FOI Online Liturgy
Melusina, Life Centres of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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3. The Descent of the White Eagle
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS BRYNHILDE
PRIEST. Divine Brynhilde, you came down to earth to restore souls to Heaven. We turn to you who were as ourselves, deep asleep in this dream world which we turn to nightmare. Help us to awaken from the world sleep as you did, so that we may save our planet from pollution.
ORACLE. The awakening from sleep can happen at any time, in any place. It comes to the simple, to young children and humble old people living in a cottage. But it evades the mighty, the clever, the ascetic seekers. When you think least of yourself and your own ideas, you are most apt to awaken your slumbering soul. For you can only see the tip of your nose and a distorted view of your own body seen from above, and your two feet. You cannot see your back at all! Therefore to awaken your soul from the pervading group dreaming, you need to look at others and at your surroundings. These mirror forth yourself.
Though great aims of saving the earth stimulate your mind and your imagination, yet your greatest endeavours should be directed to the nearest task. Activity is ten times harder than to dream of action. It is pleasanter to contemplate oceans and whales and dolphins and wish them safety, rather than to go forth to your local stream and drag out ugly sacks and tin cans! It is easier to have day-dreams of fighting air pollution, than to write a letter to your local Council. I who once dwelt upon a planet know how hard it is, through the inertia of the physical body, and the smothering emotions that accompany it, to take up the spear of activity, yet without injuring any. For when you fight physically you only produce a temporary gain and no lasting good. But when you strive on the soul level to right wrongs, to defend the oppressed, to save your local field, you change the minds of others, and so bring lasting benefit.
It is hard to understand on earth that it is the soul sphere and the soul companions who transform the physical earth. A poem may save a hill from mining: a book may rescue countless birds. Therefore though you offer Me devotion and ideals, I would prefer that you would give Me hard work! This in turn will activate your energy centres. And this hard work is not only with a spade and a pen, but through clear thinking, firm resolve and the decision to act to fulfill your goals. The Goddess cannot be reborn on earth unless you not only love Her, but become Her! So you shall use mind, strength and activity to accomplish Her mighty Plan to bring Heaven upon the earth.
Prs. Hierophant wears silver tiara and holds silver wand: Pr. Hierophant, blue headdress and holds long wooden staff: Both wear silver pectorals, white robes and blue cloaks. Women companions wear silver circlets, men, blue headdresses and all wear white robes. Candidate is in white. On silver draped altar are 9 lighted candles, burning incense and a long white feather. Music may be played throughout.
PR. HIEROPHANT. Companions, we are assembled to evoke the descent of the White Eagle Power in the Great Goddess Mode. The mighty forces of the Golden Phoenix and the White Eagle, Yin and Yang, operate through the Great God and the Great Goddess Modes throughout the cosmos, from star to atom. These Divine Forces should be in equal balance within each of us, that through their harmony we may find our Immortality. When the Great God Mode is evoked through Yin-Yang, men work with the Force, like to like; Women use it in polarity.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. When the Yin-Yang Force is evoked through the Great Goddess Mode, women work with it like to like: men use it in polarity. 'Like to like' energy flows softly round the circle: in polarity, it flashes from person to person across the circle. 'Like to like' is a spiral flow: polarity is like lightning.
PR. HIEROPHANT. The White Eagle Energy of Yang, which we are about to evoke through the Great Goddess Mode, will thus affect men as a flashing light from The Goddess to themselves. With women it will come gently as from a waterfall.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. These two energies of Phoenix and Eagle twist round our spines like ivy round a tree trunk, intersecting at the psychic centres. So it is with the earth's axis: so it is with all existences. Both Golden Phoenix and White Eagle Powers unite in equilibrium through two wings of energy stemming from the spine, and in a corona above the head.
PR. HIEROPHANT. The Yang energy particularly affects the centres at the base of the spine, the solar plexus and the throat, forming a chord as in the musical octave. Awakened, it brings Power, Authority and Understanding, operating through a well-directed activity, self-discipline and concentration on a spiritual goal.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. (With wand makes Yang sign, A "9", and offers incense.) I offer incense to Thee, the Goddess Brynhilde, Who descended into the Underworld to bring the Light of Truth to all. May we learn from Thy courage!
PR. HIEROPHANT. (Makes Yang sign with staff) I offer incense to Thee, The God Odin, who travelled as the Wanderer through the stars, to find wisdom. We would seek and find, as Thou didst.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. (To Candidate) Are you willing to face the Ordeals of Brynhilde and Odin, that you may with courage discover Truth and Wisdom?
CAN. With divine help, I am willing.
