FOI Online Liturgy
Isis of Alchemy,Transformation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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III. The Topaz Pylon of Mercury
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS RADHA
INVOCATION. I invoke the Goddess Radha, eighth Daughter of the Goddess Laksmi. You Who are, the Divine Bride of the God Krishna, help us to bring harmony between men and women, so that we may save the earth from pollution by mankind.
ORACLE. When you invoke the Goddess, you may not succeed unless you awaken the Goddess within yourself! This divine awakening has its dangers: you may develop arrogance, ambition and loneliness. Men and women dread separation; yet this comes when consciousness expands beyond the usual. The ego-driven Initiate craves for companionship. But this very longing can lead either to domination or subservience. And both these modes inhibit love.
This abuse of relationship extends to human treatment of animals. These are exploited and cruelly treated: but are also adored as substitute children, weakening wild creatures into "pets".
Most amusing of all, you treat Us whom you label "Gods and Goddesses" in the same way! We who try to help your progress towards true humanity are either worshipped by contemptible obsequiousness - prostrations and sacrifices - or we are ordered around by legally-framed prayers, tying us to “promises" we are alleged to have made to your ancestors.
Find the wild child within each of you. For that inner Being, so friendly, so enquiring, so courageous, is the Divinity that aspires to the stars.
On a yellow-draped altar let there be 3 lighted candles, a pot of water, burning incense, a topaz emblem of Mercury and a flute. Alchemists wear yellow and blue robes; Priestess Alchemists, gold tiaras, Priest Alchemists, gold mitres. Practitioners wear gold headdresses and yellow tunics with blue sashes. Music may be played.
PR. ALCH. Fellow Practitioners of the sacred art of Alchemy, we assemble in this holy Temple to learn how to transmute the vagaries of our minds into the still contemplation of Truth.
PRS. ALCH. (makes sign of Mercury with wand): I invoke the Goddess Lakshmi, Who from Her serene Spirit sends forth Her Wild Daughters, to stimulate this illusory world with fresh inspiration.
PR. ALCH. (makes sign of Mercury with staff): I invoke the God Vishnu, Who from the cycles of time sends forth His Wild Sons to disturb our stagnation with eccentricity and wit.
1ST PRAC. Who is Candidate for the Initiation of Mercury?
Candidate in white is led forth by sponsor.
PR. ALCH. (to Can.): Are you willing to release the Wild Child within you, though this may lead you into every sort of folly, absurd or terrible?
CAN. The hypocrisy and oppression that binds us through habit fills me with contempt. I must find reality, however startling. I accept the challenge.
SPONS. I stand Sponsor. The Candidate has intellectual potential, which is stifled by religious inhibition. Free mind is the goal.
1ST PRAC. (to Can.): We present you with a Mystery Drama for you to unravel with intuition. We present our Play, “The Wild Child”.
PRS. ALCH. (anoints each brow with water): May your inner eye awaken!
1ST PRAC. Our first scene takes place in Heaven.
MYSTERY DRAMA: THE WILD CHILD
SCENE 1. HEAVEN
Enter 3 women totally robed in black.
1ST WOMAN. We three Mothers seek to save our beloved earth from destruction. The twisted creeds of mankind goad them into cruel violence against Nature and each other. Know me as Maria. Fast flow my tears. My heart is broken by the distortion of my son's teachings - by the very clergy who first killed him, and then called him the Only Son of God.
2ND WOMAN. Dear Sister, why did they do this?
MARIA. (suddenly laughs): Respectable people never understood my boy - and I don't blame them. When he was very little the neighbours prophecied he would be hanged! The parents of his playmates were always knocking on my door with complaints. Once they accused him of turning their children into goats that skipped and bleated - until the spell wore off.
2ND WOMAN. Some children can make people believe anything - even think they are animals. It is a gift from the fairies.
MARIA. My son was good-hearted - he never meant to harm anybody. The worst occasion was when the neighbours said he had killed a boy. This was bad enough. But what really angered the Rabbis was that the neighbours saw him restore the boy to life. This was deemed blasphemous.
3RD MOTHER. Tell us another of his pranks! He surely livened up your village!
MARIA. Oh - he made clay birds and changed them into living creatures that spread their wings and flew off! This the Rabbis held to be the worst blasphemy - to create life, in opposition to The Lord, the Only Creator. But his playmates adored him. They thought he was a God. The girls especially loved him, and each hoped to be his Bride. But it was this worship that brought him to a terrible death - by the clergy of course.
2ND WOMAN. So this is why you weep? For your son's death?
MARIA. Not at all. I am not so selfish. My son returned to this starry Heaven from which we both descended. No, I weep because of the cruelties his followers have performed, invoking my son as God - the only God. Why - they even murdered thousands of our own race with the words: "Kill a Jew and save your soul." I seek a remedy.
