The Allegory of the Widow’s Son

THE ALLEGORY OF THE WIDOW’S SON                                                                                         Research Study by Bro Gabby Comia

Ancient Craft Masonry

In Ancient Craft Masonry, the title applied to Hiram, the architect of the Temple, because he is said, in the first Book of Kings (vu, 14) to have been “a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali.” The Adonhiramite Freemasons have a tradition which Chapron gives (Nécessaire Maçonnique, page 101) in the following words: “The Freemasons call themselves the widow’s sons, because, afte the death of our respectable Master, the Freemasons took care of his mother, whose children they called themselves, because Adonhiram had always considered them as his Brethren. But the French Freemasons subsequently changed the myth and called themselves Sons of the Widow, and for this reason.

‘As the wife of Hiram remained a widow after her husband was murdered, the Freemasons, who regard themselves as the descendants of Hiram, called themselves Sons of the Widow.”‘ But this myth is a pure invention, and is without the Scriptural foundation of the York myth, which makes Hiram himself the widow’s son. But in French Freemasonry the term Son of the Widow is synonymous with Freemason.

– Source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

Sophia, the feminine aspect of God

Sophia (Koinē Greek: σοφία sophía “wisdom”) is a central idea in Hellenistic philosophy and religion, Platonism, Gnosticism, and Christian theology. Originally carrying a meaning of “cleverness, skill”, the later meaning of the term, close to the meaning of Phronesis (“wisdom, intelligence”), was significantly shaped by the term philosophy (“love of wisdom”) as used by Plato.

In the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic churches, Holy Wisdom (Αγία Σοφία Hagía Sophía) is an expression for God the Son (Jesus) in the Trinity (as in the dedication of the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople) and, rarely, for the Holy Spirit.

References to Sophia in Koine Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible translate to the Hebrew term Chokhmah.

Greek and Hellenistic tradition

Further information: Logos, Phronesis, Seven Sages of Greece, and Gnosis

The Ancient Greek word Sophia (σοφία, sophía) is the abstract noun of σοφός (sophós), which variously translates to “clever, skillful, intelligent, wise”. These words share the same Proto-Indo-European root as the Latin verb sapere (lit. ”to taste; discern”), whence sapientia.[1] The noun σοφία as “skill in handicraft and art” is Homeric and in Pindar is used to describe both Hephaestos and Athena.

Before Plato, the term for “sound judgement, intelligence, practical wisdom” and so on, such qualities as are ascribed to the Seven Sages of Greece, was phronesis (φρόνησις, phrónēsis), from phren (φρήν, phrēn, lit. ”mind”), while sophia referred to technical skill.

The term philosophia (φῐλοσοφῐ́ᾱ, philosophíā, lit. ”love of wisdom”) was primarily used after the time of Plato, following his teacher Socrates, though it has been said that Pythagoras was the first to call himself a philosopher. This understanding of philosophia permeates Plato’s dialogues, especially the Republic. In that work, the leaders of the proposed utopia are to be philosopher kings: rulers who are lovers of wisdom. According to Plato in Apology, Socrates himself was dubbed “the wisest [σοφώτατός, sophṓtatós] man of Greece” by the Pythian Oracle. Socrates defends this verdict in Apology to the effect that he, at least, knows that he knows nothing. Socratic skepticism is contrasted with the approach of the sophists, who are attacked in Gorgias for relying merely on eloquence. Cicero in De Oratore later criticized Plato for his separation of wisdom from eloquence.[2] Sophia is named as one of the four cardinal virtues (in place of phronesis) in Plato’s Protagoras.

Philo, a Hellenized Jew writing in Alexandria, attempted to harmonize Platonic philosophy and Jewish scripture. Also influenced by Stoic philosophical concepts, he used the Koine term logos (λόγος, lógos) for the role and function of Wisdom, a concept later adapted by the author of the Gospel of John in the opening verses and applied to Jesus as the Word (Logos) of God the Father.[3]

In Gnosticism, Sophia is a feminine figure, analogous to the soul, but also simultaneously one of the emanations of the Monad. Gnostics held that she was the syzygy of Jesus (i.e. the Bride of Christ) and was the Holy Spirit of the Trinity. She is occasionally referred to by the Hebrew equivalent of Achamṓth (Ἀχαμώθ; Hebrew: חוכמה, ḥokhmāh) and as Proúnikos (Προύνικος).

 

Christian theology

Main article: Holy Wisdom

Icon of Divine Wisdom София Премудрость Божия) from St George Church in Vologda (16th century).

Christian theology received the Old Testament personification of Divine Wisdom (Septuagint Sophia, Vulgate Sapientia). The connection of Divine Wisdom to the concept of the Logos resulted in the interpretation of “Holy Wisdom” (Hagia Sophia) as an aspect of Christ the Logos.[4][5][6][7]

The expression Ἁγία Σοφία itself is not found in the New Testament, even though passages in the Pauline epistles equate Christ with the “wisdom of God” (θεοῦ σοφία).[8] The clearest form of the identification of Divine Wisdom with Christ comes in 1 Corinthians 1:17–2:13. In 1 Cor. 2:7, Paul speaks of the Wisdom of God as a mystery which was “ordained before the world unto our glory”.

Christology

Following 1 Corinthians, the Church Fathers named Christ as “Wisdom of God”.[9] Therefore, when rebutting claims about Christ’s ignorance, Gregory of Nazianzus insisted that, inasmuch as he was divine, Christ knew everything: “How can he be ignorant of anything that is, when he is Wisdom, the maker of the worlds, who brings all things to fulfillment and recreates all things, who is the end of all that has come into being?” (Orationes, 30.15). Irenaeus represents another, minor patristic tradition which identified the Spirit of God, and not Christ himself, as “Wisdom” (Adversus haereses, 4.20.1–3; cf. 3.24.2; 4.7.3; 4.20.3). He could appeal to Paul’s teaching about wisdom being one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8). However, the majority applied to Christ the title/name of “Wisdom”.

 

Reconstruction of the Hagia Sophia basilica (section)

Constantine the Great set a pattern for Eastern Christians by dedicating a church to Christ as the personification of Divine Wisdom.[4] In Constantinople, under Justinian I, the Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) was rebuilt, consecrated in 538, and became a model for many other Byzantine churches. In the Latin Church, however, “the Word” or Logos came through more clearly than “the Wisdom” of God as a central, high title of Christ.

In the theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Holy Wisdom is understood as the Divine Logos who became incarnate as Jesus;[10] this belief being sometimes also expressed in some Eastern Orthodox icons.[11] In the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church, the exclamation Sophia! or in English Wisdom! will be proclaimed by the deacon or priest at certain moments, especially before the reading of scripture, to draw the congregation’s attention to sacred teaching.

There is a hagiographical tradition, dating to the late sixth century,[12] of a Saint Sophia and her three daughters, Saints Faith, Hope and Charity. This has been taken as the veneration of allegorical figures from an early time, and the group of saints has become popular in Russian Orthodox iconography as such (the names of the daughters rendered as Вѣра, Надежда, Любовь). The veneration of the three saints named for the three theological virtues probably arose in the 6th century.[13]

“Wisdom hath builded her house” (Премудрость созда Себе дом, Novgorod, 16th century).

The Christological identification of Christ the Logos with Divine Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) is strongly represented in the iconographic tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. A type of icon of the Theotokos is “Wisdom hath builded Her house” (Премудрость созда Себе дом), a quote from Proverbs 9:1 (“Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars”) interpreted as prefiguring the incarnation, with the Theotokos being the “house” chosen by the “hypostatic Wisdom” (i.e. “Wisdom” as a person of the Trinity).

Christian mysticism

Further information: Sophiology

In Russian Orthodox mysticism, Sophia became increasingly indistinguishable from the person of the Theotokos (rather than Christ), to the point of the implication of the Theotokos as a “fourth person of the Trinity”.

