Carol E. Parrish-Harra
Dean, Sancta Sophia Seminary

The Most Holy Trinosophia and the New Revelation of the Divine Feminine,Robert A. Powell skillfully guides us through the maze of emerging conceptsabout Sophia – the divine feminine long neglected, even unknown to most.It is important to realize our need to comprehend the divine feminine inorder to restore a respectful and balanced relationship to creation, to life.An appreciation of Sophia will result in deep social change. The dimensionshe adds will anchor a living cosmology in our expanding human life.

A first step in our awakening to Sophia is to distinguish between Christand Sophia. Christ is the logos, the creative word; Sophia is the innatewisdom underlying and sustaining the word. By way of analogy: when we speak,we must have a simultaneous thought of what we are about to say. One aspectis the word, and the other is the underlying thought we wish to convey. Theseare inseparable. Similarly, the word (logos) and wisdom (sophia) are independent,yet one.

Too often modern Christianity has become a narrow, restrictive religion,though we know God’s true nature is to be generous, ever-flowing, inclusive,abundant, a unifying and life-giving force. After centuries of inattention,we are now rediscovering philosophical treasures that have been waiting tobe embraced, or at least considered. The nature of Sophia is surfacing ina profound way to prompt us to unearth the remnants of the broader attitudenatural to the people of the early church.

Today, we are learning to address God as “Father-Mother,” recognizing boththe spirit thrust of the father – “the word went forth” – and the receptivequality of the ethers in response to a divine command. This complementaryaction set creation into motion. The Orthodox Christian tradition has longhonored holy Sophia as the mother aspect; as the West diminished its regardfor mysticism, Sophia’s touch was devalued.

My favorite way to think of Sophia is in picturing the three aspects of woman:virgin, mother, crone. Sophia is each, and simultaneously all, of thesepersonifications.

The Annunciation and the story of Mary, mother-to-be of Jesus, illustratethe state of readiness needed to be the handmaiden of the Most High. Throughthe ages, Mary has been the model for Christian maidens – pure, receptive,and obedient. This submissive picture no longer holds such charm in our era.Let us instead think of Sophia as psyche purified, the virgin soul readyto conceive the newborn Self-Within.

In Jungian terms, the psyche is known as the anima within. She assumes ourpain and distortions; in time, we will mature to seek healing and purificationas we become ready for a more conscious interaction with the sacred withinour daily lives. She guides us intuitively through dreams, symbols, and creativethinking. She provides direction – into the valleys and up to the mountaintops- to restore health and hope. At some purified point this aspect claims herrole as Sophia, our intuitive guide, helping us identify our soul purpose.The soul, the innate wisdom veiled behind personality, is ready to mother.

In recent years, we witnessed a powerful unconscious response to PrincessDiana as mother: less than perfect, sacrificial, and caring about the woundedof all races – not confined to the comfortable or the socially accepted.The mother figure must love all her children, not just the good ones. Herewe find the capable, strong protector of the young, helpless, and less able.No one is more fierce than the mother when her cubs are threatened.

Mother Mary, honored for her submissive endurance as the suffering mother,is rarely acknowledged for personal strength or for her role as head of theChristian community after the Ascension. She has not been portrayed as abold, daring, and fearless pioneering model, which she must have been ifindeed she left her homeland with disciples during persecutions, as is sooften mentioned in legends.

The crone completes the triad; we face the wise woman. Veiled like Isis,the mother-crone is the aspect analogous to the father – at work everywhere,but obscure. This is the Sophia of creation. While Orthodox Christianitybeheld the beauty of the mature Sophia, Western Christianity used a varietyof female saints to portray her qualities of innate knowing, creativity,and impression. Sophia, in her rightful place of honor as wise and aware,now surfaces to call us to our shortcomings and to love us at the same time.She will help us find ways to recreate enchanting designs of ever-ascendingspirals of hope and happiness.

