FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Ishtar of the Starry Heavens,
Shape-Shifting of the Alchemical Twins
Written by: Olivia Robertson
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11. Wings of Heaven
"Before you fly high, make sure of your nest."
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO TWIN APPRENTICES AIDEN & ELAINE): The Ancient Druids of Eire knew well the wisdom of Brigid, Goddess of the Spear of Light, of all arts and crafts and of the springs of hidden water in the depths. We need Her Oracle.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: Glorious Brigid, Goddess, Saint, Nature Spirit, Who forms the Rainbow Bridge of the Arts, which links all spheres, grant us your Oracle!
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS BRIGID
Follow the path of the Spear of Light and you shall surely attain the divine realms of Light. You will know all knowledge, all wisdom, all truths. But are you able to bring happiness to one animal, hope to a friend, joy to a baby?
The mighty plan of the cosmos includes the great and the small, - the wise and the foolish, - the sublime and the absurd. For why should the mighty ones become small and dwell amongst us; and the smallest aspire to be the greatest? They seek wholeness.
To enjoy all that is, we need pride and humility; love and caution; belief and disbelief. For has not each of us a heart and a brain and two legs to walk with?
“As above, so below” is a truth: but also “as below so above.” Why not dance? Stand with your back to your altar and lift up your arms in the V sign of the Light Descending. Ah yes – but now face your altar, with your arms in the form of a triangle, and draw forth that which is below. When these two triangles, one inverted from Heaven, the other pointing upwards from earth, are joined, they form the Diamond of perfection. Drawn closer, there shines the six-pointed Star of Love and Truth in Divine Harmony.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: We give thanks to the Goddess Brigid for Her Oracle.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO AIDEN): As Apprentice you have bravely endured every ordeal placed before you. Now you face the culmination of all you long for. In order to grasp your reward, you need to enter the mysterious domain of the Starry Swan Cygnus.
AIDEN: I am filled with hope. I will enter the portals of Cygnus.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: We will join you in your trance journey but not help you.
AIDEN: Swiftly I mount the hill to the Temple of the Stars. I enter and pay my respects to the Central Flame. The Portals of Cygnus in the East do not look mysterious, but inviting! They soar above, shining white. Above the gates are entwined two swans, their necks crossed.
The black and gold of their beaks are starkly contrasted with their gleaming white wings which fall in feathered cascades around the doorway. To us Irish the swans are sacred, the Children of the God Lir of space. So with confidence I pass through the doorway . . .
What a disappointment! Usually I would be content to enter a retreat in an occult Order, but here is no magic! There is a Master in black academic robes, before a sort of blackboard – no - it’s a computer screen. How boring. I dislike computers. Won’t use them. His pupils look equally uninteresting – computer-heads I call them. They wear black student gowns and each is glued to desk computers, as oblivious of the outside world as gamblers at a machine in a casino. Went there once – never again. I’m not robotic.
However, I’m here so may as well look at what the Master is conveying through his computer. It concerns the ascent and the descent of the Planes. My head begins to swim. This is higher mathematics, linking Einstein physics with occult formulae. I observe the students – and notice that only one part of them is attending! Suddenly I am entertained. One girl is thinking of her boyfriend and is he faithful? Her sister is creating a superb dinner for the evening – she is obese. Some young men have unpleasant erotica, and one elderly man is dreaming of his dead wife, and can he find her through this mathematical stepladder, and go to the Plane on which she may possibly be?
I am beginning to dream. Eastern gurus tell you to make your mind blank – a quicker way is to study formulae on a computer. ***
This is ecstasy! I leave the academic compound in which I was imprisoned - and I reach the stars - I realise how truly great I am, for I am travelling a spiral path along the Milky Way Herself. The words come to me: “I follow the path of the stars on the threads of the Web of Fate.” This etheric web with its elaborate intricacy extends its pattern of energy through the darkness of space. It is invisible to human eyes, but now I can use the Web to travel through all spheres!
I was told I would achieve my spirit’s longing. So I shall. I wish to find the Immortal Beloved.
I long for the Peacock Angel, whose eyes are the stars. I would be a star and be with Her for Eternity. Even as I wish this, it is so! Before me, in indescribable grandeur is the Mighty Goddess Herself. Her Divine Body is formed from dark space, irradiated by Her Eyes, the many coloured stars. But what is most wonderful are Her Wings, which are The Veils woven by Bride. Two encompass her head with their gleaming feathers, and two are extended throughout all space, and about Her feet are two azure wings that reach into the abyss. She is the Goddess of the Heights and of the Depths. The stars are Her Visions and the flow of the Web of Bride are Her garments. Her face is forever veiled. Behind Her shines Her Divine Consort, The White Peacock Angel. Between his feathery wings are the dark tunnels that lead through the spheres. He is the Angel of Transmutation.
To my terror, understanding of the complex mathematics of the universe begins to take over my brain. I understand the mysteries of physics and the interaction of cause and effect. There is no chance. I know of the fall of great galaxies – and of a single human drowning in a boat . . . and each is part of this shifting complex of Reality. For here are all realities. Every breath, every thought is accounted for; and not a deed, however small, is ignored. I face Isis of Love, and Osiris of Truth, Judge of the living and of the dead.
Isis shows compassion. I hear her words like the flow of many waters. “My dear son, you have flown too high. Return through the pathway of Osiris that joins all realms.”
I find I am slipping down a dark tunnel, and as I do so, terrifying formulae, elaborate mathematics, cease to torment me. I long for comfort, for kindness, for something familiar.
But now I hear the most tragic lament in a woman’s voice. I find myself emerging from a dark cave, before a still lake. On the lake floats a lone swan, which is mourning for her lost mate. Joy floods through me! I am her mate and I have come home. I am a swan . . . she is my Immortal Beloved.
***END OF TRANCE***
REPORTS ARE SHARED AND THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES. IT IS AGREED THAT AIDEN HAS WON HIS DEGREE AND AT LAST HIS LONGINGS ARE SATISFIED.
END OF RITE.
Sources: “The Winged Destiny,” Fiona MacLeod, Chapman & Hall, 1904. “Song and its Fountains,” AE, (George Russell). “A Prisoner in Fairyland,” Algernon Blackwood. Both MacMillan. “A Celtic Miscellany,” Hurlstone Jackson, Routledge & Kegan Paul. “The Book of Irish Poetry,” Alfred Perceval Graves, The Talbot Press, Dublin. Used in all Rites: “Star Names, their Lore & Meaning” Richard Hinckley Allen, pub. Dover. “Jorkins Remembers Africa,” & other Jorkins novels on shape-shifting, Lord Dunsany.
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