Sophia is the great lost Goddess who has remained intransigently within orthodox spiritualities. She is veiled, blackened, denigrated and ignored most of the time; or else she is exalted, hymned and pedestalled as an allegorical abstraction of female divinity. She is allowed to be a messenger, a mediator, a helper, a handmaid: she is rarely allowed the privilege of being seen to be in charge, fully self-possessed and creatively operative.
Matthews, Caitlin, SOPHIA: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God (1991)
Day of Sophia (according to some sources)
Sophia (pronounced sew-fee'ah in Greek) (pictured here with her three daughters, Faith, Hope and Charity) has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by Jews, and as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by Greeks. She has been referred to as the Holy Spirit of Wisdom by Christian writers. She is known as Chokmah (HOK-mah) in Hebrew, and Sapientia in Latin. She is sometimes referred to as the Bride of Christ or of God.
To the Gnostic Christians, Sophia had an esoteric meaning, and was the Mother of Creation; her consort and assistant was Jehovah. In the Gnostic creation myth, Sophia sought the unknowable One, being so distant from her. In one account, she saw a distant light which was in fact a mirror image, and thus drifted even farther away from the pleroma, or fulness of God. The Gnostic religion’s sacred texts include Pistis Sophia: The Books of the Saviour.
Her sacred shrine, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, is one of the remarkable buildings of the world. The first church on the site was built by Constantine the Great. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian I, after rebuilding it, is believed to have said ÍåíßêçêÜ óå Óïëïìþí (Solomon, I have surpassed you!). It was converted to a mosque at the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II in 1453. [Read about this seminal event in history in our article, ‘Celestial wonders and the fall of Constantinople, 1453’]. A Christian church in Sophia, capital of Bulgaria, gave its name to the city.
As Asherah (the Semitic name of the Great Goddess, whose origin differs from Astarte, or Ishtar, or Inanna in Sumerian mythology), who was principally worshipped at the Philistine Pentapolis (coalition of five cities forming a kingdom – namely, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath and Gaza) but also along Canaan and, for some time, Israel, she was even given a place in Solomon’s Temple of Yahweh (Jehovah God), which was built under the direction of skilled Phoenician builders and workmen ...
This is just a snippet. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day
Pip Wilson's articles are available for your publication, on application. Further details
Receive similar items free each day with a free subscription to Wilson's Almanac ezine. Send a blank email