Restoring the Goddess to Judeo-Christianity

Restoring the Goddess

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A — The Feminine Held Bound

B — Sacred Marriage and the Rite of the Sacrificed King

C — The Virgin Goddess

D — The Archetypal Mandala of the Star of David

E — Sophia

Three of the following five lessons
use Margaret Starbird’s wonderful book,
The
Goddess in the Gospels
, as a textbook. Excerpts are provided
here, but you are encouraged get
a copy
.

The Feminine Held Bound (Lesson
A
)

Excerpt: (p. 22) of Starbird’s Goddess
in the Gospels

In worshiping an exclusively male image of God—-a “God of power and might” glorified in liturgies and creeds of three major world religions—our institutions have entrenched a power-oriented value system that occasionally nods toward the feminine counterpart, especially if she is young and beautiful, but fails to honor her. The wisdom of the feminine, the unconscious, the body, the earth, has been “held bound” by our current institutions and customs. And we are not even aware to what great extent this is true! The subtle balance of the opposite energies has been lost for millennia, compounded in this current century with its high-technology discoveries and instant communications.

What kind of world could we live in now if the founders of Christianity had acknowledged that the sacred union of male and female, of Bride and Bridegroom, once lay at the heart of the Christian message, embodied in the intimate relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene?

What would the partnership mandala indigenous to Christianity have done for us if it hadn’t been broken in the cradle of the new religion? What has the model of a “virgin mother” and a “celibate son” done to our collective psyche over the centuries?…

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LESSON A QUESTIONS:

Questions: please write at least one paragraph answers for each of the following questions. Submit your answers via e-mail to the Mystery School with “RestoreGoddess Lesson A” in the subject line.  Cut and paste the questions below into an email, then insert your answers.

1. If we have a “virgin mother” and a “celibate son,” what does that make God-the-Father? It makes him an angry old geezer who is a single parent, and the “Family of God” is a dysfunctional unit. How could this damage humankind’s collective psyche? How has this messed with our minds, in other words?

2. How do our current institutions and customs “hold bound” the wisdom of the feminine? Name one example and explain. (Think forsaking of maiden names, Barbie’s “ideal body,” men ask women out on a date, not the reverse, etc.)

3. Pick anything in the selection that struck a chord with you, caused a light to zap on, and gab about it for a paragraph or two.

4. How do high-tech discoveries and instant communications make worse the imbalance of the opposite energies.

Next Lesson is about why hating our bodies has made us hate the earth, “our mother.” (We treat the Earth pretty bad, y’know….and our own bodies, too)

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Restoring
the Goddess Lesson B
: Sacred Marriage and the Rite of the Sacrificed King

DaVinci Last Supper detail of MM and Yeshua

The textbook for this course is Margaret Starbird’s The
Goddess in the Gospels
.  Excerpts are posted here, but if you want to order the book, or just have a look at it, click
here.   Margaret Starbird and I are e-mail acquaintances (and I met her at a wonderful seminar she was giving a few years ago in Dallas). She is aware of our courses based on her books.  I sent her Lesson A when it was first written in March of 1999.  She loved it and I sent her some of your comments and answers to its questions.  She also liked our GoddessChristians
list
too, and I occasionally sent her digests to read back then.  She is a member and occasional poster of the MM-list at Yahoogroups.  The archives there are a Magdalene goldmine!


Sacred Marriage &
the Rite of the Sacrificed King



In Lesson A we discussed the harmful church doctrines of a “virgin mother” and a “celibate leader.” We asked what kind of role models do these give us? How do these sexually sanitized divinities harm our minds, our relationships?

Starbird Excerpt, p. 22-23:

For two millennia, these doctrines
have robbed us of a model for relating to one another as real and
equal “flesh and blood” partners. We have not been taught to honor
our bodies as sacred vessels of life, and this neglect of our own
bodies has extended to our planet—our dear mother “vessel”—as
well. How different our experience might have been if we had understood
that sexual union is both sacred and holy! I am convinced that a
model of Bride and Bridegroom, united in intimate mutuality and
loving service, could have molded us into a different society—a
more integrated, wholesome community—and I am convinced that reclaiming
the lost model of sacred union in Christianity can help to heal
us now. To reclaim this lost paradigm of wholeness and harmony,
we must first restore the lost Bride of the Christian story [Mary
Magdalene]—the Goddess in the Gospels—to her rightful place
at the side of Jesus. Perhaps we should picture them holding hands.

