FOI Online Liturgy
Sophia, Cosmic Consciousness of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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10. Mystical Awakening of Sagittarius and Brynhild
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS BRYNHILD
PRIESTESS: Fiery Goddess Brynhild, Who with Thy plume-crowned Sisters dost ride across the sky to rescue the souls of those slain in battle, bring us energy that we may fight for the good cause!
ORACLE: Be still. Whatever noble purpose you have in mind, however glorious the cause, if bad means are used for success, evil will triumph over good. For the white plumes of light that pour from the heads of the Valkyrie are ideals: and ideals are dangerous if pursued with fanaticism. And when a cause wrongly undertaken is armed by auras of fire and spears of light, disaster is inevitable!
So was it with Asgard, a planet of fair promise. So was it with Atlantis. Planets and continents have been devastated by the greed and ambition of mortal men. Humanity is but one small part of an evolutionary procession, and is in the position of greatest danger. For man is neither entirely animal nor god: so he feels torn in two. Only man is totally lonely within his own soul, and believes that he can be extinguished by death. Woman is happier, for when she is with child she shares her body with another, whom she may love more than herself. Animals and Deities share their own particular group consciousness, and do not experience death. But man, entrapped in his own ego and dreading death, may in despair wish to drag all creatures with him into Ragnarok, a final cataclysm.
In reality no such cataclysm exists. The true Asgard, Tir na-nOg, Emhain, exist forever in the Sphere of Causes. They may be experienced by those who have transcended duality. That which appears to be destroyed in the physical realm of effects, is but a reflection distorted by troubled waters. If you see life as a continual battle between Gods and Giants, Angels and Demons - you yourself are lost in the Hell of Continual Warfare. How can you, so blind, rely on any theology or ethical system to teach you which cause is good or evil? Men do cruel actions in the name of religion or an ideal. Thus they may break their thread, which unites them with their true Divine selves.
Though struggle appears necessary in the worldly sphere, the best battle is against one's own wrongful ideas and passions, and not against the neighbour. So if you would ride with the Valkyrie, let your soul be attractive enough for these fiery Maidens to wish to save you alive from the battleground of the world! May we lift all of you to the Heaven of eternal Love and Wisdom.
ON A GREEN DRAPED ALTAR LET THERE BE 3 WHITE CANDLES, BURNING INCENSE, A CUP OF WATER AND A MAP OF SAGITTARIUS. A TREE IN A POT OR BRANCH IN WATER STANDS BEFORE ALTAR. APPLE, ASH, OAK OR FIR ARE RELEVANT. 3 PRIESTESSES AND WOMEN COMPANIONS WEAR SILVER RAYED CROWNS AND FLAME COLOURED CLOAKS OVER WHITE GOWNS. 3 PRIESTS AND MEN COMPANIONS WEAR YELLOW HEADDRESSES AND ORANGE CLOAKS OVER WHITE ROBES.
1st PRIEST: Companions who seek the Mystical Awakening of Sagittarius and Brynhild, know that in an ancient aeon the Goddesses and Gods reigned in glory over stars and planets and, among the rest, over the realm of Asgard, glorious in beauty. But after centuries of happiness, the dwellers in Asgard lost their magical control over giant elemental powers, and were overcome by violence and cruelty. The rainbow bridge which connected them with the Deities was broken: and also the etheric bridge between Asgard and the earth was destroyed. But the people could not even realise their loss. Rather, instead of repenting, they planned secretly to steal the apples of life from the Goddess Iduna.
2nd PRIEST: The apples grew upon the World Tree, Ygdrasill. Its mighty roots grew through the earth into the Netherworld, and its branches reached the heavens. At the base of its great trunk sat the Goddesses of Destiny, The Norns, guarding the Well of Life, which nourished the Tree. But evil men from Asgard stole some of the apples, driven by greed and ambition. And straightaway they were terrified, for Ygdrasill shook and trembled, for the Doom of Asgard was nigh. The sun became dark. Earth sank into the sea. The shining stars were no longer seen. Vapour and fire raged fiercely together, until the leaping flames licked Heaven itself!
1st PRIESTESS: But when free will is lost, the Deities may intervene and bring the evil ones back to a time before sin was, to the innocence of childhood, so that life may start again. Thus it was that Odin, Chief of the Gods, Himself descended to earth. He put aside His golden helmet, His golden cloak and His Spear of Light. On earth He roamed as the Wanderer, clad in black. He sought The Mothers, The Norns. When He found Them They greeted Him as Their Son and asked what He desired. He declared that He sought wisdom from the Well of Life, that He might restore both Asgard and earth to their former virtue. The Norns granted His request on one condition: that He should give Them His Left Eye of vision.
2nd PRIEST: Odin gave the Norns His eye and in return They gave Him to drink of the Water of Life. And He became all-wise. Knowing now the source of Life and its destiny, He travelled through the stars in a dream boat, drawn by a magical horse with eight legs, Sleipnir. And the sight of His left eye returned to Him, and now He could see with it into the hearts of all creatures. And Odin would visit the earth at mid-winter, and in the homes of old men and women he would give knowledge of heaven: and to husbands and wives he would bestow knowledge and strength that they might start life anew: and to children he ever brought gifts of laughter, joy and magical dreams.
