FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Athena, Arcadian Awakening
By: Olivia Robertson
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Chapter 1: Korea
VISITANTS: PATH GUIDE, ELAINE, PRIESTESS OF ALCHEMY. HELPER, AIDEN, PRIEST OF ALCHEMY. DEIRDRE, ORACLE.
TEMPLE OF ARTS - KOREA
ELAINE (PATH GUIDE): For those who are new to our spiritual family, we have no regulations, no vows, no secrecy. We have accepted the invitation to join this group of Arcadians to find our own truth, our own love, our own home. This we do because each of us has some divinely inspired art that we love to practise. Art used to be denigrated as only the “handmaid” to religion. We feel religion is the ground for spiritual arts, awakening in us through our own originality. We have the courage to be ourselves.
AIDEN (HELPER): We are happy to have been invited to this Temple of Arts in Korea. Here we are! May the member who has welcomed us stand forth and speak!
PIA (STANDS FORTH): It amuses me that you assume I can speak, let alone be original! Well, I suppose I am unique. Or so they say. I am the only authenticated autistic person in our part of the world that has recovered!
AIDEN: We would love you to describe what it was like to be autistic – and how you recovered. Are you willing to tell us, for our magazine and website?
PIA: Gladly, a bit of incense, candles and soft music would help.
MUSIC AND INCENSE. CANDLES ARE LIGHTED.
PART ONE: NARRATION
PIA: I was born entrapped as if in a glass bottle. It surrounded me on every side. This was my world. Beings could get through the glass walls with food. But they were to me just ghosts. I cared nothing for them. I could see them weep and even hear them make sounds. But otherwise I lived in a dreamy state, entirely by myself. I wanted nothing.
One of these beings took me by the hand one spring day and led me to a grass field where there was a little stream. I was quite safe – it was only a few inches deep. She left me seated on the grass, still as always. I did not feel myself to be alone. I was always alone.
Suddenly a bright bird splashed into the water out of a pool made by the rivulet. It was an orange and blue bird. Its flight made the bamboos shake to and fro with a hissing sound. And as I listened to the breeze I knelt down and gazed at my face reflected in it. As the ripples made my face quiver, I was surprised to see two large tears run down my face.
Then a wonder happened. A woman’s face, divinely beautiful, appeared behind my own reflection. I looked up and jumped to my feet. A lady as beautiful as the full moon was standing - or rather hovering - just above the grasses. Her face was milky white and her scarlet lips were parted in a gentle smile. Her hair was as black as night, coiled like snakes above her head and round her shoulders. She was holding a fan in one hand and a mirror in the other.
"My dearest daughter, Pia,” she said; “You have grown up in holy innocence that you may most effectively show my countenance to those who need our help. I am the Goddess Pia Kong Ju, Bodhisattva of Compassion. Look in my mirror, at yourself as Mystic Dancer.”
She showed me the silver mirror, and within I saw the most beautiful country full of green trees and bright flowers, and happy children laughing and playing. Venerable grandparents sat at ease at a table piled high with fruit. And I was actually dancing!
“Oh, I want to get there!” I cried. “Please take me there!”
The Lady said: “Not so easy is it, little Pia, to reach this sacred place. It is called Magoland. This was the holy Heaven from which the people of earth were banished for bad behaviour. They were expelled by the Goddess of the land, Mago. I must leave you now. When the time comes you will be guided to reach Magoland, if you overcome various tribulations. Remember: Do good. Speak the Truth. Share with others.”
Whereupon the Goddess vanished, leaving behind the holy scent of incense.
AIDEN: This time is auspicious for your trials! The full moon shines on this lovely sanctuary. Are you willing to enter trance and face the ordeals set for you?
PIA: I live for this. I long for Heaven.
ELAINE: So be it. I shall be your Path Guide. First, we need to invoke the aid of the Goddess Mago through our Priestess Deirdre in trance. She is a Priestess Alchemist, well versed in her vocation.
