The Barbelo : Womb of the Universe

The Barbelo : Womb of the Universe


A convention common to many ancient philosophical speculations was the designation of deities as male and their thoughts as female. Neither, in this sense, is truly separable from the other; they exist in eternal androgynous union, each defined by the other’s presence.

According to the Secret Gospel of John, the Alien God’s companion was a goddess named “the Barbelo,” born when the Alien God saw his own reflection in “the water of life” and fell in love.

“His thought became active,” Secret John tells us, and Barbelo emerged from this “luminous water” as the Alien’s God’s “first Thought… She became the universal womb, for she precedes everything.” ((“The Secret Book of John.” The Secret Teachings of Jesus. Trans. Marvin W. Meyer. Vintage, 1984. 58-59.))


If the Alien God is nothing, consciousness without separation, timeless and unchanging, then the Barbelo is everything, infinite consciousness overflowing into multiplicity, the mind of God at play with itself.

Barbelo serves as the active, energetic complement to the Alien God’s passive principle of potential form; as the driving force behind creation, she represents fertility, birth and dynamic growth:

“I am androgynous. I am both Mother and Father since I copulate with myself. I copulate with myself and with those who love me, and it is through me alone that the All stands firm. I am the Womb that gives shape to the All by giving birth to the Light that shines in splendor…” ((“The Trimorphic Protennoia.” The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James Robinson. HarperCollins, 1978. 519.))


Like the Hindu Kali, Barbelo embodies a paradox; even as existence manifests itself through her, she never forgets that it is all nothing but maya, the shadowy illusion of an ephemeral dream:

“O first shadow of the holy parent, light from light,
We praise you.

O you who produce perfect beings and who are a cause of aeons,
You yourself have beheld those which are eternal,
for they derive from a shadow.

And you have been a cause of multiplicity:
And you have found and remained One, while yet being a
cause of multiplicity in order to become divided.

You are One belonging to the One:
and you derive from its shadow.

You are a concealed aeon:
you are a world of gnosis;

For, you understand that those which belong to the One
derive from a shadow,
And these are yours in your heart.” ((“The Second Tablet of Seth: Hymn 3: Praise of the Barbelo.” The Gnostic Scriptures. Trans. Bentley Layton. Doubleday /Anchor, 1995. 155.))


Perhaps the closest modern parallel to these ideas may be found in the “inflationary model,” or the idea that our universe – and the big bang which preceded it – emerged as the result of a “quantum fluctuation” in the primeval cosmic vacuum.

In quantum physical terms, a vacuum is neither empty nor unchanging, but “a miniature universe quietly bubbling with its own inherently unstable energy”  ((Dickinson, Terence. From the Big Bang to Planet X. Camden House,1993. 25.))  – an eternally replenished source of “virtual particles” which pop in and out of existence like the bubbly effervescence dancing on the surface of a carbonated beverage.

If inflationary cosmologists are correct, it may be that our own universe began when one of these “bubbles” took on a life of its own and became real, peeling off from the vacuum to expand into an entire universe of its own:

“…in the bizarre realm of quantum cosmology, no energy is stolen from the primordial vacuum; it is simply in a different form than it was before. All the matter in our universe consists of positive energy, which is apparently balanced by the negative energy of gravity. The total energy of the universe, therefore, could be exactly zero. As quantum cosmologist Alan Guth, one of the developers of this concept, once remarked: “Our universe seems to be the ultimate free lunch.” ((Dickinson, Terence. From the Big Bang to Planet X. Camden House,1993. 26.))


Recent versions of inflationary theory hold that a “mother universe” (rather than a vacuum) produced the bubble which became the big bang, and that this mother universe has continued to produce baby universes, which in turn produce even more baby universes, and so on. So where did this mother universe come from in the first place?

Richard Gott and Li-Xin Li of Princeton University suggest that the “mother universe” somehow gave birth to itself when one if the universes it created looped back in time to produce it:

“Linde has shown that inflating universes can give rise to baby universes with the baby universes budding off like branches from a tree. But one might ask: “Where does the trunk come from?” Li and I propose that one of the branches simply loops around to become the trunk… In this model – an alternative to the tunneling from nothing idea – the universe is its own mother….” ((Gott, Richard. “Can the Universe Create Itself?” Fermilab Seminar Abstract. 22 March 1999.

In this scenario, the mother universe exists as a “closed timelike curve,” an “eternal cluster of galaxies” where time repeats itself in a great, cosmic case of deja-vu; “This first universe created itself and was its own mother, making the first matter in some way we will never be able to know,” Gott suggests. ((Easterbrook, Gregg. “Is Ours the Only Universe? Scientist’s Surprising Theories.” U.S. News & World Report. 20 July, 1998.

Rev Illuminatus Maximus

Welcome to, online home of occult researcher and visionary artist Rev. Illuminatus Maximus.


