ALCHEMICAL SYMBOLS


Sophia
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Sophia

Sophia means wisdom in Greek. In early Gnostic Christianity, Sophia was the Great Mother, and often was symbolized by a dove. She represented God's female soul, the Divine Feminine aspect of deity. Seven is the number sacred to Sophia, and in some early Gnostic traditions, they held that God and Sophia together merged into an androgyne. Sophia, like the Shekinah of Cabalism, was regarded as the female soul of God, who can never be complete, or repair the world’s imbalances, without being re-united with Her. As human beings cannot find the path to holistic wisdom without achieving a union of both the intuitive (moon) and reason (sun) natures within, so God cannot create until He is in balance and union with Sophia.

The wisdom of Sophia is the wisdom of Gnosis, wisdom that comes from deep and intuitive knowing and ecstatic experience. Sophia was much loved by early eastern Christians, and one of Sophia’s greatest shrines was the basilica of Hagia Sophia (Holy Sophia) in what is now Istanbul.

This worship of Sophia was not, however, acceptable to the evolution
of an all male church, and She was eliminated from what became the
orthodox Bible. Roman Christians, disturbed by such monuments to the Great Mother as Hagia Sophia, claimed it was dedicated to a "virgin martyr", and created “St. Sophia”. Although Catholic tradition has it that St. Sophia was a virgin, it seems that she also somehow managed to produce three daughters: St. Hope, St. Faith, and St. Charity— which are, indeed, the divine progeny of Wisdom.


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