Does not wisdom call,
and does not understanding raise her voice? (Proverbs 8:1)
The word in Hebrew for Wisdom is Hokmah. For many reasons, this divine attribute is most often feminine in Jewish scripture. Wisdom is transcendent as a co-creator with God in the beginning (Proverbs 8:30) and Wisdom is immanent as everything created (Wisdom of Solomon 7:25-26). Simply consider the Mother of All Living: Eve. To say she brought death into the world is too simple in our lineage. We are all Eve and Adam. From an unconscious union with God, Eve initiated our conscious return to God by Wisdom. In many Jewish wisdom writings from the court of King Solomon, images personify her crying out like a prophet in public squares to distracted ears (Proverbs 1:20-21) and seeking a place to dwell among the people of God (Sirach 24:8) to only be rejected or even violated (Songs 5:6-7). Synonymous with the feminine Divine Presence—the Shekinah—Wisdom is the figure of divine immanence with us in exile from and in return to God.
Sophia: Mary Magdalene
The Jewish tradition of personifying Wisdom-Hokmah as a feminine figure of God’s enlightenment grew into greater significance in Gnostic traditions of Wisdom-Sophia. The versions are many, but a pattern stands. From her unconscious union with the Logos, Sophia emanates her light power into matter to find herself trapped by its rulers. Only by remembering her light power does she transcend the rulers to return in conscious union with the Logos. Our lineage weaves the Jewish and Gnostic principles of Wisdom into the figure of Mary Magdalene. Among the two lines of legends of her life—Mary of Bethany or Mary of Magdala—our tradition emphasizes the later to personify the role of Wisdom in the redemptive act of Yeshua, the Logos.
En route to the wealthy family of her betrothed in Babylon, the young Magdalene’s caravan was raided, the men were killed, and all the women were raped and sold into prostitution in Babylon. Shattered, her heart seethed with fury at men captured by her otherworldly beauty. As she grew in wealth and status among the Babylonian elite, she conspired to have the man murdered who first sold her. But nothing, not even vengeance, could assuage the misery of her opulent life until the angel of John the Baptist came to her at night to remind her of the dreams of her youth for her beloved. Forthwith, she made plans to return, bought the freedom of many female slaves, gave most of her wealth to the poor, and crossed in a caravan back to the Holy Land. Upon meeting Yeshua and being baptized by his disciples, he retreated with her for three days, transmitting to her the outer, inner, and secret gospel. When he proposed their marriage, she refused, for the shame of her life. But Yeshua replied, “The woman you speak of is not the woman before me now.” She wept. In joy, they were wed. For Yeshua, she was his Shekinah-consort, co-preacher, and co-redeemer of the gnostic gospel.
For God So Loved Sophia
The world the Logos came to redeem is Sophia. God so loved the world (John 3:16). The “world” in Kabbalah is the Hebrew word olam, a cognomen of the Shekinah. Shekinah is Sophia: the immanence of God. Regardless of our sex or gender, we are all Sophia, beginning in an illusion of separation. We long for union with the Logos: the remembrance of our origin.
To see Sophia as every person’s encounter with Yeshua—the Logos—is to read a deeper, more integral gospel weaving spiritual and material redemption. Every part of us, our mind, heart, and body, are all to be redeemed. Nothing can be excluded. What the Logos reflects, Sophia embodies. Every miracle in the gospels is a movement of the Logos gathering Sophia. Sophia as the people recognize the Logos and the circuit of transmission joins: Your faith has healed you. When Magdalene beheld God’s greatest miracle of all—the Resurrection—Sophia received all the fullness of the Logos, embodied by Sophia. God so loved Sophia that God sent the Logos, so that whoever might recognize him will not perish but embody everlasting life.