Christian Angelology plays a central part of Reginite Christian daily praxis. We do not worship them, but we do believe that they are agents of God sent to assist us and so we may pray to them to ask for their help, but we may not worship them as being divine. We believe that angels are both male and female as were the Zoroastrian Bountiful Immortals or the Amesha Spentas, three of whom, were female. (1)
Judaism and Christianity inherited many doctrines from this little known monotheistic religion, which still exists, today in small pockets in Iran and in India. We inherited from the Zoroastrians doctrines and beliefs such as heaven; hell, redemption, saviour, the final battle at the end of time; angels; the world being a battle ground between good and evil; a belief in a supreme or universal God; belief that creation is divinely created and much more. They were also the first to link religion and morality; Basically, most of our fundamental beliefs had their origins in Zoroastrianism. (2)
COMMUNION S WITH THE FORCES OF OUR MOTHER EARTH, in the morning:
See also essene.org and essene.com.
We revere and study all the choirs of angels, the Essene Angels of Peace and have special devotion to the Seven Archangels. We take our list of the Seven Archangels from Pseudo-Dionysius (3) We will be speaking more about the angels in the near future. Today, we are here to discuss what are known in the Reginite Christian Tradition as the Seven Janae of Sophia.
Jana (Janae, plural), is Latin for Gate.. The j is pronounced as a y….Yah-nah or Yah-nay, plural. Jana also means moon, a symbol of Our Lady. An ancient name for the goddess, Diana, was Di-Jana, which meant, Divine Gate. For Reginite Christians, each Jana is a Divine Gate of certain Virtues and also, they are gate-ways of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These Virtues and Gifts form the Seven Rivers of Life. We work to practice these Virtues and incorporate the Seven Gifts into our daily lives. There will be more on this aspect of our Tradition in the near future.
The Seven Janae of Sophia are higher than the angels, though we believe that like Holy Sophia, they may take on rarefied angelic form. Like the Bountiful Immortals or Amesha Spentas, as they are known in Zoroastrianism, who are ‘of God’, the Seven Janae are “of the Holy Spirit”, Our Heavenly Mother. The Holy Spirit is known as being ‘Seven-fold’, which, as we shall shortly see, this can be interpreted in two different ways.
In Zoroastriansim, “Amesha Spentas translates as ‘Holy Immortals’. Just as light rays are emanated from the sun but are not the sun, so the Amesha Spentas are emanated by God but are not God. These emanations are seen as the divine attributes of God. They helped God fashion the world and each is associated with a particular aspect of creation.
Western scholars have likened the Amesha Spentas to the Archangels in Christianity. This is not strictly correct as they also represent spiritual attainments. Zoroastrians believe that man can know God through his Divine Attributes.” (4)
We believe something very similar about the Seven Janae. Our analogy has always likened the Seven Janae to the White Light of Dea (Day-a: Our Divine Mother, Sophia, Who is the Holy Spirit), which flows through a prism and separates into Seven Intelligent Living Rays of Jeweled Light. They are the Seven Spirits which stand before the Throne of God; the Seven Doves of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, who, as Caitlyn Matthews so beautifully expresses in her book, “Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God”, “The Gifts of the Spirit are remarkably identifiable with Wisdom’s (Sophia).” Ms. Matthews goes on to speak about the Seven Gifts in Isaiah before continuing, “these are the Seven Gifts of the Spirit analogous to Sophia’s Seven-Pillared Temple. Sophia, as Ecclesia, keeps the Seven Gifts of the Spirit in Her lap like doves, ready to wing down to whomever is in need of them, just as She keeps open the seven pathways of the sacraments (etc.)” page 129. And, indeed, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are said to be gateways of the seven sacraments.
The Janae are also the Seven Pillars of Sophia and the Seven Virgins of Sophia. They have been associated with the Seven Planetary Powers. All may be traced back to Sophia as not only is She the Gnostic Sophia, She is the Holy Spirit and She is the anthropological Wisdom of Proverbs. These three functions or roles describe the Fullness of Sophia.
And so, like the Amesha Spentas, who are not angels, rather they are above the angels because they are said to be ‘of God’, so, too, the uncreated Janae are ‘of the Holy Spirit, of Sophia’ and are higher than the created angels.
Through much research, we have discovered that a majority of Christian pastors and theologians understand these Seven Spirits Who stand before the Throne of God in one of three ways: 1) They are the Perfection of the Seven-Fold Holy Spirit; 2) they are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit or 3) they are Seven distinct Spirits who emanate from the Holy Spirit. We agree with all of the above! (5)
Those who believe that the Seven Spirits of God are really the One Perfection of the Seven-fold Holy Spirit are phrasing their theology so that it fits in with the Trinitarian narrative and that is certainly one way to look at them. We must remember, however, that the doctrine of the Trinity is not expressed in the gospels. The word, trinity, itself, is not found in the gospels. This doctrine, like many other Christian doctrines, was debated, argued about, went through a time of trial and error and was ultimately voted on in the undivided Roman/Orthodox Christian Church. (A very good article on the subject may be found here: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/the-surprising-origins-of-the-trinity-doctrine). Where we believe in Christian emanation theology, we have no trouble understanding the true nature of the Seven-fold Holy Spirit. One of the most common definitions of seven-fold is ‘composed of seven parts’.
The bottom line is, a majority of theologians agree that the Seven Spirits who stand before the Throne of God and who are sent out into the world are the Seven-fold Holy Spirit and that they represent the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Other theologians and pastors understand them to be the seven distinct Spirits who emanate from the Holy Spirit. Those who believe that they are Seven distinct Spirits believe that three of them are female and three are male, similar to the Amesha Spentas.
We believe, as do a growing number of Christians, that the Holy Spirit is Sophia. Where She is not the One/Monad/Monas/Absolute Deity, She does not contain within Herself both the male and the female and there-fore, the Seven Spirits who emanate from Her must be female.
The Seven Spirits ‘who are sent out onto the Earth’ are not abstract ideas. They are Intelligent Persons and so they are not the ‘Gifts’ of the Holy Spirit, per se. Each of the Seven Spirits is a gate-way of one of the Seven Gifts. These Gifts may be likened to Graces or Divine Energies that are sent to us from the Seven Spirits.
These Seven Spirits, or Seven Janae as they are known in our own and that of other Traditions, play a central role in the daily life of Reginite Christians. And, similar to the Archangels, they have correspondences which help us to better understand them and to relate to them on the human plane. https://reginite.com/correspondences-of-the-seven-divine-kyries/.
As the Trinity is Three-fold, the Holy Spirit is Seven-fold and those Seven-fold Spirits are known to us as the Seven Janae of Sophia, She Who is Wisdom, She Who is the Holy Spirit, She Who is the Holy World Soul.
May Our Lady bless you,
Blessed is She.
Rev. Pamela Lanides
If you are in the southern Monadnock area of NH or the north central MA area and are interested in attending a valid Christo-Sophian liturgy, please contact me, Rev. Pamela, at email@example.com.
Seven Spirits Burning by John Crowder. (This book has received excellent reveiws).
http://ezinearticles.com/?Symbols-of-the-Seven-Spirits-of-God&id=756674 (the author sees the Seven Spirits as Feminine.)
http://talonministries.org/seven-spirits-of-god/ (yes, They are the entourage of God the Mother. Scroll down to the colored rays, as well.)
https://www.westbowpress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000682886 (this book contains the prism analogy).