FOI Online Liturgy
Sophia, Cosmic Consciousness of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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6. Mystical Awakening of Leo and Sekhmet
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS SEKHMET
PRIESTESS: We honour Thee, the Lion Goddess, the Strong, The Mighty! In Thy form as the serpent Goddess Mehenet, Thou doth pour blazing fire from the head of the Sun God Ra. Thou doth declare. "I set the fierce heat of the fire for a distance of millions of cubits between Osiris and His enemy, and I keep away from Him the evil ones, and remove His foes from His habitation."
Yet also Thou art like unto Hathor, the Goddess of Love. Thou art the Lady of Amentet, Lady of Manu, the Mountain of the Setting Sun of the world of spirits, and art Queen of the Western Libyan Lands. With Thy husband, the architect God Ptah, and with Maat, Goddess of Truth, Thou didst plan the world, with the Seven Wise Hawks of the Goddess Mehurt. Thou art the inner Eye of Ra, and the celestial Hawk hath outspread wings behind Thee. Great Lady, Beloved of Ptah, Holy One, Powerful One, bless all those who dwell in Thy realm of departed souls. Give us Strength and Love.
ORACLE: Love needs must be approached with humility. Power must be gained through service. My followers in Egypt still kiss my stony face in my Temple at Thebes, with simple faith that I may bestow upon them both Love and Riches! Control of the very passions which I ignite is necessary. Otherwise unwary followers who pursue Power and Love are consumed by my fire. Control of the passions may come from the schooling of Thoth, God of Wisdom, or from the contemplation of the Goddess Maat.
But my way is not of the mind, though I too bear wings! Rather it comes from within the body itself, whether this body be the round earth or the human's animal body. If you desire to extend your consciousness into the universe - feel and experience that part of the cosmos which is yours to know! Your body is nearest to you, so feel it, love it, heal it. And love the creatures around you through touch - the rough bark of a tree or the cool splash of water. It is by stroking a cat's fur and making her purr that you touch the cosmic rhythm! Some there are who wilfully stroke a cat's fur the wrong way - these are the evil ones who disturb the universal heart beat. Yet to Me none of my children are evil, though they often pursue evil paths. Even these are subject to my sovereignty. And I rule as effectively through my sharp claws as I do by my softness. Enter fully into any sphere in which Deity places you, and do not escape into the mind! For incarnation is an acceptance of total involvement. Some there are who live on earth and own a body without honouring the commitment. They despise the passions. Yet these are under My sway, and if I am too long gainsayed I take a terrible revenge - for I possess these proud ones utterly!
But to those who acknowledge My Divinity, I present a different face. I am the Sphinx of the Galaxy. My Head is that of Virgo, serene and wise. My body is that of the noble Leo, and I bear the wings of the soaring hawk. I am what you make of Me! My riddle is concealed within your heart.
UPON A RED AND GREEN DRAPED ALTAR ARE 4 UNLIGHTED ORANGE CANDLES, N.E. TO S.E. A STAR MAP OF LEO, A CUP OF WATER, A CENTRE UNLIGHTED RED CANDLE AND BURNING INCENSE. 2 PRIESTESSES WEAR GOLD RAYED CROWNS AND 2 PRIESTS WEAR HIGH MITRES. ALL WEAR RED AND GREEN ROBES. WOMEN COMPANIONS WEAR GOLD SERPENT CIRCLETS, MEN COMPANIONS, RED AND GOLD STRIPED PHRA HEADDRESSES. ALL WEAR ORANGE ROBES. THE LEO SIGN LAMEN IS WORN BY ALL. PRIESTESSES HOLD SISTRA AND THE PRIESTS, THE OSIRIS CROOK, STRIPED RED AND GOLD. 4 COMPANIONS STAND AT THE 4 QUARTERS.
1st PRIEST: Companions on the quest for nobler consciousness, we are here assembled in this holy Temple to awaken the greatness of heart and strength bestowed by the Goddess Sekhmet through Her constellation, Leo.
MUSIC, BEETHOVEN'S “EROICA SYMPHONY”, HANDEL'S "JUPITER AND SEMELE", ARE SUITABLE, OR DRUMS AND BRASS MUSIC.
1st PRIESTESS (OFFERS INCENSE AT ALTAR, N.W.): I offer this incense to Thee, the Lion Goddess Sekhmet, and to Thee, Her Sister, the Cat Goddess Bast. Homage to Thee, O Sekhmet-Bast-Ra, Mistress of the Gods, Bearer of Wings, Thou Lady of the red and green apparel. Thou art Sovereign of Her Father, superior to whom the Gods cannot be. Thou art the Mighty One who utters the Words of Power in the Boat of Millions of Years. Thou art pre-eminent, and riseth in the seat of silence, and art Mistress of the Tomb.