2ND MOTHER. Well, you gave birth to your Wild Boy. I had a stranger gift from God - a Wild Girl. My name is Madame Pucelle, and my daughter Jeanne became famous at a very early age as heretic and witch. Girls develop quicker than boys. At fourteen Jeanne dressed as a boy and rode on a white horse leading our French army to victory over the English. But the clergy collaborated with our enemies, and had my girl burnt at the stake as witch and heretic. But she became so popular during hundreds of years, that the clergy have now canonised her as a Saint! I do not weep, Mesdames. I am angry. She Who cannot speak out is made party to the clergy's domination of people's souls. I look for a remedy.
3RD MOTHER. My tale is no less strange than your own and my grief has lasted longer - for three thousand years. I, Devaki, had the wildest of sons - deemed a thief, blasphemer and adulterer. Yet he descended from this Heaven, Vaikuntha, to accomplish three tasks set him by Lakshmi, Goddess of love and compassion.
MARIA. (smiling) Sister, the disgraceful behaviour of this Son of Heaven may make us laugh. My race is so serious. We may find our remedy through humour.
PUCELLE. Do not leave out romantic love! There is no passion or laughter in our religion. Lovers are despised.
DEVAKI. Dear Sister, you shall have love-making in abundance. I call upon the mischievous God of Love, Kama, to present the tale.
Indian music. Enter Kama who picks up the flute on altar.
KAMA. So you solemn cloaked mothers call on me to solve the earth's problems? You want me to present you a scripture from the Bhagavad Gita. Well - why not. Picture yourself by the bank of the mighty river, the Jumna, in ancient North India.
2ND SCENE. BANK OF THE JUMNA.
Indian music, Indian girls with saris perform a dance.
KAMA. Behold the virtuous Gopis, Hindu wives, whose task it is to milk the village cows. But they are excited - they share a secret!
1ST GOPI. Oh - he is dangerous - it's those great black eyes - he steals my heart away with the magic notes of his flute.
2ND GOPI. He calls himself friend of all the world. Certainly he is friend to us.
They all laugh.
3RD GOPI. The Brahmins are furious with him. They even refused him food.
4TH GOPI. But their wives stole the Brahmin food and give it to Krishna.
4TH GOPI. Oh, he may be very young but he looks after himself! Look how he steals our butter.
1ST GOPI. Do you think we Gopis are sinners, and deserve being burnt for adultery, because we are all in love with Krishna?
2ND GOPI. Oh, don't you worry about that. He is obviously a God, and has summoned our souls with his magic flute. To be a Bride of a God brings no stain upon us. Indeed, it confers dignity on our husbands.
3RD GOPI. They may not see it in this way. We had best be discrete.
4TH GOPI. Was not our race brought to birth through the Gods liking women's flowing hair? Let us bathe and make ourselves more beautiful.
Drop saris. Exeunt, leaving behind saris.
Enter Krishna laughing. He hides saris. Enter Rhada wearing gold tiara.
RHADA. So, Krishna, you would see the Gopis go naked?
KRISHNA. Is that you, Rhada, who I love best of all? But you wear a tiara and look at me so strangely. I feel awe.
RHADA. Know me as the Goddess Lakshmi! (Krishna prostrates.) I placed you as one black hair in your mother Devaki's womb. Yet when the midwife gazed at the womb - she saw within it - the Universe. Rise! (Krishna rises.) You are my Consort, the eighth son of Vishnu, born on earth to accomplish three tasks. You have accomplished the first - the Emancipation of Women. The Gopis are naked and unashamed. They know themselves as Brides of God.
Exeunt Rhada and Krishna.
KAMA. Krishna grew to splendid manhood, and became a mighty warrior, defender of the oppressed. Our next scene is a battleground.
SCENE 3. A BATTLEGROUND.
Enter 2 ragged men.
1ST MAN. At last we have found a champion in this young soldier, Krishna! He's different from the rest of them - these Aryans who label us "Untouchables" - because they force us into cleaning their stinking latrines and other base tasks.
2ND MAN. He says we'll never be free until we reject the conqueror's Gods, and return to our own Gods around us.
Enter Krishna as warrior.
KRISHNA. My friends, of what use is it for me to kill the tyrants that you call Demons - if you submit your souls to their Gods? Their Laws of Manu strangle the manhood in you.
1ST MAN. Noble Prince, how may we do this?
KRISHNA. Offer a great Puja in honour of your own God of the Mountain - Govardhana. Does He not provide you with grazing for your flocks and shelter for yourself and your beasts?
1ST MAN. Mighty Prince, we dare not. Your terrible God Indra will surely punish us. He has forbidden such worship.
