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FOI Online Liturgy
Sphinx, Goddess Myths and Mysteries
By: Olivia Robertson

Printable PDF File

5. SATURN. THE TRAIL OF TEARS.

ORACLE OF THE GODDESS NAVATU

Invocation: Goddess of Light, Goddess of Beauty, Goddess of Truth, bring us hope in our dark world. Guide our steps and bring us to your everlasting fountain of love and joy.

Oracle: Remember, that in all life's trials you can be removed from suffering at any time and return to my spirit sphere. But you yourselves, sparks from the Great Spirit, elect to be in the world. And this is not the earth, but the fantasy you create through dreams of desire.

When beset by evil, ignore the spiral of time and space through which you travel. Instead, turn your attention to the Matrix which is a shining pillar, never changing, eternal. Cosmic consciousness is not reached through living many lives, changing with the cycles of the years. It is with you in one flash of joy, one spark of love, through sudden perception of truth. Guard these flashes of eternal reality more than opinion, memories, plans.

My light penetrates the prison house you call the world. I come in the daytime and the night. I am there when you are happy and when you despair. But I will only help you when you call me from your heart. I help, when you reject false pride and sufficiency. To attain your divine essence you need to put aside your personality as a garment. You can wear it again knowing it is a robe you use through many lives. My pillars of light encompass the stars, but emanate from the depths. Reject no part of the cosmos but transmute it to good.

Priest Hierophant: Companions, we are assembled to invoke the sacred Goddesses and Gods who are emanations of the Great Spirit. (He offers incense) May the Great Spirit beyond and within all beings bring us wisdom.

Priestess Hierophant: About us is the assembly of the Sacred Wheel of Spirits. (Offers incense) May the Deities be our guides in our vision quest.

1st Priest: Who can understand why the Great Spirit permits evil? To help us endure our suffering, let us witness a mystery play.

MYSTERY PLAY: THE TRAIL OF TEARS. CYCLES OF TIME.
SCENE ONE: WITHIN THE KIVA.

Enter three Goddesses: Navatu, Estanatlehi, and Mayahuel, wearing feathered crests, painted masks and fringed cloaks.

Navatu: Come to me, climb my sacred white mountain of Spirit, those who long for the light. I uphold every star and galaxy from the depths and the heights, about which they revolve in never-ceasing cycles of time. My poles of power and peace draw together Light and Darkness. I am the Feathered Serpent Who penetrates the shaman's spine, crowning the skull with plumes of radiance. The Anitsutsa, The Pleiades are my daughters, who draw their souls to their resplendent net.

Estanatlehi: Longing for my embrace stems not from the Spirit but from the soul. Men adore me as maiden and enchantress, wife and whore, Mother and Goddess. For I am no less than Estanatlehi, Changing Woman. From the Matrix of Love I give birth to the cosmic Twins, one Black, the other White. From their union are engendered all existences. From the deeps of sorrow I bring hope, for I am She Who renews Herself in ever-varied offspring. No form is too strange for me, for the rainbow children are mine. Who can resist love?

Mayahuel: My followers can and do. The human mind thirsts for power and knowledge, and to gain these will ignore every other call. I am Mayahuel who holds the keys of the cycles of time. Hear my prophecy: "When the veil is rent between mother and daughter, when night is day and day is night, when the wandering child falls to its home in the ocean and there are floods of tears, then shall the rainbow serpent coil itself across the sky and earth. And joy shall abound."

Estanatlehi: (laughing) Who can understand a word of that? It could mean anything or nothing.

Mayahuel: The keepers of the Stone Calendars speak in enigmas. Thus humans learn to decipher our code and so create their own future. My brother the magician will illustrate the sacred game we play with humans. We shall witness the ordeals undergone by a pupil as he treads his shaman journey through three lifetimes.

THE FOUNTAIN OF PERPETUAL YOUTH.
SCENE 2. YUCATAN, 1513.

Enter Passikola the Magician in raven mask and coloured fringe tunic. Masked Kachina spirits perform a bird dance to flute music.

Passikola: Oh we have a veritable simpleton in Don Ponce de Leon! He delights me because he is my opposite! I the Trickster, look like a fool, but am wise! He has the air of a sage, but behaves like a fool. He, though conqueror and then Governor of Puerto Rico, has given all ambition up - to discover the Fountain of Perpetual Youth! His first ordeal is devised by Navatu to begin here, in Yucatan - by his reckoning, 1513.

Enter Mayan Priest and Priestess in Ceremonial Attire.

Priest: (laughing) The trickster did well by us - never better! When those foreign sailors were shipwrecked, we rescued them and held out the hand of friendship. They insulted us by putting coins in our palms. So we knew they were trying to bribe us for their own ends.