It was my love for Christ that
led me to revisit the Gospel story in search of his lost Bride.
Years of research had convinced me that the celibacy of Jesus was
a false doctrine and that the interpretation of the New Testament
needed to be revised to include his wife. But who was this wife,
and why was she not mentioned in the Gospels? I wondered. What could
have happened to her?

According to Scripture, God’s
Messiah, the Anointed One, will give sight to the blind and cause
the lame to walk; comfort the broken-hearted and proclaim liberty
to captives; and set prisoners free and proclaim the day of God’s
favor. These messianic activities prophesied by Isaiah are recognized
in the actions and miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. No mention
here of bondage in heaven or on earth! The God of the Hebrew Scriptures
did not wish his people to serve in bondage, but rescued them from
slavery in Egypt and brought them home from captive exile in Babylon.

Based on the New Testament texts,
Christians are quick to claim that Jesus was the promised Messiah
of Israel, fulfilling ancient prophecies from the Scriptures, but
they almost universally fail to mention the woman who anointed Jesus
— the woman with the alabaster jar who knelt before him, poured
her fragrant unguent over his head, and dried her tears from his
feet with strands of her hair. And yet the Hebrew word *messiah*
literally means “the Anointed One.” And, although the details vary
a little, there is only one story of an actual anointing of Jesus
recorded in the canonical Gospels of the Christian faith: an anointing
by a woman at a banquet in Bethany!

My research had shown me that
in the ancient rites of the Near East, it was a royal bride who
anointed the king. Together they embodied the Divine in a life-sustaining
partnership — the *hieros gamous*. My revised interpretation of
the anointing scene from the Gospels outlined in _The Woman with
the Alabaster Jar_ sheds new light on the dangerous fracture in
Christian doctrine, providing a partnership model to transform Christianity
at the threshold of the approaching third millennium.

The anointing of Jesus in the
Gospels is an enactment of rites from the prevailing fertility cult
of the ancient Middle East. In pouring her precious unguent of nard
over the head of Jesus, the woman whom tradition has identified
with “the Magdalene” (meaning “the Great”!) performed an act identical
to the marriage rite of the *hieros gamous* — the rite of the anointing
of the chosen Bridegroom/King by the royal representative of the
Great Goddess!

Jesus recognized and acknowledged
this rite himself, in the text of his role as the sacrificed king:
“She has anointed me in preparation for burial” (Mark 14:8b). Those
who heard the Gospel story of the anointing at the feast in Bethany
would certainly have recognized the rite as the ceremonial anointing
of the Sacred King, just as they would have recognized the woman,
“the woman with the alabaster jar,” who came to the garden sepulchre
on the third day to finish the anointing for burial and to lament
her tortured Bridegroom. She found an empty tomb.

Highlights of this story recounted
in the four Christian Gospels are reminiscent of myths celebrated
in pagan fertility cults of the Middle East, those of Tammuz, Dumuzi,
and Adonis. In the pagan rituals surrounding the ancient myths,
the Goddess (the Sister-Bride) goes to the tomb in the garden to
lament the death of her Bridegroom and rejoices to find him resurrected.
“Love is stronger than death” is the poignant promise in the Song
of Songs and similar love poetry of the Middle East celebrating
these ancient rites of the Sacred Marriage.

*****************************************

Please write at least one paragraph answers for each of the following questions. Submit your answers via e-mail to the Mystery
School
 with “RestoreGoddess Lesson B” in the subject line.  Cut and paste the questions below into an email, then insert your answers.

LESSON B QUESTIONS:

1. Why does being taught to hate our bodies, our sexual natures, transfer over to hating our planet? How have we mistreated or ignored both our bodies and Mother Earth?

