FOI Online Liturgy
Psyche, Magical Journeys of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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9. Cassiopeia. Ray II.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS ALA
PRIESTESS: We invoke Thy aid, Holy Ala, Goddess of Nature. The lbo people of Nigeria worship Thee as Earth Goddess, Bringer of the Harvest. Thou dost also preside over the harvest of souls in Thy Realm of Spirits.
ORACLE: My dearest children, you are ever within My being! All your dreams and aspirations are Mine, and your future I hold in My grasp. You were forced to leave My arms through the necessary development of your skills and the use of your intellect. Now you return to Me because you hate the destruction you have wrought upon the earth and its creatures. You have desecrated this planet, and you fear it is too late to restore the lovely creatures, trees and plants that you have killed.
But be of good heart! It is not humans alone that have done these deeds, but the spirits who animate animals, plants, lands and oceans. And they have worked with humans for a purpose - the furtherance of Nature's Plan for earth. For existence is not static but is ever developing. Even disaster will bring good, through change. You make the mistake of separating humanity from the rest of nature! In verity humans, animals, trees, mountains and seas all form part of My everchanging Body. Already in the inner planes of My Being new rain forests are evolving, less prone to disease and predators. Despite the detestable cruelty of mankind, the monkey, dolphin, whale and other populations are gaining, not losing through their communication with humanity: they are learning the language of thought. And through this inner speech they evolve in their own way. All of you continue your evolution together in My Realm of Spirits.
Space is not empty! If you could only see the etheric web that surrounds it and permeates it, you would observe myriad cross-threads of thoughts that join humans, nature spirits, animals trees, plants. These rainbow threads hum with unceasing activity; so that every thought and feeling that you send forth reverberates through this spider's web of communication, both in this life and the next. And this extends through the solar system, and reaches the stars.
It is when communication becomes Communion through spiritual Love that you join the Divine Choir of the Spheres. As you meditate in Attunement with Deity, your mind and heart are linked with every bird, animal and tree, and Nature Spirits bring your dreams into manifestation! When evil predominates over good, I manifest. I am with you now.
PRIESTESSES WEAR GOLD CROWNS AND CARRY WHITE WANDS: PRIESTS WEAR GOLD HEADDRESSES AND BEAR WOODEN STAFFS: WOMEN VOYAGERS WEAR GOLD CIRCLETS AND MEN, WHITE HEADDRESSES AND OMNES WEAR ORANGE, WHITE AND BLACK ROBES. ON ORANGE DRAPED ALTAR ARE 5 BURNING WHITE CANDLES, A COPPER BASIN OF WATER AND BURNING INCENSE.
1ST PRIEST: Fellow Voyagers, we are assembled to make a magical journey to the constellation of Cassiopeia. This constellation forms a mighty celestial W., when below the North Pole. When it shines above Polaris, it forms a great M., ancient symbol of Woman giving birth. The stars are known as the Throne or Chair of Cassiopeia, in ancient days acknowledged as a black African Queen. Milton calls her: "that starr'd Ethiop Queen." By her is the polar constellation of Cepheus. Cepheus when on earth was King of Ethiopia, when "the tables of the sun were spread in that land."
1ST PRS: Cassiopeia may be regarded as an early Earth Goddess, because Greek legend tells that she was rival to the sea nymphs. Ethiopia is prone to drought. She holds the Laconian key, "a brazen key she held, the handle turn'd with steel and polished elephant adorned." The constellation is also seen as a folding door fitted with a key.
1ST PR: Here we have a mystery! Let us attempt to unlock its secret, that we may discover the Divine Language brought to earth by the Beings whom the Dogon Tribe named The Nummos.
1ST PRS: (OFFERS INCENSE. SHE MAKES AN M. SIGN WITH WAND.) I invoke Thee, Ala, Goddess of the earth, Source of mortality! Thou who art adored by the lbo People of Nigeria as Protector of the harvest, guide us to feed the starving millions upon our earth, by filling our souls with good intention and energy to act! Thou Who art Queen of the World of Spirits, feed our souls that we may acknowledge the souls of all beings.
