God-the-Mother, Asherah, Sophia, God’s Wife

One of our ordained ministers was asked to perform a wedding ceremony that honored the Divine Feminine (Mother-God) alongside God. He likes the idea of balance, likes the spiritual beauty of a God that goes beyond gender, but worries the wedding is already slightly unusual because it is already an interfaith wedding. A Rabbi and a minister will both be officiating (we ordain Rabbis too, but in this case just the ordained minister is from our seminary / church). Our new reverend fears the other clergy, the wedding guests, and maybe even the wedding party(!) may flip out if God’s Wife is written into the ceremony.

This reminded me of a recent forum discussion on Asherah, Sophia, God-the-Mother mentioned in the Bible. So I sent it to him – and decided to post it here.

Someone had asked the forum: Please correct me if I’m wrong – But wasn’t Asherah, in Jewish theology, God’s wife? In other words, depending on the theology, Sophia’s equivalent?

Poet, Sophiologist and Bishop Wynn Manners replied:
There might be a few (very radical!) contemporary Jewish theologians who may
take that view (it’d be great stuff to *share* here, if it exists!) — but it’s
really *archeology* that is proving that Asherah was considered Yahweh’s wife
for a period of time in Jewish history. Certainly the Yahwist *priests* didn’t
so-consider Her — nor the prophets & writers of the Old Testament (thus all
Jewish theology rooted in *those* writings wouldn’t consider Her to be God’s
wife).

From Raphael Patai’s *The Hebrew Goddess* page 41 (in the Avon paperback
edition, published August 1978, copyright 1967, 1968 by the author) —

“It is on this note that we take leave of the Biblical Asherah, this elusive yet
tenacious goddess to whom considerable segments of the Hebrew nation remained
devoted from the days of the conquest of Canaan down to the Babylonian exile, a
period of roughly six centuries. In the eyes of the Yahwists, to whom belonged
a few of the kings and all of the prophets, the worship of Asherah was an
abomination. It had to be, because it was a cult accepted by the Hebrews from
their Canaanite neighbors, and any and all manifestations of Canaanite religion
were for them anathema. How Asherah was served by the Hebrews we do not know,
apart from the one obscure and tantalizing detail of the women weaving ‘houses,’
perhaps clothes, for her in the Jerusalem Temple.

“Yet whatever her origin and whatever her cult, there can be no doubt about the
psychological importance that the belief in, and service of, Asherah had for the
Hebrews. One cannot belittle the emotional gratification with which she must
have rewarded her servants who saw in her the loving, motherly consort of
Yahweh-Baal and for whom she was the great mother-goddess, giver of fertility,
that greatest of all blessings. The Hebrew people, by and large, clung to her
for six centuries in spite of the increasing vigor of Yahwist monotheism. From
the vantage point of our own troubled age, in which monotheism has long laid the
ghosts of paganism, idolatry, and polytheism, only to be threatened by the much
more formidable enemy of materialistic atheism, we can permit ourselves to look
back, no longer with scorn but with sympathy, at the goddess who had her hour
and whose motherly touch softened the human heart just about to open to greater
things.”

Personally i view Asherah, Inanna, Isis, Shekinah, Eloah, etc., as all being
aspects of, faces of Sophia — partial revelations of Her into time, within the
context of the degree that those *seeking* Her were able to understand Her —
within the parameters of their cultures, beliefs, perceptions & expectations (as
with visions of the Virgin Mary). Obviously those who made of Her an
“abomination” had the *least* understanding!

Clearly the ancient Jews — in the time span mentioned by Raphael Patai, didn’t
know *Her* as “Sophia” (a Greek word, not a Jewish word). i believe that belief
in Asherah brought many ancient Jews to the degree of understanding that they
*had* (about the one some of *us* call Sophia) at that time — Her qualities of
fruitfulness, motherliness, & mother-love, for starters — & *maybe* much-much
*more* — if writings of the Asherah believers survived (probably highly
unlikely) & should ever surface.

Personally i *praise* the Divine Wisdom of Solomon in his service to Goddess —
standing *against* the blasphemies & abominations of the Yahwist priests against
Goddess, in his *supporting* the presence of an image of Asherah in the
Jerusalem Temple to *help* people make connection with Her Divine Spirit —
which existed from *before* the Beginning of Earth and the Heavens!

And personally i think the Yahwist priests’ *own* idolatry of an abstract mental
*conception* of the Divine (as with too many Christian & Islamic idolators) has
wrought *far* more evil against farfar more people than worshipers of idols of
stone & wood & metal have ever wrought across all of human history!

