22nd Werde – Thamedi
When I realised I no longer believed in Yahweh, the Father God of Christianity, I stopped praying to him and I felt liberated.
When I realised I no longer saw Yeshua as divine, but still respected as a spiritual teacher, though no longer the centre of my faith, I stopped calling myself a Christian and I moved on.
Recently, I attempted to let go of my Gnostic Christian background entirely, ripping the beliefs out root and stem. This included saying goodbye to Sophia. I decided to focus on Déa simply as a whole without using any living stream image to connect to Her. The only link between myself and the Mother being the Holy Daughter.
And since then, despite only being a couple of weeks, my heart has ached more each and every day.
Sophia has been the only ‘goddess’ to truly enter my heart. I tried for years as a Wiccan to look to goddesses from different pantheons; Kemetic, Hellenic, Hindu, Norse etc. While there were many goddesses who inspired me and that I found myself in awe of, none of them really came to me, or I felt called me to worship them. Part of that may have been because I still felt tied to Christianity at the time, who offered no real divine feminine image for me – keep in mind I was Anglican so I was unfamiliar with the idea of the Virgin Mary as being anything close to God or Jesus. It was a chance meeting on a Wiccan chat room in the early 00’s with a Gnostic Witch that introduced me to the idea of the Magdalene being honoured as Yeshua’s equal, and then Sophia as the Holy ‘Mother’ Spirit.
I can only describe it as falling in love. As soon as I heard Her name, it became inscribed on my heart. Often times, when words fail me during prayer, I simply breath Her name. Not a chant, an exercise and invocation. In and out. In and out. Like every time I say Her name, I felt Her spirit moving in me and all around me, sustaining me, embracing me. For a decade and a half, I searched and read almost every book and article I could find on Her from a variety of Gnostic and Mystic sources.
My love and devotion to Her quickly overshadowed any previous veneration I had for Yahweh and Yeshua. Even though I always rejected the idea in certain Gnostic groups that Yahweh (of the ‘Old Testimant’) was the deceitful Demiurge, I still found it difficult to connect with him as the Gnostic description of ‘the True Father’ didn’t seem all the more appealing than how he was viewed in orthodox Christianity. This ‘Father’ may not have been jealous or sexist or warmongering; but he was distant and ‘unseen’ and only possible to know through the Mother and Son. It was as if there was no one worth having a relationship with. And while Yeshua’s teachings would always mean a lot to me, far more than any dogma about ‘sacrifice’ or ‘original sin’, it was tough for me to focus on him when the Magdalene was right there! And while there was so little said about who the Magdalene really was or what she did, the mystery about her and multiple myths enchanted me. It was said that through Yeshua, one could reach the Father. But it wasn’t the Father I wanted, it was Sophia. And quite a few of the Gnostic groups I found taught that it was through the Magdalene we reached Sophia.
However, while I felt I had found my goddess in Gnosticism, the religion itself left me wanting in regards of how to worship Her. I have waxed on more than enough about how Gnostic Christian groups will shout about wanting to ‘restore the divine feminine’ one moment, and then the next use primarily masculine pronouns and imagery for God, focus mostly on Yeshua, and speak of Sophia or the Magdalene as if they were merely an afterthought. A ‘bride’ to the divine masculine, as opposed to holy in their own right. I won’t go on about it anymore, as that is part of my attempt to let go of Gnosticism is also letting go of the resentments and misgivings about the religious groups.
When I came into Filianism, I planned to keep Sophia as the centre of my faith, as my ‘image’ of Déa. This seemed to be easy for me as I was already familiar with many Filianic concepts that Sophia and Her many legends fit into. The Seven Janyati can be linked to Sophia’s ‘seven pillars’ mentioned in the Bible, as well as Her seven aeons to combat the Archons in Gnostic texts, also the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and so on. The Trinity of Déa was easy to synchronise with the Sophian trinity of Barbelo (the Mysteria), Pistis Sophia (the Bright Mother) and Zoe Sophia (the Holy Daughter). Over time I started to use the more traditional Filianic names for the Trinity such as Mari and Janah, but I still recognised the Sophian trinity within Filianism. It all seemed to come together so easily. As if Sophia had been guiding me here all along.
But for some strange reason I became incredibly disillusioned with Gnostic Christianity yet again, despite having left, and how Sophia continues to be seen among their groups. This was honestly unfair of me, as I had already stopped being a Gnostic and a Christian. Though I wished to look to these groups and older texts for inspiration in strengthening my faith in Sophia, I should not have expected them to hold Her in the same regard as She would in a Déanic faith where the Divine Feminine is always revered first and foremost. I suppose it was the fact that these groups rarely even meet the standard of ‘egalitarian’, let alone feminine-focused. So, for the sake of my own sanity as well as not wanting to be a pain in the ass for others, I decided to leave Gnosticism and Christianity alone and just focus on my own faith; Filianism.
For some reason I thought this meant saying goodbye to Sophia. All because I convinced myself that the Gnostics and Christians had some claim over Her. They may do with the Magdalene, I can accept that, but Sophia is a perennial figure. I have found Facebook Pagan groups that worship and invoke Her without any links to Christianity. Also, outside of Eastern and Russian Orthodox (and possibly some other sects), the majority of Western Christianity barely recognises Her or merely views Her as an allegory for wisdom. She is not an angel or spirit or anything close to the level of Christ! As for Gnostics, all I can say is that the Sophia I know is not the one they know. They may share some similarities but we are looking at two different facets of the same diamond. Like to Muslims who honour Yeshua (Isa), yet view him through a completely different lens than a Christian would.
Basically; cleaving to Sophia in my faith does not make me a Gnostic or a Christian. I am not the first Filianist or Déanist to worship Déa through Sophia; there was a poem dedicated to Sophia found in one of the original Madrian magazine copies of The Coming Age, going back to the 1970’s. And I’m sure I won’t be the last. I feel Déanism and Filianism, as well as giving a space for those who wish to worship the divine feminine in Her own right, also allows us to venerate these goddesses free from the chains of patriarchy, many of which we find were shackled centuries after the goddesses original, empowering myths and cults.
My Sophia has no Father and no Consort or Brother who saves Her.
My Sophia did not create a false god or a false world.
My Sophia is not fallen or trapped or r*ped.
My Sophia is the Mother of All Things. And All Things came from Her goodness.
My Sophia is the Holy Daughter, Her own self lowered to save those who turned from Her.
My Sophia suffered no brutal torment or bloody sacrifice; but became the living spirit within all Maids to help them rise and return to Déa.
My Sophia is not ‘Bride of God’ or ‘Spirit of God’. She is God Herself.
After mere days of feeling like my heart was hallow and aching, I called to Sophia and I felt Her there within me. She had never left. She is Déa. She is my Lady. My Queen. My Heavenly Mother and Divine Saviour.
Blessed is She.