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Sophia is Isis, Isis is Sophia

Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom & God's Bride
By Rev. Mark Raines, R+C

Who is Sophia? Quite literally, She is Wisdom, because the Greek word Sophia translates into Wisdom. More than that, She is the Wisdom of Deity. She has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by Jews, as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by Greeks, and as the Holy Spirit of Wisdom by Christians. She is known as Chokmah (pronounced HOK-mah with the H being said like -ch in the name Bach) in Hebrew, and Sapientia in Latin. But just who is Sophia?

Sophia is found throughout the wisdom books of the Bible. There are references to Her in the book of Proverbs, and in the apocryphal books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon (accepted by Catholics and Orthodox, found in the Greek Septuagint of the early Church). She is Wisdom Incarnate, the Goddess of all those who are wise.

Is it any wonder that She is constantly associated with wise King Solomon? 1 Kings 4:29-31 tells us that God gave wisdom to Solomon, and that he became wiser than all the kings of the East and all the wise people of Egypt. Wisdom 8:2, 16, 18 tells us that Solomon was seen as married to Sophia. One of the many layers of symbolism attributed to the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles) is that it speaks of Solomon's marriage to Holy Sophia. Wisdom 9:8-11 even tells us that Sophia instructed Solomon in building the Temple!

The Jews revered Sophia. King Solomon even put Her right in the Temple, in the form of the Goddess Asherah. However, after the "reforms" of King Josiah, there was a threat that the veneration of Sophia would come to a halt - there was even more of a threat when patriarchal Christianity took over the world. Even still, thanks to Her continuing presence in the world and Her presence in the Bible, veneration of Sophia continued in the Eastern tradition with the construction of the Hagia Sophia and the Russian Catholic liturgical service to Sophia combined with the assumption of Mary on May 15. The Russian Orthodox Church has also begun a school of "Sophiology" to explore the thealogy of Sophia without contradicting the Russian Orthodox theology.

Yet the Eastern Christians are not the only Christians to venerate Sophia. Sophia was very likely venerated by early Followers of the Way, and her veneration has survived in the West today in the form of Gnosticism. Gnostics see her as one of the aeons, one of the quasi-deities who live in the ethereal realm known as the pleroma. Gnostics believe that she gave birth to or brought about the creation of a negative aeon, who later came to be called an archon, called the Demiurge, creator and ruler of this world. Gnostics see the Demiurge as the God of the Old Testament, with his strict rules and chains that bind the people of the Earth. Gnostics believe that Sophia and the Father God (not the Demiurge) sent Yeshua to right this wrong. In Gnostic tradition, Sophia plays a very active role in our world.

Esoteric Christianity doesn't typically support the theory of the Demiurge. It believes that creation is inherently good, and as such so is the Creator. However, the Mystery School does teach that Shaitan, the devil, was the ruler of this world and had accidentally been given the keys to the Otherworlds by the Goddess. He had these keys until the passion, death, and Resurrection of Yeshua, when Yeshua obtained the keys once more and holds them still. The Mystery School sees many similarities between Sophia and the two Christian Goddesses, Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. Perhaps one or both of them were incarnations of Sophia. Generally we see Mother Mary as the incarnation of Shekinah, and Mary Magdalene as the incarnation of Sophia. But who knows, perhaps both were somehow incarnations of Sophia! After all, both in their earthly forms shared the name Mary, and both in their Heavenly forms share the Hebrew letter Heh in the God-Name YHVH.So how does Sophia fit into the Godhead? With the model of the Trinity/Trinosophia. It supports a masculine Trinity - Father, Son, and Paraclete (Holy Spirit). It also supports a feminine Trinosophia - Mother, Daughter, and Pneuma (Holy Soul).



Isis Encountering, by Eric J. Ashford

As I emerged from the green lotus of my matter-spirit reality, I brought within me the divine image and name of Isa. Isa is Arabic for the name of Jesus (pronounced Essa). It is the image and name that I have felt a great affinity with over the last few years, and one that I honor as my vehicle of expression within the total expression of the Beloved.