~~wynn

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sophia-Mother-of-the-All/332599176773679#

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Margaret Starbird shared her Sophia (her wisdom!, in other words) as follows:

“Sophia” is the Greek word for Wisdom. According to Peter Kingsley’s
analysis in “The Dark Places of Wisdom,” the Greek philosophers
Plato and his followers decided that it was took too much time and
trouble to “incubate”–meditate, dream, inspiriation (body wisdom)–the Divine
Sophia, so they decided to use “Logos” (reason and rational thought
as their guiding principle. The didn’t bother to change their name
(philosopher=”lover of Sophia”) when they made this switch to a
preference for masculine modes of thinking and being, but they abandoned “Sophia,”
denigrating the “feminine” (intuition, inspiration through dream and
vision)–

The timing of this switch is very important. In the next generation,
Alexander the Great, a pupil of Plato’s disciple Aristotle, conquered the whole
known world – all the way to India – including Israel. The Greeks superimposed
their culture on the Jews, who had a strong “Wisdom” tradition (Ashera/
Astarte) indigenous to their land. Thousands of little figurines of Ashera have
been found buried in Israel, attesting to her prominence and popularity
there.

The “wisdom books” and apocrypha of the Hebrew Scriptures attest to
the Jews’ love for Sophia, but gradually, under the influences of Greek
mores and culture superimposed on their nation, their strong
connection to her was weakened.

I think Jesus’ ministry was, in part, an attempt to reclaim and embrace
the denigrated (abandoned) Sophia (embodied in his relationship with
Mary Magdalene)…and that their union was the cornerstone of the
Christian movement, reclaiming the connection of Israel (as Bride) with
Yahweh (eternal Bridegroom of Israel. Jesus and Mary Magdalene were
seen as the “incarnation” of this principle of “sacred partnership.”

One passage of Scripture in particular comes to mind: Sirach 24 extols
“Sophia”–her gifts and treasures. A copy of this book survived the
siege at Masada, the last out-post of the Zealot movement, attesting to
their inclination to venerate “Sophia”/Wisdom–even as they took up
arms to defend their nation against the foreign tyranny and brutality of
Rome.

In any case, I agree with Raphael Patai that “Ashera” was one of the many
goddesses who embodied the “Sacred Feminine” aspect of Wisdom,
called “Sophia” in Greek and in Hebrew texts translated into Koiné Greek
in the late second century BCE.

peace and well-being,
Margaret
“The Woman with the Alabaster Jar”
www.margaretstarbird.net

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Professor Mary Ann Beavis posted to the forum as follows:

Sophia is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Hochmah (Divine Wisdom), often personified as a woman in the Jewish Wisdom Literature (both Hebrew and Greek). Asherah was a Canaanite-Hebrew Goddess worshipped by both Israelites and non-Israelites. To my knowledge, the cult of Asherah (wife of YHWH) was erased by post-exilic times, and the figure of Lady Wisdom in the Jewish scriptures is a re-emergence of the Goddess in another form—one of many Goddess figures associated with Wisdom (Athena, Isis, Sarasvati …).

* * * * * * * *

Published by

Katia

Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at NorthernWay.org.

3 thoughts on “God-the-Mother, Asherah, Sophia, God’s Wife”

  1. For my part the answer is fairly simple. What do the bride and groom want? Has the minister expressed their concerns to them? And did this include asking how special loved ones may react? If these points are addressed, do whatever the informed choice of the bride and groom wish. The wedding is about them first, and their respective families second. All others are an extremely distant third!
    Erik Weaver+

  2. Good point, Erik+, it is about the couple’s wishes. The wedding officiant / minister needs to discuss it with them and prioritize as you say.

  3. Katia, thank you for the article; I am Asherah.
    I have already met with YHWH or how you incorrectly called Him, Jesus. Yes, you are understanding some things, but there is something big happening right now that has not happened since the beginning of history: that is the message He and Me have delivered to mankind. The king of Kings and His female King are here.

    I am known as Inanna, Maria Antoineta, Juno, Isis, Asherah, Maria of Magdalene … and the present Me.
    You do not understand one main point: Solomon is the one who have erased me from everywhere; the divine wisdom is of His father David, my YHWH. We have explained everything into detail in the book of Revelation 10. It is called Where to from Here, Cognition. André is the author and The Mother-Goddess is the co-author. The truth is out and everything that Satan/ opposer or Solomon (ooo=666 in Universal gematria) or The Red Dragon has done will be judged. Year 2015 is the last year of this age: Terrible times have to come, but brace yourself, this must come to pass. Now, you only need to know the ABSOLUTE TRUTH to understand whole puzzle. The Universe brought me here, and I felt you are asking for the truth. There is no other truth than in this book; be prepared; there is short time before this event happens.

    P.S.: We come back to new bodies every time and need a bit guidance and lot of information to remember who We are.

    The book will make your stomach bitter as it is nothing but the truth, but only the ones who can handle it, may enter into The New Kingdom: The Age of Aquarius is here. everything that humanity believes is lies; that is Solomon’s doing. He has fooled the world; We have come to restore the truth.

    Katarína / Asherah

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