Gnosis Part 6: Yaldabaoth

by Wes Penre. May 25, 2020

Click here for our Gnostic glossary.

In the last article, we told the initial story about Pistis Sophia, one of the Aeons in the Pleroma, whose main attribute is the search for Wisdom. Her consort’s attribute is desire. Thi attribute is what is driving Sophia to gain Wisdom—she wants to know who the Monad is and experience things from the Monad’s perspective. However, she wanted to do this by herself and without her consort—it was meant to be an “inner journey.”

When Pistis Sophia noticed what she had created, she was flabbergasted because her creation was not what she had expected. In the center of her creation was a being that was created from her Spirit but lacked knowledge—it was ignorant and strange-looking. Like you and I would perhaps do if a big spider would crawl on our arm and we would shake it off, Sophia “cast out” her creation and separated it from herself.

When she saw (the product of) her will, it was different, a model of a lion-faced serpent. His eyes were like flashing fires of lightning. She cast him out from her, outside of those places so that none among the immortals might see him, for she had created him in ignorance.

The Secret Book of John

This creature “fell” into the Void that came along with Sophia’s creation into the lower dimensions (vibrations), perceived by Sophia as being external to her and the rest of the Pleroma, although it was still part of the Pleroma, which encompasses everything (All That Is). At first, Sophia’s creation was darkness/ignorance—a manifestation expressing what was still unknown to her. It was like a realm of shadows—it was limitless chaos[1]. However, “[m]atter did not come out of chaos, but it was in chaos, existing in a part of it.[2]

Metaphorically speaking, when this being became more and more “distant” from Sophia, who had spontaneously disowned this creature, and it had slowed down in its outward movement, its environment became more solid, and the physical, energetic universe was created.

One of Sophia’s initial thoughts was to protect the Pleroma from her unexpected creation, so she built a veil/boundary between the Pleroma and her creation. However, parts of her essence thus became stuck within the creation. The creature was manifesting as a part of Sophia, and it had some of her Spirit but was ignorant. Sophia had created with only half of herself, excluding her consort, and therefore, both the creature and the entire universe that came about from her creation are parts of her, and to that degree she is stuck in her own creation. In other words, this creature, and the universe, called the Kenoma in the Valentinian Gnostic texts (and in the Wes Penre Papers called the KHAA), are Sophia.

The metaphor used in the Gnostic texts to describe this creation is that Sophia “cast away” her creation outward, and, consequently, this movement turned into a universe of energy. For Sophia to be able to participate and explore her own creation, she left a part of her in the upper realm of the Universe—the section closest to the Pleroma. This aspect of her became the souled Sophia, in the Gnostic texts called Zoë Sophia[3]. This aspect of her is what I called the Orion Queen, Queen of the Stars, and the Mother Goddess in the Wes Penre Papers. Zoë Sophia was now able to move freely within her own creation. Now the reader who is familiar with the Wes Penre Papers might realize why the entire Universe/KHAA/Kenoma is feminine in nature, and so is the soul.

Sages gave the soul a feminine name. In nature she is also feminine. She even has a womb.

The Exegesis of the Soul

Pistis Sophia, the Aeon still in the Pleroma, noticed that the creature she had accidentally created was alone in this vast void. He was androgynous but a half-creation, as he was ignorant (we will call this creature “he” because that’s how he decided to portray himself most of the time from thereon). Because Sophia had been on a quest to find God, this creature therefore thought the he was God. After all, there was no one else in this void besides him. Instead of approaching his Mother, he withdrew and became envious that there was someone stronger than him.[4]

When Zoë Sophia saw this creature being all alone, she called upon him and told him to approach her so she could enlighten him, but the creature didn’t come. However, he now realized that he was not entirely alone—there was someone else, besides him. He saw the likeness of Sophia as a reflection in the universal water but didn’t know where she came from and who she was.

He did not see her face, but he saw in the water the likeness that spoke with him. And from that voice he called himself Yaldabaoth…he was like a lion.  And after he came to possess authority over matter, Pistis Sophia withdrew up to her light.

