Sophia, Goddess, the Goddess of Wisdom
Sophia was known as the Mother of All or simply as Wisdom, According to Greek creation myths, She was born of Silence. She gave birth to both Male and Female and created all the elements of our material world.
Sophia so desperately loved humans that she decided she would live among them. To her dismay they mostly ignored her. She tried speaking to them. When they turned a deaf ear, she screamed from the tops of the highest walls. Still she was not heard.
In her anguish at being so neglected, she left humans with one last thought: You have denied and ignored me, so will I do when calamity strikes and you call for my help. Only those who earnestly search for me and love me will merit my love and assistance.
Sophia’s traits include: righteous, wise, loving, communicative, knowledgeable, creative, protective, giving, and truthful.
Sophia brings meaning to human experience with her gift of understanding “the bigger picture”. Only when you stand back, gaining some emotional distance, can you see that even the most traumatic experiences can be the birthplace of your most treasured strengths. It is only in times of great stress that heroic feats are truly appreciated.
Image by Mary B. Kelly
Sophia was also the mother of Faith, Hope, and Charity. These are Sophia’s gifts to us. Sophia reminds us that clear vision and understanding line the path that leads to the discovery of the meaning of your life.
In the Mediterranean world in the first century, Sophia was a beacon to Christians, Jews, Gnostics and Pagans alike. "The Book of Wisdom" says: "Wisdom I loved; I sought her out when I was young and longed to win her for my bride, and I fell in love with her beauty... So I determined to bring her home to live with me, knowing that she would be my counsellor in prosperity and my comfort in anxiety and grief".
In her book Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom (1991), Caitlin Matthews traces the history of Sophia and the various ways in which she has been considered. Matthews states: "Sophia is the great lost Goddess who has remained intransigently within orthodox spiritualities. She is veiled, blackened, denigrated and ignored most of the time; or else she is exalted, hymned and pedestalled as an allegorical abstraction of female divinity. She is allowed to be a messenger, a mediator, a helper, a handmaid: she is rarely allowed the privilege of being seen to be in charge, fully self-possessed and creatively operative".
From the moment you enter
till the time you surrender to death
all that you experience
directly for yourself
all the burnt fingers
to discover the fire is hot
all the falling flat
when your reach exceeds your grasp
all the explorations
of territory known and unknown
all these are pathways to me
Seek to know
and you are me
stretch to become
and you are me
The Feminine quests for wisdom
The Feminine is part of all women
all women are the Goddess
all women have wisdom
all women are Sophia
For women, Sophia is a powerful archetype for identification on many levels. She is every women ever raped, denied her creativity, kept isolated, abandoned or exiled. She is also potentially within all women who wish to rediscover their creativity, maintain their integrity, and support justice in the world and in themselves. She is the strong women who survives in the face of adversity and rescues her treasures, to display them at a more suitable time. As Sophia emerges further into consciousness, so will the image of the empowered woman become apparent in the world. . . .
It is critically important to women in the West that Deity should have a female face for they need the comfort, strength, and spiritual support which only the Divine Feminine can give.
The Goddess has restored to women their innate pride in themselves. No need, as in the case of Hildegard, for example, to apologize for being 'a weak woman' - the standard apologia for all female mystics from Hildegard to Thérèse of Lisieux. Rather there is the renewed confidence to speak out in the voice of Sophia who 'speaks her own praises, in the midst of her people she glories in herself.'. . .
Nothing is going to delay the Goddess' second coming, whether in the guise of Sophia or under any other form. As she emerges so the imbalances of our culture will inevitably iron themselves out. . . .
"Know Thyself" is the threshold to Sophia. In the Gnostic Gospel of Saint Thomas, Sophia is called "The silence beyond comprehension." Sophia means wisdom, "to know" in Greek.
In early Christianity, Sophia was, like the Shekinah of Judaism, considered the female aspect of God. Churches were dedicated to Her, among them the great Basilica of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Gnostic mystics believed the divine could not be realized with the mind, but only accessed through ecstatic inner experience - personal gnosis.
Lyrics by Margarita Kovats
I am Sophia, hear me:
I will take you where you've never been.
I will curl around you, like a snake in love.
I will be your sacrifice.
You will lust for my heat of life,
I will satisfy your every need.
I will pull you out from inside yourself.
I will be the soul you can't resist.
Never again will I leave the Earth.
Never again will the false god lead -
He has shown the way to a dreadful ruin.
He has raised the temples that drip in blood.
He has brought the sword in his own name.
No longer can my tongue be stayed.
From this day forth
you have my vow, my everlasting troth:
I will bring my flesh to you
You will live inside my hope.
Take my symbol from this day forth
of my never ending promise.
I will be where your eyes look
I will be there when they're resting
I will be your shade in the wasteland.
None but me will fill your chalice.
I will be your light and ale and water.
Come with me, and begin again.
I am Sophia: know Me.