II SOPHIA’S MIRROR
All that is made bears Sophia’s likeness ….. so recognizing the features of Wisdom is the name of the game – Caitlin Matthews
She who priestesses the holy in the ordinary
Ruler of the path Compassion
In Sophia’s mirror, Sophia, Lady of Wisdom looks into the reflection of creation. She is pillared by the red rose and the white lily. The mirrored background is set in the checkerboard pattern of the old Masonic temples. She is standing on the moon and is crowned with the peacock feather, or the seraphic all-seeing eye which is a symbol of the essence of Sophia. She is a mystery hidden behind many veils. Metaphors are her cloak. Sophia has remained veiled by symbol and story and only those who listen and see intuitively and with spiritual awareness, recognizes their connection to Her and their inner source.
The feminine nature of wisdom is a strong theme in many of the Hebrew texts. Proverbs 8 describes Sophia as the first creation of God and as co-creator of the world. Ultimately She is seen as the expression of beauty, truth, justice and wisdom in creation.
Sergei Bulgakov in Sophia: The Wisdom of God states that ‘Sophia is the ousia or substance of the Godhead; she is ‘the divine essence.’ ‘What are we dealing with here? This invisible feminine ‘breath’, which is an emanation of the divine, which has the male power to fertilise, yet which can be shared and experienced as comforter and unifier by human beings … has a great deal in common with the Hindu Maya, which generates the cosmos and then is ‘left behind’, incarnated in human beings – CG Jung, Collected Works. Vol II
Thomas Schipflinger in his book Sophia-Maria : A holistic vision of creation defines Sophia as follows: ‘Sophia (Greek) – Wisdom, knowledge from the ground of being in its entirety. In the Bible the word Sophia is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word ‘Chokmah’ meaning Wisdom. In the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament (in particular Proverbs, Ecclesiasticus, the Book of Wisdom, Job and Baruch) it is indicated that Wisdom was created before all creation, as the Co-Creator of the cosmos with Yahweh, as the One who shares Yahweh’s throne and His Darling. Acoording to some Sophiologists, She is the Bride of the Logos Son of God and, as such, incarnated in Mary, from whom the Logos took on flesh and incarnated as Jesus Christ.
So here we have the story of Creation, Creator and created. The Essence of the Source, expressed as the Beloved Sophia in the cells of each and every living being. When She looks into the mirror, She sees Her Beloved reflected back at Her. This understanding is also repeated in the Hindu stories of Shiva and Shakti, Maya and Parvati.
The Mysteries of Mary and the Christian mystery of the incarnation of the Divine into earthly matter, is the ultimate love story, the sacred marriage of Beloved and Lover, the marriage of the greatest opposites, that of the Divine and soul.
But this is a story that we need to be reminded of and a reality that we have to fathom for ourselves by looking into Sophia’s mirror and finding our own inner connection to Her.
When we become aware of this inner connection and we realise that all beings share in this sacred reality, we come to realise that all of earthly matter is sanctified by the divine essence that lives in all.
Sophia extends an open invitation through art, poetry, music and nature that the Soul does exist in the earthly body and therefore all is blessed by the Presence of God.
But most often one cannot accept this invitation and you stare blindly into the veils that hide the truth. We continue to look for signs and manifestations and confirmation that the God does exist and the God may be present here and now. But instead of looking within and trusting the inner whispers and the inner connection, we look without. We turn to others for their wisdom. We look at the stars in the sky; we turn to books, to those in authority, we look at the tribe.
Sometimes we see what we think of as God in the world outside of us, but mostly the God that
we seek we never find. If it does not look like God and it does not act like God, how can it be God?
In the Mystery of the incarnation, no earthly matter or place is too humble or too low or too ordinary for divine presence. The Mysteries of Mary reveal that the life of an ordinary woman, bears the Son, straw, stable and animals, the worthy audience and guardians of this self-disclosure of God among us.
There is no separation between holy and ordinary.
The Mystery of the Incarnation of the divine into the ordinary has been told through many aeons of time and through many cultures and traditions. It is not only now in the new unfolding age that we are being reminded that woman metaphorically and in human consciousness, represent matter (mater) and that woman (matter) mothers the Divine. Isis held the suckling Osiris to her breast as did Inanna and other ancient goddesses.
Awake to the Inner Presence by discovering your story that lives within you. In the High Priestess card in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot, she has stepped off the wheel of fate (usually symbolised by your astrology chart which has fixed your destiny in time and space) and she has stepped off the half-moon. Often the High Priestess, the Virgin Goddess, the Queen of Heaven, stands on the half-moon, symbolising amongst other things, the influence of the hidden world of emotions.
The Soul within you is priestessing the healing balm for your own personal story, but first you have to learn to let go of the ideas of who you think you are and what life should be like, and
start to pay attention to the unlived story within.
What is the myth that you are living? Myths are alive in our consciousness and they reflect our cultural understanding of the personal and transpersonal stories that are playing out in our time and in our personal lives. There is an unconscious and preconscious myth which is forming you and unfolding through you as your life. It dictates your reactions, your responses, your defenses
as it is rooted in an archetypal mythical story and until you uncover the story and find its healing balm, you will not be able to truly become an autonomous being.
Mostly we believe that when we are acting in the opposite way of our upbringing, or our wounding, or our parents, or our tribe, that we are autonomous, but this is not true. We are then
still being run by this script as we are not free to act autonomously and holy (healed).
Each one of us is born into a personal myth. We did not choose the race, culture, place and time into which we were born. These factors make up the personal and historical myth
which will unfold in our life. We have a choice what we will do with this myth. Through our growing up process we will have many experience and we will have many learning opportunities and these will all add to us - through the losses that we had to endure and the victories that we may have claimed, we will grow into adolescence and then we no longer need those experiences.
Sometimes we inherited a deep psychological and spiritual wound. We need to know what we were born into so that we can wake up and realise that our perspective of the world is not true, that it is skewed through our inheritance or our upbringing or our experiences.
In order to cope with your early life experiences, you may have created an anti-myth for yourself in which you became someone other than yourself. It is also important to uncover this anti-myth because this is also not your true story that wants to be lived. This is a fantastical story that also
shapes the way that you see the world and which will not serve you any longer after childhood.
These two aspects of your personal myth will overlap and both have contributed to whom who you have become. I n order for the spell to be broken, you need to become disenchanted. Unless and even if, you do your inner work and face the myths that you created about yourself, life
may still confront you with shattering life experiences in order to shatter the mirror of illusions that you continue to stare into.
- exracts from the soon to be published Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
The deck will be available in my online shop The French Madonna
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