PART TWO: ALCHEMICAL RITE
VEILED PRIESTESS IN TRANCE.
ELAINE: Holy Goddess Mago, miracle of beauty and love, upholder of the Truth, we pray for your Oracle.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS MAGO
Meaningless is the Heaven which you have not earned. You need to give as well as receive, travel as well as rest, and heal as well as be healed. The lost Heaven you lament is mourned with many names throughout the green earth. As innocent children you live in Heaven until you begin to grow – as do all elements, plants, animals. You find your divine self is original from Deity. So you face rivalry, passions, ideas. And this is good. Now humans have reached the final end of their solitary struggles. They were imprisoned in glass cages of separate selves. Now those outside such cages come to help those who long to escape. This is the End and the Beginning.
My Divine Manifestation appears as a mighty comet encircling the sky, with golden head and a long sweeping trail of many coloured stars. Thus I represent your Galaxy. But I also come as a child, or a poor old woman. Offer honour to all, for all are born of Divinity.
AIDEN: We give thanks to the Goddess Mago for Her Oracle.
ELAINE (TO PIA): Pia, around you is the mighty galactic Goddess Mago. You have had your Vocation from the Goddess of Compassion, Pia Kong-Ju for whom you are named. Now are you willing to receive my human help as Path Guide, and enter into trance?
PIA: With all my heart.
ELAINE: You will not totally lose consciousness, because your soul will be in charge to make choices. You chose to come out of autism. Now you wish to emerge from this dream of earthly life to greater reality. So lie on the couch and close your eyes . . . You will tell us what befalls you. We shall accompany your journey as your spiritual family, but may not intervene. Otherwise the trials would have no meaning. You need to relive your life but now help others instead of doing nothing.
TRANCE JOURNEY TO MAGOLAND
ELAINE: Pia, you find yourself once again at the beautiful rivulet that you love. * * *Are you there?
PIA: Yes. I am really there! How wonderful. And it is not Autumn like here. It’s Spring – my favourite time. * * *
ELAINE: Tell us what happens to you. Take your time . . . We have all the time in the world. * * *
PIA: Yes. I have been here for ages and ages. * * * Oh dear. The weather is changing. It has become winter. Help! This is winter. I’m dying of cold. I’m inside some sort of glass coffin.
AIDEN: Ask Pia Kong-Ju to save you.
PIA: I call to her. But she doesn’t come. Everything is changing like a film. It’s too hot now, in a stuffy room. A fat woman is pressing me to her. It’s horrible. I wish she’d go away. I want to go back to the field. But she won’t let me go. And a nasty little boy is pinching me. He keeps chanting: “Pia is an imbecile! Pia is an imbecile!” I wish I was not here. * * * I want to tell him that I am not here, I am somewhere else. I want to escape from this stuffy room and stupid children and this fat woman who is crying and crying all over me.
So I pull a wonderful silver-white veil round me and I am safe. I can’t hear or see these people – I don’t care what they do or say. I can’t feel the woman’s tears or the boy’s pinch or his silly song. If I wait long enough I’ll get to the stream and I’ll get in and wash myself. They’ve captured me in this room.
Then I remember a voice telling me to ask Pia Kong-Ju for help. So I stop being angry and ask for help. Suddenly I notice that the boy who is chanting the ugly words is hideous! No one likes to look at him. He has a hare-lip. I want to tell the woman it can be put right in a hospital. I feel sorry for him. So I throw away my white veil. I come up to him and put my arms round him and though his face looks so dreadful – I give him a hug and big kiss! I hear the woman start shouting: “A miracle! Pia Kong-Ju has heard my prayers! My little girl is cured.” The boy has suddenly changed into the beautiful Goddess herself! She is laughing. “Don’t judge by appearances, Pia,” she says. “You have passed your first trial to reach Magoland. You have put aside your veil of seclusion.”
I am overcome with joy and I look around to find a wonderful land. It has become very cold.
