Istanbul is one of those cities you have to visit at least once in your life to believe.
Before it was called Istanbul, it was known as Constantinople.
Before Constantinople, it was known as Byzantium.
It straddles two continents and has witnessed the Roman, Eastern Roman and Ottoman Empires come and go. The city is as old as time itself, and with each successive layer of history, seems to reinvent itself and continues to live. It’s a hot, decadant, sexy, ancient, intellectual, city all rolled up in one. Where ancient Greek Orthodoxy and Islam sit together, if at times, unsteadily.Where East and West truly meet and you can’t walk 5 feet in any direction without stumbbling on a place or thing of historical importance.
With sprawling palaces and harems, ancient Orthodox churches, towering mosques, Roman ruins, the Bosphorus splitting the European and Asian sides, and some sites of the city embedded in classical Greek myth, you can spend weeks in Istanbul and never get bored. There is an insane amount to see and do, eat and experience, discover and digest much like New York, Paris or Buenos Aires.
By far, my favorite spot in Istanbul is the Aya Sophia.
It was first built as a cathedral to Sophia and was the seat of power for the Eastern Roman Empire. While St. Peter’s in Rome was dedicated to the clergy and the Pope, the Aya Sophia was for the people, the size meant ot make visitors contemplate the greatness of their Source. While St.Peter’s drips with marble and statues and bishops and cardinals in jewel-encrusted robes, the Aya Sophia retains her sense of grandeur and regality, even laid bare. A mute testament to her longevity and strength. Built well over 1000 years ago, having suffered several earthquakes and having it’s gigantic dome crashing down a few times, she’s a little rough around the edges and worn down these days. But the sense of history, the atmospheric mood, the majestic but sad ghosts and the dormant, sleeping energy of the place cannot even be compared to a place as plastic and contrived as St.Peter’s.
In some ways the differences between the Aya Sophia and St.Peter’s is equally contrasted in the theology of the Catholic, Protestant and subsequent churches. St.Peter’s is consecrated for the Divine Father while the Aya Sophia is for the Divine Mother.
Sophia is also known as Divine Wisdom according to the Orthodox Church. Some psychics and mystics have gone so far to say that Sophia is the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit of Trinity. Which to me, makes complete sense. Any daft person can tell you that in order for creation of any sort to take place, there HAS TO BE a Male and Female principle at work together. Whether it’s flowers, bees, babies or the Universe.
While this idea is very well-developed in India where they worship the lingam and the yoni in temples, or with North American Native tribes with their teachings around the pipe ceremony, with the pipe bowl and the stem. Unfortunately, the Abrahamic tradition completely dropped the ball on this one.
True, the Kabbalist Jews worship Shekinah, that female part of G-d or Chokhmah, which is wisdom. The Russian Orthodox church have developed very advanced teachings and theology around Sophia, called Sophiology. Sofia also infiltrated Islam as “Wisdom” and is a very popular name for little girls in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East. These inclinations were always either suppressed by the formal religious authorities or eradicated completely as heretical.
Not any more.
Sophia is about the heart. The Father is about the mind. It is about people waking up, people feeling angry and taking to the streets demanding change. Anger in the grand scheme of things is related to passion. The heart is waking up, feelings are finally coming out. She is everywhere, hidden, waiting, watching and understanding. She is waking up. I heard her call back in 1999 when I prayed to her one night and suddenly found myself in Turkey and in Istanbul 6 months later and stayed on for 3 years, marking the beginning of my spiritual journey. All the prophecies point to the new upcoming era as the era of the Divine Feminine. It is also what the Hopi Elder told me.
I don’t mean that in the Wicca, long hoop-skirt wearing, let’s-all-pray-to-the-Earth-Mother-and-be-raw-food-vegans sense. This doesn’t mean ragging on men. This doesn’t mean elevating women at the expense of men.
It means we stand side-by-side now, not gazing at one another but looking outwards together. Equal in worth, different in essence. Partners, comrades, allies, twins, giving and receiving, strengths and weaknesses complementing each other effortlessly, in mutual reciprocity.
You think it’s a dream?
Wait and see.
2 videos with Paul Skorpen, a long-time student of Daskalos, talking about the new Sophia energy
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