Wisdom Sophia has been a long while coming—because… she has been in my mind, in my heart, and in my studies most of my life…
I painted Wisdom Sophia because I follow the Wisdom Way teachings. I tracked on Wisdom since I was a very young woman, with my studies of Martin Buber and Carl Jung.
History of Wisdom Sophia
Wisdom Sophia has been imagined as a feminine figure as far back as 550 b.c. in ancient Babylon. There studies of Light and Wisdom were garnered by the Hebrews in exile. She is written of in Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, the Book of Wisdom, all in the Old Testament.
If you search, you find her in connection with every wisdom tradition around the world. My understanding of the IChing unfolded through my awareness that it, as The Way of the Tao, has its roots on the wisdom traditions. Eckhart Tolle, Thomas Merton, St. Hildegard von Bingen, are but a bare few of those who draw on wisdom. The list runs on through all cultures. Jesus himself was first recognized as a moshel Meshalem, a Master of Wisdom, and his teachings exude his knowledge.
I am also connected through my work with Thomas Keating’s Contemplative Outreach meditation practice, which has a very vibrant chapter here in Denver.
I learned of Cynthia Bourgeault, a contemporary and illuminating teacher, through these studies. Her book The Wisdom Way of Knowing is but one of her many guides to this practice. There are specific disciplines and teachings that guide one on this path of transformation and creativity. These disciplines can be accessed through Bourgeault’s work and her website.
What Wisdom Is
Wisdom is not the same as Gaia, an earth goddess of the past. She comes to us from the future; she is possibility that is always holding us in her loving arms. Seen as the consort of God, Wisdom Sophia is connected with a Gnostic story. It tells of how she so loved earth, she threw herself down into the depths of earth’s chaos, where she awaits our role in her redemption to union with God again. As such, she represents the Shekinnah of the Kaballah.
The Book of Revelation also depicts the Wisdom story as apocalypse and how it might unfold from a Christian perspective.
My last painting and blog entry, “Mary Magdalene”, was inspired also by my wisdom studies. As a student of Jesus, his first and most beloved disciple, Mary Magdalene, is completely imbued with the wisdom teachings.
Sometime next year I plan to paint the Celtic Bridget. She is also much inspired by the Ways of Wisdom, nurturer of earth, connection between the Earth and Heaven, Man and God. As Does the Mary Magdalene Grail painting of mine.
In different ways, all my paintings are wisdom paintings. I work to reveal light and goodness ever present in our world despite everything currently to the contrary! See my website, marilynwells.com for an overview.
For my earlier blog post on Sophia, and more background about how she came to be, refer here also.