13 Astrea/Dec. 10
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.
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.
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 Houses. She 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.)
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.