Monday, September 2, 2013

Gaia, Sophia and Mary

Microcosm: Who is the Divine Sophia, the Eternal Feminine Wisdom in Human Terms?

The wisdom of the universe has been known in her various aspects by every civilization from the time of Antiquity to our own times. She has been known by many names. To the Indians she was Shakti who was at once Parvati the gentle consort of Shiva and other times Lakshimi the consort of Vishnu, the Sumerians called her Inanna, the Babylonians Ishtar. The Chaldeans called her Ea the mother of Marduk. The Egyptians knew her as Isis the wife of Osiris or else as Maat, Hathor and Nut depending on what qualities she chose to reflect at a particular time. The Greeks knew her as the mother Demeter, at other times she was Artemis, Athena or Hecate. The Romans called her Diana. Plato expressed her as the wisdom of love personified in Diotima. She was the beloved or the bride of the Jews (Solomon).

The Ea of the Chaldeans became the Soph- ea of the Greeks.  Soph means ‘that which is[2]’ - that which is  ‘ea’ – all pervading wisdom. Those who devoted their lives to understanding her were philo-sophers – philo or lovers of the ‘wisdom which is all’. Their Christian ancestors also knew her as Sophia and later, Christians from all corners of the globe saw her divine image reflected in the figure of the mother of God - Mary or in Mary Magdalene. In Western Europe today there are as many churches named after Our Lady Mary and Mary Magdalene, as there are churches in Eastern
Europe named after the Sophia.
In ancient times the Cosmic Wisdom was perceived as having much to do with the wisdom of the cosmos but also with knowledge of the creative forces of the earth, with fertility and birth and in this aspect she was seen at various times as a moon Goddess, since the moon’s cycles are connected intimately with the forces of reproduction and for other reasons which will become apparent later. The male deities were always associated, on the other hand with the Sun. They were the ‘bridegrooms’, the heavenly creative forces that came from above and fertilized the bridal womb – the earth.

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