FOI Online Liturgy
Isis of Alchemy, Transformation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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VII. The Amethyst Pylon of Neptune
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS ARIADNE
INVOCATION. I invoke the Goddess Ariadne of the Crown of Stars and the Labyrinth of Earth.
ORACLE. How beautiful is the sea with softly rising waves topped with foam in the light of the full moon! There, contemplating perfect beauty, the soul is at rest. The torture of the questing mind is the burden of the Philosophers. Drawn upwards into metaphysical speculations, the idealist is in danger of losing touch with the earth, which also has her mysteries. The intolerable fire of the stars appears meekly when reflected in a still pool.
In the circles of time the powers gained by the intellect disperse like motes of dust. But noble ideals when brought to fruition through kindness and understanding are eternal.
Eternity is not infinite duration. It could be more aptly called infinite shortness! Divinity may be enjoyed between seconds. So abandon the never-ending theories and dogmas that may lead to frustration and even to wars. Not one life should be sacrificed for a creed, for this annihilates the very purpose of the creed. I am Mistress of the labyrinth and not its prisoner: for the labyrinth is the human brain.
Your brain is a tool, not an end in itself. Use it to assess your visions, not to inhibit them. Art is both the Daughter of Nature and of Mind. Unite these qualities and you will drink from the cup of creation. I am with you when you dream, and I inspire you when you bring your dreams into being. From such wisdom comes ever-renewing life.
On a violet-draped altar let there be seven lighted candles, burning incense, a blue cup of spring water and a trident. Women Alchemists wear moon headdresses and hold silver wands, men Alchemists wear gold headdresses and carry gold staffs: all wear purple robes. Women practitioners wear silver circlets: men, gold headbands: women wear turquoise blue robes, men, green. Music may be played throughout. A bell is struck three times.
1st Pr. Alchemist. Fellow practitioners of magical alchemy, we are assembled to evoke the violet rays of the planet Neptune, source of magic. Through polarity, we wish to learn the power of direct creation.
1st Prs. Alchemist. (makes sign of trident of Neptune) I invoke the Moon Goddess Pasiphae of the Island of Crete. May She endow us with the grace of the Moon in all Her phases.
1st Pr. Alchemist. (makes sign of Taurus) I invoke the God Poseidon of Atlantis, Who rules the constellation of the starry Bull of the Sea of Heaven. May He teach us how to control our minds, as He rules the sea of space.
2nd Prs. Alchemist. (makes sign of crown) I invoke the Sea Goddess Ariadne, Daughter of Pasiphae and Poseidon. From Her Dance of the Labyrinth may She bring forth new life.
2nd Pr. Alchemist. Let the Candidate for the Initiation of Neptune be brought forth!
Candidate in white is led forth by sponsor.
Sponsor. I recommend this Candidate, who is well versed in the use of the etheric elements, yet has humility.
1st Pr. Alchemist. Humility is a necessity for this Seventh Ray Initiation. The Candidate is accepted for the trial.
2nd Prs. Alchemist. The magical self only comprehends through symbols, pictures and music. Rational words are ignored. So we present a myth from Tuscany, "The Mystery of Lucifer, Diana and the Grael Bearer."
3rd Prs. Alchemist. (anoints each brow) Receive magical vision!
Bell is struck 3 times.
SCENE 1. HEAVEN.
Wizard. Lofty were the aspirations of the mighty Archangel Lucifer, who rose with his white wings to the stars, despising the earth. Borne aloft by hope to become Creator, he succeeded in rising higher than any other Archangel, and he reached the Seventh Heaven.
Dance of Angels.
Enchantress. (laughing) And he had as great a fall! He climbed by the Ladder of Hierarchy but fell through a humble snake. He was conquered by Diana, Goddess of the very Nature he despised.
Dance of Nymphs.
Wizard. The passionate Goddess dragged the unwilling Archangel down to earth, he who had disdained earthy love, and seduced him.
Mime of Lucifer's fall. Diana triumphs.
Ench. Not so unwilling! Both he and Diana rejoiced in the gifts of their daughter, Aradia.
Wizard. Was this dangerous girl worth the loss of Lucifer's wings and Diana's liberty? Aradia was a witch and taught the peasantry to poison their masters.
Ench. She needed no poison to stir up rebellion by people degraded by tyrants. She taught dissent, which she learnt from her Father, and used fascination, which she drew from her Mother.
Wizard. To clarify this matter, let us examine this pagan myth in twenty first century guise.
Ench. So be it .... We find ourselves in the sanctuary room of the Order of the Dove Ascending, near Glastonbury.
Bell is struck 3 times.
SCENE 2. SANCTUARY OF THE
ORDER OF THE DOVE ASCENDING.
Wizard. Behold a Master of the western Wisdom, in full robes, presiding over his Advanced Circle. This is composed of 7 white-robed Initiates: Enid, Gawain, Percival, Raymond, Angela, Mike and Nell. Nell's sister as honoured guest wears purple and is outside the circle.
Master. We are assembled to perform a solemn ritual for the Purging of Albion and the Rebirth of King Arthur by magical force. We shall exorcise evil from our sacred Island. Relax, shut your eyes ... (the group enter a trance) Visualise the evil Enchantress Morgan le Fay, sister of Arthur, in a dragon-prowed boat ... she is returning to Avalon ... Now visualise Morgan le Fey and her boat sinking below the waves ... and with her, the miasma of decadence and degeneracy that contaminates Albion ... good. She has sunk beneath the ocean: only a black fog remains ... which is dispersed by the Holy Grael which shines high in the sky.
Master. Give your own Grael message. We will start with Enid, sitter in the East, and proceed deosil.