1ST PR: (OFFERS INCENSE. HE MAKES SIGN OF A W. WITH STAFF.) I invoke the God Amma of the Dogon people, Consort of the Earth Goddess. Deity of both Sun and Moon, help us to bring harmony to all peoples and beings! The Nummos, your watery children, came to You to gain teachings. You gave them the gift of Your Divine Language. Like them may we learn this speech, so that we may commune with the Deities.
2ND PRS: (ANOINTS EACH BROW WITH WATER:) May you understand inner speech.
BUILDING FARAN'S CANOE
2ND PR: The constellation of Cassiopeia may hold the key to this secret! To ascend there, as did the Nummos, we need to build a star canoe as they did. Let us build the etheric Canoe of Faran, the Songhay hero who rescued his canoe from destruction by the river spirit, Zin-Kibaru! (AFRICAN DRUMMING AND STRING MUSIC.) I call upon the Serpent of Eternity, he with black, orange and white scales, to help us create our canoe!
HE DRAWS A CIRCLE ROUND VOYAGERS AND CREATES DECK, SIDES AND DOME OF CANOE WITH HIS STAFF. OMNES JOIN IN THIS DANCE OF CREATION.
2ND PRS: We require the power of flight that transcends both time and space. I invoke the Blue Jay Bird of the Pygmy Peoples: May this celestial bird bring us the power of etheric flight!
SHE DRAWS A COLUMN OF LIGHT IN CENTRE OF STAR CANOE AND ALL DANCE TO CREATE THIS, WITH WING-LIKE MOVEMENTS.
1ST VOYAGER: We need a Guide for so long a journey!
1ST PR: And who better than the divine Messenger, known to the Yuruba Tribe of Nigeria as the God Eshu! This God is Mediator between the Deities and humanity. Let us chant His name! (OMNES CHANT: "Eshu Eshu!") He appears amongst us. He is of giant height and mighty strength, yet he has a cheerful smile that reassures us! He is wearing black, orange and white robes, and the jewelled tiara of a God. With his great wooden staff he signs us to be seated.
OMNES SIT. MUSIC.
1ST PR: We feel vitality in our etheric being! Our canoe is transparent as water and it rises through the ceiling and up into the sky over our temple! Ever more swiftly do we rise until we reach the darkness of space, pricked by the outline of a mighty M. in the sky by the Pole stars. We are heading for the Northern constellations. Eshu tells us to brace ourselves for breaking the time and Space barrier... there is a shudder - and suddenly we feel light, joyful, in another state of consciousness. We have reached a further dimension, the astral plane. We are retracing the journey of the Nummos.
THE PARADISE OF THE GODDESS ALA
2ND PRS: Our canoe is filled with luminous colours! From where do they come? I see - they emanate from the constellations of Andromeda and Perseus; Cassiopeia and Cepheus. We have entered the astral realm of the Goddess Ala of Nature. Harken to the words of the great Berber Philosopher, Mehlo Moya, writing in an archaic form of Bantu. This Isinzu writing comes from a subterranean chamber in an ancient ruined city in Zimbabwe.
2ND PR: They who walk the Path of Light are marked by Compassion; or they understand the needs of the weary animal, the sorrow of the child, and the mind of the stranger. They have harmony of soul, for their eyes perceive Nature, their hearts comprehend Nature, and their courage enables them to dwell with Nature. They possess skill in action, for they love their work, they know their work, and they work with Will for no reward. They have universal Vision, for they love all things, they are just to all beings, and they serve the Law with gladness. O my children, when the marks of true humanity are engraved in the substance of your being, you will ask for no more knowledge, nor will you crave to possess it, because you will be Knowledge itself. 'Ngisisi kuve hambaseke kanlese!' "Follow you after Peace."
