SageWoman Blogs

“And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning
shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; that if that
which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never
find it without thee.For behold, I have been with thee from the
beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire." - The Charge of the Goddess-

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Sophia * Queen of Peace* Holy Spirit

Without getting into a long, drawn out history of what may have been lost in translations of ancient religious texts,  iconography and Jungian symbolism — or a debate over whether Christianity usurped the Goddess, I will simply say that for this painting, my Muse came to me as the Holy Spirit.

Oddly, I began this painting as part of a class, live streaming online, with several dozen others. We were all painting the Virgin of Guadalupe. I was following along with the examples of the familiar icon being painted, but it was just not working for me. These particular classes run for the better part of a whole day and though I was more and more dissatisfied with my work as the hours wore on, I persevered.

When it was time to quit for the day, I brought the unfinished painting from my studio into the house. Whenever the Muse and I are having trouble connecting, I prop my painting up where I can spend some time, sometimes many hours over the course of many days, studying the image and asking how the Muse wishes to manifest on the canvas.

The only input I was getting this time was that I simply did not like what I had put down in paint so far, so I took extreme measures to remedy the situation—I literally scrubbed off the layers of acrylic down to the canvas. Because some colors are made with more permanent pigments, I was left with a faint, colored shadow of the Virgin.

Back in the studio, I began layering on colors for a new background and that’s when the large, golden rose appeared in place of the Holy Virgin. I truly had no idea where this painting was going, or what it might be revealing but I kept at it, even when the Muse moved me to paint the rose in flames, but not consumed by the fire.

The moon was an element from the first painting that I decided to keep. The tear brimming from the eye, flowing down to fill the crescent of the moon was not anything I planned, but as soon as it manifested from the tip of my brush, I knew it was supposed to be there. The dove was the final inspiration and, of course, is a universal symbol of peace and of the Holy Spirit—but in my painting, the dove and the Goddess seem to be one in the same, as suggested by her winged eyes.

Again, with the painting still unfinished, I brought it into the house where I could study it. As I gazed at the completed painting, I thought it was merely a reflection of my own sentiments in this time of world unrest and global violence. The spirit of the Virgin, hidden beneath the layers of the final painting, calls out for peace and is filled with sorrow by what she sees—a world engulfed in flame, on the brink of being consumed in fire.

I shared the painting with a friend, a religious scholar who helped me delve a bit deeper into the argument for the Holy SpiritGod’s hand in the world, being the feminine aspect of the trinity as evidenced by the use of feminine pronouns in ancient religious texts.When systematically suppressed by early patriarchal doctrine, this feminine aspect of the Creator God was noticeably missed and thus the veneration of the Virgin Mary increased over centuries until she ascended to her rightful place in Christianity as Our Lady of Heaven and Queen of Peace.

Of course, I can’t ignore the Anima (feminine aspects within male) in this painting. There are examples of Coptic and Orthodox images depicting Mary as akin to the burning bush Moses encountered. Like the bush, Mary is not consumed by divine nature but is one with it. Tony Crisp writes at length about anima symbolism on his website:

 “The anima is represented culturally in many symbols world-wide. Some of the best known are the Virgin Mary and Sophia in Christianity; Kwan Yin in Chinese mysticism; Kali in Hinduism; Pallas Athena in ancient Greece and Fatima in Islam. At a fundamental level the anima represents the many aspects of mother and nature.

“Jung stated that there are four stages in the development of ones relationship with the anima. The first is represented by Eve. This stage is a purely instinctual and biological one, and has to do with basic drives to reproduce, and the instinctive drives between mother and baby.

“The second stage is a romantic and aesthetic one. Like the first, this still includes sexual elements, but also deals with the personality of the loved one and social processes.

“The third can be likened to the Virgin Mary. It depicts a love that has developed possibilities beyond simply the biological, emotional, intellectual and social drives. It shows the possibility of deep self giving and the discovery of experience pouring into consciousness from the unconscious, the birth of intuitive insight."

He goes on to say that this stage represents an opening to intuition, the potential for transformation and entrance to the fourth stage of wisdom.

It feels to me that the world is in great flux right now. We surely seem to be surrounded by the chaos and upheaval of great change, and along with it we suffer the pain and sorrow of what is lost to us through the transformation. Here, the Goddess weeps for the fact that we separate ourselves from Her Divine nature that resides within each of us—the feminine aspect of God/dess.


Last modified on
JudithAnn (aka the MAD Goddess) practices the  Old Craft tradition and magical arts of hearth and home.  Through  her writing and art, she encourages women in mid-life and beyond to  embrace their wildest dreams and live the second half of life with  purpose, passion and pizzazz. For those who need a little nudge, she  offers workshops in personal development and life path guidance  using journaling and art for creative self expression.


Additional information