2. Starbird says perhaps we should picture Mary Magdalene and Jesus/Yeshua holding hands to symbolize their equality and the partnership mandala. By thinking of them in this posture she believes it will help us to mend the deep seated wounds the male controlled establishment/church has inflicted on us. Body language is a powerful symbol. If you were a painter and had to paint a G rated rendition of Magdalene and Yeshua, how else could you show them to symbolize equality?

3. As in Lesson A: was there anything in this reading that really struck you, caught your attention or caused you to realize something? If so, what? Explain in a paragraph or two.

4. The Pagan fertility cults which came long before Yeshua/Jesus’ lifetime, seem to have already told the story of his death, resurrection, empty tomb, women finding him risen, etc. Does this negate his life or his message? Does it shake your faith or strengthen it? [It’s important to note that Jesus was not fulfilling any prophecies by getting himself sacrificed like the ancient kings “for the good of the people.” The Messiah was NOT supposed to do THAT!]

5. Why do you think they ignore the Anointing part of the Anointed One’s story? Surely the Messiah would have to be anointed at least one time in his life, or how else could he hold the title? Why in the heck is this never pointed out to us?

6.  MM, (Mary Magdalene’s initials) equals 2000 in Roman numerals.  In our reading Starbird says that this new third millennium might see the transformation of Christianity with the restoration of Mary Magdalene to her rightful place.  Margaret has pointed out elsewhere that Mary Magdalene’s initials (MM) really seem to be communicating that she is the Lady of the 3rd millennium every year of which will be marked with an MM in Roman Numerals.  What do you think? Could this be some kind of “second coming”?

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Restoring
the Goddess, Lesson C
:
The Virgin Goddess

This lesson is based on a chapter from the book,
Once
and Future Goddess
, Chapter 11: Is the Virgin a Goddess? The Problem of the Immaculate Womb.

Since some people might not have the book, excerpts from the chapter have been faithfully typed out by Burning Snow, a listmate and this lesson’s designer.

“The Christian miracle brings together two themes associated with the worship of the Goddess in the Hellenistic world. One is death and resurrection often associated with the story of the Egyptian divinities, the Goddess Isis, her consort, Osiris, and their son, Horus.”

Mary Queen of the Universe


“The other theme is the Virgin Goddess. The Mother Goddess Isis rules Egypt with her brother-husband, Osiris whose generative powers enabled the land watered by the Nile to be fertile and productive. Her cult centers on the death and resurrection of her beloved spouse. This myth was recounted and celebrated every year at the summer festival when the crop was planted. Osiris is killed and Isis, weeping bitterly for her lost love, wanders the world in search of his body. When she finds his corpse, she restores it to eternal life, performing the rites of mummification for the first time. Through her charm and magical powers, the Goddess then reanimates his corpse and conceives their son, Horus. The death and resurrection of the consort/son, the Year God who must be sacrificed in order to assure the yearly cycle of renewal, was absorbed into the sacred story of Christianity. Women in the Near East had continued to mourn for Tammuz (Dumuzi) up to the time of Jesus.  And ‘although there exist no Christian examples before the Middle Ages, the image of the Pietà may have been influenced by the image of Isis and the dead Osiris’  across her knees.³

“Many Goddesses were called virgin, but this did not mean that chastity was considered a virtue in the pagan world. Some, like ‘Venus, Ishtar, Astarte, and Anath, the love goddesses of the Near East and classical mythology, are entitled virgin despite their lovers, who die and rise again for them each year.’  For others, like Artemis and Athena, virginity symbolized autonomy and independence, freedom to take or reject lovers. Virgin meant one-in-herself, to be true to her own nature and instinct, not maiden inviolate.”

“The critical misinterpretation of Mary’s physical state was a translator’s error; the Hebrew word almah denoting the social and legal status of an unmarried girl, was read as the Greek parthenos that refer to a physiological and psychological fact. Parthenogenesis is the conception of a child by a female without a fertilization of male seed.