Such interpretations became popular in the late nineteenth to early twentienth centuries, forwarded by authors such as Vladimir Solovyov, Pavel Florensky, Nikolai Berdyaev, and Sergei Bulgakov. Bulgakov’s theology, known as “Sophianism”, presented Divine Wisdom as “consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity”, operating as the aspect of consubstantiality (ousia or physis, substantia or natura) or “hypostaticity” of the Trinity of the three hypostases, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, “which safeguards the unity of the Holy Trinity”. [14] It was the topic of a highly political controversy in the early 1930s and was condemned as heretical in 1935.[10]online [ Intratext.com]</ref>[15]

Within the Protestant tradition in England, Jane Leade, seventeenth-century Christian mystic, Universalist, and founder of the Philadelphian Society, wrote copious descriptions of her visions and dialogues with the “Virgin Sophia” who, she said, revealed to her the spiritual workings of the Universe.[16] Leade was hugely influenced by the theosophical writings of sixteenth century German Christian mystic Jakob Böhme, who also speaks of the Sophia in works such as The Way to Christ (1624).[17] Jakob Böhme was very influential to a number of Christian mystics and religious leaders, including George Rapp and the Harmony Society.[18]

Personification

Sophia is not a “goddess” in classical Greek tradition; Greek goddesses associated with wisdom are Metis and Athena (Latin Minerva). By the Roman Empire, it became common to depict the cardinal virtues and other abstract ideals as female allegories. Thus, in the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, built in the 2nd century, there are four statues of female allegories, depicting wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valour (Arete). In the same period, Sophia assumes aspects of a goddess or angelic power in Gnosticism.

In Christian iconography, Holy Wisdom or Hagia Sophia was depicted as a female allegory from the medieval period. In Western (Latin) tradition, she appears as a crowned virgin; in Russian Orthodox tradition, she has a more supernatural aspect of a crowned woman with wings in a glowing red colour. The virgin martyrs Faith Hope and Charity with their mother Sophia are depicted as three small girls standing in front of their mother in widow’s dress.

Allegory of Wisdom and Strength is a painting by Paolo Veronese, created circa 1565 in Venice. It is a large-scale allegorical painting depicting Divine Wisdom personified on the left and Hercules, representing Strength and earthly concerns, on the right.

Modern reception

Statue of Sophia in Sofia, Bulgaria

A goddess Sophia was introduced into Anthroposophy by its founder, Rudolf Steiner, in his book The Goddess: From Natura to Divine Sophia[19] and a later compilation of his writings titled Isis Mary Sophia. Sophia also figures prominently in Theosophy, a spiritual movement which Anthroposophy was closely related to. Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, described it in her essay What is Theosophy? as an esoteric wisdom doctrine, and said that the “Wisdom” referred to was “an emanation of the Divine principle” typified by “…some goddesses—Metis, Neitha, Athena, the Gnostic Sophia…”[20]

Since the 1970s, Sophia has also been invoked as a goddess in Dianic Wicca and related currents of feminist spirituality.[21]

The 1979 installation artwork The Dinner Party features a place setting for Sophia.[22]

There is a monumental sculpture of Holy Wisdom depicted as a “goddess” in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria (the city itself is named after Saint Sofia Church).[23] The sculpture was erected in 2000 to replace a statue of Lenin.

It has become a kind of dogma among many feminists interested in spirituality that Judaism and Christianity suppressed all female imagery of the divine. It is also assumed that it was women who created female symbols of the divine and that these symbols served to empower women. So, this line of thinking goes, female symbols for the divine were suppressed as a part of a patriarchal disempowerment of women. However, my own research, published in my book, “Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History” shows that all these relations are considerably more ambiguous.

 

Men, more so than women, probably shaped much of the classical images of the female divine in the ancient Mediterranean world and elsewhere. Such images served male and upper class interests, at least in their official expressions The feminine divine was seen as protecting men in power, probably because they were believed to be protecting men, like a great mother whose power is seen as nurturing rather than judgemental.

But in truth, female symbols of the divine were never entirely suppressed in Judaism or Christianity. Although they were marginalized, they continued to reappear in renewed forms–and are still with us today.

The root of female images of the divine in Christianity lie in what’s known as the Wisdom tradition, which is found in the latter half of the Hebrew Bible, in such books as Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiasticus, and the Wisdom of Solomon. In those texts, Wisdom is described as a emanation of God: “Like a fine mist she rises from the power of God, a pure effluence from the glory of God… the brightness that streams from everlasting light, the flawless mirror of the active power of God and the image of his goodness” (Wisdom of Solomon, 7:25-26). Wisdom is seen as a companion of God through whom God creates the world, an orderer and sustainer of the universe, a mediator of divine revelation, the one who calls Israel’s sons to repent of their folly and enter the study of wisdom. She is the means of good fortune, the bride of sages and the redeemer of souls. “Age after age she enters into holy souls and makes them God’s friends and prophets” (Wisdom of Solomon, 7:27).

 

Wisdom as a feminine aspect of God was developed by scholar-sages in Jerusalem after the return from exile in the late sixth century B.C.E. Earlier Judaism had known of the Goddess Asherah, wife of the Canaanite God El. Since the Hebrew religion identified Yahweh–God–with El, much popular Judaism before the exile continued to assume that Yahweh had a consort, Asherah. Although the reformers of the tradition gradually suppressed this veneration of Asherah, a lingering memory of this tradition may have influenced the scholar-sages may as they shaped the idea of Wisdom as a feminine manifestation of God. Later Jewish mysticism would speak of the Shekinah (a term used to refer to the Presence of God) as the feminine consort of the male God.

Christianity shaped its understanding of who Jesus is through a synthesis of the two traditions of apocalyptic messianism–a belief in an imminently coming Messiah—-and wisdom cosmology, the belief in Wisdom as creator of the cosmos. Significant ideas in our understanding of Christ–such as the preexistence of Christ as divine Word with God, the shaping of the creation through the Word, and its role as sustainer and redeemer of the universe and revealer of God’s truth (Gospel of John 1:1-18)–all developed through the Wisdom tradition. Jesus is variously seen as a prophet of Wisdom, Wisdom’s son, or Wisdom’s incarnation. The New Testament preserves some references to the feminine personification of Wisdom manifest in Jesus, such as “Wisdom is justified by her deeds” and “Wisdom is justified by all her children.” (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:35). But as the faith developed, the idea of Word (Logos, a male concept) started to be substituted for Wisdom (Sophia, the female concept). Word was identified with Jesus,a male prophet, tending to mask the feminine roots of the Wisdom idea in Western Christianity.

 

Eastern Christianity continued to place an emphasis on Wisdom, which is identified with Christ or Mary Theotokos (the Mother of God), Mother Church, or even as the sustaining ground of Being of the Trinity. This emphasis is clear in the name of the great mother church of Eastern Orthodoxy in Constantinople: Hagia Sophia, which is Greek for  Holy Wisdom.

Although Wisdom as a manifestation of God was temporarily eclipsed in the West, fervent female symbols were cultivated over the years as expressions of the redeemed human individual and community in relation Christ. Particularly important are the ideas of the feminine soul as bride of Christ and of Mother Church as both bride of Christ and mother of Christians in whose baptismal womb Christians are reborn. These feminine theological symbols tended to merge in the figure of Mary, Jesus’ mother, as the New Eve through whom Eve’s fall is reversed. She is the Virgin mother through whom Jesus is born without sin, and the Theotokos, or Mother of God. In the later patristic and medieval period. theologians would elaborate on the ideas that she was assumed bodily into heaven at death and preserved from sin in her own conception.

Still, the theme of Wisdom as part of our understanding of God remained  familiar to all Christians through the reading of the scriptures at Mass. And medieval mysticism–particularly through female mystics, such as Hildegard of Bingen (12th century) and Julian of Norwich (14th century)–would take these ideas even further.

Read more at https://www.beliefnet.com/entertainment/movies/the-da-vinci-code/gods-wisdom.aspx#W2PEBhKk9878Cq6Y.99

The Myth Of The Divine Sophia

In the Gnostic myth of how the world works, Sophia, the feminine personification of wisdom, lives happily with spirits of light (especially her twin brother), in the unified limitless potential of her Father’s radiance, created by the twin powers of Depth and Silence.

She’s so dizzy with love for the Creative Source that when she sees a brilliant shimmering light below, she flings herself down into the darkness, mistakenly following what she believes to be her Father’s radiance, fooled by a mere reflection. There, in the abysmal unrealized potential of the world, she is trapped – separated from the light, the spiritual realization of Gnosis – the knowledge of transcendent unity.

