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I love the above image because in my own Tradition, the Holy Mother is known, metaphorically, as the Supernal Sun. The Holy Daughter is the Supernal Moon Who reflects to us, the Bright Light of the Mother. And of course, Sophia is understood to be the Holy Spirit. Our Celestial/Heavenly Mother is known as the Fiery Rose Heart. This painting reflects it all. Gold is the color of the Celestial Mother; silver is the color which represents the Holy Daughter.
The Shekinah and Holy Sophia are considered by some to be One and the same Divine Being/Person, while others recognize that these are two different Divine Feminine Persons. I like to think of them as each being Forms/Images of Dea (Our Divine Mother God).
In these latter times, the perception of the Shekinah appears to be evolving. Many are coming to understand the Shekinah as being a Divine Being/Person in Her Own right. This Shekina, though, is not merely just as aspect of God, She is a Divine Being of Her Own Right. (4) This is a great article.
I always have taught that Sophia is God in Her Own right. Her Godhood is not dependent upon the Father, nor is She God because She is the Spouse of the Father, rather, She is God because that is Her very Nature, Her Eternal Being; just as we have human nature, human being. She is a Person of the Godhood.
Nor did She need Her Male Consort to save- Her, as we shall see, rather, She is a Saviouress. Our Soteria who works hand in hand with the Christ-Logos.
It must be remembered that there are many aspects of Sophia. In addition to being the Wisdom Goddess, in the earliest Gnostic texts, Sophia is Creatrix and sometimes, She is listed as Supreme.
As the Barbelo, She is the Supreme Mystery, the Mother of the All. As Aletheia, She is Truth. As Pistis, She is Faith. She is also known as the Holy Spirit.Through Zoe, She is Life. She is the Mother of All Life.
And so, though She may be the Wisdom Goddess, that is only one Aspect of Her.
I believe that She is the Christian Divine Mother God, Who is coming to be known as, Dea.
(As you read the following, please keep in mind that I have not studied the Kabbalah or the Zohar and so I only have a rudimentary knowledge of these things.)
I had a Jewish friend (mentioned in a previous post), Lieren Malka, who was a Reconstructionist Jew. She believed in the Shekina as Mother and Daughter just as many understand Sophia to be Mother and Daughter. Like the Sophia, this understanding of the Shekina as being Mother and Daughter is based upon the idea of Higher and Lower Shekinah, just as there is Higher and Lower Sophia.
In Gnostic circles, the Mother is considered to be the Barbelo (whom some Gnostic scholars consider to be Higher Sophia). while the Daughter is Lower Sophia.
In the Gnostic Text, On the Origin of the World, the Mother and Daughter are named: Pistis Sophia is the Mother of Zoe. In the Valentinian System, we have Sige (may be pronounced Sy-gee or Siege), which means Silence. The Mother is Aletheia, which means Truth and the Daughter is Zoe, which means Life. (1).
I have noticed how many similarities there are between the Mythos/ Story of the Shekinah and that of Holy Sophia.
Lower/Daughter) Sophia, is the World Soul. The Shekinah is also the World Soul.
painting by Helena Nelson Reed:
From the Universal Kabbalah Network: … the Shekinah is the World Soul. So, the Shekina, in addition to being the Soul of God, is also the Soul of the World. (2). Can there be more than one World Soul?
In some forms of Deanic (Goddess) Christianity, Mother Sophia is known as Rosa Coeli, Rose of Heaven. The Holy Daughter Sophia, as the World Soul is known as Rosa Mundi, Rose of the World.
In my own spiritual Tradition, Our Heavenly Mother, as Rosa Coeli, is Transcendent, like Our True Father, while the Holy Daughter, as Rosa Mundi, is Immanent like the Divine Son.
As we will see in the excerpt below, the Shekinah is the World Soul voluntarily, while according to Gnostic Christian Mythos, Sophia is the World Soul because She is trapped here because She erred and is Fallen and is in need of Her Male Consort to save Her.
But as Rose Horman Arthur showed in her scholarly work, The Wisdom Goddess, Feminine Motifs in Eight Nag Hammadi Documents, (I believe this is available through Stanford University Library), Gnostic Christian authors took pre-Christian texts and clearly demoted Sophia. Her ‘Fall and entrapment’ was not in the pre-Christian equivalent texts. From what I understand, they took certain texts, re-wrote them, demoted Sophia in many, many areas and gave them a new title. According to Dr. Arthur, the ‘Fallen Sophia” was unknown in the original texts.
