It had long been the hope of the Province of Greater London that the centenary of the London College of Adepts in November 2022 be marked by the foundation of a new College in London. This aspiration was fulfilled on the 28 January 2023 when Sophia Hermetica College No 99 was consecrated by the Supreme Magus, the M.W Frater Tony Llewellyn and a team of High Councilors.
The purpose of the new College is to create further opportunities for Master Masons to join our Society and to learn more about Rosicrucianism and those Arts and Crafts that form its practices. In a purely practical way, by meeting on a Saturday it offers an option for those to join for whom attendance at the weekday meetings of the Metropolitan College and the London College of Adepts is not practical. In addition, the College dines informally after its morning meeting and so enables study and practice to take place in the early afternoon. This pattern permits the members to work together in a way that is not possible in other Colleges by giving emphasis to spiritual practice, shared learning and discussion, and the pursuit of knowledge.
These themes are important to the founders of the Sophia Hermetica College, as our hope is to establish a college that embraces all aspects of Rosicrucian thought and study, as well as honouring the female aspect of the Divine, ourselves, and the Natural world around us.
The choice of the name of the College, Sophia Hermetica, was the outcome of much consideration by the founding members. Sophia Hermetica translated literally means ‘Hermetic Wisdom.’ But there is a deeper and more meaningful explanation when studied more closely.
The Rosicrucian manifestos consistently state that all true Rosicrucian’s study the Hermetic texts. Kore Kosmu is the earliest of the Hermetic texts which means the Cosmic Maiden. In this text the Goddess Isis teaches the methods of enlightenment to her son Horus. This is an early example linking the personification of Wisdom through the feminine aspect of God, Rosicrucianism, and Hermetica.
Sophia appears in many passages of the Bible as the female personification of Wisdom, though her roles and popularity in Judeo-Christian traditions have changed throughout time. She is also celebrated in Kabbalah as the female expression of God.
“Sophia” in ancient Greek translates to “wisdom,” and from this we derive the words “philosophy” and “sophisticated.” The Hebrew the word for wisdom, חָכְמָה or chokmah, is also a feminine noun.
In the Book of Proverbs, she is God’s partner, or darling, his delight, a personified feminine being who is with God and helps him. Sophia is celebrated in the ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ in a beautiful, poetic and powerful way - summing up why Wisdom, Sophia, is the perfect companion for our new college:
“Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out. All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands. And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. . For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore, can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness. And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets. For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it. For after this cometh night: but vice shall not prevail against Wisdom.”