Water finds its greatest power by seeking its lowest point. Zen saying

There, the powers of the underworld have their way with her, using, abusing, and exploiting her, until all she knows is sadness in the struggle to return herself up to the light she has lost, but not forgotten. She gives birth to a bunch of bad boys, demigods called archons, including the worst of them all, the demiurge who becomes the creator of this world, infecting it with pride, ignorance, fear, and his lust for power and pleasure.

But Sophia remains present, and in her resurgent power she brings great beauty and spiritual potential to the earthly realm and its inhabitants. Witnessing the irresponsible creation of the world by her errant offspring, Sophia conceals Consciousness in the body of the demiurge’s first man, “Adam,” and then brings it into the world as “Eve.”

Finally, Sophia breaks free and ascends back up to the true light of life, raising humanity with her ever so slightly. But she refuses to abandon the sad world of humans, and so she divides herself, keeping a part below, ever present and available for the enlightenment of all.

Here, we may call that Gaia – the consciousness of the world.

Back up in the celestial realm of spiritual light, Sophia rediscovers Gnosis by joining her twin brother in a “marriage” of reunification, balancing the masculine ego of unrealized potential, and uniting it with the sacred feminine – made ever more powerful by adversity – into an androgynous whole. A complete person, full with the knowledge of the transcendent, unified light.

 

The Feminine Heart Of The Earth

This is the sublimely sophis-ticated philo-sophy of the myth of Sophia, a path that leads not only to self-realization, but also to an understanding of the feminine heart and soul of the earth.

For it’s only in the feminine–the channel of creation into the world–that humanity finds the power and compassion necessary to overcome the darkness of ignorance.

But it just ain’t easy getting there, as any woman struggling in “a man’s world” can tell you, although much less of a problem in the ancient Gnostic world, where, prior to the (ongoing) suppression of the Feminine Divine, women were equal to men in every intellectual and spiritual respect.

One Woman, Many Names

Sophia ends up being the giver of wisdom in so many forms: She is Shakti in Sanskrit, the powerful Hindu personification of feminine wisdom, and the personal and collective linking soul as atman, realized in the transcendent state of samadhi (Gnosis). She is the compassionate boddhisatva (Avalokiteshvara) in Buddhism, returning to light the path to nirvana (Gnosis); personified by the deity Guanyin. She is both Mother Mary, in her ascendant form, and Mary Magdalene, as the earthly companion of the Christ potential in Christian Gnosticism. In Jungian psychology, she is the unifying power (“individuation”) of both the feminine and masculine archetypes, anima and animus, and of the lower self of the psyche with the higher spiritual self (Gnosis).

So you see, Sophia really gets around; or as my late uncle (by marriage), the great Jungian psychologist and philosopher, James Hillman put it:

She is the Sophia of wisdom, the Maria of compassion, the Persephone of destruction, compelling Necessity and Fate, and the Muse.

Modern Psychological Understanding

What may be most remarkable about the myth of Sophia, is the way it foreshadows‒and even predetermines‒what we think of as modern psychological understanding. Carl Jung recognized it as a myth of reflection that reflected collective and individual psychology – not just as the metaphor of following “God’s reflection” down into the abyss as an act of necessary self-centeredness and hubris, eventually leading to a humble redemption; Jung also recognized the myth of Sophia as the precursor of a many-layered structural pathology of both our individual search for health and wholeness, and of the cultural and spiritual potential of humankind. He saw the myth as an illuminating structure, which, when shined on the collective unconscious, could guide the realization of human spiritual evolution; and the metaphor as what Joseph Campbell called, “a psychologically affective image transparent to transcendence.”

 

Finding The Way Back Up

So don’t be afraid to share a dance with Sophia – she’s quite a girl, I promise. Allow her to take you to that place down across the tracks that we all must visit, where we become painfully separated from our true potential, and exiled from what we are really capable of becoming. From there, she can show you the way back up, the way to get in touch with your divinely feminine soul (the soul of the world), and unify it with the willful (but powerful and promising) masculine aspect of ego. Then, the separation becomes a matrimonial solution, where you may discover that the myth is the means to learning the whole secret – of you, of me, of us, and of a whole world.

Those favored by the grace of Sophia may devote their lives to offering active service in the public arena, or, again, they may simply bring the compassionate light of Sophia to bear upon the private human tasks of their daily lives. Dr. Stephan Hoeller

Sophia as Mother of the divine Logos and as Isis, mother of Horus. But Philo followed Biblical tradition in according primacy to the father-god as creator, treating the divine mother—Sophia — as his attribute or emanation. Nevertheless, he described this god as the husband of Wisdom. [Long, 46, 162; Patai, 98]

The pagan priest Plutarch agreed that Isis was the same as Sophia, creator of all. [Allegro, 157] Pagan mystery religions equated Isis with Demeter, Kybele, Juno Caelestis, Bona Dea, Tyche and other Mediterranean goddesses, mixing their attributes and titles. Isis was sculptured wearing the mural crown of the Asian goddess Tyche and holding the cornucopia of the Italian Fortuna and Terra Mater. (These statuettes have been found in distant Kazakhstan and Pakistan.) Multitudes of molded figurines of Isis seated on the basket of the Eleusinian Mysteries were mass-produced for home altars within Egypt itself.

Most of these Hellenized terracotta statuettes shrink the horned solar crown of the ancient Kemetic goddess and flank it with ears of wheat, assimilating her to Demeter in a historical double rebound. The Knot of Isis that was for millennia tied around her belly moves up to her breast in a tied Grecian shawl. Other terracottas show Isis Baubo with skirts pulled up around her hips and legs opened wide. Still others look to the headwaters of the Nile, as the goddess Besit, linked to the BaTwa peoples, socalled “pygmies,” or perhaps to other little people (“dwarves”).

In the midst of this syncretism, many Isis terracottas retain the Egyptian convention showing her suckling her son (now represented as a sketchy afterthought). She also appears as Isis Bubastis — Ermouthis to the Greeks — with the lower part of her body in the form of a snake. This form of Isis has turned up as far east as Iraq.

Some Egyptian Jews engaged in ecstatic forms of worship. Philo wrote that the Therapeutae (“healers”) became “transported by divine enthusiasm.” They danced and sang hymns in harmonies and antiphonies, women with women and men with men. Then, says Philo, they feasted and drank wine, and at last all joined together in one assembly:

Perfectly beautiful are their motions, perfectly beautiful their discourse; grave and solemn are these carollers; and the final aim of their motions, their discourse, and their choral dances is piety. [Drinker, 159-160]

The Therapeutae were among the Jewish sects in which women “conducted the Sabbath services and provided influential commentaries on the scriptures.” [Long, 38] Philo described their practice as a form of spiritual healing, which in fact gave this community its name:

Inasmuch as they profess to the art of healing better than that current in towns, which cures only the bodies, they treat also souls oppressed by grievous and well-nigh intolerable diseases. [Contemplative Life, in Allegro, 109]

 

Sophia is the central pivot of creation and represents the feminine aspect in all things.

She is Wisdom Incarnate, the Goddess of all those who are wise.

Sophia (pronounced sew-fee’ah) in Greek, Hohkma in Hebrew, Sapientia in Latin, Celtic goddess-figure Sheela-na-gigs – all mean wisdom,. The Judeo-Christian God’s female soul, source of his true power is Sophia. As Goddess of wisdom and fate , her faces are many: Black Goddess, Divine Feminine, Mother of God The Gnostic Christians, Sophia was the Mother of Creation; her consort and assistant was Jehovah. Her sacred shrine, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, is one of the seven wonders of the world. Her symbol, the dove, represents spirit; she is crowned by stars, a Middle Eastern icon, to indicate her absolute divinity.

Sophia is found throughout the wisdom books of the Bible. There are references to Her in the book of Proverbs, and in the apocryphal books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon (accepted by Catholics and Orthodox, found in the Greek Septuagint of the early Church).

She is usually associated with wise King Solomon. 1 Kings 4:29-31 tells us that God gave wisdom to Solomon, and that he became wiser than all the kings of the East and all the wise people of Egypt. Wisdom 8:2, 16, 18 tells us that Solomon was seen as married to Sophia.

