FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Brigid of the Rainbow Planets
Adventures of the Alchemical Twins
Written by: Olivia Robertson
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3. Realm of the Planet Mercury
The Time Traveller
"To travel the starry Spirals you need to find their centre."
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO TWIN APPRENTICES): The radiant spirals of Mercury may only safely be explored if you rely on the central rod of Hermes, which is the axis of the cosmos. When all the Magi and magicians of Ancient Japan could not call forth the Inner Sun of the Goddess Amaterasu, it was the mad dancer, Uzume, who brought life to a dying land. Let us invoke Her inspiration.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: Holy Goddess Uzume, Who brought life through laughter to a dying people, restore us who see before us only death. We have lost faith in our own immortality.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS UZUME
ORACLE: Starve yourself of joyful movement and you lose the ever-encircling stars that move through your own bodies, joining atom to atom. The harmony of music travels through mighty constellations, and yet delights also the cricket on the hearth! The myriad colours of stars and planets are echoed in small wild flowers and delight small blue birds in rosy peach blossoms. You are blind on a planet of vision: deaf in a sphere of music: and walk with steps lumbered with cares – while all around you is Paradise.
I bring the arts of acting with comedy and tragedy, portrayed in legends that speak to your souls. I dance upon the stormy waves of the ocean and enchant you from the white-faced moon. Eternity is within you. A small insect – a dragonfly – may awaken your sleeping divinity.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: We give thanks to the Goddess Uzume for her inspiration.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO TWINS): Aiden and Elaine, your task in your alchemical quest is to bring into harmony the energies of the planet Mercury and those of the planet Jupiter. In classical myth Jupiter travels the land with Mercury as His companion, to ensure that strangers are hospitably received. So does the wise ruler use the artist to explain the ways of humanity. Thus truth prevails. Aiden, you are asked to explore the Hermetic wisdom of Mercury, Who is both liar and sage, thief and judge, an inveterate traveller through all spheres, resting in none. He is God of Hermaphrodites when he united with Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.
AIDEN: I would prefer any God but this one! I hate being laughed at. It destroys my self-confidence.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: Your self-confidence should not depend upon others.
AIDEN: I accept the challenge.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: We join you in facing this enigmatic God. We shut our eyes. *** We travel down the long avenue to the octagonal Temple of the Rainbow Planets. Enter by the South Portico. The central Golden Orb sends forth rainbow lights *** rays of yellow and blue illumine the Eastern wall. We approach the Portico in the centre. Above it is a Winged Disc. On one side is a statue of a young man, crowned with light, and holding a caduceus, a wand encircled by two snakes, one blue, one gold. This Wand of Hermes is surmounted by a winged disc. On the other side is the statue of a woman with long wavy hair. She holds a spiral of stars in the form of a blue and gold serpent. There is a veil drawn across the Portico, through which we discern a rocky landscape. We draw aside the veil and enter. *** Aiden, tell us what you experience through the veil.
AIDEN: I feel so peaceful. Here is what I always feel at ease with – a small hermitage set in this desert landscape. I enter *** and within is the very Alchemist I have always longed to meet! I know he is no less than Hermes Trismegistus, the Thrice Wise. Gone are my fears of encountering a mischievous and cunning God! I long to be a disciple and learn the path I should tread. *** I am obedient to his instructions, when he tells me I need to travel to the island of Japan in ancient days. I have always revered Japanese Noh plays, since our great Irish poet, Yeats, admired these. I am surely to be granted the inner teachings of an occult Order. I ask the Master may I continue reporting. He looks at me rather oddly – and says I may.
Suddenly I experience the tremor of an earthquake. I am pulled by some vortex of energy in a left-hand direction down a black spiral – I am falling – when will this end – I cry for help but there is no help – but suddenly all is tranquil. I find myself wearing a kimono and harkening to the instructions of the Master of Noh, Seami – and he is telling me that to have the honour of taking part in a sacred Noh play as a woman – I must first become a woman. In vain I protest – he is holding a painted fan – he gives a sharp flick and it opens – I see an exotic plum-blossom tree and I am laughing with a group of girls. I wonder that they should be so casual with me – then I look down – and to my horror I see small bare white woman’s feet! Not only am I a girl, but a peasant, *** I am living my life through as this woman – Okuni. I marry *** I have children and am proud of having five fine sons and one daughter.
First a volcano and then famine strikes our island. The sun, lost in darkness, does not shine, *** to my terror our villagers intend to bring aged women to the summit of a snowy mountain and there, with tears and grief and loving farewells – they leave us to perish. We sacrifice ourselves to save the village food.
*** Suddenly I lose my mind. I am possessed by a demon! I rebel against the Sacred Emperor and his sacred Priests and my own sons! Like a mad woman I rush down the mountain screaming. I find myself in the company of grave Priests who are uttering sacred liturgies, praying to the Sun Goddess Amateras, Ancestress of the Emperor, to return and bring harvest to a desolate island.
I laugh and laugh and laugh. I rush into the centre of those praying hypocrites and I loosen my long white hair and I bind rushes on my feet and tie up my dragging sleeves. All back away from me in terror, for who does not fear a demoniac? I know they will bind me and burn me. But I continue my mad dance. Then I notice a large bronze bucket by their altar. I find a Demon Mallet and I beat it wildly. ***
There is a miracle! All fall on their knees before me. Heavenly fire ascends through my body and I levitate above the crowd, drawn by magical rays from the sky. From the black clouds, Amateras shines forth her golden rays. For a second I see Her divine face smiling down upon me with love and compassion and I enter a state of bliss. *** At this very moment of ecstasy – I hear the flick of a fan. I am drawn back into the room with the Noh Master. He says: “Now you are ready to act the role of a woman.” ***
Everything is changing rapidly – I am travelling forwards through time – I am in the hermitage with thrice holy Trismegistus – I do not mind if he is laughing at me – but he is not. He blesses me. *** I am as it were thrown into the Temple of the planets through a rushing wind – And I know that I am both the young man with the wand of Hermes and the woman with the starry serpent. I am once more with you all in the Temple. And I have travelled through a lifetime between two flicks of a Japanese Fan.
THE COMPANY AGREE THAT AIDEN HAS WELL DESERVED HIS DEGREE OF MERCURY, COMBINED WITH HIS YEAR’S WORK. RAYS OF WISDOM AND INSPIRATION OF THE ARTS ARE SENT FORTH TO ALL. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
END OF RITE.
Sources: “The Noh Plays of Japan” Author of “The Damask Drum”, Seami. trans. Arthur Waley. Grove Press, New York. “Nihongi”, 720 AD trans. Aston. Allen and Unwin. Paragon Reprint Corp., New York. “Kojiki”, 720 AD trans. Philippi, University of Tokyo. “The Goddesses of India, Tibet, China and Japan”. Durdin-Robertson, Cesara, from Clonegal Castle. Note: The full title of the Japanese Sun Goddess “Amaterasu No Kami” when used singly is spelt “Amateras.” Ref: T. Ohnuma, late of Tokyo University.
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