2nd PRIESTESS (SPRINKLES WATER ON ALTAR): Accept this water, Who art also the Moon Goddess Bast, with Thy children safe in Thy Basket which is Thy womb. Mother in the horizon of Heaven, Gracious One, Beloved, have mercy on us, Thou Who art Protectress of women and of children and of all Thy creatures of the Wild. Thou art the Destroyer of evil, and of all that injure the Divine Order. Thou standeth in the bow of the boat of Ra, and Thou hath placed Maat the Goddess of Truth in the Bow. Thou holdest the Reed of Sovereignty. Thou art the Fire Goddess Ammi-seshet and art like unto a Mighty Flame.
1st PRIESTESS (SHAKES SISTRUM): On Thy brow Thou bearest the Cobra Goddess Uatchat-Buto, that giveth the snake bite of ecstasy! Praise be unto Thee, O Lady, Who art mightier than the Gods. Words of adoration rise unto Thee from the Eight Gods of Hermopolis. The living souls who dwell in the Hidden Places praise the Mystery of Hermopolis. The living souls who dwell in the Hidden Places praise the mystery of Thee, O Thou Who art their Mother, Thou Source from which they were born. Thou makest for them a place in the hidden Underworld, Who makest sound their bones and preserveth them from terror; Who makest them strong in the abode of everlasting life.
1st PRIEST (OFFERS INCENSE AT ALTAR, N.E.): I offer this incense to Thee, the Lion-headed God Nefertum, Son of the Goddess Sekhmet and of Her Divine Husband, the God Ptah. We hail Thee, Nefertum Khu Taui, Who holdest the lotus sceptre crowned with plumes that giveth Power, and the flail that winnows good from evil deeds. Thou riseth in the dawn from the nostrils of Ra, and Thou doth go forth from the Horizon on each day, and the Gods are sanctified by the sight of Thee.
2nd PRIESTESS (OFFERS INCENSE AT ALTAR S.E.): I offer incense to Thee, the Lion Goddess Allat. Thou doth pass through Thy Empire Aralu, the dark land of departed souls, standing upon a mighty horse. When Thou doth reach the borderland of Thy realm to greet newly arrived souls, Thou doth sail on an enchanted vessel which moves without sails or oars, with a prow as the beak of a bird. Thou has the head of a Lion, the body of a Woman and the claws of a Bird of Prey. In either hand Thou doth bear a serpent and on each side are Thy children, two lions.
1st PRIESTESS (SPRINKLES WATER ON ALTAR.): I offer this water to Thee, Allat, Who art Goddess of the Primordial Waters, into whose bosom our earth is plunged. Thy realm is surrounded by seven great walls, and is approached through Seven Gates. None may achieve either Power or Passion without Thee. Give us courage, then, to cross Thy Seven Thresholds! But when we reach Thee, what may we find beneath Thy Lion Mask? Art thou not also Allat the Merciful, the Compassionate?
2nd PRIEST (OFFERS INCENSE S.W.): I offer this incense to you, Shu and Tefnut, the primordial Sphinxes. Most ancient Lion God and Lion Goddess, who stand at the break and the close of the passing days, protect us at the coming in and the going forth by day and night. Praise be to Thee, Shu, who with thy winds brings the Boat of a Million Years safely through the sky. Glory be to Thee, His twin, Tefnut, who bringeth the rain that nourisheth the crops and filleth the mighty river at Hapi's hidden source. Thy children are Nuit the Sky who archeth like the rainbow above her husband, Geb the earth, from whose Divine Union came forth Isis and Osiris. Divine Twins at the Beginning and at the End, give us balance in our quest for power and love.
1st PRIEST: Behold this lighted red candle. Gaze upon its flame and see in it the symbol of the Cor Leonis, Heart of the Lion. Star Royal, Flame, Red Fire, are titles of noble Regulus that shines in the Lion. The magi of Nineveh inscribed upon their clay tablets: "if the Lucida of the Lion is gloomy, the Heart of the people will not rejoice." This ardent star of Kings rules the affairs of Heaven. The Indians call it Magha the Mighty. It is a House of the Moon, the 8th Asterism, the Nakshatra, and rules the Four Royal Stars of the Lion's Head. These Guardians of Heaven mark the four Cardinal Points
1st COM. (N.): I invoke the Deity of Hastorang, Guardian of the North!
2nd COM. (E.): I invoke the Deity of Tascheter, Guardian of the East!
3rd COM. (S.): I invoke the Spirit of Venant, Guardian of the South.
4th COM. (W.): I invoke the Deity of Satevis, Guardian of the West!
1st PRIESTESS: Let us draw Power and Love from the Heart of Our Divine Mother of all, Sekhmet-Bast-Ra!