The Song of Songs – known as Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles – speaks of Solomon’s marriage to Holy Sophia.

Wisdom 9:8-11 tells us that Sophia instructed Solomon in building the Temple!

The Jews revered Sophia. King Solomon even put Her right in the Temple, in the form of the Goddess Asherah.

After the reforms of King Josiah, there was a threat that the veneration of Sophia would come to a halt – there was even more of a threat when patriarchal Christianity took over the world.

Thanks to her continuing presence in the world and her presence in the Bible, veneration of Sophia continued in the Eastern tradition with the construction of the Hagia Sophia and the Russian Catholic liturgical service to Sophia combined with the assumption of Mary on May 15.

The Russian Orthodox Church has also a school of “Sophiology” to explore the theology of Sophia without contradicting the Russian Orthodox theology.

Yet the Eastern Christians are not the only Christians to venerate Sophia.

Sophia was very likely venerated by early Followers of the Way, and her veneration has survived in the West today in the form of Gnosticism.

Gnostics see her as one of the aeons, one of the quasi-deities who live in the ethereal realm known as the pleroma.

Gnostics believe that she gave birth to or brought about the creation of a negative aeon, who later came to be called an archon, called the Demiurge, creator and ruler of this world.

Gnostics see the Demiurge as the God of the Old Testament, with his strict rules and chains that bind the people of the Earth. Gnostics believe that Sophia and the Father God (not the Demiurge) sent Yeshua to right this wrong. In Gnostic tradition, Sophia plays a very active role in our world.

Esoteric Christianity doesn’t typically support the theory of the Demiurge. It believes that creation is inherently good, and as such so is the Creator.

However, the Mystery School does teach that Shaitan, the devil, was the ruler of this world and had accidentally been given the keys to the Otherworlds by the Goddess.

He had these keys until the passion, death, and Resurrection of Yeshua, when Yeshua obtained the keys once more and holds them still.

The Mystery School sees many similarities between Sophia and the two Christian Goddesses, Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. Perhaps one or both of them were incarnations of Sophia.

Generally we see Mother Mary as the incarnation of Shekinah, and Mary Magdalene as the incarnation of Sophia.

In truth all feminine goddess archetypes are the same soul – just as the same masculine god archetypes – in all creational mythos – are the same soul. The patterns of who they are – and their duality in creating our reality – is self-evident as you study and compare each creational story.

 

The Grid – Tree and Flower of Life – Creation

Sophia as Isis – Wings of Ascension

Pink – Sophia as Venus – Venus Transit June 8, 2004

Aya Sophia [Turkish] – Hagia Sophia [Greek]

Aya Sophia was originally a Christian church at Constantinople (now Istanbul), later a mosque, and now converted into a museum.

 

———————————————————————————————————————————

 Who is the Son of the Widow?

If Sophia is the widow, the one reading this article is a seeker of the divine wisdom and be considered a widow’s son.

 

 

About the Researcher

Gabriel Comia, Jr. is a master mason and a widow’s son.

 

Hieros Gamos

Masonry is the repository of the highest level of knowledge inherited from the Library of Aleandria in ancient Egypt, Kaballah, the epic of Gilgamesh, Traditions of Ancient Mesopotamia, the Greek and Roman Mythology, Hinduism, the Christian tradition,  Islam, and other rituals and belief system.

bible with s&amp;c

The square and compass, the symbol of Freemasonry have many meanings and interpretations depending upon the consciousness of individual mason and definition varies upon the level of enlightenment as there is no teacher – only guide on every travel. Mine is a different path. Maybe because of the prominence of occult planets in houses of my birth chart having Uranus conjunct star Sirius in 8th house, retrograde Pluto in Leo in the 9th house of philosophy, belief, and travel (planetary). A Sagittarius rising sun in the constellation of Sagittarius denotes soul mission journey and the alignment of venus, mars, and north node in the 3rd house of Aquarius.

The square and compass ritual,  as one of the secrets of Freemasonry,  is an allegory of the ancient Hieros Gamos or the sacred marriage. Following are excerpts from other writers – as a reference  of my study on the ancient craft masonry and its symbols.

__________________________

The Hieros Gamos

http://www.cs.utah.edu/~spiegel/kabbalah/jkm015.htm

The kabbalah holds the secret of holy marriage – hieros gamos the holy union above paralleling that below. That is the union of Hochman with Binah, and Yesod with Malchut. The Soul mate relationship is what we seek in holy matrimony that is G-d the king striving to find the Shechinah his lost princess. We are the king of old and his high priestess joined with G-d and the Shechinah. There are four parties in holy marriage.

Today the egalitarian movement of Judaism has awakened hieros gamos from the ashes. In their Amidah we see references to the G-d(m) of Abraham … and the God(f) of Sarah. There is an improvement to be made. It is Elohai Avraham with Eloah Sarah. Eloah the name of G-d with the gematria 42 is the name of G-d Maker of the Universe. When we recite Hieros Gamos that is the Kedushah in the Amidah: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole land is filled with his Glory’, we are united the heavenly G-d with the feminine Gaia. Cavodo – glory is His seed and haAretz – the land is her Shechinah. Holiness is the secret of hieros gamos that husband and wife are soulmates in love. The wellbeing of one is the other. The happiness of one is the other. The nachas of one is the other. They are two parts to one soul. This week[1549] the Torah portion is Chaya Sarah – the life of Sarah, priestess of the Shechinah—Abraham’s oracle; and G-d said listen to Sarah that is do what she says. Listen to your soulmate for she is part of You-and-You are part of her. The Kedushah is the prayer par excellence of hiergamos our holiest expression.[1550]