2ND PRS: Our canoe has stopped. There is bird song and the scent of tropical flowers. We see golden bananas hanging amidst green leaves, and date palms rise into the brilliant sky. Parrots talk with chattering monkeys among trees, even monkeys who have died by torture inflicted by man. Their pain is forgotten. Herds of elephants, slaughtered on earth for their tusks, trumpet loudly, trunks aloft, and their offspring follow them in single file through rich jungles. I can see a giraffe eating luscious fruit from which he draws life essence! Can you find leopards, concealed amidst branches? Lions roar: "this land is ours!" But who are these watery creatures who emit rays of light? Ah behold the Nummos! Not far from them are the homes of the Dogon Tribe. Observe their houses, for these are manifested symbols. The roofs are as heaven, and the great central room is Woman; the vestibule, Man. Store rooms are at each side of Woman's arms and the Hearth is her head! Four posts supporting the conical roof over her room are the arms of Man and Woman in nuptual embrace. To attain understanding of Ala's Paradise of Nature, let us use the Mantra of Her Name of Power. (OMNES CHANT: "Ala - Ala!") Eshu signs us to leave the canoe and enter.
2ND PR: Friends, let us return to our star canoe, now aware of Nature's language of symbols. Our bodies are infused with our souls in harmony. Our canoe starts rising. What sound is this? There is a man's voice, chanting, as deep as night, and a woman's voice answers, as golden and warm as the sun. Other voices join them, and they sing in some forgotten language. Now the voices cease. . . in the distance, and then becoming louder, is the sound of talking drums. At first they imitate our heartbeats. . . but now they become more complicated in rhythm. Hark! What the drums are telling us is this. We are part of Nature, of a house, a river, a hill, an animal. So we have the copper key to Nature's wisdom and love. But now we need the silver key of mind, for without intellect we cannot control our destiny, but are prey to every act of exploitation that befalls the instinctive children of nature. Our present human race is misusing the power of intellect, as once ancient people did. We must not follow their path to destruction, losing our minds through madness and cruelty. We need to use our brains as part of the Divine Order of Love and Truth. Ah! The drums tells us that we have entered the constellation of Cassiopeia, spiritual Paradise of Mawa and Leesa.
THE PARADISE OF MAWA AND LEESA
2ND PRS: The Goddess Mawa of the Moon presides over the Spirit, and the Sun God Leesa, over the mind. They are the eldest of seven pairs of Twins, female and male Rulers, primal offspring of the Cosmic Mother, known to the Fon people as Nana-Buluku. It is through the marriage of Spirit and Mind that we learn the Spiritual Language of the Deities. Harken to the wise words of Mehlo Moya: "The Light took form, and before my wondering gaze appeared a great Temple. The walls were built of the substance of the sun and they were crowned by a blue dome like the sky. Seven towers encircled the dome, each a colour of the rainbow. I saw no more, for Form melted into Light, and the beams of ten thousand hidden suns enveloped boundless Space. I heard no more, for words were lost in Sound, and the Voices of all the Circling Stars combined in a Chant of Peace. Time was not, and I dwelt in Eternity with the Light, and joined in the Song of Peace."
2ND PR: Our canoe hangs before the gold and pearl Gates of this Temple, known to the Yuruba Tribe as Ile Ife, the House of Life. From within come forth celestial singing. Let us join in the Song! (OMNES CHANT: "Mawa - Mawa! Leesa-Leesa!") Eshue summons us to enter Their Temple.
We return from the Paradise of Spirit and of Mind with enlightenment on our brows. We have the seal of Solomon and Balkis, Queen of Sheba. We are seated once more in Faran's canoe. Suddenly we are alert - our canoe is circling around the Pole Star and flies into the very heart of Cassiopeia, now in the form of a W. We reach her lucida, the star Schedar!
