FOI Online Liturgy
Isis of Alchemy, Transformation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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V. The Obsidian Pylon of Saturn
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS BRIGID
INVOCATION. Brigid of the Eternal Flame, Bride, Saint and Goddess, inspire us with your gifts of creation.
ORACLE. Joyful it is for humanity to be the mediator between the glories of the Heavens and all that is low, down to stone and metal, for all form part of the living body of Deity.
At last the time long awaited for is here. The general awakening is dawning for those who believe in death. When animals pass into their heaven, they do not know they have left their bodies, but continue to fly or swim in their psychic bodies. The dramatic words "the Second Coming" may be seen as the return of the Gardeners of Earth now that the fruit is ripe and the corn is high and the veil thins between the spiritual and the appreciation of Earth. Humans have the gift of being able to transform clay and pigments and stone into new and lovely forms, uniting mind and form. Scientists are transmuting the atoms, whether for good or ill. This general awakening of the immortal part of men and women includes the rest of creation. Plants send forth rays of communion to gardeners who speak and listen! Wolves, squirrels and dolphins show an intelligence and abilities that astonish and delight their human friends. This is the time not to criticise to judge, to fear. The last judgment should be the end of duality, and the dawn of love and justice for all of creation, from star to stone. My message is this, love, be happy and create! All is within yourselves.
On an indigo-draped altar, let there be 5 lighted candles, a bowl of water, burning incense and a lamen of the planet Saturn. Women Alchemists wear silver crowns and hold wands: Men Alchemists, black and gold headdresses and hold staffs. All wear black robes and white sashes. Women practitioners wear white robes with black sashes. Music may be played throughout.
Pr. Alch. Fellow practitioners of the divine art of alchemy, we are assembled to practise the alchemy of Saturn. The magic conceals the secret of the Philosophers Stone, which transmutes basic elements into gold.
Prs. Alch. (raises wand) I invoke the Goddess Isis, Mother of the Lapis Philosophorum. May her inner sun bring harmony into our bodies, souls and spirits.
2nd Pr. Alchemist. (raises staff) I invoke the God Horus, Hawk of the risen Sun. May he bring us vitality to face this new aeon.
Prs. Alchemist. Who is a neophyte?
Neophyte in white is led forth by sponsor.
Pr. Alchemist. (to Neo.) Are you willing to face the test of Saturn?
Neo. I cannot live knowing that I shall die. I need the Philosopher's Stone that I may awaken in my immortal body.
Sponsor. This Neophyte is both courageous and truthful.
2nd Pr. Alchemist. Your sponsorship is accepted. To elucidate the Mystery of Transmutation of mortality into immortality, we present a mystery drama, The Quest for Lapis Philosophorum.
Prs. Alchemist. (anoints each brow with water) See with true vision.
MYSTERY DRAMA. THE QUEST FOR LAPIS PHILOSOPHORUM.
SCENE 1: THE HILL OF NUN IN PRIMAEVAL EGYPT.
Enter the masked Ibis headed Tehuti, God of Wisdom.
Tehuti. I, Tehuti, am guide to questing souls. Even the Goddesses and Gods lack something! They lack each other.
Enter Isis with throne headdress and gold mask.
Isis. You are right as always, my friend Tehuti, I lack a God - to be particular, one God, Ra of the Sun. But I have conceived a cunning plan. (She bends to pick up something.) Ra is near to death in Western Amenti. He has dropped his seed. I shall transform this little seed into an enormous snake. Watch - I put it on the path of Ra's customary walk. He will tread on it, being too short-sighted to notice! (Isis produces snake which she places on the ground. She laughs.) When he feels the pain of the serpent, his agony will be so great he will give me his secret name. So shall he be mine.
Hides herself. Enter Ra in sun mask, bent over stick. He treads on snake and utters a cry of pain.
Ra. What is this terrible fire that consumers me? I burn up and yet I shiver with icy cold. Come to me, my children, goddesses and gods, and heal me!
Enter Deities in gold masks. They give healing with hands.
Ra. Your ministrations are useless. Summon Isis, the Great Enchantress, Only Isis can save my life.
