FOI Online Liturgy
Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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2. Monkey Pilgrim
ORACLE OF NU KUA
INVOCATION: I invoke the Goddess Nu Kua Who created the forms of all creatures from clay, through blending the sacred elements. Divine Nu Kua, you brought equilibrium through uniting with your husband, Fu Hsi, Who brought activity to your creations.
ORACLE: If you do not create you are but a plagiarist, imitating other people's beliefs and works, like monkeys! Your education has in the past been based on imitation, on learning an accumulation of so-called facts, whether in religion, the arts or sciences. Your condition is worse in these days, for you attempt to turn your minds into machines. As robots you will lose your own Spirits. For Spirit is ever-changing, renewing, and vitalising.
To follow the way of the Spirit is to dance through many cycles of being, balancing from one state to another with the cosmic swing of the stars. Balance which is immobile, set, habit-following, leads to stagnation. To have a chord you need to resolve discord. To run, you need to move from your left to your right leg and back again! The era that is dawning belongs to the Winged Ones. Be original and you will create that which is unique to your own Spirit.
To be immortal is to be ever-changing like clouds floating across the sky! You create your own limits in space and time in order to focus on one particular goal: in doing so, you may become imprisoned by your own fence! This is the time of the great awakening. Each day brings a dawn of opportunity if you will grasp it. The Deities bring you fresh inspiration! But it is for you to use this radiation and make it distinctive, your own true expression.
PRIESTESSES WEAR GOLD TIARAS AND HOLD WANDS; PRIESTS, GOLD HEADDRESSES AND CARRY STAFFS. WOMEN PRACTITIONERS WEAR GOLD CIRCLES, MEN, GOLD HEADBANDS. OMNES WEAR YELLOW AND INDIGO ROBES. ON YELLOW AND BLACK DRAPED ALTAR ARE SEVEN LIGHTED CANDLES, A BOWL OF WATER, INCENSE AND CARDS 0 AND 9 FROM THE MARSEILLE TAROT DECK.
PRIEST HIEROPHANT: Fellow Practitioners of magic, we would learn the art of creation through balancing positive and receptive forces. Let us therefore invoke the Creator Goddess Nu Kua, restorer of cosmic equilibrium!
PRIESTESS HIEROPHANT: (OFFERS INCENSE.) I offer incense to Thee, Nu Kua, Who with Thy Consort created the forms of all beings! Teach us the alchemy of creation.
1st PRIEST: (OFFERS INCENSE.) I offer incense to Thee, the God Pan-Ku, Who dost balance Heaven and Earth. Thou who holdeth the YinYang of Chaos, aid us to balance the elements of Nature.
PRS. H: Who would be Apprentice?
1st PRAC: I would. I cannot even walk without balance, let alone create!
1st PRIEST: (SHOWS TAROT CARDS.) Describe these two Tarot Cards.
APP: The first card has no number and shows "Le Mat", French for "The Dullard". He carries a bag and staff like a tramp; yet wears the winged cap of Mercury. He is glancing behind at a cat, who is tearing a patch off the right seat of his trousers, exposing his bare buttock! No wonder he wears a jester's bells. The other card is numbered 9 and shows "L'Hermite", an austere monk-like pilgrim holding lantern and staff. Both travellers are journeying in contrary directions, the Dullard to the right, the Hermit to the left. I wonder where they are going?
1st PRIESTESS: We will help you find out through a play. It is entitled "The Burning of the Books".
PLAY: THE BURNING OF THE BOOKS
2 GONG STROKES. ACTORS ARE IN MODERN DRESS. ENTER PROFESSOR.
PROF: At an ill-omened time 2,213 years ago, the Emperor Shi Huang, acting on the advice of his Minister Li Szu, ordered all books in China to be burnt, save technical manuals! The Emperor held that books were giving misgivings to "the black-haired people", the peasantry. Scholars, he declared, used books to promote debate among the common people, thus questioning the Imperial authority! Those who disobeyed the edict were branded and sent to forced labour on the Great Wall. 460 scholars were executed for concealing books, their bodies exposed in the market-place. History can repeat itself. (Exit Prof.)