Few things are less understood than the hieros gamos – the “sacred marriage”. Considered to be the “Holy Grail” of sexual rituals, is it within reach of comprehension and explanation?
One of the most intriguing, nebulous and controversial topics of history and magic is the “hieros gamos”, “the sacred marriage”. Believed to incorporate both sex and ritual, it should not come as a surprise that throughout history, it has attracted many – and often, those who should truly well stay clear of it. Its fame has meant that the theme was used by Dan Brown in “The Da Vinci Code”, where he described it as how “man could achieve a climactic instant when his mind went totally blank and he could see God”. Brown is not the only one who has linked the experience with tantrism and the withholding of orgasm. He is, of course, also the man who considered Mary Magdalene’s vulva to be the Holy Grail.
The quest to define the hieros gamos foremost is one of answering the question who and when it was performed. Some – including Dan Brown – link it to temple prostitution, while others see it as the king of the country who marries “the land” – in the form of a high priestess – to rejuvenate it. For the Greeks, it was more abstract. They considered it a marriage between the gods and hence apparently outside of the reach of ordinary human beings. It was only in the Jewish and medieval tradition that the hieros gamos became linked with magic and ritual and it is therefore here that we find the current obsession with it. As such, in 1605, Cesare della Riviera wrote that “in Europe, the tracks of these ancient rituals pass through the Gnostic schools, the alchemical and cabalistic currents of the Middle Ages and Renaissance – where numerous alchemical texts can be read on two levels.”
What is the hieros gamos? At its core, the sacred marriage is more of a sacrament than a ritual. It is a marriage between husband and wife, but is of a sacred nature: it is a marriage blessed by the gods, with active participation of those deities, present in the act of lovemaking between the two humans. Focusing on the king having sexual intercourse with the high priestess is thus largely a misnomer, as the king was equally a high priest, and the queen… a high priestess.
In the 20th century, Carl Gustav Jung studied the hieros gamos through the Rosarium Philosophorum, a series of twenty woodcuts, printed in Frankfurt in 1550. The images have a clear sexual and royal nature: a king and queen are depicted with the sun and the moon, sharing a bed, performing sexual acts, as a result of which they become one, and are transformed. And it is with these woodcuts that we come to the core of the hieros gamos: indeed, the primary purpose of the sacred marriage is that two equals, twin souls, a husband and wife, reunite through the hieros gamos. In short: the hieros gamos, or sacred marriage, was not a marriage of just any human beings, but of twin souls.
The concept of twin souls – more popularly known as soulmates – is as old as civilisation itself. Isis and Osiris were both sister and brother and husband and wife: twins. Rather than seeing this as an incestuous relationship, the ancient Egyptians were using this imagery to portray a complex metaphysical framework.
They – like so many other religions – believed that each human being possessed a soul. That soul was half of one unit, which consisted out of one male and one female half. This meant that for every human being alive, there was a perfect twin soul. The quest in this lifetime was to find that twin soul and be reunited with it. This was the truest of loves; the greatest quest. If not the Great Work of Alchemy. The alchemist Nicolas Flamel stated that he was only able to accomplish the Great Work while in the presence of his wife Perenelle, but it was equally accepted that the majority of marriages here on earth, was not between twin souls.
Once the twin souls had found themselves, apart from understanding the true depths of love and kinship they shared throughout their many lifetimes together, the hieros gamos would be completed at some point. What was it? It was seen as God personally “attending” a sexual activity, in which the human beings – male and female – each get “infused” by the divine essence of the male and female component of God.
The best-known historical example of such a sacred marriage is between King Solomon and Queen Sheba. The story relates how the Queen of Sheba travelled from her homeland to meet Solomon, to perform the hieros gamos with him.
This story is discussed by Kathleen McGowan in her fact-based novel “Book of Love”. She relates that ancient traditions stipulate God had both a male and female aspect: El and Asherah. Tradition relates that they desired “to experience their great and divine love in a physical form and to share such blessedness with the children they would create. Each soul who was formed was perfectly matched, given a twin made from the same essence. […] Thus the hieros-gamos was created, the sacred marriage of trust and consciousness that unites the beloveds into one flesh.”
Echoes of the sacred marriage can be found in the Song of Songs, directly linked with Solomon and describing lovemaking. The title highlights it was the holiest of all songs, underlining its importance. Margaret Starbird has pointed out that there are strong parallels between the Song of Songs and poems to the Egyptian goddess Isis. Of course, both Solomon and Sheba and Isis and Osiris were twin souls, and hence able to experience the hieros gamos.
The Song of Songs became very important for the Kabbalists, specifically following the Book of the Zohar, which saw the Song of Songs as a prime example of the hieros gamos. It is in the Zoharic Kabbalah that God is represented by a system of ten spheres, each symbolizing a different aspect of God, who is perceived as both male and female. The Shekina was identified with Malchut, which was identified with the woman in the Song of Songs. Her beloved was identified with Yesod, which represents God’s foundation and the phallus or male essence.
Within the Jewish religion, Malchut and Yesod are El, the fatherly creator god, and his consort, Asherah. He was identified with the bull and She with the mother goddess. Indeed, women who have experienced the hieros gamos note that they have experienced this mother goddess energy, some even mentally visiting some of her sanctuaries during the experience. The imagery also reveals how long our ancestors have been familiar with this sacred marriage: the link between the bull and the earth goddess is visible on the walls of Catal Huyuk, built in the 8th millennium BC.
The hieros gamos should therefore be more appropriately labelled the reunion of twin souls, while incarnate in the body, through sexual activity, involving the active participation of the male and female aspect of God: “What God has put together, let no man separate.”
Those who have experienced such union find it largely impossible to describe – “beyond words”. They are, however, capable of breaking down the experience in some components. The man will become one with El, while the female melts with Asherah, the “Queen of Heaven”. During this union, it is entirely possible that Asherah or El is more prominent in one partner than in the other. During these encounters, the sexual activity exceeds – and is different from – a normal orgasm; it is normally more intense, prolonged and multiple, whereby the orgasm itself is more energetic, rather than physical. However, the presence of this divine energy should not be seen as a form of possession; normally, the human sexual energy is equally present, and the sexual experience is a balance and interplay between both energies. To put it crudely: the hieros gamos is a foursome: two human beings, and El and Asherah operating with and through them.
Where does this leave the reputation of the hieros gamos as a form of temple prostitution? Asherah has been linked with the Mesopotamian Ishtar, whose cult did involve sacred prostitutes. However, should we perhaps see in these women initiatrices: women who prepared and taught certain methodologies as to how sacred sexuality should be experienced between partners, so that their union could lead to a sacred marriage?
Interestingly, the world’s oldest poem, “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, relates how when Gilgamesh discovers the wild man Enkidu, he sends him to Shamhat, a priestess of Ishtar. She was instructed to teach Enkidu how to live as a cultural human being, suggesting that our ancestors identified culture specifically with how to make love properly – the hieros gamos way.
These examples, and the example of Solomon and Sheba, make it clear that the quest of the hieros gamos is not open to anyone: it is only the bailiwick of twin souls. It is why Flamel noted that it was only possible to be performed with Perenelle, clearly not only his wife, but also his twin soul. It is also not so much ritual, but total union of body, mind and spirit: the two parts of one soul become united in the body, thus accomplishing in the body what they were at the beginning of time: a unity. The Great Work. And this union was “blessed” by the sacrament of the hieros gamos, in which God themselves, present at the separation of these souls at the beginning of time, reunited and blessed the two lovers.
So even though tantric yoga as such has nothing to do with it, tantrism does know about this state of perfect union and has labelled it Samadhi. It is the state where the respective individualities of each of the participants are completely dissolved in the unity of cosmic consciousness – the two units are reunited. For tantrics, the deities are not El and Asherah, but Shakti and Shiva.
Because it is “restricted” to twin souls, the hieros gamos might not hold the sexual and ritual appeal that many would like to give it. But it is nevertheless the most important sacrament of all, as it was the completion of the quest of the soul in life: to find his twin soul and reunite, and within this love, continue their life, combined.

People who have experienced the hieros gamos agree that this is a unique experience. One person stated that during the hieros gamos, both partners experienced total orgasm, though this was without any physical activity – through a physical connection, the other partner experienced perfectly the sexual stimulation the other person was sending in the mind – in short, the partners were both not only reading the other person’s mind, but interacted within that mind – as one unity of cosmic consciousness. Another person described it as “utter bliss” or what “heaven” must have felt like. The feeling of “heaven on earth” may indeed be what the hieros gamos was all about: the twin souls in heaven, experiencing their divine union on earth. As above, so below?

Become the “inner man with Heart” (tiferet) and she will become “Wisdom” (hochmah).[1551] The princess malchut ascends to hochmah and the prince yesod ascends to tiferet. Tiferet and hochmah is the union of hieros gamos awakening an even higher union of hochmah and binah. To be correct it is really malchut that has awakened hochmah and joined with paternal wisdom who in kind reaches for binah (understanding) and joins with her—opening up knowledge (da’at). Together crowns rest upon their heads and their will ascends to keter and merges with the will of the divine male and female together

Inanna and the “Sacred Marriage”


Couple on terracotta bed, perhaps representing the “Sacred Marriage.” Object could have been bought at the festival. Mesopotamia 3rd. millennium BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Teubal 1983: 117.
larger view of image

The king goes with lifted head to the holy lap,
Goes with lifted head to the holy lap of Inanna,
[Dumuzi] beds with her,
He delights in her pure lap.
(Sefati 1998: 105)

The “Sacred Marriage” was “joyously and rapturously” celebrated in the ancient eastern Mediterranean for over two thousand years (Kramer 1969:49). “Sacred Marriage” translates Classical Greek hieros gamos, originally the marriage of Zeus and Hera, but Classicists used the term for alliances between other deities or deities and humans, particularly when marked by ritual. Sir James Frazer (1854-1941), author of The Golden Bough, expanded the term to mean “mythic and ritual sexual acts” connected with fertility (Cooper 1993:82).

Although, for ancient Mesopotamia, the term refers to “the ritual enactment of the marriage of two deities or a human and a deity” (Cooper 1993:82), the participants were understood as deities: usually Inanna-Ishtar and Dumuzi-Tammuz.[1] In historic times, the main aim was “to decree a good fate for the king and his country” (Lapinkivi 2004:7).[2] Nonetheless, as I shall speculate later, early priests could have appropriated to their own ends a rite which, originally, had a very different function.


Uruk Vase, with procession of naked priests carrying gifts to Inanna’s shrine., Inanna greeting them at its door marked by her gateposts. Alabaster. 3′. Uruk, Mesopotamia. Fourth millennium BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Gadon 1989:137.

