Barbelo, the reflection of the source. The first thought. Mother of us all. She is mentioned in numerous Gnostic texts but I wanted to share this passage from the Secret Book of John. I think it does a fairly good job of introducing her to the mythos.
Continuing with my readings, I have put together a video of this passage. See below:
The translation I used to read this passage is from https://gnosticismexplained.org/the-secret-book-of-john/. That website is truly amazing and I recommend everyone check it out if you haven’t. The website creator has done a few other translations as well. Here is the passage:
She is Barbelo, the most perfect glory of all beings, the glory of the disclosure of the Father’s thought. Her own first thought was to glorify and praise the Virgin Spirit from whom she had come forth.
Barbelo became the womb of the Fullness, for she was the first being, the Mother-Father, the first human, the holy spirit, the thrice-male, the triple power, the three-named androgynous being, the first among the invisible beings.
Barbelo requested that the Invisible Virgin Spirit grant her a gift: Foreknowledge. The Spirit agreed and revealed Foreknowledge, which stood at rest next to Forethought. Foreknowledge glorified the Spirit and Barbelo, the perfect power of the Spirit, for it was because of her that Foreknowledge had come to be.
Barbelo made another request: that she be given Incorruptibility. The Spirit agreed, and Incorruptibility appeared and stood at rest next to Forethought and Foreknowledge. Incorruptibility glorified the Invisible Spirit and Barbelo, those who had enabled it to live.
Barbelo made another request: that she be given Eternal Life. The Spirit agreed, and Eternal Life appeared and stood at rest next to the others. They glorified the Invisible Spirit and Barbelo, those who had enabled them to live.
Again Barbelo asked for a gift – this time, it was Truth. The Invisible Spirit agreed, and Truth appeared and stood at rest next to the others. They glorified the Invisible Spirit and Barbelo, those who had enabled them to live.
These are the five entities of the Father:
The first human, the reflection of the Invisible Spirit, Forethought, Barbelo;
These are the five androgynous beings, who with their partners are a group of ten entities, and together they are the Father.
As Barbelo now stood amidst the untainted light that surrounds the Father and upon which the Father gazes, the Father gazed into her, and she conceived by him. She begot a spark of light that resembled the Father’s blessed light, but was not as great. This spark was the only-begotten Son of the Mother-Father and the only-begotten Son of the Father, the pure light.