FOI Online Liturgy
Nuit of the Milky Way,
Alchemical Journeys of the Questing Twins
By: Olivia Robertson
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2. Realm of Taurus: the Patient Cow
The Above is Reconciled with the Below
THE TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIEST/ESS ALCHEMIST (TO TWIN APPRENTICES): You face the apparently easy ordeal of Taurus. Remember the maxim, “As Above, So Below!” May the Goddess of all the elements of Being, Maha-Devi, be invoked!
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS MAHA-DEVI
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: O Great Goddess, Mother of the Trimurti, the Holy Trinity, soul of every being, how can we extol Thee? By Thee even Maha-Deva, the Almighty God is put into trance that He may make worlds. Thou art Maha-Sarasvati, Maha-Lakshmi, Maha-Parvati. Triple Goddess, guide us on our path to Enlightenment that we may awaken into eternal bliss.
ORACLE: Look within your Self and you will find the Light of Truth, Buddhi, the Jewel within the Heart of the Lotus. Invisible it is and yet shineth in every creature. It is the dewdrop hanging from a blade of grass: it sparkles in the eyes of eagles and fast-flying swallows: it flows in rushing rivers and rests in rocky snow-capped mountains. The bliss of Nirvana is not in the past nor the future: so no vain regrets nor ambitious struggles in religious practices will bring it to you. No strivings for the reputation of saintliness can ensure your awareness. Rather it is in the moment that Eternity rests, awaiting you in a smile, sudden laughter, tears of compassion. If you could experience one second of enlightenment, it would be yours for ever! Time slips by like a passing landscape to the traveller, who appears to journey with it. But in reality the true Self is at rest at the hub of the turning wheel of life, Place yourself at the centre of this hub in total awareness, and you will be in a position of strength to control each of your lives as they revolve in cyclic reincarnations.
True knowledge brings good feeling, thought and activity. Control is essential. Yet how can you control yourself in alignment with your true Self, if you are swayed by passing passions? Free Will is to be earned not by extreme asceticism nor by selfish indulgence. It is attained by continual exercise of conscious choice between good and wrong behaviour. As you develop, you will observe that the choices both become more difficult and more subtle. Rejoice then, for you draw nearer to Self-realisation! if you could live for one minute in a truthful, compassionate manner, you would transform your day and your year and your life! Do not strive for too much: otherwise you will reach for the stars and fall upon your face! Rather combine spiritual practices with an enjoyment of Mother Earth. It is pious to memorise the myriad Names and Attributes of the Gods and Goddesses: it is also good to remember the names of your neighbours and their children, and to respect the attributes of animals, birds and plants! As I am the Universal Mother, these are your brothers and sisters and children. The mind conveys knowledge: intuition and conscience combined with experience produces wisdom.
I am without: I am within: I am the Lover and the Beloved: I am the Knower and the Known: I am the Harmony that reconcileth all things. Know Me.
PRIEST/ESS ALCHEMIST (TO APPRENTICES): You will both enter trance, leaving this holy temple for the Temple of the Zodiac. You, Elaine, will be required to give a report on your experiences through the portal of Taurus, as it comes to you.
TRANCE JOURNEY. ELAINE GIVES HER REPORT.
ELAINE: At first I felt very sure of myself. After all, Taurus is the domain of the Goddess Venus and I knew to be friend of women. I had been amused by Aiden’s horror at finding himself to be a hideous woman, which he obviously resented, despite the lady’s macho hairstyle! I see you frown, my dignified Guide. I take you seriously, for you appear in simple Sadu loincloth, a Guru. I take Eastern religions seriously. You say you are Ramakrishna, and that you are going to introduce me to one of your friends. If I had known who this was – I might have hesitated.
I enter trance once more. For a long time we travel through flowery fields with cattle too skinny and wretched – browsing on scanty grass. I fear there has been a drought. The grass is becoming brown . . . Suddenly the landscape is becoming threatening, dark, lowering. There are mighty rocks and black mountains shutting out the sun. I am faced with a precipice. To my horror, this Holy Man takes my hand and we plunge into the depths of what seems to be a never-ending chasm.
At last we fall upon the rocky bottom composed of harsh jagged rocks. I am bleeding. Ramakrishna leads me to a dark shrine carved into the rocks, surrounded by what looks like contorted demons, some in death throes. And there, laughing at me, is one Goddess I have always disliked. Not feared, oh no. Just I disapprove of Her lengthy lolling red tongue hanging out of Her mouth. She is indigo coloured, garlanded with skulls and She has obviously dispatched most of the demons about her and is ready to strangle the rest. Now there is one thing that totally destroys all feminine dignity – it is to be laughed at . . . I am in the domain of Taurus. So I defy Kali’s mockery. I lift myself up proudly and raise my arms, and I invoke the Goddess of love and beauty, Goddess of peaceful sacred cows – Lakshmi.
Kali speaks to me and Her deep voice has the resonance of underground rivers pouring over lava. “You will answer My question: why have I so many arms?”
I reply: “so that you can strangle demons!” My answer must have been correct – for suddenly Ramakrishna takes me by the hand and we rapidly ascend back to the world of green meadows. He stands aside, looking sad. I wonder why. I am more comfortable than I have ever been in my life, lying in the grass – eating some sort of salad! I feel I am becoming heavier and heavier. I try to rise but cannot move. I have always had contempt for obese women, being very slim myself. But now I am weighted down. This is becoming a nightmare. I find myself in some wooden cell, and I am forced to eat and eat. Suddenly I realise with horror that I am forever to give gallon and gallon upon gallon of my milk from my breasts and that my children are taken from me, to be eaten by demons.
Then I know that after five years I shall have no more milk, no more children to be eaten, and I shall be slaughtered. And I call upon Kali for my death.
Suddenly Ramakrishna takes me by the hand and once more transports me down to the depths of the realm of Kali. But now She appears as a kindly Indian woman with outspread arms with which she embraces me. And behind her are hundreds of kindly people holding out their arms to me. And one holds a young calf. And I say to Kali: “now I know why you need so many arms! You embrace all the children of the earth.” And with this I find myself back here with all of you. And I feel transformed.
MEDITATION ON REPORT. IF IT IS DEEMED THAT THE APPRENTICE HAS ATTAINED DIVINE AWARENESS BY RECONCILING THE ABOVE WITH THE BELOW, SHE OBTAINS HER DEGREE.
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