FOI Online Liturgy
Psyche, Magical Journeys of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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7. Aquila and Lyra. Ray 0.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS NU KUA
PRIESTESS: I invoke Thee, the Goddess Nu Kua, Creator of all things, Who hast fashioned diverse creatures from the clay of matter. Thou Who art Restorer of Harmony and Bringer of the Arts, aid us in our search for Heaven on earth!
ORACLE: Heavenly Beauty comes from the union of opposites, and calls forth response in every heart. Know that the loveliness of tree and flower and cloud is no accident, but, is created by dreams of Celestial Spirits. All Nature sings through the stars and encircling planets, and in the song of birds at dawn and twilight. The rich colours of the peacock's tail and of peonies and cassia trees blend with the rainbow colours of the sky. Nothing comes from nothing. Creation springs from the Celestial Artists who weave dream worlds from silken threads of happiness. Even ugliness and discord are brought into harmony by their complementary virtues. There is no discord that cannot be resolved, no colour clash that is immune from the celestial symphony of perfect beauty. For evil and ugliness bring evolving souls to goodness through experience, and so play their part in forming beautiful robes of Blessed Spirits.
Human art and nature are one, for humans are part of nature. The artist, the poet, the musician are inspired by the same Deities Who weave the night sky with innumerable stars, and scatter wild flowers among grasses. The joy of the human is to join consciously in the Dance of Creation, choosing to transform evil to good through bringing the opposites into harmony.
If you find such beauty in the present, and it can be found nowhere else, you will create magnificent forests through the severed trunks of felled trees. Among ugly buildings of polluted towns you will create coloured pavilions set among flowery gardens. You will change human faces made ugly by greed and hatred into the smiling countenance of Blessed Spirits. All this may be accomplished by the Magical Arts.
Behold a vision! A woman some call Nu Kua makes a stone shrine filled with darkness. In the roof she creates a small hole. With clay she moulds a figure of a God of her own size and places it in the shrine. She prostrates herself and prays. A lightning flash strikes her from above, and she is transformed into a Goddess! The clay figure becomes alive and walks out of the shrine into the world.
PRIESTESSES WEAR JEWELLED TIARAS AND EMBROIDERED PEACH COLOURED ROBES AND CARRY JADE WANDS. PRIESTS WEAR GOLD HEADDRESSES AND WEAR EMBROIDERED PEACOCK-GREEN ROBES AND HOLD JADE-TIPPED STAFFS. WOMEN COMPANIONS WEAR SILVER CIRCLETS AND PEACH COLOURED AND GREEN ROBES. MEN COMPANIONS WEAR YELLOW HEADDRESSES AND BLUE AND YELLOW ROBES. ON YELLOW AND PEACH COLOURED DRAPED ALTAR ARE 7 BURNING CANDLES, BURNING INCENSE AND A PORCELAIN BOWL OF WATER. YIN-YANG MANDALA IN BLACK AND WHITE IS DISPLAYED. GLASSES OF WATER ARE NEARBY.
1ST PRIEST: Companions, we are assembled to make a magical journey to the constellations of Aquila and Lyra. We seek to attain the Harmony of the Opposites. Chinese Sages taught that the cosmos manifests through the Egg of Chaos laid by the Cosmic Black Hen. The egg contains two powers: Yin which is receptive and black: Yang that is active and white. Through the balance of these universal Forces perfect creation manifests.
1ST PRS: The difficulty of uniting Yin with Yang is conveyed through the Chinese myth of the Herdsman, the star Altair, and the Weaver Maid, the star Vega. The Herdsman tends the starry oxen of the constellation of Aquila. He is separated from his beloved Maiden, Chin Nu, by the River of Heaven, the Milky Way. Her task, as one of the 7 Spinning Damsels of the Constellation of Lyra, is to spin celestial robes. Because the pair were neglecting their tasks through excessive love-making, they were forbidden to dwell together! But at the auspicious time of the 7th Moon of the 7th month, friendly magpies create a bridge between Altair and Vega with their own small bodies, so spanning the River of Heaven itself. When they do this, Chin Nu rushes over the bridge of birds and falls into her lover's arms! Only in wet weather are the magpies unable to make the bridge.
