This version of the Holy Gnostic Rosary focuses on the whole of the Gnostic mythos, from our source in the Unknown Father, through the Fall of Sophia and the creation of matter, to our ultimate redemption through the Christos. It is the Rosary I personally pray, and is a conglomeration of Gnostic Rosaries that are (or have been) available online. The prayers of the Rosary primarily come from the Ecclesia Gnostica, while the Mysteries are those used by the Apostolic Gnostic Church in America (which, as far as I can tell, no longer exists – but if I’m wrong, and someone from the AGCA stumbles upon this blog, I’d love to hear from you!). Like the traditional Catholic Rosary, the Gnostic Rosary uses three sets of five Mysteries, upon which one meditates while vocalizing the prayers and keeping track of the prayers on each bead. One can either choose one set of Mysteries to focus on, or may decide to pray all 15 at once.
I also offer some optional prayers that may be said at the conclusion of the Rosary, if one so desires. Most often, I pray the Renunciation of the Archons, taken from the Book of the Stranger, which was the official prayerbook of the now defunct Order of Allogenes. This particular prayer was arranged by Jeremy Puma, based upon a passage from the Pistis Sophia. One of the other optional prayers is taken from a traditional 13th century Cathari prayer, and is the official prayer of the Order of St. Esclarmonde.
As a slight variation, this Rosary may be offered for the dead by replacing the Gloria with the Requiem prayer. In either case, it is possible to offer the Rosary for special intentions, by mentioning them after the introductory prayers before announcing the First Mystery – this can mean mentioning the names of deceased loved ones, living friends or family, or any other intention one may have. I have attempted to be as thorough as possible in this rather lengthy post, but if you’re not familiar with the practice of praying a Rosary, feel free to email me with any questions you may have.
How to Pray the Holy Gnostic Rosary
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, and on the cross recite the Gnostic Credo.
2. On the first large bead, pray the Gnostic’s Prayer*.
3. On the three smaller beads, pray three Ave Sophias.
4. On the space before the next larger bead, pray the Gloria Patri.
5. On the first large bead, announce the First Mystery, and pray the Gnostic’s Prayer.
6. Pray the Ave Sophia on each of the 10 beads that follow. Conclude with a Gloria Patri.
7. On the second large bead, announce the Second Mystery, and pray the Gnostic’s Prayer. Continue in the same manner as above around the Rosary for each of the Mysteries.
8. On the center piece, pray the O Alma Sophia, followed by any concluding prayers you may desire.
9. Finish with the Sign of the Cross.
*The Gnostic’s Prayer may also be replaced by the more traditional Our Father, if you prefer.
The 15 Mysteries of the Holy Gnostic Rosary
The Pleromic Mysteries
1. The Mystery of the Source: All is at rest in the Divine Pleroma.
2. The Mystery of the Emanations: The Spirit of God, the Unknown Father, moves to create the Æons.
3. The Mystery of the Æon Sophia: Sophia comes to embody the Father’s Divine Wisdom.
4. The Mystery of Sophia’s child–bearing: Sophia gives birth to Ialdabaoth, the demiurge.
5. The Mystery of Sophia’s separation: Our Lady, as Mother of Sorrows, is rent into the Higher Sophia and the Lower Sophia, following Ialdabaoth’s arrogant creation of the cosmic realm.
The Liberation Mysteries
1. The Mystery of Sophia’s sorrow: As Mother of Sorrows, Sophia decides to enter the world of humanity.
2. The Mystery of the Serpent: Sophia takes the form of the serpent, and comes to humanity to instruct them in the wisdom of God.
3. The Mystery of Eve: Humanity responds to Sophia’s call to reach for complete understanding.
4. The Mystery of Sophia the Teacher: Throughout human history, Sophia inspires and instructs great prophets, holy people, and ordinary men and women in the ways of Gnosis.
5. The Mystery of Sophia the Liberator: Through Gnosis, Sophia leads each of us now through the veil, as we move toward full reunification with the Pleroma.
The Bridal Mysteries
1. The Mystery of the Consorts: Christ and Sophia are partnered as Æons, syzygies, emanating from Unknown Father, representing poles of God’s unity: Light and Dark, Male and Female, Word (Logos) and Wisdom (Sophia).
2. The Mystery of the Incarnation: Christ enters the world from the Pleroma through the human being, Jesus of Nazareth, spurred on by the compassion of Sophia.
3. The Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan: Jesus is baptized by John the Baptizer in the Jordan, and Sophia descends upon Him like a dove, to be with Him during His mission.
