Portland artist and spiritual guide, James Galluzzo is having an art show exploring and dedicated to the sacred feminine from 11-4 on Sunday, 16 September, 2012. The show will be centered around six large paintings that cannot help but pull you into the energy of the divine feminine. There will be prints, posters and cards available at the show with 25% of the proceeds going to support the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in their struggles with the Vatican – the Women Religious have been in the news lately as they have fought to keep their focus on social justice and helping those in need.
Galluzzo describes the six large paintings as:
HER NAME — these are many of the names for the sacred feminine founded in pre-Christianity.
MOTHER EARTH — words and images of the Earth Mother.
MOTHER OF PASSION, FIRE and SPIRIT — the heart and passion that brings life and creativity to the world.
SOPHIA — Wisdom, Spirit.
MOTHER MADONNA — the mother, Madonna image throughout Christianity, life bearer.
COSMIC MOTHER — the mother of the universe, the one who holds the sacred creation story.
On a flyer distributed for the show, Galluzzo gives some background information about the Sophia aspect of the sacred feminine. He writes:
HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom
Who is Sophia? Literally she is Wisdom, because the Greek word Sophia means “wisdom” in English. Sophia is the Wisdom of Deity. She has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by the Jews, as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by the Greeks, and as the Holy Spirit as Wisdom by Christians.
Sophia is found throughout the wisdom books of the Bible. There are many references to her in the book of Proverbs, in the apocryphal books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon. She is Wisdom Incarnate, the Goddess of all those who are wise.
Is it any wonder that Sophia is constantly associated with wise King Solomon? 1 Kings 4:29-31 tells us that God gave wisdom to Solomon.
The Jews revered Sophia, King Solomon even put her right in the Temple, in the form of the Goddess Asherah. However, after the brutal “reforms” of King Josiah described in 1st and 2nd Kings in your Bible, the veneration of Sophia went underground. Josiah slaughtered all her priests and priestesses and destroyed her shrines and places of worship. But Sophia adherents remained active in the “underground stream” for centuries even while patriarchal Christianity held total sway in the Western World.
Thanks to her continuing presence in the world and her presence in the Bible, veneration of Sophia surfaced in the Eastern Christian traditions with the construction of the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople. The Russian Catholic liturgical service to Sophia combined with the assumption of Mary on May 15. The Russian Orthodox Church has also begun a school of “Sophiology” to explore the theology.
In the West, Sophia has not always been honored, she has been in exile and it is time we must call the Bride out of Exile.
The world, the church and our country are in deep need of the sacred feminine. We are in need of passion, the heart, compassion and caring for others. It is our responsibility to embrace the sacred feminine.
What the Vatican is doing to religious women is just another example of keeping the bride in exile.