“But Christianity, by insisting on the chastity of the Mother Goddess, utterly transformed the meaning of the matriarchal image even though to all outward appearances it remained unchanged.  The image of the Mother Goddess with her child represented her sexuality and procreative power, whereas that of the Virgin and child stood for her celibacy and the will of God.  She was merely the agent through which he acted.

“In the fourth century, when the church fathers put together the official version of the Christian Bible, they found little place for Mary.” But early on, women felt differently. They paid homage to Mary by customary offerings to Goddess. The church aware of the similarities of Mary with Goddess, converted existing temples and shrines, adapted rituals into its own devotional calendar.

December 21 is the winter solstice, when the Sun God was born to the Goddess. Christians took this as the day for their savior god, Jesus Christ and was celebrated on December 25, a Roman holiday. The power of the Goddess was originally not denied in Christianity, she was given a new name. However, in the translation of pagan ways to Christianity, the sacredness of human sexuality was shattered. So the perfect virgin is a flawed and far from perfect model for her sex.

Her asexuality and virgin motherhood make it impossible for any woman to be virtuous, powerful and sexual at the same time. In Christianity, the power of the womb, vulva has been co-opted to serve the interests of a misogynist theology.

“This paradox is crystallized in the contrasting roles of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, exemplars of female piety in Christianity and the two most widely represented female figures in Christian iconography. Stereotypical symbols of the virgin and the whore, the virtuous chaste Mary and the penitent sinner Magdalene, they provide models for human behavior that severely inhibit women from experiencing themselves as fully human. Such a polarized view of women presents a double-bind for both sexes. The committed Christian is not the only victim; all in western culture are compromised by this separation of body and spirit. Traditionally the virtuous wife could not be sexual; the sexual woman could not be virtuous. Sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin, within marriage an ambiguous blessing. In addition there is a double standard by which women are held morally accountable for their sexual activity. Women’s sexuality is viewed as the cause of man’s continuing temptation. That women should be punished and suffer for the sin of sexuality has been considered God-given justice.”

“The fifteenth century was a critical period in human history, of great political and religious upheaval, a time when the modern world was being birthed. The witch hunts were an expression both of the weakening of traditional restraints and an increase in new pressures. The reasons fore this mass hysteria were complex. Neo-pagan leader Starhawk links the persecution to three interwoven processes:

1) the expropriation of land and natural resources

2) the expropriation of knowledge

3) and the war against the consciousness of immanence, which was embodied in women, sexuality and magic.”



“When we look back across the historical time of patriarchy from the burning of the witches to the slaying of Tiamat,the Goddess Mother in the Mesopotamian creation myth, there seems almost to be some terrible inevitability, a relentless desire to crush the female essence, human and divine. The question of why is among the most puzzling of our time.”

“The phenomenon of the Black Virgin confronts us with the survival of a popular heresy that has been a source of great embarrassment to the Church. Her origins are shrouded in mystery and the extent of her cult and influence has only begun to be known. Jungian Ean Begg has gathered together the extant evidence in his survey, The Cult of the Black Virgin(1985), that includes a comprehensive gazeteer of more than five hundred images mostly from Western Europe but also from Latin America. There are 302 Black Virgins in France alone. The Church has tried to explain away the blackness of these images as accidental, the result of candle smoke or exposure to the elements. But this does not make sense. If the faces and hands of the Virgin and child have been blackened by the elements, why has their polychromed clothing not been similarly discolored and why has a similar process not occurred in the case of other venerated images. Perhaps the Virgin is black because she is the Earth Goddess and the blackest earth is the richest, the most fertile. Perhaps she is black because, like the Hindu Kali, she represents the dark, the night, and death, all those mysteries that Western culture has repressed through fear of women, of female sexuality, and of dying. The cult of the Black Virgin marks the resurgence of female personification of cosmic power and the female principal in a mysogynist religious culture. The worship of the Black Virgin is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that began in the early Middle Ages but has persisted into the present despite opposition, often militant, by the established Church.”