From extant hymns, we can piece together what happened in the ritual (Lapinkivi 2004:47,#29;50,#35). First, Inanna was bathed, perfumed, and adorned, while Dumuzi and his retinue processed towards her shrine. The famous Uruk vase may represent this procession. All the while, temple personnel sang love songs, many of which are extant (Sefati 1998:25,120-364). Resplendent Inanna greeted Dumuzi at the door, which, on the Uruk vase, is flanked by her signature standards (gateposts), and there he presented her with sumptuous gifts. Subsequently, the pair seated themselves on thrones, although sometimes the enthronement took place only after sexual consummation (Jacobsen 1976:38).

The deities entered a chamber fragrant with spices and decorated with costly draperies. Lying down on a ceremonial bed constructed for the occasion (Jacobsen 1976:38), they united in sexual intercourse (Henshaw 1994:238). Afterwards, pleased by and with her lover, Inanna decreed long life and sovereignty for him and fertility and prosperity for the land. She might also have presented him with the ring, rod, and line, emblems of royal power. The ritual over, the people celebrated in a huge festival.

The earliest “detailed direct evidence” of the ritual comes from the time of King Shulgi of Ur (2095-2048), but the first ruler named “beloved of Inanna” reigned in Uruk around 2700 BCE, a hint that the ritual was already occurring by then (Lapinkivi 2004:2; Sefati 1998:30-31).

How do we know that the ritual actually took place? Some consider this question “controversial” considering the paucity of evidence (Henshaw 1994:239). When and how often it occurred is also controversial. However, since a number of poems describe the ritual in detail and some of the details are supported in “important and reliable evidence” such as “royal inscriptions, economic texts, etc.” (Sefati 1998:32), we can assume that Sumerians did celebrate the “Sacred Marriage.”

Did the participants actually engage in sexual intercourse? Again the subject is controversial, some scholars arguing that they did (Frayne 1983, Kramer 1969; see Cooper 1993:87-88), others insisting that the act was “purely symbolic” (Steinkeller 1999:133).


Couple on terracotta bed, perhaps representing the “Sacred Marriage.” Object could have been bought at the festival. Mesopotamia 3rd. millennium BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Teubal 1983: 117.

Who, then, were the participants? It appears certain that, at Uruk, the priest-ruler, theen, spent at least one ritual night in the high-priestly residence, the gipar, “during which [period] he consummated the marriage with Inanna” (Steinkeller 1999:132). Further, poems name two historically identifiable kings as participants in the rite, but only for the period 2100-2000 BCE. A king of Sumer could take part only if he held the office of en of Uruk and bore the title “spouse of Inanna” (Steinkeller 1999:130-131). By 2000 BCE, according to some scholars, the monarch of Sumer normally represented Dumuzi in the rite. As a result of the ceremony, he received the authority to manipulate “the natural and human environments for greater productivity and security” (Wakeman 1985:13).

The texts refer to the female participant only as Inanna (Frayne 1985:14), a possible indication that Inanna had incarnated herself in a priestess.[3] The likeliest candidate would be the priestess known as nin-dingir, Sumerian for “Lady Deity” or “Lady Who Is Goddess.”[4]

A man could achieve authority in Inanna’s temple community at Uruk as either her “trusted servant” or her consort or both. Indeed, traditionally, the ruler of Uruk and its goddess co-habited in the gipar. The “Sacred Marriage,” which at first conferred authority temporarily on one man, eventually provided religious sanction for male exercise of power (Wakeman 1985:12).

Around 2900 BCE, Inanna, incarnated in the nin-dingir,[5]chose [Uruk’s] en” (Wakeman 1985:23-my emphasis). By around 2300 BCE, however, the Mesopotamian king had appropriated the right to appoint an en.[6] Eventually, around 2100 BCE, the nin-dingir/entu became merely spouse of the city god she served and/or the consort of Dumuzi. Furthermore, after about 1700 BCE, the title entu disappeared from archival texts (Frayne 1985:22). Concomitantly, the “Sacred Marriage” also altered, until, in its latest form, it probably involved two statues (Cooper 1993:91; Frayne 1985:22).

According to Steinkeller, “the earliest Sumerian pantheon was dominated by female deities,” and a goddess, the divine “owner” of most early cities, “controlled … fertility, procreation, healing, and death.” Paired with each was a god, “a personification of male reproductive power.” Over time, the power of male deities increased, “though never superseding that of goddesses” (1999:113). Perhaps Inanna’s domination of much “Sacred Marriage” material (Jacobsen 1976:39-40) reflects those earliest times, when the “Sacred Marriage” centred on goddesses. Is it possible that the ceremony originally dealt with her concerns alone?


Detail, Uruk Vase, with procession of naked priests carrying gifts to Inanna’s shrine., Inanna greeting them at its door marked by her gateposts. Alabaster. 3′. Uruk, Mesopotamia. Fourth millennium BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Gadon 1989:137.
larger view of image

Part of the answer lies, I think, in an exciting theory propounded by Sumerologist Douglas Frayne, who presents a convincing explanation of the evidence.[7] After showing thatnin-dingir and entu refer to the same office, Frayne suggests that this priestess was the Inanna of the “Sacred Marriage” poems. He then re-examines the available evidence and concludes that the ritual was integral to the installation of “new entu priestesses” (Frayne 1985:12ff.,14-18).

In supporting his theory, Frayne discusses what scholars call “year formulae”; the Mesopotamians named a year by its significant event and recorded it on, for instance, building bricks (Cohen 1993:4). One such happening was the installation of an en: for instance, “The year the entu of Nanna was chosen by omens” or “The year Nur-Adad installed the entu of Utu [the sun god]” (Frayne 1985:15). The latter correlates with a passage in a “literary letter of Sin-Iddinam” who describes significant occurrences in the early reign of his father Nur-Adad:

An entu priestess who perfected the immaculate lustration rites, he installed for [Utu] in her gipar. From evening to morning he added [offerings?], and filled it with abundance (Frayne 1985: 15).

The last sentence recalls the ruler’s bringing gifts to Inanna in the “Sacred Marriage.”

Frayne then points to archival texts that “record disbursements of materials that were used to construct cult objects, or were used in ceremonies …” (1985:17). One, almost certainly relating to the installation of an entu, lists as cult objects: “[One] lady’s throne/one bed …” “Sacred Marriage” hymns often describe the setting up of a bed and a throne before the ritual (Frayne 1985:18ff.). Thus, Frayne concludes that the installation of a nin-dingir/entu entailed the celebration of the “Sacred Marriage.”

The question is: Why? The nin-dingir/entu was probably the priestess who, at Uruk, incarnated Inanna, and in other cities she sometimes embodied the female half of the divine couple that protected the city (Steinkeller 1999:123). If her installation necessitated the “Sacred Marriage,” she might also have incarnated Inanna. The Mesopotamians clearly understood Inanna to be closely connected with fecundity. Originally, then, the ritual might have been a fertility rite, a possibility supported by Wakeman’s suggestion that the “Sacred Marriage” was central to an early Urukian harvest festival.[8]


Couple on terracotta bed, perhaps representing the “Sacred Marriage.” Object could have been bought at the festival. Mesopotamia 3rd. millennium BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Teubal 1983: 117.
larger view of image

My high field that which is well watered,
My own nakedness, a well-watered, a rising mound–
I, the maiden-who will plough it? . . . .
Young lady, may the king plough it for you,
May Dumuzi, the king, plough it for you!”
(Sefati 1998:225)

The agricultural Sumerians metaphorically equated ploughing of land with sexual intercourse (Jacobsen 1976:46). Therefore, it seems reasonable to theorize that “Goddess on Earth” Inanna, whose body was identified with arable land, would not be able to bring about the land’s fertility until she herself, at least potentially, became fertile. Thus, the “Sacred Marriage” might have been integral to the installation of nin-dingir/entu as Inanna because, I suggest, like the land, she had to be “ploughed” to be fertile and to bring fecundity and prosperity to Sumer.

Possibly, then, the “Sacred Marriage” rite was not originally concerned with king-making at all, but rather with “goddess-making”; perhaps it was a ritual for, as it were, “activating,” making fertile a “Goddess on Earth.” To that end, the ceremony entailed ritual mating between theentu-designate and, say, a temple priest, since, for the Mesopotamians, fertility on earth, as in heaven, resulted from the union of male and female.


