The House of Wisdom
I am going to stop and jump ahead now. From this first couple emanate (not created but emmanated) various aeons who at times appear as deities connected back up until reaching Barbelo and the Monad. Eventually we meet Sophia...ie wisdom. We find references to Sophia not just in the Nag Hammadi texts but in the Jewish Scriptures such as proverbs, in the "apocrypha" accepted by many catholic traditions such as Sirach, and the Book of Wisdom. We find her in the New Testament where Jesus is described as the Sophia (Wisdom) made flesh. She appears almost as a divine figure...another face of the Shekinah who fills all things. My personal theology (or should it be thealogy-study of the goddess?) is that Sophia who is responsible for the creation of the world even in all its chaos is just an even more personal vision of Barbelo.
I have no idea if ancient Gnostic sects or groups would have seen this as so...but I believe that our society today would do well with the Goddess. She is not a deity separate from creation...she is the spark in all creation..in all people...in me and you. Sophia/Barbelo embraced me all those years ago when I was beaten down and rejected by the fundamentalists. She was the Divine Feminine presence I felt when I was a monk in a monastery. It was her I have felt within and around me since my ordination. I have become totally captivated by her. I have set up a simple shrine in my home (I will post pictures in a few days) with candle, incense, a statue of Mary wearing bright red, and a chalice representing her. I have ordered a statue of Sophia as well. I have prayed morning and night at the shrine now...using it as a focus for her who fills all things. Last night I received permission to create a devotional society dedicated to her (open to anyone)... Here is a bit about it:
The House of Wisdom is a religious society of devotees dedicated to Sophia (who is the personification of Holy Wisdom) in her various guises. It is not a religious order, but rather a community of shrine keepers who love Sophia, as she is known in the Hebrew and Greek Jewish Scriptures, the New Testament, the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, and the writings of modern worshippers of the Divine Feminine. It is offered as a ministry of the Universal Church of Autogenes to any who want to join others in their love of Sophia regardless of distance.
Each devotee makes and keeps a simple shrine to Sophia (in any aspect of the Divine Feminine) in their home, garden or sacred space, and recites the promises before their personal shrine to Sophia and/or to the larger community. Where there are several devotees, they may gather and perform simple rituals or study groups about her. The devotee…the person who has fallen in love with the Sophia simply seeks to maintain a simple shrine to her. In a sense they are keepers of the flame of Sophia. Sophia to us is a living presence who fills all things. She is an image and icon of Barbelo in the Nag Hammadi texts. She is the rescuer of Eve, the tree of knowledge and strength of Norea. She is the wisdom made flesh in Jesus. She is the Goddess who can be found in all things. She is Our Lady of Silence.
If you are interested please send me a message. I also have set up a simple Yahoo Group for devotees who may want to talk about her and such.