Today, the first of Astrea, is Lady Sofia’s feast day. I have never marked a Jana’s feast day before so I didn’t really know what to do except I spent some time reflecting on my relationship with Lady Sofia in my journal and praying to Her.
I was drawn to Lady Sofia before I ever encountered Déanism. I first met Her in the Book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible as a child and She made quite an impression on me.
“Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town,at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
‘To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it.Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right; for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to one who understandsand right to those who find knowledge.Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.’”
-Book of Proverbs 8:1-11 (NRSV)
In high school we were given the assignment of writing a poem to a personification, so I chose to write to Lady Wisdom. In university I had the opportunity to take a seminar on women in the Hebrew Bible and I chose to focus on Chokmah (Wisdom). The paper that resulted from my studies in the class is one of the most enjoyable papers I’ve ever written.
As I think back over my early attraction to Lady Sofia, I think that I was drawn to Her because She was the only real example of the Divine Feminine that I had access to at that time. I was Protestant and so the Virgin Mary was only a distant and small biblical figure to me, and God was presented in wholly masculine terms -I never even heard the Holy Spirit spoken of as feminine, even though there is certainly a traditional basis for such an interpretation. The Spirit was always a “He” or sometimes an impersonal “it.”
Even behind my fascination with Lady Wisdom I felt a bit guilty whenever I entertained the idea of Her as a Person rather than an abstract concept. But the language of Proverbs made Her sound so very person-like and I was inextricably drawn to such a portrayal:
“The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.When there were no depths I was brought forth…When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep…I was beside him, like a master worker, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.” -Book of Proverbs 8:22-31 (NRSV)
Lady Sofia was the first aspect of the Divine Feminine that I ever specifically encountered, and so She holds a special place in my heart.