Priestess: You have so often recounted this tale of your cleverness.

Priest: We knew they were treacherous - so we sent them about their business - not by force - that is not our way, unlike those Aztecs - but by a trick. We gave them food and drink, as is our custom. But when their interpreter asked us two questions: had we water? Had we gold? We said we had no water. No gold. And they believed us! Can you credit such fools exist?

Priestess: Yes I can. There are quite a lot of them.

Priest: This is the richest part of the joke. We told them that Montezuma and his nobles possessed mountains of gold - and pointed the way across the sea to the Aztec Empire. Off they sailed, and destroyed our greatest enemies. Is it not the work of our trickster? What a God to have on our side.

Priestess: Passikola takes no sides, because He is a God. The Conquistadors will return. But they are not all evil. Here is one I honour - Don Ponce de Leon of the Visions.

Priest: Here comes a madman. To be so powerful, so rich - and then reject everything for a vision! There is no Fountain of Perpetual Youth. The Trickster has deluded him.

Enter Ponce de Leon in Spanish costume and feathered hat.

Ponce de Leon: Well met, my friends! (looks around) Surely this is the gateway to paradise! (gazes at Priestess) An angel guards the way, not with a sword but with her eyes. You all live such a life of noble simplicity - you are loyal to your ancient ways - I notice you even use gold for mere jugs and pots!

Priestess: As you see paradise all around you, why did you leave your own family and friends and land, to cross the dangerous ocean?

Ponce de Leon: Lady, there is no paradise where I come from, but rather hell. That is why I left. My hero and namesake the great poet Ponce de Leon - was imprisoned in a dungeon by our evil priests - inquisitors who rival the Aztec for cruelty. No, here I may find our lost paradise from which Adam and Eve were exiled. I seek a new Eve and with a pure heart would pray for entry. I shall find the fountain and draw forth the water of Life with the Holy Graal.

Music. Enter Passikola with Pleiades maidens who perform dance.

Passikola: Man who would see - travel at night. Your Guide shall be these maidens, the Pleiades, who will weave you a trail of glimmering starlight.

Maidens beckon Ponce de Leon.

Priest: Don Leon, you have always befriended our people. So I warn you - this is the Trickster, a God Who will lead you to your death in the jungle. Whether he appears as a coyote, a rabbit, a raven, he outwits the weary traveller. What madman travels by night in the domain of the jaguar and the boa constrictor?

Ponce de Leon: I shall follow the stars. (He follows maidens.)

Passikola: Eternal life is only gained through voluntary death. That is the God's best Heyoka.

THE RAINBOW WEDDING.
SCENE 3. SETTLER’S CABIN VIRGINIA, 1614
.

Enter Passikola in Coyote Mask.

Passikola: The second ordeal is set by Estanatlehi, to test loyalty in love. Don Leon and the Mayan Priestess are reborn in Virginia by settler's calendar 1614. For the Sailors did return and conquered all Turtle Island which they renamed America. We are in Captain Rolfe's cabin.

(Enter Pocahontas and) Old Nurse: Princess, you are bewitched, deceived by these pale-faces with their tawdry jewels.

Pocahontas: Bewitched, yes, but not by gifts but my love. The moment I saw Captain Rolfe I knew we had met before. I loved him.

Nurse: Pocahontas, you are the daughter of chief Powatas the wise. You disgrace your pure blood talking such nonsense. How can you plan to marry a foreigner, when palefaces steal our land and murder our people?

Pocahontas: Our marriage will stop such evil deeds. As soon stop a waterfall or the rush of a wild beast than stop our wedding. You call my father wise - he bows to love and permits it.

Old Nurse (covers face and weeps):Headstrong passion brings no good. I see the cunning of the trickster. You will die lonely in a foreign land, far from family and tribe.

Enter Captain Rolfe: What is this talk of death as we prepare our wedding feast? Pocahontas you are an angel, though the puritans call you a heathen. King James is angry that I should presume to marry a royal princess. We are beset on every side. But we shall do as we choose.

Music.

Enter Passikola (with wedding guests):  No, you do as you must, ensnared by passion. You, princess will indeed die across the ocean, in Gravesend, my last trick for you. (To Rolfe) As for you, Captain, you will discover that love without life does not exist.

Captain Rolfe: Who are you, charlatan, with your gloomy forebodings? Let us enjoy our wedding feast. Today is forever!

SCENE 4. BETRAYAL. SEQUOIA’S STUDY, 1829.