THE DESCENT OF BRYNHILDE INTO THE UNDERWORLD.
MUSIC. DRAMA OF ODIN AND BRYNHILDE IS ENACTED.
1st PRIEST. (to Can.) Learn of the descent of the Goddess Brynhilde into the Underworld, and what befell her there.
'I am driven by my longing, and my understanding urges,
That I should commence my singing and begin my recitation!
I will sing of people's legends, and the ballads of the nations.
Let us learn the words of magic, and recall our songs and legends,
And reveal the soul immortal, sprung from the Divine Creatrix!'
Know that on the fair planet of Asgard the people had become cruel and full of greed. A doom hung heavy over them like a mighty black cloud. And the God Odin Who reigns in Valhalla was both angry and grieved, for the people were not only desecrating the planet which the Deities had created, but had impiously formed a false Valhalla, a place of cruelty and violence. And they worshipped false gods there, and did evil deeds in their name. So Odin descended into the mysterious realm of The Mothers, far below in a dark space. There He sought wisdom from the Well of the Norn Urda. But She would only give him to drink if He gave her the sight of his magical left eye. And this he surrendered to her. But when He drank of the water, he received the knowledge of the certain destruction of Asgard on the Day of Doom, Ragnarok.
1st PRIESTESS. So Odin returned to Valhalla and devised a plan. Although Asgard was doomed, only the Descent of the Goddess could save the souls of its inhabitants. His youngest Daughter, Brynhilde the Valkyrie, desired to accomplish the deed. But to do so She had to surrender Her headdress of feathers of Spiritual Light, Her silver armour of protection. Her shield of Truth and her spear of Power. And Odin transported Her to Asgard, and laid her upon a black rock in a forest, and she fell into a profound sleep. She was now a human woman, powerless, so Odin caused the God Loki to surround her with magic fire, so that only a hero could discover her.
1st PRIEST. Now it chanced that a young man, Sigurd, was making his way through the forest, listening to the birds. Sigurd had the gift of understanding their language. A jaybird sang to him of a beautiful maiden lying fast asleep in a rock in the depths of the forest, surrounded by magic fire, so that none could approach her. Sigurd felt his heart afire with love, and he sought for the mysterious fire. When he saw it he approached and, without thought of danger passed through it!
PRS. HIEROPHANT. When he saw Brynhilde he knew she was his beloved, and he awakened her with a kiss! Their happiness was of short duration, for the Doom of Asgard fell upon it with thunder and fire. But Brynhilde was awake and she remembered her task. She mounted her white flying horse. And she drew to her all the souls of humans, animals, birds and plants and bore them in a swirling cloud to a far-off planet, which is this earth!
PR. HIEROPHANT. When Brynhilde saw that her task was well accomplished, she made her way once more to Valhalla, bringing the hero Sigurd with her as is the wont of the Valkyrie. But now she had no need of headdress, armour, shield nor spear; for she was aureoled with Light from within. So she became a Goddess. And Sigurd through His love and courage became a God. And so may all of us!
END OF DRAMA.
CREATION OF THE MAGIC SHIP SKLOBLAOMIR.
1st PRIEST. (to Can.) That you may face the ordeals of Brynhilde and Odin, you need our help! We shall build the magic ship of the God Freya, called Skloblaomir. Know that this ship is large enough to contain all the Gods and Goddesses, yet is so small it can fit into a pouch! By the power of Seiokona, magic, let us create the ship around us through dance! All dance to create a shining ship around them.
2nd PRIESTESS. That our ship may have the power to fly through deep space and passing time, let us chant the name of the Great Enchantress 'Seiokona'.
ALL. (chant) SIGH-O-KONA
1st PRIEST. We need a Guide to bring us safely on our Shaman journey, and who better than the Valkyrie, Swanhilde! O, She has descended amongst us, with white-feathered headdress and flashing silver armour! She holds her shield and her spear, and about her billows her aerial blue cloak. She greets us with a smile and bids us be seated in a circle within the ship, and to shut our eyes. Our journey is about to begin.
MODRANIHT OF THE MOTHERS.
Suddenly our ship begins to sink through the floor! All becomes dark and Swanhilde tells us that we are sinking through the earth. Now we have reached deep space. There is a shuddering tremor and a sound like thunder. We have broken the time-space barrier! Swanhilde says we are descending towards the North. * * * There, guarded by the three stars of the Little Bear is the Himmelbjorg. Beneath this cone of deepest night is the Well of Wisdom, presided over by the Norn Urda. Above Her is a shadowy arc which is a root of the cosmic Ash-tree, Yggdrasil. (to Can.) Are you willing to drink of the waters of wisdom?
