Before the Flood
On Sophia Gaia’s two children, and what happened during the last Age of Wonder
No man can measure the span nor speed of time which passed between the birth of Sophia’s unintended firstborn, Yaldaboeth — who is Hunger — and the birth of her truly intended firstborn, Zoe Sophia — who is Wisdom. Nor can any man comprehend that which came to pass between the birthing of Zoe Sophia — during which Sophia died and gave her body to Gaia — and the coming of the children of men.
Yaldaboeth created many terrible creatures to live in the fire, water, air, and stone, before Sophia birthed her daughter and cast herself as a green mantle upon the rock. Some monsters of the fire and stone were quenched under Gaia’s mantle; some monsters of the air perished as the skies turned from yellow to blue; yet many monsters of the seas remained, and some monsters of fire, stone, and air escaped through passageways into the deep, luminous caverns of the earth’s bowels, before Sophia’s mantle sealed them in.
So there were already many terrible creatures wandering abroad on the earth when Zoe Sophia awoke from the fruit of her mother’s essence.
But Zoe, being inseminated from hope rather than fear, unlike her elder brother, was not afraid, but instead inspired to make creatures more beautiful and wonderous than Yaldaboeth’s minions were terrible.
She wrought creatures from her own imagination of terrible beauty and power — but also of elaborate whimsy and detail. Zoe’s children were more likely to use wit and craft than they were to attempt to match strength for strength.
In one age, Zoe’s ever curious mycelial flowers devoured the entire planet — first, being intentionally planted to consume the radioactive monsters which still stalked her mother’s woods, but then quite entirely by accident as they grew overzealous after victory. Furious over the death of her mother’s forests, Zoe punished her mycelial children by making them much smaller than the trees, so they could never again devour all the forests of trees across the surface of the earth.
In another era, Yaldaboeth and his archons created a race of creatures so large, and so violent in their industry, that they cut down each of the nine towering World Trees, whose seeds had been planted by Sophia herself in the very first age. The tears from Zoe’s cries of rage filled the oceans past the highest peaks of the mountains for one thousand years, and all creatures of the air and earth perished until the next age.
Countless eons went by as Zoe Sophia came of age, but for the distant children of Adam and Eve, it was just as well to have been one, for few of these events concern the fate of men: half-bred grandchildren of Sophia Gaia, the great Sophia Pstisis, Conqueress of the Void.
There could have been one flood; there could have been thousands. Each time, the cycle of survival and creation and renewal and greed and decay and destruction iterating its theme, with perhaps infinite variation. Sophia’s children Yaldaboeth and Zoe each birthed many lineages over the eons, both together and apart. Offspring who died quickly, offspring who flourished and became gods themselves and left to create new homes, and offspring who struggled, and intermingled, and evolved to survive throughout many ages. Sometimes Sophia would rage the seas to rise and wash away the gluttonous monoliths built by her brother, and sometimes Yaldaboeth would melt the ice for the amusement of drowning his sister’s children, when he deemed they had grown too haughty.
Yet none of these are our story. None of these, until the last watery purge.
The age before the last flood was an Age of Wonder. And an Age of Terror.
As his younger sister matured and came to resemble her mother Sophia more in form and action, Yaldaboeth became desperate to create his own image of his mother’s likeness. He and his archons concocted all manner of creatures which held likeness of his mother’s form, but none held breath until Zoe Sophia told Adam, “Get up!”
After earthly Adam and earthly Eve were banished from Zoe’s beloved garden by Yaldaboeth, Zoe laughed at her brother’s walls, and contrived make her mother’s entire green mantle a garden — to delight her awkward, half-bred children. Adam and Eve, and their children, bore the likeness of their grandmother Sophia’s radiant face and clear eyes — even if they also bore the body and behavior of their father, Yaldaboeth.
So Sophia planted forests in honor of the sacred world trees, and planted savannahs and meadows and all manner of food and medicine using seeds from the world’s first planting. And as her heart swelled with love for the awkward, violent, but beautiful human children, the rivers and lakes swelled until they teemed with turtles and fish.
Yaldaboeth was content, for the most part, to let Zoe pamper his children, for he was biding his time until they had matured, as childraising was tedious and cumbersome work. Yet he was ever ravenous to outdo his sister’s work, and he and his archons would often steal away daughters of Adam and Eve, and plant their seed in them, and create giants and gnomes and cylops and all manner of monstrous shapes of men.
Seeing that her new children were vulnerable, and becoming convinced that they needed guidance to temper their violent ways, Zoe contrived to create for them a sibling. A nobler, more tempered race, having all the access to Zoe’s knowledge, without the burden of being subject of Yaldaboeth’s interest.
So Zoe went to her nephew, the archangel Heylel, who was Yaldaboeth’s mightiest archon in the dawn of time before Sophia lit the sun with her laughter — now the strongest of her mother’s allies — and she said:
“Long have my brother’s creatures fouled my mother’s green mantle; my youngest children are strong but ignorant, and need the guidance of wise siblings. If you would have union with me, we could create a noble race of brothers and sisters to help and to guide them. A race which shares our love for our mother’s light.”
Heylel was disinterested in the affairs of man, but was keen to warm himself nearer the fire of Zoe Sophia, and in his eagerness to please her, he turned himself into a wise and stately oak, in the image of the first World Tree.
“Call me Bilé from this day,” he said. “Now let me drink of you, for I have long been thirsty.”
So pleased was Zoe with Heylel’s appearance as Bilé that her form burst into a rushing river of water, and she wrapped herself around his strong roots for three hundred miles.
“Call me Danu from this day,” Zoe said. “Drink of me deeply, and be satisfied.”
From their union, four plump acorns bent Bilé’s branches, and dropped. From these acorns burst four sisters, as different from one another as the four seasons.
There was Brigid, with hair of fire and eyes the green of her grandmother’s mantle. There was Shakti, whose tall frame and far-seeing eyes peered ever towards her grandmother’s rising sun. There was Mami-Wata, with skin like the sightless ocean deep and roped locks like the kelp forests in which she loved to swim. The last-born (and most beloved of Sophia) was White Buffalo Calf Woman, whose strong, brown limbs and ravenswing braids became hooves and horns when she stampeded across the her grandmother’s grassy plains.
The sisters lingered a long time, drinking by the banks of their mother, Danu, and learning all the wisdom that their father, Bilé, had to offer. When they had nearly grown and the time had come to leave their parents, the four sisters parted to the four corners of the earth to stake out their own cities, each for themselves.
In order to have offspring and reproduce, the four sisters took for themselves husbands of men, choosing the wisest and strongest of the sons of Adam and Eve, and they united with them and bore children. The children the four sisters bore with the sons of Adam and Eve were known as Lumanians.
Read the rest of this work over at my place: the @creativeonion network.