4. The Mystery of the Resurrection: After Jesus’ death, Sophia brings Him forward to a new form of life in spirit.
5. The Mystery of Sophia the Advocate: After Jesus leaves the world, Sophia remains as an advocate for those who seek to understand His teachings and message.
The Prayers of the Holy Gnostic Rosary
Sign of the Cross
In the Name of the + Unknown Father; in Truth, Mother of All; in union, and redemption, and the sharing of powers: peace be to all on whom this Name reposes. Amen.
I acknowledge one great Invisible God, unrevealable, unmarked, ageless, and unproclaimable; the Unknown Father, the Æon of the Æons, Who brought forth in the silence with His providence: the Father, the Mother, and the Son.
I acknowledge the Christos, the self-begotten living Son; the glory of the Father, and the virtue of the Mother; Who, given birth from the virginal and ineffable Mother, was made incarnate: the Perfect One. Who, in the Word of the Great Invisible God, came down from above to annul the emptiness of this age, and restore the fullness to the Æon.
I acknowledge the Holy Spirit, the Bride of the Christos, the Mother of the Æons, the great virginal and ineffable Mother who proceeded from Herself a gift of Herself, out of the silence of the Unknown God.
I acknowledge the Light of the One Church in every place: Interior, Invisible, Secret, and Universal: the foundation of the Lights of the Great Living God.
I seek liberation of my perfection from the corruptions of the world, and look to the gathering of the sparks of Light from the sea of forgetfulness. Amen.
Almighty God, Whose footstool is the highest firmament: Great Ruler of Heaven, and all the powers therein: Hear the prayers of Thy servants who put their trust in Thee. We pray Thee, supply our needs from day to day: Command Thy heavenly host to comfort and succor us; that it may be to Thy glory, and unto the good of all. Forgive us our transgressions as we forgive our brothers and sisters. Be present with us; strengthen and sustain us: For we are but instruments in Thy hands. Let us not fall into temptation: Defend us from all danger and evil: Let Thy mighty power ever guard and protect us, Thou great Fount of knowledge and wisdom: Instruct Thy servants by Thy holy presence: Guide and support us, now and forever. Amen.
Hail Sophia, filled with light, the Christ is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst the Æons, and blessed is the Liberator of Thy light, Jesus. Holy Sophia, Mother of all gods, pray to the Light for us, Thy children, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
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.
O Alma Sophia
O Gentle, O Kind, O Blessed Sophia, Thy children on earth call unto Thee: We pray Thee, our Beloved Mother, to cast forth Thy net of woven starlight. Fling it wide across the ocean of the universe to gather us home to the realms of Light. Amen.
Renunciation of the Archons
Rulers of the Midst, hear me: Ye usurpers of the rightful Realms of Perfection, I renounce you and your works, deeds, images. Take to yourselves your destiny! I come not to your regions from this moment onwards. I have become a stranger unto you forever, being about to go unto the region of my inheritance. Rulers of the Midst, hear me: I renounce you and your servants, and commend my whole self to the Realms of Truth, now and forever. Amen.
13th Century Cathari Prayer
Rightful Queen of faithful souls,
Who never erred,
Who never lied,
Follower of the rightful course,
Who never doubted,
Lest we should accept death
In the realm of the false god:
As we do not belong to this realm,
And this realm is not ours –
Teach us Thy Gnosis,
And to love what Thou lovest. Amen.
Hail Holy Queen
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy; Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To Thee do we cry, the exiled children of Eve. To Thee do we send up our longing, sighs, and crying in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of compassion toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us our Holy Twin Angel. O clement, O loving, O sweet Sophia! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of all gods, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ; that the door be opened before us into the column of glory, that we might cross over in the ships of Light, and rest forevermore. Amen.
Prayer to St. Michael
O glorious prince of the heavenly army, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the eternal combat, which we sustain against the powers of darkness, malice and ignorance, which afflict us on this æonial battlefield of our earthly life! Come, invincible leader of the host of heaven, guardian of the paradise of the world, and wielder of the double-edged, flaming sword! Aid and sustain us in our defense against the adversary; and come to lead us finally into the presence of the Most High, into the abode of the blissful. Enlighten and purify us, O Thou great and mighty Archangel Michael: grant us to abandon the works of darkness, and to love the Gnosis of the Light; so that whilst all things of this world pass away, we may ever hold fast those things which abide for evermore. Amen.
Rosary for the Dead
Replace the Gloria Patri with the following:
Repose in the Eternal Fullness grant unto them, O Lord; and let the Light above the Æons shine upon them. Amen.
(The Credo may also be replaced with the De Profundis, Psalm 130 [129 in the Septuagint]: “Out of the depths…”)