All Call. Isis come! (3 times)
Enter Isis. I shall heal you great Ra, but on one condition. You must give me your secret name.
Ra. This I must do or die in agony. (He whispers in Isis' ear.) My pain has gone. (He falls down dead.)
The Deities. (make lament, chanting) Great Ra is dead. Great Ra is dead. He has descended into the eastern Amenti. He will rise no more. Great Ra is dead!
Isis. (laughing) Why do you mourn the dead, gazing to the west? Behold the East! I have drawn Ra through my body and he is reborn as my divine son Horus, Hawk of the rising Sun!
Enters Horus in gold mask. Dance of rejoicing.
All Chant. "Horus is risen. The Sun Returns. Blessed is Isis, mother of the Sun.”
SCENE TWO. THE PALACE OF QUEEN ASTARTE BY THE NILE.
Tehuti. We move forwards in time. Isis incarnated as an earthly queen on the Nile Delta. She endured human suffering, seeking for the lost body of her beloved husband Osiris. During her wanderings, to earn her bread she became nurse to the son and heir of Queen Astarte. But the Queen became increasingly hostile to this nurse, because her son was growing preternaturally brilliant and beautiful. She feared her nurse was a witch. Let us watch and see what she does.
Enter Queen Astarte. Here, at the dangerous hour of midnight, I shall spy upon this strange woman, and see what she is doing to my son. (Hides.)
Enter nurse with young boy.
Nurse. As the golden Phoenix rises from its ashes, so shall you, little prince, be reborn by Divine fire.
Music. Dance of fire spirits around boy, with red, yellow and orange draperies. Astarte rushes forward in terror.
Astarte. Evil witch, you burn my son in unholy flames! (She clutches her son to her.)
With a gesture, nurse banishes fire spirits. She throws off her cloak and reveals herself as a Goddess with sun crown and gold mask.
Nurse. Ignorant and cowardly woman, know that I am the Goddess Isis, I would have made your son a god, but through your interference, now immortality shall only be won through suffering, labour and many tears. My Mysteries shall be performed for those who pass ordeal.
All kneel as Isis steps out.
SCENE 3. THE THIRD SACRAMENT.
Enter Tehuti. For thousands of years the Inner Mysteries of Isis were performed in Egypt and neighbouring lands and through them many attained illumination. The initiation of the Fiery child was enacted at Eleusis, with Demeter as the Goddess, and in Ireland Brigid was Goddess of Rebirth through divine Fire. Now I take you to fifteenth century Venice, to the beautiful hill, Belmonte. We are in the palace of the Heiress of Belmonte. Portia is Hierophant of the Order of Isis and the Phoenix.
Enter Red haired Portia and the Traveller, Archdruid Fogarty.
Portia. Revered Archdruid Fogarty, you are welcome back from your travels. Here in the Order we only have 2 of the workings of Sun, Moon and Mercury. We need the aid of Isis Prophetis, Mother of the Alchemical Stone. But I prefer the path of my Ancestress Brigid, of the Venitii. The Legend of Isis Prophetis is so absurd - even vulgar.
Fogarty. (laughing) Truly, Isis gave herself to an angel in return for the secret of the stone. She could only share the secret, if you recollect, with her son and friend. Surely the angel wished to uncover the veiled Isis, Truth? Also the teachings of Isis Prophetis are not to be ignored. She taught that every creature and object can only produce its like. Gold can only produce gold. Hence Prima Materia, substance of the Cosmos, being inherently divine, confers divinity on every creature.
Portia. Truly, I see this animism is sacramental, but find it difficult to endure base matter. I know I lack feeling for the earth. Our order has the grapes of the Latins and the honey of the Celts. What can our missing sacrament be?
Fogarty. Remember when you had your palace in an uproar because you had lost your pearl necklace? Yet you were sitting on it all the time I have your missing sacrament. Receive it from a messenger from Cathay that I met on my journeys.
Portia. (eagerly) He is welcome!
Exit Fogarty. Enter messenger in Chinese costume, holding ceramic jar. He bows then offers Portia the jar.
Portia. At long last, the Philosopher's stone!
Messenger. Lady, this does not contain a stone. It is something for you to eat.