2ND MAN. Brother, let us obey Sri Krishna. He also is a God and defends us against oppression. In our miserable state we have nothing to lose.
KAMA. Behold the great Puja held on the slopes of the Mountain of the God Govardhana!
Ritual dance in honour of Govardhana. Krishna appears wearing gold mitre.
KRISHNA. I am Govardhana, your God of the Mountain. Within Me is all nature. I am the rushing river Jumna. I am the ravenous tiger and the gentle deer. I slay and I am slain. I am the Oppressor and the Oppressed. I am the food you eat and the milk your babies suckle. I am in your love-making and your births and deaths. I love you throughout the words of illusion and in Eternity.
OMNES. Om, Krishna! Om Shanti! They prostrate. Enter the God Indra.
INDRA. They insult Me, the God Indra! My rage against this intruder and these outcastes is so great, it can only be assuaged by a storm to destroy them all! It shall continue for 7 days!
Music, storm dance.
KRISHNA. I shall with one finger lift up the mountain itself, and so give my people safety.
Mime of people saved.
INDRA. Only a God could accomplish this miracle! Vishnu, I recognise you in the guise of an itinerant flute-player! I accept defeat. From henceforth Krishna shall be God for outcastes, slaves and women. Much good may it be to him. (Exit.)
RHADA. Krishna, you have accomplished your second task. You have broken the iron bands of oppression and caste.
KAMA. We come to the final scene outside a Temple.
SCENE 4. OUTSIDE A TEMPLE.
Enter 2 Brahmins.
1ST BRAHMIN. This new cult is causing a revolution. These ignorant people worship Krishna as a new God of their liberation.
2ND BRAHMIN. The peasants credit him with having 16,608 wives whom he rescued from "demons" - presumably us. They believe he multiplies himself so he can satisfy them completely. They say he gives each wife 10 sons and 1 daughter each - blue in colour, with gold mitres and with four arms each!
MARIA. (bursts out laughing): Now this is going too far. Even ignorant peasants would hardly believe that!
KAMA. Maria, do not interrupt. Your own son is credited with having millions of Brides, each nun being given a wedding ring, a white veil and a marriage ceremony.
MARIA. Oh. I forgot. Go on with your story.
KAMA. It was during the latter part of his life that Sri Krishna gave forth his teachings of the highest metaphysics.
MARIA. Oh, I see. To have one wife is respectable - even ten. To have a hundred is deemed excessive. But to have thousands makes you a God, qualified to give forth infallible doctrine.
KAMA. You speak from experience. The paradox may resolve your problem, which neither virtue nor logic can cure. Harken to the words of Krishna as he reveals His Divinity to his cousin Arjuna.
Music. Enter Krishna in mitre with Arjuna.
KRISHNA. Within Me is the life-flow that encircles the stars yet is no greater than one thumbnail. I descend from the highest spiral of the cosmos to animate an atom. I dream forth innumerable worlds and My breath is the Universal Spirit.
ARJUNA. Now I know. I see God in my enemies. All are One. (Exit)
Enter RHADA. Krishna, you have accomplished your final task. You have awakened the sleeping spirit in those who dream through many lives, and now pray for release.
Rhada and Krishna exeunt.
DEVAKI. But what has my son accomplished? The Clergy were forced by his millions of devotees to declare him a God - but denied divinity to all save their own initiates. After thousands of years our country suffers from oppression, starvation and the injustice of caste. The poor - especially we women - look for a free good life. What is the remedy?
PUCELLE. Let us be our true selves! Why should we do nothing as passive suffering mothers? Let us take action like my eccentric daughter Jeanne and descend from Heaven!
MARIA. Let us throw off our widow's weeds and show our real faces!
They throw off cloaks and reveal brightly coloured garments.
DEVAKI. Come. We three shall lead the Spiral Dance of Creation!
End of Play.
PR. ALCH. (to Can.): What have you understood from this play?
CAN. Some of my ideals were shattered. I realise that sudden shock may jerk one into the Great Awakening.
PRS. ALCH. You have passed the test for the Initiation of Mercury.
Prs. Alch. presents Can. with Mercury emblem.
PRS. ALCH. Friends, let us contemplate the topaz Caduceus of Mercury, whose encircling spirals reach the highest Spirit, yet descend to the joy of wit and laughter!
Contemplation. Reports are shared and Rays of Insight and Inspiration are sent forth. Thanks are given to the Deities.
End of Rite.
Sources: “The Gnostic Gospels", Heinemann Harvard. "The Bhagavad Gita", Everyman. “Indian Mythology", Ions, Hamlyn. “Goddesses Of India Tibet, China and Japan", Durdin Robertson.
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