“QBLH(Qabbalah) which means to receive. The Qabbalah is not handed down from generation to generation but something which requires receptivity in those who are initiated into the mysteries.”

—Paul Foster Case

From Skye Alexander's ¨Your Goddess Year¨ Book,

Dates For Inviting Her: January 1–7

Winter is a time of turning within, of rest, and of seeking wisdom in the dark places. As we begin the New Year, we also look forward to brighter times ahead. This week, we honor the goddess Sophia, whose name means “wisdom” in Greek, and whose divine knowledge chases away darkness and confusion, replacing them with peace.

Gnosticism connects Sophia with both the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. We also see parallels between Sophia and goddesses in many myths and cultures, including Athena (January 22–28), Kuan Yin (March 5–11), Shakti, and Tara (June 12–18).

One of the most beloved goddesses, Sophia personifies the feminine creative force in the universe. She’s revered in many spiritual and religious traditions. Some Judeo-Christian sources describe her as the wisdom of God or as God’s female soul. The Gnostics (a term that derives from the Greek word for “knowledge”) considered her an actualization of Divine Wisdom, -wisdom incarnate-. The Eastern Orthodox Church, in particular, honors her as high-ranking divinity. Her magnificent church in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Mythology tells us Sophia longed to share her vast knowledge with humankind to alleviate suffering on earth, apparently in the belief that knowledge and truth will set you free. Indeed, some took her up on her offer, including the great King Solomon (who’s known for being wise). According to a Gnostic story, Sophia lived in the realm of perfect light—the light of Source and Divine Wisdom. One day she descended from this exalted realm, tricked by forces from the underworld who ensnared and raped her. She gave birth to demigods known as the archons, including the Demiurge, who imbued earth with all its ills and failings. The compassionate goddess rued the damage done by her son, and, when she eventually escaped the darkness on earth to return to her celestial home, she left part of her light behind to counter evil with love.

If you’re struggling with a murky situation and need clarity to understand what’s going on and how to deal with it, ask Sophia to shine her light on the matter so you can separate truth from delusion. If you’re going through a dark period, this beautiful goddess can illuminate your path and guide you to a brighter, happier place. Sophia shows you what Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung called the “Shadow,” the hidden, unacknowledged part of yourself, and she teaches you to love your dark side. Not only does she bring self-realization; Sophia can assist you in your quest for knowledge of any kind. Her Animal Totems Sophia is often shown with a dove, a symbol of peace, as her companion. A biblical story says Sophia assumed the form of a dove to visit the Virgin Mary when she learned she would become pregnant with Jesus.

How To Invite Her

Perform this ritual at night, in a darkened room, to elicit wisdom and insight from Sophia. Writing in a journal allows you to clarify your intention and to record your thoughts and impressions for future reference.

You’ll need:

A journal, notebook, or piece of paper

A pen or pencil

12 white votive candles, one for each month of the coming year

12 ceramic coasters or ashtrays (optional)

A cushion, pillow, or chair (optional)

A black veil, headscarf, or cloth large enough to cover your head

Matches or a lighter

1. Write in your journal or notebook with the pen or pencil, describe a subject, situation, or other matter about which you seek knowledge from the goddess.

2. Position the unlit candles on the floor, in a circle large enough that you can sit inside it. Make sure the candles can burn there safely. (You may want to set them on ceramic coasters or in ashtrays.)

3. If you’ve chosen to sit on a cushion, pillow, or chair, place it in the center of the circle, facing east. Step inside the circle, sit and cover your head with the veil, scarf, or cloth. This represents the veil of darkness, the shadowy quandary in which you find yourself. Sit for a while, breathing slowly and deeply, while you form an image in your mind of the issue that you don’t fully understand as yet.

4. When you feel ready, remove the veil. Beginning in the east, move in a clockwise direction and light the candles.

5. Return to your seat and enjoy the soft candlelight illuminating the space. Listen to Sophia’s voice, sharing insights and guidance with you.

6. When you feel you’ve received all you can, for the time being, thank Sophia and extinguish the candles, moving in a counterclockwise direction.

7. In your journal, write down what Sophia has revealed to you.

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