I saw within my inner visioning, a strand of golden light, that seemed to represent a shore between the world of the created and the universe of creation. I looked upward and outwards to a heavens of turning stars and softly luminance planets that I could not recognize as known solar systems. The space between these world systems was not dark as in the night sky, but shined with a translucent ethereal beauty that I find hard to describe.

The light was subtly palpable, and my heart center resonated to it, as if singing within the light of an audible vibration that took hold of my being and transfigured my consciousness so that it echoed spontaneously to celestial chimes that uplifted my awareness within its vast joyful hymn.

Entranced, I then looked from the golden beach to a horizon which held beneath it a perfect silver sea of singing waters. Yet these seemed to be more condensed light waves then water. The tide of these waves ran gently but irresistibly to meet the shore upon which I now stood. I looked along the shore and called to the Beloved to send to me the divine entity that would guide me in this place of heightened consciousness. Almost instantaneously, as if materializing from her own inner space, a slender female form appeared walking from the middle distance towards me.

As she walked towards me the substance of the shore seemed to part before her, making a silver path she opened between I and her. I could now make out her appearance. She had the form of a young lady dressed in a simple white robe gathered at the waist with a thin emerald belt. Her hair was jet black and cut simply in the style we are used to associating with Egyptian goddesses. Her face was a beautiful oval and it shone with a vibrant radiance of white gold. I found myself both at once sensually attracted to her femininity, and, yet held in thrall by the aura of majesty that emanated from her being.

She paused a short distance away from me and smiled to me. Her eyes were as sparkling turquoise stars shining from a inner radiance that seemed to arrive from the depths of love. She seemed both mortal and yet completely alien to the human condition. I have no conception how long we looked upon each other. Her gaze was totally without affectation. She simply saw me as herself and seemed to congratulate my divinity as if seeing her own reflection there. It was as if we both bathed in a intimate pool of love that her presence created.

Then she slowly turned to gaze to the sea of light that stretched to the vast horizon of starry illumination. I too found myself compelled by love to follow her looking, as if her vision was to be a shared moment of wonder. It seemed we looked from the same sacred perspective as one. I heard her speak as an inner voice of love within my heart. The music of her thoughts played upon my awareness like delicate peels from a carillon of singing silence.

In essence, these are the thought waves that she brought to me. Each one seemed charged with a meaning I could not fathom, but held to be a truth that would eventually be revealed to me. I but listened to the words that were not words but rather patterns of light that envisioned images of reality upon my awareness.

Isa, I am your guide in this place of your love awakening. I am known in the earth mysteries as Isis, daughter of love and beauty. I am Sophia of a thousand names. Consort to the flame of humanity. The dove of love's desiring. Given to you my love as the emblem of your holiness. Honor me as your wholeness, not as above you, but as one with you.

The stars that you look upon are vortices of reality. Each sun holds infinite worlds within it for the heart traveler. All is a spiral of creation that Love has awoken within Her. We are from the light. The womb and matrix of Her who births all realities. The play of life's duality is a dance of desire, that meets to part upon the wave of new creation. The great Attraction is love's desiring for its completion in you. The mystery of this is the Beloved's movement from Herself into Herself. Just as the ocean moves within itself to manifest waves, so does nature in all its transcendence lap and lie within itself to awaken the bliss of union, and part once more to reach within another wave of rebirthed consciousness.

Rest now and be enlightened by this meaning, there is nothing for you to attempt, but only experience. Experience of what is, shall lead you to the balance of harmony within experience. Follow always the heart of love, in any world you create in the name of Her who is but Love. We are the children of the Father/Mother, of the unseen light and the manifest light. We are the expression of Her who is become us, that we may return to Her, as one love, gifted to the uncreated One.

Of a sudden I was made invisible to all sense and laid within a void of peace, returning at last into my world environment, at rest within my physical body and within the soul of the world again. The meaning of this light message may never be clear to me, and I no doubt I have translated it imperfectly, but I offer it as it seemed to come to me.


Eric Ashford

Copyrighted 2001 by Eric J. Ashford.

from Dancing With Sophia




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