Living in a time of chaos and change, discouragement and renewed hope, Sophia,the veiled mother, stirs memories from deep within. This great archetype- with many personifications: Mother Mary, Kuan Yin, Sarasvati, White BuffaloWoman – awaits discovery. Holy women have shown us her face; most recentlywe have seen her love and tenderness, her protective qualities, and her patientpersistence as the crone in Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Little understood,she seeks to awaken us to her presence, to diminish duality, and to bringhealing to a splintered humanity.

Considering the flagrant abuses of the technological era conspicuous everywhere,we pause to wonder, How did we digress so far from our ancestors’ dedicationto Father Sun and Mother Earth? The less complicated, yet astute people ofearlier eras now become models of a new way of life. We question, Can weundo the damage of our reckless ignorance? The ancients knew a wholesomeexistence, even all creation, depended upon a healthy relationship betweenthe masculine and feminine. In Proverbs 8.23-35 Sophia serves as the mastercraftswoman by God’s side co-creating the Earth with God “from the beginning,before he made the Earth…. my objectives are the issues of life, they proclaimthe will of the Lord.”

Embarking upon the Dark Ages (at the collapse of the Roman Empire, fifthcentury to the somewhat disputed thirteenth through fifteenth century) Sophiafaded further from view, appearing only in flashes, innately and subjectively;yet she has always been with humanity. At this point, at the rise of greatmasculine dominance, Our Lady became the only acceptable way in thereligious-spiritual arena to anchor the archetype of the divine feminine.

As the Renaissance began (fourteenth through seventeenth centuries), Sophia,as wisdom, became the Divine Mother of Learning and Art. She sends out herhandmaidens, seven virgins, to invite everyone to a feast of wisdom (Proverbs).Her home was called Seven Pillars and came to represent the seven liberalarts that formed the base of Western education.

The Western world was racing toward rationalism. Science would open new levelsof mind and provide a new appreciation of the world around us. The powerfulmasculine image asserted itself. Qualities of achievement, productivity,competition, control, force, and love of power beckoned. The adoration ofthe Father would pass its legacy to the Son; the outer world was to be subduedin the name of the Son. The world within lost its allure. Women and theirobscure lives had little value in a world ready for its next great leap.Mankind was eager “to have dominion over” nature. The divine feminine wasessentially ignored until critical need would become apparent.

As we emerge from a time of disregard for inner life, we are also attemptingto leave behind our addiction to the rational on the psychological level.We stand amid modem society’s social ills, confronting the false gods thatno longer serve: power, status, money, drugs, and abuse. Even when many donot understand what has happened, the overwhelming confusion of a world goneawry is clamoring. From the chaos comes an awareness birthed gradually overthe last two hundred years. It is dawning upon many that only a higherconsciousness can bring relief. Wisdom teachings tell us the solution iswithin and ever present. Sophia is preparing for the restoration of her profoundmysteries.

Meandering in and out of our lives in her own style, the face of the divinefeminine is not revealed in the same way to each. She hooks us with herintriguing subtleties, then lets us struggle until we can integrate the pieces.Realizing certain meaningful parts of human life are not rational and neverwill be, we know Sophia, wise and wonderful, courts our hearts even whenwe cannot explain her presence. Creating an elusive explanation for her charmsbecomes the challenge for our author of The Most Holy Trinosophia and theNew Revelation of the Divine Feminine, Robert A. Powell.

Robert portrays Sophia with artistic skill – a cosmic mystery revealed gradually.Just as the finite cannot contain the infinite, Sophia is met at the edgeof the reader’s mind, reveling in making herself known. To take up the mysteryof Trinosophia, we must be ready to engage our spiritual senses. The counterpartsto Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are replicated by Mother, Daughter, and WorldSoul. Down through the ages, Sophia has been glimpsed most readily throughmusic, rhythm, poetry, and art. Her irrational play upon the senses has keptus unconsciously connected, while the exploration and rationalization processescontinue.

