FOI Online Liturgy
Melusina, Life Centres of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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7. Opening the Heart's Rose
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS VENUS
PRIEST. I invoke thee, divine Venus, Goddess of Love. Thou art adored as Ishtar of Babylon, Hathor of Egypt, and Lakshmi of India. Thy power is felt throughout the earth. Yet too long have we turned from Thee, giving our praise rather to Gods of power, law and intellect. Return to us before it is too late and our earth is polluted by greed, fear and hatred.
ORACLE. My daughter, you do well to invoke Me. Man is a lonely being surrounded by the creations of his own mind. Yet this very intellect has severed his communion with the Deities. The cosmic language of telepathy, still enjoyed by animals, birds and plants, has been severed and is only used by simple tribesmen whose cultures are now threatened. Without communion of hearts, there is no love. Without love, humanity perishes.
Loneliness is the scourge of your age. It is loneliness that leads men to wage war, to seize possessions, to ignore the sufferings of millions of starving people. This loneliness leads to contempt for animals, who are cruelly exploited by mankind. I say man, because women, so far mercifully protected from what you call a good education, still retain some psychic powers.
Open your hearts to the Goddess of Love, and you will experience divine communion not in the future after years of religious practices, but now! 'Now' is eternal, containing all time and place. The greater contains the lesser. Thus through divine communion you will find your own heart's lover and your own spiritual family. And as you extend this love it will naturally, without elaborate exercises, reach every creature within your orbit.
You need to smile more! I come through laughter, tears, friendliness. If you feel hatred, jealousy, envy, do not be upset! These unpleasant emotions will dissolve, not through suppressing them, but rather allowing them to flow through you and dissolve, as they do naturally. It is a way of sloughing off what is irrelevant. For evil is unreal, irrelevant, merely a part of the stage ordeals which We arrange for your progress! Do not be angry with the Deities. Though there is much to anger you, when you come to realise that all your loneliness, suffering and apparent accidents were arranged by the Fates for your welfare!
The way to experience love is to enjoy the small part of love for others which you already possess! Love one dog and you learn to love all. Through love for a beautiful person, you extend to love the ugly, the evil, the stupid. For love grows stage by stage and the Goddess of Love does not subtract: she adds. One friend becomes many, and you will add the Deities to your acquaintance. Do not be spiritual climbers! Love the lowly and you will find among them disguised Gods and Goddesses.
Priestesses wear gold crowns, gold and rose-coloured robes and carry gold wands. Priests wear gold headdresses, crimson robes and carry gold rods. Women companions wear gold circlets, men, crimson headdresses and all wear crimson robes. Candidate is in white. Altar is draped in gold and crimson and on it are six lighted candles, a vessel of water, burning incense and a vessel with three roses, crimson pink and yellow. Music may be played throughout.
PR. HIEROPHANT. Companions on the quest for Divine Love, we are assembled that we may awaken the sacred rose of the heart, which is open in the saint and is dormant within the humblest creature, the bee, the plant. The Rishis of India describe this Anahata Chakra as having 12 outer rose-coloured petals around 2 interlaced triangles, forming a six-pointed smoky-coloured star. Within is the God Vayu Bija with four arms, seated upon a black antelope. He grants boons and dispels fear.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. Seated in the pericarp of the lotus is its Shakti, the Goddess Kakini. She is of a golden hue, robed in yellow. She grants boons and dispels fear. This Shakti has a tender body like ten million flashes of lightning.
PR. HIEROPHANT. The planetary Goddess presiding over the Heart Centre is Venus. She combines the threefold attributes of passion, friendship and love: Eros, Philia and Agape. Harken to the promise of Venus: "Whenever I am invoked, I come. Wherever there is loneliness, I am there. When love is longed for, I give it."
PRS. HIEROPHANT. (offers incense and makes sign of Venus with wand) Evoe Aphrodite! I offer incense to Thee, Venus, Goddess of Love, in honour of Thy Divinity. (She blesses the roses with hands)
PR. HIEROPHANT. The divine Son of Aphrodite is the God Eros. Harken to the Theogony of Hesiod: “Verily at first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Gaea, the ever-sure foundation of all the deathless Deities, Who holds the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim Tartarus in the depth of wide-pathed earth. And from Gaea came forth Eros, fairest amongst the deathless Gods.” (Offers incense and makes sign of arrow with rod) I offer incense to Thee, the God Eros, in honour of Thy Divinity.
1st PRIEST. (to Can.) Are you willing to open your heart to Divine Love?
CAN. With the blessing of Venus, I am.
1st PRIEST. So be it. The soul learns from Mystery Plays. Behold the story of how love came to Anchises, Prince of Troy.
MYSTERY PLAY: "HOW LOVE CAME TO A TROJAN PRINCE."
CHORUS. Of Golden Aphrodite, tell us, Muse, who sends on the Olympian Gods love's sweet desire! It is She Who sways all the races of men, the fleeting fowls of the air, the myriad beasts the lands bring forth, and all that the oceans bear. The laughter-loving Cypris, how oft She could beguile High Gods to seek the kisses of the daughters of the earth; and from their seed immortal bring mortal sons to birth, or daze the daughters of Heaven with love for mortal men.
