Sixth Level of Learning, Paper #3: The Pleroma–the Spiritual Universe

by Wes Penre, May 18, 2020

Click here for glossary

Before any creation was the Monad. Some people call the Monad the Father, All That Is, Source, First Source, The Divine Feminine, Oneness, or just God or the Goddess. “Mon” in Monad means one, single, or alone The Monad is unfathomable because it has always been there and exists beyond any measure of time, and there was no one before It. It just “is,” and as soon as we try to define it, it becomes a distortion—in that sense the RA Material is correct when they talked about distortion. It can’t be understood from any perspective outside Itself. If we say that the Monad has always been, we are adding time to the equation, which takes away from what It/Isness really is.

Everything that exists in the Creation “extended” from the Monad in form of emanations, and therefore, as emanations, no one and nothing can comprehend the entire concept of the Oneness of the Monad. The Monad is all good, in the sense we perceive “good” (and more), but It is void of evil. Good and evil are terms that were added after emanations and creation, as will be discussed later.

In the previous levels of learning, I attributed the Monad/Source to the Divine Feminine and therefore being feminine in nature. The reason for this was because it’s the feminine that gives birth—not the masculine, but many of the Gnostics interpreted the Monad differently. The way we human look at it, feminine is receptive—it’s an inward motion, while the masculine is projecting, which is an outward motion. If you form something, it’s feminine, and if you will and execute something, it’s masculine. Masculine/feminine has nothing to do with gender—it has to do with whether something is directed outwards or inwards. When we create, our creation first comes as a thought inside us—an idea, a concept, or a vision. We could say that we receive an idea and create it in our minds first. Then, for a creation to manifest, we need to direct our intentions outwards. The latter is the masculine side of us—it projects outwards. As we can see, every human being, whether we are males or females, inhabit both these motions. This is what is called androgyny, and this is what was discussed in the Wes Penre papers, making us humans androgynous, regardless of gender.

In the Gnostic Gospels, the Monad is referred to as the Father, and the main reason for this is because the First Emanation of the Monad was an outward motion, and thus, considered a masculine motion. Because no one can fathom the Monad in Its Wholeness, it’s impossible to know how that First Emanation happened within the Monad. What we know is that the First Emanation was directed outward as an “extension” of the Monad (God). The Universe, as we think of it, being a later creation, is feminine in nature, however, just like I wrote in the Wes Penre Papers (WPP). But we’ll get to that…

What we need to understand is that describing the Spiritual Universe perfectly is not possible from our current human perspective—we simply have no appropriate words for it—it can, at best, just be a concept inside ourselves. Thus, all we can do is to try to explain it in human terms, in order to create a common understanding.

However, our concept of the Monad is that it’s neither feminine, nor masculine—it’s neuter. If the Monad is Isness (It just is), it can’t be defined, and can therefore not be defined as masculine or feminine.

The Gnostics are using the word emanation rather than creation when it comes to the appearance of the Aeons. Emanation is when you bring forth your essence. Creation is when you use your essence/emanation from the Monad to create something new. But we must use emanation to create. What you do with your Light becomes the creative part (we humans are creator gods to begin with, as discussed in the Wes Penre Papers).

There is another possible reason why many Gnostic called the Monad the Father. About 2,000 years ago, when most Gnostic texts were written down, women/females were not to be considered Divine or elevated in any form—it was reserved for men. Thus, in order to still get the Gospels out to as many as possible, many Gnostics might have taken a masculine approach to the Monad.

If you read the original Gnostic texts (which we hope you will), you will see the Monad often being referred to as He, but because this is not our perspective, we are going to refer to All That Is as the Monad, Source, or It.

I. The Emanation of the Aeons

In the beginning, the Monad created Its first spiritual “offspring” in the Pleroma—the Pleroma being the Spiritual Realm that existed long before any physical universes—it’s the totality of the Monad. It is the Realm of Pure Spirit. It encompasses everything, including matter and what we call the Matrix.

In simple terms, it says in most of the Gnostic texts that a Thought (also called the Word) emanated from the Monad’s “mind”.