SHE HOLDS HER HANDS OVER FLAME OF RED CANDLE IN BLESSING. SHE LIGHTS CANDLE N.W. ON ALTAR FROM THIS FLAME. PRIESTESS AND PRIESTS LIGHT CANDLES N. TO W. ON ALTAR. COMPANIONS LIGHT CANDLES AT CARDINAL POINTS, ALL FROM CENTRAL RED CANDLE. BOTH PRIESTESSES MOVE ROUND COMPANY, PLACING ONE HAND ON THE HEART, ONE BETWEEN SHOULDER BLADES UNTIL TINGLING HEAT IS FELT, AND ORANGE, RED AND GREEN LIGHTS MAY BE SEEN OVER EACH HEART.
PRIESTESSES (REPEAT): "Feel in thy heart Strength and Love of thy Mother, the Goddess Sekhmet-Bast-Ra!"
2nd PRIESTESS: Companions, let us share the Love and Power we feel within us with all the children of the Goddess! For without sharing, the Holy Flame consumes itself and dies.
ALL JOIN HANDS UNTIL ELECTRIC-LIKE POWER IS PASSED THROUGH HANDS AND HEARTS IN A FLAME-LIKE GLOW AND COLOURED LIGHTS MAY BE SEEN MOVING AROUND THE CIRCLE. MAZE DANCE. RAVEL'S "BOLERO" OR RICHARD STRAUSS’ "THE DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS" ARE SUITABLE. AN EXPANSION OF CONSCIOUSNESS MAY OCCUR.
1st PRIESTESS: Companions, let us contemplate the symbols of Leo and Sekhmet, so that we may touch on the sphere of omnipotence and love of the Lion-Goddess. (HOLDS UP STAR MAP.) With your inner eye and creative imagination animate these symbols given us by the Sages, associated with the constellations. The Lion is rampant across the sky, with the stars Zosma and Zozma flaming in his waving mane. From his mighty paws he sends forth showers of meteors, the Leonids. In his curving tail shines the blue star Denebola, named by the Chinese "Woo Pi Tso”, "Seat of the Five Empresses”, and by the Indians, the Star of the Goddess Bahu, the Creating Mother. Brightly shines the Diamond of Virgo, formed by this very Denebola, along with Arcturus, silvery Spica and Cor Caroli.
1st PRIESTESS: Mark well the four ancient cardinal points known to mariners, Fomalhaut in the North, Regula in the South, Flaming Aldebaran in the East and red Antares in the West.
2nd PRIESTESS: Behold the Anthroposphinx Herself! Poets and artists and Visionaries saw Her shining in the night sky, with Virgo for Her Head and Leo for Her body! She is also Neshta the Lioness flanked by two lions, Besu and Neshu. The Pharaoh Seti first had Her depicted in the Temple of Hathor at Denderah. She is shown as a woman with her left hand holding the tail of a lion, her right hand brandishing a flail. Thus she rules Virgo and Leo, in the ancient Egyptian zodiac.
2nd PRIEST: Picture the great Goddess Cybele, Ruler of Aquarius and Leo, driving across the dark sky in Her bright chariot drawn by Lions. Above Leo observe the beautiful constellation of Calisto the Bear Goddess, whom the Chaldeans called Bel the Beautiful. Nearby are the golden locks of Berenice's Hair, and the Lynx. Below is Leo Minor, a constellation sacred to the God Ptah, husband of Sekhmet. And beneath the Lion is the Monster Hydra, with the Chalice and the Crow within its coils!
1st PRIESTESS: Know that this starry sky that ever surrounds our earth above and below and round about is no less that the land of Darkness, Aralu, ruled by the Goddess Allat! We are the living dead, the souls dwelling in the depths of the Mother's seventh and lowest realm. We are feeble and mortal, for we have forgotten our Divine Birth. Now in silence let the little flame awakened in our hearts be strengthened by Our Mother's Omnipotence and Love, which encompasses all to whom She has given birth: stars, planets, humans, animals, plants, the elements. So may we awaken and rejoice through Her Seven Spheres of Consciousness.
CONTEMPLATION. REPORTS ON STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
2nd PRIESTESS: Let us return slowly to our everyday awareness, bringing back all that we have attained. Let us send forth radiations of Power and Love to all beings.
PRIESTHOOD STAND AT ALTAR.
1st PRIESTESS: We give thanks to Sekhmet-Bast-Ra.
1st PRIEST: We give thanks to Nefertum.
2nd PRIESTESS: We give thanks to Allat.
2nd PRIEST: We give thanks to Shu and Tefnut.
End of Rite.
Sources: "The Gods of the Egyptians," Budge, pub. Dover. "Egyptian Mythology", Hamlyn. "Egyptian Mythology", Richard Patrick, Octopus. "The Goddesses of Chaldea, Syria and Egypt," Durdin-Robertson, Cesara. (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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