2nd PRIESTESS: The loved Daughter of Odin, the Goddess Brynhild, feeling compassion for the sufferings of all creatures upon the earth, devised a plan. She consented to go on Her Father's dream journey to earth, with the Blessing of Frigg Her Mother, the Earth Goddess. In the sky Brynhild reigned with Her Sisters the Valkyries, Maidens of Fire and Air. Hear their songs as They ride through the sky:
"We weave, we weave the web of the spear,
As on goes the standard of the brave.
We shall not let the warrior lose his life:
The Valkyries have power to choose the slain.
Now all is sinister on the earth,
A cloud of blood moves over the sky:
The sun is hidden, the air is blood red
As the Valkyries raise the dead to life.
Loud were they, riding over the hill,
Of one mind, one heart, riding over the earth;
When the mighty Goddesses make ready
Their power, And hurl forth Their Spears of Light!”
But Brynhild laid aside her headdress of white plumes, Her shining breast-plate, Her cloak of flames, Her spear of Light. And She descended to earth in a dream, carried by Odin, protected by the fire of The God Loki. And She lay in a trance, suffering in Her dream from the sorrows of all on the earth.
3rd PRIESTESS: But lo, the hero Sigurd discovered Her there, guided by a magical bird. And He awakened Her and They remembered their lost love when They dwelt together in heaven as Sieglinda and Siegmund, the Starry Twins. But the doom of Asgard was upon the earth and no earthly marriage could be theirs. Brynhild assumed Her headdress of glory, Her Spear of Light. She summoned Her white winged horse. And upon Her horse she entered the flames that roared from the underworld into the sky. And they ascended into the heavens. And, as was Her right, she brought with Her Sigurd, Her Consort, and the souls of all whose bodies had perished in the flames of earth. And the flames subsided as the waters of the oceans rose and covered the land.
1st PRIEST: The High One spoke: "At that time earth will rise out of the sea and be green and fair, and fields of corn will grow that were never sown. And two human-beings will escape the destruction. Lif and Lifthrasir in Hodmimir's wood will be hidden; the morning dews their food and drink: from thence will come human after human. And you will think this strange, but the sun will have borne a Daughter no less lovely than Herself. A girl will be born and She will pursue the paths of Her Mother." This story has been handed down from one Bard to another. Let the wise harken. Once more the Rainbow Bridge was formed between Asgard and the earth. Once more is it threatened by the evil deeds of men.
1st PRIESTESS (N. OFFERS INCENSE.): I offer incense to Brynhild. Whenever evil predominates over good, Thou doth come into manifestation. Teach us to weave the rainbow bridge between heaven and earth, that we may travel thereon!
1st PRIEST (N. OFFERS INCENSE.): I offer incense to the God Odin. Bring us in Thy Dream Boat to the sphere of reality.
2nd PRIESTESS (S.E. OFFERS INCENSE.): I offer incense to the Goddess Rhiannon of the Birds of Dawn. No man may approach Thee, golden robed Lady of the White Mound, save through the summoning of Thy Light. Thou art Mother of the sun-Child, for Thou didst give birth to the boy Gwri Golden Hair, at the Winter Solstice. Out of sorrow and death bring us renewal.
2nd PRIEST (S.E. OFFERS INCENSE.): I offer incense to the Sun God Pwyll, who gave His name to the Princes of Dyfed. As the sun journeys across the sky, so dost Thou ever circle the Mound of Rhiannon, which is the earth. Only during the time of Sagittarius, at the Winter Solstice, art Thou summoned into the Mound of Rhiannon, that the new Mabin of the Year, Gwri, may come forth as the renewed sun.
3rd PRIESTESS (S. W. OFFERS INCENSE.): I offer incense to the Goddess Niamh of the Golden Hair. As the sun sinks into the Western sea, so does the soul long for Tir-na-nOg, the eternal land of the soul. The poet Oisin stood by the shores of Loch Lena in the land of Eire and he saw coming to him across the mighty Western ocean a beautiful Lady with long golden hair, riding upon a white horse. And this is the song the Goddess Niamh sang to him:
"Delightful is the land beyond all dreams,
Fairer than aught thine eyes have ever seen;
There all the year the fruit is on the tree,
And all the year the bloom is on the flower.
There with wild honey drip the forest trees;
The stores of mead and wine shall never fail.
Nor pain nor sickness knows the dweller there.
Death and decay comes near him nevermore.
The feast shall cloy not, nor the dance shall tire,
Nor music cease forever through the hall.
The gold and jewels of the land of Youth
Outshine all splendours ever dreamed of man."
3rd PRIEST (S.W. OFFERS INCENSE.): I offer incense to Thee, Manannan, father of Oisin the poet. Thou hast spread Thy mighty shining cloak of sea about the Western Isles, and with it hideth the lost land of Atlantis. Thy boat the Roarer traverses the great ocean and Thy White rearing steeds toss their water-dripping manes from the deeps. Bring us safely to the many-coloured land, Hy Brasil, Asgard!