“The unraveling of the Black Virgin’s mysteries leads us to the underside of Christianity. Two streams of veneration of the Black Virgin can be identified. Both are viewed as heresy by the established Church:One is a continuation of the earth-and women- centered Goddess religion; the other is the carrier of the esoteric teachings and spiritual practices of the Hellenistic period. This diverse group includes the Gnostics, the Cathars, the Knights Templars, the Cult of the Holy Grail and the Church of Mary Magdalene. The cult of Mary Magdalene, which worships the Black Virgin, absorbed many of the esoteric teachings. It is linked to the Black Virgin because both continued to hold the female principal sacred and devine.” “The Black Virgins posses great power, the mana of the old goddess of life, death and rebirth. Mana is extraphysical power immanent in and emanating from nature, viewed as the embodiment of all forces that produce and maintain the order of the universe. This is why they were so threatening to the Church.”

Mary’s original history had a place for Goddess to live in Christianity. She still does today. Bringing Mary back to her rightful place will bring balance to the world. The world cries out for the Feminine. The Black Virgin, Mary Magdalene and Mary, Mother of Yeshua, are all aspects of the Feminine and Goddess.

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Please write at least one paragraph answers for each of the following questions. Submit your answers via e-mail to the
Mystery School with “RestoreGoddess Lesson C” in the subject line.  Cut and paste the questions below into an email, then insert your answers.

LESSON C QUESTIONS:

Write a paragraph to answer each of the following questions:

1. Mary represents the Goddess giving birth to the Sun God. With both stories, how is the message the same? What does each story have to offer?

2. In what ways does the Black Virgin (also called the Black Madonna) symbolize Goddess?

3. Why do you think the female essence was crushed during the historical era of patriarchy?

4. If both the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene had been honored as Goddess role models and not seen as “man’s continuing temptation,” how would it have affected women throughout history ’til today? How might modern women think and behave differently?

5. Is there anything you read that called to you and “clicked”?

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Restoring
the Goddess, Lesson D

: The Archetypal Mandala of the Star of David


ofdavid

Following is a look at a short article written by Margaret Starbird called, The Archetypal Mandala of the Star of David.

Questions follow the article and keep in mind that I often send your comments to Margaret Starbird. She has told me several times how much she enjoys reading our posts. I have sent her whole digests from the GoddessChristians yahoogroups list. Okay, here’s the reading selection….

“The Archetypal Mandala of the Star of David”,
By Margaret Starbird.

“The mandala of the hexagram, also known as the “Star of David” is much older than Judaism, older even than history! As an archetypal symbol for the sacred union of the opposite energies, it is the “yin-yang” of western civilization. Formed by the intertwining of the “fire” and “water” triangles (the male “blade” and the female “chalice”) this symbol represents the masculine and feminine principles in perfect union, the “sacred marriage” or “hieros gamous” of the ancient world. In India the symbol represents the “cosmic dance” of Shiva and Shakti, and the Jewish Kabbala suggests that the Ark of the Covenant contains, in addition to the tables of the Ten Commandments, “a regular hexagram representing a man and woman in intimate embrace.”

“Since ‘Sacred Union’ is the source of all life on this planet, the six-pointed star uniting the archetypal male and female triangles has long been acknowledged as the model for balance and wholeness. Medieval Alchemists called the Star the “philosopher’s stone,” adding a tiny dot on the upper right hand point to represent the presence of God and guidance of the Divine Spirit. In 1986 during a period of intense revelation and enlightenment, I was given the symbol of the six-pointed star with a dove brooding over it, wings outstretched, as a powerful sign for the New Age dawning. The star represented the entire living cosmos–“male and female,” “heaven and earth,” “spirit and matter,” “light and dark” and all living things–under the Dove of Peace, “with healing in her wings.” For years, I couldn’t really talk about this image, but finally wrote about the meaning of the Star in the final chapter of my book, The
Woman With the Alabaster Jar
(Bear and Co, 1993). The Star of David appears on every page of that book as its guiding mandala, and the contents have been described by some readers as the “missing link” between Christianity and Judaism. That missing link is the “sacred marriage.”

