Hochma; Chochma



Hokhma, which literally means “wisdom,” names a sephira (rung) on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It is also the name of a sacred being who may be a goddess or the feminine aspect of the

Creator who encompasses male and female. In some contexts she is regarded as God’s wife, although whether this is meant literally or in an abstract, esoteric sense is subject to debate.

Various biblical references to “wisdom” may be interpreted as the abstract concept of wisdom or may be a feminine name. Thus, “the Lord by Wisdom founded the Earth” (Proverbs 3:19) and especially Proverbs 8, “Wisdom’s Call,” may indicate the existence of a sacred being named Wisdom (Hokhma in Hebrew; Sophia in Greek). A huge philosophical argument erupted regarding whether Hokhma was an independent being or an aspect of God.

Hokhma, an independent being, plays a significant role in Jewish Gnosticism: she is a partner in Creation. In one version, God and Hokhma together created the seven archons out of chaos. The Archons formed people who crawled about Earth like worms until Hokhma endowed them with souls and wisdom. When things went badly on Earth, it was Hokhma who sent the flood. In attempts to serve (and save) humanity, Hokhma sent seven prophets beginning with Moses and ending with Ezra.

Hokhma may or may not be the same spirit as the Shekhina, Asherah, or Anat-Yaho. Biblical references to Hokhma are consistently female. However, the Kabbalists identify Hokhma as a male sephira on the Tree of Life. Even though Hebrew has masculine and feminine forms of words and Hokhma is clearly feminine, this sephira is conventionally classified as a male sphere of power. (Conspiracy theorists perceive this as deliberate obfuscation.)


Adepts, sages, scholars, pursuers of truth and wisdom

Number: 7


Anat-Yaho; Asherah of the Sea, Lady; Shekhina; Sophia


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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