as a Form for the Holy Daughter
Roseday/Tuesday 11 Moura/March 2
O, Madria Vicka, Guardian of Courage, Strength and Valor, be with us.
Sophia goddess of wisdom with chalice
Our predecessors in the Faith based the Mythos of the Holy Daughter largely upon that of the goddesses Inanna and Persephone. Janites base the Mythos of the Holy Daughter on that of the Divine Sophia and the goddess, Persephone. Here we will speak about the Holy Daughter under the Form/Image of Sophia.
We tend to shy away from specific goddess names for the Daughter such as Sophia or Quan Yin and rather use the title of Jana, Di-Jana or Diva Jana. These are names or titles that we use for the Holy Daughter because the Latin form of Jana means moon (the Holy Daughter is both the Supernal Moon and the Gentle Moon of our salvation) and Di-Jana or Diva Jana means Divine Gate. (The Holy Daughter is the Divine Gate to the Celestial Mother.)
Maria Sophia by Ilene Satala
Over time and especially in the 21st century, Sophia is coming to be understood in Her pre-Christian Form of the Universal Divine Feminine. No one religion has any claim to Her. From the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, to the Holy Spirit of the ancient Syrians; from the Holy Spirit of many modern Christians across denominations, to the various schools, both ancient and modern, of Gnosticism; from the Goddess of Proverbs, to Sophia/Isis of the ancients, to the Sophia of Russian Mystics; from Powell, Goddess Christians and similar theologians who understand Her to be Mother, Daughter and Holy Soul, to Rudolph Steiner’s Mary-Isis-Sophia, to the Wisdom Goddess of Wicca and neo-Paganism; from the Sophia of Theosophy, to Sophian Goddess movements and to Sophian/Gaian movements, Sophia is exploding across the world. She is a Form/Image of the Holy Daughter in the West. And Her various mythos teach that She is the World Soul or the Holy Soul of the World.
Goddess Sophia by Marius Fine Art Studio
The understanding of Her myths continues to evolve, or more correctly, is returning to its original form; where we are no longer under the prohibitive restrictions against the Divine Feminine by orthodox forms of Christianity. The pre-Christian Sophia is hardly the fallen Aeon who needed a savior. She is not fallen or did She cause a fallen creation because She decided to create on Her own without a consort. Nor is the reason She is the World Soul due to Her fall and punishment, all of which are depicted in Gnostic Christian texts. The Shekinah (Who is often equated with Sophia) is also considered to be the World Soul. Yes, the Shekinah and Sophia are the World Soul and They are the World Soul, not because They are fallen, but because this is part of Their Divine Role in the Eternal Cosmic Drama.
Moon Goddess of Mystery by Emily Balivet
Janites understand the Divine Feminine Trinity to consist of the Great Mother, Mysteria; the Celestial Mother, Mari (for more on the Name of Mari, see footnote 3); and the Holy Daughter, Diva Jana. In Clan Columba of England, the Holy Daughter is known by the beautiful title of Aurora, which, of course, means Dawn.
We believe that the Great Mother, as Absolute Deity, is the Monad or, in the original form of this word, Monas. The Monad or Monas is She from Whom all else emanates including the Female and the Male.
From the uniquely researched article of Max Dashu’ on Khokhmah and Sophia, on the original title for female deities as having been Monogenes, which is similar to the title of Monas we read:
Long’s illuminating exegesis of the Alexandrian Wisdom litany brings forward the little-known fact that the Greek name monogenes (“unique, singly born”) began as a title of female divinities. It originates in a Kemetic title of Neit, Hathor and Isis: “self-born, self-produced,” and later appears in Orphic hymns to Demeter, Persephone and Athena. Christians subsequently applied it to Yeshua of Nazareth who was cast as the “only-begotten son” of god. [Long, 49] (1) )
And so, from the eternal Great Mother, known as the One or Absolute Deity, emanates the Celestial Mother and from the Celestial Mother emanates the Holy Daughter. The Holy Daughter, Who is the Gentle Moon of our salvation.
Dove over water
As described by Irenaeus, the great Mother-principle of the universe appears as the first woman, the Holy Spirit, moving over the waters, and is also called the Mother of all living. The Holy Daughter, Whom Janites know as the Great Dove of the Waters, is also considered to be a Mother as Dea is One; She is a Trinity of Mothers just as the European Matres and Matronae are a Trinity of Mothers. It was She, according to the Sophian mythos, Who was the Creatrix of manifest Creation. (The Celestial Mother is the Core/Matrix of All Being.)