Sophia and the Shekinah each suffer a Descent through darkness. We know, from Gnostic texts, that Sophia suffers a Descent down through ever-denser/darker realms, which causes Her Light to Scatter. The Shekinah also suffer a Descent through the realms which causes Her Soul to Shatter as we read in the following text:
Here again, the Shekinah plays a very special and multi-faceted role in the Kabbalistic teachings. For, it is the Shekinah that is ascribed by Kabbalists to be the Middle Pillar of Balance that unites the opposites, just as the soul allows for the opposites of body and spirit to unite, so too does the Shekinah play this role for us. Indeed, the Shekinah is the Soul of Man, what Kabbalists call the Neshamah, for She has given a portion of Herself in order for each human to come into being in this world. In giving of Herself to humans, in this state of physical density and isolation, the World Soul becomes shattered. This shattering can be metaphorically grasped in considering what might happen to a glass alembic or flask when too much pressure is put upon in the alchemical works. Thus, the Shekinah represents the ultimate archetype of selfless sacrifice. All Her sacrifices have been for the benefit of creation so that humankind may experience this life in order to fulfill its destiny and purpose. Kabbalists, therefore, pay great respect and gratitude to the Shekinah for Her sacrifice and service by taking up the mantle or the quest to reunite the Shekinah with the Creator.
Through this, the Shekinah shares Her Soul with us while Sophia resides in us as the Divine Spark of Light.
Both Sophia and the Shekinah have often been referred to as the Holy Spirit. (3).
Both are said to be Higher/Mother and Lower/Daughter. The Mother is Her Transcendent Form, the Holy Daughter is the Immanent Form as the World Soul.
which some scholars believe was originally named in honor of the Barbelo, (High Sophia), depicts Her as the Immanent Saviouress who speaks, speaks back and forth about Her identity. (4)
For I am the first and the last.I am the honored one and the scorned one.I am the whore and the holy one.I am the wife and the virgin.I am <the mother> and the daughter.I am the members of my mother.I am the barren oneand many are her sons.I am she whose wedding is great,and I have not taken a husband.I am the midwife and she who does not bear.I am the solace of my labor pains.I am the bride and the bridegroom, etc.
On a personal level, I can understand Thunder on different levels. On one level, I see part of this poem as going back and forth between the Transcendent Mother (Barbelo-Sophia) and the Immanent Daughter (Eve-Sophia). The Immanent Daughter is within each of us. Whatever we go through, She goes through. There is nothing that we suffer which She does not suffer with us. There is no joy that we experience that She does not experience with us,
And so, as the Transcendent Mother, She is the honored one, but as the least of Her children, in whom dwells the Holy Daughter, She is the scorned one and so on. Here is an article with similar views: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/maps/primary/thunder.html
(By the way, this is awesome: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thunder.html. Also recommended: https://lightgrid.ning.com/group/thepowerofthedivinefeminine/forum/topics/the-shekinah-image-of-the)
The Shekinah is associated with Creation.
Sophia is associated with Creation.
Shekinah is the World Soul.
Sophia is the World Soul. (Can there be more than one World Soul?)
The Shekina has often been referred to as the Holy Spirit. (3)
Sophia has been referred to as the Holy Spirit. (4)
As a result of the Descent into density and darkness, the Shekinah suffered and Her Soul is Shattered.
As a result of the Descent into density and darkness, Sophia suffered, and Her Light is Scattered.
The Shekinah is Higher/Lower or Mother and Daughter.
Sophia is Higher/Lower or Mother and Daughter.
The Shekinah shares a portion of Her Soul, with us. Her soul is our soul. (Sacrifice).
Sophia shares a portion of Her Light with us. She resides in us as the Divine Spark. (Sacrifice).
The Shekina is the Bride of God. (5)
Sophia is the Bride of God.
Both are Eternal.
For an interesting article on Sophia from an Esoteric Christian perspective, please see: https://northernway.org/sophia.html
Let us Bless the Queen of Heaven,
Blessed is She.
Rev. Pamela Lanides
4) Wikipedia: “Thunder Perfect Mind (the title is, more accurately, The Thunder – Perfect Intellect) takes the form of an extended, riddling monologue, in which an immanent saviour speaks a series of paradoxical statements concerning the divine feminine nature. The original language of the poem was Greek, though only a Coptic version survives in the Nag Hammadi library; the manuscript resides in the Cairo Coptic museum.” https://www.facebook.com/SpiritualAwakeningRadio/posts/gnostic-poem-of-sophia-thunder-perfect-mind-recited-httpyoutubeb_rjsmiisxsthunde/10152898602472357/
This is a great article: Shekhina | Encyclopedia Mythica