THE RAINBOW PARADISE OF THE GODDESS NANA BULUKU
1ST PR: Our canoe is filled with rose coloured light and soft string music. This star is named The Breast, for in olden days the great W. was seen as Woman's two breasts. We are reposing in the Paradise of the Goddess Nana Buluku, Divine Mother of all. Harken to the words of Mehlo Moya, revealing hidden teachings of the Arcanum of Africa: "Know, O Learners, that I dwell beyond the River of Death, and I worship in the Temple of Wisdom, and I garner the seed of Wisdom in the waters of the Temple Pool. The words of Wisdom are graven deep in the Crystal above the Gate of the Temple: 'If you would feed the hungry, then teach them to sow, for no one reaps that which another sows in the Garden of the Deities. If you would be perfect, O servants of Life, you must dwell in the Light, and work in the Shadow. Illi Tonga ka lase nwaye zu ze esu enka dhlineni.' May you and the United All dwell together in Eternity."
1ST PRS: Oh Glorious! Behold the mighty Rainbow, the Queen's Arch! Before us is the Palace of Nana Buluku, and with Her dwell the Goddess Ngame and Queen Tehani of Mu, and the Gods Mulungu and Oruni. With them are the animal, bird and snake Deities. Around the Palace flows the river of life like a many coloured serpent, sacred dracena bushes growing on its banks. The Queen's rainbow arches over blue mountains, and at its end there lies a young child asleep. May we find the child that is within ourselves, for only thus may we reach our Mother's arms. Let us call upon Her Name: "Nana-Buluku Nana-Buluku!" (OMNES DO SO.) Eshu tells us that we may enter Her Paradise and bring with us all the world's sorrows for her to heal.
1ST PR: Filled with love and joy, we turn to thank the Mother Goddess for her Golden Key of Love. But what is happening? The constellations of Cassiopeia and Cepheus, Andromeda and Perseus are folding in upon themselves! They are entwined as the woman and man in Dogon houses. They lie within the Golden Throne, which the Ashantis call "the throne in which the Queen holds the souls of the people, bound about with a rainbow." Softer than the sigh of wind we hear the throbbing of myriad heart-beats, our own amongst them. For our own souls are held within the Golden Throne of the Mother. After every life-cycle we return to Her. The Throne is surrounded by the Cosmic Calabash, the Gourd of Infinite Space. Above the gourd are 3,500 snakes and below, 3,500 snakes. These are 7,000 vortices of stellar power. As we gaze with wonder, the snakes begin to unfold themselves and they become constellations. The gourd unravels and we see Cassiopeia and Cepheus, Andromeda and her lover Perseus assume their wonted separation as they unwind, star by star.
1ST PRS: Eshu informs us that if we wish to bring the Divine Language to earth we must return, as did the Nummos. So we enter our canoe. As we sit in our circle we experience communion with each other and with all that is. Threads of light join us and spread to the stars. Our canoe falls steeply away from Schedar, the Breast * * * we pass through the Paradise of Mawa and Leesa, and the drum beats urge us to hasten back to earth, for we are needed there. We travel through the joyful Paradise of Ala * * * like a bird we fly through space * * * our canoe shudders and we feel heavy - we have broken the time and space barrier. Soon we recognise our own sun * * * our canoe sinks like a falling meteor upon the floor of our Temple. The God Eshu instructs us to dissolve our canoe and we thank him. He blesses us and bids us farewell.
PRIESTHOOD AND VOYAGERS DISSOLVE THE CANOE WITH WAND, STAFF AND DANCE. THOUGHTS IN THE DIVINE LANGUAGE ARE SENT FORTH TO ALL WHO CAN UNDERSTAND THEM, BRINGING COMPASSION, WISDOM AND LOVE. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO ALA AND AMMA AND TO NANA BULUKU, MAWA AND LEESA. WATER IS DRUNK TO ENSURE RETURN FROM TRANCE.
End of Rite.
Sources: "The Sayings of the Ancient One," P.G. Bowen, Rider. "African Mythology, " Parrinder, Hamlyn. "Star Names", Hinckley Allen, Dover.
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