  1. mike on April 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

    barbello is the sacred feminine of the god spirit of god him and her self -who then give birth to intellect wisdom love and fullness -this is how god became the knowledge of evrything-she is not a sexual being as depicted on this page -the holy spirit is trust alone -when there is trust there is love and safty -barbello is our root of truth given to us by god the father in element in itself -giving us the same chance for life the he himself has -the womb is only a symbol for that which provides us knowledge through becoming aware of truth itself -she who gives birth to truth in awareness so that logic can calculate/copulate itself with -giving us a greater knowledge from intellect and wisdom -intellect and wisdom is the son of these gods and the son of man is what our human will decides to do with new knowledge -intellect and wisdom is the tree of life because in the infancy of lower levels of knowledge grows into complete knowledge when we allow it -projecting then the holy spirit of gods truth and knowledge from his elements inside the self
    so who ever drew that picture is wrong but dont worry god does not have contempt or retrabution only a way to teach us to understand and for those who refuse -they must learn the hard way and for those who still refuse to learn -they will be re absorbed back into the god head –

  2. Ator on July 4, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Barbelo is the personified seed of light and represents the remembering of paradise to us. as for her story the words of light were passed down from the long forgotten age where we lived in harmony with nature – and history only goes back a few thousand years but humans have existed for millions, then came new weopons, and written language, and money and organised systems of authority. instead of co-existing with paradise they subverted it, persecuted it and destroyed it’s memory. the word for this is holocaust
    if you go back a couple of thousand years ago she was wrapped up in the fading mysteries, her followers a fragmented remnant living in tombs (while many claimed to know the way of paradise truly, the number who really did grew ever smaller). it’s not a philosophy but a way of life
    gnosis took the form of a seed and her light shined bright enough for us to see today, we are witness to a miracle
    because after this came a new wave of violence lasting a thousand years, yet in the middle ages still there were those who still remembered – it was the industrial revolution that was the final assault and destruction.
    what comes next is a catastrophe of our current system where all things will be thrown into chaos and the seed will once again be found to have survived. only those who can grasp this will be happy at what is about to happen
    Barbelo will never be forgotten – the way of paradise – which is that men and women, animals and every atom in the universe are united by a life shared in common. this isn’t the battle of ideas but about the way of life

  3. michael33 on May 5, 2010 at 7:26 am

    what was, is, what is,will be, what will be was…

  4. linda lydia on February 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Remember where all this came from, a being that looked in water and saw himself and fell in love, how VAIN! It is proper for you to use the small letter ‘g’ to refer to this being, that is not any where close to the truth of “GOD”this is the truth of a mistake that could have came into being by mistake.

  5. eugene jones on August 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm


  6. Garwin on September 17, 2011 at 3:35 am

    To have an open heart, is to fall in Love with art. Even if that art is you, where else shall you place your belief, your trust, your art?
    Barbelo, like Sophia, is the first thought of the Intelligent Awareness we call Source. The entirety of all creations are an extension of Source, and as such Source dearly Loves Life, and how much more the prime extension, Barbelo.
    In her was seen beauty and perfection, and through her all things from memetic entities to entire star systems, are her means of defining Source as herself.
    To view the temporal as real is not where our focus should place it’s gaze, but on the simple fact, it is all one, and since there is no form of measurement/judgement of Source, it is all none.
    Perhaps this is what the Buddha meant by the silence of the void being full.
    Sophia seeks to serve the Source in you, and you and I are to learn the mature are of defining Source through ourselves, our ideas, our art of life, in this we find as we are manifested by Source, we in turn manifest Source. We are the same.

  7. Jairo rivera on November 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    What a bunch of lies, brain washing devil, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life! God created this universe, he is the beggining and the end amen! Alpha and omega, he will always be the king and lords of all lords!

  8. denis on November 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Quer dizer que Barbelo é a imagem que o demiurgo viu na agua?Estou com uma duvida: Quem é o ser que criou o mundo material mau:o demiurgo ou a Barbelo ou ambos?Se a Barbelo ocupa o 8 céu superior e é tida como Mae-Pai,ela seria mais superior que o Monada??Por favor me respondam…

  9. P. H. Nahas on January 10, 2012 at 8:06 am

    All of you judge without being in possession of all the facts that would be required to judge; and if you were in possession of these facts you would not recognize them, so stricken are you by your egos.. but that is not the main thing: you are not willing to open your mind to ideas that are not of your own, unwilling to listen to a voice that you never paid attention before… take more responsibility on what you think and say, that would provide you more of that inner peace you would require to become an attentive listener. and, if you feel to comment, be a little sober and do not agitate yourself, nor in the emphasizing sense nor in that what you call criticism.

  10. Naomi on July 11, 2012 at 1:46 am

    The bible tells us that GOD put Adam into a deep sleep but no where does it tell us that Adam ever woke up. We are asleep dear ones, dreaming of exile. We are lonely without GOD and GOD is lonely without us. We are in this realm to learn how to awaken. The Holy Spirit is the answer but we must meditate sincerely to truly reach the answers we need. Blessings upon you all.

  11. Kyle B. Stiff on August 30, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Oh my God man, people really freak out when they see stuff like this!

    I wonder if their version of a perfect world would be one in which new ideas don’t exist? One without novelty?

  12. Steve Christ on November 14, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    If you talk about the Secret Book of John view of the garden of Eden they really flip out. First you must realize Genesis is the first book of the five books of old covenant law. Jesus came and His New Covenant delivered us from the law of sin and death. So they all go back to paradise. This is a warped view of paradise. There is this tree….. It’s like this high voltage power line with no guards or any thing to keep you from accidentally touching it. So this paradise is a test trap to see if you obey. That’s not paradise. after reading the Secret Book of John and was reading Zechariah Sitchen’s account of the gods creating workers, I laughed. Adam was to tend the garden, for the elohim. Where else would there be such a “Paradise”, but it the first book of the law of sin and death. Thank You Spirit of Sophia and Uncovering.

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