_Lady_of_the_Divine_Spark_E-Book_8_112.pdf

May Our Lady bless you,

Blessed is She.

~

ArchMadria Candra Sophia

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/kabbalah/The_Soul/the_soul.html (Please note, this is a Jewish site and this article explains the Jewish perspective of salvation.)