FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Ishtar of the Starry Heavens,
Shape-Shifting of the Alchemical Twins
Written by: Olivia Robertson
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7. Divine Madness of the March Hare
"To surrender your mind is to win your Soul"
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (TO TWIN APPRENTICES AIDEN & ELAINE): To overcome the restrictions of the human intellect, it is deemed essential to draw in the powers of the moon. Let us invoke the Goddess Ostara.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: Holy Goddess of the Moon, Ostara, Who from the nothingness of a sterile planet bringeth forth divine dramas, help us to enjoy your creations, and to laugh at our delusions!
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS OSTARA
All creation is a mirror reflection of divine reality. It is through these lovely appearances that the Blessed Deities laugh and weep at the myriad mysteries wrought by imagination. The human being devoid of creative vision, however intellectual, is sterile. For giving birth is not only to produce offspring through womb and egg. It is to create a shining sphere only accessible to the artist, who then embodies within its shell, dreams, aspirations, works of art. To protect the sphere from disruption of the creative process is to protect a work of art. When the work is ready to be shared, the sphere bursts open and a new creation is shown forth for all to wonder at.
It is in this way that the Goddesses and Gods create constellations and stars and planets. You observe the arms of these spheres unwinding in spiral galaxies, and participate in their glory. So all may join the Dance of Creation with Shiva and Durga – and wild March hares! Join the dance and create your own heaven.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: We give thanks to the Goddess Ostara for her Oracle.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO AIDEN): Aiden, your path through the Mysteries has been hampered by your analytical mind. You reach for the rose – but your foot trips you up, caught by a double-rooted bramble! Know that intellect is like the hounds of the giant Orion of the Stars. Hounds follow on the heels of divine intuition. Are you willing to follow the bizarre windings of the Hare who may be seen in the moon?
AIDEN: The image intrigues me. It has occult symbolism. I am willing to undergo the ordeal.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (TO AIDEN): Enter into the mysterious domain of the constellation of Lepus the Hare, at the feet of Orion. We shall accompany your trance journey, but not assist you. Report on what happens to you.
AIDEN: I will try to keep my mind in check, but I am deeply fascinated by Hermetic symbols. *** I mount the Hill of the Temple of the Northern and Southern stars. *** I enter. It is very misty and the central Flame shines as through a fog. I search and at length find the Portal of the stars of Lepus in the North-West, beyond the Lynx Gate. *** The doorway is draped in floating white clouds. On the left is the figure of Passicola, the white Trickster Rabbit of native Indian culture – curious – I feel disappointed at finding a rabbit – only a rabbit! As if he can read my thoughts, he makes fun of me by producing a giant chocolate Easter Egg – one that I stole when I was small from our pantry – and which made me very sick. I look to the right of the portal – and again I feel aware of the absurd! There is the representation of an exquisite Moon Goddess – but she is marred by a large pair of Hare’s ears and long whiskers! She is a Fluffy Bunny New Ager. The form keeps changing – I see the pale faced moon with the magical hare within it. I am reassured. This is not Walt Disney playtime. The word “Surrealist” comes to mind. This is a valid art form.
Oddly enough, I feel my own mind is playing tricks because no-one could call me a cultural snob. I shall face this realm but I realise I need to keep all my wits about me. Yet I think I hear a woman’s voice in the far distance saying; “That is the last thing you should do! Orlando Furioso – the mad poet – left his wits in the moon. Leave yours safely at the doorway.” Of course! It is the Red-haired witch. Just her sort of place. Boldly I walk through the portal.
I am taken aback at what I find …I am not within a lunar sphere, or lovely landscape with moon nymphs, which I rather hoped for. I am in a laboratory. It is filled with scientific paraphernalia. Men and women are busy as bees, wearing white head caps and masks and white coats. I ask them what are they doing?
One young man calls over his shoulder, as he fills a test-tube. “Perpetual motion. I’m nearly there.” A woman says angrily: “Don’t interrupt me. I’m on the edge of achieving zero gravity for the planet.” A group in a corner are in earnest conclave discussing the reproduction of the Big Bang, which they say created the Cosmos. One declares that they need more funding, and others recommend creating a better nuclear bomb to sell in aid of such a good scientific cause. I am overcome with laughter. “A new and better bomb? A Big Bang? You know what you all are? You’re lunatics!”
But this was a mistake. Suddenly a group of biologists declare that I would make excellent material for bio-engineering – for instance my DNA could improve crops and so cure disease and death. Now I am terrified – I am in danger from people who are obviously clinically insane. I cut and run…..
I escape from the laboratory and run through endless passages with fluorescent lighting. I ascend by a crazy lift that stops halfway so I have to slide down a rope…. And find myself back outside the laboratory. I double back and go down a deep tunnel noticeably connected with sewage. Then disaster – I am trapped at the end of a passage in a cage obviously used for vivisection. I hear the most agonizing scream. I try to escape it by pushing at the bars of the cage. Then I realise where the terrible screaming comes from… it comes from me. I am a hare! I dig furiously at the earth beneath me and make a tunnel. I go down it and finally I reach a safe burrow. And I hear my friend the Witch saying softly: “It was not your wits that saved you. It was your speed! But pity the deluded men and women in white coats, trapped in that laboratory, a hell of their own making.”
***END OF TRANCE***
AS AIDEN SLOWLY RETURNS TO HIS BODY THE COMPANIONS ARE SILENT. HE HAS MADE THEM FACE UNPALATABLE TRUTH. HE HAS EARNED HIS DEGREE. REPORTS ARE SHARED AND RAYS OF LOVE ARE SENT FORTH TO ALL BEINGS.
END OF RITE.
Sources: “The White Goddess,” Robert Graves, Faber. “Greek Poetry, 40 B.C.” Everyman. “Theogony”, Hesiod, Heinemann, Harvard. “The 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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