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FOI Online Liturgy
Gaea, Initiations of the Earth
By: Olivia Robertson

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Part II Introduction: Planetary Initiation

Initiation of the Elements brings us into contact with the elements of our being as we react to everyday life. This is the first step in spiritual rebirth. We tend at this stage to regard the earth as the ground we walk on, build houses on: to us it is something solid that supports water and has fire underground. Hence our vision of the Earth Goddess may resemble that of the primaeval Venus of Willendorf, a Sheilanagig or a statue by Henry Moore. The rites of earth are regarded as bringing fertility to the land and to ourselves. Survival is seen as springing from our children and from the renewed growth of plant life in Spring. And without this reverence for and enjoyment of the surface of earth we are incapable of attaining further progress. It would be like trying to walk without the use of our legs!

However, planetary initiation brings with it the realisation that the solid earth we know is a very thin crust, below which we know next to nothing. One of the most widely spread errors of various religions and philosophies is to insist that earth is a rotten apple or peach, with a fair outside, rosy and enticing, but within, is dangerous to our souls. Indeed, we are taught that the Earth Mother is like one of those insects that walk out from a severed peach stone! The concept that earth therefore is to be shunned gives rise to a whole range of phobias about "what is down there", ranging from unpleasant hobgoblins, "earth elementals" that no one seems to like, to Inner Earth civilisations inimical to our own. Whereas the mediaeval fantasists taught fear of demons and hell, their modern equivalent fill their occult novels with a whole category of vampires, invaders from space, who lurk below waiting to abduct the unwary.

This phobia of "down there" obviously springs from claustrophobia derived from early natal experience in the womb. "Let me out" must be the longing cry of the struggling little creatures that are "us" striving to be born from darkness into light. So you get children taught in videos and stories to fear all creatures of "darkness": witches, hunchbacks, monsters, bats, werewolves, cats, rats and snakes. This leads to cruelty, even persecution of the elderly, the helpless. In the next life we have to live with the nightmares we have created while on earth.

Planetary initiation gives the successful candidate power to use the imagination to create a better world. Earth is seen as a sun in the making. Beneath the crust this planet contains mighty spiritual and psychic centres that relate to our own psychic centres within our bodies. Earth breathes out at day and breathes in at night. In harmony with her, wherever we live, we do likewise through waking and sleeping. Earth's psychic tides flow most positively at midday: so do ours. This is the best time for work and activity. Earth's psyche becomes receptive at midnight: so do we as we dream. Trees follow this natural flow, giving forth energy during the day and withdrawing during the night. And at six o'clock at morning and evening, earth's tides change. It is a time of flux. And so do our own inner tides, as positive and receptive energies balance themselves. With experience we learn to adjust ourselves to these flows of the life-force. The best time to harmonise psychic with psychical energies is at half past six at dawn and dusk. The time for deepest sleep, when we are involved with the inner planes, is midnight. This corresponds with the winter solstice, a time for looking within. Some Hindu sages teach that Prana, the life-force, flows in the human nervous system during the day, and in the blood-stream at night. Every twenty-four hours we can adapt ourselves to the tides. The greater cycle of the year brings us comparable experiences at the solstices and equinoxes. So we learn the value of daily and seasonal invocations, meditation and rituals. We become part of our planet's rhythmic life.

Although it is possible to attain planetary initiation on one's own, this is rare. As Nature teaches us to learn through our parents, so we need spiritual parents and friends to help us to attain wider consciousness. The sudden awakening of a particular centre in our body can produce severe mental and psychic effects. Each centre can trigger off various hitherto unconscious experiences. For instance, a rush of reincarnation memories can lead to an emotional breakdown, and sudden understanding of symbols underlying natural phenomena can derange the mind.

Judgment is not a punishment, but an assessment as to the candidate's readiness to be given new experience. Such initiation is an ordeal because we all fear the unknown. We need not only guidance from those more advanced than ourselves, but the understanding and help of companions who have undergone the same psychic or mystical experiences. Teachers who have not themselves experienced altered states of consciousness cannot really help, however well informed they are, however excellent their books, lectures and courses. A gypsy with second sight can be more of a Guide! Only those who can communicate telepathically know the hazards, the humour, the unpredictability of the talent! It is not always popular to find one can read people's thoughts. The same applies to clairvoyance, mediumship, and other psychic and spiritual gifts. One mother exclaimed indignantly when her daughter-in-law gave her a spirit message, "How dare she give me a message from my own son!" One needs to laugh, to share information and experiences with fellow students of these strange subjects. I remember an elderly gentleman in a South Kensington cafe asking me what I was studying, and I, referring to the College of Psychic Science, replied, "psychometry, clairvoyance and mediumship." He replied with disgust: "the things they teach them nowadays!"

We learn to look at earth herself, not as an isolated object, a rosy apple rotten within, but as a sun in the making, shielded like an unborn baby in the womb of the protective earth's crust. And watching over this sleeping child is the Mother Whose Heart is the Matrix, Whose aura is the atmosphere. And we see her sisters, the other planets, psychically linked with earth and with the Sovereign Sun, realm of the Solar Goddesses and Gods. And the sun itself is one amidst myriad suns, part of our Milky Way Galaxy. And that again belongs to the greater Cosmos.

Humanity plays a vital part in the evolution of life on earth. We provide the intellect and skills needed to assist the evolution of animals, trees and plants into wider awareness. We have been placed as Guardians of the creatures of earth, but because of our isolation, our psychic blindness and ignorance, we have so far abused the trust the Deities have placed in us.

This is a time of change as two earthly spheres meet. Our planet's own Initiation is taking place through the thinning of the veil between the etheric and physical sphere. This is also affecting the moon. We must change with the earth, our home, for we are part of her. We shall regain our lost paradise below the crust, and find new heaven in the inner sun, the Matrix. Only through the planetary Initiation that brings us into accord with our own solar bodies may we be reborn into eternal reality. We need not fear any Last Judgment. Judgment is now. We are given the opportunity. It is ours if we take it.


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