On the Origin of the World

Realizing that this creature would not come forth, she put him upon a throne within a “cloud” and gave him authority to rule over her creation—the physical universe.

And she placed a throne in the midst of the cloud in order that no one might see him except the holy Spirit, who is called the mother of the living. She named him Yaltabaoth. This is the Chief Ruler, the one who got a great power from his Mother.

The Secret Book of John (long version)

In this sense, the creature became God of the material realm. His name became Yaldabaoth, and in the Wes Penre Papers, one of his titles is He is also called the Demiurge in the Gnostic texts—demi meaning “half” and urge meaning “a strong desire or impulse.” He is a half-creation, created from Sophia’s desire/impulse to know and gain Wisdom. This is what was implied in the Wes Penre Papers, when I wrote that is the firstborn son of the Queen. He was, symbolically speaking, born from an “unfertilized egg,” i.e. there was no “intercourse” between the Queen and her consort. This was a metaphor for Pistis Sophia creating without her “masculine” consort, and the result became Yaldabaoth/—born only from the feminine side of Pistis Sophia. “Intercourse” does not mean sexual intercourse as we look at it—intercourse in other realms usually means the interaction and correlation between a beings’ androgynous sides, such as Sophia not having “intercourse”/interaction with her consort—the other half of herself.

When the ruler saw his greatness, he saw only himself; he saw nothing else, except water and darkness. Then he thought that he alone existed. His thought was made complete by means of the word, and it appeared as a spirit moving to and fro over the waters.  And when that spirit appeared, the ruler separated the watery substance to one region and the dry substance to another region. From matter he created a dwelling place for himself and called it heaven.

–On the Origin of the World

In the next article, we will discuss how Yaldabaoth copied and mimicked what he saw as a likeness of the Pleroma in the waters when Sophia appeared in the waters. From that vision, he created his own “Pleroma” in certain sections of the Void.


[1] See the gospel, “On the Origin of the World.”

[2] Ibid.

[3] The “ë” symbol denotes that the e should be pronounced.

[4] On the Origin of the World

References and Resources:

On the Origin of the World

The Secret Book of John (short version)

The Secret Book of John (long version)

The Exegesis of the Soul

The Wes Penre Papers

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  1. It is amazing how wpp and the gnostic texts correlate!This is not by coincidence,but by Spirit!
    “There is already a lot of Gnosticism in the WPP—something I was unaware of, as I hadn’t read the Gnostic texts when I’d completed my papers. Now, after finally having done so, the similarities are stunning.”

  2. Such an amazing article again! 🙂 I am still so curious and looking forward on how Tiamaat fits in this whole story, as Tiamaat and being a “Namluu” resonates so much with me…
    You interpret those difficult gnostic texts just sooo well! I am honestly amazed. And so thankful. In a few years there will def. be the Gospel of Wes and Ariel 🙂

    Best wishes!

    1. LOL. I hope not (Gospel of Wes and Ariel). The Message is already conveyed through the original Gnostic texts–our articles in no way are meant to replace them–that would not be a good thing. The Tiamaat part of it will probably be not in the next article but the article after that.

    2. @Beyond3D – No Gospel of Ariel lol…Wes, maybe. His WPP does a lot to wake up people who find it. I’m just someone who has been trying to figure things out for a long time. Sometimes, it feels like I born with questions already in my mind and my life has been about getting answers to those questions. It’s certainly been a tedious (sometimes grieving) process! When I was around 11 or 12 years old, the priest of my church spent a lot of time patiently answering some of my questions. He was the first person to tell me that there was more information that was not included in the Bible. He told me about the Apocryphon of John. I was too young at the time, but I picked it up off and on when I was older. I went through the past decade believing that I would never read a Gospel again. Never say never. lol

  3. Best part yet. Very clear and I was really able to wrap my mind around it. Also cleared up what En.Ki being the “son” of the Queen of Stars really signified. Presumably his half brother was a “fertilized” offspring with a blend of male and female.