Enter Passikola (in human mask) Learn of faith and treachery, a hundred years later. We are in Sequoia's study where he is called George Guest. Pocahontas and Captain Rolfe have created a rainbow of friendship between settlers and the indigenous tribes. There were born hundreds of rainbow children from such unions. The Captain is reborn as Sequoia, a Cherokee elder, full of plans for his nation.

Enter Professor and School Teacher.

Professor: The man is a genius. He is the light of the age. He will educate his people in technological and political sciences. He is working on a Cherokee alphabet. Indeed he has plans to include a Cherokee confederacy as one of our states. 

Teacher:  There is terrible danger ahead.  My own family were responsible for driving the Cherokee from Virginia to Southern California and Virginia.  They will have no other race succeed except their own.  They are stupid, greedy and without mercy.

Professor: Dear Lady, you are too cynical.  That was a hundred years ago.  Forget the past.  Intuition is superstition.  This is the nineteenth century.  We are civilised people.

Enter Sequoia: And so are the Cherokees - as we have proved through our Confederacy. Our assemblies in Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee will show the way to other Indian nations. We intend to get accepted as a State in the Union.

Professor: This must happen. Your rights are protected in our constitution. I fear this lady is too cynical.

Teacher: (wildly) With good cause! How can you both be so blind? My family and their political and business associates are plotting ethnic genocide. Within nine years they intend to move the Cherokee nation at gun-point to Indian reservations.

Sequoia: I have faith in our American-Cherokee treaty. Anyway (smiling), I've just finished my Alphabet. That will endure. (Exit)

Enter Passikola with Cherokees who chant a dirge.

Passikola: Why did we Gods permit the uprooting of a whole people to live in poverty in a harsh land? They left only a trail of tears to mark their fatal journey. The Gods ordain that humans must learn through experience, however cruel. But I have a trick left - my most deadly. In the cycle of years the Betrayer is Betrayed. (Exit)

SCENE 5. THE FEATHERED SERPENT.
THE UNITED NATIONS 2038.

Enter President, General Secretary and Commander in Chief.

President: This is planetary catastrophe - yet we are in 2038, not in the middle ages. We are at war with insubstantial monsters who are taking over the world by stealth. They will win because of their tricky habit of appearing and disappearing.

Commander in Chief: That makes them hard to shoot. We really are doing our best. We shoot rockets at their space stations - which promptly turn into clouds. We fire nuclear missiles at their mother ships, which vanish.

Secretary: Dissidents say we are suffering from global paranoia - some guilt complex. They make out we are all barking mad.

Commander in Chief: What guilt? Alien propaganda. It's all part of their worldwide conspiracy - getting hold of young people and penetrating secret occult societies. The HQ is their cone city in Australia when visible.

President: Their invasion technique is diabolically cunning. They delude our women into giving birth to alien babies! So we monitor these unnatural prodigies. They will form a future secret army. They must be put down.

Commander in Chief: We cannot eliminate children, however alien. Their mothers would create mayhem.

Minister: What else can we do to save our human race?

Enter Passikola (in gold mask):I am the God of Reversal. I overturn the proud and elevate the down-trodden. What you have done to others, you are now experiencing yourself. You have abused - you are abused. You have exploited the weak. You are weak and exploited. You have brought terror, despair, helplessness in others - which is now your lot. You look in the mirror and see monsters. But those who love and help, see angels. They ascend to the Light by a trail of tears.

Music. Dance of the Kachinas. Enter twins wearing silver and gold.

1st Twin: Know me as Morning Star, daughter of the Goddess Estanatlehi. I cared for you all as Priestess, lover and teacher. Now I bring you love from the Pleiades.

2nd Twin: Know me as Evening Star, son of the Goddess Estanatlehi. I ascended the Three Worlds as Shaman, lover and thinker. Now I come as humanity's guide to the stars.

Music. Enter Pleiades who dance.

1st Twin: Morning and Evening star are one. Men and women are one. The Great Spirit contains us all. Let us perform the Sacred Dance of the Feathered Serpent, coiling across sky and earth!

Spiral dance. All join in.

End of Play.

Priest Hierophant: Companions, the play is ended yet is only beginning. Let us meditate on the parts each of us need to play to create our future.

Meditation. Reports are shared. Thanks are given to the Deities. Rays of healing are sent forth. A feast is shared.

End of Rite.



Sources: "North American Mythology”, Cottie Burland, Hamlyn. “Cherokee Alphabet”, Sequoia, 1828. "Millenium Prophecies", A.T. Mann, Element. Lecture by Harley Swiftdeer, Interdimensional News, April 1983. Talks with Grandfather Martin, Hopi Elder, with author, Hopiland, Arizona 1996 and 1997.


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