The First Emanation, originating as a thought/word from the Monad, being an outward motion, is a masculine force, but this First Emanation could not take shape or form in the Monad unless it had a recipient, i.e. a feminine counterpart. Therefore, at the same “time” as the masculine emanation extended from the Monad’s mind, a feminine emanation came about to receive this thought. This became the first syzygy, or androgynous, Spiritual Emanation of the Monad; but there were more to come. These emanations are called Aeons in the Gnostic texts (Aeon translates to “age” or “lifetime” in Greek). These emanations were not only created for the Monad Itself, but also to have the ability to exist for themselves. The Monad gave them insight of Itself, as well, knowing that It exists.

In many of the Gospels (gospel meaning “good news”), the Aeons glorified and praised either the Monad and/or the Aeon that begat them (the Aeon that was “before” them). This has nothing to do with worship but is rather expressions of gratefulness for having been created. This glory and praise, in the Christian religion, turned into worship, which is a distortion of the original concept of glory and praise.

In the majority of the Gnostic texts, the Aeons are presented as coming in pairs and being androgynous in nature (a masculine and feminine form coming together in a sort of “merge,” but still being separate; thus, creating a zygote). Their counterpart is also called consort, which is important to remember, if we want to compare these texts with the Wes Penre Papers, where the term consort is often used to describe the relationship between other-worldly beings, rather than marriage. How all this works in the Spiritual Realm, which is supposedly void of energy, is unknown to us, but this is how the Gnostics described it—possibly in order to being able to communicate these difficult subjects to other humans. It’s one thing to get a concept inside our own Spirit (our Highest Self) of the Pleroma and the Aeons, and a completely other thing to try to express it in words.

Both the Monad Itself and the masculine part of the First Emanation are called Bythos in the Valentinus Gnostic System, which we will refer to in this case, and the feminine consort is called Barbelo, or Sige, in some Gnostic teachings. The Monad/Bythos was the One who emanated what became the zygote called Bythos/Barbelo because Bythos, the Monad, in Its emanated Thought, is Barbelo’s consort, making Her in direct connection with Source.  Thus, Barbelo could be said to be the ultimate Divine Feminine of the Monad’s Emanations, and Bythos is the ultimate Divine Masculine. This androgynous pair, Bythos and Barbelo, is often also called the Mother-Father by the old Gnostics because they were the first begotten of the Monad.

It’s important to bear in mind that Aeons are not aliens or beings, as we know it. Thus, Bythos and Barbelo are not two different “entities;” they are merely two aspects of the same Aeon, being emanations of the Monad’s Thought/Word, as discussed earlier. Also, we need to change our concept of what mother, father, sister, and brother really means from a non-physical perspective. When we hear those words, we usually think of them from a physical perspective, such as physical marriage and physical children, which is very misleading when we transfer these concepts into the non-3-D realms. There, we are talking about emanations of Spirit and/or soul (souls being for a later article). This is also precisely what we have tried to convey in our videos regarding Marduk and Thoth being soul emanations of

Aeons are Pure Spirit, where each one of them has a certain characteristic, or characteristics attached to them, which they work with and expand upon. They have no essential physical form or shape but are Pure Water and Light (more about that in a moment). They still can, when appropriate, take any etheric form they wish, to, for instance, deliver a message.

Barbelo’s characteristics are ThoughtForeknowledgeIndestructibilityEternal Life (like with all Aeons), and Truth. From the Thought of the Father-Mother (Bythos-Barbelo), another pair of Aeons emanated, who in their turn emanated onto an additional Aeon, and so on, as the previous Aeon’s mind expanded. All these Aeons were created in pairs and were assigned their own Realm of existence within the Pleroma, where they could utilize and expand upon their own unique characteristics. Depending on which Gospel we read, there are different opinions on how many of these aeonic pairs there are. Some texts mention twelve aeonic pairs, others mention up to thirty, and in the gospel, The Sophia of Christ, the Aeons are “without number.” The number of Aeons are not so important—we just need to understand what the Aeons are and that these are the emanations of Spirit that inhabit the Spiritual Universe, which the Gnostics call the Pleroma. For the sake of what I learned while writing the Wes Penre Papers, we will work with that there are twelve Aeons. It corresponds the best with previous material, where twelve is also an important number to the Queen of Orion. Together, all the Aeons contain the knowledge and Gnosis of the Monad, as much as these Aeons, with their combined characteristics, can perceive of God, who is Perfect in the sense that It is All That Is—nothing is lacking in It. However, as soon as something is created from It, it becomes a “distortion,” as mentioned earlier, i.e. a descension from the All, and the Light becomes a little dimmer.