“And now we discover that the Star of David will be weaving in and out of the heavens in the orbits of planets in our solar system over the next several weeks. As above, so below! This “gift” should be setting our hair on fire! Somewhere, somehow this blessing was set in motion at the beginning of time! And we have been given the “eyes to see!” This is an amazing “consciousness raising” event–like the birth of Miracle, the white buffalo calf or even the “Star of Bethlehem.” The sign of the Star in the Heavens is a mighty clarion call to people everywhere.”

The birth of Miracle is important as it fulfills the Native American Lakota prophecy of world peace and the coming together of the rainbow tribe of the human race. It was foretold by White Buffalo Calf Woman when she gave the tribes the pipe and how to pray. I had the honor this summer of doing a sweatlodge ceremony to pray about Miracle’s message and the donations were sent to Miracle’s keepers. A few days after this, a white dove appeared in my yard. She kept coming down to the ground, but would not let anyone too close. As many stray cats hung around, I did not want her to get caught. I walked up to the tree she was in with a ladder and asked if she wanted to come inside. I reached up into the tree and picked her up. Spirit now lives with me and I continue to pray for peace and balance. This message is crucial for the survival of this earth.

“I am spellbound when I contemplate the dates of the “conjunction” in the heavens. January 23rd–the “Birthday of the Trees” in Israel, “Nature’s birthday” or the day when living things receive their “cosmic energy” is a beautiful reminder of the “sacred union” that is the source of life on the planet. And in February, what Feast is a more obvious reminder of “sacred union” than that of St. Valentine’s Day? In the ancient world, the work of the Holy Spirit was known as “the net”–reflecting the belief that everything is interwoven and intermeshed. The “synchronicity” of the Star rising in New York and Jerusalem at the same instant on the 23rd of January–at the FULL MOON–is too incredible for words. The first full moon of the new millennium is a lunar eclipse. It is on Jan. 20 around 11 pm eastern. An excellent time for praying for peace and balance.

“The message of the Star of David in the heavens is undoubtedly “peace on earth.” But it is more than that. It is a reminder that we are not alone–that we are part of a whole and that the Living Force of the Cosmos is with us. Equality, mutuality, community and wisdom are all summed up in this beautiful mandala whose ultimate archetypal meaning is “harmony in diversity.” Its rising now to bless and enlighten us is truly a gift for all peoples!”

LESSON D QUESTIONS

Please write at least one paragraph answers for each of the following questions. Submit your answers via e-mail to the
Mystery School with “RestoreGoddess Lesson D” in the subject line.  Cut and paste the questions below into an email, then insert your answers.

1. As one part of the hexagram symbol is incomplete without the other and the joining of male and female principals is wholeness, how can the message of the star of David be used in your life?

2. An archetype contains all the energies and thoughts from the beginning of time. If you meditate on an archetype, you can “plug” into it and “download” information. Try meditating upon the Star of David and see what messages come to you.

3. The birth of Miracle, the white buffalo calf, fulfills a prophecy of peace and the rainbow tribe of red, black, yellow and white humans being one race. The message of the Star of David is “harmony in diversity”. How can we as humans truly accept the belief of diversity, when so many shun those who are different or have different beliefs? How do we truly live as diverse human beings and get rid of “the one true way” thought that has destroyed the balance of the hexagram?

4. “In the ancient world, the work of the Holy Spirit was known as ‘the net’, reflecting the belief that everything is interwoven and intermeshed.” What are some examples of things being interwoven with each other?

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The above Margaret Starbird article (and some others by her) can be found online at The
Archetypal Mandala of the Star of David
.

Restoring the Goddess, Lesson
E
: Sophia

In the beginning was Sophia, and Sophia was with God, united with the Logos.

Sophia was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through the Logos and Sophia

And nothing that was made was made without the Logos and Sophia.

Sophia is Wisdom,

And Wisdom is the light of creation.

The light shines in the heavens

and the angels radiate it forth.

DIVINE WISDOM

She will come out to meet him like a mother;

She will receive him like a young bride.

For food she will give him the bread of understanding

and for drink the water of wisdom.

