FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Ishtar of the Starry Heavens,
Shape-Shifting of the Alchemical Twins
Written by: Olivia Robertson
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2. Who May Know Leviathan
"From the deeps Leviathan calleth"
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO TWIN APPRENTICES): Our knowledge, however vast, as with the Magi - however restricted, as with apprentices, is but the tip of an iceberg compared with that which is hidden in the depths. Let us invoke the aid of the Sea Goddess, Derceto.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: Holy Goddess Derceto, Daughter of Tiamat of the darkness of space, laughing mother of mermaids, yet Creator of storms that wreck us, help us to have humility by honouring the Holy Unknown.
ORACLE OF THE SEA GODDESS DERCETO
ORACLE: You do well to pray for humility! Every age has a flaw, which may prove fatal. The errors of the past Piscean age of faith, led to a blind obedience, which resulted in a nightmare of cruelty and oppression. True, the unknown was respected, feared: but a supposed cruel and unreasonable Deity was invented to explain the vagaries of nature. To propitiate such Deities, all free thought and knowledge were suppressed. So the resulting civilisation, despite its fruits in the Arts and through Charity, is crumbling.
But the disastrous error of this scientific age is arrogance, a presumptuous belief, unproven, that spiritual realities do not exist. And the more the intellectual brain is over-stimulated, the more the psychic doorway closes. First the choice is to rule on earth rather than serve in the Heavens. But later, the doors of spiritual perception close, and Heaven is lost. It is for you who hearken to me to open them again, not only for yourselves, but for everyone else! Animal souls are with us already.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: We give thanks to the Goddess Derceto.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO AIDEN): Aiden, it falls to you to explore the very depths of being, the Unconscious, which yet is conscious of Itself. Do not lose your own individuality in that unchartered, incomprehensible realm, of the constellation of Cetus the Whale.
AIDEN: I am willing to undertake the ordeal. I find it hard to lose my own self-consciousness.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: Enter trance and report back if you can. We shall be with you but may not help you. Have courage!
*** TRANCE JOURNEY ***
AIDEN: I admire Elaine’s confidence. I feel nervous as I make my way up the winding starry path to the shining Temple of the Magical Planets. I love magic – but with companions in some circle or Order. I am not a loner. *** How beautiful this Temple is! How dramatic with brilliant white and pale coloured stars and deep indigo shadows. The shadows look rather like crouching beasts. *** I feel relieved – here is the Portal of Cetus! I suppose our psychic ancestors made these trance journeys, and so found out the aura of every star and constellation.
Suddenly I feel cheerful! On the left is depicted a killer whale, set out in brilliant stars – and on the other side is an entrancing Mermaid, her tail forming a winding galaxy of many-coloured stars. Her hair is like strands of nebulae. Her brilliant green eyes look so real, as if the Mermaid were examining me through the paint! Perhaps she is. Eagerly I pass through the portal. *** The deeps indeed have their treasures. *** Why was I afraid? This is heaven. I am borne along in the Mermaid’s golden-green arms down and down on a swirling spiral. At first I struggle. Then I decide to let go and follow the flow.
At last I reach the ultimate depths. The swirling ceases – and I find myself in a deep indigo Temple – and the colours are of a depth and beauty unknown on earth. Mighty sea creatures swim around me and I am unharmed. In this holy sphere there is no evil. All is perfect. I feel mighty, and even God-like. Have I at last achieved cosmic consciousness? Gradually I am aware of divine music. And although I am not a musician, now I can join in! I used to practise Gregorian chant, but this is far, far nobler, exceeding Bach, exceeding any Indian raga. I appear to play some sort of instrument. As I join this under-water symphony I feel electric power move through my body, my spreading aura; and I realise that I have communion with all the fishes around me. This awareness is spreading throughout the oceans of this galaxy. My consciousness is expanding throughout space itself.
I never could write poetry – but now I find myself intoning a Mantra: “I am one with all that is, and all that is, is one with me. I am creator, and I create the oceans about me, and the dry land and the skies above. And with joy I create galaxy upon galaxy, and yet I mould the tiniest atom as a precious jewel. I need not any more seek for love. I am love, and all who long for love turn to me! I am the Creator. I am the created. I am the One God.”
But there is always the grain of sand that irritates the oyster. As a discord, disturbing the divine hymn I am composing *** far away I hear the voice of my old friend, the Red-haired Witch. “You are not the One God. You are a whale!”
It is true! This is my greatness, my musical genius, my cosmic telepathy – I am whale – And when I realise this – I descend into my human self, and I am still enfolded in the arms of the laughing mermaid. Was it my own music – or the whale’s – or her siren song?
*** END OF TRANCE ***
THE COMPANY CONGRATULATE AIDEN ON HIS EXPERIENCE WITH LEVIATHAN AND SUGGEST HE TRIES COMPOSING SEA MUSIC. HE WINS HIS ALCHEMIST DEGREE. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
END OF RITE.
Sources: Books on Egypt and Chaldea. “Babylonian Religion and Mythology”, W. King, Kegan Paul, 1899. “Lucian”, Vol. IV, Heinemann, Harvard. “Goddesses of Chaldea, Syria and Egypt”, Durdin-Robertson, Clonegal Castle. “New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology”, Hamlyn. 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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