Feminine mysteries – the arcanum of birth, death, healing, intuition, sexuality,and play – have been hidden deeply until recently, subjects to be avoidedby “polite society.” Contemporary social struggles are shedding the veilsone by one. Mid-century, the Kinsey Report signaled a new era in human sexuality,bringing expanded freedom to both males and females. Women gained the autonomyto claim their sexual nature as they saw fit. The latter part of the twentiethcentury brought profound upgrading to birthing techniques, new sensitivityto the death process and to the dying, a renewal of interest in spiritualhealing and its process, and our acknowledged need for wholeness. Phenomenasuch as Spiritualism entered the spotlight, as well as interest in psychicabilities and human potential; the paranormal commanded our attention. Stepby step, intuition and the innate wisdom of nature returned to be acknowledgedas a part of everyday life.

Play is possibly the most elusive mystery yet to be embraced. As amultimillion-dollar sports industry demonstrates, we are still obsessed bycompetition, winning, and shaping each participant into a stereotype. Playfor play’s sake has yet to win our hearts. As we proceed unconsciously towardthe nurturing mother, we rediscover each arcanum in a natural unfolding -not always wisely. Exploration often brings painful changes to human livesas it challenges the traditional; but out of the collective unconscious Sophiacomes. We must remember, new skills emerge in an unpolished form until practiced;gradually they are refined. As we wander about in this era, we will gainthe experience needed to perfect these delicate areas.

The expanded science of recent years has brought renewed interest in thephenomenon of life itself, thus hastening the reawakening to Sophia. Onlyso much can be partitioned, analyzed, and rationalized. We are beginningto realize life compartmentalized is less than fulfilling. By accepting mysteryas an ingredient, humanity allows itself to be drawn toward wholeness. Wehave a need for the kiss of poetry in the midst of hard endurance, the fragranceof a memory or a swift stab of hope to keep us growing.

Sophia was a strong countenance to the Gnostics – a presence and a principleto be sensed and sought as a blessing. As Christianity ventured to find itsstructure, it condemned Gnosticism; but Sophia waited for a time when thestirrings of spirituality, not doctrine and dogma, could again lead humanitytoward its collective soul. Mysticism, a path almost eradicated, is gainingacceptance and continues to value the individual’s direct knowledge (gnosis)of divinity rather than a faith to be mediated by and through others. Inour spiritual maturity we hunger to know.

While Sophia withdrew and waited, refinement – true evolution – remainedunder her tutelage. Cloaked as rational data, knowledge was pursued, butnot in the form of embracing mystery as deep inner knowing. We recall, amystery is not a secret. Once told, a secret is known; a mystery registersa bit at a time. Encountered again and again, the mystery gradually penetratesinto our nature. It becomes a deep realization with both knowing and feel-ing components. We become one with it, and it is one with us.

The first nine chapters of Proverbs focus on Sophia, wherein she is referredto as “wisdom,” a term biblical translators used to veil her feminine naturefrom the uninitiated. In a time of growing masculine power and a lesseningof the influence of the goddess, this simple change served well the purposeof intellectualism and materialism. In chapter 3.16-18 we are advised, “Longlife is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her waysare ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of lifeto those who lay hold of her.”

Currently, a new day in the life of humanity is dawning as Sophia awakensus to her divine touch. What will happen to us when we encounter the divinefeminine? Part of us realizes we will be forever changed. On the path ofascent, our journey challenges our lesser nature. As we agree to follow herpromptings, Sophia will guide humanity’s inner discoveries – both individualand collective.

Today we dare to look at the past, finding traces of holy Sophia preservedfor us in biblical reference, spiritual law, and the world of nature. Weproceed to honor the feminine as we realize each personifies a componentof the collective world soul. The fact that every human being comprises bothmasculine and feminine inner balances is new to some but familiar to thestudy of divine psychology. For humanity to demonstrate a rich, balancedexpression of its potential, while rediscovering right relationship withthe sacred, is today’s challenge. When we achieve this, we will truly befully human and fully divine.