ENTER MINISTER FOR CULTURE IN A RAGE, FOLLOWED BY UNDER-SECRETARY.
MIN: Am I or am I not Minister for Culture?
SEC: You are indeed, comrade minister.
MIN: Then why is the law being flouted under my very nose? It has clearly been decreed that all books containing any reference to extra-terrestrials, fairy monkeys, apparitions of virgins, demons, gods and goddesses are to be incinerated! Those breaking the law are to be re-educated in mental institutions.
SEC: The law is being rigorously enforced.
MIN: (WAVING BROCHURE) Then who is distributing these advertisements all over the city? (reads:) "Madame Kwan Yin, Renowned Psychic, has as her client the Minister for Culture." How dare this libel against me be circulated! Deal with this immediately.
SEC: (AGHAST) I shall see she is arrested at once. (EXIT.)
MINISTER STRIDES UP AND DOWN TEARING THE BROCHURE TO SHREDS. RE-ENTER SEC. IN PANIC.
SEC: There has been a coup! The Minister for Trade and Commerce has been converted by Madame Kwan Yin, and is now a capitalist! You had better escape or you will be assassinated - protesters are marching on the Ministry, claiming they have been abducted into space-ships by little grey aliens. They want to know what you are going to do about it?
MIN: New Agers - the virus from California. The people have gone mad! (BURIES HEAD IN HANDS)
ENTER MADAME KWAN YIN, HEAVILY PAINTED AND BEJEWELLED.
MDE K.Y: Not so, your excellency! They are balancing themselves. Do the same.
MIN: Who are you?
MDE K.Y: I am the Goddess Kwan Yin! I bring magic, romance, beauty and consumer goods: lottery tickets, videos, unguents for aromatherapy, designer clothes and swimming pools.
MIN: I don't know you. Why did you claim me as your client?
MDE K.Y: My dear old friend, I have always been invisible by your side. You are no less than the Great Monkey King, the Fairy Sun Hou-tzu. Flee with me to the West!
MIN: (SMILING) No longer a great King! I would be Monkey Pilgrim. Be my Guide to the Western Paradise.
MDE K.Y: You shall be God of Victorious Strife!
EXEUNT ARM-IN-ARM. ENTER PROFESSOR.
PROF: As the Minister for Culture went forth and stood alone before the people, he was shot dead. (EXIT)
ONE GONG STROKE. End of play.
1st PRIEST: (TO APP.) What do you learn from this?
APP: I learn that the Minister, when he thought himself wise, was a fool. After he had a vision of the Goddess, he became wise. The Dullard and the Hermit are one. A curved 9 within a circle 0 forms the Yin-Yang sign of balance.
PR. H: A wise answer! To make your own pilgrimage, you need to make a magical journey to the constellation of Libra.
1st PRIESTESS: (ANOINTS EACH BROW.) May you have light for your journey!
THE WINDOW OF LIBRA
3rd PRIESTESS: Fellow Practitioners of magic, let us be seated in a circle with our eyes shut. We are about to project our spirit selves to the etheric Temple of the Zodiac! *** We see before us a hill crowned with a gleaming Temple, surrounded by myriads of stars. We mount the hill *** we face the south-west portal of the Temple, flanked by winged sphinxes. We enter. How glorious is this rainbow coloured Temple! In the centre is a perpetual light shining on an altar. Around the 12 walls are stained-glass windows, each crowned with a sign of the Zodiac.
3rd PRIESTESS: We approach the west window, surmounted by the 7th sign, Libra, the scales of equal day and night, autumn and spring. Let us be seated and gaze upon it.
