FOI Online Liturgy
Panthea, Initiations and Festivals of the Goddess
Written by: Olivia Robertson
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3. Porta Mystica. The Soul Enters New Spheres
Oracle of the Goddess Dana
Priestess: Beautiful Dana, bring to us a glimpse of wonder beyond the known! However satisfied we are with our existence on earth, sometimes a longing comes upon us for a light through a mysterious passage.
Oracle: I am the Voice that calls you from afar, I am the blackbird that sings in the morning, and lures you back from wandering from the trodden path. I am the gleam of sunshine that speckles the hilly grove, and casts fitful shadows upon the wild flowers of the heath. It is the incense from My raiment that brings with it the scent of hyacinths and bluebells and wild lilies. When you seek me without my calling you, I am not to be found. Yet I may manifest unexpectedly, in the heedless moment, as you put a foot into a fast flowing stream, or climb to pick red apples. My sigh is in the breeze that so tenderly moves your light hair, and I am the wild swan that with its mate flies high over the treetops beyond the river.
Yet also am I the darkness that enshrouds familiar forms, and makes sinister the commonplace things of day. Through the half-opened door am I sensed, and in the creaking of a gate leading into the wilderness: and I am heard in the hooting of the owl. I dignify with My moon-beams the ugly town: but I am also the shadow of the earth that falls upon Her in Her obscurity.
For it is in My mystery that lies My enchantment. To live perpetually in the daylight, boxed in a room, a house, a tamed garden and town is to lose your birthright of ever increasing adventure into knowledge and love and glory! And that may only come to you when you recover the adventurous spirit of the questing child, the curiosity of the cat, the courage of the wild beast. I am no Inspirer of coward souls! My wisdom and joy is gained through a generous acceptance of new understanding. Come with Me and I will show you the abyss, and you will befriend the dwellers in the hollow hills who are also my dear children! I will dance with you in the Many-Coloured Land of Youth, and study with you in the Solar Halls of Learning.
But when you raise your eyes to the stars, I shall lift you aloft with Me to celestial realms, and with wings outspread you shall be transformed into shining swans! Yet within you always shall be your past, and from that you shall gain sustenance for your future growth into conscious Immortality.
On a white covered altar in Temple are 6 lighted white candles, flowers, burning incense, bowl and cup of water and 3 rough stones arranged as dolmen. Before 1 wall at side of altar is unlighted candle on stand. This is reflected in mirror on opposite wall which is covered with 2 curtains. This represents the mystic doorway. Candidate is in white with face lightly veiled and wears ankh on red cord. Priestesses wear silver crowns: Priests, silver headdresses and they and Companions are in white robes, Coms. with hoods up. Guardian of the Threshold, Cu Chulain of the Hounds of Ulster, wears brown cloak and bears Anubis staff.
1st Priest: Who would use the Key of the Spheres, to unlock the doors of Time and Space?
Guardian: The pilgrim is our good member (name) who has proved her/his worth to be entrusted with the use of the Key of Isis.
1st Priest: (to Can) Have you the courage to face the unknown, the love to reject none as alien to you: honestly to face new knowledge without prejudice?
Can: With the Goddess's Grace, so be it with me.
The Key of Isis
1st Priest: Companions, we are all wayfarers who travel through many spheres of existence during the night while we sleep: and straightaway forget our soul's journeyings when we awaken, save for some garbled dreams.
But we in our Iseum of Aset Shemsu are, through Divine Guidance, endowed with the knowledge of how to experience our night's experiences during the day, in full consciousness. We are willing to share this knowledge with this trustworthy Companion.
1st Priest: (To Can) We gave you your Ankh of Isis at your Initiation into our Iseum. It has many uses. We shall now show you its use as the eye into other spheres of being. Now shall be your first few steps. Hereafter we shall guide you more deeply.
Invocation of the Deities.
1st Priestess and Priest invoke the Goddess, (or Goddess and God) of the Iseum, and Isis.
2nd Priest: The first sphere unlocked through the Ankh is the matrix of our physical world, the Aetheric Plane. All this world around us is but a transient replica of this sphere which is sometimes enjoyed by children and those who have the psychic gift of seeing the aura. The Goddess Etain and the God Midir preside over the etheric Temple on the Threshold. (offers flowers) I offer these many-coloured flowers to Etain and Midir, who through their love for each other made a rainbow bridge between earth and Tir-na-nOg, Land of Immortal Youth.