1ST PR: So are Yin and Yang united only at the auspicious time. May this time be now!
1ST PRS: (MAKES SIGN OF YIN WITH WAND, AND OFFERS INCENSE.) I offer this incense to Thee, the Goddess Nu Kua! Dragon-tailed Goddess, Thou art the Creator of all that is, and fashioned the bodies of mankind from yellow clay. Restorer of Cosmic Equilibrium, Repairer and Organizer of the Universe, come to us that we may help Thee bring harmony to our earth!
2ND PRS: “The Spirit of the Valley never dies.
This is called the Mysterious Female.
It is called the Root of Heaven and Earth.
Dimly visible, it seems as if it were there!
Yet use will never drain it.”
1ST PR: (MAKES YANG SIGN WITH STAFF AND OFFERS INCENSE.) I offer incense to Thee the God Phan Ku, Consort of the Goddess Creator! Thou wert born from the Egg of Chaos and dost fill the space betwixt Earth and the Heavens. Thou Who bringest equipoise between the heavy elements and the bright sky, aid us in our search for Order!
3RD PRS: (ANOINTS EACH BROW SAYING:) May true vision guide you in our quest!
2ND PR: (WEST) To ascend in our psychic bodies into the 3 Heavens we need to travel in a Dragon Chariot! (MUSIC.) In the West I invoke the Winged White Tiger of the element of Earth! Let there be a floor. (FROM THE WEST HE DRAWS CIRCLE ROUND COMPANY WITH STAFF. ALL DANCE IN CIRCLE.) Behold, our floor is complete, through the Power of Yang.
2ND PRS: (NORTH) In the North, Place of the Dark Warrior, I invoke the Tortoise and the Snake of the Element of Water! Let there be walls! (SHE CREATES WALLS WITH WAND AND ALL HELP HER THROUGH DANCE.) Lo, our walls are created through the Power of Yin.
3RD PR: (EAST) In the East, Place of the Emperor, I invoke the Green Dragon of the Element of Air! May he bestow a cloud canopy! (WITH STAFF HE CREATES CLOUD CANOPY HELPED BY OMNES IN DANCE.) We now have a roof through the Power of Yang!
3RD PRS: (SOUTH) In the South, Place of the Empress, I invoke Feng Huan, the Red Phoenix, in the element of Fire. May she grant us flames for our flight! (SHE CREATES PILLAR OF FLAMES WITH WAND AND ALL HELP HER TOWARDS CENTRE.) She has bestowed fire through the Power of Yin. The Dragon and the Phoenix are in harmony.
1ST PR: Our Guardian enters, through a doorway he has created. This mighty warrior, Men Shen, will guard us through our trials. The 3 Heavens are not easily penetrated, and never by the unworthy.
3RD PRS: Let us be seated and shut our eyes . . . Our Dragon Chariot is rapidly rising through solid buildings as if they were grey mist. We are in our psychic bodies within this etheric chariot. it is moving on the spiral dragon path through our solar system. It travels beyond the speed of light! Constellations dart by us. We have reached the North-East bank of the River of Heaven. Here is the Constellation of Aquila, Domain of Lung the Dragon King!
REALM OF THE DRAGON KING
3RD PR: A giant Eagle bars the way! He asks Men Shen, do we seek the Dragon treasure of power? Men Shen says: 'we only seek Power for good.' The Eagle permits our Chariot to pass.
