My name is Sorella Roselyn Magdalene. I am a Sophian Filianist of the Janite Tradition.
Sophian Filianism is the path for those looking to worship the Most Holy Sophia as God (Déa) in Her own right – without a male consort or superior ‘father god’.
Many come to know Sophia through Gnosticism; a mystic Christian religion based on many ‘heretical’ gospels which were deemed absent from the Church founders when forming the canon of the Bible. Within those texts, such as those discovered at Nag Hammadi, tell a much different version of the creation of the world than what is read in Genesis. In the Gnostic version; Sophia is a goddess (also called an Aeon). In fact She is the youngest daughter of the Most High God. When She refuses to create with the consort assigned to Her, wishing to create on Her own as God did, She creates a being which She is deeply ashamed of as it is a corruption of the True God’s light – known as the Demiurge. This child, being separate from God and Sophia, believes that ‘he’ is the True God and goes on to create a universe for himself to rule. He believes this to be good, however what he moulds is flawed and without the Light of the Pleroma (the Fullness of God). Even when he creates mankind, Adam, he is asleep and empty. It is only when Sophia takes pity on her child’s playthings that She sends her daughter, Zoe, down in the form of the first woman; Eve, so that She may kiss Adam and bring him to ‘life’. The Demiurge’s children, the Archons who rule this universe, attempt to rape Eve in order to subdue her divine light. However, Zoe escapes her human form, but by entering Eve and sharing the gift of ‘life’ with Adam, She has gifted all of us with a spark of her mother, Sophia. All ‘life’ is a piece of the Holy Soul.
Now, for the record, this is not what Sophsian Filianists accept as how Our Lady created the world, though we do believe it contains pieces of truth as to how She shared a piece of Herself with all life in the Universe and became the Divine Soul of the World. Unlike Gnostics, we do not claim that the God of the Torah/Old Testament was a childish thug, nor do we believe that Sophia acted in error when acting as the Celestial Mother of the Universe. While the Gnostic Godhead describes all Aeons as coming from one source referred to as the Unknown Father, as Filianists we reject that this First Mover and Supreme Creatrix was a father god. Gnostic theology is that the Unknown Father emenated from himself the Divine Mother; Barbelo or Sige. As Filianists seek to reverse this and view Barbelo as Déa Mysteria; the Dark Mother, The All That Is. We believe that Sophia is Her daughter and also the Celestial Mother who created, not a corrupt god out of error, but a world which was originally Good in its purest form as it came from Her in love and joyful laughter, as it is written in the Clear Recital:
“And the white force of Her superabundant joy grew so great that must take shape in laughter; and Her laughter was the shape of all things.” (Mythos 1:4)
Where Gnosticism claims that the flaws in the world are due to the flaws of the creator, Sophian Filianism sees those imperfections, such as suffering and ‘evil’, as consequences of a choice made by the soul of Maidkind to turn from Déa. Unlike Orthodox Filianists, who view this as an act of will and a mistake, Sophians see it as a choice made by a part of Déa Herself to learn and experience that which lay beyond Herself. We see this cycle of life, death and reincarnation as a journey of our souls attempt to understand and gain gnosis (divine knowledge). We reject the concept of Original Sin or anything familiar to it, though all are born under the illusion of being separate from Déa. This is not something we are at fault for, as it was accepted and willed to be by Déa Herself. But it is our responsibility to learn, to heal the chasm between our souls and God that is ‘kear’, and find the spark of the Holy Daughter, Zoe Sophia, within ourselves.