2nd Prs: Harken to Midir's plea to Etain to return to Tir-na-nOg. when she had become lost on earth. "Fair Etain, wilt Thou not return with me to our wonderful land where music is? In Tir-na-nOg is neither ‘mine’ nor ‘thine’. White are the teeth there, black the eyebrows! A delight to the eye is the number of our faery hosts. Every neck is like the hyacinth and delightful are the blackbirds' eggs. Though the plain of Eire is fair to see, it is desolate once you know the Great Plain. A wonderful land is Tir-na-nOg. Old age does not follow youth there; we are a matchless people without blemish, who know conception, without shame, without lust. We see mortals on all sides yet none of them can see us! It is the evil ways of mankind that hide us from the multitude on earth. Etain, if thou wilt leave the earth and come again to our mighty people, thou shalt once more be adorned by the Crown of Glory."
2nd Prs: May we all follow the call of love and beauty.
1st Com: When the pilgrim soul has passed through the Temple on the Threshold, he faces the dark tunnel which leads downwards to the Nether-regions. The Great Goddess Morrigan and the God Balor of the Eye of Fire preside over the underworld Cave. Here lie concealed all the primal instincts and passions of man and beast. (places hands on 3 stones) I offer these stones, the Sacred Gateway of the Dolmen, to The Morrigan and to Balor. May base metals be transmuted into spiritual Gold.
2nd Com: When the soul has learnt to control its instincts and passions, it is prepared to enter the sphere of the Moon, wherein are all dreams and visions. The Temple of the Moon is presided over by the Goddess Mari of the Mists and the Atlantean God Manannan. (sprinkles water from bowl) I offer this libation to Mari and Manannan. May the memory of past lives be bestowed on the seeker, that experience may bring wisdom.
3rd Com: The pilgrim is now prepared to move from the receptivity of water to the vitality of Sun! The Temple of the Sun is ruled by the Goddess Grainne and the God Lugh of the fiery wheel. (she lights candle) I offer this candle-flame on behalf of the Candidate, to Grainne and to Lugh. May she/he be strengthened for the accomplishment of her/his life's work for the Divine Plan.
4th Com: The Sphere of Stars endows us with the Gnosis, that Intuition which excels thought. In the stars is our future destiny. The Temple of the Stars is presided over by the Goddess Dana and the God Lir of starry Space. (offers incense) I offer incense to Dana and to Lir. May the Candidate attain Spiritual Light.
The Soul's Journey
Guardian assists Candidate to lie before attar, lighted candle at head, facing its reflection in the mirror, when it is uncurtained by 1st Companion. All lights are put out save for this candle. Omnes sit in half-circle round Can. 1st Prs in front of altar. Soft music. Works by Cyril Scott, Bax, Scriabin are suitable.
1st Prs: (to Can) My friend, you are surrounded by your loyal companions who will accompany you on your journey through the Dolmens. (she places ankh between folded hands of Can.) You hold the Ankh of Isis, a key used for over six thousand years for the pilgrim’s journey through time and space, through many realms of being. You shut your eyes. Visualise it now shining before you. Gaze long into its loop *** you see light!
1st Prs: Now you have a glimpse of a room. You feel weightless. You float. You find you can flow through the loop of the Ankh into a bright room beyond. It resembles the earthly Temple, but it is glowing with many colours. These come from the ever burning lamp of Brighid. The colours change your white robe. You sit down and accept the rose of love, the blue of a clear mind, the green of happiness, the violet of spirituality.
Silence of about 5 minutes.