Where am I? I know. It is a school playground. The children are surrounding a girl who is crying. She looks different from us. We have beautiful raven-black hair and golden skin – the way the Creators made us to be. But she has a terrible skin covered with orange spots, green eyes, a huge mouth – and worst of all, bright red fuzzy hair which the children are pulling. They are saying: “She is a monster, a demon from outer space!” I know devils have red hair. But I notice she is a very brave demon, trying not to cry. I like the way she throws back her head and answers back. I still protect myself with the white veil from demons. They are so many. But now I throw it off and I put my arm round the girl. I shout out: “Look out for what you are doing! It’s blasphemy to insult the Great Goddess Mago! She put us out of Heaven for insulting manners.” They look scared. I explain: “Mago has red-gold hair like the sun and her body is made of white light and orange stars. What is ugly to us people is beautiful for a Goddess. If we want to go back to Heaven we had better mend our manners.”
And they do. They creep away, silent. But what is very strange and wonderful, is that as the children run off, the girl turns and looks at me. She becomes as tall as a willow tree and bright as the stars. Her hair is flying around her like sun-beams. Her voice is deep and loving: “Dearest brave little Pia, thank you so much for looking after my daughter Mago. This is her first visit to earth and she is sensitive to unkindness. You have passed your second ordeal to reach my lovely land.” She fades like an amber dawn into the sky * * * I feel ashamed that before I did not help her daughter. But now I really have!
I hope I can now reach Magoland – but I find myself in a very different place. I feel afraid that I might like the garish lights and too loud music and all the drunk people dancing around in a silly way. I don’t want to grow up. So I draw my white veil around me so that the men will not see me and ask me to dance.
But then I see a young man who is trying to hide a tear. His hand is shaking as he wipes his face with a dirty handkerchief. He turns sideways and I see he has a crooked back. I hear one girl saying to another: “I wonder a hunchback should come to a dance. It makes it embarrassing for us having to refuse him.”
Without thinking I throw aside my white veil and I approach the young man. I say: “I’ve never been to a dance before. I’m so clumsy, you see. I get laughed at. But would you care to show me the steps?”
His whole face lights up and he looks so joyful and loving. He puts his arm around me and says: “Pia, I was not allowed to help you. But now I can. You have passed your final test. You may enter Magoland,” he says. He is Aiden, The Helper! “You have learnt to help with kindness.”
But what is so extraordinary is that Magoland is the same as this dance hall. The people are kind and beautiful, the music is dreamy, the lights soft. But even as I look around wanting to make friends – I find I am back on the school playground. I see the red-haired girl join in a circle game with the others. * * * I hear the voice of the fat lady and she is talking to her son, his hare-lip cured. “Who would think my poor autistic Pia would turn into a wonderful Temple dancer. Even people in other countries have heard of her. They even visit us here . . . ”
Now I understand. Where you are depends on who you are. The Goddess is everywhere – when I recognise her. When I look out of the window and see sun, moon and stars, I see Mago. Also, I see good all around me.
END OF TRANCE.
PIA SLOWLY RETURNS FROM TRANCE. REPORTS ARE SHARED. A KOREAN FEAST IS ENJOYED. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES. EXCHANGE OF ARTWORKS. PIA GIVES A DANCE AND THE VISITORS A PAINTING.
END OF RITE.
SOURCES: “Korean Folk Tales.” “Small Magical Fairy Tales”, with paintings, Heidi Tordrup. “The Dreaming Child,” Isak Dinesen, Penguin Books, London. “The Noh Plays of Japan,” Seami. trans. Waley, Grove Press, New York. “The Rainbow People”, Laurence Yep, Harper Trophy, New York. “Goddesses of China, Goddesses of India, Tibet, China, Japan”, Lawrence Durdin-Robertson. From Chinese poetry: “The Woman with the Caterpillar Eyebrows.” “The Water Babies,” Charles Kingsley. “The Star Child” from the “Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde”. “Diary of a Midget,” John Masefield.
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