Portia. To eat? Your gift, I will taste. (She starts to eat it.) What is the celestial substance on my tongue? It has the softness of cat's fur and the fierceness of a lion. (Crosses herself.) This should be a sacrament.
Messenger. A Sacrament of the Sun.
Portia. (looks at him closely) Who are you?
Messenger. A thousand years ago when the Temple of Isis was closed by the Christians, a core of the Inner Priesthood escaped with their secret of Alchemy. They found a refuge with exiled Macedonians among mountains bordering India. There they set up their College of Isis. We of the Tao joined them, followed by Buddhist, Zen and Sufis from Persia. Who am I? Some call us the immortals. (Holds jar.)
Portia. Blessed be the roots of the Earth and Sun.
SCENE 4. THE CASKETS.
Tehuti. With ginger, her third sacrament, Portia created an Outer Court ceremony of 3 caskets, concealing inner alchemical meaning.
Portia enters in black wig, with members of Order, wearing rich neo-Egyptian robes. 3 Priestesses place 3 caskets of gold, silver and lead on altar. 3 neophytes are led in.
Portia. (to Neophyte) Which casket do you choose that may hold the treasure of Isis?
1st Neo. I choose the gold casket. (Opens it.) My heart's desire - a gold nugget! This emblem encourages me to sail to the West and rule El Dorado. (Exit.)
2nd Neo. I choose the silver casket. (Opens it.) A magic mirror! What I have longed for. Through this I shall become a famous man of science and explore the stars of heaven. (Exit)
Portia. (to 3rd Neo.) Which casket do you choose to find Isis' treasure?
3rd Neo. I choose the lead casket. (Opens it and utters a cry.) A sprig of hawthorn. It pricked me! I am bleeding.
Portia. (rises.) For long years you have worked to alleviate suffering. You are my husband Osiris! I am Isis.
SCENE 5. DESERT MESA IN ARIZONA.
Tehuti. I transport you in time to beyond the year 2000. Let us watch an exhausted woman, as tour guide with her troupe of tourists.
Enter guide in uniform with tired tourists on spiritual tour.
1st Tourist. I can't feel anything uplifting here. These medicine wheels are all alike. It's my feet - and these chiggers sure bite. I can't feel spiritual when I'm scratching myself.
2nd Tourist. It must be so healthy for native Americans living close to nature. But not for me. I'd miss the amenities.
Young Girl. This place feels like home. I wish a Goddess would appear to us!
Young Man. There are a few stars showing. I wish they would speak.
Tour guide throws off her cap and reveals a star diadem and silver mask.
Goddess. I am the Goddess Nuit of the Cosmos. My dark body of infinite space holds all beings in the spiral of time. Without any being, star, insect, stone, I am incomplete. (to Girl.) Know yourself as the Winged Isis of Rebirth. (to Young Man.) You are Horus, dawning Sun Hawk of the New Aeon. Through your Union of Love and Truth, Star and Sun, Heaven and Earth, all are in a rainbow of harmony. The great work is complete.
Isis and Horus hold the palms of their hands towards each other.
Tehuti. Isis and Horus are creating an orb containing both Star and Sun which radiates to all beings.
Isis and Horus hold out hands in blessing. The tourists join in.
End of play.
Prs. Alchemist. (to Neo.) What have you learnt?
Neo. I am inspired. The secret name of Ra is Osiris. The secret name of Nuit is Isis. The Deities conceal their names when they incarnate, as it is with all of us. The philosopher's stone is my own body, tomb of the mortal Osiris. Through Isis, my body, soul and spirit are transmuted into divinity.
Pr. Alchemist. Let us meditate upon the Alchemy of Saturn.
Meditation. Reports are shared and Rays of Truth are sent forth. Thanks are given to Deity.
End of Rite.
Sources: "The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz", anno 1490, Steiner Pubs. "The Most Holy Trinosophia", St Germain, M.P. Hall. "Comte de Gabalis", 1670, Abbe Montfaucon de Villiers. "The Demi Gods", James Stephens. Macmillan. "The Return of She", Rider Haggard. "Isis Prophetis Codex", Macianus, Mediaeval MSS.
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