FOI Online Liturgy
Dea, Rites and Mysteries of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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3. Evening. Rite of the Five Elements
Invocation: Golden-eyed Goddess Sarasvati, thou who art crowned with the crescent moon, who beareth the sweet-toned vina, who art born aloft by the many-eyed peacock, bestow upon us thy glorious art at twilight. As the sun sinks to rest, bring us the glories of poetry and art and music, that our bodies may be united with our souls and so we may remember our journeys in the land of waking dreams.
Oracle of the Goddess Sarasvati through Her Priestess
It is through the language of art and through the holy knowledge of symbols that the Deities share their glories with their children. The beauty of music brings the harmony of the interweaving spheres of creation: poetry draws the soul to noble endeavour: and painting and sculpture breathes forth the divine essence within all things. For all that is real in the Greater is spelled forth through symbols in the lesser. So gold speaks of the sun, and silver of the moon: and sun tells of Love and moon of Truth. You do well to invoke my aid when day blends with the shades of night. For in the twilight two worlds join in harmony, and you bring your daily existence in tune with your true eternal being. So in your morning's work create forms of beauty: in the evening animate these forms through the divine imagination. Open your eyes in the day-time. But in the evening close your eyes and see myriad visions of beauty. In the day-time listen with your ears: in the evening sit in silence and you will hear the music of my lyre that flows like a transparent river from star to star and from the throats of nightingales and in the rustle of reeds where glide my swans through pools of lotus flowers.
On the altar, let there be a small bell, water in a vessel, incense or 3 incense sticks, a stone and a phial of oil. Two candles and the incense are lighted.
Devotee: May the Goddesses bless us this evening through the Five Elements. We offer this hymn to the Goddess Ratri of Night:
"The Night comes near and looks about,
The Goddess with her many eyes,
She has put on her glories all.
Immortal, she has filled the space,
Both far and wide, both low and high…
For Thou art she in whose approach,
We seek to-day for rest, like birds,
Who in the branches seek their nest.
The villages have sought for rest
And all that walks and all that flies.
Black darkness comes, yet bright with stars,
It comes to us, with brilliant hues.
Goddess, I call thee with this hymn.
Accept it graciously, O Night."
Devotee places hands on stone on the altar.
Devotee: “Thy snowy heights, and thy forests, O Earth, shall be kind to us. The brown, the black, the red, the multi-coloured, the firm Earth bless us, that we have settled upon. Into thy middle set us, Oh Earth, into the nourishing strength that has grown from thy body. The Earth is the Mother and we are the children of the Earth. The fragrance, O Earth, that has risen from thee, which the planets and the waters hold with that make us fragrant. Earth, hold us safe this night.”
Devotee dips finger into water and places some in a circle on the brow.
Devotee: “Water we worship, the waters in the tree, the waters in the stream, the waters in the rain. In the pure stream, the woman bathes, in the pure stream, Ninlil walks along the bank of the stream Nunbirdu. The bright-eyed, the lord, the bright-eyed, Enlil, the bright-eyed saw her.”
May we too see with the eye of true vision, this evening and in our dreams.
Devotee inhales the scent of incense.
Devotee: "Isis, the mighty, who took action for her brother, who sought him without tiring, Who roved through Egypt as the wailing kite without rest until she found him, Who provided shade with her feathers and created wind with her wings: Endow us also with thy strength in flight, may our minds soar with thine in heaven, as our souls leave our bodies this night."
Devotee holds hands over the two candles.
Devotee: O Goddess, more subtle than the fibre of the lotus, curled three-and-a-half times round Thyself. . . thou who doth uncoil thyself and raiseth thy head, and doth enter the royal road, riseth, piercing the mystic centres, until thou doth reach the high place, reveal thyself gently unto thy suppliants, come not fiercely, with thy fire. Shine on us, O Devi, thy fire. Beautiful Kundalini, Shining Devi, come in thy goodwill and at our need. As the sun sinks to rest, may you arise in us.
Devotee anoints head and heart with oil.
Devotee: Holy Demeter, thou who didst take the child Demophoon in thy fragrant bosom with thy divine hands, thou, rich-crowned Demeter, who anointed him with Ambrosia, food of the Gods, so that he grew like some immortal being: bless us with this food of the Immortals, so that we like Demophoon may know that we are eternal beings. May our souls awaken in your darkness of the Mysteries.
Devotee rings a bell, and is silent, experiencing communion with the Goddess.
When the silence is at an end, Devotee sends forth healing to others.
Devotee: Ratri, Queen of Night, even as thou dost cast thy shadow, thou dost beckon thy sister Ushas of the Dawn to return. We give thanks to thee for this rite, for healing for the holy elements. Dark Goddess, benevolent sister of the Day, when thou drawest near men and women may rest, birds seek their nests and cattle lie down. Holy Queen of Night, we accept thy blessing. We accept the Grace of Sarasvati and of the Goddesses who bestow the Five Elements of Eternal Life.
End of Rite.
Sources. Hymns to Ratri from the "Rig Veda", Muller's translation. Prayers from the Ahuronis, "Zend Avesta". Vendidad from Sumerian narrative, Kramer's summary. Hymn to Osiris, XVIII from "Homeric Hymns". Source material from “The Goddesses of India, Tibet. China and Japan”, “The Goddesses of Chaldea Syria and Egypt”, “The Vital Elements”, “The Occasional Rites”, Lawrence Durdin-Robertson.
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