Barbelo

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Barbelo is a goddess in Gnosticsm. She is also called Thought, Providence, Forethought, or Foreknowledge. She is believed to be the first emanation of Bythos.

In the Apocryphon of John, a writing in the Nag Hammadi Library, Barbelo is described as "The first power, the glory, Barbelo, the perfect glory in the aions, the glory of the revelation."

The Apocryphon of John continues:

"This is the first thought, his image; she became the womb of everything, for it is she who is prior to them all, the Mother-Father, the first man (Anthropos), the holy Spirit, the thrice-male, the thrice-powerful, the thrice-named androgynous one, and the eternal aeon among the invisible ones, and the first to come forth."

Relation to other systems of thought[change | change source]

The Gnostic account of Barbelo is quite similar to Tantric thought. In Kashmir Shaivism, Shakti is similarly the second Tattva or first emanation of Shiva.

References[change | change source]