Dance of the Hours and the Graces.
ENTER AGED NURSE. Yet these fine words tell nothing of the anguish felt by earthly men through this same love! My nursling was young Anchises, Prince of Troy. Of a serious mind, he kept his kine on Mount Ida of the many springs. He spurned the love of maids who sought him there! But one day a poorly-dressed girl came to him, begging for food. She said she had no kith nor kin. So modest was she, so downcast were her eyes, that the prince was moved by her innocence and loved her. He brought her home as his betrothed to his parents, King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. And they accepted her, despite her lowly station. He took her to his prince's couch, and lay with her amidst fleeces and furs of forest bears and lion hides.
QUEEN HECUBA. But I had fear in my heart of this unknown maid. So at dawn all unseen I watched over my son as he lay asleep. But then, as the first sun's rays struck her, this young woman rose to her feet and assumed the form of an Olympian Goddess! Her head reached the roof-beams and from Her brow and heart there shone celestial light. I fell on my knees.
KING PRIAM. I heard my wife cry out and rushed to her side. I saw the Great Goddess Aphrodite with Her white doves about Her head. She called to my son, and He awoke and saw Her, and shook with terror. And the Goddess spake these words: "Anchises, fear not too much! From Me thou hast no ill to fear, nor from the other Immortals. For Heaven holds thee dear. And now a loved son shall be born to thee, half mortal and half God. He shall be named Aeneas, and from his seed shall spring a mighty race. They shall build a city in My honour by the Tiber, great Rome. And as their Goddess I shall bring its people glory, power and generous love. But if my people reject compassion, Rome shall fall. This I testify by the Styx!" And with these prophecies, Aphrodite rose into the heavens amidst Her doves, the starry Pleiades.
END OF MYSTERY PLAY.
1st PRIEST. (to Can.) What do you understand from this play?
CAN. It enlightens my mind concerning the birth of great souls, who have by their genius astonished their fellows. Yet I feel there is a deeper meaning. We needs must approach love with humility. The Great Goddess Herself took on the form of a poor unknown girl to find love. And the prince accepted her as she was, and took her as his bride. Thus he gave her all he had. And so she revealed herself as Aphrodite, and bestowed on him the divine Love of the Immortals. And from this love came forth all that was good in ancient Rome.
1st PRIESTESS. You have answered from your heart. We accept you as a candidate.
1st PRIEST. That you may experience the opening of the heart centre, you need to make a magical journey to the planet Venus!
BUILDING THE SKY CHARIOT.
1st PRIESTESS. (Anoints each brow) May you see with Psyche's eyes!
3rd PRIEST. Let us through dance create a sky chariot about us!
All dance in classical Greek movement, creating a luminous sphere around company.
3rd PRIEST. Behold the Psychopompos, the God Mercury, Who will be our Guide! Let us be seated in a circle within our sphere, eyes shut. (Music) Mercury lifts his rod, the Caduceus. The floor of our Temple falls away from us and we rise in our shining chariot through the roof and into the sky! We dart across the heavens like a shooting star, towards the East, where Venus is rising. Harken to the music of the spheres * * * the notes of the moon, Selene, begin to reach us. The sound is like the melancholy piping of a solitary shepherd. Helios, the sun, seems larger and brighter * * * from afar we hear the rhythmic beating of the heart, and the soft cadences of lutes - we approach the planet Venus.
THE VENUSIAN ARCADIA.
3rd PRIEST. Our chariot halts before a columned portico entwined with crimson roses. Hear the wise teachings of the father of Astrology, Ptolemy, describing those who dwell here: "If Venus alone takes the domination of the soul, She makes her subjects pleasant, good, luxurious, cheerful, fond of dancing, eager for beauty, haters of evil, lovers of the arts, affectionate, compassionate and dreamers of lovely dreams." Know that in this Venusian Arcadia, innocent love-making is protected from prurient eyes by the saffron veil of clouds. Here dwell true lovers of all kinds, whether two-legged, four-legged, multi-legged, winged, fish-tailed! From here come forth the creation of multitudinous new races of beings. Here preside Cupid and Psyche, Love and Truth. (to Can.) Friend, seek entrance herein!
But take heed! Treachery and cruelty will poison your soul as surely as the sulphuric acid atmosphere would destroy your earthly body. Mercury bids you enter by the gateway, to find your own true love. We shall follow.
Soft Music. CONTEMPLATION.
3rd PRIESTESS. (to Can.) Did you find your lover?
CAN. That I may not tell. I respect the Veil of Venus. I have learned that love must be protected by silence from profanation.
3rd PRIESTESS. You have passed the first trial of Venus! Mercury gives you a crimson rose. You feel a warm glow rising up your spine and warming your heart. Mercury bids us to return to our chariot and we are seated there. Now we are sinking swiftly through the enwrapping clouds to the surface of the planet itself. To earthly gaze this is an inferno, a crater-scarred landscape shaking with volcanoes. But how different is reality to the eyes of the spirit! The Goddess conceals her beauty from the profane. See with true vision! You face the Astral Isle of Cytherea, abode of the Hours and the Graces!