CAN. With the Norn Urda's help, I am willing.
1st PRIESTESS. What do you offer Her?
CAN. My willingness to learn.
1st PRIESTESS. Swanhilde says she accepts this. Approach the Well! We shall all leave the ship with you to strengthen you for the Ordeal.
1st PRIESTESS. Friend, what did you learn from the Waters of Wisdom?
CAN. I learnt that the waters are inexhaustible, and so all may drink therefrom, and be filled! Yet no cupful is like another. What I have gained gives me no superiority over knowledge gained by others, however different from my own. For Truth is written in different symbols in every soul, whether of Deity, human, animal or plant. So I have learnt of my own ignorance.
1st PRIESTESS. Swanhilde likes your reply! She says that those who drink and think they know everything - know nothing! They cannot return. But you know a little, and hence may return for more. You feel a glow within the base of your spine. You have passed the Ordeals of Urda!... Let us return to the ship.
THE HEAVEN OF VALHALLA.
2nd PRIESTESS. Our ship is travelling beyond the speed of light along a strange column of flashing colours like the Milky Way. Swanhilde tells us that this is the trunk of Yggdrasil. It is made of shifting colours that are twisted like a rope and it is protected by a sheath of white light. We are travelling to the very plexus of the Ash, which is our own solar system. Swanhilde says you may enter Valhalla and partake of the fruit. We shall also leave the ship and be with you as your friends.
2nd PRIEST. Let us return to the ship. (to Can.) What did you experience as you ate of the fruit?
CAN. I learnt that however fine and noble my ideals are, however warm my love, unless I put these into action, they are useless. I may not stand aside when I should defend friends and animals and trees from injury. The fruit gives me power to live an active and full life.
2nd PRIEST. Swanhilde is pleased with your answer. You have passed the ordeal of Iduna. You feel a glow in your solar plexus.
3rd PRIEST. Let us return to the ship, which now rises rapidly into the sky in the direction of Muspell, place of the Southern stars. Swanhilde tells us that the brilliant constellation of Lyra with the sparkling star Vega, is no less than the Pectoral of the Goddess Freyja, 'Brisingr.' Her domain is the heaven of Gimle.
THE HEAVEN OF GIMLE.
Gimle crowns Yggdrasil, Tree of Life. Above it with outspread wings hovers Aquila, the White Eagle which we seek! (to Can.) Those who wear the Pectoral of Freyja learn the gift of communion with all creatures, mighty or small; so did Sigurd gain love through understanding the speech of a bird. What do you offer Freyja for Her Pectoral?
CAN. I offer my longing to be in communion with all her children, because I would unite my love with understanding.
3rd PRIEST. Swanhilde says you may enter Gimle. We shall leave the ship and be with you.
3rd PRIESTESS. Let us return to the ship. (to Can.) What did you learn from wearing the Pectoral of Freyja?
CAN. Oh wonder! I understood the language of birds and stars, of plants and Gods, of angels and animals! Our thoughts make a many-coloured strand of beauty that encircle the Heavens, drawing all beings into harmony. I heard the key-note of each creature and every star and planet. And I found my own.
2nd PRIESTESS. Swanhilde says that through words you have reached the Great Silence. You have passed the Third Ordeal of Freyja. You feel silvery power in your throat. Before we leave the Heaven of Gimle, Swanhilde tells us to gaze at the stars.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. Behold, Brynhilde shows Herself as transcendent Goddess! She leans against the starry Ash-tree, Yggdrasil. Her feet are firm by the Well of Wisdom and Her body is as bright as the sun. She holds the shield which is the mirror of Truth and her spear of Power reaches from earth to heaven. We feel these radiations within ourselves. We are being empowered to bring a noble aeon upon the earth, as She did.
PR. HIEROPHANT. Our ship sinks rapidly from the stars of Gimle, through the penumbra of Valhalla * * * and past the Northern Night of the Mothers * * * we reach our little earth * * * our ship lands as softly as a feather upon our Temple floor * * * Let us give thanks to the Valkyrie, Swanhilde. She blesses us and ascends upwards and vanishes. We dissolve our ship by dancing in reverse direction * * *
Dance. Meditation. Reports. Activities are planned.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. (to Can. if successful) You have passed three Ordeals of Brynhilde and Odin! In token thereof receive this White Feather.
Presents Can. with white Feather. Give thanks to the Deities.
End of Rite.
Sources: "The Prose Edda" Snorri Sturluson, University of California Press. "Gods and Myths of Northern Europe”, Ellis Davidson, Penguin. "Kalevala" trans. Kirby, Everyman. "The Complete Wagnerite," Bernard Shaw, Constable.
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