Sophia Goddess of Wisdom, Emily Balivet
The Gnostic scripture Eugnostos the Blessed hails “the all-wise Sophia, Genetrix.” It was she, says the Origin of the World, who “created great luminaries and all of the stars and placed them in the heaven so that they should shine upon the earth.” This Gnostic passage echoes the Isis Aretalogy of Cyme: “I divided earth from heaven, I created the ways of the stars…” (1)
Invoking Sophia-Shekinah. Artist unknown
….. Wisdom is another form of the Shekhinah, the divine Presence. Both are “expressed in light and glory,” both involved in creation, enthroned in heaven, intermediaries between god and the world, ascending and descending, and winged. (1)
Moon Goddess Zodiac artist unknown
In Jewish Alexandrine philosophy, Her role also includes the ordering and the formation of the universe over which She rules. The Seven Planetary Powers (the Janati) were placed under Her. She was regarded as the Mother of all the living.
The Divine Spark or Shekhinah by Kim Dreyer
We see here, the role of the Daughter as being the Creatrix and intermediary between God (for Deanics, the Celestial Mother God) and the world. Eternally ascending and descending. During Moura, we are mindful of Her descent. In Sophian mythology, She descends through the Seven Realms to become the World Soul.
It is unfortunate that, as with so many goddesses through-out history, Sophia was demoted from Her Original Divine, Monogenes status, to being dependent upon a male saviour. This need for a male saviour was supposedly due to Her striving to create without a male consort which resulted in a fallen creation. The story of Her demotion is so typical of goddesses who were mythically demoted through rape; turned into a wife or daughter of a male deity or who were otherwise blamed for the ills and fall of creation as were Eve and Pandora.
The Apochryphon of John contains another aretalogy of “the perfect Pronoia (forethought) of the universe,” who was “the first.” She wandered in the great darkness, “into the midst of the prison,” even into the depths of the underworld. She represents “the light which exists in light.” But this christian text compared “sister Sophia” unfavorably to Barbelo. A splintering of Gnostic goddess images was underway. They were being subordinated to “the Father,” and those not firmly partnered to a male god disparaged. The derivative Gnostic aretalogies reflect an emerging concept of the “fallen” goddess. (1)
Our Tradition certainly teaches that the Holy Daughter traveled to the deepest, darkest realms and into the depths of the underworld. As part of the Trinity, She is certainly the Light which exists in Light. But, She was not subordinate to the Father. She was not the ‘fallen goddess’. We read further about Her demotion through Patriarchy:
Though Sophia is prominent in the Gnostic creation accounts, she was being stripped of the radiant holiness the Egyptians attributed to Isis and the Hebrews to Khokhmah. In her ground-breaking and all-too-little-known study The Wisdom Goddess, Rose Arthur shows how the positive view of Sophia in the early, pre-christian scriptures was gradually broken down and degraded by a masculinizing, christianizing movement that emphasized a “fallen Sophia.”
Arthur demonstrates that the older texts were consistently reedited to reduce and subordinate female divinity, while exalting the male god. TheHypostasis of the Archons is no more than “a christianized, patriarchalized and defeminized summary of On the Origin of the World.” It blatantly substitutes the christian god for the Gnostic goddess. For example, the line “But all this came to pass according to the Pronoia of Pistis” becomes “But all these things came to pass in the Will of the Father of the All.” (1)
Who is Sophia? The pre-Patriarchal Sophia is a True Form or Image of the Holy Daughter. She is the Creatrix and Ruler of the Universe. The Seven Powers are placed beneath Her. She is the Mediatrix between Heaven and Earth and our High Priestess. She descends through the Seven Realms to become the Holy Soul of the World and is intimately connected with Nature as famous Sophian visionaries, including Vladimir Solovyev, have shown. She ascends into Heaven, taking our souls with Her. She shows us the Way to Divinization, Theosis or to becoming Perfect Love.
As we approach the Feast of the Dove on 1 Columbina, March 21, we will speak further about the meaning of the Daughter as the Holy Soul of the World.
May Our Lady bless you,
Blessed is She.
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides
2) (The Feminine Trinity, lit.: the Divine Mothers)
3) Mari is one of the most ancient names of the Goddess. It means Mother Sea.
Mari is the name of the South Indian Mother Goddess. It is considered to be the oldest known name for the Divine Mother.