As we enter this exciting period of rediscovery, Christian traditionalistsare frightened at what they regard as a re-emerging heresy. Long ago, logos,agape, koinonia – all Greek words of theology – made their way into the Christianlanguage, but Sophia was omitted. She now appears because only now are weready to begin to experience her. We are awakening to inner knowing and thespirit of wisdom long hidden.

For those eager to know and love the Christ in a more holistic way, Sophiaintroduces feminine insight to yoke with the Christ as loving Master. Christ-loveand Sophia-wisdom become one, and so we recognize ChristoSophia as the truenature. The son and daughter (of the Trinosophia) are acknowledged.

From ancient Hermetic principles of The Kybalion we learn that “Gender isin everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gendermanifests on all planes…. all things are masculine and feminine energiesat work”: creation, generation, regeneration. Respect for the laws of genderaid evolution; disrespect begets destruction.

The barrier we now confront is gender attached to God. Having so longacknowledged God as male and omnipotent, we may need prophetic vaguenessto guide us toward a fuller picture. Symbolism is the tool of artists,descriptive phrases are used by poets, impressions at the edge of mind guidethe mystics. Recognizing such touches as divine, these perceptions oftenare cloaked as “God said” Those who are committed to dogma and doctrine aregreatly challenged by these ideas because, just like Scripture, they canbe contradictory. This is part of the struggle of comprehending Sophia. Shecomes to us in ways uniquely designed to give us what we can bear at thetime. The writings of Proverbs, Wisdom, and Song of Solomon help us restorebalance to what has been a heavily masculine portrayal of God in the Christiantradition.

As a personal relationship builds, her presence within us births the new:the Christ Within, the Hope of Glory – not just in its aspect of salvationbut with the consciousness of wisdom as well. One modern term for suchlove-wisdom is Christ consciousness. Sophia brings to us a greater understandingof the universe, of ourselves, and of the Plan.

As intuitive wisdom, Sophia dawns upon us. She breaks into our consciousnessas we quest or ponder. We might say she is an “aha!” She loves to help usdestroy old crystallizations, stretching us to choose between the known andthe unknown, between the good and the good juxtaposed by daily life. Sophiacalls us to the higher wisdom that heals duality. She does not threaten;if we ignore her, she just withdraws and waits. Her way – inner knowing -is subtle and fragile, yet, when she makes her presence known, we feel herpower and strength.

The primary work of the divine feminine is to call us to a conscious awarenessof our soul purpose and our collective Oneness. Sophia nurtures the child- humanity – to spiritual maturity. We are steeped in masculine mysteries;they have done their work. We are now conscious, rational, and expandingintellectually. But we are also out of balance. Just as the bird flies withboth wings, humanity must respect both natures. We have learned to analyze,evaluate, calculate, multiply, divide, and compute. Our powers extend aroundthe globe and into space. We produce, compete, achieve, and master one anotheron the outer level, but we are inept about our spiritual self, our true natureand its gifts. We must not pause in our quest for answers, or we will destroyourselves with ignorance.

It seems offensive to say we are ignorant when we appear to be at a peakin human achievement. Yet, to the yogis, the mystics, the saints who knowGod, we are unenlightened, ill, primitive, at war, suffering from isolationand separation, unable to create a world of hope and joy for all people.We are less than the gods the Bible promised we would become. We simply mustrethink many areas of human life.

Sophia longs to be united with her children. She calls us to herself andto right relationship with one another. The world view, with its own standardof measurement, is slow to respond. Science asks, “Can this be proven?”Mathematics asks, “How can this be quantified?” Politicians cannot trustwithout polls to weigh popular opinion. Yet the Mother provides an intelligentheart, affirming there must be a more enlightened way.

The long-promised Golden Age will be rebuilt upon the firm foundation ofTrinosophia as the wise invoke Sophia/Wisdom/Gnosis to lead us toward untrodpaths. Congratulations to Robert A. Powell and thank you for bringing usa beautiful panoramic view of Trinosophia and the divine feminine.