Since last Monday, I’ve been offering a series of meditations on the Seven Sorrows of Sophia, in commemoration of Her fall from the Pleroma into the limitations of matter. The Descent recalls Her desire to be with the Light, Her Source, and the moment when She saw a reflection of that Light and chased after it, believing it to be the real Light. She passed through the Horos – the Limit of the Pleroma – as if passing through a membrane, and suddenly found Herself in the darkness of chaos. Separated from the other Æons, and Her Syzygy, with no way to return to Her own region, She began to lament and call out to the Light for help. Eventually the Light hears Her, and sends a helper to save Her – the Christos, in whom all the Fullness of God dwells.
Our meditations this week have focused on the sorrows She experienced, both in Her longing while still in Her Pleromic region, as well as the suffering She experienced as a result of Her fall. (It is also worth noting that even after being rescued by the Christ, She left a part of Herself behind, in order to comfort and sustain the creatures left in the world as a result of Her Error – hence we talk about the Upper Sophia and the Lower Sophia.)
There is no one “right” way to meditate upon Her Sorrows – at a minimum, it suffices to offer one Hail Sophia every day of the week for each Sorrow, similar to what we’ve done this week. However, today being the octave day of the Descent of Sophia, celebrated by the Western exoteric Church as the Feast of the Sorrowful Mother, I’d like to offer another possibility: utilizing the Sorrows of Sophia as Mysteries in a chaplet. Much like the Servite Rosary, this chaplet consists of praying 7 Hail Sophias for each Mystery. If you have followed the meditations over the last week, you’ll be quite familiar with the meaning of each Sorrow, making this chaplet most effective. You may easily make a chaplet of seven groups of seven beads, with a larger bead separating each group; or, you may purchase a Servite Rosary which already contains the proper number of beads but contains medals associated with the Sorrows of Mary.
The Mysteries (or Sorrows) are still the same:
1. The Longing of Sophia
2. The Fall of Sophia
3. The Creation of the Demiurge
4. The Creation of the Archons
5. The Creation of the Cosmos
6. The Creation of Man
7. The Enslavement of Man
The chaplet is recited as follows:
1. Make the Sign of the Cross and an Act of Contrition:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all the faults which I have committed, not because of any punishment which I may receive, but chiefly because with my faults I have turned away from Thee, my God, who art all-good, and who art wholly deserving of my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more, and I ask to be forgiven even as I forgive those who have offended against me. Amen.
2. Then say:
℣. Incline unto my aid, O God;
℟. O Lord, make haste to help me.
℣. Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
℟. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.
3. Announce the First Mystery, followed by an Our Father on the large bead. Then pray the Hail Sophia on each of the seven smaller beads. This septet can be concluded with a Glory Be, or with Sophia’s words from the Pistis Sophia:
My time is vanished like a breath and I am become matter.
4. Step 3 is repeated for each of the Sorrows, announcing each one before the Our Father, until all seven have been meditated upon.
5. After meditating upon all Seven Sorrows, three Hail Sophias are offered on the three beads hanging from the circlet, in honor of Sophia’s tears. As She has said: “I have devoured the sweat of my own matter and the anguish of the tears from the matter of my eyes, so that they who oppress me may not take the rest.” (Pistis Sophia, Ch. 39)
6. Back at the cross, the following is said:
℣. Pray for us, O Mother most sorrowful;
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of the Christ.
Let us pray. I have sung praises unto Thee, O Light, in the darkness below. Hearken unto my repentance, and may Thy light give heed to the voice of my supplication. O Light, if Thou thinkest on my sin, I shall not be able to stand before Thee, and Thou wilt abandon me, For Thou, O Light, art my savior; because of the light of Thy name I have had faith in Thee, O Light. And my power hath had faith in Thy mystery; and moreover my power hath trusted in the Light when it was among those of the height; and it hath trusted in it when it was in the chaos below. Let all the powers in me trust in the Light when I am in the darkness below, and may they again trust in the Light if they come into the region of the height. For it is the Light which hath compassion on us and delivereth us; and a great saving mystery is in it. And it will save all powers out of the chaos because of my transgression. For I have left my region and am come down into the chaos. Amen.
(Pistis Sophia, Sixth Repentance)