1st PRIEST: Let us form the hexagram of the stars of Sagittarius!
1st COM. (N.): I hail the Guardians of Anu-ni-tum, Star of Ishtar, in the place of the winter solstice. At the time of darkness may we see Her star!
2nd COM. (S.E.): I hail the Guardians of the two-fold star, Nibat Anu, The Centaur's Bow. Let us have sure aim!
3rd COM. (S. W.): I hail the Guardians of Nun-ki, Star of the Proclamation of the Sea of Heaven. May calm emotions prevail.
4th COM: (S.): I hail the Guardians of Ur-ner-Gub, the double star of the Horse. May we learn to control our own strength.
5th COM: (N.E.): I hail the Guardians of Si-nu-nu-tum, the ever returning Swallow. From long journeyings of the spirit may we return safely to our home.
6th COM: (N.W.): I hail the Guardians of Zujj-al-Nushshabah, the Arrow Head. Through sure-pointed determination may we attain our goal.
1st PRIESTESS: We have recalled the rise and fall of suns and planets, and of all who dwell on the earth. We have told of the transmutation of Brynhild as she passed through the ordeal of the elements, until She had rescued those who suffered, and regained Her Divinity. Let us form a rainbow circle, a bridge from ourselves to the Deities.
CIRCLE IS FORMED ROUND TREE.
2nd PRIESTESS (HANDS ROUND WATER TO DRINK WITH THESE WORDS): Accept this Water of Life from the Norns, that you may gain wisdom.
1st PRIESTESS: Let us perform the Dance of the spiral Rainbow around the World Tree, Ygdrassil.
MUSIC. SIBELIUS, WAGNER'S “RING CYCLE”, STRAVINSKY, AND MENDELSON'S “THE HEBRIDES OVERTURE” ARE SUITABLE.
1st PRIESTESS: Let us raise the energies within us through the Transmutation of the Centaur.
CIRCLE FACE INWARDS, KNEELING, PALMS OF HANDS ON GROUND, UNTIL POWER IS FELT RISING THROUGH HANDS AND ARMS AND AT BASE OF SPINE, ALL SIT UPWARDS WITH HANDS ON THIGHS AS POWER REACHES MIDDLE SPINE AND PLEXUS, CIRCLE RISES UPRIGHT WITH HANDS HELD FACING EACH OTHER WHILE POWER BRINGS A WARM GLOW. NOW ALL LIFT ARMS SIDEWAYS AND POWER REACHES THROAT AND BROW. FINALLY ARMS ARE RAISED IN V SHAPE ABOVE HEAD UNTIL CROWN CENTRES TINGLE WITH WHITE POWER. ORANGE AND GOLD COLOURS MAY BE SEEN WITH WHITE LIGHT ABOVE. CIRCLE TURNS OUTWARDS, COMPANIONS HOLDING OUT HANDS IN BLESSING.
2nd PRIESTESS: May all beings be blessed, the Sidhe and humans, animals and birds: reptiles, fish and insects: trees and plants: and every element.
3rd PRIESTESS (HANDS ROUND SPRIG OF TREE TO EACH COMPANION): Accept this gift of love from your earth Mother Frigg.
1st PRIESTESS (DISPLAYS STAR MAP OF SAGITTARIUS.): Companions, behold the Archer, half man, half horse, whose stars were revered in Ancient Babylon and Chaldea, when the Winter Solstice was in this sign. The Archer rises above the Sea of Heaven, below the Tropic of Capricorn. He chases the Scorpion with his arrow, and is followed by the Sea Goat. Above him shine the lovers of the sky, Vega, the Weaver maid within the Lyre stars. She is separated by the Milky Way from her lover, the Shepherd Altair, who is within the Constellation of Aquila, the eagle. They can only meet once a year, by way of a bridge of sparrows! Above them flies the Swan, Cygnus. The horse, Equuleus, stands beneath Delphinus, the Dolphin. Each creature has its innate Divinity, and its particular path of transmutation. Let us meditate upon the Mystery of Sagittarius and Brynhild.
MEDITATION: REPORTS ARE SHARED.
1st PRIEST: Let us give thanks to Brynhild and Odin: to Rhiannon and Pwyll: to Niamh and Manannan.
End of Rite.
Sources: "The Prose Edda," Snorri Sturluson, Trans. Jean 1. Young. University of California Press. "Gods and Myths of Northern Europe," H. R. Ellis Davidson, Pelican. Libretto Wagner's "Ring". "The Mabinogion," trans. Gwyn and Thomas Jones, Dent-Dutton. "Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race", T. W. Rolleston, 1911, Harrap. (N.B. "Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning," Richard Hinckley Allen, Dover Publications, New York, 1899; "Juno Covella, Perpetual Calendar of The Fellowship of Isis", Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Cesara Publications; and Philips “Planisphere” were used for each Rite.)
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