3RD PRS: Look through our transparent walls! On grassy plains the lonely Herdsman plays his flute, as he watches his star oxen. Below, deep in crystal caves, glow rubies and emeralds set in well wrought gold, and carved jade figures of bird and beast. They are guarded by the glistening coils of winged dragons, who feed on pearls and opals. And mighty amongst them all is the Imperial Dragon King with five claws on each rampant foot! Between his sharp white teeth is Ju-i, the Flaming Pearl of the Sun! Men Shen advises us to seek for the greatest treasure of all, the Golden Key to Wild Goose Lake. Behold, I see it! It shines through a humble wooden box. Men Shen shows us Wild Goose Lake in the distance. Let us gaze upon it.
3RD PR: The lake is surrounded by Horse Ear Mountain, giant rocks and impenetrable forests. Men Shen says it is the domain of the 3rd Daughter of the Dragon King, the Dragon Princess. One can only reach the lake through a stone doorway if one knocks 3 times. Only then will the Golden Key open it.
HE KNOCKS THREE TIMES AND THEN UNLOCKS THE DOOR.
3rd PRS: Men Shen signs us to leave our chariot. Come forth! Below us are the Eastern Caves of the Dragon Treasury. To the North is Wild Goose Lake, of limpid tranquillity. At the farther shore floats an apparition of the Dragon Princess, with flowing black hair and pearly robes. By her side is a peacock with outspread wings. She sings to us to come to her:
“Gods of the sea and mountain demons
Flock to the seat of the Maiden of Witch Lake.
She plays a love-wood flute adorned
With golden, dancing simurghs.
Knitting her brows, she plucks a note
For each word uttered.
She calls down stars and summons demons.
Men are breathless and hushed.
Who will float on a fallen orchid
And come to her?”
Companions, you have a choice. Go forth to the Dragon treasures, or through the unlocked door to the Dragon Princess. One is more dangerous than the other. Which?
3RD PRS: Before we leave, let us purify ourselves in Wild Goose Lake. We enter its still waters ... but what is this? As both our feet are within the lake, a flash of lightning strikes us from head to foot! This is Lie Chu, the Celestial Lightning flash! It strikes through a hole in the Dome of Heaven when the Dragon King is in concord with the Dragon Princess. We enjoy the vitality of this celestial Power which courses through our very being! Let us return to our chariot, strengthened for further adventures. We pass through the dragon gate and enter our chariot.
2ND PR: Once more Men Shen shuts the door of our chariot. It rises and flies ever more swiftly. We see that it is crossing to the West Bank of the River of Heaven, the Milky Way. We are at the centre of our Galaxy! The music and colour of manifold constellations come to us in ever increasing splendour. We have reached the Golden Ramparts of Lyra, the Western Paradise. She Who rules over this Heaven of Celestial Happiness is the Royal Mother, the Goddess Hsi Wang Mia.
THE HEAVEN OF CELESTIAL HAPPINESS
2ND PR: There is a Bridge of Copper Light leading to Lyra, guarded by a White Winged Tiger. He wishes to know do we seek entry for selfish purpose? Men Shen explains that we wish to bring happiness to all. The Tiger permits our chariot to cross the bridge.
2ND PRS: Look through our cloudy walls and marvel! Here, soothed by the melodious twanging of lutes, dwell the Spirits of the Blessed Ancestors. Trees bearing the fruits of immortality are encircled by water so thin that even a feather cannot float upon it. This vermilion stream flows thrice round a red mountain in the South: to drink from it brings immortality. On its bank, among white peonies, grows the Herb of Everlasting Life. Perfumed by camphor, cinnamon and cassia trees stands the Western palace of the Royal Mother. Upon its curving gold roof perch 3 green Birds of the Sun. The jade gates are guarded by lion-dogs. Within the Palace, enjoying the Peach Feast of the Immortals, presides laughing Shou Lao, God of Longevity! He sports with six of the Spinning Damsels, the stars Woo and Yue; Tseen Foo and Tseen Peen; Tsan Tae and Leen Taou. The 7th, Chin Nu, the star Vega, sits sadly alone spinning silken thread.