Dumuzi (man in net kilt; see Steinkeller 1999: 104-111) approaching Inanna at shrine, procession of naked priests following, with gifts. Reconstruction. Alabaster Vase. 3′. Fourth millennium BCE. Uruk, Mesopotamia.
© S. Beaulieu, after Meador 2000: 59.
larger view of image

The ritual would, I theorize, have confirmed the priestess as Inanna — permanently — and, for a short time, the priest would have incarnated a divine lover. However, to have embodied a deity, if only temporarily, would have set him apart: for a time he had been a god!

At some point, one priest might have seen the advantage of continuing to incarnate the goddess’s lover, of using the role’s charisma to achieve power in the community. Indeed he could have been the first en!

According to Kramer, the “Sacred Marriage” was being celebrated for several generations before the Sumerians associated Dumuzi with it (1969:57-8). Furthermore, Dumuzi occurs in the Sumerian “King List” as an early en of Uruk (Kramer 1969:328). Could it have been this very Dumuzi who appropriated the mating ritual for the validation of kingship? As en, he would have been the main administrative officer of the temple complex and its estates, in effect the ruler of the city (Steinkeller 1999:105; Henshaw 1994:44). Possibly also a talented general, he could slowly have increased the significance of his role through military activity at the city’s need. Nevertheless, he would have remained aware of the importance of continuing his relationship with Inanna and of keeping the title en to indicate that connection.


Inanna holding date frond. Fragment of a relief vessel. Mesopotamia. About 2400 BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Gadon 1989:134.

Succeeding male ens, now perhaps also using the title lugal “big man,” could have followed suit, until gradually they became kings in their own right.[9] Steinkeller’s view, that “enship apparently was the original form of Sumerian kingship,” supports this theory (1999:112). However, as many later Mesopotamian kings appear to have done, early en/lugals would still have had to rely on a relationship with Inanna to confirm their kingship. Although eventually Mesopotamian kings ruled without reference to anentu or a “Sacred Marriage” rite, many of them continued to style themselves “beloved” or “spouse” of Inanna or her counterpart Ishtar (Lapinkivi 2004:59-62).

As we saw, Mary Wakeman argues that the “Sacred Marriage” originated in early Uruk to provide religious sanction for male exercise of power. Although this explanation throws light on how an increasingly male-dominated city might have exploited the ritual, it does not explain why the city would have needed to use this particular rite instead of developing another which was less empowering of the goddess. Nor does it really speak to the origin of the ritual. I have hypothesized, however, that the “Sacred Marriage” originated as a ritual for activating a nin-dingir/entu to ensure the fertility of her land. Not only does this suggestion explain the historically attested references to the association of the “Sacred Marriage” with the installation ofentus, but it also illuminates the powerful fertility elements in the ritual.

The inviolability of religious tradition would explain why an increasingly male-dominant society would have been forced to continue to use the time-honoured ritual to achieve its own ends; why the ritual survived for so long; and why, even after the entu had disappeared from archival texts, most kings of Mesopotamia continued to call themselves “spouse/beloved of Inanna-Ishtar.”

Notes

  1. Or a city goddess normally, but not always, identified with Inanna and a city god normally, but not always, identified with Dumuzi (See Steinkeller 1999:130-131).
  2. For a review of interpretations of the ritual, see Lapinkivi 2004:3-13.
  3. Incarnation or spirit possession is a phenomenon of many religions today and in the past. A deity or spirit takes over the body of a medium (often incorrectly called shaman) in order to have direct communication with worshippers (Bowker 1997:884-885,1083-1084). There is no reason to think that Mesopotamian religions were exempt from this practice.
  4. Also see Steinkeller (1999:120-121) for a different interpretation of the role of this religious functionary.
  5. In Sumerian, a non-gendered language, en could be feminine or masculine (Henshaw 1994:44). In gendered Semitic languages, the equivalents of en are enu and entu, the latter meaning nin-dingir, “Goddess on Earth” (Frayne 1985:14; Henshaw 1994:45-51).
  6. For example, Mesopotamian king Sargon (ca. 2300 BCE) appointed his daughter Enheduanna as entu of the god Nanna, protector deity of Ur. See previous column.
  7. Jerrold Cooper disagrees with Frayne’s thesis, as do some other scholars (Cooper 1993:88-89).
  8. Following Jacobsen, Wakeman says that, at Uruk, Dumuzi was “the power inherent in seasonal foods (grain, milk, dates)” and Inanna, in whose temple the produce was deposited, was the power in the storehouse (Wakeman 1985:12; Jacobsen 1976:36).
  9. The Sumerian word lugal eventually came to mean “king.” See Steinkeller 1999:105,112 and following.

Works Cited

  • Bowker, John, ed. 1997. The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford: Oxford University.
  • Cohen, Mark E. 1993. The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East. Bethesda, MY: CDL Press.
  • Cooper, Jerrold S. 1993. “Sacred Marriage and Popular Cult in Early Mesopotamia,” 81-96, in Matushima, E., ed. Official Cult and Popular Religion in the Ancient Near East: Papers of the First Colloquium on the Ancient Near East — The City and its Life held at the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan (Mitake, Tokyo) March 20-22, 1992. Heidelberg: Winter.
  • Frayne, Douglas 1985. “Notes on the Sacred Marriage Rite,” Bibliotheca Orientalis 42:5-22.
  • Gadon, Elinor W. 1989. The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol for Our Time. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
  • Henshaw, Richard A. 1994. Female and Male, the Cultic Personnel: The Bible and the Rest of the Ancient Near East. Allison Park, Pennsylvania: Pickwick.
  • Jacobsen, Thorkild 1976. The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion. New Haven: Yale University.
  • Kramer, Samuel N. 1969. The Sacred Marriage: Aspects of Faith, Myth and Ritual in Ancient Sumer. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University.
  • Lapinkivi, Pirjo 2004. The Sumerian Sacred Marriage in the Light of Comparative Evidence. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, University of Helsinki.
  • Meador, Betty D. S. 2000. Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna. Austin, TX: University of Texas.
  • Sefati, Yitschak 1998. Love Songs in Sumerian Literature: Critical Edition of the Dumuzi-Inanna Songs. Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar-Ilan University.
  • Steinkeller, Piotr 1999. “On Rulers, Priests and Sacred Marriage: Tracing the Evolution of Early Sumerian Kingship,” 103-137, in Priests and Officials in the Ancient Near East: Papers of the Second Colloquium on the Ancient Near East, The Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan, ed. K. Watanabe. Heidelberg: Winter.
  • Teubal, Savina 1983. Sarah the Priestess: The First Matriarch of Genesis. Athens, OH: University of Ohio Swallow.
  • Wakeman, Mary K. 1985. “Ancient Sumer and the Women’s Movement; The Process of Reaching Behind, Encompassing and Going Beyond,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 1/2:7-27.

Graphics Credits

Freemasons

gab 2016 with ali peek

Brother Freemasons with Bro Ali Peek at the Installation of New Set of Officers of Pagkakaisa Lodge No. 282, Las Pinas City, Jan 9, 2015.

About Freemasonry

..”Freemasonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. These are the degrees offered by Craft (or Blue Lodge) Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by different bodies than the craft degrees.

History of Freemasonry

No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons’ guilds during the Middle Ages. The language and symbols used in the fraternity’s rituals come from this era. The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, printed about 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, and records from that point on are more complete.

Within thirty years, the fraternity had spread throughout Europe and the American Colonies. Freemasonry became very popular in colonial America. George Washington was a Mason, Benjamin Franklin served as the head of the fraternity in Pennsylvania, as did Paul Revere and Joseph Warren in Massachusetts. Other well-known Masons involved with the founding of America included John Hancock, John Sullivan, Lafayette, Baron Fredrick von Stuben, Nathanael Greene, and John Paul Jones. Another Mason, Chief Justice John Marshall, shaped the Supreme Court into its present form.