II. The Aeon Pistis Sophia

The last Aeon that was created was called Sophia, or Pistis Sophia, where pistis means faith and Sophia means wisdom. She is the only Aeon who can self-reflect. The other Aeons are also fully capable of thinking, but they are reflecting back to the Monad instead of onto themselves. They accepted their characteristics and their lot in the Pleroma, but Sophia, being Wisdom, could reflect onto herself. This was and is her nature. Sophia’s masculine consort is Thelètos, who is characterized by Desire, Willed or Longed-for.

Sophia’s characteristics are Wisdom and Faith. Because she is the last Aeon that was emanated, thus making the Pleroma complete, she also had the potential to encompass the different characteristics of all the other Aeons before her, so that she had the potential to conceive of all their personal experiences, which all together result in Wisdom. Before her, the Aeons did not think or operate beyond their own characteristic traits, and therefore, Sophia is the only one who can gain Wisdom from all the Monad’s emanations. However, although Wisdom is one of her characteristics, and Faith the other, it means she has Faith in the Monad and that It exists, but she does not know the nature of the Monad—her desire, coming from her masculine consort, is to find Wisdom through curiosity and desire, meaning she didn’t have all this wisdom to begin with—only the potential to gain it. She was created with the desire to find this Wisdom—something we humans can relate to, as well—humans being emanations of Sophia’s spiritual essence.

Here we need to explain what Water and Light are, for greater comprehension. Water is, according to the Gnostics, the feminine aspect of Spirit, and Light is the masculine, essentially emanating from the Monad through the Aeons. Therefore, most ancient texts, including the Wes Penre Papers, particularly The Fifth Level of Learning, talk about the Universe being made of water, which is quite literally true. Barbelo, being the first feminine aspect, is water. The will of the Monad is Light. Water is the body of Life, which is also why our physical bodies are made of about 80% water ( Water and Light are important to understand in order to grasp upcoming articles. Consider the following analogy:

It’s easy to think of the Pleroma as being hierarchical, but it’s nothing of the sort. Each Aeon is equally important because altogether they form Completeness or Fullness, which is the Pleroma, which is the Monad. Instead of thinking of the Aeons in a descending order of power and importance, like in a hierarchal structure, we might visualize the Pleroma as an emanation “outwards” in a plane structure, consisting of outwardly created concentric rings or circles. A conceptional way of perceiving it would be if you drop a droplet or a rock into a pond (water). This will start a ripple effect, creating concentric circles outward. Each circle represents the realm of an Aeon, until we come to the last ripple, which would be the realm of Sophia (see picture below). I am not saying that this is how it “looks like;” it’s just one way of visualizing it.

Concentric circle

Instead of calling the Monad the Divine Feminine, it would be more correct, from the Wes Penre Paper’s perspective, to call the Aeon, Sophia, the Divine Feminine, as we shall see later in this series, because we will learn that the human soul group, as portrayed in the WPP, is directly connected with Sophia. On a “larger” scale, we could also call Barbelo, as the first Emanation the ultimate Divine Feminine because she emanated before Sophia. With that said, it is the Aeon Sophia that is referred to as the Divine Feminine in the WPP.

In the next article we are going to explain how Sophia created the Universe that I called the KHAA in the Wes Penre Papers, and how she descended from the Pleroma and into the material universe. It’s this part of Sophia—the descension—that I called the Queen, the Orion Queen, the Queen of the Stars, and the Mother Goddess in the WPP.


The Secret Gospel of John (long version) (different interpretations)

The Tripartite Tractate

The Sophia of Jesus Christ

The First Gnostic Church of Christ (Videos with narratives and interpretations)

The Wes Penre Papers

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