2ND PR: Behold, presiding over the Western Paradise, shines the mighty form of the Royal Mother, Hsi Wang Mia! She is surrounded by rainbow circles of her aura that encompass the sky.
“Limpid as a river, pure as the sea,
The Mother Goddess's face.
Painted with red and brushed with green
The sunset pool!
Clothed in clouds, adorned with jade,
She descends Kun Lun mountains
Fluttering pennons like pine trees.”
Companions, let us enter the Western Paradise, not seeking but receiving.
2ND PRS: Let us return from this Heaven to our chariot, with serenity on our brows and bliss in our hearts.
1ST PR: Our chariot flies to the very heart of this divine constellation, to Vega, our earth's past and future Pole star! Its brightness overwhelms us with its gentle brilliance. Here dwells the Weaver Maiden, The Goddess Chin Nu.
2ND PRS: “Her features are fixed and calm,
Though myriad of tears fall;
Wetting a spray of pear blossom,
As if it we're the raindrops of spring.
Though their love had so soon come to an end
The days and months among the Blessed
Are still of long duration.
And now She turns and gazes
Towards the Abode of Her Lover.
Then She takes old keepsakes, tokens of undying love,
A gold hairpin, an enamel brooch,
And bids a messenger carry these to him.
‘Tell him,’ she said, ‘to be firm of heart,
As this gold and enamel,
And then at the auspicious hour
We two may meet again!’"
THE THIRD HEAVEN OF PERFECT HARMONY
1ST PRS: Men Shen tells us that there is no guard to this Heaven, because it is invisible to the unloving! We are surrounded by pearly clouds so that we can see nothing. Nonetheless, he bids us leave the chariot and gaze upon the clouds . . . . let us do so.
1ST PR: What can this be! The clouds form into the River of Heaven, which begins to rotate and turn upon itself like a snake! As it does this, the two constellations, Aquila and Lyra, coil around each other. Each form contrary spirals, making a cocoon like the Snake and the Tortoise! The cocoon has become the Egg of Chaos. And, lost within its darkness, are two small lights, Vega and Altair. They look like minute children, girl and boy. Now the two stars join. Let us contemplate this Mystery.
1ST PRS: “There is a thing confusedly formed,
Born before heaven and Earth.
Silent and void,
It standeth alone and does not change,
Rotates and does not weary.
It is capable of being the Mother of the World.
I do not know its Name,
So I style it the Tao.
I give it the makeshift Name of the Great.”
1ST PR: Love and Truth are One in Harmony. Yin and Yang are One at the 7th Cycle of the 7th Aeon. Creation begins from this unity. But the Celestial Lovers must part that the cosmos be manifest. We watch as Vega and Altair become two once more. Lyra and Aquila are again separated by the Sea of Heaven, no longer a spinning top but our own familiar Milky Way! With harmony in our hearts let us enter our Dragon Chariot for our return journey. We leave bright Vega.
2ND PR: Guided by Men Shen, we return through the Heaven of Celestial Bliss * * * once more we see the Realm of the Dragon King * * * on the coiling Dragon Path we return to our own little earth in our own time and place * * * to bodily awareness. * * *
THANKS ARE GIVEN TO MEN SHEN WHO DEPARTS AND THE CHARIOT IS DISSOLVED IN REVERSE ORDER THROUGH WAND, STAFF AND DANCE. REPORTS ARE SHARED AND RAYS OF HARMONY SENT FORTH. PRIESTHOOD GIVE THANKS TO NU KUA AND ALL DEITIES. WATER IS DRUNK TO ENSURE RETURN FROM TRANCE.
End of Rite.
Sources: "Chinese Mythology," Anthony Christie, Hamlyn. "Folk Tales of China," Ed. Eberhard, Routledge and Kegan Paul. "Goddesses of India, Tibet, China and Japan," Durdin-Robertson, Cesara. "The Civilization of China," Herbert Giles, Thronton Butterworth. "Star Names", Hinckley Allen, Dover.
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