(
Sirach
/ Ecclus. 15:2-3
)

In the Old Testament book of Proverbs and the apocryphal (extra-Biblical) book of Wisdom
of Solomon
, Wisdom is personified as a female figure, one who was created before time, who works to create the world and who counsels God, sharing the throne as God’s beloved. Because of Her role in creation, She mediates between God and humanity, coming from God and leading those who heed Her advice back to Him.

Wisdom is our Mother and Teacher, as well as the Bride of God. As one Hebrew writer puts it, “Like a fine mist she rises from the power of God, a clear effluence from the glory of the Almighty…She is the radiance that streams from everlasting light, the flawless mirror of the active power of God, and the image of his goodness (
Wisd.
7:25-26
). She is one with God, yet, at the same time, exists as a separate being, as a divinity in Her own right.

She calls out to us at all times and from all places, bringing us all into intimacy with our Divine Creator, Her Heavenly Spouse. She speaks directly and forcefully, asking us to give up our simplicity and complacency in spiritual matters so that we might be “filled with the spirit” and showered with Her riches, which are “more beautiful than the sun” and “better even than fine gold.”

While the importance of the Divine Sophia, Woman Wisdom, has long been obscured by the sexist theologians and priests of the patriarchal Church, there is currently a resurgence of interest in this mysterious figure. More and more thoughtful Christians and Jews are working to return Sophia to Her rightful place in the lives of all faithful people. For too long, the exoteric Church has failed to heed Her call to renewal. Perhaps, as we enter the new millennium, Wisdom’s voice will finally ring out over the din of self-righteous God-talk and political posturing that so characterize our troubled age. Perhaps, it is the Second Coming of Sophia that will help to heal the wounds inflicted on our souls, bodies, and on our planet Earth by patriarchy.

Visit our Sophia page.

For a Christian feminist take on Sophia, please go here, read the article, and then answer the following questions.

Questions.  Please Send your answers to the Mystery School with
Restore E from ________ (your magikal or clergy name) in the subject line.

1. In which books of the Hebrew Scriptures and the apocrypha does Sophia appear?

2. T/F Wisdom theology is inspired by a positive attempt to integrate elements of the cult of Ashera into Jewish monotheism.

3. Why, according to Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, did Wisdom literature come into being?

4. Sophia bridges the gap between feminist spirituality’s need for _____ images and the demand of the biblical traditions that such images be congruent with their _____ and ______.

5. How can the image of Sophia bring power to women if they incorporate her symbolism into their lives?

6. Name the variety of models Sophia presents which women can claim for their own growth.

7. Personified Wisdom describes herself as God’s ____ ____ who played an intermediate role in the creation of things.

8. What is the name of the sacred set of Hebrew Scriptures with which Sophia is identified?

9. ESSAY (from the web site)

What would it be like for women (and men) to begin to emulate Sophia, finding aspects of themselves that are worthy of praise, and glorifying what they find in one another?

10. ESSAY

Think about the qualities of Sophia described on this page and in the article. Can you think of any ways in which Sophia is like Mary, the Mother of Yeshua and/or Mary Magdalene?

YOUR IDEAS WANTED: If anyone has suggestions for
reading material for a possible Lesson F—the topic must somehow
relate to restoring the Goddess to Western thought —please email
the Mystery School
. Tell us a good article or book chapter to
base the next lesson on.

Initiate Stephen Andrew of our Order of the Divine Mother suggests two wonderful books: The
Most Holy Trinosophia and the New Revelation of the Divine Feminine
by Robert A. Powell, which makes the case that just as there is a “male” trinity, there is also a female, the “Mother-Daughter-Holy Soul.” The author uses the Star of David, a la Margaret Starbird, to illustrate the inter-connectedness of these male and female triads. Another book is Sophia-Maria
A Holistic Vision of Creation
by Thomas Schipflinger, which asserts that the Virgin Mary was the physical manifestation of Sophia just as Yeshua was the manifestation of the Logos. This book does a superb job of exegeting the Hebrew Wisdom literature and of linking it with Mary as she is depicted in the Gospels, Acts and some of the Gnostic sources.

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