Gnostic Christians attribute the role of Saviour to Yeshua; the Christos. They see Sophia, in Her Daughter form, as the fallen soul of humanity, trapped by the Archons and in need of a hero who raises Her out of the darkness and back into the Light of the Pleroma. As Sophians, we believe that Sophia Herself is the Saviour. Or rather, both Her and Her daughter, Zoe. Zoe Sophia translates from Greek to mean ‘Living Wisdom’. Zoe is the spark of gnosis waiting to be found in all of us. When Our Lady shattered Herself to become to Holy Soul, She ‘died’ in the sense to change Her being from when She was whole and beyond the suffering we experience. In Her sacrifice, She shares all our trials and grievances. She takes on all the harmful experiences unto Herself. But She also opens the door that allows Mother Sophia’s light to shine in. Again, linking with the Mythos of the Recital, is is Our Mother who is the Assumption of our souls. She revives us and raises us up as She did the Holy Daughter from the seventh level of Hell.
As one can see, Sophian Filianism is an attempt to merge the better parts of Gnostic Sophian myths with that of the Clear Recital. Both are seen, to us, as divinely inspired metaphors for the state of our being and our relationship with Déa Sophia.
We worship Sophia in Her trinity form; as Mother (Maria Sophia), Daughter (Zoe Sophia) and the Dark Mother (Barbelo or Sige).
Unlike Orthodox Filianism, we do not reject the possible existence of the Divine Masculine to those who seek ‘him’. We accept the idea that forms of him (Father and Son) have emanated from Barbelo, who is the Divine Source. But we do not believe that either She, nor Sophia or Zoe, have been dependent on the co-operation of a male consort or brother. We believe She, Déa, acts independently of Herself. The Divine Masculine forms, and any others, are other variations of Aeons born from Her. Janites are free to honour these masculine ‘gods’ separately if they wish, but our focus is on the Divine Feminine and should be kept separate from the worship of masculine deities.
We also believe in the Seven Most Holy Aeons, known as the Seven Genae or Janati. These are the seven most pure and divine emanations of Déa Sophia and represent the virtues in which She acts and that a Sophian devotee seeks to embody and live their life. These are:
Madria Theia – Aeon of Benevolence and Joy.
Madria Candra – Aeon of Reason and Purity.
Madria Grace – Aeon of Compassion and Mercy.
Madria Vicka – Aeon of Courage and Strength.
Madria Thema – Aeon of Harmony and Justice.
Madria Sage – Aeon of Intelligence and Wisdom.
Madria Rhea– Aeon of Temperance and Restraint.
These are not seen as goddesses separate from Déa but aspects of Her. They have taken many forms in different pantheons throughout history. Aphrodite, for example, would be an example of a form of Madria Grace. Amaterasu, the Shinto Goddess of the Sun, would be an example of a form of Madria Theia. Sophians, like many Filianists, are perennialists. In that we believe Déa is not exclusive to one religion or time or culture. She shows Herself to Her children in many, many different appearances depending on what She knows is necessary. In these apparitions and moments of enlightenment, She has poured out many divine truths and sacred teachings throughout the words of humankind. But they share a single, simple truth: Love.
Love of oneself. Love of others.
And Love of God (Déa).
We believe that this is what Sophia desires for Her children to learn, to let go of hate, ego and the harmful vices that keep us turned from Her, so that we may return to the Pleroma again; the Fullness of Déa. We wish to worship Sophia, not as a fallen goddess or mournful bride, but as Our Loving Mother, our Queen, our Saviouress – our God who is All Good and All Love. We wish to be beacons of the Light of the Holy Daughter, Zoe. We wish to gain gnosis so that we may one day be liberated from the cycle and return to the arms of the Most Holy Barbelo.
Blessed is She.
Amadéa (To Love Déa)
For more information:
http://deanic.com – this is the main website of the Janite tradition of Sophian Filianism.
http://www.mother-god.com/ – the best place to start for those wishing to discover Filianism through an Orthodox outlook. This website is run by Aristasians which may have beliefs and interpretations some Filianists disagree with but, regardless, they are lovely teachers.
http://gnosis.org – this site contains every scripture of the Nag Hammadi library for those wishing to research the Gnostic view of Sophia and the mythology containing her daughter, Zoe (the main three being ‘On the Origin of the World’ and ‘Apocryphon of John’ and ‘Hypostatis of the Archons’).