The picture shows a Goddess beneath an Aspen tree, cradling the Yin-Yang egg. Her Consort encircles Her with His arms. Below we read:
"The Aspen will detain,
The Egg will all explain;
Seek not; yourself be sought.
All other search in vain."
SE HAN, PARADISE OF IMMORTALITY
3rd PRIEST: (TO APP.) Are you willing to enter Se Han, astral Paradise of Immortality? There you may partake of celestial peaches bestowed by the Goddess Kwan Yin and Her Consort. But beware, these peaches bring sleep and you may lose your strength. Your immortality then will be but a dream.
APP: I am willing to face the test. I wish to live forever.
3rd PRIESTESS: A mighty wind rushes through the Temple, throwing open the window! We see through it the glittering constellation of Libra with its 28 stars. The star Se Han forms the South-Western pan of the scales. Approach the window! You need to cross the stream that flows round the Temple. We follow you. You reach Se Han. ***
"Limpid as a river, pure as the sea,
The Mother Goddess's face.
I want to give you
Dyed willow, perfumed plum.
Here I shall sit with you
While you grow immortal!"
3rd PRIEST: Let us return. (TO APP.) Did you find what you sought?
APP: I have tasted the peaches of immortality! I know that love and joy are eternal.
3rd PRIEST: You have passed the first test.
I SHI, PARADISE OF THE VALLEY OF LIGHT
2nd PRIESTESS: You now face a very different spiritual Paradise, I Shi of the Valley of Light. In the south east you approach two stars, one yellow, the other grey. The Goddess Hsi Ho, Astronomer Empress and Mother of the Ten Suns, is Ruler with Her Consort. Here you learn to discriminate between good and evil, and to have the courage to act on your own choice.
The Dragon Mother and her Daughter said to the Dragon King: "In our treasury is the magic iron with which the bed of the Milky Way was compounded. It is glowing with a strange light. Is this not an omen that we should give it to the Sage who has just arrived?"
2nd PRIEST: (TO APP.) Are you willing to face the Goddess Hsi Ho and receive the magical power She may bestow on you? There is danger that you may misuse it and so it will destroy you.
APP: I am willing to face the ordeal to achieve power.
2nd PRIESTESS: Let us return. (TO APP.) What have you experienced?
APP: I have learnt to take responsibility for my actions and not to blame others.
2nd PRIESTESS: You have passed the second test.
ZUBAN: PARADISE OF SWEET WATERS
1st PRIEST: We now face the green Northern Star of Balance, Zuban. Over this Divine paradise of Harmony presides the Goddess Nu Kua, and Fu Hsi.
"The River of Heaven wheels round at night.
The Goddess rolls up her blinds:
Dawn at the North casement.
With ribbons of powdery dawn-cloud,
And sky skirt of lotus-root silk,
She walks over the sky
Gathering star orchids."
1st PRIEST: (TO APP.) Can you face Nu Kua Who holds the scales of judgement?
APP: Without balance I am as a drunkard, staggering across the road of life! I will enter.
1st PRIESTESS: Let us return. (TO APP.) What has happened to you?
APP: At last I feel truly myself! I have gained inner polarity.
1st PRIESTESS: You have passed the third test. Your Spirit has won its wings. It is now time for us to return to the Temple of the Zodiac *** we re-enter by the Libran window. A wind rushes by and closes it *** we leave by the Sphinx portal and descend the hill, accompanied by a tumbling stream *** we are back in our own Temple *** we open our eyes!
REPORTS ARE GIVEN AND RAYS OF HARMONY ARE SENT FORTH TO ALL BEINGS. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
Sources: "Monkey: Hsi Yu Chi", trans. Waley, Penguin Classics. “The Goddesses of India Tibet, China and Japan", Durdin-Robertson, Cesara. “Religions of Ancient China", H. Giles, Constable, 1905. "Chinese Mythology" Christie, Hamlyn. "Star Names", Allen, Dover. Marseille Tarot Deck, B.P. Grimauld, 1740, Paris.
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