The Cave of the Underworld
Filled with strength and joy for your journey, you notice that there is a Temple Garden before you. You rise and enter it. It is lovely, filled with many coloured scented flowers and birds sing in fruit trees. You hear the trickle of a stream. You find it and follow its windings until you reach its source. It springs from the base of a rock-face on your left. There is an opening in the rock, half concealed by a thorn bush. You push through the bush and face two rough-hewn Ogham Stones before a dolmen gateway. Through it you espy a long dark tunnel sloping downwards. You long to explore, remembering your childhood's dreams of buried treasure in caves! You climb downwards for a long time ... at the end of the tunnel is a glimmer of light. You come out into a mighty cave shining with stalactites and stalagmites. The many coloured light comes from uncut precious stones, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, that lie in heaps at the foot of strangely formed rocks, for all the world like primordial animals and lizards. You feel sleepy and sit on the ground, and run gold-dust and jewels through your fingers. You dream that you are so rich that you can have everything you want for yourself and your family and people. ***
The Temple of the Moon
1st Prs: Yet satisfaction is not complete. You feel a longing in you to leave the cave and seek the unknown. You return through the long tunnel rising upwards. You pass through the gateway and come once more into the flowery bird-filled garden. You notice that beyond the stream is a cypress grove in the darkening Western sky. You splash through the stream, wiping away the earth stains from the underworld. You wash your face. By the light of the full moon you catch a glimpse of two white pillars through the trees. You wind your way through the cypresses until you pass through the pillars and find a white marble Temple. It has a columned doorway, entwined with ivy, and you enter. There in the centre of this Temple is an ebony-framed round silver mirror. It is speckled with age, and looks like the full moon. You sit before it and watch strange pictures passing through it of other lands, other peoples. Yet all seem vaguely familiar. You look within and you find you can pass through the silver surface into the pictured scene. ***
The Temple of the Sun
1st Prs: You wish now to return through the mirror to the Temple of the Moon, bringing you memories of a past life. You wish now to make more of your present life, so you return to the cypress grove. Beyond the grove is a sandstone Sphinx facing the rising sun. Between its mighty paws is a Temple. The doorway is framed by Pylons carved with coloured hieroglyphs. On its lintel is marked the maze of Newgrange of Eire. You enter the Temple and sit on the alabaster floor, facing the sun. You draw in its rays. ***
The Temple of the Stars
1st Prs: Alive with renewed energy and inspiration for living an active life, you know now how to fulfill your own part in the Divine Plan on earth! Yet you still have a longing for something beyond. You find yourself gazing aloft at a snow-covered mountain range. You long to reach the heights. You find you can rise in the air and you fly upwards for a long time until you reach the mountains. You find that there is range behind range, and one higher than all the rest is crowned with a noble Temple. Its shining dome reflects the starry sky. You reach this Temple through two high Pylons. You enter through a high arched doorway, surmounted by the statue of an eagle with outspread wings. Within the Temple you sit and gaze upwards at the stars which shine through the crystal dome. In one star lies your hope of the future, and you receive the message. ***
The Return Journey
1st Prs: It is now time for you to return through each sphere, bringing back with you those memories which will help you. Return through the Sphere of the Stars *** the Sun *** the Moon *** the Underworld *** through the garden to the Temple on the Threshold. We all join you there *** and receive beneficent rays from the ever-burning lamp of Brighid. Let us send forth rays of universal harmony to all beings and existences. . . We give thanks to the Goddess Brighid. (to Can.) Return now with us to your earthly body. Look upon it as it lies with folded arms holding the Ankh before the High Altar. See the lighted candle and its reflection in the mirror! Now slowly return to your body. . . You hear my voice more distinctly. Breath slowly and deeply. . . now open your eyes. Move your hands.
Prs. holds Can.’s hands until she/he is fully conscious and gives drink of water. 1st Com. draws curtains over mirror and 2nd Com. lights other candles. Can. gives report of Soul's journey. Reports are shared.
1st Priest: We give thanks to the Goddess (or Goddess and God) of this Iseum. We thank Isis for Her Key. We give thanks to Etain and Midir, the Morrigan and Balor, Mari and Manannan, Grainne and Lugh, Dana and Lir, for the initiation of this pilgrim into their spheres. May she/he be so inspired through life. May we go forth with the Divine Blessing.
End of Rite.
SOURCES: “General History of Ireland”, Jeffrey Keating, 1596, trans. O’Connor, Duffy, 1859. “A Celtic Miscellany,” trans. Hurlstone Jackson, Routledge & Kegan Paul. “The Call of Isis”, Olivia Robertson, Cesara.
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