Over the centuries, Freemasonry has developed into a worldwide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment via individual involvement and philanthropy. During the late 1700s it was one of the organizations most responsible for spreading the ideals of the Enlightenment: the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual, the right of all persons to worship as they choose, the formation of democratic governments, and the importance of public education. Masons supported the first public schools in both Europe and America.

During the 1800s and early 1900s, Freemasonry grew dramatically. At that time, the government had provided no social “safety net”. The Masonic tradition of founding orphanages, homes for widows, and homes for the aged provided the only security many people knew.

Today in North America, the Masonic Fraternity continues this tradition by giving almost $1.5 million each day to causes that range from operating children’s hospitals, providing treatment for childhood language disorders, treating eye diseases, funding medical research, contributing to local community service, and providing care to Masons and their families at Masonic Homes.

The four million Masons worldwide continue to help men and women face the problems of the 21st century by building bridges of brotherhood and instilling in the hearts of men ideals for a better tomorrow.”                                       – – – From the Masonic Society of North America

FAMOUS ATHLETE FREEMASONS

Ali Peek, basketball                                                                                                           Philippine  Basketball Association
Source: Pagkakaisa Lodge No. 282

Shaquille O’Neal, basketball
Source: Media Daily LA

Scottie Pippin, basketball
Source: Sons of Solomon Lodge #154

John Elway, football
Source: Knights Templar

Red Auerbach, basketball coach
Source: U.S. News and World Report

Arnold Palmer, golf
Source: U.S. News and World Report

Sugar Ray Robinson, boxing
sSource: U.S. News and World Report

June 10, 1988 – Pagkakaisa Lodge No. 282’s Birthday

SATURN, THE GREAT TEACHER

saturn

Saturn planet revolves around the sun in 29 1/2 years or  transits  the 12  constellations from aries to pisces in approximately 2 1/2 years every zodiac sign. At present, she is transiting the constellation of sagittarius since Dec 23, 2014 until Dec 20, 2017.

Pagkakaisa Lodge No. 282 was constituted on June 10, 1988 during the Gemini sun (May 22-June 21). Saturn Transit in Sagittarius is presently in opposition to its natal sun of Gemini.

PAGKA LOGO 1

Some analysis of astrologers regarding saturn transit opposition.

“Saturn opposite Sun transit can be a draining time because you are more likely to feel weighed down and pessimistic about the challenges and blockages to your progress. These tests which we all go through seem more serious and more numerous during this transit, and are likely make you feel more burdened and restricted in your freedom or self-expression.

These challenges to your will or ego can come from people who it is very difficult to fight against, such as parents, bosses, anyone with some authority over your life. This is why it can be so frustrating, you have to struggle on through the boring routines even though you may want to break free.

This period can be a low point but it is important to remember that it is probably happening for a reason. It may be that your ambitions are being held back at the moment because the timing is not right. There may be some more lessons or skills to learn so that when this transit passes you are ready to take full advantage of new opportunities.

The Sun rules your self-esteem and your ego, so this may be low during this time, better to remain patience, focus on hard work and look after yourself, play it low-key for a few months. Saturn opposite Sun transit is time to strengthen your character by facing any adversity head on which will give you more confidence in the future”

Saturn opposition to Sun is a stressful. restricting and frustrating period and full of tension in ones life. This happens twice in a lifetime, thats why saturn is called the teacher planet.

cronus

Saturn, is the ruler of Capricorn. In Greek Mythology, Cronus was one of the Titans, and the father of Zeus. Cronus ate his children to prevent himself from being dethroned as the King of the Gods. That is, until his wife, Rhea, tricked him into swallowing a stone when Zeus was born.

saturn glyphs

In astrology, Saturn is associated with restriction and limitation. Where Jupiter expands, Saturn constricts. Although the themes of Saturn seem depressing, Saturn brings structure and meaning to our world. Saturn knows the limits of time and matter. Saturn reminds us of our boundaries, our responsibilities, and our commitments. It brings definition to our lives. Saturn makes us aware of the need for self-control and of boundaries and our limits.

Saturn is often associated with our fathers or father/authority figures. In childhood, the discipline, rules, and regulations imposed on us by our authority figures–from parents, teachers, and the like–were not always pleasant, but they actually helped us to understand the world around us. Similarly, Saturn’s lessons actually help us to grow.

In the chart, the position of Saturn by sign and house reveals our own limitations, fears, and sense of responsibility. Saturn brings definition, and often limitation, to the planets it aspects.

My Lodge, Pagkakaisa is having its saturn transit opposing the natal Gemini. Ayaw ko sanang maniwala sa ganitong analysis ng mga astrologers sa kadahilanang hindi naman persona or individual ang lohiya pero sa nangyayaring hindi pagkakaunawaan sa loob  kapag may stated meeting ay hindi maiwasang mag isip ako na maaaring totoo nga ang mga nangyayari. Halos walong buwan na,  na lagi ng sagutan at hindi magandang iringan at personalang batikusan ang mga past masters tuwing may meeting sa mga isyung kung bibigyan lamang ng tamang pang unawa ay hindi magiging problema.

Kapag uma attend ako ng meeting ng ibang lodge ay inggit na inggit ako sa harmonious situation during the meeting. Lahat ay nagkakaunawaan at napakabilis matapos ang meeting pero matagal naman ang dinner at fellowship para sa masasayang kwentuhan. Tunay na salamin ng kapatiran.

Sana maging ganon din ang mga meetings sa aking lohiya. Pero kung ang Pagkakaisa ay apektado ng ikot ng planetang saturn, makakatagal kaya  sa ganitong sitwasyon hanggang Dec 20, 2017?  Ano ang mangyayayri?. Mga katanungang hindi ko pa kayang sagutin at maipaliwanag.

Wala naman makapagsabi sa akin o may magtestimonya na kung ipinanganak  nga ng Gemini ay tensyonado sa ngayon;  sa relationship, sa financial resources, sa mga hindi mabuong goal, at hindi tamang mga desisyon. Pakiramdam na parang guguho ang daigdig, at laging mainitin ang ulo. May mga interview akong ginagawa pero wala naman magsabi ng totoo dahil marahil sa gustong itago ang mga tunay na nangyayari sa kanilang buhay.

Ayon sa mga nakasulat na ginawa ng mga astrologers, sinasabi na kapag dumadaan ang ganitong mga problema at mga pinag dadaanang parang walang solusyon, ang dapat gawin ay huwag kontrahin ang takbo ng buhay at sundan lamang ito na to go with the flow. Prayer and meditation and attunement with the supreme being ang the best solution.

Ang mga pangyayaring ganito ay napagdaanan ko na rin at natutuhan ko din naman ang tamang solusyon sa mga lessons na ipinatong ni Haring Kronus, ang representasyon ni planet saturn. Mabigat ang problema pero ang aral na natutuhan ay para mataas na antas ng liwanag na parehas sa mga itinuturo sa masonerya.

Ordo Ab Chao

ordo ab chao

Ordo Ab Chao means Order out of Chaos.

From Gnostic Warrior:

ORDO AB CHAO is Latin for “Order Out of Chaos or Order from Disorder.” This term was invented by Freemasons and is the actual motto of the 33rd Degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

ordo-ab-chao 1

The name Scottish or Scotland is derived from the Latin, from Greek  skotia, from feminine of skotios, dark, shadowy (from the shadow it casts), from skotos, darkness. In ancient Egypt there was a temple of Venus Scotia and it is said that the country of Scotland had derived its name from an Egyptian Pharaoh Queen named Scota.

scota of scotland

The chaos (CHAO) is the society we see around us today and it is the builders who influence the leaders to manufacture this chaos so that they can conceal their creations in darkness while they work towards the light (ORDO). Without chaos there would never be order. Without darkness, there can be no light and without light there can be no darkness. What is the AS ABOVE, is the SO BELOW of this Secret Brotherhood.

The Grand Architects of CHAO (hell or illusion) become the masters of ORDO (Heaven on earth). The torch bearers who carry the light in the dark will now be the light bearers who usher in the new dawn of a new day.

FIAT LUX (Let there be light). What was once dark, now becomes light and what was once light now becomes dark.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – –

The Lodge is now in chaos How to put it in proper order needs divine intervention of the Grand Architect.

Me, i just go with the flow and follow its destiny.