    1. I understood that they are brothers.So…both coming out from unfertilized eggs.I was wondering why Enlil remained on the mother’s side?
      In some parts of the world there is a belief that “if you put yourself under the shield of the archangel Michael you can defeat the devil/ you are invincible 😊”.
      I will wait for the next essays.

  4. thank you again Wes, such a great job at interpretation. As I was reading I could feel and envision so many parts of myself coming together. my left and right body, hemisphere. my left and right eye, I could see all of my past experiences and all the questions I had as a child growing up. I began to feel complete, knowing that as the outside world ridiculed me, I was on the right path. When you mention that ” Sophia had been on a quest to find God.” it resonated so much with the child in me. Throughout my childhood, it was the only thing always on my mind, God, my search for God.
    but I was lead astray by the deception of Yaldabaoth. Fortunate my craving for the truth was, is and always will be stronger than anything else. it got me out of the deception. Another reason why I cherish the WPP.

    It is extremely unfortunate for the truth to be hidden and trapped deep inside of us that makes it hard to help others see the real truth. Yaldabaoth is everywhere and those whose mission is to expose the truth have a big challenge to take on.

    On the Brightside this Article clarifies so much within that I can began to finally see love in the other half of Sophia’s creation. Real genuine love in clarity of what the shadow really is inside of me and how to unite them. its like a math problem that one is never satisfied with until the clarity of the numbers fit in place. The synchronicities are wild too as reading the Gnosis papers and what I am currently dealing with in my life are side by side. My experiences are sync with the information coming in from the Papers.

    This also help to answer much of my dreams and my imagination. As I was reading this Article I began drawing what my mind was picturing while reading this new information, expanding my creativity. Thank you Wes.

    I want to express that I will be reading your recommendations as well. and that although I am currently not a pateron donor for your work. I will one day become one. 🙂 I also want to say in all of my travels visiting 27 countries I have spread your papers and your website to those I encounter. I gave it out like candy. 🙂 and will continue to do so.

    My heart rejoices
    Praise to be Creator

  5. First off, thank you Wes and Ariel for your work in interpreting the Gnostics texts. My understanding from reading your Gnostic articles is that the KHAA is part of the realm of ignorance i.e. Sophia’s creation. In that case, when we go thru the grid, not only do we want to exit the matrix but we ALSO want to exit the KHAA. And to the Pleroma, our real home. Before this (ie. reading your interpretation of the Gnostic texts), my understanding from the WPP was – we are exiting the matrix to go to the KHAA. But apparently now the KHAA is not what we wanna be when we exit. It’s the Pleroma that we wanna be. Am I reading this right?

    1. Good thinking…not the next article, but I believe in the one after that, we will address the Grid, the KHAA, the Afterlife, and how it’s all connected on a deeper level than in the WPP. The Grid I talked about in the papers and in other articles is still a valid way out of here–nothing has changed in that perspective, but there is more to it, written into the Gnostic texts. You are correct that the KHAA is all Sophia’s creation, and our original home is the Pleroma.

  6. Who said it about Sophia: ”However, she wanted to do this by herself and without her consort—it was meant to be an “inner journey.”…

    Do you know what I think…. all was planed
    They wanted it this way….
    The male aspect higher as we live in the Matrix…. Sophia the Aeon of the lower Pleroma….She was lower and they continue to protect their own lies in taking her responsible for the fact she created the Khaa, The Matrix….

    Ask them now , how all this darkness serve them…

    Few Egos above….

  7. Be careful and check the Big EGOS around you. They want to shine above all but never give a break to the lower realms as you like to label the creation of Sophia. I don’t agee with you sometimes aeven if sometimes I do. I ask you to search the real balance between all thoses lies … I know that you wont agree with it but usually you are able to step back when you are out .

  8. Great job, I am really enjoying this! Could you clarify why exactly Sophia gave the demiurge permission to rule over the material world? If he was a mistake by her then why give him that power? Thanks.

    1. Sophia’s own realization regarding the consequences of the deficiency in her creation came after she’d “appointed” Yaldabaoth.

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