Enid. (rapt) The Virgins of the Grael are releasing doves from Glastonbury Tor. One of the doves reaches the sad land of Eire, and disperses mist.
Gawain. St George is kneeling before the Grael. He is consecrating the sword. He gives it to me. I decapitate a Red Dragon.
Percival. Merlin is imprisoned by the Witch Vivienne in a hollow oak. Light from the Grael reaches down to him. I release him.
Angela. St. Michael folds me in his feathery wings. He tells me to leave my Indian group: Tantra is not for me.
Raymond. Sir Galahad of the Grael gives me a spear and I hurl it at Extraterrestrial Lizards who are infiltrating Albion. They flee.
Mike. I see the Holy Grael - focus of all my yearnings. It is formed of purest crystal. It is topped with sun-touched clouds. Below is the darkness of Mother Earth. It is a glass of Guiness.
Nell. The Grael appears to me as the essence of my heart's desire. It tells of warmth and friendship. It has a cadence of India. It is a tea-pot.
Group rush back from trance.
Master. (furious) You have desecrated the San-Grael! Give me a reason why I should not excommunicate you from our Order?
Nell. It happens we have a little play, which we can offer in our defence. Will you watch it and judge us? It is called "The Goddess Reborn".
Master. It is your right. Proceed.
Bell is struck 3 times.
SCENE 3. PLAY. THE GODDESS REBORN.
Mike. (puts on spectacles) You see me as Doctor Faust, Professor of Genetic Engineering. I am in my study near Cambridge. I have fallen hopelessly in love with a well-known model, Marguerita.
Nell. (puts on wig) I'm the model. I'm nit-witted but very glamorous.
Prof. I adore you beyond all reason. I beg you again - be my wife.
Model. They all say that. But you've got what I lack - brains. It attracts me. I can overlook your age and appearance. So I will marry you. But on one condition. You must choose the sort of wife you want in me.
Prof. Anything, anything. What is this choice?
Model. I can be a regular cardboard cut-out wife, preside at your dinner table, visit women's church meetings and show up at the right functions. I'll make sure you get a knighthood and a research grant. But at night - I'll be a pillar of ice.
Prof. (aghast) The other way?
Model. At day-time I'll wear my hair in ethnic multi-plaits, I'll show my tattoos and wear a diamond in my nose and navel. I'll frequently be arrested at demonstrations. I'll feature in the tabloids as Witch Queen. Bang goes your knighthood and your grant. But at night I'll give you untold ecstasies.
Prof. (in despair) My career is my life. My dream is to be the first man to create a human being in the laboratory! But you are my love. I cannot live without you. What can I do?
Enter Nell's Sister. (in filmy veil) I am the spirit of your unborn daughter! (Music. She gives dance of the veiled spirit. To Professor:) I need your mind. (to Model) I need your emotions. Let me be born!
Prof. I have my solution. Only a woman can choose if she shall give birth. (to Marguerita) I leave the choice to you.
Model. Therefore you shall have my true self, both day and night. In the day I shall care for your baby, and write my life story. At night I will teach you to use your wings and we shall travel through the spheres!
Spirit. So it shall be. You shall name me Helen!
End of play. Bell is struck 3 times.
SCENE 4. THE SANCTUARY OF THE ORDER.
Master. (to Mike and Nell) You have proved your serious intent behind your ridicule: You may remain in our order. The session is over.
All leave except the Master. He buries his head in his arms. Then he looks around him wildly.
Master. Why do I conduct these rituals? I give all and receive nothing. I have lost the beautiful visions I once enjoyed. No mystical awakening comes my way, as it used to be when I was young. I bring others to the Grael and in derision I am given in exchange a glass of Guiness and a pot of tea. These young people laugh at me.
Music. Enter sister in veil and holding Cup.
Sister. Do not despair! Your students respect you. As they grow older, they too may lose the divine flame, unless they keep it glowing. Your books testify to your fine mind. (Music) I am Morgan Le Fay. I shall restore your vision. Drink this water from the Chalice Well. (She gives Master a drink from cup.) Know yourself as Merlin!
Master. Already my vision returns to me! Rainbow Light shines about you. You are Morgana, "Pense de Joie", Bearer of the Aquarian Grael.
Sister. The Sacred Rose glows within you. (Touches his heart.)
Master. Love awakens! I have dreamed of a wife and daughter. Will you be my wife?
Sister. So be it. As Morgana and Merlin we bring the stars to earth.
Exeunt. Enter Wizard and Enchantress.
Enchantress. (triumphant) So shall Melusina of the Dragon-Power be reborn!
Wizard. The Path of Return unites Below and Above.
End of Play.
1st Prs. Alchemist. (to Candidate) What does this Mystery mean to you?
Can. I am half in trance! It must be this device of play within play within play. Perhaps all of us here are in a play. I realise that however high my mind can carry me, like a dove I need to return to my nest. The penalty for ambition can bring an Archangel crashing down to earth. Humour does this more kindly.
1st Pr. Alchemist. (to Can.) You have passed the test. (Gives him Neptune Trident.)
Bell is struck 3 times.
1st Prs. Alchemist. Let us contemplate the Amethyst Pylon of Neptune in the Temple of Alchemy.
Contemplation. Rays of Joy and Beauty are sent forth. Reports. Thanks are given to the deities.
End of Rite.
Sources: "The Metamorphoses". Ovid, trans. Davidson. 1759 edition. "Aradia, Gospel of the Witches." Charles Leland, foreword Stewart Farrar. C.W. Daniel. "La Morte D'Arthur". Mallory. "Arthurian Romances". Chretien de Troyes, both Everyman. "Cretan Mythology". Hamlyn.
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