THE ASTRAL ISLE OF CYTHEREA.
2nd PRIEST. Our chariot rests before a columned portico entwined with rambling pink roses. What beauty lies before us! Harken to an Ode of Horace: "Cytherean Venus leads her dancing bands beneath the Pleiades, and the comely Graces linked with Nymphs tread the verdure with tripping feet, while blazing Vulcan visits the mighty forges of the Cyclopes. Now is the fitting time to garland our glistening locks with myrtle green, or with the blossoms that unfettered Venus bringeth forth. Now also it is meet to bring gifts to Faunus in shady groves of cypresses and myrtle.”
2nd PRIESTESS. (to Can.) This astral isle is abode of Philia, love for every creature. Harken to the poet Oppian of Cilicia, on the loves of dolphins and seals:
"With what heart of wonder, thou mayest stand to gaze
Where gracefully flock the dolphins; and the dolphin parents all
Swim in the wake of their offspring, lest ought untoward befall.
And no less love for her children the mother-seal doth show
For breasts she has like the dolphin,
whence milk for her offspring flows."
Seek to enjoy this lovely island. But beware! If jealousy, envy, or greed come here, dividing tribe from tribe, creature from creature, your soul will as surely shrivel, as an earth body would be consumed by the planet's fires. Mercury bids you enter by the portico. We will follow you.
2nd PRIESTESS. (to Can.) Did you find love for all beings?
CAN. With much difficulty, for partial affection can obscure compassion. When I can learn to love the unlovely, care for the uncaring, forgive those who hate, then shall I be able to dwell within this island of paradise.
2nd PRIEST. You answer with humility. You have passed the second trial of Venus! You feel a soft tingling flow in your heart. Mercury gives you a pink rose. He signals us to return to our chariot. We seat ourselves there.
THE TEMPLE OF THE HEART'S ROSE.
1st PRIEST. Our chariot, at a sign from Mercury, sinks through the fiery landscape of Venus into the very heart of the planet! Mercury tells us that only beings of light can endure this golden luminous core. But we are now in our spiritual bodies, so may enjoy its loveliness. Our sphere halts before a colonnaded portico, entwined with golden roses. White doves flutter above, cooing softly.
1st PRIESTESS. Harken to an adventure narrated by Christian Rosenkreutz who had been bidden to a Royal Wedding: "When I awoke, I entreated my page to lead me a little way about the Castle, whereupon he led me down an underground staircase to an iron door, on which was inscribed in copper letters: ‘Here lies buried the Lady Venus, the lovely woman who hath enchanted many a great man.’ Through the door we reached the King's Chamber where, my page told me, I would see things which no human eye outside the Royal Family had ever seen till now."
1st PRIEST. "In the middle of the vault was a triangular altar, supported by an ox, an eagle and a lion. On it stood an angel bearing a tree, from which fruit continually fell, turning into water as it reached three golden basins. My page led me downwards to an even deeper chamber. Here, by the light of a torch, I espied a rich bed hung about with curious curtains, one of which my page drew. And he uncovered the bed. And I saw the Lady Venus, naked, lying there in such beauty that I was almost beside myself! Behind the bed was a tablet, on which was inscribed: ‘When the fruit of My tree shall be completely melted, then will I awake and be Mother to a King.’ And Her Son, Cupid, flew in and He heated the point of His dart in the torch and with it pricked my hand. On it remained a spot of blood". My Friend, enter the Temple of the Heart's Rose.
1st PRIESTESS. (to Can.) What have you discovered?
CAN. The glory that shines through my head and heart cannot be shared with others through words. Love must circulate only through love, for it is the blood-stream of the cosmos.
1st PRIEST. You have passed the third trial of Venus! Mercury gives you a gold rose. You feel a flow of golden power flow through your head, heart and hands, circulating all through your body. You need to bring this love to earth. Mercury tells us we must return to our chariot. We are seated, and we rise from the matrix of Venus to the surface of the planet and through the veil of clouds. We ascend into space, under the arc of the Milky Way, the Cestus, Girdle of Venus. We fly like a bird past the Pleiades and pale Selene. We espy Gaea, our own earth, wrapped about with her blue and white mantle. We wish to cleanse her atmosphere, polluted by mankind. Venus is setting in the West as our chariot sinks down to our Temple, and we land as lightly as a feather on our temple floor. Mercury bids us dissolve our chariot by dance, and raises His caduceus in farewell.
Omnes dissolve sphere through dance. If deemed successful, Candidate is given one, two or three roses. Reports are shared and rays of love are sent forth to all beings. Give thanks to the Deities.
End of Rite.
Sources: "Theogony”, Hesiod. “Manetho”, Ptolemy. “The Odes and Epodes”, Horace. All pub. Heinemann. Harvard. “Greek Poetry”, trans. Lucas, Everyman. “The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz”, Anno 1459, The Michael Press, Hawkwood College, Stroud, UK. “The Serpent Power”, Arthur Avalon, Ganesh, India. (T.S.) “The Concise Handbook of Astronomy”, Ridpath, New Orchard, Poole, U.K.
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