Lady Wisdom, Hagia Sophia

School of Consciousness and Transformation PARW 6418 3.00

Research into ancient Mediterranean and later European cultures has uncovered thriving wisdom traditions centered on the celebration and presence of sacred feminine Divine Wisdom. Goddesses of Wisdom were praised in Egypt, Israel, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Greece, and Rome, where they were addressed by many names: Isis, Hochma, Ishtar, Cybele, Artemis, Demeter-Persephone, Athene, Minerva, Thunder-Perfect-Mind, and Sophia. Although it is often assumed that Christianity had little to do with earlier Goddess traditions, they were in fact preserved, transmitted, and transformed through the important Christian figure of Hagia Sophia. We have forgotten much of this history today, but Sophianic themes played an important part in the early and medieval church, in esoteric Jewish and Christian movements that sometimes flourished and were sometimes suppressed, and in a number of the most dynamic theological and spiritual developments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Although modernity tended to deny her presence, we are in the midst of a renaissance of Sophianic thought and culture, as Hagia Sophia, Holy Lady Wisdom, begins to re-emerge once more.

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