And as She walked, the children of the Earth threw blossoms before Her and though Her feet rested on them, yet, they were not bruised. 2) And She reigned over all the Earth, bringing all Nature back to life and all life back to the true law and rhythm of Nature. And the world knew Her as its Princess. 3) And the children of the Earth were filled with love for Her, and gathered about Her with tears of joy, touching Her robes and giving themselves to Her in their hearts. The Mythos of the Divine Maid Chapter VII, 1-3 SMR edition
These passages beautifully illustrate the Janite concept of the Holy Daughter as the World Soul. In the above passage, the children of the Earth are able to see and touch the Divine Princess. But, we must remember that these passages are not meant to be taken literally. They are part of a description of a Cosmic Drama which takes place out of time.
For Janites, the Princess of the World, as the World Soul, truly revives and sustains all of Nature. And while She did not ‘walk’ among us, there are those who have had visions of Her, especially in connection with Nature. Here are but a few, some I have mentioned in the past:
Among several Russian mystics who had visions of Sophia, Vladimir Solovyov had three, the first when he was only 9 years old. She appeared as a beautiful woman–“an image so radiant and powerful that he would come to pursue its meaning throughout his adult life.” (Kristi A. Groberg, “The Eternal Feminine: Vladimir Solov’ev’sVisions Of Sophia,” in Alexandria Journal #1, ed. David Fideler, 77).
His second vision:
I said to her: O, blossom of a deity!
You’re here, I sense it–why haven’t you revealed
Yourself to my eyes since childhood years?
And no sooner had I thought this prayer
Than everything was filled with a golden azure,
And before me she shined once more–
But only her face–it alone. . . .
I said to her: your face has appeared,
But I want to have a look at all of you. . . .
“Be in Egypt!” a voice within me sounded.
(Groberg, “Eternal Feminine,” 81)
From his third vision of Sophia he wrote:
And in the purple of the heaven’s splendor,
With eyes filled with an azure fire,
You looked like the first radiance
Of a universal and creative day. . . .
I saw everything, and everything was one thing only–
A single image of female beauty. . .
The infinite fit within its dimensions:
Before me, in me–were you alone.
O, radiant woman! In you I am not deceived:
In the desert I saw all of you. . .
Those roses will not wither in my soul wherever life’s wave may speed.
This third vision changed him, forever.
Let it be known: today the Eternal Feminine In an incorruptible body is descending to Earth. In the unfading light of the new goddess Heaven has become one with the deeps.
Russian theologian and mystic, Sergei Bulgakov had a vision of Sophia within the context of Creation. He saw Her in the mountains and in Nature.
Therefore Sophia is twofold, at once Divine and creaturely—above and before creation and “in” creation. The world is created in Sophia and Sophia, at the same time, is in the world, throughout it, in the form of divine energies and spiritual beings, as its boundary. Hence creation is, as it were, “the separation of Sophia’s potentiality from her actuality.” In the world, Sophia is actualized—as the earth’s eros for heaven, all creation “longing for liberation from the bondage of corruption, for the radiance of Sophianic light, for beauty and transfiguration.” http://ivashek.com/en/texts/554-sophia-the-wisdom-of-god.
Through-out Her pre-Christian and post-Christian ‘history’, Sophia is associated with Creation and entering Creation (She is immanent with us as the World Soul.) She has been known as “Perfect Nature”. But, as with the Divine Feminine in general, She has long been demoted from Her original status.
- Her divine status, evident from her speeches, does not easily fit into monotheism. (Meaning Patriarchal monotheism. PL.)
- Her teachings are rooted in life, not in obedience to rules, gods or priests; these teachings demand individual integrity and justice in the marketplace and royal court, and are achieved through clear perception and devotion to her, Wisdom, and by abandoning “marketplace consciousness”–giving up the quest for gold & possessions.
- She is associated with the natural order and meaning of creation, rather than the revelation and salvation of monotheistic religions. Sophia had many of the characteristics of earlier wisdom goddesses who carry the banner of the supremacy, primacy, and justice of the natural order of the cosmos rather than the capricious brutal rule of man whose focus is on profit and domination.
- Her gender is unacceptable in religions that deify only the male. The strenuous effort of Hebrew prophets to turn their people away from the worship of popular local deities to an ever-stricter monotheism admitted no divine reality save one demanding a wifeless male god.
“Male-oriented spiritual paths generally lead the seeker to leave the world, to abandon its call to power and prestige. But women are already outside the power structure. For woman then the “direction” of the spiritual path is not to leave the world, but to enter it.” http://www.sophiastemple.com/goddess-sophia/ (Note: Just as the Divine Sophia enters the World as its Soul).
Sophia is seen as being expressed in all creation and the natural world.
The Holy Daughter, in the Form of Sophia, is re-emerging in this world. She is slowly, but surely, being freed of Patriarchal chains. She is the Soul of Nature and She shares Her Soul with us.
With every flower we see sprouting to greet the Spring Sun; with each baby leaf budding upon the branch; with each soft breeze that caresses our cheek, there is the Presence of the Holy Daughter in the Form of Sophia; She Who brings all of Her Creation back to life. And, through Her words of Wisdom, She speaks to us who are gathered before Her. Through the sharing of Her Soul, we are able to ‘touch Her robes’.
“I love you. Love me. I am Sophia.”
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides